Health Canada Reports Children Dying from Antipsychotics

Postmedia News reports that children are dying from antipsychotic drugs which Health Canada hasn’t even approved for doctors to be prescribing to children in the first place.

Once reserved for schizophrenia and mania in adults, the drugs are increasingly being prescribed to children as young as preschoolers. As of Dec. 31, 2012, Health Canada had received 17 fatal reports in children related to so-called “second generation antipsychotics,” or SGAs, Postmedia News has learned.

The prescribing of these powerful tranquillizing drugs for children more than doubled in five years.

What’s most disturbing in this newspaper article is the way the psychiatrists being interviewed dismiss the concerns and obfuscate the issues. For example Dr. Dina Panagiotopoulos, an associate professor in the department of pediatrics at the University of British Columbia and an endocrinologist at BC Children’s Hospital is reported as reassuringly saying that there is no evidence in the scientific literature that the drugs carry an increased risk of death in children–even though the actual reason for that is because the safety of these drugs in children has never been studied at all.