Current Content
Volume 35, Number 6
November/December 2009

Pharmacokinetic Considerations in the Treatment of Pediatric Behavioral Issues
Karen M. Theoktisto

Topic: A review of psychopharmacology and the genetic considerations with pharmokinetics is followed through a case study to demonstrate the optimal clinical treatment of the child with pediatric behavioral issues.
Purpose: The knowledge of the pharmacokinetic and pharmacodynamic consequences of medications in clinical practice is of the utmost importance for all pediatric nurse practitioners. Drug interactions occur when the efficacy or toxicity of a medication is changed with the addition of another medication or dosage change.
Sources: An integrative literature review from nursing, medicine, psychology, and child psychiatry.
Conclusions: The current climate of a child psychiatric specialist shortage leaves the charge of this vulnerable population in the hands of the primary care provider. Pediatric primary care now requires a clear understanding of the psychostimulant and non-stimulant medications, thorough screening of each child, appropriate dosage regulation, and close monitoring of all outcomes. It is imperative that pediatric nurse practitioners understand the pharmacological interactions and safety in the treatment of children with behavioral issues.