Addressing Adverse Effects of Antipsychotic Treatment in Young Patients With Schizophrenia




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Children and adolescents are at a greater risk than adults for antipsychotic-induced adverse effects such as extrapyramidal symptoms, prolactin elevation, sedation, weight gain, and metabolic effects, which can have long-term health consequences for young patients. Clinicians should complete careful baseline assessments and perform dietary and lifestyle counseling when initiating antipsychotic treatment and then proactively monitor for adverse effects to optimize physical as well as psychiatric outcomes. Strategies to manage adverse effects that occur or worsen during treatment include switching medications, lowering the dosage of medications, and initiating targeted treatments to address clinically relevant changes.

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J Clin Psychiatry 2011;72(1):e01