A new study published in JAMA has found that prescription drug use among adolescents has dropped. The use of antibiotics, antihistamines and upper respiratory combination medications saw the biggest decline.
Researchers identified and examined 38,277 adolescents, aged 10 to 19 years, who participated from 1999-2014 in the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey (NHANES), a survey that is conducted every 2 years.
From 1999-2014, children were interviewed face-to-face at home. During the interviews, they were asked whether they had taken any prescription medications in the past 30 days. If a child answered “yes,” then the interviewer would record the names of up to 20 prescription medications reportedly taken in the last 30 days.
The results of this observational study found that the use of any prescription medication by adolescents declined over time, going from 24.6% in 1999-2002 to 21.9% in 2011-2014.
Although there was an overall decrease in the use of any medication from 1999-2014, the use of asthma medication, ADHD (attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder) medication and contraceptives increased among certain age groups.
Alanna McCatty is founder and CEO of McCatty Scholars, an organization that devises and implements financial literacy programs for students to combat the nationwide issue of the loss of educational opportunity due to the ramifications of burdensome student debt. At MedShadow, she reports on new findings and research on the side effects of prescription drugs. She is a graduate of Pace University.