The Doctors: Toddlers Prescribed Anti-Psychotic Drugs?

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The Doctors: Psychiatric Medication For Toddlers?

Would you be shocked to hear that a surprising number of toddlers are being prescribed psychiatric drugs? Statistics show that hundreds of thousands of toddlers are taking steady doses of anti-psychotic drugs and more doctors are prescribing them, as well as anti-depressants to the young age group. A recent study found that more than 80,000 prescriptions for Prozac were written in 2014 to children under the age of two. But the question is why?

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Dr Jim Sears, a pediatrician, joined the show to discuss the issue. Dr Sears said they’re really talking about 2-year-olds, who are barely toddlers, with severe behavioral issues such as “atomic tantrums” or a mental problem like Autism. Some examples include a toddler who is screaming and attacking their parents for hours at a time over the smallest incident or a 2-year-old with tantrums so bad she would mark her face so bad she would bleed and would escape from her car seat while her parents were moving, and try to open the door and jump out of the car.

The Doctors: Toddlers Prescribed Anti-Psychotic Drugs?

Should kids as young as 2 be prescribed anti-psychotic drugs? That’s what The Doctors wanted to get to the bottom of! (34547181@N00 / Flickr)

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The Doctors: Anti-Psychotic Drugs For Children

Dr Sears explained that years ago if he had a child in his office, he would’ve never even considered prescribing anti-psychotic medications, but now he’s becoming more comfortable with the idea. Usually the parents that get the medications are at the end of their rope and have tried counseling, therapy, diet changes, and other solutions, with no success. A lot of parents will avoid putting their kids on medication, but sometimes kids really need it. The problem is that there isn’t a lot of research about what can happen when those medications are used on a developing brain.

It’s truly an experiment, because the side effects aren’t exactly known and a 2-year-old can’t tell you if they’re experiencing adverse effects such as headaches or hallucinations. The child could become more fussy, which means the parents and doctors are left wondering if they need more medicine, or less of it. Dr Travis Stork addressed his concerns, saying that it could become too easy and doctors who don’t know how to prescribe the medicines will start doing so. Dr Sears said it’s a trend that he doesn’t like because one you put the kid on a psychiatric drug, it can be hard to get them off of it. It’s important to see the right doctor and get the right information to avoid putting your child at risk.

So when does it come to just kids being kids, and kids who need more serious help?

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