Questionable Use of Antipsychotics on Children

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Far too often, youths are being prescribed powerful antipsychotics “off-label”, or for a different use than the drug was initially intended. Researchers report that for those under 18 of normal intelligence, there’s no indication that the drugs have any positive effect.

As Sharon Kirkey reports for the Ottawa Citizen, presciption medication designed for schizophrenia, for example, is often being used to treat ADHD or conduct disorder. Far too often, the symptoms of the child are not improved but the patient is left with the negative side effects.

These drugs are often used to calm an abnormally agressive child. They are cheaper and much easier than admitting the child to a private behavioral program and lasting changes at home. There is little evidence, however, that these prescriptions do anything positive.

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