MRSA Drug Dosage Calculations Inaccurate for Teenagers

Methods of calculating the correct dosage of the antibiotic Vancomycin for treating multidrug-resistant Staphylococcus aureus are inaccurate for children over 10, leading to inappropriate dosage administration, according to research in The Journal of Clinical Pharmacology.

To treat adults with MRSA, clinicians calculate Vancomycin dosages based on diagrams — called nomograms — considering weight and kidney function. Widely thought to be appropriate for use in teenagers, researchers found MRSA nomograms are an inaccurate way of calculating minimum effective dosages for children between 10 and 18 years of age.

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Because children have smaller bodies than adults, Vancomycin toxicity occurs at different levels. For children between 10 and 18 years of age, researchers say more work is needed to determine an effective dosage to treat MRSA infections and minimize the risk of Vancomycin toxicity, according to a news release.

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