Thursday, June 21, 2007

Antipsychotics for Kids Update

I posted hastily earlier regarding a story in the Edmonton Journal on a survey of Canadian child psychiatrists. The article previously cited was based on a paper in the June issue of the Canadian Journal of Psychiatry. This survey investigated the frequency of prescription of newer antipsychotic medications for patients under 18 years of age.

As part of the survey, psychiatrists were asked for which disorders they prescribed atypical antipsychotic medications. Among those who prescribed atypicals (Risperdal, Zyprexa, Seroquel, etc.), here's the percentage who reported prescribing them for various conditions
  • 81.8% bipolar (Go Team Biederman?)
  • 30% depression
  • 25.9% eating disorders
  • 51.2% ADHD
  • 74.7% poor frustration tolerance
  • 35.9% insomnia
  • 89.4% pervasive developmental disorder
  • 51.2% oppositional defiant disorder
  • 59.4% conduct disorder
The list goes on, but the above interested me the most. Apparently, the child bipolar paradigm is winning favor in Canada (as it obviously is here in the U.S.), and there are a variety of (how do I say this nicely?) not well-supported prescribing practices occurring. I'd add a rant, but the numbers speak for themselves. It's not clear precisely how often the medications are being prescribed, but it is clear they are fairly common. The survey further noted that 12% of these prescriptions were for children under age nine. Read the full-text of the study here.

1 comment:

resonance said...

I'd be interested in finding out more about the wacky prescribing practices. In particular I'm wondering whether it's a subset of practitioners who are prescribing atypicals in nearly every case they see, or whether it's that many practitioners are prescribing atypicals in some questionable cases.

The article doesn't appear to have that information, though.