Psychopharmacotherapy in neuropediatry

This paper is a short overview of psychopharmacotherapy in neuropediatry which has specific differences both regarding adult psychopharmacotherapy and other pharmacotherapies in children. Psychoactive drugs act on symptoms and not on the cause of the disorder. Different drugs are useful for the same disorders, and the same drugs are useful for different disorders. Indications for medication for psychiatric disorders in children are strictly set when other therapies are not useful. Psychopharmacotherapy in children is almost always part of complex treatment including other methods. Psychopharmacotherapy must be applied only in agreement with parents and the parents must be aware of the therapy aims, limitations and side effects. Antipsychotic drugs, antidepressants and psychostimulants lower the seizure threshold while antianxiety drugs increase the threshold. Only a small number of antipsychotic drugs and antidepressants are declared and approved for children. Furthermore, psychostimulant drugs used for hyperactivity disorder and conduct disorder treatment are not approved in Croatia at all. This paper reviews psychopharmacotherapy in children with psychotic disorders, depressive disorders, mental retardation, pervasive developmental disorder, children with hyperactivity disorder, conduct disorder, obsessive compulsive disorder, and children with enuresis and encopresis.
Category: Review
Volume: Vol. 50, No 4, october - december 2006
Authors: Z. Bujas Petković
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