Antipsychotic Drug Use Rising Among ADHD Kids
New Antipsychotic Drugs Not Proven Safe for Treatment of ADHD in Children
WebMD News Archive
Antipsychotic Use Rising Among Children continued...
The study showed that the number of children who were
prescribed antipsychotics for the first time nearly doubled from 23 per 10,000
in 1996 to 45 per 10,000 in 2001. More than 43% of the children who received
the drugs were diagnosed as having ADHD or conduct disorder.
Researchers say there were also significant changes in how
antipsychotics were used among children. For example, use of the drugs for the
treatment ADHD and mood disorders increased by more than twofold during the
study period, while use of the drugs for psychosis or Tourette syndrome
remained relatively constant.
The greatest increase in antipsychotic use was among
adolescents aged 13 to 18 with ADHD and conduct disorders. Prescriptions for
antipsychotics among these users rose by more than threefold.
Researchers say the increased use of antipsychotics for the
treatment of children and adolescents with affective or mood disorders (such as
depression or anxiety) may be due in part to recent findings that show the
drugs may be effective in treating adults in the manic phase of bipolar
Cooper says it may also be perceived that these drugs are safer
for children and may help with in the treatment of aggressive disorders, but
those studies still need to be done.
"We would like for physicians to think very carefully
before prescribing these drugs to children," says Cooper. "And we hope
this study encourages more research to find out how these drugs might be best
used to help children."