Paediatric uses of atypical antipsychotics

Robert L. Findling, Nora K. McNamara, Barbara L. Gracious

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

45 Scopus citations


Antipsychotics are commonly prescribed to children and adolescents. With the relatively recent availability of the atypical antipsychotics, physicians have begun prescribing these agents to young people in the hope of finding safe, effective alternatives to the typical antipsychotics. This report reviews what is currently known about the use of the atypical antipsychotics in young people. Most of the currently available data are based on case reports and case series. The results of only a handful of prospective trials pertaining to the use of the atypical antipsychotics in youths have been reported. Based on the available information, it appears that clozapine has a role in juvenile treatment resistant schizophrenia. When considered as a group, the 'first-line' atypical antipsychotics risperidone, olanzapine and quetiapine appear to have promise as treatments for several neuropsychiatrie disorders in young people. These conditions include psychotic, mood, disruptive, movement and pervasive developmental disorders. Unfortunately, as has historically been the case, the demand to address the clinical needs of young patients with neuropsychiatrie disorders has outpaced empirically based information. This is particularly important because significant side effects can occur when children or adolescents are treated with atypical antipsychotics. Since there is a paucity of short-term and almost no long-term safety data pertaining to these agents in young people, careful consideration must be made prior to initiatingatypical antipsychotic treatment for a child or teenager. Based upon what is known about these agents, a rational approach to the use of these drugs in juveniles is offered. 2000

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)935-945
Number of pages11
JournalExpert opinion on pharmacotherapy
Issue number5
StatePublished - 2000
Externally publishedYes


  • Adolescents
  • Antipsychotic drugs
  • Aripiprazole
  • Children
  • Clozapine
  • Olanzapine
  • Quetiapine
  • Risperidone
  • Sertindole
  • Ziprasidone

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pharmacology
  • Pharmacology (medical)


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