Medical Office Pharmacology: Review For Medical Assistant Students and Professionals
Medical assistant in pink.

Medication Errors in Children
For medical assistants who need to brush up on certain areas in pharmacology as it applies to a medical office.
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Medication Errors in Children

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 Medication Errors in Children...
The need for trained medical assistants remains at an all-time high! At any given moment thousands of job offers for medical assistants and other healthcare professionals open and close! Most require knowledge of certain medical office procedures and basic principles of pharmacology.

Medication Errors in Children
The Administration of Medication to a Child Must be Taken Very Serious!
REMEMBER: The indiscriminate use of medications can do a great harm...
All drugs have the potential to be toxic if used in an indiscriminate manner. There are drugs that can be toxic at the therapeutic doses if predisposing factors exist, and it is necessary to know what side-effects to look for in case there is a reaction. This includes all medications, from the widely used Children's Tylenol to vaccines!

Medical assistant takes notes!Consider the following:
Overdoses of Tylenol have been associated
with liver damage and deaths in children!

Always ask yourself what particular considerations need to be made before administering any medications to children. The most important thing to know is what the drug is for, how to use it, and what reactions to look for.
Therefore ask yourself (or the pharmacist!):

What is the drug and what is it for?
Will there be a problem with other drugs my child is taking?
How often and for how long does my child need to take it?
What if my child misses a dose?
What side effects does it have and how soon will it start working?

Also make sure you understand the four methods used to compute pediatric dosages:

Clark’s Rule – uses child’s weight to calculate approximate dosage
Fried’s Rule – use when child is less than two years old
Young’s Rule – use when child is two years of age or more

Additional Helpful Online Resources:
The Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality (AHRQ) provides a fact sheet with 20 steps parents can take to prevent drug reactions and other medical errors in children. Every parent should have a copy of this publication for reference. This fact sheet can be downloaded or printed.

Health and Safety Tips: Medication Administration in the Child Care Setting

Safety Information for children, including tips on medications and their safe administration, babysitters, preventing SIDS, car seat safety, plus gun and pool safety.

In the January-February 1996 FDA Consumer.


To report illegal prescription drug sales and/or rogue pharmacies operating on the Internet call the anonymous Pharmaceutical Drug Abuse Hotline: 1-877-RxAbuse (1-877-792-2873).
More info at: DEA Website
Buying drugs online may be illegal!
Federal law prohibits buying controlled substances such as narcotic pain relievers (e.g., OxyContin®, Vicodin ®), sedatives (e.g., Valium®, Xanax®, Ambien®), stimulants (e.g., phentermine, phendimetrazine, Adderall®, Ritalin®) and anabolic steroids (e.g., Winstrol®, Equipoise®) without a valid prescription from a doctor. This means there must be a bonafide doctor-patient relationship, which by most state laws requires a physical examination to receive a prescription. Prescriptions written by "cyber doctors" relying on online questionnaires are not legitimate under the law.

Buying controlled substances online without a valid prescription may be punishable by imprisonment under Federal law and it is a felony to import drugs into the United States and ship to a non-DEA registrant.

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