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Use of Antipsychotics in Children and Adolescents

Robert L. Findling, MD; Hans Steiner, MD; and Elizabeth B. Weller, MD

Published: August 15, 2005

Article Abstract

The comparable efficacy and improved safety of the atypical antipsychotics compared with thetraditional antipsychotic agents in the treatment of schizophrenia and other disorders in adults haveprompted the use of these agents in children and adolescents. The atypical antipsychotics are increasingly being used in children and adolescents with a variety of different psychiatric diagnoses, including schizophrenia, bipolar disorder, autism/pervasive developmental disorders, conduct disorder, depression, anxiety disorders, tic disorders, delirium, and eating disorders. Unfortunately, clinical use of these agents in pediatric patients has far exceeded the limited evidence from randomized controlled trials. This article reviews the available evidence from the published literature on the use of the atypical antipsychotics in children and adolescents with schizophrenia, bipolar disorder, and maladaptive aggression associated with autism/pervasive developmental disorders and conduct disorder/disruptive behavior disorders.

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