Adult Antipsychotic Drugs Can be Deadly When Given to Children
May 18, 2006
A recent series of three USA Today articles investigated the increasing prescription of antipsychotic drugs to children, including drugs intended only for adults.
The articles used FDA data to account for the deaths of 45 children over a four-year period as being the result of using atypical or off-label antipsychotic medications.
In addition, they documented more than 1,300 cases of serious side effects, including some that were life-threatening (such as low white blood cell counts or convulsions).
One article recounted the story of a troubled Texas boy who was prescribed five different drugs at the same time. Along with those drugs came tremors, thyroid problems and an abnormally low white blood cell count.Today, the boy is off all but one drug, and the drug-related symptoms are gone. Instead, his entire family is using intensive non-drug behavior-management therapy to help them handle the young boy's problems.