45% of Children and Adolescent Inpatients Prescribed Antipsychotics

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In a rare long-term study of antipsychotics used in children and adolescent inpatients, the Institute of Living in Hartford, CT followed 3,851 consecutive admissions over a ten-year period. Results show that nearly 45% of children and adolescents were prescribed antipsychotics. “This is an important issue,” said Dr. John W. Goethe, the study’s presenter, “because these antipsychotic medications are commonly prescribed” despite being used for indications that have not been approved by the FDA. The results were presented yesterday at the 17th annual Psychopharmacology Conference in Las Vegas, NV.

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These findings need to be put in a broader context. Other research shows that early exposure to antipsychotics leads to changes in neural circuitry and behavioral dysfunction, have significant adverse effects, and that adolescents at risk for psychosis do worse on antipsychotics.

(Comment by Kermit Cole, “In the News” Editor)

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Mad in America hosts blogs by a diverse group of writers. These posts are designed to serve as a public forum for a discussion—broadly speaking—of psychiatry and its treatments. The opinions expressed are the writers’ own.

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Kermit Cole
Kermit Cole, MFT, founding editor of Mad in America, works in Santa Fe, New Mexico as a couples and family therapist. Inspired by Open Dialogue, he works as part of a team and consults with couples and families that have members identified as patients. His work in residential treatment — largely with severely traumatized and/or "psychotic" clients — led to an appreciation of the power and beauty of systemic philosophy and practice, as the alternative to the prevailing focus on individual pathology. A former film-maker, he has undergraduate and master's degrees in psychology from Harvard University, as well as an MFT degree from the Council for Relationships in Philadelphia. He is a doctoral candidate with the Taos Institute and the Free University of Brussels. You can reach him at [email protected]

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