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Jornal de Pediatria
Print version ISSN 0021-7557
COSTA, Patrícia Quirino da; REY, Luis C. and COELHO, Helena Lutéscia L.. Lack of drug preparations for use in children in Brazil. J. Pediatr. (Rio J.) [online]. 2009, vol.85, n.3, pp. 229-235. ISSN 0021-7557. http://dx.doi.org/10.1590/S0021-75572009000300008.
OBJECTIVE: To identify drugs which are not suited for pediatric use in Brazil. METHODS: A descriptive study involving the development of a national list of unlicensed and off-label medications for pediatric use (problem drugs in pediatrics, PDP) through a literature review, a comparison among sources of the Brazilian pharmaceutical industry, and a survey with pediatricians. Drugs coded at the Anatomic Therapeutic Chemical (ATC) classification system were analyzed regarding licensing status in Brazil and recommendations/indications in pediatrics, based on the following reference sources: the list of licensed drugs of the Brazilian National Health Surveillance Agency (2005), the Brazilian Dictionary of Pharmaceutical Specialties (2005-2007) and the website www.bulas.med.br. RESULTS: Our literature search returned 126 PDP, but 24 drugs were excluded due to absence of national reference. To compose the final list, 24 other drugs referred by pediatricians were added. Of the 126 PDP, 23 drugs were not licensed in the country for use in children; and of the 103 licensed drugs, 24 presented age-related restrictions for pediatric use. The pharmaceutical list included 42 therapeutic groups and 68 subgroups. The groups containing larger numbers of PDP were: antibiotics for systemic use (15), antiepileptics (8), antiasthmatics (7), and analgesics (7). The most frequent problems were: inappropriate dosage (35), unlicensed for pediatric use (28), age-related restrictions (23). CONCLUSIONS: The lack of pediatric drug formulations in Brazil shows a profile similar to that observed in other countries, which involves a wide range of clinically important products. This study brings a contribution to the evaluation of the needs and priorities that support the development of suitable medicines for the pediatric patient.
Keywords : Use of medications; pediatrics; pharmacoepidemiology; pediatric formulations; medication errors; pharmaceutical preparations; dose forms.