Use and tolerability of newer antipsychotics and antidepressants: A chart review in a paediatric setting

Marianna Alacqua, Gianluca Trifirò, Vincenzo Arcoraci, Eva Germanò, Angela Magazù, Tiziana Calarese, Giuseppa Di Vita, Catalda Gagliano, Edoardo Spina

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Objective: To analyse the prescribing pattern and the safety profile of different atypical antipsychotics and selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs) during the years 2002-2003 in paediatric setting. Setting: Two Child Neurology and Psychiatry Divisions of Southern Italy (University of Messina and "Oasi Institute for Research on Mental Retardation and Brain Aging" of Troina). Methods: A retrospective chart review of all children and adolescents starting an incident treatment with atypical antipsychotics or SSRIs was performed. Within the first 3 months of therapy, any potential adverse drug reaction (ADR) was identified and the clinical outcome of psychotropic drug treatment was assessed. Main Outcome Measure: Rate of ADR in the first 3 months of therapy with atypical antipsychotics and SSRIs in children and adolescents. Results: On a total of 97 patients' charts being reviewed, 73 (75%) concerned atypical antipsychotics and 24 (25%) SSRIs. Risperidone (N = 45, 62%) was the most frequently prescribed antipsychotic drug, followed by olanzapine (24, 32%). Overall, 50 (68%) antipsychotic users reported a total of 108 ADRs during the first 3 months of therapy, leading to drug discontinuation in 23 patients (31%). Among 24 users of SSRI, 12 (50%) received paroxetine, 6 (25%) sertraline, 5 (21%) citalopram and 1 (4%) fluoxetine. Only paroxetine users (21%) reported at least one ADR, however, none of SSRI users withdrew drug treatment within first 3 months. Conclusions: ADRs occurred frequently during first 3 months of treatment with atypical antipsychotics and, to a lesser extent, with SSRIs in children and adolescents. Further investigations are urgently needed to better define the benefit/risk ratio of psychotropic medications in paediatric setting.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)44-50
Number of pages7
JournalPharmacy World and Science
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - Jan 2008


  • Adolescents
  • Adverse drug reactions
  • Atypical antipsychotics
  • Children
  • Italy
  • Selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Chemistry(all)
  • Pharmaceutical Science
  • Pharmacology


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