AACAP Applauds the AMA on Recommending Further Research & Guidance on the Use of Atypical Antipsychotic Medication

For Immediate Release

Contact: Rob Grant, Communications Director
202.966.7300, Ext. 119

Caitlyn Camacho, Communications & Marketing Coordinator
202.966.7300, Ext. 154

Washington, D.C., November 13, 2012 - The American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry (AACAP) applauds the American Medical Association (AMA) for adopting a report recommending the National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH) assist in developing guidance for physicians on the use of atypical antipsychotic medications in pediatric patients, and encouraging ongoing federally funded studies on long-term efficacy and safety.

AACAP delegate to the AMA and member of the AMA Council on Science and Public Health, Louis Kraus, M.D., testified that the report discusses the complex issues surrounding the clinical use of these drugs and evaluates the data currently available.

There has been an increased use in atypical antipsychotic medications which when used appropriately can be an effective part of a comprehensive treatment plan for children with schizophrenia and bipolar disorder. However, these medications are increasingly being used "off label" when treating children and adolescents with other psychiatric disorders.

"Physicians and parents need more information about both the safety and efficacy of these medications, especially when they are used over an extended period of time," testified David Fassler, M.D., AACAP alternate delegate to the AMA.

Most research on the use of atypical antipsychotic medications on the pediatric population focuses on short term use, yet in clinical practice an increasing number of pediatric patients take these medications for many months or years.

"AACAP is pleased that the AMA is encouraging NIMH to conduct additional studies on these medications. We need to better understand both the short term and long term effects on our patients," said AACAP President, Martin J. Drell, M.D.

The AMA report is supported by the American Psychiatric Association, American Academy of Psychiatry and the Law and the American Pediatric Association.

To view the report click here.

For additional information regarding AACAP or to speak to an expert, please contact Caitlyn Camacho, Communications & Marketing Coordinator at ccamacho@aacap.org.


Representing over 8,500 child and adolescent psychiatrists nationwide, the American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry (AACAP) is the leading authority on children's mental health.

AACAP Members actively research, diagnose and treat psychiatric disorders affecting children, adolescents and their families. For more information please visit www.aacap.org.