Drug Dosing in Childhood Obesity

Photo by Charlein Gracia on Unsplash

Childhood obesity is a common and causes substantial morbidity. 14 million children in the US are obese and ~20-40% currently receive at least one prescribed drug. The majority of drugs prescribed to obese children lack dosing information specific to this population, which can result in therapeutic failures or dangerous toxicities. Obesity-related physiologic changes result in important alterations in drug disposition and no single drug-specific property, such as lipophilicity, or body size measure reliably predicts those pharmacokinetic (PK) changes. Consequently, when prescribing drugs to obese children, health care providers are guessing the correct dose.

The development of effective dosing strategies for obese children represents an urgent, unmet public health need. This proposal will evaluate advanced PK and statistical modeling techniques that take into account the multitude of factors that affect drug PK to optimize dosing in this population.

This research project is supported by an Early Career Award from the Thrasher Research Fund.