What’s in the News: Routine Probiotic Use in Preterm Infants Not Supported by Evidence

Despite an increase in the number of preterm infants receiving probiotics in the U.S. and Canada, current evidence does not support the routine, universal administration of such products, particularly in those with a birth weight under 1,000 grams, according to a new clinical report from the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP). Published in the June issue of Pediatrics, the report cites the lack of pharmaceutical-grade probiotic products regulated by the Food and Drug Administration, conflicting data on safety and efficacy, and potential for harm in a highly vulnerable population. Centers making the decision to administer probiotics to preterm infants should discuss the potential risks and benefits with parents and should strongly consider a formalized informed consent process. The report was authored by AAP’s Committee on Fetus and Newborn. Media coverage included articles by Medscape Medical News and AAP News.

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