A postal questionnaire of Trent Region's consultant child and adolescent psychiatrists was used to investigate the two-year period prevalence rates of antipsychotic medication prescription, and the ICD–10 psychiatric disorders it was used to treat.
The response rate was good (92.3%) and 78% of respondents had prescribed antipsychotic medication for a range of conditions over the period, albeit very infrequently. Antipsychotics were used for a range of psychotic and non-psychotic disorders. The older antipsychotic agents (thioridazine, chlorpromazine and haloperidol) comprised the bulk of prescriptions. Newer, atypical, antipsychotics were prescribed only four times over the period and no patients in residential in-patient units received this form of treatment.
These results highlight a pressing need to address antipsychotic prescribing in children and adolescents and, especially, the role of new antipsychotic drugs.
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