Doctors Say Anti-Psychotic Meds Overused With Kids and Elderly

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Doctors should not first resort to anti-psychotic medications when it comes to dealing with dementia in an elderly person, behavior problems in a child or insomnia in an adult, the American Psychiatric Association (APA) says.

The APA has launched a campaign to prevent the overuse of anti-psychotic drugs and educate patients and doctors about harmful medical treatments, USA Today reports. The association has come out with a list of questionable uses of anti-psychotic medications, put together with the contributions of more than 50 medical groups.

“Physicians who overuse such medications act with good intentions and are doing what they think might help,” Joel Yager, a psychiatry professor at the University of Colorado who aided the list, told USA Today.

This latest list put together by the APA focuses on potential misuse of older anti-psychotic medications used to treat conditions such as schizophrenia and bi-polar disorder. Other newer drugs called atypical anti-psychotics are used for patients such as unruly nursing home residents, children with aggressive behaviors or attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD).

Medications that patients and doctors alike should be weary of include the brands Risperdal, Zyprexa, Seroquel and Abilify, according to the list.

The use of anti-psychotic drugs has long been the center of debate. Over consumption of anti-psychotic medicines has been known to lead to several side-effects like early death, lethargy, hypertension and schizophrenia, according to Science World Report.

The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services is currently investigating the possible overuse of anti-psychotic medications among children, the Wall Street Journal reported last month.

Sources: USA Today, Science World Report, Wall Street Journal