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607502 tn?1288251140

Australian Doctors rin alarm bells on presription of drugs to children

http://www.theaustralian.news.com.au/story/0,25197,24743413-601,00.html

INteresting article - a look at the federal Department of Health staitstics have turned up figures showing 4000 children under the age of 10 were prescribed anti-depressants last financial year, including 553 children under five and 48 babies.

48 Babies?

The paediatricians have now it appears had brought to their notice what some of us in Australia have been saying for a long time - that you cannot let GP's prescribe these drugs - they are dangerous and habit forming.

Worth a read.
8 Responses
222267 tn?1253305810
I wonder what the stats are in the US?
607502 tn?1288251140
Terrifying - its not uncommon for kids uner 5 to be prescribed ritalin, proxac, lamactil and a host of other drugs these days.

222267 tn?1253305810
Thats sick.  My half brother (we didn't grow up together) was on Ritalin by the time he was 5.  I will admit though,  he was the most hyperactive child I have seen in my life.  Literally defying gravity hyper.  But genius smart.  Knew all the dinosaurs names and how to spell them when he was 3.  Ritalin messed him up.  I truly believe my ex stepmother put him on it, so she just wouldn't have to deal with him.  Now, i'm not saying every parent that treats their child with illnesses are taking 'the easy way out'.  I don't want people getting furious at me.  I'm only talking about my evil ex stepmother.  He had such great potential to become someone brilliant.  Well Ritalin ruined this poor child.  He was lethargic, depressed, no life in his eyes.  He would refuse to take his medications but was forced to anyway.  They held him back in school a couple times.  He didn't even graduate high school.  Now he's a 18 year old full blown drug addict who is very angry at his mother.   I really believe we are over medicating children.  And infants??  What??  Can't even imagine what that is permanently doing to their brains. What ever happened to a good slap upside the head and throwing them out the door to play?  Kidding :)
607502 tn?1288251140
Ritalin can and does kill some children.  People think its safe, it isnt and now its become a street drug.

Every single mental health drug know has side effects, dependency profiles and long term risk factors.
505907 tn?1258372940
  All I can say is, man, I sure am glad that I don't live in Australia! You've got some pretty stupid doctors over there. That kind of mishandling of prescriptions just doesn't go on in this enlightened country.
  Seriously, all four of my kids are diagnosed with ADHD+. The youngest one was climbing as soon as he could crawl. hopping up and down, destroying things. I don't think some of you get the full sense of how it is to try and parent these kids - especially in multiples! Walk a mile in my shoes, please. This is before the school starts calling - daily at times. There is no proof that taking these ritilin based drugs while the brain is still forming has ANY long reaching effect. It's easy to criticize and say how you would do it differently. My youngest INSISTS on taking his Adderall - even when I don't want him to - because he knows what an impact they make on his powers of concentration. These drugs are overprescribed to be sure but there ae some kids who really need it.
585414 tn?1288944902
Complex one. Some children have benefited from Adderal. But there is an overprescription partially due to the pharmaceutical industry overpromoting these products. However, some children do need psychiatric medication. I first started having auditory hallucinations ("hearing voices") at the age of 13 at the onset of puberty due to schizoaffective disorder. When I initially looked back I wished I had started medication then because I was disconnected from society, had no friends and could get psychotic and manic (though I did well in school).  But now that I know about tardive dyskinesia I'm glad I waited until age 18. But all that was available then were the typicals like Haldol.
   So although children are given mood stabilizers and antipsychotics who don't need it some do. But many children are acquiring diabetes from these medications and tardive dyskinesia is occuring as well. People say "there's no easy solution". Well there is long term. Invent better medications. And that's something you know that I can personally testify to. I have no idea what I would have been like if I had started on glycine (Phase II antipsychotic in study) at age 13. But those new medications will be available. And then we'll see what the recovery rates are. But one unpleasent secret of some of the glycine studies (including children, this is not confidential information look it up on PubMed) is that to study psychosis they take them off medication and give them ketamine to make them psychotic. That's called a "challenge study" and something I don't agree with for any medication study and I would like to see those ended. Its complex. I have some say as a consumer advocate but my words have less power if I am the lone voice. If people have concerns (as long as they realize some children do need medication) speak to an advocacy agency such as the National Empowerment Center and ask how you can get involved. Worth trying.
607502 tn?1288251140
I have no issue with prescribing safe drugs to children 10 or older.  They can elucidate their symptoms much clearer though I still think there needs to be a very careful diagnostic and supervison process even then.

But for children under 5, no way except in very special circumstances. I have no idea how a diagnosis can even be made on a baby or 3 year old child - they cant form concepts properly so how could you do a proper differential diagnosis.

And as for AD drugs for babies.  Theres a few doctors who need to be struck off the rolls right there.  Yeah i bet it calms the kid down, zombification tends to do that.

I think giving AD or any psych drug to an infant falls into the category of child abuse, there is no way you can convince me a baby should be taking these drugs.

Sorry if that offends but if you are a parent and have a baby and you are medicating it like this I would love to hear the justification and the psychiatrists diagnosis - one suspects that an examination of all of these mentioned cases would find no psychiatrist involved at all just a GP with a script pad.

Avatar universal
Just hold off, as long as you can.  If a child is bad, hyper try everything else, especially behaviour modificationn

It really works.

My son was prescribed ritalin (serious case, kicked his foot through a glass door, one example of many)  We tried everything else.  He is graduating this year to study medicaine.
He developed unevenly.  He was reading age 3, racing ahead in mathematics but at age 8 he still behaved like an angry toddler, dribbled, temper, crazy

Give them a chance to grow up as far as possible.
He evened out, he is a laid back happy guy, drinks a beer , nothing else.  He is much loved.
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