Medication Use in the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit
12 July 2013
14 October 2013
17 December 2013 (online)
Objective The aim of the article is to provide an update on medication use in infants admitted to the neonatal intensive care unit (NICU) in the United States and examine how use has changed over time.
Study Design We performed a retrospective review (2005–2010) of a large prospectively collected administrative database.
Result Medications most commonly administered during the study period were ampicillin, gentamicin, caffeine citrate, vancomycin, beractant, furosemide, fentanyl, dopamine, midazolam, and calfactant (56–681 exposures per 1,000 infants). Those with the greatest relative increase in use included azithromycin, sildenafil, and milrinone. Medications with the greatest relative decrease in use included theophylline, metoclopramide, and doxapram.
Conclusion Medication use in the NICU has changed substantially over time, and only 35% of the most commonly prescribed medications are Food and Drug Administration –approved in infants.
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