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Pediatric Dosage Calculations


After completing this module, you will be able to

The prescriber must determine the proper kind and amount of medication for a patient. However, the dosage for infants and children is usually less than the adult dosage because their body mass is smaller and their metabolism different from that of adults. In this module, you will be introduced to methods of calculating pediatric dosages.

For many years, pediatric dosage calculations used pediatric formulas such as Fried’s rule, Young’s rule, and Clark’s rule. These formulas are based on the weight of the child in pounds, or on the age of the child in months, and the normal adult dose of a specific drug. By using these formulas, one could determine how much should be prescribed for a particular child.

At the present time, the most accurate methods of determining an appropriate pediatric dose are by weight and body surface area. You must know whether the amount of a prescribed pediatric dosage is the safe or appropriate amount for a particular patient. If this information is not on the drug label, it can be found in the package insert, in the hospital formulary, Physician’s Desk Reference (PDR), United States Pharmacopeia, in pharmacology texts, or in the Prentice Hall Nurse’s Drug Guide.

Adapted by Kathy Taylor and Karen Schneider of Clackamas Community College, Oregon City, OR from Medical Dosage Calculations, 8e by Olsen, Giangrasso, and Shrimpton.

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