Antidepressants and Violent Crime in Youth

Antidepressants have carried a black box warning for years related to new or worsening suicidal behavior in children and young adults. A possible link, however, between SSRIs and other types of violent behavior has been more difficult to identify with studies finding inconsistent results. A recent large Swedish study, recently published in the journal PLOS […]

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Psychiatric Treatment Up, Impairing Mental Illness Down

There have been a lot of mixed messages when it comes to the state of child mental health and the amount of psychiatric treatment children are receiving. On the one hand, we hear the alarm sounded by many that too many children without significant mental illness are being diagnosed and prescribed medication.  On the other […]

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Effects of ADHD Medications on the Brain

A common and legitimate concern that is often voiced by parents when considering medication treatment for their child’s ADHD symptoms relates to the effects of these agents on the developing brain.  Raising some alarm have been findings from some animal studies that have suggested detrimental long-term changes; however, these studies often use very high doses […]

Are Doctors Following Best Practice When Prescribing Antipsychotic Meds to Kids?

(NOTE: the following is reprinted with permission from an article published in The Conversation on March 18, 2015) There’s been a lot of attention in the media about the number of children taking antipsychotic and other psychiatric medications. The assumption behind most of these stories is that these drugs are being overprescribed, and given to […]

Fewer Emergency Department Visits When Children Taking ADHD Medication

Children who meet criteria for ADHD are known to be prone to all types of injuries ranging from traffic accidents to colliding with objects at home.  While most of the studies on ADHD treatment concentrate on symptom reduction and school achievement, the small literature on accidents has been inconclusive.  A recent paper published in the […]

What Happened to Concerta?

There is quite a bit of confusion out there about the supply and availability of one of the staple ADHD medications, Concerta, which is the brand name of a long acting preparation of methylphenidate that uses a novel delivery system called OROS (Osmotic [Controlled] Release Oral [Delivery] System) to deliver the medication gradually throughout the […]

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Type 2 Diabetes Risk with Antipsychotic Medication Treatment Reported at 0.72%

While the  metabolic risks associated with antipsychotic medications use are now well known, finding some actual numbers about the risk have been slow to come.  A recent study by Nielsen and colleagues published in the Journal of the American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry offers some specific numbers that can be used when discussing […]

How Well are ADHD Medications (or any Drug) Tested Prior to FDA Approval?

ADHD medications are some of the most common drugs given to children and adolescents. Most clinicians prescribe them within approved FDA indications.  Moreover, the existence of an FDA approval often provides some comfort to the prescribing clinician that the medication has received rigorous testing for efficacy and safety.  But has it?  A recent study in […]

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DCF and UVM Create New Program to Improve Antipsychotic Medication Prescribing

A new combined effort between the Vermont Department of Children and Families (DCF), the Vermont Department of Mental Health, and the Child & Adolescent Psychiatry Fellowship Program at the Vermont Center for Children, Youth, and Families (VCCYF) will support caseworkers who often need to make complex medical decisions regarding the children under their care. While […]

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Vermont Youth Prescribed Fewer Antipsychotic Medications

Newly analyzed data from the Department of Vermont Health Access is revealing important trends regarding psychiatric medication use in Vermont children and adolescents.  The data examines Medicaid insured youth who took at least one medication in various classes (antidepressants, ADHD medications, antipsychotics, etc.) over the course of the year, comparing rates between 2009, 2011, and […]

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