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J Child Psychol Psychiatry. 2001 Jan;42(1):73-90.

Pediatric psychopharmacology.

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  • 1Department of Psychiatry, Johns Hopkins Medical Institutions, Baltimore, MD 21287-3325, USA.


This paper reviews research in pediatric psychopharmacology over the past decade. The authors first discuss social, economic, and other influences on pediatric psychopharmacology research and prescribing patterns including changing models of childhood psychopathology, increased government funding, and changes in industry regulations. Definitions are offered for current research terminology including efficacy, effectiveness, and adverse events. Design trends and new approaches to outcome measurement are also presented. New data from the last 10 years of research is reviewed for each major class of psychotropic agents. Criteria for inclusion in the review are presented and include aspects of study design (placebo-controlled, large sample size), source of funding (government funded vs. industry), and vision (creative applications). Data for short-term efficacy, long-term efficacy, effectiveness, and safety and adverse events are discussed for each class of medication, although for many, there remains little empirical data. Findings for stimulants, selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors, neuroleptics, alpha-adrenergic agonists, mood stabilizers, buproprion, secretin, naltrexone, immune therapies, and natural supplements are all presented. Finally, the authors offer some speculations regarding the future of pediatric psychopharmacology research.

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