Tuesday, December 9, 2008

Antipsychotics in Children: Experts Report Mixed Results

Studies of antipsychotics in child prenpresented at the 48th Annual New Clinical Drugs Evaluation Unit (NCDEU) Meeting, conducted by the NIMH in Phoenix, May 27-30, provide some data where there have been relatively little on the increasing use of these agents.

In a panel discussion on ethics applications in child and adolescent psychopharmacology research and practice, panel chair Christopher Kratochvil, MD, University of Nebraska, noted, “while children have additional protections as a vulnerable population in research, recognition of underserved treatment needs is driving demand for psychopharmacology progress.”

As psychopharmacotherapy in children may be expanding faster than its evidence base, however, there is also increasing concern that risk-benefit is not being adequately assessed. In the October issue of the Archives of Pediatric and Adolescent Medicine, a retrospective cohort study of antipsychotic use in children and adolescents reveals that these agents are associated with increased risk of adverse metabolic and cardiovascular events.[1] Neurological adverse events in this cohort were reported separately in the Journal of Child Neurology.[2]


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