As children engaged in COVID-19 mitigation measures like virtual schooling and social distancing, fewer visits to health facilities saw a steep decline of the number of children receiving prescription drugs, according to a new study by the University of Michigan.
Medications prescribed for kids fell by more than 25 percent from March to November 2020 compared to the year prior. The medications with the steepest declines were cold-and-cold drugs and antibiotics.
The amount of antibiotics prescribed to children and teens plummeted by nearly 56% from April to December 2020 compared to the same months the previous year.
According to the findings, researchers also saw a decrease in prescriptions for asthma and attention deficit hyperactivity disorder, but not for antidepressants.
“The decline in the number of children receiving antibiotics is consistent with the large decreases in infection-related pediatric visits during 2020,” lead author Kao-Ping Chua, a pediatrician and researcher at University of Michigan Health C.S. Mott Children’s Hospital and the Susan B. Meister Child Health Evaluation and Research Center said in a release.
”Because antibiotics have important side effects, the dramatic decreases in antibiotic dispensing may be a welcome development. However, declines in dispensing of chronic disease drugs could be concerning.”