We aimed to provide a descriptive review of treatment studies of atypical antipsychotics in paediatric psychiatric disorders. A systematic review of the literature used Medline and EMBASE databases to identify clinical trials of atypical antipsychotics in children and adolescents between 1994 and 2006. Trials were limited to double-blind studies and open-label studies of ≥8 weeks duration that included ≥20 patients. Nineteen double-blind and 22 open-label studies were identified. Studies included use of clozapine, olanzapine, quetiapine, risperidone, and ziprasidone in the treatment of disruptive behavioural disorders (DBDs), pervasive developmental disorders (PDDs), tic disorder, psychotic disorders, and mania. These medications generally reduced the severity of a variety of psychiatric symptoms in children and adolescents. Less frequent adverse events included extrapyramidal symptoms, hyperglycaemia and diabetes, and endocrine effects. The review of published scientific data suggests that most of the atypical antipsychotics, excluding clozapine, have a favourable risk/benefit profile and effectively reduce disabling behaviours in paediatric psychiatric patients. While there is a body of evidence published of treatment of DBDs and PDDs, there is a lack of controlled data to guide clinical practice for the use of atypical antipsychotics for paediatric psychotic disorders and bipolar disorder. While there have been studies with duration up to 2 years, no definitive data are available that suggest long-term safety; additional studies are warranted.
- Atypical antipsychotics
- Paediatric psychiatric disorders
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Pediatrics, Perinatology, and Child Health
- Developmental and Educational Psychology
- Psychiatry and Mental health