Study Shows Drop In Antibiotics Given To Children

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Updated: 6/18/2012 5:54 pm
The number of antibiotics given to kids has dropped in the past decade.

However, more kids are being given drugs for ADHD, or attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder.  That's according to the Food and Drug Administration. 

A new study published in the journal Pediatrics looked at large retail prescription databases from the years 2002 to 2010.  Researchers saw a seven percent decline overall in the number of prescriptions that pharmacists dispensed to infants, children and adolescents 17 and under. 

The number of prescriptions for antibiotics dropped 14 percent. The American Academy of Pediatrics has warned about overusing antibiotics, especially for viral infections, because it doesn't help and could increase resistance to the treatments.

There also was a decrease in prescriptions to treat allergies, pain and depression. those for cough and colds dropped by nearly half. On the flipside,  though the use of asthma drugs increased, and so did the use of contraceptives: up 93%.   

In the same 10-year period, use of ADHD medications were up 46%.  That's because more children are being diagnosed with adhd and newer, more effective drugs have become available. Researchers say monitoring these trends will help them in studying the risks and benefits of therapies for children. 
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