Newer Antipsychotics No Better Than Older Drug in Treating Child and Adolescent Schizophrenia
Two newer atypical antipsychotic medications were no more effective
than an older conventional antipsychotic for treating schizophrenia
in children and adolescents according to a new study.
Balintfy: Two newer atypical antipsychotic medications were no more effective than an older conventional antipsychotic for treating schizophrenia in children and adolescents according to a new study.
Insel: This is a study that's looking at an important question for psychiatry.
Balintfy: Dr. Thomas Insel is the Director of the National Institute of Mental Health.
Insel: There are two classes of anti-psychotics. There are the conventional, so-called first generation anti-psychotics; they've been around a long time. And over the last decade we've gotten a new class of second generation or atypical anti-psychotics and they have become the most widely used by far. In fact they represent more than 90 percent of the current market. And increasingly they're being used in children. And the question that this study tried to answer was is there a difference between the first generation and the second-generation drugs when they're used in children?
Balintfy: The six-year, multisite Treatment of Early Onset Schizophrenia Study included 116 youths between 8- and 19-years-old diagnosed with early onset schizophrenia-spectrum-disorder. Dr. Insel adds that this study follows three such studies in adults.
Insel: All three of them come up with slightly different approaches. But they'll come up with basically the same answer, which is that the first generation and second generation drugs are about equal in effectiveness. There's not a big difference between them. Big difference in cost, but not a big difference in effectiveness.
Balintfy: Dr. Insel explains that when deciding which medication to give to any individual child, thinking should be broader.
Insel: The importance of this study is it moves us into children and it helps us to think about both the risks and the benefits in children for using either first generation or second-generation compounds. It is clear that over the last five years, these atypical anti-psychotics were being used much more than they were. And so it's very timely now to get a look at how effective are they and how safe are they. And it's clear from the study that there really is a high rate of side effects in both the first generation and the second-generation family.Balintfy: Dr. Insel says more research is needed to develop third generation compounds. For more on this study, visit www.nimh.nih.gov. This is Joe Balintfy, National Institutes of Health, Bethesda, Maryland.
About This Audio Report
Reporter: Joe Balintfy
Sound Bite: Dr. Thomas Insel, NIMH Director
Topic: schizophrenia, adolescent, antipsychotics, child