Unconscionable Drugging of Our Children
December 16, 2008
Children are being prescribed powerful antipsychotic medicines with few precautions, and federal drug experts warned that regulators must do more to inform doctors of their substantial risks.
More than 389,000 children and teenagers were treated last year with Risperdal, a form of medicine known as an atypical antipsychotic. Of those patients, 240,000 were 12 or younger. In many cases, the drug was prescribed to treat attention deficit disorders.
But Risperdal is not approved for attention deficit problems, and its side effects include weight gain, metabolic disorders and muscular tics that can be permanent. According to experts, these risks are too great to justify its use in treating such disorders.
From 1993 through the first three months of 2008, 1,207 children given Risperdal suffered serious problems, including 31 who died.