Last week I wrote a short blog touching on the increasing frequency with which antipsychotic drugs like Risperdal and Zyprexa were being prescribed to children. I primarily focused on the use of antipyschotics in the treatment of juvenile attention disorders. Only in passing did I mention the current increase in children diagnosed as having bipolar disorder. According to a Boston Globe article, though not originally intended for use in children, Risperdal has apparently gained favor among physicians treating children thought to be afflicted with bipolar disorder. Moreover, the article reports that a strong Risperdal proponent not only may have ties to the drug’s manufacturer, but also is “the country’s most prominent advocate of diagnosing bipolar disorder in children.”
This all may amount to nothing, and that bipolar disorder in children both occurs frequently and demands aggressive treatment with antipyschotics. That said, it seems that given Risperdal’s potential side effects in children, a healthy measure of caution would be prudent.