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Risks and benefits of antipsychotics in children and adolescents
Date:9/1/2008

scents, defined as adolescents with no prior antipsychotic treatment or total lifetime antipsychotic usage of fewer than 30 days, changes in duration of the QTc interval before and after 6 months of treatment were assessed, with no cardiovascular changes in the study population (Castro et al., in press).

What do we know?

  • Early intervention with an effective and well-tolerated antipsychotic provides symptomatologic improvement in some mental disorders in children and adolescents that may modify the actual course of the disease associated with these disorders.

  • Children and adolescents seem to have a higher risk than adults for experiencing adverse events such as extrapyramidal symptoms, prolactin elevation, sedation, weight gain, and metabolic effects when taking antipsychotics.

Patients and their families should be included in a careful risk-benefit assessment before prescribing any specific antipsychotic.

What do we need to know?

  • There is a need for controlled studies in the case of disorders in which antipsychotics are being used without clinical evidence of their efficacy or effectiveness.

  • We need short and long term safety data on issues such as cardiovascular, hormonal, and metabolic safety, sexual maturation, fertility, and growth changes induced by antipsychotics.

  • We need data on the interaction between the antipsychotics and the cognitive, emotional and behavioural development in different mental disorders.

  • Finally, we need controlled studies that not only assess efficacy, but also take into account the impact of the disease and that of the medications prescribed for the disease, on individual well-being, social, educational and/or vocational functioning, and disease burden in order to make reasonable risk/benefit ratios.


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Contact: Sonja Mak
s.mak@update.europe.at
43-140-557-340
European College of Neuropsychopharmacology
Source:Eurekalert

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