Modifying the risk of atypical antipsychotics in the treatment of juvenile-onset schizophrenia

Lisa Townsend, Robert L. Findling

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

Abstract

Importance to the field: This review summarizes the evidence for use of typical and atypical antipsychotic medications for the treatment of juvenile-onset schizophrenia. We highlight the risks and benefits of antipsychotic agents for youth with this disorder, paying special attention to weight gain and metabolic effects, an area of specific concern within child and adolescent psychiatry. Areas covered in this review: We describe the seriousness of juvenile-onset schizophrenia and its impact on long-term functioning, noting that pharmacological treatment remains the standard of care for this disorder. We focus on weight gain and metabolic effects associated with atypical agents and review strategies to modify risks associated with these agents. What the reader will gain: We summarize strategies for attenuating the risk of weight gain for youth on atypical antipsychotics, including what is known about nutritional counseling and exercise programs as well as pharmacotherapy with adjunctive weight loss agents. Take-home message: Given the negative consequences associated with untreated schizophrenia, it appears that the most effective way to improve the risk:benefit ratio in the treatment of adolescents with schizophrenia is to reduce the risks associated with pharmacological treatment.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)195-205
Number of pages11
JournalExpert opinion on pharmacotherapy
Volume11
Issue number2
DOIs
StatePublished - Feb 2010
Externally publishedYes

Keywords

  • Antipsychotic medication
  • Juvenile-onset schizophrenia
  • Weight gain
  • Weight gain prevention

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pharmacology
  • Pharmacology (medical)

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