Toddlers given dangerous mood meds
What ever happened to keeping drugs AWAY from kids?
Now, pediatric pushers are shoving dangerous antipsychotic meds at an alarming rate on small children -- even toddlers -- for bogus diagnoses like attention deficit hyperactivity disorder and disruptive behavior disorder.
You can see this outrage for yourself in the pages of the Journal of the American Academy of Child & Adolescent Psychiatry. The chilling details: between 1999 and 2001, around one in 650 5-year-olds in the United States were being given these meds.
That's way too much already. But that's nothing -- because by 2007, that number had doubled to one in 329.
And these powerful brain drugs -- meds used to treat schizophrenia and bipolar disorder in adults -- are also on the rise in toddlers between the ages of 2 and 4.
Some of these kids are autistic, and some docs -- mistakenly -- think these powerful meds can help with irritability in autistic kids. But too many other kids are already being saddled with that made-up ADHD label before they can even speak in sentences.
This should be criminal behavior -- instead, it's called "off-label."
These meds aren't approved for little kids in most cases -- but docs are free to prescribe them whenever they want, for whatever they want. Makes it sounds like the docs are making decisions, but don't kid yourself -- if they're prescribing antipsychotics to kids, it's because they got the idea from their friendly Big Pharma sales rep.
They certainly can't be doing it based on the evidence -- because there isn't any. We don't even know all the side effects of these drugs on kids that little -- and I hope we never do, because a clinical trial of antipsychotic drugs on two-year-olds is quite possibly the most immoral drug experiment I can think of.
I don't care how moody, frustrating or energetic your 2- year-old is. They call it the "terrible twos" for a reason -- they can be hard to take. They fuss, fidget and don't pay attention -- and guess what? They're designed that way.
The answer isn't a drug -- it's better parenting.
About the author
William Campbell Douglass I.I., M.D. has been called "the conscience of modern medicine."
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