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Prescribing in obese children: how good are paediatricians?

Abstract

Childhood obesity is increasing nationally and worldwide. Using the child's total body weight to calculate drug doses for certain medications could result in incorrect dosing. The aim of this study was to assess whether paediatric doctors have knowledge about prescribing correct doses of medications for obese children by using methods to calculate the ‘ideal body weight’ (IBW). A questionnaire was sent to paediatric doctors asking whether they understand IBW and how to calculate it using the McLaren method. The results suggested that most paediatric doctors did not determine whether a child was obese when calculating drug doses. There was relatively poor understanding about the concept of IBW and only 9% of paediatricians in this study knew how to calculate it. There should be more training and guidance about calculating IBW in obese children to avoid potentially toxic errors.

  • Obesity
  • Pharmacology
  • Paediatric Practice
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    R Mark Beattie