Medical History Mysteries: Analgesics for pediatric patients

March 24, 2022
Drs. Pamela Maragliano-Muniz and Tom Viola talk about how to treat pain in children, proper dosing of acetaminophen, and other considerations when prescribing analgesics for pediatric patients.

What analgesics can we safely prescribe to children, and what should we not prescribe?

In previous issues of Medical History Mysteries, we’ve covered local anesthetics for pediatric patients, how to safely treat your breastfeeding patients, and the safest local anesthetic for pregnant patients.

Now, how do we treat kids for pain?

The first thing is to realize that children are very resilient; they don’t necessarily need as much pain management as an adult patient might. Overall, they are more tolerant of pain than we are as adults.

So, while this is a good starting point, we certainly don’t want to rule out the use of analgesics when they are deemed clinically necessary. My first and only go-to is acetaminophen. But how do we determine the dose, and what dangers should we be cautious about?

In this episode, we’ll discuss safe prescribing of analgesics for pediatric dental patients, negative aspects to be aware of, proper dosing for acetaminophen, and whether we should ever consider using NSAIDs or opioids to treat pain in our youngest patients.

Absolutely critical is, we need to be the experts our patients are looking for us to be. Above all, we must be conservative with our recommendations and prescriptions, especially for the pediatric population.

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Editor’s note: This article first appeared in Through the Loupes newsletter, a publication of the Endeavor Business Media Dental Group. Read more articles and subscribe to Through the Loupes.