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Kids getting more ADHD drugs, fewer antibiotics

Posted by on Jun. 19, 2012 at 8:34 PM
  • 9 Replies

Kids getting more ADHD drugs, fewer antibiotics

By 

NEW YORK -- The number of drugs dispensed to U.S. minors has dropped slightly over the past decade, bucking the rise in prescriptions to adults, according to a government report out Monday.

updated 6/18/2012 9:14:46 AM ET

Antibiotics use fell by 14 percent, suggesting efforts to curb rampant overuse of thedrugs "may be working," researchers from the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) write in the journal Pediatrics.

Experts say antibiotics are commonly used to treat infections caused by viruses, although they only work against bacteria. That has fueled the growth of drug-resistant superbugs.

The new report also found an uptick in the use of some drugs in children, with stimulants for attention deficit hyperactivity disorder, or ADHD, leading the pack.

From 2002 to 2010, the use of ADHD drugs grew by 46 percent -- or some 800,000 prescriptions a year. The top drug dispensed to adolescents was the stimulant methylphenidate, also known as Ritalin, with more than four million prescriptions filled in 2010.

"What the article is suggesting is that the number of children that we are treating for attention deficit disorder has gone up," said Dr. Scott Benson, a child and adolescent psychiatrist and a spokesperson for the American Psychiatric Association.

"For the most part I think the overall increase reflects a reduction in the stigma," he told Reuters Health. "It used to be, ‘You're a bad parent if you can't get your child to behave, and you're a doubly bad parent if you put them on medicine.'"

Dr. Lawrence Diller, a behavioral pediatrician who has written extensively about ADHD, was more critical of the rise in stimulant prescriptions, noting that the U.S. is far ahead of other countries in its use of the drugs.

"You have to look at how our society handles school children's problems. It's clear that we rely much, much more on a pharmacological answer than other societies do," Diller said. "The medicine is overprescribed primarily, but under-prescribed for certain inner-city groups of children."

A report in the New York Times last Sunday said stimulant use is becoming a commonly used study drug even among high schoolers, with healthy students easily fooling their doctors into prescribing the coveted drugs.

"There is no objective test, so obtaining the medications is relatively easy," said Diller.

The new findings are based on data from healthcare research firm IMS Health and do not include drugs given at hospitals.

Overall, there were 263 million filled prescriptions to minors in 2010, down seven percent since 2002. After taking population changes into account, that corresponds to a nine-percent drop; by contrast, adult prescriptions rose by 11 percent.

Prescription drugs classes that showed marked dips among children included allergy medicines, cough and cold drugs, painkillers, and antidepressants.

Apart from ADHD drugs, asthma medicine and birth control pills also showed increases.

The FDA said it could not explain the reasons behind the changes.

Acide reflux in infants 
The agency also looked at an acid reflux drug called lansoprazole (sold as Prevacid) due to concerns about efficacy and safety in infants.

The medication is not indicated for children younger than one, and studies show it has no effect in that age group. Yet doctors wrote 358,000 prescriptions for the drug to babies under one in 2010.

Dr. Eric Hassall, a pediatric gastroenterologist at the California Pacific Medical Center, said the number reflects rampant overuse of acid drugs in infants.

"These drugs work very well when they are prescribed for the right indication," he told Reuters Health. "But in infants they are very seldom indicated."

He added that stomach acid is the first defense against many infections and blocking it even for part of the day will raise children's risk of pneumonia and stomach infections.

"My concern is that we are unnecessarily exposing infants to infectious and nutritional complications," Hassall said. "Doctors are too quick to prescribe and parents are very quick to demand, and this is of course driven by consumer advertising."

"I would advise parents that if their child is growing and developing normally despite spitting up, they should resist the urge to give the child a medical diagnosis and administer prescription medications," he added. "If their child is excessively irritable or otherwise unwell, they should seek medical consultation."

http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/47857460/ns/health-childrens_health/#.T-EZP47jZzQ

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by on Jun. 19, 2012 at 8:34 PM
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Replies (1-9):
PoehlerBear1983
by Meghan on Jun. 19, 2012 at 9:32 PM
Interesting
Posted on CafeMom Mobile
abra
by on Jun. 20, 2012 at 1:05 AM
oh geez
Posted on CafeMom Mobile
VisionSeeker
by on Jun. 20, 2012 at 7:36 AM

 I know that ADHD as a diagnosis and meds has increased and this is from a school nurses perspective.

Personally, I think that some kids aren't truly ADHD...they just need some tlc. Wish MD's would look at the home environments before prescribing meds.

countrymomma81
by on Jun. 20, 2012 at 3:26 PM


Quoting VisionSeeker:

 I know that ADHD as a diagnosis and meds has increased and this is from a school nurses perspective.

Personally, I think that some kids aren't truly ADHD...they just need some tlc. Wish MD's would look at the home environments before prescribing meds.

Same here, and this comes from a mom with a son that is on Vyvanse for ADD. We had letters written up from our families about his behavior, I had documents from teachers and coaches, and I had home video of some of the things he would do. I was prepared to fight for my son. 

He didn't look at any of it. Just asked me out of the three meds he gives, which one did I want? I went with one that I had researched but I changed docs the next day. 

VisionSeeker
by on Jun. 20, 2012 at 3:38 PM

 Oh my gosh...that's awful.  He really "cares" doesn't he.

Quoting countrymomma81:


Quoting VisionSeeker:

 I know that ADHD as a diagnosis and meds has increased and this is from a school nurses perspective.

Personally, I think that some kids aren't truly ADHD...they just need some tlc. Wish MD's would look at the home environments before prescribing meds.

Same here, and this comes from a mom with a son that is on Vyvanse for ADD. We had letters written up from our families about his behavior, I had documents from teachers and coaches, and I had home video of some of the things he would do. I was prepared to fight for my son. 

He didn't look at any of it. Just asked me out of the three meds he gives, which one did I want? I went with one that I had researched but I changed docs the next day. 

 

nngmommy83
by on Jun. 20, 2012 at 4:43 PM
TFS!
Posted on CafeMom Mobile
timon95
by Betty on Jun. 21, 2012 at 12:35 AM

agree! i think kids are being diagnosed way too much lately.

Quoting VisionSeeker:

 I know that ADHD as a diagnosis and meds has increased and this is from a school nurses perspective.

Personally, I think that some kids aren't truly ADHD...they just need some tlc. Wish MD's would look at the home environments before prescribing meds.


family car

NicholasMama608
by Sarah on Jun. 21, 2012 at 6:45 PM

Another thing us as moms have to worry about.  Great.

soccerchik8287
by on Jun. 27, 2012 at 11:47 PM

Exactly what I thought when reading this!

Quoting NicholasMama608:

Another thing us as moms have to worry about.  Great.


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