July 1987

Prescription Medications in Infancy and Early Childhood

Author Affiliations

From the Department of Pediatrics, The Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine, Baltimore.

Am J Dis Child. 1987;141(7):772-775. doi:10.1001/archpedi.1987.04460070074029

• The prescription medication exposures of a cohort of 222 children during their first five years of life were investigated. Excluding the three outliers, the cohort received 1852 medications (average per child, 8.46; mode, six; range, 0 to 37) during 1358 (23%) of the total 6017 visits made in five years. The greatest number of medications were administered or prescribed between 7 and 12 months of age. The majority (62%) of the medications over five years were oral preparations, and 87% were prescribed for two weeks or less. Antibacterials, bronchodilators, and antifungal-antiyeasts accounted for 80% of the 1852 medication courses. One third of all medications were for ampicillin or amoxicillin. High medication recipients were likely to have chronic conditions, especially recurrent otitis media and/or asthma, and were likely to be high users of our health facility.

(AJDC 1987;141:772-775)