Risperidone in the treatment of children and adolescents with schizophrenia: A retrospective study

Stephen J. Grcevich, Robert L. Findling, William A. Rowane, Lee Friedman, S. Charles Schulz

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Risperidone is a newly available atypical antipsychotic agent that has been reported to be associated with fewer extrapyramidal side effects (EPS) than conventional neuroleptics in adults with schizophrenia. This study assessed the safety and efficacy of risperidone in 16 children and adolescents (aged 9-20 years, mean 14.9 years) who were clinically diagnosed with psychotic disorders: 13 patients met DSM-III-R criteria for schizophrenia, 2 met criteria for schizoaffective disorder, and 1 had schizophreniform disorder. Eleven of the 16 patients had previous unsuccessful neuroleptic trials. Patient charts were reviewed by the patients' child and adolescent psychiatrist for diagnoses, clinical changes, and adverse events. Clinical response was assessed retrospectively using the Brief Psychiatric Rating Scale (BPRS) and the Clinical Global Impression (CGI) scale. With the risperidone dose titrated gradually, an optimal clinical response was found at a mean daily risperidone dose of 5.93 mg (range 2-10 mg). All but one of the 16 patients had an adequate clinical response to risperidone therapy. Statistically significant improvements were found in the CGI (p < 0.0001), the BPRS Total Score (p < 0.0001), and the BPRS Negative Symptom Score (p < 0.001). In general, only mild drug-induced side effects were experienced, with 5 patients developing mild sedation and 3 developing EPS. Risperidone appeared to be safe and effective in ameliorating symptoms of schizophrenia in this age group. It is speculated that the gradual titration of risperidone was crucial in achieving a relatively low rate of EPS.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)251-257
Number of pages7
JournalJournal of child and adolescent psychopharmacology
Issue number4
StatePublished - Jan 1 1996


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