After a steady stream of reports that antipsychotics are increasingly prescribed to children, often for unapproved uses, such as treating attention deficit disorders (back story), an FDA advisory committee yesterday chastised the FDA for not doing more to discourage such prescribing.
For instance, more than 389,000 youngsters last year were given Johnson & Johnson’s Risperdal, and 240,000 were 12 or younger, The New York Times writes. Often, the drug was prescribed to treat attention deficit disorders, but Risperdal is not approved for that use and its risks - weight gain, metabolic disorders and possibly permanent muscular tics - aren’t justified, panel members said.
“This committee is frustrated,” Leon Dure, a pediatric neurologist from the University of Alabama School of Medicine and panel member, told the meeting. “And we need to find a way to accommodate this concern of ours.”
However, Tom Laughren, director of the FDA’s division of psychiatry products, told the panel that the agency could do little to fix the problem and, instead, pointed the finger at medical specialty societies, which he insisted must do a better job educating doctors about side effects.
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