ArchivesChildren’s Mental Health

Spare the Rod, Spoil the Child – How the Prescription Pad Replaced the Paddle.

child getting paddledFifty years ago, if a child misbehaved, he got a good paddling. Today, society frowns on slapping and spanking kids, with corporeal punishment outlawed in all but 19 states.

While RxBalance is happy that our society no longer sees spanking as an appropriate response to misbehavior, we are concerned that Americans seem so at ease with drugging kids who are irritating, moody and temperamental. Sadly, there are children so destructive to themselves and others that medication is necessary. We are not addressing children such as these in this blog. Read more → →

Playing With Fire –The State of Pediatric Mental Health in America

Shire Pharmaceuticals recently introduced the first selective FDA-approved alpha-2A adrenergic receptor agonist for treatment of ADHD (attention deficit hyperactivity disorder) in children. Intuniv (guanfacine) is thought to stimulate receptors in the pre-frontal cortex. Shire initially positioned the drug for children with ADHD who displayed a subset of symptoms that included “arguing with adults, deliberately annoying others, losing one’s temper, and being easily frustrated or irritable.” Shire eventually received a FDA warning letter for implying that Intuniv treated individual behaviors (which were manifested by behaviors at home like  “bedtime blowups”, “toothbrushing tantrums” and “dinnertime defiance”.  In response, Shire modified all their marketing materials for Intuniv. However, you can view screenshots from the original DTC  consumer website here, at a site that archives web content. Read more → →

The Thimble Theory

A doctor’s mind is like a thimble.

Like a thimble, we can only retain a certain amount of information. Once you go over that limit, the content of the thimble overflows, leaving the thimble with nothing in it. All marketers know this, which is why promotional materials focus on two or three salient points that are repeated over and over again. In fact, these “sound bytes” are repeated so often, that we all start to believe them whether they are true or not. Read more → →