Between 1996 and 2001, notes David Healy in Mania: A Short History of Bipolar Disorder, there was a fivefold increase in the use of antipsychotics in preschoolers and preteens. The second-generation atypicals (Zyprexa, Risperdal, Abilify, Seroquel, and others) were often prescribed off-label for a variety of indications, including depression, ADHD, mood stabilization, and behavioral control. From the outset, they were known to contribute to cardiovascular and metabolic problems, chiefly weight gain, tardive dyskinesia, and diabetes. But whether the drugs themselves were associated with an increased risk of death was, at least officially, unknown.

That is no longer the case. The first sizable (250,000-person) study on the subject was recently published online in JAMA Psychiatry, largely concerning children and teens diagnosed with ADHD. Led by Wayne A. Ray at the Vanderbilt University School of Medicine, the study controlled for multiple factors, including schizophrenia, suicide, and overdose. Of the three groups studied, it determined that the one receiving a higher dose of antipsychotic medication had a “significantly increased risk of unexpected death compared with the group that received control medication.”
— Read on

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