Pediatric Prescriptions rates are skyrocketing and medical doctors increasingly turn to an ever-expanding medicine chest to treat childhood conditions-many of which have little data to support prescription use in the pediatric population and/or have been treated effectively without drugs for years.
In the December 2010, The Wall Street Journal, reported the latest findings by Medco Health Solutions Inc., which determined that roughly one in four children and 30 percent of adolescents between the ages of 10 and 19 are taking a medication for a chronic condition in the United States. Nearly 7 percent of children are taking two or more such drugs, according to other company’s research for 2009.
It appears that the growing childhood obesity problem in the United States could be partially to blame for these alarming statistics. For instance, drugs used to lower cholesterol are taken by 10-19 years olds at a rate 50 percent higher than a decade ago. The concern with this trend is that these drugs are associated with weight gain and an increased risk of developing type 2 diabetes; meaning that the cure for high cholesterol could actually exacerbate the problem.
The Medco report also indicated that medication use for attention deficit hyperactivity disorder is on the rise, with 13.2 percent of the prescription drug benefit dollars spent in this area. However, the greatest concern could be the spiked in use of atypical antipsychotics. Traditionally used to treat schizophrenia, these drugs recently have been prescribed to children for a variety of psychiatric disorders.
Seek drug free treatment options whenever your medical doctor reaches for their prescription pad. It is also important to inquire about the safety record and research supporting the drug’s use for children specifically. If you don’t get the answers that you deserve to hear, get more information before filling that prescription.