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ASPET: Weight Associated With Drug Metabolism in Children

Study assesses enzyme activity in obese, normal-weight kids using caffeine and dextromethorphan

WEDNESDAY, April 28 (HealthDay News) -- Obese children may metabolize drugs differently than children with a healthy weight, according to research presented at the annual meeting of the American Society for Pharmacology and Experimental Therapeutics, held April 24 to 28 in Anaheim, Calif.

Manoj Chiney and L'Aurelle Johnson, Ph.D., of the University of Minnesota in Minneapolis, analyzed data from nine African-American children with a healthy weight and six obese African-American children, aged 6 to 10 years. The researchers assessed drug metabolizing enzyme activity with regard to caffeine and dextromethorphan.

According to the researchers, the obese children metabolized both substances at different rates than the normal-weight children. Median CYP 3A metabolic urine ratios of dextromethorphan/3-methoxymorphinan were 2.08 and 9.21 in healthy weight and obese children, respectively. CYP 2D6 metabolic urine ratios of dextromethorphan/dextrorphan were 0.0378 and 0.1839, respectively. In addition, obese children trended toward a higher caffeine oral clearance than normal-weight children.

"We have known for years that drugs metabolize differently in obese adults as compared to healthy weight adults. But, there has been very little, if any, information available that specifically addresses the consequences of obesity on drug metabolism in children. Without this information, our ability to identify optimal drug dosing in children often relies on trial and error approaches," Johnson said in a statement.

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