Thursday, June 11, 2009

Antipsychotics approved by FDA panel

A panel advising the U.S. Food and Drug Administration has backed the use of antipsychotic medication for children and teenagers with schizophrenia and bipolar disorder. The panel backed the wider use of the pills but had worries about the long-term effects the drugs could have on youngsters. The drugs already have combined sales of $10 billion a year but there has been little research into their long-term effects and there were also concerns that they could be used to treat other conditions such as attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD). The drugs have the side effect of weight gain and sleepiness but these symptoms need to be weighed against the damage caused by the hallucinations and delusions of schizophrenia and the extreme mood swings of bipolar disorder.

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