In many cases, children are given adult medications that have been modified for their use. This can be done by either cutting a tablet or crushing it and suspending it in apple juice, or water, for administration. However, because these medications have not been approved by Health Canada there are no data to support how these alterations might affect its efficacy or safety. Development of age-appropriate medicines for children requires not only an understanding of their preferences for different formulations, flavours and textures of products but also an understanding of the physiological and biochemical differences between children and adults. Dosing in children may be quite dissimilar to adults due to differences in metabolism depending on the child’s developmental stage.
Oftentimes, pediatric formulations are available in other countries such as the United States and Europe, yet Canadian children do not have access to these child-friendly formulations. The reasons that Canada lags behind in this regard, is that our market is small and the regulatory and reimbursement systems are perceived as complex for companies to market their pediatric products.
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