Pediatric Psychotropic Use

Read Our Reports:

Pediatric Psychotropic Use Report and Recommendations (Adopted November 2016)

Among psychotropic medications prescribed to pediatric patients, antipsychotics have great potential for overuse. These drugs are often prescribed for aggressive or impulsive behaviors rather than psychosis and are associated with patient harms in a developing brain. The report recommends strategies to improve appropriateness of antipsychotic drug prescribing to pediatric patients supported by behavioral health service including four focus areas:

  • Conduct initial medical and psychological evaluation using appropriate assessment.
  • Ensure that the patient and family has access to comprehensive, family-centered psychosocial care whether within the primary care setting through integrated behavioral health care or through a supported referral.
  • Use evidence-based, best practice antipsychotic prescribing recommendations such as from the American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry.
  • If antipsychotics are prescribed, manage side effects including monitoring for changes in weight blood glucose (HgA1C), cholesterol, and other metabolic changes (baseline and at regular intervals).

The workgroup met from January to November 2016.

Supporting Materials:

Letter from Health Care Authority Accepting Pediatric Psychotropic Use Report and Recommendations
Pediatric
Psychotropic Use Charter

Member Title Organization
Shelley Dooley Parent Advocate
Nalini Gupta MD Pediatrician Developmental and Behavioral Pediatrics
Providence Health and Services
Robert Hilt MD Director, Community Leadership; Director of Partnership Access Line Seattle Children’s
Paula Lozano MD, MPH (Chair) Medical Director, Research and Translation Group Health Cooperative
Liz Pechous PhD Clinical Director ICARD, PLLC
Robert Penfold PhD Co-investigator, Mental Health Research Network Group Health Research Institute
James Polo MD MBA Chief Medical Officer Western State Hospital
David Testerman PharmD Pharmacy Director Amerigroup
Mark Stein PhD, ABPP Director of ADHD and Related Disorders Seattle Children’s
Donna Sullivan PharmD, MS Chief Pharmacy Officer Washington Health Care Authority