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An Alarming Jump In Pediatric Prescriptions

Posted by Jane Akre
Monday, November 03, 2008 9:51 AM EST
Category: Major Medical, Protecting Your Family
Tags: FDA and Prescription Drugs, Childhood Prescriptions, Diabetes, ADHD, Obesity

Teens drug prescriptions skyrocket


IMAGE SOURCE: iStockPhoto / kids / author: Diane39


According to a published study, more and more children are being medicated to treat chronic conditions.

Prescriptions for type-2 diabetes, and asthma increased more than 46 percent.  

As more children struggle with obesity which is closely linked to Type-2 diabetes, medications to treat the condition more than doubled from 2002 to 2005.  Children as young as five are being treated for type-2 diabetes.

Medication for attention deficit disorder increased by more than 40 percent from 2002 to 2005.

There were smaller jumps in prescriptions for depression and high blood pressure.

3.2 million children ages 15 to 19 were included in the findings compiled by the Kansas Health Institute, Pediatric Research Institute and Express Scripts, a pharmacy insurance plan.

The report will be published in the November issue of Pediatrics. The findings are based on children who have prescription medication and may not reflect the medication habits of the uninsured.

Whether there are more chronic conditions or more doctors willing to prescribe drugs and better screening is inconclusive.

The team concludes that research that includes children in drug’s profile resulted in “increased data on safety and efficacy in children (that) likely provided physicians with a greater degree of confidence to prescribe (such drugs).” 

Put more succinctly, Emily Cox, author and senior director of research with Express Scripts says, “We’ve got a lot of sick children. What we’ve been seeing in adults, we’re also now seeing in kids.”

Cox says surprising is the finding that most of the medication prescribed for diabetes, attention deficit hyperactivity disorder and depression was seen in girls, who had the most shocking jump in prescription medication of 147 percent.

Many of the prescriptions are ones that someone takes for the rest of their lives. #

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