ADHD and Medication

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Story Updated: Oct 1, 2013

Psychotropic drugs alter chemical levels in the brain that control mood and behavior.

They're commonly prescribed to treat depression, anxiety, and other mental health issues in adults. But young children also take them for mood disorders and ADHD, which has led to debate about their safety and potential overuse.

A brand new study in the journal Pediatrics looks at national trends in psychotropic use in 2 to 5 year-olds..Researchers analyzed data from more than 43-thousand children ....looking at prescription rates from 1994 through 2009.

Among kids with a behavioral diagnosis, the use of psychotropic drugs actually decreased from 43% during the earliest years to 29 percent by the end.

Even though more kids are being diagnosed with ADHD...these findings show that the increase has not been accompanied by an upward trend in psychotropic prescriptions.

The researchers say more studies are needed to determine the safety and long-term effects of these medications on the developing brains of young children.

I'm Dr. Cindy Haines of HealthDay TV- your source for ideas to protect your health.

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The UHS Sports Medicine Program specializes in diagnosing and treating orthopedic and sports-related injuries, providing care on an outpatient basis. The program combines the expertise of certified athletic trainers and physical therapists, who work closely with sports medicine physicians on our medical staff to help patients resume their physical activities as soon as possible.