Psychotropic Polypharmacy Increasingly Common in Pediatric Outpatient Practice

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Prescriptions for at least 2 psychotropic classes of medication for children and adolescents during outpatient visits increased significantly between the years 1996 and 2007, according to a new national trends survey study.

In fact, investigators report that these multiclass psychotropic prescription visits increased from 14.3% to 20.2%.

“What surprised us was the prevalence of this practice in recent years. Now, 1 in 5 child visits in which a psychotropic drug is prescribed, that child is being prescribed multiple drugs from across different medication classes,” lead study author Jonathan S. Comer, MD, at Columbia University in New York City during the study, now an assistant professor in the Center for Anxiety and Related Disorders at Boston University in Massachusetts, told Medscape Medical News.

I think the findings support a growing discomfort in the field that too many children are being placed on too many medications too soon.

“I think the findings support a growing discomfort in the field that too many children are being placed on too many medications too soon. The results really paint quite a portrait of shifting practice in modern child psychiatry, where, despite limited controlled trials, there seems to be a growing acceptance of complex drug regimens in the outpatient psychiatric treatment of kids. It’s pretty remarkable,” added Dr. Comer.

Reported by
Medscape Medical News
http://www.medscape.com/viewarticle/729311

Submitted by Anna

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