Concern as Proportion of Children in England on Antipsychotics Doubles

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From The Guardian: “The proportion of children and young people prescribed antipsychotics in England has nearly doubled in just two decades, prompting concern among some experts.

The powerful drugs . . . can be associated with serious side effects such as sexual dysfunction, infertility, and weight gain leading to diabetes.

. . . a study by the University of Manchester suggests they are being prescribed for a [broad] range of conditions, the most common being autism . . .

Although the overall percentage who were prescribed antipsychotics was relatively small, it almost doubled from 0.06% in 2000 to 0.11% in 2019.

The researchers said the increasing use of antipsychotics was worrying given that their safety in children, who are still rapidly developing, had not been [established].

Dr Matthias Pierce, senior research fellow at the University of Manchester’s Centre for Women’s Mental Health, who jointly led the study, said: ‘This study demonstrates a concerning trend in antipsychotic prescribing in children and adolescents. We do not think the changes in prescribing necessarily relate to changes in clinical need; rather, it may be more likely to reflect changes in prescribing practice by clinicians.'”

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