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2010
Based on the
Second Model List of
Essential Medicines for
Children 2009
WHO Library Cataloguing-in-Publication Data:
WHO model formulary for children 2010.
Based on the second model list of essential medicines for children 2009.
1.Essential drugs. 2.Formularies. 3.Pharmaceutical preparations. 4.Child. 5.Drug
utilization. I.World Health Organization.
ISBN 978 92 4 159932 0
(NLM classification: QV 55)
© World Health Organization 2010
All rights reserved. Publications of the World Health Organization can be obtained from
WHO Press, World Health Organization, 20 Avenue Appia, 1211 Geneva 27, Switzerland
(tel.: +41 22 791 3264; fax: +41 22 791 4857; e-mail: [email protected]). Requests
for permission to reproduce or translate WHO publications – whether for sale or for
noncommercial distribution – should be addressed to WHO Press, at the above address
(fax: +41 22 791 4806; e-mail: [email protected]).
The designations employed and the presentation of the material in this publication do
not imply the expression of any opinion whatsoever on the part of the World Health
Organization concerning the legal status of any country, territory, city or area or of its
authorities, or concerning the delimitation of its frontiers or boundaries. Dotted lines on
maps represent approximate border lines for which there may not yet be full agreement.
The mention of specific companies or of certain manufacturers’ products does not imply
that they are endorsed or recommended by the World Health Organization in preference
to others of a similar nature that are not mentioned. Errors and omissions excepted, the
names of proprietary products are distinguished by initial capital letters.
All reasonable precautions have been taken by the World Health Organization to verify
the information contained in this publication. However, the published material is being
distributed without warranty of any kind, either expressed or implied. The responsibility for
the interpretation and use of the material lies with the reader. In no event shall the World
Health Organization be liable for damages arising from its use.
Acknowledgements
(listed in alphabetical order)
Clinical Editors:
Siobhan Andrews1, BPharm GradDipPharmPrac
Noel Cranswick1, 3, MBBS BMedSc FRACP
Suzanne Hill2, BMed (Hons) PhD GradDipEpi FAFPHM
Brian Lilley1, BPharm GradDipHospPharm MBA
Leith Lilley1, BPharm MClinPharm
Kate Milner3, MBBS MPH
Courtney Munro1, BPharm GradCertPharmPrac
Christine Plover1, BPharm (Hons) MClinPharm
David Tickell3, MBBS FRACP
1. The Royal Children’s Hospital, Melbourne
2. Department of Essential Medicines and Pharmaceutical
Policies, World Health Organization, Geneva
3. Centre for International Child Health, Department of
Paediatrics, The University of Melbourne
Reviewers:
Jonathan Akikusa
Chris Barnes
Naor Bar-Zeev
Robert Berkowitz
Louise Bordun
Penelope Bryant
Thomas Connell
Nigel Crawford
Andrew Daley
Andrew Davidson
Trevor Duke
James Elder
Steve Graham
Amy Gray
Adam Jenney
Joshua Kausman
Julian Kelly
Stuart Lewena
Sarah McNab
Rob McDougall
Jodie McVernon
Paul Monagle
Anna Moon
Anastasia Pellicano
Rob Roseby
Fiona Russell
Helen Savoia
Mike Starr
Andrew Steer
Garry Warne
Keith Waters
Special thanks to Julian Kelly for
organizing the expert reviews.
WHO Model Formulary for Children 2010
WHO Reviewers:
Pedro Albajar-Vinas
Jorge Alvar Ezquerra
Siobhan Crowley
Denis Daumerie
Margriet den Boer
Tarun Dua
Philippe Duclos
Dirk Engels
Olivier Fontaine
Jose Ramon Franco Minguell
M. Grzemska
Jean Jannin
Ivo Kocur
Jose Martines
Shanthi Mendis
Lulu Muhe
Peter Olumese
Ana Padilla Marroquin
Juan Pena-Rosas
Pere Perez Simarro
Cathy Roth
Shekhar Saxena
Joanna Tempowski
Wilson Were
Special thanks to Monique Renevier
for organizing the WHO reviews.
Publisher:
MIMS Australia
(UBM Medica Australia Pty Ltd)
Editors:
Matthew Bidgood, BPharm (Hons) PhD
Elizabeth Donohoo, BSc GradCertHlthSc
Niroshni Gunewardhane, MD
Allyson Harvey, RN BA (Hons) DipBEP
Valerie Hoa, MPharm (ClinPharm)
Sue Hunter, BVSc (Hons)
Sarah Keen, BPharm
Olivia Wroth, BVSc DipBEP
Production:
Robert Johanson, BAppSc
Karthick Mani, MCompSc
Corrina Rivett
Daniela Velcich
Business:
Margaret Gehrig,
BHealthSc (Mgt), AssocDipNursing (Mgt), RN
Helen Gilmour,
BAppSc (Haem) GradDip (Mktg)
iii
SELECTED WHO PUBLICATIONS OF RELATED INTEREST
The selection and use of essential medicines.
Report of the WHO Expert Committee
(including the WHO Model List of Essential Medicines and the 2nd WHO Model List of Essential
Medicines for Children)
WHO Technical Report Series, No. 958, 2010 (in print)
Pocket book of hospital care for children.
2005 (378 pages)
The international pharmacopoeia, fourth edition.
Volume 1: general notices; monographs for pharmaceutical substances (A–O)
Volume 2: monographs for pharmaceutical substances (P–Z); monographs for dosage
forms and radiopharmaceutical preparations; methods of analysis; reagents.
2006 (1500 pages), also available in CD-ROM version
Basic tests for drugs: pharmaceutical substances,
medicinal plant materials and dosage forms.
1998 (94 pages)
Quality assurance of pharmaceuticals: a compendium of guidelines
and related materials.
Volume 1: 1997 (244 pages)
Volume 2: Good manufacturing practices and inspection.
2nd updated edition, 2007 (in print)
WHO Expert Committee on Specifications for Pharmaceutical Preparations.
Forty-third report.
WHO Technical Report Series, No. 953, 2009 (172 pages)
International nonproprietary names (INN) for pharmaceutical substances.
Cumulative List no. 13
2010 (available in CD-ROM format only)
Further information on these and other WHO publications can be obtained from
WHO Press, World Health Organization, 1211 Geneva 27, Switzerland
(tel. +41 22 791 3264; fax: +41 22 791 4857;
e-mail: [email protected]; order on line: http://www.who.int/bookorders)
iv
WHO Model Formulary for Children 2010
Contents
Selected WHO Publications of Interest........................................................................................ iv
Abbreviations ............................................................................................................................. vi
Introduction ............................................................................................................................. vii
Guidance for Prescribing in Paediatrics........................................................................................ viii
How to Use the WMFC............................................................................................................... xii
Changes to the WHO Model List of Essential Medicines for Children......................................... xv
Section 1:
Anaesthetics.......................................................................................................... 2
Section 2:
Analgesics, antipyretics, non-steroidal anti-inflammatory medicines (NSAIMs),
medicines used to treat gout and disease modifying agents in rheumatoid
disorders (DMARDs)............................................................................................ 18
Section 3:
Antiallergics and medicines used in anaphylaxis.................................................... 27
Section 4:
Antidotes and other substances used in poisonings................................................ 36
Section 5:
Anticonvulsants/antiepileptics............................................................................... 49
Section 6:
Anti-infective medicines........................................................................................ 64
Section 7:
Antimigraine medicines......................................................................................... 240
Section 8:
Antineoplastic, immunosuppressives and medicines used in palliative care............ 246
Section 9:
Antiparkinsonism medicines................................................................................. 295
Section 10: Medicines affecting the blood................................................................................ 297
Section 11: Blood products and plasma substitutes.................................................................. 308
Section 12: Cardiovascular medicines...................................................................................... 313
Section 13: Dermatological medicines (topical)....................................................................... 323
Section 14: Diagnostic agents.................................................................................................. 341
Section 15: Disinfectants and antiseptics................................................................................. 345
Section 16: Diuretics............................................................................................................... 352
Section 17: Gastrointestinal medicines.................................................................................... 359
Section 18: Hormones, other endocrine medicines and contraceptives.................................... 374
Section 19: Immunologicals.................................................................................................... 387
Section 20: Muscle relaxants (peripherally-acting) and cholinesterase inhibitors...................... 431
Section 21: Ophthalmological preparations............................................................................. 438
Section 22: Oxytocics and antioxytocics.................................................................................. 447
Section 23: Peritoneal dialysis solution.................................................................................... 449
Section 24: Psychotherapeutic medicines................................................................................. 452
Section 25: Medicines acting on the respiratory tract............................................................... 461
Section 26: Solutions correcting water, electrolyte and acid-base disturbances.......................... 467
Section 27: Vitamins and minerals.......................................................................................... 478
Section 28: Ear, nose and throat conditions in children........................................................... 488
Section 29: Specific medicines for neonatal care....................................................................... 493
Index
............................................................................................................................. 500
WHO Model Formulary for Children 2010
v
Abbreviations
ACE AIDS ALP APTT ART
ATC
AUC AV BCG BNFC BP BSA CNS CrCl CSF ECG EEG EMLc G6PD GFR GI GORD
GVHD
HIV Ht
IM INR IV MB MDI MDR-TB MMR MRI MSSA MTCT
NSAIM ORS
PB PCP PDA
PR PTB PVC SC SIADH spp. SSRI TB TSH USP WHO Wt
vi
angiotensin-converting enzyme
acquired immunodeficiency syndrome
alkaline phosphatase
activated partial thromboplastin time
antiretroviral
anatomical therapeutic chemical
area under the curve
atrioventricular
Bacillus Calmette–Guérin (vaccine)
British National Formulary for Children
British Pharmacopoeia
body surface area
central nervous system
creatinine clearance
cerebrospinal fluid
electrocardiogram
electroencephalogram
Essential Medicines List for Children
glucose 6-phosphate dehydrogenase
glomerular filtration rate
gastrointestinal
gastro-oesophageal reflux disease
graft-versus-host disease
human immunodeficiency virus
height
intramuscular
international normalized ratio
intravenous
multibacillary leprosy
metered dose inhaler
multidrug-resistant tuberculosis
measles, mumps, rubella
magnetic resonance imaging
methicillin-sensitive Staphylococcus aureus
mother-to-child transmission
non-steroidal anti-inflammatory medicine
oral rehydration solution
paucibacillary leprosy
Pneumocystis carinii (Pneumocystis jiroveci) pneumonia
patent ductus arteriosus
per rectum
pulmonary tuberculosis
polyvinyl chloride
subcutaneous
syndrome of inappropriate antidiuretic hormone secretion
species
selective serotonin reuptake inhibitor
tuberculosis
thyroid stimulating hormone
United States Pharmacopeia
World Health Organization
weight
WHO Model Formulary for Children 2010
Introduction
In 2007, the World Health Assembly passed a Resolution titled ‘Better Medicines for Children’. This
resolution recognized the need for research and development into medicines for children, including
better dosage forms, better evidence and better information about how to ensure that medicines
for treating the common childhood diseases are given at the right dose for children of all ages. The
World Health Organization has therefore developed a program of work on medicines for children,
including the development of a Model List of Essential Medicines for children (EMLc). As an extra
resource for health-care workers and national programmes that supply medicines for children, this
new edition of the WHO Model Formulary has been prepared, based on the 2nd edition of the
EMLc, to provide prescribers with the best information about how to use the medicines included on
the List.
In developing the WHO Model Formulary for Children, the editors have based decisions on
treatment regimens on the best available evidence from clinical studies in children, that have been
assessed and evaluated by the WHO Expert Committee on Selection and Use of Essential Medicines.
However, as has been found by all authorities in relation to medicines for children, in many cases the
recommendations on dose and duration of treatment in children have to be extrapolated from studies
in adults and adjusted based on our understanding of the effect of age and development on the
absorption, distribution and metabolism and excretion of different medicines in children of different
ages. One of the aims of this publication is therefore not only to describe what is known about
treatments, but to highlight where more research is needed.
An electronic version of the WHO Formulary for Children is also available, intended as a starting
point for developing institutional or national formularies. The text of the Formulary can be used by
groups who wish to develop their own version, by adapting the text or by adding or deleting entries
to align the formulary to their own list of essential medicines.
This edition of the WHO Model Formulary is fully compatible with the 2nd List of Essential
Medicines for Children, as recommended by the WHO Expert Committee on the Selection and Use
of Essential Medicines in March 2009. Comments and suggestions are welcome and should be sent
to:
The Editor; WHO Model Formulary
Medicines Access and Rational Use
Department of Essential Medicines and Pharmaceutical Policies
World Health Organization
20 Avenue Appia
CH-1211 Geneva 27
Email : [email protected]
WHO Model Formulary for Children 2010
vii
Factors influencing paediatric drug therapy
Medicines in children
It was once said that the moral test of government is how that government treats those who are in the
dawn of life, the children; those who are in the twilight of life, the elderly; and those who are in the
shadows of life—the sick, the needy and the handicapped.1
Children are among the most vulnerable individuals in any society. Nowhere is this more true than
in their access to appropriate health care. As part of the treatment of children, health-care workers
need access to drug dosage information. This formulary aims to provide that information universally,
to assist in the management of children.
The use of medicines in infants and children presents a unique set of challenges to the prescriber.
Physiological variances between children and adults, including the ontogeny of organ maturity and
body composition, significantly influence the actions, effectiveness and safety of medicines. However,
most pharmacokinetic and pharmacodynamic studies provide little, if any, information on drug
action in infants and children, because they are usually conducted in adults.
Paediatric pharmacology developed initially from the extrapolation of therapeutic practice and
experience in adults and the use of “scaled down” adult doses. This practice is clinically successful
for the majority of drugs which are relatively non-toxic and have a wide margin between therapeutic
and toxic doses. Drugs with a narrow therapeutic margin, such as the aminoglycoside antibiotics and
digoxin, require more sophisticated knowledge and individualized dosage regimens. Doses of such
agents are scaled by weight or allometrically (wt¾), then modified according to the results of serum
drug concentration measurements, if these are available. Over the last two decades, there has been
an increased recognition of the necessity to perform studies specifically in children and adolescents.
Major national and international approaches, such as those of the European Union and the United
States, have resulted in some new information to improve the use of medicines in children.
This formulary is the result of the establishment of the WHO Model List of Essential Medicines for
Children (EMLc). The list can be accessed at http://www.who.int/selection_medicines/en/.
Absorption
Oral absorption
The gastrointestinal tract, particularly the stomach, undergoes significant changes from birth until around
3 years of age. Before then, the stomach has low levels of acid, and acid-labile drugs, such as the penicillins,
show enhanced absorption. On the other hand, this depressed level of acidity may result in reduced
absorption of weak acids such as phenobarbitone, phenytoin and rifampicin. The incomplete absorption
experienced with these anticonvulsants may necessitate their continued parenteral administration.
The delayed gastric emptying seen in neonates and young infants is probably not as important as
previously believed. In the first few weeks of life this may be significant, but most sick neonates
receive their drugs parenterally.
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WHO Model Formulary for Children 2010
Of considerable importance, particularly to the general public, is the question of drug administration
and absorption relative to meals. Current evidence suggests that, with the exception of isoniazid,
captopril, rifampicin, phenoxymethylpenicillin and tetracyclines (except doxycycline and
minocycline), all medications should be administered with meals to avoid gastrointestinal irritation
and to aid compliance.
Topical absorption
Topical absorption of drugs is enhanced in children and especially in infants. This is a direct result of
the relative thinness of the stratum corneum. Absorption may be further enhanced in the presence of
burnt or excoriated areas and with occlusive dressings. This has been well documented with the use
of corticosteroid creams for eczema and nappy rash in infants, especially when the area treated has
been occluded with plastic pants.
Rectal absorption
Rectal administration may be useful in patients who are vomiting and in infants and young children
who are reluctant to take oral medication.
The rectal route is not ideal for all drugs. Considerable individual variation in rectal venous
drainage, and hence in the extent of drug absorption, can produce either sub-therapeutic or toxic
drug levels. Drugs with narrow therapeutic margins should not be administered rectally. One
drug which is recommended for rectal administration in children is diazepam for the treatment of
seizures. Paracetamol may also be administered rectally; however, the absorption may be erratic and
therapeutic levels cannot be guaranteed.
Distribution
Numerous factors, including body composition, plasma–protein binding and the blood–brain barrier
influence drug distribution in the various paediatric age groups.
Body composition
Total body water and fat composition alter significantly during the transition from birth to adult life.
Total body water as a percentage of body weight is approximately 80% at birth, 65% at 12 months
and 60% for a young adult male.
On the other hand, fat content as a percentage of body weight varies with age, being about 3% in
premature infants, 12% in full-term neonates, 30% at 1 year of age and about 18% in the average
adult.
Therefore, larger mg/kg body weight doses of water-soluble drugs need to be given to neonates and
infants to achieve plasma concentrations similar to those seen in adults. However, this has to be
balanced against diminished hepatic function and renal elimination before arriving at a final dosage
recommendation.
WHO Model Formulary for Children 2010
ix
Plasma protein binding
Drug–protein binding is diminished in neonates due to a lower concentration of plasma proteins,
particularly albumin, and the lower drug-binding capacity of fetal albumin. This may lead to an
increase in the fraction of unbound, pharmacologically active drug in the plasma. There may also be
competition between endogenous substances, especially free fatty acids and bilirubin, and drugs for
albumin-binding sites.
However, when drugs administered to neonates are examined in detail, very few highly proteinbound drugs are used. From a practical point of view, highly protein-bound drugs such as
phenytoin, sulfonamides, salicylates and diazepam should be given with caution in the presence of
hyperbilirubinaemia.
In older children, there are several disease states which may affect drug–protein binding, including
hepatic disease, nephrotic syndrome, chronic renal failure, cardiac failure and malnutrition.
Blood–brain barrier
The blood–brain barrier is a permeability barrier between the circulation and the brain cells bathed
in cerebrospinal fluid (CSF). The blood–brain barrier is functionally incomplete in the neonate, and
certain substances show increased penetration into the brain. One of the most important factors
which determine the rate of transport of drugs across the blood–brain barrier is their lipid solubility.
This gives rise to increased brain uptake of barbiturates and morphine in infants.
As meningitis is a relatively common problem in paediatric practice, the extent to which
antimicrobial agents penetrate the CSF is an important consideration. Although some agents
penetrate poorly under normal circumstances, in the presence of meningeal inflammation,
penetration may be considerably enhanced, so that adequate CSF drug concentrations are attained.
Drugs in this category include penicillins, cefalosporins, rifampicin and vancomycin. Drugs which
penetrate well even in the absence of meningeal inflammation include chloramphenicol and the
combination sulfamethoxazole and trimethoprim.
Although the aminoglycosides continue to be used for meningitis caused by Gram-negative
organisms, the CSF concentrations achieved are generally low and inconsistent. Higher
concentrations can be obtained by direct intrathecal or intraventricular injections, but controversy
exists over the efficacy of such routes of administration. The newer cefalosporins, such as cefotaxime,
appear to be more appropriate agents in most cases.
Metabolism
The various metabolic reactions that occur in the mature liver are not fully developed at birth.
Cardiac insufficiency and respiratory distress may also contribute to decreased metabolic activity.
Lidocaine, phenobarbital, phenytoin and diazepam show decreased metabolism in the neonate,
resulting in increased drug half-lives.
During the first 15 days of life in premature and full-term babies, decreased metabolism is evident,
but this is followed by a dramatic increase. Between 1 and 10 years of age, hepatic microsomal
x
WHO Model Formulary for Children 2010
oxidation is more rapid than in adults. Therefore phenobarbital, phenytoin and theophylline have
shorter half-lives in children than in adults. This more rapid metabolism is almost certainly due
to the fact that, during childhood, the liver is larger relative to body weight than in adult life.
Allometric scaling may give a better prediction of the metabolic activity of the liver.
Excretion
Renal function is significantly less developed in premature and full-term neonates than it is in
children and adults. Adult values for glomerular filtration rate are reached after about 3 to 6 months
of age, while tubular function does not mature fully until after this.
Renal function is of particular importance to drug disposition in the neonatal period. Most sick
neonates receive antibiotics for suspected or proven infection, and most of these agents are water
soluble. In general, the lower the gestational age of the infant, the more prolonged the half-life will
be in this period. The rate of elimination increases rapidly during the ensuing weeks, so that half-lives
similar to those seen in adults are usually achieved by the end of the first month.
The WHO Model Formulary for Children
The hope is that this Formulary improves therapies in children by offering the best dosing
information for those medicines currently listed on the EMLc. The Formulary is not, however, a
substitute for the appropriate use of treatment guidelines, and should be used in conjunction with
guidelines such as the WHO Pocket Book of Hospital Care for Children.
1. Humphrey, Hubert H. Speech at the dedication of the Hubert H Humphrey building, Washington, DC, 4
November 1977. http://www.vernalproject.org/IcDQuotes/IcDQuoteA.shtml (accessed 30 March 2008).
WHO Model Formulary for Children 2010
xi
How to use the WHO Model Formulary for Children
Medication monographs are listed by section according to the WHO Model List of Essential
Medicines for Children March 2009. Omission of a particular medication does not necessarily
indicate that it is not available or recommended in children; merely that it is not considered an
essential medicine for children by WHO. Medicines and dosage forms are listed in alphabetical order
within each section and there is no implication of preference for one form over another. Standard
treatment guidelines should be consulted for information on appropriate dosage forms.
The WHO Model Formulary for Children classifies children by age and doses medicines accordingly,
most often in mg/kg. The Formulary is intended for use for children up to 12 years of age.
Definition of age ranges
Neonate: 0–28 days
Infant 1–12 months
Child 1–12 years
If a maximum dose is listed this provides an indication of the upper dose limit when dosing
paediatrics per kilogram.
Allowances must be made when using weight as a basis for dosing in oedematous or obese children.
In such children the ideal weight for height and age should be used. In many cases, progressive dose
adjustments may be required according to the patient’s response.
Doses based on surface area are quoted for some drugs. Surface area is calculated by the following equation:
Body surface area
(m2) =
Ht (cm) x Wt (kg)
3600
Mosteller RD. Simplified calculation of body surface area.
New England Journal of Medicine, 1987, 317(17):1098 (letter).
Explanatory notes for drug monographs:
Section and section number
This indicates the section and any subsection that the medicine is classified under as per the WHO
Model List of Essential Medicines for Children March 2009. A single medication may appear
multiple times on the list in different sections for differing indications.
Drug Name
The generic (non-proprietary) name.
Dose Forms
The dose form is listed as per the WHO Model List of Essential Medicines for Children March 2009.
Some countries may have access to preparations which differ in terms of concentration or dose form.
When a medicine is in solution or a mixture the concentration in the medication monograph is
expressed as mg/ml to avoid confusion, this may differ from the WHO Model List of Essential
Medicines for Children March 2009.
xii
WHO Model Formulary for Children 2010
ATC Code
The Anatomical Therapeutic Chemical (ATC) classification system code designated by WHO to
classify drugs.
Special Notes
Indicate if the medicine is also known by another name, different spelling or abbreviation.
Also, notes if there is a WHO age/weight restriction or representative status.
Warnings
Where there is a significant warning, risk or adverse effect associated with using the medication.
Indications
Indications for use from the WHO Model List of Essential Medicines for Children March 2009.
Contraindications
Details of any contraindications to use of the drug.
Precautions
Details of any precautions or monitoring required.
Dose
Indication.
Route:
Age dose and frequency.
Alternative route:
Age dose and frequency.
Renal impairment
Advice for use of this drug in these circumstances.
Renal impairment is usually divided into three grades:
Mild: GFR 20–50 ml/minute or approximate serum creatinine 150–300 micromol/litre
Moderate: GFR 10–20 ml/minute or serum creatinine 300–700 micromol/litre
Severe: GFR < 10 ml/minute or serum creatinine > 700 micromol/litre
Consult specialist texts for further information on use of drugs in renal impairment.
Hepatic Impairment
Advice for use of this drug in these circumstances.
Consult specialist texts for further information on use of drugs in hepatic impairment.
Adverse effects
Details of adverse effects associated with this medication.
Adverse effects have been classified by incidence where possible:
Common: > 1% (> 1 in 100 people)
Uncommon: 0.1%–1% ( > 1 in 1,000 people and < 1 in 100 people)
Rare: < 0.1% (< 1 in 1,000 people)
WHO Model Formulary for Children 2010
xiii
Interactions with other medications
Details any drug interactions. Potentially hazardous drug interactions are indicated by the symbol *
meaning the combined administration of the drugs involved should be avoided, or only taken with caution
and appropriate monitoring. Interactions with no symbol do not usually have serious consequences.
Notes
Includes ancillary information where applicable such as administration instructions, patient advice
and storage instructions.
References
Includes a list of references used to compile this drug monograph. Consult individual references for
more information.
The presence of an entry on the Essential Medicines List and/or WHO Children’s Formulary carries
no assurance as to pharmaceutical quality. It is the responsibility of the relevant national or regional
drug regulatory authority to ensure that each product is of appropriate pharmaceutical quality
(including stability) and that when relevant, different products are interchangeable.
For recommendations and advice concerning all aspects of the quality assurance of medicines see the
WHO Medicines web site http://www.who.int/medicines/areas/quality_assurance/en/index.html
xiv
WHO Model Formulary for Children 2010
Changes to the WHO Model List of Essential Medicines for Children
Changes made to the 1st List (October 2007) to produce the 2nd List (March 2009) are listed
below.
Changes to the List
Additions
Section 4.2
Acetylcysteine, oral liquid: 10% and 20%.
Section 5
Lorazepam, parenteral formulation: 2 mg/ml in 1 ml ampoule; 4 mg/ml in 1 ml
ampoule.
Section 6.2.1 Cefalexin, powder for reconstitution with water: 125 mg/5 ml; 250 mg/5 ml and
solid oral dosage form: 250 mg.
Cefotaxime, powder for injection: 250 mg per vial.
Ceftazidime, powder for injection: 1 g (as pentahydrate) in vial.
Section 6.2.2
Ciprofloxacin, oral liquid: 250 mg/5 ml and solution for IV infusion: 2 mg/ml.
Doxycycline, oral liquid: 25 mg/5 ml and 50 mg/5 ml.
Section 6.2.4
Section 6.4.2.3
Amikacin, powder for injection: 100 mg; 500 mg in vial.
Atazanavir, solid oral dosage form: 100 mg; 150 mg; 300 mg.
Lopinavir + ritonavir (LPV/r), tablet (heat stable): 100 mg + 25 mg ; 200 mg + 50 mg.
Ritonavir, tablet (heat stable): 25 mg; 100 mg.
Lamivudine + nevirapine + stavudine, tablet (dispersible): 30 mg + 50 mg + 6 mg;
60 mg + 100 mg + 12 mg.
Lamivudine + nevirapine + zidovudine, tablet: 30 mg + 50 mg + 60 mg.
Lamivudine + zidovudine, tablet: 30 mg + 60 mg.
Section 6.5.3.1 Artemether + lumefantrine, tablet (dispersible): 20 mg + 120 mg.
Section 6.5.4
Sulfadiazine, tablet: 500 mg.
Section 8.2 Carboplatin, injection: 50 mg/5 ml; 150 mg/15 ml; 450 mg/45 ml; 600 mg/60 ml.
Section 8.4
Amitriptyline, tablet: 10 mg; 25 mg.
Cyclizine, injection: 50 mg/ml and tablet: 50 mg.
Dexamethasone, injection: 4 mg/ml and tablet: 2 mg.
Diazepam, injection: 5 mg/ml and oral liquid: 2 mg/5 ml and rectal solution: 2.5 mg;
5 mg; 10 mg and tablet: 5 mg; 10 mg.
Docusate sodium, capsule: 100 mg and oral liquid: 50 mg/5 ml.
Hyoscine hydrobromide, injection: 400 micrograms/ml; 600 micrograms/ml and
transdermal patches: 1 mg/72 hours.
Ibuprofen, oral liquid: 100 mg/5 ml and tablet: 200 mg; 400 mg and 600 mg.
Midazolam, injection: 1 mg/ml and 5 mg/ml.
Morphine, granules (modified release) (to mix with water): 20 mg; 30 mg; 60 mg;
100 mg; 200 mg and injection: 10 mg/ml and oral liquid: 10 mg/5 ml and tablet
(controlled release): 10 mg; 30 mg; 60 mg and tablet (immediate release): 10 mg.
Senna, oral liquid: 7.5 mg/5 ml.
WHO Model Formulary for Children 2010
xv
Section 12.3
Enalapril, tablet: 2.5 mg; 5 mg.
Section 15.1
Chlorhexidine, solution: 20% (digluconate).
Section 17
Pancreatic enzymes, age-appropriate formulations and doses including lipase,
protease and amylase.
Section 17.1
Omeprazole, powder for oral liquid: 20 mg; 40 mg sachets and solid oral dosage
form: 10 mg; 20 mg; 40 mg.
Section 17.2
Dexamethasone, injection: 4 mg/ml in 1 ml ampoule and oral liquid: 0.5 mg/5 ml;
2 mg/5 ml and solid oral dosage form: 0.5 mg; 0.75 mg; 1.5 mg; 4 mg.
Ondansetron, injection: 2 mg base/ml in 2 ml ampoule (as hydrochloride) and oral
liquid: 4 mg base/5 ml and solid oral dosage form: Eq 4 mg base; Eq 8 mg base.
Section 18.1
Fludrocortisone, tablet: 100 micrograms.
Hydrocortisone, tablet: 5 mg; 10 mg; 20 mg.
Section 28
Ear, nose and throat conditions in children (new section):
Acetic acid, topical: 2%, in alcohol.
Budesonide, nasal spray: 100 micrograms per dose.
Ciprofloxacin, topical: 0.3% drops.
Xylometazoline, nasal spray: 0.05%.
Section 29
Specific medicines for neonatal care (new section):
Caffeine citrate, injection: 20 mg/ml (equivalent to 10 mg caffeine base/ml) and
oral liquid: 20 mg/ml (equivalent to 10 mg caffeine base/ml).
Surfactant, suspension for intratracheal instillation: 25 mg/ml or 80 mg/ml.
Prostaglandin E, solution for injection: Prostaglandin E: 0.5 mg/ml in alcohol and
Prostaglandin E2: 1 mg/ml.
Ibuprofen, solution for injection: 5 mg/ml.
Amendments to dosage strength and form
Section 5
Diazepam, injection: 5 mg/ml in 2 ml ampoule (intravenous or rectal) changed to
rectal solution or gel: 5 mg/ml in 0.5 ml; 2 ml and 4 ml tubes.
Section 10.2
Heparin sodium, injection: 1000 IU/ml; 5000 IU/ml; 20 000 IU/ml in 1 ml
ampoule changed to injection: 1000 IU/ml; 5000 IU/ml in 1 ml ampoule.
Section 16
Spironolactone, oral liquid: 1 to 20 mg/ml and tablet: 25 mg changed to oral
liquid: 5 mg/5 ml; 10 mg/5 ml; 25 mg/5 ml and tablet: 25 mg.
Section 25.1
Budesonide, 50 micrograms per dose (dipropionate); 250 micrograms (dipropionate) per dose changed to inhalation (aerosol): 100 micrograms per dose; 200
micrograms per dose.
Section 26.2
Potassium chloride, solution: 11.2% in 20 ml ampoule changed to solution for dilution: 7.5% (equivalent to K+ 1 mmol/ml and Cl- 1 mmol/ml); 15% (equivalent
to K+ 2 mmol/ml and Cl- 2 mmol/ml).
xvi
WHO Model Formulary for Children 2010
Deletions
Section 6.2.2
Section 6.2.4
Erythromycin, powder for injection: 500 mg (as lactobionate) in vial.
Sulfadiazine, injection: 250 mg (sodium salt) in 4 ml ampoule and tablet: 500 mg.
Rifampicin + isoniazid, tablet: 60 mg + 30 mg; 60 mg + 60 mg (for intermittent
use three times weekly).
Rifampicin + isoniazid + pyrazinamide, tablet: 60 mg + 30 mg + 150 mg.
Section 6.4.2.3 Nelfinavir (NFV), oral powder: 50 mg/g and tablet: 250 mg (as mesilate).
Section 8.2
Cisplatin, powder for injection: 10 mg; 50 mg in vial.
Section 13.5
Dithranol, ointment: 0.1% to 2.0%.
Section 17.2
Promethazine, injection: 25 mg (hydrochloride)/ml in 2 ml ampoule and oral
liquid: 5 mg (hydrochloride)/5 ml and tablet: 10 mg; 25 mg (hydrochloride).
Section 18.5
Insulin injection (soluble), injection: 40 IU/ml in 10 ml vial.
Intermediate-acting insulin, injection: 40 IU/ml in 10 ml vial (as compound insulin
zinc suspension or isophane insulin).
Section 25.2
Caffeine citrate, injection: 20 mg/ml (equivalent to 10 mg caffeine base/ml) and
oral liquid: 20 mg/ml (equivalent to 10 mg caffeine base/ml).
Section 26.2
Glucose with sodium chloride, 4% glucose, 0.18% sodium chloride (equivalent to
Na+ 30 mmol/l, Cl- 30 mmol/l).
Potassium chloride, solution: 11.2% in 20 ml ampoule.
Moved from complementary to core
Section 6.5.2
Amphotericin B, powder for injection: 50 mg in vial. As deoxycholate or liposomal.
WHO Model Formulary for Children 2010
xvii
xviii
WHO Model Formulary for Children 2010

SECTION 1:
Anaesthetics
1.1 General anaesthetics and oxygen................................................... 2
1.2 Local anaesthetics......................................................................... 8
1.3 Preoperative medication and sedation for
short-term procedures................................................................. 13
WHO Model Formulary for Children 2010
1
1
Anaesthetics
1
Anaesthetics
1.1 General anaesthetics and oxygen
To produce a state of prolonged full surgical anaesthesia reliably and safely, careful administration of
a variety of drugs and close monitoring of the patient are required. Anaesthesia should be undertaken
by non-specialist personnel only as a last resort, because anaesthetic drugs may be fatal if inappropriately used. Irrespective of the type of anaesthesia used (i.e. general or regional), it is essential that
facilities for intubation and mechanically assisted ventilation are available.
Anaesthesia may be induced and maintained with intravenous medications and/or inhalation of a
volatile agent (section 1.1). A range of other drugs including local anaesthetics (section 1.2), preoperative medications (section 1.3), opioid analgesics (section 2.2), muscle relaxants and reversal
agents (e.g. cholinesterase inhibitors; section 20) may also be required.
Oxygen should be added routinely during anaesthesia with inhalation agents, even when air is used
as the carrier, to protect against hypoxia.
Halothane
ATC code: N01AB01
Inhalation
Special Notes: This medicine is listed as a representative of its pharmacological class. Other
medicines in the same class may have similar clinical performance and may be selected for local
formularies based on availability and price. The information in this monograph only applies to the
medicine listed here.
Indications: Induction and maintenance of anaesthesia.
Contraindications: History of unexplained jaundice or fever following previous exposure to
halothane; family history of malignant hyperthermia; raised cerebrospinal fluid pressure;
porphyria.
Precautions: Anaesthetic history should be carefully taken to determine previous exposure and
previous reactions to halothane (fulminant hepatic failure is a rare complication of re-exposure to
halothane); avoid use if adequate resuscitation facilities are not available.
Dose:
Induction of anaesthesia.
Inhalation through specifically calibrated vaporizer:
Infant or Child initially 0.5% then gradually increase inspired gas concentration to 1.5–2% in
oxygen or nitrous oxide-oxygen.
Maintenance of anaesthesia.
Inhalation through specifically calibrated vaporizer:
Infant or Child 0.5–2% in oxygen or nitrous oxide-oxygen.
Hepatic impairment: Avoid if history of unexplained pyrexia or jaundice following previous exposure
to halothane.
Adverse effects: Common Bradycardia, respiratory depression.
Uncommon Arrhythmias, hepatitis (may be fatal).
2
WHO Model Formulary for Children 2010
1.1 General anaesthetics and oxygen
Interactions with other medicines (* indicates severe):
*
*
*
*
*
Amitriptyline: increased risk of arrhythmias and hypotension.
Chlorpromazine: enhanced hypotensive effect.
Diazepam: enhanced sedative effect.
Enalapril: enhanced hypotensive effect.
Epinephrine (adrenaline): risk of arrhythmias.
Fluphenazine: enhanced hypotensive effect.
Furosemide: enhanced hypotensive effect.
Haloperidol: enhanced hypotensive effect.
Isoniazid: possible potentiation of isoniazid hepatotoxicity.
Levodopa: risk of arrhythmias.
Spironolactone: enhanced hypotensive effect.
Suxamethonium: enhanced effects of suxamethonium.
Vancomycin: hypersensitivity-like reactions can occur with concomitant intravenous vancomycin.
Vecuronium: enhanced effects of vecuronium.
Verapamil: enhanced hypotensive effect and AV delay.
Notes: Preferred drug if intubation is likely to be difficult.
Does not augment salivary or bronchial secretions.
References:
Hill SR, Kouimtzi M, Stuart MC, eds. WHO model formulary. Geneva, World Health Organization, 2008.
Paediatric Formulary Committee. British national formulary for children 2009. London, BMJ Group RBS Publishing, 2009.
WHO expert committee on the selection and use of essential medicines. The selection and use of essential medicines: report of
the WHO expert committee, October 2007 (including the model list of essential medicines for children). WHO Technical Report
Series, 2008, 950 (http://www.who.int/medicines/publications/essentialmeds_committeereports/TRS_950.pdf ).
Ketamine
ATC code: N01AX03
Injection: 50 mg (as hydrochloride)/ml in 10 ml vial
Indications: Induction and maintenance of anaesthesia; analgesia for painful procedures of short
duration.
Contraindications: Thyrotoxicosis; hypertension; severe cardiac disease; history of cerebrovascular
accident, cerebral trauma, intracerebral mass or haemorrhage or other cause of raised intracranial
pressure; eye injury and increased intraocular pressure; psychiatric disorders, particularly
hallucinations; porphyria.
Precautions: Increased cerebrospinal fluid pressure; predisposition to hallucinations or nightmares;
supplementary analgesia often required in surgical procedures involving visceral pain pathways
(morphine may be used but addition of nitrous oxide will often suffice); administer an
antisialogogue to prevent excessive salivation leading to respiratory difficulties; during recovery,
patient must remain undisturbed but under observation.
Skilled tasks Warn patient or carer about the risk of undertaking tasks requiring attention or coordination,
for example riding a bike or operating machinery, for 24 hours.
WHO Model Formulary for Children 2010
3
1
Anaesthetics
Dose:
Titrate dose to effect.
Induction and maintenance of anaesthesia (short procedures), analgesia for short painful
procedures.
Intravenous injection over at least 60 seconds:
Neonate, Infant or Child 1–2 mg/kg produces 5–10 minutes of surgical anaesthesia, adjusted
according to response.
Intramuscular injection:
Neonate 4 mg/kg for 15 minutes of surgical anaesthesia (adjusted according to response).
Infant or Child 4–13 mg/kg (4 mg/kg sufficient for some diagnostic procedures), adjusted
according to response; 10 mg/kg usually produces 12–25 minutes of surgical anaesthesia.
Induction and maintenance of anaesthesia (longer procedures).
Continuous intravenous infusion:
Neonate initially 0.5–2 mg/kg followed by a continuous intravenous infusion of
500 micrograms/kg/hour adjusted according to response; up to 2 mg/kg/hour may be used to
produce deep anaesthesia.
Infant or Child initially 0.5–2 mg/kg followed by a continuous intravenous infusion of
0.6–2.7 mg/kg/hour adjusted according to response.
Adverse effects: Common Raised blood pressure and pulse rate, raised intracranial pressure, raised
intraocular pressure, hypersalivation, increased muscle tone, emergence reactions including
hallucinations, restlessness, confusion, irrational behaviour.
Uncommon Hypotension, bradycardia.
Rare Arrhythmias.
Interactions with other medicines (* indicates severe):
*
*
*
*
Amitriptyline: increased risk of arrhythmias and hypotension.
Chlorpromazine: enhanced hypotensive effect.
Diazepam: enhanced sedative effect.
Enalapril: enhanced hypotensive effect.
Fluphenazine: enhanced hypotensive effect.
Furosemide: enhanced hypotensive effect.
Haloperidol: enhanced hypotensive effect.
Isoniazid: possible potentiation of isoniazid hepatotoxicity.
Spironolactone: enhanced hypotensive effect.
Vancomycin: hypersensitivity-like reactions can occur with concomitant intravenous vancomycin.
Verapamil: enhanced hypotensive effect and AV delay.
Notes: For IV injection, dilute to a concentration of no more than 50 mg/ml with glucose 5% or
sodium chloride 0.9% or water for injection.
For continuous IV infusion, dilute to a concentration of 1 mg/ml with glucose 5% or sodium
chloride 0.9%; use microdrip infusion for maintenance of anaesthesia.
Premedication with an anticholinergic to reduce secretions is recommended before its use in
anaesthesia.
Anaesthesia persists for up to 15 minutes after a single intravenous injection and is characterized by
profound analgesia.
Subanaesthetic doses may be used to provide analgesia and sedation for painful procedures of short
duration (e.g. dressing of burns, radiotherapeutic procedures, marrow sampling and minor
orthopaedic procedures).
Recovery is relatively slow and associated with a high incidence of hallucinations and other
emergence reactions, such as delirium.
4
WHO Model Formulary for Children 2010
1.1 General anaesthetics and oxygen
References:
Hill SR, Kouimtzi M, Stuart MC, eds. WHO model formulary. Geneva, World Health Organization, 2008.
Hodding JH, Kraus DM, Taketomo CK. Pediatric dosage handbook. 16th ed. Hudson, Lexi-Comp, 2009.
Klasco RK, ed. Drugdex system. Greenwood Village, Thomson Micromedex, 2010. (http://www.thomsonhc.com, accessed 10
February 2010).
Paediatric Formulary Committee. British national formulary for children 2009. London, BMJ Group RBS Publishing, 2009.
Rossi S, ed. Australian medicines handbook. Adelaide, Australian Medicines Handbook, 2009.
Nitrous oxide
ATC code: N01AX13
Inhalation
Indications: Maintenance of anaesthesia in combination with other anaesthetic agents and muscle
relaxants; analgesia for emergency management of injuries, during postoperative physiotherapy
and for refractory pain in terminal illness.
Contraindications: Demonstrable collection of air in pleural (pneumothorax), pericardial
or peritoneal space; intestinal obstruction; occlusion of middle ear; arterial air embolism;
decompression sickness; chronic obstructive airway disease; emphysema.
Precautions: Minimize exposure of staff; vitamin B12 deficiency.
Dose:
Maintenance of light anaesthesia.
Inhalation using suitable anaesthetic apparatus:
Neonate, Infant or Child up to 66% in oxygen.
Analgesia.
Inhalation using suitable anaesthetic apparatus:
Neonate, Infant or Child up to 50% in oxygen, according to the child’s needs.
Adverse effects: Common Nausea and vomiting.
Uncommon Arrhythmias.
Rare Malignant hyperthermia, after prolonged administration: megaloblastic anaemia, leukopenia,
agranulocytosis, neuropathy and myeloneuropathy.
Interactions with other medicines (* indicates severe):
*
*
*
*
*
Amitriptyline: increased risk of arrhythmias and hypotension.
Chlorpromazine: enhanced hypotensive effect.
Diazepam: enhanced sedative effect.
Enalapril: enhanced hypotensive effect.
Fluphenazine: enhanced hypotensive effect.
Furosemide: enhanced hypotensive effect.
Haloperidol: enhanced hypotensive effect.
Isoniazid: possible potentiation of isoniazid hepatotoxicity.
Methotrexate: increased antifolate effect (avoid concomitant use).
Spironolactone: enhanced hypotensive effect.
Vancomycin: hypersensitivity-like reactions can occur with concomitant intravenous vancomycin.
Verapamil: enhanced hypotensive effect and AV delay.
Notes: Should not be used as a sole anaesthetic agent due to lack of potency.
References:
Hill SR, Kouimtzi M, Stuart MC, eds. WHO model formulary. Geneva, World Health Organization, 2008.
Paediatric Formulary Committee. British national formulary for children 2009. London, BMJ Group RBS Publishing, 2009.
Rossi S, ed. Australian medicines handbook. Adelaide, Australian Medicines Handbook, 2009.
WHO Model Formulary for Children 2010
5
1
Anaesthetics
Oxygen
ATC code: V03AN01
Inhalation (medicinal gas)
Fire hazard. Avoid use of cautery when oxygen is used with ether; reducing valves on oxygen
cylinders must not be greased (risk of explosion).
Special Notes: Inhalation gas.
Indications: Maintain adequate tissue oxygenation in inhalational anaesthesia and other indications
for use in neonates and children. Used during resuscitation and in the treatment of respiratory
problems requiring supplemental oxygen.
Dose:
Concentration of oxygen in inspired anaesthetic gases should never be less than 21%, and
preferably 30% or above.
The concentration required depends on the condition being treated.
Renal impairment: No dosage adjustment necessary.
Hepatic impairment: No dosage adjustment necessary.
Adverse effects: Long-term use of concentrations greater than 80% have a toxic effect on the lungs
leading to pulmonary congestion, exudation and atelectasis. Short-term use of 100% is not
associated with these toxic effects.
The concentration required depends on the condition being treated; if available, monitoring of the
oxygen delivered is strongly recommended, as inappropriate concentration may have serious or
even lethal effects. Risks include morbidity, brain damage, and especially in pre-term neonates can
cause retinopathy with blindness and chronic lung disease.
Use of 100% oxygen should not be withheld in an emergency situation.
Interactions with other medicines (* indicates severe):
* Bleomycin: serious pulmonary toxicity in patients exposed to conventional oxygen concentrations
during anaesthesia.
Notes: Monitoring of oxygen delivered is strongly recommended.
If available, use oxygen analyser to monitor inspired oxygen and pulse oximeter to monitor oxygen
saturation.
Oxygen should be added routinely during anaesthesia with inhalational agents, even when air is used
as the carrier gas, to protect against hypoxia.
References:
Hill SR, Kouimtzi M, Stuart MC, eds. WHO model formulary. Geneva, World Health Organization, 2008.
Thiopental
ATC code: N01AF03
Powder for injection: 0.5 g; 1 g (sodium salt) in ampoule
Special Notes: Specialist skills required for administration and supportive management.
Indications: Induction of anaesthesia prior to administration of inhalational anaesthetic; anaesthesia
of short duration.
Contraindications: Inability to maintain airway; hypersensitivity to barbiturates; severe
cardiovascular disease; dyspnoea or obstructive respiratory disease; porphyria.
6
WHO Model Formulary for Children 2010
1.1 General anaesthetics and oxygen
Precautions: Asthma; hypotension; cardiovascular disease; myotonic dystrophy; reconstituted
solution is highly alkaline: extravasation can result in extensive tissue necrosis and sloughing; intraarterial injection causes intense pain and may result in arteriospasm; rapid administration may
result in severe hypotension and hiccups; renal impairment; hepatic impairment.
Skilled tasks Warn patient or carer about the risk of undertaking tasks requiring attention or coordination,
for example riding a bike or operating machinery, for 24 hours.
Dose:
Titrate dose to effect.
Induction of anaesthesia, anaesthesia of short duration (< 15–20 minutes).
Slow IV injection usually as a 2.5% (25 mg/ml) solution over 10–15 seconds:
Neonate initially up to 2 mg/kg, then 1 mg/kg repeated as necessary (maximum total dose
4 mg/kg).
Infant or Child initially up to 5 mg/kg, then 1 mg/kg repeated as necessary (maximum total dose
7 mg/kg).
Renal impairment: May need to reduce dose in severe impairment; administer slowly.
Hepatic impairment: Reduce dose for induction in severe liver disease.
Adverse effects: Common Hypotension, transient erythema, injection site reactions,
cardiorespiratory depression, myocardial depression, prolonged somnolence and recovery, cough,
sneezing, cardiac arrhythmias.
Uncommon Laryngospasm, rash, allergic reactions.
Rare Anaphylaxis, bronchospasm, haemolytic anaemia.
Interactions with other medicines (* indicates severe):
*
*
*
*
Amitriptyline: increased risk of arrhythmias and hypotension.
Chlorpromazine: enhanced hypotensive effect.
Diazepam: enhanced sedative effect.
Enalapril: enhanced hypotensive effect.
Fluphenazine: enhanced hypotensive effect.
Furosemide: enhanced hypotensive effect.
Haloperidol: enhanced hypotensive effect.
Isoniazid: possible potentiation of isoniazid hepatotoxicity.
Silver sulfadiazine: enhanced effects of thiopental.
Spironolactone: enhanced hypotensive effect.
Sulfadiazine: enhanced effects of thiopental.
Sulfadoxine + pyrimethamine: enhanced effects of thiopental.
Sulfamethoxazole + trimethoprim: enhanced effects of thiopental.
Vancomycin: hypersensitivity-like reactions can occur with concomitant intravenous vancomycin.
Verapamil: enhanced hypotensive effect and AV delay.
Notes: For intravenous injection, dilute to a concentration of 25 mg/ml with water for injection; give
over at least 10–15 seconds.
Avoid rapid IV injection (may cause hypotension or decreased cardiac output).
Induction is rapid and excitement does not usually occur.
Thiopental does not have analgesic properties.
Monitoring for hypotension and respiratory compromise is required.
Lower doses are needed in shock and low cardiac output states.
Repeated doses have a cumulative effect especially in neonates where recovery is slower.
WHO Model Formulary for Children 2010
7
1
Anaesthetics
References:
Hodding JH, Kraus DM, Taketomo CK. Pediatric dosage handbook. 16th ed. Hudson, Lexi-Comp, 2009.
Klasco RK, ed. Drugdex system. Greenwood Village, Thomson Micromedex, 2010. (http://www.thomsonhc.com, accessed 10
February 2010).
MIMS Online. Sydney, UBM Medica, 2009 (http://www.mimsonline.com.au/Search/Search.aspx, accessed 10 February 2010).
Paediatric Formulary Committee. British national formulary for children 2009. London, BMJ Group RBS Publishing, 2009.
Rossi S, ed. Australian medicines handbook. Adelaide, Australian Medicines Handbook, 2009.
WHO expert committee on the selection and use of essential medicines. The selection and use of essential medicines: report of
the WHO expert committee, October 2007 (including the model list of essential medicines for children). WHO Technical Report
Series, 2008, 950 (http://www.who.int/medicines/publications/essentialmeds_committeereports/TRS_950.pdf ).
1.2 Local anaesthetics
Drugs used for conduction anaesthesia (also termed local or regional anaesthesia) reversibly block
conduction along nerve fibres. Local anaesthetics have variable properties and a range of uses. These
include topical (surface) anaesthesia, local anaesthesia and more specialized anaesthetic procedures
requiring higher level technical skills (e.g. nerve blocks and regional, epidural and spinal anaesthesia).
Local anaesthetic toxicity
Local anaesthetic toxicity is usually due to excessively high plasma concentrations. Therefore, great
care should be taken to avoid accidental intravascular injection or unwanted systemic absorption.
Facilities for resuscitation should be available at all times.
Bupivacaine
ATC code: N01BB01
Injection: 0.25%; 0.5% (hydrochloride) in vial
Injection for spinal anaesthesia: 0.5% (hydrochloride) in 4 ml ampoule to be mixed with 7.5%
glucose solution
Special Notes: Bupivacaine is a representative local anaesthetic. Various drugs can serve as
alternatives.
This medicine is listed as a representative of its pharmacological class. Other medicines in the same
class may have similar clinical performance and may be selected for local formularies based on
availability and price. The information in this monograph only applies to the medicine listed here.
Indications: Infiltration anaesthesia; peripheral and sympathetic nerve block; spinal or epidural
anaesthesia (except in dehydrated or hypovolaemic patients); post-operative analgesia.
Contraindications: Local inflammation or infection; septicaemia; intravenous regional anaesthesia
(e.g. Bier’s block); use in intravenous infusions; spinal or epidural anaesthesia in patients taking
anticoagulant therapy or with coagulation disorders; severe anaemia or heart disease; spinal or
epidural anaesthesia in dehydrated or hypovolaemic patients; hypersensitivity to amide local
anaesthetics.
Precautions: Respiratory impairment; hepatic impairment; epilepsy; porphyria; myasthenia gravis.
8
WHO Model Formulary for Children 2010
1.2 Local anaesthetics
Dose:
Dose needs to be adjusted according to child’s physical status and nature of procedure.
Do not use solutions containing preservatives for spinal, epidural or caudal anaesthesia.
Local infiltration.
0.5–2.5 mg/kg as a 0.25% or 0.5% solution; maximum dose 1 ml/kg of 0.25% solution,
0.5 ml/kg of 0.5% solution (2.5 mg/kg).
Peripheral nerve block.
0.3–2.5 mg/kg as a 0.25% or 0.5% solution; maximum dose 1 ml/kg of 0.25% solution,
0.5 ml/kg of 0.5% solution.
Epidural block in surgery, using 0.5% preservative free solution.
1–2.5 mg/kg.
Caudal block in surgery, using 0.5% preservative free solution.
1–2.5 mg/kg.
Note Use lower doses for debilitated patients, or in epilepsy or acute illness.
Renal impairment: No dosage adjustment necessary.
Hepatic impairment: Avoid (or reduce dose) in severe liver disease.
Adverse effects: Adverse effects generally occur only with excessive dosage or following intravascular
injection.
Common Hypotension, lightheadedness, dizziness, blurred vision, restlessness, tremors, confusion,
headache, paraesthesia, somnolence, constipation, nausea, vomiting, oedema, erythema at
injection site, petechiae, skin irritation.
Uncommon Seizures, arrhythmias.
Rare Heart block, cardiac arrest, hypersensitivity reactions, respiratory failure.
Interactions with other medicines (* indicates severe):
*
Lidocaine: increased myocardial depression (interaction less likely when lidocaine used topically).
Procainamide: increased myocardial depression.
Propranolol: increased risk of bupivacaine toxicity.
Quinidine: increased myocardial depression.
References:
Hodding JH, Kraus DM, Taketomo CK. Pediatric dosage handbook. 16th ed. Hudson, Lexi-Comp, 2009.
Klasco RK, ed. Drugdex system. Greenwood Village, Thomson Micromedex, 2010. (http://www.thomsonhc.com, accessed 10
February 2010).
MIMS Online. Sydney, UBM Medica, 2009 (http://www.mimsonline.com.au/Search/Search.aspx, accessed 10 February 2010).
Paediatric Formulary Committee. British national formulary for children 2009. London, BMJ Group RBS Publishing, 2009.
Rossi S, ed. Australian medicines handbook. Adelaide, Australian Medicines Handbook, 2009.
WHO Model Formulary for Children 2010
9
1
Anaesthetics
Lidocaine
ATC code: N01BB02
Injection: 1%; 2% (hydrochloride) in vial
Injection for spinal anaesthesia: 5% (hydrochloride) in 2 ml ampoule to be mixed with 7.5%
glucose solution
Topical forms: 2% to 4% (hydrochloride)
Special Notes: Lidocaine is a representative local anaesthetic. Various drugs can serve as alternatives.
This medicine is listed as a representative of its pharmacological class. Other medicines in the same
class may have similar clinical performance and may be selected for local formularies based on
availability and price. The information in this monograph only applies to the medicine listed here.
Indications: Local anaesthetic blocks, dental work and spinal anaesthesia.
Contraindications: Local inflammation or infection; septicaemia; spinal or epidural anaesthesia
in patients taking anticoagulant therapy or with coagulation disorders; severe anaemia or heart
disease; spinal or epidural anaesthesia in dehydrated or hypovolaemic patients; hypersensitivity to
amide local anaesthetics.
Precautions: Bradycardia, impaired cardiac conduction; severe shock; respiratory impairment; renal
impairment; hepatic impairment; epilepsy; porphyria; myasthenia gravis.
Dose:
Dose needs to be adjusted according to child’s physical status and nature of procedure. Use the
lowest effective dose and concentration.
Do not use solutions containing preservatives for spinal, epidural, caudal or intravenous regional
anaesthesia.
Local infiltration and peripheral nerve block, using 1% or 2% solution.
Child up to 3 mg/kg (0.3 ml/kg of 1% solution and 0.15 ml/kg of 2% solution; maximum dose
200 mg), not repeated within 2 hours.
Surface anaesthesia of pharynx, larynx, trachea, using 4% topical solution.
Child up to 3 mg/kg (0.075 ml/kg), not repeated within 2 hours. Instil using a jet spray or apply
with a swab.
Surface anaesthesia of urethra, using 4% topical solution.
Child up to 3 mg/kg (0.075 ml/kg), not repeated within 2 hours.
Spinal anaesthesia, using 5% solution (with glucose 7.5%).
Child up to 3 mg/kg (0.06 ml/kg), not repeated within 2 hours.
Renal impairment: Severe: use with caution.
Hepatic impairment: Avoid (or reduce dose) in severe liver disease.
Adverse effects: Adverse effects generally occur only with excessive dosage or following intravascular
injection.
Common Hypotension, lightheadedness, dizziness, blurred vision, restlessness, tremors, confusion,
headache, paraesthesia, somnolence, constipation, nausea, vomiting, oedema, erythema at
injection site, petechiae, skin irritation.
Uncommon Seizures, arrhythmias.
Rare Heart block, cardiac arrest, hypersensitivity reactions and respiratory failure.
Interactions with other medicines (* indicates severe):
Note Interactions less likely when lidocaine is used topically.
* Acetazolamide: hypokalaemia caused by acetazolamide antagonizes action of lidocaine.
10
WHO Model Formulary for Children 2010
1.2 Local anaesthetics
*
*
*
*
*
*
*
*
Atenolol: increased myocardial depression.
Bupivacaine: increased myocardial depression.
Furosemide: action of lidocaine antagonized by hypokalaemia caused by furosemide.
Hydrochlorothiazide: action of lidocaine antagonized by hypokalaemia caused by
hydrochlorothiazide.
Lopinavir: possibly increased plasma concentration of lidocaine.
Procainamide: increased myocardial depression.
Propranolol: increased myocardial depression; increased risk of lidocaine toxicity.
Quinidine: increased myocardial depression.
Suxamethonium: neuromuscular blockade enhanced and prolonged.
Timolol: increased myocardial depression.
Verapamil: increased myocardial depression.
References:
Hodding JH, Kraus DM, Taketomo CK. Pediatric dosage handbook. 16th ed. Hudson, Lexi-Comp, 2009.
Klasco RK, ed. Drugdex system. Greenwood Village, Thomson Micromedex, 2010. (http://www.thomsonhc.com, accessed 10
February 2010).
MIMS Online. Sydney, UBM Medica, 2009 (http://www.mimsonline.com.au/Search/Search.aspx, accessed 10 February 2010).
Paediatric Formulary Committee. British national formulary for children 2009. London, BMJ Group RBS Publishing, 2009.
Rossi S, ed. Australian medicines handbook. Adelaide, Australian Medicines Handbook, 2009.
Lidocaine + Epinephrine (Adrenaline)
ATC code: N01BB52
Dental cartridge: 2% (hydrochloride) + epinephrine 1:80 000
Injection: 1%; 2% (hydrochloride) + epinephrine 1:200 000 in vial
Special Notes: Do not use in digits and appendages, such as fingers, toes, ears, nose and penis, due to
risk of ischaemic necrosis.
Mainly used for dental anaesthesia.
Indications: Dental anaesthesia; infiltration anaesthesia; peripheral nerve block.
Contraindications: Lidocaine Local inflammation or infection; septicaemia; spinal or epidural
anaesthesia in patients taking anticoagulant therapy or with coagulation disorders; severe
anaemia or heart disease; spinal or epidural anaesthesia in dehydrated or hypovolaemic patients;
hypersensitivity to amide local anaesthetics.
Epinephrine Cerebral arteriosclerosis; hypersensitivity to sympathomimetic amines.
Precautions: Lidocaine Bradycardia; impaired cardiac conduction; severe shock; respiratory
impairment; renal impairment; hepatic impairment; epilepsy; porphyria; myasthenia gravis; avoid
for ring block of digits or appendages (risk of ischaemic necrosis).
Epinephrine Hypertension; heart block; heart disease; arrhythmias; cerebrovascular disease;
thyroid disease; diabetes mellitus.
Dose:
Child all ages dose needs to be adjusted according to child’s physical status and nature of
procedure. Use the lowest effective dose and concentration. Do not repeat the dose within
2 hours. Maximum dose of lidocaine with epinephrine is 7 mg/kg/dose.
Renal impairment: Lidocaine Severe: use with caution.
Hepatic impairment: Lidocaine Avoid (or reduce dose) in severe liver disease.
WHO Model Formulary for Children 2010
11
1
Anaesthetics
Adverse effects: Adverse effects generally occur only with excessive dosage or following intravascular
injection.
Common Hypotension, bradycardia, lightheadedness, dizziness, blurred vision, restlessness, tremors,
confusion, headache, paraesthesia, somnolence, constipation, nausea, vomiting, oedema, erythema
at injection site, petechiae, skin irritation.
Uncommon Seizures, arrhythmias.
Rare Heart block, cardiac arrest, hypersensitivity reactions, respiratory failure.
Interactions with other medicines (* indicates severe):
Lidocaine
Note Interactions less likely when lidocaine is used topically.
*
*
*
*
Acetazolamide: hypokalaemia caused by acetazolamide antagonizes action of lidocaine.
Atenolol: increased myocardial depression.
Bupivacaine: increased myocardial depression.
Furosemide: action of lidocaine antagonized by hypokalaemia caused by furosemide.
Hydrochlorothiazide: action of lidocaine antagonized by hypokalaemia caused by
hydrochlorothiazide.
Lopinavir: possibly increased plasma concentration of lidocaine.
* Procainamide: increased myocardial depression.
* Propranolol: increased myocardial depression; increased risk of lidocaine toxicity.
* Quinidine: increased myocardial depression.
Suxamethonium: neuromuscular blockade enhanced and prolonged.
* Timolol: increased myocardial depression.
* Verapamil: increased myocardial depression.
Notes: Do not administer intravenously or intra-arterially.
Before injecting for local anaesthesia, withdraw syringe plunger to make sure that injection is not
into a vein or artery.
Use preservative free solutions for epidural or caudal use.
References:
Hodding JH, Kraus DM, Taketomo CK. Pediatric dosage handbook. 16th ed. Hudson, Lexi-Comp, 2009.
Klasco RK, ed. Drugdex system. Greenwood Village, Thomson Micromedex, 2010. (http://www.thomsonhc.com, accessed 10
February 2010).
MIMS Online. Sydney, UBM Medica, 2009 (http://www.mimsonline.com.au/Search/Search.aspx, accessed 10 February 2010).
Paediatric Formulary Committee. British national formulary for children 2009. London, BMJ Group RBS Publishing, 2009.
Rossi S, ed. Australian medicines handbook. Adelaide, Australian Medicines Handbook, 2009.
12
WHO Model Formulary for Children 2010
1.3 Preoperative medication and sedation for short-term procedures
1.3 Preoperative medication and sedation for shortterm procedures
Appropriate premedication is an important consideration for procedures in children requiring
conduction or general anaesthesia. Premedication may be used to help manage pain and anxiety and
to improve the course of subsequent anaesthesia. A potent analgesic such as morphine (section 2.2)
should be administered peri-operatively to patients in severe pain or for analgesia during and after
surgery.
Atropine
ATC code: A03BA01
Injection: 1 mg (as sulfate) in 1 ml ampoule
Indications: Preoperative medication to inhibit salivation and secretions; reversal of the muscarinic
effects of cholinergic agents such as neostigmine and pyridostigmine; treatment of bradycardia
secondary to cholinergic stimulation.
Contraindications: Closed-angle glaucoma; myasthenia gravis; prostatic enlargement; severe
gastrointestinal inflammatory disease; gastrointestinal obstruction.
Precautions: Down syndrome; children; ulcerative colitis; diarrhoea; heart failure; gastrointestinal
disorders; hyperthyroidism; cardiac disorders; tachycardia; hypertension; hypoxia; fever and in
warm environments (monitor temperature and keep patients cool); constipation; delirium.
Children Children are at increased risk for rapid rise in body temperature due to suppression of sweat gland
activity. Large doses may cause paradoxical hyperexcitability.
Down syndrome Down syndrome children have both increased sensitivity to cardiac effects and mydriasis.
Children with Down syndrome also have more secretions and may require atropine more frequently.
Dose:
Premedication.
IV:
Child all ages 20 micrograms/kg (max 600 micrograms) immediately before induction of
anaesthesia.
SC:
Neonate 10–15 micrograms/kg 30–60 minutes before induction of anaesthesia.
Infant or Child 20 micrograms/kg (minimum dose 100 micrograms, maximum dose
600 micrograms) 30–60 minutes before induction of anaesthesia.
IM:
Infant or Child 20 micrograms/kg (minimum dose 100 micrograms, maximum dose
600 micrograms) 30–60 minutes before induction of anaesthesia.
Reversal of the muscarinic effects of cholinergic agents.
IV:
Neonate 20 micrograms/kg.
Infant or Child 20 micrograms/kg (maximum dose 600 micrograms).
Treatment of bradycardia secondary to cholinergic stimulation.
IV:
Neonate 20 micrograms/kg.
Infant or Child 10–20 micrograms/kg (maximum dose 600 micrograms).
Renal impairment: Use with caution. No dose adjustment necessary.
Hepatic impairment: Use with caution. No dose adjustment necessary.
WHO Model Formulary for Children 2010
13
1
Anaesthetics
Adverse effects: Common Dry mouth, blurred vision, photophobia, flushing and dryness of skin,
rash, difficulty in micturition, constipation, arrhythmias, tachycardia, palpitations, fever.
Uncommon Nausea, vomiting, confusion.
Rare Closed-angle glaucoma, seizures.
Interactions with other medicines (* indicates severe):
Note Many drugs have antimuscarinic effects; concomitant use of two or more such drugs can increase adverse
effects such as dry mouth, urine retention and constipation.
Amitriptyline: increased antimuscarinic adverse effects.
Chlorphenamine: increased antimuscarinic adverse effects.
Chlorpromazine: increased antimuscarinic adverse effects (but reduced plasma chlorpromazine
concentration).
Haloperidol: possibly reduced effects of haloperidol.
Metoclopramide: antagonism of effects of metoclopramide on gastrointestinal activity.
Neostigmine: antagonism of effects of neostigmine. Late unopposed bradycardia may result.
Pyridostigmine: antagonism of effects of pyridostigmine.
Notes: For IV administration, administer undiluted by rapid IV injection; slow injection may result
in paradoxical bradycardia.
References:
Hodding JH, Kraus DM, Taketomo CK. Pediatric dosage handbook. 16th ed. Hudson, Lexi-Comp, 2009.
Klasco RK, ed. Drugdex system. Greenwood Village, Thomson Micromedex, 2010. (http://www.thomsonhc.com, accessed 10
February 2010).
MIMS Online. Sydney, UBM Medica, 2009 (http://www.mimsonline.com.au/Search/Search.aspx, accessed 10 February 2010).
Paediatric Formulary Committee. British national formulary for children 2009. London, BMJ Group RBS Publishing, 2009.
Rossi S, ed. Australian medicines handbook. Adelaide, Australian Medicines Handbook, 2009.
Diazepam
ATC code: N05BA01
Injection: 5 mg/ml in 2 ml ampoule
Tablet: 5 mg
Special Notes: Drug subject to international control under the Convention on Psychotropic
Substances (1971).
Diazepam is a representative benzodiazepine. Various drugs can serve as alternatives.
Intravenous diazepam can cause airway obstruction and hypoxia in exactly the same way as any other
intravenous anaesthetic.
This medicine is listed as a representative of its pharmacological class. Other medicines in the same
class may have similar clinical performance and may be selected for local formularies based on
availability and price. The information in this monograph only applies to the medicine listed here.
Indications: Premedication before major or minor surgery (for use in short-term procedures);
sedation with amnesia for endoscopic procedures and surgery under local anaesthetic.
Contraindications: Central nervous system depression or coma; shock; respiratory depression;
acute pulmonary insufficiency; sleep apnoea; severe hepatic impairment; marked neuromuscular
respiratory weakness including unstable myasthenia gravis.
Precautions: Respiratory disease; muscle weakness and myasthenia gravis; marked personality
disorder; hepatic impairment; renal failure; close observation required until full recovery after
sedation; porphyria.
Skilled tasks Warn patient or carer about the risk of undertaking tasks requiring attention or coordination,
for example riding a bike or operating machinery, for 24 hours.
14
WHO Model Formulary for Children 2010
1.3 Preoperative medication and sedation for short-term procedures
Dose:
Premedication and sedation for clinical procedures.
Oral:
Infant or Child 200–300 micrograms/kg (maximum 10 mg) 45–60 minutes prior to procedure.
Slow IV (over 2–5 minutes):
Infant or Child 100–200 micrograms/kg (maximum 5 mg) immediately before procedure.
Renal impairment: Severe: start with small doses; increased cerebral sensitivity.
Hepatic impairment: Can precipitate coma. Reduce dose by half.
Low doses could be used but a shorter acting agent would be preferable.
Adverse effects: Common Drowsiness, sedation, confusion, amnesia, muscle weakness, ataxia, slurred
speech, pain on intravenous injection.
Uncommon Respiratory depression, hypotension, paradoxical insomnia, excitability, hallucinations
and aggression, injection pain and thrombophlebitis.
Rare Blood dyscrasias including neutropenia, agranulocytosis, anaemia, leukopenia and
thrombocytopenia.
Interactions with other medicines (* indicates severe):
*
Amitriptyline: enhanced sedative effect.
Chlorphenamine: enhanced sedative effect.
Chlorpromazine: enhanced sedative effect.
Codeine: enhanced sedative effect.
Enalapril: enhanced hypotensive effect.
Furosemide: enhanced hypotensive effect.
Haloperidol: enhanced sedative effect.
Halothane: enhanced sedative effect.
Isoniazid: metabolism of diazepam inhibited.
Ketamine: enhanced sedative effect.
Morphine: enhanced sedative effect.
Nitrous oxide: enhanced sedative effect.
Phenytoin: plasma phenytoin concentrations possibly increased or decreased by diazepam.
Rifampicin: metabolism of diazepam accelerated (reduced plasma concentration).
Ritonavir: plasma concentration possibly increased by ritonavir (risk of extreme sedation and
respiratory depression; avoid concomitant use).
Spironolactone: enhanced hypotensive effect.
Thiopental: enhanced sedative effect.
Notes: Do not use via intramuscular injection as absorption is slow and erratic; route should only be
used if oral or intravenous administration not possible.
Slow intravenous injection into large vein reduces risk of thrombophlebitis.
Resuscitation equipment must be available.
References:
Hodding JH, Kraus DM, Taketomo CK. Pediatric dosage handbook. 16th ed. Hudson, Lexi-Comp, 2009.
Klasco RK, ed. Drugdex system. Greenwood Village, Thomson Micromedex, 2010. (http://www.thomsonhc.com, accessed 10
February 2010).
MIMS Online. Sydney, UBM Medica, 2009 (http://www.mimsonline.com.au/Search/Search.aspx, accessed 10 February 2010).
Paediatric Formulary Committee. British national formulary for children 2009. London, BMJ Group RBS Publishing, 2009.
Rossi S, ed. Australian medicines handbook. Adelaide, Australian Medicines Handbook, 2009.
WHO Model Formulary for Children 2010
15
1
Anaesthetics
Morphine
ATC code: N02AA01
Injection: 10 mg (as sulfate or hydrochloride) in 1 ml ampoule
Special Notes: Risk of ten times overdose in small children. Extreme care required with dose
calculation and preparation.
Drug subject to international control under the Single Convention on Narcotic Drugs (1961).
Indications: Preoperative sedative and analgesic.
Contraindications: Respiratory depression; severe respiratory disease; CNS depression; risk of
paralytic ileus; raised intracranial pressure or head injury (affects pupillary responses vital for
neurological assessment); avoid injection in phaeochromocytoma.
Precautions: Renal impairment; hepatic impairment; dependence (severe withdrawal symptoms
if withdrawn abruptly); hypothyroidism; convulsive disorders; decreased respiratory reserve and
acute asthma; hypotension; prostatic hypertrophy; overdosage.
Skilled tasks Warn patient or carer about the risk of undertaking tasks requiring attention or coordination,
for example riding a bike or operating machinery, for 24 hours.
Dose:
Sedation and analgesia for procedures.
IV:
Infant or Child 0.05–0.1 mg/kg 5 minutes before the procedure. Maximum dose 15 mg.
IM:
Infant or Child 0.1 mg/kg 20 minutes before the procedure. Maximum dose 15 mg. Only
use IM route for premedication if patient has no IV access and there is adequate respiratory
monitoring available.
Renal impairment: Moderate to severe: reduce dose or avoid; increased and prolonged effect;
increased cerebral sensitivity.
Hepatic impairment: Avoid or reduce dose; may precipitate coma.
Adverse effects: Common Nausea, vomiting, constipation, lightheadedness, dizziness, sedation,
sweating, dysphoria, euphoria, dry mouth, anorexia, spasm of urinary and biliary tract, pruritus,
rash, postural hypotension, miosis.
Uncommon Respiratory depression (dose related), bradycardia, tachycardia, palpitations.
Rare Syndrome of inappropriate antidiuretic hormone secretion (SIADH), anaphylaxis.
Interactions with other medicines (* indicates severe):
Amitriptyline: possibly increased sedation.
Chlorpromazine: enhanced sedative and hypotensive effect.
Ciprofloxacin: avoid premedication with morphine (reduced plasma ciprofloxacin concentration)
when ciprofloxacin used for surgical prophylaxis.
Diazepam: enhanced sedative effect.
Haloperidol: enhanced sedative and hypotensive effect.
Metoclopramide: antagonism of effect of metoclopramide on gastrointestinal activity.
* Ritonavir: possibly increases plasma concentration of morphine.
Notes: For intravenous administration, administer slowly over 5 minutes.
Risk of ten times overdose in small children.
References:
Hodding JH, Kraus DM, Taketomo CK. Pediatric dosage handbook. 16th ed. Hudson, Lexi-Comp, 2009.
Klasco RK, ed. Drugdex system. Greenwood Village, Thomson Micromedex, 2010. (http://www.thomsonhc.com, accessed 10
February 2010).
MIMS Online. Sydney, UBM Medica, 2009 (http://www.mimsonline.com.au/Search/Search.aspx, accessed 10 February 2010).
Paediatric Formulary Committee. British national formulary for children 2009. London, BMJ Group RBS Publishing, 2009.
Rossi S, ed. Australian medicines handbook. Adelaide, Australian Medicines Handbook, 2009.
16
WHO Model Formulary for Children 2010

SECTION 2:
Analgesics, antipyretics, non-steroidal anti-inflammatory
medicines (NSAIMs), medicines used to treat gout and disease
modifying agents in rheumatoid disorders (DMARDs)
2.1 Non-opioids and non-steroidal anti-inflammatory
medicines (NSAIMs).................................................................... 18
2.2 Opioid analgesics......................................................................... 22
2.3 Medicines used to treat gout......................................................... 25
2.4 Disease modifying agents used in rheumatoid
disorders (DMARDs)................................................................... 25
WHO Model Formulary for Children 2010
17
2
Analgesics, antipyretics, NSAIMs, medicines used to treat gout and DMARDs
2
Analgesics, antipyretics, non-steroidal
anti-inflammatory medicines (NSAIMs),
medicines used to treat gout and disease
modifying agents in rheumatoid disorders
(DMARDs)
Pain management in children
In general terms, principles for drug management of pain in children follow the WHO Analgesic
Ladder with the following recommendations for increasing pain:
• mild pain: non-opioid with or without non-steroidal anti-inflammatory medicine (NSAIM) and
adjuvant
• moderate pain: mild opioid with non-opioid, NSAIM and adjuvant
• severe pain: strong opioid with non-opioid, NSAIM and adjuvant, with or without specialist
techniques.
Non-drug strategies are also an important part of managing pain in children.
2.1 Non-opioids and non-steroidal anti-inflammatory
medicines (NSAIMs)
Non-opioid analgesics include paracetamol and NSAIMs (section 2.1). These are particularly suitable
for musculoskeletal pain. Combining a non-opioid with an opioid analgesic can provide more
effective analgesia than either medication alone.
Ibuprofen
ATC code: M01AE01
Tablet: 200 mg; 400 mg
Special Notes: WHO age/weight restriction: > 3 months.
Indications: Mild to moderate pain.
Contraindications: Hypersensitivity (including asthma, angioedema, urticaria or rhinitis) to
acetylsalicylic acid or any other NSAIM; active peptic ulceration or upper gastrointestinal
bleeding; severe renal failure, hepatic failure or cardiac failure.
Precautions: Asthma; cardiac disease; volume depletion, such as in gastroenteritis or dehydration
(increased risk of renal impairment); concomitant use of drugs that increase risk of bleeding;
previous peptic ulceration; coagulation defects; allergic disorders; renal impairment; hepatic
impairment.
Dose:
Mild to moderate pain.
Oral:
Infant or Child over 3 months 5–10 mg/kg three or four times daily with or after food.
Maximum daily dose is 40 mg/kg/day.
18
WHO Model Formulary for Children 2010
2.1 Non-opioids and non-steroidal anti-inflammatory medicines (NSAIMs)
Renal impairment: Mild: use lowest effective dose and monitor renal function; sodium and water
retention may occur as may deterioration in renal function possibly leading to renal failure.
Moderate to severe: avoid.
Hepatic impairment: Use with caution: increased risk of gastrointestinal bleeding and can cause fluid
retention; avoid in severe liver disease.
Adverse effects: Common Nausea, diarrhoea, dyspepsia, headache, dizziness, fluid retention, raised
blood pressure, gastrointestinal ulceration and bleeding.
Uncommon Rash, urticaria, photosensitivity, renal impairment.
Rare Angioedema, bronchospasm, hepatic damage, alveolitis, pulmonary eosinophilia, pancreatitis,
visual disturbances, erythema multiforme (Stevens-Johnson syndrome), toxic epidermal necrolysis
(Lyell syndrome), colitis, aseptic meningitis.
Interactions with other medicines (* indicates severe):
*
*
Acetylsalicylic acid: avoid concomitant use (increased adverse effects).
Ciclosporin: increased risk of nephrotoxicity.
Dexamethasone: increased risk of gastrointestinal bleeding and ulceration.
Digoxin: possibly exacerbation of heart failure, reduced renal function and increased plasma
digoxin concentration.
Enalapril: antagonism of hypotensive effect, increased risk of renal impairment.
* Fluoxetine: increased risk of bleeding.
Furosemide: risk of nephrotoxicity of ibuprofen increased; antagonism of diuretic effect.
Heparin: possibly increased risk of bleeding.
Hydrocortisone: increased risk of gastrointestinal bleeding and ulceration.
* Levofloxacin: possibly increased risk of convulsions.
* Lithium: reduced excretion of lithium (increased risk of toxicity).
* Methotrexate: excretion of methotrexate reduced (increased risk of toxicity).
* Ofloxacin: possible increased risk of convulsions.
Penicillamine: possible increased risk of nephrotoxicity.
* Phenytoin: effect of phenytoin possibly enhanced.
Prednisolone: increased risk of gastrointestinal bleeding and ulceration.
Propranolol: antagonism of hypotensive effect.
Ritonavir: plasma concentration possibly increased by ritonavir.
Spironolactone: risk of nephrotoxicity of ibuprofen increased; antagonism of diuretic effect;
possibly increased risk of hyperkalaemia.
* Warfarin: anticoagulant effect possibly enhanced.
Zidovudine: increased risk of haematological toxicity.
Notes: Give with or after food.
References:
Hill SR, Kouimtzi M, Stuart MC, eds. WHO model formulary. Geneva, World Health Organization, 2008.
Hodding JH, Kraus DM, Taketomo CK. Pediatric dosage handbook. 16th ed. Hudson, Lexi-Comp, 2009.
Kemp CA, McDowell JM. Paediatric pharmacopoeia. 13th ed. Melbourne, Royal Children’s Hospital, 2002.
MIMS Online. Sydney, UBM Medica, 2009 (http://www.mimsonline.com.au/Search/Search.aspx, accessed 10 February 2010).
Paediatric Formulary Committee. British national formulary for children 2009. London, BMJ Group RBS Publishing, 2009.
WHO expert committee on the selection and use of essential medicines. The selection and use of essential medicines: report of
the WHO expert committee, October 2007 (including the model list of essential medicines for children). WHO Technical Report
Series, 2008, 950 (http://www.who.int/medicines/publications/essentialmeds_committeereports/TRS_950.pdf ).
WHO Model Formulary for Children 2010
19
2
Analgesics, antipyretics, NSAIMs, medicines used to treat gout and DMARDs
Paracetamol
ATC code: N02BE01
Oral liquid: 25 mg/ml
Suppository: 100 mg
Tablet: 100 mg to 500 mg
Special Notes: Also referred to as acetaminophen.
Not recommended for anti-inflammatory use due to lack of proven benefit.
Indications: Mild to moderate pain; fever.
Precautions: Hepatic impairment; renal impairment; overdosage.
Dose:
Mild to moderate pain, fever.
Oral, rectal:
Neonate 10 mg/kg every 6–8 hours as necessary. Maximum 4 doses in 24 hours. If neonate is
jaundiced, a 5 mg/kg dose is suitable.
Infant or Child 15 mg/kg, up to 1 g, every 4–6 hours as necessary. Maximum 4 doses, or 4 g, in
24 hours.
Note Infants under 3 months should not be given paracetamol unless advised by a doctor.
Hepatic impairment: Dose related toxicity; avoid large doses.
Adverse effects: Rare Rash, hypersensitivity, neutropenia, thrombocytopenia, pancytopenia.
Hepatotoxicity Hepatotoxicity (and less frequently renal damage) can occur after paracetamol overdosage.
Children in the following situations may be at an increased risk of liver damage from paracetamol overdosage:
malnourished, obese, febrile illness, prolonged course, not eaten for a few days or taking liver enzyme inducing
drugs. Refer to section 4.2 for more information on paracetamol toxicity.
Interactions with other medicines (* indicates severe):
Metoclopramide: increased absorption of paracetamol.
Warfarin: prolonged regular use of paracetamol possibly enhances anticoagulant effect.
Notes: Shake suspension well before use.
References:
Hill SR, Kouimtzi M, Stuart MC, eds. WHO model formulary. Geneva, World Health Organization, 2008.
Hodding JH, Kraus DM, Taketomo CK. Pediatric dosage handbook. 16th ed. Hudson, Lexi-Comp, 2009.
MIMS Online. Sydney, UBM Medica, 2009 (http://www.mimsonline.com.au/Search/Search.aspx, accessed 10 February 2010).
Paediatric Formulary Committee. British national formulary for children 2009. London, BMJ Group RBS Publishing, 2009.
Rossi S, ed. Australian medicines handbook. Adelaide, Australian Medicines Handbook, 2009.
WHO expert committee on the selection and use of essential medicines. The selection and use of essential medicines: report of
the WHO expert committee, October 2007 (including the model list of essential medicines for children). WHO Technical Report
Series, 2008, 950 (http://www.who.int/medicines/publications/essentialmeds_committeereports/TRS_950.pdf ).
20
WHO Model Formulary for Children 2010
2.1 Non-opioids and non-steroidal anti-inflammatory medicines (NSAIMs)
Acetylsalicylic acid
ATC code: N02BA01
Suppository: 50 mg to 150 mg
Tablet: 100 mg to 500 mg
Do not use acetylsalicylic acid in children who have or who are recovering from chickenpox
(varicella), influenza, acute febrile illness or flu symptoms due to the rare association with Reye’s
syndrome. During treatment with acetylsalicylic acid, changes in behaviour may be an early sign
of Reye’s syndrome. Patients and carers should be instructed to contact the health-care provider
if these symptoms develop.
Special Notes: Also referred to as aspirin.
Indications: Management of rheumatic fever, juvenile arthritis and Kawasaki disease.
Contraindications: Hypersensitivity (including asthma, angioedema, urticaria or rhinitis) to
acetylsalicylic acid or any other NSAIM; for simple analgesia and antipyrexia in children under
16 years (risk of Reye syndrome); active peptic ulceration; haemophilia and other bleeding
disorders; hepatic failure.
Precautions: Asthma; uncontrolled hypertension; concomitant use of drugs that increase risk of
bleeding; previous peptic ulceration; G6PD deficiency; dehydration; renal impairment; hepatic
impairment.
Dose:
Administer with or after food.
Juvenile arthritis, rheumatic fever.
Oral:
Infant or Child up to 130 mg/kg daily in 5–6 divided doses in acute conditions; 80–100 mg/kg
daily in divided doses for maintenance.
Kawasaki disease.
Oral:
Neonate initially 8 mg/kg four times daily until afebrile, followed by 5 mg/kg once daily for
6–8 weeks. If no evidence of coronary lesions after 8 weeks, discontinue treatment or seek expert
advice.
Infant or Child initially 7.5–12.5 mg/kg four times daily until afebrile, followed by 2–5 mg/kg
once daily for 6–8 weeks. If no evidence of coronary lesions after 8 weeks, discontinue treatment
or seek expert advice.
Renal impairment: Increased risk of bleeding and acetylsalicylic acid induced renal impairment.
Severe: avoid; increased risk of sodium and water retention; deterioration in renal function;
gastrointestinal bleeding.
Hepatic impairment: Avoid in severe hepatic impairment; increased risk of gastrointestinal bleeding.
Adverse effects: Common Nausea, dyspepsia, gastrointestinal ulceration or bleeding, tinnitus,
vertigo, confusion, increased bleeding time.
Uncommon Hypersensitivity reactions including angioedema, bronchospasm and rash (including
Stevens-Johnson syndrome), iron deficiency anaemia, renal impairment, oesophageal ulceration.
Rare Major haemorrhage (including gastrointestinal, subconjunctival or other), blood dyscrasias,
oedema, myocarditis, Reye syndrome with subsequent encephalopathy and severe hepatic injury.
Interactions with other medicines (* indicates severe):
Dexamethasone: increased risk of gastrointestinal bleeding and ulceration; dexamethasone reduces
plasma salicylate concentration.
WHO Model Formulary for Children 2010
21
2
Analgesics, antipyretics, NSAIMs, medicines used to treat gout and DMARDs
*
Enalapril: antagonism of hypotensive effect; increased risk of renal impairment.
Fluoxetine: increased risk of bleeding.
Heparin: enhanced anticoagulant effect of heparin.
Hydrocortisone: increased risk of gastrointestinal bleeding and ulceration; hydrocortisone reduces
plasma salicylate concentration.
* Ibuprofen: avoid concomitant use (increased adverse effects); antiplatelet effect of acetylsalicylic
acid possibly reduced.
* Methotrexate: reduced excretion of methotrexate (increased toxicity).
Metoclopramide: enhanced effect of acetylsalicylic acid (increased rate of absorption).
Phenytoin: enhancement of effect of phenytoin.
Prednisolone: increased risk of gastrointestinal bleeding and ulceration; prednisolone reduces
plasma salicylate concentration.
Spironolactone: antagonism of diuretic effect.
Valproic acid: enhancement of effect of valproic acid.
* Warfarin: risk of bleeding due to antiplatelet effect.
Notes: Give with or after food.
References:
Hill SR, Kouimtzi M, Stuart MC, eds. WHO model formulary. Geneva, World Health Organization, 2008.
Hodding JH, Kraus DM, Taketomo CK. Pediatric dosage handbook. 16th ed. Hudson, Lexi-Comp, 2009.
MIMS Online. Sydney, UBM Medica, 2009 (http://www.mimsonline.com.au/Search/Search.aspx, accessed 10 February 2010).
Paediatric Formulary Committee. British national formulary for children 2009. London, BMJ Group RBS Publishing, 2009.
Rossi S, ed. Australian medicines handbook. Adelaide, Australian Medicines Handbook, 2009.
WHO expert committee on the selection and use of essential medicines. The selection and use of essential medicines: report of
the WHO expert committee, October 2007 (including the model list of essential medicines for children). WHO Technical Report
Series, 2008, 950 (http://www.who.int/medicines/publications/essentialmeds_committeereports/TRS_950.pdf ).
2.2 Opioid analgesics
Opioid analgesics act on the central nervous system. Morphine is effective in relieving moderate
to severe pain, particularly of visceral origin; there is a large variation in patient response. Weaker
opioids such as codeine are suitable for mild to moderate pain.
Opioid analgesic overdose
In overdose, opioids can cause respiratory depression and coma with pinpoint pupils. Naloxone
(section 4.2) is a specific antidote.
Codeine
ATC code: R05DA04
Tablet: 15 mg (phosphate)
Special Notes: Drug subject to international control under the Single Convention on Narcotic Drugs
(1961).
Indications: Mild to moderate pain.
Contraindications: Hypersensitivity to codeine or similar drugs; respiratory depression; risk of
paralytic ileus.
Precautions: Renal impairment; hepatic impairment; reduced respiratory reserve; overdosage (see section 4.2).
Skilled tasks Warn patient or carer about the risk of undertaking tasks requiring attention or coordination,
for example riding a bike or operating machinery, for 24 hours.
22
WHO Model Formulary for Children 2010
2.2 Opioid analgesics
Dose:
Mild to moderate pain.
Oral:
Neonate, Infant or Child 0.5–1 mg/kg every 4–6 hours when needed; maximum 240 mg daily.
Renal impairment: Moderate to severe: reduce dose or avoid; increased and prolonged effect;
increased cerebral sensitivity.
Hepatic impairment: Avoid or reduce dose; may precipitate coma.
Adverse effects: Common Nausea, vomiting, constipation (mainly with long-term use), drowsiness,
dizziness, urinary retention, dry mouth.
Uncommon Respiratory depression (dose related), sweating, facial flushing, dependence, euphoria,
sedation, headache, pruritus.
Rare Syndrome of inappropriate antidiuretic hormone secretion (SIADH), seizures, anaphylaxis.
Interactions with other medicines (* indicates severe):
*
Amitriptyline: possibly increased sedation.
Chlorpromazine: enhanced sedative and hypotensive effect.
Diazepam: enhanced sedative effect.
Haloperidol: enhanced sedative and hypotensive effect.
Metoclopramide: antagonism of effect of metoclopramide on gastrointestinal activity.
Ritonavir: ritonavir possibly increases plasma concentration of codeine.
Notes: Increase fluid and fibre intake to avoid constipation.
References:
Hill SR, Kouimtzi M, Stuart MC, eds. WHO model formulary. Geneva, World Health Organization, 2008.
MIMS Online. Sydney, UBM Medica, 2009 (http://www.mimsonline.com.au/Search/Search.aspx, accessed 10 February 2010).
Paediatric Formulary Committee. British national formulary for children 2009. London, BMJ Group RBS Publishing, 2009.
Rossi S, ed. Australian medicines handbook. Adelaide, Australian Medicines Handbook, 2009.
Morphine
ATC code: N02AA01
Injection: 10 mg (as hydrochloride or sulfate) in 1 ml ampoule
Oral liquid: 2 mg (as hydrochloride or sulfate)/ml
Tablet: 10 mg (as sulfate)
Tablet (prolonged release): 10 mg; 30 mg; 60 mg (as sulfate)
Special Notes: Extreme caution should be exercised in determining all drug doses in children. There
is a risk of misplacing the decimal point with morphine, resulting in a 10 times overdose.
Note 0.1 milligrams = 100 micrograms.
Drug subject to international control under the Single Convention on Narcotic Drugs (1961).
Indications: Postoperative pain; severe acute and chronic pain.
Contraindications: Respiratory depression; severe respiratory disease; CNS depression; risk of
paralytic ileus; raised intracranial pressure or head injury (affects pupillary responses vital for
neurological assessment); avoid injection in phaeochromocytoma.
Precautions: Renal impairment; hepatic impairment; dependence (severe withdrawal symptoms
if withdrawn abruptly); hypothyroidism; convulsive disorders; decreased respiratory reserve and
acute asthma; hypotension; prostatic hypertrophy; overdosage.
Skilled tasks Warn patient or carer about the risk of undertaking tasks requiring attention or coordination,
for example riding a bike or operating machinery, for 24 hours.
WHO Model Formulary for Children 2010
23
2
Analgesics, antipyretics, NSAIMs, medicines used to treat gout and DMARDs
Dose:
Pain.
SC or IM:
Neonate 100 micrograms/kg every 6 hours, adjusted according to response.
Infant 1–6 months initially 100–200 micrograms/kg every 6 hours, adjusted according to
response.
Infant or Child 6 months–2 years initially 100–200 micrograms/kg every 4 hours, adjusted
according to response;
2–12 years initially 200 micrograms/kg every 4 hours, adjusted according to response. Usual
maximum dose is 15 mg.
IV injection over at least 5 minutes:
Neonate initially 50 micrograms/kg every 6 hours, adjusted according to response.
Infant 1–6 months initially 100 micrograms/kg every 6 hours, adjusted according to response.
Infant or Child 6 months–12 years initially 100 micrograms/kg every 4 hours, adjusted
according to response. Maximum dose is 15 mg.
IV injection and infusion:
Neonate initially by intravenous injection (over at least 5 minutes) 25–100 micrograms/kg then
by continuous intravenous infusion 5–40 micrograms/kg/hour adjusted according to response.
Child 1– 6 months initially by intravenous injection (over at least 5 minutes)
100–200 micrograms/kg then by continuous infusion 10–30 micrograms/kg/hour adjusted to
response;
6 months–12 years initially by intravenous injection (over at least 5 minutes)
100–200 micrograms/kg then by continuous intravenous infusion 20–30 micrograms/kg/hour
adjusted according to response.
Oral:
Child 1–12 months initially 80–200 micrograms/kg every 4 hours, adjusted according to
response;
1–2 years initially 200–400 micrograms/kg every 4 hours, adjusted according to response;
2–12 years initially 200–500 micrograms/kg (maximum 20 mg) every 4 hours, adjusted
according to response.
Oral (prolonged release):
Child initially 200–800 micrograms/kg every 12 hours, adjusted according to response.
Continuous SC infusion:
Child 1–3 months 10 micrograms/kg/hour;
3 months–18 years 20 micrograms/kg/hour.
Renal impairment: Mild to moderate: reduce dose by 25%.
Severe: reduce dose by 50% or avoid; increased and prolonged effect; increased cerebral sensitivity.
Hepatic impairment: Avoid or reduce dose, may precipitate coma.
Adverse effects: Common Nausea, vomiting, constipation, lightheadedness, dizziness, sedation,
sweating, dysphoria, euphoria, dry mouth, anorexia, spasm of urinary and biliary tract, pruritus,
rash, sweating, postural hypotension, miosis.
Uncommon Respiratory depression (dose related), bradycardia, tachycardia, palpitations.
Rare Syndrome of inappropriate antidiuretic hormone secretion (SIADH), anaphylaxis.
Interactions with other medicines (* indicates severe):
Amitriptyline: possibly increased sedation.
Chlorpromazine: enhanced sedative and hypotensive effect.
Ciprofloxacin: manufacturer of ciprofloxacin advises avoid premedication with morphine
(reduced plasma ciprofloxacin concentration) when ciprofloxacin used for surgical prophylaxis.
Diazepam: enhanced sedative effect.
24
WHO Model Formulary for Children 2010
2.4 Disease modifying agents used in rheumatoid disorders (DMARDs)
Haloperidol: enhanced sedative and hypotensive effect.
Metoclopramide: antagonism of effect of metoclopramide on gastrointestinal activity.
* Ritonavir: ritonavir possibly increases plasma concentration of morphine.
Notes: Subcutaneous injection not suitable for oedematous patients.
Administer intravenous injection slowly over 5 minutes.
For continuous intravenous infusion, dilute with glucose 5% or 10% or sodium chloride 0.9%.
For neonatal intensive care infusions, dilute 2.5 mg/kg body weight to a final volume of 50 ml with
infusion fluid.
Prolonged release morphine preparations must not be crushed or chewed. Child must be able to
swallow the tablet whole.
Doses should be adjusted according to response.
References:
Hodding JH, Kraus DM, Taketomo CK. Pediatric dosage handbook. 16th ed. Hudson, Lexi-Comp, 2009.
MIMS Online. Sydney, UBM Medica, 2009 (http://www.mimsonline.com.au/Search/Search.aspx, accessed 10 February 2010).
Paediatric Formulary Committee. British national formulary for children 2009. London, BMJ Group RBS Publishing, 2009.
Rossi S, ed. Australian medicines handbook. Adelaide, Australian Medicines Handbook, 2009.
2.3 Medicines used to treat gout
This section has been deleted from the 2nd WHO Model List of Essential Medicines for Children.
2.4 Disease modifying agents used in rheumatoid
disorders (DMARDs)
There are currently no medicines in this section of the 2nd WHO Model List of Essential Medicines for
Children.
WHO Model Formulary for Children 2010
25

SECTION 3:
Antiallergics and medicines used in anaphylaxis
26
WHO Model Formulary for Children 2010
3 Antiallergics and medicines used in anaphylaxis
3
Antiallergics and medicines used in
anaphylaxis
Allergic disorders are a common problem in children. Allergic conditions include asthma, eczema,
urticaria, allergic rhinitis (hayfever) and allergies to foods, medicines and drugs.
Allergic reactions which are mild and of limited duration (e.g. urticaria and allergic rhinitis) may not
require treatment. However, when symptoms are moderate or persistent, medications such as antihistamines and corticosteroids may be required.
Antihistamines inhibit the wheals, pruritus, sneezing and nasal secretory responses that characterize
allergy, and thus relieve allergic symptoms.
Corticosteroids suppress or prevent almost all symptoms of inflammation associated with allergy.
Steroids should be used for short-term suppression of inflammation, but long-term use of steroids
should be avoided, due to the risk of significant side-effects.
Allergic emergencies
Severe allergic reactions such as anaphylaxis and angioedema are life-threatening emergencies.
First-line treatment for these conditions is epinephrine with appropriate resuscitation. Use of other
medications in these conditions is secondary.
Chlorphenamine
ATC code: R06AB04
Injection: 10 mg (hydrogen maleate) in 1 ml ampoule
Oral liquid: 2 mg/5 ml
Tablet: 4 mg (hydrogen maleate)
Special Notes: Also referred to as chlorpheniramine maleate.
WHO age/weight restriction: > 1 year.
This medicine is listed as a representative of its pharmacological class. Other medicines in the same
class may have similar clinical performance and may be selected for local formularies based on
availability and price. The information in this monograph only applies to the medicine listed here.
Indications: Allergic conditions including urticaria, angioedema, rhinitis, conjunctivitis and in
pruritic skin disorders.
Intravenously as an adjunct in the emergency treatment of anaphylactic shock.
Contraindications: Hypersensitivity to chlorphenamine or dexchlorpheniramine.
Precautions: Asthma; bladder neck obstruction; hepatic insufficiency; narrow angle glaucoma;
pyloroduodenal obstruction; sedative effects; stenosing peptic ulcer; symptomatic prostatic
hypertrophy.
Skilled tasks Warn patient or carer about the risk of undertaking tasks requiring attention or coordination,
for example riding a bike or operating machinery, for 24 hours.
WHO Model Formulary for Children 2010
27
3
Antiallergics and medicines used in anaphylaxis
Dose:
Allergy.
Oral:
Child under 1 year not recommended;
1–2 years 1 mg twice daily;
2–6 years 1 mg every 4–6 hours (maximum 6 mg daily);
6–12 years 2 mg every 4–6 hours (maximum 12 mg daily).
Allergic reactions, anaphylaxis (adjunct).
SC, IM or IV:
Child under 1 year not recommended;
1–6 years 2.5–5 mg;
6–12 years 5–10 mg.
Renal impairment: Severe: dose reduction may be required.
Hepatic impairment: Sedation caused by chlorphenamine inappropriate in severe liver disease; avoid.
Adverse effects: Common Anorexia, nausea, vomiting, epigastric distress, diarrhoea, constipation,
drowsiness, somnolence, dry mouth, blurred vision, urinary retention, drying effect throughout
the respiratory tract and a thickening of bronchial mucus, headache, weight gain.
Uncommon Exfoliative dermatitis, cardiac dysrhythmia, hypotension (more severe when used
intravenously), paradoxical excitation.
Rare Disturbances in smell and taste, facial dyskinesias, blood dyscrasias (including agranulocytosis,
thrombocytopenia, pancytopenia and aplastic anaemia), EEG changes, psychotic disorder, liver
dysfunction, tremor, seizures, confusion, depression, sleep disturbances.
Interactions with other medicines (* indicates severe):
Amitriptyline: increased antimuscarinic and sedative effects.
Atropine: increased antimuscarinic adverse effects.
Diazepam: enhanced sedative effect.
Lopinavir: possibly increased plasma concentration of chlorphenamine.
Notes: Give intravenous injection over 1 minute.
If necessary, injection solution can be diluted with sodium chloride 0.9% injection.
Chlorphenamine may cause excitability in children.
References:
eTG complete. Melbourne, Therapeutic Guidelines Limited, 2009 (http://etg.tg.org.au/ip/, accessed 10 February 2010).
Hill SR, Kouimtzi M, Stuart MC, eds. WHO model formulary. Geneva, World Health Organization, 2008.
Klasco RK, ed. Drugdex system. Greenwood Village, Thomson Micromedex, 2010. (http://www.thomsonhc.com, accessed 10
February 2010).
Paediatric Formulary Committee. British national formulary for children 2009. London, BMJ Group RBS Publishing, 2009.
Sweetman SC, ed. Martindale: the complete drug reference. 34th ed. London, Pharmaceutical Press, 2005.
WHO expert committee on the selection and use of essential medicines. The selection and use of essential medicines: report of
the WHO expert committee, October 2007 (including the model list of essential medicines for children). WHO Technical Report
Series, 2008, 950 (http://www.who.int/medicines/publications/essentialmeds_committeereports/TRS_950.pdf ).
28
WHO Model Formulary for Children 2010
3 Antiallergics and medicines used in anaphylaxis
Dexamethasone
ATC code: H02AB02
Injection: 4 mg dexamethasone phosphate (as disodium salt) in 1 ml ampoule
Indications: Adjunct in the emergency treatment of anaphylaxis; short-term suppression of
inflammation in allergic disorders.
Contraindications: Not relevant to emergency use.
Precautions: Increased susceptibility to and severity of infection; activation or exacerbation of
tuberculosis; amoebiasis; strongyloidiasis; risk of severe chickenpox in non-immune patients
(varicella zoster immunoglobulin required if exposed to chickenpox); avoid exposure to
measles (normal immunoglobulin possibly required if exposed); diabetes mellitus; peptic ulcer;
hypertension; corneal perforation; osteoporosis; myasthenia gravis.
Dose:
Inflammatory and allergic disorders.
IM or slow IV injection or infusion:
Infant or Child 100–400 micrograms/kg in 1–2 divided doses (maximum 24 mg daily).
Renal impairment: Dose reduction not necessary.
Hepatic impairment: Dose reduction not necessary.
Adverse effects: Incidence of adverse effects is related to dose and duration of treatment. Short
courses of high-dose systemic treatment cause fewer adverse effects than prolonged courses of
lower doses.
Common Nausea, increased susceptibility to infection, masking of signs of infection, sodium and
water retention, oedema, hypertension, hypokalaemia, hyperglycaemia, increased appetite,
dyspepsia, delayed wound healing, bruising, acne, psychiatric effects (see below).
Intravenous Transient itching, burning or tingling in perineal area (after intravenous bolus).
Rare Peptic ulceration, posterior subcapsular cataracts, glaucoma, hypersensitivity reactions including
anaphylaxis.
Psychiatric effects Include euphoria, hypomania, depression, disturbances of mood, cognition, sleep
and behaviour. Delirium or psychosis is less common.
Interactions with other medicines (* indicates severe):
Acetylsalicylic acid: increased risk of gastrointestinal bleeding and ulceration; dexamethasone
reduces plasma salicylate concentration.
Albendazole: plasma albendazole concentration possibly increased.
* Amphotericin B: increased risk of hypokalaemia (avoid concomitant use unless dexamethasone
needed to control reactions).
* Carbamazepine: accelerated metabolism of dexamethasone (reduced effect).
Contraceptives, oral: oral contraceptives containing estrogens increase plasma concentration of
dexamethasone.
Digoxin: increased risk of hypokalaemia.
Enalapril: antagonism of hypotensive effect.
Erythromycin: erythromycin possibly inhibits metabolism of dexamethasone.
Furosemide: antagonism of diuretic effect; increased risk of hypokalaemia.
Hydrochlorothiazide: antagonism of diuretic effect; increased risk of hypokalaemia.
Ibuprofen: increased risk of gastrointestinal bleeding and ulceration.
Insulins: antagonism of hypoglycaemic effect.
* Lopinavir: possibly reduced plasma lopinavir concentration.
WHO Model Formulary for Children 2010
29
3
*
*
*
*
*
*
Antiallergics and medicines used in anaphylaxis
Metformin: antagonism of hypoglycaemic effect.
Methotrexate: increased risk of haematological toxicity.
Phenobarbital: metabolism of dexamethasone accelerated (reduced effect).
Phenytoin: metabolism of dexamethasone accelerated (reduced effect).
Praziquantel: plasma praziquantel concentration reduced.
Propranolol: antagonism of hypotensive effect.
Rifampicin: accelerated metabolism of dexamethasone (reduced effect).
Ritonavir: plasma concentration possibly increased by ritonavir.
Salbutamol: increased risk of hypokalaemia if high doses of salbutamol given with dexamethasone.
Saquinavir: possibly reduced plasma saquinavir concentration.
Spironolactone: antagonism of diuretic effect.
Vaccine, influenza: high doses of dexamethasone impair immune response.
Vaccine, live: high doses of dexamethasone impair immune response; avoid use of live vaccines.
Warfarin: anticoagulant effect possibly enhanced or reduced (high-dose dexamethasone enhances
anticoagulant effect).
References:
Hill SR, Kouimtzi M, Stuart MC, eds. WHO model formulary. Geneva, World Health Organization, 2008.
Hodding JH, Kraus DM, Taketomo CK. Pediatric dosage handbook. 16th ed. Hudson, Lexi-Comp, 2009.
McEvoy GK, ed. AHFS drug information. Bethesda, American Society of Health-System Pharmacists, 2009.
Paediatric Formulary Committee. British national formulary for children 2009. London, BMJ Group RBS Publishing, 2009.
Rossi S, ed. Australian medicines handbook. Adelaide, Australian Medicines Handbook, 2009.
WHO expert committee on the selection and use of essential medicines. The selection and use of essential medicines: report of
the WHO expert committee, October 2007 (including the model list of essential medicines for children). WHO Technical Report
Series, 2008, 950 (http://www.who.int/medicines/publications/essentialmeds_committeereports/TRS_950.pdf ).
Epinephrine (Adrenaline)
ATC code: C01CA24
Injection: 1 mg (as hydrochloride or hydrogen tartrate) in 1 ml ampoule (1:1000)
Intravenous epinephrine should be used with extreme care by specialists only.
Special Notes: 1 mg/ml = 1:1000 or 0.1%.
Indications: Severe anaphylactic reaction; severe angioedema.
Contraindications: Closed-angle glaucoma; use during halothane or cyclopropane anaesthesia.
Precautions: Hyperthyroidism; hypertension; diabetes mellitus; heart disease; arrhythmias;
psychoneurosis; cerebrovascular disease; phaeochromocytoma; susceptibility to closed-angle
glaucoma.
Dose:
Anaphylaxis.
IM:
Infant under 6 months 50 micrograms (0.05 ml of 1 mg/ml solution);
Infant or Child 6 months–6 years 150 micrograms (0.15 ml of 1 mg/ml solution);
Child 6–12 years 300 micrograms (0.3 ml of 1 mg/ml solution).
These doses may be repeated at 5 minute intervals, several times if necessary, depending on
blood pressure, pulse and respiratory function.
IV (if circulation inadequate):
Infant or Child 10 micrograms/kg (0.1 ml/kg of the dilute 1 mg/10 ml solution) given over
several minutes.
30
WHO Model Formulary for Children 2010
3 Antiallergics and medicines used in anaphylaxis
Renal impairment: Dose reduction not necessary.
Hepatic impairment: Dose reduction not necessary.
Adverse effects: Common Nausea, vomiting, anxiety, headache, fear, palpitations, tachycardia,
restlessness, tremor, dizziness, dyspnoea, weakness, sweating, pallor, hyperglycaemia.
Uncommon Excessive increase in blood pressure, ventricular arrhythmias, pulmonary oedema (on
excessive dosage or extreme sensitivity), angina, cold extremities, peripheral ischaemia and necrosis
(at injection site).
Rare Allergic reaction (sodium metabisulfite in some products).
Overdose or rapid intravenous administration Arrhythmias (ventricular and
supraventricular), severe hypertension, cerebral haemorrhage, pulmonary oedema.
Interactions with other medicines (* indicates severe):
*
*
*
Amitriptyline: increased effect or toxicity of epinephrine.
Cyclopropane: may precipitate ventricular arrhythmias.
Ergot derivatives: may precipitate hypertensive crisis
Fluoxetine: increased effect or toxicity of epinephrine.
Halothane: may precipitate ventricular arrhythmias.
Propranolol: hypertension, bradycardia, resistance to epinephrine effect.
Notes: 1 mg/ml = 1:1000 or 0.1%.
Inject intramuscular epinephrine into anterolateral aspect of thigh; do not inject into hands, feet,
ears, nose, genitals or buttocks.
References:
Hill SR, Kouimtzi M, Stuart MC, eds. WHO model formulary. Geneva, World Health Organization, 2008.
Klasco RK, ed. Drugdex system. Greenwood Village, Thomson Micromedex, 2010. (http://www.thomsonhc.com, accessed 10
February 2010).
Paediatric Formulary Committee. British national formulary for children 2009. London, BMJ Group RBS Publishing, 2009.
Rossi S, ed. Australian medicines handbook. Adelaide, Australian Medicines Handbook, 2009.
WHO expert committee on the selection and use of essential medicines. The selection and use of essential medicines: report of
the WHO expert committee, October 2007 (including the model list of essential medicines for children). WHO Technical Report
Series, 2008, 950 (http://www.who.int/medicines/publications/essentialmeds_committeereports/TRS_950.pdf ).
Hydrocortisone
ATC code: H02AB09
Powder for injection: 100 mg (as sodium succinate) in vial
Indications: Adjunct in the emergency treatment of anaphylaxis.
Contraindications: Not relevant to emergency use.
Precautions: Not relevant to emergency use.
Dose:
Anaphylaxis.
IM or IV:
Infant under 6 months initially 25 mg up to four times daily adjusted according to response.
Infant or Child 6 months–6 years initially 50 mg up to four times daily adjusted according to
response.
Child 6–12 years initially 100 mg up to four times daily adjusted according to response.
Renal impairment: Dose reduction not necessary.
Hepatic impairment: Dose reduction not necessary.
WHO Model Formulary for Children 2010
31
3
Antiallergics and medicines used in anaphylaxis
Adverse effects: Incidence of adverse effects is related to dose and duration of treatment. Short
courses of high-dose systemic treatment cause fewer adverse effects than prolonged courses of
lower doses.
Common Nausea, increased susceptibility to infection, masking of signs of infection, sodium and
water retention, oedema, hypertension, hypokalaemia, hyperglycaemia, increased appetite,
dyspepsia, delayed wound healing, bruising, acne, psychiatric effects (including euphoria,
hypomania, depression, disturbances of mood, cognition, sleep and behaviour).
Intravenous Transient itching, burning or tingling in perineal area (after intravenous bolus).
Rare Peptic ulceration, posterior subcapsular cataracts, glaucoma, hypersensitivity reactions including
anaphylaxis, psychiatric effects (including delirium or psychosis).
Interactions with other medicines (* indicates severe):
Acetylsalicylic acid: increased risk of gastrointestinal bleeding and ulceration; hydrocortisone
reduces plasma salicylate concentration.
* Amphotericin B: increased risk of hypokalaemia (avoid concomitant use unless hydrocortisone
needed to control reactions).
* Carbamazepine: accelerated metabolism of hydrocortisone (reduced effect).
Digoxin: increased risk of hypokalaemia.
Enalapril: antagonism of hypotensive effect.
Erythromycin: erythromycin possibly inhibits metabolism of hydrocortisone.
Furosemide: antagonism of diuretic effect; increased risk of hypokalaemia.
Hydrochlorothiazide: antagonism of diuretic effect; increased risk of hypokalaemia.
Ibuprofen: increased risk of gastrointestinal bleeding and ulceration.
Insulins: antagonism of hypoglycaemic effect.
Metformin: antagonism of hypoglycaemic effect.
* Methotrexate: increased risk of haematological toxicity.
* Phenobarbital: metabolism of hydrocortisone accelerated (reduced effect).
* Phenytoin: metabolism of hydrocortisone accelerated (reduced effect).
Propranolol: antagonism of hypotensive effect.
* Rifampicin: accelerated metabolism of hydrocortisone (reduced effect).
Ritonavir: plasma concentration possibly increased by ritonavir.
Salbutamol: increased risk of hypokalaemia if high doses of salbutamol given with hydrocortisone.
Spironolactone: antagonism of diuretic effect.
Vaccine, influenza: high doses of hydrocortisone impairs immune response.
* Vaccine, live: high doses of hydrocortisone impairs immune response; avoid use of live vaccines.
* Warfarin: anticoagulant effect possibly enhanced or reduced (high-dose hydrocortisone enhances
anticoagulant effect).
References:
Hill SR, Kouimtzi M, Stuart MC, eds. WHO model formulary. Geneva, World Health Organization, 2008.
Paediatric Formulary Committee. British national formulary for children 2009. London, BMJ Group RBS Publishing, 2009.
Rossi S, ed. Australian medicines handbook. Adelaide, Australian Medicines Handbook, 2009.
WHO expert committee on the selection and use of essential medicines. The selection and use of essential medicines: report of
the WHO expert committee, October 2007 (including the model list of essential medicines for children). WHO Technical Report
Series, 2008, 950 (http://www.who.int/medicines/publications/essentialmeds_committeereports/TRS_950.pdf ).
32
WHO Model Formulary for Children 2010
3 Antiallergics and medicines used in anaphylaxis
Prednisolone
ATC code: H02AB06
Oral liquid: 5 mg/ml
Tablet: 5 mg; 25 mg
Special Notes: Prednisone should be considered equivalent to prednisolone.
This medicine is listed as a representative of its pharmacological class. Other medicines in the same
class may have similar clinical performance and may be selected for local formularies based on
availability and price. The information in this monograph only applies to the medicine listed here.
Indications: Short-term suppression of inflammation.
Contraindications: Untreated systemic infection; administration of live vaccines: usually not relevant
to emergency treatment.
Precautions: Most precautions do not apply for emergency or short-term use.
Increased severity of viral infections; recent myocardial infarction; congestive heart failure; renal
impairment; hepatic impairment; diabetes mellitus; osteoporosis; glaucoma; corneal perforation;
severe psychosis; epilepsy; psoriasis; peptic ulcer; hypothyroidism; history of steroid myopathy.
Dose:
Oral:
Infant or Child 1–2 mg/kg once daily (usual maximum 60 mg), reducing after a few days if
appropriate. Increased frequency may be required in certain clinical indications.
Renal impairment: Dose reduction not necessary.
Hepatic impairment: Adverse effects more common.
Adverse effects: Incidence of adverse effects is related to dose and duration of treatment. Short
courses of high-dose systemic treatment cause fewer adverse effects than prolonged courses of
lower doses.
Common Nausea, increased susceptibility to infection, masking of signs of infection, sodium and
water retention, oedema, hypertension, hypokalaemia, hyperglycaemia, increased appetite,
dyspepsia, delayed wound healing, bruising, acne, psychiatric effects (including euphoria,
hypomania, depression, disturbances of mood, cognition, sleep and behaviour).
Rare Peptic ulceration, posterior subcapsular cataracts, glaucoma, hypersensitivity reactions including
anaphylaxis, psychiatric effects (including delirium and psychosis).
Interactions with other medicines (* indicates severe):
Acetylsalicylic acid: increased risk of gastrointestinal bleeding and ulceration; prednisolone
reduces plasma salicylate concentration.
* Amphotericin B: increased risk of hypokalaemia.
* Carbamazepine: accelerated metabolism of prednisolone (reduced effect).
Ciclosporin: increased plasma concentration of prednisolone.
Contraceptives, oral: oral contraceptives containing estrogens increase plasma concentration of
prednisolone.
Digoxin: increased risk of hypokalaemia.
Enalapril: antagonism of hypotensive effect.
Erythromycin: erythromycin possibly inhibits metabolism of prednisolone.
Furosemide: antagonism of diuretic effect; increased risk of hypokalaemia.
Hydrochlorothiazide: antagonism of diuretic effect; increased risk of hypokalaemia.
Ibuprofen: increased risk of gastrointestinal bleeding and ulceration.
WHO Model Formulary for Children 2010
33
3
Antiallergics and medicines used in anaphylaxis
*
*
*
*
*
*
Insulins: antagonism of hypoglycaemic effect.
Methotrexate: increased risk of haematological toxicity.
Phenobarbital: metabolism of prednisolone accelerated (reduced effect).
Phenytoin: metabolism of prednisolone accelerated (reduced effect).
Propranolol: antagonism of hypotensive effect.
Rifampicin: accelerated metabolism of prednisolone (reduced effect).
Ritonavir: plasma concentration possibly increased by ritonavir.
Salbutamol: increased risk of hypokalaemia if high doses of salbutamol given with prednisolone.
Spironolactone: antagonism of diuretic effect.
Vaccine, influenza: high doses of prednisolone impair immune response.
Vaccine, live: high doses of prednisolone impair immune response; avoid use of live vaccines.
Warfarin: anticoagulant effect possibly enhanced or reduced (high-dose prednisolone enhances
anticoagulant effect).
Notes: Take the tablets or oral liquid with food to help reduce stomach upset.
References:
Hill SR, Kouimtzi M, Stuart MC, eds. WHO model formulary. Geneva, World Health Organization, 2008.
Klasco RK, ed. Drugdex system. Greenwood Village, Thomson Micromedex, 2010. (http://www.thomsonhc.com, accessed 10
February 2010).
Rossi S, ed. Australian medicines handbook. Adelaide, Australian Medicines Handbook, 2009.
WHO expert committee on the selection and use of essential medicines. The selection and use of essential medicines: report of
the WHO expert committee, October 2007 (including the model list of essential medicines for children). WHO Technical Report
Series, 2008, 950 (http://www.who.int/medicines/publications/essentialmeds_committeereports/TRS_950.pdf ).
34
WHO Model Formulary for Children 2010

SECTION 4:
Antidotes and other substances used in poisonings
4.1 Non-specific.................................................................................. 36
4.2 Specific......................................................................................... 38
WHO Model Formulary for Children 2010
35
4
Antidotes and other substances used in poisonings
4
Antidotes and other substances used in
poisonings
The following notes on treatment of poisoning are guidelines only. It is strongly recommended that
poisons information centres or other local sources of expertise be consulted in cases of suspected
poisoning.
A diagnosis of poisoning is based on history, including details of the poisoning agent, the amount
ingested, the time of ingestion, and the results of investigations when appropriate. Symptoms and
signs depend on the agent involved and therefore vary widely.
Check for burns in or around the mouth, or stridor (abnormal respiratory sounds suggesting
laryngeal damage), due to ingestion of corrosives. Admit all children who have ingested iron, pesticides,
paracetamol, aspirin, narcotics, antidepressant drugs, paraquat, lithium or warfarin; or who have
taken modified-release or prolonged-release dose forms. Children who have ingested corrosives or
petroleum products should not be sent home within 6 hours.
Supportive care
Few patients require active removal of the poison, and most are treated symptomatically with
supportive care and monitoring of vital signs.
Decontamination
Depending on the substance involved and circumstances of poisoning, decontamination of the skin
and eyes (with appropriate protection of staff and carers) should be undertaken. For inhaled poisons,
removal from the source of poisoning, administration of oxygen and further airway support may be
required.
Gastric decontamination
Gastric decontamination (removal of poisons from the stomach) is most effective within 1 hour of
ingestion; after this time it is usually of little benefit. Administration of activated charcoal to prevent
further absorption is the treatment of choice for gastric decontamination.
Gastric lavage is rarely required. Induction of emesis for treatment of poisoning is not recommended.
4.1 Non-specific
Charcoal, activated
ATC code: A07BA01
Powder
Indications: Reduction of absorption of poisons; active elimination of poisons.
Contraindications: Poisoning by hydrocarbons with high potential for harm if aspirated; poisoning
by corrosive substances (may prevent visualization of lesions caused by poison); unprotected
airway; gastrointestinal tract not intact; bowel obstruction.
Precautions: Drowsy or unconscious child (risk of aspiration (intubate before administration via
nasogastric or gastric tube)); not effective for poisoning with alcohols, clofenotane (dicophane,
dichlorodiphenyltrichloroethane (DDT)), cyanides, malathion, and metal salts including iron and
lithium.
36
WHO Model Formulary for Children 2010
4.1 Non-specific
Dose:
Reduction of absorption of poisons.
Oral:
Neonate, Infant or Child 1 g/kg (maximum 50 g) as a single dose as soon as possible after
ingestion of poison.
Active elimination of poisons.
Oral:
Neonate, Infant or Child 1 g/kg (maximum 50 g) every 4 hours.
Renal impairment: Not absorbed; no dose adjustment necessary.
Hepatic impairment: Not absorbed; no dose adjustment necessary.
Adverse effects: Common Black stools, colicky abdominal pain, nausea, vomiting, constipation or
diarrhoea.
Rare Bowel obstruction, aspiration, pneumonitis.
Interactions with other medicines (* indicates severe):
There are no known interactions involving a significant change in effect or where it is recommended
to avoid concomitant use.
Notes: Administer as soon as possible after ingestion if significant toxicity is anticipated, preferably
within 1 hour for greatest effect.
Administration after 1 hour is only of any potential benefit in selected poisonings. Refer to specialist
texts for advice.
The powder should be mixed with fluid such as soft drinks, fruit juice, fruit syrup or chocolate syrup
to mask the taste and form a drinkable solution. Mix well immediately prior to ingestion.
Do not mix with milk or ice cream.
Child must drink slowly to reduce risk of vomiting.
Palatability is improved by chilling.
Drinking may be easier if mixture is covered or the child drinks with their eyes closed.
Unconscious patients in whom decontamination is indicated require intubation to protect their
airway. Activated charcoal can be administered via an orogastric or nasogastric tube after aspiration
of stomach contents. This route may also be used in conscious patients who refuse, or cannot take,
oral charcoal.
Laxatives should not be used concurrently with repeat dose activated charcoal because of the risk of
fluid and electrolyte disturbances.
References:
American Academy of Clinical Toxicology; European Association of Poisons Centres and Clinical Toxicologists. Position
statement and practice guidelines on the use of multi-dose activated charcoal in the treatment of acute poisoning. Clinical
Toxicology, 1999, 37(6):731–751.
Hill SR, Kouimtzi M, Stuart MC, eds. WHO model formulary. Geneva, World Health Organization, 2008.
Hodding JH, Kraus DM, Taketomo CK. Pediatric dosage handbook. 16th ed. Hudson, Lexi-Comp, 2009.
Paediatric Formulary Committee. British national formulary for children 2009. London, BMJ Group RBS Publishing, 2009.
Rossi S, ed. Australian medicines handbook. Adelaide, Australian Medicines Handbook, 2009.
WHO Model Formulary for Children 2010
37
4
Antidotes and other substances used in poisonings
4.2 Specific
Acetylcysteine
ATC code: V03AB23
Injection: 200 mg/ml in 10 ml ampoule
Oral liquid: 10% and 20%
Indications: Paracetamol overdosage.
Contraindications: There are no contraindications to acetylcysteine when used for paracetamol
toxicity.
Precautions: Asthma (observe child carefully while slowly administering loading dose over 1–2 hours;
do not delay treatment).
Dose:
Paracetamol overdosage.
IV infusion:
Neonate, Infant or Child up to 5 years and body weight under 20 kg initially 150 mg/kg in
3 ml/kg glucose 5% and given over 15 minutes, followed by 50 mg/kg in 7 ml/kg glucose 5%
and given over 4 hours, then 100 mg/kg in 14 ml/kg glucose 5% and given over 16 hours.
over 5 years or body weight over 20 kg initially 150 mg/kg in 100 ml glucose 5% and given
over 15 minutes, followed by 50 mg/kg in 250 ml glucose 5% and given over 4 hours, then
100 mg/kg in 500 ml glucose 5% and given over 16 hours.
Note Continued infusion beyond 20 hours may be required in late presentations or repeated
supratherapeutic ingestions if there is evidence of liver toxicity. In such cases, continue the final infusion
rate until hepatic transaminases are falling.
Oral:
Neonate, Infant or Child initially 140 mg/kg, followed by 70 mg/kg every 4 hours for 17 doses,
starting 4 hours after loading dose.
Renal impairment: No dosage adjustment recommended.
Hepatic impairment: No dosage adjustment recommended.
Adverse effects: Common Flushing, urticaria, itch.
Uncommon Anaphylactoid reaction.
Interactions with other medicines (* indicates severe):
There are no known interactions involving a significant change in effect or where it is recommended
to avoid concomitant use.
Notes: For oral therapy, all doses should be given even if paracetamol plasma level has dropped below
toxic range.
Repeat oral dose if vomiting occurs within 1 hour of administration.
Emergency treatments such as antihistamines and H2-blockers should be readily available in case of
adverse effects.
Manufacturer also recommends other infusion fluids, but glucose 5% is preferable.
Hypersensitivity-like reactions may be managed by reducing infusion rate or suspending infusion
until reaction has settled; specialist advice may be needed.
Rash may be managed with an antihistamine, for example chlorphenamine.
Acute asthma may be managed with a short-acting beta2-agonist such as salbutamol.
38
WHO Model Formulary for Children 2010
4.2 Specific
References:
Hill SR, Kouimtzi M, Stuart MC, eds. WHO model formulary. Geneva, World Health Organization, 2008.
Hodding JH, Kraus DM, Taketomo CK. Pediatric dosage handbook. 16th ed. Hudson, Lexi-Comp, 2009.
Klasco RK, ed. Drugdex system. Greenwood Village, Thomson Micromedex, 2010. (http://www.thomsonhc.com, accessed 10
February 2010).
Paediatric Formulary Committee. British national formulary for children 2009. London, BMJ Group RBS Publishing, 2009.
Rossi S, ed. Australian medicines handbook. Adelaide, Australian Medicines Handbook, 2009.
WHO 17th expert committee on the selection and use of essential medicines. Unedited draft report of the 17th expert committee
on the selection and use of essential medicines. WHO Technical Report Series, 18 May 2009 (http://www.who.int/selection_
medicines/committees/expert/17/WEBuneditedTRS_2009.pdf ).
WHO expert committee on the selection and use of essential medicines. The selection and use of essential medicines: report of
the WHO expert committee, October 2007 (including the model list of essential medicines for children). WHO Technical Report
Series, 2008, 950 (http://www.who.int/medicines/publications/essentialmeds_committeereports/TRS_950.pdf ).
Atropine
ATC code: A03BA01
Injection: 1 mg (as sulfate) in 1 ml ampoule
Indications: Treatment of cholinergic effects associated with organophosphate or carbamate
poisoning.
Contraindications: There are no contraindications to use of atropine for treatment of
organophosphate or carbamate poisoning.
Precautions: Down syndrome; children; ulcerative colitis; diarrhoea; heart failure; closed-angle
glaucoma; myasthenia gravis; gastrointestinal disorders; hyperthyroidism; cardiac disorders;
tachycardia; hypertension; hypoxia; fever and in warm environments (monitor temperature and
keep patients cool); constipation; delirium.
Children Children are at increased risk for rapid rise in body temperature due to suppression of sweat gland
activity. Large doses may cause paradoxical hyperexcitability.
Down syndrome Down syndrome children have both increased sensitivity to cardiac effects and mydriasis.
Children with Down syndrome also have more secretions and may require atropine more frequently.
Dose:
Organophosphate or carbamate poisoning.
IM or IV:
Infant or Child 20 micrograms/kg (maximum dose 2 mg) every 5–10 minutes (depending on the
severity of poisoning) until the skin becomes flushed and dry, the pupils dilate and tachycardia
develops.
Dose may be repeated every 1–4 hours for at least 24 hours to maintain atropine effect.
Renal impairment: Use with caution. No dosage adjustment necessary.
Hepatic impairment: Use with caution. No dosage adjustment necessary.
Adverse effects: Common Dry mouth, blurred vision, photophobia, flushing and dryness of skin,
rash, difficulty in micturition, constipation, arrhythmias, tachycardia, palpitations, fever.
Uncommon Nausea, vomiting, confusion.
Rare Closed-angle glaucoma, seizures.
Interactions with other medicines (* indicates severe):
Note Many drugs have antimuscarinic effects; concomitant use of two or more such drugs can increase adverse
effects such as dry mouth, urine retention and constipation.
Please consider in the context of poisoning treatment whether interactions are clinically relevant.
WHO Model Formulary for Children 2010
39
4
Antidotes and other substances used in poisonings
Amitriptyline: increased antimuscarinic adverse effects.
Chlorphenamine: increased antimuscarinic adverse effects.
Chlorpromazine: increased antimuscarinic adverse effects (but reduced plasma chlorpromazine
concentration).
Haloperidol: possibly reduced effects of haloperidol.
Metoclopramide: antagonism of effects of metoclopramide on gastrointestinal activity.
Neostigmine: antagonism of effects of neostigmine. Late unopposed bradycardia may result.
Pyridostigmine: antagonism of effects of pyridostigmine.
Notes: Administer undiluted via rapid intravenous injection as slow injection may result in
paradoxical bradycardia.
References:
Hill SR, Kouimtzi M, Stuart MC, eds. WHO model formulary. Geneva, World Health Organization, 2008.
Hodding JH, Kraus DM, Taketomo CK. Pediatric dosage handbook. 16th ed. Hudson, Lexi-Comp, 2009.
Klasco RK, ed. Drugdex system. Greenwood Village, Thomson Micromedex, 2010. (http://www.thomsonhc.com, accessed 10
February 2010).
Paediatric Formulary Committee. British national formulary for children 2009. London, BMJ Group RBS Publishing, 2009.
Rossi S, ed. Australian medicines handbook. Adelaide, Australian Medicines Handbook, 2009.
Calcium gluconate
ATC code: A12AA03
Injection: 100 mg/ml in 10 ml ampoule
Indications: Magnesium toxicity; severe hyperkalaemia not due to digoxin toxicity; acute
hypocalcaemia (including hypocalcaemia caused by ethylene glycol toxicity, hydrofluoric
acid ingestion and oxalate poisoning); calcium channel blocker toxicity; topical treatment of
hydrofluoric acid burns.
Contraindications: There are no contraindications to the use of calcium gluconate for treatment of
toxicity or poisoning.
Precautions: Conditions associated with hypercalcaemia and hypercalciuria; digoxin therapy; renal
impairment.
Dose:
Urgent correction of acute hypocalcaemia, hyperkalaemia or hypermagnesaemia; calcium channel
blocker toxicity.
IV:
Neonate, Infant or Child 50 mg/kg as a single dose. Maximum dose 200 mg (20 ml). Repeat
dose after 10 minutes if necessary. If effective, consider intravenous infusion.
Maintenance correction of acute hypocalcaemia, hyperkalaemia or hypermagnesaemia;
maintenance treatment of calcium channel blocker toxicity.
Continuous IV infusion:
Neonate 200 mg/kg daily over 24 hours, adjusted to response.
Infant or Child under 2 years 500 mg/kg daily (usual maximum 4 g) over 24 hours.
Child over 2 years 4 g over 24 hours.
Hydrofluoric acid burns.
Topical:
Child all ages apply 2.5% calcium gluconate gel to the affected area for at least 30 minutes,
usually longer.
Note To extemporaneously prepare 2.5% calcium gluconate gel, combine 2.5 ml (250 mg) of injection
solution in 100 ml of water soluble lubricant, such as K-Y Jelly®.
40
WHO Model Formulary for Children 2010
4.2 Specific
Renal impairment: Moderate to severe impairment: may require dosage adjustment depending on
calcium level. Risk of hypercalcaemia and renal calculi.
Hepatic impairment: No dosage adjustment necessary.
Adverse effects: Common Gastrointestinal disturbances, constipation, injection site reactions, fall in
blood pressure.
Uncommon Bradycardia, arrhythmia, peripheral vasodilation.
Rare Renal calculi, severe tissue damage with extravasation.
Interactions with other medicines (* indicates severe):
Please consider in the context of poisoning treatment whether interactions are clinically relevant.
Ciprofloxacin: reduced absorption of ciprofloxacin.
Digoxin: large intravenous doses of calcium salts can precipitate arrhythmias.
Hydrochlorothiazide: increased risk of hypercalcaemia.
Levothyroxine: reduced absorption of levothyroxine.
Ofloxacin: reduced absorption of ofloxacin.
Notes: For intravenous infusion, dilute to 20 mg/ml with glucose 5% or sodium chloride 0.9%.
Maximum administration rate is 20 mg/kg/hour (or 10 mg/kg/hour in neonates).
For intravenous injection, administer via slow intravenous injection over 5–10 minutes.
Avoid extravasation; should not be given by intramuscular or subcutaneous injection.
Continuous ECG monitoring is recommended during intravenous calcium administration.
Significant hydrofluoric acid poisoning (> 3% of body surface area) may result in marked systemic
hypocalcaemia requiring intravenous therapy.
References:
Brent J et al. Critical care toxicology. Philadelphia, Elsevier Mosby, 2005.
Dart R, ed. Medical toxicology. 3rd ed. Philadelphia, Lippincott Williams & Wilkins, 2004.
Hill SR, Kouimtzi M, Stuart MC, eds. WHO model formulary. Geneva, World Health Organization, 2008.
Hodding JH, Kraus DM, Taketomo CK. Pediatric dosage handbook. 16th ed. Hudson, Lexi-Comp, 2009.
Klasco RK, ed. Drugdex system. Greenwood Village, Thomson Micromedex, 2010. (http://www.thomsonhc.com, accessed 10
February 2010).
Paediatric Formulary Committee. British national formulary for children 2009. London, BMJ Group RBS Publishing, 2009.
Rossi S, ed. Australian medicines handbook. Adelaide, Australian Medicines Handbook, 2009.
Deferoxamine
ATC code: V03AC01
Powder for injection: 500 mg (as mesilate) in vial
Special Notes: Also referred to as desferrioxamine.
Indications: Acute iron poisoning; chronic iron overload.
Precautions: Renal impairment; eye and ear examinations before and at 3 month intervals during
treatment are necessary to assess toxicity; aluminium encephalopathy (may exacerbate neurological
dysfunction); for all children monitor body weight and height at 3 month intervals (risk of growth
restriction with excessive doses).
WHO Model Formulary for Children 2010
41
4
Antidotes and other substances used in poisonings
Dose:
Acute iron poisoning.
Slow IV infusion:
Neonate, Infant or Child initially 15 mg/kg/hour, reduced after 4–6 hours so that total dose does
not exceed 80 mg/kg in 24 hours. Maximum dose 6 g/day.
IM:
50 mg/kg/dose every 6 hours. Maximum dose 6 g/day.
The preferred route of administration is IV.
Note It is uncommon to require more than 24 hours therapy for acute iron overdose. Therapeutic endpoints to cease infusion are poorly defined but may be indicated by clinically stable patient and serum iron
< 60 micromol/l.
Chronic iron overload.
SC or IV infusion:
Infant or Child initially up to 30 mg/kg over 8–12 hours, on 3–7 days per week. For established
iron overload the dose is usually between 20 and 50 mg/kg daily. The dose should reflect the
degree of iron overload. Use the lowest effective dose.
Diagnosis of iron overload.
IM:
Child 500 mg.
Renal impairment: Metal complexes excreted by kidneys (in severe renal impairment dialysis
increases rate of elimination).
Hepatic impairment: No dosage adjustment necessary.
Adverse effects: Common Injection site reactions including redness, pain, swelling, rashes and itch,
hypotension (especially when given too rapidly by intravenous injection), fever, arthralgia, myalgia,
rash, anaphylactoid reactions.
Chronic use Growth retardation, bone deformities (both with high doses).
Uncommon Renal failure, non-cardiogenic pulmonary oedema, disturbances of hearing and vision
(including lens opacity and retinopathy).
Chronic use Neurosensory deafness.
Rare Anaphylaxis, acute respiratory distress syndrome, neurological disturbances.
Chronic use Bone marrow depression, ocular toxicity, mucormycosis and other unusual infections.
Interactions with other medicines (* indicates severe):
There are no known significant interactions where it is recommended to avoid concomitant use.
Notes: For intravenous or subcutaneous infusion, reconstitute powder with water for injection to a
concentration of 100 mg/ml. Dilute with glucose 5% or sodium chloride 0.9%.
For intramuscular or subcutaneous administration, reconstitute powder with water for injection to a
concentration of 100 mg/ml. No further dilution required.
For all children, monitor body weight and height at 3 month intervals (risk of growth restriction
with excessive doses).
Iron excretion induced by deferoxamine is enhanced by ascorbic acid and ascorbic acid is sometimes
prescribed for this purpose.
References:
Dart R, ed. Medical toxicology. 3rd ed. Philadelphia, Lippincott Williams & Wilkins, 2004.
Hill SR, Kouimtzi M, Stuart MC, eds. WHO model formulary. Geneva, World Health Organization, 2008.
Hodding JH, Kraus DM, Taketomo CK. Pediatric dosage handbook. 16th ed. Hudson, Lexi-Comp, 2009.
Klasco RK, ed. Drugdex system. Greenwood Village, Thomson Micromedex, 2010. (http://www.thomsonhc.com, accessed 10
February 2010).
Paediatric Formulary Committee. British national formulary for children 2009. London, BMJ Group RBS Publishing, 2009.
Rossi S, ed. Australian medicines handbook. Adelaide, Australian Medicines Handbook, 2009.
42
WHO Model Formulary for Children 2010
4.2 Specific
Dimercaprol
ATC code: V03AB09
Injection in oil: 50 mg/ml in 2 ml ampoule
Indications: Acute heavy metal poisoning by antimony, arsenic, bismuth, gold, mercury, possibly
thallium; adjunct (with sodium calcium edetate) in lead poisoning.
Contraindications: Not indicated for iron, selenium or cadmium poisoning; severe hepatic
impairment (unless due to arsenic poisoning).
Precautions: Hypertension; renal impairment; any abnormal reaction such as hyperpyrexia should be
assessed; peanut allergy (peanut oil in injection); G6PD deficiency.
Dose:
Heavy metal poisoning.
IM:
Infant or Child 2.5–3 mg/kg every 4 hours for 2 days, 2–4 times on the third day, then 1–2
times daily for 10 days or until recovery.
Renal impairment: Discontinue or use with extreme caution if impairment develops during
treatment. Haemodialysis may be required to remove the chelate in renal failure. Urinary
alkalinization prior to commencing treatment may reduce nephrotoxicity caused by dissociation of
dimercaprol-metal complexes in acid urine.
Hepatic impairment: Severe: avoid use (unless arsenic poisoning).
Adverse effects: Common Hypertension, fever, tachycardia, malaise, nausea, vomiting, abdominal
pain, salivation, lacrimation, sweating, burning sensation in the mouth, throat and eyes, injection
site pain, headache, muscle spasms, tingling of the extremities, feeling of constriction in throat and
chest.
Uncommon Abscess at injection site.
Interactions with other medicines (* indicates severe):
* Ferrous salts: avoid concomitant use.
Notes: Administer undiluted via deep intramuscular injection.
References:
Dart R, ed. Medical toxicology. 3rd ed. Philadelphia, Lippincott Williams & Wilkins, 2004.
Hodding JH, Kraus DM, Taketomo CK. Pediatric dosage handbook. 16th ed. Hudson, Lexi-Comp, 2009.
Klasco RK, ed. Drugdex system. Greenwood Village, Thomson Micromedex, 2010. (http://www.thomsonhc.com, accessed 10
February 2010).
Paediatric Formulary Committee. British national formulary for children 2009. London, BMJ Group RBS Publishing, 2009.
WHO expert committee on the selection and use of essential medicines. The selection and use of essential medicines: report of
the WHO expert committee, October 2007 (including the model list of essential medicines for children). WHO Technical Report
Series, 2008, 950 (http://www.who.int/medicines/publications/essentialmeds_committeereports/TRS_950.pdf ).
Naloxone
ATC code: V03AB15
Injection: 400 micrograms/ml (hydrochloride) in 1 ml ampoule
Indications: Opioid overdosage.
Contraindications: There are no contraindications to use of naloxone for treatment of opioid toxicity.
Precautions: Physical dependence on opioids or other situations where acute withdrawal syndrome
may be precipitated; cardiovascular disease; postoperative patients (may reverse analgesia and
increase blood pressure).
WHO Model Formulary for Children 2010
43
4
Antidotes and other substances used in poisonings
Dose:
Opioid overdosage.
IV:
Neonate, Infant or Child 10 micrograms/kg; if no response give subsequent dose of
100 micrograms/kg. Review diagnosis if respiratory function does not improve. Further doses
may be required if respiratory function deteriorates.
Note Naloxone hydrochloride may be administered in the same doses by intramuscular or subcutaneous
injection, but only if the intravenous route is not feasible (slower onset of action).
Continuous IV infusion using an infusion pump:
Neonate, Infant or Child 5–20 micrograms/kg/hour, adjusted according to response.
Renal impairment: Excretion of some opioids and/or their active metabolites (codeine,
dextropropoxyphene, dihydrocodeine, morphine, pethidine, oxycodone) is delayed in impairment
and they will accumulate; extended treatment with naloxone infusion may be required to reverse
opioid effect.
Hepatic impairment: No dose adjustment necessary.
Adverse effects: Common Nausea, vomiting, sweating.
Uncommon Tachycardia, ventricular arrhythmias.
Rare Cardiac arrest.
Interactions with other medicines (* indicates severe):
There are no known interactions where it is advised to avoid concomitant use.
Notes: For continuous intravenous infusion, dilute to a concentration of 4 micrograms/ml with
glucose 5% or sodium chloride 0.9%.
For intravenous bolus, administer over 30 seconds as undiluted preparation.
Intravenous dose may be repeated every 2–3 minutes until response.
After initial response, intravenous dose may need to be repeated every 20–60 minutes due to short
duration of action.
Do not give naloxone to neonates of mothers who have been taking methadone or heroin.
References:
Hill SR, Kouimtzi M, Stuart MC, eds. WHO model formulary. Geneva, World Health Organization, 2008.
Hodding JH, Kraus DM, Taketomo CK. Pediatric dosage handbook. 16th ed. Hudson, Lexi-Comp, 2009.
Paediatric Formulary Committee. British national formulary for children 2009. London, BMJ Group RBS Publishing, 2009.
Rossi S, ed. Australian medicines handbook. Adelaide, Australian Medicines Handbook, 2009.
Penicillamine
ATC code: M01CC01
Solid oral dosage form: 250 mg
Penicillamine has been associated with fatalities due to agranulocytosis, aplastic anaemia,
thrombocytopenia, Goodpasture syndrome and myasthenia gravis. Discontinue therapy if white
blood cell count < 3.5 x 109/L. Temporarily discontinue treatment if the platelet count < 100 x
109/L. Patients and carers should be warned to promptly report any symptoms suggesting toxicity.
Special Notes: Also referred to as D-penicillamine.
Consider use of other metal chelators with better side-effect profile, including sodium calcium
edetate and 2,3-dimercaptosuccinic acid if available.
Indications: Heavy metal poisoning, particularly lead and copper.
44
WHO Model Formulary for Children 2010
4.2 Specific
Contraindications: Hypersensitivity; lupus erythematosus; pregnancy.
Precautions: Monitor blood counts and urine tests throughout treatment; concomitant nephrotoxic
drugs; renal impairment; avoid concurrent gold, chloroquine or immunosuppressive treatment;
avoid oral iron within 2 hours of a dose; penicillin hypersensitivity (risk of cross-reactivity).
Patient advice Warn patient or carer to tell doctor immediately if sore throat, fever, infection, non-specific
illness, unexplained bleeding and bruising, purpura, mouth ulcers or rash develop.
Dose:
Heavy metal poisoning, particularly lead and copper.
Oral:
Child all ages 7.5 mg/kg 3–4 times daily.
Duration of therapy depends on pretreatment blood levels and may vary from 4–12 weeks.
Renal impairment: Mild impairment: reduce dose and monitor renal function or avoid.
Moderate to severe impairment: avoid.
Hepatic impairment: No dosage adjustment necessary.
Adverse effects: Common Rash, anorexia, nausea, vomiting, taste disturbance.
Uncommon Mouth ulcers, fever, allergy, itching, urticaria, proteinuria.
Rare Haematuria, thrombocytopenia, leukopenia, agranulocytosis, aplastic anaemia, haemolytic
anaemia, nephrotic syndrome, lupus erythematosus, Goodpasture syndrome, myasthenia gravis,
polymyositis, breast enlargement, hepatic dysfunction, alopecia, pemphigus, dermatomyositis,
Stevens-Johnson syndrome.
Interactions with other medicines (* indicates severe):
Antacids (aluminium hydroxide; magnesium hydroxide): reduced absorption of penicillamine.
Digoxin: plasma concentration of digoxin possibly reduced.
Ferrous salts: oral ferrous salts reduce absorption of penicillamine.
Ibuprofen: possible increased risk of nephrotoxicity.
Isoniazid: penicillamine potentiates isoniazid.
Zinc sulfate: absorption of penicillamine and zinc sulfate reduced.
Notes: Give on an empty stomach, at least 1 hour before meals or 2 hours after. Separate from milk,
food or other drugs by at least 1 hour.
For lead poisoning, continue treatment until urinary lead stabilized at less than 500 micrograms/day.
Adverse effects may be minimized by starting with a small dose and gradually increasing while
monitoring for adverse effects.
Monitoring is strongly recommended.
Measure urine and blood concentration of the intoxicating metal weekly.
Perform complete blood count and urinalysis twice weekly for the first month, then every 2 weeks for
6 months and monthly thereafter.
Monitor liver function every 6 months.
Monitor patient’s skin, lymph nodes and body temperature.
References:
Dart R, ed. Medical toxicology. 3rd ed. Philadelphia, Lippincott Williams & Wilkins, 2004.
Hill SR, Kouimtzi M, Stuart MC, eds. WHO model formulary. Geneva, World Health Organization, 2008.
Hodding JH, Kraus DM, Taketomo CK. Pediatric dosage handbook. 16th ed. Hudson, Lexi-Comp, 2009.
MIMS Online. Sydney, UBM Medica, 2009 (http://www.mimsonline.com.au/Search/Search.aspx, accessed 10 February 2010).
Rossi S, ed. Australian medicines handbook. Adelaide, Australian Medicines Handbook, 2009.
WHO expert committee on the selection and use of essential medicines. The selection and use of essential medicines: report of
the WHO expert committee, October 2007 (including the model list of essential medicines for children). WHO Technical Report
Series, 2008, 950 (http://www.who.int/medicines/publications/essentialmeds_committeereports/TRS_950.pdf ).
WHO Model Formulary for Children 2010
45
4
Antidotes and other substances used in poisonings
Sodium calcium edetate
ATC code: V03AB03
Injection: 200 mg/ml in 5 ml ampoule
Patients with lead encephalopathy and cerebral oedema may experience a lethal increase in
intracranial pressure following intravenous infusion; the intramuscular route is preferred for
these patients. In cases where the intravenous route is necessary, avoid rapid infusion.
Special Notes: Also referred to as calcium disodium edetate, calcium disodium versenate,
ethylenediaminetetraacetic acid, calcium disodium ethylenediaminetetraacetic acid, calcium
disodium edathamil, calcium EDTA, calcium disodium EDTA and edetate calcium disodium.
Usually given in conjunction with dimercaprol for lead poisoning.
To avoid potentially serious errors, the abbreviation EDTA should never be used.
Consider use of oral succimer (2,3-dimercaptosuccinic acid) if available in asymptomatic or
minimally symptomatic patients due to better safety profile.
Indications: Heavy metal poisoning, particularly lead; lead encephalopathy.
Contraindications: Anuria; active renal disease; hepatitis.
Precautions: Renal impairment; establish urine flow before treatment.
Dose:
Heavy metal poisoning, particularly lead, without encephalopathy.
Continuous IV infusion:
Child all ages 20–30 mg/kg per day for up to 5 days.
OR
Deep IM:
Child all ages 20–30 mg/kg per day in 2–3 divided doses every 8–12 hours for up to 5 days.
Note Depending on blood lead level, additional courses may be necessary. A second course can be given
with a 48 hour interval between the first and second courses, and a third course can be given with a 48 hour
interval after the second course.
Specialist texts should be consulted for further information on heavy metal poisoning other than lead.
Lead encephalopathy.
Continuous IV infusion:
Child all ages 30 mg/kg per day for 5 days.
OR
If evidence of cerebral oedema or increased intracranial pressure, intramuscular administration
is recommended.
Deep IM:
Child all ages 30 mg/kg per day in 2–3 divided doses every 8–12 hours for 5 days.
Note Depending on blood lead level, additional courses may be necessary. A second course can be given
with a 48 hour interval between the first and second courses, and a third course can be given with a 48 hour
interval after the second course.
Renal impairment: Reduce dose in all degrees of renal impairment. Use with extreme caution.
Hepatic impairment: No dosage reduction necessary.
Adverse effects: Common Sneezing, nasal congestion, numbness, tingling, nausea, diarrhoea,
abdominal cramps, fever, malaise, headache, myalgia, thirst, chills.
Uncommon Renal tubular necrosis, pain at injection site, thrombophlebitis (if given too rapidly or as
too concentrated a solution), lacrimation, transient hypotension.
Rare Mucocutaneous (mucous membrane) lesions.
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WHO Model Formulary for Children 2010
4.2 Specific
Interactions with other medicines (* indicates severe):
Zinc insulin: interferes with zinc insulin by chelating zinc.
Steroids: enhanced renal toxicity.
Notes: For intravenous infusion, dilute to a concentration not more than 30 mg/ml with glucose 5%
or sodium chloride 0.9%; give over at least 1 hour.
Dimercaprol concomitant therapy recommended in symptomatic lead poisoning.
Blood lead levels will determine if subsequent courses are required.
References:
Dart R, ed. Medical toxicology. 3rd ed. Philadelphia, Lippincott Williams & Wilkins, 2004.
Hill SR, Kouimtzi M, Stuart MC, eds. WHO model formulary. Geneva, World Health Organization, 2008.
Hodding JH, Kraus DM, Taketomo CK. Pediatric dosage handbook. 16th ed. Hudson, Lexi-Comp, 2009.
MIMS Online. Sydney, UBM Medica, 2009 (http://www.mimsonline.com.au/Search/Search.aspx, accessed 10 February 2010).
Sweetman SC, ed. Martindale: the complete drug reference. 34th ed. London, Pharmaceutical Press, 2005.
WHO Model Formulary for Children 2010
47

SECTION 5:
Anticonvulsants/antiepileptics
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WHO Model Formulary for Children 2010
5 Anticonvulsants/antiepileptics
5
Anticonvulsants/antiepileptics
Guiding principles for drug treatment of epilepsy in children
The aim of drug treatment for epilepsy is to prevent the recurrence of seizures. Treatment of epilepsy
in children should also include counselling of the patient and family, treatment of underlying causes
where possible, avoidance of precipitating factors, and safety education.
Guiding principles for drug treatment include the following:
• Start with a low dose and increase gradually until seizures are controlled, the maximum dose is
reached or there are significant side-effects.
• Aim for single drug therapy (approximately 70% of children will achieve seizure control on a
single drug).
• Monitor plasma drug concentrations in some situations.
• Use combination therapy when single drug therapy has failed to control seizures.
• Avoid sudden cessation of medication, since this can precipitate uncontrolled seizures. If a drug
fails to control seizures, it should be gradually substituted with another, and the first drug should
be withdrawn only when the new regimen is mainly established.
Interactions
Anticonvulsant medication interactions are complex. It is important to check for potential interactions
when making any changes to the medication schedule of a child on anticonvulsants.
Carbamazepine
ATC code: N03AF01
Oral liquid: 20 mg/ml
Tablet (chewable): 100 mg; 200 mg
Tablet (scored): 100 mg; 200 mg
The US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has issued a warning that all patients who are
taking, or starting, any antiepileptic should be monitored for changes in behaviour that could
indicate the emergence, or worsening, of suicidal thoughts or behaviour or depression.
Rare but potentially fatal blood cell abnormalities (aplastic anaemia and agranulocytosis) have
been reported in association with carbamazepine treatment. These mostly occur in the first
3–4 months of treatment.
Stevens-Johnson syndrome and toxic epidermal necrolysis may occur.
Patients and/or carers should be told how to recognize possible blood disorders and severe skin
conditions, and to seek medical attention should they occur.
Special Notes: May be referred to as CBZ.
Indications: Generalized tonic-clonic and partial seizures.
Contraindications: Atrioventricular conduction abnormalities; history of bone marrow depression;
porphyria.
Precautions: Hepatic impairment; renal impairment; cardiac disease; skin reactions (see Adverse
effects); history of blood disorders (monitor blood counts before and during treatment); glaucoma;
avoid sudden withdrawal.
WHO Model Formulary for Children 2010
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5
Anticonvulsants/antiepileptics
Dose:
Generalized tonic-clonic and partial seizures.
Oral:
Infant or Child initially 5 mg/kg at night or 2.5 mg/kg twice daily, increased by 2.5–5 mg/kg
every 3–7 days if necessary; usual maintenance dose 5 mg/kg 2–3 times daily (up to 20 mg/kg
daily may be needed).
Renal impairment: Use with caution.
Severe impairment: administer 75% of dose and monitor serum levels.
Hepatic impairment: Metabolism impaired in advanced liver disease.
Adverse effects: Common Drowsiness, ataxia, dizziness, blurred vision, diplopia, headache (all dose
related), rash, dry mouth, abdominal pain, nausea, vomiting, anorexia, diarrhoea, constipation,
asymptomatic hyponatraemia, leukopenia, thrombocytopenia, increased liver enzymes (usually not
clinically significant).
Rare Severe skin reactions (see below), systemic lupus erythematosus, agranulocytosis, aplastic
anaemia, cholestatic jaundice, multi-organ hypersensitivity syndrome (including fever,
lymphadenopathy, haematological abnormalities, hepatitis), psychosis, arrhythmia, orofacial
dyskinesia, hepatitis, gynaecomastia, galactorrhoea, aggression, jaundice, osteomalacia, confusion,
arthralgia.
Severe skin reactions Include exfoliative dermatitis, Stevens-Johnson syndrome and toxic epidermal
necrolysis; may also occur as part of multi-organ hypersensitivity syndrome. Serious reactions mostly occur within
the first few months of treatment and are more common in those with the HLA-B*1502 allele, which occurs
predominantly in people of Han Chinese or Thai ancestry.
Interactions with other medicines (* indicates severe):
* Amitriptyline: antagonism of anticonvulsant effect (seizure threshold lowered); accelerated
metabolism of amitriptyline (reduced plasma concentration; reduced antidepressant effect).
Chloroquine: possibly increased risk of seizures.
* Chlorpromazine: antagonism of anticonvulsant effect (seizure threshold lowered).
Ciclosporin: accelerated metabolism of ciclosporin (reduced plasma ciclosporin concentration).
* Dexamethasone: accelerated metabolism of dexamethasone (reduced effect).
Doxycycline: accelerated metabolism of doxycycline (reduced effect).
* Erythromycin: increased plasma carbamazepine concentration.
Ethosuximide: may be enhanced toxicity without corresponding increase in anticonvulsant effect;
plasma concentration of ethosuximide possibly reduced.
Fluoxetine: plasma concentration of carbamazepine increased.
Furosemide: increased risk of hyponatraemia.
* Haloperidol: antagonism of anticonvulsant effect (seizure threshold lowered); metabolism of
haloperidol accelerated (reduced plasma concentration).
Hydrochlorothiazide: increased risk of hyponatraemia.
* Hydrocortisone: accelerated metabolism of hydrocortisone (reduced effect).
* Isoniazid: increased plasma carbamazepine concentration (also isoniazid hepatotoxicity possibly
increased).
Levothyroxine: accelerated metabolism of levothyroxine (may increase levothyroxine requirements
in hypothyroidism).
* Lopinavir: possibly reduced plasma lopinavir concentration.
Mebendazole: reduced plasma mebendazole concentration (possibly increase mebendazole dose
for tissue infection).
50
WHO Model Formulary for Children 2010
5 Anticonvulsants/antiepileptics
* Mefloquine: antagonism of anticonvulsant effect.
Miconazole: plasma concentration of carbamazepine possibly increased.
Phenobarbital: may be enhanced toxicity without corresponding increase in anticonvulsant effect;
reduced plasma concentration of carbamazepine. Incidence of serious side-effects such as StevensJohnson syndrome may increase when used in combination.
* Phenytoin: may be enhanced toxicity without corresponding increase in anticonvulsant effect;
plasma concentration of phenytoin often lowered but may be raised; plasma concentration of
carbamazepine often lowered. Incidence of serious side-effects such as Stevens-Johnson syndrome
may increase when used in combination.
Praziquantel: plasma praziquantel concentration reduced.
* Prednisolone: accelerated metabolism of prednisolone (reduced effect).
* Ritonavir: plasma concentration possibly increased by ritonavir.
Saquinavir: possibly reduced plasma saquinavir concentration.
Spironolactone: increased risk of hyponatraemia.
Valproic acid: may be enhanced toxicity without corresponding increase in anticonvulsant effect;
reduced plasma concentration of valproic acid; plasma concentration of active metabolite of
carbamazepine increased.
Vecuronium: antagonism of muscle relaxant effect (recovery from neuromuscular blockade
accelerated).
* Warfarin: accelerated metabolism of warfarin (reduced anticoagulant effect).
Notes: Therapeutic drug monitoring (TDM) is available for carbamazepine but routine monitoring
is not required for the majority of patients.
Plasma concentration for optimum response 4–12 mg/litre (17–50 micromol/litre).
References:
eTG complete. Melbourne, Therapeutic Guidelines Limited, 2009 (http://etg.tg.org.au/ip/, accessed 10 February 2010).
Hill SR, Kouimtzi M, Stuart MC, eds. WHO model formulary. Geneva, World Health Organization, 2008.
Hodding JH, Kraus DM, Taketomo CK. Pediatric dosage handbook. 16th ed. Hudson, Lexi-Comp, 2009.
Klasco RK, ed. Drugdex system. Greenwood Village, Thomson Micromedex, 2010. (http://www.thomsonhc.com, accessed 10
February 2010).
Paediatric Formulary Committee. British national formulary for children 2009. London, BMJ Group RBS Publishing, 2009.
Rossi S, ed. Australian medicines handbook. Adelaide, Australian Medicines Handbook, 2009.
Diazepam
ATC code: N05BA01
Rectal solution or gel: 5 mg/ml in 0.5 ml; 2 ml and 4 ml tubes.
Special Notes: Drug subject to international control under the Convention on Psychotropic
Substances (1971).
Indications: Status epilepticus; emergency management of recurrent seizures.
Contraindications: CNS depression or coma; shock; respiratory depression; acute pulmonary
insufficiency; sleep apnoea; severe hepatic impairment; marked neuromuscular respiratory
weakness including unstable myasthenia gravis.
Precautions: Respiratory disease; muscle weakness and myasthenia gravis; marked personality
disorder; hepatic impairment; renal impairment; close observation required until full recovery after
sedation; porphyria; neonates and infants.
Skilled tasks Warn patient or carer about the risk of undertaking tasks requiring attention or coordination,
for example riding a bike or operating machinery, for 24 hours.
WHO Model Formulary for Children 2010
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5
Anticonvulsants/antiepileptics
Dose:
Status epilepticus, emergency management of recurrent seizures.
Rectal:
Neonate 1.25–2.5 mg repeated once after 10 minutes if necessary.
Infant or Child less than 2 years 5 mg repeated once after 10 minutes if necessary;
greater than 2 years 10 mg repeated once after 10 minutes if necessary.
Note Repeat doses should only be administered under medical supervision.
Renal impairment: Severe impairment: consider dose reduction; increased cerebral sensitivity.
Hepatic impairment: Reduce dose as may precipitate coma.
Severe impairment: avoid use.
Adverse effects: Common Drowsiness, sedation, confusion, amnesia, muscle weakness, ataxia, slurred
speech.
Uncommon Respiratory depression especially with repeat doses, hypotension, paradoxical insomnia,
excitability, hallucinations, aggression, injection pain, thrombophlebitis.
Rare Blood dyscrasias including neutropenia, agranulocytosis, anaemia, leukopenia and
thrombocytopenia.
Interactions with other medicines (* indicates severe):
*
Amitriptyline: enhanced sedative effect.
Chlorphenamine: enhanced sedative effect.
Chlorpromazine: enhanced sedative effect.
Codeine: enhanced sedative effect.
Enalapril: enhanced hypotensive effect.
Furosemide: enhanced hypotensive effect.
Haloperidol: enhanced sedative effect.
Halothane: enhanced sedative effect.
Isoniazid: metabolism of diazepam inhibited.
Ketamine: enhanced sedative effect.
Morphine: enhanced sedative effect.
Nitrous oxide: enhanced sedative effect.
Phenytoin: plasma phenytoin concentrations possibly increased or decreased by diazepam.
Rifampicin: metabolism of diazepam accelerated (reduced plasma concentration).
Ritonavir: plasma concentration possibly increased by ritonavir (risk of extreme sedation and
respiratory depression; avoid concomitant use).
Spironolactone: enhanced hypotensive effect.
Thiopental: enhanced sedative effect.
References:
eTG complete. Melbourne, Therapeutic Guidelines Limited, 2009 (http://etg.tg.org.au/ip/, accessed 10 February 2010).
Hill SR, Kouimtzi M, Stuart MC, eds. WHO model formulary. Geneva, World Health Organization, 2008.
Hodding JH, Kraus DM, Taketomo CK. Pediatric dosage handbook. 16th ed. Hudson, Lexi-Comp, 2009.
Paediatric Formulary Committee. British national formulary for children 2009. London, BMJ Group RBS Publishing, 2009.
52
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5 Anticonvulsants/antiepileptics
Lorazepam
ATC code: N05BA06
Parenteral formulation: 2 mg/ml in 1 ml ampoule; 4 mg/ml in 1 ml ampoule
Special Notes: This medicine is listed as a representative of its pharmacological class. Other
medicines in the same class may have similar clinical performance and may be selected for local
formularies based on availability and price. The information in this monograph only applies to the
medicine listed here.
Indications: Status epilepticus.
Contraindications: CNS depression or coma; shock; respiratory depression; acute pulmonary
insufficiency; sleep apnoea; severe hepatic impairment; marked neuromuscular respiratory
weakness including unstable myasthenia gravis.
Precautions: Respiratory disease; muscle weakness and myasthenia gravis; marked personality
disorder; hepatic impairment; renal impairment; close observation required until full recovery after
sedation; porphyria; neonates and infants.
Skilled tasks Warn patient or carer about the risk of undertaking tasks requiring attention or coordination,
for example riding a bike or operating machinery, for 24 hours.
Dose:
Status epilepticus.
Slow IV injection:
Neonate, Infant or Child 50–100 micrograms/kg (maximum 4 mg) as a single dose, repeated
once after 10 minutes if necessary.
Renal impairment: Increased sensitivity to CNS effects in renal impairment; use a lower initial dose
in severe impairment.
Hepatic impairment: Contraindicated in severe hepatic impairment, particularly when hepatic
encephalopathy is present.
In mild to moderate impairment, use low doses of a short acting benzodiazepine to reduce risk of
precipitating coma.
Adverse effects: Common Drowsiness, oversedation, light-headedness, memory loss, hypersalivation,
ataxia, slurred speech.
Uncommon Headache, vertigo, disorientation, confusion, paradoxical excitation, euphoria,
aggression, hostility, anxiety, anterograde amnesia, respiratory depression, hypotension.
IV injection Pain and thrombophlebitis, severe hypotension, arrhythmias, respiratory arrest.
Rare Blood disorders, including leukopenia and leukocytosis, jaundice, transient elevated liver
function tests, allergic reactions, including rash and anaphylaxis.
Interactions with other medicines (* indicates severe):
Amitriptyline: enhanced sedative effect.
Chlorphenamine: enhanced sedative effect.
Chlorpromazine: enhanced sedative effect.
Codeine: enhanced sedative effect.
Enalapril: enhanced hypotensive effect.
Furosemide: enhanced hypotensive effect.
Haloperidol: enhanced sedative effect.
Halothane: enhanced sedative effect.
Isoniazid: metabolism of lorazepam inhibited.
Ketamine: enhanced sedative effect.
Morphine: enhanced sedative effect.
WHO Model Formulary for Children 2010
53
5
Anticonvulsants/antiepileptics
*
Nitrous oxide: enhanced sedative effect.
Phenytoin: plasma phenytoin concentrations possibly increased or decreased by lorazepam.
Rifampicin: metabolism of lorazepam accelerated (reduced plasma concentration).
Ritonavir: plasma concentration possibly increased by ritonavir (risk of extreme sedation and
respiratory depression; avoid concomitant use).
Spironolactone: enhanced hypotensive effect.
Notes: Facilities for managing respiratory depression and hypoventilation such as mask, bag and/or
mechanical ventilation should be at hand.
Administration For intravenous injection, dilute with an equal volume of sodium chloride 0.9% or water
for injection (for neonates, dilute injection solution to a concentration of 100 micrograms/ml). Give slowly into a
large vein at a rate not exceeding 50 micrograms/kg over 3–5 minutes.
References:
Hill SR, Kouimtzi M, Stuart MC, eds. WHO model formulary. Geneva, World Health Organization, 2008.
Hodding JH, Kraus DM, Taketomo CK. Pediatric dosage handbook. 16th ed. Hudson, Lexi-Comp, 2009.
Paediatric Formulary Committee. British national formulary for children 2009. London, BMJ Group RBS Publishing, 2009.
Rossi S, ed. Australian medicines handbook. Adelaide, Australian Medicines Handbook, 2009.
Phenobarbital
ATC code: N03AA02
Injection: 200 mg/ml (phenobarbital sodium)
Oral liquid: 3 mg/ml (phenobarbital)
Tablet: 15 mg to 100 mg (phenobarbital)
Special Notes: Also known as phenobarbitone.
Drug subject to international control under the Convention on Psychotropic Substances (1971).
Indications: Status epilepticus; generalized tonic-clonic seizures; partial seizures; neonatal seizures.
Contraindications: Porphyria; absence seizures.
Precautions: Renal impairment; hepatic impairment; respiratory depression; debilitated; depression
or suicidal tendencies; may cause behavioural changes in children; avoid sudden withdrawal.
Skilled tasks Warn patient or carer about the risk of undertaking tasks requiring attention or coordination,
for example riding a bike or operating machinery, for 24 hours.
Dose:
Status epilepticus.
Slow IV injection:
Neonate, Infant or Child initially 20 mg/kg followed by 2.5–5 mg/kg once or twice daily.
Generalized tonic-clonic seizures, partial seizures.
Slow IV injection followed by oral:
Neonate initial dose 20 mg/kg by slow IV injection followed by 2.5–5 mg/kg orally once daily.
Oral:
Infant or Child initially 1–1.5 mg/kg twice daily, increased by 2 mg/kg daily as required. Usual
maintenance dose 2.5–4 mg/kg once or twice daily.
Neonatal seizures.
Slow IV injection:
Neonate 5–10 mg/kg every 20–30 minutes until control is achieved. Careful clinical monitoring
and dosage adjustment are necessary in order to minimize the risk of adverse effects.
Therapeutic drug monitoring Therapeutic drug monitoring should be carried out. Trough
plasma concentration for optimum response 15–40 mg/litre (65–170 micromol/litre).
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5 Anticonvulsants/antiepileptics
Renal impairment: Use with caution. Avoid large doses in severe impairment.
Hepatic impairment: May precipitate coma. Avoid in severe impairment.
Adverse effects: Prolonged use may cause physical dependence.
Common Sedation, mental depression, paradoxical insomnia, altered mood and behaviour.
Uncommon Ataxia, nystagmus, restlessness, confusion, hypotension.
Rare Exfoliative dermatitis, toxic epidermal necrolysis and Stevens-Johnson syndrome (erythema
multiforme), aggression, hyperactivity in children, megaloblastic anaemia, osteomalacia,
Dupuytren contracture, multi-organ hypersensitivity syndrome (including fever, severe skin
disease, lymphadenopathy, haematological abnormalities, hepatitis).
Interactions with other medicines (* indicates severe):
Abacavir: plasma concentration of abacavir possibly reduced.
* Amitriptyline: antagonism of anticonvulsant effect (seizure threshold lowered); metabolism of
amitriptyline possibly accelerated (reduced plasma concentration).
* Carbamazepine: may be enhanced toxicity without corresponding increase in anticonvulsant
effect; plasma concentration of carbamazepine reduced. The incidence of serious side effects such
as Stevens-Johnson syndrome may increase when used in combination.
* Chloramphenicol: metabolism of chloramphenicol accelerated (reduced chloramphenicol
concentration).
* Chlorpromazine: antagonism of anticonvulsant effect (seizure threshold lowered).
* Ciclosporin: metabolism of ciclosporin accelerated (reduced effect).
* Dexamethasone: metabolism of dexamethasone accelerated (reduced effect).
Doxycycline: metabolism of doxycycline accelerated (reduced plasma concentration).
Ethosuximide: may be enhanced toxicity without corresponding increase in anticonvulsant effect;
plasma concentration of ethosuximide possibly reduced.
Etoposide: possibly reduced plasma concentration of etoposide.
Fluoxetine: antagonism of anticonvulsant effect (seizure threshold lowered).
Folic acid and folinic acid: plasma concentration of phenobarbital possibly reduced.
Griseofulvin: reduction in absorption of griseofulvin (reduced effect).
* Haloperidol: antagonism of anticonvulsant effect (seizure threshold lowered); metabolism of
haloperidol accelerated (reduced plasma concentration).
* Hydrocortisone: metabolism of hydrocortisone accelerated (reduced effect).
Levothyroxine: metabolism of levothyroxine accelerated (may increase levothyroxine requirements
in hypothyroidism).
* Lopinavir: plasma concentration of lopinavir possibly reduced.
Mebendazole: reduced plasma mebendazole concentration (possibly increase mebendazole dose
for tissue infection).
Metronidazole: metabolism of metronidazole accelerated (reduced plasma concentration).
Phenytoin: may be enhanced toxicity without corresponding increase in anticonvulsant effect;
plasma concentration of phenytoin often lowered but may be raised; plasma concentration of
phenobarbital often raised. The incidence of serious side-effects such as Stevens-Johnson syndrome
may be increased when used in combination.
* Prednisolone: metabolism of prednisolone accelerated (reduced effect).
Quinidine: metabolism of quinidine accelerated (reduced plasma concentration).
* Saquinavir: plasma concentration of saquinavir possibly reduced.
WHO Model Formulary for Children 2010
55
5
Anticonvulsants/antiepileptics
Valproic acid: may be enhanced toxicity without corresponding increase in anticonvulsant effect;
plasma concentration of valproic acid reduced; phenobarbital concentration increased.
* Warfarin: metabolism of warfarin accelerated (reduced anticoagulant effect).
Notes: For therapeutic purposes phenobarbital and phenobarbital sodium may be considered
equivalent in effect.
Administration For intravenous injection, dilute to a concentration of 20 mg/ml with water for injections;
give over 20 minutes (no faster than 1 mg/kg/minute).
Tablets may be crushed before administration.
References:
Hill SR, Kouimtzi M, Stuart MC, eds. WHO model formulary. Geneva, World Health Organization, 2008.
Hodding JH, Kraus DM, Taketomo CK. Pediatric dosage handbook. 16th ed. Hudson, Lexi-Comp, 2009.
Paediatric Formulary Committee. British national formulary for children 2009. London, BMJ Group RBS Publishing, 2009.
Phenytoin
ATC code: N03AB02
Capsule: 25 mg; 50 mg; 100 mg (sodium salt)
Injection: 50 mg/ml in 5 ml vial (sodium salt)
Oral liquid: 5 mg or 6 mg/ml* (base)
Tablet: 25 mg; 50 mg; 100 mg (sodium salt)
Tablet (chewable): 50 mg
*Note The possible availability of such similar strengths can cause confusion in prescribing and dispensing;
extreme care must be taken when prescribing or dispensing this dose form.
Indications: Status epilepticus; generalized tonic-clonic seizures; partial seizures.
Contraindications: Porphyria; sinus bradycardia; heart block.
Precautions: Hepatic impairment; avoid sudden withdrawal; renal impairment; monitor blood
counts; injection solution alkaline (irritant to tissues); avoid intramuscular administration
Blood or skin disorders Patients or their carers should be told how to recognize signs of blood or
skin disorders and advised to seek immediate medical attention if symptoms such as sore throat, rash, mouth
ulcers, bruising or bleeding develop. Leukopenia which is severe, progressive or associated with clinical symptoms
requires withdrawal (if necessary under cover of suitable alternative).
Skilled tasks Warn patient or carer about the risk of undertaking tasks requiring attention or coordination,
for example riding a bike or operating machinery, for 24 hours.
Dose:
Status epilepticus.
IV:
Neonate, Infant or Child 18 mg/kg as a loading dose, then 2.5–5 mg/kg twice daily.
Generalized tonic-clonic seizures, partial seizures.
Oral:
Infant or Child initially 1.5–2.5 mg/kg twice daily, increased gradually according to clinical
response and plasma phenytoin concentrations to 2.5–5 mg/kg twice daily. Usual maximum
7.5 mg/kg or 300 mg daily.
Therapeutic drug monitoring Therapeutic drug monitoring is required for optimum response
and to avoid unnecessary toxicities. Therapeutic plasma phenytoin concentrations are reduced in the first
3 months of life because of reduced protein binding.
Trough plasma concentration for optimum response: Neonate–3 months: 6–15 mg/litre (25–60 micromol/litre);
Child 3 months–12 years: 10–20 mg/litre (40–80 micromol/litre).
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5 Anticonvulsants/antiepileptics
Renal impairment: No specific dose adjustment is necessary. However, serum phenytoin protein
binding is altered in uraemia which can affect proper interpretation/evaluation of serum phenytoin
concentrations. The fraction of unbound phenytoin increases as renal function decreases, partially
explained by decreases in serum albumin. In these cases clinical outcomes should be considered
before changing doses according to blood levels.
Hepatic impairment: Reduce dose to avoid toxicity.
Adverse effects: Common Gastric intolerance, sleeplessness, agitation, sedation, confusion, ataxia,
nystagmus, diplopia, blurred vision, slurred speech, cerebellar/vestibular symptoms, behavioural
disorders, impaired learning (dose related), gingival hypertrophy, acne, coarse facies, hirsutism,
impaired cognition, increased seizure frequency, lymph node enlargement, vertigo, rash
(discontinue; if mild, reintroduce cautiously but discontinue if recurrence).
IV Thrombophlebitis, local skin necrosis.
Rare Hallucinations, neurological changes including peripheral neuropathy, choreiform movements,
cerebellar atrophy, blood dyscrasias, hyperglycaemia, osteomalacia and rickets, Stevens-Johnson
syndrome, toxic epidermal necrolysis, systemic lupus erythematosus, multi-organ hypersensitivity
syndrome (including fever, severe skin disease, lymphadenopathy, haematological abnormalities,
hepatitis).
IV Cardiovascular and central nervous system depression (particularly if administered too rapidly) with
arrhythmias, hypotension and cardiovascular collapse, and alterations in respiratory function (including
respiratory collapse), ‘purple glove’ syndrome (progressive distal limb oedema, discoloration and pain; may lead to
soft tissue necrosis and limb ischaemia).
Interactions with other medicines (* indicates severe):
Abacavir: plasma concentration of abacavir possibly reduced.
Acetylsalicylic acid: enhancement of effect of phenytoin.
* Amitriptyline: antagonism of anticonvulsant effect (convulsive threshold lowered); possibly
reduced plasma amitriptyline concentration.
Antacids (aluminium hydroxide; magnesium hydroxide): reduced absorption of phenytoin.
Azathioprine: possibly reduced absorption of phenytoin.
Bleomycin: possibly reduced absorption of phenytoin.
* Carbamazepine: may be enhanced toxicity without corresponding increase in anticonvulsant
effect; plasma concentration of phenytoin often lowered but may be raised; plasma concentration
of carbamazepine often lowered. Incidence of serious side-effects such as Stevens-Johnson
syndrome may be increased in combination therapy.
* Chloramphenicol: plasma phenytoin concentration increased (increased risk of toxicity).
Chloroquine: possible increased risk of seizures.
* Chlorpromazine: antagonism of anticonvulsant effect (convulsive threshold lowered).
* Ciclosporin: accelerated metabolism of ciclosporin (reduced plasma ciclosporin concentration).
Ciprofloxacin: plasma phenytoin concentration can be increased or decreased by ciprofloxacin.
Cyclophosphamide: possibly reduced absorption of phenytoin.
Cytarabine: reduced absorption of phenytoin.
Dacarbazine: possibly reduced absorption of phenytoin.
Dactinomycin: possibly reduced absorption of phenytoin.
Daunorubicin: possibly reduced absorption of phenytoin.
* Dexamethasone: metabolism of dexamethasone accelerated (reduced effect).
Diazepam: plasma phenytoin concentration possibly increased or decreased by diazepam.
WHO Model Formulary for Children 2010
57
5
*
*
*
*
*
*
*
*
*
*
*
*
*
*
*
*
Anticonvulsants/antiepileptics
Digoxin: plasma concentration of digoxin possibly reduced.
Doxorubicin: possibly reduced absorption of phenytoin.
Doxycycline: increased metabolism of doxycycline (reduced plasma concentration).
Ethosuximide: may be enhanced toxicity without corresponding increase in anticonvulsant effect;
plasma concentration of phenytoin possibly increased; plasma concentration of ethosuximide
possibly reduced.
Etoposide: possibly reduced absorption of phenytoin and possibly reduced plasma concentration
of etoposide.
Fluconazole: plasma concentration of phenytoin increased (consider reducing dose of phenytoin).
Fluorouracil: metabolism of phenytoin possibly inhibited (increased risk of toxicity).
Fluoxetine: plasma concentration of phenytoin increased.
Folic acid and folinic acid: plasma phenytoin concentration possibly reduced.
Haloperidol: antagonism of anticonvulsant effect (convulsive threshold lowered).
Hydrocortisone: metabolism of hydrocortisone accelerated (reduced effect).
Ibuprofen: effect of phenytoin possibly enhanced.
Isoniazid: metabolism of phenytoin inhibited (enhanced effect).
Levamisole: plasma phenytoin concentration possibly increased.
Levothyroxine: accelerated metabolism of levothyroxine (may increase levothyroxine requirements
in hypothyroidism); plasma concentration of phenytoin possibly increased.
Lopinavir: plasma lopinavir concentration possibly reduced.
Mebendazole: reduced plasma mebendazole concentration (possibly increase mebendazole dose
for tissue infections).
Mefloquine: antagonism of anticonvulsant effect.
Mercaptopurine: possibly reduced absorption of phenytoin.
Methotrexate: reduced absorption of phenytoin; antifolate effect of methotrexate increased.
Metronidazole: metabolism of phenytoin inhibited (increased plasma phenytoin concentration).
Phenobarbital: may be enhanced toxicity without corresponding increase in anticonvulsant
effect; plasma concentration of phenytoin often lowered but may be raised; plasma concentration
of phenobarbital often raised. Incidence of serious side-effects such as Stevens-Johnson syndrome
may be increased in combination therapy.
Praziquantel: plasma praziquantel concentration reduced.
Prednisolone: metabolism of prednisolone accelerated (reduced effect).
Procarbazine: reduced absorption of phenytoin.
Pyrimethamine: antagonism of anticonvulsant effect; increased antifolate effect.
Quinidine: accelerated metabolism of quinidine (reduced plasma quinidine concentration).
Rifampicin: accelerated metabolism of phenytoin (reduced plasma concentration).
Saquinavir: plasma saquinavir concentration possibly reduced.
Silver sulfadiazine: possibly increased plasma concentration of phenytoin.
Sulfadiazine: plasma phenytoin concentration possibly increased.
Sulfadoxine + pyrimethamine: plasma phenytoin concentration possibly increased; increased
antifolate effect.
Sulfamethoxazole + trimethoprim: antifolate effect and plasma phenytoin concentration
increased.
Trimethoprim: antifolate effect and plasma phenytoin concentration increased.
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WHO Model Formulary for Children 2010
5 Anticonvulsants/antiepileptics
Vaccine, influenza: enhanced effect of phenytoin.
Valproic acid: may be enhanced toxicity without corresponding increase in anticonvulsant effect;
plasma concentration of valproic acid reduced; plasma concentration of phenytoin increased or
possibly reduced.
Vecuronium: antagonism of muscle relaxant effect (accelerated recovery from neuromuscular
blockade).
Vinblastine: possibly reduced absorption of phenytoin.
Vincristine: possibly reduced absorption of phenytoin.
* Warfarin: accelerated metabolism of warfarin (possibility of reduced anticoagulant effect, but
enhancement also reported).
Zidovudine: plasma phenytoin concentration increased or decreased by zidovudine.
Notes: 100 mg phenytoin sodium contains approximately 92 mg phenytoin.
Monitoring of therapeutic concentrations in plasma can improve safety and efficacy.
Preferably take with or after food.
Administration For administration by mouth: interrupt enteral feeds for at least 1–2 hours before and
after giving phenytoin; give with water to enhance absorption. Preferably give phenytoin with or after food. To
ensure consistent absorption, administer at the same time in regard to meals.
For intravenous administration: before and after administration flush intravenous line with sodium chloride
0.9%.
For intravenous injection: give at rate not exceeding 1 mg/kg/minute (maximum 50 mg/minute).
For intravenous infusion: dilute to a concentration not exceeding 10 mg/ml with sodium chloride 0.9% and give
through an inline filter (0.22–0.5 micron) at a rate not exceeding 1 mg/kg/minute (maximum 50 mg/minute);
complete administration within 1 hour of preparation.
References:
Hill SR, Kouimtzi M, Stuart MC, eds. WHO model formulary. Geneva, World Health Organization, 2008.
Hodding JH, Kraus DM, Taketomo CK. Pediatric dosage handbook. 16th ed. Hudson, Lexi-Comp, 2009.
Klasco RK, ed. Drugdex system. Greenwood Village, Thomson Micromedex, 2010. (http://www.thomsonhc.com, accessed 10
February 2010).
Paediatric Formulary Committee. British national formulary for children 2009. London, BMJ Group RBS Publishing, 2009.
Rossi S, ed. Australian medicines handbook. Adelaide, Australian Medicines Handbook, 2009.
Valproic acid (sodium valproate)
ATC code: N03AG01
Oral liquid: 40 mg/ml
Tablet (crushable): 100 mg
Tablet (enteric coated): 200 mg; 500 mg (sodium valproate)
Hepatic failure resulting in death may occur.
Cases of life-threatening pancreatitis (including fatalities) have been reported in children.
Hypersensitivity syndrome Usually occurs in first 6 weeks and can be fatal;
symptoms include fever, rash, lymphadenopathy, hepatitis, haematological abnormalities;
hepato-renal syndrome may occur.
Indications: All forms of epilepsy and seizure disorders including infantile spasms.
Contraindications: Active liver disease; family history of severe hepatic dysfunction; pancreatitis;
porphyria; previous history of Stevens-Johnson syndrome.
WHO Model Formulary for Children 2010
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5
Anticonvulsants/antiepileptics
Precautions: Monitor liver function before and during first 6 months of therapy, especially in
patients at most risk (children under 3 years of age, those with metabolic disorders, degenerative
disorders, organic brain disease or severe seizure disorders associated with mental retardation,
or multiple antiepileptic therapy); ensure no undue potential for bleeding before starting and
before major surgery or anticoagulant therapy; renal impairment; hepatic impairment; systemic
lupus erythematosus; false-positive urine tests for ketones; avoid sudden withdrawal, unless under
medical supervision.
Blood or hepatic disorders Patients or their carers should be told how to recognize signs of blood
or liver disorders, and advised to seek immediate medical attention if symptoms including loss of seizure control,
malaise, weakness, anorexia, lethargy, oedema, vomiting, abdominal pain, drowsiness, jaundice, or spontaneous
bruising or bleeding develop.
Pancreatitis Patients or their carers should be told how to recognize signs of pancreatitis and advised to seek
immediate medical attention if symptoms such as abdominal pain, nausea and vomiting develop; discontinue
sodium valproate if pancreatitis diagnosed.
Skilled tasks Warn patient or carer about the risk of undertaking tasks requiring attention or coordination,
for example riding a bike or operating machinery.
Dose:
All forms of epilepsy and seizure disorders including infantile spasms.
Oral:
Neonate initially 20 mg/kg once daily. Usual maintenance dose is 10 mg/kg twice daily.
Infant or Child initially 5–7.5 mg/kg twice daily. Usual maintenance dose is 12.5–15 mg/kg
twice daily. Up to 30 mg/kg twice daily in infantile spasms may be required. If dose exceeds
20 mg/kg twice daily, monitor clinical chemistry and haematological parameters.
Renal impairment: Reduce dose and alter dosage according to free serum valproic acid concentration.
Renal impairment reduces protein binding; monitoring only total valproic acid serum
concentrations may be misleading.
Hepatic impairment: Avoid if possible; hepatotoxicity and hepatic failure may occasionally occur
(usually in first 6 months).
Adverse effects: Common Increased appetite and weight gain, gastrointestinal irritation, nausea,
hyperammonaemia, ataxia, tremor, impaired hepatic function, sedation, increased alertness,
behavioural disturbances, hearing loss.
Uncommon Transient hair loss (regrowth may be curly), inhibition of platelet aggregation, fibrinogen
reduction, irregular periods, amenorrhoea, gynaecomastia, toxic epidermal necrolysis, StevensJohnson syndrome (erythema multiforme), vasculitis, hirsutism, acne.
Rare Oedema, thrombocytopenia, fatal hepatic failure (see Precautions; withdraw treatment
immediately if malaise, weakness, lethargy, oedema, abdominal pain, vomiting, anorexia, jaundice,
drowsiness or loss of seizure control), pancreatitis (see Precautions; measure plasma amylase if
acute abdominal pain), extrapyramidal symptoms, blood disorders (see Precautions; leukopenia,
pancytopenia, red cell hypoplasia, Fanconi syndrome), dementia.
Interactions with other medicines (* indicates severe):
Acetylsalicylic acid: enhancement of effect of valproic acid.
* Amitriptyline: antagonism of anticonvulsant effect (seizure threshold lowered).
Carbamazepine: may be enhanced toxicity without corresponding increase in anticonvulsant
effect; plasma concentration of valproic acid reduced; plasma concentration of active metabolite of
carbamazepine increased.
* Chloroquine: possible increased risk of seizures.
* Chlorpromazine: antagonism of anticonvulsant effect (seizure threshold lowered).
60
WHO Model Formulary for Children 2010
5 Anticonvulsants/antiepileptics
Erythromycin: metabolism of valproic acid possibly inhibited (increased plasma concentration).
Ethosuximide: may be enhanced toxicity without corresponding increase in anticonvulsant effect;
plasma concentration of ethosuximide possibly increased.
* Haloperidol: antagonism of anticonvulsant effect (seizure threshold lowered).
* Mefloquine: antagonism of anticonvulsant effect.
Phenobarbital: may be enhanced toxicity without corresponding increase in anticonvulsant effect;
plasma concentration of valproic acid reduced; phenobarbital concentration increased.
Phenytoin: may be enhanced toxicity without corresponding increase in anticonvulsant effect;
plasma concentration of valproic acid reduced; plasma concentration of phenytoin increased or
possibly reduced.
Warfarin: anticoagulant effect possibly enhanced.
Zidovudine: plasma concentration of zidovudine possibly increased (risk of toxicity).
Notes: Plasma concentrations in therapeutic range of 40–100 mg/litre (280–700 micromol/litre);
not generally considered useful in assessing control, but higher levels associated with increased
incidence of adverse effects; low or undetectable plasma levels are not necessarily an indicator
of non-adherence. In patients with confirmed adherence, dose change or co-medication may be
needed.
References:
Hill SR, Kouimtzi M, Stuart MC, eds. WHO model formulary. Geneva, World Health Organization, 2008.
Hodding JH, Kraus DM, Taketomo CK. Pediatric dosage handbook. 16th ed. Hudson, Lexi-Comp, 2009.
Klasco RK, ed. Drugdex system. Greenwood Village, Thomson Micromedex, 2010. (http://www.thomsonhc.com, accessed 10
February 2010).
Paediatric Formulary Committee. British national formulary for children 2009. London, BMJ Group RBS Publishing, 2009.
Rossi S, ed. Australian medicines handbook. Adelaide, Australian Medicines Handbook, 2009.
WHO expert committee on the selection and use of essential medicines. The selection and use of essential medicines: report of
the WHO expert committee, October 2007 (including the model list of essential medicines for children). WHO Technical Report
Series, 2008, 950 (http://www.who.int/medicines/publications/essentialmeds_committeereports/TRS_950.pdf ).
Ethosuximide
ATC code: N03AD01
Capsule: 250 mg
Oral liquid: 50 mg/ml
Indications: Absence seizures.
Precautions: Hepatic impairment; renal impairment; blood counts and hepatic and renal function
tests recommended; avoid sudden withdrawal; porphyria.
Skilled tasks Warn patient or carer about the risk of undertaking tasks requiring attention or coordination,
for example riding a bike or operating machinery, for 24 hours.
Blood disorders Children or their carers should be told how to recognize signs of blood disorders such as
fever, sore throat, mouth ulcers, bruising or bleeding and be advised to seek immediate medical attention if these
symptoms occur.
Dose:
Absence seizures.
Oral:
Infant or Child 1 month–6 years initially 5 mg/kg (maximum 125 mg) twice daily, increased
gradually over 2–3 weeks to a maintenance dose of 10–20 mg/kg (maximum 500 mg) twice daily;
6–12 years initially 250 mg twice daily, increased by 250 mg at intervals of 4–7 days to a usual
dose of 500–750 mg twice daily (occasionally, up to a maximum of 1 g twice daily may be needed).
WHO Model Formulary for Children 2010
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Anticonvulsants/antiepileptics
Renal impairment: Use with caution. Dose reduction not necessary.
Hepatic impairment: Use with caution. Dose reduction not necessary.
Adverse effects: Common Gastrointestinal disturbances including anorexia, hiccups, nausea and
vomiting, epigastric pain (particularly during initial treatment), weight loss, drowsiness, dizziness,
ataxia, headache, depression, euphoria.
Uncommon Irritability, hyperactivity, sleep disturbances, night terrors, aggressiveness.
Rare Rash including Stevens-Johnson syndrome (erythema multiforme), systemic lupus
erythematosus, disturbances of liver and renal function, haematological disorders (including
leukopenia, agranulocytosis, aplastic anaemia, thrombocytopenia and pancytopenia), gum
hyperplasia, swelling of tongue, increased mental state depression with overt suicidal ideation,
psychosis, increased libido, myopia, vaginal bleeding.
Interactions with other medicines (* indicates severe):
* Amitriptyline: antagonism of anticonvulsant effect.
Carbamazepine: may enhance toxicity of carbamazepine without corresponding increase in
anticonvulsant effect; possibly reduced plasma concentration of ethosuximide.
Chloroquine: possible increased risk of seizures.
* Chlorpromazine: antagonism of anticonvulsant effect.
* Haloperidol: antagonism of anticonvulsant effect (seizure threshold lowered).
* Isoniazid: metabolism of ethosuximide inhibited (increased plasma ethosuximide concentration
and risk of toxicity).
* Mefloquine: antagonism of anticonvulsant effect.
Phenobarbital: may enhance toxicity of phenobarbital without corresponding increase in
anticonvulsant effect; possibly reduced plasma concentration of ethosuximide.
* Phenytoin: may enhance toxicity without corresponding increase in anticonvulsant effect; plasma
concentration of phenytoin possibly increased; plasma concentration of ethosuximide possibly
reduced.
Valproic acid: may enhance toxicity of valproic acid without corresponding increase in
anticonvulsant effect; possibly increased plasma concentration of ethosuximide.
Notes: Administer with food or milk to reduce gastrointestinal upset.
Therapeutic drug monitoring (TDM) is available for ethosuximide but routine monitoring is not
required for the majority of patients. Plasma concentration for optimum response 40–100 mg/litre
(300–700 micromol/litre).
References:
Ashley C, Currie A, eds. The renal drug handbook. 3rd ed. Oxford, Radcliffe Publishing, 2009.
Hill SR, Kouimtzi M, Stuart MC, eds. WHO model formulary. Geneva, World Health Organization, 2008.
Hodding JH, Kraus DM, Taketomo CK. Pediatric dosage handbook. 16th ed. Hudson, Lexi-Comp, 2009.
Klasco RK, ed. Drugdex system. Greenwood Village, Thomson Micromedex, 2010. (http://www.thomsonhc.com, accessed 10
February 2010).
McEvoy GK, ed. AHFS drug information. Bethesda, American Society of Health-System Pharmacists, 2009.
Rossi S, ed. Australian medicines handbook. Adelaide, Australian Medicines Handbook, 2009.
WHO expert committee on the selection and use of essential medicines. The selection and use of essential medicines: report of
the WHO expert committee, October 2007 (including the model list of essential medicines for children). WHO Technical Report
Series, 2008, 950 (http://www.who.int/medicines/publications/essentialmeds_committeereports/TRS_950.pdf.
62
WHO Model Formulary for Children 2010

SECTION 6:
Anti-infective medicines
6.1 Anthelminthics........................................................................... 64
6.1.1 Intestinal anthelminthics................................................................ 64
6.1.2 Antifilarials..................................................................................... 72
6.1.3 Antischistosomals and antitrematode medicines.............................. 75
6.2 Antibacterials.............................................................................. 79
6.2.1
6.2.2
6.2.3
6.2.4
Beta-lactam medicines.................................................................... 80
Other antibacterials........................................................................ 98
Antileprosy medicines................................................................... 118
Antituberculosis medicines........................................................... 122
6.3 Antifungal medicines................................................................ 138
6.4 Antiviral medicines................................................................... 148
6.4.1 Antiherpes medicines.................................................................... 148
6.4.2 Antiretrovirals............................................................................... 150
Fixed-dose combinations.............................................................. 151
6.4.2.1 Nucleoside/nucleotide reverse transcriptase inhibitors................ 163
6.4.2.2 Non-nucleoside reverse transcriptase inhibitors.......................... 180
6.4.2.3 Protease inhibitors...................................................................... 187
6.4.3 Other antivirals............................................................................. 197
6.5 Antiprotozoal medicines........................................................... 199
6.5.1 Antiamoebic and antigiardiasis medicines..................................... 199
6.5.2 Antileishmaniasis medicines.......................................................... 201
6.5.3 Antimalarial medicines................................................................. 208
6.5.3.1 For curative treatment................................................................ 208
6.5.3.2 For prophylaxis.......................................................................... 220
6.5.4 Antipneumocystosis and antitoxoplasmosis medicines.................. 225
6.5.5 Antitrypanosomal medicines......................................................... 230
6.5.5.1 African trypanosomiasis............................................................. 230
6.5.5.2 American trypanosomiasis.......................................................... 236
WHO Model Formulary for Children 2010
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6
Anti-infective medicines
6
Anti-infective medicines
6.1 Anthelminthics
6.1.1 Intestinal anthelminthics
Cestode tapeworm infections
Cestode infections include intestinal taeniasis and cysticercosis, hymenolepiasis (dwarf tapeworm),
diphyllobothriasis and echinococcosis (hydatid disease). Intestinal tapeworm infections are often
asymptomatic. There may be loss of appetite, nausea and abdominal pain. Further symptoms may
become apparent due to worm migration, depending on the site affected, which can include the
pancreas, bile duct and appendix.
Intestinal nematode infections
Intestinal nematode infections include ascariasis, capillariasis, enterobiasis, hookworm infection,
strongyloidiasis, trichostrongyliasis and trichuriasis.
Tissue nematode infections
Tissue nematode infections include angiostrongyliasis, anisakiasis, cutaneous larva migrans, dracunculiasis, trichinellosis and visceral larva migrans.
Albendazole
ATC code: P02CA03
Tablet (chewable): 400 mg
Indications: Treatment of hydatid disease (Echinococcus granulosus, E. multilocularis) prior to or not
amenable to surgery; hookworms; roundworms; pinworms; threadworms; tapeworm (taeniasis);
strongyloidiasis; neurocysticercosis; whipworm; filariasis; hairworm; cutaneous larva migrans;
visceral larva migrans and trichinosis.
Contraindications: Known hypersensitivity to benzimidazoles; pregnancy.
Precautions: Liver function tests and blood counts before treatment and every 2 weeks while on
therapy; neurocysticercosis (consider steroid and anticonvulsant therapy); retinal cysticercosis.
Dose:
Hydatid disease (E. granulosus, E. multilocularis).
Oral:
Child over 2 years 7.5 mg/kg twice daily with food (maximum 400 mg twice daily) for 28 days,
followed by 14 day break, then repeat for 2–3 cycles.
Hookworms, roundworms, pinworms, threadworms (ancylostomiasis, necatoriasis, ascariasis,
enterobiasis).
Oral:
Child 12 months–2 years 200 mg as a single dose;
greater than 2 years or < 10 kg 400 mg as a single dose before food. Treatment may be repeated
in 3 weeks.
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WHO Model Formulary for Children 2010
6.1 Anthelminthics
Tapeworm (taeniasis), strongyloidiasis.
Oral:
Child less than 10 kg 200 mg daily before food for 3 days;
greater than 10 kg 400 mg daily before food for 3 days. Treatment may be repeated in 3 weeks.
Neurocysticercosis.
Oral:
Child under 60 kg 7.5 mg/kg (maximum dose 400 mg) twice daily after food for 7–30 days.
Whipworm (Trichuriasis).
Oral:
Child greater than 2 years 200–400 mg as a single dose, or in heavier infections, 400 mg daily
for 3 days. Treatment may be repeated in 3 weeks.
Filariasis for community eradication programmes in combination with diethylcarbamazine or
ivermectin.
Oral:
Child less than 10 kg 200 mg once annually for 5 years;
greater than 10 kg 400 mg annually for 5 years.
Hairworm (Trichostrongyliasis).
Oral:
Child greater than 10 kg 400 mg as a single dose.
Cutaneous larva migrans.
Oral:
Child greater than 10 kg 400 mg as a single dose, or 400 mg daily for 3 days.
Visceral larva migrans (toxocariasis).
Oral:
Child all ages 10 mg/kg daily (maximum 400 mg daily) for 5 days.
Trichinosis.
Oral:
Child greater than 10 kg 400 mg daily for 8–14 days.
Renal impairment: Renal elimination of albendazole is minimal. Dosage adjustment in patients with
impaired renal function does not appear necessary.
Hepatic impairment: Patients with liver disease may be more susceptible to bone marrow
suppression.
Adverse effects: Common or uncommon Headache, nausea, vomiting, diarrhoea, abdominal pain,
increased liver function tests, dizziness, fever.
Rare Hypersensitivity (itch, rash, urticaria), alopecia, bone marrow depression, hepatitis, cholestatic
jaundice, Stevens-Johnson syndrome, pancytopenia, allergic shock if cyst leakage, convulsions and
meningism in cerebral disease.
Interactions with other medicines (* indicates severe):
Dexamethasone: plasma albendazole concentration possibly increased.
Praziquantel: increased plasma concentration of active metabolite of albendazole.
Notes: To aid administration, tablets may be dispersed in water, or crushed or chewed.
Patients being treated for neurocysticercosis should receive appropriate steroid and anticonvulsant
therapy as required. Oral or intravenous corticosteroids should be considered to prevent cerebral
hypertensive episodes during the first week of treatment.
Blood counts should be monitored at the beginning of each 28 day cycle of therapy, and every
2 weeks while on therapy with albendazole in all patients.
WHO Model Formulary for Children 2010
65
6
Anti-infective medicines
References:
American Academy of Pediatrics. Red Book: 2009 report of the committee on infectious diseases. 28th ed. Elk Grove Village, American
Academy of Pediatrics, 2009.
Klasco RK, ed. Drugdex system. Greenwood Village, Thomson Micromedex, 2010. (http://www.thomsonhc.com, accessed
10 February 2010).
MIMS Online. Sydney, UBM Medica, 2009 (http://www.mimsonline.com.au/Search/Search.aspx, accessed 10 February 2010).
Paediatric Formulary Committee. British national formulary for children 2009. London, BMJ Group RBS Publishing, 2009.
Levamisole
ATC code: P02CE01
Tablet: 50 mg; 150 mg (as hydrochloride)
Indications: Treatment of ascariasis; hookworm and mixed ascariasis with hookworm infections.
Precautions: Epilepsy; juvenile idiopathic arthritis; Sjogren syndrome.
Dose:
Ascariasis (roundworm).
Oral:
Infant and Child all ages 2.5–3 mg/kg (maximum dose 150 mg) as a single dose.
Hookworm and mixed ascariasis with hookworm.
Oral:
Infant and Child all ages 2.5 mg/kg (maximum dose 150 mg) as a single dose repeated after
7 days if severe infection.
Renal impairment: Dose reduction not necessary as only small amounts (approximately 3%) of a
dose of levamisole are excreted unchanged in the urine.
Hepatic impairment: Use with caution; dose adjustment may be necessary.
Adverse effects: Uncommon Abdominal pain, nausea, vomiting, dizziness and headache.
Rare Taste disturbances (on prolonged treatment), insomnia, seizures (especially at high doses),
influenza-like syndrome, blood disorders, vasculitis, arthralgia, myalgia, rash.
Interactions with other medicines (* indicates severe):
Alcohol: possibility of disulfiram-like reaction.
Phenytoin: plasma phenytoin concentration possibly increased.
* Warfarin: anticoagulant effect possibly enhanced.
Notes: Leukocyte and platelet counts should be monitored regularly during levamisole therapy.
References:
American Academy of Pediatrics. Red Book: 2009 report of the committee on infectious diseases. 28th ed. Elk Grove Village, American
Academy of Pediatrics, 2009.
Hill SR, Kouimtzi M, Stuart MC, eds. WHO model formulary. Geneva, World Health Organization, 2008.
Klasco RK, ed. Drugdex system. Greenwood Village, Thomson Micromedex, 2010. (http://www.thomsonhc.com, accessed
10 February 2010).
Paediatric Formulary Committee. British national formulary for children 2009. London, BMJ Group RBS Publishing, 2009.
Mebendazole
ATC code: P02CA01
Tablet (chewable): 100 mg; 500 mg
Special Notes: This medicine is listed as a representative of its pharmacological class. Other
medicines in the same class may have similar clinical performance and may be selected for local
formularies based on availability and price. The information in this monograph only applies to the
medicine listed here.
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WHO Model Formulary for Children 2010
6.1 Anthelminthics
Indications: Treatment of pinworm; threadworm; roundworm; whipworm and hookworm
infections. Also for the gastrointestinal phase of trichinosis (Trichinella spiralis) and for capillariasis
(Capillaria philippinensis).
As a second-line agent in the treatment of hydatid disease (Echinococcus granulosus and E.
multilocularis) before surgery or not amenable to surgery and also for toxocariasis.
Contraindications: Known hypersensitivity to benzimidazoles; pregnancy.
Precautions: Blood counts and liver function tests should be monitored (with high-dose regimens);
children < 6 months old.
Dose:
Threadworms, pinworms.
Oral:
Child from 6 months up to 10 kg 50 mg as a single dose, if reinfection occurs second dose may
be needed after 2 weeks;
greater than 10 kg or from 1 year 100 mg as a single dose, if reinfection occurs second dose
may be needed after 2 weeks.
Whipworms, roundworms, hookworms.
Oral:
Child from 6 months up to 10 kg 50 mg twice daily for 3 days;
greater than 10 kg or from 1 year 100 mg twice daily for 3 days.
Capillariasis.
Oral:
Child all ages from 2 years 200 mg twice daily for 20 days.
Echinococcus (mebendazole is second-line therapy, albendazole is preferred).
Oral:
Child all ages from 2 years 15mg/kg/dose three times daily.
Toxocariasis: visceral larva migrans (mebendazole is second-line therapy, albendazole is preferred).
Oral:
Child all ages from 2 years 100–200 mg twice daily for 5 days although doses of up to 1 g/day
have been used for 21 days. Severe disease may warrant corticosteroid use.
Trichinosis (gastrointestinal phase of illness only).
Oral:
Child all ages from 2 years 5 mg/kg (maximum 200 mg) twice daily with food for 7 days, severe
infection may require concomitant corticosteroid use, late phase anthelminthic therapy not
indicated.
Renal impairment: Dose reduction not necessary.
Hepatic impairment: Extensively metabolized in the liver.
Hepatic insufficiency: lower dose to prevent toxic levels of mebendazole.
Adverse effects: Rare Gastrointestinal disturbances, headache, dizziness, with high doses, allergic
reactions, raised liver enzymes, alopecia, bone marrow depression.
Interactions with other medicines (* indicates severe):
Carbamazepine: reduced plasma mebendazole concentration (possibly increase mebendazole dose
for tissue infection).
Phenobarbital: reduced plasma mebendazole concentration (possibly increase mebendazole dose
for tissue infection).
Phenytoin: reduced plasma mebendazole concentration (possibly increase mebendazole dose for
tissue infection).
Notes: Doses should be taken between meals.
WHO Model Formulary for Children 2010
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6
Anti-infective medicines
References:
American Academy of Pediatrics. Red Book: 2009 report of the committee on infectious diseases. 28th ed. Elk Grove Village, American
Academy of Pediatrics, 2009.
Bartlett JG, ed. Johns Hopkins Point of Care Information Technology (POC-IT) Abx Guide. (PDA reference.) 2003 (with updates
2004–2009).
Drugs for parasitic infection. The Medical Letter on Drugs and Therapeutics, 2004, 46:1–12.
Gilbert DN et al. The Sanford guide to antimicrobial therapy. 38th ed. Sperryville, Antimicrobial Therapy, 2008.
Guerrant RL, Walker DH, Weller PF. Tropical infectious diseases: principles, pathogens, & practice. 2nd ed. Philadelphia, Churchill
Livingstone, 2006.
Kemp CA, McDowell JM. Paediatric pharmacopoeia. 13th ed. Melbourne, Royal Children’s Hospital, 2002.
Klasco RK, ed. Drugdex system. Greenwood Village, Thomson Micromedex, 2010. (http://www.thomsonhc.com, accessed
10 February 2010).
Paediatric Formulary Committee. British national formulary for children 2009. London, BMJ Group RBS Publishing, 2009.
Niclosamide
ATC code: P02DA01
Tablet (chewable): 500 mg
Special Notes: Niclosamide is listed for use only when praziquantel fails.
Indications: A second-line agent for the treatment of tapeworm (Taenia saginata, T. solium,
Diphyllobothrium latum, Dipylidium caninum and Hymenolepis nana) infections.
Precautions: Chronic constipation (restore regular bowel movement before treatment); give
antiemetic before treatment; only active against adult stage of tapeworm (i.e. intestinal stage in
host), not effective against larval stage (cysticercosis) (i.e. tissue stage in host).
Dose:
T. solium infection.
Oral:
Child under 2 years 500 mg;
2–6 years 1 g;
over 6 years 2 g.
Doses should be given after a light breakfast, followed after 2 hours by a laxative.
T. saginata, Dipylidium caninum and Diphyllobothrium latum infection.
Oral:
As for T. solium but half the dose may be taken after breakfast and the remainder 1 hour later
followed by a laxative after 2 hours.
Symptomatic persisting Hymenolepis nana infection.
Oral:
Child under 2 years 500 mg on the first day then 250 mg daily for 6 days;
2–6 years 1 g on first day then 500 mg daily for 6 days;
over 6 years 2 g as a single dose on first day then 1 g daily for 6 days, or 2 g daily for 7 days.
Repeated treatment may be necessary to cure intense infections or to eliminate the parasite
within a family group or institution.
Renal impairment: Dose reduction not necessary.
Hepatic impairment: Dose reduction not necessary.
Adverse effects: Common Nausea, retching, abdominal pain.
Uncommon Lightheadedness.
Rare Pruritus, autoinfection.
Notes: Niclosamide must be chewed thoroughly and then swallowed with a small amount of water.
Tablets may be crushed to a fine powder for administration to young children and mixed with a small
amount of water to form a paste. The drug has a vanilla taste which is palatable for most children.
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6.1 Anthelminthics
Niclosamide is effective but may cause disintegration of T. solium segments and release viable eggs
with subsequent cysticercosis (disease secondary to cysticercus encystment of larvae of T. solium in
tissues and CNS). Concomitant laxative use 2 hours after niclosamide, although only specifically
indicated for T. solium infections, is widely recommended, as the precise species of worm may not
be confirmed.
References:
American Academy of Pediatrics. Red Book: 2009 report of the committee on infectious diseases. 28th ed. Elk Grove Village, American
Academy of Pediatrics, 2009.
Bartlett JG, ed. Johns Hopkins Point of Care Information Technology (POC-IT) Abx Guide. [PDA reference] 2009.
Hill SR, Kouimtzi M, Stuart MC, eds. WHO model formulary. Geneva, World Health Organization, 2008.
Klasco RK, ed. Drugdex system. Greenwood Village, Thomson Micromedex, 2010. (http://www.thomsonhc.com, accessed
10 February 2010).
Niclocide Product Information. Bayer, 1995 (http://www.drugs.com/mmx/niclocide.html, accessed 10 February 2010).
Paediatric Formulary Committee. British national formulary for children 2009. London, BMJ Group RBS Publishing, 2009.
Praziquantel
ATC code: P02BA01
Tablet: 150 mg; 600 mg
Indications: Cestodiasis (tapeworm including Taenia solium, Taenia saginata, Diphyllobothrium
latum, Hymenolepsis nana).
Precautions: Skilled tasks Warn patient or carer about the risk of undertaking tasks requiring attention or
coordination, for example riding a bike or operating machinery, for 24 hours.
Ocular or neurocysticercosis; cardiac arrhythmias.
Note Praziquantel use in neurocysticercosis is controversial, and depends on activity status of disease.
Multidisciplinary expert consultation strongly advised (infectious diseases physician, neurosurgeon (if cerebral or
spinal), ophthalmologist (if ocular)).
Dose:
Taenia saginata and T. solium infections.
Oral:
Child over 4 years 5–10 mg/kg as a single dose.
Symptomatic and persisting Hymenolepis nana infection.
Oral:
Child over 4 years 15–25 mg/kg as a single dose.
Repeated treatment may be necessary to cure intense infections or to eliminate the parasite
within a family group or institution.
Diphyllobothrium latum infection.
Oral:
Child over 4 years 10–25 mg/kg as a single dose.
Cysticercosis, dermal cysticercosis.
Oral:
Child over 4 years 60 mg/kg daily in three divided doses for 6 days.
Active parenchymal neurocysticercosis.
Oral:
17–33 mg/kg/dose three times daily for 14 days or for 30 days if giant cysts or subarachnoid
cysts are present. Albendazole may be preferred over praziquantel.
Renal impairment: Dose reduction not necessary.
Hepatic impairment: Consider reducing dose in moderate to severe impairment (increases
concentration and half-life).
WHO Model Formulary for Children 2010
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Adverse effects: Usually mild and transitory with short courses. Many adverse effects result from
death of the parasite and are more severe with a high parasite burden.
Symptoms such as papilloedema, retinal haemorrhages, focal seizures and motor weakness may occur
in people with neurocysticercosis (due to an intense inflammatory response to dying larvae in
CNS).
Others such as skin reactions, eosinophilia and fever are also thought to be responses to antigens
released from dying parasites.
Common Dizziness (dose dependent), headache, malaise, drowsiness, nausea, vomiting, abdominal
discomfort (dose dependent), diarrhoea, rectal bleeding, anorexia, colic, reversible rises in hepatic
aminotransferases, pruritus, rash.
Rare Hypersensitivity reactions including fever, eosinophilia (may be due to dead and dying
parasites), arrhythmia.
Interactions with other medicines (* indicates severe):
*
*
*
*
*
*
*
Albendazole: increased plasma concentration of active metabolite of albendazole.
Carbamazepine: may significantly decrease praziquantel serum concentration.
Chloroquine: plasma praziquantel concentration possibly reduced.
Dexamethasone: plasma praziquantel concentration reduced.
Efavirenz: may significantly decrease praziquantel serum concentration.
Erythromycin: may increase praziquantel serum concentrations.
Nevirapine: may significantly decrease praziquantel serum concentration.
Phenobarbital: may significantly decrease praziquantel serum concentration.
Phenytoin: plasma praziquantel concentration reduced.
Rifampicin: increases metabolism of praziquantel and may reduce its concentration to ineffective
levels.
Ritonavir: may increase praziquantel serum concentrations.
Notes: If the tablets or parts of the tablets are kept in the mouth, a bitter taste (which can promote
gagging or vomiting) may be experienced.
Swallow whole (unchewed) and take with water during meals. Tablet may be cut into halves or
quarters, but do not chew.
References:
American Academy of Pediatrics. Red Book: 2009 report of the committee on infectious diseases. 28th ed. Elk Grove Village, American
Academy of Pediatrics, 2009.
Bartlett JG, ed. Johns Hopkins Point of Care Information Technology (POC-IT) Abx Guide. (PDA reference.) 2003 (with updates
2004–2009).
Baxter K, ed. Stockley’s drug interactions. 8th ed. London, Pharmaceutical Press, 2008.
Biltricide Product Information. Bayer Schering Pharma AG, 2010 (http://www.drugs.com/pro/biltricide.html, accessed
10 February 2010).
Drugs for parasitic infection. The Medical Letter on Drugs and Therapeutics, 2004, 46:1–12.
Garcia HH et al. A trial of antiparasitic treatment to reduce the rate of seizures due to cerebral cysticercosis. New England Journal
of Medicine, 2004, 350:249–258.
Hill SR, Kouimtzi M, Stuart MC, eds. WHO model formulary. Geneva, World Health Organization, 2008.
Klasco RK, ed. Drugdex system. Greenwood Village, Thomson Micromedex, 2010. (http://www.thomsonhc.com, accessed
10 February 2010).
Maguire JH. Tapeworms and seizures - treatment and prevention. New England Journal of Medicine, 2004, 350:215–217.
Paediatric Formulary Committee. British national formulary for children 2009. London, BMJ Group RBS Publishing, 2009.
Rossi S, ed. Australian medicines handbook. Adelaide, Australian Medicines Handbook, 2009.
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6.1 Anthelminthics
Pyrantel
ATC code: P02CC01
Oral liquid: 50 mg (as embonate)/ml
Tablet (chewable): 250 mg (as embonate)
Special Notes: Also referred to as pyrantel embonate (EUR), pyrantel pamoate (US).
Indications: Treatment of intestinal nematode infections such as roundworm, hairworm, hookworm,
pinworm, threadworm and trichinosis.
Precautions: Liver disease (reduce dose).
Dose:
Roundworm (ascariasis), hairworm (trichostrongyliasis).
Oral:
Child all ages 10 mg/kg as a single dose.
Hookworm (Ancylostoma and Necator americanus) infections.
Oral:
Child all ages 10 mg/kg as a single dose; in severe infections, 10 mg/kg daily for 4 days.
Pinworm or threadworm (enterobiasis).
Oral:
Child all ages 10 mg/kg as a single dose with a second dose after 2–4 weeks.
Trichinosis.
Oral:
Child all ages 10 mg/kg daily for 5 days.
Renal impairment: Dose reduction not necessary.
Hepatic impairment: Reduce dose in hepatic impairment.
Adverse effects: Rare Mild gastrointestinal disturbances, headache, dizziness, drowsiness, insomnia,
rash and elevated liver enzymes.
Interactions with other medicines (* indicates severe):
There are no known interactions where it is recommended to avoid concomitant use.
Primaquine: may decrease the effect and levels of pyrantel.
Notes: Doses are expressed as base, dose forms expressed as salt.
1 mg of pyrantel base is equivalent to 2.88 mg of pyrantel pamoate or embonate salt.
All family members should be treated.
References:
American Academy of Pediatrics. Red Book: 2009 report of the committee on infectious diseases. 28th ed. Elk Grove Village, American
Academy of Pediatrics, 2009.
Hill SR, Kouimtzi M, Stuart MC, eds. WHO model formulary. Geneva, World Health Organization, 2008.
Klasco RK, ed. Drugdex system. Greenwood Village, Thomson Micromedex, 2010. (http://www.thomsonhc.com, accessed
10 February 2010).
MIMS Online. Sydney, UBM Medica, 2009 (http://www.mimsonline.com.au/Search/Search.aspx, accessed 10 February 2010).
WHO Model Formulary for Children 2010
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6.1.2 Antifilarials
Loiasis
Loiasis is an infection with the filarial nematode Loa loa, and is transmitted by the biting tabanid fly
Chrysops. Most infections remain asymptomatic, although the classical migration of the adult worm
may be seen across the eye.
Lymphatic filariasis
Lymphatic filariasis is caused by infection with Wuchereria bancrofti (bancroftian filariasis), Brugia
malayi, or B. timori (brugian filariasis). It is characterized by early fevers and lymphangitis, then
progressive lymphatic obstruction of the affected area, often a limb. Occult filariasis (tropical
pulmonary eosinophilia) is a clinical variant of W. bancrofti infection.
Onchocerciasis
Onchocerciasis (filariasis or river blindness) is caused by infection with the filarial nematode,
Onchocerca volvulus. The vector is the black fly which breeds near fast flowing rivers. Clinically it
appears as an itchy papular rash progressing to skin thickening with loss of elasticity and subcutaneous
nodules. The eyes are often also involved.
Ivermectin
ATC code: P02CF01
Tablet (scored): 3 mg; 6 mg
Indications: Suppressive treatment of onchocerciasis (also known as river blindness), lymphatic
filariasis and strongyloidiasis.
Contraindications: Pregnancy (delay treatment until after delivery).
Precautions: Loiasis coinfection: may develop life-threatening encephalopathy.
Hyper-reactive onchodermatitis: more likely to have serious adverse reactions especially oedema,
transient worsening of onchodermatitis.
Dose:
Onchocerciasis and lymphatic filariasis.
Oral:
Child over 5 years and over 15 kg 150 micrograms/kg as a single dose once a year or as
necessary.
Strongyloidiasis. Uncomplicated disease.
Oral:
Child over 5 years and over 15 kg 200 micrograms/kg once daily for 2 days, take with fatty food.
Strongyloidiasis. Immunocompromised patients, complicated or disseminated infection.
Oral:
Child over 5 years and over 15 kg an extended course of 200 micrograms/kg once daily on days
1, 2, 15 and 16.
Cutaneous larva migrans.
Oral:
Child over 5 years and over 15 kg 200 micrograms/kg daily for 1–2 days.
In complicated or disseminated infection, daily dosing may be required and expert advice
should be sought.
Treatment is not always successful, especially in immunosuppressed patients, and may need to
be repeated at monthly intervals or a longer course given.
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6.1 Anthelminthics
Renal impairment: Dose reduction not necessary.
Hepatic impairment: Dose reduction not necessary.
Adverse effects: In onchocerciasis, adverse effects are more frequent and more severe due to allergic
or inflammatory responses to death of the parasite (Mazzotti reaction; see below).
Common Urticaria, vertigo, tremor, raised liver enzymes (ALT and AST), decreased leukocyte count,
eosinophilia, increased haemoglobin.
Strongyloidiasis Diarrhoea, nausea, dizziness, somnolence, abdominal pain.
Onchocerciasis Mazzotti reaction (see below).
Uncommon Pruritus, rash, mild ocular irritation.
Strongyloidiasis Fatigue, constipation, vomiting, tremor, rash, itch.
Onchocerciasis Headache.
Rare Postural hypotension, leukopenia, anaemia, toxic epidermal necrolysis, Stevens-Johnson syndrome.
Mazzotti reaction Occurs within 3 days of treatment, resulting from death of microfilariae; fever,
headache, sore throat, cough, rash, conjunctivitis, arthralgia, myalgia, lymphadenopathy, lymphadenitis, oedema,
weakness, tachycardia, nausea and vomiting, diarrhoea.
Interactions with other medicines (* indicates severe):
Alcohol: may increase bioavailability of ivermectin.
Notes: Patient advice Absorption of ivermectin is enhanced when dosage is taken following ingestion of a
fatty meal. Orange juice modestly reduces ivermectin absorption.
Onchocerciasis This treatment does not kill the adult worm, so you may need further treatment.
Strongyloidiasis You will need to have your stools checked to see if the treatment was effective.
Drug of choice for strongyloidiasis.
After a single dose to treat onchocerciasis, skin microfilariae levels are low for up to 9 months
(ivermectin does not kill the adult worm).
References:
Baxter K, ed. Stockley’s drug interactions. 8th ed. London, Pharmaceutical Press, 2008.
eTG complete. Melbourne, Therapeutic Guidelines Limited, 2009 (http://etg.tg.org.au/ip/, accessed 10 February 2010).
Hill SR, Kouimtzi M, Stuart MC, eds. WHO model formulary. Geneva, World Health Organization, 2008.
Kemp CA, McDowell JM. Paediatric pharmacopoeia. 13th ed. Melbourne, Royal Children’s Hospital, 2002.
McEvoy GK, ed. AHFS drug information. Bethesda, American Society of Health-System Pharmacists, 2009.
Rossi S, ed. Australian medicines handbook. Adelaide, Australian Medicines Handbook, 2009.
Sweetman SC, ed. Martindale: the complete drug reference. 34th ed. London, Pharmaceutical Press, 2005.
WHO expert committee on the selection and use of essential medicines. The selection and use of essential medicines: report of
the WHO expert committee, October 2007 (including the model list of essential medicines for children). WHO Technical Report
Series, 2008, 950 (http://www.who.int/medicines/publications/essentialmeds_committeereports/TRS_950.pdf ).
Diethylcarbamazine
ATC code: P02CB02
Tablet: 50 mg; 100 mg (dihydrogen citrate)
Indications: Systemic lymphatic filariasis and occult filariasis; loiasis (Loa loa).
Contraindications: Pregnancy (delay treatment until after delivery).
Precautions: Renal impairment; cardiac disorders; other severe acute disease: delay
diethylcarbamazine treatment until after recovery.
Alkaline urine (e.g. pH 7.5 to 8); in certain regions (e.g. Ghana), the diet is predominantly
vegetarian, which promotes alkaline urine, clinical significance of this is unknown but a dose
reduction may be necessary; risk of precipitating meningoencephalitis with heavy Loa loa
microfilaraemia.
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Dose:
Lymphatic filariasis (bancroftian).
Oral:
Adult and Child over 10 years 1 mg/kg as a single dose on first day, increased gradually over
3 days to 6 mg/kg daily, preferably in divided doses after meals, for 12 days;
under 10 years half the adult dose.
Lymphatic filariasis (bancroftian). Mass treatment control programmes.
Oral:
Adult and Child over 10 years 6 mg/kg in divided doses over 24 hours, once a year;
under 10 years half the adult dose.
Lymphatic filariasis (brugian).
Oral:
Adult and Child over 10 years 1 mg/kg as a single dose on first day, increased gradually over
3 days to 3–6 mg/kg daily, preferably in divided doses after meals, for 6–12 days;
under 10 years half the adult dose.
Lymphatic filariasis (brugian). Mass treatment control programmes.
Oral:
Adult and Child over 10 years 3–6 mg/kg in divided doses over 24 hours, 6 times at weekly or
monthly intervals;
under 10 years half the adult dose.
Filariasis for community eradication programmes.
Oral:
Child all ages 6 mg/kg once annually.
Loiasis (Loa Loa).
Oral:
Child all ages 6 mg/kg/day in three divided doses for 12 days.
Note Corticosteroid and antihistamine cover should be considered for the first 2–3 days of therapy.
The above dose regimens are intended only as a guide, since many countries have developed
specific treatment regimens.
Renal impairment: Moderate to severe: reduce dose; plasma half-life prolonged and urinary excretion
considerably reduced.
Dose reductions are indicated in patients with renal insufficiency, especially those with an alkaline
urine (e.g. pH 8) yet specific dosing guidelines are not available.
Hepatic impairment: Dose reduction not necessary.
Adverse effects: Usually mild and transitory with short courses. Many adverse effects result from
death of the parasite and are more severe and more common with a high parasite burden.
Immunological reactions (see below), nodules (palpable subcutaneously and along spermatic cord,
formed by recently killed worms), transient lymphangitis and exacerbation of lymphoedema.
Uncommon or rare Headache, dizziness, drowsiness, nausea and vomiting.
Immunological reactions Usually occur within a few hours of the first dose, subsiding by the
fifth day of treatment, including fever, headache, joint pain, dizziness, anorexia, malaise, transient haematuria,
urticaria, vomiting, asthma in asthmatics (similar to Mazzotti reaction, induced by disintegrating microfilariae).
Interactions with other medicines (* indicates severe):
Urinary acidifiers: increased loss of diethylcarbamazine, clinical importance of this is unknown.
Urinary alkalinisers (e.g. sodium bicarbonate): decreased loss of diethylcarbamazine, clinical
importance of this is unknown.
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6.1 Anthelminthics
Notes: Should not be used first line for onchocerciasis.
Diethylcarbamazine should be administered after meals.
Close medical supervision is necessary particularly in the early phase of treatment. In heavy
infections there may be a febrile reaction, and in heavy Loa loa infection there is a small risk of
encephalopathy. In such cases treatment must be given under careful in-patient supervision and
stopped at the first sign of cerebral involvement (and specialist advice sought).
References:
Baxter K, ed. Stockley’s drug interactions. 8th ed. London, Pharmaceutical Press, 2008.
Hill SR, Kouimtzi M, Stuart MC, eds. WHO model formulary. Geneva, World Health Organization, 2008.
Klasco RK, ed. Drugdex system. Greenwood Village, Thomson Micromedex, 2010. (http://www.thomsonhc.com, accessed
10 February 2010).
Sweetman SC, ed. Martindale: the complete drug reference. 34th ed. London, Pharmaceutical Press, 2005.
WHO expert committee on the selection and use of essential medicines. The selection and use of essential medicines: report of
the WHO expert committee, October 2007 (including the model list of essential medicines for children). WHO Technical Report
Series, 2008, 950 (http://www.who.int/medicines/publications/essentialmeds_committeereports/TRS_950.pdf ).
6.1.3 Antischistosomals and antitrematode medicines
Fluke infections
The intestinal flukes include Fasciolopsis buski, Metagonimus yokogawai, Heterophyes heterophyes,
Echinostoma spp. and Gastrodiscoides hominis. The liver flukes include Clonorchis sinensis, Opisthorchis
viverrini, O. felineus and Fasciola hepatica. The lung flukes are of the genus Paragonimus.
Schistosomiasis
Schistosomiasis, a waterborne parasitic infection, is caused by several species of trematode worms
(blood flukes). Intestinal schistosomiasis is caused principally by Schistosoma mansoni as well as
S. japonicum, S. mekongi and S. intercalatum. Urinary schistosomiasis is caused by S. haematobium.
Praziquantel
ATC code: P02BA01
Tablet: 600 mg
Indications: Intestinal schistosomiasis; urinary schistosomiasis, intestinal, liver and lung fluke
infections.
Contraindications: Ocular cysticercosis.
Precautions: Skilled tasks Warn patient or carer about the risk of undertaking tasks requiring attention or
coordination, for example riding a bike or operating machinery, for 24 hours.
Neurocysticercosis (see section 6.1.1 Praziquantel); cardiac arrhythmias.
Dose:
Trematodiasis. Schistosomiasis.
Oral:
Child over 4 years 20 mg/kg/dose three times daily for 1 day.
Or
Schistosoma haematobium and S. mansoni.
Oral:
Child over 4 years 20 mg/kg/dose twice daily for 1 day.
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S. japonicum and S. mekongi.
Oral:
Child over 4 years 20 mg/kg/dose three times daily for 1 day.
Chlonorchiasis and opisthorchiasis.
Oral:
Child over 4 years 25 mg/kg/dose three times daily (at 5 hour intervals) for 1 day.
Paragonimus westermani.
Oral:
Child over 4 years 25 mg/kg dose three times daily for 2 days.
Renal impairment: Dose reduction not necessary.
Hepatic impairment: Consider reducing dose in moderate to severe impairment (increases
concentration and half-life).
Adverse effects: Usually mild and transitory with short courses. Many adverse effects result from
death of the parasite and are more severe with a high parasite burden.
Symptoms may include skin reactions, eosinophilia and fever, which are also thought to be responses
to antigens released from dying parasites.
Common Dizziness (dose-dependent), headache, malaise, drowsiness, nausea, vomiting, abdominal
discomfort (dose-dependent), diarrhoea, rectal bleeding, anorexia, colic, reversible rises in hepatic
aminotransferases.
Rare Hypersensitivity reactions including fever, pruritus, eosinophilia (may be due to dead and dying
parasites), arrhythmia.
Interactions with other medicines (* indicates severe):
*
*
*
*
*
*
*
Albendazole: increased plasma concentration of active metabolite of albendazole.
Carbamazepine: may significantly decrease praziquantel serum concentration.
Chloroquine: plasma praziquantel concentration possibly reduced.
Dexamethasone: plasma praziquantel concentration reduced.
Efavirenz: may significantly decrease praziquantel serum concentration.
Erythromycin: may increase praziquantel serum concentration.
Nevirapine: may significantly decrease praziquantel serum concentration.
Phenobarbital: may significantly decrease praziquantel serum concentration.
Phenytoin: plasma praziquantel concentration reduced.
Rifampicin: increases metabolism of praziquantel and may reduce its concentration to ineffective
levels.
Ritonavir: may increase praziquantel serum concentration.
Notes: If the tablets or parts of the tablets are kept in the mouth, a bitter taste (which can promote
gagging or vomiting) may be experienced. Swallow tablets whole (unchewed) and take with water
during meals. Tablet may be cut into halves or quarters, but do not chew.
References:
eTG complete. Melbourne, Therapeutic Guidelines Limited, 2009 (http://etg.tg.org.au/ip/, accessed 10 February 2010).
Hill SR, Kouimtzi M, Stuart MC, eds. WHO model formulary. Geneva, World Health Organization, 2008.
Klasco RK, ed. Drugdex system. Greenwood Village, Thomson Micromedex, 2010. (http://www.thomsonhc.com, accessed
10 February 2010).
Rossi S, ed. Australian medicines handbook. Adelaide, Australian Medicines Handbook, 2009.
WHO expert committee on the selection and use of essential medicines. The selection and use of essential medicines: report of
the WHO expert committee, October 2007 (including the model list of essential medicines for children). WHO Technical Report
Series, 2008, 950 (http://www.who.int/medicines/publications/essentialmeds_committeereports/TRS_950.pdf ).
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6.1 Anthelminthics
Triclabendazole
ATC code: P02BX04
Tablet: 250 mg
Indications: Fascioliasis; paragonimiasis.
Precautions: Paragonimus infections: treatment in hospital as there may be central nervous system
involvement; severe fascioliasis: biliary colic, due to obstruction by dying worms.
Dose:
Fascioliasis.
Oral:
Child over 4 years 10 mg/kg as a single dose.
Paragonimiasis.
Oral:
Child over 4 years 10 mg/kg/dose twice daily for 1 day.
Renal impairment: Dose reduction not necessary.
Hepatic impairment: Dose reduction not necessary.
Adverse effects: Common Abdominal pain (predominately right upper quadrant), dizziness,
headache, fever, chills.
Rare Leukopenia.
Notes: Take with food.
Ingestion of barley may reduce anthelminthic effectiveness.
References:
Aronson JK, ed. Meyler’s side effects of drugs. 15th ed. Amsterdam, Elsevier, 2006.
Hill SR, Kouimtzi M, Stuart MC, eds. WHO model formulary. Geneva, World Health Organization, 2008.
Klasco RK, ed. Drugdex system. Greenwood Village, Thomson Micromedex, 2010. (http://www.thomsonhc.com, accessed 10
February 2010).
Sweetman SC, ed. Martindale: the complete drug reference. 34th ed. London, Pharmaceutical Press, 2005.
WHO expert committee on the selection and use of essential medicines. The selection and use of essential medicines: report of
the WHO expert committee, October 2007 (including the model list of essential medicines for children). WHO Technical Report
Series, 2008, 950 (http://www.who.int/medicines/publications/essentialmeds_committeereports/TRS_950.pdf ).
Oxamniquine
ATC code: P02BA02
Capsule: 250 mg
Oral liquid: 50 mg/ml
Special Notes: Oxamniquine is listed for use when praziquantel treatment fails.
Indications: Intestinal schistosomiasis due to Schistosoma mansoni (acute stage and chronic
hepatosplenic disease).
Contraindications: Pregnancy: delay treatment until after delivery unless immediate intervention
necessary.
Precautions: Skilled tasks Warn patient or carer about the risk of undertaking tasks requiring attention or
coordination, for example riding a bike or operating machinery, for 24 hours.
Epilepsy or a history of seizures.
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Dose:
Intestinal schistosomiasis due to S. mansoni (west Africa, South America, Caribbean islands).
Oral:
Child under 30 kg 20 mg/kg in 2 divided doses;
30 kg and over 15 mg/kg as a single dose.
Intestinal schistosomiasis due to S. mansoni (east and central Africa, Arabian peninsula).
Oral:
Child all ages 30 mg/kg in 2 divided doses.
Intestinal schistosomiasis due to S. mansoni (Egypt and southern Africa).
Oral:
Child all ages 60 mg/kg in divided doses over 2–3 days (maximum single dose 20 mg/kg).
Renal impairment: Dose reduction not necessary.
Hepatic impairment: Dose reduction not necessary.
Adverse effects: Common Dizziness, drowsiness, headache, nausea, vomiting, diarrhoea, intense
reddish discoloration of urine, EEG abnormalities, ECG abnormalities, scattered pulmonary
infiltrates (Loeffler syndrome).
Uncommon Urticaria, pruritic skin rashes, fever, raised liver enzyme values.
Rare Changes in creatine kinase, proteinuria, haematuria, myalgia, eosinophilia, epileptiform
seizures, hallucinations, excitement.
Interactions with other medicines (* indicates severe):
There are no known interactions involving a significant change in effect or where it is recommended
to avoid concomitant use.
Notes: To minimize gastrointestinal side effects, administration after a meal or late in the daytime is
recommended.
Used in the treatment of schistosomiasis caused by S. mansoni, but not by other Schistosoma spp.
References:
Aronson JK, ed. Meyler’s side effects of drugs. 15th ed. Amsterdam, Elsevier, 2006.
Hill SR, Kouimtzi M, Stuart MC, eds. WHO model formulary. Geneva, World Health Organization, 2008.
Klasco RK, ed. Drugdex system. Greenwood Village, Thomson Micromedex, 2010. (http://www.thomsonhc.com, accessed
10 February 2010).
Sweetman SC, ed. Martindale: the complete drug reference. 34th ed. London, Pharmaceutical Press, 2005.
WHO expert committee on the selection and use of essential medicines. The selection and use of essential medicines: report of
the WHO expert committee, October 2007 (including the model list of essential medicines for children). WHO Technical Report
Series, 2008, 950 (http://www.who.int/medicines/publications/essentialmeds_committeereports/TRS_950.pdf ).
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6.2 Antibacterials
6.2 Antibacterials
Choice of a suitable antibacterial drug
The choice of an antibacterial drug is based on the identity of the likely pathogen and its antibacterial
sensitivity, as well as consideration of various factors relating to the patient (e.g. history of allergy,
renal and hepatic function, immune status, severity of illness, ethnic origin and age).
Antibacterial policy
Local policies often limit the availability of antibacterials in order to achieve reasonable economy
consistent with adequate antibacterial cover, and to reduce the development of resistant organisms.
A policy may allow a range of drugs for general use, and permit use of other drugs only on the advice
of a microbiologist or physician responsible for the control of infectious diseases. Guidelines for the
management of specific diseases should be consulted when selecting an antibacterial agent.
Before starting therapy
The following should be considered before starting antimicrobial therapy:
• Viral infections should not be treated with antibacterials. Viral upper respiratory tract infections
and uncomplicated diarrhoea do not require antibacterial medications.
• When possible, samples should be taken for culture and sensitivity testing. “Blind” antibacterial
prescribing for unexplained fever usually leads to further difficulty in establishing the diagnosis.
• Knowledge of prevalent organisms and their current sensitivity is of great help in choosing an
antibacterial before bacteriological confirmation is available.
• The choice of an antibiotic for a particular infection should be as specific as possible, reserving
broad-spectrum cover for very unwell patients (e.g. those with severe acute malnutrition) when
the infecting organism is either unknown or may be one many different species. Narrowing the
spectrum, when possible, minimizes potential resistance and limits toxic effects to the patient.
• The dose of an antibacterial varies according to a number of factors including age, weight, hepatic
function, renal function and severity of infection. The prescribing of the so-called “standard”
dose in serious infections may result in failure of treatment; therefore it is important to prescribe
a dose appropriate to the condition. An inadequate dose may also increase the likelihood of
antibacterial resistance. On the other hand, for an antibacterial with a narrow margin between its
toxic and therapeutic doses (e.g. an aminoglycoside), it is equally important to avoid an excessive
dose. In such cases, the concentration of the drug in the plasma may need to be monitored.
• The route of administration of an antibacterial often depends on the severity of the infection.
Life-threatening infections generally require intravenous therapy. However, antibacterials that are
well absorbed can be given by mouth even for some serious infections. When possible, painful
intramuscular injections should be avoided in children.
• Duration of therapy depends on the nature of the infection and the response to treatment.
Courses should not be unduly prolonged because this encourages resistance, and prolonged
therapy may also lead to unwanted side-effects and unnecessary expense. However, in certain
infections, such as tuberculosis or chronic osteomyelitis, it is necessary to treat for prolonged
periods.
WHO Model Formulary for Children 2010
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6.2.1 Beta-lactam medicines
Beta-lactam antibiotics include penicillins, cefalosporins and carbapenems. These share a common
structure and are bactericidal, through a mechanism of action directed at the bacterial cell wall.
Hypersensitivity
The most important adverse effect of penicillins is hypersensitivity, which causes a rash, and occasionally
anaphylaxis, which can be fatal. Allergic reactions to penicillins occur in 1–10% of exposed individuals,
while anaphylactic reactions occur in fewer than 0.05%. Individuals with a history of anaphylaxis,
urticaria or rash immediately after penicillin administration are at risk of immediate hypersensitivity
with subsequent exposure to penicillins. These individuals should not receive a penicillin, cefalosporin
or any other beta-lactam antibiotic. Patients who are allergic to one penicillin will be allergic to them
all because hypersensitivity is related to the basic penicillin structure. About 10–15% of penicillinsensitive patients will be allergic to cefalosporins and other beta-lactams.
Individuals with a history of a minor rash (a non-confluent rash restricted to a small area of the
body) or a rash occurring more than 72 hours after penicillin administration are possibly not allergic
to penicillin. In these individuals, a penicillin should not be withheld unnecessarily for a serious
infection.
Amoxicillin
ATC code: J01CA04
Powder for oral liquid: 125 mg (anhydrous)/5 ml; 250 mg (anhydrous)/5 ml
Solid oral dosage form: 250 mg; 500 mg (anhydrous)
Indications: Urinary tract infections, upper respiratory tract infections, bronchitis; pneumonia;
otitis media; dental abscess and other oral infections; osteomyelitis; Lyme disease; endocarditis
prophylaxis; post-splenectomy prophylaxis; gynaecological infections; gonorrhoea; anthrax.
Contraindications: Hypersensitivity to penicillins (see section notes); penicillin-associated jaundice
or hepatic dysfunction.
Precautions: History of allergy (see section notes); renal impairment; erythematous rashes common
in glandular fever, cytomegalovirus infection, chronic lymphatic leukaemia and possibly HIV
infection; maintain adequate hydration with high doses (risk of crystalluria).
Dose:
Infections due to sensitive organisms.
Oral:
Child up to 10 years 125 mg every 8–12 hours, doubled in severe infections;
over 10 years 250 mg every 8–12 hours, doubled in severe infections.
Otitis media.
Oral:
40 mg/kg daily in three divided doses (maximum 3 g daily).
Renal impairment: Mild to moderate: risk of crystalluria with high doses.
Severe: reduce dose; rashes more common and risk of crystalluria.
Hepatic impairment: Dose reduction not necessary.
Adverse effects: Common Diarrhoea, nausea, rash, urticaria, superinfection (including candidiasis),
especially during prolonged treatment with broad-spectrum penicillins, allergy.
Uncommon Fever, vomiting, erythema, exfoliative dermatitis, angioedema, Clostridium difficile-
associated disease.
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Rare Anaphylaxis, bronchospasm, tooth discoloration, interstitial nephritis, serum sickness-like
syndrome, haemolytic anaemia, electrolyte disturbances (due to their sodium or potassium
content), neurotoxicity (e.g. seizures with high doses or impaired renal function), coagulation
disorders, blood dyscrasias (e.g. neutropenia (related to dose and duration of treatment),
thrombocytopenia), nephropathy (with parenteral use), Stevens-Johnson syndrome, toxic
epidermal necrolysis.
Interactions with other medicines (* indicates severe):
Allopurinol: increased risk of rash.
Contraceptives, oral: contraceptive effect of estrogens possibly reduced (risk probably small).
Methotrexate: reduced excretion of methotrexate (increased risk of toxicity).
Warfarin: studies have failed to demonstrate an interaction, but common experience in
anticoagulant clinics is that INR can be altered by a course of amoxicillin.
References:
Hill SR, Kouimtzi M, Stuart MC, eds. WHO model formulary. Geneva, World Health Organization, 2008.
Hodding JH, Kraus DM, Taketomo CK. Pediatric dosage handbook. 16th ed. Hudson, Lexi-Comp, 2009.
Paediatric Formulary Committee. British national formulary for children 2009. London, BMJ Group RBS Publishing, 2009.
WHO expert committee on the selection and use of essential medicines. The selection and use of essential medicines: report of
the WHO expert committee, October 2007 (including the model list of essential medicines for children). WHO Technical Report
Series, 2008, 950 (http://www.who.int/medicines/publications/essentialmeds_committeereports/TRS_950.pdf ).
Amoxicillin + Clavulanic acid
ATC code: J01CR02
Oral liquid: 125 mg amoxicillin + 31.25 mg clavulanic acid/5 ml; 250 mg amoxicillin +
62.5 mg clavulanic acid/5 ml
Tablet: 500 mg + 125 mg
Indications: Infections due to beta-lactamase producing bacteria (where amoxicillin alone not
appropriate) including respiratory tract infections, otitis media, genitourinary and abdominal
infections, cellulitis, animal bites, severe dental infections, Haemophilus influenzae, osteomyelitis
and surgical prophylaxis.
Contraindications: Hypersensitivity to penicillins (see section notes); history of penicillin or
amoxicillin with clavulanic acid-associated jaundice or hepatic dysfunction.
Precautions: History of allergy (see section notes); renal impairment; erythematous rashes common
in glandular fever, cytomegalovirus infection, chronic lymphatic leukaemia and possibly HIV
infection; maintain adequate hydration with high doses (risk of crystalluria); hepatic impairment.
Dose:
Infections due to susceptible beta-lactamase producing organisms.
Oral (expressed in terms of amoxicillin):
Child under 1 year 20 mg/kg daily in three divided doses;
1–6 years 125 mg every 8 hours;
6–12 years 250 mg every 8 hours;
over 12 years 250 mg every 8 hours.
This dose can be doubled in severe infections.
Renal impairment: Risk of crystalluria with high doses (particularly during parenteral therapy);
reduce dose if creatinine clearance less than 30 ml/minute.
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Anti-infective medicines
Hepatic impairment: Monitor liver function in liver disease.
Cholestatic jaundice reported either during or shortly after treatment; more common in patients over
the age of 65 years and in males; duration of treatment should not usually exceed 14 days.
Adverse effects: Common Diarrhoea, nausea, rash, urticaria, superinfection (including candidiasis)
especially during prolonged treatment with broad-spectrum penicillins, allergy, transient increases
in liver enzymes and bilirubin.
Uncommon Dizziness, headache, fever, vomiting, erythema, exfoliative dermatitis, angioedema,
Clostridium difficile-associated disease.
Rare Anaphylaxis, bronchospasm, tooth discoloration, interstitial nephritis, hepatitis, jaundice,
serum sickness-like syndrome, haemolytic anaemia, electrolyte disturbances (due to their sodium
or potassium content), neurotoxicity (e.g. seizures with high doses or impaired renal function),
coagulation disorders, blood dyscrasias (e.g. neutropenia (related to dose and duration of
treatment), thrombocytopenia), nephropathy (with parenteral use), Stevens-Johnson syndrome,
toxic epidermal necrolysis, acute generalised exanthematous pustulosis, cholestatic hepatitis
(generally less severe than flucloxacillin hepatitis and is usually reversible. Symptoms may appear
during, or several weeks after, treatment and may persist for 5–6 weeks. The risk increases with age
(> 55 years), male sex and length of treatment).
Interactions with other medicines (* indicates severe):
Allopurinol: increased risk of rash.
Contraceptives, oral: contraceptive effect of estrogens possibly reduced (risk probably small).
Methotrexate: reduced excretion of methotrexate (increased risk of toxicity).
Warfarin: studies have failed to demonstrate an interaction, but common experience in
anticoagulant clinics is that INR can be altered by a course of amoxicillin.
Notes: The risk of acute liver toxicity has been estimated to be about six times higher with
amoxicillin + clavulanic acid than amoxicillin.
References:
Hill SR, Kouimtzi M, Stuart MC, eds. WHO model formulary. Geneva, World Health Organization, 2008.
Hodding JH, Kraus DM, Taketomo CK. Pediatric dosage handbook. 16th ed. Hudson, Lexi-Comp, 2009.
Klasco RK, ed. Drugdex system. Greenwood Village, Thomson Micromedex, 2010. (http://www.thomsonhc.com, accessed
10 February 2010).
Paediatric Formulary Committee. British national formulary for children 2009. London, BMJ Group RBS Publishing, 2009.
WHO expert committee on the selection and use of essential medicines. The selection and use of essential medicines: report of
the WHO expert committee, October 2007 (including the model list of essential medicines for children). WHO Technical Report
Series, 2008, 950 (http://www.who.int/medicines/publications/essentialmeds_committeereports/TRS_950.pdf ).
Ampicillin
ATC code: J01CA01
Powder for injection: 500 mg; 1 g (as sodium salt) in vial
Not to be given by intrathecal injection as can cause encephalopathy which may be fatal.
Indications: Mastoiditis; gynaecological infections; septicaemia; peritonitis; endocarditis; meningitis;
cholecystitis; osteomyelitis.
Contraindications: Hypersensitivity to penicillins (see section notes).
Precautions: History of allergy (see section notes); renal impairment; erythematous rashes common
in glandular fever, acute or chronic lymphocytic leukaemia and cytomegalovirus infection.
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Dose:
Severe infections due to sensitive organisms (e.g. meningitis).
IV or IM:
Neonate under 7 days 50–100 mg/kg every 12 hours;
Neonate 7–21 days 50–100 mg/kg every 8 hours;
Neonate 21– 28 days 50–100 mg/kg every 6 hours.
Child 1 month–12 years 50 mg/kg every 4–6 hours (maximum 2 g every 4 hours).
Administration IV administration is preferred. If IM injection is required, lidocaine can be used to
reconstitute the injection to reduce local pain.
IV: give over 30 minutes when using doses greater than 50 mg/kg to avoid CNS toxicity, including
convulsions.
Renal impairment: Severe: reduce dose or frequency.
Hepatic impairment: Dose reduction not necessary.
Adverse effects: Common Diarrhoea, nausea, rash, urticaria, pain and inflammation at injection site,
superinfection (including candidiasis) especially during prolonged treatment with broad-spectrum
penicillins, allergy.
Uncommon Fever, vomiting, erythema, exfoliative dermatitis, angioedema, Clostridium difficileassociated disease.
Rare Anaphylaxis, bronchospasm, interstitial nephritis, serum sickness-like syndrome, haemolytic
anaemia, electrolyte disturbances (due to their sodium or potassium content), neurotoxicity (e.g.
convulsions with high doses or impaired renal function), coagulation disorders, blood dyscrasias
(e.g. neutropenia (related to dose and duration of treatment), thrombocytopenia), nephropathy
(with parenteral use), Stevens-Johnson syndrome, toxic epidermal necrolysis.
Interactions with other medicines (* indicates severe):
Allopurinol: increased risk of rash.
Aminoglycosides: separate in terms of IV administration by 1 hour, preferably, due to inactivation
of the aminoglycoside by the penicillin.
Contraceptives, oral: contraceptive effect of estrogens possibly reduced (risk probably small).
Methotrexate: reduced excretion of methotrexate (increased risk of toxicity).
Warfarin: studies have failed to demonstrate an interaction, but common experience in
anticoagulant clinics is that INR can be altered by a course of amoxicillin.
Notes: IV penicillins are physically incompatible with many substances (including aminoglycosides);
give separately.
Avoid rapid IV administration of large doses as it may result in seizures.
References:
Hill SR, Kouimtzi M, Stuart MC, eds. WHO model formulary. Geneva, World Health Organization, 2008.
Hodding JH, Kraus DM, Taketomo CK. Pediatric dosage handbook. 16th ed. Hudson, Lexi-Comp, 2009.
Klasco RK, ed. Drugdex system. Greenwood Village, Thomson Micromedex, 2010. (http://www.thomsonhc.com, accessed
10 February 2010).
Paediatric Formulary Committee. British national formulary for children 2009. London, BMJ Group RBS Publishing, 2009.
Rossi S, ed. Australian medicines handbook. Adelaide, Australian Medicines Handbook, 2009.
WHO expert committee on the selection and use of essential medicines. The selection and use of essential medicines: report of
the WHO expert committee, October 2007 (including the model list of essential medicines for children). WHO Technical Report
Series, 2008, 950 (http://www.who.int/medicines/publications/essentialmeds_committeereports/TRS_950.pdf ).
WHO Model Formulary for Children 2010
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Benzathine benzylpenicillin
ATC code: J01CE08
Powder for injection: 900 mg benzathine benzylpenicillin (= 1.2 million IU) in 5 ml vial; 1.8 g
benzathine benzylpenicillin (= 2.4 million IU) in 5 ml vial
Do not give by intravenous injection.
Indications: Streptococcal pharyngitis; diphtheria; syphilis and other treponemal infections (yaws,
pinta, bejel); rheumatic fever prophylaxis.
Contraindications: Penicillin hypersensitivity (see section notes); intravascular injection;
neurosyphilis.
Precautions: History of allergy (see section notes); renal failure.
Dose:
Do not give by intravenous injection.
Streptococcal pharyngitis; primary prophylaxis of rheumatic fever.
Deep IM:
Child under 30 kg 450–675 mg (600 000–900 000 IU) as a single dose;
30 kg and over 900 mg (1.2 million IU) as a single dose.
Secondary prophylaxis of rheumatic fever.
Deep IM:
Child under 30 kg 450 mg (600 000 IU) once every 3–4 weeks;
30 kg and over 900 mg (1.2 million IU) once every 3–4 weeks.
Congenital syphilis (where no evidence of CSF involvement).
Deep IM:
Child up to 2 years 37.5 mg/kg (50 000 IU/kg) as a single dose.
Yaws, pinta and bejel.
Deep IM:
Child 450 mg (600 000 IU) as a single dose.
Renal impairment: Severe: neurotoxicity; high doses may cause convulsions.
Hepatic impairment: Dose reduction not necessary.
Adverse effects: Common Diarrhoea, nausea, rash, urticaria, pain and inflammation at injection site,
superinfection (including candidiasis) especially during prolonged treatment with broad-spectrum
penicillins, allergy.
Uncommon Fever, vomiting, erythema, exfoliative dermatitis, angioedema, Clostridium difficileassociated disease.
Rare Anaphylaxis, bronchospasm, tooth discoloration, joint pain, interstitial nephritis, serum
sickness-like syndrome, haemolytic anaemia, electrolyte disturbances (due to their sodium or
potassium content), neurotoxicity (e.g. seizures with high doses or impaired renal function),
coagulation disorders, blood dyscrasias (e.g. neutropenia (related to dose and duration of
treatment), thrombocytopenia), nephropathy (with parenteral use), Stevens-Johnson syndrome,
toxic epidermal necrolysis, Jarisch-Herxheimer reaction. This consists of fever, chills, headache,
hypotension and flare-up of lesions (due to release of pyrogens from the organisms and
endotoxins) during treatment for syphilis and other spirochaete infections. Lasts for 12–24 hours;
symptoms can be alleviated by acetylsalicylic acid (aspirin) or prednisolone; can be dangerous in
cardiovascular syphilis or where there is serious risk of local damage, e.g. optic atrophy.
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6.2 Antibacterials
Accidental intravascular administration May result in severe neurovascular damage. CNS
effects, including anxiety, agitation, fear of death and hallucinations (usually resolving in 15–30 minutes, but
rarely lasting for up to 24 hours) may also occur.
Interactions with other medicines (* indicates severe):
Contraceptives, oral: contraceptive effect of estrogens possibly reduced (risk probably small).
Methotrexate: reduced excretion of methotrexate (increased risk of toxicity).
Notes: Give by deep IM injection only.
Give doses > 900 mg (1.2 million IU) as two injections at separate sites.
It may require that the dose to be divided into two sites if there is reduced muscle bulk.
Absorbed slowly into circulation and hydrolysed to benzylpenicillin; use when prolonged, low
concentrations of benzylpenicillin are appropriate and adequate.
In adults duration of effect of 900 mg (1.2 million IU) dose is 2–4 weeks.
Syringes are not graduated; part syringe dosing is not accurate but is used.
Benzathine benzylpenicillin 900 mg = 720 mg benzylpenicillin = 1.2 million IU.
References:
Hill SR, Kouimtzi M, Stuart MC, eds. WHO model formulary. Geneva, World Health Organization, 2008.
Klasco RK, ed. Drugdex system. Greenwood Village, Thomson Micromedex, 2010. (http://www.thomsonhc.com, accessed
10 February 2010).
Paediatric Formulary Committee. British national formulary for children 2009. London, BMJ Group RBS Publishing, 2009.
Rossi S, ed. Australian medicines handbook. Adelaide, Australian Medicines Handbook, 2009.
WHO expert committee on the selection and use of essential medicines. The selection and use of essential medicines: report of
the WHO expert committee, October 2007 (including the model list of essential medicines for children). WHO Technical Report
Series, 2008, 950 (http://www.who.int/medicines/publications/essentialmeds_committeereports/TRS_950.pdf ).
Benzylpenicillin
ATC code: J01CE01
Powder for injection: 600 mg (= 1 million IU); 3 g (= 5 million IU) (sodium or potassium salt)
in vial
Special Notes: Also known as penicillin G.
Indications: Pneumonia; throat infections; otitis media; Lyme disease; streptococcal endocarditis;
meningococcal disease; necrotizing enterocolitis; necrotizing fasciitis; leptospirosis; neurosyphilis;
anthrax; relapsing fever; actinomycosis; brain abscess; gas gangrene; cellulitis; osteomyelitis.
Contraindications: Penicillin hypersensitivity (see section notes); avoid intrathecal route (see section
notes).
Precautions: History of allergy (see section notes); renal failure; heart failure.
Dose:
Mild to moderate infections due to sensitive organisms.
IV or IM:
Neonate under 1 week 50 mg/kg daily in two divided doses;
Neonate 1–4 weeks 75 mg/kg daily in three divided doses.
Child 1 month–12 years 100 mg/kg daily in four divided doses.
Higher doses are used in severe infections (see also below).
Meningococcal disease.
IV or IM:
Premature infant and Neonate under 1 week 100 mg/kg daily in two divided doses.
Neonate 1–4 weeks 150 mg/kg daily in three divided doses.
Child 1 month–2 years 180–300 mg/kg daily in 4–6 divided doses.
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Suspected meningococcal disease (before transfer to hospital).
IV or IM:
Infant under 1 year 300 mg.
Child 1–9 years 600 mg;
10 years and over 1.2 g.
Congenital syphilis.
IV:
Infant and Child up to 2 years 30 mg/kg twice daily for the first 7 days of life, then 30 mg/kg
three times daily for 3 days.
IV or IM:
Child 2 years and over 120–180 mg/kg (to a maximum of 1.44 g) daily in 4–6 divided doses for
10–14 days.
Renal impairment: Severe: maximum 6 g daily; neurotoxicity (high doses may cause convulsions).
Hepatic impairment: Dose reduction not necessary.
Adverse effects: Common Diarrhoea, nausea, rash, urticaria, pain and inflammation at injection site,
superinfection (including candidiasis) especially during prolonged treatment with broad-spectrum
penicillins, allergy.
Uncommon Fever, vomiting, erythema, exfoliative dermatitis, angioedema, Clostridium difficileassociated disease.
Rare Anaphylaxis, bronchospasm, tooth discoloration, joint pains, interstitial nephritis, serum
sickness-like syndrome, haemolytic anaemia, electrolyte disturbances (due to their sodium or
potassium content), neurotoxicity (e.g. seizures with high doses or impaired renal function),
coagulation disorders, blood dyscrasias (e.g. neutropenia (related to dose and duration of
treatment), thrombocytopenia), nephropathy (with parenteral use), Stevens-Johnson syndrome,
toxic epidermal necrolysis, Jarisch-Herxheimer reaction. This consists of fever, chills, headache,
hypotension and flare-up of lesions (due to release of pyrogens from the organisms and
endotoxins) during treatment for syphilis and other spirochaete infections. Lasts for 12–24 hours;
symptoms can be alleviated by acetylsalicylic acid (aspirin) or prednisolone; can be dangerous in
cardiovascular syphilis or where there is serious risk of local damage, e.g. optic atrophy.
Interactions with other medicines (* indicates severe):
Contraceptives, oral: contraceptive effect of estrogens possibly reduced (risk probably small).
Methotrexate: reduced excretion of methotrexate (increased risk of toxicity).
Notes: Intravenous route preferred for neonates and infants; doses over 1.2 g by intravenous route
only.
IV penicillins are physically incompatible with many substances (including aminoglycosides); give
separately.
Avoid rapid IV administration of large doses as it may result in convulsions. Longer administration
time is particularly important when using doses of ≥ 50 mg/kg to avoid CNS toxicity.
Contains 3.4 mmol (78 mg) sodium per 1.2 g injection.
References:
Hill SR, Kouimtzi M, Stuart MC, eds. WHO model formulary. Geneva, World Health Organization, 2008.
Klasco RK, ed. Drugdex system. Greenwood Village, Thomson Micromedex, 2010. (http://www.thomsonhc.com, accessed
10 February 2010).
Paediatric Formulary Committee. British national formulary for children 2009. London, BMJ Group RBS Publishing, 2009.
Rossi S, ed. Australian medicines handbook. Adelaide, Australian Medicines Handbook, 2009.
WHO expert committee on the selection and use of essential medicines. The selection and use of essential medicines: report of
the WHO expert committee, October 2007 (including the model list of essential medicines for children). WHO Technical Report
Series, 2008, 950 (http://www.who.int/medicines/publications/essentialmeds_committeereports/TRS_950.pdf ).
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6.2 Antibacterials
Cefalexin
ATC code: J01DB01
Powder for reconstitution with water: 25 mg/ml; 50 mg/ml
Solid oral dosage form: 250 mg
Special Notes: Also referred to as cephalexin.
Indications: Infection due to sensitive organisms, urinary tract infections, mild cellulitis.
Contraindications: Cefalosporin hypersensitivity.
Precautions: Renal impairment; impaired vitamin K synthesis, low vitamin K stores (chronic disease
and malnutrition) as increased risk of bleeding; allergy to cefalosporins; a severe or immediate
allergic reaction (including urticaria, anaphylaxis or interstitial nephritis) to a penicillin.
Dose:
Oral:
Infant and Child 6.25–12.5 mg/kg/dose every 6 hours. Up to maximum of 25 mg/kg/dose every
6 hours may be used in severe infections.
The same daily dose may be given twice daily for uncomplicated urinary tract infections,
streptococcal pharyngitis and tonsillitis, skin and soft tissue infections, however this is not
recommended if > 500 mg per dose is required.
Renal impairment: Reduce dose in moderate impairment.
Hepatic impairment: Dose reduction not necessary.
Adverse effects: Common Diarrhoea, nausea, rash, electrolyte disturbances.
Uncommon Vomiting, headache, dizziness, oral and vaginal candidiasis, Clostridium difficile-
associated disease, superinfection, eosinophilia, drug fever.
Rare Anaphylactic shock, bronchial obstruction, cholestatic hepatitis, urticaria, haemolytic anaemia,
angioedema, Stevens-Johnson syndrome, toxic epidermal necrolysis, interstitial nephritis,
arthritis, serum sickness-like syndrome, neurotoxicity (including seizures), blood dyscrasias
(e.g. neutropenia (related to dose and treatment duration), thrombocytopenia), bleeding, renal
impairment.
Interactions with other medicines (* indicates severe):
Cefalosporins can cause renal impairment; administration with other drugs which also have this
effect may increase risk of nephrotoxicity.
Metformin: increase in metformin plasma levels and may increase risk of metformin side-effects
(nausea, vomiting, diarrhoea, asthenia, headache).
Typhoid vaccine, live: a decreased immunological response to the typhoid vaccine.
Notes: Hypersensitivity to cefalosporins occurs in about 0.5–6.5% of penicillin sensitive patients.
References:
Hill SR, Kouimtzi M, Stuart MC, eds. WHO model formulary. Geneva, World Health Organization, 2008.
Klasco RK, ed. Drugdex system. Greenwood Village, Thomson Micromedex, 2010. (http://www.thomsonhc.com, accessed
10 February 2010).
Paediatric Formulary Committee. British national formulary for children 2009. London, BMJ Group RBS Publishing, 2009.
Rossi S, ed. Australian medicines handbook. Adelaide, Australian Medicines Handbook, 2009.
WHO expert committee on the selection and use of essential medicines. The selection and use of essential medicines: report of
the WHO expert committee, October 2007 (including the model list of essential medicines for children). WHO Technical Report
Series, 2008, 950 (http://www.who.int/medicines/publications/essentialmeds_committeereports/TRS_950.pdf ).
WHO Model Formulary for Children 2010
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Cefazolin
ATC code: J01DB04
Powder for injection: 1 g (as sodium salt) in vial
Special Notes: WHO age/weight restriction: > 1 month.
This medicine is listed as a representative of its pharmacological class. Other medicines in the same
class may have similar clinical performance and may be selected for local formularies based on
availability and price. The information in this monograph only applies to the medicine listed here.
Indications: Prophylaxis of infection in surgery; treatment of MSSA in non-anaphylactic penicillin allergy.
Contraindications: Cefalosporin hypersensitivity (see section 6.2.1).
Precautions: Sensitivity to beta-lactam antibacterials (avoid if history of immediate hypersensitivity
reaction; see section 6.2.1); moderate renal impairment; false-positive urinary glucose (if tested for
reducing substances) and false-positive Coombs’ test; seizure disorders.
Dose:
Surgical prophylaxis.
Deep IM or IV:
Infant over 1 month 25 mg/kg (maximum 1 g dose) as a single dose at induction of anaesthesia,
repeated if necessary if surgery lasts over 3 hours. Further doses may be given every 6–8 hours
postoperatively for 24 hours if necessary, or for up to 5 days in continued risk of infection.
Intramuscular administration may be painful and should be avoided where possible. If IM
injection is required/necessary cefazolin can be reconstituted with lidocaine 0.5%.
Renal impairment: Moderate: reduce dose.
Hepatic impairment: Dose reduction not necessary.
Adverse effects: Common Diarrhoea, nausea, rash, electrolyte disturbances, pain and inflammation
at injection site.
Uncommon Vomiting, headache, dizziness, oral and vaginal candidiasis, Clostridium difficile-
associated disease, superinfection, eosinophilia, drug fever.
Rare Confusion (after large doses in renal failure), anaphylaxis, bronchial obstruction, urticaria,
haemolytic anaemia, angioedema, Stevens-Johnson syndrome, toxic epidermal necrolysis,
renal impairment including interstitial nephritis, abnormal liver function tests, arthritis, serum
sickness-like syndrome, neurotoxicity (including seizures), blood dyscrasias including neutropenia,
eosinophilia, thrombocytopenia, leukopenia, thrombocythaemia and bleeding.
Interactions with other medicines (* indicates severe):
Cefalosporins can cause renal impairment; administration with other drugs which also have this
effect may increase risk of nephrotoxicity.
Typhoid vaccine, live: a decreased immunological response to the typhoid vaccine.
* Warfarin: possibly enhanced anticoagulant effect.
Notes: IV products are physically incompatible with many substances; avoid mixing with other drugs.
References:
Hill SR, Kouimtzi M, Stuart MC, eds. WHO model formulary. Geneva, World Health Organization, 2008.
Hodding JH, Kraus DM, Taketomo CK. Pediatric dosage handbook. 16th ed. Hudson, Lexi-Comp, 2009.
Kemp CA, McDowell JM. Paediatric pharmacopoeia. 13th ed. Melbourne, Royal Children’s Hospital, 2002.
Klasco RK, ed. Drugdex system. Greenwood Village, Thomson Micromedex, 2010. (http://www.thomsonhc.com, accessed
10 February 2010).
Pharmacy Department, The Royal Children’s Hospital. Paediatric Injectable Guidelines. 3rd ed. Melbourne, The Royal Children’s
Hospital, 2006.
Rossi S, ed. Australian medicines handbook. Adelaide, Australian Medicines Handbook, 2009.
WHO expert committee on the selection and use of essential medicines. The selection and use of essential medicines: report of
the WHO expert committee, October 2007 (including the model list of essential medicines for children). WHO Technical Report
Series, 2008, 950 (http://www.who.int/medicines/publications/essentialmeds_committeereports/TRS_950.pdf ).
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6.2 Antibacterials
Ceftriaxone
ATC code: J01DD04
Powder for injection: 250 mg; 1 g (as sodium salt) in vial
Use with calcium (see Contraindications) and avoid in infants with hyperbilirubinaemia.
Special Notes: WHO age/weight restriction: > 41 weeks corrected gestational age.
Indications: Serious infections due to sensitive bacteria, including septicaemia, pneumonia and
meningitis; osteomyelitis, septic arthritis; Haemophilus influenzae epiglottitis; surgical prophylaxis;
prophylaxis of meningococcal meningitis; shigellosis, invasive salmonellosis; endocarditis;
gonococcal conjunctivitis; gonorrhoea; pelvic inflammatory disease; Lyme disease.
Contraindications: Cefalosporin hypersensitivity (see section 6.2.1); porphyria; neonates with
jaundice, hypoalbuminaemia, acidosis or impaired bilirubin binding; concomitant treatment with
calcium (ceftriaxone should not be used in neonates less than 28 days of age if they are receiving
(or are expected to receive) calcium-containing intravenous products. In patients > 28 days of
age, ceftriaxone and calcium-containing products may be administered sequentially, provided the
infusion lines are thoroughly flushed between infusions with a compatible fluid).
Precautions: Sensitivity to beta-lactam antibacterials (avoid if history of immediate hypersensitivity
reaction; see also section 6.2.1); severe renal impairment; hepatic impairment if accompanied by
renal impairment; premature neonates (may displace bilirubin from serum albumin); treatment
longer than 14 days, renal failure, dehydration or concomitant total parenteral nutrition (risk
of ceftriaxone precipitation in gallbladder); false-positive urinary glucose (if tested for reducing
substances) and false-positive Coombs’ test.
Dose:
Infections due to susceptible organisms.
Deep IM or IV:
Neonate 7 days or under 50 mg/kg daily (maximum dose 1 g);
Neonate over 7 days 75 mg/kg daily (maximum dose 1 g).
Infant and Child under 50 kg 50–100 mg/kg daily (maximum dose 1 g); higher dose reserved
for severe infections.
Neonatal gonococcal conjunctivitis.
IM:
Neonate 50 mg/kg as a single dose (maximum 125 mg).
Prophylaxis of secondary case of meningococcal meningitis.
IM:
Child 1 month–12 years 125 mg as a single dose;
12–18 years 250 mg as a single dose.
Administration Doses of 50 mg/kg and over should be given by intravenous infusion only.
Intramuscular doses over 1 g divided between more than one site.
For IM injection: ceftriaxone may be mixed with lidocaine 1% to 450 mg/ml to reduce pain at intramuscular
site.
Administer by intravenous injection (over at least 3 minutes) or by intravenous infusion (over 30 minutes).
Intravenous infusions for neonates should be over 60 minutes (see also Contraindications).
Renal impairment: Severe: maximum 50 mg/kg daily (maximum 2 g daily); also monitor plasma
concentration if both severe renal impairment and hepatic impairment.
Hepatic impairment: Reduce dose and monitor plasma concentration if both hepatic and severe renal
impairment.
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Adverse effects: Common Diarrhoea, nausea, rash, electrolyte disturbances, abnormalities in liver
function enzymes, pain and inflammation at injection site, thrombocytosis, leukopenia.
Uncommon Vomiting, headache, dizziness, oral and vaginal candidiasis, Clostridium difficile-
associated disease, superinfection, eosinophilia, drug fever.
Rare Anaphylaxis, bronchial obstruction, urticaria, haemolytic anaemia, angioedema, StevensJohnson syndrome, toxic epidermal necrolysis, interstitial nephritis, arthritis, serum sickness-like
syndrome, neurotoxicity (including seizures), blood dyscrasias (including thrombocytopenia,
neutropenia, haemolytic anaemia, anaemia, haemolysis), prolongation of prothrombin time,
renal impairment, pancreatitis, increased bilirubin, jaundice, pseudolithiasis (dose-dependent,
asymptomatic and reversible biliary sludge formation due to calcium-ceftriaxone complex; has
been mistaken for gallstones on ultrasound scans and usually resolves after stopping treatment),
nephrolithiasis (formation of calcium-ceftriaxone renal stones, sometimes requiring treatment;
usually reversible).
Interactions with other medicines (* indicates severe):
Calcium salts.
Ciclosporin: increased risk of ciclosporin toxicity (renal dysfunction, cholestasis, paraesthesia).
Lactated Ringer’s solution: formation of ceftriaxone-calcium precipitates and is contraindicated.
Ringer’s solution: formation of ceftriaxone-calcium precipitates and is contraindicated.
Typhoid vaccine, live: decreased immunological response to the typhoid vaccine.
Contraceptives, oral: contraceptive effect of estrogens possibly reduced (risk probably small).
* Warfarin: possibly enhanced anticoagulant effect.
Notes: Cefotaxime is preferred to ceftriaxone for Gram-negative septicaemia in neonates as
ceftriaxone displaces bilirubin from albumin and may increase risk of bilirubin encephalopathy.
However, single dose ceftriaxone is used to treat neonatal gonococcal conjunctivitis.
Concomitant use of ceftriaxone and intravenous calcium-containing products is contraindicated in
neonates (< 28 days of age). Ceftriaxone should not be used in neonates (< 28 days of age) if they
are receiving (or are expected to receive) calcium-containing intravenous products.
In patients > 28 days of age, ceftriaxone and calcium-containing products may be administered
sequentially, provided the infusion lines are thoroughly flushed between infusions with a
compatible fluid. Ceftriaxone must not be administered simultaneously with intravenous calciumcontaining solutions via a Y-site in any age group.
References:
Hill SR, Kouimtzi M, Stuart MC, eds. WHO model formulary. Geneva, World Health Organization, 2008.
Hodding JH, Kraus DM, Taketomo CK. Pediatric dosage handbook. 16th ed. Hudson, Lexi-Comp, 2009.
Klasco RK, ed. Drugdex system. Greenwood Village, Thomson Micromedex, 2010. (http://www.thomsonhc.com, accessed
10 February 2010).
Pharmacy Department, The Royal Children’s Hospital. Paediatric Injectable Guidelines. 3rd ed. Melbourne, The Royal Children’s
Hospital, 2006.
Rossi S, ed. Australian medicines handbook. Adelaide, Australian Medicines Handbook, 2009.
WHO expert committee on the selection and use of essential medicines. The selection and use of essential medicines: report of
the WHO expert committee, October 2007 (including the model list of essential medicines for children). WHO Technical Report
Series, 2008, 950 (http://www.who.int/medicines/publications/essentialmeds_committeereports/TRS_950.pdf ).
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6.2 Antibacterials
Cloxacillin
ATC code: J01CF02
Capsule: 500 mg; 1 g (sodium salt)
Powder for injection: 500 mg (as sodium salt) in vial
Powder for oral liquid: 125 mg (as sodium salt)/5 ml
Special Notes: This medicine is listed as a representative of its pharmacological class. Other
medicines in the same class may have similar clinical performance and may be selected for local
formularies based on availability and price. The information in this monograph only applies to the
medicine listed here.
Indications: Infections due to beta-lactamase-producing staphylococci including impetigo, cellulitis
and other soft-tissue infections; pyomyositis; staphylococcal endocarditis, septicaemia, pneumonia,
septic arthritis and osteomyelitis; otitis externa.
Contraindications: Hypersensitivity to penicillins (see sections notes).
Precautions: History of allergy (see section notes); renal and hepatic impairment; heart failure.
Dose:
Infections due to susceptible beta-lactamase-producing staphylococci.
Oral:
Child all ages 12.5–50 mg/kg/dose four times daily, depending upon severity of infection.
Oral cloxacillin is not optimal for the treatment of severe infections. Parenteral therapy would
be preferred.
IM or IV:
Child all ages 12.5–50 mg/kg/dose four times daily, depending upon severity of infection.
Renal impairment: Severe: reduce dose.
Hepatic impairment: Dose reduction not necessary; observe for worsening hepatic function.
Adverse effects: Common Diarrhoea, nausea, rash, urticaria, pain and inflammation at injection site,
phlebitis or thrombophlebitis at injection sites, transient increases in liver enzymes and bilirubin,
superinfection (including candidiasis).
Uncommon Fever, vomiting, Clostridium difficile-associated disease.
Rare Contact dermatitis, nail damage, electrolyte disturbances (due to their sodium or potassium
content), agranulocytosis, coagulation disorders, jaundice, cholestatic hepatitis, hepatotoxicity,
nephrotoxicity, interstitial nephritis, serum sickness-like syndrome, immune hypersensitivity
reaction, Stevens-Johnson syndrome, toxic epidermal necrolysis.
Interactions with other medicines (* indicates severe):
Aminoglycosides: concomitant penicillin and aminoglycoside therapy has been reported to result
in inactivation of the aminoglycoside. Preferable to separate administration by 1 hour.
Contraceptives, oral: contraceptive effect of estrogens possibly reduced (risk probably small).
Methotrexate: reduced excretion of methotrexate (increased risk of toxicity).
Typhoid vaccine, live: decreased immunological response to the typhoid vaccine. Suggestion:
allow 24 hours or more to elapse between the last dose of antibiotic and the administration of oral
live typhoid vaccine.
Warfarin: increased risk of bleeding.
Notes: Take on an empty stomach 30 minutes before meals as the presence of food in the stomach
decreases absorption.
Cholestatic jaundice may occur up to several weeks after treatment has been stopped; administration
for more than 2 weeks and increasing age are risk factors.
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References:
Hill SR, Kouimtzi M, Stuart MC, eds. WHO model formulary. Geneva, World Health Organization, 2008.
Klasco RK, ed. Drugdex system. Greenwood Village, Thomson Micromedex, 2010. (http://www.thomsonhc.com, accessed
10 February 2010).
Sweetman SC, ed. Martindale: the complete drug reference. 34th ed. London, Pharmaceutical Press, 2005.
WHO expert committee on the selection and use of essential medicines. The selection and use of essential medicines: report of
the WHO expert committee, October 2007 (including the model list of essential medicines for children). WHO Technical Report
Series, 2008, 950 (http://www.who.int/medicines/publications/essentialmeds_committeereports/TRS_950.pdf ).
Phenoxymethylpenicillin
ATC code: J01CE02
Powder for oral liquid: 250 mg (as potassium salt)/5 ml
Tablet: 250 mg (as potassium salt)
Special Notes: Also referred to as penicillin V.
Indications: Streptococcal pharyngitis; otitis media; cellulitis; mouth infections; secondary
prophylaxis of rheumatic fever; post-splenectomy prophylaxis.
Contraindications: Hypersensitivity to penicillins (see section notes); serious infections (see section notes).
Precautions: History of allergy (see section notes); infectious mononucleosis (high incidence of rash).
Dose:
Infections due to sensitive organisms.
Oral:
Child all ages 10–12.5 mg/kg/dose (maximum 500 mg) every 6 hours. Dose may be doubled in
severe infections.
Secondary prophylaxis of rheumatic fever.
Oral:
Child all ages 10–12.5 mg/kg/dose (maximum 500 mg) twice daily.
Renal impairment: Dosage adjustment not necessary.
Hepatic impairment: Dosage adjustment may be necessary in patients with impaired liver function
when they also have renal failure.
Adverse effects: Common Diarrhoea, nausea, rash, urticaria, superinfection (including candidiasis)
especially during prolonged treatment with broad-spectrum penicillins, allergy.
Uncommon Fever, vomiting, erythema, exfoliative dermatitis, angioedema, Clostridium difficile-
associated disease.
Rare Anaphylaxis, bronchospasm, tooth discoloration, joint pains, interstitial nephritis, serum
sickness-like syndrome, haemolytic anaemia, neurotoxicity (e.g. seizures with high doses or
impaired renal function), coagulation disorders, blood dyscrasias (e.g. neutropenia (related to dose
and duration of treatment), thrombocytopenia), nephropathy (with parenteral use), StevensJohnson syndrome, toxic epidermal necrolysis.
Interactions with other medicines (* indicates severe):
Aminoglycosides: concomitant penicillin and aminoglycoside therapy has been reported to result
in inactivation of the aminoglycoside. Preferable to separate administration by 1 hour.
Chloramphenicol: decreased antibacterial effectiveness.
Contraceptives, oral: contraceptive effect of estrogens possibly reduced (risk probably small).
Methotrexate: reduced excretion of methotrexate (increased risk of toxicity).
Typhoid vaccine, live: decreased immunological response to the typhoid vaccine.
Notes: Relatively acid-stable, so it can be given orally.
Patient advice Phenoxymethylpenicillin should be taken at least 30 minutes before or 2 hours after food.
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References:
Hill SR, Kouimtzi M, Stuart MC, eds. WHO model formulary. Geneva, World Health Organization, 2008.
Kemp CA, McDowell JM. Paediatric pharmacopoeia. 13th ed. Melbourne, Royal Children’s Hospital, 2002.
Klasco RK, ed. Drugdex system. Greenwood Village, Thomson Micromedex, 2010. (http://www.thomsonhc.com, accessed
10 February 2010).
Rossi S, ed. Australian medicines handbook. Adelaide, Australian Medicines Handbook, 2009.
WHO expert committee on the selection and use of essential medicines. The selection and use of essential medicines: report of
the WHO expert committee, October 2007 (including the model list of essential medicines for children). WHO Technical Report
Series, 2008, 950 (http://www.who.int/medicines/publications/essentialmeds_committeereports/TRS_950.pdf ).
Procaine benzylpenicillin
ATC code: J01CE09
Powder for injection: 1 g (= 1 million IU); 3 g (= 3 million IU) in vial
Accidental intravascular administration may result in severe neurovascular damage. CNS
effects including anxiety, agitation, fear of death and hallucinations (usually resolving in
15–30 minutes, but rarely lasting for up to 24 hours) may also occur.
Special Notes: Also referred to as penicillin G procaine.
Indications: Syphilis; anthrax; pneumonia; diphtheria; cellulitis; mouth infections; bites.
Contraindications: Hypersensitivity to penicillins (see section notes); intravascular injection.
Precautions: History of allergy (see section notes); renal failure; sodium restriction, heart failure (some
parenteral penicillins have high sodium content); infectious mononucleosis (high incidence of rash).
Dose:
Never administer intravenously.
Pneumonia.
Deep IM:
Child all ages 50 mg/kg (maximum 1.2 g) daily for 10 days.
Congenital syphilis.
Deep IM:
Child up to 2 years 50 mg/kg daily for 10 days.
Renal impairment: Severe: neurotoxicity; high doses may cause convulsions.
Hepatic impairment: Dose reduction not necessary.
Adverse effects: Common Diarrhoea, nausea, rash, urticaria, pain and inflammation at injection
site (less common with benzylpenicillin), superinfection (including candidiasis) especially during
prolonged treatment with broad-spectrum penicillins, allergy.
Uncommon Fever, vomiting, erythema, exfoliative dermatitis, angioedema, Clostridium difficileassociated disease.
Rare Anaphylaxis, bronchospasm, interstitial nephritis, serum sickness-like syndrome, haemolytic
anaemia, electrolyte disturbances (due to sodium or potassium content), neurotoxicity, Hoigné
syndrome (bizzare behaviour, neurological reactions), coagulation disorders, blood dyscrasias
(e.g. neutropenia (related to dose and duration of treatment)), nephropathy (with parenteral
use), muscular contractures in neonates and infants, Stevens-Johnson syndrome, toxic epidermal
necrolysis, Jarisch-Herxheimer reaction (fever, chills, headache, hypotension and flare-up of lesions
(due to release of pyrogens from the organisms and endotoxins) during treatment for syphilis and
other spirochaete infections. Lasts for 12–24 hours; symptoms can be alleviated by acetylsalicylic
acid (aspirin) or prednisolone; can be dangerous in cardiovascular syphilis or where there is serious
risk of local damage, e.g. optic atrophy).
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Interactions with other medicines (* indicates severe):
Contraceptives, oral: contraceptive effect of estrogens possibly reduced (risk probably small).
Methotrexate: reduced excretion of methotrexate (increased risk of toxicity).
Notes: Inject at a slow, steady rate to avoid blockage of the needle.
Procaine benzylpenicillin is not recommended as first-line treatment for neonatal sepsis except in
settings with high neonatal mortality, when given by trained health workers in cases where hospital
care is not achievable.
Dose equivalence: 1 g = 1 million units.
References:
Hill SR, Kouimtzi M, Stuart MC, eds. WHO model formulary. Geneva, World Health Organization, 2008.
Hodding JH, Kraus DM, Taketomo CK. Pediatric dosage handbook. 16th ed. Hudson, Lexi-Comp, 2009.
Kemp CA, McDowell JM. Paediatric pharmacopoeia. 13th ed. Melbourne, Royal Children’s Hospital, 2002.
Klasco RK, ed. Drugdex system. Greenwood Village, Thomson Micromedex, 2010. (http://www.thomsonhc.com, accessed
10 February 2010).
McEvoy GK, ed. AHFS drug information. Bethesda, American Society of Health-System Pharmacists, 2009.
Rossi S, ed. Australian medicines handbook. Adelaide, Australian Medicines Handbook, 2009.
WHO expert committee on the selection and use of essential medicines. The selection and use of essential medicines: report of
the WHO expert committee, October 2007 (including the model list of essential medicines for children). WHO Technical Report
Series, 2008, 950 (http://www.who.int/medicines/publications/essentialmeds_committeereports/TRS_950.pdf ).
Cefotaxime
ATC code: J01DA10
Powder for injection: 250 mg per vial
Indications: Serious infections due to sensitive bacteria, including septicaemia, pneumonia and
meningitis; osteomyelitis, septic arthritis; Haemophilus influenzae epiglottis; surgical prophylaxis;
prophylaxis of meningococcal meningitis; shigellosis, invasive salmonellosis; endocarditis;
gonococcal conjunctivitis; gonorrhoea; pelvic inflammatory disease; Lyme disease.
Contraindications: Cefalosporin hypersensitivity.
Precautions: Renal impairment; sensitivity to beta-lactam antibacterials (avoid if history of
immediate hypersensitivity reaction: see section 6.2.1); impaired vitamin K synthesis, low vitamin
K stores (chronic disease and malnutrition) as increased risk of bleeding.
Dose:
Infections due to sensitive Gram-positive and Gram-negative bacteria, surgical prophylaxis,
haemophilus epiglottitis and meningitis.
IV or IM:
Neonate under 7 days 25 mg/kg every 12 hours;
Neonate 7–21 days 25 mg/kg every 8 hours;
Neonate 21–28 days 25 mg/kg every 6–8 hours.
Child 1 month–18 years 50 mg/kg every 8–12 hours, increase to every 6 hours in severe
infection and meningitis (maximum 12 g daily).
Neonatal doses may be doubled in severe infection and meningitis.
Gonorrhoea.
IV or IM:
Child 1 month–18 years 500 mg as a single dose.
Administration IV administration is preferred. Inject IV over 3–5 minutes to avoid arrhythmias.
If IM injection is required cefotaxime may be reconstituted with lidocaine 0.5% to 300 mg/ml.
Renal impairment: Reduce dose in moderate renal impairment.
Hepatic impairment: Dose reduction not necessary.
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Adverse effects: Common Diarrhoea, nausea, rash, electrolyte disturbances, pain and inflammation
at injection site.
Uncommon Vomiting, headache, dizziness, oral and vaginal candidiasis, Clostridium difficile-
associated disease, superinfection, eosinophilia, drug fever.
Rare Life-threatening arrhythmias with rapid IV administration, anaphylactic shock, bronchial
obstruction, urticaria, haemolytic anaemia, angioedema, Stevens-Johnson syndrome, toxic
epidermal necrolysis, interstitial nephritis, arthritis, serum sickness-like syndrome, neurotoxicity
(including seizures), blood dyscrasias (e.g. neutropenia (related to dose and treatment duration),
thrombocytopenia), bleeding, renal impairment.
Interactions with other medicines (* indicates severe):
Cefalosporins can cause renal impairment; administration with other drugs which also have this
effect may increase risk of nephrotoxicity.
Aminoglycosides: concomitant cefalosporins and aminoglycoside therapy has been reported to
result in inactivation of the aminoglycoside. Preferable to separate administration by one hour.
Typhoid vaccine, live: decreased immunological response to the typhoid vaccine. Suggestion:
allow 24 hours or more to elapse between the last dose of antibiotic and the administration of oral
live typhoid vaccine.
Notes: Rapid IV administration of large doses may result in seizures, especially if inappropriately
high doses are used in renal impairment.
Use instead of ceftriaxone for Gram-negative septicaemia in neonates.
References:
Ashley C, Currie A, eds. The renal drug handbook. 3rd ed. Oxford, Radcliffe Publishing, 2009.
eTG complete. Melbourne, Therapeutic Guidelines Limited, 2009 (http://etg.tg.org.au/ip/, accessed 10 February 2010).
Hill SR, Kouimtzi M, Stuart MC, eds. WHO model formulary. Geneva, World Health Organization, 2008.
Kemp CA, McDowell JM. Paediatric pharmacopoeia. 13th ed. Melbourne, Royal Children’s Hospital, 2002.
Klasco RK, ed. Drugdex system. Greenwood Village, Thomson Micromedex, 2010. (http://www.thomsonhc.com, accessed
10 February 2010).
McEvoy GK, ed. AHFS drug information. Bethesda, American Society of Health-System Pharmacists, 2009.
Rossi S, ed. Australian medicines handbook. Adelaide, Australian Medicines Handbook, 2009.
WHO expert committee on the selection and use of essential medicines. The selection and use of essential medicines: report of
the WHO expert committee, October 2007 (including the model list of essential medicines for children). WHO Technical Report
Series, 2008, 950 (http://www.who.int/medicines/publications/essentialmeds_committeereports/TRS_950.pdf ).
Ceftazidime
ATC code: J01DD02
Powder for injection: 250 mg or 1 g (as pentahydrate) in vial
Indications: Infections due to sensitive bacteria, especially those due to Pseudomonas spp. and
including those resistant to aminoglycosides.
Contraindications: Cefalosporin hypersensitivity (see section 6.2.1).
Precautions: Sensitivity to beta-lactam antibacterials (avoid if history of immediate hypersensitivity
reaction; see section 6.2.1); aztreonam allergy: person may cross-react to ceftazidime; renal
impairment; false-positive urinary glucose (if tested for reducing substances) and false-positive
Coombs’ test; porphyria.
Dose:
Infections due to sensitive Gram-positive and Gram-negative bacteria.
Deep IM or IV:
Neonate under 7 days 25–50 mg/kg every 24 hours;
Neonate 7–21 days 25–50 mg/kg every 12 hours;
Neonate 21–28 days 25–50 mg/kg every 8 hours.
Child 1 month–18 years 25-50 mg/kg every 8 hours (maximum 6 g daily).
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Renal impairment: Reduce dose in mild renal impairment.
Hepatic impairment: Dose reduction not necessary.
Adverse effects: Common Diarrhoea, nausea, rash, electrolyte disturbances, pain and inflammation
at injection site, blood dyscrasias (including thrombocytosis, leukopenia and drug-induced
eosinophilia), elevations in liver enzymes.
Uncommon Vomiting, headache, dizziness, oral and vaginal candidiasis, Clostridium difficileassociated disease, superinfection, drug fever.
Rare Anaphylaxis, bronchial obstruction, urticaria, haemolytic anaemia, angioedema, StevensJohnson syndrome, toxic epidermal necrolysis, interstitial nephritis, arthritis, serum sickness-like
syndrome, neurotoxicity (including seizures), blood dyscrasias (including thrombocytopenia and
haemolytic anemia), prothrombin time elevations, renal impairment.
Interactions with other medicines (* indicates severe):
Cefalosporins can cause renal impairment; administration with other drugs which also have this
effect may increase risk of nephrotoxicity.
Aminoglycosides: concomitant cefalosporins and aminoglycoside therapy has been reported to
result in inactivation of the aminoglycoside. Preferable to separate administration by 1 hour.
Contraceptives, oral: contraceptive effect of estrogens possibly reduced (risk probably small).
Typhoid vaccine, live: decreased immunological response to the typhoid vaccine. Suggestion:
allow 24 hours or more to elapse between the last dose of antibiotic and the administration of oral
live typhoid vaccine.
Notes: IV products are physically incompatible with many substances; avoid mixing with other
drugs.
Carbon dioxide is released during reconstitution; a gas relief needle may be needed to relieve positive
pressure.
References:
Aronson JK, ed. Meyler’s side effects of drugs. 15th ed. Amsterdam, Elsevier, 2006.
Ashley C, Currie A, eds. The renal drug handbook. 3rd ed. Oxford, Radcliffe Publishing, 2009.
Hansten PD, Horn JH. Drug interactions analysis and management. St Louis, Wolters Kluwer Health, 2009.
Hill SR, Kouimtzi M, Stuart MC, eds. WHO model formulary. Geneva, World Health Organization, 2008.
Hodding JH, Kraus DM, Taketomo CK. Pediatric dosage handbook. 16th ed. Hudson, Lexi-Comp, 2009.
Kemp CA, McDowell JM. Paediatric pharmacopoeia. 13th ed. Melbourne, Royal Children’s Hospital, 2002.
Klasco RK, ed. Drugdex system. Greenwood Village, Thomson Micromedex, 2010. (http://www.thomsonhc.com, accessed
10 February 2010).
Paediatric Formulary Committee. British national formulary for children 2009. London, BMJ Group RBS Publishing, 2009.
Rossi S, ed. Australian medicines handbook. Adelaide, Australian Medicines Handbook, 2009.
WHO expert committee on the selection and use of essential medicines. The selection and use of essential medicines: report of
the WHO expert committee, October 2007 (including the model list of essential medicines for children). WHO Technical Report
Series, 2008, 950 (http://www.who.int/medicines/publications/essentialmeds_committeereports/TRS_950.pdf ).
Imipenem + Cilastatin
ATC code: J01DH51
Powder for injection: 250 mg (as monohydrate) + 250 mg (as sodium salt); 500 mg (as monohydrate) + 500 mg (as sodium salt) in vial
Special Notes: Only listed for the treatment of life-threatening hospital-based infection due to
suspected or proven multi-resistant infection.
Indications: Severe aerobic and anaerobic Gram-positive and Gram-negative infections in hospital
(not indicated for CNS infections), including infections caused by resistant Pseudomonas and
Acinetobacter spp.
Contraindications: Meningitis.
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6.2 Antibacterials
Precautions: Sensitivity to beta-lactam antibacterials (avoid if history of immediate hypersensitivity
reaction; see also section 6.2.1); renal impairment; CNS disorders, such as epilepsy; neutropenia:
drug-related nausea and vomiting is more likely to occur.
Dose:
Infections due to aerobic and anaerobic Gram-positive and Gram-negative organisms, hospital
acquired septicaemia.
IV (expressed in terms of imipenem):
Neonate under 7 days 20 mg/kg every 12 hours;
Neonate 7–21 days 20 mg/kg every 8 hours;
Neonate 21–28 days 20 mg/kg every 6 hours.
Infant 1–3 months 20 mg/kg every 6 hours.
Child 3 months–18 years and under 40 kg 15 mg/kg (maximum 500 mg) every 6 hours;
3 months–18 years and over 40 kg 250–500 mg every 6 hours.
Dose may be doubled for less susceptible organisms.
Administration Follow manufacturers instructions dependent on product.
Caution: complex administration.
Reconstitute with 10 ml NaCl 0.9% to form a cloudy suspension.
Do not administer this suspension without further dilution.
Further dilute to 5 mg/ml with a compatible fluid to give a clear solution.
500 mg or less: over 20–30 minutes.
More than 500 mg: over 40–60 minutes.
Renal impairment: Reduce dose in mild renal impairment.
Hepatic impairment: Dose reduction not necessary.
Adverse effects: Common Nausea, vomiting, diarrhoea, local injection site reactions, e.g. phlebitis.
Uncommon Rash, pruritus, urticaria, taste alteration, fever, dizziness, somnolence, confusion, tremor,
paraesthesia, headache, psychiatric disturbances, encephalopathy, convulsions (risk of convulsions
is higher in people with pre-existing CNS disorders or renal impairment (especially when
excessive doses are used). Imipenem is thought to have similar epileptogenic potential to highdose benzylpenicillin), hypotension, positive Coombs’ test, increases in liver function tests and
bilirubin, raised urea and creatinine, Clostridium difficile-associated disease, itch, rash.
Rare Red discoloration of the urine in children, anaphylaxis, hepatitis, Stevens-Johnson syndrome,
angioedema, tachycardia, renal toxicity, blood dyscrasias.
Interactions with other medicines (* indicates severe):
Contraceptives, oral: contraceptive effect of estrogens possibly reduced (risk probably small).
Typhoid vaccine, live: decreased immunological response to the typhoid vaccine. Suggestion:
allow 24 hours or more to elapse between the last dose of antibiotic and the administration of oral
live typhoid vaccine.
Valproic acid: decreased valproic acid plasma concentrations and loss of anticonvulsant effect.
Notes: Suitability of this preparation for intravenous or intramuscular administration varies dependent
on product. Check product and instructions carefully. The intramuscular preparation must not be
administered intravenously and the infusion preparation must not be administered intramuscularly.
References:
Hill SR, Kouimtzi M, Stuart MC, eds. WHO model formulary. Geneva, World Health Organization, 2008.
Hodding JH, Kraus DM, Taketomo CK. Pediatric dosage handbook. 16th ed. Hudson, Lexi-Comp, 2009.
Kemp CA, McDowell JM. Paediatric pharmacopoeia. 13th ed. Melbourne, Royal Children’s Hospital, 2002.
Klasco RK, ed. Drugdex system. Greenwood Village, Thomson Micromedex, 2010. (http://www.thomsonhc.com, accessed
10 February 2010).
WHO Model Formulary for Children 2010
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McEvoy GK, ed. AHFS drug information. Bethesda, American Society of Health-System Pharmacists, 2009.
Paediatric Formulary Committee. British national formulary for children 2009. London, BMJ Group RBS Publishing, 2009.
Rossi S, ed. Australian medicines handbook. Adelaide, Australian Medicines Handbook, 2009.
Sweetman SC, ed. Martindale: the complete drug reference. 34th ed. London, Pharmaceutical Press, 2005.
WHO expert committee on the selection and use of essential medicines. The selection and use of essential medicines: report of
the WHO expert committee, October 2007 (including the model list of essential medicines for children). WHO Technical Report
Series, 2008, 950 (http://www.who.int/medicines/publications/essentialmeds_committeereports/TRS_950.pdf ).
6.2.2 Other antibacterials
This section contains a number of antibiotics from different classes which do not fit within other
categories but should be available to treat serious infections.
They should all be available in centres providing secondary or tertiary level hospital care, and particularly in those with intensive care facilities.
The use of some of these agents may be restricted by local policy to ensure their cost effective and
efficacious use.
Azithromycin
ATC code: J01FA10
Capsule: 250 mg; 500 mg
Oral liquid: 40 mg/ml
Indications: Trachoma.
Contraindications: Severe hepatic impairment.
Precautions: Prolongation of QT interval; renal impairment; hepatic impairment; myasthenia gravis.
Dose:
Trachoma.
Oral:
Child all ages 20 mg/kg (maximum 1 g) as a single dose.
Renal impairment: Use with caution in patients with severe renal impairment.
Hepatic impairment: Mild or moderate hepatic impairment: no modification of dosage is necessary,
despite its hepatic metabolism.
Severe impairment: avoid; jaundice reported.
Adverse effects: Common Gastrointestinal intolerance (nausea, vomiting, diarrhoea, abdominal pain
and cramps), headache, candida infections.
Uncommon Dizziness, cough, wheeze, dyspnoea, agitation, taste disturbances, rash, fixed drug
eruptions.
Rare Prolonged QT interval, torsades de pointes, interstitial nephritis, pyloric stenosis, leukopenia,
thrombocytopenia, anaphylaxis, acute respiratory distress, Stevens-Johnson syndrome, psychiatric
disturbances, hearing loss, seizures, Clostridium difficile-associated disease, pancreatitis, cholestatic
jaundice, hepatotoxicity.
Interactions with other medicines (* indicates severe):
Antacids (aluminium hydroxide; magnesium hydroxide): reduced absorption of azithromycin.
* Artemether with lumefantrine: manufacturer of artemether with lumefantrine advises avoid
concomitant use.
* Ciclosporin: possible inhibition of metabolism of ciclosporin (increased plasma concentration).
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*
Contraceptives, oral: contraceptive effect of estrogens possibly reduced (risk probably small).
Digoxin: increased plasma concentration of digoxin (increased risk of toxicity).
Ritonavir: plasma concentration of azithromycin possibly increased.
Warfarin: possibly enhanced anticoagulant effect of warfarin.
Notes: Capsules should be taken at least 1 hour before or 2 hours after food.
Mixture should be taken on an empty stomach.
Of all the macrolide antibiotics, azithromycin causes the least inhibition of cytochrome P450 3A4.
References:
eTG complete. Melbourne, Therapeutic Guidelines Limited, 2009 (http://etg.tg.org.au/ip/, accessed 10 February 2010).
Hill SR, Kouimtzi M, Stuart MC, eds. WHO model formulary. Geneva, World Health Organization, 2008.
Hodding JH, Kraus DM, Taketomo CK. Pediatric dosage handbook. 16th ed. Hudson, Lexi-Comp, 2009.
Kemp CA, McDowell JM. Paediatric pharmacopoeia. 13th ed. Melbourne, Royal Children’s Hospital, 2002.
Klasco RK, ed. Drugdex system. Greenwood Village, Thomson Micromedex, 2010. (http://www.thomsonhc.com, accessed
10 February 2010).
MIMS Online. Sydney, UBM Medica, 2009 (http://www.mimsonline.com.au/Search/Search.aspx, accessed 10 February 2010).
Paediatric Formulary Committee. British national formulary for children 2009. London, BMJ Group RBS Publishing, 2009.
Rossi S, ed. Australian medicines handbook. Adelaide, Australian Medicines Handbook, 2009.
WHO expert committee on the selection and use of essential medicines. The selection and use of essential medicines: report of
the WHO expert committee, October 2007 (including the model list of essential medicines for children). WHO Technical Report
Series, 2008, 950 (http://www.who.int/medicines/publications/essentialmeds_committeereports/TRS_950.pdf ).
Chloramphenicol
ATC code: J01BA01
Capsule: 250 mg
Oily suspension for injection*: 0.5 g (as sodium succinate)/ml in 2 ml ampoule
Oral liquid: 30 mg (as palmitate)/ml
Powder for injection: 1 g (sodium succinate) in vial
Serious and fatal blood dyscrasias (aplastic anaemia, hypoplastic anaemia, thrombocytopenia
and granulocytopenia) have occurred after both short-term and prolonged therapy.
Monitor full blood count with platelets frequently in all patients; discontinue if evidence of
myelosuppression. Irreversible bone marrow suppression may occur weeks or months after
therapy. Avoid repeated courses of treatment. Warn patient or carer to report pale skin, sore
throat, fever, tiredness or weakness, or unusual bleeding or bruising in the months after
stopping this medicine.
Should be reserved for the treatment of life-threatening infections.
Grey baby syndrome may follow excessive doses in neonates with immature hepatic metabolism;
monitoring of plasma concentrations is required.
Special Notes: *Oily suspension for injection is included on the list only for the presumptive
treatment of epidemic meningitis in children older than 2 years. In children under 2 years, use
ceftriaxone which is approved for use from > 41 weeks corrected gestational age.
Some strains of Haemophilus influenzae type b and Salmonella typhi are resistant to chloramphenicol.
Indications: Severe life-threatening infections; presumptive treatment of bacterial meningitis in
meningococcal epidemic in children older than 2 years.
Contraindications: Pregnancy; porphyria; breastfeeding.
Precautions: Avoid repeated courses and prolonged use; hepatic impairment; renal impairment;
blood counts required before and during treatment; monitor plasma concentrations in neonates
(see Warnings); G6PD deficiency.
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Dose:
Severe life-threatening infections.
IV injection or infusion:
Neonate under 2 weeks 12.5 mg/kg every 12 hours.
Neonate over 2 weeks 12.5 mg/kg every 6 hours.
Oral, IV injection or infusion:
Infant or Child 12.5 mg/kg every 6 hours. Maximum daily dose 4 g. Up to 25 mg/kg every
6 hours may be required in severe infections provided plasma concentrations are measured and
high doses reduced as soon as possible.
Therapeutic drug monitoring Plasma concentration monitoring required in neonates and high
doses; preferred in those under 4 years of age and in hepatic impairment.
Recommended peak plasma chloramphenicol concentration (approximately 1 hour after intravenous injection
or infusion, or 2 hours after oral administration): 15–25 mg/litre.
Pre-dose trough concentration should not exceed 15 mg/litre.
Presumptive treatment of bacterial meningitis in meningococcal epidemic.
IM injection (using oily injection):
Child over 2 years 100 mg/kg as a single dose. Maximum dose 3 g.
Renal impairment: Severe: avoid unless no alternative; dose-related depression of haematopoiesis.
Hepatic impairment: Avoid if possible; increased risk of bone marrow depression; reduce dose and
monitor plasma chloramphenicol concentration.
Adverse effects: Common Nausea, vomiting, dry mouth, reversible bone marrow suppression,
headache.
Uncommon Diarrhoea, glossitis, stomatitis, enterocolitis, mild depression, Clostridium difficile
infection, confusion, delirium.
Rare Peripheral neuropathy, peripheral neuritis, contact dermatitis, urticaria, angioedema,
anaphylaxis, onycholysis, irreversible bone marrow suppression (aplastic anaemia, leukopenia,
thrombocytopenia, haemolytic anaemia and leukaemia), hepatotoxicity, optic atrophy, optic
neuritis, ototoxicity, bronchospasm, Jarisch-Herxheimer reaction, metabolic acidosis, grey baby
syndrome (see below).
Grey baby syndrome Vomiting, greenish diarrhoea, abdominal distension, hypothermia, pallid cyanosis,
irregular respiration, circulatory collapse; may follow excessive doses in neonates with immature hepatic
metabolism; also reported in infants born to mothers treated in late pregnancy.
Interactions with other medicines (* indicates severe):
Atazanavir: may increase chloramphenicol serum concentration. Monitor carefully for bone
marrow suppression.
* Ciclosporin (+ calcineurin inhibitors): plasma concentration of ciclosporin possibly increased.
Hydroxocobalamin: response to hydroxocobalamin reduced.
Iron: systemic chloramphenicol increases serum iron concentration due to chloramphenicolinduced bone marrow toxicity; if myelosuppression occurs, monitor iron stores and decrease iron
dose as needed; consider stopping chloramphenicol, seek specialist advice.
Lopinavir + ritonavir: may increase chloramphenicol serum concentration. Monitor carefully for
bone marrow suppression.
* Phenobarbital: metabolism of chloramphenicol accelerated (reduced chloramphenicol
concentration).
* Phenytoin: plasma phenytoin concentration increased (increased risk of toxicity).
Protease inhibitors: may increase chloramphenicol serum concentration. Monitor carefully for
bone marrow suppression.
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Rifampicin: accelerated metabolism of chloramphenicol (reduced plasma chloramphenicol
concentration).
Ritonavir: may increase chloramphenicol serum concentration. Monitor carefully for bone
marrow suppression.
Saquinavir: may increase chloramphenicol serum concentration. Monitor carefully for bone
marrow suppression.
* Warfarin: enhanced anticoagulant effect.
Notes: Chloramphenicol should be reserved for life-threatening infections including (but not limited
to) typhoid fever, septicaemia, meningitis, epiglottitis, pneumonia, cerebral abscess, mastoiditis,
rickettsia, listeriosis, Whipple disease, Q fever and psittacosis.
Systemic use is limited by its toxicity; if using a high dose, reduce it as soon as possible; avoid
repeated courses and prolonged treatment. Obtain complete blood picture before and during
treatment (this will not warn of aplastic anaemia); consider stopping treatment if haematological
changes occur. Stop treatment if peripheral neuropathy or optic neuritis occur.
Reconstitution and administration Reconstitute according to manufacturer’s directions. For
intermittent intravenous infusion, dilute reconstituted solution further in glucose 5% or sodium chloride 0.9%.
The oily injection is for intramuscular use only (see notes above).
References:
Aronson JK, ed. Meyler’s side effects of drugs. 15th ed. Amsterdam, Elsevier, 2006.
Hey E. Neonatal formulary. 4th ed. Oxford, Blackwell Publishing, 2007.
Hill SR, Kouimtzi M, Stuart MC, eds. WHO model formulary. Geneva, World Health Organization, 2008.
Hodding JH, Kraus DM, Taketomo CK. Pediatric dosage handbook. 16th ed. Hudson, Lexi-Comp, 2009.
Klasco RK, ed. Drugdex system. Greenwood Village, Thomson Micromedex, 2010. (http://www.thomsonhc.com, accessed
10 February 2010).
McEvoy GK, ed. AHFS drug information. Bethesda, American Society of Health-System Pharmacists, 2009.
Paediatric Formulary Committee. British national formulary for children 2009. London, BMJ Group RBS Publishing, 2009.
Pocket book of hospital care for children: guidelines for the management of common illnesses with limited resources. Geneva, World
Health Organization, 2005.
Rossi S, ed. Australian medicines handbook. Adelaide, Australian Medicines Handbook, 2009.
Standardized treatment of bacterial meningitis in Africa in epidemic and non-epidemic situations. Geneva, World Health
Organization, 2007 (http://www.who.int/csr/resources/publications/meningitis/WHO_CDS_EPR_2007_3.pdf, accessed
10 May 2010).
Sweetman SC, ed. Martindale: the complete drug reference. 34th ed. London, Pharmaceutical Press, 2005.
WHO expert committee on the selection and use of essential medicines. The selection and use of essential medicines: report of
the WHO expert committee, October 2007 (including the model list of essential medicines for children). WHO Technical Report
Series, 2008, 950 (http://www.who.int/medicines/publications/essentialmeds_committeereports/TRS_950.pdf ).
Ciprofloxacin
ATC code: J01MA02
Oral liquid: 50 mg/ml
Solution for IV infusion: 2 mg/ml
Tablet: 250 mg (as hydrochloride)
Achilles tendinitis and tendon rupture have been reported with fluoroquinolones in patients of
all ages.
Indications: Treatment of infections due to susceptible organisms including Pseudomonas, cholera,
shigellosis, Campylobacter, typhoid and gonorrhoea. Local resistance patterns need to taken into
account.
Contraindications: History of tendon disorders related to quinolone use; pregnancy; breastfeeding.
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Precautions: History of epilepsy; conditions that predispose to seizures; G6PD deficiency;
myasthenia gravis; avoid exposure to excessive sunlight (discontinue if photosensitivity occurs);
tendon damage; renal impairment; avoid excessive alkalinity of urine and ensure adequate fluid
intake as risk of crystalluria.
The drug should be discontinued if psychiatric, neurological or hypersensitivity reactions, including
severe rash, occur.
Skilled tasks Warn patient or carer about the risk of undertaking tasks requiring attention or coordination,
for example riding a bike or operating machinery, for 24 hours.
Tendon damage Tendon damage (including rupture) has been reported rarely in patients receiving
quinolones. Tendon rupture may occur within 48 hours of starting treatment. Health-care workers should be
aware that the risk of tendon rupture is increased by the concomitant use of corticosteroids; if tendinitis is
suspected, the quinolone should be discontinued immediately.
Dose:
Complicated urinary tract infection.
Oral:
Neonate 7.5 mg/kg twice daily.
Infant 5–7.5 mg/kg twice daily. Dose may be doubled in severe infection.
Child 10 mg/kg twice daily. Dose may be doubled in severe infections. Maximum dose 750 mg
twice daily.
IV infusion:
Neonate 5 mg/kg every 12 hours.
Infant 4 mg/kg every 12 hours. Dose may be doubled in severe infections.
Child 6 mg/kg every 8 hours, increased to 10 mg/kg every 8 hours in severe infections.
Maximum dose 400 mg every 8 hours.
Severe respiratory tract infections, gastrointestinal infections.
Oral:
Neonate 7.5 mg/kg twice daily.
Infant 5–7.5 mg/kg twice daily. Dose may be doubled in severe infections.
Child 20 mg/kg twice daily. Maximum dose 750 mg twice daily.
IV infusion:
Neonate 5 mg/kg every 12 hours.
Infant 4 mg/kg every 12 hours. Dose may be doubled in severe infections.
Child 10 mg/kg every 8 hours. Maximum dose 400 mg every 8 hours.
Pseudomonal lower respiratory tract infection in cystic fibrosis.
Oral:
Infant 15 mg/kg twice daily.
Child 20 mg/kg twice daily. Maximum dose 750 mg twice daily.
IV:
Infant 4–8 mg/kg every 12 hours.
Child 10 mg/kg every 8 hours. Maximum dose 400 mg every 8 hours.
Treatment and post-exposure prophylaxis of anthrax.
Oral:
Infant or Child 15 mg/kg twice daily. Maximum 500 mg twice daily.
IV:
Infant or Child 10 mg/kg every 12 hours. Maximum 400 mg per dose.
Note Cutaneous anthrax should be treated for 7 days, inhalational or gastrointestinal should be treated for
60 days. Post-exposure prophylaxis should be administered for 60 days. Other antibiotics may be used if and
when sensitivities are known.
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Renal impairment: Reduce dose if CrCl < 30 ml/minute.
Adverse effects: Common Rash, itch, gastrointestinal intolerance (nausea, vomiting, dyspepsia,
diarrhoea, abdominal pain), metallic taste.
Uncommon Headache, dizziness, insomnia, depression, restlessness, tremors, arthralgia, arthritis,
myalgia, tendinitis, raised liver enzymes, erythema, pain or thrombophlebitis at intravenous
infusion site.
Rare Interstitial nephritis, blood dyscrasias (including agranulocytosis, aplastic anaemia, haemolytic
anaemia, leukopenia, methaemoglobinaemia, pancytopenia and thrombocytopenia), orofacial
dyskinesia, disturbances in vision, transient hearing impairment, movement disorders, seizures,
psychotic reactions, peripheral oedema, angioedema, anaphylaxis, Clostridium difficile infection,
tendon inflammation and rupture, vasculitis, crystalluria, renal failure, pancreatitis, hepatitis,
cholestatic jaundice, peripheral neuropathy, photosensitivity, fixed drug eruption, erythema
multiforme, Stevens-Johnson syndrome, toxic epidermal necrolysis, Jarisch-Herxheimer reaction,
hyperglycaemia, blood coagulation disorder.
Interactions with other medicines (* indicates severe):
Antacids (aluminium hydroxide; magnesium hydroxide): reduced absorption of ciprofloxacin.
* Artemether + lumefantrine: manufacturer of artemether with lumefantrine advises to avoid
concomitant use.
Calcium salts: reduced absorption of ciprofloxacin.
* Ciclosporin: increased risk of nephrotoxicity.
Contraceptives, oral: contraceptive effect of estrogens possibly reduced (risk probably small).
Dairy products: reduced absorption of ciprofloxacin.
Ferrous salts: absorption of ciprofloxacin reduced by oral ferrous salts.
* Ibuprofen: possibly increased risk of seizures.
Methotrexate: increased methotrexate concentration and risk of toxicity when high-dose
methotrexate is given; monitor methotrexate concentration carefully as increased rescue treatment
with calcium folinate may be needed.
Morphine: manufacturer of ciprofloxacin advises to avoid premedication with morphine (reduced
plasma ciprofloxacin concentration) when ciprofloxacin used for surgical prophylaxis.
Phenytoin: plasma phenytoin concentration can be increased or decreased by ciprofloxacin.
Theophylline: may result in increased plasma levels of theophylline and significant adverse effects.
Thyroid hormones: ciprofloxacin may interfere with absorption of thyroxine, resulting in
hypothyroidism; separate drug administration times during a long ciprofloxacin course, and
monitor thyroid function.
* Warfarin: enhanced anticoagulant effect.
Zinc sulfate: reduced absorption of ciprofloxacin.
Notes: Best taken on an empty stomach. Separate doses from iron, antacids and milk by 2 hours.
Important to maintain an adequate fluid intake.
Consider the necessity for intravenous administration as adequate levels can be achieved using oral
formulations due to high bioavailability.
Can cause photosensitivity. Use sunscreen, wear protective clothing and a hat.
Administration For intravenous administration, administer by slow intravenous infusion over 60 minutes.
Final concentration for administration should not exceed 2 mg/ml.
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References:
Hill SR, Kouimtzi M, Stuart MC, eds. WHO model formulary. Geneva, World Health Organization, 2008.
Hodding JH, Kraus DM, Taketomo CK. Pediatric dosage handbook. 16th ed. Hudson, Lexi-Comp, 2009.
Kemp CA, McDowell JM. Paediatric pharmacopoeia. 13th ed. Melbourne, Royal Children’s Hospital, 2002.
Klasco RK, ed. Drugdex system. Greenwood Village, Thomson Micromedex, 2010. (http://www.thomsonhc.com, accessed
10 February 2010).
Paediatric Formulary Committee. British national formulary for children 2009. London, BMJ Group RBS Publishing, 2009.
Rossi S, ed. Australian medicines handbook. Adelaide, Australian Medicines Handbook, 2009.
WHO expert committee on the selection and use of essential medicines. The selection and use of essential medicines: report of
the WHO expert committee, October 2007 (including the model list of essential medicines for children). WHO Technical Report
Series, 2008, 950 (http://www.who.int/medicines/publications/essentialmeds_committeereports/TRS_950.pdf ).
Doxycycline
ATC code: J01AA02
Oral liquid: 5 mg/ml; 10 mg/ml
Solid oral dosage form: 50 mg; 100 mg (hydrochloride)
Special Notes: WHO age/weight restriction: > 8 years (except for serious infections, e.g. cholera).
Indications: Bacterial infections.
Contraindications: Pregnancy; breastfeeding; porphyria; systemic lupus erythematosus.
Precautions: Children under 8 years (avoid unless life-threatening infection when no other
alternative exists); avoid exposure to sunlight or sunlamps (photosensitivity reported); renal
impairment; hepatic impairment; concomitant hepatotoxic drugs; myasthenia gravis.
Dose:
Bacterial infections.
Oral:
Child over 8 years 2 mg/kg (maximum 100 mg) twice daily on day 1, then 2 mg/kg (maximum
100 mg) daily, or twice daily in severe infections such as rickettsia. Maximum daily dose
200 mg.
Renal impairment: Use with caution; avoid excessive doses.
Hepatic impairment: Avoid (or use with caution).
Adverse effects: Common Gastrointestinal intolerance (nausea, vomiting, diarrhoea, epigastric
burning), tooth discoloration (permanent in children aged < 8 years), enamel dysplasia, reduced
bone growth (in children < 8 years), photosensitivity (depends on dose and degree of sun
exposure).
Uncommon Rash, stomatitis, bone deformity, fungal overgrowth.
Rare Photo-onycholysis and nail discoloration, oesophageal ulcers (due to partly swallowed tablets or
capsules), antibiotic-associated colitis (Clostridium difficile-associated disease), hepatitis, fatty liver
degeneration (with high doses, especially in pregnancy), pancreatitis, hepatotoxicity, headache and
visual disturbances may indicate benign intracranial hypertension, bulging fontanelles in infants,
allergic reactions including anaphylaxis (less common than with penicillins), toxic epidermal
necrolysis, worsening of systemic lupus erythematosus, serum sickness-like reactions, JarischHerxheimer reaction when treating spirochetal infections.
Interactions with other medicines (* indicates severe):
*
Antacids (aluminium hydroxide; magnesium hydroxide): reduced absorption of doxycycline.
Carbamazepine: accelerated metabolism of doxycycline (reduced effect).
Ciclosporin: possibly increased plasma ciclosporin concentration.
Contraceptives, oral: contraceptive effect of estrogens possibly reduced (risk probably small).
Ferrous salts: absorption of oral ferrous salts reduced by doxycycline; absorption of doxycycline
reduced by oral ferrous salts.
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*
Methotrexate: increased risk of methotrexate toxicity.
Phenobarbital: metabolism of doxycycline accelerated (reduced plasma concentration).
Phenytoin: increased metabolism of doxycycline (reduced plasma concentration).
Rifampicin: plasma doxycycline concentration possibly reduced.
Warfarin: anticoagulant effect possibly enhanced.
Notes: Separate dose from antacids and iron supplements by 2 hours. Swallow whole with plenty
of water and remain upright (do not lie down) for an hour after taking doxycycline to prevent
oesophageal irritation. Single daily doses are best taken in the morning rather than at night.
References:
eTG complete. Melbourne, Therapeutic Guidelines Limited, 2009 (http://etg.tg.org.au/ip/, accessed 10 February 2010).
Hill SR, Kouimtzi M, Stuart MC, eds. WHO model formulary. Geneva, World Health Organization, 2008.
Kemp CA, McDowell JM. Paediatric pharmacopoeia. 13th ed. Melbourne, Royal Children’s Hospital, 2002.
Klasco RK, ed. Drugdex system. Greenwood Village, Thomson Micromedex, 2010. (http://www.thomsonhc.com, accessed
10 February 2010).
Rossi S, ed. Australian medicines handbook. Adelaide, Australian Medicines Handbook, 2009.
WHO expert committee on the selection and use of essential medicines. The selection and use of essential medicines: report of
the WHO expert committee, October 2007 (including the model list of essential medicines for children). WHO Technical Report
Series, 2008, 950 (http://www.who.int/medicines/publications/essentialmeds_committeereports/TRS_950.pdf ).
Erythromycin
ATC code: J01FA01
Powder for oral liquid: 25 mg/ml (as stearate or ethyl succinate)
Solid oral dosage form: 250 mg (as stearate or ethyl succinate)
Indications: Treatment of susceptible infections as an alternative to penicillin in hypersensitive
patients; treatment of susceptible infections such as Campylobacter enteritis, cholera, oral
infections, respiratory tract infections (including pneumonia, legionnaires’ disease, streptococcal
pharyngitis) and diphtheria; prevention of secondary case of diphtheria and pertussis in nonimmune patients.
Contraindications: Hypersensitivity to erythromycin or other macrolides; porphyria; severe hepatic
impairment; treatment with cisapride.
Precautions: Hepatic impairment; renal impairment; predisposition to QT interval prolongation;
neonates under 2 weeks; porphyria.
Dose:
Treatment of susceptible infections.
Oral:
Neonate 12.5 mg/kg every 6 hours.
Infant or Child under 2 years 125 mg every 6 hours, doubled in severe infections;
2–8 years 250 mg every 6 hours, doubled in severe infections;
over 8 years 250–500 mg every 6 hours, doubled in severe infections.
Prevention of secondary case of diphtheria in non-immune patient.
Oral:
Infant or Child under 2 years 125 mg every 6 hours for 7 days;
2–8 years 250 mg every 6 hours for 7 days;
over 8 years 500 mg every 6 hours for 7 days.
Treat for a further 10 days if nasopharyngeal swabs are positive after first 7 days of treatment.
Prevention of secondary case of pertussis in non-immune patient.
Oral:
Infant or Child under 2 years 125 mg every 6 hours for 7 days;
2–8 years 250 mg every 6 hours for 7 days;
over 8 years 500 mg every 6 hours for 7 days.
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Renal impairment: Severe impairment: reduce dose. Risk of ototoxicity.
Hepatic impairment: May cause idiosyncratic hepatotoxicity.
Mild to moderate impairment: use with caution; hepatic impairment may worsen.
Severe impairment: avoid use.
Adverse effects: Common Gastrointestinal intolerance (nausea, vomiting, abdominal discomfort,
diarrhoea), headache, dyspnoea, cough, candidal infections, phlebitis, infantile hypertrophic
pyloric stenosis (see below).
Uncommon Rash, fixed drug eruptions, urticaria, reversible hearing loss after large doses.
Rare Myasthenia-like syndrome, anaphylaxis, acute respiratory distress, erythema multiforme,
Stevens-Johnson syndrome, toxic epidermal necrolysis, psychiatric disturbances, hearing loss,
seizures, Clostridium difficile infection, cholestatic jaundice, pancreatitis, prolonged QT interval,
torsades de pointes.
Infantile hypertrophic pyloric stenosis Has occurred in about 5% of a cohort of infants
receiving erythromycin for pertussis prophylaxis; risk increased with increasing length of treatment; no increased
risk in infants receiving erythromycin after 2 weeks of age.
Interactions with other medicines (* indicates severe):
Erythromycin has multiple drug-drug interactions as it is a potent inhibitor of cytochrome P450 3A4
and 1A2.
* Artemether + lumefantrine: manufacturer of artemether with lumefantrine advises avoid
concomitant use.
* Carbamazepine: increased plasma carbamazepine concentration.
* Ciclosporin: increased plasma ciclosporin concentration (inhibition of metabolism of ciclosporin).
Dexamethasone: erythromycin possibly inhibits metabolism of dexamethasone.
Digoxin: increased plasma concentration of digoxin (increased risk of toxicity).
Hydrocortisone: erythromycin possibly inhibits metabolism of hydrocortisone.
Prednisolone: erythromycin possibly inhibits metabolism of prednisolone.
* Quinidine: increased risk of ventricular arrhythmias with parenteral erythromycin.
Ritonavir: plasma concentration possibly increased by ritonavir.
* Theophylline: may increase theophylline concentration and toxicity; erythromycin levels may
concurrently decrease, possibly affecting its efficacy.
Valproic acid: metabolism of valproic acid possibly inhibited (increased plasma concentration).
* Verapamil: increased risk of cardiotoxicity and serious prolongation of QT interval.
* Vinblastine: increased toxicity of vinblastine (avoid concomitant use).
* Warfarin: enhanced anticoagulant effect.
Notes: Total oral daily dose may be halved and given every 12 hours, however diarrhoea is a common
side effect.
Stop erythromycin if severe hepatic dysfunction develops.
The ethyl succinate (EES) salt is given without regard to food. The base and stearate salt are given on
an empty stomach 1 hour before or 2 hours after meals.
Parents of neonates: tell your doctor if your baby develops vomiting or is irritable when feeding while
taking erythromycin.
Warn patients or carers that erythromycin interacts with many drugs and even herbal products so
inform doctor or pharmacist before taking additional medication.
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6.2 Antibacterials
References:
Hill SR, Kouimtzi M, Stuart MC, eds. WHO model formulary. Geneva, World Health Organization, 2008.
Hodding JH, Kraus DM, Taketomo CK. Pediatric dosage handbook. 16th ed. Hudson, Lexi-Comp, 2009.
Klasco RK, ed. Drugdex system. Greenwood Village, Thomson Micromedex, 2010. (http://www.thomsonhc.com, accessed
10 February 2010).
Paediatric Formulary Committee. British national formulary for children 2009. London, BMJ Group RBS Publishing, 2009.
Rossi S, ed. Australian medicines handbook. Adelaide, Australian Medicines Handbook, 2009.
WHO expert committee on the selection and use of essential medicines. The selection and use of essential medicines: report of
the WHO expert committee, October 2007 (including the model list of essential medicines for children). WHO Technical Report
Series, 2008, 950 (http://www.who.int/medicines/publications/essentialmeds_committeereports/TRS_950.pdf ).
Gentamicin
ATC code: J01GB03
Injection: 10 mg; 40 mg (as sulfate)/ml in 2 ml vial
Aminoglycosides are associated with significant nephrotoxicity; vestibular and permanent
bilateral auditory ototoxicity can occur; tinnitus or vertigo are indications of vestibular injury
and impending bilateral irreversible deafness. Risk of nephrotoxicity and ototoxicity is increased
in patients with impaired renal function, high-dose therapy or prolonged therapy. Risk of
nephrotoxicity increases when used concurrently with other potentially nephrotoxic drugs; renal
damage is usually reversible. Risk of ototoxicity increases with use of potent diuretics.
Special Notes: This medicine is listed as a representative of its pharmacological class. Other
medicines in the same class may have similar clinical performance and may be selected for local
formularies based on availability and price. The information in this monograph only applies to the
medicine listed here.
Indications: Treatment of infections with susceptible organisms taking local resistance factors into
account, including septicaemia, pneumonia, acute pyelonephritis and meningitis.
Contraindications: Myasthenia gravis.
Precautions: Renal impairment; neonates and infants (use with caution and monitor renal, auditory
and vestibular function, and serum gentamicin concentrations); avoid prolonged use; conditions
characterized by muscular weakness; obesity (use ideal body weight to calculate dose and monitor
serum gentamicin concentration closely).
Dose:
Treatment of infections with susceptible organisms.
IV or IM:
Term neonate 3.5–5 mg/kg once daily.
Infant or Child under 10 years 7.5 mg/kg once daily;
over 10 years 6 mg/kg once daily (maximum dose 240–360 mg).
Therapeutic drug monitoring Monitor serum gentamicin concentration and reduce doses or
increase dosing intervals, or both, as necessary. Pre-dose (“trough”) concentration should be less than 1 mg/litre.
Renal impairment: Reduce dose frequency. Monitor renal, auditory and vestibular function. Monitor
serum gentamicin concentration.
Hepatic impairment: Dose reduction not necessary.
Adverse effects: Common Nephrotoxicity (see below), ototoxicity (see below).
Rare Hypomagnesaemia, hypokalaemia, hypocalcaemia, anaphylaxis (probably due to sulfites in
some formulations), bronchospasm, neuromuscular blockade (see below), oliguria, peripheral
neuropathy, antibiotic-associated colitis.
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Nephrotoxicity Usually reversible and can be anticipated if treatment lasts > 7–10 days; usually presents as
gradually worsening non-oliguric renal failure with increasing serum creatinine and proteinuria, but may present
as acute tubular necrosis.
Ototoxicity Clinically evident vestibular ototoxicity (nausea, vomiting, vertigo, nystagmus, difficulties with
gait) and cochlear ototoxicity (noticeable hearing loss, tinnitus, feeling of fullness in ear) have been associated
with gentamicin use. As the patient is unaware of the first symptoms of cochlear toxicity, it may appear to begin
after stopping treatment. Ototoxicity caused by gentamicin can be irreversible; permanent deafness may occur.
Neuromuscular blockade May result in respiratory depression; can usually be reversed with prompt
administration of IV calcium gluconate; the effect of neostigmine is variable.
Interactions with other medicines (* indicates severe):
*
*
Amphotericin B: increased risk of nephrotoxicity.
Capreomycin: increased risk of nephrotoxicity and ototoxicity.
Ciclosporin: increased risk of nephrotoxicity.
Digoxin: possibly increased plasma concentration of digoxin.
Furosemide: increased risk of ototoxicity.
Magnesium sulfate: additive neuromuscular blocking effect with aminoglycosides and parenteral
magnesium sulfate; use combinations cautiously, monitor respiratory function.
* Neostigmine: antagonism of effect of neostigmine.
Nondepolasing neuromuscular blockers: aminoglycosides prolong effect of nondepolarising
neuromuscular blockers; may lead to respiratory insufficiency.
Other nephrotoxic agents: co-administration with other drugs which are ototoxic or nephrotoxic
may increase risk of these adverse effects.
Penicillins: concomitant penicillin and aminoglycoside therapy has been reported to result in
inactivation of the aminoglycoside. Preferable to separate administration by 1 hour.
* Pyridostigmine: antagonism of effect of pyridostigmine.
* Suxamethonium: enhanced muscle relaxant effect.
Vancomycin: increased risk of nephrotoxicity and ototoxicity.
* Vecuronium: enhanced muscle relaxant effect.
Notes: In obese or severely oedematous children use the ideal weight for height to calculate dose.
Administration For intravenous infusion, dilute in glucose 5% or sodium chloride 0.9%; infuse over
30–60 minutes. Final concentration of intravenous administration should not exceed 10 mg/ml.
Administer other antibiotics, such as cefalosporins and penicillins, at least 1 hour before or after
gentamicin.
Target serum concentrations may vary depending on indication and institution.
References:
Hill SR, Kouimtzi M, Stuart MC, eds. WHO model formulary. Geneva, World Health Organization, 2008.
Hodding JH, Kraus DM, Taketomo CK. Pediatric dosage handbook. 16th ed. Hudson, Lexi-Comp, 2009.
Kemp CA, McDowell JM. Paediatric pharmacopoeia. 13th ed. Melbourne, Royal Children’s Hospital, 2002.
Klasco RK, ed. Drugdex system. Greenwood Village, Thomson Micromedex, 2010. (http://www.thomsonhc.com, accessed
10 February 2010).
Paediatric Formulary Committee. British national formulary for children 2009. London, BMJ Group RBS Publishing, 2009.
Rossi S, ed. Australian medicines handbook. Adelaide, Australian Medicines Handbook, 2009.
WHO expert committee on the selection and use of essential medicines. The selection and use of essential medicines: report of
the WHO expert committee, October 2007 (including the model list of essential medicines for children). WHO Technical Report
Series, 2008, 950 (http://www.who.int/medicines/publications/essentialmeds_committeereports/TRS_950.pdf ).
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6.2 Antibacterials
Metronidazole
ATC code: J01XD01
Injection: 500 mg in 100 ml vial
Oral liquid: 40 mg (as benzoate)/ml
Tablet: 200 mg to 500 mg
Indications: Anaerobic bacterial infections including ulcerative gingivitis, acute oral infections,
tetanus, skin and soft tissue infections, and Clostridium difficile infection (oral therapy); surgical
prophylaxis.
Precautions: Hepatic impairment; disulfiram-like reaction with alcohol; clinical and laboratory
monitoring in courses lasting longer than 10 days.
Skilled tasks Warn patient or carer about the risk of undertaking tasks requiring attention or coordination,
for example riding a bike or operating machinery, for 24 hours.
Dose:
Anaerobic bacterial infections.
Oral:
Neonate initially 15 mg/kg then 7.5 mg/kg every 12 hours.
Infant or Child 7.5 mg/kg every 8 hours. Maximum dose 400 mg.
IV infusion:
Neonate 15 mg/kg as a single loading dose, followed by 7.5 mg/kg every 12 hours starting
24 hours after loading dose.
Infant or Child 7.5 mg/kg every 8 hours. Maximum dose 500 mg.
Note Acute ulcerative gingivitis is usually successfully treated in 3 days, Clostridium difficile infection should
be treated orally, and is usually treated for 7–10 days, while other anaerobic and oral anaerobic conditions
usually treated for only 7 days.
Surgical prophylaxis.
Oral or IV infusion:
Infant or Child 7.5 mg/kg 2 hours before surgery. Up to 3 further doses of 7.5 mg/kg may be
given every 8 hours for high-risk procedures. Maximum dose 500 mg.
Renal impairment: Metabolites may accumulate in severe impairment possibly causing adverse
effects. Dose adjustment is not usually necessary.
Hepatic impairment: Severe impairment: reduce total daily dose to one third and give once daily.
Use with caution in hepatic encephalopathy.
Adverse effects: Common Gastrointestinal intolerance (nausea, abdominal pain, vomiting,
diarrhoea), anorexia, metallic taste, CNS effects (e.g. dizziness, headache), thrombophlebitis (IV).
Uncommon Furry tongue, glossitis, stomatitis, paraesthesia.
Rare Pancreatitis, abnormal liver function tests, jaundice, hepatitis, optic neuritis, thrombocytopenia,
Clostridium difficile-associated disease, hypersensitivity reactions (e.g. rash, itch, flushing, fever),
anaphylaxis, angioedema, erythema multiforme, Stevens-Johnson syndrome, leukopenia,
peripheral neuropathy, seizures, darkening of the urine.
High-dose and/or prolonged treatment Leukopenia is reversible and usually only occurs after
prolonged treatment; peripheral neuropathy (usually reversible) and/or CNS toxicity (including seizures) may
occur.
Interactions with other medicines (* indicates severe):
Alcohol: disulfiram-like reaction.
Contraceptives, oral: contraceptive effect of estrogens possibly reduced (risk probably small).
Fluorouracil: metabolism of fluorouracil inhibited (increased toxicity).
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Anti-infective medicines
*
*
Lithium: increased lithium toxicity reported.
Lopinavir liquid: disulfuram-like reaction.
Phenobarbital: metabolism of metronidazole accelerated (reduced plasma concentration).
Phenytoin: metabolism of phenytoin inhibited (increased plasma phenytoin concentration).
Warfarin: enhanced anticoagulant effect.
Notes: Well absorbed orally and the intravenous route is normally reserved for severe infections.
Oral absorption from the suspension is lower than from the tablets.
Patients should be advised to swallow tablets whole with water, during or after food; suspension is
best taken 1 hour before food (or on an empty stomach).
Administration For intravenous infusion, infuse over 20–30 minutes.
References:
Hill SR, Kouimtzi M, Stuart MC, eds. WHO model formulary. Geneva, World Health Organization, 2008.
Hodding JH, Kraus DM, Taketomo CK. Pediatric dosage handbook. 16th ed. Hudson, Lexi-Comp, 2009.
Kemp CA, McDowell JM. Paediatric pharmacopoeia. 13th ed. Melbourne, Royal Children’s Hospital, 2002.
Klasco RK, ed. Drugdex system. Greenwood Village, Thomson Micromedex, 2010. (http://www.thomsonhc.com, accessed
10 February 2010).
Paediatric Formulary Committee. British national formulary for children 2009. London, BMJ Group RBS Publishing, 2009.
Rossi S, ed. Australian medicines handbook. Adelaide, Australian Medicines Handbook, 2009.
WHO expert committee on the selection and use of essential medicines. The selection and use of essential medicines: report of
the WHO expert committee, October 2007 (including the model list of essential medicines for children). WHO Technical Report
Series, 2008, 950 (http://www.who.int/medicines/publications/essentialmeds_committeereports/TRS_950.pdf ).
Nitrofurantoin
ATC code: J01XE01
Oral liquid: 5 mg/ml
Tablet: 100 mg
Indications: Treatment of acute uncomplicated urinary tract infection; prophylaxis of urinary tract
infection.
Contraindications: Renal impairment; infants less than 3 months; G6PD deficiency; pregnancy, at
term; porphyria.
Precautions: Pulmonary disease; hepatic impairment; monitor lung and liver function on long-
term therapy (discontinue if lung function deteriorates); electrolyte imbalance; susceptibility to
peripheral nephritis; anaemia; diabetes mellitus; vitamin B and folate deficiency; false-positive
urinary glucose (if testing for reducing substances); urine may be coloured yellow or brown.
Skilled tasks Warn patient or carer about the risk of undertaking tasks requiring attention or coordination,
for example riding a bike or operating machinery, for 24 hours.
Dose:
Treatment of acute uncomplicated urinary tract infection.
Oral:
Infant or Child over 3 months 750 micrograms/kg four times daily for 3–7 days. Maximum dose
100 mg.
Prophylaxis of urinary tract infection.
Oral:
Infant or Child over 3 months 1 mg/kg at night. Maximum dose 100 mg.
Renal impairment: Avoid in all degrees of renal impairment. Risk of peripheral neuropathy.
Treatment may be ineffective because of inadequate urine concentrations.
Hepatic impairment: Cholestatic jaundice and chronic active hepatitis reported.
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6.2 Antibacterials
Adverse effects: Common Dose related gastrointestinal disorders (including nausea and vomiting,
anorexia, diarrhoea and abdominal pain), hypersensitivity reactions (including urticaria, rash,
sialadenitis, pruritus, angioedema), headache.
Uncommon Drowsiness, vertigo, dizziness.
Rare Peripheral polyneuropathy (see below), cholestatic jaundice, hepatitis, hepatotoxicity (see below),
acute and chronic pulmonary reactions (see below), skin reactions including erythema multiforme,
Stevens-Johnson syndrome, exfoliative dermatitis, lupus-like syndrome, anaphylaxis, drug fever,
blood disorders including eosinophilia, arthralgia, pancreatitis, benign intracranial hypertension.
Hepatotoxicity Acute hepatocellular or cholestatic reactions generally occur in the first 6 weeks of
treatment, sometimes with fever, eosinophilia, rash and are usually reversible. Chronic active hepatitis (sometimes
reversible) mostly occurs in women, usually after about 6 months treatment; may be associated with pulmonary
toxicity (see below). Both types can be fatal.
Pulmonary toxicity Pulmonary fibrosis has been reported. Possible association with lupus
erythematosus-like syndrome.
Peripheral polyneuropathy Begins with peripheral paraesthesia and sensory loss (usually in lower
limbs); can progress to motor loss and muscle atrophy. Improvement usually occurs after stopping treatment, but
it may be incomplete. The main predisposing factor appears to be renal impairment.
Interactions with other medicines (* indicates severe):
Fluconazole: concurrent use may result in increased risk of hepatic and pulmonary toxicity.
Norfloxacin: may result in antagonism of the antibacterial effect of norfloxacin.
Folic acid: concurrent use may result in decreased folic acid serum levels.
Notes: Give with food or milk to reduce nausea and to improve absorption.
Patient advice Patients and their carers should be advised to tell their doctor immediately if they have
difficulty breathing, develop a cough or get any numbness or tingling.
Monitoring During long-term treatment monitor the following: pulmonary function; liver function
every month for 3 months, then every 3 months, as onset of hepatotoxicity may be insidious; renal function as
peripheral polyneuropathy is more likely to occur if this is impaired; for development of paraesthesia as stopping
treatment early can prevent severe neuropathy.
References:
Hill SR, Kouimtzi M, Stuart MC, eds. WHO model formulary. Geneva, World Health Organization, 2008.
Hodding JH, Kraus DM, Taketomo CK. Pediatric dosage handbook. 16th ed. Hudson, Lexi-Comp, 2009.
Kemp CA, McDowell JM. Paediatric pharmacopoeia. 13th ed. Melbourne, Royal Children’s Hospital, 2002.
Klasco RK, ed. Drugdex system. Greenwood Village, Thomson Micromedex, 2010. (http://www.thomsonhc.com, accessed
10 February 2010).
Paediatric Formulary Committee. British national formulary for children 2009. London, BMJ Group RBS Publishing, 2009.
Rossi S, ed. Australian medicines handbook. Adelaide, Australian Medicines Handbook, 2009.
WHO expert committee on the selection and use of essential medicines. The selection and use of essential medicines: report of
the WHO expert committee, October 2007 (including the model list of essential medicines for children). WHO Technical Report
Series, 2008, 950 (http://www.who.int/medicines/publications/essentialmeds_committeereports/TRS_950.pdf ).
Sulfamethoxazole + Trimethoprim
ATC code: J01EE01
Injection: 80 mg + 16 mg/ml in 5 ml ampoule; 80 mg + 16 mg/ml in 10 ml ampoule
Oral liquid: 40 mg + 8 mg/ml
Tablet: 100 mg + 20 mg; 400 mg + 80 mg
Special Notes: Also referred to as co-trimoxazole.
Indications: Treatment of infections with susceptible organisms including urinary tract infections,
respiratory tract infection, typhoid fever and otitis media. Local antimicrobial patterns need to be
taken into account.
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Contraindications: Hypersensitivity to sulfonamides or trimethoprim; porphyria; megaloblastic
anaemia; severe renal impairment; severe hepatic impairment.
Precautions: Mild to moderate renal impairment; maintain adequate fluid intake (to avoid crystalluria);
avoid in blood disorders (unless under specialist supervision); monitor blood counts on prolonged
treatment; discontinue immediately if blood disorder develops; rash (discontinue immediately);
predisposition to folate deficiency; asthma; G6PD deficiency; avoid in infants under 6 weeks.
Dose:
Doses are expressed in terms of the trimethoprim component.
Treatment of infections with susceptible organisms.
Oral:
Infant or Child over 6 weeks 4 mg/kg/dose twice daily. Maximum 160 mg twice daily.
IV infusion:
Infant or Child over 6 weeks 3 mg/kg every 12 hours. Maximum 160 mg twice daily.
Renal impairment: Severe impairment: avoid use.
Moderate impairment: use half normal dose.
Plasma monitoring may be required with high doses in renal impairment; seek expert advice.
Hepatic impairment: Severe impairment: avoid use.
Adverse effects: Some adverse effects may be hypersensitivity reactions (see below).
Incidence of some adverse effects (rash, fever, nausea, neutropenia, thrombocytopenia, raised hepatic
aminotransferases) is substantially higher in patients with AIDS.
Common Fever, nausea, vomiting, diarrhoea, anorexia, rash, itch, stomatitis, hyperkalaemia,
thrombocytopenia, photosensitivity.
Uncommon Headache, drowsiness, hyperkalaemia, blood disorders (including neutropenia,
leukopenia, thrombocytopenia, eosinophilia, megaloblastic anaemia, methaemoglobinaemia).
Rare Erythema, vasculitis, hyponatraemia, hypoglycaemia, pancreatitis, hepatitis, jaundice, hepatic
necrosis, crystalluria, urinary obstruction with anuria/oliguria, lowered mental acuity, depression,
tremor, ataxia (after IV use in HIV patients), nephrotoxicity, antibiotic-associated colitis,
Clostridium difficile-associated disease, aseptic meningitis.
Hypersensitivity May present with fever, dyspnoea, cough, rash, eosinophilia; the most serious effects
include anaphylaxis, Stevens-Johnson syndrome, toxic epidermal necrolysis, serum sickness-like syndrome, lupuslike syndrome, pneumonitis, hepatitis, interstitial nephritis, systemic vasculitis and pancytopenia.
Interactions with other medicines (* indicates severe):
Trimethoprim is a folate antagonist and will add to the effects on bone marrow of other folate
antagonists, e.g. pyrimethamine.
Trimethoprim can cause hyperkalaemia; administration with potassium supplements or other drugs
which also cause potassium retention can further increase potassium concentration.
Trimethoprim with sulfamethoxazole can cause nephrotoxicity; giving with other nephrotoxic drugs
may cause additional renal adverse effects.
* Azathioprine: increased risk of haematological toxicity.
* Ciclosporin: increased risk of nephrotoxicity; plasma ciclosporin concentration possibly reduced
by intravenous trimethoprim.
Dapsone: plasma concentration of both dapsone and trimethoprim may increase with
concomitant use.
Digoxin: plasma concentration of digoxin possibly increased.
Lamivudine: competes for renal excretion, increasing lamivudine concentration and risk of
toxicity.
* Mercaptopurine: increased risk of haematological toxicity.
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6.2 Antibacterials
*
*
*
Methotrexate: antifolate effect of methotrexate increased (avoid concomitant use).
Phenytoin: antifolate effect and plasma phenytoin concentration increased.
Pyrimethamine: increased antifolate effect.
Rifampicin: decreases concentrations of trimethoprim and sulfamethoxazole when used for
prophylaxis in HIV-positive patients, decreasing its efficacy.
* Sulfadoxine + pyrimethamine: increased antifolate effect.
Warfarin: possibly enhanced anticoagulant effect.
Notes: Oral dose is best given with or after food.
Attention should be paid to the folate status of the patient should treatment be prolonged or high
dose.
Dilution and administration For intermittent intravenous infusion may be further diluted in
glucose 5% and 10% or sodium chloride 0.9% or Ringer’s intravenous solution. Must be further diluted; dilute
each 5 ml of injection solution to 125 ml. Infuse over 60–90 minutes (but may be adjusted according to fluid
requirements). If fluid restriction necessary, 5 ml may be diluted with 75 ml of glucose 5% and the required dose
infused over a maximum of 60 minutes. Check container for haze or precipitant during administration. In severe
fluid restriction may be given undiluted via a central venous line.
References:
Hill SR, Kouimtzi M, Stuart MC, eds. WHO model formulary. Geneva, World Health Organization, 2008.
Hodding JH, Kraus DM, Taketomo CK. Pediatric dosage handbook. 16th ed. Hudson, Lexi-Comp, 2009.
Kemp CA, McDowell JM. Paediatric pharmacopoeia. 13th ed. Melbourne, Royal Children’s Hospital, 2002.
Klasco RK, ed. Drugdex system. Greenwood Village, Thomson Micromedex, 2010. (http://www.thomsonhc.com, accessed 10
February 2010).
Paediatric Formulary Committee. British national formulary for children 2009. London, BMJ Group RBS Publishing, 2009.
Rossi S, ed. Australian medicines handbook. Adelaide, Australian Medicines Handbook, 2009.
WHO expert committee on the selection and use of essential medicines. The selection and use of essential medicines: report of
the WHO expert committee, October 2007 (including the model list of essential medicines for children). WHO Technical Report
Series, 2008, 950 (http://www.who.int/medicines/publications/essentialmeds_committeereports/TRS_950.pdf ).
Trimethoprim
ATC code: J01EA01
Oral liquid: 10 mg/ml
Tablet: 100 mg; 200 mg
Special Notes: WHO age/weight restriction: > 6 months.
Indications: Treatment of urinary tract infection and respiratory tract infection; prophylaxis of
urinary tract infection.
Contraindications: Blood disorders including megaloblastic anaemia due to folate deficiency; severe
renal impairment.
Precautions: Mild to moderate renal impairment; hepatic impairment; predisposition to folate
deficiency; blood counts on long-term therapy; porphyria; neonates and infants < 6 months.
Blood disorders On long-term treatment, patients and their carers should be told how to recognize signs
of blood disorders and advised to seek immediate medical attention if symptoms such as fever, sore throat, rash,
mouth ulcers, purpura, bruising or bleeding develop.
Dose:
Treatment of urinary tract infection and respiratory tract infection.
Oral:
Infant or Child over 6 months 4 mg/kg twice daily. Maximum 200 mg twice daily.
Prophylaxis of urinary tract infection.
Oral:
Infant or Child over 6 months 2 mg/kg (maximum 100 mg) at night.
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Renal impairment: Mild to moderate impairment: use half normal dose if CrCl 15–30 ml/minute.
Moderate to severe impairment: avoid use if CrCl less than 15 ml/minute.
Hepatic impairment: Use with caution. Dose reduction not required.
Adverse effects: Common Fever, pruritus, rash, nausea, vomiting, glossitis, hyperkalaemia (see
below), superinfection (Candida species).
Uncommon Sore mouth, increase in serum creatinine.
Rare Leukopenia, thrombocytopenia, megaloblastic anaemia, methaemoglobinaemia (especially with
high doses or prolonged treatment), allergy including anaphylaxis, erythema multiforme (StevensJohnson syndrome), toxic epidermal necrolysis, aseptic meningitis.
Hyperkalaemia Trimethoprim causes potassium retention. Hyperkalaemia can occur with usual doses but
is more likely to be clinically significant as dose increases. Average onset is 4–5 days. Risk factors are high doses,
renal impairment and use of other potassium-retaining drugs (see Interactions).
Interactions with other medicines (* indicates severe):
Trimethoprim is a folate antagonist and will add to the effects on bone marrow of other folate
antagonists, e.g. pyrimethamine.
* Azathioprine: increased risk of haematological toxicity.
* Ciclosporin: increased risk of nephrotoxicity; plasma ciclosporin concentration possibly reduced
by intravenous trimethoprim.
Dapsone: plasma concentration of both dapsone and trimethoprim may increase with
concomitant use.
Digoxin: plasma concentration of digoxin possibly increased.
Enalapril: increased risk of hyperkalaemia.
Lamivudine: competes for renal excretion, increasing lamivudine concentration and risk of toxicity.
* Mercaptopurine: increased risk of haematological toxicity.
* Methotrexate: antifolate effect of methotrexate increased (avoid concomitant use).
* Phenytoin: antifolate effect and plasma phenytoin concentration increased.
* Pyrimethamine: increased antifolate effect.
* Sulfadoxine + pyrimethamine: increased antifolate effect.
Warfarin: possibly enhanced anticoagulant effect.
Notes: Monitor complete blood picture and folate status during prolonged or high-dose treatment.
Monitor serum potassium, beginning on day 3, if the patient has renal impairment, is taking drugs
which can cause hyperkalaemia or is taking a high dose.
Give at night to maximize urinary concentration for urinary tract infection prophylaxis.
References:
Hill SR, Kouimtzi M, Stuart MC, eds. WHO model formulary. Geneva, World Health Organization, 2008.
Klasco RK, ed. Drugdex system. Greenwood Village, Thomson Micromedex, 2010. (http://www.thomsonhc.com, accessed
10 February 2010).
Paediatric Formulary Committee. British national formulary for children 2009. London, BMJ Group RBS Publishing, 2009.
Rossi S, ed. Australian medicines handbook. Adelaide, Australian Medicines Handbook, 2009.
WHO expert committee on the selection and use of essential medicines. The selection and use of essential medicines: report of
the WHO expert committee, October 2007 (including the model list of essential medicines for children). WHO Technical Report
Series, 2008, 950 (http://www.who.int/medicines/publications/essentialmeds_committeereports/TRS_950.pdf ).
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6.2 Antibacterials
Clindamycin
ATC code: J01FF01
Capsule: 150 mg
Injection: 150 mg (as phosphate)/ml
Oral liquid: 15 mg/ml
Antibiotic-associated colitis (Clostridium difficile infection) may be fatal, discontinue treatment
immediately if diarrhoea develops.
Special Notes: Clindamycin is a complementary drug when penicillin is not appropriate.
Indications: Treatment of infections with susceptible organisms where allergy to penicillin and
resistance to first-line drugs, including staphylococcal bone and joint infections, peritonitis and
pneumonia.
Contraindications: Diarrhoeal states; avoid injections containing benzyl alcohol in neonates;
porphyria.
Precautions: Discontinue immediately if diarrhoea or colitis develop; hepatic impairment; renal
impairment; monitor liver and renal function on prolonged therapy and in neonates and infants;
females; avoid rapid intravenous administration; avoid taking with antidiarrhoeal medication.
Dose:
Treatment of infections with susceptible organisms where allergy to penicillin and resistance to
first-line drugs.
Oral:
Neonate under 14 days 3–6 mg/kg three times daily;
Neonate 14–28 days 3–6 mg/kg four times daily.
Infant or Child 3–6 mg/kg four times daily (body weight under 10 kg, minimum dose 37.5 mg
three times daily). Maximum dose 450 mg four times daily.
IV infusion or deep IM injection:
Infant or Child 3.75–6.25 mg/kg four times daily; increased up to 10 mg/kg four times daily in
severe infections. Total daily dose may alternatively be given in three divided doses. In lifethreatening infection, up to 1.2 g four times daily may be used. Single doses over 600 mg must
be given by intravenous infusion.
Renal impairment: Severe impairment: reduce dose.
Hepatic impairment: Severe impairment: reduce dose.
Adverse effects: Common Diarrhoea (mild to severe: discontinue treatment), nausea, vomiting,
abdominal discomfort, rash, pruritus, urticaria.
Uncommon Antibiotic-associated colitis (Clostridium difficile infection).
Rare Taste disturbance, oesophagitis, anaphylaxis (often related to the tartrazine in the capsule
preparation), blood dyscrasias (neutropenia, eosinophilia, agranulocytosis and thrombocytopenia),
polyarthritis, jaundice and altered liver function tests, hepatotoxicity (with high doses), StevensJohnson syndrome, exfoliative and vesiculobullous dermatitis, toxic epidermal necrolysis (“slow”
red man syndrome).
IV Hypotension, cardiac arrest (rapid injection), thrombophlebitis.
IM Pain, induration, sterile abscess.
Interactions with other medicines (* indicates severe):
Neostigmine: antagonism of effects of neostigmine.
Pyridostigmine: antagonism of effects of pyridostigmine.
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* Suxamethonium: enhanced effects of suxamethonium.
* Vecuronium: enhanced muscle relaxant effect.
Notes: Consider the necessity for IV administration as adequate levels can be achieved using oral
formulations due to high bioavailability.
Patient advice Patients should discontinue immediately and contact doctor if diarrhoea develops; capsules
should be swallowed with a glass of water.
Administration advice For intravenous infusion, dilute in glucose 5% or sodium chloride 0.9% to
concentration not > 12 mg/ml and infuse slowly IV over 30–40 minutes to reduce risk of adverse cardiac effects
(hypotension, cardiac arrest).
References:
Hill SR, Kouimtzi M, Stuart MC, eds. WHO model formulary. Geneva, World Health Organization, 2008.
Hodding JH, Kraus DM, Taketomo CK. Pediatric dosage handbook. 16th ed. Hudson, Lexi-Comp, 2009.
Klasco RK, ed. Drugdex system. Greenwood Village, Thomson Micromedex, 2010. (http://www.thomsonhc.com, accessed
10 February 2010).
Paediatric Formulary Committee. British national formulary for children 2009. London, BMJ Group RBS Publishing, 2009.
Rossi S, ed. Australian medicines handbook. Adelaide, Australian Medicines Handbook, 2009.
WHO expert committee on the selection and use of essential medicines. The selection and use of essential medicines: report of
the WHO expert committee, October 2007 (including the model list of essential medicines for children). WHO Technical Report
Series, 2008, 950 (http://www.who.int/medicines/publications/essentialmeds_committeereports/TRS_950.pdf ).
Vancomycin
ATC code: J01XA01
Powder for injection: 250 mg (as hydrochloride) in vial
Special Notes: Vancomycin is a complementary antibacterial drug for use only when there is
significant resistance to other drugs on the WHO Model List of Essential Medicines for Children.
Indications: Treatment of infections with susceptible organisms including methicillin-resistant
staphylococcal pneumonia, staphylococcal meningitis, antibiotic-associated colitis, endocarditis
treatment and prophylaxis. Local antimicrobial patterns need to be taken into account.
Contraindications: History of deafness.
Precautions: Avoid rapid infusion (risk of anaphylactoid reactions, see Adverse effects); rotate
infusion sites; renal impairment; monitor plasma vancomycin concentration (after three or four
doses in normal renal function, earlier if renal impairment), blood counts, urine analysis and renal
function tests: use only in hospital setting; monitor auditory function and plasma vancomycin
concentrations in renal impairment.
Dose:
Treatment of infections with susceptible organisms.
IV infusion:
Neonate, Infant or Child 15 mg/kg every 8 hours, adjusted according to plasma concentration.
Maximum daily dose 2 g.
Therapeutic drug monitoring Plasma concentration monitoring required; pre-dose (trough)
concentration should be 10–15 mg/litre (15–20 mg/litre for less sensitive strains of methicillin-resistant
Staphylococcus aureus).
Antibiotic-associated colitis.
Oral (using the injection solution):
Infant or Child under 5 years 5 mg/kg four times daily for 7–10 days;
5–12 years 62.5 mg four times daily for 7–10 days.
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Renal impairment: Increase dose interval or reduce dose, or both, in renal impairment.
Monitor plasma vancomycin concentration and renal function regularly.
Adverse effects: Common IV: local pain (may be severe), thrombophlebitis. Oral: usually only causes
gastrointestinal adverse effects if significant serum concentrations occur, e.g. in renal impairment.
Nausea, vomiting, diarrhoea and chills.
Uncommon Nephrotoxicity including renal failure (see below).
Rare Ototoxicity (discontinue if tinnitus occurs), interstitial nephritis, serious skin reactions
(e.g. linear IgA bullous disease, exfoliative dermatitis, erythema multiforme (Stevens-Johnson
syndrome), toxic epidermal necrolysis, vasculitis, drug rash with eosinophilia and systemic
symptoms (DRESS)). Blood disorders including thrombocytopenia (may be immune-mediated),
neutropenia (more likely after at least 1 week and total dose > 25 g), leukopenia, agranulocytosis,
flushing of the upper body (“red man” syndrome (see below)), anaphylaxis, severe hypotension
(with shock, cardiac arrest), superinfection, Clostridium difficile-associated disease.
Nephrotoxicity Although reports of frequency are conflicting, it is more common when used with
aminoglycosides and in renal impairment. It appears to be related to vancomycin serum concentration.
Ototoxicity Dizziness, vertigo and tinnitus can occur. Vancomycin alone rarely causes ototoxicity; risk is
higher with prolonged use, in renal impairment and when given with other ototoxic drugs, e.g. aminoglycosides;
deafness may be permanent.
Red man syndrome Usually due to infusion being given too quickly. It is not an allergic reaction
although symptoms are partly due to histamine release; they include fever, chills, erythema, facial and upper torso
rash, which may be followed by hypotension, angioedema and itch. May be treated with antihistamines (e.g.
promethazine); successful administration is usually possible by increasing the infusion time (e.g. to 120 minutes).
Interactions with other medicines (* indicates severe):
*
*
Amikacin: increased risk of nephrotoxicity and ototoxicity.
Amphotericin B: possibly increased risk of nephrotoxicity.
Capreomycin: increased risk of nephrotoxicity and ototoxicity.
Ciclosporin: increased risk of nephrotoxicity.
Furosemide: increased risk of ototoxicity.
Gentamicin: increased risk of nephrotoxicity and ototoxicity.
Halothane: hypersensitivity-like reactions can occur with concomitant intravenous vancomycin.
Ketamine: hypersensitivity-like reactions can occur with concomitant intravenous vancomycin.
Nitrous oxide: hypersensitivity-like reactions can occur with concomitant intravenous
vancomycin.
Paromomycin: increased risk of otoxicity.
Streptomycin: increased risk of nephrotoxicity and ototoxicity.
* Suxamethonium: enhanced effects of suxamethonium.
Thiopental: hypersensitivity-like reactions can occur with concomitant intravenous vancomycin.
Notes: Injection may be given orally for Clostridium difficile infection (see Dose); flavouring syrups
may be added to the solution at the time of administration.
Administration Give over at least 60 minutes (rate not to exceed 10 mg/minute for doses > 500 mg) via
central venous catheter if possible; avoid extravasation; never give IM. Do not mix with other drugs in parenteral
solutions.
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References:
Hill SR, Kouimtzi M, Stuart MC, eds. WHO model formulary. Geneva, World Health Organization, 2008.
Hodding JH, Kraus DM, Taketomo CK. Pediatric dosage handbook. 16th ed. Hudson, Lexi-Comp, 2009.
Kemp CA, McDowell JM. Paediatric pharmacopoeia. 13th ed. Melbourne, Royal Children’s Hospital, 2002.
Klasco RK, ed. Drugdex system. Greenwood Village, Thomson Micromedex, 2010. (http://www.thomsonhc.com, accessed 10
February 2010).
Paediatric Formulary Committee. British national formulary for children 2009. London, BMJ Group RBS Publishing, 2009.
Rossi S, ed. Australian medicines handbook. Adelaide, Australian Medicines Handbook, 2009.
WHO expert committee on the selection and use of essential medicines. The selection and use of essential medicines: report of
the WHO expert committee, October 2007 (including the model list of essential medicines for children). WHO Technical Report
Series, 2008, 950 (http://www.who.int/medicines/publications/essentialmeds_committeereports/TRS_950.pdf ).
6.2.3 Antileprosy medicines
Leprosy is a chronic mycobacterial infection due to Mycobacterium leprae, which is a slow-growing
intracellular bacillus that infiltrates the skin, peripheral nerves, the nasal and other mucosa and the eyes;
it affects people of all ages and both sexes. The incubation period between infection and appearance of
leprosy is normally between 2 and 10 years, but may be up to 20 years. It is transmitted from person to
person when bacilli are shed from the nose. For treatment purposes, patients may be classified as having
either paucibacillary (PB) or multibacillary (MB) leprosy. The two forms may be distinguished by skin
smears, but facilities are not always available to process them and their reliability is often doubtful. In
practice, most leprosy programmes classify patients and choose a regimen based on the number of skin
lesions, i.e. PB leprosy: one to five skin lesions; MB leprosy, more than five skin lesions.
Rifampicin, clofazimine and dapsone are used in the treatment of leprosy and should always be
used as combination therapy; this is essential to prevent the emergence of resistance.
Lepra reactions are episodes of sudden increase in the activity of leprosy, and are often accompanied
by neuritis. Reactions must always be treated promptly to prevent permanent nerve damage and
disability. Leprosy multidrug therapy should continue without interruption during a lepra reaction.
This reduces the frequency and severity of lepra reactions.
Type 1 lepra reactions (reversal reactions) are delayed hypersensitivity reactions, characterized by
redness and swelling of pre-existing skin lesions and possible increased motor/sensory loss before
ulceration of the lesion. This may occur in either PB or MB leprosy.
The type 2 lepra reaction (erythema nodosum leprosum [ENL]), characterized by fever and multiple
red tender nodules, is an antibody response to dead leprosy bacteria and occurs only in MB leprosy.
Clofazimine
ATC code: J04BA01
Capsule: 50 mg; 100 mg
Special Notes: Medicines used in the treatment of leprosy should never be used except in
combination. Combination therapy is essential to prevent the emergence of drug resistance.
Indications: Treatment of multibacillary (MB) leprosy (and where classification between MB and
paucibacillary leprosy cannot be made) as part of combination therapy; treatment of type 2 lepra
reactions (erythema nodosum leprosum).
Precautions: Pre-existing gastrointestinal symptoms (reduce dose, increase dose interval or
discontinue if symptoms develop during treatment); liver and renal impairment; may discolour
soft contact lenses.
Skilled tasks Warn patient or carer about the risk of undertaking tasks requiring attention or coordination,
for example riding a bike or operating machinery, for about 24 hours.
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Dose:
Multibacillary leprosy (in combination with dapsone and rifampicin).
Oral:
Child under 10 years 100 mg once a month and 50 mg twice a week. Continue treatment for
12 months;
10–12 years 150 mg once a month and 50 mg on alternate days. Continue treatment for
12 months.
Type 2 lepra reaction (erythema nodosum leprosum).
Oral:
Child all ages 100 mg two or three times daily. Continue treatment for 3 months. 4–6 weeks
treatment may be required before effect is seen.
Adverse effects: Uncommon Reversible discoloration of skin, hair, cornea, conjunctiva, tears,
sweat, sputum, faeces and urine, gastrointestinal pain, nausea, vomiting, diarrhoea, weight loss,
gastrointestinal bleeding, severe mucosal and submucosal oedema, dry skin, acne-like eruptions,
rashes, pruritus, photosensitivity, decreased sweat production, dry eyes.
Rare Headache, drowsiness, dizziness, taste disorders, elevation of blood glucose concentration.
Interactions with other medicines (* indicates severe):
* Phenytoin: reduced phenytoin serum concentrations and loss of phenytoin efficacy.
Notes: The drug is well tolerated and virtually non-toxic in the dosage used for multidrug therapy
(MDT). The drug causes brownish black discoloration and dryness of skin. However, this
disappears within a few months after stopping treatment. This should be explained to patients
starting a MDT regimen for MB leprosy.
References:
Estrada B. Leprosy. eMedicine. New York, WebMD, 2009 (http://emedicine.medscape.com/article/965605-overview, accessed
10 February 2010).
WHO-recommended multi-drug therapy (MDT) regimens. Geneva, World Health Organization, 2010 (http://www.who.int/lep/
mdt/regimens/en/, accessed 10 February 2010).
Dapsone
ATC code: J04BA02
Tablet: 25 mg; 50 mg; 100 mg
Special Notes: Medicines used in the treatment of leprosy should never be used except in
combination. Combination therapy is essential to prevent the emergence of drug resistance.
Indications: Treatment of leprosy as part of combination therapy (paucibacillary and multibacillary).
Contraindications: Hypersensitivity to sulfones; severe anaemia.
Precautions: Anaemia (treat severe anaemia before therapy, and monitor blood counts during
treatment); susceptibility to haemolysis including G6PD deficiency (including breastfeeding
affected infants); porphyria.
Blood disorders On long-term treatment, patients and their carers should be told how to recognize blood
disorders and advised to seek immediate medical attention if symptoms such as fever, sore throat, rash, mouth
ulcers, purpura, bruising or bleeding develop.
Skilled tasks Warn patient or carer about the risk of undertaking tasks requiring attention or coordination,
for example riding a bike or operating machinery, for 24 hours.
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Dose:
Paucibacillary leprosy (in combination with rifampicin).
Oral:
Child under 10 years 25 mg once daily. Continue treatment for 6 months;
10–12 years 50 mg once daily. Continue treatment for 6 months.
Multibacillary leprosy (in combination with rifampicin and clofazimine).
Oral:
Child under 10 years 25 mg once daily. Continue treatment for 12 months;
10–12 years 50 mg once daily. Continue treatment for 12 months.
Renal impairment: Increased levels can occur in renal impairment.
Adverse effects: Common Gastrointestinal irritation, photosensitivity.
Rare Haemolysis, methaemoglobinaemia, allergic dermatitis (rarely including toxic epidermal
necrolysis and Stevens-Johnson syndrome), hepatitis, agranulocytosis, “dapsone syndrome”
resembling mononucleosis (rare hypersensitivity reaction with symptoms including rash, fever,
jaundice and eosinophilia), tachycardia, headache, nervousness, insomnia, blurred vision,
paraesthesia, reversible peripheral neuropathy, psychoses.
Interactions with other medicines (* indicates severe):
Rifampicin: reduced plasma dapsone concentration.
Sulfamethoxazole + trimethoprim: plasma concentration of both dapsone and trimethoprim
may increase with concomitant use.
Trimethoprim: plasma concentration of both dapsone and trimethoprim may increase with
concomitant use.
Notes: May cause photosensitivity.
Patients with high acetylation rates or who are receiving treatment that affects acetylation may
require a dosage adjustment.
May be taken with food to reduce stomach upset.
Tablets should be taken whole and small doses should be made up from 25 mg tablets. Do not split
the tablet.
References:
Hill SR, Kouimtzi M, Stuart MC, eds. WHO model formulary. Geneva, World Health Organization, 2008.
Hodding JH, Kraus DM, Taketomo CK. Pediatric dosage handbook. 16th ed. Hudson, Lexi-Comp, 2009.
Kemp CA, McDowell JM. Paediatric pharmacopoeia. 13th ed. Melbourne, Royal Children’s Hospital, 2002.
Klasco RK, ed. Drugdex system. Greenwood Village, Thomson Micromedex, 2010. (http://www.thomsonhc.com, accessed
10 February 2010).
MIMS Online. Sydney, UBM Medica, 2009 (http://www.mimsonline.com.au/Search/Search.aspx, accessed 10 February 2010).
Rifampicin
ATC code: J04AB02
Solid oral dosage form: 150 mg; 300 mg
Special Notes: Medicines used in the treatment of leprosy should never be used except in
combination. Combination therapy is essential to prevent the emergence of drug resistance.
Indications: Treatment of leprosy as part of combination therapy (paucibacillary and multibacillary).
Contraindications: Hypersensitivity to rifamycins; jaundice.
Precautions: Hepatic impairment; monitor liver function tests and blood counts in patients with
liver disorders or on prolonged therapy; renal impairment (if dose above 600 mg daily); porphyria;
discolours soft contact lenses.
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Important Advise patients on hormonal contraceptives to use additional means.
Note Resumption of rifampicin treatment after a long interval may cause serious immunological reactions,
resulting in renal impairment, haemolysis or thrombocytopenia; discontinue permanently if serious adverse effects
occur.
Liver disorders Patients or their carers should be told how to recognize signs of liver disorders and advised
to discontinue treatment and seek immediate medical attention if symptoms such as persistent nausea, vomiting,
malaise or jaundice develop.
Dose:
Paucibacillary leprosy (in combination with dapsone).
Oral:
Child under 10 years 300 mg once a month. Continue treatment for 6 months;
10–12 years 450 mg once a month. Continue treatment for 6 months.
Multibacillary leprosy (in combination with dapsone and clofazimine).
Oral:
Child under 10 years 300 mg once a month. Continue treatment for 12 months;
10–12 years 450 mg once a month. Continue treatment for 12 months.
Patient advice Take dose at least 30 minutes before a meal, since absorption is reduced by food.
Hepatic impairment: Impaired elimination; monitor liver function; avoid or do not exceed 8 mg/kg
daily.
Adverse effects: Common Urine, tears, saliva and sputum coloured orange-red.
Rare Alterations of liver function, jaundice, potentially fatal hepatitis (dose related; do not exceed
maximum dose of 600 mg daily), anorexia, nausea, vomiting, diarrhoea, antibiotic-associated
colitis, headache, drowsiness, rashes, fever, influenza-like syndrome, respiratory symptoms,
collapse, shock, haemolytic anaemia, acute renal failure, thrombocytopenic purpura, oedema,
muscular weakness, myopathy, exfoliative dermatitis, toxic epidermal necrolysis, pemphigoid
reactions, leukopenia, eosinophilia, menstrual disturbances.
Interactions with other medicines (* indicates severe):
*
*
*
*
*
*
*
Abacavir: plasma concentration of abacavir possibly reduced.
Amitriptyline: plasma concentration of amitriptyline possibly reduced.
Antacids (aluminium hydroxide; magnesium hydroxide): reduced absorption of rifampicin.
Chloramphenicol: accelerated metabolism of chloramphenicol (reduced plasma chloramphenicol
concentration).
Ciclosporin: accelerated metabolism of ciclosporin (reduced plasma ciclosporin concentration).
Contraceptives, oral: accelerated metabolism of estrogens and progestogens (reduced
contraceptive effect).
Dapsone: reduced plasma dapsone concentration.
Dexamethasone: accelerated metabolism of dexamethasone (reduced effect).
Diazepam: metabolism of diazepam accelerated (reduced plasma concentration).
Digoxin: plasma concentration of digoxin possibly reduced.
Doxycycline: plasma doxycycline concentration possibly reduced.
Efavirenz: reduced plasma concentration of efavirenz (increase efavirenz dose).
Fluconazole: accelerated metabolism of fluconazole (reduced plasma concentration).
Glibenclamide: possibly accelerated metabolism (reduced effect) of glibenclamide.
Haloperidol: accelerated metabolism of haloperidol (reduced plasma haloperidol concentration).
Hydrocortisone: accelerated metabolism of hydrocortisone (reduced effect).
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* Indinavir: metabolism accelerated by rifampicin (plasma indinavir concentration reduced; avoid
concomitant use).
* Levonorgestrel: accelerated metabolism of levonorgestrel (reduced contraceptive effect).
Levothyroxine: accelerated metabolism of levothyroxine (may increase levothyroxine requirements
in hypothyroidism).
* Lopinavir: reduced plasma concentration of lopinavir (avoid concomitant use).
* Medroxyprogesterone: accelerated metabolism of medroxyprogesterone (does not apply to
injectable medroxyprogesterone acetate for contraception).
* Nelfinavir: plasma concentration of nelfinavir significantly reduced (avoid concomitant use).
* Nevirapine: reduced plasma concentration of nevirapine (avoid concomitant use).
* Nifedipine: accelerated metabolism of nifedipine (plasma concentration significantly reduced).
* Norethisterone: accelerated metabolism of norethisterone (reduced contraceptive effect).
* Phenytoin: accelerated metabolism of phenytoin (reduced plasma concentration).
* Prednisolone: accelerated metabolism of prednisolone (reduced effect).
Propranolol: metabolism of propranolol accelerated (significantly reduced plasma concentration).
* Quinidine: accelerated metabolism of quinidine (reduced plasma quinidine concentration).
* Saquinavir: plasma concentration of saquinavir significantly reduced; avoid concomitant use.
* Verapamil: accelerated metabolism of verapamil (plasma concentration significantly reduced).
* Warfarin: accelerated metabolism of warfarin (reduced anticoagulant effect).
Zidovudine: avoidance of rifampicin advised by manufacturer of zidovudine.
Notes: Capsules should be swallowed whole. Avoid contact during dosing/preparation due to risk of
contact sensitization.
References:
Hill SR, Kouimtzi M, Stuart MC, eds. WHO model formulary. Geneva, World Health Organization, 2008.
Klasco RK, ed. Drugdex system. Greenwood Village, Thomson Micromedex, 2010. (http://www.thomsonhc.com, accessed
10 February 2010).
Paediatric Formulary Committee. British national formulary for children 2009. London, BMJ Group RBS Publishing, 2009.
6.2.4 Antituberculosis medicines
Antituberculosis treatment in children
The main objectives of antituberculosis treatment are to:
1. cure the patient of tuberculosis (TB) (by rapidly eliminating most of the bacilli)
2. prevent death from active TB or its late effects
3. prevent relapse of TB (by eliminating the dormant bacilli)
4. prevent the development of drug resistance (by using a combination of drugs)
5. decrease TB transmission to others.
Children with TB usually have paucibacillary (low organism numbers) pulmonary disease. They also
develop extrapulmonary TB more often than adults. Severe and disseminated TB (e.g. TB meningitis and
miliary TB) occurs more frequently in young children (less than 3 years old). Both the bacillary load and
the type of disease may influence the effectiveness of treatment regimens. Treatment outcomes in children
are generally good, even in young and immunocompromised children, provided treatment is started
promptly. Studies demonstrate that very few of the drug adverse events more commonly reported in adults
occur as commonly in children, when used in doses suggested in WHO treatment regimens.
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Treatment regimens
Anti-TB treatment is divided into two phases: an intensive phase and a continuation phase. The
purpose of the intensive phase is to rapidly eliminate the majority of organisms and to prevent the
emergence of drug resistance. This phase uses a greater number of drugs than the continuation phase.
The purpose of the continuation phase is to eradicate the dormant organisms. Fewer drugs are generally
used in this phase because the risk of acquiring drug resistance is low, as most of the organisms have
already been eliminated. Daily treatment is preferred for therapy, but treatment can be given three times
weekly provided the treatment is directly observed. Three times weekly therapy is not recommended in
settings where there is high HIV-prevalence, or for HIV-positive individuals.
Recommended dosages
Note that dose recommendations for several first-line anti-TB medications have recently been
revised. Recommended doses for several medications have been increased, because current evidence
suggests that serum drug levels may be lower in children than in adults. Children with TB must be
followed up regularly and have dosages adjusted for weight gained.
Two or more new drugs should be added to any re-treatment regimen in cases of genuine failure of
treatment.
Children with TB who are co-infected with HIV
HIV-infected children are at greater risk for TB infection and TB disease than children not infected
with HIV. HIV-infected children also have a poorer response to TB treatment and higher rates of
mortality associated with TB disease. The majority of deaths in HIV-infected children being treated
for TB occur in the first 2 months of TB treatment during the intensive phase.
Management of relapse and drug-resistant TB in children
In childhood TB cases when anti-TB treatment fails or a relapse occurs, every effort should be made
to find the most likely cause for the failure or relapse. Mycobacterial culture and drug susceptibility
testing should be performed for all re-treatment cases.
Drug-resistant TB is a public health problem in many countries. Second-line drugs are required
to manage these infections. There is limited experience with the safety of many of these drugs in
children. No drug is absolutely contraindicated in children; however, benefits have to be carefully
weighed against risks. These drugs are indicated for the treatment of multidrug-resistant TB in
children and should only be used in specialized centres.
Ethambutol
ATC code: J04AK02
Oral liquid: 25 mg/ml
Tablet: 100 mg; 400 mg (hydrochloride)
Indications: Treatment of tuberculosis, in combination with other drugs.
Contraindications: Optic neuritis; severe renal impairment.
Precautions: Visual disturbances; renal impairment.
Visual disturbances Patients should report visual disturbances immediately and discontinue treatment.
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Dose:
Treatment of tuberculosis, in combination with other drugs.
Oral:
Infant or Child 20 mg/kg (range 15–25 mg/kg) once daily.
Note Serum ethambutol concentrations should be monitored.
The doses in this monograph are based on the 2009 WHO “Dosing instructions for the use of
currently available fixed-dose combination TB medicines for children”. Therefore, they may
differ from other paediatric TB treatment guidelines.
Renal impairment: Mild/moderate: reduce dose; if creatinine clearance less than 30 ml/minute
monitor plasma ethambutol concentration.
Severe: avoid.
Adverse effects: Uncommon Optic neuritis (reduced visual acuity and red/green colour blindness
(early changes usually reversible, prompt withdrawal may prevent blindness)), gout, peripheral
neuritis (especially in legs).
Rare Rash, pruritus, urticaria, thrombocytopenia.
References:
American Academy of Pediatrics. Red Book: 2009 report of the committee on infectious diseases. 28th ed. Elk Grove Village, American
Academy of Pediatrics, 2009.
Dosing instructions for the use of currently available fixed-dose combination TB medicines for children. Geneva, World Health
Organization, 2009 (http://www.stoptb.org/gdf/assets/documents/Interim Paediatric FDCs detailed dosing instructions_Sept09.
pdf, accessed 10 February 2010).
Ethambutol efficacy and toxicity: literature review and recommendations for daily and intermittent dosage in children. Geneva, World
Health Organization, 2006 (http://www.who.int/tb/publications/2006/en/index.html, accessed 10 February 2010).
Graham SM et al. Ethambutol in tuberculosis: time to reconsider? Archives of Disease in Childhood, 1998, 79:274–278.
Hodding JH, Kraus DM, Taketomo CK. Pediatric dosage handbook. 16th ed. Hudson, Lexi-Comp, 2009.
Klasco RK, ed. Drugdex system. Greenwood Village, Thomson Micromedex, 2010. (http://www.thomsonhc.com, accessed
10 February 2010).
Paediatric Formulary Committee. British national formulary for children 2009. London, BMJ Group RBS Publishing, 2009.
Treatment of tuberculosis guidelines. 4th ed. Geneva, World Health Organization, 2010 (http://whqlibdoc.who.int/
publications/2010/9789241547833_eng.pdf, accessed 10 February 2010).
Treatment of tuberculosis. American Thoracic Society, CDC, and Infectious Diseases Society of America, 2003 (http://www.cdc.
gov/mmwr/preview/mmwrhtml/rr5211a1.htm, accessed 10 February 2010).
Trebucq A. Should ethambutol be recommended for routine treatment of tuberculosis in children? A review of the literature.
International Journal of Tuberculosis and Lung Disease, 1997(1):12–15.
Isoniazid
ATC code: J04AC01
Oral liquid: 10 mg/ml
Tablet: 100 mg; 300 mg
Tablet (scored): 50 mg
Severe and sometimes fatal hepatitis may occur; usually occurs within the first 3 months of
treatment. Patients or their carers must be advised to report any prodromal symptoms of
hepatitis, such as fatigue, weakness, malaise, anorexia, nausea or vomiting, immediately.
Special Notes: Also referred to as INH.
Indications: Treatment of tuberculosis, in combination with other drugs; prophylaxis of tuberculosis.
Contraindications: Drug-induced hepatic disease.
Precautions: Hepatic impairment; risk of peripheral neuritis (prophylactic pyridoxine recommended)
in patients with malnutrition, chronic renal failure, diabetes mellitus or HIV infection; epilepsy;
slow acetylator status; history of psychosis; porphyria; renal impairment.
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Liver disorders Patients or their carers should be told how to recognize signs of liver disease and be
advised to discontinue treatment and seek immediate medical attention if symptoms such as persistent nausea,
vomiting, malaise or jaundice develop.
Dose:
Treatment of tuberculosis (in combination with other drugs), prophylaxis of tuberculosis.
Oral:
Infant or Child greater than 3 months 10 mg/kg (range 10–15 mg/kg) once daily (maximum
300 mg daily).
The doses in this monograph are based on the 2009 WHO “Dosing instructions for the use of
currently available fixed-dose combination TB medicines for children”. Therefore, they may
differ from other paediatric TB treatment guidelines.
Renal impairment: Severe: reduce dose to maximum 4 mg/kg daily or 200 mg daily; risk of
peripheral neuropathy.
Hepatic impairment: Use with caution; monitor liver function regularly and frequently in the first
2 months.
Adverse effects: Uncommon Nausea, vomiting, diarrhoea, gastrointestinal pain, constipation, dry
mouth.
Rare Hepatotoxicity (withdraw treatment), peripheral neuropathy, blood disorders (including
agranulocytosis, haemolytic anaemia, aplastic anaemia), optic neuritis, toxic psychoses, seizures,
hypersensitivity reactions (including fever, rashes, joint pain, erythema multiforme and purpura),
systemic lupus erythematosus-like syndrome, pellagra, hyper-reflexia, difficulty with micturition,
hyperglycaemia, gynaecomastia.
Interactions with other medicines (* indicates severe):
Amitriptyline: increased plasma concentration of isoniazid.
Antacids (aluminium hydroxide; magnesium hydroxide): reduced absorption of isoniazid.
* Carbamazepine: increased plasma carbamazepine concentration (also isoniazid hepatotoxicity
possibly increased).
Cycloserine: increased risk of CNS toxicity.
Diazepam: metabolism of diazepam inhibited.
* Ethosuximide: metabolism of ethosuximide inhibited (increased plasma ethosuximide
concentration and risk of toxicity).
Halothane: possible potentiation of isoniazid hepatotoxicity.
Ketamine: possible potentiation of isoniazid hepatotoxicity.
Nitrous oxide: possible potentiation of isoniazid hepatotoxicity.
p-Aminosalicylic acid: increased plasma concentration of isoniazid.
* Phenytoin: metabolism of phenytoin inhibited (enhanced effect).
Thiopental: possible potentiation of isoniazid hepatotoxicity.
Notes: Patient advice Isoniazid should be taken on an empty stomach; if taken with food to reduce
gastrointestinal irritation, oral absorption and bioavailability may be impaired.
References:
American Academy of Pediatrics. Red Book: 2009 report of the committee on infectious diseases. 28th ed. Elk Grove Village, American
Academy of Pediatrics, 2009.
Donald PR. A literature review of the pharmacokinetics of rifampicin, isoniazid and pyrazinamide and a recommendation for the
dosages to be used in children. Geneva, World Health Organization, Unpublished 2007.
Donald PR. Hepatotoxicity of antituberculosis agents in children: a literature review. Geneva, World Health Organization,
Unpublished 2009.
WHO Model Formulary for Children 2010
125
6
Anti-infective medicines
Dosing instructions for the use of currently available fixed-dose combination TB medicines for children. Geneva, World Health
Organization, 2009 (http://www.stoptb.org/gdf/assets/documents/Interim Paediatric FDCs detailed dosing instructions_Sept09.
pdf, accessed 10 February 2010).
Frydenberg AR, Graham SM. Toxicity of first-line drugs for treatment of tuberculosis in children: review. Tropical Medicine and
International Health, 2009, 14(11):1329–1337.
Hodding JH, Kraus DM, Taketomo CK. Pediatric dosage handbook. 16th ed. Hudson, Lexi-Comp, 2009.
Klasco RK, ed. Drugdex system. Greenwood Village, Thomson Micromedex, 2010. (http://www.thomsonhc.com, accessed
10 February 2010).
Paediatric Formulary Committee. British national formulary for children 2009. London, BMJ Group RBS Publishing, 2009.
Treatment of tuberculosis guidelines. 4th ed. Geneva, World Health Organization, 2010 (http://whqlibdoc.who.int/
publications/2010/9789241547833_eng.pdf, accessed 10 February 2010).
Treatment of tuberculosis. American Thoracic Society, CDC, and Infectious Diseases Society of America, 2003 (http://www.cdc.
gov/mmwr/preview/mmwrhtml/rr5211a1.htm, accessed 10 February 2010).
Pyrazinamide
ATC code: J04AK01
Oral liquid: 30 mg/ml
Tablet: 400 mg
Tablet (dispersible): 150 mg
Tablet (scored): 150 mg
Special Notes: Also referred to as PZA.
Indications: Treatment of tuberculosis, in combination with other medicines.
Contraindications: Severe hepatic impairment; porphyria.
Precautions: Hepatic impairment; renal impairment; diabetes mellitus (monitor blood glucose,
may change suddenly); gout; concurrent medications associated with liver injury (particulary
rifampicin).
Liver disorders Patients or their carers should be told how to recognize signs of liver disease and be
advised to discontinue treatment and seek immediate medical attention if symptoms such as persistent nausea,
vomiting, malaise or jaundice develop.
Dose:
Treatment of tuberculosis, in combination with other medicines.
Oral:
Infant or Child 35 mg/kg (range 30–40 mg/kg) once daily. Maximum 2 g daily.
The doses in this monograph are based on the 2009 WHO “Dosing instructions for the use of
currently available fixed-dose combination TB medicines for children”. Therefore, they may
differ from other paediatric TB treatment guidelines.
Renal impairment: Severe impairment: reduce dose.
Hepatic impairment: Monitor hepatic function, idiosyncratic hepatotoxicity more common.
Severe hepatic impairment: avoid use.
Adverse effects: Common Nausea, vomiting.
Uncommon Rash, photosensitivity.
Rare Flushing, dysuria, arthralgia, gout, sideroblastic anaemia, hepatotoxicity (including fever,
anorexia, hepatomegaly, splenomegaly, jaundice, liver failure).
Interactions with other medicines (* indicates severe):
* Ciclosporin: reduced ciclosporin serum concentrations and potentially reduced
immunosuppressive efficacy.
Rifampicin: risk of severe hepatic injury.
Zidovudine: decreased serum concentration and efficacy of pyrazinamide.
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6.2 Antibacterials
References:
American Academy of Pediatrics. Red Book: 2009 report of the committee on infectious diseases. 28th ed. Elk Grove Village, American
Academy of Pediatrics, 2009.
Ashley C, Currie A, eds. The renal drug handbook. 3rd ed. Oxford, Radcliffe Publishing, 2009.
Dosing instructions for the use of currently available fixed-dose combination TB medicines for children. Geneva, World Health
Organization, 2009 (http://www.stoptb.org/gdf/assets/documents/Interim Paediatric FDCs detailed dosing instructions_Sept09.
pdf, accessed 10 February 2010).
Guidelines for the programmatic management of drug-resistant tuberculosis. Geneva, World Health Organization, 2006 (http://
whqlibdoc.who.int/publications/2006/9241546956_eng.pdf, accessed 10 February 2010).
Hodding JH, Kraus DM, Taketomo CK. Pediatric dosage handbook. 16th ed. Hudson, Lexi-Comp, 2009.
Klasco RK, ed. Drugdex system. Greenwood Village, Thomson Micromedex, 2010. (http://www.thomsonhc.com, accessed
10 February 2010).
Paediatric Formulary Committee. British national formulary for children 2009. London, BMJ Group RBS Publishing, 2009.
Treatment of tuberculosis guidelines. 4th ed. Geneva, World Health Organization, 2010 (http://whqlibdoc.who.int/
publications/2010/9789241547833_eng.pdf, accessed 10 February 2010).
Treatment of tuberculosis. American Thoracic Society, CDC, and Infectious Diseases Society of America, 2003 (http://www.cdc.
gov/mmwr/preview/mmwrhtml/rr5211a1.htm, accessed 10 February 2010).
Rifampicin
ATC code: J04AB02
Oral liquid: 20 mg/ml
Solid oral dosage form: 150 mg; 300 mg
Special Notes: Also referred to as rifampin.
Indications: Treatment of tuberculosis, in combination with other drugs.
Contraindications: Hypersensitivity to rifamycins; jaundice.
Precautions: Hepatic impairment; liver function tests and blood counts required in liver disorders
and on prolonged therapy; porphyria; discolours soft contact lenses.
Important Advise patients on hormonal contraceptives to use additional means.
Note Resumption of rifampicin treatment after a long interval may cause serious immunological reactions, resulting
in renal impairment, haemolysis or thrombocytopenia; discontinue permanently if serious adverse effects occur.
Liver disorders Patients or their carers should be told how to recognize signs of liver disease and be
advised to discontinue treatment and seek immediate medical attention if symptoms such as persistent nausea,
vomiting, malaise or jaundice develop.
Dose:
Treatment of tuberculosis, in combination with other drugs.
Oral:
Infant or Child 15 mg/kg (range 10–20 mg) once daily. Maximum 600 mg daily.
The doses in this monograph are based on the 2009 WHO “Dosing instructions for the use of
currently available fixed-dose combination TB medicines for children”. Therefore, they may
differ from other paediatric TB treatment guidelines.
Renal impairment: Dose reduction not necessary.
Hepatic impairment: Impaired elimination; monitor liver function; avoid or do not exceed 8 mg/kg
daily.
Adverse effects: Common Urine, tears, saliva and sputum coloured orange-red.
Rare Alterations of liver function, jaundice, potentially fatal hepatitis, anorexia, nausea, vomiting,
diarrhoea, headache, drowsiness, rashes, fever, influenza-like syndrome, respiratory symptoms,
collapse, shock, haemolytic anaemia, acute renal failure, thrombocytopenic purpura, oedema,
muscular weakness, myopathy, exfoliative dermatitis, toxic epidermal necrolysis, pemphigoid
reactions, leukopenia, eosinophilia, menstrual disturbances.
WHO Model Formulary for Children 2010
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6
Anti-infective medicines
Interactions with other medicines (* indicates severe):
*
*
*
*
*
*
*
*
*
*
*
*
*
*
*
*
*
*
*
*
*
Abacavir: plasma concentration of abacavir possibly reduced.
Amitriptyline: plasma concentration of amitriptyline possibly reduced.
Antacids (aluminium hydroxide; magnesium hydroxide): reduced absorption of rifampicin.
Chloramphenicol: accelerated metabolism of chloramphenicol (reduced plasma chloramphenicol
concentration).
Ciclosporin: accelerated metabolism of ciclosporin (reduced plasma ciclosporin concentration).
Contraceptives, oral: accelerated metabolism of estrogens and progestogens (reduced
contraceptive effect).
Dapsone: reduced plasma dapsone concentration.
Dexamethasone: accelerated metabolism of dexamethasone (reduced effect).
Diazepam: metabolism of diazepam accelerated (reduced plasma concentration).
Digoxin: plasma concentration of digoxin possibly reduced.
Doxycycline: plasma doxycycline concentration possibly reduced.
Efavirenz: reduced plasma concentration of efavirenz (increase efavirenz dose).
Fluconazole: accelerated metabolism of fluconazole (reduced plasma concentration).
Glibenclamide: possibly accelerated metabolism (reduced effect) of glibenclamide.
Haloperidol: accelerated metabolism of haloperidol (reduced plasma haloperidol concentration).
Hydrocortisone: accelerated metabolism of hydrocortisone (reduced effect).
Indinavir: metabolism accelerated by rifampicin (plasma indinavir concentration reduced; avoid
concomitant use).
Levonorgestrel: accelerated metabolism of levonorgestrel (reduced contraceptive effect).
Levothyroxine: accelerated metabolism of levothyroxine (may increase levothyroxine requirements
in hypothyroidism).
Lopinavir: reduced plasma concentration of lopinavir (avoid concomitant use).
Medroxyprogesterone: accelerated metabolism of medroxyprogesterone (does not apply to
injectable medroxyprogesterone acetate for contraception).
Nelfinavir: plasma concentration of nelfinavir significantly reduced (avoid concomitant use).
Nevirapine: reduced plasma concentration of nevirapine (avoid concomitant use).
Nifedipine: accelerated metabolism of nifedipine (plasma concentration significantly reduced).
Norethisterone: accelerated metabolism of norethisterone (reduced contraceptive effect).
Phenytoin: accelerated metabolism of phenytoin (reduced plasma concentration).
Prednisolone: accelerated metabolism of prednisolone (reduced effect).
Propranolol: metabolism of propranolol accelerated (significantly reduced plasma concentration).
Quinidine: accelerated metabolism of quinidine (reduced plasma quinidine concentration).
Saquinavir: plasma concentration of saquinavir significantly reduced; avoid concomitant use.
Verapamil: accelerated metabolism of verapamil (plasma concentration significantly reduced).
Warfarin: accelerated metabolism of warfarin (reduced anticoagulant effect).
Zidovudine: avoidance of rifampicin advised by manufacturer of zidovudine.
Notes: Patient advice Take dose at least 30 minutes before a meal, as absorption is reduced when taken
with food.
Capsules should be swallowed whole. Avoid contact during dosing/preparation due to risk of contact
sensitization.
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6.2 Antibacterials
References:
American Academy of Pediatrics. Red Book: 2009 report of the committee on infectious diseases. 28th ed. Elk Grove Village, American
Academy of Pediatrics, 2009.
Dosing instructions for the use of currently available fixed-dose combination TB medicines for children. Geneva, World Health
Organization, 2009 (http://www.stoptb.org/gdf/assets/documents/Interim Paediatric FDCs detailed dosing instructions_Sept09.
pdf, accessed 10 February 2010).
Hodding JH, Kraus DM, Taketomo CK. Pediatric dosage handbook. 16th ed. Hudson, Lexi-Comp, 2009.
Klasco RK, ed. Drugdex system. Greenwood Village, Thomson Micromedex, 2010. (http://www.thomsonhc.com, accessed 10
February 2010).
Paediatric Formulary Committee. British national formulary for children 2009. London, BMJ Group RBS Publishing, 2009.
Treatment of tuberculosis guidelines. 4th ed. Geneva, World Health Organization, 2010 (http://whqlibdoc.who.int/
publications/2010/9789241547833_eng.pdf, accessed 10 February 2010).
Treatment of tuberculosis. American Thoracic Society, CDC, and Infectious Diseases Society of America, 2003 (http://www.cdc.
gov/mmwr/preview/mmwrhtml/rr5211a1.htm, accessed 10 February 2010).
Streptomycin
ATC code: J01GA01
Powder for injection: 1 g (as sulfate) in vial
Special Notes: Intramuscular injection of streptomycin is very painful.
Indications: Treatment of tuberculosis, in combination with other drugs.
Contraindications: Hearing disorders; myasthenia gravis; hypersensitivity to aminoglycoside
antibiotics.
Precautions: Children (painful injection, avoid use if possible); renal impairment; infants (monitor
renal, auditory and vestibular function, and plasma streptomycin concentrations); neuromuscular
disorders; vertigo; tinnitus; hearing loss.
Dose:
Treatment of tuberculosis, in combination with other drugs.
Deep IM injection:
Infant or Child 20–40 mg/kg once daily. Maximum 1 g daily.
Note 1 hour (peak) concentration should be 15–40 mg/litre; pre-dose (trough) concentration should be less
than 5 mg/litre (less than 1 mg/litre in renal impairment).
Renal impairment: Mild to moderate: extend dosing frequency. Monitor plasma concentrations.
Severe: avoid use.
Adverse effects: Common Pain and abscess at injection site.
Uncommon Vestibular and auditory damage, nephrotoxicity, hypersensitivity reactions (withdraw
treatment), paraesthesia of mouth, nausea, vomiting, rash, hypomagnesaemia on prolonged
therapy.
Rare Antibiotic-associated colitis, haemolytic anaemia, aplastic anaemia, agranulocytosis,
thrombocytopenia.
Interactions with other medicines (* indicates severe):
*
*
*
*
*
*
Alcuronium: enhanced muscle relaxant effect.
Amphotericin B: increased risk of nephrotoxicity.
Ciclosporin: increased risk of nephrotoxicity.
Cisplatin: increased risk of nephrotoxicity and possibly of ototoxicity.
Furosemide: increased risk of ototoxicity.
Neostigmine: antagonism of effect of neostigmine.
Pyridostigmine: antagonism of effect of pyridostigmine.
WHO Model Formulary for Children 2010
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6
Anti-infective medicines
* Suxamethonium: enhanced muscle relaxant effect.
Vancomycin: increased risk of nephrotoxicity and ototoxicity.
* Vecuronium: enhanced muscle relaxant effect.
Notes: Reconstitution and administration Reconstitute following manufacturer’s instructions.
For IM injection, inject deep intramuscularly into a large muscle mass. Administer at a concentration
not to exceed 500 mg/mL. Rotate injection sites.
References:
American Academy of Pediatrics. Red Book: 2009 report of the committee on infectious diseases. 28th ed. Elk Grove Village, American
Academy of Pediatrics, 2009.
Guidelines for the programmatic management of drug-resistant tuberculosis. Geneva, World Health Organization, 2006 (http://
whqlibdoc.who.int/publications/2006/9241546956_eng.pdf, accessed 10 February 2010).
Hodding JH, Kraus DM, Taketomo CK. Pediatric dosage handbook. 16th ed. Hudson, Lexi-Comp, 2009.
Klasco RK, ed. Drugdex system. Greenwood Village, Thomson Micromedex, 2010. (http://www.thomsonhc.com, accessed
10 February 2010).
Treatment of tuberculosis guidelines. 4th ed. Geneva, World Health Organization, 2010 (http://whqlibdoc.who.int/
publications/2010/9789241547833_eng.pdf, accessed 10 February 2010).
Treatment of tuberculosis. American Thoracic Society, CDC, and Infectious Diseases Society of America, 2003 (http://www.cdc.
gov/mmwr/preview/mmwrhtml/rr5211a1.htm, accessed 10 February 2010).
Amikacin
ATC code: J01GB06
Powder for injection: 100 mg; 500 mg; 1 g in vial
Special Notes: Second-line medicines should be reserved for the treatment of multidrug-resistant
tuberculosis (MDR-TB) and should be used in specialized centres adhering to WHO standards for
TB control.
Indications: Treatment of multidrug-resistant tuberculosis, in combination with other drugs.
Contraindications: Hypersensitivity to amikacin or aminoglycoside antibiotics.
Precautions: Renal impairment; pre-existing vestibular or auditory impairment; concomitant
anaesthesia or neuromuscular blockers; conditions characterized by muscle weakness; myasthenia
gravis; concomitant neurotoxic, ototoxic or nephrotoxic drugs; neonates and infants; dehydration.
Dose:
Treatment of multidrug-resistant tuberculosis, in combination with other drugs.
IV or IM:
Infant or Child 15–30 mg/kg once daily (maximum 1 g).
Note Pre-dose (trough) concentration should be less than 5 mg/litre for once daily dosing.
Renal impairment: Dosage adjustment is required in patients with renal impairment. Patients
should receive the usual loading dose; however, subsequent doses and/or dosing intervals should
be adjusted. Adjustment may be based on amikacin serum levels. Target amikacin serum levels for
once daily dosing: pre-dose (trough) concentration should be < 5 mg/litre.
Hepatic impairment: Dose reduction not necessary.
Adverse effects: Common Ototoxicity, nephrotoxicity.
Uncommon Rash, purpura, urticaria and alopecia.
Rare Exfoliative dermatitis, myasthenia gravis.
Interactions with other medicines (* indicates severe):
* Alcuronium: enhanced effects of alcuronium.
Amphotericin B: increased risk of nephrotoxicity.
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6.2 Antibacterials
* Benzylpenicillin: concomitant penicillin and aminoglycoside therapy has been reported to result
in inactivation of the aminoglycoside. Preferable to separate administration by 1 hour.
* Ciclosporin: increased risk of nephrotoxicity.
* Cisplatin: increased risk of nephrotoxicity and possibly of ototoxicity.
* Furosemide: increased risk of ototoxicity.
* Neostigmine: antagonism of effects of neostigmine.
* Pyridostigmine: antagonism of effects of pyridostigmine.
* Suxamethonium: enhanced effects of suxamethonium.
Vancomycin: increased risk of nephrotoxicity and ototoxicity.
* Vecuronium: enhanced effects of vecuronium.
Notes: Administration Administer by intramuscular injection or slow intermittent intravenous infusion
over 30 minutes at a final concentration not to exceed 10 mg/ml. For intravenous infusion, dilute with glucose
5% or sodium chloride 0.9% or compound sodium lactate.
References:
American Academy of Pediatrics. Red Book: 2009 report of the committee on infectious diseases. 28th ed. Elk Grove Village, American
Academy of Pediatrics, 2009.
Hodding JH, Kraus DM, Taketomo CK. Pediatric dosage handbook. 16th ed. Hudson, Lexi-Comp, 2009.
Klasco RK, ed. Drugdex system. Greenwood Village, Thomson Micromedex, 2010. (http://www.thomsonhc.com, accessed
10 February 2010).
Paediatric Formulary Committee. British national formulary for children 2009. London, BMJ Group RBS Publishing, 2009.
Treatment of tuberculosis guidelines. 4th ed. Geneva, World Health Organization, 2010 (http://whqlibdoc.who.int/
publications/2010/9789241547833_eng.pdf, accessed 10 February 2010).
Treatment of tuberculosis. American Thoracic Society, CDC, and Infectious Diseases Society of America, 2003 (http://www.cdc.
gov/mmwr/preview/mmwrhtml/rr5211a1.htm, accessed 10 February 2010).
Capreomycin
ATC code: J04AB30
Powder for injection: 1 g in vial
The use of capreomycin in patients with renal insufficiency or pre-existing auditory impairment
must be undertaken with great caution. Risk of additional cranial nerve VIII impairment or
renal injury.
Since other parenteral antituberculosis agents (streptomycin, viomycin) also have similar and
sometimes irreversible toxic effects, particularly on cranial nerve VIII and renal function,
simultaneous administration of these agents with capreomycin is not recommended. Use
with non-antituberculosis drugs (polymyxin A sulfate, colistin sulfate, amikacin, gentamicin,
tobramycin, vancomycin, kanamycin and neomycin) having ototoxic or nephrotoxic potential,
should be undertaken only with great caution.
Special Notes: Monitor body weight monthly and adjust dose accordingly.
Second-line medicines should be reserved for the treatment of multidrug-resistant tuberculosis
(MDR-TB) and should be used in specialized centres adhering to WHO standards for TB control.
Indications: Treatment of multidrug-resistant tuberculosis, in combination with other drugs.
Contraindications: Hypersensitivity to aminoglycoside antibiotics.
Precautions: Auditory impairment; concomitant use with streptomycin or viomycin; renal
impairment; renal injury; myasthenia gravis.
WHO Model Formulary for Children 2010
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Anti-infective medicines
Dose:
Treatment of multidrug-resistant tuberculosis, in combination with other drugs.
IV or IM:
Child 15–30 mg/kg (maximum 1 g) once daily.
Renal impairment: Use with caution. In all degrees of impairment, dosing frequency should be
reduced to 2–3 times weekly.
Hepatic impairment: Dose reduction not necessary.
Adverse effects: Common Injection site pain, eosinophilia, leukopenia, electrolyte disturbances
(including hypokalaemia, hypocalcaemia, hypomagnesaemia, hyponatraemia and
hypochloraemia), ototoxicity.
Uncommon Urticaria and rash, changes in liver function tests, neuromuscular blockade.
Rare Thrombocytopenia, nephrotoxicity.
Interactions with other medicines (* indicates severe):
*
*
*
*
*
*
*
*
*
*
*
*
*
*
*
*
Alcuronium: enhanced or prolonged neuromuscular blockade.
Amikacin: amikacin toxicity (ototoxicity, nephrotoxicity).
Atracurium: enhanced or prolonged neuromuscular blockade.
Cisatracurium: enhanced or prolonged neuromuscular blockade.
Doxacurium: enhanced or prolonged neuromuscular blockade.
Fazadinium: enhanced or prolonged neuromuscular blockade.
Gallamine: enhanced or prolonged neuromuscular blockade.
Gentamicin: gentamicin toxicity (ototoxicity, nephrotoxicity).
Hexafluorenium: enhanced or prolonged neuromuscular blockade.
Kanamycin: kanamycin toxicity (ototoxicity, nephrotoxicity).
Metocurine: enhanced or prolonged neuromuscular blockade.
Mivacurium: enhanced or prolonged neuromuscular blockade.
Netilmicin: netilmicin toxicity (ototoxicity, nephrotoxicity).
Pancuronium: enhanced or prolonged neuromuscular blockade.
Pipecuronium: enhanced or prolonged neuromuscular blockade.
Rapacuronium: enhanced or prolonged neuromuscular blockade.
Rocuronium: enhanced or prolonged neuromuscular blockade.
Streptomycin: streptomycin toxicity (ototoxicity, nephrotoxicity).
Suxamethonium: enhanced or prolonged neuromuscular blockade.
Tobramycin: tobramycin toxicity (ototoxicity, nephrotoxicity).
Tubocurarine: enhanced or prolonged neuromuscular blockade.
Vecuronium: enhanced or prolonged neuromuscular blockade.
Notes: Administration Reconstitute with 0.9% sodium chloride or water for injection. Administer by
deep intramuscular injection into a large muscle or dilute further with 0.9% sodium chloride and infuse over
60 minutes.
References:
American Academy of Pediatrics. Red Book: 2009 report of the committee on infectious diseases. 28th ed. Elk Grove Village, American
Academy of Pediatrics, 2009.
Capastat Product Information. Aspen, 2010 (http://dailymed.nlm.nih.gov/dailymed/drugInfo.cfm?id=16185, accessed 10 February
2010).
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6.2 Antibacterials
Guidelines for the programmatic management of drug-resistant tuberculosis. Geneva, World Health Organization, 2006 (http://
whqlibdoc.who.int/publications/2006/9241546956_eng.pdf, accessed 10 February 2010).
Klasco RK, ed. Drugdex system. Greenwood Village, Thomson Micromedex, 2010. (http://www.thomsonhc.com, accessed
10 February 2010).
Treatment of tuberculosis guidelines. 4th ed. Geneva, World Health Organization, 2010 (http://whqlibdoc.who.int/
publications/2010/9789241547833_eng.pdf, accessed 10 February 2010).
Treatment of tuberculosis. American Thoracic Society, CDC, and Infectious Diseases Society of America, 2003 (http://www.cdc.
gov/mmwr/preview/mmwrhtml/rr5211a1.htm, accessed 10 February 2010).
Cycloserine
ATC code: J04AB01
Solid oral dosage form: 250 mg
Special Notes: Safety and effectiveness in paediatrics have not been established.
Second-line medicines should be reserved for the treatment of multidrug-resistant tuberculosis
(MDR-TB) and should be used in specialized centres adhering to WHO standards for TB control.
Indications: Treatment of multidrug-resistant tuberculosis, in combination with other drugs.
Contraindications: Epilepsy; depression; severe anxiety; psychosis; porphyria; severe renal
impairment.
Precautions: Neuropsychiatric status assessed at least monthly, more frequently if symptoms develop;
renal impairment.
Dose:
Treatment of multidrug-resistant tuberculosis, in combination with other drugs.
Oral:
Child 5–10 mg/kg twice daily (initially 5 mg/kg/dose and adjust according to blood
concentration and response). Maximum 1 g daily.
Note Serum concentration measurements aiming for a peak concentration of 20–35 mg/ml are often useful
in determining the optimum dose for a given patient. Measure 3–4 hours after dose.
Renal impairment: Avoid use in all degrees of renal impairment.
Adverse effects: Common Neurological (headache, dizziness, vertigo, drowsiness, tremor, seizures,
confusion, psychosis, depression).
Uncommon Rash.
Rare Megaloblastic anaemia, changes in liver function tests, heart failure.
Interactions with other medicines (* indicates severe):
* Alcohol: increased risk of seizures.
Isoniazid: increased risk of CNS toxicity.
Notes: Penetrates the cerebrospinal fluid.
References:
American Academy of Pediatrics. Red Book: 2009 report of the committee on infectious diseases. 28th ed. Elk Grove Village, American
Academy of Pediatrics, 2009.
Guidelines for the programmatic management of drug-resistant tuberculosis. Geneva, World Health Organization, 2006 (http://
whqlibdoc.who.int/publications/2006/9241546956_eng.pdf, accessed 10 February 2010).
Hodding JH, Kraus DM, Taketomo CK. Pediatric dosage handbook. 16th ed. Hudson, Lexi-Comp, 2009.
Klasco RK, ed. Drugdex system. Greenwood Village, Thomson Micromedex, 2010. (http://www.thomsonhc.com, accessed
10 February 2010).
Paediatric Formulary Committee. British national formulary for children 2009. London, BMJ Group RBS Publishing, 2009.
Treatment of tuberculosis guidelines. 4th ed. Geneva, World Health Organization, 2010 (http://whqlibdoc.who.int/
publications/2010/9789241547833_eng.pdf, accessed 10 February 2010).
Treatment of tuberculosis. American Thoracic Society, CDC, and Infectious Diseases Society of America, 2003 (http://www.cdc.
gov/mmwr/preview/mmwrhtml/rr5211a1.htm, accessed 10 February 2010).
WHO Model Formulary for Children 2010
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Anti-infective medicines
Ethionamide
ATC code: J04AD03
Tablet: 125 mg; 250 mg
Special Notes: Second-line medicines should be reserved for the treatment of multidrug-resistant
tuberculosis (MDR-TB) and should be used in specialized centres adhering to WHO standards for
TB control.
Indications: Treatment of multidrug-resistant tuberculosis and tuberculosis meningitis.
Contraindications: Severe hepatic impairment.
Precautions: AIDS infection (drug malabsorption may be a problem); diabetes mellitus; renal
impairment; hepatic impairment.
Dose:
Treatment of multidrug-resistant tuberculosis and tuberculosis meningitis.
Oral:
Child 15–20 mg/kg once daily if tolerated; divided doses if necessary. Maximum 1 g/day.
Renal impairment: Severe: reduce to 50% of dose.
Hepatic impairment: Mild and moderate impairment: use with caution.
Severe impairment: avoid use.
Adverse effects: Common Gastrointestinal disturbance (see below).
Uncommon Hepatotoxicity.
Rare Hypotension, rash, fever, hypoglycaemia, hypothyroidism, gynaecomastia, photosensitivity,
thrombocytopenia, encephalopathy, neuropathy, seizures, visual disturbances, ototoxicity.
Gastrointestinal adverse effects Gastrointestinal irritation is the major limiting factor in the
therapeutic use of ethionamide. The most frequent adverse effects of ethionamide are nausea, vomiting and
diarrhoea. Anorexia, excessive salivation, stomatitis and a metallic taste in the mouth occur less frequently.
Abdominal discomfort, described as epigastric pain or burning, is common with therapeutic doses. These effects
appear to be dose related. In general, half of the patient population is unable to tolerate 1 g of ethionamide as a
single dose. Gastrointestinal effects are more common in females than males, and are less common in children.
Persons of Asian or African descent reportedly tolerate this drug better than those of European descent.
Interactions with other medicines (* indicates severe):
Aminosalicylic acid: excessive adverse effects (GI distress and hepatotoxicity).
Cycloserine: neurological adverse effects, including seizures.
Ethambutol: excessive adverse effect (GI distress, headache, confusion, neuritis and
hepatotoxicity).
Isoniazid: increased isoniazid levels, peripheral neuritis, hepatotoxicity and encephalopathy.
Pyrazinamide: hepatotoxicity.
Rifampicin: hepatotoxicity.
Notes: Concurrent administration of pyridoxine may reduce peripheral neuropathy.
Administration of an antiemetic agent 30 minutes prior to ethionamide and administration of
ethionamide at bedtime have been suggested in patients experiencing gastrointestinal adverse
effects.
Baseline liver function tests including serum transaminases, bilirubin and alkaline phosphatase
should be obtained and regularly monitored (e.g. every 2–4 weeks) during ethionamide therapy.
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6.2 Antibacterials
References:
American Academy of Pediatrics. Red Book: 2009 report of the committee on infectious diseases. 28th ed. Elk Grove Village, American
Academy of Pediatrics, 2009.
Guidelines for the programmatic management of drug-resistant tuberculosis. Geneva, World Health Organization, 2006 (http://
whqlibdoc.who.int/publications/2006/9241546956_eng.pdf, accessed 10 February 2010).
Hodding JH, Kraus DM, Taketomo CK. Pediatric dosage handbook. 16th ed. Hudson, Lexi-Comp, 2009.
Klasco RK, ed. Drugdex system. Greenwood Village, Thomson Micromedex, 2010. (http://www.thomsonhc.com, accessed
10 February 2010).
Treatment of tuberculosis guidelines. 4th ed. Geneva, World Health Organization, 2010 (http://whqlibdoc.who.int/
publications/2010/9789241547833_eng.pdf, accessed 10 February 2010).
Treatment of tuberculosis. American Thoracic Society, CDC, and Infectious Diseases Society of America, 2003 (http://www.cdc.
gov/mmwr/preview/mmwrhtml/rr5211a1.htm, accessed 10 February 2010).
Kanamycin
ATC code: J01GB04
Powder for injection: 1 g vial
Special Notes: Second-line medicines should be reserved for the treatment of multidrug-resistant
tuberculosis (MDR-TB) and should be used in specialized centres adhering to WHO standards for
TB control.
Indications: Treatment of multidrug-resistant tuberculosis, in combination with other drugs.
Contraindications: Intestinal obstruction.
Precautions: Concomitant administration with nephrotoxic or ototoxic antibiotics; concomitant
administration with rapid acting diuretic agents; cross-allergenicity among other aminoglycosides
(see Notes); infant botulism; myasthenia gravis; impaired neuromuscular transmission;
parkinsonism; renal impairment; hepatic impairment; vestibular impairment.
Dose:
Treatment of multidrug-resistant tuberculosis, in combination with other drugs.
IM or IV:
Neonate with birth weight of less than 2 kg and aged 7 days or less 7.5 mg/kg every 12 hours;
birth weight of more than 2 kg and aged 7 days or less 10 mg/kg every 12 hours;
birth weight of 2 kg or less and aged greater than 7 days 10 mg/kg every 12 hours;
birth weight of more than 2 kg and aged greater than 7 days 10 mg/kg every 8 hours.
Infant or Child 15–30 mg/kg once daily (maximum 1 g daily).
Note Whenever possible, dosage should be guided by kanamycin serum concentrations. Maintain optimal
peak serum levels of 15–30 micrograms/ml. Suitable times to collect blood for kanamycin assays are 1 hour
after an IM dose or 30 minutes after an IV dose (peak) then just prior to the next dose (trough).
Renal impairment: The dosage of kanamycin must be reduced in patients with impaired renal function.
Mild impairment: 60–90% of the normal dose every 8–12 hours.
Moderate impairment: 30–70% of the dose every 12 hours.
Severe impairment: 20–30% of the dose every 24–48 hours.
Hepatic impairment: Dose reduction not necessary.
Adverse effects: Common Nephrotoxicity, ototoxicity, local irritation or pain after IM injection.
Uncommon Neuromuscular blockade.
Rare Skin rash, drug fever, headache, paraesthesia, nausea, vomiting and diarrhoea.
Interactions with other medicines (* indicates severe):
* Penicillins: loss of kanamycin activity.
* Neuromuscular blocking drugs: enhanced and/or prolonged neuromuscular blockade which may
lead to respiratory depression and paralysis.
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Loop diuretics: an increased risk of ototoxicity (tinnitus, transient or permanent hearing loss,
dizziness, vertigo).
Carboplatin: increased ototoxicity.
Cidofovir: nephrotoxicity.
Ciclosporin: renal dysfunction or nephrotoxicity.
Tacrolimus: additive or synergistic renal function impairment.
Typhoid vaccine, live: decreased immunological response to the typhoid vaccine.
Notes: 62.2% of patients allergic to kanamycin demonstrated cross-sensitivity to gentamicin.
Amikacin and kanamycin are very similar and have almost 100% cross-resistance.
Occasionally, some vials may darken during the shelf-life of the product, but this does not indicate a
loss of potency.
Administration instructions The minimum dilution of kanamycin is 2.5–5 mg/ml administered
over 30–60 minutes. Direct intravenous push is not recommended.
References:
American Academy of Pediatrics. Red Book: 2009 report of the committee on infectious diseases. 28th ed. Elk Grove Village, American
Academy of Pediatrics, 2009.
Hodding JH, Kraus DM, Taketomo CK. Pediatric dosage handbook. 16th ed. Hudson, Lexi-Comp, 2009.
Kantrex Product Information. Bristol-Myers Squibb, 2008 (http://www.rxlist.com/kantrex-drug.htm, accessed 10 February 2010).
Klasco RK, ed. Drugdex system. Greenwood Village, Thomson Micromedex, 2010. (http://www.thomsonhc.com, accessed
10 February 2010).
Treatment of tuberculosis guidelines. 4th ed. Geneva, World Health Organization, 2010 (http://whqlibdoc.who.int/
publications/2010/9789241547833_eng.pdf, accessed 10 February 2010).
Treatment of tuberculosis. American Thoracic Society, CDC, and Infectious Diseases Society of America, 2003 (http://www.cdc.
gov/mmwr/preview/mmwrhtml/rr5211a1.htm, accessed 10 February 2010).
Ofloxacin
ATC code: J01MA01
Tablet: 200 mg; 400 mg
Special Notes: Second-line medicines should be reserved for the treatment of multidrug-resistant
tuberculosis (MDR-TB) and should be used in specialized centres adhering to WHO standards for
TB control.
Levofloxacin may be an alternative based on availability and programme considerations.
Indications: Treatment of multidrug-resistant tuberculosis, in combination with other drugs.
Contraindications: Pregnancy; breastfeeding.
Precautions: Tendinitis and tendon rupture; central nervous system disorders (may predispose
patient to seizures or lower seizure threshold); co-administration with class IA (e.g. procainamide,
quinidine) or class III (e.g. amiodarone, sotalol) antiarrhythmic agents should be avoided;
diabetic patients, especially patients receiving oral hypoglycemic agents or insulin (may cause
hyperglycaemia or hypoglycaemia); excessive sunlight (risk for phototoxic reactions); hepatic
impairment; renal impairment.
Dose:
Treatment of multidrug-resistant tuberculosis, in combination with other drugs.
Oral:
Child 7.5–10 mg/kg twice daily. Maximum 800 mg/day.
Renal impairment: All degrees of renal impairment: increased risk of seizure; dosage adjustment
recommended; seek specialist advice.
Hepatic impairment: Elimination may be reduced; reduce dose in severe liver disease.
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6.2 Antibacterials
Adverse effects: Common Rash, photosensitivity, nausea, vomiting, arthropathy, arthritis, diarrhoea,
taste disturbance, insomnia, headache, dizziness.
Uncommon Seizures, hypoglycaemia or hyperglycaemia.
Rare Arrhythmias including QT prolongation, hepatic impairment/failure, blood dyscrasias,
myopathy, arthralgia, tendon rupture, nephrotoxicity.
Interactions with other medicines (* indicates severe):
Antacids (aluminium hydroxide; magnesium hydroxide): reduced absorption of ofloxacin.
* Amiodarone: an increased risk of cardiotoxicity (QT prolongation, torsades de pointes, cardiac
arrest).
* Artemether + lumefantrine: manufacturer of artemether with lumefantrine advises avoid
concomitant use.
* Ciclosporin: increased risk of nephrotoxicity.
Contraceptives, oral: contraceptive effect of estrogens possibly reduced (risk probably small).
Ferrous salts: absorption of ofloxacin reduced by oral ferrous salts.
* Flecainide: an increased risk of cardiotoxicity (QT prolongation, torsades de pointes, cardiac
arrest).
* Ibuprofen: possible increased risk of convulsions.
* Quinidine: an increased risk of cardiotoxicity (QT prolongation, torsades de pointes, cardiac
arrest).
* Sotalol: an increased risk of cardiotoxicity (QT prolongation, torsades de pointes, cardiac arrest).
Theophylline: an increased risk of elevated theophylline concentrations.
Typhoid vaccine, live: a decreased immunological response to the typhoid vaccine.
* Warfarin: enhanced anticoagulant effect.
Zinc sulfate: reduced absorption of ofloxacin.
References:
American Academy of Pediatrics. Red Book: 2009 report of the committee on infectious diseases. 28th ed. Elk Grove Village, American
Academy of Pediatrics, 2009.
Guidelines for the programmatic management of drug-resistant tuberculosis. Geneva, World Health Organization, 2006 (http://
whqlibdoc.who.int/publications/2006/9241546956_eng.pdf, accessed 10 February 2010).
Hodding JH, Kraus DM, Taketomo CK. Pediatric dosage handbook. 16th ed. Hudson, Lexi-Comp, 2009.
Klasco RK, ed. Drugdex system. Greenwood Village, Thomson Micromedex, 2010. (http://www.thomsonhc.com, accessed
10 February 2010).
Treatment of tuberculosis guidelines. 4th ed. Geneva, World Health Organization, 2010 (http://whqlibdoc.who.int/
publications/2010/9789241547833_eng.pdf, accessed 10 February 2010).
Treatment of tuberculosis. American Thoracic Society, CDC, and Infectious Diseases Society of America, 2003 (http://www.cdc.
gov/mmwr/preview/mmwrhtml/rr5211a1.htm, accessed 10 February 2010).
p-Aminosalicylic acid
ATC code: J04AA01
Granules: 4 g in sachet
Tablet: 500 mg
Special Notes: Also referred to as PAS and as 4-aminosalicylic acid (4-ASA).
Second-line medicines should be reserved for the treatment of multidrug-resistant tuberculosis
(MDR-TB) and should be used in specialized centres adhering to WHO standards for TB control.
Indications: Treatment of multidrug-resistant tuberculosis, in combination with other drugs.
Contraindications: Hypersensitivity to aminosalicylic acid products; end-stage renal disease.
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Precautions: Glucose-6-phosphate dehydrogenase (G6PD) deficiency (risk of haemolysis); hepatic
impairment; peptic ulcer disease; renal impairment; congestive heart failure; patients on therapy of
more than 1 month should be considered for maintenance vitamin B12.
Dose:
Treatment of multidrug-resistant tuberculosis, in combination with other drugs.
Oral:
Child 200–300 mg/kg per day in 2–4 divided doses. Maximum 10 g daily.
Renal impairment: Not recommended to be used in patients with severe renal impairment.
Hepatic impairment: Use with caution. Increase laboratory and clinical monitoring. Dose reduction
not considered necessary.
Adverse effects: Common Nausea, vomiting, diarrhoea, abdominal pain.
Rare Hepatotoxicity, haemolysis, fever, rash, blood dyscrasias, hypoglycaemia, crystalluria,
encephalopathy.
Interactions with other medicines (* indicates severe):
*
Digoxin: reduced digoxin serum concentrations.
Ethionamide: excessive adverse effects (GI distress and hepatotoxicity).
Isoniazid: reduction in the acetylation of isoniazid (increased isoniazid levels).
Vitamin B12: reduced absorption of vitamin B12.
Notes: Patient advice Should be taken with acidic food or drink (yoghurt, apple sauce or fruit juice).
Granules should be stored in the refrigerator. Can be stored at room temperature for short periods of time.
Do not use granules if packet is swollen or the granules have lost their tan colour and have turned dark brown or
purple.
Sprinkle granules on apple sauce or yogurt or suspend in tomato, orange, grapefruit, grape, cranberry, apple or
fruit juice containing drinks.
Patients should be advised that the skeleton of the granules may be seen in the stool.
References:
American Academy of Pediatrics. Red Book: 2009 report of the committee on infectious diseases. 28th ed. Elk Grove Village, American
Academy of Pediatrics, 2009.
Klasco RK, ed. Drugdex system. Greenwood Village, Thomson Micromedex, 2010. (http://www.thomsonhc.com, accessed
10 February 2010).
Paser Product Information. Jacobus, 2004 (http://www.rxlist.com/paser-drug.html, accessed 10 February 2010).
Treatment of tuberculosis guidelines. 4th ed. Geneva, World Health Organization, 2010 (http://whqlibdoc.who.int/
publications/2010/9789241547833_eng.pdf, accessed 10 February 2010).
Treatment of tuberculosis. American Thoracic Society, CDC, and Infectious Diseases Society of America, 2003 (http://www.cdc.
gov/mmwr/preview/mmwrhtml/rr5211a1.htm, accessed 10 February 2010).
6.3 Antifungal medicines
Fungal infections are increasing in prevalence globally, and can be classified as superficial or systemic.
Superficial infections affect the skin, hair, nails or mucous membranes; systemic fungal infections affect
the body as a whole. Systemic fungal infections may occur as opportunistic infections in patients
who are immunocompromised, and are associated with high mortality rates.
Duration of therapy depends on the initial severity of the infection and the clinical response of the
patient. In some infections, a satisfactory response is only obtained after several months or more of
continuous treatment.
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Fluconazole
ATC code: J02AC01
Capsule: 50 mg
Injection: 2 mg/ml in vial
Oral liquid: 10 mg/ml
Rare cases of fluconazole-associated hepatotoxicity, including fatalities, have been reported.
Indications: Systemic mycoses including histoplasmosis, non-meningeal coccidioidomycosis,
paracoccidioidomycosis and blastomycosis; treatment and, in HIV and other immunosuppressed
patients, prophylaxis of cryptococcal meningitis; prevention of fungal infections in
immunocompromised patients; oesophageal and oropharyngeal candidiasis, vaginal candidiasis
and systemic candidiasis.
Contraindications: Acute porphyria.
Precautions: Renal impairment; monitor liver function: discontinue if signs or symptoms of hepatic
disease (risk of hepatic necrosis); concomitant hepatotoxic drugs; susceptibility to QT interval
prolongation; patients with proarrhythmic conditions.
Dose:
Systemic mycoses.
Oral or IV:
Child over 2 years 3–6 mg/kg (maximum 200 mg) daily for at least 6 months.
Cryptococcal meningitis following amphotericin B induction therapy or systemic candidiasis (in
patients unable to tolerate amphotericin B).
Oral or IV:
Neonate under 2 weeks 6–12 mg/kg every 72 hours;
2–4 weeks 6–12 mg/kg every 48 hours.
Infant or Child 6–12 mg/kg (maximum 800 mg) daily.
Treatment should continue according to response and should be for at least 8 weeks for
cryptococcal meningitis.
Prevention of relapse of cryptococcal meningitis in AIDS patients after completion of primary
therapy.
Oral or IV:
Infant or Child 6 mg/kg (maximum 200 mg) daily.
Mucosal candidiasis (except genital).
Oral or IV:
Neonate under 2 weeks 3–6 mg/kg on first day then 3 mg/kg every 72 hours;
2–4 weeks 3–6 mg/kg on first day then 3 mg/kg every 48 hours.
Infant or Child 3–6 mg/kg on the first day, then 3 mg/kg daily (maximum 100 mg) for
7–14 days.
Treat for 14–30 days for other mucosal infections such as oesophagitis, candiduria and noninvasive bronchopulmonary infections.
Vaginal candidiasis.
Oral:
Child post-puberty 150 mg as a single dose.
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Prevention of fungal infections in immunocompromised patients.
Oral or IV:
Neonate under 2 weeks 3–12 mg/kg every 72 hours according to duration and extent of
neutropenia;
2–4 weeks 3–12 mg/kg every 48 hours according to duration and extent of neutropenia.
Infant or Child 3–12 mg/kg (maximum 400 mg) daily according to duration and extent of
neutropenia.
Commence treatment before anticipated onset of neutropenia and continue for 7 days after
neutrophil count in desirable range.
Renal impairment: Reduce dose in mild to severe impairment by 50%.
Hepatic impairment: Use with caution.
Adverse effects: Common Rash, headache, nausea, vomiting, abdominal pain, diarrhoea, elevated
liver enzymes.
Uncommon Anorexia, fatigue, dizziness, constipation.
Rare Oliguria, hypokalaemia, seizures, paraesthesia, alopecia, Stevens-Johnson syndrome, toxic
epidermal necrolysis (severe skin reactions more common in patients with AIDS), prolonged QT
interval, torsades de pointes, thrombocytopenia, other blood dyscrasias, serious hepatotoxicity
including hepatic failure, angioedema, anaphylactic/anaphylactoid reactions.
Interactions with other medicines (* indicates severe):
Fluconazole can cause prolonged QT interval and torsades de pointes; avoid concomitant use of
other cardiotoxic or arrhythmogenic drugs.
Amphotericin B: possible antagonism of effect of amphotericin.
* Artemether + lumefantrine: manufacturer of artemether with lumefantrine advises to avoid
concomitant use.
Carbamazepine: fluconazole may inhibit metabolism of carbamazepine and may increase
concentration and risk of adverse effects; monitor carbamazepine concentration and for adverse
effects.
* Ciclosporin: metabolism of ciclosporin inhibited (increased plasma concentration).
Contraceptives, oral: anecdotal reports of failure of estrogen containing contraceptives.
Diazepam: fluconazole may inhibit diazepam’s metabolism, increasing the risk of adverse effects.
Ibuprofen: fluconazole may inhibit ibuprofen’s metabolism, increasing its concentration and may
increase risk of adverse effects.
* Nevirapine: increased plasma concentration of nevirapine.
* Phenytoin: plasma concentration of phenytoin increased (consider reducing dose of phenytoin).
* Rifampicin: accelerated metabolism of fluconazole (reduced plasma concentration).
Ritonavir: plasma concentration of fluconazole increased by ritonavir.
Saquinavir: plasma concentration of saquinavir possibly increased.
* Warfarin: enhanced anticoagulant effect.
* Zidovudine: increased plasma concentration of zidovudine (increased risk of toxicity).
Notes: For intravenous infusion, give over 60 minutes at a maximum rate of 200 mg/hour. Higher
doses are best infused over 2 hours.
Food decreases the rate but not the extent of absorption. Bioavailability is excellent at > 90%.
Fluconazole oral liquid may contain sodium benzoate and should be used with caution in neonates.
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6.3 Antifungal medicines
References:
Ashley C, Currie A, eds. The renal drug handbook. 3rd ed. Oxford, Radcliffe Publishing, 2009.
Hill SR, Kouimtzi M, Stuart MC, eds. WHO model formulary. Geneva, World Health Organization, 2008.
Hodding JH, Kraus DM, Taketomo CK. Pediatric dosage handbook. 16th ed. Hudson, Lexi-Comp, 2009.
Klasco RK, ed. Drugdex system. Greenwood Village, Thomson Micromedex, 2010. (http://www.thomsonhc.com, accessed
10 February 2010).
Paediatric Formulary Committee. British national formulary for children 2009. London, BMJ Group RBS Publishing, 2009.
Rossi S, ed. Australian medicines handbook. Adelaide, Australian Medicines Handbook, 2009.
WHO expert committee on the selection and use of essential medicines. The selection and use of essential medicines: report of
the WHO expert committee, October 2007 (including the model list of essential medicines for children). WHO Technical Report
Series, 2008, 950 (http://www.who.int/medicines/publications/essentialmeds_committeereports/TRS_950.pdf ).
Griseofulvin
ATC code: D01BA01
Oral liquid: 25 mg/ml
Solid oral dosage form: 125 mg; 250 mg
Special Notes: The formulations and doses in this formulary refer to microsize (fine particle)
griseofulvin and these are not equivalent to ultramicrosize (ultra microfine crystal) formulations.
Indications: Fungal infections of the skin, scalp or hair where topical treatment has failed or is
inappropriate.
Contraindications: Severe liver disease; pregnancy (avoid pregnancy and use additional nonhormonal contraception during and for 1 month after treatment; men should not father children
within 6 months of treatment); porphyria; systemic lupus erythematosus (risk of exacerbation).
Precautions: Avoid exposure to intense sunlight to prevent photosensitivity reactions; penicillin
hypersensitivity (cross-reactivity with griseofulvin is possible); pre-existing hepatic insufficiency
(closely monitor hepatic function throughout treatment); blood disorders (monitor blood count
weekly during first month of treatment).
Skilled tasks Warn patient or carer about the risk of undertaking tasks requiring attention or coordination,
for example riding a bike or operating machinery, for 24 hours.
Dose:
Fungal infections of the skin, scalp or hair where topical treatment has failed or is inappropriate.
Oral:
Infant or Child 10–20 mg/kg (maximum 1 g) once daily or in divided doses. Up to 25 mg/kg/day
for 6–8 weeks may be required for the treatment of tinea capitis.
Duration of treatment depends on the infection and thickness of keratin at site of infection. As a
guide: at least 4 weeks for skin and hair, at least 6 weeks for scalp ringworm and in severe hair,
skin and scalp infections, up to 3 months.
Renal impairment: Dose reduction not necessary.
Hepatic impairment: Contraindicated in severe liver disease.
Adverse effects: Common Headache, nausea, diarrhoea, anorexia.
Uncommon Photosensitivity, urticaria, rash, blurred vision, confusion, fatigue, dizziness, taste
disturbance.
Rare Precipitation/exacerbation of systemic lupus erythematosus, vomiting, severe diarrhoea,
menstrual irregularities, leukopenia, hepatotoxicity, hypersensitivity, e.g. serum sickness-like
reaction, Stevens-Johnson syndrome, toxic epidermal necrolysis.
Interactions with other medicines (* indicates severe):
Ciclosporin: plasma ciclosporin concentration possibly reduced.
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* Contraceptives, oral: accelerated metabolism of estrogens and progestogens (reduced
contraceptive effect).
* Ethanol: disulfiram-like reaction (nausea, vomiting, diarrhoea, flushing, tachycardia,
hypotension).
* Levonorgestrel: accelerated metabolism of levonorgestrel (reduced contraceptive effect).
* Medroxyprogesterone: accelerated metabolism of medroxyprogesterone (does not apply to
injectable medroxyprogesterone acetate for contraception).
* Norethisterone: accelerated metabolism of norethisterone (reduced contraceptive effect).
Phenobarbital: reduction in absorption of griseofulvin (reduced effect).
* Warfarin: reduced anticoagulant effect.
Notes: Fatty meals will increase griseofulvin absorption. Administer with a fatty meal or with food or
milk to improve absorption and to avoid gastrointestinal upset.
Patient advice Avoid consumption of alcoholic beverages during treatment with griseofulvin.
Avoid sun exposure, wear protective clothing and use sunscreen as griseofulvin may make you more sensitive to
sunlight.
The contraceptive pill will not be as effective while you are taking griseofulvin; you should use additional
contraception, e.g. condoms, during treatment and for 4 weeks afterwards.
References:
Hill SR, Kouimtzi M, Stuart MC, eds. WHO model formulary. Geneva, World Health Organization, 2008.
Hodding JH, Kraus DM, Taketomo CK. Pediatric dosage handbook. 16th ed. Hudson, Lexi-Comp, 2009.
Klasco RK, ed. Drugdex system. Greenwood Village, Thomson Micromedex, 2010. (http://www.thomsonhc.com, accessed
10 February 2010).
Paediatric Formulary Committee. British national formulary for children 2009. London, BMJ Group RBS Publishing, 2009.
Rossi S, ed. Australian medicines handbook. Adelaide, Australian Medicines Handbook, 2009.
WHO expert committee on the selection and use of essential medicines. The selection and use of essential medicines: report of
the WHO expert committee, October 2007 (including the model list of essential medicines for children). WHO Technical Report
Series, 2008, 950 (http://www.who.int/medicines/publications/essentialmeds_committeereports/TRS_950.pdf ).
Nystatin
ATC code: A07AA02
Lozenge: 100 000 IU
Oral liquid: 10 mg/ml; 100 000 IU/ml
Tablet: 100 000 IU; 500 000 IU
Special Notes: Nystatin should not be used for the treatment of systemic mycoses.
Indications: Oral, oesophageal and intestinal candidiasis.
Dose:
Treatment of oral candidiasis.
Oral:
Child all ages 100 000 units four times daily after feeds. Treatment is usually given for 7 days
and continued for 2 days after lesions have healed.
Treatment of intestinal and oesophageal candidiasis.
Oral:
Child all ages 100 000 units four times daily after feeds. Immunocompromised children may
require 500 000 units four times daily.
Renal impairment: Dose reduction not necessary.
Hepatic impairment: Dose reduction not necessary.
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6.3 Antifungal medicines
Adverse effects: Common Nausea, vomiting, diarrhoea (more severe with doses > 5 million units
daily).
Rare Oral irritation and sensitization, rash and erythema multiforme (Stevens-Johnson syndrome).
Interactions with other medicines (* indicates severe):
There are no known interactions where it is recommended to avoid concomitant use.
Notes: Each mg of nystatin contains not less than 4400 units of activity.
Patient advice Oral liquid: shake well before use. It is best to use the oral liquid after (rather than before) a
meal or drink. Should be swished around mouth and retained for as long as possible then swallowed.
Continue to use for 2 days after your symptoms/lesions disappear.
References:
Hill SR, Kouimtzi M, Stuart MC, eds. WHO model formulary. Geneva, World Health Organization, 2008.
Hodding JH, Kraus DM, Taketomo CK. Pediatric dosage handbook. 16th ed. Hudson, Lexi-Comp, 2009.
Klasco RK, ed. Drugdex system. Greenwood Village, Thomson Micromedex, 2010. (http://www.thomsonhc.com, accessed
10 February 2010).
McEvoy GK, ed. AHFS drug information. Bethesda, American Society of Health-System Pharmacists, 2009.
Paediatric Formulary Committee. British national formulary for children 2009. London, BMJ Group RBS Publishing, 2009.
Rossi S, ed. Australian medicines handbook. Adelaide, Australian Medicines Handbook, 2009.
WHO expert committee on the selection and use of essential medicines. The selection and use of essential medicines: report of
the WHO expert committee, October 2007 (including the model list of essential medicines for children). WHO Technical Report
Series, 2008, 950 (http://www.who.int/medicines/publications/essentialmeds_committeereports/TRS_950.pdf ).
Amphotericin B
ATC code: J02AA01
Powder for injection: 50 mg in vial
As deoxycholate or liposomal
Amphotericin B is available as deoxycholate, lipid complex and liposomal; these should not be
considered interchangeable.
Care with product formulation. Large overdoses have occurred when conventional formulations
were dispensed inadvertently for lipid based or liposomal products. Single daily doses of
conventional amphotericin B formulation never exceed 1.5 mg/kg.
Anaphylaxis has been reported with amphotericin B containing drugs; facilities for
cardiopulmonary resuscitation should be available during administration due to the possibility
of anaphylactic reaction.
Intravenous amphotericin B is used primarily for the treatment of patients with progressive
fungal infections; not to be used for non-invasive forms of fungal disease.
Special Notes: Also known as amphotericin.
Amphotericin B is available as the conventional deoxycholate complex and liposomal forms. It is also
available in a lipid complex form (not included in the 2nd WHO Model list of essential medicines
for children).
Indications: Life-threatening fungal infections including histoplasmosis, coccidioidomycosis,
paracoccidioidomycosis, blastomycosis, aspergillosis, cryptococcosis, mucormycosis, sporotrichosis
and candidiasis.
Contraindications: Known hypersensitivity.
Precautions: Close medical supervision throughout treatment and initial test dose required (see
Anaphylaxis, below); renal impairment; hepatic and renal function tests; blood counts and plasma
electrolyte (including potassium and magnesium concentration) monitoring; avoid rapid infusion
(risk of arrhythmias).
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Liposomal Diabetes as each 50 mg vial of liposomal amphotericin B contains 900 mg of sucrose.
Anaphylaxis Anaphylaxis occurs rarely with intravenous amphotericin B and a test dose is advisable
before the first infusion. The patient should be observed for at least 30 minutes after the test dose. Prophylactic
antipyretics or hydrocortisone should only be used in patients who have previously experienced acute adverse
reactions (in whom continued treatment with amphotericin B is essential).
Dose:
Conventional amphotericin B (as deoxycholate)
Systemic fungal infections.
IV:
Neonate, Infant or Child initial test dose of 100 micrograms/kg (maximum 1 mg) included as
part of first dose, then 250 micrograms/kg daily, gradually increased up to 1 mg/kg daily or in
severe infection, up to maximum of 1.5 mg/kg daily.
Prolonged treatment is usually necessary. For prolonged treatment, a higher dose (maximum
1.5 mg/kg) may be given on alternate days. If treatment is interrupted for longer than 7 days,
recommence at 250 micrograms/kg daily and increase gradually.
Liposomal amphotericin B
Systemic fungal infections.
IV:
Neonate, Infant or Child initial test dose 100 micrograms/kg (maximum 1 mg) then 1 mg/kg
once daily, increased in steps of 1 mg/kg daily up to 3 mg/kg once daily; maximum 5 mg/kg
once daily if necessary for severe infection.
Renal impairment: Mild to severe: use only if no alternative. No dosage reduction is necessary, but
further impairment is likely with conventional (as deoxycholate) amphotericin B. Nephrotoxicity
may be reduced with use of liposomal formulations.
Hepatic impairment: Dose reduction not necessary.
Adverse effects: Adverse effects are similar for all amphotericin B formulations; the rates depend on
the formulation used; liposomal formulations are generally better tolerated.
Common Fever, headache, nausea and vomiting, anorexia, hypokalaemia, hypomagnesaemia,
diarrhoea, epigastric pain, muscle and joint pain, infusion reactions (see below), thrombophlebitis,
anaemia, nephrotoxicity (see below).
Uncommon Hypotension, hypertension, cardiac arrest, arrhythmias (rapid infusion of conventional
amphotericin B), blood dyscrasias, gastrointestinal bleeding, elevated liver enzymes, hepatotoxicity,
rash, neurological effects (e.g. seizures, confusion, blurred vision, hearing loss, tinnitus).
Rare Anaphylactoid reactions, hyperkalaemia (especially in renal impairment), cardiovascular toxicity
(including arrhythmias, ECG changes).
Nephrotoxicity Conventional (as deoxycholate) amphotericin B affects renal function in all patients;
changes are dose related and generally reversible (except with cumulative doses > 3–5 g). Distal tubular
damage may lead to loss of concentrating ability, renal tubular acidosis, nephrocalcinosis, hypokalaemia and
hypomagnesaemia. Anuria or oliguria may occur. Risk is greater in those with renal impairment or when used
with other nephrotoxic drugs. Nephrotoxicity may be associated with sodium depletion.
Liposomal amphotericin B is less nephrotoxic than conventional (deoxycholate) amphotericin B.
Infusion reactions Include fever, chills, hypotension, anorexia, nausea, vomiting, headache, malaise,
muscle and joint pain; usually lessen with continued treatment.
Continuous infusion of conventional (as deoxycholate) amphotericin B reduces infusion reactions.
With liposomal amphotericin B one or more acute infusion reactions (chest pain, hypoxia, dyspnoea, severe
abdominal, flank or leg pain, flushing and urticaria) may occur; these may be related to the liposomal component;
frequency is very variable.
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Interactions with other medicines (* indicates severe):
Amphotericin B is nephrotoxic; administration with other nephrotoxic drugs or cytotoxic drugs may
cause additional renal impairment.
It may also reduce potassium concentration; administration with other drugs with this effect may
worsen hypokalaemia. Monitor potassium concentration; supplements may be needed.
Amikacin: increased risk of nephrotoxicity.
Azoles (e.g. fluconazole): possible antagonistic effect; potentially reduced antifungal efficacy.
* Ciclosporin: increased risk of nephrotoxicity.
* Dexamethasone: increased risk of hypokalaemia (avoid concomitant use unless dexamethasone
needed to control reactions).
* Digoxin: hypokalaemia caused by amphotericin B increases cardiac toxicity of digoxin.
Fluconazole: possible antagonism of effect of amphotericin B.
Flucytosine: renal excretion of flucytosine decreased and cellular uptake increased (flucytosine
toxicity possibly increased).
Furosemide: increased risk of hypokalaemia.
Gentamicin: increased risk of nephrotoxicity.
Hydrochlorothiazide: increased risk of hypokalaemia.
* Hydrocortisone: increased risk of hypokalaemia (avoid concomitant use unless hydrocortisone
needed to control reactions).
Miconazole: possible antagonism of effects of amphotericin B.
Paromomycin: possible increased risk of nephrotoxicity.
Pentamidine: possible increased risk of nephrotoxicity.
* Prednisolone: increased risk of hypokalaemia (avoid concomitant use unless prednisolone needed
to control reactions).
Streptomycin: increased risk of nephrotoxicity.
Vancomycin: possible increased risk of nephrotoxicity.
Notes: Check renal function before starting treatment; monitor renal function and electrolytes
(especially potassium, magnesium and sodium) at least three times a week and complete blood
picture and hepatic function twice a week during treatment and until stable after treatment stops.
Liposomal formulations of amphotericin B are less nephrotoxic than conventional amphotericin B;
the few comparative clinical trials between conventional and liposomal formulations appear to
show similar efficacy.
Conventional (as deoxycholate): use an antihistamine, paracetamol and/or hydrocortisone in patients
who have previously experienced acute adverse reactions to prevent or treat infusion reactions.
Administration advice (both formulations). Incompatible with sodium chloride solutions; flush
existing line with glucose 5% or use a separate line.
Do not mix with any other drugs.
After initial reconstitution, do not administer without further dilution.
Conventional amphotericin B (as deoxycholate) Reduce risk of thrombophlebitis by using large peripheral veins
or a central venous catheter, changing venous access sites frequently and infusing over longer periods.
Reconstitute as per product instructions including further dilution with glucose 5% to produce a final
concentration of 0.1 mg/ml (in fluid restricted children up to 0.4 mg/ml if given via a central line).
Initial test dose should be given over 20–30 minutes. To minimize infusion related reactions, infuse the initial
treatment dose slowly over 4–6 hours; tolerance to infusion reactions increases with subsequent doses, which may
allow a shorter infusion, however, do not give over < 2 hours.
Liposomal amphotericin B Reconstitute as per product instructions including filtering through a 5 micron filter
and further dilute with glucose 5% to produce a final concentration of 0.2–2 mg/ml.
Initial test dose should be given over 10 minutes. Then infuse subsequent doses over 30–60 minutes.
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References:
Hill SR, Kouimtzi M, Stuart MC, eds. WHO model formulary. Geneva, World Health Organization, 2008.
Hodding JH, Kraus DM, Taketomo CK. Pediatric dosage handbook. 16th ed. Hudson, Lexi-Comp, 2009.
Klasco RK, ed. Drugdex system. Greenwood Village, Thomson Micromedex, 2010. (http://www.thomsonhc.com, accessed 10
February 2010).
Paediatric Formulary Committee. British national formulary for children 2009. London, BMJ Group RBS Publishing, 2009.
Rossi S, ed. Australian medicines handbook. Adelaide, Australian Medicines Handbook, 2009.
WHO expert committee on the selection and use of essential medicines. The selection and use of essential medicines: report of
the WHO expert committee, October 2007 (including the model list of essential medicines for children). WHO Technical Report
Series, 2008, 950 (http://www.who.int/medicines/publications/essentialmeds_committeereports/TRS_950.pdf ).
Flucytosine
ATC code: J02AX01
Capsule: 250 mg
Infusion: 10 mg/ml in 250 ml
Keep flucytosine injection at 15–25 °C (forms fluorouracil above 25 °C and can precipitate
below 15 °C).
Use with extreme caution in patients with impaired renal function. Close monitoring of
haematological, renal and hepatic status of all patients is essential.
Special Notes: Also known as 5-FC.
Indications: Adjunct to amphotericin B (or fluconazole) in cryptococcal meningitis; adjunct to
amphotericin B in systemic candidiasis.
Precautions: Renal impairment; use with amphotericin B (both nephrotoxic); hepatic impairment;
liver and kidney function tests and blood counts required (weekly in renal impairment or in blood
disorders); bone marrow depression, myelosuppressive drugs, radiation treatment, patients with
AIDS have an increased risk of blood dyscrasias; monotherapy due to emergent resistance.
Dose:
Adjunct to amphotericin B (or fluconazole) in cryptococcal meningitis; adjunct to amphotericin B
in systemic candidiasis.
Oral or IV:
Neonate 50 mg/kg every 12 hours.
Infant or Child 50 mg/kg every 6 hours. In infections due to extremely sensitive organisms,
25–37.5 mg/kg every 6 hours may be sufficient. Treatment does not usually extend beyond
7 days. Continue for at least 4 months in cryptococcal meningitis.
Renal impairment: Reduce dose and monitor plasma flucytosine concentration.
Mild renal impairment: usual dose every 12 hours.
Moderate renal impairment: usual dose every 24 hours.
Severe renal impairment: usual dose every 24–48 hours.
Hepatic impairment: Dose reduction not necessary.
Adverse effects: Common Nausea, vomiting, diarrhoea, rashes, thrombocytopenia, photosensitivity.
Uncommon Cardiotoxicity, confusion, hallucinations, psychosis, seizures, headache, sedation, vertigo,
gastrointestinal haemorrhage, alterations in liver function tests including hepatitis, toxic epidermal
necrolysis, peripheral neuropathy.
Rare Anaphylaxis, hepatic necrosis, blood disorders including thrombocytopenia, leukopenia and
aplastic anaemia.
Interactions with other medicines (* indicates severe):
Flucytosine depresses the bone marrow; administration with other drugs which also have this effect
may increase the risk of myelosuppression.
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If it is given with nephrotoxic drugs, its renal excretion may be reduced, increasing the risk of
toxicity.
Amphotericin B: renal excretion of flucytosine decreased and cellular uptake increased
(flucytosine toxicity possibly increased).
Cytarabine: plasma flucytosine concentration possibly reduced.
Zidovudine: concomitant administration may increase the risk of haematological toxicity. Caution
if used together.
Notes: Monitoring is essential in renal impairment, when using with amphotericin B, or if there is an
increased risk of bone marrow suppression, e.g. in patients with AIDS.
Resistance to flucytosine can develop during therapy and sensitivity testing is essential before and
during treatment.
Take the capsules with food to reduce stomach upset.
Plasma concentration monitoring For plasma concentration monitoring, blood should be
taken shortly before starting the next infusion (or before next dose by mouth). Plasma concentration for optimum
response 25–50 mg/l (200–400 micromol/l) and should not exceed 80 mg/l (620 micromol/l).
References:
American Academy of Pediatrics. Red Book: 2009 report of the committee on infectious diseases. 28th ed. Elk Grove Village, American
Academy of Pediatrics, 2009.
Ashley C, Currie A, eds. The renal drug handbook. 3rd ed. Oxford, Radcliffe Publishing, 2009.
eTG complete. Melbourne, Therapeutic Guidelines Limited, 2009 (http://etg.tg.org.au/ip/, accessed 10 February 2010).
Hill SR, Kouimtzi M, Stuart MC, eds. WHO model formulary. Geneva, World Health Organization, 2008.
Hodding JH, Kraus DM, Taketomo CK. Pediatric dosage handbook. 16th ed. Hudson, Lexi-Comp, 2009.
Jarvis JN et al. Managing cryptococcosis in the immunocompromised host. Current Opinion in Infectious Diseases, 2008,
21(6):596–603.
Klasco RK, ed. Drugdex system. Greenwood Village, Thomson Micromedex, 2010. (http://www.thomsonhc.com, accessed 10
February 2010).
McEvoy GK, ed. AHFS drug information. Bethesda, American Society of Health-System Pharmacists, 2009.
Paediatric Formulary Committee. British national formulary for children 2009. London, BMJ Group RBS Publishing, 2009.
Rossi S, ed. Australian medicines handbook. Adelaide, Australian Medicines Handbook, 2009.
WHO expert committee on the selection and use of essential medicines. The selection and use of essential medicines: report of
the WHO expert committee, October 2007 (including the model list of essential medicines for children). WHO Technical Report
Series, 2008, 950 (http://www.who.int/medicines/publications/essentialmeds_committeereports/TRS_950.pdf ).
Potassium iodide
ATC code: D01BA
Saturated solution
Special Notes: Also referred to as saturated solution of potassium iodide or SSKI®. Easily confused
with potassium iodide and iodine (strong iodide solution, or Lugol’s solution).
Indications: Sporotrichosis; subcutaneous phycomycosis.
Contraindications: Hypersensitivity to iodides; acute bronchitis or active tuberculosis.
Precautions: Not for long-term use; Addison disease; cardiac disease; hyperthyroidism; myotonia
congenita; renal impairment.
Dose:
Sporotrichosis and subcutaneous phycomycosis.
Oral:
Child all ages initiate at 1 drop three times daily, increasing as tolerated, up to a maximum of
1 drop per kg of body weight or 40–50 drops three times daily, whichever is lowest. Treatment
should be continued for at least 4 weeks after resolution or stabilization of lesions.
Note If signs of iodism occur, suspend treatment temporarily and restart after a few days at lower dosage.
These doses assume a solution of 1 g/ml.
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Renal impairment: Use with caution.
Hepatic impairment: Dose reduction not necessary.
Adverse effects: Common Hypothyroidism, hyperthyroidism, metallic taste, increased salivation,
coryza-like symptoms and irritation and swelling of the eyes, lacrimation, conjunctivitis,
gastrointestinal disturbances, diarrhoea, skin reactions including acneiform.
Uncommon Pulmonary oedema, bronchitis, depression, insomnia, headache, laryngitis, goitre.
Rare Pain or inflammation of salivary glands, hypersensitivity reactions, Jod-Basedow phenomenon
(iodine-induced thyrotoxicosis).
Interactions with other medicines (* indicates severe):
Potassium iodide contains potassium and can cause hyperkalaemia. Potassium salts and medicines
which may increase serum potassium concentrations should be used with caution.
* Ciclosporin: increased risk of hyperkalaemia.
* Enalapril: increased risk of severe hyperkalaemia.
* Spironolactone: risk of hyperkalaemia.
Notes: Administration Give after meals with food or milk.
References:
Aronson JK, ed. Meyler’s side effects of drugs. 15th ed. Amsterdam, Elsevier, 2006.
Hill SR, Kouimtzi M, Stuart MC, eds. WHO model formulary. Geneva, World Health Organization, 2008.
Hynes, Kay. Thyroid blockade with iodine prior to MIBG scan (nuclear medicine procedure) - Lugol’s iodine dosage protocol.
Melbourne, Pharmacy Department, Royal Children’s Hospital, Unpublished 2008.
Kauffman C et al. Clinical practice guidelines for the management of sporotrichosis: 2007 update by the Infectious Diseases
Society of America. Clinical Infectious Diseases, 2007, 45(10):1255–1265 (Medline accessed 16 December 2009).
McEvoy GK, ed. AHFS drug information. Bethesda, American Society of Health-System Pharmacists, 2009.
Paediatric Formulary Committee. British national formulary for children 2009. London, BMJ Group RBS Publishing, 2009.
Rossi S, ed. Australian medicines handbook. Adelaide, Australian Medicines Handbook, 2009.
Sweetman SC, ed. Martindale: the complete drug reference. 34th ed. London, Pharmaceutical Press, 2005.
WHO expert committee on the selection and use of essential medicines. The selection and use of essential medicines: report of
the WHO expert committee, October 2007 (including the model list of essential medicines for children). WHO Technical Report
Series, 2008, 950 (http://www.who.int/medicines/publications/essentialmeds_committeereports/TRS_950.pdf ).
6.4 Antiviral medicines
6.4.1 Antiherpes medicines
Herpes simplex infections
Aciclovir is active against herpes viruses but does not eradicate them. It is indicated in children for
herpes simplex virus (HSV) infections but is only effective if started early in the course of infection.
HSV infections can be primary or reactivation infections, and include superficial infections, genital
herpes, eczema herpeticum, herpetic whitlow and eye involvement. HSV encephalitis is a serious,
treatable condition that should not be missed. Invasive and disseminated infection can occur in
immunocompromised patients.
Varicella-zoster infection (chickenpox)
Chickenpox in neonates should be treated with parenteral aciclovir to reduce the risk of severe disease.
Otherwise, antiviral treatment is generally not required except for immunocompromised patients and
those at special risk (e.g. those with severe cardiovascular or respiratory disease or a chronic skin disorder).
While most HIV-positive patients with herpes zoster (shingles) experience only one self-limiting disease
course, some will suffer repeated episodes. Treatment should be reserved for debilitating disease and
when there is a high risk of serious complications, such as in advanced HIV disease.
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Aciclovir
ATC code: J05AB01
Oral liquid: 40 mg/ml
Powder for injection: 250 mg (as sodium salt) in vial
Tablet: 200 mg
Special Notes: Also referred to as acyclovir.
Indications: Treatment and prophylaxis of herpes simplex infections; zoster infections.
Precautions: Maintain adequate hydration; renal impairment.
Dose:
Herpes simplex (non-encephalitis) treatment including genital herpes.
Immunocompetent patients.
Oral:
Child less than 2 years 100 mg five times daily;
2 years and over 200 mg five times daily.
Treatment usually for 5 days; longer if new lesions appear during treatment or if healing
incomplete.
Immunocompromised patients.
Oral:
Child 1 month–2 years 200 mg five times daily for 7–14 days;
2–12 years 400 mg five times daily for 7–14 days.
Disseminated herpes simplex treatment.
IV:
Neonate to Infant under 3 months 20 mg/kg every 8 hours for 10–14 days (21 days if CNS
involvement).
Child 3 months–12 years 250 mg/m2 every 8 hours, usually for 5 days.
Herpes simplex prophylaxis in immunocompromised patients.
Oral:
Child less than 2 years 100–200 mg four times daily;
2 years and over 200–400 mg four times daily.
Chickenpox treatment (usually only prescribed if immunocompromised).
Oral:
Child less than 2 years 200 mg four times daily;
2–5 years 400 mg four times daily;
over 5 years 800 mg four times daily.
Varicella zoster treatment.
Immunocompetent patients.
IV:
Neonate to Infant under 3 months 10–20 mg/kg every 8 hours for at least 7 days.
Child 3 months–12 years 250 mg/m2 every 8 hours usually for 5 days.
Immunocompromised patients.
IV:
Neonate to Infant under 3 months 20 mg/kg every 8 hours for at least 7 days.
Child 3 months–12 years 500 mg/m2 every 8 hours usually for 5 days.
Herpes simplex encephalitis treatment.
IV:
Child 3 months–12 years 500 mg/m2 every 8 hours usually for 14–21 days.
Renal impairment: Intravenous dose reduction required in mild to severe impairment.
Oral dose reduction required in moderate to severe impairment.
Hepatic impairment: Dose reduction not necessary.
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Adverse effects: Common Nausea, vomiting, diarrhoea, hallucinations (high dose), headache,
encephalopathy (reported in 1% patients with IV use), injection site reactions.
Uncommon Agitation, vertigo, confusion, dizziness, oedema, renal impairment, arthralgia, sore
throat, abdominal pain, constipation, rash, weakness.
Rare Coma, seizures, neutropenia, leukopenia, anaemia, thrombocytopenia, crystalluria, anorexia,
fatigue, hepatitis, Stevens-Johnson syndrome, toxic epidermal necrolysis, anaphylaxis.
Interactions with other medicines (* indicates severe):
Ciclosporin: increased risk of nephrotoxicity.
Zidovudine: neurotoxicity.
Notes: Make sure that you drink plenty of fluids.
If you wish, you can disperse tablets in water.
Body surface area (m2) =
height (cm) x weight (kg)
3600
References:
Ashley C, Currie A, eds. The renal drug handbook. 3rd ed. Oxford, Radcliffe Publishing, 2009.
Hill SR, Kouimtzi M, Stuart MC, eds. WHO model formulary. Geneva, World Health Organization, 2008.
Hodding JH, Kraus DM, Taketomo CK. Pediatric dosage handbook. 16th ed. Hudson, Lexi-Comp, 2009.
Klasco RK, ed. Drugdex system. Greenwood Village, Thomson Micromedex, 2010. (http://www.thomsonhc.com, accessed 10
February 2010).
Paediatric Formulary Committee. British national formulary for children 2009. London, BMJ Group RBS Publishing, 2009.
Rossi S, ed. Australian medicines handbook. Adelaide, Australian Medicines Handbook, 2009.
WHO expert committee on the selection and use of essential medicines. The selection and use of essential medicines: report of
the WHO expert committee, October 2007 (including the model list of essential medicines for children). WHO Technical Report
Series, 2008, 950 (http://www.who.int/medicines/publications/essentialmeds_committeereports/TRS_950.pdf ).
6.4.2 Antiretrovirals
Antiretroviral therapy in children
Antiretroviral (ART) medicines are essential for the treatment and prevention of HIV infection in
children, prevention of mother-to-child transmission (MTCT) and post-exposure prophylaxis. Studies
of ART in children demonstrate that similar improvements to those obtained in adults are seen in
morbidity, mortality and surrogate markers with many different potent ART regimens.
ART in children is aimed at reducing the plasma viral load as much as possible for as long as possible,
in order to improve immune function, reduce risk of opportunistic infections and other complications
of human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) infection (e.g. encephalopathy and malignancy) and facilitate
improved growth, development and quality of life.
In all populations, drug therapy should be designed to minimize the risk of toxicity and development
of resistance, and maximize long-term compliance.
Unique considerations for the use of ART in children include the following:
• fewer drug choices than for adults (e.g. efavirenz is not approved for children less than 3 years of age)
• limitations of formulations for paediatric patients (e.g. large volumes required [e.g. stavudine
liquid], poor palatability [e.g. ritonavir], the need for refrigeration [e.g. lopinavir] and short
shelf-life [e.g. didanosine])
• limitations of currently available pharmacokinetic data for children, leading to uncertain dosing
regimens for some medications
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• the need for dose adjustment as children grow (to avoid under-dosing and drug resistance)
• less data regarding toxicity for children and non-specific clinical manifestations of toxicity in
infants
• longer potential cumulative treatment duration.
Prevention of mother-to-child transmission
To prevent the transmission of HIV from mother to baby, WHO promotes a comprehensive
approach, which includes the following four components:
• primary prevention of HIV infection among women of childbearing age
• preventing unintended pregnancies among women living with HIV
• preventing HIV transmission from a woman living with HIV to her infant
• providing appropriate treatment, care and support to mothers living with HIV and to their
children and families.
Detailed recommendations for prevention of MTCT of HIV, including the role of ART, can be
accessed at the following website:
http://www.who.int/hiv/topics/mtct/en/index.html
Post-exposure prophylaxis
Treatment with antiretroviral drugs may be appropriate following exposure to HIV-contaminated
materials and sexual assault. Current WHO guidelines on post-exposure prophylaxis to prevent HIV
infection are accessible at the following website: http://www.who.int/hiv/topics/prophylaxis/en/
Fixed-dose drug combinations
• Fixed-dose drug combinations, now available in many regions, allow for easier administration of
antiretroviral medications based on age or weight bands. They have the advantages of being
relatively more affordable, more tolerable for children than multiple tablets, avoiding dosing
errors and potentially improving adherence.
Lamivudine + Nevirapine + Stavudine
ATC code: J05AR07
Tablet: 150 mg + 200 mg + 30 mg
Tablet (dispersible): 30 mg + 50 mg + 6 mg; 60 mg + 100 mg + 12 mg
Antiretroviral dosing The doses of antiretroviral drugs included in this formulary
are based on the WHO guidelines for treatment of paediatric HIV (Antiretroviral therapy
of HIV infection infants and children: towards universal access. Recommendations for a public
health approach). At the time of printing, these guidelines were under review. Prescribers are
encouraged to consult the latest guidelines as they are continually updated as further data or
newer formulations become available.
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The dosing guidance for antiretroviral drugs provided in this formulary has been simplified and
includes weight-based tables, as the calculation and administration of exact doses based on body
surface area may be impractical in resource-limited settings. The target doses for each drug are
included in the tables; however in many cases the dose achieved for a particular patient weight
may be significantly higher or slightly lower than the target dose. Decisions about dosing were
based upon manufacturer’s information, the antiretroviral drug formulation choices, available
data from clinical studies, and expert paediatric pharmacology consultation, and were directed
towards what could be considered the “optimal” dose for a particular weight band, given the
limitations imposed by currently available drug formulations and the public health advantages
of simplified dosing tables.
Situations that are frequently encountered in resource-limited settings, including the possible
lack of refrigeration and the lack of syrup or liquid forms for small children are taken into
consideration. Some of the formulations used to create these simplified dosing guidelines are
not included on the 2nd WHO Model List of Essential Medicines for Children but may be
available locally.
Prescribers are urged to consider if the dosing guidelines are appropriate for adoption given the
antiretroviral drugs and formulations available locally.
Special Notes: Also referred to as 3TC+NVP+d4T.
Indications: HIV infection (alone as a complete regimen, or in combination with other antiretroviral
drugs).
Contraindications: Nevirapine Moderate or severe hepatic impairment; post-exposure
prophylaxis.
Precautions: Lamivudine Pancreatitis (see below); renal impairment; chronic hepatitis B or C;
hepatic disease (see below).
Pancreatitis If no suitable alternative exists, use with extreme caution in children with advanced HIV infection,
previous history of pancreatitis or risk factors for pancreatitis.
Hepatic disease Potentially life-threatening lactic acidosis and severe hepatomegaly with steatosis reported;
caution in children with hepatomegaly, hepatitis (especially hepatitis C treated with interferon alfa and ribavirin),
liver enzyme abnormalities or risk factors for liver disease and hepatic steatosis; discontinue if rapid deterioration
in liver function tests, symptomatic hyperlactataemia, progressive hepatomegaly or lactic acidosis. Exacerbation of
hepatitis in patients with chronic hepatitis B may occur on discontinuation of lamivudine.
Nevirapine Hepatic impairment; chronic hepatitis B or C; high CD4 cell count.
Hepatic disease Potentially life-threatening hepatotoxicity including fatal fulminant hepatitis reported
usually in the first 6 weeks; close monitoring required during first 18 weeks; discontinue permanently if liver
abnormalities accompanied by hypersensitivity reaction (rash, fever, arthralgia, myalgia, lymphadenopathy,
hepatitis, renal impairment, eosinophilia, granulocytopenia); suspend if severe liver abnormalities but no
hypersensitivity reaction; discontinue permanently if significant liver function abnormalities recur, monitor
patient closely if mild to moderate liver abnormalities with no hypersensitivity reaction.
Rash Rash, usually in first 6 weeks, is most common side-effect; incidence reduced if introduced at low dose
and dose increased gradually, monitor closely for skin reactions during first 18 weeks; discontinue permanently
if severe rash or if rash accompanied by blistering, oral lesions, conjunctivitis, facial oedema, general malaise or
hypersensitivity reactions; if rash mild or moderate, may continue without interruption but dose should not be
increased until rash resolves.
Patient advice Patients and/or caregivers should be told how to recognize hypersensitivity reactions and
advised to discontinue treatment and seek immediate medical attention if symptoms of hepatitis, severe skin
reaction or hypersensitivity reactions develop.
Stavudine Peripheral neuropathy (see below); pancreatitis (see below); chronic hepatitis B or C;
hepatic disease (see below); renal impairment.
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Peripheral neuropathy Suspend if peripheral neuropathy develops (characterized by persistent numbness,
tingling or pain in feet or hands); if symptoms resolve satisfactorily on withdrawal and if stavudine needs to be
continued, resume treatment at half previous dose.
Pancreatitis Avoid use or use extreme caution in patients with history of pancreatitis. If symptoms of pancreatitis
develop or if serum amylase or lipase is raised (even if asymptomatic), suspend treatment until diagnosis of
pancreatitis excluded; on return to normal values, re-initiate treatment only if essential (using low dose increased
gradually if appropriate). Whenever possible, avoid concomitant treatment with other drugs known to cause
pancreatic toxicity (for example, intravenous pentamidine isetionate); monitor closely if concomitant therapy
unavoidable. Since significant elevations of triglycerides cause pancreatitis, monitor closely if elevated.
Hepatic disease Potentially life-threatening lactic acidosis and severe hepatomegaly with steatosis reported.
Caution in patients with hepatomegaly, hepatitis, liver enzyme abnormalities or risk factors for liver disease
and hepatic steatosis; discontinue if rapid deterioration in liver function tests, symptomatic hyperlactataemia,
progressive hepatomegaly or lactic acidosis.
Dose:
HIV infection (alone as a complete regimen, or in combination with other antiretroviral drugs).
Special considerations for dosing A lead-in dose of nevirapine, half of the normal daily
dosage, is used for 2 weeks to decrease the likelihood of rash incidence. For children < 30 kg, use of 14 day
lead-in decreases the incidence of rash.
If the child experiences a rash in the lead-in period, then remain on the half dosage until the rash resolves.
Wait no longer than 28 days for the rash to resolve then seek an alternative regimen.
Contains a fixed dose of nevirapine, therefore cannot be used for nevirapine induction as nevirapine dose
escalation is required; use individual components during induction period. See individual drug monographs
for dose recommendations.
Lamivudine + Nevirapine + Stavudine: recommended dosing based on weight bands
Weight range (kg)
Bottom
Top
3
4
5
6
7
8
9
10
11
12
14
17
20
25
30
3.9
4.9
5.9
6.9
7.9
8.9
9.9
10.9
11.9
13.9
16.9
19.9
24.9
29.9
34.9
Target doses
Lamivudine 4 mg/kg twice daily
Nevirapine 160–200 mg/m2 twice daily after
2 week induction dose
Stavudine 1 mg/kg twice daily
Formulation
Lamivudine/ nevirapine/ stavudine tablets
30 mg/50 mg/6 mg
30 mg/50 mg/6 mg
30 mg/50 mg/6 mg
30 mg/50 mg/6 mg
30 mg/50 mg/6 mg
30 mg/50 mg/6 mg
30 mg/50 mg/6 mg
30 mg/50 mg/6 mg
30 mg/50 mg/6 mg
30 mg/50 mg/6 mg
30 mg/50 mg/6 mg
30 mg/50 mg/6 mg
30 mg/50 mg/6 mg
150 mg/200 mg/30 mg
150 mg/200 mg/30 mg
WHO Model Formulary for Children 2010
Dose (tablets)
a.m.
p.m.
1
1
1
2
2
2
2
2
2
2
3
3
3
1
1
1
1
1
1
1
1
1
2
2
2
2
2
3
1
1
153
6
Anti-infective medicines
Renal impairment: Lamivudine Moderate to severe: reduce dose.
Nevirapine Mild and moderate: no dosage adjustment required. Severe: use with caution.
Stavudine Mild: reduce dose to 50%. Moderate: reduce dose to 25%.
Hepatic impairment: Lamivudine Dosage adjustment not required; use with caution in patients
with decompensated liver disease. See notes in Precautions.
Nevirapine Avoid in moderate or severe hepatic impairment. Use with caution in mild and
moderate impairment. See notes in Precautions.
Stavudine Dosage adjustment not required; use with caution in patients with liver disease. See
notes in Precautions.
Adverse effects: Lamivudine Common Headache, fatigue, nausea, anorexia, diarrhoea, skin rash,
abdominal pain, pancreatitis (more commonly reported in children; up to 14%).
Uncommon Peripheral neuropathy, anaemia, decreased neutrophil count, increased liver enzymes, fat
redistribution (see Lipodystrophy, below), lactic acidosis, severe hepatomegaly with steatosis.
Nevirapine Common Rash, nausea, headache, fever.
Uncommon Hepatotoxicity (can be severe, life threatening and possibly fatal), vomiting, abdominal
pain, fatigue, myalgia, Stevens-Johnson syndrome.
Rare Toxic epidermal necrolysis, diarrhoea, angioedema, hypersensitivity reactions, arthralgia,
anaemia and granulocytopenia.
Stavudine Common Headache, gastrointestinal disturbances, skin rashes.
Uncommon Peripheral neuropathy, pancreatitis, fat redistribution (see Lipodystrophy, below), lactic
acidosis, severe hepatomegaly with steatosis, sleep disorders.
Rare Increased liver enzymes, rapidly progressive ascending neuromuscular weakness.
Lipodystrophy Lipodystrophy has been observed in patients taking antiretroviral agents, but a direct causal
relationship has not been established.
Interactions with other medicines (* indicates severe):
Lamivudine
* Emtricitabine: no information available; manufacturer advises avoid concomitant use.
* Interferon alfa: increased risk of hepatic toxicity.
* Ribavirin: increased risk of hepatic toxicity.
Sulfamethoxazole + trimethoprim: plasma concentration of lamivudine increased (avoid
concomitant use of high-dose sulfamethoxazole + trimethoprim).
Nevirapine
* Contraceptives, oral: accelerated metabolism of estrogens and progestogens (reduced
contraceptive effect).
Efavirenz: plasma efavirenz concentration reduced.
* Fluconazole: increased plasma concentration of nevirapine.
Indinavir: nevirapine reduces plasma concentration of indinavir.
* Levonorgestrel: accelerated metabolism of levonorgestrel (reduced contraceptive effect).
Lopinavir: plasma concentration of lopinavir possibly reduced.
* Medroxyprogesterone: accelerated metabolism of medroxyprogesterone (does not apply to
injectable medroxyprogesterone acetate for contraception).
* Norethisterone: accelerated metabolism of norethisterone (reduced contraceptive effect).
* Rifampicin: reduced plasma concentration of nevirapine (avoid concomitant use).
Saquinavir: plasma concentration of saquinavir reduced.
154
WHO Model Formulary for Children 2010
6.4 Antiviral medicines
* St John’s wort (Hypericum): reduced plasma concentration of nevirapine (avoid concomitant
use).
* Voriconazole: increased plasma concentration of nevirapine and reduced concentration of
voriconazole.
* Warfarin: enhanced or reduced anticoagulant effect.
Stavudine
* Didanosine: increased risk of adverse effects.
* Ribavirin: may decrease stavudine levels, also increased risk of fatal and non-fatal lactic acidosis.
* Zidovudine: may antagonize effect of stavudine (concomitant use contraindicated).
Notes: Can be given without regard to food.
Contains a fixed dose of nevirapine, therefore cannot be used for nevirapine induction as dose
escalation required.
During induction period, give individual drugs separately.
Twice daily fixed dose tablet can be started if no rash or liver function test abnormalities present.
Tablets should preferably not be split unless scored.
References:
Antiretroviral therapy of HIV infection in infants and children in resource-limited settings: towards universal access: Recommendations
for a public health approach. Geneva, World Health Organization, Forthcoming 2010.
Antiretroviral therapy of HIV infection in infants and children: towards universal access: Recommendations for a public health approach.
Geneva, World Health Organization, 2006 (http://www.who.int/hiv/pub/guidelines/paediatric020907.pdf, accessed 10 February
2010).
Hill SR, Kouimtzi M, Stuart MC, eds. WHO model formulary. Geneva, World Health Organization, 2008.
Paediatric antiretroviral drugs: dosing: A report prepared for the WHO working group on paediatric ARV medicines. Geneva, World
Health Organization, 2007 (http://www.who.int/hiv/paediatric/External_report_dosing_paediatric_ARVs.pdf, accessed 10
February 2010).
Paediatric Formulary Committee. British national formulary for children 2009. London, BMJ Group RBS Publishing, 2009.
PENTA Steering Committee. PENTA 2009 guidelines for the use of antiretroviral therapy in paediatric HIV-1 infection. HIV
Medicine, 2009, 10(10):591–613.
WHO 17th expert committee on the selection and use of essential medicines. Unedited draft report of the 17th expert committee
on the selection and use of essential medicines. WHO Technical Report Series, 18 May 2009 (http://www.who.int/selection_
medicines/committees/expert/17/WEBuneditedTRS_2009.pdf ).
WHO expert committee on the selection and use of essential medicines. The selection and use of essential medicines: report of
the WHO expert committee, October 2007 (including the model list of essential medicines for children). WHO Technical Report
Series, 2008, 950 (http://www.who.int/medicines/publications/essentialmeds_committeereports/TRS_950.pdf ).
Working group on antiretroviral therapy and medical management of HIV-infected children. Guidelines for the use of antiretroviral
agents in pediatric HIV infection. 23 February 2009:1–139 (http://aidsinfo.nih.gov/contentfiles/pediatricguidelines.pdf, accessed
10 February 2010).
Lamivudine + Nevirapine + Zidovudine
ATC code: J05AR05
Tablet: 30 mg + 50 mg + 60 mg; 150 mg + 200 mg + 300 mg
Antiretroviral dosing The doses of antiretroviral drugs included in this formulary
are based on the WHO guidelines for treatment of paediatric HIV (Antiretroviral therapy of
HIV infection in infants and children: towards universal access. Recommendations for a public
health approach). At the time of printing, these guidelines were under review. Prescribers are
encouraged to consult the latest guidelines as they are continually updated as further data or
newer formulations become available.
WHO Model Formulary for Children 2010
155
6
Anti-infective medicines
The dosing guidance for antiretroviral drugs provided in this formulary has been simplified and
includes weight-based tables, as the calculation and administration of exact doses based on body
surface area may be impractical in resource-limited settings. The target doses for each drug are
included in the tables; however in many cases the dose achieved for a particular patient weight
may be significantly higher or slightly lower than the target dose. Decisions about dosing were
based upon manufacturer’s information, the antiretroviral drug formulation choices, available
data from clinical studies, and expert paediatric pharmacology consultation, and were directed
towards what could be considered the “optimal” dose for a particular weight band, given the
limitations imposed by currently available drug formulations and the public health advantages
of simplified dosing tables.
Situations that are frequently encountered in resource-limited settings, including the possible
lack of refrigeration and the lack of syrup or liquid forms for small children are taken into
consideration. Some of the formulations used to create these simplified dosing guidelines are
not included on the 2nd WHO Model List of Essential Medicines for Children but may be
available locally.
Prescribers are urged to consider if the dosing guidelines are appropriate for adoption given the
antiretroviral drugs and formulations available locally.
Special Notes: Also referred to as 3TC+NVP+ZDV.
Zidovudine also referred to as AZT.
Indications: HIV infection.
Contraindications: Nevirapine Severe hepatic impairment; post-exposure prophylaxis.
Zidovudine Abnormally low neutrophil counts or haemoglobin; neonates either with
hyperbilirubinaemia requiring treatment other than phototherapy or with raised transaminase;
acute porphyria.
Precautions: Lamivudine Pancreatitis (see below); renal impairment; chronic hepatitis B or C;
hepatic disease (see below).
Pancreatitis If no suitable alternative exists, use with extreme caution in children with advanced HIV infection
and previous history of pancreatitis or risk factors for pancreatitis.
Hepatic disease Potentially life-threatening lactic acidosis and severe hepatomegaly with steatosis reported;
caution in children with hepatomegaly, hepatitis (especially hepatitis C treated with interferon alfa and ribavirin),
liver enzyme abnormalities or risk factors for liver disease and hepatic steatosis; discontinue if rapid deterioration
in liver function tests, symptomatic hyperlactataemia, progressive hepatomegaly or lactic acidosis. Exacerbation of
hepatitis in patients with chronic hepatitis B may occur on discontinuation of lamivudine.
Nevirapine Hepatic impairment; chronic hepatitis B or C; high CD4 cell count.
Hepatic disease Potentially life-threatening hepatotoxicity including fatal fulminant hepatitis reported
usually in the first 6 weeks; close monitoring required during first 18 weeks; discontinue permanently if liver
abnormalities accompanied by hypersensitivity reaction (rash, fever, arthralgia, myalgia, lymphadenopathy,
hepatitis, renal impairment, eosinophilia, granulocytopenia); suspend if severe liver abnormalities but no
hypersensitivity reaction; discontinue permanently if significant liver function abnormalities recur, monitor
patient closely if mild to moderate liver abnormalities with no hypersensitivity reaction.
Rash Rash, usually in first 6 weeks, is most common side-effect; incidence reduced if introduced at low dose
and dose increased gradually, monitor closely for skin reactions during first 18 weeks; discontinue permanently
if severe rash or if rash accompanied by blistering, oral lesions, conjunctivitis, facial oedema, general malaise or
hypersensitivity reactions; if rash mild or moderate, may continue without interruption but dose should not be
increased until rash resolves.
Patient advice Patients and caregivers should be told how to recognize hypersensitivity reactions and
advised to discontinue treatment and seek immediate medical attention if symptoms of hepatitis, severe skin
reaction or hypersensitivity reactions develop.
156
WHO Model Formulary for Children 2010
6.4 Antiviral medicines
Zidovudine Haematological toxicity, including vitamin B12 deficiency, anaemia and
myelosuppression; renal impairment; chronic hepatitis B or C; hepatic disease (see below).
Hepatic disease Potentially life-threatening lactic acidosis and severe hepatomegaly with steatosis reported.
Exercise caution in patients with hepatomegaly, hepatitis, liver enzyme abnormalities or risk factors for liver
disease and hepatic steatosis; discontinue if there is any rapid deterioration in liver function tests, symptomatic
hyperlactataemia, progressive hepatomegaly or lactic acidosis.
Dose:
HIV infection (alone as a complete regimen, or in combination with other antiretroviral drugs).
Special considerations for dosing A lead-in dose of nevirapine, half of the normal daily
dosage, is used for 2 weeks to decrease the likelihood of rash incidence. For children < 30 kg, use of 14 day
lead-in decreases the incidence of rash.
If the child experiences a rash in the lead-in period, then remain on the half dosage until the rash resolves.
Wait no longer than 28 days for the rash to resolve then seek an alternative regimen.
Contains a fixed dose of nevirapine, therefore cannot be used for nevirapine induction as nevirapine dose
escalation required; use individual components during induction period. See individual drug monographs for
dose recommendations.
Lamivudine + Nevirapine + Zidovudine: recommended dosing based on weight bands
Weight range (kg)
Bottom
Top
3
4
5
6
7
8
9
10
11
12
14
17
20
25
30
3.9
4.9
5.9
6.9
7.9
8.9
9.9
10.9
11.9
13.9
16.9
19.9
24.9
29.9
34.9
Target doses
Lamivudine 4 mg/kg twice daily
Nevirapine 160–200 mg/m2 twice daily after 2
week induction dose
Zidovudine 180–240 mg/m2 twice daily
Formulation
Lamivudine/ nevirapine/ zidovudine tablets
30 mg/50 mg/60 mg
30 mg/50 mg/60 mg
30 mg/50 mg/60 mg
30 mg/50 mg/60 mg
30 mg/50 mg/60 mg
30 mg/50 mg/60 mg
30 mg/50 mg/60 mg
30 mg/50 mg/60 mg
30 mg/50 mg/60 mg
30 mg/50 mg/60 mg
30 mg/50 mg/60 mg
30 mg/50 mg/60 mg
30 mg/50 mg/60 mg
150 mg/200 mg/300 mg
150 mg/200 mg/300 mg
Dose (tablets)
a.m.
p.m.
1
1
1
2
2
2
2
2
2
2
3
3
3
1
1
1
1
1
1
1
1
1
2
2
2
2
2
3
1
1
Renal impairment: Lamivudine Reduce dose in moderate and severe impairment.
Nevirapine Mild and moderate: no dosage adjustment required. Severe: use with caution.
Zidovudine Severe: reduce dose.
Hepatic impairment: Lamivudine Dosage adjustment not required; use with caution in patients
with decompensated liver disease. See notes in Precautions.
WHO Model Formulary for Children 2010
157
6
Anti-infective medicines
Nevirapine Avoid in moderate and severe hepatic impairment. Use with caution in mild
impairment. See notes in Precautions.
Zidovudine Dosage adjustment may be required; accumulation may occur. Use with caution;
monitor for haematological toxicities frequently.
Adverse effects: Lamivudine Common Headache, fatigue, nausea, anorexia, diarrhoea, skin rash,
abdominal pain, pancreatitis (more commonly reported in children; up to 14%).
Uncommon Peripheral neuropathy, anaemia, decreased neutrophil count, increased liver enzymes, fat
redistribution (see Lipodystrophy, below), lactic acidosis, severe hepatomegaly with steatosis.
Nevirapine Common Rash, nausea, headache, fever.
Uncommon Hepatotoxicity (can be severe, life threatening and possibly fatal), vomiting, abdominal
pain, fatigue, myalgia, including Stevens-Johnson syndrome.
Rare Toxic epidermal necrolysis, diarrhoea, angioedema, hypersensitivity reactions, arthralgia,
anaemia and granulocytopenia.
Zidovudine Common Haematological toxicity including neutropenia, leukopenia and anaemia,
severe headache, malaise, nausea, vomiting, anorexia.
Uncommon Myopathy (associated with prolonged use), myositis, liver toxicity, lactic acidosis,
severe hepatomegaly with steatosis, fat redistribution (see Lipodystrophy, below), skin and nail
pigmentation, neuropathy.
Lipodystrophy Lipodystrophy has been observed in patients taking antiretroviral agents, but a direct causal
relationship has not been established.
Interactions with other medicines (* indicates severe):
Lamivudine
* Emtricitabine: no information available; manufacturer advises avoid concomitant use.
* Interferon alfa: increased risk of hepatic toxicity.
* Ribavirin: increased risk of hepatic toxicity.
Sulfamethoxazole + trimethoprim: plasma concentration of lamivudine increased (avoid
concomitant use of high-dose sulfamethoxazole + trimethoprim).
Nevirapine
* Contraceptives, oral: accelerated metabolism of estrogens and progestogens (reduced
contraceptive effect).
Efavirenz: plasma efavirenz concentration reduced.
* Fluconazole: increased plasma concentration of nevirapine.
Indinavir: nevirapine reduces plasma concentration of indinavir.
* Levonorgestrel: accelerated metabolism of levonorgestrel (reduced contraceptive effect).
Lopinavir: plasma concentration of lopinavir possibly reduced.
* Medroxyprogesterone: accelerated metabolism of medroxyprogesterone (does not apply to
injectable medroxyprogesterone acetate for contraception).
* Norethisterone: accelerated metabolism of norethisterone (reduced contraceptive effect).
* Rifampicin: reduced plasma concentration of nevirapine (avoid concomitant use).
Saquinavir: plasma concentration of saquinavir reduced.
158
WHO Model Formulary for Children 2010
6.4 Antiviral medicines
* St John’s wort (Hypericum): reduced plasma concentration of nevirapine (avoid concomitant
use).
* Voriconazole: increased plasma concentration of nevirapine and reduced concentration of
voriconazole.
* Warfarin: enhanced or reduced anticoagulant effect.
Zidovudine
Note Increased risk of toxicity with nephrotoxic and myelosuppressive drugs.
*
*
Fluconazole: increased plasma concentration of zidovudine (increased risk of toxicity).
Ganciclovir: increased risk of haematological toxicity.
Interferon alfa: increased risk of hepatic and haematological toxicity.
Phenytoin: plasma phenytoin concentration increased or decreased by zidovudine.
Pyrimethamine: increased antifolate effect.
Ribavirin: increased risk of hepatic and haematological toxicity.
Rifampicin: avoidance of rifampicin advised by manufacturer of zidovudine.
Stavudine: may antagonize effect of stavudine (concomitant use contraindicated).
Valproic acid: plasma concentration of zidovudine possibly increased (risk of toxicity).
Notes: Can be given without regard to food.
Contains a fixed dose of nevirapine, therefore cannot be used for nevirapine induction as dose
escalation required.
During induction period, give individual drugs separately.
Twice daily fixed dose tablet can be started if no rash or liver function test abnormalities present.
Tablets should preferably not be split unless scored (to ensure accurate dosing); they may be crushed
and mixed with a small amount of food or water and taken immediately.
References:
Antiretroviral therapy of HIV infection in infants and children in resource-limited settings: towards universal access: Recommendations
for a public health approach. Geneva, World Health Organization, Forthcoming 2010.
Antiretroviral therapy of HIV infection in infants and children: towards universal access: Recommendations for a public health approach.
Geneva, World Health Organization, 2006 (http://www.who.int/hiv/pub/guidelines/paediatric020907.pdf, accessed 10 February
2010).
Hill SR, Kouimtzi M, Stuart MC, eds. WHO model formulary. Geneva, World Health Organization, 2008.
Hodding JH, Kraus DM, Taketomo CK. Pediatric dosage handbook. 16th ed. Hudson, Lexi-Comp, 2009.
Paediatric antiretroviral drugs: dosing: A report prepared for the WHO working group on paediatric ARV medicines. Geneva, World
Health Organization, 2007 (http://www.who.int/hiv/paediatric/External_report_dosing_paediatric_ARVs.pdf, accessed
10 February 2010).
Paediatric Formulary Committee. British national formulary for children 2009. London, BMJ Group RBS Publishing, 2009.
PENTA Steering Committee. PENTA 2009 guidelines for the use of antiretroviral therapy in paediatric HIV-1 infection. HIV
Medicine, 2009, 10(10):591–613.
WHO 17th expert committee on the selection and use of essential medicines. Unedited draft report of the 17th expert committee
on the selection and use of essential medicines. WHO Technical Report Series, 18 May 2009 (http://www.who.int/selection_
medicines/committees/expert/17/WEBuneditedTRS_2009.pdf ).
WHO expert committee on the selection and use of essential medicines. The selection and use of essential medicines: report of
the WHO expert committee, October 2007 (including the model list of essential medicines for children). WHO Technical Report
Series, 2008, 950 (http://www.who.int/medicines/publications/essentialmeds_committeereports/TRS_950.pdf ).
Working group on antiretroviral therapy and medical management of HIV-infected children. Guidelines for the use of antiretroviral
agents in pediatric HIV infection. 23 February 2009:1–139 (http://aidsinfo.nih.gov/contentfiles/pediatricguidelines.pdf, accessed
10 February 2010).
WHO Model Formulary for Children 2010
159
6
Anti-infective medicines
Lamivudine + Zidovudine
ATC code: J05AR01
Tablet: 30 mg + 60 mg; 150 mg + 300 mg
Antiretroviral dosing The doses of antiretroviral drugs included in this formulary
are based on the WHO guidelines for treatment of paediatric HIV (Antiretroviral therapy of
HIV infection in infants and children: towards universal access. Recommendations for a public
health approach). At the time of printing, these guidelines were under review. Prescribers are
encouraged to consult the latest guidelines as they are continually updated as further data or
newer formulations become available.
The dosing guidance for antiretroviral drugs provided in this formulary has been simplified and
includes weight-based tables, as the calculation and administration of exact doses based on body
surface area may be impractical in resource-limited settings. The target doses for each drug are
included in the tables; however in many cases the dose achieved for a particular patient weight
may be significantly higher or slightly lower than the target dose. Decisions about dosing were
based upon manufacturer’s information, the antiretroviral drug formulation choices, available
data from clinical studies, and expert paediatric pharmacology consultation, and were directed
towards what could be considered the “optimal” dose for a particular weight band, given the
limitations imposed by currently available drug formulations and the public health advantages
of simplified dosing tables.
Situations that are frequently encountered in resource-limited settings, including the possible lack
of refrigeration and the lack of syrup or liquid forms for small children are taken into consideration.
Some of the formulations used to create these simplified dosing guidelines are not included on the
2nd WHO Model List of Essential Medicines for Children but may be available locally.
Prescribers are urged to consider if the dosing guidelines are appropriate for adoption given the
antiretroviral drugs and formulations available locally.
Special Notes: Also referred to as 3TC + ZDV.
Zidovudine also referred to as AZT.
Indications: HIV infection (in combination with other antiretroviral drugs).
Contraindications: Zidovudine Abnormally low neutrophil counts or haemoglobin; neonates
either with hyperbilirubinaemia requiring treatment other than phototherapy or with raised
transaminase; acute porphyria.
Precautions: Lamivudine Pancreatitis (see below); renal impairment; chronic hepatitis B or C;
hepatic disease (see below).
Pancreatitis If no suitable alternative exists, use with extreme caution in children with advanced HIV infection
and a previous history of pancreatitis or risk factors for pancreatitis.
Hepatic disease Potentially life-threatening lactic acidosis and severe hepatomegaly with steatosis reported;
caution in children with hepatomegaly, hepatitis (especially hepatitis C treated with interferon alfa and ribavirin),
liver enzyme abnormalities or risk factors for liver disease and hepatic steatosis; discontinue if rapid deterioration
in liver function tests, symptomatic hyperlactataemia, progressive hepatomegaly or lactic acidosis. Exacerbation of
hepatitis in patients with chronic hepatitis B may occur on discontinuation of lamivudine.
Zidovudine Haematological toxicity including vitamin B12 deficiency, anaemia and
myelosuppression; renal impairment; chronic hepatitis B or C; hepatic disease (see below).
Hepatic disease Potentially life-threatening lactic acidosis and severe hepatomegaly with steatosis reported.
Exercise caution in patients with hepatomegaly, hepatitis, liver enzyme abnormalities or risk factors for liver
disease and hepatic steatosis; discontinue if there is any rapid deterioration in liver function tests, symptomatic
hyperlactataemia, progressive hepatomegaly or lactic acidosis.
160
WHO Model Formulary for Children 2010
6.4 Antiviral medicines
Dose:
HIV infection (alone as a complete regimen, or in combination with other antiretroviral drugs).
Lamivudine + Zidovudine: recommended dosing based on weight bands
Weight range (kg)
Bottom
Top
3
4
5
6
7
8
9
10
11
12
14
17
20
25
30
3.9
4.9
5.9
6.9
7.9
8.9
9.9
10.9
11.9
13.9
16.9
19.9
24.9
29.9
34.9
Target doses
Lamivudine 4 mg/kg twice daily
Zidovudine 180–240 mg/m2 twice daily
Formulation
Lamivudine/zidovudine tablets
30 mg/60 mg
30 mg/60 mg
30 mg/60 mg
30 mg/60 mg
30 mg/60 mg
30 mg/60 mg
30 mg/60 mg
30 mg/60 mg
30 mg/60 mg
30 mg/60 mg
30 mg/60 mg
30 mg/60 mg
30 mg/60 mg
150 mg/300 mg
150 mg/300 mg
Dose (tablets)
a.m.
p.m.
1
1
1
2
2
2
2
2
2
2
3
3
3
1
1
1
1
1
1
1
1
1
2
2
2
2
2
3
1
1
Renal impairment: Lamivudine Moderate or severe: reduce dose.
Zidovudine Severe: reduce dose.
Hepatic impairment: Lamivudine Dosage adjustment not required; use with caution in patients
with decompensated liver disease. See notes in Precautions.
Zidovudine Dosage adjustment may be required; accumulation may occur. Use with caution;
monitor for haematological toxicities frequently.
Adverse effects: Lamivudine Common Headache, fatigue, nausea, anorexia, diarrhoea, skin rash,
abdominal pain, pancreatitis (more commonly reported in children; up to 14%).
Uncommon Peripheral neuropathy, anaemia, decreased neutrophil count, increased liver enzymes, fat
redistribution (see Lipodystrophy below), lactic acidosis, severe hepatomegaly with steatosis.
Zidovudine Common Haematological toxicity including neutropenia, leukopenia and anaemia,
severe headache, malaise, nausea, vomiting, anorexia.
Uncommon Myopathy (associated with prolonged use), myositis, liver toxicity, lactic acidosis,
severe hepatomegaly with steatosis, fat redistribution (see Lipodystrophy below), skin and nail
pigmentation, neuropathy.
Lipodystrophy Lipodystrophy has been observed in patients taking antiretroviral agents, but a direct causal
relationship has not been established.
Interactions with other medicines (* indicates severe):
Lamivudine
* Emtricitabine: no information available; manufacturer advises to avoid concomitant use.
* Interferon alfa: increased risk of hepatic toxicity.
WHO Model Formulary for Children 2010
161
6
Anti-infective medicines
* Ribavirin: increased risk of hepatic toxicity.
Sulfamethoxazole + trimethoprim: plasma concentration of lamivudine increased (avoid
concomitant use of high dose sulfamethoxazole + trimethoprim).
Zidovudine
Note Increased risk of toxicity with nephrotoxic and myelosuppressive drugs.
*
*
Fluconazole: increased plasma concentration of zidovudine (increased risk of toxicity).
Ganciclovir: increased risk of haematological toxicity.
Interferon alfa: increased risk of hepatic and haematological toxicity.
Phenytoin: plasma phenytoin concentration increased or decreased by zidovudine.
Pyrimethamine: increased antifolate effect.
Ribavirin: increased risk of hepatic and haematological toxicity.
Rifampicin: avoidance of rifampicin advised by manufacturer of zidovudine.
Stavudine: may inhibit effect of stavudine (avoid concomitant use).
Valproic acid: plasma concentration of zidovudine possibly increased (risk of toxicity).
Notes: No food restrictions apply.
Tablets should not be split unless they are scored. Tablets can be crushed and mixed with a small
amount of water or food and taken immediately.
References:
Antiretroviral therapy of HIV infection in infants and children in resource-limited settings: towards universal access: Recommendations
for a public health approach. Geneva, World Health Organization, Forthcoming 2010.
Antiretroviral therapy of HIV infection in infants and children: towards universal access: Recommendations for a public health approach.
Geneva, World Health Organization, 2006 (http://www.who.int/hiv/pub/guidelines/paediatric020907.pdf, accessed 10 February
2010).
Hill SR, Kouimtzi M, Stuart MC, eds. WHO model formulary. Geneva, World Health Organization, 2008.
Paediatric antiretroviral drugs: dosing: A report prepared for the WHO working group on paediatric ARV medicines. Geneva, World
Health Organization, 2007 (http://www.who.int/hiv/paediatric/External_report_dosing_paediatric_ARVs.pdf, accessed
10 February 2010).
Paediatric Formulary Committee. British national formulary for children 2009. London, BMJ Group RBS Publishing, 2009.
PENTA Steering Committee. PENTA 2009 guidelines for the use of antiretroviral therapy in paediatric HIV-1 infection. HIV
Medicine, 2009, 10(10):591–613.
WHO 17th expert committee on the selection and use of essential medicines. Unedited draft report of the 17th expert committee
on the selection and use of essential medicines. WHO Technical Report Series, 18 May 2009 (http://www.who.int/selection_
medicines/committees/expert/17/WEBuneditedTRS_2009.pdf ).
WHO expert committee on the selection and use of essential medicines. The selection and use of essential medicines: report of
the WHO expert committee, October 2007 (including the model list of essential medicines for children). WHO Technical Report
Series, 2008, 950 (http://www.who.int/medicines/publications/essentialmeds_committeereports/TRS_950.pdf ).
Working group on antiretroviral therapy and medical management of HIV-infected children. Guidelines for the use of antiretroviral
agents in pediatric HIV infection. 23 February 2009:1–139 (http://aidsinfo.nih.gov/contentfiles/pediatricguidelines.pdf, accessed
10 February 2010).
162
WHO Model Formulary for Children 2010
6.4 Antiviral medicines
6.4.2.1 Nucleoside/nucleotide reverse transcriptase inhibitors
Abacavir
ATC code: J05AF06
Oral liquid: 20 mg (as sulfate)/ml
Tablet: 300 mg (as sulfate)
Serious and sometimes fatal hypersensitivity reactions have been associated with abacavir:
approximately 5% of adults and children (rate varies by race/ethnicity) receiving abacavir
develop a potentially fatal hypersensitivity reaction.
Antiretroviral dosing The doses of antiretroviral drugs included in this formulary
are based on the WHO guidelines for treatment of paediatric HIV (Antiretroviral therapy of
HIV infection in infants and children: towards universal access. Recommendations for a public
health approach). At the time of printing, these guidelines were under review. Prescribers are
encouraged to consult the latest guidelines as they are continually updated as further data or
newer formulations become available.
The dosing guidance for antiretroviral drugs provided in this formulary has been simplified and
includes weight-based tables, as the calculation and administration of exact doses based on body
surface area may be impractical in resource-limited settings. The target doses for each drug are
included in the tables; however in many cases, the dose achieved for a particular patient weight
may be significantly higher or slightly lower than the target dose. Decisions about dosing were
based upon manufacturer’s information, the antiretroviral drug formulation choices, available
data from clinical studies, and expert paediatric pharmacology consultation, and were directed
towards what could be considered the “optimal” dose for a particular weight band, given the
limitations imposed by currently available drug formulations and the public health advantages
of simplified dosing tables.
Situations that are frequently encountered in resource-limited settings, including the possible
lack of refrigeration and the lack of syrup or liquid forms for small children are taken into
consideration. Some of the formulations used to create these simplified dosing guidelines are
not included on the 2nd WHO Model List of Essential Medicines for Children but may be
available locally.
Prescribers are urged to consider if the dosing guidelines are appropriate for adoption given the
antiretroviral drugs and formulations available locally.
Special Notes: Also referred to as ABC.
Indications: HIV infection, in combination with other antiretroviral drugs.
Contraindications: Severe renal impairment; severe hepatic impairment; previous hypersensitivity
reaction to abacavir.
Precautions: Chronic hepatitis B or C; hepatic impairment; renal impairment.
Hypersensitivity reactions Life-threatening hypersensitivity reactions characterized by fever or
rash and possibly nausea, vomiting, diarrhoea, abdominal pain, dyspnoea, cough, lethargy, malaise, headache
and myalgia, less frequently by mouth ulceration, oedema, hypotension, sore throat, adult respiratory distress
syndrome, paraesthesia, arthralgia, conjunctivitis, lymphadenopathy, lymphocytopenia, renal failure and
anaphylaxis (hypersensitivity reactions presenting as sore throat, influenza-like illness, cough and breathlessness
identified); and rarely by myolysis. Laboratory abnormalities may include raised liver enzymes (see below) and
creatine kinase. Symptoms usually appear in the first 6 weeks, but may occur at any time; monitor patients for
symptoms every 2 weeks for 2 months; discontinue immediately if any symptom of hypersensitivity develops and
WHO Model Formulary for Children 2010
163
6
Anti-infective medicines
do not rechallenge (risk of more severe hypersensitivity reaction); discontinue if hypersensitivity cannot be ruled
out, even when other diagnoses possible (if rechallenge necessary, it must be carried out in hospital setting). If
abacavir is stopped for any reason other than hypersensitivity, exclude hypersensitivity reaction as the cause, and
rechallenge only if medical assistance is readily available; care needed with concomitant use of drugs which cause
skin toxicity. Studies have shown an association between abacavir hypersensitivity and a specific HLA genotype
(HLA-B*5701). This genetic screening for HLA-B*5701 is recommended prior to initiation of abacavir based
therapy. The incidence of abacavir hypersensitivity reaction is lower in the non-Caucasian population.
Patient advice Patients and caregivers should be told the importance of regular dosing (intermittent
therapy may increase sensitization), how to recognize signs of hypersensitivity, and advised to seek immediate
medical attention if symptoms develop or before restarting treatment.
Hepatic disease Potentially life-threatening lactic acidosis and severe hepatomegaly with steatosis have been
reported. Caution in patients with hepatomegaly, hepatitis, liver enzyme abnormalities, or risk factors for liver
disease and hepatic steatosis (including alcohol abuse); discontinue if rapid deterioration in liver function tests,
symptomatic hyperlactataemia, progressive hepatomegaly or lactic acidosis.
Dose:
HIV infection, in combination with other antiretroviral drugs.
Oral:
Infant or Child 8 mg/kg/dose given twice daily, maximum 300 mg twice daily.
Simplified dosing tables based on weight bands are designed around 60 mg tablets (not on the 2nd
WHO Model List of Essential Medicines for Children).
Abacavir: recommended dosing based on weight bands using 60 mg and 300 mg tablets
Weight range (kg)
Target dose
Dose (tablets)
< 16 years or < 37.5 kg: 8 mg/kg/dose given twice daily
Maximum dose > 16 years or ≥ 37.5 kg:
300 mg/dose given twice daily
Bottom
164
Top
Formulation
a.m.
p.m.
3
3.9
60 mg tablet
1
1
4
4.9
60 mg tablet
1
1
5
5.9
60 mg tablet
1
1
6
6.9
60 mg tablet
2
1
7
7.9
60 mg tablet
2
1
8
8.9
60 mg tablet
2
1
9
9.9
60 mg tablet
2
1
10
10.9
60 mg tablet
2
2
11
11.9
60 mg tablet
2
2
12
13.9
60 mg tablet
2
2
14
16.9
60 mg tablet
3
2
17
19.9
60 mg tablet
3
2
20
24.9
60 mg tablet
3
3
25
29.9
300 mg tablet
1
1
30
34.9
300 mg tablet
1
1
WHO Model Formulary for Children 2010
6.4 Antiviral medicines
Abacavir: recommended dosing based on weight bands using oral liquid and 300 mg
tablets
Weight range
(kg)
Target dose
< 16 years or < 37.5 kg: 8 mg/kg/dose given twice daily
Dose
(ml or tablets)
Maximum dose > 16 years or ≥ 37.5 kg:
300 mg/dose given twice daily
Bottom
Top
Formulation
a.m.
p.m.
3
3.9
20 mg/ml syrup
3 ml
3 ml
4
4.9
20 mg/ml syrup
3 ml
3 ml
5
5.9
20 mg/ml syrup
3 ml
3 ml
6
6.9
20 mg/ml syrup
4 ml
4 ml
7
7.9
20 mg/ml syrup
4 ml
4 ml
8
8.9
20 mg/ml syrup
4 ml
4 ml
9
9.9
20 mg/ml syrup
4 ml
4 ml
10
10.9
20 mg/ml syrup
6 ml
6 ml
11
11.9
20 mg/ml syrup
6 ml
6 ml
12
13.9
20 mg/ml syrup
6 ml
6 ml
14
16.9
300 mg tablet
0.5
0.5
17
19.9
300 mg tablet
0.5
0.5
0.5
20
24.9
300 mg tablet
1
25
29.9
300 mg tablet
1
1
30
34.9
300 mg tablet
1
1
Renal impairment: Severe: avoid.
Hepatic impairment: Moderate: avoid unless essential.
Severe: avoid.
Adverse effects: Common Nausea, vomiting, fever, headache, diarrhoea, rash, anorexia, fatigue.
Uncommon Lactic acidosis, severe hepatomegaly with steatosis, pancreatitis, hypersensitivity,
lipodystrophy (see below).
Rare Increased liver enzymes, elevated blood glucose, elevated triglycerides, possible increased risk of
myocardial infarction.
Lipodystrophy Lipodystrophy has been observed in patients taking antiretroviral agents, but a direct causal
relationship has not been established.
Interactions with other medicines (* indicates severe):
Methadone: plasma concentration of methadone possibly reduced.
Phenobarbital: plasma concentration of abacavir possibly reduced.
Phenytoin: plasma concentration of abacavir possibly reduced.
Rifampicin: plasma concentration of abacavir possibly reduced.
Notes: Parents and carers must be warned about potential hypersensitivity reaction.
Abacavir should be stopped permanently if hypersensitivity reaction occurs.
Can be given without regard to food.
Store oral solution at room temperature (20–25 ºC); may be refrigerated.
Tablets may be crushed with a small amount of water or food and administered immediately.
WHO Model Formulary for Children 2010
165
6
Anti-infective medicines
References:
Antiretroviral therapy of HIV infection in infants and children: towards universal access: Recommendations for a public health approach.
Geneva, World Health Organization, 2006 (http://www.who.int/hiv/pub/guidelines/paediatric020907.pdf, accessed 10 February
2010).
Hodding JH, Kraus DM, Taketomo CK. Pediatric dosage handbook. 16th ed. Hudson, Lexi-Comp, 2009.
Paediatric antiretroviral drugs: dosing: A report prepared for the WHO working group on paediatric ARV medicines. Geneva, World
Health Organization, 2007 (http://www.who.int/hiv/paediatric/External_report_dosing_paediatric_ARVs.pdf, accessed
10 February 2010).
Paediatric Formulary Committee. British national formulary for children 2009. London, BMJ Group RBS Publishing, 2009.
PENTA Steering Committee. PENTA 2009 guidelines for the use of antiretroviral therapy in paediatric HIV-1 infection. HIV
Medicine, 2009, 10(10):591–613.
Rossi S, ed. Australian medicines handbook. Adelaide, Australian Medicines Handbook, 2009.
Working group on antiretroviral therapy and medical management of HIV-infected children. Guidelines for the use of antiretroviral
agents in pediatric HIV infection. 23 February 2009:1–139 (http://aidsinfo.nih.gov/contentfiles/pediatricguidelines.pdf, accessed
10 February 2010).
Didanosine
ATC code: J05AF02
Buffered powder for oral liquid: 100 mg; 167 mg; 250 mg packets
Capsule (unbuffered enteric coated): 125 mg; 200 mg; 250 mg; 400 mg
Tablet (buffered chewable, dispersible): 25 mg; 50 mg; 100 mg; 150 mg; 200 mg
Fatal and non-fatal pancreatitis have been reported during therapy.
Antiretroviral dosing The doses of antiretroviral drugs included in this formulary
are based on the WHO guidelines for treatment of paediatric HIV (Antiretroviral therapy of
HIV infection in infants and children: towards universal access. Recommendations for a public
health approach). At the time of printing, these guidelines were under review. Prescribers are
encouraged to consult the latest guidelines as they are continually updated as further data or
newer formulations become available.
The dosing guidance for antiretroviral drugs provided in this formulary has been simplified and
includes weight-based tables, as the calculation and administration of exact doses based on body
surface area may be impractical in resource-limited settings. The target doses for each drug are
included in the tables; however in many cases the dose achieved for a particular patient weight
may be significantly higher or slightly lower than the target dose. Decisions about dosing were
based upon manufacturer’s information, the antiretroviral drug formulation choices, available
data from clinical studies, and expert paediatric pharmacology consultation, and were directed
towards what could be considered the “optimal” dose for a particular weight band, given the
limitations imposed by currently available drug formulations and the public health advantages
of simplified dosing tables.
Situations that are frequently encountered in resource-limited settings, including the possible
lack of refrigeration and the lack of syrup or liquid forms for small children are taken into
consideration. Some of the formulations used to create these simplified dosing guidelines are
not included on the 2nd WHO Model List of Essential Medicines for Children but may be
available locally.
Prescribers are urged to consider if the dosing guidelines are appropriate for adoption given the
antiretroviral drugs and formulations available locally.
166
WHO Model Formulary for Children 2010
6.4 Antiviral medicines
Special Notes: Also referred to as ddI.
Didanosine is usually reserved for second-line regimens.
Note Antacids in formulation may affect absorption of other drugs; see interactions.
Indications: HIV infection, in combination with at least two other antiretroviral drugs.
Precautions: Pancreatitis; peripheral neuropathy; hyperuricaemia; lactic acidosis or severe
hepatomegaly with steatosis; chronic hepatitis B or C; retinal or optic nerve changes; renal
impairment; hepatic impairment.
Pancreatitis Avoid use or use extreme caution in patients with history of pancreatitis. If symptoms of
pancreatitis develop or if serum amylase or lipase is raised (even if asymptomatic), suspend treatment until
diagnosis of pancreatitis excluded; on return to normal values, re-initiate treatment only if essential (using low
dose increased gradually if appropriate). Whenever possible, avoid concomitant treatment with other drugs
known to cause pancreatic toxicity (for example intravenous pentamidine isetionate, stavudine and hydroxyurea);
monitor closely if concomitant therapy unavoidable. Since significant elevations of triglycerides cause pancreatitis,
monitor closely if elevated.
Peripheral neuropathy Dose related, especially in advanced HIV infection. Suspend treatment;
a reduced dose may be tolerated when symptoms resolve. Please note that giving a lower dose may result in
suboptimal therapy and an increased risk of treatment failure and the development of resistant mutations; it may
be advisable to change to another drug at full dose.
Hyperuricaemia Suspend treatment if significant elevation occurs.
Hepatic disease Potentially life-threatening lactic acidosis and severe hepatomegaly with steatosis
reported; exercise caution in patients with hepatomegaly, hepatitis, liver enzyme abnormalities or risk factors
for liver disease and hepatic steatosis; discontinue if rapid deterioration in liver function tests, symptomatic
hyperlactataemia, progressive hepatomegaly or lactic acidosis.
Retinal or optic nerve changes Dilated retinal examinations recommended (especially in children)
every 6 months, or if visual changes occur. Asymptomatic peripheral retinal depigmentation in < 5% of children
can also occur. Not associated with vision loss and reverses when treatment is stopped.
Dose:
HIV infection, in combination with at least two other antiretroviral drugs.
Oral:
Infant under 3 months 50 mg/m2/dose twice daily.
Infant over 3 months or Child 90–120 mg/m2/dose twice daily (maximum 200 mg/dose twice
daily or 400 mg once daily).
Simplified dosing tables based on weight bands are designed around the 25 mg tablets.
WHO Model Formulary for Children 2010
167
6
Anti-infective medicines
Didanosine: recommended dosing based on weight bands using 25 mg tablets
Weight range
(kg)
Bottom
3
4
5
6
7
8
9
10
11
12
14
17
20
25
30
Top
3.9
4.9
5.9
6.9
7.9
8.9
9.9
10.9
11.9
13.9
16.9
19.9
24.9
29.9
34.9
Target dose
< 3 months: 50 mg/m2/dose twice daily
3 months to < 13 years: 90–120 mg/m2/dose twice daily
Maximum dose (≥ 13 years or > 60 kg): 200 mg/dose twice daily or
400 mg once daily
Formulation
25 mg tablet
25 mg tablet
25 mg tablet
25 mg tablet
25 mg tablet
25 mg tablet
25 mg tablet
25 mg tablet
25 mg tablet
25 mg tablet
25 mg tablet
25 mg tablet
25 mg tablet
25 mg tablet
25 mg tablet
Dose
(tablets)
a.m.
NR
NR
2
3
3
3
3
3
3
3
4
4
4
5
5
p.m.
NR
NR
2
2
2
2
2
3
3
3
3
3
4
5
5
Didanosine: recommended dosing based on weight bands using oral suspension and 25 mg
tablets
Weight range
(kg)
Bottom
3
4
5
6
7
8
9
10
11
12
14
17
20
25
30
168
Top
3.9
4.9
5.9
6.9
7.9
8.9
9.9
10.9
11.9
13.9
16.9
19.9
24.9
29.9
34.9
Target dose
< 3 months: 50 mg/m2/dose twice daily
3 months to < 13 years:
90–120 mg/m2/dose twice daily
Maximum dose (≥ 13 years or > 60 kg): 200 mg/dose twice
daily or 400 mg once daily
Formulation
10 mg/ml suspension
10 mg/ml suspension
10 mg/ml suspension
10 mg/ml suspension
10 mg/ml suspension
10 mg/ml suspension
10 mg/ml suspension
10 mg/ml suspension
10 mg/ml suspension
10 mg/ml suspension
25 mg tablet
25 mg tablet
25 mg tablet
25 mg tablet
25 mg tablet
Dose
(ml or tablets)
a.m.
3 ml
3 ml
3 ml
5 ml
5 ml
5 ml
5 ml
6 ml
6 ml
6 ml
4
4
4
5
5
p.m.
3 ml
3 ml
3 ml
5 ml
5 ml
5 ml
5 ml
6 ml
6 ml
6 ml
3
3
4
5
5
WHO Model Formulary for Children 2010
6.4 Antiviral medicines
Renal impairment: Reduce dose in all degrees of impairment; consult product information for
individual preparations for further specific dosing information.
Hepatic impairment: No dose adjustment recommended. Possible increased risk of toxicity in
patients with hepatic impairment; monitor for toxicity.
Adverse effects: Common Diarrhoea (sometimes severe, may be related to the antacid present in the
preparation), abdominal pain, nausea, vomiting.
Uncommon Peripheral neuropathy, electrolyte abnormalities, hyperuricaemia, lactic acidosis, severe
hepatomegaly with steatosis, pancreatitis, increased liver enzymes, retinal depigmentation, retinal
changes, optic neuritis, hepatic toxicity, hepatic failure, lipodystrophy (see below).
Lipodystrophy Lipodystrophy has been observed in patients taking antiretroviral agents, but a direct causal
relationship has not been established.
Interactions with other medicines (* indicates severe):
* Allopurinol: possibly increased plasma concentration of didanosine.
* Hydroxyurea: increased risk of adverse effects. Avoid concurrent use if possible.
* Ribavirin: increased risk of toxicity, hepatic reactions, peripheral neuropathy and pancreatitis.
* Ritonavir: simultaneous administration can inactivate both drugs. Give didanosine 1 hour before
or 2 hours after ritonavir.
* Stavudine: increased risk of adverse effects. Avoid concurrent use if possible.
* Tenofovir: plasma concentration of didanosine increased (increased risk of toxicity; avoid
concomitant use).
Notes: Best given on an empty stomach 30 minutes before or at least 2 hours after a meal.
Didanosine is degraded rapidly unless given as an enteric formulation or combined with buffering
agents or antacids. In children, this degradation effect may be less marked and didanosine may not
have to be administered on an empty stomach.
Oral suspension Is not easy to use and should be avoided if possible; should be kept refrigerated; stable for
30 days; must be well shaken.
Tablets At least two tablets of appropriate strength must be used at any one time for adequate buffering (e.g. if
the child’s dose is 50 mg, administer two 25 mg tablets instead of one 50 mg tablet); didanosine tablets should be
chewed, crushed or dispersed in water or clear juice before they are taken; tablets should not be swallowed whole.
Enteric-coated beadlets in capsules Can be opened and sprinkled on a small amount of food,
but this may decrease the area under the curve; do not crush or chew beadlets.
References:
Antiretroviral therapy of HIV infection in infants and children in resource-limited settings: towards universal access: Recommendations
for a public health approach. Geneva, World Health Organization, 2006 (http://www.who.int/hiv/pub/guidelines/WHOpaediatric.
pdf, accessed 10 February 2010).
Hodding JH, Kraus DM, Taketomo CK. Pediatric dosage handbook. 16th ed. Hudson, Lexi-Comp, 2009.
Paediatric Formulary Committee. British national formulary for children 2009. London, BMJ Group RBS Publishing, 2009.
PENTA Steering Committee. PENTA 2009 guidelines for the use of antiretroviral therapy in paediatric HIV-1 infection. HIV
Medicine, 2009, 10(10):591–613.
WHO expert committee on the selection and use of essential medicines. The selection and use of essential medicines: report of
the WHO expert committee, October 2007 (including the model list of essential medicines for children). WHO Technical Report
Series, 2008, 950 (http://www.who.int/medicines/publications/essentialmeds_committeereports/TRS_950.pdf ).
Working group on antiretroviral therapy and medical management of HIV-infected children. Guidelines for the use of antiretroviral
agents in pediatric HIV infection. 23 February 2009:1–139 (http://aidsinfo.nih.gov/contentfiles/pediatricguidelines.pdf, accessed
10 February 2010).
WHO Model Formulary for Children 2010
169
6
Anti-infective medicines
Emtricitabine
ATC code: J05AF09
Capsule: 200 mg
Oral liquid: 10 mg/ml
Antiretroviral dosing The doses of antiretroviral drugs included in this formulary
are based on the WHO guidelines for treatment of paediatric HIV (Antiretroviral therapy of
HIV infection in infants and children: towards universal access. Recommendations for a public
health approach). At the time of printing, these guidelines were under review. Prescribers are
encouraged to consult the latest guidelines as they are continually updated as further data or
newer formulations become available.
Special Notes: Also referred to as FTC.
Emtricitabine is an acceptable alternative to lamivudine, based on knowledge of the pharmacology,
the resistance patterns and clinical trials of antiretrovirals.
WHO age/weight restriction: > 3 months.
Indications: HIV infection, in combination with at least two other antiretroviral drugs.
Contraindications: Avoid concomitant use with lamivudine.
Precautions: Renal impairment; hepatic disease.
Hepatic disease Potentially life-threatening lactic acidosis and severe hepatomegaly with steatosis reported.
Exercise caution in patients with hepatomegaly, hepatitis (especially hepatitis C treated with interferon alfa and
ribavirin), liver enzyme abnormalities or risk factors for liver disease and hepatic steatosis; discontinue if rapid
deterioration in liver function tests, symptomatic hyperlactataemia, progressive hepatomegaly or lactic acidosis.
Exacerbation of hepatitis in patients with chronic hepatitis B may occur on discontinuation of emtricitabine;
monitoring required.
Dose:
Note Oral liquid and capsules are not bioequivalent.
240 mg oral solution ≡ 200 mg capsule; where appropriate, capsules may be used instead of oral solution; oral
solution contains propylene glycol as an excipient.
HIV infection, in combination with other antiretroviral drugs.
Oral:
Child over 3 months 6 mg/kg (maximum 200 mg) daily.
Renal impairment: Mild or worse impairment: reduce dose or increase dosing interval. Consult
product literature.
Hepatic impairment: Dosage adjustment not required; use with caution in patients with liver disease.
See notes in Precautions.
Adverse effects: Common Diarrhoea, nausea, rash (may be higher in African Americans; up to 32%
incidence reported), hyperpigmentation of palms and/or soles (more common in children, females
and non-Caucasian people).
Uncommon Neutropenia, lactic acidosis, severe hepatomegaly with steatosis, lipodystrophy (see
below).
Lipodystrophy Lipodystrophy has been observed in patients taking antiretroviral agents, but a direct causal
relationship has not been established.
170
WHO Model Formulary for Children 2010
6.4 Antiviral medicines
Interactions with other medicines (* indicates severe):
*
*
*
Ganciclovir: possible increased toxicity of emtricitabine.
Lamivudine: avoid concomitant use.
Ribavirin: possible increased toxicity of emtricitabine.
Valganciclovir: possible increased toxicity of emtricitabine.
Notes: Can be given without regard to food.
Oral solution should be refrigerated. Can be kept at room temperature up to 25 °C if used within
3 months.
References:
Antiretroviral therapy of HIV infection in infants and children: towards universal access: Recommendations for a public health approach.
Geneva, World Health Organization, 2006 (http://www.who.int/hiv/pub/guidelines/paediatric020907.pdf, accessed 10 February
2010).
Hodding JH, Kraus DM, Taketomo CK. Pediatric dosage handbook. 16th ed. Hudson, Lexi-Comp, 2009.
Paediatric Formulary Committee. British national formulary for children 2009. London, BMJ Group RBS Publishing, 2009.
PENTA Steering Committee. PENTA 2009 guidelines for the use of antiretroviral therapy in paediatric HIV-1 infection. HIV
Medicine, 2009, 10(10):591–613.
Working group on antiretroviral therapy and medical management of HIV-infected children. Guidelines for the use of antiretroviral
agents in pediatric HIV infection. 23 February 2009:1–139 (http://aidsinfo.nih.gov/contentfiles/pediatricguidelines.pdf, accessed
10 February 2010).
Lamivudine
ATC code: J05AF05
Oral liquid: 10 mg/ml
Tablet: 150 mg
Antiretroviral dosing The doses of antiretroviral drugs included in this formulary
are based on the WHO guidelines for treatment of paediatric HIV (Antiretroviral therapy of
HIV infection in infants and children: towards universal access. Recommendations for a public
health approach). At the time of printing, these guidelines were under review. Prescribers are
encouraged to consult the latest guidelines as they are continually updated as further data or
newer formulations become available.
The dosing guidance for antiretroviral drugs provided in this formulary has been simplified and
includes weight-based tables, as the calculation and administration of exact doses based on body
surface area may be impractical in resource-limited settings. The target doses for each drug are
included in the tables; however in many cases the dose achieved for a particular patient weight
may be significantly higher or slightly lower than the target dose. Decisions about dosing were
based upon manufacturer’s information, the antiretroviral drug formulation choices, available
data from clinical studies, and expert paediatric pharmacology consultation, and were directed
towards what could be considered the “optimal” dose for a particular weight band, given the
limitations imposed by currently available drug formulations and the public health advantages
of simplified dosing tables.
Situations that are frequently encountered in resource-limited settings, including the possible
lack of refrigeration and the lack of syrup or liquid forms for small children are taken into
consideration. Some of the formulations used to create these simplified dosing guidelines are
not included on the 2nd WHO Model List of Essential Medicines for Children but may be
available locally.
Prescribers are urged to consider if the dosing guidelines are appropriate for adoption given the
antiretroviral drugs and formulations available locally.
WHO Model Formulary for Children 2010
171
6
Anti-infective medicines
Special Notes: Also referred to as 3TC.
Indications: HIV infection, in combination with at least two other antiretroviral drugs.
Precautions: Pancreatitis (see below); renal impairment; chronic hepatitis B or C; hepatic disease (see
below).
Pancreatitis If no suitable alternative exists, use with extreme caution in children with advanced HIV
infection, previous history of pancreatitis or risk factors for pancreatitis.
Hepatic disease Potentially life-threatening lactic acidosis and severe hepatomegaly with steatosis reported;
caution in children with hepatomegaly, hepatitis (especially hepatitis C treated with interferon alfa and ribavirin),
liver enzyme abnormalities, or risk factors for liver disease and hepatic steatosis; discontinue if rapid deterioration
in liver function tests, symptomatic hyperlactataemia, progressive hepatomegaly or lactic acidosis. Exacerbation of
hepatitis in patients with chronic hepatitis B may occur on discontinuation of lamivudine.
Dose:
HIV infection, in combination with other antiretroviral drugs.
Oral:
Neonate 2 mg/kg/dose given twice daily.
Infant or Child 4 mg/kg/dose given twice daily, maximum 150 mg twice daily.
Simplified dosing tables based on weight bands are designed around 30 mg tablets (not on the 2nd
WHO Model List of Essential Medicines for Children).
Lamivudine: recommended dosing based on weight bands using 30 mg and 150 mg tablets
Weight range
(kg)
Bottom
3
4
5
6
7
8
9
10
11
12
14
17
20
25
30
172
Top
3.9
4.9
5.9
6.9
7.9
8.9
9.9
10.9
11.9
13.9
16.9
19.9
24.9
29.9
34.9
Target dose
Infant or Child:
4 mg/kg twice daily to a maximum of 150 mg twice daily
Formulation
30 mg tablet
30 mg tablet
30 mg tablet
30 mg tablet
30 mg tablet
30 mg tablet
30 mg tablet
30 mg tablet
30 mg tablet
30 mg tablet
30 mg tablet
30 mg tablet
30 mg tablet
150 mg tablet
150 mg tablet
Dose
(tablets)
a.m.
1
1
1
2
2
2
2
2
2
2
3
3
3
1
1
p.m.
1
1
1
1
1
1
1
2
2
2
2
2
3
1
1
WHO Model Formulary for Children 2010
6.4 Antiviral medicines
Lamivudine: recommended dosing based on weight bands using the oral liquid and 150 mg
tablets
Weight range
(kg)
Bottom
3
4
5
6
7
8
9
10
11
12
14
17
20
25
30
Top
3.9
4.9
5.9
6.9
7.9
8.9
9.9
10.9
11.9
13.9
16.9
19.9
24.9
29.9
34.9
Target dose
Infant or Child:
4 mg/kg twice daily to a maximum of 150 mg twice daily
Formulation
10 mg/ml solution
10 mg/ml solution
10 mg/ml solution
10 mg/ml solution
10 mg/ml solution
10 mg/ml solution
10 mg/ml solution
10 mg/ml solution
10 mg/ml solution
10 mg/ml solution
150 mg tablet
150 mg tablet
150 mg tablet
150 mg tablet
150 mg tablet
Dose
(ml or tablets)
a.m.
3 ml
3 ml
3 ml
4 ml
4 ml
4 ml
4 ml
6 ml
6 ml
6 ml
0.5
0.5
1
1
1
p.m.
3 ml
3 ml
3 ml
4 ml
4 ml
4 ml
4 ml
6 ml
6 ml
6 ml
0.5
0.5
0.5
1
1
Renal impairment: Moderate to severe: reduce dose.
Hepatic impairment: Dosage adjustment not required; use with caution in patients with
decompensated liver disease. See notes in Precautions.
Adverse effects: Common Headache, fatigue, nausea, anorexia, diarrhoea, skin rash, abdominal pain,
pancreatitis (more commonly reported in children; up to 14%).
Uncommon Peripheral neuropathy, anaemia, decreased neutrophil count, increased liver enzymes, fat
redistribution (see Lipodystrophy below), lactic acidosis, severe hepatomegaly with steatosis.
Lipodystrophy Lipodystrophy has been observed in patients taking antiretroviral agents, but a direct causal
relationship has not been established.
Interactions with other medicines (* indicates severe):
* Emtricitabine: no information available; manufacturer advises to avoid concomitant use.
* Interferon alfa: increased risk of hepatic toxicity.
* Ribavirin: increased risk of hepatic toxicity.
Sulfamethoxazole + trimethoprim: plasma concentration of lamivudine increased (avoid
concomitant use of high dose sulfamethoxazole + trimethoprim).
Notes: Well tolerated.
Can be given without regard to food.
Store oral solution at room temperature. Use within 1 month of opening.
Tablets may be crushed with a small amount of water or food and administered immediately.
Also active against hepatitis B. Patients co-infected with HIV and hepatitis B should receive the HIV
doses of lamivudine as above.
WHO Model Formulary for Children 2010
173
6
Anti-infective medicines
References:
Antiretroviral therapy of HIV infection in infants and children: towards universal access: Recommendations for a public health approach.
Geneva, World Health Organization, 2006 (http://www.who.int/hiv/pub/guidelines/paediatric020907.pdf, accessed 10 February
2010).
Hodding JH, Kraus DM, Taketomo CK. Pediatric dosage handbook. 16th ed. Hudson, Lexi-Comp, 2009.
MIMS Online. Sydney, UBM Medica, 2009 (http://www.mimsonline.com.au/Search/Search.aspx, accessed 10 February 2010).
PENTA Steering Committee. PENTA 2009 guidelines for the use of antiretroviral therapy in paediatric HIV-1 infection. HIV
Medicine, 2009, 10(10):591–613.
Rossi S, ed. Australian medicines handbook. Adelaide, Australian Medicines Handbook, 2009.
Working group on antiretroviral therapy and medical management of HIV-infected children. Guidelines for the use of antiretroviral
agents in pediatric HIV infection. 23 February 2009:1–139 (http://aidsinfo.nih.gov/contentfiles/pediatricguidelines.pdf, accessed
10 February 2010).
Stavudine
ATC code: J05AF04
Capsule: 15 mg; 20 mg; 30 mg
Powder for oral liquid: 1 mg/ml
Antiretroviral dosing The doses of antiretroviral drugs included in this formulary
are based on the WHO guidelines for treatment of paediatric HIV (Antiretroviral therapy of
HIV infection in infants and children: towards universal access. Recommendations for a public
health approach). At the time of printing, these guidelines were under review. Prescribers are
encouraged to consult the latest guidelines as they are continually updated as further data or
newer formulations become available.
The dosing guidance for antiretroviral drugs provided in this formulary has been simplified and
includes weight-based tables, as the calculation and administration of exact doses based on body
surface area may be impractical in resource-limited settings. The target doses for each drug are
included in the tables; however in many cases the dose achieved for a particular patient weight
may be significantly higher or slightly lower than the target dose. Decisions about dosing were
based upon manufacturer’s information, the antiretroviral drug formulation choices, available
data from clinical studies, and expert paediatric pharmacology consultation, and were directed
towards what could be considered the “optimal” dose for a particular weight band, given the
limitations imposed by currently available drug formulations and the public health advantages
of simplified dosing tables.
Situations that are frequently encountered in resource-limited settings, including the possible
lack of refrigeration and the lack of syrup or liquid forms for small children are taken into
consideration. Some of the formulations used to create these simplified dosing guidelines are
not included on the 2nd WHO Model List of Essential Medicines for Children but may be
available locally.
Prescribers are urged to consider if the dosing guidelines are appropriate for adoption given the
antiretroviral drugs and formulations available locally.
Special Notes: Also referred to as d4T.
Higher incidence of lactic acidosis and hepatic steatosis than with other NRTIs.
Indications: HIV infection, in combination with at least two other antiretroviral drugs.
Precautions: Peripheral neuropathy (see below); pancreatitis (see below); chronic hepatitis B or C;
hepatic disease (see below); renal impairment.
174
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6.4 Antiviral medicines
Peripheral neuropathy Suspend if peripheral neuropathy develops (characterized by persistent
numbness, tingling or pain in feet or hands); if symptoms resolve satisfactorily on withdrawal, and if stavudine
needs to be continued, resume treatment at half previous dose. Please note that giving a lower dose may result in
suboptimal therapy and an increased risk of treatment failure and the development of resistance mutations; it may
be advisable to change to another drug at full dose.
Pancreatitis Avoid use or use extreme caution in patients with history of pancreatitis. If symptoms of
pancreatitis develop or if serum amylase or lipase is raised (even if asymptomatic), suspend treatment until
diagnosis of pancreatitis excluded; on return to normal values, re-initiate treatment only if essential (using
low dose increased gradually if appropriate). Whenever possible, avoid concomitant treatment with other
drugs known to cause pancreatic toxicity (for example intravenous pentamidine isetionate); monitor closely if
concomitant therapy unavoidable. Since significant elevations of triglycerides cause pancreatitis, monitor closely
if elevated.
Hepatic disease Potentially life-threatening lactic acidosis and severe hepatomegaly with steatosis reported.
Caution in patients with hepatomegaly, hepatitis, liver enzyme abnormalities, or risk factors for liver disease
and hepatic steatosis; discontinue if rapid deterioration in liver function tests, symptomatic hyperlactataemia,
progressive hepatomegaly or lactic acidosis occurs.
Dose:
HIV infection, in combination with other antiretroviral drugs.
Oral:
Infant or Child 1 mg/kg twice daily up to 30 mg twice daily.
Simplified dosing tables based on weight bands are designed around 6 mg capsules (not on the
2nd WHO Model List of Essential Medicines for Children).
Stavudine: recommended dosing based on weight bands using 6 mg and 30 mg capsules
Weight range (kg)
Target dose
Dose (capsules)
1 mg/kg twice daily up to 30 mg/kg twice daily
Bottom
Top
Formulation
a.m.
p.m.
3
4
3.9
6 mg capsule
1
1
4.9
6 mg capsule
1
1
5
5.9
6 mg capsule
1
1
6
6.9
6 mg capsule
2
1
7
7.9
6 mg capsule
2
1
8
8.9
6 mg capsule
2
1
9
9.9
6 mg capsule
2
1
10
10.9
6 mg capsule
2
2
11
11.9
6 mg capsule
2
2
12
13.9
6 mg capsule
2
2
14
16.9
6 mg capsule
3
2
17
19.9
6 mg capsule
3
2
20
24.9
6 mg capsule
3
3
25
29.9
30 mg capsule
1
1
30
34.9
30 mg capsule
1
1
WHO Model Formulary for Children 2010
175
6
Anti-infective medicines
Stavudine: recommended dosing based on weight bands using oral liquid and 15 mg, 20 mg
and 30 mg capsules
Weight range (kg)
Bottom
3
4
5
6
7
8
9
10
11
12
14
17
20
25
30
Top
3.9
4.9
5.9
6.9
7.9
8.9
9.9
10.9
11.9
13.9
16.9
19.9
24.9
29.9
34.9
Target dose
1 mg/kg twice daily up to 30 mg twice daily
Formulation
1 mg/ml syrup
1 mg/ml syrup
1 mg/ml syrup
1 mg/ml syrup
1 mg/ml syrup
1 mg/ml syrup
1 mg/ml syrup
15 mg capsule
15 mg capsule
15 mg capsule
20 mg capsule
20 mg capsule
20 mg capsule
30 mg capsule
30 mg capsule
Dose (ml or capsules)
a.m.
6 ml
6 ml
6 ml
9 ml
9 ml
9 ml
9 ml
1
1
1
1
1
1
1
1
p.m.
6 ml
6 ml
6 ml
9 ml
9 ml
9 ml
9 ml
1
1
1
1
1
1
1
1
Renal impairment: Mild: reduce dose to 50%.
Moderate to severe: reduce dose to 25%.
Hepatic impairment: Dosage adjustment not required; use with caution in patients with liver disease.
See notes in Precautions.
Adverse effects: Common Headache, gastrointestinal disturbances, skin rashes and lipoatrophy.
Uncommon Peripheral neuropathy, pancreatitis, fat redistribution (see Lipodystrophy below), lactic
acidosis, severe hepatomegaly with steatosis, sleep disorders.
Rare Increased liver enzymes, rapidly progressive ascending neuromuscular weakness.
Lipodystrophy Lipodystrophy has been observed in patients taking antiretroviral agents, but a direct causal
relationship has not been established.
Interactions with other medicines (* indicates severe):
* Didanosine: increased risk of adverse effects, i.e. increased risk of fatal and non-fatal lactic acidosis
or pancreatitis.
* Ribavirin: may decrease stavudine levels, also increased risk of fatal and non-fatal lactic acidosis.
* Zidovudine: may inhibit effect of stavudine (avoid concomitant use).
Notes: Well tolerated.
Do not use stavudine with zidovudine (AZT) due to an antagonistic effect.
Can be given without regard to food.
Oral solution is well tolerated and palatable.
Powder for oral solution should be protected from excessive moisture in tightly closed containers at 25 °C.
Reconstituted solution requires refrigeration; discard any unused portion after 30 days.
Shake oral solution well prior to each use.
Capsules can be opened and mixed with a small amount of food or water.
176
WHO Model Formulary for Children 2010
6.4 Antiviral medicines
References:
Antiretroviral therapy of HIV infection in infants and children: towards universal access: Recommendations for a public health approach.
Geneva, World Health Organization, 2006 (http://www.who.int/hiv/pub/guidelines/paediatric020907.pdf, accessed 10 February
2010).
Hodding JH, Kraus DM, Taketomo CK. Pediatric dosage handbook. 16th ed. Hudson, Lexi-Comp, 2009.
Paediatric Formulary Committee. British national formulary for children 2009. London, BMJ Group RBS Publishing, 2009.
WHO expert committee on the selection and use of essential medicines. The selection and use of essential medicines: report of
the WHO expert committee, October 2007 (including the model list of essential medicines for children). WHO Technical Report
Series, 2008, 950 (http://www.who.int/medicines/publications/essentialmeds_committeereports/TRS_950.pdf ).
Working group on antiretroviral therapy and medical management of HIV-infected children. Guidelines for the use of antiretroviral
agents in pediatric HIV infection. 23 February 2009:1–139 (http://aidsinfo.nih.gov/contentfiles/pediatricguidelines.pdf, accessed
10 February 2010).
Zidovudine
ATC code: J05AF01
Capsule: 100 mg; 250 mg
Oral liquid: 10 mg/ml
Solution for IV infusion injection: 10 mg/ml in 20 ml vial
Tablet: 300 mg
Antiretroviral dosing The doses of antiretroviral drugs included in this formulary
are based on the WHO guidelines for treatment of paediatric HIV (Antiretroviral therapy
of HIV infection infants and children: towards universal access. Recommendations for a public
health approach). At the time of printing, these guidelines were under review. Prescribers are
encouraged to consult the latest guidelines as they are continually updated as further data or
newer formulations become available.
The dosing guidance for antiretroviral drugs provided in this formulary has been simplified and
includes weight-based tables, as the calculation and administration of exact doses based on body
surface area may be impractical in resource-limited settings. The target doses for each drug are
included in the tables; however in many cases the dose achieved for a particular patient weight
may be significantly higher or slightly lower than the target dose. Decisions about dosing were
based upon manufacturer’s information, the antiretroviral drug formulation choices, available
data from clinical studies, and expert paediatric pharmacology consultation, and were directed
towards what could be considered the “optimal” dose for a particular weight band, given the
limitations imposed by currently available drug formulations and the public health advantages
of simplified dosing tables.
Situations that are frequently encountered in resource-limited settings, including the possible
lack of refrigeration and the lack of syrup or liquid forms for small children are taken into
consideration. Some of the formulations used to create these simplified dosing guidelines are
not included on the 2nd WHO Model List of Essential Medicines for Children but may be
available locally.
Prescribers are urged to consider if the dosing guidelines are appropriate for adoption given the
antiretroviral drugs and formulations available locally.
Special Notes: Also referred to as ZDV, AZT and azidothymidine.
Note The abbreviation AZT which has sometimes been used for zidovudine has also been used for azathioprine
and aztreonam. Exercise extreme caution with abbreviations.
Indications: Treatment of HIV infection in combination with other antiretroviral drugs; prevention
of mother-to-child HIV transmission.
WHO Model Formulary for Children 2010
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6
Anti-infective medicines
Contraindications: Abnormally low neutrophil counts or haemoglobin; neonates either with
hyperbilirubinaemia requiring treatment other than phototherapy or with raised transaminase;
acute porphyria.
Precautions: Haematological toxicity, including vitamin B12 deficiency, anaemia and
myelosuppression; renal impairment; chronic hepatitis B or C; hepatic disease (see below).
Hepatic disease Potentially life-threatening lactic acidosis and severe hepatomegaly with steatosis reported.
Exercise caution in patients with hepatomegaly, hepatitis, liver enzyme abnormalities, or risk factors for liver
disease and hepatic steatosis; discontinue if there is any rapid deterioration in liver function tests, symptomatic
hyperlactataemia, progressive hepatomegaly or lactic acidosis.
Dose:
Prevention of mother-to-child transmission of HIV.
Oral:
Neonate or Infant 4 mg/kg every 12 hours starting within 12 hours after birth and continuing
up to 1–6 weeks of age, depending on national recommendations.
IV:
Neonate or Infant 1.5 mg/kg infused over 30 minutes, every 6 hours until oral dosing is
possible.
HIV infection, in combination with other antiretroviral drugs.
Oral:
Infant over 6 weeks old 180–240 mg/m2 twice daily, maximum 300 mg twice daily.
Simplified dosing tables based on weight bands are designed around 60 mg tablets (not on the 2nd
WHO Model List of Essential Medicines for Children).
Zidovudine: recommended dosing based on weight bands using 60 mg and 300 mg tablets
Weight range (kg)
Bottom
3
4
5
6
7
8
9
10
11
12
14
17
20
25
30
178
Top
3.9
4.9
5.9
6.9
7.9
8.9
9.9
10.9
11.9
13.9
16.9
19.9
24.9
29.9
34.9
Target dose
180–240 mg/m2 twice daily
Formulation
60 mg tablet
60 mg tablet
60 mg tablet
60 mg tablet
60 mg tablet
60 mg tablet
60 mg tablet
60 mg tablet
60 mg tablet
60 mg tablet
60 mg tablet
60 mg tablet
60 mg tablet
300 mg tablet
300 mg tablet
Dose (tablets)
a.m.
1
1
1
2
2
2
2
2
2
2
3
3
3
1
1
p.m.
1
1
1
1
1
1
1
2
2
2
2
2
3
1
1
WHO Model Formulary for Children 2010
6.4 Antiviral medicines
Zidovudine: recommended dosing based on weight bands using oral liquid and 300 mg
tablets
Weight range
(kg)
Bottom
3
4
5
6
7
8
9
10
11
12
14
17
20
25
30
Top
3.9
4.9
5.9
6.9
7.9
8.9
9.9
10.9
11.9
13.9
16.9
19.9
24.9
29.9
34.9
Target dose
Infants > 6 weeks old: 180–240 mg/m2 twice daily
Maximum dose 300 mg twice daily
Formulation
10 mg/ml syrup
10 mg/ml syrup
10 mg/ml syrup
10 mg/ml syrup
10 mg/ml syrup
10 mg/ml syrup
10 mg/ml syrup
10 mg/ml syrup
10 mg/ml syrup
10 mg/ml syrup
300 mg tablet
300 mg tablet
300 mg tablet
300 mg tablet
300 mg tablet
Dose
(ml or tablets)
a.m.
6 ml
6 ml
6 ml
9 ml
9 ml
9 ml
9 ml
12 ml
12 ml
12 ml
0.5
0.5
1
1
1
p.m.
6 ml
6 ml
6 ml
9 ml
9 ml
9 ml
9 ml
12 ml
12 ml
12 ml
0.5
0.5
0.5
1
1
Renal impairment: Severe: reduce dose.
Hepatic impairment: Dosage adjustment may be required; accumulation may occur. Use with
caution; monitor for haematological toxicities frequently.
Adverse effects: Common Haematological toxicity, including neutropenia, leukopenia and anaemia,
severe headache, malaise, nausea, vomiting, anorexia.
Uncommon Myopathy (associated with prolonged use), myositis, liver toxicity, lactic acidosis,
severe hepatomegaly with steatosis, fat redistribution (see Lipodystrophy, below), skin and nail
pigmentation, neuropathy.
Lipodystrophy Lipodystrophy has been observed in patients taking antiretroviral agents, but a direct causal
relationship has not been established.
Interactions with other medicines (* indicates severe):
Note Increased risk of toxicity with nephrotoxic and myelosuppressive drugs.
*
*
Fluconazole: increased plasma concentration of zidovudine (increased risk of toxicity).
Ganciclovir: increased risk of haematological toxicity.
Interferon alfa: increased risk of hepatic and haematological toxicity.
Phenytoin: plasma phenytoin concentration increased or decreased by zidovudine.
Pyrimethamine: increased antifolate effect.
Ribavirin: increased risk of hepatic and haematological toxicity.
Rifampicin: avoidance of rifampicin advised by manufacturer of zidovudine.
Stavudine: may inhibit effect of stavudine (avoid concomitant use).
Valproic acid: plasma concentration of zidovudine possibly increased (risk of toxicity).
Notes: Do not use stavudine with zidovudine due to an antagonistic effect.
WHO Model Formulary for Children 2010
179
6
Anti-infective medicines
Can be given without regard to food.
Capsules can be opened and dissolved in water. Administer immediately.
Tablets may be crushed and combined with a small amount of food and administered immediately.
Store oral liquid at room temperature and protect from light.
For intermittent intravenous infusion, dilute to concentration 2 mg/ml or 4 mg/ml with glucose 5%
and give over 1 hour, or 30 minutes in neonates.
Do not administer by intramuscular injection, intravenous push or rapid infusion.
References:
Antiretroviral therapy of HIV infection in infants and children: towards universal access: Recommendations for a public health approach.
Geneva, World Health Organization, 2006 (http://www.who.int/hiv/pub/guidelines/paediatric020907.pdf, accessed 10 February 2010).
Hodding JH, Kraus DM, Taketomo CK. Pediatric dosage handbook. 16th ed. Hudson, Lexi-Comp, 2009.
MIMS Online. Sydney, UBM Medica, 2009 (http://www.mimsonline.com.au/Search/Search.aspx, accessed 10 February 2010).
Paediatric Formulary Committee. British national formulary for children 2009. London, BMJ Group RBS Publishing, 2009.
PENTA Steering Committee. PENTA 2009 guidelines for the use of antiretroviral therapy in paediatric HIV-1 infection. HIV
Medicine, 2009, 10(10):591–613.
Working group on antiretroviral therapy and medical management of HIV-infected children. Guidelines for the use of antiretroviral
agents in pediatric HIV infection. 23 February 2009:1–139 (http://aidsinfo.nih.gov/contentfiles/pediatricguidelines.pdf, accessed
10 February 2010).
6.4.2.2 Non-nucleoside reverse transcriptase inhibitors
Efavirenz
ATC code: J05AG03
Capsule: 50 mg; 100 mg; 200 mg
Oral liquid: 30 mg/ml
Tablet: 600 mg
Antiretroviral dosing The doses of antiretroviral drugs included in this formulary
are based on the WHO guidelines for treatment of paediatric HIV (Antiretroviral therapy
of HIV infection infants and children: towards universal access. Recommendations for a public
health approach). At the time of printing, these guidelines were under review. Prescribers are
encouraged to consult the latest guidelines as they are continually updated as further data or
newer formulations become available.
The dosing guidance for antiretroviral drugs provided in this formulary has been simplified and
includes weight-based tables, as the calculation and administration of exact doses based on body
surface area may be impractical in resource-limited settings. The target doses for each drug are
included in the tables; however in many cases the dose achieved for a particular patient weight
may be significantly higher or slightly lower than the target dose. Decisions about dosing were
based upon manufacturer’s information, the antiretroviral drug formulation choices, available
data from clinical studies, and expert paediatric pharmacology consultation, and were directed
towards what could be considered the “optimal” dose for a particular weight band, given the
limitations imposed by currently available drug formulations and the public health advantages
of simplified dosing tables.
Situations that are frequently encountered in resource-limited settings, including the possible
lack of refrigeration and the lack of syrup or liquid forms for small children are taken into
consideration. Some of the formulations used to create these simplified dosing guidelines are
not included on the 2nd WHO Model List of Essential Medicines for Children but may be
available locally.
Prescribers are urged to consider if the dosing guidelines are appropriate for adoption given the
antiretroviral drugs and formulations available locally.
180
WHO Model Formulary for Children 2010
6.4 Antiviral medicines
Special Notes: Also referred to as EFV or EFZ.
WHO age/weight restriction: > 3 years or > 10 kg weight.
Indications: HIV infection in combination with other antiretroviral drugs.
Contraindications: Pregnancy (substitute nevirapine for efavirenz in pregnant women or women for
whom effective contraception cannot be assured).
Patient advice Women of childbearing potential should undergo pregnancy testing as well as counselling
about the risk to the fetus and the need to avoid pregnancy before initiating efavirenz therapy and for 12 weeks
after stopping therapy. Barrier methods in combination with other (hormonal) methods of contraception should
be used, as efavirenz may decrease the effectiveness of the oral contraceptive pill. (See Interactions.)
Precautions: Chronic hepatitis B or C; hepatic impairment; severe renal impairment; history of
mental illness or seizures.
Rash Rash, usually occurring in the first 2 weeks, is the most common adverse effect; discontinue if severe rash
with blistering, desquamation, mucosal involvement or fever; if rash is mild or moderate, may continue without
interruption (rash usually resolves within 1 month). Rash is the principal side-effect seen in children, experienced
by up to 40% of patients. Antihistamines may be useful for treatment and prophylaxis.
Psychiatric disorders Patients should be advised to seek medical attention if severe depression,
psychosis or suicidal ideation occurs.
Dose:
Note The bioavailability of efavirenz oral solution is lower than that of the capsules and tablets; the oral
solution is not interchangeable with either capsules or tablets on a milligram for milligram basis.
HIV infection in combination with other antiretroviral drugs, using oral liquid.
Oral:
Infants over 3 months or 10 kg or Child 19.5 mg/kg once daily. Dosing with capsules or tablets
is preferred due to better bioavailability.
HIV infection in combination with other antiretroviral drugs, using tablets or capsules.
Oral:
Infants over 3 months or 10 kg or Child 15 mg/kg once daily.
Simplified dosing tables based on weight bands are designed around 100 mg capsules.
Note Where half capsules are called for, 50 mg capsules should be substituted, where available.
Efavirenz: recommended maintenance dosing based on weight bands
Weight range (kg)
Bottom
10
11
12
14
17
20
25
30
Top
10.9
11.9
13.9
16.9
19.9
24.9
29.9
34.9
Target dose
15 mg/kg once daily (capsule)
Weight > 40 kg: 600 mg once daily
Formulation (capsule)
100 mg
100 mg
100 mg
100 mg
100 mg
100 mg
100 mg
100 mg
WHO Model Formulary for Children 2010
Dose (capsules)
Once daily
2
2
2
2.5
2.5
3
3.5
4
(may be substituted with 2
capsules of 200 mg)
181
6
Anti-infective medicines
Renal impairment: Severe: avoid use.
Hepatic impairment: Mild to moderate: monitor for dose-related adverse effects (for example central
nervous system effects) and monitor liver function.
Severe: avoid use.
Therapeutic drug monitoring is possible and may assist in dosing hepatically impaired patients.
Adverse effects: Common Rash (up to 40%, see note in Precautions), abdominal pain, nausea,
diarrhoea, increased transaminase levels, neurological side effects (see below).
Neurological side-effects Include somnolence, insomnia, abnormal dreams, confusion, abnormal
thinking, impaired concentration, amnesia, agitation, depersonalization, hallucinations, euphoria; neurological
side-effects occur more commonly in adults than in children.
Uncommon Hepatitis, pancreatitis, psychosis, mania, seizures.
Rare Depression, suicidal ideation. Possible congenital abnormalities in infants exposed in utero
during the first trimester.
Interactions with other medicines (* indicates severe):
*
*
*
*
Contraceptives, oral: efficacy of estrogen containing oral contraceptives possibly reduced.
Ergometrine: increased risk of ergotism (avoid concomitant use).
Grapefruit juice: plasma concentration of efavirenz possibly increased.
Indinavir: efavirenz reduces plasma concentration of indinavir.
Lopinavir: plasma concentration of lopinavir reduced.
Midazolam: increased midazolam toxicity (avoid concomitant use).
Nevirapine: plasma efavirenz concentration reduced.
Rifampicin: reduced plasma concentration of efavirenz (increase efavirenz dose).
Ritonavir: increased risk of toxicity (monitor liver function tests).
Saquinavir: efavirenz significantly reduces plasma concentration of saquinavir.
St John’s wort (Hypericum): decreased efavirenz concentration and treatment failure.
Voriconazole: decreased voriconazole levels and increased efavirenz levels; consult specialist texts
for management advice if this combination is necessary.
Notes: Take on an empty stomach, preferably at bedtime. Food, particularly high fat food, increases
absorption by 50%. Safety of increased levels not assessed.
Capsules may be opened and added to liquids or small amounts of food to disguise their peppery
taste.
Bedtime dosing is recommended, particularly during the first 2–4 weeks of therapy, to improve
tolerability of central nervous system side-effects.
References:
Antiretroviral therapy of HIV infection in infants and children: towards universal access: Recommendations for a public health approach.
Geneva, World Health Organization, 2006 (http://www.who.int/hiv/pub/guidelines/paediatric020907.pdf, accessed 10 February
2010).
Hodding JH, Kraus DM, Taketomo CK. Pediatric dosage handbook. 16th ed. Hudson, Lexi-Comp, 2009.
Paediatric Formulary Committee. British national formulary for children 2009. London, BMJ Group RBS Publishing, 2009.
Working group on antiretroviral therapy and medical management of HIV-infected children. Guidelines for the use of antiretroviral
agents in pediatric HIV infection. 23 February 2009:1–139 (http://aidsinfo.nih.gov/contentfiles/pediatricguidelines.pdf, accessed
10 February 2010).
182
WHO Model Formulary for Children 2010
6.4 Antiviral medicines
Nevirapine
ATC code: J05AG01
Oral liquid: 10 mg/ml
Tablet: 200 mg
Antiretroviral dosing The doses of antiretroviral drugs included in this formulary
are based on the WHO guidelines for treatment of paediatric HIV (Antiretroviral therapy of
HIV infection in infants and children: towards universal access. Recommendations for a public
health approach). At the time of printing, these guidelines were under review. Prescribers are
encouraged to consult the latest guidelines as they are continually updated as further data or
newer formulations become available.
The dosing guidance for antiretroviral drugs provided in this formulary has been simplified and
includes weight-based tables, as the calculation and administration of exact doses based on body
surface area may be impractical in resource-limited settings. The target doses for each drug are
included in the tables; however in many cases the dose achieved for a particular patient weight
may be significantly higher or slightly lower than the target dose. Decisions about dosing were
based upon manufacturer’s information, the antiretroviral drug formulation choices, available
data from clinical studies, and expert paediatric pharmacology consultation, and were directed
towards what could be considered the “optimal” dose for a particular weight band, given the
limitations imposed by currently available drug formulations and the public health advantages
of simplified dosing tables.
Situations that are frequently encountered in resource-limited settings, including the possible
lack of refrigeration and the lack of syrup or liquid forms for small children are taken into
consideration. Some of the formulations used to create these simplified dosing guidelines are
not included on the 2nd WHO Model List of Essential Medicines for Children but may be
available locally.
Prescribers are urged to consider if the dosing guidelines are appropriate for adoption given the
antiretroviral drugs and formulations available locally.
Special Notes: Also referred to as NVP.
Indications: Progressive or advanced HIV infection, in combination with at least two other
antiretroviral drugs; prevention of mother-to-child transmission.
Contraindications: Moderate or severe hepatic impairment; post-exposure prophylaxis.
Precautions: Hepatic impairment (see below); rash (see below); chronic hepatitis B or C; high
CD4 cell count (preferably avoid in women with CD4 cell count greater then 250 cells/mm3 or in
men with CD4 cell count greater than 400 cells/mm3).
Hepatic disease Potentially life-threatening hepatotoxicity including fatal fulminant hepatitis reported
usually in the first 6 weeks; close monitoring required during first 18 weeks; assess liver function before treatment
then every 2 weeks for 2 months, then after 1 month and then regularly; discontinue permanently if liver
abnormalities accompanied by hypersensitivity reaction (rash, fever, arthralgia, myalgia, lymphadenopathy,
hepatitis, renal impairment, eosinophilia, granulocytopenia); suspend if severe liver abnormalities but no
hypersensitivity reaction; discontinue permanently if significant liver function abnormalities recur; monitor
patient closely if mild to moderate liver abnormalities with no hypersensitivity reaction.
Rash Rash, usually in first 6 weeks, is most common side-effect; incidence reduced if introduced at low dose
and dose increased gradually, monitor closely for skin reactions during first 18 weeks; discontinue permanently
if severe rash or if rash accompanied by blistering, oral lesions, conjunctivitis, facial oedema, general malaise or
hypersensitivity reactions; if rash mild or moderate, may continue without interruption but dose should not be
increased until rash resolves.
Patient advice Patients and/or caregivers should be told how to recognize hypersensitivity reactions and
advised to discontinue treatment and seek immediate medical attention if symptoms of hepatitis, severe skin
reaction or hypersensitivity reactions develop.
WHO Model Formulary for Children 2010
183
6
Anti-infective medicines
Dose:
Progressive or advanced HIV infection, in combination with other antiretroviral drugs.
Oral:
Neonate, Infant or Child initially 160–200 mg/m2 (maximum 200 mg) once daily for the first
14 days, increasing to twice daily after 14 days in the absence of nevirapine-induced rash (see
Special considerations on dosing, below).
Special considerations on dosing
a) Induction dose: once daily for first 14 days; it is generally half the daily maintenance dose
given once daily except where the maintenance dose is divided unequally between a.m. and
p.m.
b) Maintenance dose: target dose is 160–200 mg/m2 given twice daily and adjusted for more
aggressive dosing in the younger age group.
c) If a mild rash occurs during the first 14 days of induction dosing, continue once daily dosing
and only escalate dose once the rash has subsided and the dose is well tolerated. If a severe rash
occurs (especially if accompanied by fever, blistering or mucosal ulcerations), discontinue drug.
Note If treatment interrupted for more than 7 days, reintroduce with lowest dose and increase dose
cautiously.
Simplified dosing tables based on weight bands are designed around 50 mg tablets (not on the 2nd
WHO Model List of Essential Medicines for Children).
Nevirapine: recommended maintenance dosing based on weight bands using 50 mg and 200
mg tablets
Weight range (kg)
Bottom
3
4
5
6
7
8
9
10
11
12
14
17
20
25
30
184
Top
3.9
4.9
5.9
6.9
7.9
8.9
9.9
10.9
11.9
13.9
16.9
19.9
24.9
29.9
34.9
Target dose
Maintenance dose after 2 week induction:
160–200 mg/m2 to maximum 200 mg twice daily
Formulation
50 mg tablet
50 mg tablet
50 mg tablet
50 mg tablet
50 mg tablet
50 mg tablet
50 mg tablet
50 mg tablet
50 mg tablet
50 mg tablet
50 mg tablet
50 mg tablet
50 mg tablet
200 mg tablet
200 mg tablet
Dose (tablets)
a.m.
1
1
1
2
2
2
2
2
2
2
3
3
3
1
1
p.m.
1
1
1
1
1
1
1
2
2
2
2
2
3
1
1
WHO Model Formulary for Children 2010
6.4 Antiviral medicines
Nevirapine: recommended maintenance dosing based on weight bands using 10 mg/ml
syrup and 200 mg tablets
Weight range (kg)
Bottom
3
4
5
6
7
8
9
10
11
12
14
17
20
25
30
Top
3.9
4.9
5.9
6.9
7.9
8.9
9.9
10.9
11.9
13.9
16.9
19.9
24.9
29.9
34.9
Target dose
Maintenance dose after 2 week induction:
160–200 mg/m2 to maximum 200 mg twice daily
Formulation
10 mg/ml syrup
10 mg/ml syrup
10 mg/ml syrup
10 mg/ml syrup
10 mg/ml syrup
10 mg/ml syrup
10 mg/ml syrup
10 mg/ml syrup
10 mg/ml syrup
10 mg/ml syrup
200 mg tablet
200 mg tablet
200 mg tablet
200 mg tablet
200 mg tablet
Dose (ml or tablets)
a.m.
5 ml
5 ml
5 ml
8 ml
8 ml
8 ml
8 ml
10 ml
10 ml
10 ml
1
1
1
1
1
p.m.
5 ml
5 ml
5 ml
8 ml
8 ml
8 ml
8 ml
10 ml
10 ml
10 ml
0.5
0.5
0.5
1
1
Prevention of mother-to-child transmission (MTCT) of HIV infection.
Oral:
Neonate or Infant birth to 6 weeks, under 2500 g 10 mg daily;
over 2500 g 15 mg daily.
Infant 6 weeks–6 months 20 mg daily;
6 months–9 months 30 mg daily;
9 months to end of breastfeeding 40 mg daily.
Note Give first dose as early as possible after delivery, preferably within the first 6 hours. If the infant weight
is not available, administer 1 ml of 10 mg/ml oral suspension and thereafter follow national MTCT dosing
recommendations.
Renal impairment: Mild and moderate: no dosage adjustment required.
Severe: use with caution.
Hepatic impairment: See note in Precautions.
Mild: use with caution.
Moderate to severe: avoid.
Adverse effects: Common Rash (including Stevens-Johnson syndrome which occurs in 0.3% of
patients), nausea, headache, fever, abnormal hepatic transaminases.
Uncommon Hepatotoxicity (can be severe, life threatening and possibly fatal), vomiting, abdominal
pain, fatigue, myalgia.
Rare Toxic epidermal necrolysis, diarrhoea, angioedema, hypersensitivity reactions, arthralgia,
anaemia and granulocytopenia.
Interactions with other medicines (* indicates severe):
* Contraceptives, oral: accelerated metabolism of estrogens and progestogens (reduced
contraceptive effect).
WHO Model Formulary for Children 2010
185
6
Anti-infective medicines
Efavirenz: plasma efavirenz concentration reduced.
* Fluconazole: increased plasma concentration of nevirapine.
Indinavir: nevirapine reduces plasma concentration of indinavir.
* Levonorgestrel: accelerated metabolism of levonorgestrel (reduced contraceptive effect).
Lopinavir: plasma concentration of lopinavir possibly reduced.
* Medroxyprogesterone: accelerated metabolism of medroxyprogesterone (does not apply to
injectable medroxyprogesterone acetate for contraception).
* Norethisterone: accelerated metabolism of norethisterone (reduced contraceptive effect).
* Rifampicin: reduced plasma concentration of nevirapine (avoid concomitant use).
Saquinavir: plasma concentration of saquinavir reduced.
* St John’s wort (Hypericum): reduced plasma concentration of nevirapine (avoid concomitant
use).
* Voriconazole: increased plasma concentration of nevirapine and reduced concentration of
voriconazole.
* Warfarin: enhanced or reduced anticoagulant effect.
Notes: Can be given without regard to food.
Oral suspension must be shaken well; store at room temperature. Discard 6 months after opening.
Tablets are scored and can be divided into two equal parts to give a 100 mg dose.
Tablets can be crushed and combined with a small amount of water or food and immediately
administered.
Nevirapine is preferred NNRTI for children under 3 years.
Monitor liver function prior to commencing nevirapine and then at frequent intervals (see note in
Precautions).
A two week half dose lead-in is required to reduce the risk of serious rash, fulminant hepatitis and
Stevens-Johnson syndrome. If a rash occurs during lead-in, do not increase the dose until the rash
has resolved. Permanently cease nevirapine in children who experience severe rash. Warn parents
and carers about a potential severe, life-threatening rash during the 14 day lead-in period.
References:
Antiretroviral therapy of HIV infection in infants and children: towards universal access: Recommendations for a public health approach.
Geneva, World Health Organization, 2006 (http://www.who.int/hiv/pub/guidelines/paediatric020907.pdf, accessed 10 February
2010).
Hill SR, Kouimtzi M, Stuart MC, eds. WHO model formulary. Geneva, World Health Organization, 2008.
Hodding JH, Kraus DM, Taketomo CK. Pediatric dosage handbook. 16th ed. Hudson, Lexi-Comp, 2009.
Paediatric Formulary Committee. British national formulary for children 2009. London, BMJ Group RBS Publishing, 2009.
PENTA Steering Committee. PENTA 2009 guidelines for the use of antiretroviral therapy in paediatric HIV-1 infection. HIV
Medicine, 2009, 10(10):591–613.
Working group on antiretroviral therapy and medical management of HIV-infected children. Guidelines for the use of antiretroviral
agents in pediatric HIV infection. 23 February 2009:1–139 (http://aidsinfo.nih.gov/contentfiles/pediatricguidelines.pdf, accessed
10 February 2010).
Working group on antiretroviral therapy and medical management of HIV-infected children. Guidelines for the use of antiretroviral
agents in pediatric HIV infection: Supplement I: pediatric antiretroviral drug information. 23 February 2009:1–139 (http://aidsinfo.
nih.gov/contentfiles/pediatricguidelines.pdf, accessed 10 February 2010).
186
WHO Model Formulary for Children 2010
6.4 Antiviral medicines
6.4.2.3 Protease inhibitors
Fixed-dose combinations
Atazanavir
ATC code: J05AE08
Solid oral dosage form: 100 mg; 150 mg; 300 mg
Antiretroviral dosing The doses of antiretroviral drugs included in this formulary
are based on the WHO guidelines for treatment of paediatric HIV (Antiretroviral therapy
of HIV infection infants and children: towards universal access. Recommendations for a public
health approach). At the time of printing, these guidelines were under review. Prescribers are
encouraged to consult the latest guidelines as they are continually updated as further data or
newer formulations become available.
Special Notes: Also referred to as ATV.
WHO age/weight restriction: > 25 kg weight.
Indications: HIV infection, in combination with other antiretroviral drugs and usually with low dose
ritonavir booster.
Contraindications: Hepatic impairment; treatment with rifampicin or St John’s wort; porphyria.
Precautions: Cardiac conduction abnormalities; risk factors for QT prolongation; decreased gastric
acidity; haemophilia; diabetes mellitus.
Dose:
Note The 2nd WHO Model List of Essential Medicines for Children (2009) has a weight restriction of
> 25 kg for atazanavir. However, current recommendations differ.
HIV infection, in combination with other antiretroviral drugs, where other antiretroviral therapy
has failed.
Oral:
Target dose
Child over 6 years 15 kg up to 25 kg 150 mg atazanavir and 80 mg ritonavir once daily;
25–30 kg 200 mg atazanavir and 100 mg ritonavir once daily;
30 kg and over 300 mg atazanavir and 100 mg ritonavir once daily (maximum dose).
Note To be used in combination with ritonavir (as above) and other antiretrovirals.
Recommended for patients from 6 years of age. Currently insufficient data for patients less than 6 years of age.
Renal impairment: No dosage adjustment required.
Hepatic impairment: Avoid use.
Adverse effects: Common Rash (see below), elevated total bilirubin (asymptomatic unconjugated
hyperbilirubinaemia associated with scleral icterus or visible jaundice), jaundice, headache,
fever, arthralgia, depression, insomnia, dizziness, nausea, vomiting, diarrhoea, paraesthesias,
prolongation of the PR interval.
Uncommon Asymptomatic first-degree heart block, hepatitis, lactic acidosis, fat redistribution and
lipid abnormalities (see Lipodystrophy, below).
Rare Second-degree heart block, nephrolithiasis, prolonged QT interval, Stevens-Johnson syndrome.
Rash Rash is common and median onset is 7 weeks. Continue treatment if rash is mild to moderate (usually
resolves in 1–2 weeks); discontinue therapy in the case of a severe rash.
WHO Model Formulary for Children 2010
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6
Anti-infective medicines
Lipodystrophy Lipodystrophy has been observed in patients taking antiretroviral agents, but a direct causal
relationship has not been established.
Interactions with other medicines (* indicates severe):
Note Atazanavir is extensively metabolized by hepatic CYP450 and is a potent CYP3A4 inhibitor and therefore
interacts with numerous drugs. Consult specialist texts for details and advice on management.
Atazanavir may prolong the PR interval. Use with caution in patients taking other medications which affect AV
conduction.
When used in combination with ritonavir, see also ritonavir drug interactions.
Antacids: reduced absorption. Administer atazanavir 2 hours before or 1 hour after antacids.
* Contraceptives, oral: increased concentration and possible toxicity. If used with ritonavir, efficacy
of estrogen containing oral contraceptives possibly reduced. Consider non-hormonal contraceptive
methods.
* Didanosine: buffered formulations of didanosine reduce atazanavir absorption. Administer
atazanavir 2 hours before or 1 hour after didanosine.
Efavirenz: reduced atazanavir concentration. Use with ritonavir. Dose adjustment may be
required.
* Ergot derivatives: increased risk of ergot toxicity.
* Midazolam: increased plasma levels of midazolam. Avoid combination.
Nevirapine: reduced atazanavir concentration. Avoid combination.
* Omeprazole: decreased atazanavir concentration and therapeutic effect. Dose adjustment
required; consult product literature.
* Ranitidine: reduced absorption. Dose adjustment or careful dose scheduling required. Consult
product literature.
* Rifampicin: decreased atazanavir concentrations. Avoid combination.
Ritonavir: plasma concentration possibly increased by ritonavir. This interaction is beneficial and
ritonavir is used at low doses to increase the serum concentration of other protease inhibitors.
St John’s wort: substantially reduced atazanavir concentration. Avoid combination.
Tenofovir: reduced atazanavir concentration. Use with ritonavir booster and give with food.
Increased tenofovir concentration; care with toxicity.
Notes: Give with food to enhance absorption. Swallow capsules whole, do not open.
Advantage of once daily dosing over other protease inhibitors.
Should be used in combination with ritonavir to optimize drug levels.
References:
Hodding JH, Kraus DM, Taketomo CK. Pediatric dosage handbook. 16th ed. Hudson, Lexi-Comp, 2009.
MIMS Online. Sydney, UBM Medica, 2009 (http://www.mimsonline.com.au/Search/Search.aspx, accessed 10 February 2010).
PENTA Steering Committee. PENTA 2009 guidelines for the use of antiretroviral therapy in paediatric HIV-1 infection. HIV
Medicine, 2009, 10(10):591–613.
Rossi S, ed. Australian medicines handbook. Adelaide, Australian Medicines Handbook, 2009.
The Liverpool Pharmacology Group. Drug interaction charts. The University of Liverpool, ©1999–2010 (http://www.hivdruginteractions.org, accessed 10 February 2010).
Working group on antiretroviral therapy and medical management of HIV-infected children. Guidelines for the use of antiretroviral
agents in pediatric HIV infection. 23 February 2009:1–139 (http://aidsinfo.nih.gov/contentfiles/pediatricguidelines.pdf, accessed
10 February 2010).
188
WHO Model Formulary for Children 2010
6.4 Antiviral medicines
Lopinavir + Ritonavir
ATC code: J05AE03; J05AE06
Capsule: 133.3 mg + 33.3 mg
Oral liquid: 80 mg + 20 mg/ml
Tablet (heat stable): 100 mg + 25 mg; 200 mg + 50 mg
Antiretroviral dosing The doses of antiretroviral drugs included in this formulary
are based on the WHO guidelines for treatment of paediatric HIV (Antiretroviral therapy
of HIV infection infants and children: towards universal access. Recommendations for a public
health approach). At the time of printing, these guidelines were under review. Prescribers are
encouraged to consult the latest guidelines as they are continually updated as further data or
newer formulations become available.
The dosing guidance for antiretroviral drugs provided in this formulary has been simplified and
includes weight-based tables, as the calculation and administration of exact doses based on body
surface area may be impractical in resource-limited settings. The target doses for each drug are
included in the tables; however in many cases the dose achieved for a particular patient weight
may be significantly higher or slightly lower than the target dose. Decisions about dosing were
based upon manufacturer’s information, the antiretroviral drug formulation choices, available
data from clinical studies, and expert paediatric pharmacology consultation, and were directed
towards what could be considered the “optimal” dose for a particular weight band, given the
limitations imposed by currently available drug formulations and the public health advantages
of simplified dosing tables.
Situations that are frequently encountered in resource-limited settings, including the possible
lack of refrigeration and the lack of syrup or liquid forms for small children are taken into
consideration. Some of the formulations used to create these simplified dosing guidelines are
not included on the 2nd WHO Model List of Essential Medicines for Children but may be
available locally.
Prescribers are urged to consider if the dosing guidelines are appropriate for adoption given the
antiretroviral drugs and formulations available locally.
Special Notes: Also referred to as LPV/r or LPV/RTV.
Note 5 ml oral solution is equivalent to 3 capsules; where appropriate, capsules may be used instead of oral
solution; oral solution excipients include propylene glycol and alcohol 42%.
Indications: HIV infection, in combination with other antiretroviral drugs.
Note Ritonavir increases effect of lopinavir; the low doses of ritonavir used for this purpose do not have
intrinsic antiviral activity.
Contraindications: Severe hepatic impairment; severe renal impairment; porphyria.
Precautions: Chronic hepatitis B or C (increased risk of hepatotoxicity); hepatic impairment;
renal impairment; haemophilia; pancreatitis (see below); diabetes mellitus; cardiac conduction
disorders; structural heart disease; concomitant use with drugs that prolong QT interval; oral
solution contains propylene glycol: increased susceptibility to propylene glycol toxicity in slow
metabolizers.
Pancreatitis Signs and symptoms suggestive of pancreatitis (including raised serum amylase and lipase)
should be evaluated; discontinue if pancreatitis diagnosed.
WHO Model Formulary for Children 2010
189
6
Anti-infective medicines
Dose:
HIV infection, in combination with other antiretroviral drugs.
Lopinavir + Ritonavir: recommended dosing based on weight bands for oral liquid
Weight range (kg)
Bottom
3
4
5
6
7
8
9
10
11
12
14
17
20
25
30
Top
3.9
4.9
5.9
6.9
7.9
8.9
9.9
10.9
11.9
13.9
16.9
19.9
24.9
29.9
34.9
Target dose
Lopinavir target doses:
5−7.9 kg: 16 mg/kg twice daily
8−9.9 kg: 14 mg/kg twice daily
10−13.9 kg: 12 mg/kg twice daily
14−39.9 kg: 10 mg/kg twice daily
Ritonavir target doses:
7−15 kg: 3 mg/kg twice daily
15−40 kg: 2.5 mg/kg twice daily
Maximum dose:
400 mg lopinavir + 100 mg ritonavir twice daily
Formulation (per ml solution)
80 mg lopinavir/ 20 mg ritonavir
80 mg lopinavir/ 20 mg ritonavir
80 mg lopinavir/ 20 mg ritonavir
80 mg lopinavir/ 20 mg ritonavir
80 mg lopinavir/ 20 mg ritonavir
80 mg lopinavir/ 20 mg ritonavir
80 mg lopinavir/ 20 mg ritonavir
80 mg lopinavir/ 20 mg ritonavir
80 mg lopinavir/ 20 mg ritonavir
80 mg lopinavir/ 20 mg ritonavir
80 mg lopinavir/ 20 mg ritonavir
80 mg lopinavir/ 20 mg ritonavir
80 mg lopinavir/ 20 mg ritonavir
80 mg lopinavir/ 20 mg ritonavir
80 mg lopinavir/ 20 mg ritonavir
Dose (ml)
a.m.
1
1
1
1.5
1.5
1.5
1.5
2
2
2
2.5
2.5
3
3.5
4
p.m.
1
1
1
1.5
1.5
1.5
1.5
2
2
2
2.5
2.5
3
4
4
or
190
WHO Model Formulary for Children 2010
6.4 Antiviral medicines
Lopinavir + Ritonavir: recommended dosing based on weight bands for tablets
Weight range (kg)
Bottom
10
11
12
14
17
20
25
30
Top
10.9
11.9
13.9
16.9
19.9
24.9
29.9
34.9
Target dose
Lopinavir target doses:
5−7.9 kg: 16 mg/kg twice daily
8−9.9 kg: 14 mg/kg twice daily
10−13.9 kg: 12 mg/kg twice daily
14−39.9 kg: 10 mg/kg twice daily
Ritonavir target doses:
7−15 kg: 3 mg/kg twice daily
15−40 kg: 2.5 mg/kg twice daily
Maximum dose:
400 mg lopinavir + 100 mg ritonavir twice daily
Formulation (tablet)
100 mg lopinavir/ 25 mg ritonavir
100 mg lopinavir/ 25 mg ritonavir
100 mg lopinavir/ 25 mg ritonavir
100 mg lopinavir/ 25 mg ritonavir
100 mg lopinavir/ 25 mg ritonavir
100 mg lopinavir/ 25 mg ritonavir
100 mg lopinavir/ 25 mg ritonavir
100 mg lopinavir/ 25 mg ritonavir
Dose (tablets)
a.m.
2
2
2
2
2
3
3
3
p.m.
1
1
1
2
2
2
3
3
Renal impairment: Use with caution. Avoid oral solution (contains propylene glycol) in severe
impairment. Use tablets with caution in severe impairment.
Hepatic impairment: Mild to moderate: avoid use of oral solution due to propylene glycol content.
Use tablets and capsules with caution.
Severe: avoid use.
Adverse effects: Common Diarrhoea, headache, nausea, vomiting, rash, lipid abnormalities, asthenia,
hypertension, insomnia, depression, amenorrhoea, raised hepatic enzymes. Tablets have less
gastrointestinal side-effects than capsules.
Uncommon Pancreatitis, fat redistribution (lipoatrophy of peripheral fat and accumulation of central
fat; see Lipodystrophy, below).
Rare Hepatitis, Stevens-Johnson syndrome, hyperglycaemia, new onset diabetes mellitus,
exacerbation of existing diabetes mellitus, haemolytic anaemia, spontaneous bleeding in
haemophiliacs, prolonged PR interval.
Lipodystrophy Lipodystrophy has been observed in patients taking antiretroviral agents, but a direct causal
relationship has not been established.
Interactions with other medicines (* indicates severe):
Note Lopinavir and ritonavir are extensively metabolized by hepatic CYP450 and are potent CYP3A inhibitors
and therefore interact with numerous drugs. Consult specialist texts for details and advice on management.
In combination with ritonavir, see also Ritonavir.
* Artemether + lumefantrine: manufacturer of artemether with lumefantrine advises to avoid
concomitant use.
* Carbamazepine: possibly reduced plasma lopinavir concentration.
* Dexamethasone: possibly reduced plasma lopinavir concentration.
* Efavirenz: plasma concentration of lopinavir reduced.
* Ergot derivatives: increased risk of ergot toxicity.
WHO Model Formulary for Children 2010
191
6
Anti-infective medicines
* Garlic: concurrent use of garlic and protease inhibitors can lead to reduced plasma levels and
treatment failure.
Lidocaine: possibly increased plasma concentration of lidocaine.
Nelfinavir: plasma concentration of lopinavir reduced; plasma concentration of active metabolite
of nelfinavir increased.
Nevirapine: plasma concentration of lopinavir possibly reduced.
* Phenobarbital: plasma concentration of lopinavir possibly reduced.
Phenytoin: plasma lopinavir concentration possibly reduced.
* Rifampicin: reduced plasma concentration of lopinavir (avoid concomitant use).
Saquinavir: increased plasma concentration of saquinavir.
* Simvastatin: increased risk of myopathy.
* Tenofovir: plasma concentration of tenofovir increased.
Notes: Tablets can be given without regard to food. Oral solution and capsules should be given with
food to increase absorption.
Once daily dosing is currently not recommended.
Heat stable tablets cannot be broken or crushed as bioavailability is lost.
Capsules should not be crushed or opened. Must be swallowed whole.
Liquid has a low volume for each dose but a very bitter taste.
If co-administered with didanosine, give didanosine 1 hour before or 2 hours after lopinavir +
ritonavir.
Capsules and liquid should be refrigerated or stored at up to 25 °C with reduced 2 month expiry.
References:
Antiretroviral therapy of HIV infection in infants and children: towards universal access: Recommendations for a public health approach.
Geneva, World Health Organization, 2006 (http://www.who.int/hiv/pub/guidelines/paediatric020907.pdf, accessed 10 February
2010).
Hill SR, Kouimtzi M, Stuart MC, eds. WHO model formulary. Geneva, World Health Organization, 2008.
Hodding JH, Kraus DM, Taketomo CK. Pediatric dosage handbook. 16th ed. Hudson, Lexi-Comp, 2009.
Paediatric Formulary Committee. British national formulary for children 2009. London, BMJ Group RBS Publishing, 2009.
PENTA Steering Committee. PENTA 2009 guidelines for the use of antiretroviral therapy in paediatric HIV-1 infection. HIV
Medicine, 2009, 10(10):591–613.
Rossi S, ed. Australian medicines handbook. Adelaide, Australian Medicines Handbook, 2009.
The Liverpool Pharmacology Group. Drug interaction charts. The University of Liverpool, ©1999–2010 (http://www.hivdruginteractions.org, accessed 10 February 2010).
Working group on antiretroviral therapy and medical management of HIV-infected children. Guidelines for the use of antiretroviral
agents in pediatric HIV infection. 23 February 2009:1–139 (http://aidsinfo.nih.gov/contentfiles/pediatricguidelines.pdf, accessed
10 February 2010).
Ritonavir
ATC code: J05AE03
Oral liquid: 80 mg/ml
Solid oral dosage form: 100 mg
Tablet (heat stable): 25 mg; 100 mg
Special Notes: Also referred to as r or RTV.
Ritonavir is recommended for use in combination as a pharmacological booster, and not as an
antiretroviral in its own right.
Indications: HIV infection, as a pharmacological booster to increase other protease inhibitors, in
combination with other antiretroviral drugs.
192
WHO Model Formulary for Children 2010
6.4 Antiviral medicines
Contraindications: Severe hepatic impairment; porphyria.
Precautions: Chronic hepatitis B or C (increased risk of hepatotoxicity); hepatic impairment;
diabetes mellitus; hyperglycaemia; haemophilia; cardiac conduction abnormalities; structural heart
disease; pancreatitis (see below).
Pancreatitis Signs and symptoms suggestive of pancreatitis (including raised serum amylase and lipase)
should be evaluated; discontinue if pancreatitis diagnosed.
Dose:
HIV infection, as a pharmacological booster to increase other protease inhibitors, in combination
with other antiretroviral drugs.
Oral:
Child 7–14.9 kg 3 mg/kg twice daily;
15–40 kg 2.5 mg/kg twice daily (maximum 100 mg twice daily).
Renal impairment: No dosage adjustment necessary (renal clearance is negligible).
Hepatic impairment: Mild to moderate: no dosage adjustment recommended.
Severe: avoid in severe hepatic impairment; if no alternative, use with extreme caution.
Adverse effects: Common Nausea, vomiting, diarrhoea (may impair absorption; close monitoring
required), headache, abdominal pain, taste disturbances, dyspepsia, anorexia, circumoral and
peripheral paraesthesia, lipid abnormalities.
Uncommon Vasodilatation, hypotension, syncope, dizziness, dehydration, renal insufficiency, fat
redistribution (see Lipodystrophy, below), exacerbation of liver disease.
Rare Hyperglycaemia, new onset diabetes mellitus, exacerbation of existing diabetes mellitus,
spontaneous bleeding in haemophiliacs, pancreatitis, hepatitis, menorrhagia, seizures, prolongation
of PR interval, atrioventricular block.
Lipodystrophy Lipodystrophy has been observed in patients taking antiretroviral agents, but a direct causal
relationship has not been established.
Interactions with other medicines (* indicates severe):
Note Ritonavir is extensively metabolized by hepatic CYP450 and is a potent CYP3A inhibitor and therefore
interacts with numerous drugs. Consult specialist texts for details and advice on management.
* Amitriptyline: plasma concentration possibly increased by ritonavir.
* Amiodarone: increased risk of cardiac toxicity and arrhythmias. Avoid combination.
* Amlodipine: possibly increased plasma concentration of amlodipine.
* Artemether + lumefantrine: manufacturer of artemether with lumefantrine advises avoidance of
concomitant use.
Azithromycin: plasma concentration of azithromycin possibly increased.
* Carbamazepine: plasma concentration possibly increased by ritonavir.
* Chlorpromazine: plasma concentration possibly increased by ritonavir.
* Ciclosporin: plasma concentration possibly increased by ritonavir.
* Clomipramine: plasma concentration possibly increased by ritonavir.
* Codeine: ritonavir possibly increases plasma concentration of codeine.
* Contraceptives, oral: accelerated metabolism of estrogens (reduced contraceptive effect).
Dexamethasone: plasma concentration possibly increased by ritonavir.
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* Diazepam: plasma concentration possibly increased by ritonavir (risk of extreme sedation and
respiratory depression; avoid concomitant use).
* Didanosine: simultaneous administration can inactivate both drugs. Give didanosine 1 hour
before or 2 hours after ritonavir.
Efavirenz: increased risk of toxicity (monitor liver function tests).
* Ergot derivatives: increased risk of ergot toxicity.
Erythromycin: plasma concentration possibly increased by ritonavir.
Fluconazole: plasma concentration increased by ritonavir.
* Fluoxetine: plasma concentration of fluoxetine possibly increased.
* Fluphenazine: plasma concentration possibly increased by ritonavir.
* Garlic: concurrent use of garlic and protease inhibitors can lead to reduced plasma levels and
treatment failure.
* Haloperidol: plasma concentration possibly increased by ritonavir.
Hydrocortisone: plasma concentration possibly increased by ritonavir.
Ibuprofen: plasma concentration possibly increased by ritonavir.
* Levonorgestrel: accelerated metabolism of levonorgestrel (reduced contraceptive effect).
* Medroxyprogesterone: accelerated metabolism of medroxyprogesterone (does not apply to
injectable medroxyprogesterone acetate for contraception).
* Morphine: ritonavir possibly increases plasma concentration of morphine.
* Nifedipine: plasma concentration possibly increased by ritonavir.
* Norethisterone: accelerated metabolism of norethisterone (reduced contraceptive effect).
Prednisolone: plasma concentration possibly increased by ritonavir.
* Quinidine: increased plasma quinidine concentration (increased risk of ventricular arrhythmias;
avoid concomitant use).
* Rifampicin: plasma concentration possibly increased by ritonavir.
Saquinavir: ritonavir increases plasma concentration of saquinavir. This interaction is beneficial
and ritonavir is used at low doses to increase the serum concentration of other protease inhibitors.
* Simvastatin: increased risk of myopathy.
* St John’s wort (Hypericum): reduced ritonavir concentration and possible loss of efficacy.
* Verapamil: plasma concentration possibly increased by ritonavir.
* Voriconazole: reduced voriconazole concentration and possible treatment failure.
* Warfarin: plasma concentration possibly increased by ritonavir.
Notes: Unpleasant/foul taste may require special techniques to increase tolerance in children.
Should be taken with food.
Oral solution can be mixed with milk, chocolate pudding or ice cream. Do not mix with other
liquids or water.
Administer strong flavoured foods, such as maple syrup, cheese or jam, immediately after dose.
Oral solution should be stored at room temperature. Do not refrigerate. Shake well before use.
Store soft gelatin capsules in fridge until dispensed. Patient can store in fridge or store at room
temperature (use within 30 days).
Give with food to increase absorption and reduce gastrointestinal adverse effects.
If prescribed with didanosine, separate drugs by 2 hours.
Capsules and liquid formulations contain alcohol as a major excipient.
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6.4 Antiviral medicines
References:
Antiretroviral therapy of HIV infection in infants and children: towards universal access: Recommendations for a public health approach.
Geneva, World Health Organization, 2006 (http://www.who.int/hiv/pub/guidelines/paediatric020907.pdf, accessed 10 February
2010).
Hill SR, Kouimtzi M, Stuart MC, eds. WHO model formulary. Geneva, World Health Organization, 2008.
Hodding JH, Kraus DM, Taketomo CK. Pediatric dosage handbook. 16th ed. Hudson, Lexi-Comp, 2009.
MIMS Online. Sydney, UBM Medica, 2009 (http://www.mimsonline.com.au/Search/Search.aspx, accessed 10 February 2010).
Paediatric Formulary Committee. British national formulary for children 2009. London, BMJ Group RBS Publishing, 2009.
PENTA Steering Committee. PENTA 2009 guidelines for the use of antiretroviral therapy in paediatric HIV-1 infection. HIV
Medicine, 2009, 10(10):591–613.
Rossi S, ed. Australian medicines handbook. Adelaide, Australian Medicines Handbook, 2009.
Working group on antiretroviral therapy and medical management of HIV-infected children. Guidelines for the use of antiretroviral
agents in pediatric HIV infection. 23 February 2009:1–139 (http://aidsinfo.nih.gov/contentfiles/pediatricguidelines.pdf, accessed
10 February 2010).
Saquinavir
ATC code: J05AE01
Solid oral dosage form: 200 mg
Special Notes: Also referred to as SQV.
WHO age/weight restriction: > 25 kg weight.
Indications: HIV infection, in combination with at least two other antiretroviral drugs and usually
with low-dose ritonavir booster.
Contraindications: Severe hepatic impairment; porphyria.
Precautions: Chronic hepatitis B or C; hepatic impairment; renal impairment; diabetes mellitus;
haemophilia; concomitant use of garlic (reduces plasma saquinavir concentration); pancreatitis.
Dose:
Should not be taken as the sole protease inhibitor.
There is limited information available on the appropriate dose of saquinavir in children.
HIV infection, in combination with other antiretroviral drugs and usually with low-dose ritonavir
booster.
Oral:
Child over 25 kg some studies reported using 33 mg/kg three times daily.
Renal impairment: Severe: dose adjustment possibly required in severe impairment.
Hepatic impairment: Manufacturer advises caution in moderate hepatic impairment; avoid in severe
impairment.
Adverse effects: Common Diarrhoea, abdominal discomfort, nausea, vomiting, headache, lipid
abnormalities, paraesthesia, photosensitivity, acne, pruritus.
Uncommon Exacerbation of chronic liver disease, fat redistribution (see Lipodystrophy, below), fever,
rash, hypersensitivity reactions.
Rare New onset diabetes mellitus, exacerbation of diabetes mellitus, hyperglycaemia, hypoglycaemia,
ketoacidosis, spontaneous bleeding in haemophiliacs, pancreatitis, buccal and mucosal ulceration,
Stevens-Johnson syndrome, nephrolithiasis, thrombocytopenia, liver damage, elevation in serum
transaminases.
Lipodystrophy Lipodystrophy has been observed in patients taking antiretroviral agents, but a direct causal
relationship has not been established.
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Interactions with other medicines (* indicates severe):
Note Saquinavir is extensively metabolized by hepatic CYP450 and is a potent CYP3A inhibitor and therefore
interacts with numerous drugs. Consult specialist texts for details and advice on management.
* Amiodarone: increased risk of cardiac toxicity and arrhythmias. Avoid combination.
* Artemether + lumefantrine: manufacturer of artemether with lumefantrine advises avoid
concomitant use; possibly due to enzyme inhibition.
Carbamazepine: possibly reduced plasma saquinavir concentration.
* Ciclosporin: plasma concentration of both ciclosporin and saquinavir increased.
Dexamethasone: possibly reduced plasma saquinavir concentration.
Efavirenz: efavirenz significantly reduces plasma concentration of saquinavir.
* Ergot derivatives: increased risk of ergot toxicity; avoid combination.
Fluconazole: plasma concentration of saquinavir possibly increased.
* Garlic: concurrent use of garlic and protease inhibitors can lead to reduced plasma levels and
treatment failure.
Indinavir: indinavir increases plasma concentration of saquinavir.
Lopinavir: increased plasma concentration of saquinavir.
* Midazolam: increased midazolam toxicity; avoid combination.
Nelfinavir: combination may lead to increased plasma concentration of either drug (or both).
Nevirapine: plasma concentration of saquinavir reduced.
* Phenobarbital: plasma concentration of saquinavir possibly reduced.
Phenytoin: plasma saquinavir concentration possibly reduced.
* Rifampicin: plasma concentration of saquinavir significantly reduced; avoid concomitant use.
* Ritonavir: ritonavir increases plasma concentration of saquinavir. This interaction is beneficial and
ritonavir is used at low doses to increase the serum concentration of other protease inhibitors.
* Simvastatin: increased risk of myopathy.
Warfarin: possibly enhanced anticoagulant effect.
Notes: Give with or after food. Should be taken within 2 hours after food to increase absorption.
Safety and effectiveness not well established in children less than 16 years.
Must be taken with ritonavir (never unboosted).
Sun exposure may cause photosensitivity; sunscreen and protective clothing recommended.
References:
Antiretroviral therapy of HIV infection in infants and children: towards universal access: Recommendations for a public health approach.
Geneva, World Health Organization, 2006 (http://www.who.int/hiv/pub/guidelines/paediatric020907.pdf, accessed 10 February
2010).
Hill SR, Kouimtzi M, Stuart MC, eds. WHO model formulary. Geneva, World Health Organization, 2008.
Hodding JH, Kraus DM, Taketomo CK. Pediatric dosage handbook. 16th ed. Hudson, Lexi-Comp, 2009.
MIMS Online. Sydney, UBM Medica, 2009 (http://www.mimsonline.com.au/Search/Search.aspx, accessed 10 February 2010).
Paediatric Formulary Committee. British national formulary for children 2009. London, BMJ Group RBS Publishing, 2009.
PENTA Steering Committee. PENTA 2009 guidelines for the use of antiretroviral therapy in paediatric HIV-1 infection. HIV
Medicine, 2009, 10(10):591–613.
Rossi S, ed. Australian medicines handbook. Adelaide, Australian Medicines Handbook, 2009.
Working group on antiretroviral therapy and medical management of HIV-infected children. Guidelines for the use of antiretroviral
agents in pediatric HIV infection. 23 February 2009:1–139 (http://aidsinfo.nih.gov/contentfiles/pediatricguidelines.pdf, accessed
10 February 2010).
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6.4 Antiviral medicines
6.4.3 Other antivirals
Ribavirin is listed as an essential medication in children for treatment of viral haemorrhagic fevers
only. In particular it is indicated for treatment of Lassa fever, Argentine haemorrhagic fever, Crimean–Congo haemorrhagic fever and haemorrhagic fever with renal syndrome (HFRS).
Ribavirin
ATC code: J05AB04
Injection for intravenous administration: 800 mg/10 ml and 1 g/10 ml phosphate buffer
solution
Solid oral dosage form: 200 mg; 400 mg; 600 mg
Ribavirin is potentially mutagenic, tumour promoting and gonadotoxic. May cause birth
defects and/or death of the exposed fetus.
Both males and females should avoid pregnancy during treatment and for at least 6 months
after treatment has ceased.
Special Notes: Also referred to as tribavirin.
Indications: Treatment of haemorrhagic fever, including Lassa fever, Argentine haemorrhagic fever
and Crimean-Congo haemorrhagic fever; haemorrhagic fever with renal syndrome (Hantavirus).
Contraindications: Pregnancy (see below); breastfeeding; severe cardiac disease, including unstable
or uncontrolled cardiac disease in previous 6 months; haemoglobinopathies (including thalassemia
or sickle-cell anaemia); haemoglobin levels less than 8 g/dl; severe debilitating medical conditions;
severe hepatic dysfunction or decompensated cirrhosis of the liver; autoimmune disease (including
autoimmune hepatitis); renal impairment.
Pregnancy Teratogenic risk; risk of serious fetal abnormalities exists when ribavirin is used during pregnancy,
but because of the high risk of mortality from haemorrhagic fevers for both pregnant women and the fetus,
maternal benefit should be considered. Lassa fever is especially severe late in pregnancy, with maternal death or
fetal loss occurring in more than 80% of cases during the third trimester.
Precautions: For both males and females: contraception essential during and for at least 6 months
after treatment has ceased, condoms must be used if the partner of the male patient is pregnant (as
ribavirin is excreted in semen); monitor blood counts at least weekly; pregnant health-care workers
should not administer ribavirin.
Dose:
Haemorrhagic fevers.
Oral:
Child all ages initially 30 mg/kg (maximum 2 g) then 15 mg/kg (maximum 1 g) every 6 hours
for 4 days, then 7 mg/kg (maximum 500 mg) every 6 hours for 6 days.
Slow IV infusion:
Child all ages 17 mg/kg every 6 hours for 4 days, then 7 mg/kg every 8 hours for 6 days.
Haemorrhagic fever with renal syndrome.
Slow IV infusion: No paediatric dose.
Adult initially 33 mg/kg (maximum 1 g) as a single dose, then 16 mg/kg (maximum 1 g) every
6 hours for 4 days, then 8 mg/kg (maximum 500 mg) every 8 hours for 6 days.
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Renal impairment: Avoid use in all degrees of renal impairment.
Hepatic impairment: Dose reduction not necessary; avoid in severe hepatic dysfunction or
decompensated cirrhosis.
Adverse effects: Common Rash, pruritus, anorexia, dyspnoea, cough, anaemia, haemolytic anemia
(patients with pre-existing cardiac disease are at increased risk), increase in uric acid concentration.
Uncommon Dizziness, insomnia, irritability, fatigue, depression, suicidal ideation (in combination
with peginterferon alfa treatment (more frequent in children)), thrombotic thrombocytopenic
purpura, increases in serum bilirubin and liver enzymes, particularly AST and ALT.
Rare Reticulocytosis, myocardial infarction, arrhythmias, interstitial pneumonitis, pancreatitis,
hypersensitivity.
Other adverse effects Neutropenia, aplastic anaemia, nausea, vomiting, diarrhoea, colitis, fever, rigors,
myalgia, arthralgia, headache, impaired concentration, anxiety, autoimmune disorders, diabetes, hypothyroidism,
hyperthyroidism, retinal haemorrhage, retinal thrombosis, alopecia.
Interactions with other medicines (* indicates severe):
Ribavirin causes anaemia; treatment with other drugs which also have this effect may worsen this;
avoid combinations or monitor closely.
Drug interactions with ribavirin may occur for up to 2 months after stopping ribavirin due to its
long half-life.
Azathioprine: increased risk of azathioprine induced myelotoxicity.
Didanosine: ribavirin with didanosine has resulted in didanosine toxicity, e.g. pancreatitis, lactic
acidosis; avoid combination.
Nucleoside/nucleotide reverse transcriptase inhibitors (NRTIs): ribavirin may inhibit activation
of NRTIs (lamivudine, stavudine and zidovudine appear unaffected); monitor HIV RNA level
closely and review NRTI treatment if this increases, seek specialist advice. Monitor closely for
NRTI toxicity.
Warfarin: ribavirin may decrease warfarin’s anticoagulant effect; monitor INR and increase
warfarin dose if needed.
Notes: Oral ribavirin should be taken with food.
Administration Give by slow intravenous infusion (over 10–15 minutes).
References:
eTG complete. Melbourne, Therapeutic Guidelines Limited, 2009 (http://etg.tg.org.au/ip/, accessed 10 February 2010).
Hill SR, Kouimtzi M, Stuart MC, eds. WHO model formulary. Geneva, World Health Organization, 2008.
Hodding JH, Kraus DM, Taketomo CK. Pediatric dosage handbook. 16th ed. Hudson, Lexi-Comp, 2009.
Klasco RK, ed. Drugdex system. Greenwood Village, Thomson Micromedex, 2010. (http://www.thomsonhc.com, accessed
10 February 2010).
McEvoy GK, ed. AHFS drug information. Bethesda, American Society of Health-System Pharmacists, 2009.
Paediatric Formulary Committee. British national formulary for children 2009. London, BMJ Group RBS Publishing, 2009.
Rossi S, ed. Australian medicines handbook. Adelaide, Australian Medicines Handbook, 2009.
WHO expert committee on the selection and use of essential medicines. The selection and use of essential medicines: report of
the WHO expert committee, October 2007 (including the model list of essential medicines for children). WHO Technical Report
Series, 2008, 950 (http://www.who.int/medicines/publications/essentialmeds_committeereports/TRS_950.pdf ).
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6.5 Antiprotozoal medicines
6.5 Antiprotozoal medicines
6.5.1 Antiamoebic and antigiardiasis medicines
Amoebiasis
Amoebic dysentery is caused by Entamoeba histolytica. It is transmitted by the faeco-oral route and
infection is usually caused by ingestion of cysts from contaminated food and drink. Asymptomatic
carriers are common in endemic areas. In non-endemic areas, asymptomatic carriers should be
treated to reduce the risk of transmission and protect the patient from invasive amoebiasis.
Symptomatic (invasive) amoebiasis may be classified as either intestinal or extra-intestinal. Intestinal
forms of amoebiasis include amoebic dysentery and non-dysenteric amoebic colitis. Extra-intestinal
amoebiasis most commonly involves the liver, but in some cases may involve the skin, the genitourinary tract, the lung and the brain. Invasive amoebiasis is more likely in malnutrition and immunosuppression, and requires treatment.
Giardiasis
Giardiasis is acquired by oral ingestion of Giardia cysts. Treatment should be offered to all infected
patients. Larger epidemics are difficult to eradicate because of the high proportion of symptomless
carriers and because excreted cysts can survive for long periods outside the human host. Treatment of
asymptomatic carriers is generally not recommended, except possibly in households with immunocompromised patients.
Diloxanide
ATC code: P01AC01
Tablet: 500 mg (furoate)
Special Notes: WHO age/weight restriction: > 25 kg weight.
Indications: Amoebiasis (asymptomatic carriers in non-endemic areas; eradication of residual luminal
amoebae after treatment of invasive disease with other drugs).
Contraindications: Pregnancy (defer treatment until after first trimester).
Dose:
Amoebiasis.
Oral:
Child over 25 kg 7 mg/kg (maximum 500 mg) three times daily for 10 days. The course of
treatment may be repeated if necessary.
Renal impairment: Dose reduction not required.
Hepatic impairment: Dose reduction not required.
Adverse effects: Common Flatulence.
Uncommon Vomiting, pruritus and urticaria.
Interactions with other medicines (* indicates severe):
There are no known interactions where it is recommended to avoid concomitant use.
Notes: Diloxanide is not effective against hepatic amoebiasis, but a 10-day course should be given at
the completion of metronidazole or tinidazole treatment to destroy any amoebae in the gut.
Treatment with diloxanide is regarded as successful if stools are free of Entamoeba histolytica for
1 month. Several stool specimens should be examined when evaluating response to treatment.
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References:
American Academy of Pediatrics. Red Book: 2009 report of the committee on infectious diseases. 28th ed. Elk Grove Village, American
Academy of Pediatrics, 2009.
Hill SR, Kouimtzi M, Stuart MC, eds. WHO model formulary. Geneva, World Health Organization, 2008.
Paediatric Formulary Committee. British national formulary for children 2009. London, BMJ Group RBS Publishing, 2009.
Royal College of Paediatrics and Child Health. Medicines for Children. 2nd ed. London, RCPCH Publications, 2003.
Sweetman SC, ed. Martindale: the complete drug reference. 34th ed. London, Pharmaceutical Press, 2005.
WHO expert committee on the selection and use of essential medicines. The selection and use of essential medicines: report of
the WHO expert committee, October 2007 (including the model list of essential medicines for children). WHO Technical Report
Series, 2008, 950 (http://www.who.int/medicines/publications/essentialmeds_committeereports/TRS_950.pdf ).
Metronidazole
ATC code: P01AB01
Injection: 500 mg in 100 ml vial
Oral liquid: 40 mg (as benzoate)/ml
Tablet: 200 mg to 500 mg
Special Notes: This medicine is listed as a representative of its pharmacological class. Other
medicines in the same class may have similar clinical performance and may be selected for local
formularies based on availability and price. The information in this monograph only applies to the
medicine listed here.
Indications: Invasive amoebiasis and giardiasis.
Precautions: Hepatic impairment; disulfiram-like reaction with alcohol consumption; clinical and
laboratory monitoring (including full blood count and hepatic function tests) in courses lasting
longer than 10 days.
Skilled tasks Warn patient or carer about the risk of undertaking tasks requiring attention or coordination,
for example riding a bike or operating machinery, for 24 hours.
Dose:
Invasive amoebiasis.
Oral or IV:
Infant or Child 10 mg/kg three times daily for 8–10 days.
The IV route should only be used if oral administration is not possible and only until the
patient can complete the course orally.
Giardiasis.
Oral:
Infant or Child 10 mg/kg three times daily for 3–7 days.
Note In amoebiasis and giardiasis, various dosage regimens are used and definitive recommendations should
be based on local experience. Eradication may take re-treatment and longer courses.
Renal impairment: Metabolites may accumulate in severe impairment possibly causing adverse
effects. Dose adjustment is not usually necessary.
Hepatic impairment: Severe impairment: reduce total daily dose to one third and give once daily.
Use with caution in hepatic encephalopathy.
Adverse effects: Common Gastrointestinal intolerance (nausea, abdominal pain, vomiting,
diarrhoea), anorexia, metallic taste, central nervous system effects (e.g. dizziness, headache),
thrombophlebitis (if administered intravenously).
Uncommon Furry tongue, glossitis, stomatitis, paraesthesia.
Rare Pancreatitis, abnormal liver function tests, jaundice, hepatitis, optic neuritis, thrombocytopenia,
Clostridium difficile-associated disease, hypersensitivity reactions (e.g. rash, itch, flushing, fever),
anaphylaxis, angioedema, erythema multiforme, Stevens-Johnson syndrome, leukopenia,
peripheral neuropathy, seizures, darkening of the urine.
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High-dose and/or prolonged treatment Leukopenia is reversible and usually only occurs after
prolonged treatment; peripheral neuropathy (usually reversible) and/or central nervous system toxicity (including
seizures) may occur.
Interactions with other medicines (* indicates severe):
*
*
Contraceptives, oral: contraceptive effect of estrogens possibly reduced (risk probably small).
Ethanol: disulfiram-like reaction.
Fluorouracil: metabolism of fluorouracil inhibited (increased toxicity).
Lithium: increased lithium toxicity reported.
Mebendazole: increased levels/effect of metronidazole.
Phenobarbital: metabolism of metronidazole accelerated (reduced plasma concentration).
Phenytoin: metabolism of phenytoin inhibited (increased plasma phenytoin concentration).
Typhoid vaccine: reduced effectiveness of vaccine.
Warfarin: enhanced anticoagulant effect.
Notes: Well absorbed orally and the intravenous route is normally reserved for severe infections or
those unable to take or tolerate oral medication.
Oral absorption from the suspension is lower than from the tablets.
Patient advice Metronidazole tablets should be swallowed whole with water, during or after a meal;
metronidazole suspension should be taken 1 hour before a meal.
Administration For intravenous infusion, infuse over 20–30 minutes.
References:
Hill SR, Kouimtzi M, Stuart MC, eds. WHO model formulary. Geneva, World Health Organization, 2008.
Hodding JH, Kraus DM, Taketomo CK. Pediatric dosage handbook. 16th ed. Hudson, Lexi-Comp, 2009.
Kemp CA, McDowell JM. Paediatric pharmacopoeia. 13th ed. Melbourne, Royal Children’s Hospital, 2002.
Klasco RK, ed. Drugdex system. Greenwood Village, Thomson Micromedex, 2010. (http://www.thomsonhc.com, accessed
10 February 2010).
Paediatric Formulary Committee. British national formulary for children 2009. London, BMJ Group RBS Publishing, 2009.
Rossi S, ed. Australian medicines handbook. Adelaide, Australian Medicines Handbook, 2009.
WHO expert committee on the selection and use of essential medicines. The selection and use of essential medicines: report of
the WHO expert committee, October 2007 (including the model list of essential medicines for children). WHO Technical Report
Series, 2008, 950 (http://www.who.int/medicines/publications/essentialmeds_committeereports/TRS_950.pdf ).
6.5.2 Antileishmaniasis medicines
The incidence of leishmania infection is increasing, and children account for a significant proportion
of those with visceral leishmaniasis in disease endemic areas. Morbidity and mortality related to this
infection is substantial.
Leishmaniasis is caused by the parasitic protozoa, Leishmania, and is usually categorized as visceral,
cutaneous or mucocutaneous. It may manifest as a self-limiting localized skin lesion, but can progress
from this to mucosal involvement, to disseminated progressive disease (cutaneous form) or, without
treatment, to a fatal disease (visceral form). Humans are the incidental hosts of infection, and mammals,
such as rodents and canids, are the reservoir hosts. The parasites are transmitted by sandflies.
Visceral leishmaniasis
Visceral leishmaniasis (kala-azar) is caused by Leishmania donovani and L. infantum (“Old World”
species), and by L. chagasi (“New World” species). It is usually responsive, at least initially, to the pentavalent antimony compounds meglumine antimoniate or sodium stibogluconate. Patients are considered
to be parasitologically cured when no parasites are detected in splenic or bone marrow aspirates.
In some areas, resistance to antimonials is widespread. Amphotericin B or parenteral paromomycin
may be useful in resistant cases.
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Cutaneous leishmaniasis
Cutaneous leishmaniasis comprises two conditions. The Old World variety is caused by L. tropica, L.
major, L. infantum or L. aethiopica. The New World variety is caused by L. amazonensis, L. mexicana,
L. peruviana, L. guyanensis, L. panamensis or L. braziliensis. The New World variety tends to be more
severe and slower to heal. Infections caused by L. major, L. mexicana, L. tropica or L. peruviana are
responsive to intralesional injections of antimonial compounds. Mild lesions can often be left to
heal spontaneously. However, it is preferable to treat L. tropica infections with a view to reducing
transmission, since humans seem to be the only host.
Mucocutaneous leishmaniasis
Mucocutaneous leishmaniasis is caused by L. braziliensis or L. panamensis. In this form of the disease,
the primary lesions do not heal, and spread to the mucosa may occur. It usually responds to
antimonials and, when relapses occur, further extended courses of treatment are often successful.
Emergency use of corticosteroids may be needed to control pharyngeal or tracheal oedema produced
by severe inflammation resulting from antigens liberated from dead parasites during the early phase
of treatment. Antibiotics may also be needed to treat secondary infections. Plastic surgery offers the
only means of ameliorating disfiguring scars.
Diffuse cutaneous leishmaniasis
Diffuse cutaneous leishmaniasis usually occurs following infection with L. amazonensis, L. aethiopica
or L. mexicana and should be treated. Relapse is common and repeated courses may be required.
Amphotericin B
ATC code: J02AA01
Powder for injection: 50 mg in vial as deoxycholate or liposomal
Amphotericin B is available as deoxycholate and as several lipid forms including a liposomal
form; these should not be considered interchangeable and care should be taken to ensure that
the form and dose are correct.
Large overdoses have occurred when conventional formulations were dispensed inadvertently
for lipid based or liposomal products. Single daily doses of conventional amphotericin B
formulation never exceed 1.5 mg/kg.
Anaphylaxis has been reported with amphotericin B; facilities for cardiopulmonary resuscitation
should be available during administration due to the possibility of anaphylactic reaction.
Special Notes: Also referred to as amphotericin.
Amphotericin B is available as the conventional deoxycholate complex and liposomal forms. Other
lipid forms are also available (not included in the Second WHO Model List of Essential Medicines
for Children).
Indications: Visceral, mucocutaneous and cutaneous leishmaniasis unresponsive to pentavalent
antimony compounds.
Precautions: Close medical supervision throughout treatment and initial test dose required (see
Test dose, below); renal impairment; monitor hepatic and renal function tests; blood counts and
plasma electrolyte (including potassium and magnesium concentration) monitoring required;
avoid rapid infusion (risk of arrhythmias). Liposomal amphotericin B: diabetes as each 50 mg vial
of liposomal amphotericin B contains 900 mg of sucrose.
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Test dose Amphotericin B deoxycholate A test dose of 1 mg, given by infusion, is recommended followed
by a full dose 4–6 hours later. The patient should be observed for at least 30 minutes after the test dose.
Liposomal amphotericin B Initial test dose 100 mcg/kg (maximum 1 mg) infused intravenously over
10 minutes.
Dose:
Conventional amphotericin B (as deoxycholate)
Visceral leishmaniasis by L. donovani.
IV:
Child all ages 0.75-1 mg/kg/day, daily or on alternate days for 15–20 doses.
Visceral leishmaniasis by L. infantum.
IV:
Child all ages 0.75–1 mg/kg/day, daily or on alternate days for 20–30 doses.
For New World cutaneous leishmaniasis by L. braziliensis and for relapse treatment by L.
amazonensis, L. peruviana and L. venezuelensis.
IV:
Child all ages 0.7 mg/kg/day for 25–30 doses.
For New World mucocutaneous leishmaniasis (by all parasite species).
IV:
Child all ages 0.7–1 mg/kg on alternate days up to 25–45 doses.
Liposomal amphotericin B
Visceral leishmaniasis by L. donovani in the Indian subcontinent.
IV:
Child all ages 3-5 mg/kg over 3–5 days, up to a total cumulative dose of 15 mg/kg or 10 mg/kg
single dose.
Visceral leishmaniasis by L. donovani in East Africa.
IV:
Child all ages 3–5 mg/kg/day over 6–10 days, up to 30 mg/kg total cumulative dose.
Visceral leishmaniasis by L. infantum.
IV:
Child all ages 3–5 mg/kg/day over 3–6 days, up to 18–21 mg/kg total cumulative dose.
Visceral leishmaniasis in HIV coinfected patients.
IV:
Child all ages 3–5 mg/kg daily or intermittently for 10 doses (days 1–5, 10, 17, 24, 31 and 38),
up to a 40 mg/kg total cumulative dose.
For New World cutaneous leishmaniasis by L. braziliensis and for relapse treatment by L.
amazonensis, L. peruviana and L. venezuelensis.
IV:
Child all ages 2–3 mg/kg/day over 6–10 days, up to 30 mg/kg total cumulative dose.
For New World mucocutaneous leishmaniasis (by all parasite species).
IV:
Child all ages 2–3 mg/kg/day, up to 40–60 mg/kg total cumulative dose.
Renal impairment: Mild: use only if no alternative. No dosage reduction is necessary, but further
impairment is likely with conventional (as deoxycholate) amphotericin B. Nephrotoxicity may be
reduced with use of liposomal formulations.
Hepatic impairment: Dose reduction not necessary.
Adverse effects: Adverse effects are similar for all amphotericin B formulations; the rates depend on
the formulation used; the liposomal formulation is generally better tolerated.
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Common Fever, headache, nausea and vomiting, anorexia, diarrhoea, epigastric pain, muscle and
joint pain, infusion reactions (see below), thrombophlebitis, anaemia, nephrotoxicity (see below).
Uncommon Hypotension or hypertension, hypokalaemia, hypomagnesaemia, cardiac arrest,
arrhythmias (rapid infusion of conventional amphotericin B), blood dyscrasias, gastrointestinal
bleeding, elevated liver enzymes, hepatotoxicity, rash, neurological effects (e.g. seizures, confusion,
blurred vision, hearing loss, tinnitus).
Rare Anaphylactoid reactions, hyperkalaemia (especially in renal impairment), cardiovascular toxicity
(including arrhythmias, ECG changes).
Nephrotoxicity Conventional (as deoxycholate) amphotericin B affects renal function in all patients;
changes are dose related and generally reversible (except with cumulative doses > 3–5 g). Distal tubular
damage may lead to loss of concentrating ability, renal tubular acidosis, nephrocalcinosis, hypokalaemia and
hypomagnesaemia. Anuria or oliguria may occur. Risk is greater in those with renal impairment or when used
with other nephrotoxic drugs. Nephrotoxicity may be associated with sodium depletion.
Liposomal amphotericin B is less nephrotoxic than conventional (deoxycholate) amphotericin B.
Infusion reactions Include fever, chills, hypotension, anorexia, nausea, vomiting, headache, malaise,
muscle and joint pain; usually lessen with continued treatment.
Continuous infusion of conventional (as deoxycholate) amphotericin B reduces infusion reactions.
With liposomal amphotericin B, one or more acute infusion reactions (chest pain, hypoxia, dyspnoea, severe
abdominal, flank or leg pain, flushing and urticaria) may occur; these may be related to the liposomal component;
frequency is very variable.
Interactions with other medicines (* indicates severe):
Amikacin: increased risk of nephrotoxicity.
* Ciclosporin: increased risk of nephrotoxicity.
* Dexamethasone: increased risk of hypokalaemia (avoid concomitant use unless dexamethasone
needed to control reactions).
* Digoxin: hypokalaemia caused by amphotericin B increases cardiac toxicity of digoxin.
Fluconazole: possible antagonism of effect of amphotericin B.
Flucytosine: renal excretion of flucytosine decreased and cellular uptake increased (flucytosine
toxicity possibly increased).
Furosemide: increased risk of hypokalaemia.
Gentamicin: increased risk of nephrotoxicity.
Hydrochlorothiazide: increased risk of hypokalaemia.
* Hydrocortisone: increased risk of hypokalaemia (avoid concomitant use unless hydrocortisone
needed to control reactions).
Miconazole: possible antagonism of effects of amphotericin B.
Paromomycin: possible increased risk of nephrotoxicity.
Pentamidine: possible increased risk of nephrotoxicity.
* Prednisolone: increased risk of hypokalaemia (avoid concomitant use unless prednisolone needed
to control reactions).
Streptomycin: increased risk of nephrotoxicity.
Vancomycin: possible increased risk of nephrotoxicity.
Notes: Check renal function before starting treatment; monitor renal function and electrolytes
(especially potassium, magnesium and sodium) at least three times weekly and complete blood
picture and hepatic function twice weekly during treatment and until stable after treatment stops.
Prophylactic antipyretics or hydrocortisone should only be used in patients who have previously
experienced acute adverse reactions (in whom continued treatment with amphotericin B is essential).
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Proper hydration and potassium supplementation are important. Treatment should always be given
in hospital to enable continuous monitoring of patients.
Administration advice Incompatible with sodium chloride solutions, flush existing line with glucose
5% or use a separate line.
Do not mix with any other drugs.
After initial reconstitution, do not administer without further dilution.
Conventional amphotericin B (as deoxycholate) Reduce risk of thrombophlebitis by using large peripheral veins
or a central venous catheter, changing venous access sites frequently, and infusing over longer periods.
Reconstitute as per product instructions including further dilution with glucose 5% to produce a final
concentration of 0.1 mg/ml (in fluid restricted children up to 0.4 mg/ml if given via a central line).
Initial test dose should be given over 20–30 minutes. To minimize infusion-related reactions, infuse the initial
treatment dose slowly over 4–6 hours or continuously over 24 hours; tolerance to infusion reactions increases with
subsequent doses, which may allow a shorter infusion, however, do not give over less than 2 hours.
Liposomal amphotericin B Reconstitute as per product instructions including filtering through a 5 micron filter
and further dilute with glucose 5% to produce a final concentration of 0.2–2 mg/ml.
Initial test dose should be given over 10 minutes. Then infuse subsequent doses over 30–60 minutes.
References:
González U et al. Interventions for American cutaneous and mucocutaneous leishmaniasis. Cochrane Database of Systematic
Reviews, 2009, 2 (Art. No.: CD004834. DOI: 10.1002/14651858.CD004834.pub2).
Hill SR, Kouimtzi M, Stuart MC, eds. WHO model formulary. Geneva, World Health Organization, 2008.
Hodding JH, Kraus DM, Taketomo CK. Pediatric dosage handbook. 16th ed. Hudson, Lexi-Comp, 2009.
Klasco RK, ed. Drugdex system. Greenwood Village, Thomson Micromedex, 2010. (http://www.thomsonhc.com, accessed
10 February 2010).
McEvoy GK, ed. AHFS drug information. Bethesda, American Society of Health-System Pharmacists, 2009.
Paediatric Formulary Committee. British national formulary for children 2009. London, BMJ Group RBS Publishing, 2009.
Rossi S, ed. Australian medicines handbook. Adelaide, Australian Medicines Handbook, 2009.
Sweetman SC, ed. Martindale: the complete drug reference. 34th ed. London, Pharmaceutical Press, 2005.
WHO expert committee on the selection and use of essential medicines. The selection and use of essential medicines: report of
the WHO expert committee, October 2007 (including the model list of essential medicines for children). WHO Technical Report
Series, 2008, 950 (http://www.who.int/medicines/publications/essentialmeds_committeereports/TRS_950.pdf ).
Paromomycin
ATC code: A07AA06
Solution for intramuscular injection: 750 mg of paromomycin base present as the sulfate
Indications: Visceral leishmaniasis.
Contraindications: Intestinal obstruction; hypersensitivity to aminoglycosides; previous course of
paromomycin treatment in preceding 3 months; concurrent administration with nephrotoxic or
ototoxic drugs including aminoglycosides.
Precautions: Impaired gastrointestinal motility; possible or proven bowel lesions; impaired renal function.
Dose:
All doses are in terms of paromomycin base.
Visceral leishmaniasis in the Indian subcontinent.
IM:
Child over 5 kg 11 mg/kg daily for 21 days.
Visceral leishmaniasis in East Africa.
Only use in combination with pentavalent antimonials.
IM:
Child over 5 kg 11 mg/kg daily for 17 days.
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Renal impairment: Mild: avoid or use with caution; nephrotoxic.
Hepatic impairment: Dose reduction not required.
Adverse effects: Common Nausea, vomiting, diarrhoea, abdominal cramps, allergic reaction,
injection site pain, fever, reversible ototoxicity.
Uncommon Rash, headache, dizziness, anorexia, hypocholesterolaemic and malabsorptive effects,
e.g. of xylose and sucrose, steatorrhoea and precipitation of bile salts, raised liver enzymes, renal
toxicity, tetany.
Interactions with other medicines (* indicates severe):
Amphotericin B: possible increased risk of nephrotoxicity.
Cisplatin: increased risk of ototoxicity.
Digoxin: reduced digoxin absorption and subsequent reduced digoxin serum concentrations and
efficacy.
Furosemide: increased risk of ototoxicity.
Methotrexate: may reduce gastrointestinal absorption of methotrexate.
* Neostigmine: possible antagonism of neostigmine.
* Pyridostigmine: possible antagonism of pyridostigmine.
* Suxamethonium: possible enhanced effects of suxamethonium.
Vancomycin: increased risk of ototoxicity.
References:
Baxter K, ed. Stockley’s drug interactions. 8th ed. London, Pharmaceutical Press, 2008.
Hill SR, Kouimtzi M, Stuart MC, eds. WHO model formulary. Geneva, World Health Organization, 2008.
Hodding JH, Kraus DM, Taketomo CK. Pediatric dosage handbook. 16th ed. Hudson, Lexi-Comp, 2009.
Klasco RK, ed. Drugdex system. Greenwood Village, Thomson Micromedex, 2010. (http://www.thomsonhc.com, accessed 10
February 2010).
McEvoy GK, ed. AHFS drug information. Bethesda, American Society of Health-System Pharmacists, 2009.
Rossi S, ed. Australian medicines handbook. Adelaide, Australian Medicines Handbook, 2009.
Sweetman SC, ed. Martindale: the complete drug reference. 34th ed. London, Pharmaceutical Press, 2005.
WHO expert committee on the selection and use of essential medicines. The selection and use of essential medicines: report of
the WHO expert committee, October 2007 (including the model list of essential medicines for children). WHO Technical Report
Series, 2008, 950 (http://www.who.int/medicines/publications/essentialmeds_committeereports/TRS_950.pdf ).
Sodium stibogluconate or Meglumine antimoniate
ATC code: P01CB01; P01CB02
Sodium stibogluconate IV/IM injection: 100 mg of pentavalent antimony per ml
Meglumine antimoniate IV/IM injection: 81 mg of pentavalent antimony per ml
Sodium stibogluconate and meglumine antimoniate are not the same compound. Please ensure
doses are calculated on the compound available.
Special Notes: Meglumine antimoniate and sodium stibogluconate are the pentavalent antimony
compounds used to treat all forms of leishmaniasis. Both agents are similarly effective in
leishmaniasis and their pharmacokinetics are similar.
Please be aware that the two compounds do not contain equivalent amounts of pentavalent
antimony.
Meglumine antimoniate is also referred to as meglumine antimonate.
Indications: Visceral, cutaneous, mucocutaneous and post-kala-azar dermal leishmaniasis.
Contraindications: Pre-existing severe cardiac, liver, renal, pancreas or haematological morbidities;
pregnancy.
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Precautions: Renal impairment; hepatic impairment.
Mucocutaneous disease Successful treatment of mucocutaneous leishmaniasis may induce severe
inflammation around lesions (may be life threatening if pharyngeal or tracheal involvement), may require
systemic corticosteroids.
Dose:
Doses are expressed in terms of pentavalent antimony.
Sodium stibogluconate IV/IM injection contains 100 mg of pentavalent antimony per ml.
Meglumine antimoniate IV/IM injection contains 81 mg of pentavalent antimony per ml.
Visceral leishmaniasis.
IV/IM:
Child all ages 20 mg/kg (minimum 200 mg) daily for 28 days in L. infantum infections and for
30 days in L. donovani infections.
Post-kala-azar dermal leishmaniasis.
IV/IM:
Child all ages 20 mg/kg (minimum 200 mg) daily for 30–60 days.
Cutaneous leishmaniasis.
Intralesional:
Child all ages 1–5 ml per session, every 3–7 days (1–5 infiltrations).
Systemic treatment is acceptable if the patient suffers from numerous lesions (typically greater
than four), face-disfiguring or complicated lesion(s), if the size or localization of the lesion
makes local therapy impossible, or if local therapy has been tried and failed. For diffuse
cutaneous forms by L. aethiopica, the addition of paromomycin may be necessary.
IV/IM:
Child all ages 20 mg/kg daily for 10–20 days.
Mucocutaneous leishmaniasis.
IM/IV:
Child all ages 20 mg/kg daily for 30 days.
Renal impairment: Moderate: increased adverse effects.
Severe: contraindicated.
Hepatic impairment: Mild to moderate impairment: use with caution; increased risk of liver damage
and hepatic failure.
Adverse effects: Common Anorexia, vomiting, nausea, abdominal pain, malaise, myalgia, arthralgia,
headache, metallic taste, lethargy, elevated pancreatic and liver enzymes, leukopenia, anaemia,
thrombocytopenia.
Rare Cardiotoxicity and sudden death (see below), hepatotoxicity, pancreatitis, flushing, bleeding
from nose or gum, vertigo, fever, sweating, rash, anaphylaxis, pain and thrombosis on intravenous
administration, pain on intramuscular injection, renal impairment and/or damage, peripheral
neuropathy, substernal pain or cough.
Cardiotoxicity Electrocardiographic changes are dependent on dose and duration of treatment, the most
common being T-wave inversion, prolonged QT interval and arrhythmias. Cardiotoxicity and sudden deaths are
serious but uncommon side-effects. Prolongation of corrected QT interval (greater than 0.5 seconds) signals the
likely onset of serious and potentially fatal cardiac arrhythmias or death.
Interactions with other medicines (* indicates severe):
Furosemide: increased risk of toxicity.
Vancomycin: increased risk of toxicity.
Cisplatin: increased risk of toxicity.
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*
*
*
Amphotericin B: possibly increased risk of nephrotoxicity.
Pyridostigmine: possible antagonism.
Neostigmine: possible antagonism.
Suxamethonium: possibly enhanced effects of suxamethonium.
Notes: Monitoring of patients with serum chemistry, complete blood count and electrocardiography
should be done. The quality of pentavalent antimonials should be assured. Substandard drugs
are known to cause severe toxicity and death. If serious side-effects arise (in most cases related to
hepato- and cardiotoxicity), the treatment should be changed to another drug.
Ampoules should be stored in well-closed containers, protected from light. It should be noted that
antimonial compounds are polymers that may deteriorate with age.
Administration The injection should be filtered immediately before administration using a 5 micron or less
filter. Intravenous injection should be given either by infusion (over 5–10 minutes) or slow injection through a fine
needle (23–25 gauge; 0.6–0.5 mm) to avoid any risk of subsequent thrombosis. Intramuscular injection should be
given deep into the muscle. If the volume of injection exceeds a suitable size for the patient, it should be divided into
two doses; one in each buttock or thigh. Infusions should be ceased if coughing or substernal pain occurs.
References:
American Academy of Pediatrics. Red Book: 2009 report of the committee on infectious diseases. 28th ed. Elk Grove Village, American
Academy of Pediatrics, 2009.
Glucantime Product Information. Sanofi-Aventis Farmacêutica, Brazil (accessed April 14 2010).
Hill SR, Kouimtzi M, Stuart MC, eds. WHO model formulary. Geneva, World Health Organization, 2008.
McEvoy GK, ed. AHFS drug information. Bethesda, American Society of Health-System Pharmacists, 2009.
Paediatric Formulary Committee. British national formulary for children 2009. London, BMJ Group RBS Publishing, 2009.
Royal College of Paediatrics and Child Health. Medicines for Children. 2nd ed. London, RCPCH Publications, 2003.
Sweetman SC, ed. Martindale: the complete drug reference. 34th ed. London, Pharmaceutical Press, 2005.
WHO expert committee on the selection and use of essential medicines. The selection and use of essential medicines: report of
the WHO expert committee, October 2007 (including the model list of essential medicines for children). WHO Technical Report
Series, 2008, 950 (http://www.who.int/medicines/publications/essentialmeds_committeereports/TRS_950.pdf.
6.5.3 Antimalarial medicines
6.5.3.1 For curative treatment
Malaria, which is transmitted by anopheline mosquitoes, is caused by four species of plasmodial
parasites. Plasmodium vivax is extensively distributed. P. falciparum is also widespread, and causes the
most severe infections, which are responsible for nearly all malaria-related deaths. P. ovale is mainly
confined to Africa and is less prevalent, while P. malariae, which causes the least severe but most
persistent infections, also occurs widely.
Certain tissue forms of P. vivax and P. ovale, which can persist in the liver for many months, and
sometimes years, are responsible for relapses. Such latent forms are not generated by P. falciparum
or P. malariae. Recrudescence of these infections results from persistent blood forms in inadequately
treated or untreated patients.
The following recent key recommendations regarding antimalarial therapy have been endorsed:
First-line treatment for malaria should be with combinations of medicines rather than single drug therapy.
• Artemisinin-containing combination therapy (ACT) is recommended as first-line curative
treatment for uncomplicated malaria.
Treatment of severe falciparum malaria requires parenteral therapy. Parenteral antimalarials are also
used to initiate treatment in patients unable to take oral treatment.
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Amodiaquine
ATC code: P01BA06
Tablet: 153 mg or 200 mg (as hydrochloride)
Special Notes: Recommended for children over 5 months only.
Occasionally abbreviated to AQ.
Indications: Treatment of uncomplicated malaria caused by P. falciparum. To be used (a) in
combination with artesunate or (b) may be used alone for the treatment of P. vivax, P. ovale and P.
malariae infections.
Contraindications: Hepatic impairment; blood disorders; retinopathy.
Precautions: G6PD deficiency; avoid concurrent therapy with hepatotoxic drugs.
Dose:
Treatment of uncomplicated falciparum malaria.
Oral:
Infant or Child over 5 months 10 mg/kg daily for 3 days.
Renal impairment: No information available.
Hepatic impairment: Avoid use.
Adverse effects: Blood disorders including leukopenia and agranulocytosis, hepatitis, gastrointestinal
disturbances, visual disturbances (retinopathy associated with long-term, high-dose therapy),
rarely, rash, pruritus, skin pigmentation, neuromyopathy.
Patient advice Patients and their carers should be told how to recognize the signs of blood disorders and
advised to seek medical attention as soon as possible if symptoms such as fever, sore throat, rash, mouth ulcers,
purpura, bruising or bleeding develop. They should also be told how to recognize signs of hepatitis and advised
to seek medical attention if symptoms such as anorexia, abnormal weight loss, asthenia, abdominal pains, fever,
nausea or vomiting develop.
Interactions with other medicines (* indicates severe):
Chlorpromazine: plasma concentration of chlorpromazine increased (consider reducing
chlorpromazine dose).
Notes: Concern has been expressed about higher rates of neutropenia in children and the drug has twice
been removed from the adult formulary because of safety concerns but has since been reinstated (1988).
References:
Hill SR, Kouimtzi M, Stuart MC, eds. WHO model formulary. Geneva, World Health Organization, 2008.
Artemether
ATC code: P01BE02
Oily injection: 80 mg/ml in 1 ml ampoule
Indications: Management of severe malaria. Treatment of severe P. falciparum malaria in areas where
quinine is ineffective.
Contraindications: First trimester of pregnancy.
Precautions: Skilled tasks Warn patient or carer about the risk of undertaking tasks requiring attention or
coordination, for example riding a bike or operating machinery, for 24 hours.
Dose:
Treatment of severe P. falciparum malaria in areas of quinine resistance.
Intramuscular injection:
Infant or Child over 6 months loading dose of 3.2 mg/kg, then 1.6 mg/kg daily until patient
can tolerate oral medication or to maximum of 7 days; this is followed by a complete treatment
course of an effective artemisinin-based combination therapy to effect a radical cure.
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Renal impairment: Caution in severe impairment; monitor ECG and plasma potassium.
Hepatic impairment: Caution in severe impairment; monitor ECG and plasma potassium.
Adverse effects: Common Headache, nausea, vomiting, abdominal pain, diarrhoea, dizziness,
tinnitus.
Uncommon Neutropenia, elevated liver enzyme values.
Rare Cardiotoxicity (after high doses), neurotoxicity in animal studies.
Interactions with other medicines (* indicates severe):
*
*
*
*
*
*
*
*
*
Amitriptyline: manufacturer of artemether with lumefantrine advises avoid concomitant use.
Azithromycin: manufacturer of artemether with lumefantrine advises avoid concomitant use.
Chloroquine: manufacturer of artemether with lumefantrine advises avoid concomitant use.
Chlorpromazine: manufacturer of artemether with lumefantrine advises avoid concomitant use.
Ciprofloxacin: manufacturer of artemether with lumefantrine advises avoid concomitant use.
Erythromycin: manufacturer of artemether with lumefantrine advises avoid concomitant use.
Fluconazole: manufacturer of artemether with lumefantrine advises avoid concomitant use.
Fluoxetine: avoid concomitant use.
Grapefruit juice: metabolism of artemether and lumefantrine may be inhibited (avoid
concomitant use).
Haloperidol: manufacturer of artemether with lumefantrine advises avoid concomitant use.
Lopinavir: manufacturer of artemether with lumefantrine advises avoid concomitant use.
Mefloquine: manufacturer of artemether with lumefantrine advises avoid concomitant use.
Ofloxacin: manufacturer of artemether with lumefantrine advises avoid concomitant use.
Primaquine: manufacturer of artemether with lumefantrine advises avoid concomitant use.
Proguanil: manufacturer of artemether with lumefantrine advises avoid concomitant use.
Pyrimethamine: manufacturer of artemether with lumefantrine advises avoid concomitant use.
Quinine: risk of ventricular arrhythmias (manufacturer of artemether with lumefantrine advises
avoid concomitant use).
Ritonavir: manufacturer of artemether with lumefantrine advises avoid concomitant use.
Saquinavir: manufacturer of artemether with lumefantrine advises avoid concomitant use.
Sulfadoxine + pyrimethamine: manufacturer of artemether with lumefantrine advises avoid
concomitant use.
Notes: Administration Since small volumes are required for children, a 1 ml syringe should be used to
ensure correct dosage.
Oily injection currently formulated in arachis (peanut) oil. Care should be taken in patients with
known peanut allergy.
References:
Guidelines for the treatment of malaria. Geneva, World Health Organization, 2006 (http://whqlibdoc.who.int/
publications/2006/9241546948_eng.pdf, accessed 10 February 2010).
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Artemether + Lumefantrine
ATC code: P01BE52
Tablet: 20 mg/120 mg
Dispersible tablet: 20 mg/120 mg
Special Notes: Not for use in children under 5 kg.
Indications: Treatment of uncomplicated malaria caused by P. falciparum alone or with other
Plasmodium spp. in areas with significant drug resistance.
Contraindications: First trimester of pregnancy; history of arrhythmias; history of clinically relevant
bradycardia; history of congestive heart failure accompanied by reduced left ventricular ejection
fraction; family history of sudden death or of congenital prolongation of QTc interval (also see
Precautions).
Precautions: Electrolyte disturbances; concomitant administration of drugs that prolong QT
interval; monitor patients unable to take food (greater risk of recrudescence); severe renal
impairment or hepatic impairment.
Dose:
Treatment of uncomplicated P. falciparum and other Plasmodium malaria.
Oral:
Infant or Child 5–14 kg initially 1 tablet followed by 5 further doses of 1 tablet each at 8, 24, 36,
48 and 60 hours (total 6 tablets over 60 hours);
15–24 kg initially 2 tablets followed by 5 further doses of 2 tablets each at 8, 24, 36, 48 and
60 hours (total 12 tablets over 60 hours);
25–34 kg initially 3 tablets followed by 5 further doses of 3 tablets each at 8, 24, 36, 48 and
60 hours (total 18 tablets over 60 hours);
over 34 kg initially 4 tablets followed by 5 further doses of 4 tablets each at 8, 24, 36, 48 and
60 hours (total 24 tablets over 60 hours).
Renal impairment: Severe: caution; monitor ECG and plasma potassium.
Hepatic impairment: Severe: caution; monitor ECG and plasma potassium.
Adverse effects: Common Abdominal pain, anorexia, diarrhoea, nausea and vomiting, headache,
dizziness, sleep disorders, palpitation, arthralgia, myalgia, cough, asthenia, fatigue, pruritus, rash.
Infrequent Paraesthesia, ataxia.
Rare Hepatitis, hypersensitivity.
Interactions with other medicines (* indicates severe):
* Amitriptyline: manufacturer of artemether with lumefantrine advises avoid concomitant use.
* Azithromycin: manufacturer of artemether with lumefantrine advises avoid concomitant use.
* Chloroquine: manufacturer of artemether with lumefantrine advises avoid concomitant use.
* Chlorpromazine: manufacturer of artemether with lumefantrine advises avoid concomitant use.
* Ciprofloxacin: manufacturer of artemether with lumefantrine advises avoid concomitant use.
Erythromycin: manufacturer of artemether with lumefantrine advises avoid concomitant use.
Fluconazole: manufacturer of artemether with lumefantrine advises avoid concomitant use.
Fluoxetine: avoid concomitant use.
Grapefruit juice: metabolism of artemether and lumefantrine may be inhibited (avoid
concomitant use).
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Haloperidol: manufacturer of artemether with lumefantrine advises avoid concomitant use.
Levofloxacin: manufacturer of artemether with lumefantrine advises avoid concomitant use.
Lopinavir: manufacturer of artemether with lumefantrine advises avoid concomitant use.
Mefloquine: manufacturer of artemether with lumefantrine advises avoid concomitant use.
Ofloxacin: manufacturer of artemether with lumefantrine advises avoid concomitant use.
Primaquine: manufacturer of artemether with lumefantrine advises avoid concomitant use.
Proguanil: manufacturer of artemether with lumefantrine advises avoid concomitant use.
Pyrimethamine: manufacturer of artemether with lumefantrine advises avoid concomitant use.
Quinine: risk of ventricular arrhythmias (manufacturer of artemether with lumefantrine advises
avoid concomitant use).
Ritonavir: manufacturer of artemether with lumefantrine advises avoid concomitant use.
Saquinavir: manufacturer of artemether with lumefantrine advises avoid concomitant use.
Sulfadoxine + pyrimethamine: manufacturer of artemether with lumefantrine advises avoid
concomitant use.
Notes: Non-dispersible tablets may be crushed.
If the dose is vomited within 1 hour of taking, the dose should be repeated; this is a particular risk in
children.
References:
Guidelines for treatment of malaria in the United States. Atlanta, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 2009 (http://www.
cdc.gov/malaria/, accessed 10 February 2010).
Hill SR, Kouimtzi M, Stuart MC, eds. WHO model formulary. Geneva, World Health Organization, 2008.
Joint formulary committee, British Medical Association and Royal Pharmaceutical Society of Great Britain. British national
formulary 2008. 55th ed. London, BMJ Group RBS Publishing, 2008.
Artesunate
ATC code: P01BE03
Injection: ampoules, containing 60 mg anhydrous artesunic acid with a separate ampoule of
5% sodium bicarbonate solution
Tablet: 50 mg
Rectal capsules: 50 mg and 200 mg
Indications: Oral treatment of uncomplicated malaria caused by P. falciparum, in combination with
other antimalarials.
Intravenous treatment of severe malaria.
Rectal pre-referral emergency treatment of suspected severe malaria.
Contraindications: First trimester of pregnancy.
Precautions: Risk of recurrence if used as oral monotherapy in non-immune patients.
Skilled tasks Warn patient or carer about the risk of undertaking tasks requiring attention or coordination,
for example, riding a bike or operating machinery, for 24 hours.
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Dose:
Treatment of uncomplicated malaria caused by P. falciparum.
Oral:
Infant or Child over 5 months 4 mg/kg daily for 3 days. Not recommended as monotherapy
and should be used in combination with either amodiaquine, mefloquine or sulfadoxine +
pyrimethamine.
Treatment of severe P. falciparum malaria in areas of multiple drug resistance.
IV or IM:
Child 2.4 mg/kg given at 0, 12, 24 hours then once daily until oral treatment is possible.
Give a full course of artemisinin-based combination therapy (see artemether + lumefantrine) or
oral quinine after initial parenteral artesunate.
Pre-referral treatment of severe malaria only (patients should be taken to an appropriate health
facility for follow-up care).
Rectal:
Child all ages approximately 10 mg/kg.
Using available suppositories:
Neonate–Child 1 year (5–8 kg) 50 mg;
13–42 months (9–19 kg) 100 mg;
43–60 months (20–29 kg) 200 mg;
6–12 years (30–39 kg) 300 mg.
Give a full course of artemisinin-based combination therapy (see artemether + lumefantrine) or
oral quinine after initial rectal artesunate.
Renal impairment: No information available.
Hepatic impairment: No information available.
Adverse effects: Common Headache, nausea, vomiting, abdominal pain, diarrhoea, dizziness,
tinnitus.
Uncommon Neutropenia, elevated liver enzyme values.
Rare ECG abnormalities, including prolongation of QT interval, temporary suppression of
reticulocyte response and induction of blackwater fever reported, neurotoxicity in animal studies.
Interactions with other medicines (* indicates severe):
There are no known interactions involving a significant change in effect or where it is recommended
to avoid concomitant use.
Notes: Artesunate monotherapy is not recommended for uncomplicated malaria due to the risk of
developing drug resistance.
Reconstitution of parenteral forms Artesunic acid should be dissolved in 1 ml of sodium
bicarbonate 5% solution for injection (to form sodium artesunate). This can be administered intramuscularly
or then further diluted in 5 ml of glucose 5% solution for injection before intravenous administration by bolus
injection. Solutions should be freshly prepared prior to administration; consult manufacturer’s literature.
References:
Hill SR, Kouimtzi M, Stuart MC, eds. WHO model formulary. Geneva, World Health Organization, 2008.
Rossi S, ed. Australian medicines handbook. Adelaide, Australian Medicines Handbook, 2009.
Sweetman SC, ed. Martindale: the complete drug reference. 34th ed. London, Pharmaceutical Press, 2005.
WHO expert committee on the selection and use of essential medicines. The selection and use of essential medicines: report of
the WHO expert committee, October 2007 (including the model list of essential medicines for children). WHO Technical Report
Series, 2008, 950 (http://www.who.int/medicines/publications/essentialmeds_committeereports/TRS_950.pdf ).
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Chloroquine
ATC code: P01BA01
Oral liquid: 10 mg base (as phosphate or sulfate)/ml
Tablet: 100 mg; 150 mg base (as phosphate or sulfate)
Indications: Only for use in the treatment of P. vivax infection from areas where the parasite remains
sensitive.
Contraindications: Retinal damage or impaired visual field.
Precautions: If patient continues to deteriorate after chloroquine, suspect resistance and
administer quinine intravenously as emergency measure; may exacerbate psoriasis; neurological
disorders (avoid for prophylaxis if history of epilepsy); may aggravate myasthenia gravis; severe
gastrointestinal disorders; G6PD deficiency; avoid concurrent therapy with hepatotoxic drugs.
Dose:
Treatment of P. vivax malaria.
Oral:
Child 10 mg/kg (maximum 600 mg) followed by 5 mg/kg (maximum 300 mg) 6–8 hours later;
then 5 mg/kg daily on next 2 days. Alternatively, 10 mg/kg for 2 days, followed by 5 mg/kg daily
on day 3. Total dose 25 mg/kg over 3 days.
Note Doses expressed as base.
Renal impairment: Dose reduction not necessary.
Hepatic impairment: Extensively liver metabolized; use with caution in liver impairment; monitor
liver function tests.
Avoid concurrent therapy with hepatotoxic drugs.
Adverse effects: Common Headache, gastrointestinal disturbances, skin reactions and itch which can
be severe enough to affect compliance.
Uncommon Psychotic episodes, anxiety, personality changes, reversible corneal opacities, visual
disturbances (retinopathy associated with long-term, high-dose therapy or inappropriate selfmedication), seizures.
Rare Depigmentation or loss of hair, bone marrow suppression, hypersensitivity reactions such as
urticaria and angioedema, atrioventricular block (may be result of inappropriate self-medication),
porphyria and psoriasis in susceptible individuals, tinnitus, hearing loss, blue-black pigmentation
of mucous membranes and skin, photosensitivity.
Interactions with other medicines (* indicates severe):
Antacids (aluminium hydroxide; magnesium hydroxide): reduced absorption of chloroquine.
* Artemether + lumefantrine: manufacturer of artemether with lumefantrine advises avoid
concomitant use.
Carbamazepine: possible increased risk of convulsions.
* Ciclosporin: increased plasma ciclosporin concentration (increased risk of toxicity).
* Digoxin: plasma digoxin concentration possibly increased.
Ethosuximide: possible increased risk of convulsions.
* Mefloquine: increased risk of convulsions.
Neostigmine: chloroquine has potential to increase symptoms of myasthenia gravis and thus
diminish effect of neostigmine.
Phenytoin: possible increased risk of convulsions.
Praziquantel: plasma concentration of praziquantel possibly reduced.
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Pyridostigmine: chloroquine has potential to increase symptoms of myasthenia gravis and thus
diminish effect of pyridostigmine.
Quinine: increased risk of ventricular arrhythmias.
Valproic acid: possible increased risk of convulsions.
Notes: To eliminate liver forms of P. vivax, follow with primaquine oral treatment.
Patient advice Take with food to reduce GI side effects. If vomiting occurs within 1 hour of taking dose,
dose may be repeated.
References:
Guidelines for the treatment of malaria. Geneva, World Health Organization, 2006 (http://whqlibdoc.who.int/
publications/2006/9241546948_eng.pdf, accessed 10 February 2010).
Guidelines for treatment of malaria in the United States. Atlanta, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 2009
(http://www.cdc.gov/malaria/, accessed 10 February 2010).
Hill SR, Kouimtzi M, Stuart MC, eds. WHO model formulary. Geneva, World Health Organization, 2008.
Joint formulary committee, British Medical Association and Royal Pharmaceutical Society of Great Britain. British national
formulary 2008. 55th ed. London, BMJ Group RBS Publishing, 2008.
Rossi S, ed. Australian medicines handbook. Adelaide, Australian Medicines Handbook, 2009.
Sweetman SC, ed. Martindale: the complete drug reference. 34th ed. London, Pharmaceutical Press, 2005.
Doxycycline
ATC code: J01AA02
Capsule: 100 mg (as hydrochloride)
Tablet (dispersible): 100 mg (as monohydrate)
Indications: Supplement to quinine or artesunate treatment for multiple drug-resistant P. falciparum
malaria.
Contraindications: Pregnancy; porphyria; systemic lupus erythematosus.
Precautions: Avoid exposure to sunlight or sunlamps; photosensitivity reported.
Dose:
Supplement to quinine or artesunate treatment for multiple drug-resistant malaria.
Oral:
Child over 8 years 2 mg/kg (maximum 100 mg) twice daily for 7–10 days.
Renal impairment: Dose reduction not necessary.
Hepatic impairment: Avoid (or use with caution).
Adverse effects: Common Gastrointestinal disturbances, nausea, vomiting, diarrhoea, anorexia,
flushing, tinnitus, photosensitivity.
Uncommon Rash, stomatitis, bone deformity, fungal overgrowth.
Rare Photo-onycholysis, nail discoloration, oesophageal ulcers (due to partly swallowed tablets),
Clostridium difficile infection, hepatitis, fatty liver degeneration, headache and visual disturbances
which may indicate benign intracranial hypertension, hypersensitivity reactions including StevensJohnson syndrome.
Interactions with other medicines (* indicates severe):
*
Antacids (aluminium hydroxide; magnesium hydroxide): reduced absorption of doxycycline.
Carbamazepine: accelerated metabolism of doxycycline (reduced effect).
Ciclosporin: possibly increased plasma ciclosporin concentration.
Ferrous salts: absorption of oral ferrous salts reduced by doxycycline; absorption of doxycycline
reduced by oral ferrous salts.
Methotrexate: increased risk of methotrexate toxicity.
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*
Anti-infective medicines
Phenobarbital: metabolism of doxycycline accelerated (reduced plasma concentration).
Phenytoin: increased metabolism of doxycycline (reduced plasma concentration).
Rifampicin: plasma doxycycline concentration possibly reduced.
Warfarin: anticoagulant effect possibly enhanced.
Notes: Patient advice Capsules should be swallowed whole with plenty of fluid while sitting or standing
to prevent oesophageal irritation. Should be given with food or milk, to counter gastric irritation.
For use only in combination with quinine or artesunate.
References:
Ashley C, Currie A, eds. The renal drug handbook. 3rd ed. Oxford, Radcliffe Publishing, 2009.
Guidelines for treatment of malaria in the United States. Atlanta, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 2009 (http://www.
cdc.gov/malaria/, accessed 10 February 2010).
Hill SR, Kouimtzi M, Stuart MC, eds. WHO model formulary. Geneva, World Health Organization, 2008.
Paediatric Formulary Committee. British national formulary for children 2009. London, BMJ Group RBS Publishing, 2009.
Rossi S, ed. Australian medicines handbook. Adelaide, Australian Medicines Handbook, 2009.
Mefloquine
ATC code: P01BC02
Tablet: 250 mg (as hydrochloride)
Indications: Used in combination with artesunate for the treatment of uncomplicated falciparum
malaria.
Contraindications: History of neuropsychiatric disorders including depression or convulsions;
hypersensitivity to quinine.
Precautions: Avoid use in cardiac conduction disorders; epilepsy.
Skilled tasks Warn patient or carer about the risk of undertaking tasks requiring attention or coordination,
for example riding a bike or operating machinery, for 24 hours.
Dose:
Treatment of uncomplicated P. falciparum malaria in combination with artesunate.
Oral:
Child over 3 months or 5 kg 25 mg/kg usually given over 2–3 days. Round to the nearest quarter
of a tablet.
Note Doses expressed as salt.
Renal impairment: Dose reduction not necessary.
Hepatic impairment: Mefloquine is metabolized by the liver and eliminated by the biliary system. It
should be used in caution in patients with disorders of the biliary system who may not be able to
clear the drug.
Adverse effects: Common Nausea, vomiting, diarrhoea, abdominal pain, anorexia, headache,
dizziness (can be severe), loss of balance, somnolence, insomnia and abnormal dreams.
Uncommon Circulatory disorders, tachycardia, bradycardia, cardiac conduction disorders, muscle
weakness, myalgia, arthralgia, rash, urticaria, pruritus, alopecia, disturbances in liver function tests,
visual disturbances, tinnitus, vestibular disorders, seizures.
Neuropsychiatric disorders occur in at least 1:10 000 patients treated with mefloquine and the
incidence is thought to be up to 1:1000 when used at treatment doses. These include sensory
and motor neuropathies, tremor, ataxia, anxiety, depression, suicidal ideation, confusion,
hallucinations, panic attacks, emotional instability, aggression, agitation and psychoses.
Rare Hyperpyrexia, leukopenia, leukocytosis, thrombocytopenia, Stevens-Johnson syndrome,
atrioventricular block and encephalopathy.
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Interactions with other medicines (* indicates severe):
* Artemether + lumefantrine: manufacturer of artemether with lumefantrine advises avoid
concomitant use.
Atenolol: increased risk of bradycardia.
* Carbamazepine: antagonism of anticonvulsant effect.
* Chloroquine: increased risk of convulsions.
Digoxin: possibly increased risk of bradycardia.
* Ethosuximide: antagonism of anticonvulsant effect.
Phenytoin: antagonism of anticonvulsant effect.
Propranolol: increased risk of bradycardia.
* Quinidine: increased risk of ventricular arrhythmias.
* Quinine: increased risk of convulsions, but should not prevent the use of intravenous quinine in
severe cases.
* Valproic acid: antagonism of anticonvulsant effect.
Notes: Mefloquine monotherapy is no longer recommended as this is likely to result in increasing
levels of parasite resistance to this drug.
Because of the high incidence of neuropsychiatric disorders other drugs should be used in preference
to mefloquine where possible.
Mefloquine should not be used for treatment if it was used for prophylaxis and failed to prevent infection.
Tablets may be crushed and mixed with food such as jam or honey just before administration.
References:
Ashley C, Currie A, eds. The renal drug handbook. 3rd ed. Oxford, Radcliffe Publishing, 2009.
Hill SR, Kouimtzi M, Stuart MC, eds. WHO model formulary. Geneva, World Health Organization, 2008.
Rossi S, ed. Australian medicines handbook. Adelaide, Australian Medicines Handbook, 2009.
Sweetman SC, ed. Martindale: the complete drug reference. 34th ed. London, Pharmaceutical Press, 2005.
Primaquine
ATC code: P01BA03
Tablet: 7.5 mg; 15 mg (as diphosphate)
Indications: Only for use to achieve radical cure of P. vivax and P. ovale infections.
Contraindications: Conditions that predispose to granulocytopenia including active rheumatoid
arthritis and lupus erythematosus; severe G6PD deficiency.
Precautions: Monitor blood count; if methaemoglobinaemia or haemolysis occur, withdraw
treatment and consult physician; mild to moderate G6PD deficiency.
Dose:
Radical cure of P. vivax and P. ovale infections after standard chloroquine or artemisinin-based
combination therapy.
Oral:
Child 250 micrograms/kg daily for 14 days.
In mild to moderate G6PD deficiency use 500–750 micrograms/kg once a week for 8 weeks.
Renal impairment: Dose reduction not necessary.
Hepatic impairment: Primaquine is metabolized by the liver; use with caution in patients with liver
impairment and monitor liver function tests.
Adverse effects: Common Anorexia, nausea and vomiting, abdominal pain, dizziness, headache.
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Anti-infective medicines
Infrequent Acute haemolytic anaemia (frequently in G6PD deficiency).
Rare Hypertension, methaemoglobinaemia, haemoglobinuria, agranulocytosis, granulocytopenia and
leukopenia.
Interactions with other medicines (* indicates severe):
* Artemether + lumefantrine: manufacturer of artemether with lumefantrine advises to avoid
concomitant use.
References:
Ashley C, Currie A, eds. The renal drug handbook. 3rd ed. Oxford, Radcliffe Publishing, 2009.
Guidelines for treatment of malaria in the United States. Atlanta, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 2009
(http://www.cdc.gov/malaria/, accessed 10 February 2010).
Hill SR, Kouimtzi M, Stuart MC, eds. WHO model formulary. Geneva, World Health Organization, 2008.
Joint formulary committee, British Medical Association and Royal Pharmaceutical Society of Great Britain. British national
formulary 2008. 55th ed. London, BMJ Group RBS Publishing, 2008.
Rossi S, ed. Australian medicines handbook. Adelaide, Australian Medicines Handbook, 2009.
Sweetman SC, ed. Martindale: the complete drug reference. 34th ed. London, Pharmaceutical Press, 2005.
Quinine
ATC code: P01BC01
Injection: 300 mg quinine hydrochloride/ml in 2 ml ampoule
Tablet: 300 mg (quinine sulfate) or 300 mg (quinine bisulfate)
Indications: Multiple drug-resistant P. falciparum malaria.
Contraindications: Haemoglobinuria; optic neuritis; tinnitus; myasthenia gravis.
Precautions: Atrial fibrillation; conduction defects; heart block; monitor for signs of cardiac toxicity
and hypoglycaemia during intravenous use; renal impairment; G6PD deficiency.
Dose:
Treatment of multiple drug-resistant P. falciparum malaria.
Oral:
Child 10 mg/kg (quinine sulfate) every 8 hours for 3, 7 or 10 days. The duration of treatment is
dependent on local susceptibility of P. falciparum and whether or not additional antimalarials
are being or have been used.
IV (only in patients unable to take quinine by mouth):
Child 20 mg/kg (quinine dihydrochloride) followed by 10 mg/kg (quinine hydrochloride) every
12 hours. The initial dose should be halved in patients who have received quinine, quinidine or
mefloquine during the previous 12–24 hours.
Renal impairment: Reduce parenteral maintenance dose for malaria treatment.
Give a lower dose at increased intervals with oral therapy. Mild impairment: administer every
8 hours; moderate impairment: administer every 12 hours; severe impairment: administer every
24 hours.
Hepatic impairment: Dose reduction not necessary.
Adverse effects: Common Cinchonism (tinnitus, headache, blurred vision, temporary blindness,
altered auditory acuity, nausea, diarrhoea, hot and flushed skin, rashes, confusion), hypersensitivity
reactions, gastrointestinal disturbances, CNS disturbances.
Uncommon Hypoglycaemia, especially after parenteral administration, caused by increased insulin
release (also associated with severe malaria and therefore a poor prognostic sign), asthma.
Rare Haemorrhage and renal damage (culminating in acute renal failure and anuria), blood disorders,
prolonged QT interval, angioedema.
Note Very toxic in overdosage; immediate medical attention required.
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6.5 Antiprotozoal medicines
Interactions with other medicines (* indicates severe):
* Artemether + lumefantrine: risk of ventricular arrhythmias (manufacturer of artemether with
lumefantrine advises to avoid concomitant use).
Chloroquine: increased risk of ventricular arrhythmias.
* Digoxin: plasma concentration of digoxin increased.
* Mefloquine: increased risk of convulsions, but should not prevent the use of intravenous quinine
in severe cases.
Suxamethonium: possibly enhanced effects of suxamethonium.
Notes: Use only in the management of severe malaria. To avoid resistance, quinine should always
be used in combination with either doxycycline (not in children under 8 years), clindamycin
or sulfadoxine/pyrimethamine (SP) where there is no SP resistance. Clindamycin dose for
combination therapy: 7–13 mg/kg (maximum 450 mg) every 8 hours for 7 days.
Patient advice If all or part of a dose is vomited within 1 hour, the same amount must be re-administered
immediately.
IV administration: give by slow intravenous infusion over 4 hours.
Quinine (anhydrous base) 100 mg ≡ quinine bisulfate 169 mg ≡ quinine dihydrochloride 122 mg
≡ quinine sulfate 121 mg.
References:
Ashley C, Currie A, eds. The renal drug handbook. 3rd ed. Oxford, Radcliffe Publishing, 2009.
Guidelines for treatment of malaria in the United States. Atlanta, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 2009 (http://www.
cdc.gov/malaria/, accessed 10 February 2010).
Hill SR, Kouimtzi M, Stuart MC, eds. WHO model formulary. Geneva, World Health Organization, 2008.
Joint formulary committee, British Medical Association and Royal Pharmaceutical Society of Great Britain. British national
formulary 2008. 55th ed. London, BMJ Group RBS Publishing, 2008.
Sulfadoxine + Pyrimethamine
ATC code: P01BD51
Tablet: 500 mg + 25 mg
Indications: Treatment of P. falciparum malaria in combination with artesunate.
Contraindications: Hypersensitivity to sulfonamides or pyrimethamine; severe hepatic or renal
impairment (except where no alternative treatment available).
Precautions: Avoid in blood disorders unless under specialist supervision; discontinue immediately
if blood disorder occurs; rash; sore throat; mouth ulcers or shortness of breath; G6PD deficiency;
predisposition to folate deficiency.
Dose:
Treatment of P. falciparum malaria in combination with other antimalarials.
Oral:
Child 5–10 kg half a tablet;
11–20 kg 1 tablet as a single dose;
21–30 kg 1½ tablets as a single dose;
31–45 kg 2 tablets as a single dose.
Renal impairment: Dose reduction not necessary.
Hepatic impairment: No information available.
Adverse effects: Common Rashes, pruritus, slight hair loss, gastrointestinal disturbances including
nausea, vomiting, stomatitis, fatigue, headache, fever, polyneuritis.
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Anti-infective medicines
Rare Pulmonary infiltrates such as eosinophilic or allergic alveolitis (if symptoms of cough or
shortness of breath, withdraw treatment), rarely erythema multiforme (Stevens-Johnson
syndrome), toxic epidermal necrolysis, hepatitis, leukopenia, thrombocytopenia, megaloblastic
anaemia and purpura.
Interactions with other medicines (* indicates severe):
* Artemether + lumefantrine: manufacturer of artemether with lumefantrine advises to avoid
concomitant use.
* Ciclosporin: increased risk of nephrotoxicity.
* Folate/folic acid: concurrent use should be avoided as folate may antagonize the effect of
sulfadoxine + pyrimethamine.
* Methotrexate: antifolate effect of methotrexate increased; risk of methotrexate toxicity increased.
* Phenytoin: plasma phenytoin concentration possibly increased; increased antifolate effect.
* Sulfadiazine: increased antifolate effect.
* Sulfamethoxazole + trimethoprim: increased antifolate effect.
Thiopental: enhanced effects of thiopental.
* Trimethoprim: increased antifolate effect.
* Warfarin: enhanced anticoagulant effect.
Notes: Sulfadoxine + pyrimethamine monotherapy is no longer recommended as this is likely to
result in increasing levels of parasite resistance to this drug.
References:
Ashley C, Currie A, eds. The renal drug handbook. 3rd ed. Oxford, Radcliffe Publishing, 2009.
Hill SR, Kouimtzi M, Stuart MC, eds. WHO model formulary. Geneva, World Health Organization, 2008.
Joint formulary committee, British Medical Association and Royal Pharmaceutical Society of Great Britain. British national
formulary 2008. 55th ed. London, BMJ Group RBS Publishing, 2008.
Rossi S, ed. Australian medicines handbook. Adelaide, Australian Medicines Handbook, 2009.
Sweetman SC, ed. Martindale: the complete drug reference. 34th ed. London, Pharmaceutical Press, 2005.
6.5.3.2 For prophylaxis
No drug regimen gives assured protection to everybody, and indiscriminate use of antimalarials can
increase the risk of inducing resistance. Avoidance of mosquito bites using insect repellents, mosquito
nets (preferably impregnated with an insecticide), long pants and long-sleeved shirts, and door and
window screens are important preventative strategies.
Current guidelines should be consulted to inform management of malaria, for example, the WHO
guidelines for the treatment of malaria.
Chloroquine
ATC code: P01BA01
Oral liquid: 10 mg (as phosphate or sulfate)/ml
Tablet: 150 mg (as phosphate or sulfate)
Indications: Only for use in the prophylaxis of P. vivax infection from areas where the parasite
remains sensitive.
Contraindications: Not for prophylaxis of P. falciparum.
Precautions: Chloroquine resistance is now widespread in Africa, Asia and the Pacific so is no longer
the prophylaxis drug of choice.
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Dose:
Prophylaxis for P. vivax in central American regions.
Oral:
Child up to 12 weeks and under 6 kg 37.5 mg once weekly;
12 weeks–1 year, 6–10 kg 75 mg once weekly;
1–4 years, 10–16 kg 112.5 mg once weekly;
4–8 years, 16–25 kg 150 mg once weekly;
8–13 years, 25–45 kg 225 mg once weekly;
over 13 years and 45 kg 310 mg once weekly.
Dose expressed as chloroquine base and should be started 1 week before entering endemic area and
continued for 4 weeks after leaving.
Renal impairment: Severe renal impairment GFR < 10 ml/minute: reduce dose by half.
Hepatic impairment: No information available.
Adverse effects: Common Headache, gastrointestinal disturbances, skin reactions and itch which can
be severe enough to affect compliance.
Uncommon Psychotic episodes, anxiety, personality changes, reversible corneal opacities, visual
disturbances (retinopathy associated with long-term, high-dose therapy or inappropriate selfmedication), seizures.
Rare Depigmentation or loss of hair, bone marrow suppression, hypersensitivity reactions such as
urticaria and angioedema, atrioventricular block (may be result of inappropriate self-medication),
porphyria and psoriasis in susceptible individuals, tinnitus, hearing loss, blue-black pigmentation
of mucous membranes and skin, photosensitivity.
Interactions with other medicines (* indicates severe):
Antacids (aluminium hydroxide; magnesium hydroxide): reduced absorption of chloroquine.
* Artemether + lumefantrine: manufacturer of artemether with lumefantrine advises avoid
concomitant use.
Carbamazepine: possible increased risk of convulsions.
* Ciclosporin: increased plasma ciclosporin concentration (increased risk of toxicity).
* Digoxin: plasma digoxin concentration possibly increased.
Ethosuximide: possible increased risk of convulsions.
* Mefloquine: increased risk of convulsions.
Neostigmine: chloroquine has potential to increase symptoms of myasthenia gravis and thus
diminish effect of neostigmine.
Phenytoin: possible increased risk of convulsions.
Praziquantel: plasma concentration of praziquantel possibly reduced.
Pyridostigmine: chloroquine has potential to increase symptoms of myasthenia gravis and thus
diminish effect of pyridostigmine.
Quinine: increased risk of ventricular arrhythmias.
Valproic acid: possible increased risk of convulsions.
Notes: Patient advice Oral chloroquine should be taken after meals to minimize nausea and vomiting; if
part or all of a dose is vomited, the same amount must be immediately re-administered.
Warn travellers about importance of avoiding mosquito bites, importance of taking prophylaxis regularly, and
importance of immediate visit to doctor if ill within 1 year and especially within 3 months of return.
References:
Ashley C, Currie A, eds. The renal drug handbook. 3rd ed. Oxford, Radcliffe Publishing, 2009.
Hill SR, Kouimtzi M, Stuart MC, eds. WHO model formulary. Geneva, World Health Organization, 2008.
Paediatric Formulary Committee. British national formulary for children 2009. London, BMJ Group RBS Publishing, 2009.
Rossi S, ed. Australian medicines handbook. Adelaide, Australian Medicines Handbook, 2009.
Sweetman SC, ed. Martindale: the complete drug reference. 34th ed. London, Pharmaceutical Press, 2005.
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Doxycycline
ATC code: J01AA02
Solid dosage form: 100 mg (as hydrochloride)
Special Notes: WHO age/weight restriction: > 8 years.
Should not be used in children under 8 years: deposition of tetracyclines in growing bones and teeth
(by binding to calcium) causes staining and occasionally dental hypoplasia.
Indications: Short-term prophylaxis of multiple drug-resistant P. falciparum malaria.
Contraindications: Pregnancy; porphyria; systemic lupus erythematosus.
Precautions: Avoid exposure to sunlight or sunlamps; photosensitivity reported.
Dose:
Short-term prophylaxis of multiple drug-resistant P. falciparum malaria.
Oral:
Child over 8 years 2 mg/kg (maximum 100 mg) daily for up to 8 weeks; doxycycline should be
started on the day before exposure and continued for 4 weeks after last risk of exposure.
Renal impairment: Dose reduction not necessary.
Hepatic impairment: Avoid (or use with caution).
Adverse effects: Common Gastrointestinal disturbance, nausea, vomiting, diarrhoea, anorexia,
flushing, tinnitus, photosensitivity.
Uncommon Rash, stomatitis, bone deformity, fungal overgrowth.
Rare Photo-onycholysis, nail discoloration, oesophageal ulcers (due to partly swallowed tablets),
Clostridium difficile infection, hepatitis, fatty liver degeneration, headache and visual disturbances
which may indicate benign intracranial hypertension, hypersensitivity reactions including StevensJohnson syndrome.
Interactions with other medicines (* indicates severe):
Antacids (aluminium hydroxide; magnesium hydroxide): reduced absorption of doxycycline.
Carbamazepine: accelerated metabolism of doxycycline (reduced effect).
* Ciclosporin: possibly increased plasma ciclosporin concentration.
Ferrous salts: absorption of oral ferrous salts reduced by doxycycline; absorption of doxycycline
reduced by oral ferrous salts.
Methotrexate: increased risk of methotrexate toxicity.
Phenobarbital: metabolism of doxycycline accelerated (reduced plasma concentration).
Phenytoin: increased metabolism of doxycycline (reduced plasma concentration).
Rifampicin: plasma doxycycline concentration possibly reduced.
* Warfarin: anticoagulant effect possibly enhanced.
Notes: Patient advice Capsules should be swallowed whole with plenty of fluid while sitting or standing
to prevent oesophageal irritation. May be given with food or milk, to counter gastric irritation.
References:
Ashley C, Currie A, eds. The renal drug handbook. 3rd ed. Oxford, Radcliffe Publishing, 2009.
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. CDC health information for international travel 2010. Atlanta, U.S. Department of
Health and Human Services, Public Health Service, 2009.
Hill SR, Kouimtzi M, Stuart MC, eds. WHO model formulary. Geneva, World Health Organization, 2008.
Paediatric Formulary Committee. British national formulary for children 2009. London, BMJ Group RBS Publishing, 2009.
Rossi S, ed. Australian medicines handbook. Adelaide, Australian Medicines Handbook, 2009.
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Mefloquine
ATC code: P01BC02
Tablet: 250 mg (as hydrochloride)
Special Notes: WHO age/weight restriction: > 5 kg or > 3 months.
Indications: Prophylaxis of malaria for travellers to areas with high risk of multiple resistant P.
falciparum.
Contraindications: History of neuropsychiatric disorders including depression or convulsions;
hypersensitivity to quinine.
Precautions: Avoid use in cardiac conduction disorders and in epilepsy.
Skilled tasks Warn patient or carer about the risk of undertaking tasks requiring attention or coordination,
for example riding a bike or operating machinery, for 24 hours.
Dose:
Prophylaxis of malaria for travellers to areas with high risk of multiple resistant P. falciparum.
Oral:
Child over 3 months or 5 kg 5 mg/kg (maximum 250 mg) once a week; prophylaxis should start
1–3 weeks before departure and continue for 4 weeks after last exposure. Round dose to the
nearest quarter of a tablet.
Renal impairment: Use with caution in severe renal impairment, otherwise dose reduction not
needed.
Hepatic impairment: Mefloquine is metabolized by the liver and eliminated by the biliary system. It
should be used with caution in patients with disorders of the biliary system who may not be able
to clear the drug.
Avoid use for prophylaxis in severe liver disease.
Adverse effects: Common Nausea, vomiting, diarrhoea, abdominal pain, anorexia, headache,
dizziness (can be severe), loss of balance, somnolence, insomnia and abnormal dreams.
Uncommon Circulatory disorders, tachycardia, bradycardia, cardiac conduction disorders, muscle
weakness, myalgia, arthralgia, rash, urticaria, pruritus, alopecia, disturbances in liver function tests,
visual disturbances, tinnitus, vestibular disorders, seizures.
Neuropsychiatric disorders occur in at least 1:10 000 patients treated with mefloquine and the
incidence is thought to be up to 1:1000 when used at treatment doses. These include sensory
and motor neuropathies, tremor, ataxia, anxiety, depression, suicidal ideation, confusion,
hallucinations, panic attacks, emotional instability, aggression, agitation and psychoses.
Rare Hyperpyrexia, leukopenia, leukocytosis, thrombocytopenia, Stevens-Johnson syndrome,
atrioventricular block and encephalopathy.
Interactions with other medicines (* indicates severe):
* Artemether + lumefantrine: manufacturer of artemether with lumefantrine advises to avoid
concomitant use.
Atenolol: increased risk of bradycardia.
* Carbamazepine: antagonism of anticonvulsant effect.
* Chloroquine: increased risk of convulsions.
Digoxin: possibly increased risk of bradycardia.
* Ethosuximide: antagonism of anticonvulsant effect.
Phenytoin: antagonism of anticonvulsant effect.
Propranolol: increased risk of bradycardia.
* Quinidine: increased risk of ventricular arrhythmias.
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* Quinine: increased risk of convulsions, but should not prevent the use of intravenous quinine in
severe cases.
* Valproic acid: antagonism of anticonvulsant effect.
Notes: Patient advice Warn travellers about the importance of avoiding mosquito bites, importance of
taking prophylaxis regularly, and importance of an immediate visit to doctor if ill within 1 year and especially
within 3 months of potential exposure.
Patients should be informed about adverse effects associated with mefloquine and if they occur, advised to seek
medical advice on alternative antimalarials.
Mefloquine tablets may be crushed and mixed with food such as jam or honey just before administration.
1 tablet = 228 mg base (250 mg salt).
References:
Ashley C, Currie A, eds. The renal drug handbook. 3rd ed. Oxford, Radcliffe Publishing, 2009.
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. CDC health information for international travel 2010. Atlanta, U.S. Department of
Health and Human Services, Public Health Service, 2009.
Hill SR, Kouimtzi M, Stuart MC, eds. WHO model formulary. Geneva, World Health Organization, 2008.
Paediatric Formulary Committee. British national formulary for children 2009. London, BMJ Group RBS Publishing, 2009.
Rossi S, ed. Australian medicines handbook. Adelaide, Australian Medicines Handbook, 2009.
Proguanil
ATC code: P01BB01
Tablet: 100 mg (hydrochloride)
Indications: Prophylaxis of malaria in areas of low resistance in combination with chloroquine.
Dose:
Prophylaxis of malaria in areas of low resistance in combination with chloroquine.
Oral:
Child under 1 year 25 mg daily;
1–4 years 50 mg daily;
5–8 years 100 mg daily;
9–12 years 150 mg daily.
Start taking 1–2 days before entering and continue for 4 weeks after leaving an endemic area.
Renal impairment: Mild: half dose.
Moderate: quarter dose every 48 hours.
Severe: quarter dose once weekly.
Hepatic impairment: Metabolized by the liver to the active metabolite so unlikely to be effective in
patients with severe liver impairment.
Adverse effects: Common Mild gastric intolerance, diarrhoea, constipation, nausea, vomiting,
stomatitis.
Infrequent Mouth ulcers, vertigo, reversible alopecia, skin reactions.
Rare Megaloblastic anaemia and pancytopenia (more likely with renal impairment), cholestasis,
vasculitis, hepatitis, seizures, psychosis, hypersensitivity reactions such as urticaria and angioedema.
Interactions with other medicines (* indicates severe):
* Artemether + lumefantrine: manufacturer of artemether with lumefantrine advises to avoid
concomitant use.
Pyrimethamine: increased antifolate effect.
Warfarin: isolated reports of enhanced anticoagulant effect.
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Notes: Patient advice Warn travellers about the importance of avoiding mosquito bites, importance of
taking prophylaxis regularly, and importance of immediate visit to doctor if ill within 1 year and especially within
3 months of return.
Approximately 3% of Caucasians cannot metabolize proguanil to cycloguanil, the active metabolite,
and these people are effectively only receiving the chloroquine component of their therapy. These
patients also have an increased risk of adverse effects, especially GI side effects.
Tablets may be crushed and mixed with food such as milk, jam or honey just before administration.
References:
Ashley C, Currie A, eds. The renal drug handbook. 3rd ed. Oxford, Radcliffe Publishing, 2009.
Hill SR, Kouimtzi M, Stuart MC, eds. WHO model formulary. Geneva, World Health Organization, 2008.
Paediatric Formulary Committee. British national formulary for children 2009. London, BMJ Group RBS Publishing, 2009.
Rossi S, ed. Australian medicines handbook. Adelaide, Australian Medicines Handbook, 2009.
6.5.4 Antipneumocystosis and antitoxoplasmosis
medicines
Pneumocystosis
Pneumocystis jiroveci (Pneumocystis carinii) is classified as a protozoan which in otherwise healthy
people rarely produces signs of infection. However, it is a frequent cause of opportunistic infection in
immunosuppressed, debilitated or malnourished patients. P. jiroveci (P. carinii) is a common cause of
pneumonia in people with AIDS, and the most frequent immediate cause of death in these patients.
Sulfamethoxazole + trimethoprim (co-trimoxazole) is the treatment of choice for P. jiroveci (P.
carinii) pneumonia; it is also used for prophylaxis in HIV-infected, HIV-exposed and other immunocompromised children. Refer to the WHO guidelines Co-trimoxazole prophylaxis for HIV-exposed and
HIV-infected infants and children (available from https://www.who.int/hiv/pub/paediatric/en/).
Toxoplasmosis
Toxoplasmosis is caused by infection with the protozoan parasite, Toxoplasma gondii. Most infections
are self-limiting and do not require treatment. However, in immunodeficiency, primary infection may
result in encephalitis, myocarditis or pneumonitis. Impairment of immunity (e.g. in people with AIDS)
in a previously infected person may cause reactivation, resulting in encephalitis or meningoencephalitis.
The treatment of choice for toxoplasmosis is a combination of pyrimethamine and sulfadiazine; a
folate supplement is also given to counteract the inhibition of folate synthesis associated with these
drugs.
Pyrimethamine
ATC code: P01BD01
Tablet: 25 mg
Indications: Treatment and prophylaxis of toxoplasmosis; prophylaxis of Pneumocystis jiroveci
(Pneumocystis carinii) pneumonia.
Local antimicrobial sensitivity patterns need to be taken into account. Expert advice essential.
Contraindications: Megaloblastic anaemia.
Precautions: Folate deficiency; blood counts required with prolonged treatment; supplement folate
throughout treatment to prevent haematological toxicity; history of seizures (avoid large loading
doses); renal impairment; hepatic impairment.
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Dose:
Note Calcium folinate must always be administered with pyrimethamine to prevent haematological toxicity.
Due to the long half-life of pyrimethamine, calcium folinate administration should be continued for 1 week
after pyrimethamine has been discontinued.
Treatment of congenital toxoplasmosis (in combination with sulfadiazine and calcium folinate).
Oral:
Neonate 1 mg/kg twice daily for 2 days, then 1 mg/kg once daily for 6 months, then 1 mg/
kg three times weekly for a further 6 months. Duration of treatment depends on whether
the neonate has overt disease. If without overt disease but born to mother infected during
pregnancy, treat for 4 weeks, followed by further courses if infection confirmed.
Treatment of toxoplasmosis (in combination with sulfadiazine and calcium folinate).
Oral:
Child over 1 month 1 mg/kg (maximum 25 mg/dose) twice daily for 3 days, then 1 mg/kg
(maximum 25 mg) once daily for at least 6 weeks.
Primary prophylaxis of toxoplasmosis (in combination with dapsone (not on EMLc for this
indication) and calcium folinate).
Oral:
Child over 1 month 1 mg/kg once daily. Maximum 25 mg daily.
Secondary prophylaxis of toxoplasmosis in addition to prophylaxis of Pneumocystis jiroveci
(Pneumocystis carinii) pneumonia (in combination with sulfadiazine and calcium folinate).
Oral:
Infant or Child 1 mg/kg once daily. Maximum 50 mg daily.
Note Clindamycin (not on the EMLc for this indication) may be used instead of sulfadiazine in patients
intolerant of sulfonamides.
Renal impairment: Use with caution. Dosage adjustment not considered to be necessary in renal
impairment.
Hepatic impairment: Use with caution in patients with hepatic impairment.
Adverse effects: Depression of haematopoiesis (with high doses), megaloblastic anaemia, rashes,
insomnia, gastrointestinal disturbances.
Interactions with other medicines (* indicates severe):
* Artemether + lumefantrine: manufacturer of artemether with lumefantrine advises avoid
concomitant use.
* Methotrexate: antifolate effect of methotrexate increased.
* Phenytoin: antagonism of anticonvulsant effect; increased antifolate effect.
Proguanil: increased antifolate effect.
* Silver sulfadiazine: increased antifolate effect.
* Sulfadiazine: increased antifolate effect.
* Sulfamethoxazole + trimethoprim: increased antifolate effect.
* Trimethoprim: increased antifolate effect.
Zidovudine: increased antifolate effect.
Notes: Pyrimethamine-associated reversible bone marrow suppression warrants that a complete
blood count be performed at least weekly while the patient is on daily pyrimethamine and at
least monthly while on less than daily dosing. It is also important that calcium folinate be always
administered with pyrimethamine and increased doses of calcium folinate may be necessary if
marrow suppression occurs.
Administer pyrimethamine with food to minimize vomiting.
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References:
American Academy of Pediatrics. Red Book: 2009 report of the committee on infectious diseases. 28th ed. Elk Grove Village, American
Academy of Pediatrics, 2009.
Hill SR, Kouimtzi M, Stuart MC, eds. WHO model formulary. Geneva, World Health Organization, 2008.
Hodding JH, Kraus DM, Taketomo CK. Pediatric dosage handbook. 16th ed. Hudson, Lexi-Comp, 2009.
Klasco RK, ed. Drugdex system. Greenwood Village, Thomson Micromedex, 2010 (http://www.thomsonhc.com, accessed
10 February 2010).
MIMS Online. Sydney, UBM Medica, 2009 (https://www.mimsonline.com.au/Search/Search.aspx).
Paediatric Formulary Committee. British national formulary for children 2009. London, BMJ Group RBS Publishing, 2009.
Sulfadiazine
ATC code: J01EC02
Tablet: 500 mg
Indications: Toxoplasmosis in combination with pyrimethamine; prophylaxis of Pneumocystis jiroveci
(Pneumocystis carinii) pneumonia in combination with pyrimethamine.
Local antimicrobial sensitivity patterns need to be taken into account. Expert advice essential.
Contraindications: Hypersensitivity to any sulfa drug; porphyria.
Precautions: Renal impairment; hepatic impairment; G6PD deficiency; urinary obstruction; blood dyscrasia.
Dose:
Treatment of congenital toxoplasmosis (in combination with pyrimethamine and calcium
folinate).
Oral:
Neonate 50 mg/kg twice daily for 12 months.
Treatment of toxoplasmosis (in combination with pyrimethamine and calcium folinate).
Oral:
Child all ages 25–50 mg/kg (maximum 1–1.5 g per dose) four times daily, followed by
secondary prophylaxis therapy.
Secondary prophylaxis of toxoplasmosis in addition to prophylaxis of Pneumocystis jiroveci
(Pneumocystis carinii) pneumonia (in combination with pyrimethamine and calcium folinate).
Oral:
Child all ages 85–120 mg/kg daily in 2–4 divided doses.
Note Clindamycin (not on the EMLc for this indication) may be used instead of sulfadiazine in patients
intolerant of sulfonamides.
Renal impairment: Use with caution in renal impairment.
Severe renal impairment: avoid; high risk of crystalluria.
Hepatic impairment: Use with caution.
Adverse effects: Common Nausea.
Uncommon Vomiting, rash, abdominal pain.
Rare Hepatitis, pancreatitis, Stevens-Johnson syndrome, crystalluria, blood dyscrasias.
Interactions with other medicines (* indicates severe):
*
*
*
*
Ciclosporin: plasma ciclosporin concentration possibly reduced; increased risk of nephrotoxicity.
Methotrexate: risk of methotrexate toxicity increased.
Phenytoin: plasma phenytoin concentration possibly increased.
Pyrimethamine: increased antifolate effect.
Sulfadoxine + pyrimethamine: increased antifolate effect.
Thiopental: enhanced effects of thiopental.
Warfarin: enhanced anticoagulant effect.
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References:
American Academy of Pediatrics. Red Book: 2009 report of the committee on infectious diseases. 28th ed. Elk Grove Village, American
Academy of Pediatrics, 2009.
Hodding JH, Kraus DM, Taketomo CK. Pediatric dosage handbook. 16th ed. Hudson, Lexi-Comp, 2009.
Klasco RK, ed. Drugdex system. Greenwood Village, Thomson Micromedex, 2010. (http://www.thomsonhc.com, accessed
10 February 2010).
Paediatric Formulary Committee. British national formulary for children 2009. London, BMJ Group RBS Publishing, 2009.
Sulfamethoxazole + Trimethoprim
ATC code: J01EE01
Injection: 80 mg + 16 mg/ml in 5 ml ampoule; 80 mg + 16 mg/ml in 10 ml ampoule
Oral liquid: 40 mg + 8 mg/ml
Tablet: 100 mg + 20 mg; 400 mg + 80 mg
Special Notes: Also referred to as co-trimoxazole.
Indications: Treatment and prophylaxis of Pneumocystis jiroveci (Pneumocystis carinii) pneumonia.
Local antimicrobial patterns need to be taken into account.
Contraindications: Hypersensitivity to sulfonamides or trimethoprim; porphyria; megaloblastic
anaemia; severe renal impairment; severe hepatic impairment.
Precautions: Mild to moderate renal impairment; maintain adequate fluid intake (to avoid
crystalluria); avoid in blood disorders (unless under specialist supervision); monitor blood counts
on prolonged treatment; discontinue immediately if blood disorder develops; rash (discontinue
immediately); predisposition to folate deficiency; asthma; G6PD deficiency; jaundiced neonates.
Dose:
Doses are expressed in terms of the trimethoprim component.
Treatment of P. jiroveci (P. carinii) infections.
Oral or IV:
Infant or Child over 1 month 10 mg/kg every 12 hours for 14–21 days. Total daily dose may
alternatively be given in 3–4 divided doses. The IV route is preferred.
Prophylaxis for P. jiroveci (P. carinii) infections.
Oral:
Infant or Child under 6 months 20 mg once daily;
6 months–5 years 40 mg once daily;
6–12 years 80 mg once daily.
Renal impairment: Severe impairment: avoid use.
Moderate impairment: use half normal dose.
Plasma monitoring may be required with high doses in renal impairment; seek expert advice.
Hepatic impairment: Severe impairment: avoid use.
Adverse effects: Some adverse effects may be hypersensitivity reactions (see below).
Incidence of some adverse effects (rash, fever, nausea, neutropenia, thrombocytopenia, raised hepatic
aminotransferases) is substantially higher in patients with AIDS.
Common Fever, nausea, vomiting, diarrhoea, anorexia, rash, itch, stomatitis, hyperkalaemia,
thrombocytopenia, photosensitivity.
Uncommon Headache, drowsiness, blood disorders (including neutropenia, leukopenia,
thrombocytopenia, eosinophilia, megaloblastic anaemia, methaemoglobinaemia).
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Rare Erythema, vasculitis, hyponatraemia, hypoglycaemia, pancreatitis, hepatitis, jaundice, hepatic
necrosis, crystalluria, urinary obstruction with anuria/oliguria, lowered mental acuity, depression,
tremor, ataxia (after IV use in HIV patients), antibiotic-associated colitis, Clostridium difficileassociated disease, aseptic meningitis.
Hypersensitivity May present with fever, dyspnoea, cough, rash, eosinophilia; the most serious effects
include anaphylaxis, Stevens-Johnson syndrome, toxic epidermal necrolysis, serum sickness-like syndrome, lupuslike syndrome, pneumonitis, hepatitis, interstitial nephritis, systemic vasculitis and pancytopenia.
Interactions with other medicines (* indicates severe):
Trimethoprim is a folate antagonist and will add to the effects on bone marrow of other folate
antagonists, e.g. pyrimethamine.
Trimethoprim can cause hyperkalaemia; administration with potassium supplements or other drugs
which also cause potassium retention can further increase potassium concentration.
Trimethoprim with sulfamethoxazole can cause nephrotoxicity; giving with other nephrotoxic drugs
may cause additional renal adverse effects.
* Azathioprine: increased risk of haematological toxicity.
* Ciclosporin: increased risk of nephrotoxicity; plasma ciclosporin concentration possibly reduced
by intravenous trimethoprim.
* Dapsone: plasma concentration of both dapsone and trimethoprim may increase with
concomitant use.
Digoxin: plasma concentration of digoxin possibly increased.
Lamivudine: plasma concentration of lamivudine increased (avoid concomitant use of high-dose
sulfamethoxazole + trimethoprim).
* Mercaptopurine: increased risk of haematological toxicity.
* Methotrexate: antifolate effect of methotrexate increased (avoid concomitant use); risk of
methotrexate toxicity increased.
* Phenytoin: antifolate effect and plasma phenytoin concentration increased.
Procainamide: increased plasma procainamide concentration.
* Pyrimethamine: increased antifolate effect.
* Sulfadoxine + pyrimethamine: increased antifolate effect.
Thiopental: enhanced effects of thiopental.
* Warfarin: enhanced anticoagulant effect.
Notes: Oral dose is best given with or after food.
Attention should be paid to the folate status of the patient should treatment be prolonged or high
dose.
Dilution and administration For intermittent intravenous infusion may be further diluted in
glucose 5% and 10% or sodium chloride 0.9% or Ringer’s intravenous solution. Must be further diluted; dilute
each 5 ml of injection solution to 125 ml. Infuse over 60–90 minutes (but may be adjusted according to fluid
requirements). If fluid restriction necessary, 5 ml may be diluted with 75 ml of glucose 5% and the required dose
infused over a maximum of 60 minutes. Check container for haze or precipitant during administration. In severe
fluid restriction may be given undiluted via a central venous line.
References:
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Guidelines for the prevention and treatment of opportunistic infections among
HIV-exposed and HIV-infected children: recommendations from CDC, the National Institutes of Health, the HIV Medicine
Association of the Infectious Diseases Society of America, the Pediatric Infectious Diseases Society, and the American Academy of
Pediatrics. Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report, 2009, 58(RR-11):1–176.
Hill SR, Kouimtzi M, Stuart MC, eds. WHO model formulary. Geneva, World Health Organization, 2008.
Hodding JH, Kraus DM, Taketomo CK. Pediatric dosage handbook. 16th ed. Hudson, Lexi-Comp, 2009.
Kemp CA, McDowell JM. Paediatric pharmacopoeia. 13th ed. Melbourne, Royal Children’s Hospital, 2002.
WHO Model Formulary for Children 2010
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Anti-infective medicines
Klasco RK, ed. Drugdex system. Greenwood Village, Thomson Micromedex, 2010. (http://www.thomsonhc.com, accessed
10 February 2010).
Paediatric Formulary Committee. British national formulary for children 2009. London, BMJ Group RBS Publishing, 2009.
Rossi S, ed. Australian medicines handbook. Adelaide, Australian Medicines Handbook, 2009.
Strengthening health services to fight HIV/AIDS: guidelines on co-trimoxazole prophylaxis for HIV-related infections among children,
adolescents and adults: recommendations for a public health approach. Geneva, World Health Organization, 2006 (http://www.who.
int/hiv/pub/guidelines/ctxguidelines.pdf, accessed 28 April 2010).
WHO expert committee on the selection and use of essential medicines. The selection and use of essential medicines: report of
the WHO expert committee, October 2007 (including the model list of essential medicines for children). WHO Technical Report
Series, 2008, 950 (http://www.who.int/medicines/publications/essentialmeds_committeereports/TRS_950.pdf ).
6.5.5 Antitrypanosomal medicines
6.5.5.1 African trypanosomiasis
African trypanosomiasis, or sleeping sickness, is a protozoan infection which is transmitted by
Glossina spp. (tsetse flies). Two subspecies of Trypanosoma brucei (T. brucei gambiense and T. brucei
rhodesiense) produce distinctive clinical forms of the disease. T. brucei gambiense infection constitutes
95% of all human African trypanosomiasis cases. The early stage of African trypanosomiasis results
from infection of the blood stream and lymph nodes. The second meningoencephalitic stage results
from infection of the central nervous system. Signs of the later stage develop within a few weeks in
T. brucei rhodesiense infection but only after several months or years in T. brucei gambiense infection.
First-stage disease
Treatment of early-stage infections of T. brucei rhodesiense with suramin sodium and T. brucei
gambiense with pentamidine can be curative if started before the central nervous system has become
involved.
Second-stage disease
Eflornithine and melarsoprol are used for the treatment of second-stage (neurological) trypanosomal
infections, since both medications reach therapeutic levels in the central nervous system.
Following treatment of African trypanosomiasis, patients should be followed up at 6-monthly
intervals for 24 months. Monitoring of leukocytes, total protein content and trypanosome presence
in cerebrospinal fluid is recommended in order to evaluate treatment efficacy.
Eflornithine
ATC code: P01CX03
Injection: 200 mg (hydrochloride)/ml in 100 ml bottle
Iatrogenic mortality from 0.7–2%.
Reactions requiring immediate corrective measures and withdrawal of treatment include severe
anaemia (8 g/dl), leukopenia (< 1000 cells/mm3), thrombocytopenia (< 20 000 cells/mm3).
Eflornithine is a toxic drug. Adverse effects occur frequently during its use, and are sometimes
fatal. Eflornithine should therefore be used only for approved indications where close
observation can be maintained.
Special Notes: Also referred to as (alpha)-difluoromethylornithine and DFMO.
Medicine for the treatment of second-stage African trypanosomiasis.
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Indications: Treatment of second-stage Trypanosoma brucei gambiense infection.
Contraindications: Ineffective in the treatment of Trypanosoma brucei rhodesiense human African
trypanosomiasis.
Precautions: Hospitalization and close supervision throughout treatment; renal impairment; monitor
complete blood and platelet counts for bone marrow suppression (severe anaemia, leukopenia or
thrombocytopenia requires an interruption in treatment until there is evidence of bone marrow
recovery); concurrent bacterial infections.
Dose:
Treatment of second-stage Trypanosoma brucei gambiense infection.
Slow IV infusion:
Child under 35 kg 150 mg/kg over 2 hours every 6 hours for 14 days;
over 35 kg 100 mg/kg over 2 hours every 6 hours for 14 days.
Note These doses are based on clinical experience and limited evidence.
Renal impairment: Dosage adjustment may be required in all degrees of renal impairment.
Eflornithine is 80% renally excreted.
Adverse effects: Common Diarrhoea, nausea, vomiting, abdominal pain, tremor, dizziness,
confusion, seizures, injection site reaction, anaemia, leukopenia, thrombocytopenia.
Uncommon Anorexia, headache, oedema, bacterial infection at the catheter site with risk of phlebitis,
cellulitis, pyomyositis and generalized sepsis, death.
Rare Alopecia, pruritus, muscle pain, eosinophilia, impaired hearing (usually with longer courses
used for cancer treatment).
Interactions with other medicines (* indicates severe):
There are no known interactions where it is recommended to avoid concurrent use.
Notes: Eflornithine hydrochloride concentrate for injection is hypertonic and must be diluted with
sterile water for injection before infusion.
After dilution with sterile water for injection, eflornithine must be used within 24 hours. Bags
containing diluted eflornithine should be stored at 4 °C (39 °F) to minimize the risk of microbial
proliferation.
Strict aseptic technique should be used when administering, with frequent replacement of IV
cannulas (at least every 2 days).
Monitoring should continue for up to 4 weeks after finishing treatment.
Eflornithine in combination with nifurtimox has been recently introduced to reduce duration and
workload of eflornithine monotherapy and may delay the appearance of drug resistance. Currently,
there is a multicentre trial being conducted which includes assessing the safety and efficacy in
children at the same dose as adults.
References:
Abramowicz M. Drugs for parasitic infections. In: Abramowicz M, ed. The Medical Letter on Drugs and Therapeutics. New
Rochelle, The Medical Letter, 2000:1–12.
Chappuis F et al. Eflornithine for the treatment of human African trypanosomiasis, practical perspectives. Developpement et Sante,
2004, 171:41–47.
Chappuis F et al. Eflornithine is safer than melarsoprol for the treatment of second-stage Trypanosoma brucei gambiense human
African trypanosomiasis. Clinical Infectious Diseases, 2005, 41:748–751.
Checchi F, Barrett MP. African sleeping sickness. British Medical Journal, 2008, 336:679–680.
Hill SR, Kouimtzi M, Stuart MC, eds. WHO model formulary. Geneva, World Health Organization, 2008.
Human African trypanosomiasis. Geneva, World Health Organization, 2010 (http://www.who.int/trypanosomiasis_african/drugs/
en/index.html, accessed 10 February 2010).
Milord F et al. Efficacy and toxicty of eflornithine for treatment of Trypanosoma brucei gambiense sleeping sickness. Lancet, 1992,
340:652–655.
Odero RO. African trypanosomiasis (sleeping sickness). eMedicine. New York, WebMD, 2009 (http://emedicine.medscape.com/
article/228613-overview, accessed 10 February 2010).
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Ornidyl Product Information. Marion Merrell Dow, 1995 (http://www.drugs.com/mmx/ornidyl.html, accessed 10 February 2010).
Priotto G et al. Safety and effectiveness of first line eflornithine for Trypanosoma brucei gambiense sleeping sickness in Sudan:
cohort study. British Medical Journal, 2008, 336(7646):705–708.
Pritti G et al. Nifurtimox-eflornithine combination therapy for second-stage African Trypanosoma brucei gambiense
trypanosomiasis: a multicentre, randomised, phase III, non-inferiority trial. Lancet, 2009, 374:56–64.
WHO expert committee on the control and surveillance of African trypanosomiasis. Control and surveillance of African
trypanosomiasis. WHO Technical Report Series, 1998, 881:1–114.
Melarsoprol
ATC code: P01CD01
Injection: 36 mg/ml (3.6%) solution, 5 ml ampoule (180 mg of active compound)
Melarsoprol is very toxic with a 3–10% lethality. It should therefore be used only for the
approved indications where close observation can be maintained and it can be administered by
experienced personnel. Melarsoprol is strictly for intravenous use only.
Special Notes: Also referred to as Mel B or Melarsen Oxide-BAL.
Treatment of second-stage African trypanosomiasis.
Indications: Treatment of second-stage Trypanosoma brucei rhodesiense or Trypanosoma brucei
gambiense infection.
Contraindications: Ingestion of alcohol during treatment.
Precautions: Hospitalization and close medical supervision required throughout treatment; reactive
encephalopathy (immediate treatment suspension essential); treat intercurrent infections such as
pneumonia and malaria before melarsoprol administration; malnutrition (if possible, correct with
protein-rich diet); G6PD deficiency; leprosy (may precipitate erythema nodosum); fever; avoid use
during influenza epidemics (increased risk of reactive encephalopathy in febrile patients); avoid
extravasation.
Dose:
Treatment of second-stage Trypanosoma brucei rhodesiense infection.
Slow IV infusion:
Child all ages dose gradually increased from 1.2 mg/kg to maximum of 3.6 mg/kg daily in
courses of 3–4 days with intervals of 7–10 days between courses.
Treatment of second-stage Trypanosoma brucei gambiense infection.
Slow IV infusion:
Child all ages 2.2 mg/kg daily for 10 days.
Note Prednisolone 1 mg/kg once daily should be administered concurrently to all patients for the duration
of melarsoprol therapy.
Adverse effects: Common Fatal reactive encephalopathy (see below), peripheral neuropathy, Jarisch-
Herxheimer reaction (fever and chills may also occur, resulting from trypanosome destruction),
headache, diarrhoea, vomiting, arthralgia, fever, skin reactions, thrombophlebitis.
Reactive encephalopathy appears to be more frequent in children.
Uncommon Myocardial damage, albuminuria, hypertension, hyperthermia, urticaria.
Rare Agranulocytosis, aplastic anaemia, thrombocytopenia, hypersensitivity reactions (especially on
second or subsequent doses), haemorrhagic encephalopathy, exfoliative dermatitis.
Fatal reactive encephalopathy Also known as “arsenical encephalopathy”, is characterized by
fever, headache, tremor, slurred speech, seizures and ultimately coma (occurs in 3–10% of patients treated with
melarsoprol, and is fatal in approximately 50% of those who experience it).
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Interactions with other medicines (* indicates severe):
Alcohol: combination contraindicated as increases toxicity of melarsoprol.
Notes: Relapse has been reported in up to 20–30% of late-stage trypanosomiasis patients after
treatment with melarsoprol. This appears related to resistance, although reinfection or inadequate
CSF concentrations of the drug may be responsible in some cases. Re-treatment with melarsoprol
in these patients has not been consistently effective and is not recommended. Eflornithine therapy
should be considered.
Patients should remain supine and fasting for at least 2 hours after injection to reduce gastrointestinal
side-effects.
Administration Melarsoprol should be administered by slow intravenous injection as a 3.6% solution in
propylene glycol. Because melarsoprol injection is intensely irritating due to its propylene glycol content, care
should be taken to avoid leakage into the surrounding tissues. Extravasation during intravenous administration
may result in extreme local tissue damage and destruction.
References:
Abramowicz M. Drugs for parasitic infections. In: Abramowicz M, ed. The Medical Letter on Drugs and Therapeutics. New
Rochelle, The Medical Letter, 2000:1–12.
Arsobal Product Information. Rhone-Poulenc Rorer, 1994 (http://www.drugs.com/mmx/arsobal.html, accessed 10 February 2010).
Hill SR, Kouimtzi M, Stuart MC, eds. WHO model formulary. Geneva, World Health Organization, 2008.
Human African trypanosomiasis. Geneva, World Health Organization, 2010 (http://www.who.int/trypanosomiasis_african/drugs/
en/index.html, accessed 10 February 2010).
Klasco RK, ed. Drugdex system. Greenwood Village, Thomson Micromedex, 2010. (http://www.thomsonhc.com, accessed
10 February 2010).
Odero RO. African trypanosomiasis (sleeping sickness). eMedicine. New York, WebMD, 2009 (http://emedicine.medscape.com/
article/228613-overview, accessed 10 February 2010).
Pepin J et al. Trial of prednisolone for prevention of melarsoprol-induced encephalopathy in gambiense sleeping sickness. Lancet,
1989, 333(8649):1246–1250.
Schmid C et al. Effectiveness of a 10-day melarsoprol schedule for the treatment of late-stage human African trypanosomiasis:
confirmation from a multinational study (IMPAMEL II). Journal of Infectious Diseases, 2005, 191(11):1922–1931.
WHO expert committee on the control and surveillance of African trypanosomiasis. Control and surveillance of African
trypanosomiasis. WHO Technical Report Series, 1998, 881:1–114.
Pentamidine
ATC code: P01CX01
Powder for injection: 300 mg (pentamidine isetionate) in vial
Pentamidine isetionate is toxic and personnel should be adequately protected during handling
and administration; consult product literature.
Severe, sometimes fatal, hypotension, hypoglycaemia, pancreatitis and cardiac arrhythmias
have been reported. Other life-threatening reactions requiring immediate corrective measures
and withdrawal of treatment have included leukopenia (< 1000 cells/mm3), thrombocytopenia
(< 20 000 cells/mm3), acute renal failure, hypocalcaemia and ventricular tachycardia.
Fatalities have been documented following pentamidine administration. The ratio of therapeutic
to toxic dose of pentamidine is very low and adverse effects, some of which may be life
threatening, occur frequently during its use. Pentamidine should, therefore, be used only for the
approved indications where close observation can be maintained.
Special Notes: Medicine for the treatment of first-stage African trypanosomiasis.
The WHO Model List of Essential Medicines for Children 2009 has the 200 mg vial listed. This
strength is no longer in production and a 300 mg vial is available.
Indications: Treatment of first-stage Trypanosoma brucei gambiense infection.
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Precautions: Cerebrospinal fluid examination before treatment (pentamidine not likely to be
effective if leukocyte count greater than 5–10 cells/mm3, or trypanosomes detected in cerebrospinal
fluid); risk of severe hypotension following administration; hypotension or hypertension; hepatic
impairment; hypoglycaemia or hyperglycaemia; leukopenia; thrombocytopenia; anaemia;
immunodeficiency (if acute deterioration in bone marrow, renal or pancreatic function, interrupt
or discontinue treatment); renal impairment.
Dose:
Treatment of first-stage T. brucei gambiense infection.
IM:
Infant or Child 4 mg/kg daily for 7 days.
Renal impairment: Severe impairment: reduce dose interval (e.g. every alternate day).
Hepatic impairment: Use with caution.
Adverse effects: Common Pain at injection site.
Rare Diarrhoea, nausea, nephrotoxicity, acute hypotension, hypoglycaemia (may be followed by
hyperglycaemia and type I diabetes mellitus), pancreatitis; also hypocalcaemia, gastrointestinal
disturbances, confusion, hallucinations, arrhythmias, thrombocytopenia, leukopenia, abnormal
liver function tests, anaemia, hyperkalaemia, rash, Stevens-Johnson syndrome; pain, local
induration, sterile abscess and muscle necrosis at injection site.
Interactions with other medicines (* indicates severe):
Amphotericin B: possibly increased risk of nephrotoxicity.
Artemether: increased level and toxicity of pentamidine. Avoid concomitant use.
Quinine: increased level and toxicity of pentamidine and quinine. Avoid concomitant use.
Typhoid vaccine: pentamidine may decrease the effect of typhoid vaccine.
Notes: A cerebrospinal fluid examination before treatment is required as pentamidine is not effective
if trypanosomes are detected in the cerebrospinal fluid or the leukocyte count is above 5–10 cells/mm3.
Before administration, establish baseline blood pressure and administer with patient lying down; they
should remain lying for 1–2 hours after administration.
Monitor blood pressure and cardiac rhythm during administration and treatment period.
Hypoglycaemia post-administration is easily prevented by administering oral sugar, in tea or similar,
half an hour before administration.
Periodic ECG is desirable.
Extreme care should be taken to ensure aseptic technique when administering to avoid the risk of
abscess or necrosis at the injection site.
Reconstitution and administration Reconstitute vial with water for injection to a final
concentration of 100 mg/ml. Administer by deep intramuscular injection and preferably into the buttock.
Pentamidine isetionate is toxic; care is required to protect personnel during handling and administration.
References:
Doua F. The efficacy of pentamidine in the treatment of early-late stage Trypanosoma brucei gambiense trypanosomiasis. American
Journal of Tropical Medicine and Hygiene, 1996, 55(6):586–588.
Hill SR, Kouimtzi M, Stuart MC, eds. WHO model formulary. Geneva, World Health Organization, 2008.
Hodding JH, Kraus DM, Taketomo CK. Pediatric dosage handbook. 16th ed. Hudson, Lexi-Comp, 2009.
Human African trypanosomiasis. Geneva, World Health Organization, 2010 (http://www.who.int/trypanosomiasis_african/drugs/
en/index.html, accessed 10 February 2010).
Klasco RK, ed. Drugdex system. Greenwood Village, Thomson Micromedex, 2010. (http://www.thomsonhc.com, accessed
10 February 2010).
Paediatric Formulary Committee. British national formulary for children 2009. London, BMJ Group RBS Publishing, 2009.
WHO expert committee on the control and surveillance of African trypanosomiasis. Control and surveillance of African
trypanosomiasis. WHO Technical Report Series, 1998, 881:1–114.
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6.5 Antiprotozoal medicines
Suramin sodium
ATC code: P01CX02
Powder for injection: 1 g in vial
A potentially fatal immediate hypersensitivity reaction is estimated to occur in 1 per 20 000
patients; a test dose is recommended before starting treatment. Suramin sodium should only be
administered by experienced staff.
Special Notes: Medicine for the treatment of first-stage African trypanosomiasis.
Indications: Treatment of the initial phase of Trypanosoma brucei rhodesiense infection.
Contraindications: Previous anaphylaxis or suramin sensitivity; severe liver impairment; severe renal
impairment.
Precautions: Debilitated or malnourished patients; albuminuria; onchocerciasis.
Dose:
Treatment of the initial phase of Trypanosoma brucei rhodesiense infection.
Slow IV injection:
Child all ages 5 mg/kg on day 1 (as a test dose) followed by 20 mg/kg on day 3, 10, 17, 24 and 31.
First (test) dose Administer first dose with particular caution; wait at least 1 minute after injecting the first
few microlitres; inject next 0.5 ml over 30 seconds and wait 1 minute; inject the remainder over several minutes.
Renal impairment: Mild to moderate impairment: use with caution.
Severe impairment: avoid use.
Suramin is excreted renally at a slow rate due to extensive protein binding. Drug can be excreted in
the urine unchanged for 3 months following doses of suramin.
Hepatic impairment: Severe impairment: avoid use. Administration of suramin in individuals with
significant hepatic dysfunction, in whom serum albumin levels may be reduced, may result in
toxic serum suramin levels due to an increased free fraction of the drug in the plasma.
Adverse effects: Common Fever, rash, vomiting, nausea and metallic taste, thrombocytopenia,
peripheral neuropathy, transient hyperbilirubinaemia, mild proteinuria.
Rare Immediate and potentially fatal allergic reaction with nausea, vomiting, shock and loss of
consciousness during first dose (see First (test) dose), albuminuria, abdominal pain, severe
diarrhoea, stomal ulceration, exfoliative dermatitis, tiredness, anorexia, malaise, polyuria, thirst,
raised liver enzyme values, paraesthesia and hyperaesthesia of palms and soles.
Interactions with other medicines (* indicates severe):
There are no known interactions where it is recommended to avoid concurrent use.
Notes: Suramin is only effective in the early stages of the illness, in which no CNS involvement has
occurred. Suramin crosses the blood-brain barrier poorly, and in later stages where the organism
has penetrated the CNS, other agents must be used.
Cerebrospinal fluid examination should be conducted before treatment.
Administer only under close medical supervision in hospital and with general condition improved as
far as possible before treatments.
Poor nutritional status increases frequency of adverse reactions, so correct with a protein-rich diet
and maintain satisfactory food and fluid intake during treatment.
Conduct urine tests before treatment and weekly during treatment; reduce dose if moderate
albuminuria, discontinue immediately if severe albuminuria or casts in urine.
Reconstitution of injection Reconstitute in water for injections to produce a final concentration of
10%. The compound deteriorates quickly in air and so should be injected immediately after preparation.
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References:
Abramowicz M. Drugs for parasitic infections. In: Abramowicz M, ed. The Medical Letter on Drugs and Therapeutics. New
Rochelle, The Medical Letter, 2000:1–12.
Hill SR, Kouimtzi M, Stuart MC, eds. WHO model formulary. Geneva, World Health Organization, 2008.
Human African trypanosomiasis. Geneva, World Health Organization, 2010 (http://www.who.int/trypanosomiasis_african/drugs/
en/index.html, accessed 10 February 2010).
Odero RO. African trypanosomiasis (sleeping sickness). eMedicine. New York, WebMD, 2009 (http://emedicine.medscape.com/
article/228613-overview, accessed 10 February 2010).
Porter RS, ed. Merck Manual Online. Whitehouse Station, Merck Research Laboratories, ©2006–2008 (http://www.merck.com/
mmpe/index.html, accessed 10 February 2010).
WHO expert committee on the control and surveillance of African trypanosomiasis. Control and surveillance of African
trypanosomiasis. WHO Technical Report Series, 1998, 881:1–114.
6.5.5.2 American trypanosomiasis
Chagas disease is a disease caused by the parasite T. cruzi. It is transmitted to humans by insect vectors
that are found only in the Americas (mainly in rural areas of Latin America where poverty is widespread).
Chagas disease has an acute and a chronic phase. If Chagas disease is not treated, infection is lifelong.
The acute illness (which occurs immediately after inoculation and lasts weeks to months) may be
mild or asymptomatic. Symptoms include fever or swelling at the inoculation site.
After this, most people enter a chronic phase, during which most people are asymptomatic. Approximately
30% will develop serious complications including cardiac and gastrointestinal manifestations of the
disease. In people with immunosuppresssion (e.g. HIV/AIDS), Chagas disease can reactivate and
potentially cause severe disease.
Benznidazole
ATC code: P01CA02
Tablet: 100 mg
Indications: Treatment of Chagas disease (American trypanosomiasis).
Contraindications: Pregnancy.
Precautions: Hepatic impairment; renal impairment; haematological conditions; history of
neurological clinical manifestations; allergic condition to imidazoles; monitor blood count,
especially leukocytes, throughout treatment.
Dose:
Treatment of congenital acute phase or early chronic phase of Chagas disease (American
trypanosomiasis).
Full-term neonate initially 5 mg/kg daily, increasing after 3 days to 10 mg/kg daily, if no
leucopenia or thrombocytopenia. Dose must be given in 2–3 divided doses for 60 days.
Treatment of acute phase or early chronic phase of Chagas disease (American trypanosomiasis).
Oral:
Infant or Child under 40 kg 7.5 mg/kg daily in 2–3 divided doses for 60 days;
40 kg and over 5 mg/kg daily in 2–3 divided doses for 60 days.
Note Acute meningoencephalitis may require a dose of up to 25 mg/kg daily.
Treatment of chronic phase of Chagas disease (American trypanosomiasis).
Oral:
Infant or Child 5 mg/kg daily in 2–3 divided doses for 60 days.
Note The treating physician should determine the age limits and clinical suitability of this specific therapy.
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6.5 Antiprotozoal medicines
Renal impairment: Avoid use in renal failure (limited data available).
Hepatic impairment: Avoid use in hepatic failure (limited data available).
Adverse effects: Common Rashes (discontinue treatment if severe and accompanied by fever and
purpura), nausea, vomiting and abdominal pain, peripheral neuropathy.
Uncommon Paraesthesia, peripheral neuritis, leukopenia, arthralgia, myalgia.
Rare Agranulocytosis, bone marrow depression, headache, dizziness, fatigue.
Interactions with other medicines (* indicates severe):
There are no known interactions where it is recommended to avoid concomitant use.
References:
Hill SR, Kouimtzi M, Stuart MC, eds. WHO model formulary. Geneva, World Health Organization, 2008.
Kirchhoff LV. Chagas disease (American trypanosomiasis): treatment & medication. eMedicine. New York, WebMD, 2009 (http://
emedicine.medscape.com/article/214581-treatment, accessed 10 February 2010).
Klasco RK, ed. Drugdex system. Greenwood Village, Thomson Micromedex, 2010. (http://www.thomsonhc.com, accessed
10 February 2010).
WHO expert committee on the control of Chagas disease. Control of Chagas disease: second report of the WHO expert
committee. WHO Technical Report Series, 2002, 905 (http://whqlibdoc.who.int/trs/WHO_TRS_905.pdf ).
Nifurtimox
ATC code: P01CC01
Tablet: 30 mg; 120 mg; 250 mg
Special Notes: Not all tablet strengths listed may be commercially available.
Indications: Treatment of Chagas disease (American trypanosomiasis).
Contraindications: Pregnancy; porphyria; hypersensitivity to hydantoin; allergic afflictions
(particularly those involving skin manifestations).
Precautions: Close medical supervision required in patients with history of cerebral damage or
predisposition to seizures, psychosis or serious behavioural alterations; co-administer aluminium
hydroxide to reduce gastrointestinal irritation; renal impairment; hepatic impairment.
Dose:
Treatment of acute phase or early chronic phase of Chagas disease (American trypanosomiasis).
Oral:
Neonate, Infant or Child under 40 kg 15–20 mg/kg daily in three divided doses for 60 days.
Administer every 8 hours after meals.
Child 40 kg or over 12.5–15 mg/kg daily in three divided doses for 60 days. Administer every
8 hours after meals.
Treatment of chronic phase of Chagas disease (American trypanosomiasis).
Oral:
Infant or Child 8–10 mg/kg daily in three divided doses for 60 days. Administer every 8 hours
after meals.
Note The treating physician should determine the age limits and clinical suitability of this specific therapy.
Renal impairment: Mild and moderate impairment: dosage adjustment may be required due to
increased serum levels and toxicity of nifurtimox.
Severe impairment/failure: avoid use (limited data available).
Hepatic impairment: Hepatic function impairment may increase blood concentrations of this
medication, increasing the risk of side-effects.
Adverse effects: Common Rash, anorexia, loss of weight, nausea, vomiting, gastric pain, headache,
vertigo.
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Uncommon Memory loss, sleep disturbances, excitability, myalgia, arthralgia, peripheral neuritis
(may require discontinuation).
Rare Tremors, seizures, psychotic reactions, suicidality.
Interactions with other medicines (* indicates severe):
There are no known interactions where it is recommended to avoid concomitant use.
Notes: Nifurtimox is best taken with or after meals to minimize gastrointestinal irritation.
Tablets should be taken three times daily, preferably in the morning, at noon and at night, after
meals.
Infants may take it crushed and mixed with a small amount of food. In this case it is convenient to
give the medication before the full meal.
References:
Hill SR, Kouimtzi M, Stuart MC, eds. WHO model formulary. Geneva, World Health Organization, 2008.
Kirchhoff LV. Chagas disease (American trypanosomiasis): treatment & medication. eMedicine. New York, WebMD, 2009 (http://
emedicine.medscape.com/article/214581-treatment, accessed 10 February 2010).
Klasco RK, ed. Drugdex system. Greenwood Village, Thomson Micromedex, 2010. (http://www.thomsonhc.com, accessed
10 February 2010).
Lampit Product Information. Bayer, 1995 (http://www.drugs.com/mmx/lampit.html, accessed 10 February 2010).
WHO expert committee on the control of Chagas disease. Control of Chagas disease: second report of the WHO expert
committee. WHO Technical Report Series, 2002, 905 (http://whqlibdoc.who.int/trs/WHO_TRS_905.pdf ).
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SECTION 7:
Antimigraine medicines
7.1 For treatment of acute attack...................................................... 240
7.2 For prophylaxis.......................................................................... 242
WHO Model Formulary for Children 2010
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7
Antimigraine medicines
7
Antimigraine medicines
Migraine is the most common identifiable cause of recurrent or chronic headache in childhood. Prior
to diagnosing migraine in a child, alternative causes of headache including raised intracranial pressure
(e.g. due to a space-occupying lesion or meningitis) or systemic illness must also be considered. A
careful history, examination and follow-up help guide the correct diagnosis.
In children, the presentation of migraine is influenced by the age of the child, but is characterized
by periodic episodes of paroxysmal headache often accompanied by pallor, nausea, vomiting and
relief with sleep. Migraines with aura or prolonged neurological symptoms are uncommon in young
children. In adolescents, the presentation of migraine is often similar to that of adults.
The following features are suggestive of an alternative diagnosis or possible intracranial pathology
warranting further investigation or referral:
• recurrent early morning headaches
• headaches that are prolonged and incapacitating
• progressive change in personality or behaviour
• abnormal neurological examination findings
• failure to respond to usual treatment measures.
Treatment of migraine in children consists of three components: general measures, acute measures,
and, in some cases, preventive treatment. General measures include appropriate reassurance and
avoidance of any identified trigger factors.
7.1 For treatment of acute attack
For treatment of an acute attack early use of simple analgesics are often effective.
Ibuprofen
ATC code: M01AE01
Tablet: 200 mg; 400 mg
Special Notes: WHO age/weight restriction: > 3 months.
Indications: Acute migraine attack.
Contraindications: Hypersensitivity (including asthma, angioedema, urticaria or rhinitis) to
acetylsalicylic acid or any other NSAIM; active peptic ulceration or upper gastrointestinal
bleeding; severe renal failure, hepatic failure or cardiac failure.
Precautions: Asthma; cardiac disease; volume depletion, such as in gastroenteritis or dehydration
(increased risk of renal impairment); concomitant use of drugs that increase risk of bleeding;
previous peptic ulceration; dehydration; coagulation defects; allergic disorders; renal impairment;
hepatic impairment.
Dose:
Treatment of acute migraine attack.
Oral:
Infant or Child over 3 months 5–10 mg/kg three or four times daily with or after food.
Maximum dose is 40 mg/kg/day.
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7.1 For treatment of acute attack
Renal impairment: Mild and moderate impairment: use lowest effective dose and monitor renal
function; sodium and water retention may occur, as may deterioration in renal function possibly
leading to renal failure.
Severe impairment: avoid use.
Hepatic impairment: Use with caution; increased risk of gastrointestinal bleeding and can cause fluid
retention; avoid in severe liver disease.
Adverse effects: Common Nausea, diarrhoea, dyspepsia, headache, dizziness, fluid retention,
abdominal pain.
Uncommon Rash, urticaria, photosensitivity, renal impairment, raised blood pressure, gastrointestinal
ulceration and bleeding.
Rare Angioedema, bronchospasm, hepatic damage, alveolitis, pulmonary eosinophilia, pancreatitis,
visual disturbances, erythema multiforme (Stevens-Johnson syndrome), toxic epidermal necrolysis
(Lyell syndrome), colitis, aseptic meningitis.
Interactions with other medicines (* indicates severe):
*
*
Acetylsalicylic acid: avoid concomitant use (increased adverse effects).
Ciclosporin: increased risk of nephrotoxicity.
Dexamethasone: increased risk of gastrointestinal bleeding and ulceration.
Digoxin: possible exacerbation of heart failure, reduced renal function and increased plasma
digoxin concentration.
Enalapril: antagonism of hypotensive effect, increased risk of renal impairment.
* Fluoxetine: increased risk of bleeding.
Furosemide: risk of nephrotoxicity of ibuprofen increased; antagonism of diuretic effect.
Heparin: possible increased risk of bleeding.
Hydrocortisone: increased risk of gastrointestinal bleeding and ulceration.
* Lithium: reduced excretion of lithium (increased risk of toxicity).
* Methotrexate: excretion of methotrexate reduced (increased risk of toxicity).
Penicillamine: possible increased risk of nephrotoxicity.
* Phenytoin: effect of phenytoin possibly enhanced.
Prednisolone: increased risk of gastrointestinal bleeding and ulceration.
Propranolol: antagonism of hypotensive effect.
Ritonavir: plasma concentration possibly increased by ritonavir.
Spironolactone: risk of nephrotoxicity of ibuprofen increased; antagonism of diuretic effect;
possible increased risk of hyperkalaemia.
* Warfarin: anticoagulant effect possibly enhanced and risk of bleeding increased.
Zidovudine: increased risk of haematological toxicity.
Notes: Give with or after food.
References:
Hill SR, Kouimtzi M, Stuart MC, eds. WHO model formulary. Geneva, World Health Organization, 2008.
Hodding JH, Kraus DM, Taketomo CK. Pediatric dosage handbook. 16th ed. Hudson, Lexi-Comp, 2009.
Kemp CA, McDowell JM. Paediatric pharmacopoeia. 13th ed. Melbourne, Royal Children’s Hospital, 2002.
MIMS Online. Sydney, UBM Medica, 2009 (http://www.mimsonline.com.au/Search/Search.aspx, accessed 10 February 2010).
Paediatric Formulary Committee. British national formulary for children 2009. London, BMJ Group RBS Publishing, 2009.
WHO expert committee on the selection and use of essential medicines. The selection and use of essential medicines: report of
the WHO expert committee, October 2007 (including the model list of essential medicines for children). WHO Technical Report
Series, 2008, 950 (http://www.who.int/medicines/publications/essentialmeds_committeereports/TRS_950.pdf ).
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Antimigraine medicines
Paracetamol
ATC code: N02BE01
Oral liquid: 25 mg/ml
Tablet: 300 mg to 500 mg
Special Notes: Also referred to as acetaminophen.
Indications: Acute migraine attack.
Precautions: Hepatic impairment; overdosage.
Dose:
Treatment of acute migraine attack.
Oral:
Infant or Child 15 mg/kg, up to 1 g, every 4–6 hours as necessary. Maximum 60 mg/kg in
24 hours.
Hepatic impairment: Dose-related toxicity; avoid large doses.
Adverse effects: Rare Rash, hypersensitivity, neutropenia, thrombocytopenia, pancytopenia.
Hepatotoxicity Hepatotoxicity (and less frequently renal damage) can occur after paracetamol overdosage.
Children who are malnourished, have a febrile illness, have not eaten for a few days or are taking liver enzymeinducing drugs may be at an increased risk of liver damage from paracetamol overdosage. Refer to section 4.2 for
more information on paracetamol toxicity.
Interactions with other medicines (* indicates severe):
Metoclopramide: increased absorption of paracetamol.
Warfarin: prolonged regular use of paracetamol possibly enhances anticoagulant effect.
Notes: Shake suspension well before use.
References:
Hill SR, Kouimtzi M, Stuart MC, eds. WHO model formulary. Geneva, World Health Organization, 2008.
MIMS Online. Sydney, UBM Medica, 2009 (http://www.mimsonline.com.au/Search/Search.aspx, accessed 10 February 2010).
WHO expert committee on the selection and use of essential medicines. The selection and use of essential medicines: report of
the WHO expert committee, October 2007 (including the model list of essential medicines for children). WHO Technical Report
Series, 2008, 950 (http://www.who.int/medicines/publications/essentialmeds_committeereports/TRS_950.pdf ).
7.2 For prophylaxis
For frequent or severe migraine, preventive medications may be appropriate, with specialist
consultation where possible. Prophylaxis can reduce the severity and frequency of attacks but does
not eliminate them completely, so additional symptomatic treatment is still needed.
Propranolol
ATC code: C07AA05
Tablet: 20 mg; 40 mg (as hydrochloride)
Indications: Migraine prophylaxis.
Contraindications: Asthma; history of bronchospasm; uncontrolled heart failure; marked
bradycardia; hypotension; sick sinus syndrome; second or third-degree atrioventricular block;
cardiogenic shock; metabolic acidosis; severe peripheral arterial disease; phaeochromocytoma.
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7.2 For prophylaxis
Precautions: Avoid abrupt withdrawal; first-degree atrioventricular block; portal hypertension;
diabetes mellitus; history of obstructive airways disease; renal impairment; liver disease;
myasthenia gravis; history of hypersensitivity (increased reaction to allergens, also reduced response
to epinephrine (adrenaline)).
Dose:
Migraine prophylaxis.
Oral:
Child over 2 years 200–500 micrograms/kg three times daily; maximum 4 mg/kg daily. Usual
dose 10–20 mg 2–3 times daily.
Renal impairment: Severe: start with small dose; higher plasma concentrations after oral
administration; may reduce renal blood flow and adversely affect renal function.
Hepatic impairment: Reduce oral dose.
Adverse effects: Common Nausea, diarrhoea, fatigue, insomnia, nightmares, dyspnoea,
bronchospasm, peripheral vasoconstriction, exacerbation of Raynaud syndrome, bradycardia, heart
failure, hypotension, conduction disorders.
Uncommon Rash, exacerbation of psoriasis, muscle cramp, dry eyes.
Rare Hypersensitivity reaction, thrombocytopenic purpura, liver function abnormality, alopecia,
cardiac arrest.
Interactions with other medicines (* indicates severe):
* Bupivacaine: increased risk of bupivacaine toxicity.
* Chlorpromazine: concomitant administration may increase plasma concentration of both drugs;
enhanced hypotensive effect.
Contraceptives, oral: antagonism of hypotensive effect by estrogens.
Dexamethasone: antagonism of hypotensive effect.
Diazepam: enhanced hypotensive effect.
Digoxin: increased risk of atrioventricular block and bradycardia.
Enalapril: enhanced hypotensive effect.
* Epinephrine: severe hypertension.
Furosemide: enhanced hypotensive effect.
Halothane: enhanced hypotensive effect.
Hydrochlorothiazide: enhanced hypotensive effect.
Hydrocortisone: antagonism of hypotensive effect.
Ibuprofen: antagonism of hypotensive effect.
Insulins: enhanced hypoglycaemic effect; propranolol may mask warning signs of hypoglycaemia
such as tremor.
Ketamine: enhanced hypotensive effect.
* Lidocaine: increased myocardial depression; increased risk of lidocaine toxicity (interaction less
likely when lidocaine used topically).
Mefloquine: increased risk of bradycardia.
Neostigmine: antagonism of effect of neostigmine.
* Nifedipine: enhanced hypotensive effect. Possible severe hypotension and heart failure.
Nitrous oxide: enhanced hypotensive effect.
Prednisolone: antagonism of hypotensive effect.
* Procainamide: increased myocardial depression.
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7
Antimigraine medicines
Pyridostigmine: antagonism of effect of pyridostigmine.
* Quinidine: increased myocardial depression.
Rifampicin: metabolism of propranolol accelerated (significantly reduced plasma concentration of
propranolol).
Sodium nitroprusside: enhanced hypotensive effect.
Spironolactone: enhanced hypotensive effect.
Suxamethonium: enhanced muscle relaxant effect.
Thiopental: enhanced hypotensive effect.
Vecuronium: enhanced muscle relaxant effect.
* Verapamil: asystole, severe hypotension and heart failure.
Notes: Advise patient or carer not to discontinue abruptly.
Give with food.
References:
Hill SR, Kouimtzi M, Stuart MC, eds. WHO model formulary. Geneva, World Health Organization, 2008.
Hodding JH, Kraus DM, Taketomo CK. Pediatric dosage handbook. 16th ed. Hudson, Lexi-Comp, 2009.
Paediatric Formulary Committee. British national formulary for children 2009. London, BMJ Group RBS Publishing, 2009.
Rossi S, ed. Australian medicines handbook. Adelaide, Australian Medicines Handbook, 2009.
244
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SECTION 8:
Antineoplastic, immunosuppressives and medicines used in
palliative care
8.1
8.2
8.3
8.4
Immunosuppressive medicines................................................... 246
Cytotoxic medicines................................................................... 251
Hormones and antihormones..................................................... 274
Medicines used in palliative care................................................. 280
WHO Model Formulary for Children 2010
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8
Antineoplastic, immunosuppressives and medicines used in palliative care
8
Antineoplastic, immunosuppressives and
medicines used in palliative care
8.1 Immunosuppressive medicines
NOTE. WHO advises that this class of drugs is for use only when adequate resources and specialist care are
available. Specific expertise, diagnostic precision, individualization of dosage and special equipment are
required for their proper use.
Immunosuppressive drugs are used in organ transplant recipients to suppress rejection; they are also
used as second-line drugs in chronic inflammatory conditions. Treatment should only be initiated by
a specialist. Careful monitoring of blood counts is required in patients receiving immunosuppressive
drugs, and the dose should be adjusted to prevent bone marrow toxicity. Immunosuppressed patients
are particularly prone to atypical infections.
Azathioprine
ATC code: L04AX01
Powder for injection: 100 mg (as sodium salt) in vial
Tablet: 50 mg
Special Notes: Also referred to as AZT (Note: this abbreviation is also used for zidovudine).
Indications: To prevent rejection in organ transplant recipients in combination with other
medications.
Contraindications: Hypersensitivity to azathioprine or mercaptopurine.
Precautions: Liver disease; renal impairment. Monitor for toxicity throughout treatment; full
blood counts necessary every week (or more frequently with higher doses and in renal or hepatic
impairment) for first 4 weeks of treatment, and at least every 3 months thereafter.
Patients with genetic deficiency of the enzyme thiopurine methyltransferase (TPMT) which
metabolizes azathioprine are at greater risk of myelosuppressive effects.
Bone marrow suppression Patients should be warned to report immediately any signs or symptoms of
bone marrow suppression, for example unexplained bruising or bleeding, infection.
Dose:
Organ transplantation.
Oral or IV:
Child 1 month–12 years initially 3–5 mg/kg once daily beginning at the time of transplant;
maintenance 1–3 mg/kg once daily, adjusted according to response. Total daily dose may
alternatively be given in two divided doses.
Renal impairment: Mild: dose as in normal renal function.
Moderate: 75–100% of normal dose.
Severe: 50–100% of normal dose.
Hepatic impairment: May need dose reduction.
Adverse effects: Common Leukopenia, thrombocytopenia, anaemia, increased susceptibility to
infections due to immunosuppression, alopecia, diarrhoea, anorexia, nausea and vomiting, mouth
ulcers, oesophagitis.
Uncommon Hepatitis, photosensitivity.
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8.1 Immunosuppressive medicines
Rare Hepatic veno-occlusive disease, hypersensitivity reactions, malaise, dizziness, fever, muscular
pains, arthralgia, rash, hypotension or interstitial nephritis call for immediate withdrawal,
cholestatic jaundice, colitis in patients also receiving corticosteroids, pancreatitis, pneumonitis,
increased incidence of malignancies and lymphoproliferative disorders.
Interactions with other medicines (* indicates severe):
*
*
*
*
*
Allopurinol: effects of azathioprine enhanced and toxicity increased, reduce dose of azathioprine.
Phenytoin: possibly reduced absorption of phenytoin.
Sulfamethoxazole + trimethoprim: increased risk of haematological toxicity.
Trimethoprim: increased risk of haematological toxicity.
Vaccine, live: avoid use of live vaccines with azathioprine (impairment of immune response).
Warfarin: anticoagulant effect possibly reduced.
Notes: Intravenous injection is alkaline and very irritant; the intravenous route should therefore only
be used if oral administration is not possible. For intravenous injection give over at least 1 minute.
For intravenous infusion dilute to a concentration of 0.25–2.5 mg/ml in glucose 5% or sodium
chloride 0.9% or sodium chloride and glucose; give over 30–60 minutes.
Patient information Patients should be warned to report immediately any signs or symptoms of bone
marrow suppression, for example unexplained bruising or bleeding, infection.
Specific expertise, diagnostic precision, individualization of dosage or special equipment required for
proper use.
Hazardous agent Azathioprine is an immunosuppressive agent. Use appropriate precautions for handling
and disposal.
References:
Ashley C, Currie A, eds. The renal drug handbook. 3rd ed. Oxford, Radcliffe Publishing, 2009.
Hill SR, Kouimtzi M, Stuart MC, eds. WHO model formulary. Geneva, World Health Organization, 2008.
Hodding JH, Kraus DM, Taketomo CK. Pediatric dosage handbook. 16th ed. Hudson, Lexi-Comp, 2009.
Paediatric Formulary Committee. British national formulary for children 2009. London, BMJ Group RBS Publishing, 2009.
Ciclosporin
ATC code: L04AA01
Capsule: 25 mg
Concentrate for injection: 50 mg/ml in 1 ml ampoule for organ transplantation
Special Notes: Also referred to as cyclosporine.
Indications: For use in organ transplant recipients in kidney, liver, heart or bone marrow
transplantation, graft-versus-host disease and nephrotic syndrome.
Contraindications: Hypersensitivity to ciclosporin or any component of formulations (e.g. polyoxyl
35 castor oil in injection or polyoxyl 40 hydrogenated castor oil in capsules); breastfeeding.
Precautions: Monitor kidney function (dose-dependent increase in serum creatinine and urea
during first few weeks may necessitate dose reduction, exclude rejection if kidney transplant);
monitor liver function (adjust dosage according to bilirubin and liver enzymes); monitor blood
pressure (discontinue if hypertension cannot be controlled by antihypertensives); monitor
serum potassium, particularly if marked renal impairment (risk of hyperkalaemia); monitor
serum magnesium; hyperuricaemia; measure blood lipids before and during treatment; avoid in
porphyria.
Additional cautions in nephrotic syndrome Reduce dose by 25–50% if serum creatinine
more than 30% above baseline at more than one measurement; perform renal biopsies at yearly intervals;
contraindicated in uncontrolled infections and malignancy.
WHO Model Formulary for Children 2010
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8
Antineoplastic, immunosuppressives and medicines used in palliative care
Dose:
Note Lower doses are required when ciclosporin is used with other immunosuppressants.
Serum level monitoring is required, a guide (based on adult recommendations) is provided in
Notes, however, specialist transplant protocols should be consulted.
Solid organ transplantation.
Oral:
Child over 3 months 10–15 mg/kg 4–12 hours before surgery, then 10–15 mg/kg/day in
1–2 doses for 1–2 weeks, reducing to 2–6 mg/kg/day in 1–2 doses for maintenance (adjust dose
according to blood ciclosporin concentration and kidney function).
IV:
Child over 3 months 3–5 mg/kg 4–12 hours before surgery, then 3–5 mg/kg/day in 1–2 doses
for 1–2 weeks, reducing to 0.6–2 mg/kg/day for maintenance (adjust dose according to blood
ciclosporin concentration and kidney function).
Bone marrow transplantation or graft-versus-host disease (GVHD).
Oral:
Child over 3 months 12.5–15 mg/kg daily for 2 weeks, starting on day before transplantation
(or at the onset of GVHD), followed by 12.5 mg/kg/day in 1–2 doses for 3–6 months, then
gradually tailed off (may take up to 1 year after transplant).
IV:
Child over 3 months 3–5 mg/kg/day in 1–2 doses for 2 weeks, starting on the day before
transplantation (or at the onset of GVHD), followed by oral maintenance doses.
Nephrotic syndrome.
Oral:
Child all ages 3 mg/kg/dose twice daily. In renal impairment, initial dose should not
exceed 2.5 mg/kg/day. For maintenance treatment, slowly reduce to lowest effective dose
according to whole blood ciclosporin concentrations, proteinuria and serum creatinine
measurements. Discontinue after 3 months if no improvement (after 6 months in membranous
glomerulonephritis).
Renal impairment: Monitor kidney function, dose-dependent increase in serum creatinine and urea
during first few weeks may necessitate dose reduction (exclude rejection if kidney transplant).
Hepatic impairment: May need dose adjustment based on bilirubin or liver enzyme levels.
Adverse effects: Common Nephrotoxicity (dose-related and reversible increases in serum creatinine
and urea unrelated to tissue rejection), gingival hyperplasia, hirsutism, headache, tremor,
burning sensation in hands and feet during initial therapy, electrolyte disturbances including
hyperkalaemia, hypomagnesaemia, hepatic dysfunction, hyperuricaemia, hypercholesterolaemia,
hyperglycaemia, hypertension (especially in heart transplant patients), increased incidence of
malignancies and lymphoproliferative disorders, increased susceptibility to infections due to
immunosuppression, increased insulin requirements, diabetes.
Uncommon Gastrointestinal disturbances, fatigue, myopathy or muscle weakness, gout.
Rare Confusion, coma, psychosis, allergic reactions, thrombocytopenia (sometimes with haemolytic
uraemic syndrome), also mild anaemia, seizures, neuropathy, dysmenorrhoea or amenorrhoea,
pancreatitis.
Interactions with other medicines (* indicates severe):
*
*
*
Aciclovir: increased risk of nephrotoxicity.
Allopurinol: plasma ciclosporin concentration possibly increased (risk of nephrotoxicity).
Amikacin: increased risk of nephrotoxicity.
Amiloride: increased risk of hyperkalaemia.
Amphotericin B: increased risk of nephrotoxicity.
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8.1 Immunosuppressive medicines
* Azithromycin: plasma concentration of ciclosporin possibly increased.
* Carbamazepine: accelerated metabolism of ciclosporin (reduced plasma ciclosporin
concentration).
* Chloramphenicol: plasma concentration of ciclosporin possibly increased.
* Chloroquine: increased plasma ciclosporin concentration (increased risk of toxicity).
* Ciprofloxacin: increased risk of nephrotoxicity.
* Contraceptives, oral: plasma ciclosporin concentration increased by progestogens and possibly
increased by estrogens.
* Digoxin: increased plasma concentration of digoxin (increased risk of toxicity).
* Doxorubicin: increased risk of neurotoxicity.
* Doxycycline: possibly increased plasma ciclosporin concentration.
* Enalapril: increased risk of hyperkalaemia.
* Erythromycin: increased plasma ciclosporin concentration (inhibition of metabolism of
ciclosporin).
Etoposide: possibly increased plasma concentration of etoposide (increased risk of toxicity).
* Fluconazole: metabolism of ciclosporin inhibited (increased plasma concentration).
* Gentamicin: increased risk of nephrotoxicity.
* Grapefruit juice: increased plasma ciclosporin concentration (risk of toxicity).
Griseofulvin: plasma ciclosporin concentration possibly reduced.
Hydrochlorothiazide: increased risk of nephrotoxicity and possibly hypermagnesaemia.
* Ibuprofen: increased risk of nephrotoxicity.
* Levofloxacin: increased risk of nephrotoxicity.
* Levonorgestrel: inhibition of ciclosporin metabolism (increased plasma ciclosporin
concentration).
* Medroxyprogesterone: inhibition of ciclosporin metabolism (increased plasma ciclosporin
concentration).
* Methotrexate: increased toxicity.
* Metoclopramide: plasma ciclosporin concentration increased.
* Nelfinavir: possibly increased plasma ciclosporin concentration.
* Norethisterone: inhibition of ciclosporin metabolism (increased plasma ciclosporin
concentration).
* Ofloxacin: increased risk of nephrotoxicity.
* Phenobarbital: metabolism of ciclosporin accelerated (reduced effect).
* Phenytoin: accelerated metabolism of ciclosporin (reduced plasma ciclosporin concentration).
* Potassium salts: increased risk of hyperkalaemia.
Prednisolone: increased plasma concentration of prednisolone.
* Rifampicin: accelerated metabolism of ciclosporin (reduced plasma ciclosporin concentration).
* Ritonavir: plasma concentration possibly increased by ritonavir.
* Saquinavir: plasma concentration of both ciclosporin and saquinavir increased.
* Silver sulfadiazine: increased risk of nephrotoxicity; possibly reduced plasma concentration of
ciclosporin.
* Simvastatin: increased risk of myopathy.
Spironolactone: increased risk of hyperkalaemia.
WHO Model Formulary for Children 2010
249
8
*
*
*
*
*
*
*
Antineoplastic, immunosuppressives and medicines used in palliative care
Streptomycin: increased risk of nephrotoxicity.
Sulfadiazine: plasma ciclosporin concentration possibly reduced; increased risk of nephrotoxicity.
Sulfadoxine + pyrimethamine: increased risk of nephrotoxicity.
Sulfamethoxazole + trimethoprim: increased risk of nephrotoxicity; plasma ciclosporin
concentration possibly reduced by intravenous trimethoprim.
Trimethoprim: increased risk of nephrotoxicity; plasma ciclosporin concentration possibly
reduced by intravenous trimethoprim.
Vaccine, live: avoid use of live vaccines with ciclosporin (impairment of immune response).
Vancomycin: increased risk of nephrotoxicity.
Verapamil: increased plasma ciclosporin concentration.
Notes: Conversion Any conversion between brands should be undertaken very carefully, and the
manufacturer’s product information consulted for further advice.
Note Concentrate for infusion may contain polyethoxylated castor oil, which has been associated with
anaphylaxis; observe patient for 30 minutes after starting infusion and then at frequent intervals.
Serum concentration monitoring Draw blood for ciclosporin measurement by venepuncture,
not from a central line.
Avoid using nonspecific assays which measure ciclosporin plus metabolites. Concentrations obtained from
nonspecific assays are not interchangeable with the results from a specific assay.
The ciclosporin concentration 2 hours after a dose (C2) correlates better with area under the curve (AUC) than
the 12 hour trough concentration (C0). There is evidence to suggest that C2 is a better indicator of adequate
immunosuppression.
The following concentrations are a guide. They depend on assay technique, transplant type, time since transplant
and use of other immunosuppressants. Aim for higher concentrations in the first 3 months after transplant and
where rejection has occurred and lower concentrations where adverse effects are experienced.
Trough concentrations (C0) Whole blood specific assay, 100–300 micrograms/l.
C2 concentrations Collect sample 2 hours (± 15 minutes) after a dose of ciclosporin.
Recommended C2 whole blood concentrations for Neoral® brand in adults Liver transplant: 600–
1000 micrograms/l.
Kidney transplant: 800–1500 micrograms/l.
Continuous IV infusion Whole blood specific assay, 300–500 micrograms/l.
Consult local protocols or specialist advice for use in children.
Intravenous administration advice Dilute injection to 1:20 to 1:100 in glucose 5% or sodium
chloride 0.9%; infuse IV over 2–6 hours (more slowly if facial flushing occurs); use a glass bottle and non-PVC
administration set to avoid phthalate stripping and use short giving sets to reduce amount adsorbed.
Patient information Swallow capsules whole and take them 12 hours apart at the same times each day.
Clean your teeth and gums regularly.
Hazardous agent Ciclosporin is an immunosuppressive agent. Use appropriate precautions for handling
and disposal.
References:
Hill SR, Kouimtzi M, Stuart MC, eds. WHO model formulary. Geneva, World Health Organization, 2008.
Hodding JH, Kraus DM, Taketomo CK. Pediatric dosage handbook. 16th ed. Hudson, Lexi-Comp, 2009.
Paediatric Formulary Committee. British national formulary for children 2009. London, BMJ Group RBS Publishing, 2009.
Rossi S, ed. Australian medicines handbook. Adelaide, Australian Medicines Handbook, 2009.
250
WHO Model Formulary for Children 2010
8.2 Cytotoxic medicines
8.2 Cytotoxic medicines
NOTE. WHO advises that while cytotoxic medicines are essential for the treatment of malignancy in
children, adequate resources and specialist supervision are a prerequisite for the introduction of this class
of drugs. Specific expertise, diagnostic precision, individualization of dosage and special equipment are
required for their proper use. There are many differences in the spectrum and management of childhood
cancers, compared to adult cancers, and the treatment of malignancy in children with drugs, radiotherapy
and surgery is complex and should only be undertaken by specialists in this field. For this reason, the
following information is provided merely as a guide.
Chemotherapy may be curative or used to alleviate symptoms or prolong life (palliative). When the
condition can no longer be managed with cytotoxic therapy, alternative palliative treatment (section
8.4) should be considered.
For some tumours, single-drug chemotherapy may be adequate, but for most malignancies, a
combination of drugs provides the best response; specialist literature should be consulted. Cytotoxic
drugs are often combined with other classes of drugs in the treatment of malignant conditions. Such
drugs include hormone agonists and antagonists, corticosteroids and immunosuppressant drugs
(section 8.3). Combinations are, however, more toxic than single drugs.
Cytotoxic medications should be used with great care and close monitoring. Specific doses and
details of contraindications, precautions and adverse effects for the individual cytotoxic drugs have
been omitted in the following section since treatment should be undertaken by specialists using
approved regimens; specialist literature should be consulted for further information.
Adverse effects
Cytotoxic drugs have a considerable potential to damage normal tissue. Specific adverse effects apply,
but a number are common to all cytotoxics, such as bone marrow and immunological suppression.
The concomitant use of immunosuppressive drugs will enhance susceptibility to infections. Fever
associated with neutropenia requires immediate treatment with antibiotics.
Nausea and vomiting following administration of cytotoxic drugs and abdominal radiotherapy are
often distressing and may compromise further treatment. Symptoms may be acute (occurring within
24 hours of treatment), delayed (first occurring more than 24 hours after treatment) or anticipatory
(occurring before subsequent doses). Antiemetic medicines are further discussed in section 17.2.
Hyperuricaemia may complicate treatment of conditions such as non-Hodgkin lymphomas and
leukaemia. Renal damage may result from the formation of uric acid crystals. Patients should be
adequately hydrated, and hyperuricaemia may be managed with allopurinol.
Alopecia is common during treatment with cytotoxic drugs. There is no drug treatment, but the
condition often reverses spontaneously once treatment has stopped.
Oral mucositis is common during cancer chemotherapy, particularly with fluorouracil, methotrexate
and anthracyclines. Prevention of a sore mouth is important, because once it has developed treatment
is much less effective. Brushing teeth with a soft brush two to three times daily and rinsing the
mouth frequently are probably the most effective preventative measures. Treatment involves regular
use of saline mouthwashes. Generally mucositis is self-limiting, but it can be a focus for blood-borne
infection in the absence of good oral hygiene. Any pain caused by mucositis should be dealt with
effectively.
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Antineoplastic, immunosuppressives and medicines used in palliative care
Allopurinol
ATC code: M04AA01
Tablet: 100 mg to 300 mg
Indications: Prophylaxis of hyperuricaemia associated with cancer chemotherapy.
Contraindications: Acute gout; previous allopurinol-induced rash.
Precautions: Ensure adequate fluid intake; renal impairment; hepatic impairment; withdraw
treatment if rash occurs (see below).
For hyperuricaemia associated with cancer therapy, allopurinol should be started before cancer
therapy.
Rash Risk of skin rash may be increased in patients receiving amoxicillin or ampicillin. The risk of
hypersensitivity may also be increased in patients receiving thiazides or ACE inhibitors. If a rash occurs, treatment
should be stopped; treatment may be reintroduced if the rash is mild but discontinue immediately if it recurs.
Dose:
Prophylaxis of hyperuricaemia associated with cancer chemotherapy beginning 1–2 days before
chemotherapy.
Oral:
Child 1 month–12 years 10–20 mg/kg daily (maximum 400 mg) preferably after food. Doses
> 300 mg should be administered as divided doses.
Renal impairment: Mild: no dosage reduction necessary.
Moderate: 50% of usual dose.
Severe: 30% of usual dose.
Hepatic impairment: Reduce dose and monitor liver function.
Adverse effects: Common Rash (see Precautions above), gastrointestinal intolerance.
Uncommon Hypertension, alopecia, hepatotoxicity, paraesthesia, neuropathy, gynaecomastia.
Rare Hypersensitivity reactions including fever, lymphadenopathy, arthralgia, eosinophilia, erythema
multiforme (Stevens-Johnson syndrome) or toxic epidermal necrolysis, vasculitis, hepatitis, renal
impairment, malaise, headache, vertigo, drowsiness, visual and taste disturbance.
Very rare Seizures, blood disorders (including leukopenia, thrombocytopenia, haemolytic anaemia
and aplastic anaemia).
Interactions with other medicines (* indicates severe):
*
*
*
*
Amoxicillin: increased risk of rash and hypersensitivity.
Ampicillin: increased risk of rash and hypersensitivity.
Azathioprine: effects of azathioprine enhanced and toxicity increased; reduce dose of azathioprine.
Ciclosporin: plasma ciclosporin concentration possibly increased (risk of nephrotoxicity).
Cyclophosphamide: increased risk of cyclophosphamide toxicity.
Didanosine: increased plasma concentration of didanosine leading to didanosine toxicity.
Enalapril: increased risk of hypersensitivity.
Hydrochlorothiazide: increased risk of hypersensitivity, especially in renal impairment.
Mercaptopurine: effects of mercaptopurine enhanced and toxicity increased; reduce dose of
mercaptopurine.
* Theophylline: increased risk of theophylline toxicity.
* Warfarin: anticoagulant effect possibly enhanced.
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8.2 Cytotoxic medicines
References:
Hill SR, Kouimtzi M, Stuart MC, eds. WHO model formulary. Geneva, World Health Organization, 2008.
Hodding JH, Kraus DM, Taketomo CK. Pediatric dosage handbook. 16th ed. Hudson, Lexi-Comp, 2009.
Paediatric Formulary Committee. British national formulary for children 2009. London, BMJ Group RBS Publishing, 2009.
Rossi S, ed. Australian medicines handbook. Adelaide, Australian Medicines Handbook, 2009.
Solimando DA Jr., ed. Lexi-Comp’s drug information handbook for oncology. 4th ed. Hudson, Lexi-Comp, 2004.
Asparaginase
ATC code: L01XX02
Powder for injection: 10 000 IU in vial
Allergic reactions to asparaginase are frequent and can be fatal. Risk factors include intravenous
administration, large doses, prior exposure to asparaginase and intervals of even a few days
between doses. An intradermal test dose may be administered (see Precautions).
Special Notes: Also referred to as crisantaspase, L-asparaginase and colaspase.
Different brands of asparaginase may not be interchangeable and the units may be expressed
differently.
Indications: Acute lymphoblastic leukaemia; T-cell non-Hodgkin lymphoma.
Contraindications: Allergy to asparaginase; history of pancreatitis; history of thrombosis or
haemorrhagic events with previous asparaginase therapy; pregnancy.
Precautions: Underlying coagulopathy; impaired renal function; pre-existing liver impairment;
discontinue at the first sign of renal failure or pancreatitis; appropriate measures should be taken
to prevent hyperuricaemia and uric acid nephropathy (consider allopurinol, hydration and urinary
alkalinization); test dose recommended (see below).
Test dose An intradermal test dose of 2 international units is often recommended prior to the first dose of
asparaginase or prior to restarting therapy after a hiatus of several days. However, false negative rates of up to 80%
are reported. Serious allergic reactions can occur; intradermal testing should only be done in a hospital setting
with adequate monitoring and resuscitation facilities. Desensitization may be performed in patients who are
found to be hypersensitive from the intradermal test dose; consult specialist texts for details.
Dose:
See specialist treatment protocols.
Renal impairment: Use with caution.
Hepatic impairment: Use with caution.
Adverse effects: Children appear to tolerate asparaginase better than adults.
Common Allergic reactions, nausea, vomiting, fatty changes in the liver, elevated transaminases and
bilirubin, decreased albumin and calcium concentrations, reduced fibrinogen and clotting factors
(resulting in prolonged clotting times), uraemia, pancreatitis.
Uncommon Transient proteinuria, hyperglycaemia (rarely leading to diabetic ketoacidosis), CNS
effects including depression or hyperexcitability, chills and fever (possibly caused by bacterial
endotoxins in the preparation), increased fibrin degradation products, increased blood ammonia.
Rare Intracranial haemorrhage or thrombosis, peripheral venous and arterial thrombosis, transient
myelosuppression, acute renal failure, Parkinsonian-like syndrome, diarrhoea, oral mucositis.
Interactions with other medicines (* indicates severe):
Vaccines, live: avoid use of live vaccines with asparaginase (impairment of immune response).
Cytarabine: decreased antineoplastic effect if given prior to cytarabine.
Methotrexate: decreased antineoplastic effect if given prior to methotrexate.
Prednisolone: increased hyperglycaemic effect.
WHO Model Formulary for Children 2010
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Antineoplastic, immunosuppressives and medicines used in palliative care
Notes: Can be produced by either Erwinia chrysanthemi or Escherichia coli. Children who are
hypersensitive to asparaginase derived from one organism may tolerate asparaginase derived from
another organism but cross-sensitivity occurs in 20–30% of individuals.
Asparaginase is a contact irritant. Care should be taken to avoid contact with skin or mucous
membranes (especially eyes). If accidental contact occurs, the affected area should be flushed with
water for at least 15 minutes.
References:
Hill SR, Kouimtzi M, Stuart MC, eds. WHO model formulary. Geneva, World Health Organization, 2008.
Hodding JH, Kraus DM, Taketomo CK. Pediatric dosage handbook. 16th ed. Hudson, Lexi-Comp, 2009.
Paediatric Formulary Committee. British national formulary for children 2009. London, BMJ Group RBS Publishing, 2009.
Rossi S, ed. Australian medicines handbook. Adelaide, Australian Medicines Handbook, 2009.
Bleomycin
ATC code: L01DC01
Powder for injection: 15 mg (as sulfate) in vial
Handle as a cytotoxic.
Indications: Adjunct to surgery and radiotherapy in palliative treatment of Hodgkin and non-
Hodgkin lymphomas; carcinomas of the head, neck, larynx, cervix, penis, skin, vulva, testicles and
including embryonal cell carcinoma, choriocarcinoma and teratoma; malignant effusions; Kaposi
sarcoma.
Contraindications: Acute pulmonary infection or significantly reduced lung function; allergy to
bleomycin; pregnancy; breastfeeding.
Precautions: Renal impairment; pulmonary impairment.
Dose:
Maximum cumulative dose for adults is 300 000–400 000 international units.
Consult specialist protocols.
Renal impairment: Monitor plasma creatinine at baseline and before each cycle.
Mild: dose as in normal renal function.
Moderate: 75% of normal dose (100% for malignant effusions).
Severe: 50% of normal dose (100% for malignant effusions).
Hepatic impairment: Dosage reduction not necessary.
Adverse effects: Common Rash, erythema, itch, vesiculation, hyperkeratosis, hyperpigmentation
(particularly of skin folds), nail changes, oral mucositis, alopecia, fever and chills (usually
occur within 4–10 hours of a dose and last 4–12 hours or longer), hypersensitivity (see below),
pulmonary toxicity (see below), nausea and vomiting.
Uncommon Raynaud phenomenon.
Rare Acute chest pain during infusion.
Hypersensitivity Occurs in about 1% of lymphoma patients but otherwise appears to be rare. Usually
presents with hypotension, high fever, chills, confusion and wheezing. May be immediate or delayed and usually
occurs with the first or second dose.
Pulmonary toxicity Occurs in approximately 10% of patients, initial symptoms include dyspnoea,
cough and sometimes fever. Pneumonitis may progress to pulmonary fibrosis and death. Onset may be delayed
for up to 6 months after the last dose. Risk factors include high cumulative dose, mediastinal radiotherapy, renal
impairment, pre-exisiting lung disease and oxygen supplementation. Stop bleomycin if pneumonitis is suspected.
Corticosteroids are used although evidence is limited.
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8.2 Cytotoxic medicines
Interactions with other medicines (* indicates severe):
* Cisplatin: increased pulmonary toxicity.
* Oxygen: serious pulmonary toxicity in patients exposed to conventional oxygen concentrations
during anaesthesia.
Phenytoin: possibly reduced absorption of phenytoin.
Vaccines, live: avoid use of live vaccines with bleomycin (impairment of immune response).
* Vinblastine: increased risk of cardiovascular toxicity.
Digoxin: bleomycin may decrease digoxin absorption.
Amphotericin B: concurrent bleomycin may increase nephrotoxicity and risk of hypotension and
bronchospasm.
Notes: No single monitoring test reliably predicts bleomycin pulmonary toxicity, monitoring may
include:
chest X-ray at baseline, then each week during and for 4 weeks after treatment;
pulmonary function tests (particularly total lung volume and forced vital capacity);
baseline and monthly evaluation of carbon monoxide diffusion capacity; stop treatment if it falls to
< 30–35% of pretreatment value.
1500 international units of bleomycin are equivalent to 1.5 USP bleomycin units and approximately
1.5 mg (by potency) or 1 mg (by weight). Caution is required when converting from mg to
international units as protocols or trials may state bleomycin doses in terms of mg-potency rather
than mg-weight.
Irritant to tissues; needs to be administered with care.
References:
Ashley C, Currie A, eds. The renal drug handbook. 3rd ed. Oxford, Radcliffe Publishing, 2009.
Hill SR, Kouimtzi M, Stuart MC, eds. WHO model formulary. Geneva, World Health Organization, 2008.
Paediatric Formulary Committee. British national formulary for children 2009. London, BMJ Group RBS Publishing, 2009.
Rossi S, ed. Australian medicines handbook. Adelaide, Australian Medicines Handbook, 2009.
Calcium folinate
ATC code: V03AF03
Injection: 3 mg/ml in 10 ml ampoule
Tablet: 15 mg
Special Notes: Also referred to as calcium leucovorin, folinic acid or leucovorin.
Indications: Reduction of methotrexate-induced toxicity associated with high-dose methotrexate
therapy (folate rescue).
Contraindications: Intrathecal injection of calcium folinate is contraindicated.
Precautions: Not for use in patients with pernicious anaemia or other megaloblastic anaemias due to
vitamin B12 deficiency.
Avoid simultaneous administration of methotrexate.
Dose:
Consult specialist protocols.
Usually started 24 hours after beginning the methotrexate infusion. Doses and length of treatment
may be based on methotrexate concentration.
Renal impairment: Dose reduction not necessary.
Hepatic impairment: Dose reduction not necessary.
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Adverse effects: Uncommon Allergic reactions, fever.
Rare Seizures, fainting.
Interactions with other medicines (* indicates severe):
Phenobarbital: plasma concentration of phenobarbital possibly reduced.
Phenytoin: plasma phenytoin concentration possibly reduced.
Fluorouracil: toxicity enhanced but used for this purpose intentionally.
Trimethoprim: reduced therapeutic effect.
References:
Ashley C, Currie A, eds. The renal drug handbook. 3rd ed. Oxford, Radcliffe Publishing, 2009.
Hill SR, Kouimtzi M, Stuart MC, eds. WHO model formulary. Geneva, World Health Organization, 2008.
Paediatric Formulary Committee. British national formulary for children 2009. London, BMJ Group RBS Publishing, 2009.
Rossi S, ed. Australian medicines handbook. Adelaide, Australian Medicines Handbook, 2009.
Carboplatin
ATC code: L01XA02
Injection: 10 mg/ml solution 5 ml, 15 ml, 45 ml and 60 ml vials
Handle as a cytotoxic agent.
Special Notes: This medicine is listed as a representative of its pharmacological class. Other
medicines in the same class may have similar clinical performance and may be selected for local
formularies based on availability and price. The information in this monograph only applies to the
medicine listed here.
Indications: Stage 4 neuroblastoma; germ cell tumours; low-grade gliomas (including astrocytomas);
neuroectodermal tumours (including medulloblastoma); rhabdomyosarcoma (metastatic and nonmetastatic disease); soft tissue sarcomas; retinoblastoma; high-risk Wilms tumour; some liver tumours.
Contraindications: Hypersensitivity to carboplatin, cisplatin, other platinum containing compounds
or mannitol; severe bone marrow suppression or excessive bleeding; pregnancy; breastfeeding.
Precautions: Renal impairment.
Dose:
See specialist treatment protocols.
Doses frequently calculated according to individual patient’s renal function and ability to clear
the drug.
Calvert formula for carboplatin dosing in adults:
Total dose (mg) = target AUC (mg.minute/ml) x [GFR (ml/minute) + 25].
Modified Calvert formula for children:
Total dose (mg) = [target AUC (mg.minute/ml)] x [GFR (ml/minute) + (0.36 x body weight in
kilograms)].
Renal impairment: Renal function is often factored into dose calculations for carboplatin. If renally-
adjusted doses are not being used and the patient is renally impaired, consider reducing dose and
monitor haematological parameters and renal function; avoid if creatinine clearance less than
20 ml/minute.
Hepatic impairment: Dosage reduction not necessary.
Adverse effects: Common Myelosuppression (see below), nausea, vomiting, peripheral neuropathy,
taste abnormality, fatigue, hypersensitivity reactions including anaphylaxis (risk increases with
repeated exposure), reversible elevation of serum creatinine, mild and reversible electrolyte
abnormalities (hyponatraemia, hypokalaemia, hypocalcaemia, hypomagnesaemia), mild elevations
of ALP, liver transaminases and bilirubin, alopecia, myalgia, weakness.
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Uncommon Ototoxicity, abdominal pain, diarrhoea, constipation, oral mucositis.
Rare Acute renal failure, haemolytic uraemic syndrome, loss of vision (at higher than usually
recommended doses).
Myelosuppression Major dose-limiting effect. Thrombocytopenia is more common and pronounced than
leukopenia; it may be cumulative and sometimes requires platelet transfusion. Nadir of platelet and neutrophil
counts occurs 14–28 days after a dose, with recovery usually within 28 days. Anaemia may be cumulative and
require transfusion.
Interactions with other medicines (* indicates severe):
Aminoglycosides: increased ototoxicity and nephrotoxicity.
Nephrotoxic drugs: increased renal toxicity.
Phenytoin: decreased serum levels of phenytoin.
Digoxin: reduced absorption of digoxin.
Clozapine: increased risk of agranulocytosis.
Notes: Needle or intravenous administration sets containing aluminium parts should not be used in
the administration or preparation of carboplatin as an interaction may cause precipitate formation
and loss of potency.
References:
Hill SR, Kouimtzi M, Stuart MC, eds. WHO model formulary. Geneva, World Health Organization, 2008.
Hodding JH, Kraus DM, Taketomo CK. Pediatric dosage handbook. 16th ed. Hudson, Lexi-Comp, 2009.
Paediatric Formulary Committee. British national formulary for children 2009. London, BMJ Group RBS Publishing, 2009.
Rossi S, ed. Australian medicines handbook. Adelaide, Australian Medicines Handbook, 2009.
Chlorambucil
ATC code: L01AA02
Tablet: 2 mg
Handle as a cytotoxic.
Indications: Non-Hodgkin lymphomas; Hodgkin disease; histiocytosis.
Contraindications: Hypersensitivity to chlorambucil or any component; cross-hypersensitivity (skin
rash) may occur with other alkylating agents; pregnancy; breastfeeding.
Precautions: Severe hepatic impairment; renal impairment; seizure disorders; bone marrow
suppression; effective contraception is advised in both men and women; affects fertility (see
Adverse effects). Reduce initial dose if a patient has received radiation therapy, myelosuppressive
drugs, or has reduced baseline leukocyte or platelet count within the previous 4 weeks.
Dose:
Consult specialist protocols.
Renal impairment: Moderate or severe: use with caution and monitor response; increased risk of
myelosuppression. Dose reduction not usually necessary.
Hepatic impairment: Consider dose reduction in severe hepatic impairment.
Adverse effects: Common Rash, dose-limiting myelosuppression (nadir 14 days), transient elevations
in liver enzymes.
Uncommon Abdominal discomfort, diarrhoea, oral mucositis.
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Rare Hallucinations, seizures, sterile cystitis, hepatotoxicity, jaundice, severe pneumonitis, Stevens-
Johnson syndrome, toxic epidermal necrolysis, drug fever, irreversible bone marrow suppression,
pulmonary fibrosis, tremor, peripheral neuropathy, sterility in pre-pubertal and pubertal males (less
likely in females).
Interactions with other medicines (* indicates severe):
Phenytoin: possibly reduced absorption of phenytoin.
Vaccines, live: avoid use of live vaccines with chlorambucil (impairment of immune response).
Phenobarbital: increased toxicity of chlorambucil.
Notes: Tablets should be swallowed whole on an empty stomach and not broken, chewed or crushed.
Avoid the need to cut tablets by using different doses on alternate days.
Store tablets at 2–8 °C (36–46 °F). Tablets may be stored at room temperatures up to 30 °C (86 °F)
for up to 1 week.
References:
Ashley C, Currie A, eds. The renal drug handbook. 3rd ed. Oxford, Radcliffe Publishing, 2009.
Hill SR, Kouimtzi M, Stuart MC, eds. WHO model formulary. Geneva, World Health Organization, 2008.
Paediatric Formulary Committee. British national formulary for children 2009. London, BMJ Group RBS Publishing, 2009.
Rossi S, ed. Australian medicines handbook. Adelaide, Australian Medicines Handbook, 2009.
Solimando DA Jr., ed. Lexi-Comp’s drug information handbook for oncology. 4th ed. Hudson, Lexi-Comp, 2004.
Cyclophosphamide
ATC code: L01AA01
Powder for injection: 500 mg in vial
Tablet: 25 mg
Handle as a cytotoxic.
Indications: Acute lymphoblastic leukaemia, non-Hodgkin lymphoma, retinoblastoma,
neuroblastoma, rhabdomyosarcoma, soft tissue sarcomas, Ewing tumour, neuroectodermal
tumours (including medulloblastoma), infant brain tumours, ependymona; as part of high-dose
conditioning therapy for bone marrow transplantation.
Contraindications: Haemorrhagic cystitis; pregnancy; breastfeeding.
Precautions: Renal impairment; hepatic impairment; bone marrow suppression. Avoid contact with
skin. May cause infertility (see Adverse effects).
Dose:
See specialist treatment protocols.
Renal impairment: Reduce dose in moderate to severe impairment.
Mild: dose as in normal renal function.
Moderate: 75–100% of normal dose depending on clinical indication and local protocol.
Severe: 50–100% of normal dose depending on clinical indication and local protocol.
Hepatic impairment: Reduce dose.
Adverse effects: Common Alopecia, nausea, vomiting, anorexia, haemorrhagic cystitis (see below),
nasal congestion (with rapid injection), leukopenia (nadir at 8–15 days), impairment of fertility
(may be irreversible), gonadal suppression (amenorrhoea).
Uncommon Hyperpigmentation of skin and nails, metallic taste, loss of taste.
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Rare Heart failure (acute onset days after high-dose treatment; more common in older adult patients
and those previously exposed to anthracyclines, may be reversible), pulmonary fibrosis (with longterm treatment), hepatic veno-occlusive disease (high dose), water retention resembling syndrome
of inappropriate antidiuretic hormone secretion (SIADH) resulting in hyponatraemia and seizures
(more common in high doses).
Haemorrhagic cystitis Occurs as a result of accumulation of active metabolites in the bladder.
Symptoms range from mild irritation on voiding to life-threatening haemorrhagic cystitis. Patients should be
advised to drink plenty of fluids during therapy, void frequently, and avoid taking the drug at night. Intravenous
hydration may be required. Mesna (not included on the 2nd WHO Model list of essential medicines for children)
may be used. Toxicity is caused by the metabolite acrolein; mesna reacts specifically with acrolein in the urinary
tract, preventing toxicity; mesna is given for the same duration as cyclophosphamide. It is generally given
intravenously; the dose of mesna is equal to or greater than that of cyclophosphamide, often 125%.
Interactions with other medicines (* indicates severe):
*
*
*
*
*
Allopurinol: increases the myelotoxicity of cyclophosphamide.
Carbamazepine: may increase conversion of cyclophosphamide to active metabolites.
Chloramphenicol: reduced cyclophosphamide effectiveness.
Ciclosporin: decreased ciclosporin concentration.
Hydrochlorothiazide: increased myelotoxicity of cyclophosphamide.
Ondansetron: reduced cyclophosphamide effectiveness.
Phenytoin: possibly reduced absorption of phenytoin.
Phenobarbital: may increase conversion of cyclophosphamide to active metabolites.
Suxamethonium: enhanced effect of suxamethonium.
Vaccines, live: avoid use of live vaccines with cyclophosphamide (impairment of immune
response).
* Warfarin: increased INR and increased risk of bleeding.
References:
Ashley C, Currie A, eds. The renal drug handbook. 3rd ed. Oxford, Radcliffe Publishing, 2009.
Hill SR, Kouimtzi M, Stuart MC, eds. WHO model formulary. Geneva, World Health Organization, 2008.
Hodding JH, Kraus DM, Taketomo CK. Pediatric dosage handbook. 16th ed. Hudson, Lexi-Comp, 2009.
Paediatric Formulary Committee. British national formulary for children 2009. London, BMJ Group RBS Publishing, 2009.
Rossi S, ed. Australian medicines handbook. Adelaide, Australian Medicines Handbook, 2009.
Cytarabine
ATC code: L01BC01
Powder for injection: 100 mg in vial
Handle as a cytotoxic.
Special Notes: Also referred to as Ara-C.
Indications: Acute lymphoblastic leukaemia; acute myeloid leukaemia; non-Hodgkin lymphoma;
meningeal leukaemia; meningeal neoplasms.
Contraindications: Pregnancy; breastfeeding.
Precautions: Hepatic impairment; renal impairment.
Dose:
See specialist treatment protocols.
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Renal impairment: For low-dose regimens dose reductions are not necessary.
For high-dose therapy the following information should be considered:
elevated baseline serum creatinine (> 106 micromol/l ) is an independent risk factor for the
development of neurotoxicity during treatment;
retrospective analysis implicates impaired renal function as an independent risk factor for high-dose
cytarabine-induced cerebral and cerebellar toxicity;
the incidence of neurotoxicity is increased following administration of high-dose cytarabine to
patients with even mildly impaired renal function.
Suggested dose reductions for high-dose therapy in patients with renal impairment.
Mild: 50–60% of normal dose.
Moderate or severe: avoid use of cytarabine high-dose.
Hepatic impairment: Reduce dose.
Adverse effects: Common Myelosuppression (see below), nausea, vomiting, diarrhoea, oral mucositis,
rash, fever, elevated liver function tests, alopecia, ocular discomfort.
Uncommon Conjunctivitis, gastrointestinal haemorrhage, oesophagitis, jaundice, dizziness, cellulitis
at injection site, chest pain, urinary retention, renal impairment, anaphylaxis.
Rare Palmar-plantar erythrodysaesthesia, severe spinal cord toxicity following intrathecal
administration.
Myelosuppression Major dose-limiting adverse effect, includes neutropenia, thrombocytopenia and
anaemia, more severe after high doses or continuous infusions. Neutropenia is biphasic with a nadir 7–9 days after
the dose and a more severe nadir at 15–24 days. Platelet nadir is 12–15 days after dose. Recovery generally occurs
after a further 10 days.
High-dose therapy Associated with severe and sometimes fatal gastrointestinal, neurological and
pulmonary toxicity; adverse effects include peripheral neuropathy, cerebral and cerebellar dysfunction,
cardiomyopathy, pulmonary oedema, gastrointestinal ulceration. Reversible corneal toxicity leading to
haemorrhagic conjunctivitis or keratitis can occur (prophylactic corticosteroid or lubricant eye drops may help).
Interactions with other medicines (* indicates severe):
Digoxin: decreases digoxin oral tablet absorption.
Flucytosine: plasma flucytosine concentration possibly reduced.
Phenytoin: reduced absorption of phenytoin.
Vaccines, live: avoid use of live vaccines with cytarabine (impairment of immune response).
Notes: Based on weight or body surface area, children may tolerate higher doses of cytarabine than
adults.
Conjunctivitis (which occurs more frequently in high-dose therapy) is preventable and treatable with
a corticosteroid eye drop. As prophylaxis, eye drops should be started 6–12 hours before initiation
of cytarabine and continued for 24 hours following the last dose.
References:
Ashley C, Currie A, eds. The renal drug handbook. 3rd ed. Oxford, Radcliffe Publishing, 2009.
Hill SR, Kouimtzi M, Stuart MC, eds. WHO model formulary. Geneva, World Health Organization, 2008.
Paediatric Formulary Committee. British national formulary for children 2009. London, BMJ Group RBS Publishing, 2009.
Rossi S, ed. Australian medicines handbook. Adelaide, Australian Medicines Handbook, 2009.
Solimando DA Jr., ed. Lexi-Comp’s drug information handbook for oncology. 4th ed. Hudson, Lexi-Comp, 2004.
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8.2 Cytotoxic medicines
Dacarbazine
ATC code: L01AX04
Powder for Injection: 100 mg in vial
Highly irritant to tissues, inject with care.
Handle as a cytotoxic.
Indications: Hodgkin disease; rhabdomyosarcoma; neuroblastoma; fibrosarcomas; soft tissue
sarcomas; bone marrow transplant.
Contraindications: Pregnancy (avoid for 6 months after treatment completed in both male and
female patients); breastfeeding.
Precautions: Renal and hepatic impairment; bone marrow depression; ensure adequate contraception
during and for 6 months after treatment in men and women.
Dose:
Consult specialist protocols.
Renal impairment: Mild: 75–80% of dose.
Moderate to severe: 70% of dose; use with caution.
Hepatic impairment: Dose reduction may be required in mild to moderate liver disease; avoid if
severe.
Adverse effects: Common Diarrhoea, flu-like syndrome (fever, myalgia, malaise), transient increases
in hepatic transaminases and ALP, facial flushing, pain along injected vein, nausea and vomiting.
Uncommon Agranulocytosis, blurred vision, seizures, confusion, headache, alopecia, erythematous
and maculopapular rash, photosensitivity, hypotension (infusion related).
Rare Intractable nausea and vomiting, hepatic vein thrombosis and hepatocellular necrosis, tissue
damage due to extravasation.
Interactions with other medicines (* indicates severe):
Phenytoin: possibly reduced absorption of phenytoin.
Vaccines, live: avoid use of live vaccines with dacarbazine (impairment of immune response).
Phenobarbital: may induce dacarbazine metabolism.
Notes: Intravenous infusion For intravenous infusion, further dilute reconstituted solution in
125–250 ml glucose 5% or sodium chloride 0.9%, give over 15–30 minutes.
Protect infusion set from light throughout administration to reduce pain.
References:
Hill SR, Kouimtzi M, Stuart MC, eds. WHO model formulary. Geneva, World Health Organization, 2008.
Hodding JH, Kraus DM, Taketomo CK. Pediatric dosage handbook. 16th ed. Hudson, Lexi-Comp, 2009.
Paediatric Formulary Committee. British national formulary for children 2009. London, BMJ Group RBS Publishing, 2009.
Rossi S, ed. Australian medicines handbook. Adelaide, Australian Medicines Handbook, 2009.
Solimando DA Jr., ed. Lexi-Comp’s drug information handbook for oncology. 4th ed. Hudson, Lexi-Comp, 2004.
WHO Model Formulary for Children 2010
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Dactinomycin
ATC code: L01DA01
Powder for injection: 500 micrograms in vial
Handle as a cytotoxic.
Highly irritant to tissues; inject with care.
Special Notes: Also referred to as actinomycin D.
Indications: Trophoblastic tumours; Wilms tumour; testicular tumours; Ewing sarcoma;
rhabdomyosarcoma; other soft tissue sarcomas.
Contraindications: Pregnancy; breastfeeding.
Precautions: Hepatic or biliary impairment; concurrent or previous radiotherapy; vesicant
(extravasation during intravenous use can cause severe tissue damage).
Dose:
Consult specialist protocols.
Renal impairment: No dose reductions necessary.
Hepatic impairment: Consider dose reduction if raised serum bilirubin or biliary obstruction.
Adverse effects: Common Myelosuppression (see below), nausea and vomiting, oral mucositis,
oesophagitis, pharyngitis, diarrhoea, fever, malaise, myalgia, alopecia, rash, acne.
Rare Anaphylaxis, hepatotoxicity, hepatic veno-occlusive disease (common in Wilms tumour).
Myelosuppression Affects mainly white cells and platelets; nadir of white cell and platelet count occurs
14–21 days after dose with recovery in 21–25 days.
Interactions with other medicines (* indicates severe):
Phenytoin: possibly reduced absorption of phenytoin.
Vaccines, live: avoid use of live vaccines with dactinomycin (impairment of immune response).
Notes: Current radiotherapy: radiation effects (including skin, gastrointestinal and bone marrow
toxicity) may be potentiated.
Previous radiotherapy: erythema and pigmentation may recur at site of previous radiation.
Children may experience increased risk of toxicity and are at greater risk of hepatic veno-occlusive
disease.
Vesicant; avoid extravasation. Extremely damaging to soft tissue and will cause a severe local reaction
if extravasation occurs. Administer slow intravenous push over 10–15 minutes. Do not give
intramuscularly or subcutaneously.
Care should be taken with units: chemotherapy protocols can list dactinomycin doses in mg (e.g.
mg/kg or mg/m2), but medication orders are often written in micrograms.
References:
Hill SR, Kouimtzi M, Stuart MC, eds. WHO model formulary. Geneva, World Health Organization, 2008.
Hodding JH, Kraus DM, Taketomo CK. Pediatric dosage handbook. 16th ed. Hudson, Lexi-Comp, 2009.
Paediatric Formulary Committee. British national formulary for children 2009. London, BMJ Group RBS Publishing, 2009.
Rossi S, ed. Australian medicines handbook. Adelaide, Australian Medicines Handbook, 2009.
Solimando DA Jr., ed. Lexi-Comp’s drug information handbook for oncology. 4th ed. Hudson, Lexi-Comp, 2004.
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8.2 Cytotoxic medicines
Daunorubicin
ATC code: L01DB02
Powder for injection: 50 mg (as hydrochloride)
Handle as a cytotoxic.
Special Notes: Daunorubicin hydrochloride (conventional formulation) should not be confused with
daunorubicin liposomal formulation.
Indications: Acute myelogenous leukaemia; acute lymphocytic leukaemia; neuroblastoma;
rhabdomyosarcoma.
Contraindications: Pregnancy; breastfeeding; congestive heart failure, left ventricular ejection fraction
< 30–40%; arrhythmias; pre-existing bone marrow suppression.
Precautions: Hepatic and renal impairment; cardiac disease; reduced cardiac reserve or treatment
with other cardiotoxic drugs; highly irritant to tissues (inject with extreme care); previous
treatment to maximum cumulative dose with another anthracycline.
Dose:
Consult specialist protocols.
Maximum cumulative dose (irreversible myocardial toxicity may occur as total dosage
approaches):
Child under 2 years 10 mg/kg (300 mg/m2);
over 2 years 300 mg/m2.
Renal impairment: Mild to moderate: reduce dose.
Hepatic impairment: Reduce dose according to serum bilirubin concentration; see specialist
protocols for details.
Adverse effects: Common Rash, itch, nausea, vomiting, diarrhoea, alopecia, oral mucositis,
oesophagitis, myelosuppression (see below), cardiac toxicity (see below), fatigue, headache.
Rare Secondary malignancies.
Myelosuppression Occurs commonly, affecting white cells and to a lesser degree, platelets and red cells.
The white count nadir occurs about 10 days after a dose with recovery by about 21 days.
Cardiac toxicity May be acute, chronic or delayed. Acute toxicity (ECG changes and arrhythmias)
occurs during or immediately after a dose and is not dose related. It is usually transient but may rarely result in
myopericarditis and cardiac failure.
Chronic toxicity usually occurs within a year of stopping treatment and is related to cumulative dose.
Cardiomyopathy may result in heart failure.
Delayed toxicity occurs years to decades after treatment and is thought to be dose related. It may present as
ventricular dysfunction, heart failure, conduction disturbances or arrhythmias.
Interactions with other medicines (* indicates severe):
Phenytoin: possibly reduced absorption of phenytoin.
Vaccines, live: avoid use of live vaccines with daunorubicin (impairment of immune response).
Notes: Daunorubicin is a vesicant; severe local tissue necrosis will result if extravasation occurs. Do
not give intramuscularly or subcutaneously.
Give by intravenous injection or short infusion into a side arm of a fast running infusion to reduce
the risk of irritation or extravasation.
Monitor ECG and left ventricular ejection fraction at baseline and during treatment.
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References:
Ashley C, Currie A, eds. The renal drug handbook. 3rd ed. Oxford, Radcliffe Publishing, 2009.
Hill SR, Kouimtzi M, Stuart MC, eds. WHO model formulary. Geneva, World Health Organization, 2008.
Hodding JH, Kraus DM, Taketomo CK. Pediatric dosage handbook. 16th ed. Hudson, Lexi-Comp, 2009.
Paediatric Formulary Committee. British national formulary for children 2009. London, BMJ Group RBS Publishing, 2009.
Rossi S, ed. Australian medicines handbook. Adelaide, Australian Medicines Handbook, 2009.
Solimando DA Jr., ed. Lexi-Comp’s drug information handbook for oncology. 4th ed. Hudson, Lexi-Comp, 2004.
Doxorubicin
ATC code: L01DB01
Powder for injection: 10 mg, 50 mg (as hydrochloride) in vial
Handle as a cytotoxic.
Special Notes: Also referred to as adriamycin or ADR.
Doxorubicin hydrochloride (conventional formulation) should not be confused with doxorubicin
liposomal formulation.
Indications: Malignancies including Ewing sarcoma, osteogenic sarcoma, Wilms tumour,
neuroblastoma, retinoblastoma, some liver tumours, acute lymphoblastic leukaemia, Hodgkin
lymphoma, non-Hodgkin lymphoma, germ cell tumours of the testis.
Contraindications: Pregnancy and breastfeeding; congestive heart failure, left ventricular ejection
fraction < 30–40%; arrhythmias; pre-existing bone marrow suppression.
Precautions: Avoid extravasation (highly irritant to the tissues); previous treatment to maximum
cumulative dose with another anthracycline; hepatic impairment; renal impairment; cardiac
disease; treatment with other cardiotoxic drugs; previous mediastinal or pericardial irradiation.
Dose:
Consult specialist protocols.
Renal impairment: Mild to moderate: use with caution; avoid excessive doses.
Severe: use 75% of normal dose; use with caution.
Hepatic impairment: Reduce dose according to serum bilirubin concentration.
Do not use doxorubicin if bilirubin > 85 micromol/l.
Bilirubin 20–50 micromol/l: reduce dose by 50%.
Bilirubin > 50 micromol/l: reduce dose by 75%.
Adverse effects: Common Rash, itch, myelosuppression (see below), cardiac toxicity (see below), red
coloured urine, nausea, vomiting, stomatitis, gastrointestinal ulceration.
Uncommon Conjunctivitis, lacrimation and facial flushing, hyperpigmentation of nails, buccal
mucosa and skin folds, fever, chills, palmar-plantar erythrodysaesthesia.
Rare Secondary malignancies.
Cardiac toxicity May be acute, chronic or delayed. Acute toxicity (ECG changes and arrhythmias)
occurs during or immediately after a dose and is not dose related. It is usually transient but may rarely result in
myopericarditis and cardiac failure.
Chronic toxicity usually occurs within a year of stopping treatment and is related to cumulative dose.
Cardiomyopathy may result in heart failure.
Delayed toxicity occurs years to decades after treatment and is thought to be dose-related. It may present as
ventricular dysfunction, heart failure, conduction disturbances or arrhythmias.
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8.2 Cytotoxic medicines
Myelosuppression Occurs commonly, affecting white cells and, to a lesser degree, platelets and red cells.
The white cell count nadir occurs about 10 days after a dose, with recovery by about 21 days.
Interactions with other medicines (* indicates severe):
*
*
Ciclosporin: increased risk of neurotoxicity.
Phenytoin: possibly reduced absorption of phenytoin.
Phenobarbital: increases elimination of doxorubicin.
Stavudine: doxorubicin may inhibit effect of stavudine.
Vaccines, live: avoid use of live vaccines with doxorubicin (impairment of immune response).
Warfarin: increased INR and increased risk of bleeding.
Notes: Doxorubicin is a vesicant; severe local tissue necrosis will result if extravasation occurs. Do not
give intramuscularly or subcutaneously.
Monitor ECG and left ventricular ejection fraction at baseline and during treatment.
References:
Ashley C, Currie A, eds. The renal drug handbook. 3rd ed. Oxford, Radcliffe Publishing, 2009.
Hill SR, Kouimtzi M, Stuart MC, eds. WHO model formulary. Geneva, World Health Organization, 2008.
Hodding JH, Kraus DM, Taketomo CK. Pediatric dosage handbook. 16th ed. Hudson, Lexi-Comp, 2009.
Paediatric Formulary Committee. British national formulary for children 2009. London, BMJ Group RBS Publishing, 2009.
Rossi S, ed. Australian medicines handbook. Adelaide, Australian Medicines Handbook, 2009.
Solimando DA Jr., ed. Lexi-Comp’s drug information handbook for oncology. 4th ed. Hudson, Lexi-Comp, 2004.
Etoposide
ATC code: L01CB01
Capsule 100 mg
Injection 20 mg/ml in 5 ml ampoule
Handle as a cytotoxic.
Special Notes: Also known as VP-16.
This entry is for etoposide not etoposide phosphate which is not equivalent.
Indications: Stage 4 neuroblastoma; germ cell tumours; intracranial germ cell tumours;
rhabdomyosarcoma; soft tissue sarcomas; neuroectodermal tumours (including medulloblastoma);
relapsed Hodgkin disease; non-Hodgkin lymphoma; Ewing tumour; acute lymphoblastic
leukaemia; acute myeloid leukaemia.
Contraindications: Pregnancy; breastfeeding; severe hepatic impairment; allergy to polysorbate 80,
etoposide, benzyl alcohol; intrathecal administration.
Precautions: Hepatic and renal impairment.
Dose:
Consult specialist protocols.
Renal impairment: Consider dose reduction.
Mild impairment: 80–85% of normal dose.
Moderate to severe impairment: 50–75% of normal dose.
Hepatic impairment: Reduce dose according to serum bilirubin concentration.
Do not use etoposide in severe hepatic impairment or if bilirubin > 85 micromol/l.
Bilirubin 20–50 micromol/l: reduce dose by 50%.
Bilirubin > 50 micromol/l: reduce dose by 75%.
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Adverse effects: Common Anorexia, constipation, abdominal pain, taste alteration, weakness,
malaise, myelosuppression (see below), alopecia, nausea, vomiting, oral mucositis, diarrhoea,
hypersensitivity reactions.
Uncommon Hypotension (with rapid infusion), peripheral neuropathy.
Rare Heart failure, cardiac arrest, radiation recall, dermatitis, Stevens-Johnson syndrome, secondary
malignancies.
Myelosuppression Major dose-limiting adverse effect. Mainly affects white cells but platelets and red cells
are also affected. Neutrophil nadir occurs 7–14 days after administration. Recovery of bone marrow usually takes
about 20 days.
Interactions with other medicines (* indicates severe):
Ciclosporin: possibly increased plasma concentration of etoposide (increased risk of toxicity).
Phenobarbital: possibly reduced plasma concentration of etoposide.
Phenytoin: possibly reduced absorption of phenytoin and possibly reduced plasma concentration
of etoposide.
Vaccines, live: avoid use of live vaccines with etoposide (impairment of immune response).
* Warfarin: possibly enhanced anticoagulant effect.
Notes: For oral therapy it may be necessary to give different doses on different days in order to administer
dose within whole capsule units. Capsules should be swallowed whole on an empty stomach.
Administration Do not administer by rapid intravenous injection. Administer by continuous intravenous
infusion or by intravenous intermittent infusion via an in-line 0.22 micron filter over at least 60 minutes at a rate
not to exceed 100 mg/m2 per hour (or 3.3 mg/kg per hour) to minimize the risk of hypotensive reactions.
References:
Ashley C, Currie A, eds. The renal drug handbook. 3rd ed. Oxford, Radcliffe Publishing, 2009.
Hill SR, Kouimtzi M, Stuart MC, eds. WHO model formulary. Geneva, World Health Organization, 2008.
Hodding JH, Kraus DM, Taketomo CK. Pediatric dosage handbook. 16th ed. Hudson, Lexi-Comp, 2009.
Paediatric Formulary Committee. British national formulary for children 2009. London, BMJ Group RBS Publishing, 2009.
Rossi S, ed. Australian medicines handbook. Adelaide, Australian Medicines Handbook, 2009.
Solimando DA Jr., ed. Lexi-Comp’s drug information handbook for oncology. 4th ed. Hudson, Lexi-Comp, 2004.
Fluorouracil
ATC code: L01BC02
Injection: 50 mg/ml 5 ml vial
Handle as a cytotoxic.
Special Notes: Also referred to as 5-fluorouracil or 5FU.
Indications: Treatment and palliation of solid tumours.
Contraindications: Pregnancy; breastfeeding; dihydropyrimidine dehydrogenase deficiency.
Precautions: Pre-existing cardiac disease; hepatic impairment.
Dose:
Consult specialist protocols.
Renal impairment: Dose reduction not required.
Hepatic impairment: Severe: not recommended.
Adverse effects: Adverse effects differ depending on whether fluorouracil is given as a bolus dose or
by continuous infusion. Myelotoxicity is common with bolus doses but unusual with continuous
infusions. Palmar-plantar erythrodysaesthesia is common with continuous infusion.
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Common Myelosuppression (see below), gastrointestinal effects including nausea, vomiting, oral mucositis
and diarrhoea (see below), alopecia, itch, maculopapular rash, ovarian failure, amenorrhoea.
Uncommon Oesophagitis, gastrointestinal ulceration and bleeding, proctitis, palmar-plantar
erythrodysaesthesia, photosensitivity, confusion, ataxia, nystagmus, headache, acute cerebellar
syndrome, lacrimation, visual changes, photophobia.
Rare Myocardial ischaemia, arrhythmias, anaphylaxis and allergic reactions, fever without signs of
infection, vein pigmentation.
Myelosuppression Includes neutropenia, thrombocytopenia and anaemia. Neutropenic nadir occurs
9–14 days, but may be as late as 25 days, after first course. Platelet nadir occurs about 7–17 days after a dose, with
recovery after about a further 10 days.
Diarrhoea May be dose limiting and is more severe if given with calcium folinate. Consider fluid and
electrolyte replacement.
Interactions with other medicines (* indicates severe):
*
Metronidazole: metabolism of fluorouracil inhibited (increased toxicity).
Phenytoin: metabolism of phenytoin possibly inhibited (increased risk of toxicity).
Vaccines, live: avoid use of live vaccines with fluorouracil (impairment of immune response).
Warfarin: anticoagulant effect possibly enhanced.
References:
Ashley C, Currie A, eds. The renal drug handbook. 3rd ed. Oxford, Radcliffe Publishing, 2009.
Hill SR, Kouimtzi M, Stuart MC, eds. WHO model formulary. Geneva, World Health Organization, 2008.
Hodding JH, Kraus DM, Taketomo CK. Pediatric dosage handbook. 16th ed. Hudson, Lexi-Comp, 2009.
Paediatric Formulary Committee. British national formulary for children 2009. London, BMJ Group RBS Publishing, 2009.
Rossi S, ed. Australian medicines handbook. Adelaide, Australian Medicines Handbook, 2009.
Solimando DA Jr., ed. Lexi-Comp’s drug information handbook for oncology. 4th ed. Hudson, Lexi-Comp, 2004.
Mercaptopurine
ATC code: L01BB02
Tablet 50 mg
Handle as a cytotoxic.
Special Notes: Also known as 6-MP or 6-mercaptopurine.
Indications: Acute lymphoblastic leukaemia; lymphoblastic lymphomas.
Contraindications: Pregnancy; breastfeeding; severe liver disease; severe bone marrow suppression;
patients whose disease showed prior resistance to mercaptopurine or thioguanine.
Precautions: Renal or hepatic failure; concurrent treatment with allopurinol (see Interactions).
Dose:
Consult specialist protocols.
Renal impairment: Moderate to severe: reduce dose.
Hepatic impairment: May need dose reduction; use with caution and monitor liver function tests.
Adverse effects: Common Oral mucositis, myelosuppression (dose-dependent), cholestatic jaundice
(may be reversible, but may progress to hepatic necrosis with continued treatment; onset is more
common with daily doses > 2.5 mg/kg).
Uncommon Anorexia, nausea, vomiting.
Rare Hypersensitivity syndrome (e.g. fever, pancreatitis, rash, arthralgia), gastrointestinal ulceration,
alopecia, hyperpigmentation, secondary leukaemia or myelodysplasia.
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Interactions with other medicines (* indicates severe):
* Allopurinol: effects of mercaptopurine enhanced and toxicity increased; reduce dose of
mercaptopurine to 25%.
* Azathioprine: increased risk of myelosuppression, impaired renal function, and hepatotoxicity.
* Mesalazine: increased risk of myelosuppression.
* Olsalazine: increased risk of myelosuppression.
Phenytoin: possibly reduced absorption of phenytoin.
* Sulfamethoxazole + trimethoprim: increased risk of haematological toxicity.
* Sulfasalazine: increased risk of myelosuppression.
* Trimethoprim: increased risk of haematological toxicity.
Vaccines, live: avoid use of live vaccines with mercaptopurine (impairment of immune response).
* Warfarin: anticoagulant effect possibly reduced.
Notes: 1 in 300 patients lack functional thiopurine methyltransferase (TPMT) activity and are at risk
of severe myelosuppression unless the dose is drastically reduced. These patients may tolerate doses
one tenth of normal or less; TPMT genotyping is available on a limited basis.
Mercaptopurine is best taken in the evening on an empty stomach (1 hour before or 2 hours after a
meal).
References:
Ashley C, Currie A, eds. The renal drug handbook. 3rd ed. Oxford, Radcliffe Publishing, 2009.
Hill SR, Kouimtzi M, Stuart MC, eds. WHO model formulary. Geneva, World Health Organization, 2008.
Hodding JH, Kraus DM, Taketomo CK. Pediatric dosage handbook. 16th ed. Hudson, Lexi-Comp, 2009.
Paediatric Formulary Committee. British national formulary for children 2009. London, BMJ Group RBS Publishing, 2009.
Rossi S, ed. Australian medicines handbook. Adelaide, Australian Medicines Handbook, 2009.
Solimando DA Jr., ed. Lexi-Comp’s drug information handbook for oncology. 4th ed. Hudson, Lexi-Comp, 2004.
Methotrexate
ATC code: L04AX03
Powder for injection: 50 mg (as sodium salt) in vial
Tablet: 2.5 mg (as sodium salt)
Handle as a cytotoxic.
Special Notes: Also referred to as MTX.
Indications: Maintenance and remission of acute lymphoblastic leukaemia, lymphoblastic
lymphoma; treatment of early stage Burkitt lymphoma, non-Hodgkin lymphoma, osteogenic
sarcoma, some neurological tumours including infant brain tumours, meningeal leukaemia;
treatment and prevention of neurological involvement of leukaemia.
Contraindications: Pregnancy; breastfeeding; severe renal impairment; severe hepatic impairment.
Precautions: Monitor renal and hepatic function; peptic ulceration; ulcerative colitis; diarrhoea;
ulcerative stomatitis; porphyria; pre-existing bone marrow suppression; concurrent use of other
hepatotoxic drugs.
Dose:
Consult specialist protocols.
High-dose methotrexate requires specialist supportive care, such as alkalinization of the urine and
calcium folinate rescue; consult specialist protocols.
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Renal impairment: Accumulates; nephrotoxic.
Mild: 50–100% of normal dose.
Moderate: 50% of normal dose.
Severe: contraindicated.
Or refer to instructions in specialist protocols.
Hepatic impairment: Dose-related toxicity: avoid in severe hepatic impairment.
Adverse effects: Common Myelosuppression (see below), nausea and vomiting (more frequent
with high doses), oral mucositis, pulmonary toxicity (see below), hepatotoxicity (see below),
rash, itch, urticaria, photosensitivity, neurotoxicity (e.g. aseptic meningitis, encephalopathy,
leukoencephalopathy) with high-dose or intrathecal use.
Uncommon Malaise, fatigue, chills, fever, headache, dizziness, tinnitus, blurred vision, alopecia,
ocular irritation, oligospermia (transient).
Rare Anaphylactic/anaphylactoid reactions, severe skin reactions (e.g. Stevens-Johnson syndrome,
toxic epidermal necrolysis), nephrotoxicity including renal failure, osteoporosis, skin and bone
necrosis, macrocytic anaemia.
Myelosuppression Includes neutropenia, thrombocytopenia and anaemia. Neutrophil and platelet nadirs
occur about 5–13 days after a bolus dose with recovery between 14 and 28 days. Neutropenia may sometimes be
biphasic with the first nadir 4–7 days after a dose and the second at 12–21 days. Pancytopenia may occur and is
potentially fatal.
Hepatotoxicity Increased aminotransferases are common and usually transient and asymptomatic.
Chronic hepatotoxicity (including necrosis, fatty change, periportal fibrosis or cirrhosis) generally occurs with
long-term therapy and is also dependent on cumulative dose.
Pulmonary toxicity Can develop rapidly and may be fatal. Often occurs as fever, dyspnoea, chest pain
and dry, non-productive cough. Lesions such as pneumonitis and pulmonary fibrosis can occur at all doses at any
time during treatment. Pulmonary toxicity may not be fully reversible; corticosteroids may relieve symptoms.
Also consider the possibility of infection.
Interactions with other medicines (* indicates severe):
*
*
*
*
*
*
*
*
*
*
Acetylsalicylic acid: reduced excretion of methotrexate (increased toxicity).
Amoxicillin: reduced excretion of methotrexate (increased risk of toxicity).
Ampicillin: reduced excretion of methotrexate (increased risk of toxicity).
Benzylpenicillin: reduced excretion of methotrexate (increased risk of toxicity).
Ciclosporin: increased toxicity.
Cisplatin: risk of toxicity, particularly pulmonary.
Dexamethasone: increased risk of haematological toxicity.
Doxycycline: increased risk of methotrexate toxicity.
Hydrocortisone: increased risk of haematological toxicity.
Ibuprofen: excretion of methotrexate reduced (increased risk of toxicity).
Nitrous oxide: increased antifolate effect (avoid concomitant use).
Omeprazole: increased risk of methotrexate toxicity.
Phenoxymethylpenicillin: reduced excretion of methotrexate (increased risk of toxicity).
Phenytoin: reduced absorption of phenytoin; antifolate effect of methotrexate increased.
Prednisolone: increased risk of haematological toxicity.
Pyrimethamine: antifolate effect of methotrexate increased.
Silver sulfadiazine: increased risk of methotrexate toxicity.
Sulfadiazine: risk of methotrexate toxicity increased.
Sulfadoxine + pyrimethamine: antifolate effect of methotrexate increased; risk of methotrexate
toxicity increased.
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* Sulfamethoxazole + trimethoprim: antifolate effect of methotrexate increased (avoid concomitant
use); risk of methotrexate toxicity increased.
* Trimethoprim: antifolate effect of methotrexate increased (avoid concomitant use).
Vaccines, live: avoid use of live vaccines with methotrexate (impairment of immune response).
* Warfarin: increased risk for elevated INR and subsequent bleeding.
Notes: High-dose methotrexate may cause precipitation of methotrexate or its metabolites in renal
tubules. A high fluid throughput and alkalinization of urine, using sodium hydrogen carbonate if
necessary, is recommended.
Patients or their carers should be advised to report any feature of blood disorders (e.g. sore throat,
bruising and mouth ulcers), liver toxicity (e.g. nausea, vomiting, abdominal discomfort and dark
urine) and respiratory toxicity (e.g. dry cough, shortness of breath).
Advise patients to avoid sunlight; wear protective clothing, wide-brimmed hats, sunglasses and lip
sunscreen.
Calcium folinate rescue is required for high-dose methotrexate doses; refer to specialist protocols.
References:
Ashley C, Currie A, eds. The renal drug handbook. 3rd ed. Oxford, Radcliffe Publishing, 2009.
Hill SR, Kouimtzi M, Stuart MC, eds. WHO model formulary. Geneva, World Health Organization, 2008.
Paediatric Formulary Committee. British national formulary for children 2009. London, BMJ Group RBS Publishing, 2009.
Rossi S, ed. Australian medicines handbook. Adelaide, Australian Medicines Handbook, 2009.
Solimando DA Jr., ed. Lexi-Comp’s drug information handbook for oncology. 4th ed. Hudson, Lexi-Comp, 2004.
Procarbazine
ATC code: L01XB01
Capsule: 50 mg (as hydrochloride)
Handle as a cytotoxic.
Indications: Hodgkin disease, gliomas, non-Hodgkin lymphoma.
Contraindications: Pregnancy; breastfeeding.
Precautions: Renal or hepatic impairment; may potentiate CNS depression if used with other
sedating drugs.
Dose:
Consult specialist treatment protocols.
Renal impairment: Severe: avoid.
Hepatic impairment: Severe: avoid.
Adverse effects: Common Myelosuppression (see below), anorexia, neurotoxicity (e.g. somnolence,
depression, confusion, headache, sleep disturbances, dizziness, hallucinations, ataxia, peripheral
neuropathy), nausea, vomiting, infertility (see below).
Uncommon or rare Diarrhoea, oral mucositis, alopecia, skin reactions (e.g. rash, itch,
hyperpigmentation), pulmonary fibrosis, pneumonitis, haemolysis, hepatic dysfunction, fever,
myalgia, arthralgia, nystagmus, diplopia, orthostatic hypotension, tachycardia, secondary
malignancies (see below).
Myelosuppression Neutrophil and platelet nadirs occur about 28 days after a dose; recovery takes about
2 weeks. Anaemia is less common.
Infertility Gonadal suppression resulting in amenorrhoea or azoospermia may not be reversible and
is related to dose and duration of treatment. Consider measures to preserve fertility (even when used as an
immunosuppressant).
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8.2 Cytotoxic medicines
Secondary malignancies All alkylating agents, and particularly combinations of alkylating agents,
have been associated with secondary malignancies. Myelodysplastic syndrome, a precursor of acute leukaemia,
and acute myeloid leukaemia have been reported. Median time to development of acute leukaemia is 3–4 years
after chemotherapy. Solid tumours have also been reported including ovarian, bladder and gastric cancers.
Interactions with other medicines (* indicates severe):
Amitriptyline: risk of serotonin syndrome (hypertensive crisis, tremor, excitation, cardiac
palpitations, angina).
Epinephrine: risk of serotonin syndrome (hypertensive crisis, tremor, excitation, cardiac
palpitations, angina).
Ethanol: disulfiram-like reaction.
Fluoxetine: risk of serotonin syndrome (hypertensive crisis, tremor, excitation, cardiac
palpitations, angina).
Opioids: additive CNS depression.
Phenytoin: reduced absorption of phenytoin.
Phenobarbital: increases cytotoxic activity and CNS depression.
Selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs): risk of serotonin syndrome (hypertensive crisis,
tremor, excitation, cardiac palpitations, angina).
Tricyclic antidepressants (TCAs): risk of serotonin syndrome (hypertensive crisis, tremor,
excitation, cardiac palpitations, angina).
Vaccines, live: avoid use of live vaccines with procarbazine (impairment of immune response).
Notes: Procarbazine is a weak monoamine oxidase inhibitor; some references suggest dietary
restrictions limiting foods with a high tyramine content such as cheese, tea, coffee, cola drinks,
wine and bananas.
References:
Ashley C, Currie A, eds. The renal drug handbook. 3rd ed. Oxford, Radcliffe Publishing, 2009.
Hill SR, Kouimtzi M, Stuart MC, eds. WHO model formulary. Geneva, World Health Organization, 2008.
Hodding JH, Kraus DM, Taketomo CK. Pediatric dosage handbook. 16th ed. Hudson, Lexi-Comp, 2009.
Paediatric Formulary Committee. British national formulary for children 2009. London, BMJ Group RBS Publishing, 2009.
Rossi S, ed. Australian medicines handbook. Adelaide, Australian Medicines Handbook, 2009.
Solimando DA Jr., ed. Lexi-Comp’s drug information handbook for oncology. 4th ed. Hudson, Lexi-Comp, 2004.
Vinblastine
ATC code: L01CA01
Powder for injection: 10 mg (sulfate) in vial
Important Intrathecal injection is contraindicated.
For intravenous administration only. Inadvertent intrathecal injection causes severe
neurotoxicity, which is usually fatal.
Handle as a cytotoxic.
Indications: Disseminated Hodgkin and non-Hodgkin lymphomas; advanced testicular carcinoma;
palliative treatment of Kaposi sarcoma; trophoblastic tumours.
Contraindications: Pregnancy; breastfeeding.
Precautions: Recent exposure to radiotherapy; pre-existing neurotoxicity; pre-existing pulmonary
disease; liver impairment; vesicant, avoid extravasation (see Adverse effects).
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Dose:
Consult specialist treatment protocols.
Renal impairment: Dose reduction not necessary.
Hepatic impairment: Dose reduction may be necessary. Reduce according to bilirubin concentration.
Adverse effects: Common Myelosuppression (see below), nausea, vomiting, oral mucositis, alopecia,
constipation, abdominal pain, muscle pain.
Uncommon Gastrointestinal bleeding, paralytic ileus, neurotoxicity (see below).
Rare Acute shortness of breath and bronchospasm (may be progressive), myocardial infarction.
Myelosuppression Common and major dose-limiting effect for vinblastine. Mainly affects neutrophils
with the nadir occurring about 5–10 days after a dose and recovery after a further 7–14 days. Thrombocytopenia
and anaemia are less frequent.
Neurotoxicity Less severe with vinblastine than other vinca alkaloids.
Related to both cumulative and individual doses. Includes peripheral neuropathy (e.g. loss of deep tendon
reflexes, paraesthesia, paralysis) and autonomic neuropathy (e.g. constipation, abdominal pain, paralytic ileus,
urinary retention, orthostatic hypotension). Motor function impairment may occur if severe. Vestibular and
auditory nerve damage may result in dizziness, nystagmus, vertigo or deafness (may be temporary or permanent).
Other adverse effects related to neurotoxicity may include malaise, weakness, headache, depression, jaw pain,
ataxia, hoarseness, cortical blindness, seizures, syndrome of inappropriate antidiuretic hormone secretion
(SIADH).
Extravasation Extravasation may cause cellulitis, sloughing and necrosis. If extravasation is suspected, stop
infusion/injection immediately, attempt to aspirate residual drug and start extravasation treatment according to
local protocol.
Interactions with other medicines (* indicates severe):
* Bleomycin: increased risk of cardiovascular toxicity.
* Erythromycin: increased toxicity of vinblastine (avoid concomitant use).
Itraconazole: increased risk of neurotoxicity and paralytic ileus.
Phenytoin: possibly reduced absorption of phenytoin.
Vaccines, live: avoid use of live vaccines with vinblastine (impairment of immune response).
Voriconazole: increased plasma concentration and toxicity of vinblastine.
Notes: For children over 10 years, dilute to at least 20 ml to avoid inadvertent intrathecal use.
Injections should be dispensed with the label “For intravenous use only; administration by any other
route may be fatal”.
Injections of vinblastine should not be in the same room when any intrathecal medication is to be
administered.
Vinblastine vials should be stored under refrigeration and protected from light.
References:
Hill SR, Kouimtzi M, Stuart MC, eds. WHO model formulary. Geneva, World Health Organization, 2008.
Hodding JH, Kraus DM, Taketomo CK. Pediatric dosage handbook. 16th ed. Hudson, Lexi-Comp, 2009.
Paediatric Formulary Committee. British national formulary for children 2009. London, BMJ Group RBS Publishing, 2009.
Rossi S, ed. Australian medicines handbook. Adelaide, Australian Medicines Handbook, 2009.
Solimando DA Jr., ed. Lexi-Comp’s drug information handbook for oncology. 4th ed. Hudson, Lexi-Comp, 2004.
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8.2 Cytotoxic medicines
Vincristine
ATC code: L01CA02
Powder for injection: 1 mg; 5 mg (sulfate) in vial
Important Intrathecal injection is contraindicated.
For intravenous administration only. Inadvertent intrathecal injection causes severe
neurotoxicity, which is usually fatal.
Handle as a cytotoxic.
Special Notes: Also known by the brand name Oncovin.
Indications: Acute leukaemias, lymphomas and paediatric solid tumours.
Contraindications: Pregnancy; breastfeeding; demyelinating Charcot-Marie-Tooth syndrome.
Precautions: Use with caution in patients with hepatic impairment; avoid extravasation.
Dose:
Consult specialist treatment protocols.
Renal impairment: Dose reduction not necessary.
Hepatic impairment: Dose reduction may be necessary.
Adverse effects: Common Oral mucositis, alopecia, constipation, neurotoxicity (see below).
Rare Nausea, vomiting, acute shortness of breath and bronchospasm (may be progressive),
anaphylaxis, chest pain, convulsions, paralytic ileus, myelosuppression.
Neurotoxicity Common and major dose-limiting effect for vincristine; related to both cumulative and
individual doses. Includes peripheral neuropathy (e.g. loss of deep tendon reflexes, paraesthesia, paralysis)
and autonomic neuropathy (e.g. constipation, abdominal pain, paralytic ileus, urinary retention, orthostatic
hypotension). Motor function impairment may occur if severe. Vestibular and auditory nerve damage may result
in dizziness, nystagmus, vertigo or deafness (may be temporary or permanent). Other adverse effects related
to neurotoxicity may include malaise, weakness, headache, depression, jaw pain, ataxia, hoarseness, cortical
blindness, seizures, syndrome of inappropriate antidiuretic hormone secretion (SIADH).
Extravasation Extravasation may cause cellulitis, sloughing and necrosis. If extravasation is suspected, stop
infusion/injection immediately, attempt to aspirate residual drug and start extravasation treatment according to
local protocol.
Interactions with other medicines (* indicates severe):
*
Asparaginase: may decrease vincristine clearance.
Itraconazole: increased plasma vincristine and risk of toxicity.
Nifedipine: possibly reduced metabolism of vincristine.
Phenytoin: possibly reduced absorption of phenytoin.
Vaccines, live: avoid use of live vaccines with vincristine (impairment of immune response).
Voriconazole: increased plasma vincristine and risk of toxicity.
Warfarin: increased INR and risk of subsequent bleeding.
Notes: For children over 10 years, dilute to at least 20 ml to avoid inadvertent intrathecal use.
Injections should be dispensed with the label “For intravenous use only. Administration by any other
route may be fatal”.
Injections of vincristine should not be in the same room when any intrathecal medication is to be
administered.
Many centres do not give vincristine and intrathecal medication on the same day, to minimize the
risk of accidental intrathecal administration of vincristine.
Give prophylactic therapy for constipation (e.g. docusate with senna).
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References:
Ashley C, Currie A, eds. The renal drug handbook. 3rd ed. Oxford, Radcliffe Publishing, 2009.
Hill SR, Kouimtzi M, Stuart MC, eds. WHO model formulary. Geneva, World Health Organization, 2008.
Hodding JH, Kraus DM, Taketomo CK. Pediatric dosage handbook. 16th ed. Hudson, Lexi-Comp, 2009.
Paediatric Formulary Committee. British national formulary for children 2009. London, BMJ Group RBS Publishing, 2009.
Solimando DA Jr., ed. Lexi-Comp’s drug information handbook for oncology. 4th ed. Hudson, Lexi-Comp, 2004.
8.3 Hormones and antihormones
The corticosteroids prednisolone, dexamethasone and hydrocortisone are synthetic hormones
which may be given at pharmacological doses for certain malignancies, particularly haematological
malignancies. However, chronic use of steroids is associated with a range of side-effects which are
covered in more detail in section 18.1.
Dexamethasone
ATC code: H02AB02
Oral liquid: 0.4 mg/ml
Injection: 4 mg dexamethasone phosphate (as disodium salt) in 1 ml ampoule
Immunosuppression may occur, patients may be more susceptible to infections, avoid exposure
to chickenpox and measles. Corticosteroids may activate latent opportunistic infections or
exacerbate systemic fungal infections. Acute myopathy may occur with high doses, elevated
intraocular pressure may occur (especially with prolonged use), CNS effects ranging from
euphoria to psychosis may occur.
Indications: Used with antineoplastic drugs for acute lymphoblastic leukaemias, Hodgkin disease
and non-Hodgkin lymphomas; for inflammatory or allergic reactions including those to other
antineoplastic drugs; pre- and post-chemotherapy as an antiemetic (see Section 17.2).
Contraindications: Untreated systemic infection (unless condition life threatening); administration
of live virus vaccines.
Precautions: Abrupt withdrawal (see below); increased susceptibility to and severity of infection;
activation or exacerbation of tuberculosis, amoebiasis, strongyloidiasis; risk of severe chickenpox in
non-immune patient (varicella zoster immunoglobulin required if exposed to chickenpox); avoid
exposure to measles (normal immunoglobulin possibly required if exposed); diabetes mellitus;
peptic ulcer; hypertension.
Abrupt withdrawal Dexamethasone may cause suppression of hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal (HPA)
axis, especially in younger children or those on high doses for prolonged periods. Withdrawal and discontinuation
of dexamethasone should be done slowly and carefully. Consult local protocols.
Dose:
See specialist treatment protocols.
Renal impairment: Dose reduction not necessary.
Hepatic impairment: Metabolized by the liver but also by other tissues; dose reduction not necessary.
Adverse effects: Incidence of adverse effects is related to dose and duration of treatment. Short high-
dose courses cause fewer adverse effects than prolonged courses of lower doses.
Common Adrenal suppression, increased susceptibility to infection, masking of signs of infection,
sodium and water retention, oedema, hypertension, hypokalaemia, hyperglycaemia, dyslipidaemia,
osteoporosis, fractures, increased appetite, dyspepsia, delayed wound healing, skin atrophy,
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bruising, acne, hirsutism, growth retardation in children, myopathy, muscle weakness and wasting,
fat redistribution (producing cushingoid appearance), weight gain, amenorrhoea, psychiatric
effects (see below).
Uncommon Osteonecrosis, particularly of the femoral and humeral heads.
Rare Peptic ulceration, posterior subcapsular cataracts, glaucoma, hypersensitivity reactions.
Psychiatric effects Include euphoria, hypomania, depression, disturbances of mood, cognition, sleep
and behaviour. Delirium or psychosis are less common.
Interactions with other medicines (* indicates severe):
Acetylsalicylic acid: increased risk of gastrointestinal bleeding and ulceration; dexamethasone
reduces plasma salicylate concentration.
Albendazole: plasma albendazole concentration possibly increased.
* Amphotericin B: increased risk of hypokalaemia (avoid concomitant use unless dexamethasone
needed to control reactions).
Calcium salts: reduced absorption of calcium salts.
* Carbamazepine: accelerated metabolism of dexamethasone (reduced effect).
Contraceptives, oral: oral contraceptives containing estrogens increase plasma concentration of
dexamethasone.
Digoxin: increased risk of hypokalaemia.
Enalapril: antagonism of hypotensive effect.
Erythromycin: erythromycin possibly inhibits metabolism of dexamethasone.
Furosemide: antagonism of diuretic effect; increased risk of hypokalaemia.
Hydrochlorothiazide: antagonism of diuretic effect; increased risk of hypokalaemia.
Ibuprofen: increased risk of gastrointestinal bleeding and ulceration.
Insulins: antagonism of hypoglycaemic effect.
* Lopinavir: possibly reduced plasma lopinavir concentration.
Metformin: antagonism of hypoglycaemic effect.
* Methotrexate: increased risk of haematological toxicity.
* Phenobarbital: metabolism of dexamethasone accelerated (reduced effect).
* Phenytoin: metabolism of dexamethasone accelerated (reduced effect).
Praziquantel: plasma praziquantel concentration reduced.
Propranolol: antagonism of hypotensive effect.
* Rifampicin: accelerated metabolism of dexamethasone (reduced effect).
Ritonavir: plasma concentration possibly increased by ritonavir.
Salbutamol: increased risk of hypokalaemia if high doses of salbutamol given with dexamethasone.
Saquinavir: possibly reduced plasma saquinavir concentration.
Spironolactone: antagonism of diuretic effect.
Vaccine, influenza: high doses of dexamethasone impair immune response.
Vaccine, live: high doses of dexamethasone impair immune response; avoid use of live vaccines.
* Warfarin: anticoagulant effect possibly enhanced or reduced (high-dose dexamethasone enhances
anticoagulant effect).
Notes: Monitor body weight, blood pressure, fluid and electrolyte balance and blood glucose
concentration throughout treatment in order to detect serious side-effects early.
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References:
Hill SR, Kouimtzi M, Stuart MC, eds. WHO model formulary. Geneva, World Health Organization, 2008.
Hodding JH, Kraus DM, Taketomo CK. Pediatric dosage handbook. 16th ed. Hudson, Lexi-Comp, 2009.
Paediatric Formulary Committee. British national formulary for children 2009. London, BMJ Group RBS Publishing, 2009.
Rossi S, ed. Australian medicines handbook. Adelaide, Australian Medicines Handbook, 2009.
Hydrocortisone
ATC code: H02AB09
Powder for injection: 100 mg (as sodium succinate) in vial
Hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal (HPA) suppression may occur, acute adrenal insufficiency
(adrenal crisis) may occur with abrupt withdrawal after long-term therapy or with stress;
withdrawal and discontinuation of steroids should be done carefully; patients with HPA axis
suppression may require doses of systemic glucocorticosteroids prior to, during and after
unusual stress (e.g. surgery). Immunosuppression may occur; patients may be more susceptible
to infections; avoid exposure to chicken pox and measles. Corticosteroids may activate latent
opportunistic infections or exacerbate systemic fungal infections. May cause osteoporosis (at any
age) or inhibition of bone growth in paediatric patients. Acute myopathy may occur with high
doses, elevated intraocular pressure may occur (especially with prolonged use), and CNS effects
(ranging from euphoria to psychosis) may occur.
Indications: Synthetic hormone used as an adjuvant in treatment of malignancy.
Contraindications: Untreated systemic infection (unless condition life threatening); administration
of live virus vaccines.
Precautions: Avoid using higher than recommended doses; suppression of HPA function,
suppression of linear growth (i.e. reduction of growth velocity), reduced bone mineral density,
hypercorticism (Cushing syndrome), hyperglycaemia or glycosuria may occur; titrate to lowest
effective dose. Use with extreme caution in patients with respiratory tuberculosis or ocular herpes
simplex; use with caution in patients with thyroid dysfunction, cirrhosis, nonspecific ulcerative
colitis, hypertension, glaucoma, myasthenia gravis, diabetes.
Dose:
See specialist treatment protocols.
Renal impairment: Dose reduction not necessary.
Hepatic impairment: Dose reduction not needed.
Adverse effects: The incidence of adverse effects is related to dose and duration of treatment. Short
high-dose courses cause fewer adverse effects than prolonged courses of lower doses.
Common Nausea, increased appetite, adrenal suppression, increased susceptibility to infection,
masking of signs of infection, sodium and water retention, oedema, hypertension, hypokalaemia,
hyperglycaemia, dyslipidaemia, osteoporosis, fractures, increased appetite, dyspepsia, delayed
wound healing, skin atrophy, bruising, acne, hirsutism, growth retardation in children, myopathy,
muscle weakness and wasting, fat redistribution (producing cushingoid appearance), weight gain,
amenorrhoea, psychiatric effects (see below).
Uncommon Osteonecrosis, particularly of the femoral and humeral heads.
Rare Peptic ulceration, posterior subcapsular cataracts, glaucoma, hypersensitivity reactions.
Psychiatric effects Include euphoria, hypomania, depression, disturbances of mood, cognition, sleep
and behaviour. Delirium or psychosis are less common.
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Interactions with other medicines (* indicates severe):
Acetylsalicylic acid: increased risk of gastrointestinal bleeding and ulceration; hydrocortisone
reduces plasma salicylate concentration.
* Amphotericin B: increased risk of hypokalaemia (avoid concomitant use unless hydrocortisone
needed to control reactions).
* Carbamazepine: accelerated metabolism of hydrocortisone.
Digoxin: increased risk of hypokalaemia.
Enalapril: antagonism of hypotensive effect.
Erythromycin: erythromycin possibly inhibits metabolism of hydrocortisone.
Furosemide: antagonism of diuretic effect; increased risk of hypokalaemia.
Hydrochlorothiazide: antagonism of diuretic effect; increased risk of hypokalaemia.
Ibuprofen: increased risk of gastrointestinal bleeding and ulceration.
Insulins: antagonism of hypoglycaemic effect.
Metformin: antagonism of hypoglycaemic effect.
* Methotrexate: increased risk of haematological toxicity.
* Phenobarbital: metabolism of hydrocortisone accelerated (reduced effect).
* Phenytoin: metabolism of hydrocortisone accelerated (reduced effect).
Propranolol: antagonism of hypotensive effect.
* Rifampicin: accelerated metabolism of hydrocortisone (reduced effect).
Ritonavir: plasma concentration possibly increased by ritonavir.
Salbutamol: increased risk of hypokalaemia if high doses of salbutamol given with hydrocortisone.
Spironolactone: antagonism of diuretic effect.
Vaccine, influenza: high doses of hydrocortisone impair immune response.
* Vaccines, live: high doses of hydrocortisone impair immune response; avoid use of live vaccines.
* Warfarin: anticoagulant effect possibly enhanced or reduced (high-dose hydrocortisone enhances
anticoagulant effect).
Notes: Monitor body weight, blood pressure, fluid and electrolyte balance, and blood glucose
concentration throughout treatment in order to detect serious side-effects early.
References:
Hill SR, Kouimtzi M, Stuart MC, eds. WHO model formulary. Geneva, World Health Organization, 2008.
Hodding JH, Kraus DM, Taketomo CK. Pediatric dosage handbook. 16th ed. Hudson, Lexi-Comp, 2009.
Paediatric Formulary Committee. British national formulary for children 2009. London, BMJ Group RBS Publishing, 2009.
Rossi S, ed. Australian medicines handbook. Adelaide, Australian Medicines Handbook, 2009.
WHO Model Formulary for Children 2010
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Prednisolone
ATC code: H02AB06
Tablet: 5 mg; 25 mg
Oral liquid: 5 mg/ml
Hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal (HPA) suppression may occur, acute adrenal insufficiency
(adrenal crisis) may occur with abrupt withdrawal after long-term therapy or with stress;
withdrawal and discontinuation of steroids should be done carefully; patients with HPA axis
suppression may require doses of systemic glucocorticosteroids prior to, during and after
unusual stress (e.g. surgery). Immunosuppression may occur, patients may be more susceptible
to infections, avoid exposure to chickenpox and measles. Corticosteroids may activate latent
opportunistic infections or exacerbate systemic fungal infections. May cause osteoporosis (at any
age) or inhibition of bone growth in paediatric patients. Acute myopathy may occur with high
doses, elevated intraocular pressure may occur (especially with prolonged use) and CNS effects
(ranging from euphoria to psychosis) may occur.
Indications: In conjunction with antineoplastic drugs for acute lymphoblastic and chronic
lymphocytic leukaemias, Hodgkin disease and non-Hodgkin lymphomas.
Contraindications: Untreated systemic infection (unless condition life threatening); administration
of live virus vaccines.
Precautions: Avoid using higher than recommended doses; suppression of HPA function,
suppression of linear growth (i.e. reduction of growth velocity), reduced bone mineral density,
hypercorticism (Cushing syndrome), hyperglycaemia or glycosuria may occur, titrate to lowest
effective dose. Use with extreme caution in patients with respiratory tuberculosis or ocular herpes
simplex; use with caution in patients with thyroid dysfunction, cirrhosis, non-specific ulcerative
colitis, hypertension, glaucoma, myasthenia gravis, diabetes.
Dose:
Oral:
Child less than 1 year initially up to 25 mg, then 5–10 mg daily;
2–7 years initially up to 50 mg, then 10–20 mg daily;
8–12 years initially up to 75 mg, then 15–30 mg daily.
The above doses are only a guide and should only be used as part of a treatment protocol which
includes other antineoplastic drugs and under specialist advice.
Renal impairment: Dose reduction not needed.
Hepatic impairment: Adverse effects more common.
Adverse effects: Incidence of adverse effects is related to dose and duration of treatment. Short high-
dose courses cause fewer adverse effects than prolonged courses of lower doses.
Common Adrenal suppression, increased susceptibility to infection, masking of signs of infection,
sodium and water retention, oedema, hypertension, hypokalaemia, hyperglycaemia, dyslipidaemia,
osteoporosis, fractures, increased appetite, dyspepsia, delayed wound healing, skin atrophy,
bruising, acne, hirsutism, growth retardation in children, myopathy, muscle weakness and wasting,
fat redistribution (producing cushingoid appearance), weight gain, amenorrhoea, psychiatric
effects (see below).
Uncommon Osteonecrosis, particularly of the femoral and humeral heads.
Rare Peptic ulceration, posterior subcapsular cataracts, glaucoma, hypersensitivity reactions.
Psychiatric effects Include euphoria, hypomania, depression, disturbances of mood, cognition, sleep
and behaviour. Delirium or psychosis are less common.
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Interactions with other medicines (* indicates severe):
Acetazolamide: increased risk of hypokalaemia; antagonism of diuretic effect.
Acetylsalicylic acid: increased risk of gastrointestinal bleeding and ulceration; prednisolone
reduces plasma salicylate concentration.
* Amphotericin B: increased risk of hypokalaemia (avoid concomitant use unless prednisolone
needed to control reactions).
Atenolol: antagonism of hypotensive effect.
Calcium salts: reduced absorption of calcium salts.
* Carbamazepine: accelerated metabolism of prednisolone (reduced effect).
Ciclosporin: increased plasma concentration of prednisolone.
Contraceptives, oral: oral contraceptives containing estrogens increase plasma concentration of
prednisolone.
Digoxin: increased risk of hypokalaemia.
Enalapril: antagonism of hypotensive effect.
Erythromycin: erythromycin possibly inhibits metabolism of prednisolone.
Furosemide: antagonism of diuretic effect; increased risk of hypokalaemia.
Hydrochlorothiazide: antagonism of diuretic effect; increased risk of hypokalaemia.
Ibuprofen: increased risk of gastrointestinal bleeding and ulceration.
Insulins: antagonism of hypoglycaemic effect.
Metformin: antagonism of hypoglycaemic effect.
* Methotrexate: increased risk of haematological toxicity.
* Phenobarbital: metabolism of prednisolone accelerated (reduced effect).
* Phenytoin: metabolism of prednisolone accelerated (reduced effect).
Propranolol: antagonism of hypotensive effect.
* Rifampicin: accelerated metabolism of prednisolone (reduced effect).
Ritonavir: plasma concentration possibly increased by ritonavir.
Salbutamol: increased risk of hypokalaemia if high doses of salbutamol given with prednisolone.
Spironolactone: antagonism of diuretic effect.
Vaccine, influenza: high doses of prednisolone impair immune response.
* Vaccine, live: high doses of prednisolone impair immune response; avoid use of live vaccines.
* Warfarin: anticoagulant effect possibly enhanced or reduced (high-dose prednisolone enhances
anticoagulant effect).
Notes: Monitor body weight, blood pressure, fluid and electrolyte balance, and blood glucose
concentration throughout treatment in order to detect serious side-effects early.
References:
Ashley C, Currie A, eds. The renal drug handbook. 3rd ed. Oxford, Radcliffe Publishing, 2009.
Hill SR, Kouimtzi M, Stuart MC, eds. WHO model formulary. Geneva, World Health Organization, 2008.
Hodding JH, Kraus DM, Taketomo CK. Pediatric dosage handbook. 16th ed. Hudson, Lexi-Comp, 2009.
Paediatric Formulary Committee. British national formulary for children 2009. London, BMJ Group RBS Publishing, 2009.
Rossi S, ed. Australian medicines handbook. Adelaide, Australian Medicines Handbook, 2009.
WHO Model Formulary for Children 2010
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8.4 Medicines used in palliative care
Access to appropriate medicines is needed to ensure adequate management of the most prevalent and
distressing symptoms in children with life-threatening and life-limiting conditions.
Globally, malignancy and HIV/AIDS have been identified as the most common causes of childhood
mortality requiring palliative care. Based on available data, the 10 most frequent symptoms or symptom
clusters requiring pharmacological management for palliative care include fatigue and weakness, pain,
anorexia and weight loss, delirium and agitation, breathlessness, nausea and vomiting, constipation,
depression, excess respiratory tract secretions and anxiety.
A range of medications may be used to treat these symptom clusters. Systematic evidence for the
safety and efficacy of these medicines in paediatric populations is often lacking. In the absence of
randomized controlled trials in paediatric populations, recommendations have been based on current
best available evidence which may be extrapolated from adult studies or, in some instances, based on
expert opinion.
Amitriptyline
ATC code: N06AA09
Tablet: 10 mg; 25 mg
Indications: Neuropathic pain in palliative care.
Contraindications: Recent myocardial infarction, arrhythmias (especially heart block); manic phase
in bipolar disorders; severe liver disease; porphyria.
Precautions: History of epilepsy; hepatic impairment; thyroid disease; phaeochromocytoma; history
of mania; psychoses or depression (may aggravate psychotic or depressive symptoms); angle
closure glaucoma; history of urinary retention; concurrent electroconvulsive therapy; avoid abrupt
withdrawal; anaesthesia (increased risk of arrhythmias and hypotension).
Skilled tasks Warn patient or carer about the risk of undertaking tasks requiring attention or coordination,
for example riding a bike or operating machinery, for 24 hours.
Dose:
Neuropathic pain.
Oral:
Child 2–12 years initially 200–500 micrograms/kg (maximum 25 mg) once daily at night,
increased if necessary to a maximum of 1 mg/kg twice daily.
Renal impairment: Dose reduction not necessary.
Hepatic impairment: Sedative effects increased (avoid in severe liver disease}.
Adverse effects: Common Sedation, dry mouth, blurred vision (disturbance of accommodation,
increased intraocular pressure), constipation, nausea, difficulty in micturition, cardiovascular
adverse effects particularly with high dosage including ECG changes, arrhythmias, postural
hypotension, tachycardia, syncope, sweating, tremor, rash and hypersensitivity reactions (urticaria,
photosensitivity).
Uncommon Behavioural disturbances, hypomania or mania, confusion or delirium, headache,
interference with sexual function, blood sugar changes, increased appetite and weight gain
(occasional weight loss), endocrine adverse effects such as testicular enlargement, gynaecomastia
and galactorrhoea, movement disorders and dyskinesias, dysarthria, paraesthesia, taste
disturbances, tinnitus, fever, abnormal liver function tests.
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Rare Blood dyscrasias including agranulocytosis, leukopenia, eosinophilia, purpura and
thrombocytopenia, hepatitis, paralytic ileus, syndrome of inappropriate antidiuretic hormone
hypersecretion (SIADH) with hyponatraemia, seizures, prolonged QT interval.
In overdose (high rate of fatality), excitement, restlessness, marked anticholinergic effects, severe
symptoms including unconsciousness, convulsions, myoclonus, hyper-reflexia, hypotension,
acidosis, respiratory and cardiac depression with arrhythmias.
Interactions with other medicines (* indicates severe):
* Alcohol: enhanced sedative effect.
* Atemether + lumefantrine: manufacturer of artemether with lumefantrine advises to avoid
concomitant use.
Atropine: increased antimuscarinic adverse effects.
* Carbamazepine: antagonism of anticonvulsant effect (convulsive threshold lowered); accelerated
metabolism of amitriptyline (reduced plasma concentration; reduced antidepressant effect).
Chlorphenamine: increased antimuscarinic and sedative effects.
* Chlorpromazine: increased risk of antimuscarinic adverse effects; increased plasma amitriptyline
concentration; possibly increased risk of ventricular arrhythmias.
Codeine: possibly increased sedation.
Contraceptives, oral: antagonism of antidepressant effect by estrogens but adverse effects of
amitriptyline possibly increased due to increased plasma concentration of amitriptyline.
Diazepam: enhanced sedative effect.
* Epinephrine: increased risk of hypertension and arrhythmias (but local anaesthetics with
epinephrine appear to be safe).
* Ethosuximide: antagonism of anticonvulsant effect (convulsive threshold lowered).
* Fluphenazine: increased risk of antimuscarinic adverse effects; increased plasma amitriptyline
concentration; possibly increased risk of ventricular arrhythmias.
Furosemide: increased risk of postural hypotension.
Haloperidol: increased amitriptyline concentration; possibly increased risk of ventricular arrhythmias.
Halothane: increased risk of arrhythmias and hypotension.
Hydrochlorothiazide: increased risk of postural hypotension.
Isoniazid: increased plasma concentration of isoniazid.
Ketamine: increased risk of arrhythmias and hypotension.
Levothyroxine: enhanced effects of amitriptyline.
Morphine: possibly increased sedation.
Nitrous oxide: increased risk of arrhythmias and hypotension.
* Phenobarbital: antagonism of anticonvulsant effect (convulsive threshold lowered); metabolism of
amitriptyline possibly accelerated (reduced plasma concentration).
* Phenytoin: antagonism of anticonvulsant effect (convulsive threshold lowered); possibly reduced
plasma amitriptyline concentration.
Rifampicin: plasma concentration of amitriptyline possibly reduced.
* Ritonavir: plasma concentration possibly increased by ritonavir.
Spironolactone: increased risk of postural hypotension.
Thiopental: increased risk of arrhythmias and hypotension.
* Valproic acid: antagonism of anticonvulsant effect (convulsive threshold lowered).
* Warfarin: enhanced or reduced anticoagulant effect.
WHO Model Formulary for Children 2010
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References:
Ashley C, Currie A, eds. The renal drug handbook. 3rd ed. Oxford, Radcliffe Publishing, 2009.
Hill SR, Kouimtzi M, Stuart MC, eds. WHO model formulary. Geneva, World Health Organization, 2008.
Hodding JH, Kraus DM, Taketomo CK. Pediatric dosage handbook. 16th ed. Hudson, Lexi-Comp, 2009.
Paediatric Formulary Committee. British national formulary for children 2009. London, BMJ Group RBS Publishing, 2009.
Cyclizine
ATC code: R06AE03
Injection: 50 mg/ml
Tablet: 50 mg
Indications: Nausea and vomiting in palliative care including after radiotherapy or chemotherapy.
Precautions: May counteract haemodynamic effects of opioids; porphyria; glaucoma; obstructive
disease of the gastrointestinal tract; hepatic disease; epilepsy; severe heart failure (cyclizine may
cause a fall in cardiac output associated with increases in heart rate, mean arterial pressure and
pulmonary wedge pressure).
Patients with rare hereditary problems of galactose intolerance, the Lapp lactase deficiency or
glucose-galactose malabsorption should not take this medicine.
Dose:
Oral or IV injection:
Infant or Child 1 month–6 years 0.5–1 mg/kg up to three times daily, maximum single dose
25 mg;
6–12 years 25 mg up to three times daily.
Continuous intravenous or subcutaneous infusion:
Child 1 month–2 years 3 mg/kg over 24 hours;
2–5 years 50 mg over 24 hours;
6–12 years 75 mg over 24 hours.
Renal impairment: Dose reduction not necessary.
Hepatic impairment: Causes sedation in liver impairment (avoid).
Adverse effects: Common Urticaria, rash, drowsiness, headache, dryness of the mouth, nose and
throat, blurred vision, tachycardia, urinary retention, constipation, restlessness, nervousness,
insomnia and auditory and visual hallucinations have been reported, particularly when dosage
recommendations have been exceeded.
Rare Cholestatic jaundice has occurred in association with cyclizine. Rare reports of cholestatic
hepatitis and hypersensitivity reactions, including anaphylaxis, angioedema, allergic skin reactions
and bronchospasm, have been reported in association with cyclizine. Other central nervous system
effects include dystonia, dyskinesia, extrapyramidal motor disturbances, tremor, twitching, muscle
spasms, seizures, disorientation, dizziness, decreased consciousness, transient speech disorders,
hypertension and paraesthesia. There have also been a few reports of fixed drug eruption, apnoea,
generalized chorea, hypersensitivity hepatitis, hepatic dysfunction and agranulocytosis.
Interactions with other medicines (* indicates severe):
Alcohol: cyclizine may have additive effects with alcohol and other central nervous system
depressants, e.g. hypnotics, tranquillizers, anaesthetics.
Pethidine: cyclizine enhances the soporific effect of pethidine.
Anticholinergic drugs: because of its anticholinergic activity, cyclizine may enhance the sideeffects of other anticholinergic drugs.
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Notes: For administration by mouth, tablets may be crushed.
There have been reports of abuse of cyclizine, either oral or intravenous, for its euphoric or
hallucinatory effects. The concomitant misuse of cyclizine with large amounts of alcohol is
particularly dangerous, since the antiemetic effect of cyclizine may increase the toxicity of alcohol.
Direct intravenous injection may be given over 3–5 minutes.
References:
Paediatric Formulary Committee. British national formulary for children 2009. London, BMJ Group RBS Publishing, 2009.
Valoid Product Information. GlaxoSmithKline, 2009 (http://emc.medicines.org.uk/document.aspx?documentId=14783, accessed
10 February 2010).
Dexamethasone
ATC code: H02AB02
Injection: 4 mg/ml
Tablet: 2 mg
Indications: Life-threatening cerebral oedema, cerebral oedema and nausea and vomiting
(chemotherapy induced).
Contraindications: Untreated systemic infection (unless cerebral oedema is life-threatening).
Precautions: Consider the relevance of these listed precautions in palliative care.
Increased susceptibility to and severity of infection; activation or exacerbation of tuberculosis, amoebiasis,
strongyloidiasis; risk of severe chickenpox in non-immune patient (varicella zoster immunoglobulin
required if exposed to chickenpox); avoid exposure to measles (normal immunoglobulin possibly
required if exposed); diabetes mellitus; peptic ulcer; hypertension; corneal perforation.
Dose:
Life-threatening cerebral oedema.
IV:
Child under 35 kg initially 20 mg then 4 mg every 3 hours for 3 days, then 4 mg every 6 hours
for 1 day, then 2 mg every 6 hours for 4 days, then decrease by 1 mg daily;
over 35 kg initially 25 mg then 4 mg every 2 hours for 3 days, then 4 mg every 4 hours for 1 day,
then 4 mg every 6 hours for 4 days, then decrease by 2 mg daily.
Cerebral oedema.
Oral, IM or IV:
1–2 mg/kg as a single dose, followed by a maintenance dose of 1–1.5 mg/kg (maximum 16 mg)
daily in four to six divided doses.
Nausea and vomiting (chemotherapy induced).
Oral or IV:
Child all ages 10 mg/m2 (maximum 20 mg) before chemotherapy, then 5 mg/m2 every 6 hours.
Note If patients are unable to swallow tablets and the intravenous route is not suitable, dexamethasone may
be administered subcutaneously as either a bolus or via a syringe driver as an infusion.
Renal impairment: Dose reduction not necessary.
Hepatic impairment: Dose reduction not necessary.
Adverse effects: Consider relevance of adverse effects in palliative care.
Common Nausea, dyspepsia, malaise, hiccups, perineal irritation after intravenous administration,
adrenal suppression, increased susceptibility to infection, masking of signs of infection, sodium and
water retention, oedema, hypertension, hypokalaemia, hyperglycaemia, dyslipidaemia, osteoporosis,
fractures, increased appetite, delayed wound healing, skin atrophy, bruising, acne, hirsutism, growth
retardation in children, myopathy, muscle weakness and wasting, fat redistribution (producing
cushingoid appearance), weight gain, amenorrhoea, psychiatric effects (see below).
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Uncommon Osteonecrosis, particularly of the femoral and humeral heads.
Rare Peptic ulceration, posterior subcapsular cataracts, glaucoma, hypersensitivity reactions including
anaphylaxis.
Psychiatric effects Include euphoria, hypomania, depression, disturbances of mood, cognition, sleep
and behaviour. Delirium or psychosis is less common.
Interactions with other medicines (* indicates severe):
Consider the relevance of the listed interactions in palliative care.
Acetylsalicylic acid: increased risk of gastrointestinal bleeding and ulceration; dexamethasone
reduces plasma salicylate concentration.
Albendazole: plasma albendazole concentration possibly increased.
* Amphotericin B: increased risk of hypokalaemia.
Calcium salts: reduced absorption of calcium salts.
* Carbamazepine: accelerated metabolism of dexamethasone (reduced effect).
Contraceptives, oral: oral contraceptives containing estrogens increase plasma concentration of
dexamethasone.
Digoxin: increased risk of hypokalaemia.
Enalapril: antagonism of hypotensive effect.
Erythromycin: erythromycin possibly inhibits metabolism of dexamethasone.
Furosemide: antagonism of diuretic effect; increased risk of hypokalaemia.
Hydrochlorothiazide: antagonism of diuretic effect; increased risk of hypokalaemia.
Ibuprofen: increased risk of gastrointestinal bleeding and ulceration.
Insulins: antagonism of hypoglycaemic effect.
* Lopinavir: possibly reduced plasma lopinavir concentration.
Metformin: antagonism of hypoglycaemic effect.
* Methotrexate: increased risk of haematological toxicity.
* Phenobarbital: metabolism of dexamethasone accelerated (reduced effect).
* Phenytoin: metabolism of dexamethasone accelerated (reduced effect).
Praziquantel: plasma praziquantel concentration reduced.
Propranolol: antagonism of hypotensive effect.
* Rifampicin: accelerated metabolism of dexamethasone (reduced effect).
Ritonavir: plasma concentration possibly increased by ritonavir.
Salbutamol: increased risk of hypokalaemia if high doses of salbutamol given with dexamethasone.
Saquinavir: possibly reduced plasma saquinavir concentration.
Spironolactone: antagonism of diuretic effect.
Vaccine, influenza: high doses of dexamethasone impair immune response.
* Vaccine, live: high doses of dexamethasone impair immune response; avoid use of live vaccines.
* Warfarin: anticoagulant effect possibly enhanced or reduced (high-dose dexamethasone enhances
anticoagulant effect).
Notes: When used in a syringe driver with other medications, special care is needed in preparation,
particularly the order of addition, to avoid precipitation. Consult specialist references.
Tablets can be dissolved in water prior to administration.
When started for symptom control, cease treatment if no improvement seen after the first week.
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References:
Ashley C, Currie A, eds. The renal drug handbook. 3rd ed. Oxford, Radcliffe Publishing, 2009.
Hill SR, Kouimtzi M, Stuart MC, eds. WHO model formulary. Geneva, World Health Organization, 2008.
Kemp CA, McDowell JM. Paediatric pharmacopoeia. 13th ed. Melbourne, Royal Children’s Hospital, 2002.
Klasco RK, ed. Drugdex system. Greenwood Village, Thomson Micromedex, 2010. (http://www.thomsonhc.com, accessed 10
February 2010).
Rossi S, ed. Australian medicines handbook. Adelaide, Australian Medicines Handbook, 2009.
Sweetman SC, ed. Martindale: the complete drug reference. 34th ed. London, Pharmaceutical Press, 2005.
Diazepam
ATC code: N05BA01
Injection: 5 mg/ml
Oral liquid: 0.4 mg/ml
Rectal solution: 2.5 mg; 5 mg; 10 mg (can be made as an extemporaneous product in countries
where a commercial product is not available)
Tablet: 5 mg; 10 mg
Indications: Seizures, muscle spasm and anxiety.
Contraindications: Respiratory depression; acute pulmonary insufficiency; sleep apnoea; severe
hepatic impairment; myasthenia gravis.
Precautions: Consider the relevance of these listed precautions in palliative care.
Respiratory disease; muscle weakness; history of alcohol or drug abuse; marked personality
disorder; reduce dose in debilitated patients and in hepatic impairment (avoid if severe) and renal
impairment; avoid prolonged use and abrupt withdrawal; when given intravenously, facilities
for reversing respiratory depression with mechanical ventilation must be at hand (see below);
porphyria.
Precautions for intravenous infusion Intravenous infusion of diazepam is potentially
hazardous (especially if prolonged) calling for close and constant observation and it is best to be carried out in a
specialist centre with intensive care facilities. Prolonged intravenous infusion may lead to accumulation and delay
recovery.
Skilled tasks Warn patient or carer about the risk of undertaking tasks requiring attention or coordination,
for example riding a bike or operating machinery, for 24 hours.
Dose:
Seizures.
IV:
Child all ages 0.3–0.4 mg/kg repeated once after 10 minutes if necessary.
PR:
Neonate 1.25–2.5 mg repeated once after 10 minutes if necessary.
Infant or Child 1 month–2 years 5 mg repeated once after 10 minutes if necessary;
2–12 years 5–10 mg repeated once after 10 minutes if necessary.
Muscle spasm and anxiety.
IV:
Child all ages 0.1–0.3 mg/kg/dose repeated 1–4 hourly as required to a maximum of 0.6 mg/kg
within 8 hours.
Oral:
Child all ages 0.05–0.3 mg/kg/dose 8–12 hourly.
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Renal impairment: Start with small doses due to increased cerebral sensitivity.
Mild impairment: dosage reduction not necessary.
Moderate to severe impairment: use small doses and titrate to response.
Hepatic impairment: Can precipitate coma.
Low doses could be used but a shorter acting agent would be preferable.
Adverse effects: Consider relevance of adverse effects in palliative care.
Common Drowsiness and lightheadedness, confusion and ataxia, amnesia.
Uncommon Dependence, paradoxical increase in aggression, muscle weakness, occasionally headache,
vertigo, salivation changes, gastrointestinal disturbances, skin reactions, visual disturbances,
dysarthria, tremor, changes in libido, incontinence, urinary retention, hypotension and apnoea.
Rare Blood disorders and jaundice, pain and thrombophlebitis.
Interactions with other medicines (* indicates severe):
Consider the relevance of the listed interactions in palliative care.
Alcohol: enhanced sedative effect.
Amitriptyline: enhanced sedative effect.
Chlorphenamine: enhanced sedative effect.
Chlorpromazine: enhanced sedative effect.
Clomipramine: enhanced sedative effect.
Codeine: enhanced sedative effect.
Furosemide: enhanced hypotensive effect.
Haloperidol: enhanced sedative effect.
Halothane: enhanced sedative effect.
Hydrochlorothiazide: enhanced hypotensive effect.
Isoniazid: metabolism of diazepam inhibited.
Ketamine: enhanced sedative effect.
Morphine: enhanced sedative effect.
Nitrous oxide: enhanced sedative effect.
Phenytoin: plasma phenytoin concentrations possibly increased or decreased by diazepam.
Propranolol: enhanced hypotensive effect.
Rifampicin: metabolism of diazepam accelerated (reduced plasma concentration).
* Ritonavir: plasma concentration possibly increased by ritonavir (risk of extreme sedation and
respiratory depression; avoid concomitant use).
Spironolactone: enhanced hypotensive effect.
Thiopental: enhanced sedative effect.
References:
Ashley C, Currie A, eds. The renal drug handbook. 3rd ed. Oxford, Radcliffe Publishing, 2009.
Hill SR, Kouimtzi M, Stuart MC, eds. WHO model formulary. Geneva, World Health Organization, 2008.
Kemp CA, McDowell JM. Paediatric pharmacopoeia. 13th ed. Melbourne, Royal Children’s Hospital, 2002.
Klasco RK, ed. Drugdex system. Greenwood Village, Thomson Micromedex, 2010. (http://www.thomsonhc.com, accessed 10
February 2010).
Paediatric Formulary Committee. British national formulary for children 2009. London, BMJ Group RBS Publishing, 2009.
286
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8.4 Medicines used in palliative care
Docusate sodium
ATC code: A06AA02
Capsule: 100 mg
Oral liquid: 10 mg/ml
Indications: Constipation particularly when caused by opioid use.
Contraindications: Hypersensitivity; intestinal obstruction.
Precautions: Acute abdominal pain; nausea; vomiting; concomitant use of mineral oils (do not give
with liquid paraffin).
Dose:
As a laxative.
Oral:
Infant or Child 6 months–2 years 12.5 mg three times daily;
2–12 years 12.5–25 mg three times daily.
Renal impairment: Dose reduction not necessary.
Hepatic impairment: Dose reduction not necessary.
Adverse effects: Rare Abdominal cramps, diarrhoea, nausea, rash, local throat irritation, intestinal
obstruction.
Interactions with other medicines (* indicates severe):
Mineral oil: may increase absorption of mineral oil.
Acetylsalicylic acid: may increase the gastrointestinal toxicity of acetylsalicylic acid.
Notes: Oral preparations may take 1–2 days to act.
Take with plenty of fluid.
Oral liquid may be given with milk, fruit juice (not grapefruit) or infant formula to mask bitter taste.
References:
Hodding JH, Kraus DM, Taketomo CK. Pediatric dosage handbook. 16th ed. Hudson, Lexi-Comp, 2009.
Paediatric Formulary Committee. British national formulary for children 2009. London, BMJ Group RBS Publishing, 2009.
Rossi S, ed. Australian medicines handbook. Adelaide, Australian Medicines Handbook, 2009.
Hyoscine hydrobromide
ATC code: A04AD01
Injection: 400 micrograms/ml; 600 micrograms/ml
Transdermal patches: 1 mg/72 hours
Indications: Excessive respiratory secretions.
Contraindications: Consider the relevance of these listed contraindications in palliative care.
Closed-angle glaucoma; urinary obstruction; myasthenia gravis.
Precautions: Consider the relevance of these listed precautions in palliative care.
Skilled tasks Warn patient or carer about the risk of undertaking tasks requiring attention or coordination,
for example riding a bike or operating machinery, for 24 hours.
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Dose:
Excessive respiratory secretions.
Oral or sublingual (injection solution can be used by these routes):
Child 2–12 years 10 micrograms/kg; maximum 300 micrograms four times daily.
SC or IV infusion:
Child all ages 40–60 micrograms/kg daily as a continuous infusion.
Transdermal:
Infant or Child 1 month–3 years 250 micrograms every 72 hours (quarter of a patch);
3–10 years 500 micrograms every 72 hours (half a patch);
10–12 years 1 mg every 72 hours (one patch).
Renal impairment: Dose reduction not necessary.
Hepatic impairment: Use with caution as central nervous system side-effects occur more often in
patients with hepatic impairment.
Adverse effects: Consider the relevance of these listed adverse effects in palliative care.
Common Drowsiness, dizziness, blurred vision, difficulty in micturition.
Uncommon Tachycardia, arrhythmia, hallucinations, memory impairment, insomnia, confusion, dry
and/or flushed skin.
Rare Fever due to anhidrosis, anaphylaxis.
Interactions with other medicines (* indicates severe):
Consider the relevance of these listed interactions in palliative care.
Atropine: may increase therapeutic effect and risk of side-effects.
Neostigmine: may antagonize anticholinergic effect.
Pyridostigmine: may antagonize anticholinergic effect.
Notes: Administration of the patch: apply to a hairless area of skin behind the ear. If less than whole
patch is required, either cut with scissors along full thickness ensuring the membrane is not peeled
away or cover portion to prevent contact with the skin.
Injection solution may be given orally.
Transdermal patch may contain metal; remove before MRI.
References:
Ashley C, Currie A, eds. The renal drug handbook. 3rd ed. Oxford, Radcliffe Publishing, 2009.
Kemp CA, McDowell JM. Paediatric pharmacopoeia. 13th ed. Melbourne, Royal Children’s Hospital, 2002.
Paediatric Formulary Committee. British national formulary for children 2009. London, BMJ Group RBS Publishing, 2009.
Rossi S, ed. Australian medicines handbook. Adelaide, Australian Medicines Handbook, 2009.
Ibuprofen
ATC code: M01AE01
Oral liquid: 20 mg/ml
Tablet: 200 mg; 400 mg; 600 mg
Special Notes: WHO age/weight restriction: > 3 months.
Indications: Specific use for management of bone pain.
Contraindications: Hypersensitivity to acetylsalicylic acid or any other NSAIM (including asthma,
angioedema, urticaria or rhinitis); active peptic ulceration.
Precautions: Consider the relevance of listed precautions in palliative care.
Renal impairment; hepatic impairment; preferably avoid if history of peptic ulceration; cardiac
disease; coagulation defects; allergic disorders.
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Dose:
Treatment of bone pain.
Oral:
Infant or Child over 3 months 5–10 mg/kg three or four times daily with or after food.
Maximum daily dose is 40 mg/kg/day.
Renal impairment: Mild impairment: use lowest effective dose and monitor for sodium and water
retention; deterioration in renal function possibly leading to renal failure.
Moderate to severe impairment: avoid unless on dialysis.
Hepatic impairment: Severe impairment: not recommended.
Adverse effects: Consider relevance of adverse effects in palliative care.
Common Gastrointestinal disturbances including nausea, diarrhoea.
Uncommon Dyspepsia, ulceration and haemorrhage, hypersensitivity reactions including rash,
angioedema and bronchospasm, haematuria, fluid retention, raised blood pressure, renal failure,
headache, dizziness, vertigo, tinnitus.
Rare Hepatic damage, alveolitis, pulmonary eosinophilia, pancreatitis, visual disturbances, erythema
multiforme (Stevens-Johnson syndrome), toxic epidermal necrolysis (Lyell syndrome), colitis,
aseptic meningitis, nervousness, depression, drowsiness, insomnia, photosensitivity.
Interactions with other medicines (* indicates severe):
Consider the relevance of the listed interactions in palliative care.
* Acetylsalicylic acid: avoid concomitant use (increased adverse effects).
* Ciclosporin: increased risk of nephrotoxicity.
* Ciprofloxacin: possibly increased risk of seizures.
Dexamethasone: increased risk of gastrointestinal bleeding and ulceration.
Digoxin: possibly exacerbation of heart failure, reduced renal function, and increased plasma
digoxin concentration.
Enalapril: antagonism of hypotensive effect, increased risk of renal impairment.
* Fluoxetine: increased risk of bleeding.
Furosemide: risk of nephrotoxicity of ibuprofen increased; antagonism of diuretic effect.
* Glibenclamide: possibly enhanced effect of glibenclamide.
Heparin: possibly increased risk of bleeding.
Hydrochlorothiazide: risk of nephrotoxicity of ibuprofen increased; antagonism of diuretic effect.
Hydrocortisone: increased risk of gastrointestinal bleeding and ulceration.
* Methotrexate: excretion of methotrexate reduced (increased risk of toxicity).
* Ofloxacin: possible increased risk of seizures.
Penicillamine: possible increased risk of nephrotoxicity.
* Phenytoin: effect of phenytoin possibly enhanced.
Prednisolone: increased risk of gastrointestinal bleeding and ulceration.
Propranolol: antagonism of hypotensive effect.
Ritonavir: plasma concentration possibly increased by ritonavir.
Spironolactone: risk of nephrotoxicity of ibuprofen increased; antagonism of diuretic effect;
possibly increased risk of hyperkalaemia.
* Warfarin: anticoagulant effect possibly enhanced.
Zidovudine: increased risk of haematological toxicity.
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Notes: Advise patient or carer that ibuprofen should be taken after food or milk.
Oral suspension should be shaken before use.
References:
Ashley C, Currie A, eds. The renal drug handbook. 3rd ed. Oxford, Radcliffe Publishing, 2009.
Hill SR, Kouimtzi M, Stuart MC, eds. WHO model formulary. Geneva, World Health Organization, 2008.
Paediatric Formulary Committee. British national formulary for children 2009. London, BMJ Group RBS Publishing, 2009.
Midazolam
ATC code: N05CD08
Injection: 1 mg/ml; 5 mg/ml
Indications: Palliative situations such as seizures, anxiety and agitation.
Contraindications: Consider the relevance of these listed contraindications in palliative care.
Acute or severe pulmonary insufficiency; sleep apnoea syndrome; severe liver disease; myasthenia gravis.
Dose:
For all indications in a palliative care setting.
SC or IV injection:
Child all ages 0.05–0.15 mg/kg every 1–2 hours.
Continuous SC or IV infusion:
Child all ages 10 micrograms/kg/hour by continuous SC or IV infusion, initially, and titrate to
effect.
There is considerable variability in the dose required.
Oral:
Child all ages 0.3–0.5 mg/kg (maximum 15 mg) as a single dose. Use the parenteral form; bitter
taste can be disguised in apple juice or chocolate sauce.
Buccal or intranasal:
Child all ages 0.2–0.5 mg/kg per dose (maximum 10 mg) as required. Use the parenteral form.
Renal impairment: Mild to moderate impairment: no dosage reduction necessary.
Severe impairment: use sparingly and titrate according to response. Bolus doses preferred.
Patients with renal impairment may be more susceptible to central nervous system side-effects.
Hepatic impairment: Central nervous system side-effects increased; avoid in severe impairment as
can precipitate coma.
Adverse effects: Common Hypotension, hiccup, cough, apnoea or respiratory depression
(particularly with IV administration).
Uncommon Erythema, rash, confusion.
Rare Arrhythmias, cardiorespiratory arrest, anaphylactic reactions.
Interactions with other medicines (* indicates severe):
Atazanavir: inhibits metabolism, prolonging sedation and respiratory depressant effects.
Carbamazepine: may increase midazolam’s metabolism and decrease its effect.
Erythromycin: inhibits metabolism and prolongs sedation and respiratory depressant effects.
Fluconazole: inhibits the metabolism of midazolam, prolonging its sedative and respiratory
depressant effects.
Lopinavir: inhibits metabolism, prolonging sedation and respiratory depressant effects.
Phenytoin: may increase metabolism, decreasing therapeutic effects.
Rifampicin: increases metabolism, decreasing therapeutic effects.
Ritonavir: inhibits metabolism, prolonging sedation and respiratory depressant effects.
Saquinavir: inhibits metabolism, prolonging sedation and respiratory depressant effects.
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8.4 Medicines used in palliative care
Notes: Midazolam injection can be administered orally, buccally or intranasally.
Onset of action: subcutaneous 5–10 minutes, oral 60 minutes, buccal within 15 minutes.
Compatible with most drugs commonly administered via syringe driver.
References:
eTG complete. Melbourne, Therapeutic Guidelines Limited, 2009 (http://etg.tg.org.au/ip/, accessed 10 February 2010).
Hill SR, Kouimtzi M, Stuart MC, eds. WHO model formulary. Geneva, World Health Organization, 2008.
Rossi S, ed. Australian medicines handbook. Adelaide, Australian Medicines Handbook, 2009.
Twycross R, Wilcock A, eds. Palliative care formulary. 3rd ed. Nottingham, palliativedrugs.com, 2007.
Morphine
ATC code: N02AA01
Granules (modified release) (to mix with water): 20 mg; 30 mg; 60 mg; 100 mg; 200 mg
Injection: 10 mg/ml
Oral liquid: 2 mg/ml
Tablet (controlled release): 10 mg, 30 mg, 60 mg
Tablet (immediate release): 10 mg
Special Notes: Drug subject to international control under the Single Convention on Narcotic Drugs
(1961).
Indications: Severe pain.
Contraindications: Consider the relevance of these listed contraindications in palliative care.
Avoid in acute respiratory depression; acute alcoholism and where risk of paralytic ileus; also avoid
in raised intracranial pressure or head injury (affects pupillary responses vital for neurological
assessment); avoid injection in phaeochromocytoma.
Precautions: Consider the relevance of these listed precautions in palliative care.
Renal and hepatic impairment; severe withdrawal symptoms if withdrawn abruptly; hypothyroidism;
convulsive disorders; decreased respiratory reserve. Adjust dose according to response; due to
physiological tolerance, increased doses will be required if using long-term.
Skilled tasks Warn patient or carer about the risk of undertaking tasks requiring attention or coordination,
for example riding a bike or operating machinery, for 24 hours.
Dose:
Severe pain.
SC injection:
Neonate initially 100 micrograms/kg every 6 hours, adjusted according to response.
Infant or Child 1–6 months initially 100–200 micrograms/kg every 6 hours, adjusted according
to response;
6 months–2 years initially 100–200 micrograms/kg every 4 hours, adjusted according to
response;
2–12 years initially 200 micrograms/kg every 4 hours, adjusted according to response.
Continuous SC infusion:
Infant or Child 1–3 months 10 micrograms/kg/hour;
3 months–12 years 20 micrograms/kg/hour.
IV injection:
Neonate initially 50 micrograms/kg every 6 hours, adjusted according to response.
Infant or Child 1–6 months initially 100 micrograms/kg every 6 hours, adjusted according to
response;
6 months–12 years initially 100 micrograms/kg every 4 hours, adjusted according to response.
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IV infusion:
Neonate initially by intravenous injection (over at least 5 minutes) 25–100 micrograms/kg then
by continuous intravenous infusion 10–30 micrograms/kg/hour, adjusted according to response.
Infant or Child 1–6 months initially by intravenous injection (over at least 5 minutes)
100–200 micrograms/kg then by continuous infusion 10–30 micrograms/kg/hour, adjusted to
response;
6 months–12 years initially by intravenous injection (over at least 5 minutes)
100–200 micrograms/kg then by continuous intravenous infusion 20–30 micrograms/kg/hour,
adjusted according to response.
Oral:
Infant or Child 1–12 months initially 80–200 micrograms/kg every 4 hours, adjusted according
to response;
1–2 years initially 200–400 micrograms/kg every 4 hours, adjusted according to response;
2–12 years initially 200–500 micrograms/kg (maximum 20 mg) every 4 hours, adjusted
according to response.
Controlled release tablets may be used at a dose of 0.3–0.6 mg/kg/dose every 12 hours (all ages).
Renal impairment: Reduce dose or avoid; increased and prolonged effect; increased cerebral
sensitivity.
Mild impairment: 75% of normal dose.
Moderate or severe impairment: use small doses and extended dosing intervals. Titrate to response.
Hepatic impairment: Avoid or reduce dose; may precipitate coma.
Adverse effects: Consider the relevance of these listed adverse effects in palliative care.
Common Nausea, vomiting (particularly in initial stages), constipation, miosis, drowsiness, also dry
mouth, anorexia, spasm of urinary and biliary tract.
Uncommon Bradycardia, tachycardia, palpitation, euphoria, decreased libido, rash, urticaria, pruritus,
sweating, headache, facial flushing, vertigo, postural hypotension, hypothermia, hallucinations,
confusion, dependence, larger doses produce respiratory depression, hypotension and muscle
rigidity.
Rare Syndrome of inappropriate antidiuretic hormone secretion, anaphylaxis, seizure.
Interactions with other medicines (* indicates severe):
Consider the relevance of these listed interactions in palliative care.
Alcohol: enhanced sedative and hypotensive effect.
Amitriptyline: possibly increased sedation.
Chlorpromazine: enhanced sedative and hypotensive effect.
Ciprofloxacin: manufacturer of ciprofloxacin advises to avoid premedication with morphine
(reduced plasma ciprofloxacin concentration) when ciprofloxacin used for surgical prophylaxis.
Diazepam: enhanced sedative effect.
Haloperidol: enhanced sedative and hypotensive effect.
Metoclopramide: antagonism of effect of metoclopramide on gastrointestinal activity.
* Ritonavir: possibly increases plasma concentration of morphine.
Notes: When changing routes of administration in chronically treated patients, note the oral doses
are approximately half as effective as parenteral doses.
References:
Hill SR, Kouimtzi M, Stuart MC, eds. WHO model formulary. Geneva, World Health Organization, 2008.
Hodding JH, Kraus DM, Taketomo CK. Pediatric dosage handbook. 16th ed. Hudson, Lexi-Comp, 2009.
Paediatric Formulary Committee. British national formulary for children 2009. London, BMJ Group RBS Publishing, 2009.
Rossi S, ed. Australian medicines handbook. Adelaide, Australian Medicines Handbook, 2009.
292
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8.4 Medicines used in palliative care
Senna
ATC code: A06AB06
Oral liquid: 1.5 mg/ml
Indications: Constipation.
Contraindications: Intestinal obstruction; undiagnosed abdominal symptoms; inflammatory bowel
disease.
Dose:
Oral:
Child 1 month–2 years 2.25–4.5 mg at bedtime;
2–5 years 3.75–7.5 mg at bedtime;
6–12 years 7.5–15 mg at bedtime.
Renal impairment: Dose reduction not necessary.
Hepatic impairment: Dose reduction not necessary.
Adverse effects: Common Abdominal discomfort, diarrhoea.
Uncommon Hypokalaemia (with prolonged use or overdosage), nausea, discoloration of urine.
Rare Melanosis coli (benign reversible, occurs with chronic use).
Interactions with other medicines (* indicates severe):
None known.
Notes: Useful in combination with docusate sodium.
May be mixed with water, milk or food.
References:
Ashley C, Currie A, eds. The renal drug handbook. 3rd ed. Oxford, Radcliffe Publishing, 2009.
Hill SR, Kouimtzi M, Stuart MC, eds. WHO model formulary. Geneva, World Health Organization, 2008.
Hodding JH, Kraus DM, Taketomo CK. Pediatric dosage handbook. 16th ed. Hudson, Lexi-Comp, 2009.
Paediatric Formulary Committee. British national formulary for children 2009. London, BMJ Group RBS Publishing, 2009.
Rossi S, ed. Australian medicines handbook. Adelaide, Australian Medicines Handbook, 2009.
WHO Model Formulary for Children 2010
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SECTION 9:
Antiparkinsonism medicines
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9. Antiparkinsonism medicines
9
Antiparkinsonism medicines
This section has been deleted from the 2nd WHO Model List of Essential Medicines for Children.
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SECTION 10:
Medicines affecting the blood
10.1 Antianaemia medicines............................................................. 297
10.2 Medicines affecting coagulation................................................ 300
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10.1 Antianaemia medicines
10
Medicines affecting the blood
10.1 Antianaemia medicines
Anaemia occurs when the blood haemoglobin concentration falls below the reference range for the
age and gender of the individual. Anaemia is a major global public health problem with major
consequences for child health and development. The most significant contributor to the onset of
anaemia is iron deficiency. The main risk factors for iron deficiency anaemia (IDA) in children
include inadequate intake of iron-containing food, especially during periods of rapid growth when
iron requirements are high, and parasitic infections (e.g. hookworm). Other contributing factors
include malaria, micronutrient deficiencies (e.g. folate), haemoglobinopathies (e.g. sickle cell anemia
or thalassemia), and anaemia of chronic disorders such as HIV infection or tuberculosis.
For detailed clinical guidelines regarding management of anaemia in children see the WHO Pocket
Book of Hospital Care for Children, found at (http://www.who.int/child_adolescent_health/documents/9241546700/en/index.html).
For further details on prevention of anaemia see Guidelines for the Use of Iron Supplements to Prevent
and Treat Iron Deficiency Anaemia, found at http://www.who.int/nutrition/publications/micronutrients/anaemia_iron_deficiency/1-57881-020-5/en/index.html.
Ferrous salt
ATC code: B03AA; B03AB
Oral liquid: equivalent to 25 mg of elemental iron (as sulfate)/ml
Tablet: equivalent to 60 mg of elemental iron
Iron preparations are an important cause of accidental overdose in children and as little as
20 mg/kg of elemental iron can lead to symptoms of toxicity. Adequate precautions including
the use of child-resistant containers should be taken to store iron preparations to prevent such
overdoses.
Indications: Used for iron deficiency anaemia or as nutritional supplement.
Contraindications: Haemosiderosis; haemochromatosis; any form of anaemia not caused by iron
deficiency; patients receiving repeated blood transfusions; parenteral iron therapy.
Precautions: Should not be administered for longer than 6 months; peptic ulcer; regional enteritis;
ulcerative colitis; intestinal strictures; diverticula; overdosage (see section 4.2).
Dose:
Treatment of iron deficiency anaemia.
Oral:
Neonate 2–4 mg/kg of elemental iron daily, given in 2–3 divided doses.
Infant and Child 3–6 mg/kg (maximum 200 mg) of elemental iron daily, given in 2–3 divided
doses.
Prevention of iron deficiency anaemia (in those at particular risk).
Oral:
Child under 5 years 1–2 mg/kg (maximum 30 mg) of elemental iron daily;
over 5 years 30–60 mg of elemental iron daily.
Renal impairment: Dose reduction not necessary.
Hepatic impairment: Dose reduction not necessary.
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Adverse effects: Common Constipation, diarrhoea, dark stools, nausea, epigastric pain,
gastrointestinal irritation.
Uncommon Long-term or excessive administration may cause haemosiderosis.
Interactions with other medicines (* indicates severe):
*
Calcium salts: reduced absorption of oral ferrous salts.
Ciprofloxacin: absorption of ciprofloxacin reduced by oral ferrous salts.
Dimercaprol: avoid concomitant use.
Doxycycline: absorption of oral ferrous salts reduced by doxycycline; absorption of doxycycline
reduced by oral ferrous salts.
Levodopa: absorption of levodopa may be reduced by oral ferrous salts.
Levofloxacin: absorption of levofloxacin reduced by oral ferrous salts.
Levothyroxine: absorption of levothyroxine reduced by oral ferrous salts (give at least 2 hours
apart).
Methyldopa: oral ferrous salts reduce hypotensive effect of methyldopa.
Ofloxacin: absorption of ofloxacin reduced by oral ferrous salts.
Penicillamine: oral ferrous salts reduce absorption of penicillamine.
Zinc sulfate: absorption of zinc and of oral ferrous salts reduced.
Notes: Iron content in artificial formula feeds should be taken into account when considering iron
supplementation.
1 mg elemental iron = approximately 3 mg dried ferrous sulfate = approximately 9 mg ferrous
gluconate.
Compliance may be increased by giving the total daily dose as a single daily dose. However,
gastrointestinal side-effects are increased and split daily doses may be better tolerated.
Although iron preparations are best absorbed on an empty stomach, they may be taken after food to
reduce gastrointestinal adverse effects. They may discolour stools.
Liquid preparations containing iron salts should be well diluted with water. If possible, swallow
through a drinking straw and brush teeth after administration to prevent discoloration of the
teeth.
Temporary discoloration of the teeth can be minimized by brushing the teeth with baking soda.
Increase fibre in diet to minimize constipation.
References:
Hill SR, Kouimtzi M, Stuart MC, eds. WHO model formulary. Geneva, World Health Organization, 2008.
Iron deficiency anaemia: assessment, prevention and control - a guide for programme managers. Geneva, World Health Organization,
2001 (http://whqlibdoc.who.int/hq/2001/WHO_NHD_01.3.pdf, accessed 10 February 2010).
Kemp CA, McDowell JM. Paediatric pharmacopoeia. 13th ed. Melbourne, Royal Children’s Hospital, 2002.
Paediatric Formulary Committee. British national formulary for children 2009. London, BMJ Group RBS Publishing, 2009.
Folic acid
ATC code: B03BB01
Tablet: 1 mg; 5 mg
Indications: Treatment of folate deficiency, megaloblastic anaemia; prevention of folate deficiency in
haemolytic anaemia.
Contraindications: Should never be given without vitamin B12 in undiagnosed megaloblastic
anaemia or other vitamin B12 deficiency states because of risk of precipitating subacute combined
degeneration of the spinal cord; folate-dependent malignant disease.
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Dose:
Treatment of folate deficiency, megaloblastic anaemia.
Oral:
Neonate to Child 1 year initially 500 micrograms/kg (maximum 5 mg) once daily for up to
4 months. Up to 10 mg once daily may be required in malabsorption states;
over 1 year 5 mg daily for 4 months. Up to 15 mg daily may be required in malabsorption
states.
Haemolytic anaemia.
Oral:
Child 1 month–12 years 2.5–5 mg once daily.
Renal impairment: Dose reduction not necessary.
Hepatic impairment: Dose reduction not necessary.
Adverse effects: Rare Gastrointestinal disturbances, subacute combined degeneration of the spinal
cord if given without vitamin B12 for vitamin B12 deficiency states.
Interactions with other medicines (* indicates severe):
*
*
*
Phenobarbital: plasma concentration of phenobarbital possibly reduced.
Phenytoin: plasma phenytoin concentration possibly reduced.
Sulfasalazine: possibly reduced absorption of folic acid.
Sulfadoxine + pyrimethamine: possibly reduced efficacy of sulfadoxine + pyrimethamine.
References:
Hill SR, Kouimtzi M, Stuart MC, eds. WHO model formulary. Geneva, World Health Organization, 2008.
Klasco RK, ed. Drugdex system. Greenwood Village, Thomson Micromedex, 2010. (http://www.thomsonhc.com, accessed 10
February 2010).
Paediatric Formulary Committee. British national formulary for children 2009. London, BMJ Group RBS Publishing, 2009.
Hydroxocobalamin
ATC code: B03BA03
Injection: 1 mg/1ml ampoule
Special Notes: Also referred to as vitamin B12.
Indications: Used in the treatment of megaloblastic anaemia due to vitamin B12 deficiency
(pernicious anaemia).
Precautions: Should not be given before diagnosis confirmed except in emergencies; monitor serum
potassium levels (arrhythmias secondary to hypokalaemia in early therapy).
Dose:
Megaloblastic anaemia without neurological involvement.
IM:
Child 1 month–12 years initially 250 micrograms–1 mg three times weekly for 2 weeks, then
250 micrograms once weekly until the blood count is normal, then 1 mg every 3 months if
required.
Megaloblastic anaemia with neurological involvement.
IM:
Child 1 month–12 years initially 1 mg on alternate days until no further improvement occurs,
then 1 mg every 2 months.
Renal impairment: Dose reduction not necessary.
Hepatic impairment: Dose reduction not necessary.
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Adverse effects: Common Nausea, headache, dizziness, pain at injection site.
Uncommon Fever, chills, hot flushes, hypokalaemia during initial treatment.
Rare Hypersensitivity reactions including rash and pruritus, anaphylaxis, acneiform and bullous
eruptions.
Interactions with other medicines (* indicates severe):
Chloramphenicol: response to hydroxocobalamin reduced.
References:
Hill SR, Kouimtzi M, Stuart MC, eds. WHO model formulary. Geneva, World Health Organization, 2008.
Paediatric Formulary Committee. British national formulary for children 2009. London, BMJ Group RBS Publishing, 2009.
10.2 Medicines affecting coagulation
Anticoagulants are used to prevent thrombus (blood clot) formation, or extension of an existing
thrombus, in the slower moving venous side of the circulation.
Thromboembolic disease is increasingly recognised in neonates and children. However, coagulation
systems of children and adults are different, with important implications for use of anticoagulant
medications in children. Anticoagulation in children should only be undertaken with specialist
supervision and careful monitoring.
Phytomenadione
ATC code: B02BA01
Injection: 1 mg/1 ml, 10 mg/ml in 5 ml ampoule
Tablet 10 mg
Intravenous injections should be given very slowly (risk of vascular collapse).
Special Notes: Also referred to as vitamin K1, phytonadione.
Indications: Antagonist to warfarin; prophylaxis against haemorrhagic disease of the newborn.
Precautions: Hepatic impairment; not an antidote to heparin.
Dose:
Prophylaxis of haemorrhagic disease of the newborn.
IM:
Neonate 0.5–1 mg as single dose at birth.
Oral:
Neonate 2 mg followed by a second dose after 4–7 days and, for breastfed babies, a third dose
after 1 month.
IV:
Pre-term neonate 400 micrograms/kg (maximum 1 mg).
Note The IV route is preferred by some in pre-term neonates of very low birth weight, but it does not
provide the prolonged protection of the IM injection; any babies receiving IV vitamin K should be given
subsequent oral doses (as per oral dosing, above).
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10.2 Medicines affecting coagulation
Treatment of haemorrhagic disease of the newborn.
IV:
Neonate 1 mg with further doses if necessary every 8 hours.
Warfarin-induced hypoprothrombinaemia with no or minor bleeding.
IV:
Child 1 month–12 years 15–30 micrograms/kg (maximum 1 mg) as a single dose, repeated as
necessary.
Warfarin-induced hypoprothrombinaemia: reversal of anticoagulation or if significant bleeding;
treatment of haemorrhage associated with vitamin K deficiency.
IV:
Child 1 month–12 years 250–300 micrograms/kg (maximum 10 mg) as a single dose.
Renal impairment: Dose reduction not necessary.
Hepatic impairment: Higher doses may be required for adequate response.
Adverse effects: Uncommon Hypersensitivity reactions including flushing, dyspnoea, bronchospasm,
dizziness, hypotension and respiratory or circulatory collapse which may be due to polyethoxylated
castor oil surfactant in some injection formulations, rather than due to phytomenadione.
Interactions with other medicines (* indicates severe):
* Warfarin: vitamin K antagonizes anticoagulant effect of warfarin.
Notes: In infants with cholestatic disease, vitamin K must be given either intramuscularly or
intravenously because oral absorption is likely to be impaired.
Intravenous preparations can usually be given orally. Please check specific product information.
Tablets may be chewed.
References:
Hill SR, Kouimtzi M, Stuart MC, eds. WHO model formulary. Geneva, World Health Organization, 2008.
Paediatric Formulary Committee. British national formulary for children 2009. London, BMJ Group RBS Publishing, 2009.
Heparin sodium
ATC code: B01AB01
Injection: 1000 units/ml; 5000 units/ml in 1 ml ampoules
Special Notes: Also referred to as UFH (unfractionated heparin) or standard heparin.
Indications: Treatment and prophylaxis of deep-vein thrombosis and pulmonary embolism. Short-
acting injectable anticoagulant.
Contraindications: Hypersensitivity to heparin; haemophilia and other haemorrhagic disorders;
thrombocytopenia; peptic ulcer; recent cerebral haemorrhage; severe hypertension; severe liver
or renal disease; after major trauma or recent surgery (especially to eye or nervous system); acute
bacterial endocarditis.
Precautions: Hepatic impairment and renal failure; hypersensitivity to low molecular weight
heparins; spinal or epidural anaesthesia (risk of spinal haematoma); diabetes mellitus; acidosis;
concomitant potassium-sparing drugs (increased risk of hyperkalaemia).
WHO Model Formulary for Children 2010
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10
Medicines affecting the blood
Dose:
Treatment of deep-vein thrombosis and pulmonary embolism.
IV:
Neonate to Child 1 year initially 75 units/kg (50 units/kg if < 35 weeks corrected age),
then by continuous IV infusion, 25 units/kg/hour, adjusted according to activated partial
thromboplastin time (APTT) or anti-Factor Xa;
1–12 years initially 75 units/kg, then by continuous IV infusion 20 units/kg/hour, adjusted
according to APTT or anti-Factor Xa.
SC:
Child 1 month–12 years 250 units/kg every 12 hours adjusted according to APTT or anti-Factor Xa.
Prophylaxis in general surgery.
SC:
Child 1 month–12 years 100 units/kg (maximum 5000 units) twice daily, adjusted according to
APTT or anti-Factor Xa.
Renal impairment: Dose reduction not necessary.
Hepatic impairment: Hepatic impairment with impaired haemostasis: increased risk of haemorrhage.
Reduce dose in severe impairment.
Adverse effects: Common Hyperkalaemia, injection site reactions, haematoma if given IM.
Uncommon Haemorrhage, haematuria, thrombocytopenia.
Rare Immune-mediated thrombocytopenia usually developing 6–10 days after commencement
of therapy (requires immediate withdrawal of heparin), skin necrosis, hypersensitivity reactions
including urticaria, angioedema and anaphylaxis, osteoporosis after prolonged use, alopecia,
rebound hyperlipidaemia after withdrawal, priapism.
Interactions with other medicines (* indicates severe):
* Acetylsalicylic acid: enhanced anticoagulant effect of heparin.
Enalapril: increased risk of hyperkalaemia.
* Glyceryl trinitrate: anticoagulant effects reduced by infusion of glyceryl trinitrate.
Ibuprofen: possibly increased risk of bleeding.
Notes: For continuous intravenous infusion, dilute with glucose 5% or sodium chloride 0.9%.
Laboratory monitoring of coagulation activity, preferably on a daily basis, involves determination of
the APTT or of the anti-Factor Xa concentration. Local guidelines on recommended APTT for
neonates and children should be followed.
If haemorrhage occurs, it is usually sufficient to withdraw heparin, but if rapid reversal of heparin
effects is required, protamine sulfate is a specific antidote.
References:
Hill SR, Kouimtzi M, Stuart MC, eds. WHO model formulary. Geneva, World Health Organization, 2008.
Hodding JH, Kraus DM, Taketomo CK. Pediatric dosage handbook. 16th ed. Hudson, Lexi-Comp, 2009.
Klasco RK, ed. Drugdex system. Greenwood Village, Thomson Micromedex, 2010. (http://www.thomsonhc.com, accessed 10
February 2010).
Paediatric Formulary Committee. British national formulary for children 2009. London, BMJ Group RBS Publishing, 2009.
302
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10.2 Medicines affecting coagulation
Protamine sulfate
ATC code: V03AB14
Injection: 10 mg/ml in 5 ml ampoule
Indications: Used to treat heparin overdose. If used in excess it has an anticoagulant effect.
Precautions: If used in excess, protamine has an anticoagulant effect; allergic reactions increased in
persons at risk including previous treatment with protamine or protamine insulin; fish allergies;
rapid administration or high dose.
Dose:
Heparin overdose by IV injection or IV infusion.
IV:
Child 1 month–12 years 1 mg of protamine neutralizes approximately 100 units of heparin if
less than 30 minutes has elapsed since overdose; 500–750 micrograms if 30–60 minutes has
elapsed; 375–500 micrograms if 60–120 minutes has elapsed; 250–375 micrograms if over
120 minutes has elapsed. Maximum dose 50 mg. Do not exceed a rate of 5 mg/minute.
Heparin overdose by SC injection.
IV:
Child 1 month–12 years 1 mg neutralizes approximately 100 units of heparin. Give 50–100% of
the total dose by IV injection (rate not exceeding 5 mg/minute); then give any remainder of the
dose by intravenous infusion over 8–16 hours. Maximum total dose 50 mg.
Renal impairment: Dose reduction not necessary.
Hepatic impairment: Dose reduction not necessary.
Adverse effects: Uncommon Nausea, vomiting, lassitude, flushing, hypotension/hypertension.
Rare Bradycardia, dyspnoea, allergic reactions (including angioedema, anaphylaxis), cardiovascular
collapse, pulmonary vasoconstriction/hypertension.
Interactions with other medicines (* indicates severe):
There are no known interactions involving a significant change in effect or where it is recommended
to avoid concomitant use.
Notes: 1 mg neutralizes approximately 100 units of unfractionated heparin when given within
15 minutes; if longer time, less protamine is needed as heparin is rapidly excreted.
Monitor activated partial thromboplastin time (APTT) or other appropriate blood clotting
parameters.
Do not administer at a rate exceeding 5 mg/minute.
May be diluted if necessary with sodium chloride 0.9%.
References:
Hill SR, Kouimtzi M, Stuart MC, eds. WHO model formulary. Geneva, World Health Organization, 2008.
Hodding JH, Kraus DM, Taketomo CK. Pediatric dosage handbook. 16th ed. Hudson, Lexi-Comp, 2009.
Paediatric Formulary Committee. British national formulary for children 2009. London, BMJ Group RBS Publishing, 2009.
WHO Model Formulary for Children 2010
303
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Medicines affecting the blood
Warfarin
ATC code: B01AA03
Tablet: 0.5 mg; 1 mg; 2 mg; 5 mg (sodium salt)
Serious and potentially fatal bleeding may occur, especially during initiation of treatment and
with higher doses.
Special Notes: This medicine is listed as a representative of its pharmacological class. Other
medicines in the same class may have similar clinical performance and may be selected for local
formularies based on availability and price. The information in this monograph only applies to the
medicine listed here.
Indications: Prophylaxis of embolization in rheumatic heart disease and atrial fibrillation; prophylaxis
after insertion of prosthetic heart valve; prophylaxis and treatment of venous thrombosis and
pulmonary embolism; transient ischaemic attacks.
Contraindications: Pregnancy; peptic ulcer; severe hypertension; bacterial endocarditis.
Precautions: Hepatic impairment or renal failure; recent surgery; avoid cranberry juice (risk of
potentiating anticoagulant effect).
Dose:
Note Wherever possible, the baseline prothrombin time should be determined before the initial dose is
given, but the initial dose should not be delayed while awaiting the result.
Induction dose may need to be altered according to condition (e.g. hepatic impairment, cardiac failure),
concomitant interacting drugs, and if baseline INR is above 1.3.
Prophylaxis and treatment of thromboembolic disorders.
Oral:
Neonate (under specialist advice) 200 micrograms/kg as a single dose on day 1, then
100 micrograms/kg once daily for following 3 days.
However, if INR is still below 1.4, continue to use 200 micrograms/kg once daily. If the INR
is above 3, change to 50 micrograms/kg once daily, and if INR is above 3.5, omit dose. Adjust
ongoing therapy in accordance with INR.
Usual maintenance 100–300 micrograms/kg once daily (may need up to 400 micrograms/kg
once daily, especially if bottle fed; see Notes).
Child 1 month–12 years 200 micrograms/kg (maximum 10 mg) as a single dose on day 1, then
100 micrograms/kg (maximum 5 mg) once daily for the following 3 days.
However, if INR is still below 1.4, continue to use 200 micrograms/kg (maximum 10 mg) once
daily. If the INR is above 3, change to 50 micrograms/kg (maximum 2.5 mg) once daily, and if
INR is above 3.5 omit dose. Adjust ongoing therapy in accordance with INR.
Usual maintenance 100–300 micrograms/kg once daily (may need up to 400 micrograms/kg
once daily especially if bottle fed; see Notes).
Renal impairment: Use with caution; avoid in severe impairment.
Hepatic impairment: Avoid in severe impairment, especially if prothrombin time already prolonged.
Adverse effects: Common Haemorrhage.
Rare Hypersensitivity, rash, alopecia, diarrhoea, unexplained drop in haematocrit, systemic
cholesterol microembolism (‘purple toes syndrome’), skin necrosis, jaundice, hepatic dysfunction,
nausea, vomiting, pancreatitis.
Interactions with other medicines (* indicates severe):
* Acetylsalicylic acid: increased risk of bleeding due to antiplatelet effect.
* Alcohol: enhanced anticoagulant effect with large amounts of alcohol; major changes in alcohol
consumption may affect anticoagulant control.
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10.2 Medicines affecting coagulation
Allopurinol: anticoagulant effect possibly enhanced.
* Amitriptyline: enhanced or reduced anticoagulant effect.
Amoxicillin: studies have failed to demonstrate an interaction, but common experience in
anticoagulant clinics is that INR can be altered by a course of amoxicillin.
Ampicillin: studies have failed to demonstrate an interaction, but common experience in
anticoagulant clinics is that INR can be altered by a course of ampicillin.
* Azathioprine: anticoagulant effect possibly reduced.
* Azithromycin: possibly enhanced anticoagulant effect of warfarin.
* Carbamazepine: accelerated metabolism of warfarin (reduced anticoagulant effect).
Cefazolin: possibly enhanced anticoagulant effect.
* Cefixime: possibly enhanced anticoagulant effect.
* Ceftazidime: possibly enhanced anticoagulant effect.
* Ceftriaxone: possibly enhanced anticoagulant effect.
* Chloramphenicol: enhanced anticoagulant effect.
* Ciprofloxacin: enhanced anticoagulant effect.
* Clomipramine: enhanced or reduced anticoagulant effect.
* Contraceptives, oral: antagonism of anticoagulant effect by estrogens and progestogens.
* Dexamethasone: anticoagulant effect possibly enhanced or reduced (high-dose dexamethasone
enhances anticoagulant effect).
* Doxycycline: anticoagulant effect possibly enhanced.
* Erythromycin: enhanced anticoagulant effect.
* Etoposide: possibly enhanced anticoagulant effect.
* Fluconazole: enhanced anticoagulant effect.
* Fluorouracil: anticoagulant effect possibly enhanced.
* Fluoxetine: anticoagulant effect possibly enhanced.
* Glibenclamide: possibly enhanced hypoglycaemic effects and changes to anticoagulant effect.
* Griseofulvin: reduced anticoagulant effect.
* Hydrocortisone: anticoagulant effect possibly enhanced or reduced (high-dose hydrocortisone
enhances anticoagulant effect).
* Ibuprofen: anticoagulant effect possibly enhanced.
* Levamisole: anticoagulant effect possibly enhanced.
* Levofloxacin: possibly enhanced anticoagulant effect.
* Levonorgestrel: antagonism of anticoagulant effect.
Levothyroxine: enhanced anticoagulant effect.
* Medroxyprogesterone: antagonism of anticoagulant effect.
* Mercaptopurine: anticoagulant effect possibly reduced.
* Metronidazole: enhanced anticoagulant effect.
* Miconazole: enhanced anticoagulant effect.
* Nevirapine: enhanced or reduced anticoagulant effect.
* Norethisterone: antagonism of anticoagulant effect.
* Ofloxacin: enhanced anticoagulant effect.
Paracetamol: prolonged regular use of paracetamol possibly enhances anticoagulant effect.
WHO Model Formulary for Children 2010
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10
Medicines affecting the blood
* Phenobarbital: metabolism of warfarin accelerated (reduced anticoagulant effect).
* Phenytoin: accelerated metabolism of warfarin (possibility of reduced anticoagulant effect, but
enhancement also reported).
* Phytomenadione: antagonism of anticoagulant effect by phytomenadione.
* Prednisolone: anticoagulant effect enhanced or reduced (high-dose prednisolone enhances
anticoagulant effect).
Proguanil: isolated reports of enhanced anticoagulant effect.
* Quinidine: anticoagulant effect may be enhanced.
* Rifampicin: accelerated metabolism of warfarin (reduced anticoagulant effect).
* Ritonavir: plasma concentration possibly increased by ritonavir.
Saquinavir: possibly enhanced anticoagulant effect.
* Silver sulfadiazine: enhanced anticoagulant effect.
* Simvastatin: enhanced anticoagulant effect.
* Sulfadiazine: enhanced anticoagulant effect.
* Sulfadoxine + pyrimethamine: enhanced anticoagulant effect.
* Sulfamethoxazole + trimethoprim: enhanced anticoagulant effect.
* Tamoxifen: enhanced anticoagulant effect.
* Testosterone: enhanced anticoagulant effect.
Trimethoprim: possibly enhanced anticoagulant effect.
Vaccine, influenza: effect of warfarin occasionally enhanced.
Valproic acid: anticoagulant effect possibly enhanced.
Cranberry juice and products: enhanced anticoagulant effect (cranberry flavonoids inhibit CYP2C9).
High doses of vitamin A, E or C: altered prothrombin time.
Notes: Monitoring It is essential that the INR be determined daily or on alternate days in the early days of
treatment, and then at longer intervals (depending on response), then up to every 12 weeks.
Infant formula is supplemented with vitamin K, which makes formula fed infants resistant to
warfarin; they may need higher doses. Breast milk contains low concentrations of vitamin K and
breastfed infants are more sensitive to warfarin.
Avoid switching warfarin brands once desired therapeutic response has been achieved.
Target INR range: generally 2–3 for most indications; 2.5–3.5 for prosthetic heart valves and
antiphospholipid antibody syndrome associated with thrombosis.
Other considerations Warfarin antagonizes the effects of vitamin K and takes at least 48–72 hours for
the anticoagulant effect to develop fully; if an immediate effect is required, heparin must be given concomitantly.
Foods containing high amounts of vitamin K (such as beef liver, pork liver, green tea and green leafy vegetables)
can reverse the anticoagulant effects of warfarin and affect therapeutic outcomes. A balanced diet is essential.
Avoid large amounts of alfalfa, asparagus, broccoli, brussel sprouts, cabbage, cauliflower, green teas, kale, lettuce,
spinach, turnip greens, watercress.
High doses of vitamin A, E or C may alter prothrombin time, use fish oils or omega 3 with caution and avoid
large amounts of liver, avocado, soy protein, soybean, papain.
Avoid herbal teas or remedies (e.g. tonka beans, melilot, woodruff) as these contain natural coumarins and may
increase the effect of warfarin.
References:
Hill SR, Kouimtzi M, Stuart MC, eds. WHO model formulary. Geneva, World Health Organization, 2008.
Hodding JH, Kraus DM, Taketomo CK. Pediatric dosage handbook. 16th ed. Hudson, Lexi-Comp, 2009.
Kemp CA, McDowell JM. Paediatric pharmacopoeia. 13th ed. Melbourne, Royal Children’s Hospital, 2002.
Paediatric Formulary Committee. British national formulary for children 2009. London, BMJ Group RBS Publishing, 2009.
306
WHO Model Formulary for Children 2010

SECTION 11:
Blood products and plasma substitutes
11.1 Plasma substitutes.................................................................... 308
11.2 Plasma fractions for specific use............................................... 308
WHO Model Formulary for Children 2010
307
11
Blood products and plasma substitutes
11
Blood products and plasma substitutes
11.1 Plasma substitutes
There are currently no medicines in this section of the 2nd WHO Model List of Essential Medicines for
Children.
11.2 Plasma fractions for specific use
Blood coagulation factors
Factor VIII is essential for blood clotting and the maintenance of effective haemostasis. Von Willebrand
factor is a mediator in platelet aggregation and also acts as a carrier for factor VIII. Blood coagulation
factors VII, IX and X are essential for the conversion of factor II (prothrombin) to thrombin clot.
Deficiency in any of these factors results in haemophilia, a group of X-linked bleeding disorders
affecting 1 in 7000 males, most commonly presenting as bleeding into joints. Haemophilia A is
factor VIII deficiency and haemophilia B is factor IX deficiency. Bleeding episodes in haemophilia
require prompt treatment with replacement therapy.
Human normal immunoglobulin
Normal immunoglobulin solution is used as a source of antibody replacement in primary immunodeficiencies, and to modify the immune response in conditions such as Kawasaki disease.
Factor VIII concentrate
ATC code: B02BD02
Dried
Special Notes: Also known as antihaemophilic factor or Von Willebrand factor complex.
This medicine is listed as a representative of its pharmacological class. Other medicines in the same
class may have similar clinical performance and may be selected for local formularies based on
availability and price. The information in this monograph only applies to the medicine listed here.
Indications: Control of haemorrhage in haemophilia A.
Contraindications: Previous anaphylactic reaction to factor VIII concentrate.
Precautions: Intravascular haemolysis after large or frequently repeated doses in patients with blood
groups A, B or AB (less likely with high potency, highly purified concentrates).
Dose:
Haemophilia A.
Slow IV infusion:
Administer according to patient’s needs and specific preparation used. For every 1 international
unit per kg body weight of factor VIII activity administered, factor VIII level should increase by
2 international units/ml (or 2%); calculated dosage should be adjusted to the actual vial size.
Calculation for units required, based on desired increase in factor VIII (% of normal).
International units required = body weight (kg) x 0.5 x desired increase in factor VIII
(international units/ml or % of normal).
Note This calculation assumes the patient’s baseline factor VIII level is < 1%.
Renal impairment: Dose adjustment not required.
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11.2 Plasma fractions for specific use
Hepatic impairment: Dose reduction not required.
Adverse effects: Common Allergic reactions including chills and fever, headache, urticaria.
Rare Pseudothrombocytopenia, elevated ALT.
Interactions with other medicines (* indicates severe):
Activated prothrombin complex concentrates.
Notes: IV compatibility: general advice is not to administer with any other drugs or IV fluids.
All plasma fractions should comply with the WHO requirements for the collection, processing and
quality control of blood, blood components and plasma derivatives (revised 1992). WHO Expert
Committee on Biological Standardization forty-third report, WHO Technical Report Series, No.
840, 1994, Annex 2.
References:
Hill SR, Kouimtzi M, Stuart MC, eds. WHO model formulary. Geneva, World Health Organization, 2008.
Hodding JH, Kraus DM, Taketomo CK. Pediatric dosage handbook. 16th ed. Hudson, Lexi-Comp, 2009.
Factor IX complex (coagulation factors II, VII, IX, X) concentrate
ATC code: B02BD01
Dried
Special Notes: Both human and animal derived products are available.
This medicine is listed as a representative of its pharmacological class. Other medicines in the same
class may have similar clinical performance and may be selected for local formularies based on
availability and price. The information in this monograph only applies to the medicine listed here.
Indications: Replacement therapy for factor IX deficiency in haemophilia B; bleeding due to
deficiencies of factors II, VII or X.
Contraindications: Disseminated intravascular coagulation; hypersensitivity to mouse or hamster
protein (if not the human form); fibrinolysis.
Precautions: Risk of thrombosis (probably less risk with highly purified preparations); because of
this risk, use with caution in liver dysfunction, postoperative period, neonates or disseminated
intravascular coagulation.
Dose:
Replacement therapy for factor IX deficiency in haemophilia B or bleeding due to deficiencies of
factors II, VII or X as well as IX.
Slow IV infusion: administer according to patient’s needs and specific preparation used.
Calculation for units required to raise blood level %.
Using Benefix.
Neonate, Infant or Child number of factor IX international units required = body weight (in kg)
x desired factor IX level increase (% normal) x 1.4 international units/kg.
Using AlphaNine SD, Mononine.
Neonate, Infant or Child number of factor IX international units required = body weight (in kg)
x desired factor IX level increase (% normal) x 1 international unit/kg.
WHO Model Formulary for Children 2010
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11
Blood products and plasma substitutes
General guidelines
Minor spontaneous haemorrhage, prophylaxis.
Desired levels of factor IX for haemostasis: 15–25%.
Initial loading dose to achieve desired level: up to 20–30 international units/kg.
Frequency of dosing: every 12–24 hours.
Duration of treatment: 1–2 days.
Moderate haemorrhage.
Desired levels of factor IX for haemostasis: 25–50%.
Initial loading dose to achieve desired level: 25–50 international units/kg.
Frequency of dosing: every 12–24 hours.
Duration of treatment: 2–7 days.
Major haemorrhage.
Desired levels of factor IX for haemostasis: > 50%.
Initial loading dose to achieve desired level: 30–50 international units/kg.
Frequency of dosing: every 12–24 hours depending on half-life and measured factor IX levels
(after 3–5 days, maintain at least 20% activity).
Duration of treatment: 7–10 days, depending upon nature of insult.
Surgery.
Desired levels of factor IX for haemostasis: 50–100%.
Initial loading dose to achieve desired level: 50–100 international units/kg.
Frequency of dosing: every 12–24 hours, depending on half-life and measured factor IX levels.
Duration of treatment: 7–10 days, depending upon nature of insult.
Renal impairment: Dose adjustment not necessary.
Hepatic impairment: Dose adjustment not necessary.
Adverse effects: Common Allergic reactions including chills and fever, flushing, headache, nausea,
vomiting, urticaria.
Uncommon Disseminated intravascular coagulation, thrombosis following high doses in haemophilia
B patients.
Notes: IV compatibility: general advice is not to administer with any other drugs or IV fluids.
All plasma fractions should comply with the WHO requirements for the collection, processing and quality
control of blood, blood components and plasma derivatives (revised 1992). WHO Expert Committee on
Biological Standardization forty-third report, WHO Technical Report Series, No. 840, 1994, Annex 2.
References:
Hill SR, Kouimtzi M, Stuart MC, eds. WHO model formulary. Geneva, World Health Organization, 2008.
Hodding JH, Kraus DM, Taketomo CK. Pediatric dosage handbook. 16th ed. Hudson, Lexi-Comp, 2009.
Human normal immunoglobulin
ATC code: J06BA02
Intramuscular administration: 16% protein solution*
Intravenous administration: 5%; 10% protein solution**
Subcutaneous administration: 15%; 16% protein solution*
Intravenous human normal immunoglobulin may very rarely induce thromboembolic events
and should be used with caution in those with risk factors for arterial or venous thrombotic
events and in obese individuals.
Normal immunoglobulin may interfere with the immune response to live virus vaccines which
should therefore only be given at least 3 weeks before or 3 months after an injection of normal
immunoglobulin (this does not apply to yellow fever vaccine since normal immunoglobulin
does not contain antibody to this virus).
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WHO Model Formulary for Children 2010
11.2 Plasma fractions for specific use
Special Notes: *Indicated for primary immune deficiency.
**Indicated for primary immune deficiency and Kawasaki disease.
Note Formulations from different manufacturers vary and should not be regarded as equivalent; consult
individual manufacturer’s product literature.
Indications: Replacement therapy in primary immunodeficiency; Kawasaki disease.
Contraindications: Hypersensitivity to immunoglobulin or blood products.
Precautions: IM preparation Use with caution in patients with thrombocytopenia or coagulation
disorders.
Dose:
Consult individual manufacturer’s product literature for dose and administration
recommendations for specific diseases; recommended doses may vary to those listed below.
Replacement therapy in primary immune deficiencies.
IV infusion:
Child all ages initial loading dose, administer until serum IgG level is > 6 g/l.
IV, IM or SC (depending on formulation):
Child all ages maintenance dose, normally 400–800 mg/kg/month, titrated according to
intercurrent infections or trough serum IgG level. IV doses may be given at 1, 2, 3 or 4 week
intervals. SC doses may be given at 1, 2, 3, 4 or 7 day intervals.
Kawasaki disease.
IV infusion:
Infant or Child 2 g/kg as a single dose, given over 10–12 hours; if signs and symptoms persist,
re-treatment with a second 2 g/kg infusion should be considered. Must be used in combination
with acetylsalicylic acid.
Renal impairment: Dose reduction not required.
Hepatic impairment: Dose reduction not required.
Adverse effects: Common Nausea, vomiting, headache (may develop 24 hours after infusion),
dizziness, dry mouth, chills, sweating, hypothermia, fever, eczema, rash, urticaria, hypotension,
wheezing, anaphylactoid reactions.
Rare Immune haemolysis, aseptic meningism, increased plasma viscosity, hypercoagulopathy, renal
impairment.
Interactions with other medicines (* indicates severe):
Live virus vaccines (measles, mumps, rubella): see Warnings.
Notes: IV compatibility: general advice is not to administer with any other drugs or IV fluids.
IV infusion over 2–12 hours.
Administration Infusion rates of < 8 g per hour are recommended. Immunoglobulin should be
administered under the supervision of an immunologist or other experienced physician. In general, this should
be in a hospital with adequate facilities for monitoring the infusion as well as the condition for which it is being
administered, until the patient is stable, when treatment at home can be considered after formal training in an
expert centre.
References:
Hill SR, Kouimtzi M, Stuart MC, eds. WHO model formulary. Geneva, World Health Organization, 2008.
Hodding JH, Kraus DM, Taketomo CK. Pediatric dosage handbook. 16th ed. Hudson, Lexi-Comp, 2009.
Paediatric Formulary Committee. British national formulary for children 2009. London, BMJ Group RBS Publishing, 2009.
WHO Model Formulary for Children 2010
311

SECTION 12:
Cardiovascular medicines
12.1 Antianginal medicines.............................................................. 313
12.2 Antiarrhythmic medicines........................................................ 313
12.3 Antihypertensive medicines...................................................... 313
12.4 Medicines used in heart failure................................................. 316
12.5 Antithrombotic medicines........................................................ 321
12.6 Lipid-lowering agents............................................................... 321
312
WHO Model Formulary for Children 2010
12.1 Antianginal medicines
12
Cardiovascular medicines
12.1 Antianginal medicines
This section has been deleted from the 2nd WHO Model List of Essential Medicines for Children.
12.2 Antiarrhythmic medicines
There are currently no medicines in this section of the 2nd WHO Model List of Essential Medicines for
Children.
12.3 Antihypertensive medicines
Hypertension
Blood pressure (BP) in children is classified according to centile charts according to age, gender and
height. Hypertension in children is therefore defined as either systolic and/or diastolic BP ≥ 95th
percentile measured on three or more separate occasions.
The goals of initial management of children with hypertension are to:
• establish whether it is secondary to an underlying cause which can be treated
• manage hypertensive emergencies
• determine if medication is required for blood pressure control
• assess and manage any associated cardiovascular risk factors (e.g. diabetes or obesity).
Specialist assessment and advice should be sought when possible.
Management
Hypertension which is severe (e.g. 5 mmHg greater than the 99th percentile) or symptomatic
requires urgent pharmacological management. Symptoms suggestive of a hypertensive emergency
include headache, seizures, altered conscious state, focal neurological symptoms or signs, visual
disturbance or clinical features suggestive of cardiac failure (e.g. respiratory distress, chest pain).
Controlled reduction in blood pressure should occur over a period of 72–96 hours, since rapid reduction
can cause “end organ damage”. Controlled reduction should therefore be undertaken in hospital with
careful supervision and monitoring.
In hypertension which is mild to moderate and is not symptomatic, nonpharmacological measures
(e.g. dietary measures such as salt restriction, management of obesity) should be considered.
Pharmacological management may also be required, depending on duration of hypertension, any
evidence of associated end organ damage (e.g. left ventricular hypertrophy or retinopathy), and
associated conditions including other cardiovascular risk factors (e.g. diabetes mellitus).
WHO Model Formulary for Children 2010
313
12
Cardiovascular medicines
Enalapril
ATC code: C09AA02
Tablet: 2.5 mg; 5 mg
Special Notes: This medicine is listed as a representative of its pharmacological class. Other
medicines in the same class may have similar clinical performance and may be selected for local
formularies based on availability and price. The information in this monograph only applies to the
medicine listed here.
Indications: Hypertension; heart failure.
Contraindications: Hypersensitivity to angiotensin-converting enzyme (ACE) inhibitors (including
angioedema); renovascular disease; pregnancy.
Precautions: Use with diuretics; hypotension with first doses, especially in patients on diuretics,
on a low-sodium diet, on dialysis, if dehydrated, or with heart failure; peripheral vascular disease
or generalized atherosclerosis (risk of clinically silent renovascular disease); use with great care in
severe or symptomatic aortic stenosis; monitor renal function before and during treatment; renal
impairment; hepatic impairment; possibly increased risk of agranulocytosis in collagen vascular
disease; history of idiopathic or hereditary angioedema (use with care or avoid).
Use with diuretics Risk of very rapid falls in blood pressure in volume-depleted patients; treatment
should therefore be initiated with very low doses. High-dose diuretic therapy should be discontinued, or dose
significantly reduced, at least 24 hours before starting enalapril (may not be possible in heart failure; risk of
pulmonary oedema). If high-dose diuretic cannot be stopped, medical supervision advised for at least 2 hours
after administration or until blood pressure is stable.
Anaphylactoid reactions Avoid enalapril during dialysis with high-flux polyacrilonitrile membranes
and during low-density lipoprotein apheresis with dextran sulfate; also withhold before desensitization with wasp
or bee venom.
Dose:
Hypertension and heart failure.
Oral:
Neonate initially 10 micrograms/kg once daily, increased as necessary up to 500 micrograms/kg
daily in 1–3 divided doses. Monitor blood pressure and urine output carefully for at least
2 hours following first dose and during dose escalation until blood pressure is stable.
Infant or Child initially 100 micrograms/kg once daily. Monitor blood pressure carefully for
1–2 hours, increased as necessary up to a maximum of 1 mg/kg daily in 1–2 divided doses.
Renal impairment: Use with caution in all degrees of impairment and monitor response. Start with a
lower initial dose and adjust according to response. Hyperkalaemia and other adverse effects more
common.
Hepatic impairment: Closely monitor liver function in patients with hepatic impairment.
Adverse effects: Common Hypotension, cough, hyperkalaemia, headache, dizziness, fatigue, nausea,
renal impairment.
Uncommon Anaphylactoid reactions, angioedema (early or delayed onset), rash, itching, palpitations,
chest pain, flushing, fever, taste disturbances, vomiting, anorexia, diarrhoea, constipation,
stomatitis, dry mouth, sore throat, hoarseness, muscle cramps, elevated hepatic aminotransferases
and bilirubin, abnormal dreams.
Rare Hepatitis (cholestatic or hepatocellular), pancreatitis, proteinuria, hyponatraemia,
thrombocytopenia, neutropenia, aplastic anaemia, agranulocytosis, haemolytic anaemia,
eosinophilia, myalgia, arthralgia, neuropathy, paraesthesia, photosensitivity, psoriasis, pemphigus,
toxic epidermal necrolysis, gynaecomastia, visceral angioedema, Raynaud syndrome.
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12.3 Antihypertensive medicines
Interactions with other medicines (* indicates severe):
* Acetazolamide: enhanced hypotensive effect.
Acetylsalicylic acid: antagonism of hypotensive effect; risk of renal impairment when
acetylsalicylic acid given in doses of over 300 mg daily.
Alcohol: enhanced hypotensive effect.
* Amiloride: enhanced hypotensive effect; increased risk of severe hyperkalaemia.
Amlodipine: enhanced hypotensive effect.
Antacids (aluminium hydroxide; magnesium hydroxide): absorption of enalapril reduced.
Atenolol: enhanced hypotensive effect.
Chlorpromazine: enhanced hypotensive effect.
* Ciclosporin: increased risk of hyperkalaemia.
Dexamethasone: antagonism of hypotensive effect.
Diazepam: enhanced hypotensive effect.
Fluphenazine: enhanced hypotensive effect.
* Furosemide: enhanced hypotensive effect.
Haloperidol: enhanced hypotensive effect.
Halothane: enhanced hypotensive effect.
Heparin: encreased risk of hyperkalaemia.
* Hydrochlorothiazide: enhanced hypotensive effect.
Hydrocortisone: antagonism of hypotensive effect.
Ibuprofen: antagonism of hypotensive effect, increased risk of renal impairment.
Insulins: hypoglycaemic effect possibly enhanced.
Ketamine: enhanced hypotensive effect.
* Lithium: enalapril reduces excretion of lithium (increased plasma lithium concentration).
Nitrous oxide: enhanced hypotensive effect.
* Potassium salts: increased risk of severe hyperkalaemia.
Prednisolone: antagonism of hypotensive effect.
Propranolol: enhanced hypotensive effect.
Sodium nitroprusside: enhanced hypotensive effect.
* Spironolactone: enhanced hypotensive effect; increased risk of severe hyperkalaemia (monitor
plasma potassium concentration with low-dose spironolactone in heart failure).
Thiopental: enhanced hypotensive effect.
Notes: Tablets may be crushed and suspended in water immediately before use.
The neonatal response to treatment with ACE inhibitors is very variable, and some neonates
develop profound hypotension with even small doses; a test dose should be used initially and
increased cautiously. Adverse effects such as apnoea, seizures, renal failure and severe unpredictable
hypotension are very common in the first month of life and it is therefore recommended that ACE
inhibitors are avoided whenever possible, particularly in preterm neonates.
References:
Hill SR, Kouimtzi M, Stuart MC, eds. WHO model formulary. Geneva, World Health Organization, 2008.
Paediatric Formulary Committee. British national formulary for children 2009. London, BMJ Group RBS Publishing, 2009.
WHO Model Formulary for Children 2010
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Cardiovascular medicines
12.4 Medicines used in heart failure
Heart failure in children is less common than in adults, and can be due to left-to-right shunts (e.g.
septal defects), valvular disease (e.g. in rheumatic heart disease), myocardial dysfunction or highoutput heart failure (e.g. anaemia). Rheumatic heart disease remains a very large cause of heart failure
in the developing world.
Digoxin
ATC code: C01AA05
Injection: 250 micrograms/ml in 2 ml ampoule
Oral liquid: 50 micrograms/ml
Tablet: 62.5 micrograms; 250 micrograms
Indications: Chronic heart failure.
Contraindications: Hypertrophic obstructive cardiomyopathy (unless also atrial fibrillation and
heart failure); myocarditis; constrictive pericarditis; Wolff-Parkinson-White syndrome and atrial
fibrillation concurrently; ventricular tachycardia or fibrillation; intermittent complete heart block;
second-degree atrioventricular block.
Precautions: Recent myocardial infarction; sick sinus syndrome; severe pulmonary disease; thyroid
disease; renal impairment; avoid hypokalaemia; avoid rapid intravenous administration (nausea
and risk of arrhythmias).
Dose:
Chronic heart failure.
Oral:
Neonate under 1.5 kg initially 25 micrograms/kg in three divided doses for 24 hours then
4–6 micrograms/kg/day in 1–2 divided doses;
Neonate 1.5–2.5 kg initially 30 micrograms/kg in three divided doses for 24 hours then
4–6 micrograms/kg/day in 1–2 divided doses;
Neonate over 2.5 kg or Child under 2 years initially 45 micrograms/kg in three divided doses
for 24 hours then 10 micrograms/kg/day in 1–2 divided doses.
Child 2–5 years initially 35 micrograms/kg in three divided doses for 24 hours then
10 micrograms/kg/day in 1–2 divided doses;
5–10 years initially 25 micrograms/kg (maximum 750 micrograms) in three divided doses for
24 hours then 6 micrograms/kg/day (maximum 250 micrograms daily) in 1–2 divided doses;
over 10 years initially 0.75–1.5 mg in three divided doses for 24 hours then
62.5–250 micrograms/daily in 1–2 divided doses (higher doses may be necessary).
Intravenous:
Neonate under 1.5 kg initially 20 micrograms/kg in three divided doses for 24 hours then
4–6 micrograms/kg/day in 1–2 divided doses;
Neonate 1.5–2.5 kg initially 30 micrograms/kg in three divided doses for 24 hours then
4–6 micrograms/kg/day in 1–2 divided doses;
Neonate over 2.5 kg or Child under 5 years initially 35 micrograms/kg in three divided doses
for 24 hours then 10 micrograms/kg/day in 1–2 divided doses.
Child 5–10 years initially 25 micrograms/kg (maximum 500 micrograms) in three divided doses
for 24 hours then 6 micrograms/kg/day (maximum 250 micrograms daily) in 1–2 divided doses;
over 10 years initially 0.5–1 mg in three divided doses for 24 hours then 62.5–250 micrograms
daily in 1–2 divided doses (higher doses may be necessary).
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12.4 Medicines used in heart failure
Renal impairment: Reduce dose in all degrees of impairment; toxicity increased by electrolyte
disturbances.
Hepatic impairment: Dose reduction not necessary.
Adverse effects: Common Anorexia, nausea, vomiting, diarrhoea, blurred vision, visual disturbances,
confusion, drowsiness, dizziness, nightmares, agitation, depression.
Uncommon Acute psychosis, delirium, amnesia, shortened QRS complex, atrial or ventricular
extrasystoles, paroxysmal atrial tachycardia with AV block, ventricular tachycardia or fibrillation,
heart block, gynaecomastia (long-term use).
Rare Xanthopsia (yellow vision), rash, thrombocytopenia, seizures.
Interactions with other medicines (* indicates severe):
*
*
*
*
*
*
*
*
*
*
*
Acetazolamide: hypokalaemia caused by acetazolamide increases cardiac toxicity of digoxin.
Amphotericin B: hypokalaemia caused by amphotericin B increases cardiac toxicity of digoxin.
Antacids (aluminium hydroxide; magnesium hydroxide): possibly reduced absorption of digoxin.
Atenolol: increased risk of AV block and bradycardia.
Azithromycin: increased plasma concentration of digoxin (increased risk of toxicity).
Calcium salts: large intravenous doses of calcium salts can precipitate arrhythmias.
Chloroquine: plasma digoxin concentration possibly increased.
Ciclosporin: increased plasma concentration of digoxin (increased risk of toxicity).
Dexamethasone: increased risk of hypokalaemia.
Erythromycin: increased plasma concentration of digoxin (increased risk of toxicity).
Furosemide: hypokalaemia caused by furosemide increases cardiac toxicity of digoxin.
Gentamicin: possibly increased plasma concentration of digoxin.
Hydrochlorothiazide: hypokalaemia caused by hydrochlorothiazide increases cardiac toxicity of
digoxin.
Hydrocortisone: increased risk of hypokalaemia.
Ibuprofen: possibly exacerbation of heart failure, reduced renal function, and increased plasma
digoxin concentration.
Mefloquine: possibly increased risk of bradycardia.
Nifedipine: possibly increased plasma concentration of digoxin.
Penicillamine: plasma concentration of digoxin possibly reduced.
Phenytoin: plasma concentration of digoxin possibly reduced.
Prednisolone: increased risk of hypokalaemia.
Propranolol: increased risk of AV block and bradycardia.
Quinidine: plasma concentration of digoxin increased (halve dose of digoxin).
Quinine: plasma concentration of digoxin increased.
Rifampicin: plasma concentration of digoxin possibly reduced.
Salbutamol: possibly reduced plasma concentration of digoxin.
Spironolactone: plasma concentration of digoxin increased.
Sulfamethoxazole + trimethoprim: plasma concentration of digoxin possibly increased.
Sulfasalazine: absorption of digoxin possibly reduced.
Suxamethonium: risk of ventricular arrhythmias.
Timolol: increased AV block and bradycardia.
Trimethoprim: plasma concentration of digoxin possibly increased.
Verapamil: increased plasma concentration of digoxin; increased AV block and bradycardia.
WHO Model Formulary for Children 2010
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Cardiovascular medicines
Notes: Monitoring For plasma digoxin concentration assay, blood should ideally be taken at least 6 hours
after a dose, preferably prior to next dose, plasma digoxin concentration should be maintained in the range
0.8–2 micrograms/litre.
Unwanted effects depend both on the concentration of digoxin in the plasma and on sensitivity of the conducting
system or of the myocardium, which is often increased in heart disease. It can sometimes be difficult to distinguish
between toxic effects and clinical deterioration because the symptoms of both are similar. Also, the plasma digoxin
concentration alone cannot indicate toxicity reliably but the likelihood of toxicity increases progressively through the
range 1.5–3 micrograms/litre for digoxin. Renal function is very important in determining digoxin dosage.
Signs of digoxin toxicity may include: anorexia, nausea, vomiting, dizziness, bradycardia and heart block. Patients
at highest risk are those with renal impairment.
Administration For intravenous infusion, dilute with sodium chloride 0.9% or glucose 5% to a maximum
concentration of 62.5 micrograms/ml; loading doses should be given over 30–60 minutes and maintenance doses
over 10–20 minutes. Protect from light.
For oral administration, oral solution must not be diluted.
Doses may need to be reduced if digoxin (or another cardiac glycoside) has been given in the
preceding 2 weeks. When changing from intravenous to oral route, may need to increase dose by
20–30% to maintain the same plasma digoxin concentration.
Plasma monitoring may be required when changing formulation to take into account varying
bioavailabilities.
References:
Hill SR, Kouimtzi M, Stuart MC, eds. WHO model formulary. Geneva, World Health Organization, 2008.
Hodding JH, Kraus DM, Taketomo CK. Pediatric dosage handbook. 16th ed. Hudson, Lexi-Comp, 2009.
Paediatric Formulary Committee. British national formulary for children 2009. London, BMJ Group RBS Publishing, 2009.
Rossi S, ed. Australian medicines handbook. Adelaide, Australian Medicines Handbook, 2009.
Furosemide
ATC code: C03CA01
Injection: 10 mg/ml in 2 ml ampoule
Oral liquid: 4 mg/ml
Tablet: 40 mg
To avoid ototoxicity, intravenous doses should be given no faster than 0.5 mg/kg per minute
(doses < 120 mg) or 4 mg/minute (doses ≥ 120 mg).
Special Notes: Also referred to as frusemide.
Indications: Oedema associated with heart failure.
Contraindications: Renal failure with anuria; precomatose states associated with liver cirrhosis.
Precautions: Monitor electrolytes particularly potassium and sodium; hypotension; renal
impairment; hepatic impairment.
Dose:
Oedema in heart failure.
Oral:
Neonate 0.5–2 mg/kg every 12–24 hours (every 24 hours if corrected age under 31 weeks).
Infant or Child 0.5–2 mg/kg 2–3 times daily; higher doses may be required in resistant oedema;
maximum 12 mg/kg (80 mg) daily.
IV:
Neonate 0.5–1 mg/kg every 12–24 hours (every 24 hours if corrected age under 31 weeks).
Infant or Child 0.5–1 mg/kg (maximum 4 mg/kg) repeated every 8 hours as necessary.
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12.4 Medicines used in heart failure
Renal impairment: Contraindicated in anuria.
Higher doses are usually required in impairment; renal function may worsen; monitor electrolytes
and creatinine.
Treatment with nephrotoxic drugs increases risk of nephrotoxicity with loop diuretics; use
combinations carefully, especially in renal impairment.
Hepatic impairment: Hypokalaemia may precipitate coma (use potassium-sparing diuretic to prevent
this).
Adverse effects: Most adverse effects are dose related.
Common Hyponatraemia, hypokalaemia, hypomagnesaemia, dehydration, hyperuricaemia, gout,
dizziness, orthostatic hypotension, syncope.
Uncommon Dyslipidaemia, increased creatinine concentration, hypocalcaemia, rash.
Rare Tinnitus, vertigo, deafness (especially with rapid intravenous administration), acute pancreatitis,
jaundice, thrombocytopenia, haemolytic anaemia, agranulocytosis, interstitial nephritis, exfoliative
dermatitis, Stevens-Johnson syndrome, bullous eruptions, allergic reactions.
Interactions with other medicines (* indicates severe):
*
*
*
*
*
*
*
*
Amikacin: increased risk of ototoxicity.
Amitriptyline: increased risk of postural hypotension.
Amphotericin B: increased risk of hypokalaemia.
Carbamazepine: increased risk of hyponatraemia.
Chlorpromazine: enhanced hypotensive effect.
Cisplatin: increased risk of nephrotoxicity and ototoxicity.
Dexamethasone: antagonism of diuretic effect; increased risk of hypokalaemia.
Diazepam: enhanced hypotensive effect.
Digoxin: hypokalaemia caused by furosemide increases cardiac toxicity of digoxin.
Enalapril: enhanced hypotensive effect.
Ethanol: enhanced hypotensive effect.
Gentamicin: increased risk of ototoxicity.
Halothane: enhanced hypotensive effect.
Hydrochlorothiazide: increased risk of hypokalaemia.
Hydrocortisone: antagonism of diuretic effect; increased risk of hypokalaemia.
Ibuprofen: risk of nephrotoxicity of ibuprofen increased; antagonism of diuretic effect.
Insulins: antagonism of hypoglycaemic effect.
Ketamine: enhanced hypotensive effect.
Lidocaine: action of lidocaine antagonized by hypokalaemia caused by furosemide (interaction
less likely when lidocaine used topically).
Lithium: reduced lithium excretion (increased plasma lithium concentration and risk of toxicity);
furosemide safer than hydrochlorothiazide.
Nitrous oxide: enhanced hypotensive effect.
Prednisolone: antagonism of diuretic effect; increased risk of hypokalaemia.
Propranolol: enhanced hypotensive effect.
Quinidine: cardiac toxicity of quinidine increased by hypokalaemia caused by furosemide.
Salbutamol: increased risk of hypokalaemia with high doses of salbutamol.
Streptomycin: increased risk of ototoxicity.
Thiopental: enhanced hypotensive effect.
Vancomycin: increased risk of ototoxicity.
WHO Model Formulary for Children 2010
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12
Cardiovascular medicines
Notes: Advise patient or carer when taking furosemide twice daily, to take the first dose in the
morning and the second dose before 18:00 to prevent overnight diuresis.
Monitor potassium during therapy. Consider the addition of potassium-sparing diuretics or
potassium supplements.
References:
Hill SR, Kouimtzi M, Stuart MC, eds. WHO model formulary. Geneva, World Health Organization, 2008.
Hodding JH, Kraus DM, Taketomo CK. Pediatric dosage handbook. 16th ed. Hudson, Lexi-Comp, 2009.
Paediatric Formulary Committee. British national formulary for children 2009. London, BMJ Group RBS Publishing, 2009.
Rossi S, ed. Australian medicines handbook. Adelaide, Australian Medicines Handbook, 2009.
Dopamine
ATC code: C01CA04
Injection: 40 mg/ml (hydrochloride) in 5 ml vial
Indications: Cardiac failure.
Contraindications: Tachyarrhythmia; phaeochromocytoma; manufacturer contraindicates treatment
with halogenated hydrocarbon general anaesthetics or ergot alkaloids.
Precautions: Correct hypovolaemia before initiating treatment; maintain blood volume during
treatment; correct hypoxia, hypercapnia and metabolic acidosis before or at same time as starting
treatment; history of peripheral vascular disease (increased risk of ischaemia of extremities).
Dose:
Cardiac failure.
Continuous intravenous infusion:
Neonate initially 3 micrograms/kg/minute adjusted according to response to a maximum of
20 micrograms/kg/minute.
Infant or Child initially 5 micrograms/kg/minute adjusted according to response to a maximum
of 20 micrograms/kg/minute.
Renal impairment: Dose reduction not necessary.
Hepatic impairment: Dose reduction not necessary.
Adverse effects: Common Ectopic beats, nausea, vomiting, tachycardia, angina, palpitations,
dyspnoea, headache, hypotension or hypertension.
Uncommon Abnormal ventricular conduction, bradycardia, piloerection, uraemia, mydriasis,
vasoconstriction, extravasation (may cause necrosis and sloughing of surrounding tissue).
Rare Allergic reaction (if sodium metabisulfite in product).
Interactions with other medicines (* indicates severe):
Chlorpromazine: antagonism of hypertensive effect.
Ergometrine: increased risk of ergotism.
Fluphenazine: antagonism of hypertensive effect.
Haloperidol: antagonism of hypertensive effect.
Notes: For continuous intravenous infusion, dilute to a maximum concentration of 3.2 mg/ml
with glucose 5% or sodium chloride 0.9%. Infuse higher concentrations through central venous
catheter using a syringe pump to avoid extravasation and fluid overload. Incompatible with
bicarbonate and other alkaline solutions.
In neonates the response to inotropic sympathomimetics varies considerably, particularly in those
born prematurely; careful dose titration and monitoring are necessary.
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WHO Model Formulary for Children 2010
12.5 Antithrombotic medicines
References:
Hill SR, Kouimtzi M, Stuart MC, eds. WHO model formulary. Geneva, World Health Organization, 2008.
Hodding JH, Kraus DM, Taketomo CK. Pediatric dosage handbook. 16th ed. Hudson, Lexi-Comp, 2009.
Paediatric Formulary Committee. British national formulary for children 2009. London, BMJ Group RBS Publishing, 2009.
Rossi S, ed. Australian medicines handbook. Adelaide, Australian Medicines Handbook, 2009.
12.5 Antithrombotic medicines
This section has been deleted from the 2nd WHO Model List of Essential Medicines for Children.
12.6 Lipid-lowering agents
There are currently no medicines in this section of the 2nd WHO Model List of Essential Medicines for
Children.
WHO Model Formulary for Children 2010
321

SECTION 13:
Dermatological medicines (topical)
13.1 Antifungal medicines................................................................ 323
13.2 Anti-infective medicines........................................................... 325
13.3 Anti-inflammatory and antipruritic medicines......................... 329
13.4 Astringent medicines................................................................ 332
13.5 Medicines affecting skin differentiation and proliferation........ 332
13.6 Scabicides and pediculicides..................................................... 337
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WHO Model Formulary for Children 2010
13.1 Antifungal medicines
13
Dermatological medicines (topical)
13.1 Antifungal medicines
“Tinea” refers to a skin or nail infection with a dermatophyte (ringworm) fungus. Other fungi,
such as Candida, can cause local skin infections as well as more serious systemic infections. Local
treatments are often effective, and the choice of agent is often dictated by local availability and price.
More severe infections may require systemic treatments.
Benzoic acid + Salicylic acid
ATC code: D01AE20
Cream or ointment: 6% + 3%
Special Notes: Also known as Whitfield’s ointment.
Indications: Mild fungal skin infections, particularly localized tinea pedis and tinea corporis.
Precautions: Contact with eyes, mucous membranes, face and genitals; prolonged use; large areas.
Administration:
Fungal skin infections.
Topical:
Infant or Child apply twice daily until the infected skin is shed (usually at least 4 weeks).
Renal impairment: Dose reduction not required.
Hepatic impairment: Dose reduction not required.
Adverse effects: Uncommon Occasionally localized, mild inflammatory reaction.
Rare Skin ulceration, erosion, salicylate intoxication, systemic absorption.
Salicylate intoxication Although rare, topical use of salicylic acid has resulted in salicylate intoxication,
particularly in babies and young children when applied in large amounts or when used under occlusion.
Symptoms include confusion, dizziness, headaches, rapid breathing, tinnitus; deaths have occurred.
Interactions with other medicines (* indicates severe):
Warfarin: topical salicylates may be absorbed in sufficient amounts to cause an increase in INR,
increasing risk of bleeding; avoid combinations.
Notes: Benzoic acid + salicylic acid are both mild irritants and can themselves cause dermatitis.
References:
eTG complete. Melbourne, Therapeutic Guidelines Limited, 2009 (http://etg.tg.org.au/ip/, accessed 10 February 2010).
Hill SR, Kouimtzi M, Stuart MC, eds. WHO model formulary. Geneva, World Health Organization, 2008.
Paediatric Formulary Committee. British national formulary for children 2009. London, BMJ Group RBS Publishing, 2009.
Rossi S, ed. Australian medicines handbook. Adelaide, Australian Medicines Handbook, 2009.
WHO expert committee on the selection and use of essential medicines. The selection and use of essential medicines: report of
the WHO expert committee, October 2007 (including the model list of essential medicines for children). WHO Technical Report
Series, 2008, 950 (http://www.who.int/medicines/publications/essentialmeds_committeereports/TRS_950.pdf ).
WHO Model Formulary for Children 2010
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13
Dermatological medicines (topical)
Miconazole
ATC code: D01AC02
Cream or ointment: 2% (nitrate)
Special Notes: This medicine is listed as a representative of its pharmacological class. Other
medicines in the same class may have similar clinical performance and may be selected for local
formularies based on availability and price. The information in this monograph only applies to the
medicine listed here.
Indications: Fungal skin infections.
Administration:
Fungal skin infections.
Topical:
Child all ages apply twice daily to clean dry lesions, continuing for at least 10 days after the
condition has cleared.
Renal impairment: Dose reduction not required.
Hepatic impairment: Dose reduction not required.
Adverse effects: Uncommon Occasional local irritation and burning, stinging, itch, contact
dermatitis; discontinue if sensitization occurs.
Rare Allergic reactions.
Interactions with other medicines (* indicates severe):
Note Drug interactions may occur rarely with miconazole as some absorption occurs from topical products.
Amphotericin B: possible antagonism of effects of amphotericin B.
Carbamazepine: plasma concentration of carbamazepine possibly increased.
* Warfarin: enhanced anticoagulant effect.
Notes: Continue using the treatment for 10 days after symptoms have gone.
References:
Hill SR, Kouimtzi M, Stuart MC, eds. WHO model formulary. Geneva, World Health Organization, 2008.
Kemp CA, McDowell JM. Paediatric pharmacopoeia. 13th ed. Melbourne, Royal Children’s Hospital, 2002.
Paediatric Formulary Committee. British national formulary for children 2009. London, BMJ Group RBS Publishing, 2009.
Rossi S, ed. Australian medicines handbook. Adelaide, Australian Medicines Handbook, 2009.
WHO expert committee on the selection and use of essential medicines. The selection and use of essential medicines: report of
the WHO expert committee, October 2007 (including the model list of essential medicines for children). WHO Technical Report
Series, 2008, 950 (http://www.who.int/medicines/publications/essentialmeds_committeereports/TRS_950.pdf ).
Selenium sulfide
ATC code: D01AE13
Detergent based suspension: 2%
Indications: Pityriasis versicolor; seborrhoeic dermatitis.
Contraindications: Children under 5 years.
Precautions: Do not apply to damaged skin (risk of systemic toxicity); avoid contact with eyes; do not
use within 48 hours of applying preparations for hair colouring, straightening or permanent waving.
Administration:
Pityriasis versicolor.
Topical:
Child over 5 years apply with a small amount of water to the entire affected area and leave for
30 minutes. Apply 2–7 times over 2 weeks; repeat course if necessary.
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WHO Model Formulary for Children 2010
13.2 Anti-infective medicines
Seborrhoeic dermatitis.
Topical:
Child over 5 years massage 5–10 ml of suspension into wet hair and leave for 5–10 minutes
before rinsing off thoroughly; repeat twice weekly for 2 weeks, then once weekly for 2 weeks and
then as necessary.
Renal impairment: Dose reduction not required.
Hepatic impairment: Dose reduction not required.
Adverse effects: Common Local irritation, skin discoloration (when applied topically for the
treatment of tinea versicolor).
Uncommon Rebound oiliness of the scalp, hair discoloration (minimized by careful rinsing after
treatment) or loss.
Rare Absorption may result in systemic toxicity including tremors, weakness, lethargy, loss of
appetite, pain in lower abdomen, occasional vomiting (symptoms usually resolve within 10 days of
discontinuing the medicine).
Interactions with other medicines (* indicates severe):
There are no known interactions involving a significant change in effect or where it is recommended
to avoid concomitant use.
Notes: To minimize absorption, rinse hair thoroughly after use and remove all traces from skin
(including nails).
Contact with eyes should be avoided; if contact occurs, the affected eye(s) should be rinsed
thoroughly with water.
Patients should be advised to remove all jewellery before using the lotion, since selenium sulfide may
damage it.
References:
Hill SR, Kouimtzi M, Stuart MC, eds. WHO model formulary. Geneva, World Health Organization, 2008.
McEvoy GK, ed. AHFS drug information. Bethesda, American Society of Health-System Pharmacists, 2009.
Paediatric Formulary Committee. British national formulary for children 2009. London, BMJ Group RBS Publishing, 2009.
WHO expert committee on the selection and use of essential medicines. The selection and use of essential medicines: report of
the WHO expert committee, October 2007 (including the model list of essential medicines for children). WHO Technical Report
Series, 2008, 950 (http://www.who.int/medicines/publications/essentialmeds_committeereports/TRS_950.pdf ).
13.2 Anti-infective medicines
Staphylococcal and streptococcal infections of the skin, such as impetigo, folliculitis, furunculosis,
erysipelas and cellulitis, are very common.
Minor localized infections can often be treated with local treatments. Widespread superficial or deepseated skin infections associated with fever require treatment with a systemic antibiotic (sections
6.2.1 and 6.2.2).
Methylrosanilinium chloride (gentian violet)
ATC code: D01AE02
Aqueous solution: 0.5%
Tincture: 0.5%
Special Notes: Also known as gentian violet or crystal violet.
Carcinogenic in animal studies and its use is restricted in some countries.
WHO Model Formulary for Children 2010
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13
Dermatological medicines (topical)
This medicine is listed as a representative of its pharmacological class. Other medicines in the same
class may have similar clinical performance and may be selected for local formularies based on
availability and price. The information in this monograph only applies to the medicine listed here.
Indications: Fungal and bacterial skin infections.
Contraindications: Excoriated or ulcerated lesions, broken skin, mucous membranes; porphyria.
Administration:
Fungal and bacterial skin infections.
Topical:
Child apply two or three times daily for 3 days.
Renal impairment: No dose reduction required.
Hepatic impairment: No dose reduction required.
Adverse effects: Common Irritation and ulceration of mucous membranes if exposed to them,
temporary skin staining.
Uncommon Severe irritation: discontinue treatment.
Interactions with other medicines (* indicates severe):
There are no known interactions involving a significant change in effect or where it is recommended
to avoid concomitant use.
References:
Hill SR, Kouimtzi M, Stuart MC, eds. WHO model formulary. Geneva, World Health Organization, 2008.
McEvoy GK, ed. AHFS drug information. Bethesda, American Society of Health-System Pharmacists, 2009.
Sweetman SC, ed. Martindale: the complete drug reference. 34th ed. London, Pharmaceutical Press, 2005.
WHO expert committee on the selection and use of essential medicines. The selection and use of essential medicines: report of
the WHO expert committee, October 2007 (including the model list of essential medicines for children). WHO Technical Report
Series, 2008, 950 (http://www.who.int/medicines/publications/essentialmeds_committeereports/TRS_950.pdf.
Neomycin sulfate + Bacitracin
ATC code: D06AX04
Ointment: 5 mg neomycin sulfate + 250 IU bacitracin zinc/g
Special Notes: Bacitracin This medicine is listed as a representative of its pharmacological class. Other
medicines in the same class may have similar clinical performance and may be selected for local formularies based
on availability and price. The information in this monograph only applies to the medicine listed here.
Indications: Bacterial skin infections.
Contraindications: Neonates.
Precautions: Avoid application to substantial areas of skin or to broken skin (risk of significant
systemic absorption); occlusive dressings; overgrowth of resistant organisms on prolonged use.
Large areas If large areas of skin are being treated, ototoxicity may be a hazard in children, particularly in
those with renal impairment.
Administration:
Bacterial skin infections.
Topical:
Infant or Child apply a thin layer three times daily (short-term use).
Renal impairment: Any systemic absorption in patients with renal impairment may cause increased
side effects, particularly nephrotoxicity and ototoxicty.
Hepatic impairment: No dose reduction necessary.
Adverse effects: Common Hypersensitivity reactions (including contact dermatitis, burning,
erythema, rash and urticaria).
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13.2 Anti-infective medicines
Rare Anaphylactoid reactions, systemic absorption leading to nephrotoxicity and irreversible
ototoxicity (particularly in renal impairment or in the presence of an occlusive dressing, including
nappies).
Interactions with other medicines (* indicates severe):
There are no known interactions involving a significant change in effect or where it is recommended
to avoid concomitant use.
Notes: Topical neomycin is a contact sensitizer, especially when used for long periods of time.
Sensitivity has been reported to occur in 5–15% of patients treated with the drug.
References:
Hill SR, Kouimtzi M, Stuart MC, eds. WHO model formulary. Geneva, World Health Organization, 2008.
McEvoy GK, ed. AHFS drug information. Bethesda, American Society of Health-System Pharmacists, 2009.
Paediatric Formulary Committee. British national formulary for children 2009. London, BMJ Group RBS Publishing, 2009.
WHO expert committee on the selection and use of essential medicines. The selection and use of essential medicines: report of
the WHO expert committee, October 2007 (including the model list of essential medicines for children). WHO Technical Report
Series, 2008, 950 (http://www.who.int/medicines/publications/essentialmeds_committeereports/TRS_950.pdf ).
Potassium permanganate
ATC code: D08AX06
Aqueous solution: 1:10 000 (0.01%)
Indications: Assist healing of suppurating superficial wounds, tropical ulcers, tinea pedis, pemphigus
and impetigo.
Contraindications: Avoid occlusive dressings.
Precautions: Irritant to mucous membranes.
Administration:
Suppurating superficial wounds and tropical ulcers.
Topical:
Child wet dressings of 1:10 000 (0.01%) solution, changed two or three times daily; tropical
ulcers also require treatment for 2–4 weeks with procaine benzylpenicillin (section 6.2.1).
Tinea pedis.
Topical:
Child soak severe weeping lesions in 1:10 000 (0.01%) solution every 8 hours.
Impetigo and superficial crusts.
Topical:
Child crusts should be gently separated with a 1:10 000 (0.01%) solution.
Renal impairment: Dose reduction not required.
Hepatic impairment: Dose reduction not required.
Adverse effects: Common Local irritation, skin and fabrics stained brown.
Interactions with other medicines (* indicates severe):
There are no known interactions involving a significant change in effect or where it is recommended
to avoid concomitant use.
Notes: Potassium permanganate is sometimes supplied as an aqueous stock solution of 1 in 1000
(0.1%) for dilution before use.
References:
Hill SR, Kouimtzi M, Stuart MC, eds. WHO model formulary. Geneva, World Health Organization, 2008.
WHO expert committee on the selection and use of essential medicines. The selection and use of essential medicines: report of
the WHO expert committee, October 2007 (including the model list of essential medicines for children). WHO Technical Report
Series, 2008, 950 (http://www.who.int/medicines/publications/essentialmeds_committeereports/TRS_950.pdf ).
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13
Dermatological medicines (topical)
Silver sulfadiazine
ATC code: D06BA01
Cream: 1%
Use with caution if allergic to sulfonamides or the preservative agent used, e.g. chlorhexidine.
Owing to the association of sulfonamides with severe blood and skin disorders, treatment
should be stopped immediately if blood disorders or rashes develop. Leukopenia developing
2–3 days after starting treatment of burns patients is reported usually to be self limiting and
silver sulfadiazine need not usually be discontinued, provided blood counts are monitored
carefully to ensure return to baseline within a few days. Argyria may also occur if large areas of
skin are treated (or if application is prolonged).
Special Notes: WHO age/weight restriction: > 2 months.
Indications: Prophylaxis and treatment of infection in burns.
Contraindications: Hypersensitivity to sulfonamides; pregnancy; < 2 months age.
Precautions: Renal or hepatic impairment; large areas; G6PD deficiency.
Administration:
Prophylaxis and treatment of infection in burns.
Topical:
Child over 2 months apply using aseptic technique daily (more frequent if volume of exudate is
large) while there is a possibility of infection, or until healing is complete.
Renal impairment: Use with caution in patients with impaired renal function, particularly those
receiving treatment for extensive burns.
Hepatic impairment: Severe: use with caution.
Adverse effects: Common Pain, rash, burning, itching.
Rare Necrosis of skin, erythema multiforme, skin discoloration due to deposition of silver, transient
neutropenia, transient leukopenia, development of bacterial resistance, hypersensitivity reactions,
argyria and sulfonamide induced systemic toxicity.
Interactions with other medicines (* indicates severe):
When used over large areas of skin, plasma sulfadiazine concentrations may approach therapeutic
levels and when this occurs the interactions below apply.
Sulfadiazine can cause nephrotoxicity; administration with other nephrotoxic drugs may result in
additional renal adverse effects.
Sulfadiazine is a folate antagonist and will add to the effects on bone marrow of other folate
antagonists, e.g. pyrimethamine.
Ciclosporin: sulfadiazine may decrease ciclosporin concentration and efficacy; monitor ciclosporin
concentration and adjust dose as necessary.
Hexamine hippurate: hexamine requires low urine pH for effect; there is an increased risk of
crystalluria with sulfonamides as they are poorly soluble at low pH; avoid combination.
Phenytoin: sulfadiazine inhibits metabolism of phenytoin, increasing its concentration and risk of
adverse effects; monitor phenytoin concentration and for adverse effects; decrease phenytoin dose
if necessary.
Notes: Some preparations may contain chlorhexidine 0.2%.
Apply with sterile gloved hands or spatula in a 3–5 mm layer.
Chlorhexidine (cation) is inactivated by anionic agents such as soap; do not use together.
Silver sulfadiazine may inactivate enzymatic debriding agents.
Plasma sulfadiazine concentrations may approach therapeutic levels with side-effects and interactions
as for sulfonamides if large areas of skin are treated.
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13.3 Anti-inflammatory and antipruritic medicines
References:
Hill SR, Kouimtzi M, Stuart MC, eds. WHO model formulary. Geneva, World Health Organization, 2008.
Kemp CA, McDowell JM. Paediatric pharmacopoeia. 13th ed. Melbourne, Royal Children’s Hospital, 2002.
McEvoy GK, ed. AHFS drug information. Bethesda, American Society of Health-System Pharmacists, 2009.
Paediatric Formulary Committee. British national formulary for children 2009. London, BMJ Group RBS Publishing, 2009.
Rossi S, ed. Australian medicines handbook. Adelaide, Australian Medicines Handbook, 2009.
WHO expert committee on the selection and use of essential medicines. The selection and use of essential medicines: report of
the WHO expert committee, October 2007 (including the model list of essential medicines for children). WHO Technical Report
Series, 2008, 950 (http://www.who.int/medicines/publications/essentialmeds_committeereports/TRS_950.pdf ).
13.3 Anti-inflammatory and antipruritic medicines
Eczema is a very common condition of infancy and childhood. Treatments include local application
emollients, and, when needed, topical steroids. Topical steroids are available in a range of strengths
and potencies. Treatment should be tailored to the degree of inflammation and dryness of the skin.
Any associated infection should also be treated.
Betamethasone
ATC code: D07AC01
Cream or ointment: 0.1% (as valerate)
Special Notes: WHO age/weight restriction: hydrocortisone preferred in neonates.
This medicine is listed as a representative of its pharmacological class. Other medicines in the same
class may have similar clinical performance and may be selected for local formularies based on
availability and price. The information in this monograph only applies to the medicine listed here.
Indications: Severe inflammatory skin conditions.
Contraindications: Untreated skin infections; broken skin; rosacea; acne; perioral dermatitis; viral
skin lesions; widespread plaque psoriasis.
Precautions: Children (avoid prolonged use and use under specialist supervision); psoriasis (may
precipitate severe pustular psoriasis on withdrawal); adrenal suppression if used on a large area
of the body or for a long time, particularly with an occlusive dressing; use on the face or groin;
secondary infection requires treatment with an appropriate antimicrobial.
Use of more than 100 g per week of 0.1% preparation likely to cause adrenal suppression.
Administration:
Note Use the smallest amount for the shortest period of time to avoid adverse effects. Reduce use once
improvement occurs. Discontinue use once control is achieved. Reassess diagnosis if no improvement is seen
within 2 weeks.
Severe inflammatory skin conditions.
Topical:
Child apply a small quantity to the affected area one to two times daily.
Renal impairment: Dose reduction not required.
Hepatic impairment: Dose reduction not required.
Adverse effects: Common Folliculitis, steroid rosacea, perioral dermatitis, skin atrophy,
delayed wound healing, dilatation of superficial blood vessels, formation of striae, purpura,
depigmentation, telangiectasia, acneiform eruptions at site of application.
Uncommon Allergic contact dermatitis.
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Dermatological medicines (topical)
Rare Hyperaesthesia, subcutaneous tissue atrophy, hypertrichosis, systemic effects (growth
retardation, hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal axis suppression with prolonged or widespread use
(particularly under occlusion), hyperglycaemia, Cushing syndrome, cataract, glaucoma).
Interactions with other medicines (* indicates severe):
Use of topical corticosteroids is less likely to result in drug interactions than systemic use, but
interactions may occur rarely.
Acetylsalicylic acid: corticosteroids may decrease salicylate concentration when high-dose
acetylsalicylic acid is used, e.g. in Kawasaki disease; monitor salicylate concentration and
clinical effect; increase acetylsalicylic acid dose if necessary; be particularly careful to reduce the
acetylsalicylic acid dose when withdrawing the corticosteroid.
NSAIMs: oral corticosteroids increase risk of gastric ulceration with NSAIMs; consider need for
an NSAIM carefully; if an NSAIM cannot be avoided, use lowest effective dose for shortest period
of time.
Rifampicin: increased metabolism of corticosteroid and may reduce activity; monitor clinical
effect and increase corticosteroid dose if needed.
Warfarin: corticosteroids may increase warfarin’s anticoagulant effect, increasing the risk of
bleeding; monitor INR and decrease warfarin dose if necessary.
Notes: Occlusive, wet dressings (never plastic) may be used if condition is severe.
Tachyphylaxis may occur. Use minimum amount necessary to control symptoms. Intermittent use
(i.e. 2 days on, 2 days off) may at times be appropriate.
Consider bone mineral density assessment for children receiving large and long-term doses of topical
corticosteroids.
Dermatologist consultation advisable if using on the face.
References:
Hill SR, Kouimtzi M, Stuart MC, eds. WHO model formulary. Geneva, World Health Organization, 2008.
Kemp CA, McDowell JM. Paediatric pharmacopoeia. 13th ed. Melbourne, Royal Children’s Hospital, 2002.
Paediatric Formulary Committee. British national formulary for children 2009. London, BMJ Group RBS Publishing, 2009.
WHO expert committee on the selection and use of essential medicines. The selection and use of essential medicines: report of
the WHO expert committee, October 2007 (including the model list of essential medicines for children). WHO Technical Report
Series, 2008, 950 (http://www.who.int/medicines/publications/essentialmeds_committeereports/TRS_950.pdf ).
Calamine lotion
ATC code: D04AX
Lotion
Indications: Mild pruritus.
Administration:
Mild pruritus.
Topical:
Child apply liberally 3–4 times daily.
Renal impairment: Dosage reduction not needed.
Hepatic impairment: Dosage reduction not needed.
Adverse effects: No adverse effects noted in literature.
Interactions with other medicines (* indicates severe):
There are no known interactions involving a significant change in effect or where it is recommended
to avoid concomitant use.
Notes: Shake bottle well before use.
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13.3 Anti-inflammatory and antipruritic medicines
Avoid contact with eyes.
Do not use on open wounds or burns.
Calamine preparations are of little value for the treatment of insect stings or bites.
References:
Hill SR, Kouimtzi M, Stuart MC, eds. WHO model formulary. Geneva, World Health Organization, 2008.
Paediatric Formulary Committee. British national formulary for children 2009. London, BMJ Group RBS Publishing, 2009.
WHO expert committee on the selection and use of essential medicines. The selection and use of essential medicines: report of
the WHO expert committee, October 2007 (including the model list of essential medicines for children). WHO Technical Report
Series, 2008, 950 (http://www.who.int/medicines/publications/essentialmeds_committeereports/TRS_950.pdf ).
Hydrocortisone
ATC code: D07AA02
Cream or ointment: 1% (acetate)
Indications: Mild inflammatory skin disorders.
Contraindications: Untreated skin infections; broken skin; rosacea; acne; perioral dermatitis.
Precautions: Children (avoid prolonged use); occlusive dressings increase penetration into
keratinized lesions; secondary infection requires treatment with an appropriate antimicrobial.
Administration:
Mild inflammatory skin disorders.
Topical:
Neonate, Infant or Child apply a small quantity to the affected area 1–2 times daily until
improvement occurs, then less frequently.
Renal impairment: No dose reduction required.
Hepatic impairment: No dose reduction required.
Adverse effects: When used according to directions on small area of skin, adverse effects do not
usually occur.
Common Folliculitis, steroid rosacea, perioral dermatitis, skin atrophy, delayed wound healing,
dilatation of superficial blood vessels, formation of striae, purpura, depigmentation, telangiectasia,
acneiform eruptions at site of application.
Uncommon Allergic contact dermatitis.
Rare Hyperaesthesia, subcutaneous tissue atrophy, hypertrichosis, systemic effects (growth
retardation, hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal axis suppression with prolonged or widespread use
(particularly under occlusion), hyperglycaemia, Cushing syndrome, cataract, glaucoma).
Interactions with other medicines (* indicates severe):
Note Interactions do not generally apply to hydrocortisone used for topical application.
Acetylsalicylic acid: increased risk of gastrointestinal bleeding and ulceration; hydrocortisone
reduces plasma salicylate concentration.
* Amphotericin B: increased risk of hypokalaemia (avoid concomitant use unless hydrocortisone
needed to control reactions).
* Carbamazepine: accelerated metabolism of hydrocortisone (reduced effect).
Digoxin: increased risk of hypokalaemia.
Enalapril: antagonism of hypotensive effect.
Erythromycin: erythromycin possibly inhibits metabolism of hydrocortisone.
Furosemide: antagonism of diuretic effect; increased risk of hypokalaemia.
Hydrochlorothiazide: antagonism of diuretic effect; increased risk of hypokalaemia.
WHO Model Formulary for Children 2010
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Dermatological medicines (topical)
*
*
*
*
*
*
Ibuprofen: increased risk of gastrointestinal bleeding and ulceration.
Insulins: antagonism of hypoglycaemic effect.
Metformin: antagonism of hypoglycaemic effect.
Methotrexate: increased risk of haematological toxicity.
Phenobarbital: metabolism of hydrocortisone accelerated (reduced effect).
Phenytoin: metabolism of hydrocortisone accelerated (reduced effect).
Propranolol: antagonism of hypotensive effect.
Rifampicin: accelerated metabolism of hydrocortisone (reduced effect).
Ritonavir: plasma concentration possibly increased by ritonavir.
Salbutamol: increased risk of hypokalaemia if high doses of salbutamol given with hydrocortisone.
Spironolactone: antagonism of diuretic effect.
Vaccine, influenza: high doses of hydrocortisone impair immune response.
Vaccine, live: high doses of hydrocortisone impair immune response; avoid use of live vaccines.
Warfarin: anticoagulant effect possibly enhanced or reduced (high-dose hydrocortisone enhances
anticoagulant effect).
Notes: Tachyphylaxis to topical treatment may occur, therefore best used intermittently once control
is achieved.
Consider bone mineral density assessment for children receiving large and long-term doses of topical
corticosteroids or any child supplemented with oral corticosteroids.
Topically, hydrocortisone is a mild corticosteroid.
References:
Hill SR, Kouimtzi M, Stuart MC, eds. WHO model formulary. Geneva, World Health Organization, 2008.
Kemp CA, McDowell JM. Paediatric pharmacopoeia. 13th ed. Melbourne, Royal Children’s Hospital, 2002.
Paediatric Formulary Committee. British national formulary for children 2009. London, BMJ Group RBS Publishing, 2009.
WHO expert committee on the selection and use of essential medicines. The selection and use of essential medicines: report of
the WHO expert committee, October 2007 (including the model list of essential medicines for children). WHO Technical Report
Series, 2008, 950 (http://www.who.int/medicines/publications/essentialmeds_committeereports/TRS_950.pdf ).
13.4 Astringent medicines
There are currently no medicines in this section of the 2nd WHO Model List of Essential Medicines for
Children.
13.5 Medicines affecting skin differentiation and
proliferation
Acne vulgaris
Acne typically first appears during puberty when androgenic stimulation triggers excessive production of sebum.
Mild acne usually responds to topical therapy alone and heals without scarring. In moderate acne,
where there are more extensive pustules causing mild scarring, oral antibiotics such as a tetracycline
or erythromycin (section 6.2.2) are commonly used. Severe acne is a distressing condition that may
warrant further treatment with systemic medications under specialist supervision.
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13.5 Medicines affecting skin differentiation and proliferation
Psoriasis
Psoriasis can occur at any age. Various biological events may trigger psoriasis, such as streptococcal
or viral infection, psychological stress or medication (e.g. beta-blockers, chloroquine, lithium and
NSAIMs).
Management of psoriasis depends on the site and extent of the disease and the age of the child.
Warts
Warts are common, benign and self-limiting. When required, warts can often be effectively treated
through application of a keratolytic agent such as salicylic acid, taking care to protect the surrounding skin. Podophyllum resin is an alternative agent.
Benzoyl peroxide
ATC code: D10AE01
Cream or lotion: 5%
Indications: Mild to moderate acne; adjunct to oral therapy in more severe cases.
Precautions: Avoid contact with eyes, mouth, and mucous membranes; avoid use of occlusive
dressings; avoid excessive exposure to sunlight; may bleach fabrics, hair and skin.
Administration:
Acne.
Topical:
Child initially apply to clean skin on alternate days, increasing frequency to one to two times
daily as tolerance to irritant effect develops.
Renal impairment: Dose reduction not required.
Hepatic impairment: Dose reduction not required.
Adverse effects: Common Initial irritation but subsides with continued use (in some cases may need
to reduce frequency or temporarily suspend use), skin dryness or peeling, feeling of warmth, mild
stinging or erythema.
Rare Contact sensitivity occurs, occasionally even one application can cause severe irritation.
Interactions with other medicines (* indicates severe):
There are no known interactions involving a significant change in effect or where it is recommended
to avoid concomitant use.
Notes: If acne does not respond after 2 months then use of a topical antibacterial should be
considered.
Cleanse skin before applying and gently pat dry.
Apply a thin layer to the affected area and rub in gently. Wash hands after application.
Avoid contact with eyes, lips and other sensitive areas.
Avoid contact with hair and coloured fabric as bleaching or discoloration may occur.
References:
Hill SR, Kouimtzi M, Stuart MC, eds. WHO model formulary. Geneva, World Health Organization, 2008.
Paediatric Formulary Committee. British national formulary for children 2009. London, BMJ Group RBS Publishing, 2009.
Rossi S, ed. Australian medicines handbook. Adelaide, Australian Medicines Handbook, 2009.
WHO expert committee on the selection and use of essential medicines. The selection and use of essential medicines: report of
the WHO expert committee, October 2007 (including the model list of essential medicines for children). WHO Technical Report
Series, 2008, 950 (http://www.who.int/medicines/publications/essentialmeds_committeereports/TRS_950.pdf ).
WHO Model Formulary for Children 2010
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Dermatological medicines (topical)
Coal tar
ATC code: D05AA
Solution: 5%
Special Notes: Preparations containing up to 6% coal tar may be used on children 1 month–2 years.
Preparations containing coal tar 10% may be used on children over 2 years with more severe
psoriasis.
Indications: Psoriasis.
Contraindications: Inflamed, broken or infected skin; pustular psoriasis; presence of infection.
Precautions: Avoid eyes, mucosa, genital or rectal areas; skin protection possibly required to reduce
photosensitivity reactions; may stain skin, hair (especially fair, bleached or grey hair) and clothing.
Administration:
Psoriasis.
Topical:
Child apply 1–3 times daily. A solution more dilute than 5% may be preferable to start.
Coal tar bath:
Child use 100 ml of solution in an adult-size bath of tepid water (proportionally less for a child’s
bath) and soak for 10–20 minutes; use once daily to once every 3 days for at least 10 baths.
Renal impairment: No dose reduction required.
Hepatic impairment: No dose reduction required.
Adverse effects: Common Mild stinging.
Rare Sterile folliculitis, irritant reactions, allergic reactions, photosensitivity, acne-like eruptions,
hypersensitivity, skin, hair and fabrics discoloured.
Carcinogenicity Evidence is conflicting. Some epidemiological studies have raised the possibility of skin
malignancies in patients with psoriasis with very high exposure to tar and/or ultraviolet radiation. Other studies
have found no conclusive evidence of this.
Interactions with other medicines (* indicates severe):
There are no known interactions involving a significant change in effect or where it is recommended
to avoid concomitant use.
Notes: Coal tar solutions are usually extemporaneous preparations and can be prepared in different
strengths. Different strengths of solution should be available on request from compounding
pharmacies.
Coal tar is often alternated with ultraviolet (UVB) rays, allowing at least 24 hours between exposure
and treatment with coal tar.
References:
Hill SR, Kouimtzi M, Stuart MC, eds. WHO model formulary. Geneva, World Health Organization, 2008.
Paediatric Formulary Committee. British national formulary for children 2009. London, BMJ Group RBS Publishing, 2009.
Rossi S, ed. Australian medicines handbook. Adelaide, Australian Medicines Handbook, 2009.
Sweetman SC, ed. Martindale: the complete drug reference. 34th ed. London, Pharmaceutical Press, 2005.
WHO expert committee on the selection and use of essential medicines. The selection and use of essential medicines: report of
the WHO expert committee, October 2007 (including the model list of essential medicines for children). WHO Technical Report
Series, 2008, 950 (http://www.who.int/medicines/publications/essentialmeds_committeereports/TRS_950.pdf ).
334
WHO Model Formulary for Children 2010
13.5 Medicines affecting skin differentiation and proliferation
Podophyllum resin
ATC code: D06BB04
Solution: 10% to 25%
Special Notes: Podophyllotoxin is the major active ingredient of podophyllum.
This medicine is listed as a representative of its pharmacological class. Other medicines in the same
class may have similar clinical performance and may be selected for local formularies based on
availability and price. The information in this monograph only applies to the medicine listed here.
Indications: External anogenital warts; plantar warts.
Contraindications: Pregnancy; breastfeeding; children under 2 years.
Precautions: Avoid use on large areas, mucous membranes; very irritant to eyes; keep away from face;
avoid contact with normal skin and open wounds.
Administration:
Note Must be applied by a trained health-care professional.
External anogenital warts; plantar warts.
Topical:
Child over 2 years apply carefully to warts, avoiding contact with normal tissue; rinse off with
soap and water after 6 hours; may be repeated at weekly intervals but no more than 4 times in
all; only a few warts to be treated at any one time.
Renal impairment: No dose reduction required.
Hepatic impairment: No dose reduction required.
Adverse effects: Common Irritation, staining of skin.
Uncommon Burning, inflammation, pain, erosion.
Rare Systemic effects resulting from cutaneous absorption or after ingestion include nausea,
vomiting, abdominal pain, diarrhoea, thrombocytopenia, leukopenia, renal failure, hepatotoxicity,
CNS effects including acute psychotic reactions, hallucinations, confusion, dizziness, stupor,
ataxia, hypotonia, seizures, coma, peripheral and autonomic neuropathies.
Interactions with other medicines (* indicates severe):
There are no known interactions involving a significant change in effect or where it is recommended
to avoid concomitant use.
Notes: An example of an application to treat warts. Various drugs can serve as alternatives.
Often causes considerable irritation to the treated area and is therefore only suitable for children who
are able to cooperate with treatment.
References:
Hill SR, Kouimtzi M, Stuart MC, eds. WHO model formulary. Geneva, World Health Organization, 2008.
McEvoy GK, ed. AHFS drug information. Bethesda, American Society of Health-System Pharmacists, 2009.
Paediatric Formulary Committee. British national formulary for children 2009. London, BMJ Group RBS Publishing, 2009.
WHO expert committee on the selection and use of essential medicines. The selection and use of essential medicines: report of
the WHO expert committee, October 2007 (including the model list of essential medicines for children). WHO Technical Report
Series, 2008, 950 (http://www.who.int/medicines/publications/essentialmeds_committeereports/TRS_950.pdf ).
WHO Model Formulary for Children 2010
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Dermatological medicines (topical)
Salicylic acid
ATC code: D01AE12
Solution: 5%
Salicylate toxicity may occur particularly with prolonged use, application to large areas or if
used on neonatal skin.
Indications: Hyperkeratotic conditions.
Contraindications: Broken or inflamed skin; children under 2 years.
Precautions: Significant peripheral neuropathy; patients with diabetes at risk of neuropathic ulcers;
avoid contact with eyes, mouth, anogenital region and mucous membranes; avoid application to
large areas.
Administration:
Hyperkeratotic skin disorders.
Topical:
Child over 2 years apply once daily, starting with lower strength preparations; gradually increase
strength until satisfactory response obtained.
Renal impairment: Dosage reduction not required.
Hepatic impairment: Dosage reduction not required.
Adverse effects: Common Local irritation, dermatitis, salicylism on excessive application or
treatment of large areas.
Interactions with other medicines (* indicates severe):
There are no known interactions involving a significant change in effect or where it is recommended
to avoid concomitant use.
Notes: Protect surrounding skin and avoid broken skin.
For use on warts, soak area in warm water for 5 minutes, dry area thoroughly and then apply
solution.
Salicyclic acid preparations are usually prepared extemporaneously using salicyclic acid powder.
Different strength preparations can be requested from compounding pharmacies.
Salicylic acid for the treatment of warts is usually prepared extemporaneously in an ointment using
powdered salicyclic acid; different strengths can be prepared as required.
References:
Hill SR, Kouimtzi M, Stuart MC, eds. WHO model formulary. Geneva, World Health Organization, 2008.
Paediatric Formulary Committee. British national formulary for children 2009. London, BMJ Group RBS Publishing, 2009.
WHO expert committee on the selection and use of essential medicines. The selection and use of essential medicines: report of
the WHO expert committee, October 2007 (including the model list of essential medicines for children). WHO Technical Report
Series, 2008, 950 (http://www.who.int/medicines/publications/essentialmeds_committeereports/TRS_950.pdf ).
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WHO Model Formulary for Children 2010
13.6 Scabicides and pediculicides
Urea
ATC code: D02AE01
Cream or ointment: 10%
Special Notes: Also known as carbamide.
Indications: Hydrating agent and keratolytic for dry, scaling and itching skin conditions.
Precautions: Avoid application to face or broken skin; avoid contact with eyes.
Administration:
Dry, scaling and itching skin conditions.
Topical:
Child apply twice daily, preferably while skin is still moist after washing or bathing.
Renal impairment: Dose reduction not required.
Hepatic impairment: Dose reduction not required.
Adverse effects: Common Transient stinging and local irritation.
Interactions with other medicines (* indicates severe):
There are no known interactions involving a significant change in effect or where it is recommended
to avoid concomitant use.
References:
Hill SR, Kouimtzi M, Stuart MC, eds. WHO model formulary. Geneva, World Health Organization, 2008.
McEvoy GK, ed. AHFS drug information. Bethesda, American Society of Health-System Pharmacists, 2009.
Paediatric Formulary Committee. British national formulary for children 2009. London, BMJ Group RBS Publishing, 2009.
WHO expert committee on the selection and use of essential medicines. The selection and use of essential medicines: report of
the WHO expert committee, October 2007 (including the model list of essential medicines for children). WHO Technical Report
Series, 2008, 950 (http://www.who.int/medicines/publications/essentialmeds_committeereports/TRS_950.pdf ).
13.6 Scabicides and pediculicides
Scabies
Scabies is caused by a mite, Sarcoptes scabiei, that burrows into the skin. It is readily transmitted from
person to person, and therefore the entire household must be treated at the same time to prevent
re-infection. Although it is not necessary to take a bath before treatment with an acaricide, all
clothing and bedding should be washed to prevent reinfection.
Pediculosis (lice)
Pediculosis of the head and body is caused by Pediculus humanus capitis and Pediculus humanus
corporis, respectively. Pubic lice (crab lice) infestations are caused by Pthirus pubis, which may also
affect the eyelashes and brows. All are transmitted by person-to-person contact, and may also
contaminate clothing and bedding. All members of the affected household (and sexual contacts)
must be treated at the same time, and clothing and bedding should be washed or exposed to the air;
in head lice infestations, hair brushes and combs should also be disinfected.
WHO Model Formulary for Children 2010
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13
Dermatological medicines (topical)
Benzyl benzoate
ATC code: P03AX01
Lotion: 25%
Special Notes: WHO age/weight restriction: > 2 years.
Not the treatment of choice for scabies. Permethrin is preferred.
This medicine is listed as a representative of its pharmacological class. Other medicines in the same
class may have similar clinical performance and may be selected for local formularies based on
availability and price. The information in this monograph only applies to the medicine listed here.
Indications: Scabies; head, body and pubic lice.
Precautions: Do not use on inflamed or broken skin; avoid contact with eyes and mucous
membranes.
Administration:
Scabies.
Topical:
Child over 2 years apply over whole body with a brush (except for face and head); repeat
without bathing on the following day and wash off 24 hours later. A third application may be
needed in some cases.
Head, body and pubic lice.
Topical:
Child over 2 years apply to affected area and wash off 24 hours later. Further applications are
possibly needed after 7 and 14 days.
Renal impairment: Dose reduction not required.
Hepatic impairment: Dose reduction not required.
Adverse effects: Local irritation, particularly in children.
Interactions with other medicines (* indicates severe):
There are no known interactions involving a significant change in effect or where it is recommended
to avoid concomitant use.
Notes: Can be irritant, especially in patients with eczema, so perform a 10 minute patch test prior to
body application.
Bathing in hot water prior to application is no longer recommended as it may increase absorption
and toxicity.
Scabies itch is often worse in first 24 hours.
Avoid eye contact.
Thoroughly clean all clothing and bed linen.
Exclude treated patients from contact with hairy toys.
References:
Hill SR, Kouimtzi M, Stuart MC, eds. WHO model formulary. Geneva, World Health Organization, 2008.
Kemp CA, McDowell JM. Paediatric pharmacopoeia. 13th ed. Melbourne, Royal Children’s Hospital, 2002.
Paediatric Formulary Committee. British national formulary for children 2009. London, BMJ Group RBS Publishing, 2009.
Sansom L, ed. Australian pharmaceutical formulary and handbook. 20th ed. Curtin, Pharmaceutical Society of Australia, 2006.
WHO expert committee on the selection and use of essential medicines. The selection and use of essential medicines: report of
the WHO expert committee, October 2007 (including the model list of essential medicines for children). WHO Technical Report
Series, 2008, 950 (http://www.who.int/medicines/publications/essentialmeds_committeereports/TRS_950.pdf ).
338
WHO Model Formulary for Children 2010
13.6 Scabicides and pediculicides
Permethrin
ATC code: P03AC04
Cream: 5%
Lotion: 1%
Indications: Scabies; head and body lice.
Precautions: Do not use on inflamed or broken skin; avoid contact with eyes; do not use on
secondarily infected skin.
Administration:
Scabies and body lice.
Topical:
Child over 2 months apply cream over whole body including face, neck, scalp and ears; wash off
after 8–12 hours; if hands washed with soap within 8 hours of application, treat again. Repeat
application after 7 days. Pay particular attention to the areas between the fingers and toes,
wrists, axillae, genital area and buttocks.
Head lice.
Topical:
Child over 2 months apply lotion to clean damp hair and rinse off after 10 minutes. Rinse
completely, then remove eggs and dead lice from hair with a fine comb, preferably made of
metal. Repeat in 7–10 days if necessary.
Renal impairment: No dosage reduction required.
Hepatic impairment: No dosage reduction required.
Adverse effects: Common Local irritation, pruritus, erythema, stinging.
Rare Rashes and oedema.
Interactions with other medicines (* indicates severe):
There are no known interactions involving a significant change in effect or where it is recommended
to avoid concomitant use.
Notes: Avoid mucous membranes.
Thoroughly clean all clothing and bed linen.
Exclude treated patients from contact with hairy toys.
References:
Hill SR, Kouimtzi M, Stuart MC, eds. WHO model formulary. Geneva, World Health Organization, 2008.
Kemp CA, McDowell JM. Paediatric pharmacopoeia. 13th ed. Melbourne, Royal Children’s Hospital, 2002.
Paediatric Formulary Committee. British national formulary for children 2009. London, BMJ Group RBS Publishing, 2009.
WHO expert committee on the selection and use of essential medicines. The selection and use of essential medicines: report of
the WHO expert committee, October 2007 (including the model list of essential medicines for children). WHO Technical Report
Series, 2008, 950 (http://www.who.int/medicines/publications/essentialmeds_committeereports/TRS_950.pdf ).
WHO Model Formulary for Children 2010
339

SECTION 14:
Diagnostic agents
14.1 Ophthalmic medicines.............................................................. 341
14.2 Radiocontrast media................................................................. 343
340
WHO Model Formulary for Children 2010
14.1 Ophthalmic medicines
14
Diagnostic agents
14.1 Ophthalmic medicines
For general information on the use of eye drops, see section 21.
Fluorescein is used in ocular diagnostic procedures and for locating damaged areas of the cornea due
to injury or disease.
Tropicamide is a short-acting, relatively weak mydriatic that dilates the pupil and paralyses the
ciliary muscle for up to 4–6 hours. It facilitates examination of the fundus of the eye. It carries the
potential to cause CNS disturbances in children in rare cases.
Fluorescein
ATC code: S01JA01
Eye drops: 1% (sodium salt)
Indications: Diagnosis of corneal abrasions, ulcers and foreign bodies.
Contraindications: Avoid use with soft contact lenses.
Precautions: Skilled tasks Transient blurring of vision, warn patient or carer about the risk of undertaking
tasks requiring attention or coordination, for example riding a bike or operating machinery, for several hours.
Dose:
Diagnosis of corneal abrasions, ulcers and foreign bodies.
Ocular instillation (into the eye):
Child all ages instil sufficient solution dropwise to stain damaged area.
Renal impairment: Dose reduction not necessary.
Hepatic impairment: Dose reduction not necessary.
Adverse effects: Common Temporarily stains skin, urine, tears and nasal secretions yellow, may
permanently stain soft contact lenses and clothing.
Interactions with other medicines (* indicates severe):
There are no known interactions where it is recommended to avoid concomitant use.
References:
Hill SR, Kouimtzi M, Stuart MC, eds. WHO model formulary. Geneva, World Health Organization, 2008.
Rossi S, ed. Australian medicines handbook. Adelaide, Australian Medicines Handbook, 2009.
Tropicamide
ATC code: S01FA06
Eye drops: 0.5%
Special Notes: This medicine is listed as a representative of its pharmacological class. Other
medicines in the same class may have similar clinical performance and may be selected for local
formularies based on availability and price. The information in this monograph only applies to the
medicine listed here.
Indications: Short-acting mydriatic which facilitates the examination of the fundus for diagnostic
ophthalmic procedures.
Contraindications: Glaucoma; adhesions between the iris and the lens.
WHO Model Formulary for Children 2010
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14
Diagnostic agents
Precautions: Hypermetropic (long-sighted) (may precipitate acute angle-closure glaucoma); darkly
pigmented iris (more resistant to pupillary dilatation; exercise caution to avoid overdosage).
Skilled tasks Transient blurring of vision; warn patient or carer about the risk of undertaking tasks requiring
attention or coordination, for example riding a bike or operating machinery, for several hours.
Dose:
Dilatation of pupil to examine the fundus.
Ocular instillation:
Child all ages 1 drop, 15–20 minutes before examination of eye.
Renal impairment: No dose reduction necessary.
Hepatic impairment: No dose reduction necessary.
Adverse effects: Common Intolerance to bright light (glare), stinging on instillation, blurred vision
(especially near vision), transient intraocular pressure elevation (especially in pre-existing ocular
hypertension).
Uncommon Persistent ocular irritation (mucus discharge, severe watering discharge, superficial
punctate keratopathy and characteristically no itch, punctal stenosis with prolonged use (years),
insomnia, drowsiness.
Rare Systemic toxicity, e.g. dryness of skin and mouth, fever, facial flushing, tachycardia, irritability,
disorientation, ataxia, visual hallucinations, incoherent speech, delirium, psychosis, seizures,
hyperactivity.
Interactions with other medicines (* indicates severe):
There are no known interactions where it is recommended to avoid concomitant use.
Notes: Neonates are at increased risk of systemic toxicity.
To minimize systemic absorption, apply finger pressure on the lacrimal sac for 1–2 minutes following
instillation of the ophthalmic solution.
Avoid contact of bottle tip with skin or eye.
References:
Hill SR, Kouimtzi M, Stuart MC, eds. WHO model formulary. Geneva, World Health Organization, 2008.
Hodding JH, Kraus DM, Taketomo CK. Pediatric dosage handbook. 16th ed. Hudson, Lexi-Comp, 2009.
Paediatric Formulary Committee. British national formulary for children 2009. London, BMJ Group RBS Publishing, 2009.
Rossi S, ed. Australian medicines handbook. Adelaide, Australian Medicines Handbook, 2009.
342
WHO Model Formulary for Children 2010
14.2 Radiocontrast media
14.2 Radiocontrast media
Radiographic contrast media are needed for defining soft tissue structures such as blood vessels,
stomach, bowel loops and body cavities that are not otherwise visualized by standard X-ray
examination. Radiocontrast media should only be used in specialized facilities under the supervision
of radiologists.
Barium sulfate
ATC code: V08BA01
Aqueous suspension
Indications: Radiographic examination of gastrointestinal tract.
Contraindications: Intestinal obstruction; intestinal perforation.
Precautions: Conditions which predispose to intestinal obstruction such as pyloric stenosis or
lesions; conditions with risk of perforation such as acute ulcerative colitis, diverticulitis, or after
rectal or colonic biopsy, sigmoidoscopy or radiotherapy; hereditary fructose intolerance (some
preparations may contain fructose).
Dose:
Radiographic examination of gastrointestinal tract.
Child all ages route and dosage depend on procedure and preparation used (consult
manufacturer’s literature and/or specialist physician/radiographer).
Renal impairment: Dose reduction not necessary.
Hepatic impairment: Dose reduction not necessary.
Adverse effects: Uncommon Constipation or diarrhoea.
Rare Gastrointestinal obstruction, appendicitis, abdominal cramps and bleeding, perforation of
bowel resulting in peritonitis, adhesions, granulomas, el