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%)...

Read More

Six percent of children in an outpatient clinic developed psychosis after taking ADHD medications.

More info: Chart review of children diagnosed with ADHD attending a child mental health clinic from January 1989 to March 1995. Diagnoses were made by 1 of 3 child psychiatrists using Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM-III-R, DSM-IV) criteria. Of the 98 children treated with stimulant medication, 9 children (6%) developed psychotic symptoms. From the source: “Awareness of the potential for psychotic side effects from...

Read More

Symptoms of bipolar disorder are strikingly similar to symptoms displayed by children with ADHD taking stimulant medications

More info: Authors of this case study of a 7-year old child work at The Hyperactivity, Attention, and Learning Problems (HALP) Clinic at Children’s National Medical Center, which provides comprehensive evaluations to children and adolescents who present with school problems; the center has witnessed an increase in the number of children diagnosed with bipolar disorder, and discuss the possible link between use of ADHD medications and the...

Read More

33% of children taking atomoxetine (brand name – Strattera) experienced extreme irritability, aggression, mania, or hypomania, and those with a family or personal history of mood disorder were especially likely to develop these symptoms.

More info: Authors reported on 153 sequential patients (average age 10.5 years old) treated with atomoxetine (brand name – Strattera) in outpatient settings in Denver, Colorado, and North Branch, Minnesota.  51 (33%) had psychiatric symptoms; of these 51 cases, 31 children (61%) also had a family history for mood disorders, 41 children (80%) had personal history of mood symptoms . From the source: “Our collective experience argues that...

Read More

ADHD drugs can cause mania or psychotic symptoms in children and adolescents.

More info: The authors reviewed data from 49 children’s ADHD clinical trials for ADHD  and FDA cases report of ADHD-associated mania provided by drug manufacturers between 2000 and 2005.  In children’s clinical trials, there were 1.48 cases of psychosis/mania events per 100 person-years, with no comparable adverse events recorded in the placebo group. Out of more than 900 case reports (pediatric and adult) of symptoms of psychoses or...

Read More

There has been a steep increase in stimulant use in adolescents.

More info: The authors examined data from 1996–2008 from a nationally representative household survey of health care use and costs done by the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality (this survey is used to track trends in mental health treatment in the United States). Over the period 1996–2008, stimulant use increased in adolescents (annual growth, 6.5%), but it did not significantly change in 6- to 12-year-olds.  It decreased in...

Read More