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Why have Antipsychotic Prescriptions in Children Skyrocketed?

Antipsychotic Drugs

Story at-a-glance -

  • In recent years, there has been a massive increase in off-label use of atypical antipsychotics. While most are only approved for the treatment of serious mental illnesses such as schizophrenia, this class of drugs is now increasingly prescribed for ailments such as anxiety, insomnia, and behavioral problems in children
  • Aggressive, and oftentimes illegal, marketing by drug companies is believed to be a major contributing factor to skyrocketing misuse of dangerous antipsychotics in children. In recent years, every major manufacturer of atypical antipsychotics has been caught illegally marketing their drugs for unapproved uses in children and adolescents
  • Sales of antipsychotic drugs to children have increased eight-fold since 1993. Sales to teens have quintupled, while adult sales doubled in the same time frame
  • In 2008, an estimated $6 billion was spent on off-label antipsychotics in the US, of which $5.4 billion was for uses based on uncertain evidence
  • According to a recent study, nearly two-thirds of all antipsychotic drugs prescribed to children between 2005 and 2009 were for the treatment of ADHD and other disruptive behavior disorders. In teens, 34 percent of all antipsychotic prescriptions were for these conditions
  • Top 12 guidelines for correcting your child’s behavioral problems without or at least before resorting to drugs are included

By Dr. Mercola

Thanks to aggressive marketing techniques, pharmaceutical companies are raking in profits from atypical antipsychotic medications – drugs originally approved for mental illnesses that are as serious as they are rare.


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