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Facilitating pharmacokinetic studies in children: a new use of dried blood spots
  1. Parul Patel1,
  2. Hussain Mulla2,
  3. Sangeeta Tanna1,
  4. Hitesh Pandya3
  1. 1School of Pharmacy, De Montfort University, Leicester, UK
  2. 2Centre for Therapeutic Evaluation of Drugs in Children, University Hospitals of Leicester NHS Trust, Leicester, UK
  3. 3Department of Infection, Immunity and Inflammation, University of Leicester, Leicester, UK
  1. Correspondence to Hitesh Pandya, Department of Infection, Immunity and Inflammation, University of Leicester, Robert Kilpatrick Clinical Sciences Building, Leicester LE2 7LX, UK; hp28{at}


Pharmacokinetic data are used to develop dosing regimens for medicines. The dose regimens of many drugs administered to children have historically been based on pharmacokinetic data generated in adults. The ‘adult’ dose was simply adjusted to the child's body weight or surface area. This practice is potentially unsafe and not acceptable to drug regulatory agencies. Obtaining pharmacokinetic data in children is beset with ethical issues and technical challenges as pharmacokinetic studies require repeated measurement of drug levels in blood. Dried blood spot (DBS) samples used in conjunction with population pharmacokinetic modelling techniques is one potential method for performing pharmacokinetic studies in children. In this article, we review the DBS technique for performing pharmacokinetic studies and highlight issues that still need to be addressed to establish DBS as a method for performing pharmacokinetic studies in children.

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  • Competing interests None.

  • Provenance and peer review Not commissioned; externally peer reviewed.