Alarming Rise in Anti-Psychotic Meds For Youth

Antipsychotic-drug treatment of children and teenagers seen by office-based physicians increased dramatically between 1993 and 2002. In the United States, the number of office prescriptions of antipsychotic medications for young people increased from about 201,000 in 1993 to 1,224,000 in 2002.

Nearly all prescriptions were for the newest such medications- clozapine, risperidone, olanzapine, and quetiapine- which can produce weight gain and diabetes. The FDA has yet to endorse any of the new antipsychotic for use by children. Youths who received the drugs typically had diagnoses of conduct disorder or other behavior problems; mood disorders, developmental disorders or mental retardation/ or psychotic disorders.

Terry Pfau DO, HMD

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