The rising obesity rates and an increase in the average weight of children means that the dosage for penicillin antibiotics should be reviewed, a group of British experts said.
Health experts from King's College London and St George's, University of London said that the average weight of children has been increasing in recent years and said that this change has to be taken into account and the dosage for the drug should be reviewed. The study has been published in the British Medical Journal.
According to the guidelines used in the setting of dosage, a one year old baby is assumed to weigh around 10kg, a two year old at 13kg, a five year old at 18kg and a 10 year old at 30kg. However recent survey in England revealed that the average weight of a 5 year old is 21kg and that of a 10 year old has increased to 37kg.
King's College London's Dr Paul Long, who participated in the review study, said that this rise in weight should be taken into account for the drugs to remain effective. "Children's average size and weight are slowly but significantly changing, so what may have been adequate doses of penicillin 50 years ago are potentially not enough today", he said.