Acetaminophen administration in pediatric age: an observational prospective cross-sectional study

Title: Acetaminophen administration in pediatric age: an observational prospective cross-sectional study
Author(s): Lubrano, R
Paoli, S
Bonci, M
Di Ruzza, L
Cecchetti, C
Falsaperla, R
Pavone, P
Matin, N
Vitaliti, G
Gentile, I
Item Type: Journal Article
Abstract: Background Parents often do not consider fever as an important physiological response and mechanism of defense against infections that leads to inappropriate use of antipyretics and potentially dangerous side effects. This study is designed to evaluate the appropriateness of antipyretics dosages generally administered to children with fever, and to identify factors that may influence dosage accuracy. Results In this cross-sectional study we analyzed the clinical records of 1397 children aged >1 month and < 16 years, requiring a primary care (ambulatory) outpatient visit due to fever. We evaluated the number of children who had received >90 mg/kg/day of acetaminophen, the prescriber, the medication formula and the educational level of the caregiver who administered acetaminophen. Among those children included in our study, 74 % were administered acetaminophen for body temperature ≤ 38.4 °C. 24.12 % of children received >90 mg/kg/day of acetaminophen. Parents with university qualifications most commonly self-administered acetaminophen to their children, in a higher than standard dose. Self medication was also described in 60 % of children, whose acetaminophen was administered for temperatures < 38 °C. Acetaminophen over-dosage was also favored by the use of drug formulations as drops or syrup. Conclusions Our study shows that preventive action should be taken regarding the use of acetaminophen as antipyretic drug in children in order to reduce the fever phobia and self-prescription, especially of caregivers with higher educational levels. It is also necessary to promote a more appropriate use of acetaminophen in those parents using drops or syrup formulations.
Publication Date: 26-Feb-2016
Date of Acceptance: 18-Jan-2016
URI: http://hdl.handle.net/10044/1/51397
DOI: https://dx.doi.org/10.1186/s13052-016-0219-x
ISSN: 1720-8424
Publisher: BioMed Central
Journal / Book Title: The Italian Journal of Pediatrics
Volume: 42
Copyright Statement: © 2016 Lubrano et al. Open Access This article is distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/), which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided you give appropriate credit to the original author(s) and the source, provide a link to the Creative Commons license, and indicate if changes were made. The Creative Commons Public Domain Dedication waiver (http://creativecommons.org/publicdomain/zero/1.0/) applies to the data made available in this article, unless otherwise stated
Keywords: Science & Technology
Life Sciences & Biomedicine
Pediatrics
Children
Off label
Supratherapeutic dose
Acetaminophen
Prescription
Educational level
EMERGENCY-DEPARTMENT
FEVER PHOBIA
HEALTH-LITERACY
CHILDREN
PARACETAMOL
MANAGEMENT
PARENTS
GUIDELINES
MEDICATION
CAREGIVERS
Acetaminophen
Adolescent
Child
Child, Preschool
Cross-Sectional Studies
Emergency Service, Hospital
Female
Fever
Humans
Infant
Italy
Male
Practice Guidelines as Topic
Prospective Studies
Surveys and Questionnaires
Humans
Fever
Acetaminophen
Prospective Studies
Cross-Sectional Studies
Adolescent
Child
Child, Preschool
Infant
Emergency Service, Hospital
Italy
Female
Male
Practice Guidelines as Topic
Surveys and Questionnaires
Science & Technology
Life Sciences & Biomedicine
Pediatrics
Children
Off label
Supratherapeutic dose
Acetaminophen
Prescription
Educational level
EMERGENCY-DEPARTMENT
FEVER PHOBIA
HEALTH-LITERACY
CHILDREN
PARACETAMOL
MANAGEMENT
PARENTS
GUIDELINES
MEDICATION
CAREGIVERS
1114 Paediatrics And Reproductive Medicine
Pediatrics
Publication Status: Published
Article Number: 20
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