More Qld kids on drugs
QUEENSLAND prescribes more anti-psychotic medicines to children than any other state, new data reveals, but Warwick medical experts say we're bucking the trend and moving towards behavioural therapy.
Figures from the Australian Commission on Safety and Quality in Healthcare shows the Sunshine State prescribed the most drugs per 100,000 people aged 17 or under.
In 2013-14, children received an average of 2544 prescriptions, compared to the national benchmark of 2070.
Dr Lynton Hudson from the Condamine Medical Centre said while these drugs were sometimes prescribed to Southern Downs children, it wasn't common.
"It would be very rare, especially in Warwick for a GP to prescribe anti-psychotic drugs for children, and when it is, it would usually be done in collaboration with a specialist," Dr Hudson said.
Dr Hudson said doctors were beginning to lean more towards cognitive therapy for children who were stressed or suffered anxiety.
"Doctors are very aware of the effects of medications on the growing brain and there is definitely a push to prescribe drugs only if we need to," he said.
"We'd prefer the children to be able to understand the root of their issues and learn to deal with them without the need for medications."
Dr Hudson said the ACSQH statistics could be skewed slightly by the use of the drug Seroquel, which is used frequently to treat a range of issues and usually only in very low doses.
Warwick Friendly Society Pharmacies pharmacist in charge Ahmad Almesfer said there had been an increase in Seroquel use over the past 10 years.
"This drug has been around for a long time, it's used for a range of things and it might be that specialists are becoming more aware of the issues it can treat," he said.
"It seems that drugs once reserved for older patients are now being prescribed for younger patients."