Antibiotic Prescriptions Down; ADHD Drugs Up
June 18, 2012 — Children and teens got fewer prescriptions in 2010 than they did in 2010 — but what they got changed.
Overall, the number of prescriptions dispensed for kids and teens was down 7% during that time, according to the new study, published in Pediatrics.
When the researchers, from the U.S. Public Health Service, looked at individual drugs, however, they found some huge increases.
Contraceptive prescriptions rose 93%. Prescriptions for ADHD drugs were up 46%.
Explaining the numbers is not part of the study. “This study was done to assess the wide variety of prescription drugs that are prescribed to U.S. children,” states Sandy Walsh, an FDA spokeswoman. “The data we used do not grant us to comprehend the reasons behind these trends.”
For that, WebMD turned to two independent experts.
Prescriptions for Children: A Closer Look
The researchers got the prescription information from two massive commercial databases of drugs. All were dispensed from out-patient retail pharmacies.
The report doesn’t include information on prescriptions given to kids in the hospital. It doesn’t include mail-order prescriptions.
The information is on drugs dispensed. There is no way to know if patients actually took them.
Among the prescriptions that declined in 2010 compared to 2002, and by how much:
Antibiotics, down 14% Allergy medicines, down 61% Pain medicine, down 14% Depression medicines, down 5% Cough and cold medicines without expectorants, down 42%
The researcher found increases in other drug prescriptions. Besides the 93% increase in contraceptive prescriptions, and the 46% in ADHD drugs, they found that asthma drug prescriptions rose 14%.
Prescriptions for Children, By Age
For infants and children, newborn to 11, the antibiotic amoxicillin (Amoxicot, Amoxil, others) was the top prescribed medication. That was found even though antibiotic prescriptions declined overall. It’s used to treat bacterial infections such as those of the ears, nose, and throat.
For kids and teens 12 to 17, methylphenidate (Ritalin, Methylin, Metadate, Concerta) was the most common prescription dispensed. It is used to treat ADHD.
The researchers found much off-label use of the drug Prevacid (lansoprazole) in infants under one year. The drug is approved to treat GERD (gastroesophageal reflux disease). Stomach contents leak backward, causing irritation.
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Submited at Monday, June 18th, 2012 at 1:00 pm on Uncategorized by admin
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