Research in the Journal of Child and Adolescent Psychopharmacology finds that “Over the last two decades, the increased use of atypical antipsychotic medications, often for unlabeled indications including attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), has been profound.” Children diagnosed with ADHD in foster care, in particular, were three times more likely to to be prescribed antipsychotics in the absence of a comorbid psychiatric diagnoses than other Medicaid-eligible children, with nearly one third of ADHD-diagnosed foster care youth receiving the drugs.
Burcu, M., Zito, J., Ibe, A., Safer, D.; Atypical Antipsychotic Use Among Medicaid-Insured Children and Adolescents: Duration, Safety, and Monitoring Implications. Journal of Child and Adolescent Psychopharmacology. Online April 1, 2014.
Antipsychotic drug use among ADHD-diagnosed foster care youth is increasing (Science Codex)
From the article:
“”This study adds critical hard data to our understanding of a persistent and unacceptable trend in pediatric psychiatry,” says Harold S. Koplewicz, MD, Editor-in-Chief of Journal of Child and Adolescent Psychopharmacology, and President, Child Mind Institute, New York, NY. “Our poorest, most vulnerable children, lacking access to evidence-based care, are receiving potentially harmful treatment with little oversight. The highlight of Burcu et al.’s paper for any reader should be the simple but necessary recommendations for antipsychotic prescribing and monitoring in these populations.”