Pharmacy World & Science

, Volume 30, Issue 1, pp 44–50 | Cite as

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

  • Marianna AlacquaEmail author
  • Gianluca Trifirò
  • Vincenzo Arcoraci
  • Eva Germanò
  • Angela Magazù
  • Tiziana Calarese
  • Giuseppa Di Vita
  • Catalda Gagliano
  • Edoardo Spina
Research Article


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.


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



The authors thank child and adolescent psychiatrists working at University of Messina and “Oasi Institute for Research on Mental Retardation and Brain Aging” of Troina for their active cooperation.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media B.V. 2007

Authors and Affiliations

  • Marianna Alacqua
    • 1
    Email author
  • Gianluca Trifirò
    • 1
    • 4
  • Vincenzo Arcoraci
    • 1
  • Eva Germanò
    • 2
  • Angela Magazù
    • 2
  • Tiziana Calarese
    • 2
  • Giuseppa Di Vita
    • 3
  • Catalda Gagliano
    • 3
  • Edoardo Spina
    • 1
    • 4
  1. 1.Department of Clinical and Experimental Medicine and Pharmacology, Pharmacology UnitUniversity of MessinaMessinaItaly
  2. 2.Division of Child Neurology and PsychiatryUniversity of MessinaMessinaItaly
  3. 3.Oasi Institute for Research on Mental Retardation and Brain Aging (IRCCS)TroinaItaly
  4. 4.IRCCS Centro Neurolesi “Bonino-Pulejo”MessinaItaly

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