The following is the summary of “Is This Medication Safe for My Child? How to Discuss Safety of Commonly Used Medications With Parents” published in the December 2022 issue of Allergy and Clinical Immunology: In Practice by Skoner, et al.

Although there is always a chance that a patient can have adverse effects from taking a medication, careful use can optimize benefits while limiting dangers. Due to the fact that children’s growth and development are not congruent with their capacity to perceive and self-report adverse medication effects, children should not be assumed to be just smaller versions of adults when discussing the safety of drugs. To identify potential adverse reactions, prescribers need to be vigilant, and parents need to be educated. Parents are responsible for watching their children over an extended period of time. 

While a drug is approved by the Food and Drug Administration of the United States, pivotal studies are performed on very small and sometimes very specific subsets of the population. The results of these trials are then reported on the label of the drug’s packaging. It is possible for drug safety profiles to evolve as new information emerges through postmarketing reports and long-term monitoring carried out during phase IV clinical trials. As a result of this, prescribers have a responsibility to ensure that they have an up-to-date understanding of any changes made to drug labels. During patient interactions, it can be a time-cotime-consuming about potential adverse effects, monitor patients, and determine when concerns should be reported. 

This study provides up-to-date information on the possibility of adverse reactions to some of the most widely prescribed drugs for treating allergic diseases, asthma, and atopic dermatitis. It is hoped that clinicians will find the material and discussion presented here helpful in their talks with parents, including recommendations regarding prescribing medication to reduce adverse effects, parental monitoring, and documentation.