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Thursday, December 17, 2009

In my son's best interest: Over-prescribing of anti-psychotic drugs

Suzanne Joblonski's story:
Re "Poor Children Likelier to Get Antipsychotics," published in the New York Times on Dec. 12:

I am the mother of a teenage boy who received a diagnosis of attention deficit disorder and oppositional defiant disorder eight years ago and was prescribed antipsychotic medication. Throughout the years, we have visited no fewer than five psychiatrists and countless other therapists.

I would often question why my son was prescribed medications (at one point three at a time) that failed to do as they promised. For example, the ones that were designed to help him sleep at night did the reverse, and the ones to keep him awake made him lethargic.

I decided that it was in my son's best interest to take a break from the weekly therapy and daily medication. Surprisingly, he functioned much better: His sleeping patterns and appetite improved. He is now back on medication, but with new therapists and with the parents' considerations in mind.

Families like ours are often duped into believing that there aren't options other than medication, or should we refuse to comply, charges of neglect could be brought.

Advice to parents: If your child's medications don’t have the desired effects, talk to the doctor about your alternatives.

Read another story on use of anti-psychotic drugs.

Thanks to Suzanne for her source letter to the editor, reprinted from yesterday's New York Times.

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