Top 10 common drugs used in pediatrics and their Uses

It is natural for kids to get sick from time to time, even if you try to prevent them by following all the guidelines. If your child has an illness that is caused by a bacterial infection, specialists at your pediatric hospital will probably prescribe antibiotics for children. If the cause is viral, antibiotics don’t work. But with so many drugs available and having long and complicated names, it is hard to figure out exactly what they are taking. Your child’s pediatrician can always help you with any doubts you may have about your child’s health and what they are prescribing. You can get an idea about some of the commonly prescribed pediatric medications in this list of common pediatric drugs and doses.


Amoxicillin is one of the most common drugs used in pediatrics. It is quite an inexpensive antibiotic that is well-tolerated by most children. It is available in many brand names and generic options. This medication is given orally – usually in liquid form for young children. Amoxicillin is also available in tablet or capsule form for adults and older children. Amoxicillin is used to treat strep throat, ear infections, sinus infections, certain infections of the urinary tract, the rash phase of Lyme disease, childhood pneumonia, and a variety of other infections. Possible side effects of this common pediatric drug include nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, headache, and changes in taste.

Augmentin (amoxicillin clavulanate)

Augmentin is a combination of the antibiotic amoxicillin and potassium clavulanate. Potassium clavulanate is an enzyme that helps the antibiotic fight bacteria that might be resistant to antibiotics. Augmentin is used to treat the same illnesses as amoxicillin, but it might also be prescribed to kill bacteria in infected bites and infections of the mouth. Side effects of augmentin include diarrhea, upset stomach, vomiting, or a mild skin rash may occur.


Albuterol is a type of drug called a bronchodilator that is used to treat respiratory issues by widening the air passages of the lungs. Albuterol is commonly prescribed to relieve symptoms of asthma. This common drug on the pediatric drugs list is often administered by a metered-dose inhaler or in a nebulizer. Even though it is not often used anymore, Albuterol is also available as a syrup.


The antibiotic cephalexin is a part of pediatric doses of common drugs given to treat things like ear infections, respiratory infections, urinary tract infections, and skin infections like impetigo. It is available in some brand names and generic medication at lower costs. Side effects of cephalexin include heartburn, fatigue, agitation, dizziness, confusion, and rectal itching.


Like most commonly prescribed pediatric medications, azithromycin is an antibiotic. Although it is sold under the brand name Zithromax, Azithromycin is also available as a generic medication. This common pediatric drug is usually prescribed for ear infections, sinus infections, and throat infections. It is also sometimes prescribed for children who are allergic to penicillin. Common side effects of azithromycin include nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, abdominal pain, and headache. This drug is available as a tablet, liquid, and eye drops.

You must adhere to the dosage of the antibiotic medication and complete it as your pediatrician directs it. You should contact your pediatrician in case of any doubts or if you notice any side effects. The medication will not take effect if you do not complete the whole course. Antibiotics do not work on viruses. For this reason, they are ineffective for colds, runny nose, sore throats (not affected by bacteria), the flu, and other viral illnesses. You should also be careful not to give antibiotics that they are allergic to.

Antibiotic Resistance

Overexposure to antibiotics makes bacteria resistant to antibiotics. It can happen when antibiotics are taken too often. The bacteria slowly learns to protect itself against the drug. As we use and over-use antibiotics, and bacteria build resistance, people will start passing around germs that have evolved resistance to these medications. This makes antibiotics less and less effective over time. Overuse of antibiotics can also disrupt the balance of gut microbes (bacteria in the intestines and respiratory tract), causing harm to your health. 

One way to minimize the risk of antibiotic resistance is for specialists to provide the narrowest spectrum antibiotic available to treat the infection. Testing a culture from the throat or urine will help identify the specific bacteria so that pediatricians can prescribe specific antibiotics.

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