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.
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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