Evidence Lacking on Effectiveness of Antipsychotics for Children
Little evidence exists that directly compares the effectiveness or safety of first- and second-generation antipsychotics for treating psychiatric and behavioral conditions in children, adolescents, and young adults, a new AHRQ research review finds. Mental health problems affect one in every five young people at any given time, and use of antipsychotics for children and adolescents has increased during the past 20 years. Two generations of antipsychotics have been developed since antipsychotics were first used, each with potential side effects. First- and second-generation antipsychotics were generally found to be superior to placebo on symptom improvement and other efficacy outcomes. Future high-quality, head-to-head comparisons are needed to determine the relative effectiveness and safety of various antipsychotics in children, adolescents, and young adults. The research review from AHRQ’s Effective Health Care Program includes a paper for researchers and research funders to help improve the comparative effectiveness evidence of these medications. Select to access the research review.