Welcome! We regret to inform you that the Injury Board National News Desk has been discontinued. Feel free to browse around and enjoy our previously published articles, or visit The Injury Blog Network for the latest in personal injury news.

Study Finds U.S. Kids Take More Psychotropic Drugs Than European

Posted by Chrissie Cole
Friday, September 26, 2008 1:11 PM EST
Category: Major Medical
Tags: FDA & Prescription Drugs, Protecting Your Family, ADHD, Psychotropic Drugs, Antipsychotic Drugs, Children's Health, Bipolar Disorder, Antidepressants, SSRIs


LEARN MORE

IMAGE SOURCE: iStockPhoto / kids / author: Diane39

A newly released study finds American children are three times more likely to be prescribed psychotropic drugs for mental health conditions such as bipolar disease and ADHD than that of European children.

The differences in cultural beliefs and regulatory practices about the advantages of behavioral and emotional problems may account for the extreme difference, U.S. researchers said.

Psychotropic drugs are a chemical substance that acts primarily upon the central nervous system where it alters brain function, resulting in temporary changes to consciousness, mood, behavior and perception.

“Certainly there is great use of atypical antipsychotic drugs and SSRI antidepressants for child mental treatment in the United States than in Western Europe,” said Julie Zito, lead researcher, from the School of Pharmacy at the University of Maryland.

“Because most use is “off-label” – without ample evidence showing risks versus benefits, close monitoring of these medications is advised.”

Researchers examined antidepressant (Prozac) and stimulant (Ritalin) use among children in the U.S., Germany and the Netherlands, for the study.

For the study, researchers examined the antidepressant use including and stimulants including in the U.S., Germany and the Netherlands for the study.

They found that the yearly prevalence of psychotropic medications among children in the U.S. was much greater than in both countries. 6.7 percent of children in the United States were taking psychotropic drugs, compared to 2.9 percent in the Netherlands and 2 percent in Germany.

Additionally, stimulant and antidepressant use was three times higher in the U.S. than in the Netherlands or Germany and the use of antipsychotic drugs was 1.5 to 2.2 times greater in the U.S. than both other countries.

What the study is unable to determine is if the use of these drugs is appropriate - given cultural variations - or whether psychotropic drugs are under prescribed by other countries or if the U.S. is over-prescribing them.

Finding what accounts for these differences may be an important factor in finding the best treatment for children with emotional and mental problems, says Dr. David L. Katz, director of the Prevention Research Center at Yale University School of Medicine.

“It has been said countless times that the U.S. has a sick-care system not a health-care system,” Katz said. “This study affirms that stereotype, with more use of drugs for different mental conditions among children in the U.S. than that of other countries.”

The report was published in the Sept. 24 online edition of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry and Mental Health. #


3 Comments

Anonymous User
Posted by immbas
Friday, September 26, 2008 4:19 PM EST

You should read the book "Mad in America" for a real perspective on the use of medications to treat mental illness in America.

Posted by Chrissie Cole
Friday, September 26, 2008 4:36 PM EST

Thanks for the comment - I will be sure to check out Mad in America. In fact, I was just getting ready to order some books from Amazon.

Anonymous User
Posted by barrry mose
Saturday, September 27, 2008 8:23 PM EST

FREE HELP FOR THE EDUCATIONALLY CHALLENGED


LINK is a free site that has had excellent results in teaching the learning disabled how to better communicate.

LINK , an automated information organization program is also of use for business reports, inter-office communications, special and rehabilitative education, as well as speech organization.

It has been taught to individuals from eight to eighty and been used from elementary education to post graduate work and is excellent for SAT, ACT, and FCAT preparation.

The program allows for each individual to progress at his or her own rate.

We have also received excellent reports relating to ADHD and Special Education, with exceptional results in mainstreaming.

The Easy Essay is usable in any language.

A noted side effect of the program is that users begin to communicate logically.

Comments for this article are closed.

About the National News Desk

Our mission is to seek the complete truth and provide a full and fair account of the events and issues that surround personal safety, accident prevention, and injury recovery.  We are committed to serving the public with honesty and integrity in these efforts.

Hurt in an accident? Contact an Injury Board member

Subscribe to Blog Updates

Enter your email address if you would like to receive email notifications when comments are made on this post.

Email address

Subscribe

RSS Feed

Add the National News Desk to your favorite RSS reader

Add to Google Reader Add to myYahoo Add to myMSN Add to Bloglines Add to Newsgator Add to Netvibes Add to Pageflakes