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Author Topic: Antipsychotic drug use spiralling in kids, research says  (Read 1586 times)

Offline CareDC

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Antipsychotic drug use spiralling in kids, research says
« on: July 02, 2009, 04:35:50 PM »
Medical research out of the University of British Columbia suggests the number of children taking medications known as atypical antipsychotics has increased tenfold over the past decade, CBC News has learned.

The drugs a class of medicines used to treat psychosis and other mental and emotional conditions can have potentially serious side-effects, and are linked to increases in stroke and sudden death in adults.

Health Canada has not approved atypical antipsychotics for children.

Colin Dormuth is an epidemiologist who reviewed all prescriptions involving atypical antipsychotics and written for children in B.C. over the last decade.

He says he found a tenfold increase in prescriptions of atypical antipsychotics for children 14 and under. Also called neuroleptics or second-generation antipsychotics, they include risperidone (Risperdal), quetiapine (Seroquel) and olanzapine (Zyprexa).

Dormuth was surprised at the young age of some of the children on the powerful medications, he told CBC.

Prescribing anti-psychotics is not justified when there is not adequate safety information to prove children won't be harmed, said Dormuth, who works with UBC's Therapeutics Initiative, which carries out independent reviews of the effectiveness and safety of medicines.

"It's definitely weighted towards 11-, 12-, 13-, 14-year-olds, but we do see instances as young as one year of age," Dormuth said.


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