Use of Quetiapine in Children and Adolescents

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Abstract

The atypical antipsychotic quetiapine has been used in different psychotic and non-psychotic disorders in children and adolescents in randomized clinical trials, open-label studies and chart reviews. Most of these studies suggest that quetiapine may be a promising agent with a potential for use in young patients. The aim of this paper is to critically review available literature on quetiapine in the treatment of children and adolescents with a variety of psychiatric disorders, including psychotic disorders, bipolar disorders (manic and depressive episodes), conduct disorder, autism spectrum disorder, Tourette's syndrome and personality disorders. Furthermore, we report on possible neurochemical pathways involved during treatment with quetiapine, and discuss some issues that are clinically relevant in daily practice, such as titration strategies, safety and tolerability, and monitoring possible side effects. Controlled studies support the short-term efficacy for treating psychosis, mania, and aggression within certain diagnostic categories. However, although quetiapine seems well tolerated in various pediatric populations during acute and intermediate treatments, and hyper-prolactinemia and extra-pyramidal side effects are consistently low among studies, weight gain and alterations in lipid profile need to be closely monitored. Furthermore, the distal benefit/risk ratio during long-term treatment remains to be determined.

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