Schizophrenia drug OK’d for use in adolescents

The march continues. What was once only off-label questionable use of neuroleptics in children is now legitimized by the FDA. And Risperdal’s approval is not only for adolescents, but children as young as ten for bipolar disorder. This, of course, won’t stop them from continuing to use it off-label for toddlers as has been the case for a while.

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About Monica Cassani

Author/Editor Beyond Meds: Everything Matters

6 Responses

  1. thememoryartist

    “It was approved last fall for treatment of irritability in autism.”

    “Treatment” ? and I wonder whose irritability is being managed by this “treatment”.

    I also wonder when people will stop drugging their kids for their own convenience, because psychiatry and pharma are all too happy to comply. My cousin raged when the psychiatrist she took her 10 year old to for the express purpose of obtaining a dx of ADHD and a script for pills, very responsibly decided to defer and have the child evaluated by a psychologist to be sure the behaviors weren’t better accounted for by family issues. (Of course, they were) She knew that herself, because she refused to take the child to a psychologist. It’s very sad when children get labeled and drugged with powerful psychotropics because the parents won’t address their own issues, and it’s inconscionable that the FDA is approving these dangerous drugs for use in children and adolescents in light of everything we know about the dangers to adults.

  2. What I found interesting about this approval for 10 yr. olds with bipolar disorder, was since when was childhood bipolar diagnosable? Also, as far as Risperdal and Autistic kids—I’ve been teaching since 2001 and it’s been used constantly as a way to stop aggression, which is common in some [not all] autistic children. One student of mine one year had a marked increase of aggression and moods, and the child bit me, etc. I inquired if there were any new medications on board–it was Risperdal. The student was 9 or 10 and this was 2 years ago. It’s all alarming, as you know.

  3. Bloomberg News reported, “In trials, 27 percent of those receiving the highest dosage of Risperdal had symptoms of neurological side effects that cause involuntary jerking or movements, compared with 5 percent of patients on placebos.”

    According to Risperdal’s FDA package insert, in two 8-week clinical trials of pediatric patients 46% of the kids on Risperdal suffered movement disorders including tremor, dystonia, automatism (tics), dyskenisia or parkinsonism, vs. 8% on placebo. That’s a 475% greater risk for movement disorders in children on Risperdal!

    The pediatric trial results are copied below.

    http://www.fda.gov/MedWatch/safety/2006/Oct_PIs/RisperdalTabs_PI.pdf

    RISPERDAL (risperidone)
    Incidence of Treatment-Emergent Adverse Events in Two 8-Week, Placebo-Controlled Trials in Pediatric Patients with Autistic Disorder

    Adverse Event RISPERDAL Placebo

    Somnolence 67% 23%
    Appetite increased 49% 19%
    Confusion 5% 0%
    Saliva increased 22% 6%
    Constipation 21% 8%
    Dry mouth 13% 6%
    Fatigue 42% 13%
    Tremor 12% 1%
    Dystonia 12% 6%
    Dizziness 9% 3%
    Automatism 7% 1%
    Dyskinesia 7% 0%
    Parkinsonism 8% 0%
    Respiratory infection 34% 15%
    Weight increase 5% 0%
    Tachycardia 7% 0%

    Ben Hansen
    Institute for Nearly Genuine Research
    Traverse City, Michigan

  4. I just want to clarify that is was the Risperdal that was in fact the reason for my student’s increased agitation; the parent confirmed it as well. That is what is alarming about these meds, esp used in kids, many increase agitation levels, rather than help.

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