Introduction: Pharmacologic pain management in newborns and infants is often based on limited scientific data. To close the knowledge gap, drug-related research in this population is increasingly supported by the authorities, but remains very challenging. This review summarizes the challenges of analgesic studies in newborns and infants on morphine and paracetamol (acetaminophen). Areas covered: Aspects such as the definition and multimodal character of pain are reflected to newborn infants. Specific problems addressed include defining pharmacodynamic endpoints, performing clinical trials in this population and assessing developmental changes in both pharmacokinetics and pharmacodynamics. Expert commentary: Neonatal and infant pain management research faces two major challenges: lack of clear biomarkers and very heterogeneous pharmacokinetics and pharmacodynamics of analgesics. There is a clear call for integral research addressing the multimodality of pain in this population and further developing population pharmacokinetic models towards physiology-based models.

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Expert Review of Clinical Pharmacology
Department of Pediatric Surgery

Baarslag, M., Allegaert, K., van den Anker, J., Knibbe, C., van Dijk, M., Simons, S., & Tibboel, D. (Dick). (2017). Paracetamol and morphine for infant and neonatal pain; still a long way to go?. Expert Review of Clinical Pharmacology (Vol. 10, pp. 111–126). doi:10.1080/17512433.2017.1254040