Dosing information for children, unlike adults, is often presented as a mg/kg range. So how do you choose what dose to use?This recent discussion from the BMJ has some important take home messages .
Did you know that a child qualifies for an adult antibiotic dose usually by the time they weigh 40 kg? That means that the mg/kg childhood dose x 40 = the adult dose. e.g. 25mg/kg = adult dose of 1 gram!. Paediatric doses should also be capped at adult doses, even if the calculation suggests using more!
Key messages from the BMJ paper-
Methods for selecting dose of oral antibiotics in childhood must balance simplicity with accuracy
Although using exact weight is most accurate, it requires a recent weight and may not fit with fixed dose formulations
Age bands result in a substantial proportion of children receiving doses outside the recommended range and are context specific
Weight banded dose selection is transferable across populations and the most practical choice when up to date weight is available