Friday, January 15, 2010

The pushchair pill poppers

Toddlers in the U.S. are being prescribed powerful antipsychotic drugs and the number has doubled over the past decade. Mark Olfson from Columbia University in New York studied the records of children with private medical insurance between 2000 and 2007. He found that the number of children diagnosed with bipolar disorder and prescribed antipsychotics doubled over the course of the study. About 1.5% of all children between the ages of 2 and 5 received some sort of psychotropic drug - either an antipsychotic, a mood stabilizer, a stimulant or an antidepressant - in 2007. Of the children diagnosed with bipolar disorder about half were prescribed an antipsychotic. Antipsychotics - which can have severe side effects - were prescribed to about 1 in 3,000 2 year-olds.

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