Category: Monitoring for safety and quality
Over the last two decades, use of second-generation antipsychotic medications has increased, with more frequent use in youths than in adults. In the study Atypical Antipsychotic Use Among Medicaid-Insured Children and Adolescents: Duration, Safety, and Monitoring Implications, the authors examined duration of atypical antipsychotic use by age group and Medicaid eligibility category among youths with non-comorbid ADHD. The study produced some striking results: Within this population, the median annual duration of atypical antipsychotic use was 180 days, with children 2-12 years old having longer durations of use than adolescents 13-17 years old. In addition, youths in foster-care diagnosed with ADHD with no other psychiatric co-morbidities were three times more likely to use atypical antipsychotics than youths in other Medicaid categories (CHIP and TANF programs). Although atypical antipsychotic medications can be beneficial, these results raise important questions about how prescribing practices and long-term use of psychiatric medications should be monitored to minimize medication side-effects and promote overall health, particularly in the youth population.
Mehmet Burcu, Julie Magno Zito, Aloysius Ibe, and Daniel J. Safer (2014). Atypical Antipsychotic Use Among Medicaid-Insured Children and Adolescents: Duration, Safety, and Monitoring Implications. Journal of Child and Adolescent Psychopharmacology, 24(3): 1-8.