Friday, November 24, 2006
The number of children on Psych meds is increasing
The New York Times reports on the increasing number of children on psychiatric meds. Many children are now taking combinations of 3 or more psychiatric medications:
There is little doubt that some psychiatric medicines, taken by themselves, work well in children. For example, dozens of studies have shown that stimulants improve attentiveness. A handful of other psychiatric drugs have proven effective against childhood obsessive compulsive disorder, among other problems.
But a growing number of children and teenagers in the United States are taking not just a single drug for discrete psychiatric difficulties but combinations of powerful and even life-threatening medications to treat a dizzying array of problems.
Last year in the United States, about 1.6 million children and teenagers — 280,000 of them under age 10 — were given at least two psychiatric drugs in combination, according to an analysis performed by Medco Health Solutions at the request of The New York Times. More than 500,000 were prescribed at least three psychiatric drugs. More than 160,000 got at least four medications together, the analysis found.