Antibiotic use for kids down 14 percent; contraceptives up 93 percent

The number of antibiotic prescriptions for kids decreased 14 percent from 2002 to 2010, according to a new federal analysis. However, antibiotics still remain the most frequently prescribed drug for kids.

From USA Today:

“Overall, 263.6 million prescriptions were written for patients 17 and under in 2010, down 7% from 2002, finds the analysis of prescription claims databases by Food and Drug Administration researchers, published today in the journal Pediatrics. By comparison, 3.3 billion were dispensed for ages 18 and up, 22% more than in 2002.”

“The medical community has made “an enormous effort to decrease antibiotic use” for kids in the past decade “by educating parents about the futility of treating viral infections with antibiotics” and about antibiotic resistance, the FDA study says….”

“Other drug categories down from 2002-2010 were allergy medications (61%); pain (14%); and cough/cold without expectorant (42%). But prescriptions increasing include corticosteroids for asthma (14%); contraceptives (up 93%, possibly because of secondary uses, such as acne) and attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (46%).”

Do you think your kids are being prescribed antibiotics less frequently? Do you see the other categories decreasing as well – allergy, pain, cough and cold? Why do you think asthma meds, contraceptives and ADHD drugs are up?

38 comments Add your comment

Jeff

June 19th, 2012
8:03 am

I fully support contraceptives being prescribed for teenagers. So much so, that I think it should be in the drinking water in schools. As a matter of fact, if the male BC pill was available, do you have any idea what it would do for unwanted pregnancies in this country, especially teenagers? Being a parent as a teenager drastically changes the life going forward of everyone involved.

If any of you have a teenage boy, wouldn’t you put him on a BC pill if it was available?

Big Mama

June 19th, 2012
8:37 am

Jeff, I wish they encouraged all parents to put their children on BC starting at 12 or 13. The saddest thing in the world is to see a 13 year old girl and her baby. Both of their lives are in the toilet.

Denise

June 19th, 2012
8:58 am

No, No, No!!!! You have to preach abstinence only. It works!!!! /sarcasm/

I agree that parents need to be smarter about getting their children on birth control. I, too, wish males could have their own version. It would make them see the responsibility aspect of it past condoms. It’s too easy to talk a girl into not using them. Or vice versa. Girls are no less responsible for condom use.

Actually I wish there was technology that only “activated” the reproductive system at age 18.

FCM

June 19th, 2012
9:10 am

Perhaps parents today are more realistic? ie they are not assuming their kids will never give into the moment, thus they help them be prepared?

Mine have been told if they are even THINKING they might want to get busy (and they are much to young for me to want them too, but statistics said it could happen)….they need to let me know. Condoms will get put in the bathroom and regular screenings for STDs will happen. They will also be put on BC and start having paps. Hey you old enough to play adult, you have to be responsible like one…and yes that does mean extra doctor visits.

FCM

June 19th, 2012
9:12 am

TWG….I has the increasing number of gay teen characters on tv shows been discussed on the blog? (my kids commented that it seem every show has to have one these days) If not can we discuss it?

RJ

June 19th, 2012
9:21 am

Happy to see contraceptive use up, however I still see entirely too many teenaged pregnant girls. It’s such a sad situation. Also, I’m hoping barrier contraception is the ONLY one parents are purchasing for their kids. Anything else is just scary. We have regular talks with our kids. I don’t think my husband is as comfortable talking to my son about sex, but I have no problem telling him the real deal. He needs to know to protect himself. His life is at risk. My daugher and I talk regularly. As she prepares to go to college, I have given her all the information she needs. Although abstinence is the only 100% effective contraceptive, it’s unrealistic, always has been.

Also, I think ADHD meds are up because many parents would rather give their kid a pill instead of parenting! I have family members that are teachers and administrators in North Fulton County Schools and they say it’s common for parents to give their kids ADHD meds. Their kids will get extra time for tests, which they take advantage of. They WANT their kids on theses meds. Go figure! I have one with ADHD and giving meds was a last resort.

Denise

June 19th, 2012
9:30 am

FCM – I was in the 8th grade when I had my first “extra doctor’s visit” for a medical issue and I promise to God that was enough to make me NEVER want another one. (It’s funny…I didn’t know I was on BC pills for my issue. I was so naive (read: stupid). LOL!) Of course that didn’t stop me from having sex at 17 but I didn’t KNOW that was the kind of doctor’s visit I was going to have to have to get on BC pills. I didn’t get on them “for real” until college. Maybe had they told me I was on BC pills the first time I wouldn’t have experimented at 17 for fear of having to go back to THAT kind of doctor. Again…I was so stupid! LOL

FCM

June 19th, 2012
9:36 am

RJ “Their kids will get extra time for tests, which they take advantage of. ” Tell me how to get that! I have a severe ADHD child, yes she is on meds…and she is not given ANY extra time on test, leeway in getting work in or anything. She also has a learning disability and i have been trying for 5 years now to get her to Special Ed with no avail.

ADHD is serious stuff….and it is very, very hard on families… Infact I read that ADHD is being looked at as a possible form of autism.

Augusta

June 19th, 2012
9:37 am

Best birth control in the world, is for the girl to ask the guy “Are you ready to be a parent?” If the answer is NO, then put a condom on. We are teaching our kids about responsibility and self control

Birth control should NOT be left up to the girls.

I wonder how many men out there have children they don’t know about. One night stands where she gets pregnant and there’s no phone number left behind and you never see each other again……

Voice of Reason

June 19th, 2012
10:10 am

Again, this is a prime example of why it is so important to teach your kids to think and take into consideration the consequences of their actions by preparing accordingly.

Sexually active young women who do not wish to become young mothers should consider whatever birth control method is most reasonable for them. Sexually active young men should always carry condoms. These are things mature and responsible people should do.

Parents should never have unrealistic expectations that their children will not be sexually active. Preaching abstinence, just like when you tell anybody that they cannot do something, will only make them want to do it more.

Momtoktb

June 19th, 2012
10:14 am

@FCM: We live in ADHD world – we inherited this place from a grandfather, father, and other relatives. ;-) One child has an IEP, one has a 504 and one has no accommodations. In a 504 (and an IEP), you specify the various accomodations that will level the playing field for your kid so that (s)he can perform academically to the best of their abilities. Extra time for testing and assignments, small group testing for standardized tests, sets of books to be kept at home (so you can help them minimize learning gaps from lack of focus), specific communication methods bewteen parents, students and teachers, etc. If your girl also has an LD and they know this then the school is NOT doing their duty to her – she should have been referred to Special Education for evaluation for IEP or 504 services. You must be your child’s advocate at the school, and don’t be afraid to push when you need to! Best of luck.

Momtoktb

June 19th, 2012
10:16 am

@FCM: Check out the Atlanta chapter of CHADD.org for more info. :-)

Bernie

June 19th, 2012
10:18 am

I do not understand? Look how well, Bristol Palin turned out….She has her own show now! and doing pretty well with it and all of the other contracts she has managed to get, just by getting pregnant and then dropping out of school.

She is Hero to many of the readers here as well as her Mother!

Omg

June 19th, 2012
10:38 am

If you want your daughter to stop having sex then tell her to get married. Sex is about that thrill with a jock.

Wayne

June 19th, 2012
10:58 am

@FCM: I have to echo what Momtoktb said – push. My wife ended up going to an advocacy seminar. Best thing she ever did. Sure, we knew a bunch, but this seminar was excellent. I’ll try to get the name of the folks that put it on as they have a really good book that you can use as a resource.

Not trying to hijack the thread, but we have had to struggle/strongarm the school system with our youngest boy. ADHD and LD. To make matters worse, he was in public school (has an IEP – which was not written correctly) transferred to private school in another town, but still gets services from the public school. Yeah, that’s fun.

Techmom

June 19th, 2012
11:13 am

I too do not understand why there is not a male BC pill or better yet an implant like Norplant that is good for 5 years. I know neither protect against STDs but if left up to a boy in the heat of the moment, I’d rather have some kind of protection against pregnancy than nothing at all.

I am glad to see the drop in antibiotics in young kids. It seemed like we were creating a generation who was going to be antibiotic immune.

theresa

June 19th, 2012
11:23 am

Fcm we can absolutely talk about gay charcters on shows and I think also more on the iep stuff. I think lots of parents getting screwed by the system on those…. good stuff to discuss!

homeschooler

June 19th, 2012
11:25 am

I wish I knew how to ensure raising kids who didn’t have the mentality that “it won’t happen to me”. My husband and I started having sex as teenagers and never once considered not using protection. Neither of us had parents who preached abstinence or who left condoms in the bathroom. We were just smart and knew we didn’t want a baby. We had plans and dreams and never got caught up in the moment. Maybe we’re pretty boring but I sure wish I could clone my kids to be the same way.

I worry much less about my daughter getting pregnant than I do my son getting someone pregnant. Girls are sneaky and lie about being on the pill etc..

I’ve said before. I just fill my kids with facts. If they understand how likely it is to get pregnant just one time unprotected, maybe they will think rationally about it.

Scares the hell out of me. I too wish all kids could be sterilized until 18.

homeschooler

June 19th, 2012
11:29 am

My son has never been prescribed antibiotics. His immune system is beyond amazing. Never had a stomach virus. Never had a cold that lasted more than 2 days. Had the flu one time and was well in 4 days. My daughter is almost as healthy and was only on a mild antibiotic once for a slight ear infection.

Techmom

June 19th, 2012
11:33 am

Techmom

June 19th, 2012
12:00 pm

@homeschooler – I think I’d rather sterilize them until 25!

Gary

June 19th, 2012
12:07 pm

@BigMama – what kind of lazy parent would rather buy birth control for their 13 year old rather than open up a dialog about sex and its consequences or make sure their children had other healthy activities to participate in rather than exploring sex. Too many parents rely on schools and other baby sitters to raise their children and keep them out of trouble rather than accepting the responsibility of being a parent.

FCM

June 19th, 2012
12:08 pm

Thanks…the IEP or 504 is what I have been pushing for but every year they make me start back a square one…it drives me nuts. The whole, well let’s get the gaggle of geese…i mean committee together to discuss to Susie and see how this new teacher can further her.

So I will check out CHADD and keep pushing.

Morrigan

June 19th, 2012
12:15 pm

@Denise: “my issue…THAT kind of doctor…giggle giggle lol” WHAT are you talking about? Either say something, or don’t.

Re: male BC: there’s no male BC pill because it’s a very risky, powerful drug that has been linked to some types of cancer. Females are still seen as less valuable than males. If it weren’t so dangerous you can bet it would be on the market.

Re: ADHD: Say what you want, but it didn’t “exist” in the 50s, 60s or 70s. My self-indulged, first-name-only-using, I-wanna-be-popular-with-my-kid generation couldn’t be bothered thinking of their own kids’ future and raised them without socialization. They’re special, they’re precious snowflakes, if the teacher says a cross word Mommy’s suing the school system, when the boss eventually fires them Mommy will sue the boss too. There’s 99% of your “learning disabilities”.

Couple that with the monumentally stupid notion that all mental pain or struggle is bad, we all “deserve” to feel happy all the time, and if we don’t there’s a pill to “fix” us. Meanwhile these kids aren’t taught reading and arithmetic, they’re taught “self-esteem”. Why should they feel good about non-achievement and no future? News flash, your brats are not special, they’re not even tolerable. If they could read I’d suggest “Farewell Summer” by the late great Bradbury. Instead it’s some nonsense about vampires. But rather than admit you raised monsters and risk your precious popularity factor, you make up labels with the help of Big Pharma and the medical industry, and then complain about health care costs.

You disagree? Well then, there must be something in the water that was never there before and isn’t affecting anyone but Americans.

Carrie

June 19th, 2012
12:22 pm

A male birth control pill sounds like a great idea on paper. But come on…. do you really think teenage boys are responsible enough to remember to take a pill every day? I highly doubt it. My son could barely keep track of his house key when he was that age. LOL

Denise

June 19th, 2012
12:40 pm

Morrigan – no need to be nasty because you don’t understand something. I was talking about a gynecologist. If you followed what I was responding to or understand that you usually go to a gynecologist to get a pap smear to get birth control pills you might have gotten it in context.

FCM

June 19th, 2012
12:53 pm

“After a decade of debate on this issue, a Brazilian research team has published the most comprehensive study to date examining geographic rates and disparities in ADHD. According to this analysis, ADHD affects roughly five percent of children worldwide and North America is not the geographic area with the highest prevalence of the disorder.

Regions from around the world including Africa, Asia, Europe, the Middle East, North America, Oceania and South America were examined for this study and results showed variations in prevalence did not support a notion that ADHD is a product of North American culture.

Rates did vary in different geographic areas – North American rates were average at just over six percent with Europe slightly lower at four and a half percent. The highest rates of the disorder were found in Africa (eight and a half percent) and South America (11.8 percent). Japanese and Finnish children scored the lowest.”

I guess South American parents are “self-indulged, first-name-only-using, I-wanna-be-popular-with-my-kid generation couldn’t be bothered thinking of their own kids’ future and raised them without socialization” UM NOT.

TWG….I think we should include the global perspective next time we do ADHD/EIP….I am tired of being told I am too lazy to parent my child by those with limited knowledge.

RJ

June 19th, 2012
1:10 pm

@FCM, you need to get your child an IEP or 504. That’s where it will be addressed. I can’t imagine that not coming up in the meeting with the counselor and teachers. If it didn’t, you should bring it up. Believe me, the informed parents make sure their kids get that extra time.

@Morrigan, the ignorance of your post is overwhelming. So, since HIV didn’t exist in the 50’s it must be made up too, right? My husband will tell you that when he was growing up in the 70’s and 80’s he was just told that he was bad. His parents disciplined him, but he has always struggled with hyperactivity and attention deficit.

Momtoktb

June 19th, 2012
1:46 pm

@Morrigan. Just . . wow. I am so happy for you that ADHD is not manifested in your family’s genetics, and certainly pray that a poor child with the condition is never born into your family and subjected to your uninformed attitudes about it. FYI, my own father can attest that it most certainly DID exist in the 50’s, 60’s etc. One of the most intelligent men I know, yet a high school drop-out because the all-knowing “teachers” of the era treated him like an idiot and a trouble-maker, rather than recognizing a smart, eager-to-please kid who learned differently. He himself was finally diagnosed after he took his own son (my brother) for testing. He was told by my brother’s doctors that many people of older generations discover their own diagnosis in the same manner.

Momtoktb

June 19th, 2012
2:10 pm

@FCM: “the IEP or 504 is what I have been pushing for but every year they make me start back a square one” All you need for a 504 is a Medical Form (the school can give it to you) and a conference. For an IEP, you must go through the SST process, but it sounds like you’ve done that multiple times. :-( At this point I would call your school board and ask to speak with someone in the Special Education department for advice. I did that once and the gentleman who called back was very helpful! Btw, the school must act on your request for an evaluation within a set timeframe – they cannot legally just reset the clock!

Voice of Reason

June 19th, 2012
2:23 pm

@Morrigan

“Re: ADHD: Say what you want, but it didn’t “exist” in the 50s, 60s or 70s.”

Do you REALLY want me to go through all of the things that exist now that did not exist then? Your logic is flawed.

“Couple that with the monumentally stupid notion that all mental pain or struggle is bad, we all “deserve” to feel happy all the time, and if we don’t there’s a pill to “fix” us.”

Sounds like you have anger management issues. They have a pill for that.

“You disagree? Well then, there must be something in the water that was never there before and isn’t affecting anyone but Americans.”

You must be from Canada….

Trolling troll is trolling……

FCM

June 19th, 2012
2:24 pm

yes lots of SST….I call it my geese meeting. lots of talking but no productivity.

with my older child (ADD but less severe) I ended up working directly with the Asst Principal and we seem to have her on track. At one point during the SST the guidence counselor said “It may be time to have Jenny see a doctor” I said for ADD? She said yes….I said she was diagnosed 3.5 years ago when we started the SST…I understand this is 6th grade and a different school, but isn’t that in her file? She said “Oh yes it is.” That is when I looked at AP and said I will not be attending group discussion, I will deal with you.

It has all been a big headache…..but the younger one has reading issues and it effects writing/spelling/test taking and I was told a 504 would help her by letting her have someone read the long comprehensive paragraph to her if necessary or let her do books on tape for her reading homework.

Momtoktb

June 19th, 2012
2:37 pm

@FCM: Too funny – we call it the cackling hens. ;-) There is also dictation software and allowing tablet/laptop/computer in class use for writing and writing assessments. A friend’s child has those accommodations (for dysgraphia) and we are on that path now. We should get coffee and compare notes! :-)

  

June 19th, 2012
3:01 pm

Fcm we can absolutely talk about gay charcters on shows and I think also more on the iep stuff. I think lots of parents getting screwed by the system on those…. good stuff to discuss!

No, we absolutely cannot. Let’s keep this a safe, clean blog please. Not a good subject, anyway.

Really?

June 19th, 2012
5:43 pm

Oh ok blank poster. Why WOULDN”T you want to discuss it? I think it would be a great subject and parents need to teach their children to be tolerant of all other people. Not shy away from subjects because it makes you uncomfortable.

FCM on my cell

June 19th, 2012
8:10 pm

I misstated…I have had younger child in SST for 4 years now. Older daughter got diagnosed last…6 months after younger one. We literally had to get younger one “calm” before we understood older one had a issue.

jarvis

June 19th, 2012
8:26 pm

@ Morrigan all of those Legionnaires that died in 1976 will be so thrilled to hear that anything not diagnosed by 1960 isn’t real.

  

June 20th, 2012
8:37 am

Not shy away from subjects because it makes you uncomfortable.

Because I, unlike others, do not allow the gay agenda to be pushed onto myself or my family especially my impressionable children.

Far too many people are lemmings and will bow to political correctness and “groupthink.”

Not all of us do. There is still hope for some.

PS: This concept of “tolerance” is rarely just that. I’m not allowed to have a dissenting but respectful opinion as I’ll be labeled a “homophobe” or “hate monger” or some other such hogwash. The only thing that is tolerated is one view.