Antipsychotic medications may have serious consequences for children. This was confirmed in thorough research carried out by three psychiatrists. The findings were documented in the Journal of the American Medical Association.
It is true that mental health needs no age limit to happen. Not only adults may be affected but children may be equally vulnerable. It is therefore important to understand the boundaryless ability of any psychiatric illness.
If the disease has been properly diagnosed then the psychiatrist may carry out certain measures for treatment. Therapy may be one viable option that is often accompanied by the prescription of antipsychotic medications. This holds true for people of all age groups (including children).
However, studies have advised the psychiatrists to think twice before prescribing any sort of drug to kids. While the illness may be treated, there are side effects which need to be considered.
The Effects of Antipsychotic Medications on Children
The scientists looked at the data of about 250,000 children and young adults. The age limit was set between 5 and 24 years. The participants were part of Medicaid and the results were noticed from the time period of 1999 to 2014.
In addition to that, the psychiatrists also observed the behavioral changes that occurred due to conditions like schizophrenia. Apart from the general psychosis, the patients had complaints of hallucination episodes.
The results may prove to be a groundbreaking discovery in the field of neuroscience. At the same time, they may be an eyeopener for child psychiatrists all over the US.
Patients that were given a higher dosage of antipsychotic medications were known to be at a serious risk, The chances of unexpected death had multiplied by thrice due to more than the recommended dose.
In addition, patients were also likely to experience cardiovascular and metabolic complications. The risk was 4 times higher than for normal people. Patients who had entered later stages of life, frequently suffered from insomnia, nausea and rapid heart beat.
Dr. Wayne A Ray, is a health policy professor at the Vanderbilt University School of Medicine. He provides the readers with his interesting insight on the study. According to Dr Ray, antipsychotic medications are in no way like normal drugs. They can be considerably dangerous with numerous side effects. The unexpected deaths due to excessive dosage tell a lot about these medicines.
There are two important takeaways from the findings of this study.
Firstly, child psychiatrists should be diagnosing with caution and prescribing medications very carefully. That demands a thorough examination of the patient and pre-treatment evaluation. All other alternatives should be properly analyzed before resorting towards antipsychotic drugs. The drugs should always be the last medium of treatment.
Even when they have been prescribed, the doctor should keep a regular check on the patient and inquire about the side effects.
There is not much parents can do about the startling results of this research. All that is required is to take good and healthy care of children. That means, working in the best way possible to reduce the other risk factors that can make the mental illness worse.
It is also important for the parents to see the right psychiatrists. One who will carefully examine the condition and not run after the money.
Anyhow, it is pertinent to understand that antipsychotic drugs, while offering benefits have some serious consequences.