Study: Fewer Antibiotics, More ADHD Drugs in Use Among Children

A new study has found that over the past decade, more medications for attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) are being prescribed to U.S. children and teenagers, while fewer antibiotics are being prescribed.  One-quarter of all prescriptions given to children are still for antibiotics, the study reports, but overall the number of antibiotics prescriptions has fallen 14 percent during the years 2002-2010.  Yahoo News reports on the study, which was published in the journal Pediatrics:

Overall, prescriptions for kids ages 0-17 dropped seven percent during that time period, while prescription drugs dispensed to adults rose 22 percent, it said.

“Children are experiencing fewer serious medical problems than perhaps they had in the past,” said Victor Fornari, director of child and adolescent psychiatry at North Shore-Long Island Jewish Health System in New York.

The report tracked the number of prescriptions dispensed for the youths, not the number of patients, and was based on two major US commercial prescription databases.

A key rise was seen in stimulant medications for ADHD, which the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention describes as one of the most common neurobehavioral conditions of childhood, affecting about five million children.

Image: Toddler taking medicine, via Shutterstock

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