Sound Off on Psych MedsAdvocating for prudent medication use

Youth in foster care are more likely to receive multiple antipsychotics and for longer periods of time than other children enrolled in Medicaid.

Researchers examined 2003 insurance claims data for 16,969 youth 20 years and younger continuously enrolled in a Mid-Atlantic state Medicaid program; all had a psychiatric diagnosis and at least 1 antipsychotic claim. 19% of the children who were in foster care and 24% of children in foster care/adoption programs were on more than one antipsychotic. Black youth were 27% more likely to receive multiple medications than white youth.

From the Source:

“Compared with youths who qualify for Medicaid because of a disability or low income, youths in foster care are more likely to receive antipsychotics concomitantly and for longer periods of time despite the lack of evidence to support such regimens.”


Medicaid, Antipsychotic medication, Foster care, Polypharmacy, Children’s mental health


Dosreis S, Yoon Y, Rubin DM, Riddle MA, Noll E, Rothbard A.  Antipsychotic treatment among youth in foster care.  Pediatrics. 2011 Dec;128(6):e1459-66. Epub 2011 Nov 21.