Trends in Psychotropic Med Use in Young Children Explored

Likelihood of use peaked in 2002 to 2005; more likely for boys, those lacking private insurance

Trends in Psychotropic Med Use in Young Children Explored

MONDAY, Sept. 30 (HealthDay News) -- For children aged 2 to 5 years, the likelihood of psychotropic medication use peaked in 2002 to 2005, according to a study published online Sept. 30 in Pediatrics.

Vilawan Chirdkiatgumchai, M.D., from the Cincinnati Children's Hospital Medical Center, and colleagues examined recent trends in psychotropic use for 43,598 2- to 5-year-old children from the 1994 to 2009 National Ambulatory and National Hospital Ambulatory Medical Care Surveys.

The authors found that psychotropic prescription rates were 0.98, 0.83, 1.45, and 1.00 percent, respectively, for 1994 to 1997, 1998 to 2001, 2002 to 2005, and 2006 to 2009. The odds of preschool psychotropic use were highest in 2002 to 2005, and then decreased and were comparable in 2006-2009 to 1994-1997 and 1998-2001. The groups most likely to receive psychotropic prescriptions were boys (adjusted odds ratio [OR] versus girls, 1.64), white children (aOR versus other race, 1.42), older children (aOR for 4 to 5 years versus 2 to 3 years, 3.87), and those lacking private insurance (aOR versus privately insured, 2.38).

"Psychotropic prescription was notable for peak usage in 2002 to 2005 and sociodemographic disparities in use," the authors write. "Further study is needed to discern why psychotropic use in very young children stabilized in 2006 to 2009, as well as reasons for increased use in boys, white children, and those lacking private health insurance."

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