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AJN, American Journal of Nursing:
doi: 10.1097/01.NAJ.0000422240.27094.42
In the News

NewsCAP: U.S. prescriptions for antipsychotics on the rise, especially for youths

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U.S. prescriptions for antipsychotics on the rise, especially for youths. Between two time periods— 1993 to 1998 and 2005 to 2009—there was a 7.6-fold jump in prescriptions for antipsychotic drugs for children (from 0.24 to 1.83 per 100 patients), a 4.8-fold increase in antipsychotic prescriptions for teens (0.78 to 3.76 per 100 patients), and a twofold rise in such prescriptions for adults. Diagnoses of disruptive behavior disorders accounted for many of the prescriptions in children and adolescents, whereas diagnoses of mood disorders were more common in adults. Compared with psychiatrists, other physicians were more likely to prescribe antipsychotics to youths and adults without a diagnosis of a mental disorder. Among children, risperidone was most commonly prescribed, although its usefulness in treating disruptive behavior disorders is uncertain. The results, reported online August 6 in the Archives of General Psychiatry, suggest a need “to educate physicians, especially primary care physicians, concerning the known safety and efficacy of antipsychotic medications.”

© 2012 Lippincott Williams & Wilkins, Inc.

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