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By John M Grohol PsyD

I remain astounded that psychiatrists and pediatricians think it’s occasionally appropriate to prescribe adult atypical antipsychotic medications — like Risperdal — to children younger than age 5.

Last week, The New York Times covered the story of Kyle Warren, a boy who began risperidone (Risperdal) treatment at age 2. Yes, you read the right — age 2.

He was rescued from this unbelievable prescription by Dr. Mary Margaret Gleason through a treatment effort called the Early Childhood Supporters and Services program in Louisiana. Dr. Gleason helped wean young Kyle off of the medications from ages 3 to 5, and helped understand that Kyle’s tantrums came from his stressful and upsetting family situation — not a brain disorder, bipolar disorder, or autism.

Imagine that — a child responding to a family situation that is stressful and involves his two primary role models — his parents.

After carefully reviewing the limited amount of research in this area, Psych Central recommends that parents should never accept an atypical antipsychotic medication prescription for a child age 5 or younger. If your doctor makes such a prescription, you should (a) look for another doctor and (b) consider filing a complaint with your state’s medical board against the doctor.

There is an astonishing lack of empirical or clinical data that suggest prescribing these kinds of medications to such young children — age 5 or younger — results in any significant change in mood or behavior. Lacking such data, it our opinion that it is simply irresponsible and inappropriate for medical professionals to prescribe such medications to young children.

Read in Full:  http://psychcentral.com/blog/archives/2010/09/07/antipsychotics-are-not-appropriate-for-a-2-year-old/



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