The odds of a child with Down syndrome being on a psychotropic medication increase steadily with age, according to a study in the Journal of Developmental & Behavioral Pediatrics. By the time they are teenagers, about 25% are taking one or more psychiatric drugs.
Cincinnati Children’s Hospital Medical Center researchers examined health records from 2010 to 2013 for 832 children with Down syndrome, aged 5 to 21 years, being served at a large pediatric academic medical center in the Ohio-Kentucky-Indiana area. They found that 17% of children aged 5 to 11 were being prescribed one or more psychiatric drugs, and 25% of children aged 12 to 21 years were taking one or more. The most common drugs were CNS stimulants, atypical antipsychotics, SSRI antidepressants, and alpha-adrenergic agonists.
Downes, Alison, Julia S. Anixt, Anna J. Esbensen, Susan Wiley, and Jareen Meinzen-Derr. “Psychotropic Medication Use in Children and Adolescents With Down Syndrome:” Journal of Developmental & Behavioral Pediatrics, May 2015, 1. doi:10.1097/DBP.0000000000000179. (Abstract)
Study examines psychotropic medication use in children, teens with Down syndrome (Cincinnati Children’s Hospital Medical Center press release on MedicalXpress, June 8, 2015)