Monday, April 13, 2009

Use of Atypical Antipsychotics for Kids More Widespread

The Los Angeles Times reports that although "children are most likely to suffer severe weight gain and metabolic disturbances" from a "new generation of antipsychotic medication" called atypical antipsychotics, "the use of these drugs to treat children has seen steady, steep growth." To date, "only risperidone (marketed as Risperdal) has been approved by the Food and Drug Administration for use by children diagnosed with schizophrenia," so "virtually all of that prescribing has been off-label." But, "in November, an expert panel advising the FDA on pediatric drug safety sounded the klaxon over the rising use of atypical antipsychotics among kids, and faulted the FDA for failing to issue warnings strong enough to stem the tide." Now, "as the drugs have become more widely prescribed...many physicians have become increasingly alarmed."

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