Find Information About:

Drugs & Supplements

Get information and reviews on prescription drugs, over-the-counter medications, vitamins, and supplements. Search by name or medical condition.

Pill Identifier

Pill Identifier

Having trouble identifying your pills?

Enter the shape, color, or imprint of your prescription or OTC drug. Our pill identification tool will display pictures that you can compare to your pill.

Get Started

My Medicine

Save your medicine, check interactions, sign up for FDA alerts, create family profiles and more.

Get Started

WebMD Health Experts and Community

Talk to health experts and other people like you in WebMD's Communities. It's a safe forum where you can create or participate in support groups and discussions about health topics that interest you.

  • Second Opinion

    Second Opinion

    Read expert perspectives on popular health topics.

  • Community


    Connect with people like you, and get expert guidance on living a healthy life.

Got a health question? Get answers provided by leading organizations, doctors, and experts.

Get Answers

Sign up to receive WebMD's award-winning content delivered to your inbox.

Sign Up

Health & Pregnancy

Font Size

Kids' Use of Psychiatric Meds Triple


However, few studies have been done to show how effective SSRIs are in treating children, say both Olfson and Epstein. SSRIs include Celexa, Paxil, Prozac, and Zoloft.

"There are probably fewer than 10 studies [of antidepressants], whereas with stimulants, there are hundreds and hundreds of studies," says Epstein. "That's concerning to me, that pediatricians or psychiatrists are prescribing them at really high rates without knowing if they work."

Also, SSRIs have only been FDA approved for treatment of children with obsessive-compulsive disorder. "None of the antidepressants have been FDA approved for treatment of childhood depression," Olfson points out. "There is some data to support their effectiveness, but how they do over the longer term awaits further study."

The high numbers of children taking more than one psychiatric medication are of even more concern to Epstein. "There are no studies showing that a combination works, or that it's safe or effective," he tells WebMD.

In his study, Olfson identified a handful of examples of children under age six who were taking psychiatric medications. "Although rare, it does exist," Olfson says.

"There has been no scientific evidence to date that there should be reason for concern," points out Epstein. "I haven't seen any data yet that brains of kids who took these drugs are any different than brains of kids who didn't take these drugs. But with the really young kids, it's an ethical thing -- these are young kids, this is the period of fastest time of brain growth."

Epstein's program is one of six sites in an NIH-funded study looking at stimulant use in preschool children. "It's really going to tell us whether it's safe and effective to use these drugs in preschoolers," he tells WebMD. Duke is also participating in a study looking at combinations of SSRIs and stimulants in kids who have ADHD and anxiety.

1 | 2

Pregnancy Week-By-Week Newsletter

Delivered right to your inbox, get pictures and facts on
what to expect each week of your pregnancy.

Today on WebMD

hand circling date on calendar
Track your most fertile days.
woman looking at ultrasound
Week-by-week pregnancy guide.
Pretty pregnant woman timing contaction pains
The signs to watch out for.
pregnant woman in hospital
Are there ways to do it naturally?
slideshow fetal development
pregnancy first trimester warning signs
What Causes Bipolar
Woman trying on dress in store
pregnant woman
Close up on eyes of baby breastfeeding
healthtool pregnancy calendar
eddleman prepare your body pregnancy