What is it about?

We studied a group of preschoolers treated with antipsychotic medications over 6 years to understand what could be associated with longer durations. We found that preschoolers started on antipsychotic medications in 2012 stayed on them an average of 2.6 years and 31% were treated with at least 4 medication classes at the same time at some point in the study. Less than half of the children in our cohort received recommended laboratory studies to monitor for side effects.

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Why is it important?

The use of antipsychotic medications in preschoolers may lead to significant short and long term side effects and health concerns. It is important to make sure they are receiving other supports and therapies to help them achieve best outcomes.


This article reflects an increasing concern that I have about promoting the rational use of behavioral health medications in children.

David Lohr
University of Louisville School of Medicine

Read the Original

This page is a summary of: Antipsychotic Medications for Low-Income Preschoolers: Long Duration and Psychotropic Medication Polypharmacy, Psychiatric Services, May 2022, American Psychiatric Association,
DOI: 10.1176/appi.ps.202000673.
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