Child and adolescent schizophrenia: pharmacological approaches

UMMS Affiliation

Department of Psychiatry

Publication Date


Document Type



Adolescent; Age of Onset; Antipsychotic Agents; Child; Diagnosis, Differential; Humans; Psychiatric Status Rating Scales; Schizophrenia; Schizophrenic Psychology




BACKGROUND: Childhood-onset schizophrenia is a serious, chronic and disabling illness that can significantly affect the quality of life of the affected individuals and their families. The affected children commonly show significant premorbid developmental impairment and social abnormalities that may provide an early clinical clue to pursue treatment. Until recent times, treatment approaches for childhood schizophrenia were derived from the adult population. However, given the unique developmental challenges in the pediatric population, this extrapolation may not hold true.

OBJECTIVE: This review encompasses and elaborates on the efficacy, safety and tolerability data available at present for both typical and atypical antipsychotics for treatment of childhood schizophrenia.

METHOD: A literature search was conducted on PUBMED with special emphasis on double-blind placebo-controlled studies in childhood schizophrenia. Data from similar studies presented in recent meetings were also added to the review.

CONCLUSIONS: Recent research in pediatric psychopharmacology has led to the Food and Drug Administration's approval of two atypical antipsychotics for the treatment of schizophrenia. Although data in this age group are still sparse, research in this unique population has grown over the years.

DOI of Published Version



Expert Opin Pharmacother. 2008 Aug;9(12):2053-68. Link to article on publisher's site

Journal/Book/Conference Title

Expert opinion on pharmacotherapy

Related Resources

Link to Article in PubMed

PubMed ID