Dramatic Rise in Prescribing Psychiatric Drugs to Children Younger than Five

Thursday, May 06, 2010

Described by one leading psychiatry expert as “a national tragedy,” the United States since the 1990s has greatly expanded the use of antidepressants and other powerful medications on children.

Data published in the Journal of the American Academy of Child & Adolescent Psychiatry showed that from 1999 to 2007 the prescribing of antipsychotic drugs for children two to five years old with private insurance doubled in size. The jump mirrored the doubling of bipolar disorder diagnoses for this age group during the last decade. Children on Medicare are even more likely to be given antipsychotics.
The most commonly-prescribed drug was risperidone (Risperdal), which was approved by the FDA for use in cases of schizophrenia in 1993, and was made available in generic form in October 2008.
The same study also found that a majority of children given mood-altering drugs did not receive a mental health assessment or were not seen by a psychiatrist.
Vera Hassner Sharav, president of the Alliance for Human Research Protection, warned that children given these pharmaceuticals run a higher risk of developing diabetes and serious metabolic disorders.
-David Wallechinsky
The Psychiatric Drugging of Infants and Toddlers (by Evelyn Pringle, Counter Punch)
Inventing Disorders (by Evelyn Pringle, Counter Punch)
More Toddlers, Young Children Given Antipsychotics (by Jennifer Thomas, Business Week)
A Perilous Disconnect: Antipsychotic Drug Use in Very Young Children (by Helen Egger, Journal of the American Academy of Child & Adolescent Psychiatry)


Brumpbm 12 years ago
I agree with Ruka. I also think that if children's emotions are suppressed they will never learn to deal with them and then they will REALLY have problems. Emotions are part of life. The website cchr.org has much data on these drugs.
Ruksa 12 years ago
The FDA has even issued their most dire warning on most antidepressant medication because they can cause aggression and suicidal behavior. I would think most of us could figure out a better solution for a troubled child than to drug them! Please! Children are children. A loving parent, caring teacher, minister, uncle can actually something for a child with behavioral problems. All labeling will do is tell the doctor which psychiatric medication to start with. Take a look at some of the side effects of these drugs before you allow anyone to use them on you or your children. You can find out a lot more about this from Citiziens Commission on Human Rights or any book by Dr. Peter Breggin. We all must do our own homework and find out what is really going on. Our kids depend on us to are enough to discover the truth.

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