Though international studies highlight, in Europe, the increase in use of psychotropic drugs in children and adolescents, in Italy, the prescription rate remains lower and stable over time. So far, adequate studies - to document the longterm efficacy and safety of psychotropic drugs for the pediatric population - are still missing, given that the current available research examines short-term duration in use. The treatment of psychiatric disorders in children requires a multimodal and multidisciplinary approach, in which medications seldom correspond to the primary approach for treatment. On the other hand, the studies on ADHD point out the evidence on psychotropic medications’ efficacy. Most prescriptions of psychotropic drugs for children and adolescents are considered "off label", i.e. the medications are prescribed in age ranges, dosage and with indications not approved by regulatory authorities. Moreover, children and adolescents taking psychiatric medications, more than adults, may be exposed to higher risks of adverse events such as metabolic and endocrine abnormalities associated with second-generation antipsychotic treatments. Data on long-term efficacy and safety of psychiatric medications is essential to help understand the risk-benefit ratio of psychotropic drugs in children and adolescents.
Keywords: Adolescents, psychotropic drugs, efficacy, safety, review
Antonio Clavenna, Laura Reale, Daniele Piovani, Maurizio Bonarti, Psychotropic medications for adolescents and children in "RIVISTA SPERIMENTALE DI FRENIATRIA" 2/2016, pp. 79-101, DOI:10.3280/RSF2016-002006