Drug Sleepy Kids?
The world of prescription drugs just got darker. Apparently kids that have trouble sleeping are being prescribed medication, even though no sleeping pill has been approved for use in children—unreal! Alan Mozes of HealthDay News reports:
"The concern with sleep medications is that we don't know how much to use and how long to use these drugs for children," explained study co-author Milap C. Nahata. "This is because many drugs used for pediatric care in general -- including sleep medications -- have been well-studied and approved by the FDA but have not been studied for effectiveness and safety among children."
Nahata is a professor of pediatrics and internal medicine and a division chair at the Ohio State University College of Pharmacy in Columbus. His team's study is being published in the Aug. 1 issue of Sleep.
The new findings complement a 2004 National Sleep Foundation poll that revealed that sleep difficulties are extremely widespread among the young.
That survey found that 60 percent of American boys and girls under the age of 11 experience some kind of trouble getting shut-eye at least a few nights a week, while nearly three-quarters of parents indicated that they would like to alter something about their child's sleep behavior.
Nahata and his colleagues noted that, in the United States, about 75 percent of all prescription drugs are not labeled for pediatric use, and not a single insomnia drug is indicated for use among young patients.
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