6.11.2009

Antipsychotics get tentative OK for kids

http://www.usatoday.com/news/health/2009-06-10-psychiatric-drugs-children_N.htm
http://discoverandrecover.files.wordpress.com/2009/03/drugs.jpg
With varying degrees of enthusiasm, a Food and Drug Administration advisory committee Wednesday concluded that three newer antipsychotic drugs already widely used "off-label" in children and teens are "acceptably safe" and effective in treating them for schizophrenia and bipolar disorder. However, because of the risks involved with the drugs — mainly weight gain, sleepiness and increases in blood fats and sugars — several panel members expressed concerns about their inappropriate use in pediatric patients who don't have schizophrenia or bipolar disorder or are younger than the age range studied. "I'm a little concerned … that soon we'll be seeing 4-, 5- and 6-year-olds treated with these agents," said Kenneth Towbin, a psychiatrist with the National Institute of Mental Health who specializes in children and adolescents. AstraZeneca's Seroquel, Pfizer's Geodon and Eli Lilly's Zyprexa are approved for schizophrenia and bipolar disorder in adults. Two other antipsychotic drugs, Risperdal and Abilify, are approved for those conditions in patients under 18. "I think everybody agrees that we want more medications, rather than fewer," [What!!!] said panelist Gail Griffith, a consumer representative[So, a consumer representative is basically saying, 'consumers want more drugs for their kids'???] from Washington, D.C.
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