Sound Off on Psych MedsAdvocating for prudent medication use

In the Tennessee Public Insurance Program (TennCare), antipsychotic use in children 2-6 years old nearly doubled between 1996 and 2001.

Investigators examined 5 years of pharmacy claims (1996-2001) for children 2 to 18 years old enrolled in TennCare (Tennessee’s program for Medicaid enrollees and uninsured individuals), which includes low-to-moderate income children who do not qualify for Medicaid. During the 6-year study period, 6,803 children were newly started on antipsychotics. Over the study duration, there was a 61% increase in antipsychotic use in pre-schoolers, a 93% increase in antipsychotic use in children 6 to 12 years and 116% increase in use in adolescents 13 to 18 years.

From the source:

“At present, no high-quality scientific evidence supports the use of atypical antipsychotics for these indications [e.g. ADHD, conduct disorders, affective disorders] in pediatric populations. However, substantial evidence documents the adverse effects of these drugs.”

Tags:

Antipsychotic medication, Children’s mental health, Medicaid, Adverse effects of medication

Citation:

Cooper WO, Hickson GB, Fuchs C, Arbogast PG, Ray WA. New users of antipsychotic medications among children enrolled in TennCare. Arch Pediatr Adolesc Med. 2004;158(8):753-759.