Lawmaker Asks NJ AG To Probe Antipsychotics


By Ed Silverman

New Jersey’s Medicaid program spent more than $73 million on antipsychotic meds for children less than 18 years old between 2000 and 2007, according to state records, even though the drugs weren’t approved by the FDA for treating kids. And a state official acknowledges the drugs may have been prescribed for conditions other than schizophrenia and bipolar disorder, the approved uses.

And so a state legislator has written New Jersey Attorney General calling for an investigation. In a recent letter, Pat Diegnan, an assemblyman who has previously been outspoken about the use of these meds, wrote Anne Miligram to pursue an investigation of the “alleged misrepresentations concerning the safety and effectiveness of antipscychotic drugs,” which he first requested more than a year ago of her predecessor…


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One response to “Lawmaker Asks NJ AG To Probe Antipsychotics


    Concern about Antipsychotic Drugs in Children

    In a report from the World Parkinson Congress on epidemiology and neuroprotection, (April 18, 2006, page 36), Caroline M. Tanner, MD, PhD, says that the risk of Parkinson disease (PD) is usually about twice as high in people exposed to pesticides and herbicides such as rotenone, paraquat, and diquat than in those have not been exposed. However, only one toxin, MPTP (1-methyl-4-phenyl-1,2,3,6-tetrahydropyridine), has been proven to cause PD.
    But she did not mention the neuroleptic-antipsychotic drugs — atypical or typical — which commonly cause a form of PD clinically indistinguishable from idiopathic PD (in addition to facial-lingual muscle spasms, dystonia, dysphagia, oculogyric crisis, torticollis, retrocollis, akathisia, the oft-fatal neuroleptic malignant syndrome, and facial, lingual, buccal, or cervical dyskinesias) [parenthesis added].
    We should be outraged about the increasing use of antipsychotic medications for children and adolescents in the US. One survey, for example, found a nearly six-fold increase in the number of prescriptions of antipsychotic medications for children between 1993 and 2002 (Arch Gen Psychiatry 2006:63:679-685). Eighteen percent of visits to psychiatrists by young people resulted in their being prescribed an antipsychotic medication. Ninety percent of these were for second-generation, atypical drugs: clozapine, risperidone, olanzapine, and quetiapine. None of these drugs are approved for adolescents or children, and more than one-third were prescribed primarily for behavioral disorders.

    Another survey found that 34 percent of youth who were given antipsychotics developed a PD-like syndrome, while 12 percent treated for three months or more developed tardive dyskinesias. [MA Richardson, G Haugland and TJ Craig. Neuroleptic use, Parkinson’s symptoms, tardive dyskinesia, and associated factors in child and adolescent psychiatric patients. Am J Psychiatry 1991; 148:1322-1328] .

    Long-term use of antipsychotic, neuroleptic medication is often justifiable for children who are severely mentally subnormal to keep them from harming themselves or others. But they should be used only for psychotic, neurologically normal children for the shortest period possible. The psychiatric drugging of millions of children in this country for psychiatric “disorders,” none of them actual diseases, is a monumental fraud and a national disgrace.
    Fred A. Baughman Jr., MD
    El Cajon, CA

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