NIH-funded study to evaluate drugs prescribed to children with COVID-19
Researchers funded by the National Institutes of Health have launched an effort to evaluate drugs prescribed to treat COVID-19 in infants, children and adolescents across the country. The study leverages an existing clinical trial that examines drugs that are prescribed off-label to children for a variety of medical conditions. Because many drugs have not been tested specifically for use in children, physicians will often prescribe drugs off-label to children because they lack an alternative, approved treatment.
“As we search for safe and effective therapies for COVID-19, we want to make sure that we do not overlook the needs of our youngest patients who may respond differently to these drugs, compared to adults,” said Diana W. Bianchi, M.D., director of NIH’s Eunice Kennedy Shriver National Institute of Child Health and Human Development (NICHD), which oversees the project.
Researchers will investigate several drugs currently given to children diagnosed with COVID-19, including antiviral and anti-inflammatory drugs. Products will be added or removed from the list as researchers learn more about the treatment needs of patients with COVID-19. The study is not a clinical trial with a control group. Rather, healthcare providers who are already treating patients with drugs on the list may enroll patients whose parents or guardians have given their consent. The study is called Pharmacokinetics of Understudied Drugs Administered to Children Per Standard of Care.