In this piece for The New York Times, Emily Palmer describes the life journey thus far of Charles Louis, from being prescribed two psychiatric medications in foster care to living completely medication-free.
“Many psychotropic drugs have not been approved by the Food and Drug Administration for use in children, and therefore standardized dosage guidelines for minors do not exist. One of Mr. Louis’s prescriptions was not approved by the F.D.A. for use in children until years after he began taking it, although doctors can prescribe the drugs off label.
Children in foster care, who have experienced trauma and often lack the safety net of concerned adults questioning and tracking prescribed medications, are more likely to be put on such drugs, said Dr. Christopher Bellonci, vice president for policy and practice at Judge Baker Children’s Center, a nonprofit in Boston that focuses on mental health. Dr. Bellonci said he did not consider the combination of Mr. Louis’s prescriptions to be problematic.”