Long-term Limits of Treating Childhood Schizophrenia with Antipsychotics

According to a recent article published in the Journal of the American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry (May 4, 2010), only a small percentage of children and adolescents who have early onset schizophrenia spectrum disorder (EOSS) experience long-term benefit from the medication with which they were initially treated.

The research involved 116 children and adolescents aged 8 to 19 years. The participants were treated with one of three medications – the older, first generation antipsychotic Moban (molindone), or Risperdal (risperidone) or Zyprexa (olanzapine) – both newer, atypical antipsychotics. The initial treatment period lasted 8 weeks, after which time responses were measured. The responses were about the same, regardless of the medication.

Following the initial trial period, 54 of the original participants began a 44 week maintenance phase of treatment. During those 44 weeks, all but 14 of the participants dropped out of treatment. Treatment response did not improve for most of the participants during this maintenance period. The reasons cited for discontinuing treatment were usually related to medication side effects regardless of which medication they were taking. Frequent side effects included weight gain, higher levels of cholesterol, and anxiety. The efficacy of the three medications was about the same.

The study suggests that problems with unpleasant or undesirable side effects, as well as limited effectiveness of the medications were the most likely reasons that participants discontinued their treatment. The authors of the study indicated that, as a result of their findings, teens and children with EOSS need safer, more effective treatment options.

More Articles

Creatine is a type of acid naturally manufactured by our liver, pancreas and kidneys. One of its primary roles in the body is to provide energy...

There are two commonly used sets of criteria for diagnosing schizophrenia and other mental health disorders: the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual...

There are a number of talented musicians who have suffered from schizophrenia at some point in...

People in the prodromal phase of schizophrenic experience what can be called...

The term "schizophrenic break" refers to an episode of acute psychosis in someone with...

More Articles

More Articles

Creatine is a type of acid naturally manufactured by our liver, pancreas and kidneys. One of its primary roles in the body is to provide energy...

There are two commonly used sets of criteria for diagnosing schizophrenia and other mental health disorders: the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual...

There are a number of talented musicians who have suffered from schizophrenia at some point in...

People in the prodromal phase of schizophrenic experience what can be called...

The term "schizophrenic break" refers to an episode of acute psychosis in someone with...

Treating schizophrenia with medication often yields positive results. Nowadays, there are many...

Understanding the pathophysiology of schizophrenia (or, in other words, the physiological...

Scientists have been studying schizophrenia for a long time, trying to determine what...

An estimated 30% of people with schizophrenia have refractory schizophrenia, which means their...

While most people can’t fathom purposely hurting themselves, self-injury is not uncommon with certain types of psychiatric disorders. Although it...

Although schizophrenia goes back several thousand years, this most serious of psychiatric disorders was not officially coined “schizophrenia”...

The neurotransmitter serotonin is known to influence a number of important brain functions, including perception, mood, sleep, appetite, cognition...

There are a number of different research methods used in psychology, but one of the most interesting to the layperson is the case study. Case...

The question of whether people with schizophrenia know they are ill is actually quite...

No one knows exactly what causes schizophrenia, and there are a number of...