October 1, 2013
The Cincinnati Children’s Hospital (CCH) commissioned a report that pointed out how the prescriptions for anti-psychotics given to children of preschool age and older have begun to wane in recent years.
From 2005 to 2009, the amount of psychotropic drugs recommended and administered to children who were males and Caucasian showed a rise in prescriptions from 1994 to 2009.
Tanya Froehlich, pediatrician at CCH and lead author of the study said : “The likelihood of receiving a behavioral diagnosis increased in 2006 to 2009, but this was not accompanied by an increased propensity toward psychotropic prescription. In fact, the likelihood of psychotropic use in 2006-2009 was half that of the 1994-1997 period among those with a behavioral diagnosis.”
Participants in the study were 600 children aged 2 to 5 years. The data was provided by the National Ambulatory and National Hospital Ambulatory Medical Care Surveys (NA-NHAMCS).
Data from 1994 to 2009 showed that as diagnosis of behavioral problems in white male children began to rise, so did the use of anti-psychotic medication.
These drugs included:
• Typical and atypical anti-psychotics
• Mood stabilizers
Froehlich said: “It’s good to get a gauge on what we’re doing with psychotropic medications in this age group, because we really don’t know what these medications do to the developing brain. Furthermore, given the continued use of psychotropic medications in very young children and concerns regarding their effects on the developing brain, future studies on the long-term effects of psychotropic medication use in this age group are essential.”
Shockingly, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) provided documentation that confirmed preschool children received a 2 to 3 fold increase in being prescribed psychotropic drugs between 1991 and 2001.