Nerve Agent Treatment Approved for Children

Also counters insecticide poisoning

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FRIDAY, June 20, 2003 (HealthDayNews) -- The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has approved a new child dose of The Atropen (atropine) for children exposed to certain nerve agents or insecticides. The Atropen has been approved since 1973 for use in adults.

The treatment is to be administered only by trained personnel. It is not a preventive and should not be considered a protection against nerve agent or insecticide exposure, the agency warns.

The newly approved doses included 0.5 milligrams for children between 15 pounds and 40 pounds, 1 milligrams for kids between 40 pounds and 90 pounds, and 2 milligrams for anyone who weighs more than 90 pounds. For victims of severe nerve agent exposure, doses up to three times the recommended amounts may be given, the FDA says.

The Atropen, made by Meridian Medical Technologies, may cause side effects including tachycardia (fast heart rate), dry mouth, decreased sweating and decreased intestinal function.

For more about the Atropen, visit Meridian's Web site. To learn more about nerve agents, check the Rhode Island Department of Health.

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