ADHD Drugs Being Prescribed More, Antibiotics Less
The number of children who received prescriptions for drugs used to treat attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) increased over an eight-year period while the number of antibiotic prescriptions declined, according to a new study by the Food and Drug Administration.
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Using a large national database, FDA researchers analyzed prescription drug trends among children ages up to age 17 between 2002 and 2010 on an outpatient basis.
The study, published in the journal Pediatrics, found that the number of overall prescriptions for this age group decreased by 7 percent, in contrast to the 22 percent increase in prescriptions given to adults over the same period. However, the authors noted that their research did not track whether the drugs were actually used, only that they were prescribed.
There were also significant decreases in the number of antibiotics, allergy medicines, pain medicines, drugs used to treat depression and certain cough and cold medications prescribed for children.