September #39 : Uncertain-teens - by Lark Lands, PhD

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Table of Contents

Talking 'Bout Their Generation

Youth to Youth

Bargaining Power

Growing Up in Public

Liver Worst

Family Tree

Blood Lines


To the Editor

And on the 7th Day...

In the Sack

Vertex Vortex

Pump and Grind

Baby Gap

You Can’t Touch This

Aloe Can You Go?

Death by Bureaucracy

Bubonic Tonic

Say What

Say What

All Apologies

Plenty of Nothing

Rough Cuts

POZ Picks

Spin and Needles

No Miss Manners

HIV Confidential

Making a Scene


Presidential Nemesis

Are the Kids Alright?

Kid Gloves

Prime-Time Lives

Don’t Make Me Over

Confessions of a Jerk

Life Lessons

Quality Time

Valuable Kitchen Tool

Better Safe Than Sushi

The Heart of the Matter

To C or Not to C

The Circle Game

Youth on Drugs


Making the Grade

Finger on the Pulses

Fountain of Youth

Where to find it

Reality Check


Most Popular Lessons

The HIV Life Cycle


Herpes Simplex Virus

Syphilis & Neurosyphilis

Treatments for Opportunistic Infections (OIs)

What is AIDS & HIV?

Hepatitis & HIV

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September 1998


by Lark Lands, PhD

Drug dosage divergences

Do HIV meds work the same in adolescents as in adults? Unfortunately, the knowledge base on this question is still in its infancy. Very few of the clinical trials done to date have included teenagers, and even those that did had no more than a handful. The current view—based on minimal studies—is that there are no real metabolic issues that would require treatment in most teens to be different from that in adults. In general, dosage recommendations are identical, and all the drugs approved for adults are also approved for adolescents.

However, Hoffman notes that an evaluation procedure called the Tanner system should be used to identify the stage of puberty, since that will affect dosing (see “Making the Grade,” p. 108). The development of breasts, pubic hair and genitalia is visually assessed, and those defined as Tanner stage 1 (prepubertal) or Tanner stage 2 (early changes) are dosed as children. Those in Tanner stages 4 or 5 are dosed as adults. For Tanner stage 3 (transitional period), dosage depends on whether or not the growth spurt has occurred. Unfortunately, not all clinicians are aware of the need to do this careful staging, so dosing mistakes can result.

A federal study of adolescents with HIV, now enrolling in 13 cities, may eventually shed light on the many unanswered questions about whether—and how—both the disease and its treatments affect this age group differently from adults.

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