Faebinder

Slow Wave Smurf
10+ Year Member
May 24, 2006
3,507
10
Pennsylvania
Status
Attending Physician
I thought this might be interesting.


  • Study finds spike was mostly in medicines that haven't been officially OK'd for kids
  • Study suggests it's likely drugs are being over-prescribed for both U.S. and U.K. kids
  • Reasons for the increases are uncertain

By contrast, an earlier U.S. study found that nearly 45 American children out of 10,000 used the drugs in 2001 versus more than 23 per 10,000 in 1996.
I'm wondering if it is being prescribed more for autism and ADD or is schizophrenia becoming more prevalent.
 

TheWowEffect

The Official WowRator
Moderator Emeritus
10+ Year Member
Mar 30, 2005
670
10
Look around yourself
Status
Attending Physician
I think it's mostly off-label use for agitation associated with ODD and mood disorders.
 

OldPsychDoc

Senior Curmudgeon
Moderator Emeritus
10+ Year Member
Dec 2, 2004
6,231
3,836
57
Left of Center
Status
Attending Physician
It's because of video games and teh internets.
 

TheWowEffect

The Official WowRator
Moderator Emeritus
10+ Year Member
Mar 30, 2005
670
10
Look around yourself
Status
Attending Physician
Oh! you forgot to add the TV and the violent movies.
 

BabyPsychDoc

10+ Year Member
Apr 22, 2007
622
0
The City of Dreaming Spires
Status
Resident [Any Field]
The article already stated that the increase is due to ADHD and autism.

In the UK, all and sundry are not allowed to prescribe most psychoactive drugs to kids. Even Ritalin must be initially approved by a child psych attending, though it may be continued then by a GP after the pt is stabilized on a certain dose. Hence, limited prescription in the UK compared to the US.

Parents nowadays are more "pharm" oriented than they were a decade ago, demanding a quick fix (or a better fix) with a pill. Hence, increased use of the meds across the globe.
 

whopper

Former jolly good fellow
15+ Year Member
Feb 8, 2004
6,869
1,641
Visit site
Status
Attending Physician
IMHO the psychiatric overmedication of children could become the next issue about 10 years from now where we look back and think WTF were we doing?

I rant about this from time to time but just because some kid is not getting straight As & not on the fast road to Harvard, doesn't necessitate medication. This example is an extreme but it clarifies my point. Some parents, guardians & teachers are looking to a pill to solve their problems, & some doctors are too willing to give in to a parents' demands.

In defense of the doctors, you really can't go by much more than the parents. Oh yes, you could have them fill out one of those ADHD questionaires, also give it to the teachers, but often times they too want the kid medicated.

Often times I've speculated if the parents & teachers, wanting the medicate the child intentionally exagerates the results of those questionaires because it'll tip the liklihood that a doc will medicate the child. An unfortunate incident happened to a friend of mine where a teacher diagnoised a child with ADHD & demanded the child be medicated. Turned out that teacher was wrong & well out of her authority & expertise to diagnose & reccomend a med.

The doc often time cannot rely on the kid. Almost every kid I've seen, when they walk into that doctor's office, they freeze up. They don't know if they need a medication.

My own reccomendation is for a mental health specialist to monitor the child in the home environment for 3 days, or for that child to be on some type of camera surveillance for several days straight, and from that surveillance, have to provide objective data to support a dx that warrants medication. Then after the medication starts, more surveillance to see if the med actually causes improvement. As far as I know there is no avenue in managed care that covers this. Someone correct me if I'm wrong.

http://www.foxnews.com/story/0,2933,261345,00.html
Rebecca _ who had been diagnosed with attention deficit hyperactivity and bipolar disorder, or what used to be called manic depression _ died Dec. 13 of an overdose of prescribed drugs, and her parents have been arrested on murder charges, accused of intentionally overmedicating their daughter to keep her quiet and out of their hair.
This was an unfortunate case where a 2 year old child was diagnosed with ADHD & Bipolar. She eventually died from her meds at age 4. I still don't know any justification to dx a child at age 2 with those disorders. (anyone care to enlighten me? I'm all ears.)

And yes, I do believe ADHD exists & that there is a place for psyche meds in children. Just that children shouldn't be given meds just because the parents want it.
 

Chrismander

Junior Member
10+ Year Member
7+ Year Member
Apr 30, 2006
197
1
Status
Attending Physician
The article already stated that the increase is due to ADHD and autism.

In the UK, all and sundry are not allowed to prescribe most psychoactive drugs to kids. Even Ritalin must be initially approved by a child psych attending, though it may be continued then by a GP after the pt is stabilized on a certain dose. Hence, limited prescription in the UK compared to the US.
Man, that sounds like a great system. I almost wonder whether you folks on the other side of the pond should take the next step and not allow GP's to be the first to prescribe antipsychotics or mood stabilizers to any adult, but still allow follow-up refills once they're stable. I've seen a few folks on Zyprexa started by their primary for bipolar, (or maybe "bipolar"?) without a real psych interview/exam first. scary...