Friday, April 06, 2012

Americans Are Overdrugged

I've written before about a little girl I know who was put on an antidepressant for "migraine" headaches at the age of 7. She was also given a prescription of melatonin at the same time to help her sleep, despite the fact that she sometimes falls asleep before she is able to take her medication to help her sleep.... I was left wondering why they wouldn't try a short stint on just the melatonin to see if helping her fall asleep and get better sleep might alleviate the headaches she was having. I call them "migraine" headaches because that is what her mother calls them. Because the child had perfect attendance during this year of "migraine" headaches, I'm calling that parental diagnosis into question. If you have ever had migraines, you know that they are debilitating. A child with chronic migraines (enough to warrant a neurologist and a prescription for antidepressants) would have missed a lot of school. As a matter of fact, to my knowledge, the doctor prescribing the antidepressant does not refer to the headaches as "migraine" and my bet is that the mother does it for attention, as well as to justify why she had her seven year old put on such a serious drug.

When the father of this child questioned the doctor about the future plans with the drug that he did not want his daughter on, the doctor assured him that this drug was safe, and had been used for decades. She said that she was on such a small dose, that there could be no harmful affects from the drug. However, she did say that the plan was to wean the child off of the antidepressant when summer arrives. Now, if you know anything at all about antidepressants, you know that this doctor was flat out lying. The safety of antidepressants has NEVER been established for children. Most antidepressant use for children (if not all) is going against the product label. Her statement is based on the fact that she has used the drug for children before, and they didn't collapse immediately, so it must be safe. The problem is, children's brains are still developing, and adding brain altering chemicals during a time of development has not been proven to be safe. I do know that studies show alcohol use during adolescence can have a permanent affect on the brain, so it would seem that other chemicals would as well. Also, common sense will tell you that the doctor's justification of the child's low dose is idiotic. If the dose is high enough to get the result you are looking for, isn't it high enough to also have negative results, even if they are not seen or felt in side effects by the patient immediately?

Dr. Mercola has written an excellent article on the over prescription of anti-psychotics in the United States. You should read it! Read the comments from readers as well. Those are always helpful!

In 2007 alone, half a million children and teenagers were given at least one prescription for an anti-psychotic, including 20,500 under the age of 6. American children are the most medicated children in the world; getting three times more prescriptions for antidepressants and stimulants, and up to double the amount of anti-psychotic drugs than kids from Germany and the Netherlands.

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