Psychotropic drug use among preschool children in the Medicaid program from 36 states

Although there is little evidence to support the use of psychotropic medications in preschool-age children, research shows that they are still being prescribed such drugs for behavioral problems. Investigators looked at Medicaid Analytic Extract data from 36 states for children who were up to 4 years of age in 2000-2003.

Although there is little evidence to support the use of psychotropic medications in preschool-age children, research shows that they are still being prescribed such drugs for behavioral problems. Investigators looked at Medicaid Analytic Extract data from 36 states for children who were up to 4 years of age in 2000-2003. Overall, 1.19% of children received at least one psychotropic drug for either attention-deficit disorder/attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), depression or anxiety, and psychotic illness or bipolar. Prescriptions for ADHD treatment were most common. African-American and Hispanic children were less likely to receive a prescription, while male children, those of other/unknown race, and those with insurance other than fee for service-only were more likely to receive a prescription.