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Study Finds 1/4 of U.S. Kids Take Prescription Drugs

An alarming study by Medco Health Solutions, Inc. found that over one quarter of children within the United States take prescription drugs on a regular basis. The study found also found that 7 percent of those children were taking two or more prescriptions on a "chronic basis." Among the medications taken by American children were asthma treatments, diabetes pills, sleeping aids, mood disorders, and prescriptions for attention deficit hyperactivity disorder.

The study also determined that many of the prescribed drugs taken by U.S. children
have not yet been rendered safe by most researchers and organizations, including the FDA. Danny Benjamin, a pediatrics professor from Duke University, maintained that most drugs prescribed to kids have not been evaluated for pediatric use and could be potentially harmful as the side effects of medications on a developing child are vastly different than those an adult encounters.

Benjamin advised parents to research medications, confirm any diagnosis via a second opinion, and study the side effects of prescription drugs from reputable sources like the FDA and the American Academy of Pediatrics. Benjamin stated to the Wall Street Journal: "If your child has a chronic problem, then you have to invest the time as a parent."

Alternatives to long term medications include adopting a healthy diet, encouraging exercise, and seeking out alternatives to prescription drugs, including herbal treatments.

For more: Wall Street Journal

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