In August 2015, the Federal Drug Administration approved extended-release Oxycontin as an appropriate pain medication for children between the ages of 11 and 17 in New Mexico and across the nation. The agency specified that the medication should only be used in situations when a child needs treatment around the clock with dosages above 20 mg per day and if other treatments are not effective. The approval came after studying 155 children who were treated with dosages of more than 20 mg per day of oxycodone for five straight days. Adverse reactions included headaches, constipation, nausea, vomiting and pyrexia.
According to requests from the FDA, additional testing will be conducted regarding possible wrong doses for children in this age bracket. Further studies will assess the possibility of accidental injury, medication errors, respiratory depression, misuse and accidental exposure for children, especially if they are younger than 11 or if they do not meet the specified criteria.
The federal government emphasized that the drug was not appropriate for any children who take less than 20 mg daily. The FDA has further ordered that any negative effects for children younger than 17 be reported in order to track possible adverse results.
Medication errors can be especially common when a new drug is prescribed for children. The resulting errors could result in serious injuries or even death for patients. Parents who believe that their child has suffered from the administration of an incorrect drug or a dosage mistake may want to speak with a medical malpractice attorney to determine if there is any recourse for the recovery of the damages that have been sustained.