Over 40% of medicated foster children were receiving polypharmacy of 3 or more psychotropic drugs.

More info: During one month in 2004, authors examined Medicaid data from a random sample of 472 medicated youth in foster care aged 0 through 19 years in a southwestern US state. Of the foster children who had been given psychotropic medication, 41.3% received > or = 3 different classes of these drugs and 15.9% received > or = 4 different classes. The most frequently used medications were antipsychotic agents (53.2%)...

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There has been a significant increase in the percentage of children receiving polypharmacy.

More info: Researchers examined records of 27,979 doctor’s visits by children aged 6 to 17 years recorded in the National Ambulatory Medical Care Surveys in 1996–2007, of which 3466 visits involved a psychotropic prescription. Youth visits for psychotropic-medication increased from 14% to 20% during this 12-year period. The most frequent diagnoses for polypharmacy visits were for disruptive disorders (54%) and mood disorders...

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Antipsychotic polypharmacy is common in youth in Medicaid, despite there being little evidence supporting this practice in children with severe emotional disturbances.

More info: Investigators evaluated 5 years of Medicaid data (July 2002 to June 2007), looking at antipsychotic polypharmacy in children (6 to 12 years old) and adolescents (13 to 17 years) enrolled in Florida’s Medicaid fee-for-service program. Antipsychotic polypharmacy was defined as the receipt of 2 > antipsychotic medications at the same time for more than 60 days. During the 5 year period, 12,764 children and 10,419 adolescents...

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Youth in foster care are more likely to receive multiple antipsychotics and for longer periods of time than other children enrolled in Medicaid.

More info: Researchers examined insurance claims data for 16,969 youth 20 years and youngerwith a psychiatric diagnosis who were continuously enrolled in a Mid-Atlantic state Medicaid program and had at least 1 antipsychotic claim in 2003. 19% of the children who were in foster care and 24% of children in foster care/adoption programs were on more than one antipsychotic. Black youth were 27% more likely to receivemultiple medications than white...

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