Paediatric Palliative Care Guidelines
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Edition/Revision: 1.0

Anorexia - Management - Archived

  • Identify possible causes and treat appropriately
  • Reassure parents that an inactive child will have a reduced requirement for food.
  • Alter food:
    • Use smaller portions
    • Use smaller plates
    • Encourage more frequent meals
    • Allow parents to give their children fast foods
    • Be flexible with timings of meals
    • Make food less effort to eat – mash, soups etc.
  • Involve dietitian early
  • Use food supplements but remember they often do not taste good but can be made more palatable by serving cold.
  • Anabolic steroids such as Prednisolone or Dexamethasone can be used in short 5-7 day bursts to increase appetite.  Unfortunately their side effects, particularly those of body distortion, severely limit their longer term use.
  • Other medical stimulants of appetite include some antipsychotics and other psychoactive medications.  Again, the adverse effects of these are often significant and they should be used with great caution in children.  There is a risk of prescribing medications to a child in order to treat his or her parents’ need to feed the child.
Edition/Revision: 1.0
Created 18 Jul 2013 - Archived
Validated 19 Jul 2013 by Ian Back
Last modified 21 Jan 2023
Fri 27 Jan 2023 07:31:28 GMT
Last modified 21 Jan 2023