Medication for Children

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The four main categories of medications prescribed for children:

*  Stimulants
*  Antipsychotic
*  Antidepressant/Antianxiety
*  Mood Stabilizing

Medication for Children

  • Approximately 11% of U.S. children have significant mental or or addictive disorders that cause serious impairment
  • Mental disorders in children may present different symptoms than those in adults
  • When children are given psychotropic medication, active monitoring by all caretakers (parents, teachers, and others who have charge of the child) is essential
  • Children should be watched and questioned for side effects because many children, especially younger ones, do not volunteer information.
  • Children should be monitored to see that they are actually taking the medication and taking the proper dosage, on the correct schedule. 
  • A physician may prescribe to young children medication that has been FDA approved for use in adults or older children.
  • Most medications prescribed for childhood mental disorders, including many of the newer medications that are proving helpful, are prescribed "off-label" because only a few have been studied for safety and efficacy in children.
  • Medications listed in this section will be listed according to to the age approved for their use

Note:  Information is this section is based on an NIMH publication on medication produced in 2007.