If your child under the age of 2 is behaving oddly, are antipsychotic medications the answer? Many apparently think so; nearly 20,000 prescriptions for anti-psychotics were given to US children that age in 2014, all for withdrawn or violent behavior, up from 13,000 the year before- despite zero published research about the drugs’ effect on kids that young- the New York Times reports.
“It was just ‘Take this, no big deal,’ like they were Tic Tacs,” says Genesis Rios about her 18-month-old son Andrew’s prescription to Risperdal, which is normally given to adults with bipolar disorder and schizophrenia. (Editor’s note: We published a story about this same dangerous drug, Risperdal; Johnson & Johnson has had to pay huge fines for their encouraged misuse of the drug, which has caused some young boys to grow huge breasts.) He received the prescription after reacting violently to epilepsy medication, but then screamed while asleep and reacted to things and people that weren’t there. She took Andrew off the drugs four months later. “He was just a baby.”
In a 2014 report from the CDC, it was cited that doctors had given an attention deficit hyperactivity disorder diagnosis to at least 10,000 kids, in the 2-3 year old age range, and then prescribed them medications such as Adderall (which is outside of usage guidelines). Dr. Ed Tronick, a professor from the University of Massachusetts Boston, says, “I think you simply cannot make anything close to a diagnosis of these types of disorders in children of that age. There’s this very narrow range of what people think the prototype child should look like. Deviations from that lead them to seek out interventions like these. I think it’s just nuts.”
Dr. Mary Margaret Gleason, a pediatrician and child psychiatrist at Tulane University School of Medicine, concurs. She states that children this young still have rapidly developing brains and that using these drugs, in unknown ways- which could potentially influence growth- is too dangerous as the medications have never been studied in infants and toddlers. “There are not studies,” she says, “and I’m not pushing for them.”
Experts contacted by the Times say they had no idea children that age were taking anti-psychotics. Perhaps, they said, well-meaning doctors were trying to calm nasty temper tantrums, or uninsured parents were were actually consuming the drugs. “But where there’s smoke, there’s fire,” says one. “For the protection of kids, we should evaluate this.” What’s more, known side-effects of anti-psychotics include high cholesterol, cardiovascular disease, weight gain, and diabetes, Scientific American reported last year. And the brains of children that young may be evolving too quickly to risk using such medications. “There are behavioral ways of working with the problems rather than medication,” says one doctor. “But that takes time and money.”
The bottom line is that while the use of Risperdal in children is hotly debated (with only some experts, many of whom are backed by big farm, citing positive outcomes) the American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry, the American Academy of Neurology and the American Academy of Pediatrics, have neither guidelines or positions on the use on antidepressants and antipsychotics in kids younger than 3. And rightly so. These are dangerous and untested drugs.
Our hearts go out to struggling families, behavior disorders can be difficult to deal with but heavily drugging such small children, with all the unknowns, is even more scary and could be devastating down the road.
Source: Newser w/ NY Times link
Erin Elizabeth is a long time activist with a passion for the healing arts, working in that arena for a quarter century. Her site healthnutnews.megasitescript.com is less than 2 years old but has already cracked the top 20 Natural Health sites worldwide. She is an author, public speaker, and has recently done some TV and film programs for some of her original work which have attracted international media coverage. You can get Erin’s free e-book here and also watch a short documentary on how she overcame vaccine injuries, Lyme disease, significant weight gain, and more. Follow Erin on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram.
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