, Volume 191, Issue 1, pp 5–13 | Cite as

Research in child and adolescent psychopharmacology: recent accomplishments and new challenges

  • Benedetto Vitiello



Research in pediatric psychopharmacology has expanded considerably in the last 10 years. Still, controversy remains about the effectiveness and safety of commonly used psychotropics and their role in child treatment, thus pointing to the need for more in-depth and targeted investigations.


To review recent accomplishments and current limitations of pediatric psychopharmacology, and discuss approaches to further research.


Selective review of the relevant literature and research in progress.


Controlled clinical trials have been conducted in many common psychiatric disorders in children and adolescents, thus providing a basis on which evidence-based treatment guidelines can be constructed. Little innovation has, however, occurred in treatment development and testing. Safety concerns are prominent and have a major influence on clinical practice and drug utilization.


While a research infrastructure has been successfully built for conducting pediatric clinical trials, important aspects such as long-term treatment effects, optimal sequencing and individualization of interventions, and integration of neuroscience findings into innovative, theory-driven treatment development remain to be addressed.


Psychopharmacology Children Adolescents Research 



The opinions and assertions contained in this chapter are the private views of the author and are not to be construed as official or as reflecting the views of the National Institute of Mental Health, the National Institutes of Health, or the Department of Health and Human Services.


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© Springer-Verlag 2006

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Chief, Child and Adolescent Treatment and Preventive Intervention Research BranchNational Institute of Mental HealthBethesdaUSA

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