Excerpt from: Science Daily (click for full article)
A new study from the University of Maryland (UM) found that use of antipsychotic drugs from 1997 to 2006 increased 7- to 12-fold in a Medicaid population of about 500,000 children ages two to 17.
The study, the latest to confirm a rapid rise of antipsychotics prescribed among Medicaid-insured children, raises questions about America's health care system, says lead author Julie Zito, PhD, professor in the UM School of Pharmacy.
"Many were diagnosed with behavioral rather than psychotic conditions for which they have FDA-approved labeling," says Zito. "These are often children with serious socio-economic and family life problems. We need more information on the benefits and risks of using antipsychotics for behavioral conditions, such as attention deficit hyperactivity disorder, ADHD, in community treated populations." Furthermore, use of antipsychotics in children with Medicaid coverage is five times that of children in the private sector -- a disparity in need of greater study.