Published online Feb 8, 2013. doi: 10.5409/wjcp.v2.i1.1
Revised: December 15, 2012
Accepted: January 18, 2013
Published online: February 8, 2013
Drugs are very strong tools used to improve outcome in neonates. Despite this fact and in contrast to tailored perfusion equipment, incubators or ventilators for neonates, we still commonly use drug formulations initially developed for adults. We would like to make the point that drug formulations given to neonates need to be tailored for this age group. Besides the obvious need to search for active compounds that take the pathophysiology of the newborn into account, this includes the dosage and formulation. The dosage or concentration should facilitate the administration of low amounts and be flexible since clearance is lower in neonates with additional extensive between-individual variability. Formulations need to be tailored for dosage variability in the low ranges and also to the clinical characteristics of neonates. A specific focus of interest during neonatal drug development therefore is a need to quantify and limit excipient exposure based on the available knowledge of their safety or toxicity. Until such tailored vials and formulations become available, compounding practices for drug formulations in neonates should be evaluated to guarantee the correct dosing, product stability and safety.