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Adult and Children Have Varied Drug Metabolism

A new study led by Ronald Hines, professor of pediatrics at the Medical College of Wisconsin said that adult and children have very different drug metabolism. //

Both have different levels of chemicals (enzymes) in their body for the processing of the drug. These enzymes vary in concentration with age.

Hence this study suggests that more research is needed to understand how medicines affect the young.

This plays a vital role because certain drugs have to be tested specifically on children. Drug companies do not do these tests as they dislike the extra cost that has to be spent for these tests.

But the companies and drug manufacturers has to keep this in mind when it comes to certain issues such as drug effectiveness and safety during early life stages. The team studied about 14 different enzymes in children and adults.

They findings were very surprising because several of the enzymes varied in concentration at different ages.

One such is the protein CYP3A4, which helps to oxidize chemicals in the body. It was found that children in the age group of two years have around 20-50 % of the CYP3A4 when compared to the adults.

This has increased the growing concern about the lack of understanding of the effects of medicines on children.

A report by Lords select committee said that 90 % of medicines used in the treatment of newborn babies had not been tested on infants. Some of them are morphine and many anti-epileptic agents.

Hence in conclusion more number of studies has to be directed in the better understanding of the drug metabolism in children.


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