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    Helpful tips for using pharmaceuticals with kids

    Children are not little adults, and it’s only common sense to be aware of a child’s age and weight when dosing pharmaceuticals. Here are some other helpful gems I’ve uncovered about medications.

    1. When there is unclear information on pediatric dosing, an adult can be thought of as someone who weighs 40 kg (88 lb). Thus, a 100-lb, healthy 10-year-old child can usually be given an adult dose of medicine, and a 22-lb toddler could be given one-fourth of the adult dose.

    2. Focalin XR releases faster than Concerta (Cmax1 1.5 h vs 3.7 h, respectively), according to the manufacturers.

    3. You cannot open up Concerta and sprinkle it. The time release is in the delivery system (a piston that pushes the active ingredient through a tiny hole), and is not due to individually coated beads of medicine with different absorption rates, as with most other extended-release medicines.

    4. As a rough guide, to convert Vyvance to Adderall XR, subtract 10 and divide by 2; eg, Vyvance 30 mg is equivalent to (30-10)/2=10 mg Adderall XR. As such, 2 Vyvance 30 mg are equivalent to Vyvance 50 mg, not 60 mg. This conversion, of course, does not work for the 10-mg Vyvance.

    NEXT: Knowing about the basic workings of pharmaceuticals

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