Psychopharmacology for young children: clinical needs and research opportunities.

  title={Psychopharmacology for young children: clinical needs and research opportunities.},
  author={Benedetto Vitiello},
  volume={108 4},
  • B. Vitiello
  • Published 1 October 2001
  • Psychology, Medicine
  • Pediatrics
In response to concerns about the increasing use of psychotropic medications in preschoolers, the National Institute of Mental Health and the Food and Drug Administration convened a workshop in October 2000 to examine the current state of knowledge regarding psychopharmacology for young children and discuss a variety of topics relevant to research in this age group, including safety, efficacy, investigational methods, and ethical aspects. The meeting gathered researchers, practitioners… 

Developing strategies for psychopharmacological studies in preschool children.

The obstacles and special challenges-ethical, practical, scientific, and regulatory-faced by investigators who attempt to conduct psychopharmacological studies in preschoolers are identified.

Ethical issues in child psychopharmacology research and practice: emphasis on preschoolers

Some challenges facing mental health care providers involved in prescribing or researching the use of psychoactive drugs in preschoolers are reviewed, including those related to medical treatment and research with children.

Pediatric psychopharmacology: A review of new developments and recent research

The authors conclude that the current clinical use of psychotropics in children exceeds extant efficacy and safety data.

Evidence-based psychopharmacology for children and adolescents

There is now significantly more evidence available to support the rational prescribing of psychoactive agents for several child and adolescent psychiatric disorders, however, there are still many gaps in knowledge and further studies are required before it will be possible to practise in a truly evidence-based manner.

Ethical considerations in psychopharmacological research involving children and adolescents

Research on human subject issues relevant to child participation is a promising approach to improving ethical methods and procedures of pediatric psychopharmacology.

Psychopharmacologic treatment of aggressive preschoolers: A chart review

  • J. Staller
  • Psychology, Medicine
    Progress in Neuro-Psychopharmacology and Biological Psychiatry
  • 2007

Psychotropic utilization and psychiatric presentation of hospitalized very young children.

The aim of this study was to examine the prevalence and nature of psychotropics prescribed by child psychiatrists to very young children with severe functional impairment secondary to psychiatric pathology, and the clinical context in which these psychotropicics were prescribed.

Psychopharmacology of conduct disorder: current progress and future directions

Critical issues in the effectiveness of the evidence-based pharmacotherapy for CD are raised and future directions of the psychopharmacology of CD are examined.

The impact of prescribed psychotropics on youth

It is concluded that researchers should clarify child/adult differences for psychotropics, attend to the growth of "cosmetic" use of psychotropic use in children and adolescents, and address concerns about the diagnostic validity of mental illness in the current DSM classification system.

Informed consent & ethical issues in paediatric psychopharmacology.

Issues relating to informed consent and ethics in paediatric psychopharmacology limit research in this population and in India the sociocultural realities are different from those in the western countries making it necessary for professionals to be cautious in conducting drug trials.



Medication development and testing in children and adolescents. Current problems, future directions.

Recommendations for possible solutions are presented, some of which are being implemented, and there is no substitute for pediatric psychopharmacological research.

Controlled Trial of Methylphenidate in Preschool Children with Minimal Brain Dysfunction

The intent of the study was to maintain, as nearly as possible, the requirements of proper short-term care on a clinical basis while, at the same time, collecting physical, behavioral, cognitive, and background data on the children undergoing treatment.

Effects of methylphenidate on preschool children with ADHD: cognitive and behavioral functions.

It is suggested that methylphenidate can be used to improve the functioning of preschool-age children with ADHD, in a manner similar to their school-age counterparts.

Sertraline in children and adolescents with obsessive-compulsive disorder: a multicenter randomized controlled trial.

Sertraline appears to be a safe and effective short-term treatment for children and adolescents with obsessive-compulsive disorder.

The effects of methylphenidate on the interactions of preschool ADHD children with their mothers.

  • R. Barkley
  • Psychology, Medicine
    Journal of the American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry
  • 1988
Attention deficit hyperactivity disordered children on high doses decreased their off-task and noncompliant behavior and significantly increased their rates of compliance as well as the length of sustained compliance with maternal commands.

Increased methylphenidate usage for attention deficit disorder in the 1990s.

The database findings presented serve to correct exaggerated media claims of a 6-fold expansion of methylphenidate treatment, although they do not clarify the issue of the appropriateness of this treatment.

Fluvoxamine for children and adolescents with obsessive-compulsive disorder: a randomized, controlled, multicenter trial.

  • M. RiddleE. Reeve J. Walkup
  • Psychology, Medicine
    Journal of the American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry
  • 2001
Fuvoxamine has a rapid onset of action and is well tolerated and efficacious for the short-term treatment of pediatric OCD.

Hyperactivity in preschoolers and the effect of methylphenidate.

Methylphenidate was found to reduce hyperactivity at home, but it did not improve nursery behavior or psychological functioning and made the drug less useful at this age than in older hyperactive children.

Continuity of psychopathology in youths referred to mental health services.

Stabilities were similar across gender, and larger for Externalizing versus Internalizing scores, except on youths' self-reports, and continuity of specific behavioral and emotional problems in clinically referred children and adolescents is indicated.

Phenobarbital for febrile seizures--effects on intelligence and on seizure recurrence.

It is concluded that phenobarbital depresses cognitive performance in children treated for febrile seizures and that this disadvantage may outlast the administration of the drug by several months and is not offset by the benefit of seizure prevention.