September 2, 2015

pillsLarge numbers of people with intellectual disabilities as well as those who also have autism are being inappropriately prescribed antipsychotic drugs, finds a new University College London study.

Dr. Rory Sheehan, one of the authors of the study “Mental illness, challenging behavior, and psychotropic drug prescribing in people with intellectual disability: UK population based cohort study. The BMJ. 2015, said,

“The number of people with intellectual disabilities who have been prescribed antipsychotics is greatly disproportionate to the number diagnosed with severe mental illness for which they are indicated.”

Medical Daily reports in “Study: Doctors Aren’t Prescribing Antipsychotics The Way They Should” that while,

“the rate of prescribing antipsychotics to those with intellectual disabilities has been falling slowly over the last 15 years.

“Other drugs used to treat mental illness, however, are also being prescribed to those with intellectual disabilities in large numbers. Anxiety treatment drugs were the most prescribed, followed by antidepressants. Like antipsychotics, both of these drugs were being prescribed at a higher rate than mental disorders were being recorded.”

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