Help make medicines safer in children and during pregnancy

Under its Yellow Card Scheme, the Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency (MHRA) wants to encourage wider reporting of the side effects experienced by patients taking medicines.

All medicines can cause unwanted side effects. Many side effects are mild, but some can be serious and even life-threatening. That’s why it is important to report suspected side effects, especially in infants and children, as well as during pregnancy and when breastfeeding. Children and infants can react differently to medicines than adults. It’s important for parents and carers to read the medicine’s patient information leaflet and ensure they are giving it in the right dose. Dr Max Davie, Officer for Health Promotion for the Royal College of Paediatrics and Child Health (RCPCH), said:

Despite some children sharing a health condition, a one size fits all approach to medicine does not work when prescribing their medication. It’s important that healthcare professionals work with children and their families to report all side effects, no matter how big or small, to ensure children have access to high quality treatment options that are best suited to their needs.

Nadia Saber says…
We strongly believe it is important for doctors to look at the “whole picture” and not just concentrate on one or two symptoms or side effects. Failing to obtain a complete history from a child or their parents, or ignoring parts of the history which the doctor thinks are less relevant, can have life-changing consequences for the child. Doctors should be careful not to simply prescribe what they consider the “normal” medicine without considering whether it might not be the correct course of
action for that child”.

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