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Off-label prescriptions

Millions of children's lives are being doomed by unwarranted, off-label antipsychotic drug prescriptions

Monday, August 20, 2012 by: Tony Isaacs
Tags: off-label prescriptions, antipsychotic drugs, children

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(NaturalNews) Our children are being prescribed anti-psychotic drugs at an increasing rate and at ever younger ages. Often the drugs, which are now being prescribed for children as young as under one-year-old, are being prescribed for off-label uses other than what the FDA approved the drugs for.

Perhaps it is not surprising to see parents and doctors alike opt for controlling children's behavior with drugs in a country where "me generation" parents often put their needs and desires first and where we have been conditioned to look for cures in a bottle. However, such choices can have devastating results: children's brains being ruined, their future health damaged, and growing up dependent on anti-psychotic drugs.

Studies find alarming increases in anti-psychotic treatment of children

Recent studies show that U.S. psychiatrists are now prescribing anti-psychotic drugs to children in one out of every three visits, triple the rate such drugs were prescribed in the 1990s. Studies have also found that about 90 percent of the anti-psychotic drug prescriptions are for off-label use, most often for behavior disorders such as attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) which are not treatable by anti-psychotics.

A new study published in the Archives of General Psychiatry found an eight-fold increase in the growth of anti-psychotic treatment of children over a 17 year period. Study author Dr. Mark Olfson, a professor of clinical psychiatry at the College of Physicians and Surgeons of Columbia University, warned:

"Practice has overstepped research. These rapidly rising rates of antipsychotic treatment in young people should give physicians pause."

In an interview with Reuters, Dr. Mark Olfson, a professor of clinical psychiatry at Columbia University, said: "Only a small proportion of anti-psychotic treatment of children (6 percent) and adolescents (13 percent) is for FDA-approved clinical indications."

Whether they are effective or not, the drugs have been known to cause other health problems, such as diabetes, heart problems, muscular tics, weight gain and suicide. For example, a University of Massachusetts study found that kids taking anti-psychotics were four times more likely to develop diabetes.

The nefarious role of Big Pharma

In part, the rise in the prescription of anti-psychotic drugs can be attributed to the big rise in diagnosis of mental disorders - a rise many blame on the increased use of vaccinations and other drugs. However, big pharmaceutical companies have played a huge role, as they have pushed for more and more off-label use of their drugs. They have often pushed beyond legal boundaries.

Just last month, pharmaceutical giant GlaxoSmithKline (GSK) was fined a record $3 Billion for bribing doctors and encouraging the prescription of unsuitable antidepressants to children. One of GSK's drugs, Paxil was promoted as suitable for children and teenagers by the company despite the drug only being approved for adults and three trials that showed it was ineffective. Despite knowing Paxil was ineffective, GSK published a report entitled "Positioning Paxil in the adolescent depression market - getting a head start."

The second GSK drug to be wrongly sold was Wellbutrin - another antidepressant aimed only at adults.

GSK is hardly alone when it comes to illegally promoting off-label use of their drugs. In just the past three years, drug companies which have been fined up to billions of dollars have included Eli Lilly, Pfizer, AstraZeneca, Merck, Abbott and Johnson & Johnson.

Most often, diagnosis of behavior disorders is little more than a doctor's subjective opinion. Regardless of how accurate a diagnosis may be, when it comes to children's behavior problems, nature and good parenting offer safer and more effective solutions. For example, see:

"Beat and Treat ADD and ADHD without Drugs"
(http://www.naturalnews.com/028255_ADHD_drugss.html)

Sources included:

http://rt.com/usa/news/children-antipsychotic-taking-us-187/
http://www.guardian.co.uk
http://www.npr.org
http://www.huffingtonpost.com
http://www.propublica.org/special/big-pharmas-big-fines
http://www.nytimes.com
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Off-label_use

About the author:
"See more articles by Tony Isaacs"



Tony Isaacs, is a natural health author, advocate and researcher who hosts
The Best Years in Life website for those who wish to avoid prescription drugs and mainstream managed illness and live longer, healthier and happier lives naturally. Mr. Isaacs is the author of books and articles about natural health, longevity and beating cancer including "Cancer's Natural Enemy" and is working on a major book project due to be published later this year.

Mr. Isaacs also hosts the Yahoo Oleandersoup group of over 3000 members and the The Best Years in Life Radio Show" on BlogTalk Radio.
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