Pediatrics

Special care must be given when administering medication to pediatric patients because their organs are immature and they might have difficulty absorbing, distributing, and excreting the medication. This is especially true with neonatal patients. Neonatal patients can receive some medication through breast milk. However, because the mother has already metabolized and excreted the medication, less than the original dose is passed into breast milk.

Other medications cannot be given to a mother who is breastfeeding because of the toxic effect the medication has on the baby (unless breastfeeding is interrupted for 24 hours to 72 hours).

These medications include amphetamines, bromocriptine, cocaine, cyclophosphamide, cyclosporine, doxorubicin, ergotamine, gold salts, lithium, methotrex-ate, nicotine, and phenindione.

Organs in the neonate might be unable to handle the normal dose of some medications. For example, the stomach lacks acid, gastric emptying time is prolonged, the liver and kidneys are immature, and there is a decrease in protein binding.

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