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In preterm neonates and infants, their kidneys are slower to mature and thus are unable to clear as much drug as fully developed kidneys.
This can cause unwanted drug build-up, which is why it is important to consider lower doses and greater dosing intervals for this population.
The clinician must take into account the immature physiology of the infant or child when considering symptoms, prescribing medications, and diagnosing illnesses.
Pediatric physiology directly impacts the pharmacokinetic properties of drugs that enter the body.
The absorption, distribution, metabolism, and elimination of medications differ between developing children and grown adults.
Despite completed studies and reviews, continual research is needed to better understand how these factors should affect the decisions of healthcare providers when prescribing and administering medications to the pediatric population.A major difference between the practice of pediatric and adult medicine is that children, in most jurisdictions and with certain exceptions, cannot make decisions for themselves.The issues of guardianship, privacy, legal responsibility and informed consent must always be considered in every pediatric procedure.The body size differences are paralleled by maturation changes.The smaller body of an infant or neonate is substantially different physiologically from that of an adult.Percentage of total body water and extracellular fluid volume both decrease as children grow and develop with time.Pediatric patients thus have a larger volume of distribution than adults, which directly affects the dosing of hydrophilic drugs such as beta-lactam antibiotics like ampicillin.Many drug absorption differences between pediatric and adult populations revolve around the stomach.Neonates and young infants have increased stomach p H due to decreased acid secretion, thereby creating a more basic environment for drugs that are taken by mouth.Congenital defects, genetic variance, and developmental issues are of greater concern to pediatricians than they often are to adult physicians.A common adage is that children are not simply "little adults".