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LONDON, Nov 18, 2004 (United Press International via COMTEX) -- Increasing numbers of children worldwide are being prescribed stimulants and antidepressants, University of London researchers reported.
The study, published in the journal Archives of Disease in Childhood, looked at prescribing trends for children up to age 17 in nine countries -- United Kingdom, France, Germany, Spain, Canada, United States, Argentina, Brazil and Mexico -- between 2000 and 2002.
Significant increases in the number of prescriptions were found in all countries, except Canada and Germany. The highest increase was found in the United Kingdom, at 68 percent.
The authors noted the increases might be due to better recognition of mental illness among children and adolescents, and that medicines are being used instead of other, non-drug treatments.
"We believe the use of psychotropic medications in children is a global public health issue, which should be studied in partnership with pharmaceutical companies, governments and researchers," the researchers wrote.
Copyright 2004 by United Press International.