Friday, June 16, 2006

Prescriptions for anti-psychotic drugs on children are on the rise

This New York Times article states that psychiatrists are now prescribing more prescription drugs to children then ever before - antipsychotic medications were prescribed to 1,438 per 100,000 children and adolescents in 2002, up from 275 per 100,000 in the two-year period from 1993 to 1995. Also, researchers have found that the total number of visits for people below the age of 21 that resulted in prescriptions for anti-psychotic drugs increased to 1,224,000 in 2002 from 201,000 1993 to 1995.

Dr. John Olfson, a professor of clinical psychiatry at Columbia University said, "to me the most striking thing was that nearly one in five psychiatric visits for young people included a prescription for antipsychotics."

These anti-psychotics have not been tested for children, and the known side effects for adults are increased heart problems and susceptibility to diabetes. They can also result in a person getting
muscle contractions, Parkinsons and Tardive dyskinesia.

Dr. John March, a professor of child and adolescent psychiatry at Duke University said: "We are using these medications and don't know how they work, if they work, or at what cost. It amounts to a huge experiment with the lives of American kids, and what it tells us is that we've got to do something other than we're doing now" to assess the drugs' overall impact.

Don't let your child be put on untested drugs with possible life-long side-effects. Check out for more information, and do your own research when it comes to psychiatric drugs.

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