Use of Antipsychotics in Children Is Criticized
By GARDINER HARRIS
a few excerpts:
"From 1993 through the first three months of 2008, 1,207 children given Risperdal suffered serious problems, including 31 who died. Among the deaths was a 9-year-old with attention deficit problems who suffered a fatal stroke 12 days after starting therapy with Risperdal."
"At least 11 of the deaths were children whose treatment with Risperdal was unapproved by the F.D.A. Once the agency approves a medicine for a particular condition, doctors are free to prescribe it for other problems."
"Panel members said they had for years been concerned about the effects of Risperdal and similar medicines, but F.D.A. officials said no studies had been done to test the drugs’ long-term safety."
"Dr. Dure said he was concerned that doctors often failed to recognize the movement disorders, including tardive dyskinesia and dystonia, that can result from using these medicines."
“I have a bias that extra-pyramidal side effects are being under-recognized with these agents,” Dr. Dure said.
"Dr. Laughren of the F.D.A. said the agency could do little to fix the problem. Instead, he said, medical specialty societies must do a better job educating doctors about the drugs’ side effects." here
via Archives of General Psychiatry:
Child and adolescent mental health visits that include antipsychotic treatment occur disproportionately among publicly rather than privately insured patients. After adjusting for patient diagnosis and other background characteristics, mental health visits by publicly insured children and adolescents were significantly more likely to include prescription of an antipsychotic medication. This finding is in line with higher youth antipsychotic prescription utilization among populations covered by Medicaid2 - 3 compared with commercially insured populations.4 The basis of this is unknown but may relate to differences in public and private payer reimbursement schedules for pharmacologic or psychological interventions, insurance-related variations in parent or child acceptance of antipsychotic treatment, or selection of patients in different insurance plans by physicians for treatment. Because Medicaid covers children and adolescents with Social Security Income and young people who are medically needy or in foster care, illness severity may account for differences in antipsychotic medication use across insurance groups.29 Additional study is needed to understand the factors that contribute to insurance-related differences in child and adolescent antipsychotic treatment.