Widespread Prescribing of Antipsychotic Drugs Sparks Serious Health Problems

Antipsychotic drugs are being prescribed to an ever-increasing number of adolescents and young adults, and many of them are being prescribed for off-label purposes. But these over-prescriptions are putting youngsters at risk, though we’re slow as a society to change our med-heavy ways.

These powerful medications are being prescribed to young people with attention-deficit and hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), a condition the drugs are not approved to treat.

 According to researchers from Columbia University in New York, the percentage of teens using antipsychotics rose from 1.10% in 2006 to 1.19% in 2010. Among young adults aged 19 to 24, the percentage rose from 0.69% to 0.84%. [1]

For the study, research psychiatrist at Columbia Dr. Mark Olfson and his colleagues analyzed prescription data from 2006, 2008, and 2010, as well as records from 2009 combining pharmacy and medical claims information. The records spanned prescriptions filled at approximately 60% of all retail pharmacies in the U.S.