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Arch Dis Child Educ Pract Ed. 2015 Feb;100(1):37-43. doi: 10.1136/archdischild-2013-304555. Epub 2014 Aug 13.

Practical pharmacokinetics: what do you really need to know?

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Derbyshire Children's Hospital, Derby, UK.
Division of Medical Sciences & Graduate Entry Medicine, School of Medicine, University of Nottingham, Royal Derby Hospital Centre, Derby, UK.


Having some understanding of pharmacokinetics is important for all clinicians when prescribing medications. Key elements to effective and safe prescribing include making sure that we don't underdose a medication making it ineffective, but also do not overprescribe a treatment known to cause toxic effects. In paediatrics, there are significant physiological and developmental differences that add to the challenges of safe prescribing. This article aims to provide the clinician with some basic paediatric pharmacokinetic principles with clinical examples to aid their prescribing skills.


General Paediatrics; Paediatric Practice; Pharmacology; Therapeutics

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