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Prescriptions For Young People Decline, Though Some Drugs Go Up

06/20/12

  01:04:17 pm, by MedBen5   , 227 words,  
Categories: News, Prescription

Prescriptions For Young People Decline, Though Some Drugs Go Up

The number of prescriptions dispensed for children and teenagers fell from 2002 to 2010 – but prescriptions for some individual medications saw big increases, WebMD reports.

Overall, doctors wrote 7% fewer prescriptions for children and teens during that period, based on the results of a new study from the U.S. Public Health Service. Among the larger decreases were allergy medicines (a 61% decline in 2010 compared to 2002) and cough and cold medicines without expectorant (down 42%). Both antibiotic and pain medicine prescription both dropped 14%.

Conversely, some prescriptions for younger people went way up, such as contraceptives (a 93% spike), ADHD drugs (up 46%) and asthma drugs (up 14%).

The executive vice president of the Institute for Safe Medication Practices is pleased by the falling rate of antibiotic prescriptions. “For the last decade, the pediatric professional societies and infection control groups have been pushing to say, ‘Every time you have the sniffles or a cold, you don’t need an antibiotic,’” Allen Vaida, PharmD told WebMD. He was not involved in the study.

As for the rise in ADHD prescriptions, Donna Halloran, MD, MSPH, of St. Louis University noted that it could be good news – “there are so many kids who respond so beautifully to the medicines,” she said to WebMD – or bad, “because there is plenty of evidence out there that there are plenty of kids labeled as ADHD and it’s not accurate.”

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