NIH: Boys More Likely to Be On Prescription Antipsychotics Than Girls

“Boys are more likely than girls to receive a prescription for antipsychotic medication regardless of age,” according to a study funded by the National Institutes of Health (NIH) and published July 1 in JAMA Psychiatry.

This study, done by Mark Olfson, M.D., of Columbia Psychiatry, Marissa King, Ph.D., of Yale, and Michael Schoenbaum, Ph.D., of the National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH), looked at prescription data from 2006 to 2010 from the IMS LifeLink LRx Longitudinal Prescription database, which includes 63 percent of all outpatient prescriptions in the U.S.

The prescription data showed that even very young boys were medicated at more than twice the rate of girls their age.

In 2010, 0.16 percent of boys between the ages of 1 and 6 received an antipsychotic prescription compared to only .06 percent of girls the same age.

The same pattern was seen in children aged 7-to-12: 1.2 percent of boys were on prescription antipsychotics compared to 0.44 percent for girls.