Trends in Antipsychotic Medication Use 1993-2009

A new study in the Archives of General Psychiatry reports on the increasing use of antipsychotic medications in youth.  The study analyzed nearly half a million medical visits over a 17 year span (1993 through 2009).  Results showed that the number of medical visits that included an antipsychotic medication per 100 persons rose in children […]

Tags: , ,

Drug Holidays During ADHD Treatment

With school ending and summer vacation starting, many parents of children with ADHD wonder whether or not it makes sense to do a “drug holiday” until school resumes in the Fall.  The Child Mind Institute recently provided some commentary on this issue for both parents and clinicians.  The bottom line answer, as it is for […]

Tags: ,

Risperidone Beats Lithium and Divalproex for Pediatric Bipolar Disorder

by John Koutras, MD A recent NIMH funded study in the May issue of the Archives of General Psychiatry found risperidone to be more efficacious than lithium or divalproex sodium for childhood mania.  The Treatment of Early Age Mania (TEAM) study comes from 5 centers across the country.  The trial was a controlled, randomized, but […]

Tags: ,

Questions and Answers – Clonidine

Question: So – does anyone use clonidine any more (in conjunction with stimulants for aggression or conduct problems)?  I’ve seen a number of my patients ending up on Intuniv – is that better?  Is it something I can prescribe?  I have 2-3 boys, middle school aged, on stimulants who fit the criteria I used to […]

Vermont Youth are Taking Fewer Psychiatric Medications

At a recent meeting of the state’s Psychopharmacology Trend Monitoring Group, of which I am a member, data was presented from the Department of Vermont Health Access that showed clear reductions over the last three years in the number of Vermont children taking psychiatric medications.   The data were compiled from children and adolescents who use […]

Tags: ,

Are You Under Dosing SSRIs?

At a recent pharmacology update sponsored by the American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry, John Walkup MD, vice chair of child and adolescent psychiatry at the Presbyterian Hospital/Weill Cornell Medical Center. He stated that using a subtherapeutic dose continues to stigmatize children for being on medications and having continued symptoms while not getting the […]

Overtreatment of Adolescent Depression? A New SAMHSA Report Says Otherwise

The Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHA) recently issued a report based on new survey results.  One area of focus was major depression among adolescents.   Major findings from the survey included the following: 1.9 million youth (8% of the population) between the ages 12-17 experienced a major depressive episode in 2010, a rate […]

Tags: ,

New NEJM Study Shows No Increased Cardiovascular Risk with ADHD Medications

by John Koutras, MD The use of ADHD drugs was not associated with an increased risk of serious cardiovascular events in children and young adults.  This was the overall finding of a new study published in the New England Journal of Medicine.  ADHD medications are prescribed for more than 2.7 million children in the US […]

Tags: ,

Psychiatric Medications and Foster Care: The New GAO Report

The Government Accountability Office (GAO) has been investigating the rates of foster care children taking psychiatric medications in several states (not Vermont).  A Senate hearing was held on Thursday December 1 about the issue which was picked up by a number of media outlets. You can see CNN’s report for yourself.  In their typical manner, […]

Antidepressants and Suicide – What’s Happened Since the Black Box?

  In 2004, the FDA mandated that all antidepressants carry a black box warning related to the risk of new suicidal behavior.  This warning generated a great deal of attention and controversy leading up to the warning and in its immediate aftermath, as data showed a subsequent drop in antidepressant prescription and an 18% increase […]

Tags: ,