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Atypical Antipsychotics in the Treatment of Children and Adolescents: Clinical Applications

Robert L. Findling, MD, and Nora K. McNamara, MD

Published: April 1, 2004

Article Abstract

Atypical antipsychotics offer superior safety and similar efficacy compared with conventionalagents in adults with psychotic disorders. Consequently, atypical antipsychotics have been increasinglyused in children and adolescents. Because most information now available on pediatric usecomes from case reports and small open-label studies rather than large controlled trials, treatment inpediatric patients is often guided by experience with adults or based on limited evidence in youths.Although the literature contains reports on the use of each agent in this class in children, risperidonehas been the focus of the greatest number of reports. However, the atypical antipsychotics are notinterchangeable; each has a unique pharmacologic profile and may differ considerably in terms ofadverse effects. Evidence on the use of atypical antipsychotics in children and adolescents is summarizedin this review.

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