Naturally, parents worry about long-term negative effects of psychotropic medication on children. We have very little data since most of the psychotropic drug explosion has been relatively recent, and not enough time has passed to see any long-term effects on the brain or development in general, but even for very common psychotropic drugs like Ritalin, which has been used for fifty years, there has been no evidence that there are long-term dangers. At this time, there is no documented reason to worry about psychotropic drugs causing death or long-term damage to our children. While some of the side effects like drowsiness, mood changes, or other symptoms can affect our children, these are easily recognized and treated if the medication is being monitored correctly. Even for drugs that have been used for fifty years there is no evidence of long-term damage to children except for relatively minor issues like a very small height diminution in children who have taken some of the ADHD medications and even in this case it is not known if the decrease lasts into adulthood.
Lastly, there are always the newspaper headlines about famous or not so famous people dying from psychotropic drugs. This is very different from dying from proper prescribing. In these cases, there is usually an overdose of the drug, either intentionally or otherwise, a combination of drugs, or an interaction with illicit drugs or alcohol.
Information contained in this blog is intended for educational purposes only. It is not intended as medical or psychiatric advice for individual conditions or treatment and does not substitute for a medical or psychiatric examination. A psychiatrist must make a determination about any treatment or prescription. Dr. Paul does not assume any responsibility or risk for the use of any information contained within this blog.