The number of drugs given to children in hospitals is sky high, a study shows. Children younger than 1 at the 90th percentile of daily medication use are given 11 drugs while children 1 year or older are given 13 drugs. In general hospitals, those younger than 1 are given 8 drugs and those older than 1 are given 12 drugs. The most common drugs given to hospitalized children are acetaminophen, albuterol, and antibiotics.
Within seven days of hospitalization, children younger than 1 at the 90th percentile of total use of different medications were given 29 drugs while children older than 1 were given 35 drugs. In general hospitals the numbers differ slightly, with those younger than 1 receiving 22 drugs and those older than 1 receiving 28 drugs.
The data was compiled when researchers analyzed and reviewed medical records of 265,868 patients younger than 18, All of these patients accounted for a total of 491,451 admissions in 52 children hospitals in 2006. The researchers also looked at medical records of 221,559 patients younger than 18, whom collectively had 260,740 hospital admissions in 4411 general hospitals also in 2006.