Attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) is considered by many to be the most common childhood mental health disorder. According to Psychology Today, some estimates even claim 5-11% of children are afflicted by this disorder. The good news is, both behavioral treatments and medications can be effective. The most commonly used ADHD in the United States are Ritalin and Adderall, but pediatricians may prescribe others as well, such as:
Food and seasonal allergies can be a problem for some kids. Gluten sensitivity and peanut allergies are on the rise and they can certainly complicate things on a daily basis. For these types of allergies, a rescue medication, such as an EpiPen, may sometimes be prescribed—though difficult during these times of shortage to get your hands on. Seasonal allergies can also be a downer for kids. Beyond a typical allergy medication such as Children’s Benadryl, Claritin, Flonase, or Zyrtec (all of which can be picked up over the counter), your pediatrician may also prescribe:
Shortness of breath, wheezing, and coughing after exposure to environmental allergens & toxins, cold air, exercise, and even viruses can signify the basic symptoms of asthma in kids. According to the CDC, it’s a hard-hitting chronic disease that affects 8.3% of kids in the United States. Interestingly, 70-80% of kids who have asthma, also have seasonal allergies. Here’s a list of the most commonly prescribed asthma medications for kids:
Most parents won’t be overly surprised to learn antibiotics top the list of the most commonly prescribed medicines for children. They treat a host of bacterial infections from strep throat to ear infections, UTIs, and much more. They do not, however, treat viral infections, so your doctor will need to identify the cause of your child’s ailment to be sure. Over the past decade, doctors have become more leery about prescribing antibiotics to avoid overuse and antibiotic resistance.
Interestingly, a new study, published by the British Medical Journal, Gut, has found a link between antibiotics and antacids given to kids—and child obesity. Because of the way each of these medications can disrupt gut flora and the way the body digests and absorbs nutrients, it can lead to weight gain. This is not to say, all cases of antibiotics are unavoidable, however. Depending on the type of bacterial infection your child has, one of the following may be prescribed:
Parents with kids who have eczema already know it encompasses a number of different types of skin disorders: atopic dermatitis, contact dermatitis, dyshidrotic eczema, and cradle cap (seborrheic dermatitis). According to the National Eczema Association, eczema will often make its first appearance within the first six months to five years of a child’s life. While the exact cause of eczema is still unknown, there are a couple of topical medications to help deal with flare-ups when they happen. Let’s take a quick look at the top two:
Fungal infections don’t just affect babies. Kids of all ages are prone to yeast infections and as it turns out, one of the most prescribed medications is one of them. Kids tend to pick up a fungal infection quickly because they aren’t always the most hygienic of creatures. Not washing hands, sharing or reusing towels, and even transference from pets can all be causes. Luckily, there are medications that can help.
Most families with kids will have at least one round of pink eye blaze through in a given year. Once again, hygiene has its role in this fiasco. Remembering to wash hands, and not rubbing or touching eyes happens to be the best way to avoid pink eye. When that fails, there are drugs used in pediatric circles to combat it. They include:
Kids get all manner of aches and pains—not to mention fevers when they’re sick. NSAIDs, or nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs, are typically the first thing your pediatrician will prescribe. Most of the time, you can simply pick these up without a prescription, but with caution. However, if the fever or pain is bad enough—say, from a broken bone—then they may have to prescribe a slightly higher dosage.
As you can see, there’s a host of different medications used to treat the common illnesses and conditions kids typically face. While there may be 19 medications, there are only 8 categories. Granted, this by no means is an exhaustive list of every medication a child may end up needing to take—but it gives you a quick glimpse on the most commonly prescribed and what they’re used for.
Be sure to always administer the prescribed dosage from your doctor and call them immediately if any allergies or side-effect crop up.