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Rapid Rise Seen in Antipsychotic Prescriptions for Children and Teens with ADHD

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Antipsychotic treatment has increased rapidly among young people in the United States, with much of the increase coming from prescriptions for disruptive behavior disorders such as attention deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), Reuters reports.

In the Archives of General Psychiatry, the researchers report that antipsychotic drugs are prescribed during almost one in three visits children and teenagers make to psychiatrists in the United States, an increase from one in 11 in the 1990s.

Most of the antipsychotics are not prescribed for conditions approved by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA). In children and teenagers, antipsychotics are indicated for irritability associated with autistic disorder, tics and vocal utterances of Tourette syndrome and bipolar mania, and schizophrenia.

Researcher Dr. Mark Olfson, of Columbia University in New York, found that about 90 percent of antipsychotic prescriptions written during office visits between 2005 and 2009 were “off label,” or prescribed for a condition that has not been approved by the FDA. The article notes the effectiveness of antipsychotic drugs for ADHD is uncertain. The drugs are associated with weight gain and diabetes.

“There is very little question as to whether these drugs are being prescribed in kids much more than they used to,” Olfson told Reuters. He added he hopes parents will ask doctors more questions about antipsychotics, and whether there are other treatment options, such as parent management training, to reduce aggressive and disruptive behavior in children.

4 Responses to this article

  1. Avatar of Jessica
    Jessica / August 19, 2012 at 11:03 am

    ADHD is a gift if thought how to use it properly you can accomplish and learn at a rapid rate the problem is most parents are to lazy and just shove drugs down there kids throat saying its a “disability” not to mention half the kids they “diagnose” are just kids that have no structure at home and not infact adhd ..Its very sad and only forming patterns of addiction they will struggle with the rest of there lives

  2. Marcia Kirschbaum / August 10, 2012 at 8:10 pm

    Same here Denise. My son was diagnosed with ADD at age 6 and they tried to push drugs. We did exactly what you did and everything went fine. He did have a bit more trouble focusing again when he started Jr. High, so we did Neurofeedback and never had a problem again. That same kid got addicted to his pain pills after a shoulder surgery at age 17 and we got him off in no time flat with high dose nutrition and exercise. A great therapy for all “mental illness” from depression to schizophrenia to addiction and many other chronic illnesses I Amino Acid IV Therapy. This drug industry is so out of control. Every time you see something like this latest mass shooting in Colorado and everyone starts screaming about guns, what they should be screaming about is psychotropic drugs – every notorious and unexplainable mass shooting incident like this, Virginia Tech, Littleton, CO, our soldier escalating murder and suicide rates -they were all on or had abruptly stopped this type of drug. The pharmaceutical industry should be locked away instead of the people they purposely got addicted to drugs through their crazy scientist schemes, who are locked up by the thousands. What a disgusting bunch.

  3. maxwood / August 8, 2012 at 9:08 pm

    I would like to suggest that the big money corporate oligarchy behind “antipsychotics” also uses $$ bought politicians to head off legalization of cannabis which, used in conjunction with the common sense exercise, diet etc. mentioned by Denise, might turn out to be more advantageous than the erudite chemistry “whence cometh their profit margin”.

  4. Avatar of Denise Miller
    Denise Miller / August 8, 2012 at 12:48 pm

    After extensive and expensive testing, medical professionals diagnosed my 3rd grade son with ADHD and recommended medication. Instead, we restricted his sugar intake, eliminated all red dye and gluten from his diet, made sure he had daily movement/exercise and the proper amount of sleep. Very quickly ALL his ADHD symptoms disappeared! He graduated from high school with honors as a healthy young man. It is ridiculous and wrong that our society does not pursue common sense methods to treat illness. Proactive prevention is the key to optimal health, safety and well being!

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