There have been many new medications approved for use in Pediatrics the last few years. Should you be in a rush to try a new medication? If older medications aren't working for your child, or if the new medication provides more benefits, such as the new once a day medications for ADHD, then yes, you might want to try a new medication. Keep in mind that new medications are often more expensive than older medications, some of which may now be generic, and that insurance companies are not always quick to pay for newer medications.
More good news for parents and children (and Pediatricians) is that the FDA has decided to not suspend the Pediatric Drug Rule which requires drug companies to take steps to ensure drugs are properly labeled for pediatric use based on scientific studies. It had previously been widely reported that the FDA would suspend the Pediatric Drug Rule for two years.
- Benzaclin: a topical gel that contains clindamycin (an antibiotic) and benzoyl peroxide 5% and is indicated for the treatment of acne. This new form no longer needs to be refrigerated.
- Adderall: new strengths of Adderall tablets are now available, including 7.5mg, 12.5mg and 15mg tablets. This makes it easier for parents who often had to cut up larger tablets.
- Adderall: a generic version of Adderall is now available.
- Adderall XR: a once a day, extended release form of Adderall is available as a 10, 20 and 30mg capsule.
- Concerta: a once a day, extended release tablet form of methylphenidate (Ritalin) is available in an 18mg, 36mg, and 54mg tablet.
- Focalin: an short acting stimulant with the active ingredient dexmethylphenidate hydrocholoride, which is also found in methylphenidate (Ritalin). It is available in an 2.5mg, 5mg, and 10mg tablet.
- Metadate CD: a 20mg extended release capsule form of methylphenidate. It includes an immediate release and extended release form of medication, which gives a biphasic pattern with a peak in the am and another 4.5 hours after the dose is given.
- Clarinex: new from the makers of Claritin, Clarinex (desloratadine) is an antihistamine indicated to treat perennial allergic rhinitis (year round allergies, chronic idiopathic urticaria (hives), and seasonal allergic rhinitis in adults and children over age 12 years. It is currently only available as a 5mg tablet.
- Zyrtec D 12 hour contains 5mg of Zyrtec plus 120mg of psuedoephedrine.
- Augmentin ES 600: is a new formulation of Augmentin approved to treat recurrent or persistent ear infections in children.
- Amoxil 400: new formulations of Amoxicillin in a syrup and chewable tablet form and which can be given just twice a day.
- Zithromax 1-dose: or azithromycin is now approved to be given as a single dose (30mg/kg) to treat ear infections in children. A three day regimen (10mg/kg) was also approved.
- Advair Diskus: available in three strengths, 100/50, 250/50, and 500/50, Advair is a dry powder inhaler that contains fluticasone propionate (Flovent) and salmeterol (Serevent) and is indicated for the treatment of persistent asthma.
- Foradil is a new long acting bronchodilator for prevention of asthma symptoms and exercise induced asthma.
- Pulmicort Respules: or budesonide, this is a new suspension form of this steroid medication that can be used with a nebulizer for children over 12 months of age for the treatment of persistent asthma.
- Protopic: or tacrolimus, an immunomodulator ointment that in the 0.03% strength is indicated for the treatment of moderate to severe atopic dermatitis (eczema) when other therapies have not been effective.
- Elidel: or pimercrolimus, is another non-steroidal cream that in the 1% strength is indicated for the treatment of mild to moderate atopic dermatitis (eczema) in children over 2 years of age.
- DHA and ARA: many food are now being supplemented with DHA and ARA to make them more like breastmilk, including the infant formulas Enfamil LIPIL and Similac Advance and First Advantage baby foods made by Beech-Nut.
- Children's Motrin dye-free: motrin (ibuprofen) is now available in a dye-free formulation.
- FlavoRX: An flavoring that can be added to many oral medications to make them taste better.
- Orapred: A corticosteroid with prednisolone in a grape flavor and is supposedly better tasting than other brands (such as Prelone). Commonly used to treat asthma exacerbations, poison ivy and other steroid responsive conditions.