US experts find that children affected with ADHD are being treated with medication that is stronger than what their young bodies can handle.
Raising a child who has ADHD can bear with it a lot of challenges and medication is a popular route that parents explore with their child’s doctor to treat their ADHD symptoms. But, new studies show that this may be the wrong way of treating ADHD. The report, published in the Journal of the American Medical Association’s JAMA Psychiatry, found that the kind of medication prescribed for these young bodies contain strong antipsychotic elements that are used for controlling more severe conditions like schizophrenia and bipolar disorder.
These kids are not only exposed to the dangerous side-effects of these powerful drugs, but may also be missing out on other subtler treatments that are more beneficial for their bodies. A survey conducted on the topic also discovered that several of these kids are prescribed these strong drugs without proper diagnosis, giving out the impression that they have a psychiatric disorder when their condition is not that severe.
Michael Schoembaum from the National Institute for Mental Health, along with colleagues from Columbia University, Yale University and the New York State Psychiatric Institute, studied prescription data across the US to find a troubling pattern of the use of antipsychotics.
“What we see is patterns of use, particularly in boys, that suggest that antipsychotics are largely not being used for the disorders the Food and Drug Administration has approved them for,” Schoenbaum told NBC News. “Rather, among boys, particularly teenage boys, uses are much more consistent with prescribing to manage behavioral problems.”
Psychiatrists suggest that these issues can be better dealt with behavioral therapy, psychotherapy and stimulant drugs like Ritalin. However, antipsychotics are a significant class of medication for patients with more serious conditions and so care should be taken not to demonize these medications in the process of correcting the way they are prescribed.
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