Developing methodologies for monitoring long-term safety of psychotropic medications in children: Report on the NIMH Conference, September 25, 2000

Laurence L. Greenhill, Benedetto Vitiello, Howard Abikoff, Jerome Levine, John S. March, Mark A. Riddle, Lisa Capasso, Thomas B. Cooper, Mark Davies, Prudence Fisher, Robert L. Findling, Jane Fried, Michael J. Labellarte, James T. McCracken, Don Mcmahon, James Robinson, Anne Skrobala, Lawrence Scahill, Elena Varipatis, John T. WalkupJulie M. Zito

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

29 Scopus citations


Objective: To improve the methods for long-term assessment of drug-associated side effects and advance knowledge of the safety profile of psychotropic medications in children and adolescents. Method: A multidisciplinary, interactive workshop was hosted by the National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH) and the Research Units on Pediatric Psychopharmacology network. Participants were experts in child and adolescent psychiatry, psychopharmacology, pharmacoepidemiology, and statistics from academia, the pharmaceutical industry, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA), and the NIMH. Evaluation of drug safety was examined from five perspectives: research design and methods, industry, regulatory requirements, bioethics, and practice settings. For each of these areas, special emphasis was placed on identifying barriers and generating solutions. Results: A major obstacle is the lack of standardization of the methods used for collecting safety data. The limitations of both randomized clinical trials and passive postmarketing surveillance in assessing long-term safety were recognized. The need to consider alternative approaches, such as registries and trend analysis of population-based databases, was highlighted. Recommendations were proposed together with possible approaches to implementation. Conclusions: A concerted effort by academic researchers, industry, FDA, practitioners, and NIMH is needed to standardize methods and lay the foundations for systematic research on the long-term safety of psychotropic medications in children.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)651-655
Number of pages5
JournalJournal of the American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry
Issue number6
StatePublished - Jun 2003
Externally publishedYes


  • Adverse events
  • Children
  • Drug safety
  • Psychopharmacology
  • Treatment

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Developmental and Educational Psychology
  • Psychiatry and Mental health


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