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Joint Statement on Atypical Antipsychotic Use in Children
Date:6/8/2009

s also needed to better understand the risks and benefits of these medications when used over an extended period.

As we know, these medications can also have serious side effects, which is why it is crucial that parents and physicians have as much information as possible in order to make informed decisions and weigh the risk of side effects and adverse reactions against the risk of not treating these very serious diseases. Other treatments for grave childhood illnesses such as cancer can cause hair loss, nausea, compromised immune systems and even death. However, few people question the necessity of these aggressive forms of treatment. Like cancer, aggressive treatment may be needed for some patients with bipolar disorder and schizophrenia, diseases with a higher risk of death than some forms of cancer.

The best way to protect the health of our nation's children and adolescents is to increase access to treatment options and communicate accurate, scientific information that helps parents and physicians cope with and properly treat these devastating illnesses.

Our non-profit national mental health advocacy and medical professional organizations represent consumers, physicians, researchers and the top experts in the field of mental health and neuroscience. For more information about mental illness and treatment, we recommend that you talk to your health care provider or visit our organization websites.

American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry - www.aacap.org

American Foundation for Suicide Prevention - www.afsp.org

American Psychiatric Association - www.psych.org

Child and Adolescent Bipolar Foundation - '/>"/>

SOURCE Mental Health America
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