September 7, 2005
Dr. Joseph Mercola
Babies and children are being given medicines not been approved for use by them, according to studies conducted in Britain. One estimate indicated they suffer as much as three times more side effects as a result.
When a "suitable alternative" did not exist, doctors used unlicensed or "off label" medicine in:
* 90 percent of babies in neonatal intensive care units
* 70 percent of children in pediatric intensive care units
* Two-thirds of children on general medical and surgical pediatric wards in the UK
Two studies suggest that children taking these medicines face a higher risk of side effects, with one estimate suggesting they suffer up to three times more side effects as a result. Part of the problem is that dosages for children are often not provided.
Information on how children react after taking the drugs, and what the side effects are, is not being collected.
Dr. Mercola's Comment:
It's bad enough that children and infants are overprescribed medications specifically meant for them; now the media is exposing the fact that kids are also being given drugs which have never been tested on children, with unknown effects. And while this report took place in the UK, we clearly have no shortage of medications being misused on kids in the United States either.
In our "Have a problem? Take a pill!" society, drugs are already vastly overprescribed. This is a particular problem for children. In the first year or two of life, your child's immune system is still being formed, and their experiences during this time can often predict whether or not they will have life-long health problems.
Scientific studies continually support the wisdom of limiting exposures to "foreign" substances for children, including synthetic chemicals -- which includes drugs.
Along with immune system development, your child's nervous system continues to develop well into their seventh year of life. With the recent epidemic increase in the rates of autism, attention deficit, and hyperactivity disorders, it would seem prudent to nurture and protect your child in every way possible.
Even drugs intended for children can have side effects as horrifying as suicidal tendencies and blindness. Drugs that have never been tested on children could have even worse effects. Play it safe; limit your child's exposure to drugs, and make sure that any prescription your child gets is absolutely, absolutely necessary.