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J Natl Med Assoc. 2010 May;102(5):375-83.

Adverse events associated with psychotropic treatment in African American children and adolescents.

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Department of Neuropsychiatry and Behavioral Science, University of South Carolina School of Medicine, 3555 Harden St Ext, 15 Medical Park, Ste 301, Columbia, SC 29203, USA.


To identify the types of adverse events associated with psychotropic treatment in African American children and adolescents, analyses were performed using a retrospective cohort design evaluating medical and pharmacy claims from South Carolina's Medicaid program covering outpatient and inpatient medical services and medication prescriptions between January 1996 and December 2005. All children and adolescents prescribed 1 of 7 antipsychotic medications, 1 of 26 antidepressants, or 1 of 3 antimanic agents, and a random sample of 4500 children not treated with psychotropic medications were identified. Antipsychotics were more closely associated with the development of obesity and sexual/reproductive adverse events in African American patients. In the antidepressant-treated cohort, incident obesity/weight gain, dyslipidemia, and type 2 diabetes mellitus were more likely in African American patients. Obesity/weight gain, dyslipidemia, and sexual/reproductive problems were significantly more likely for African American patients treated with antimanic agents. Practitioners need to carefully weigh the risks/benefits of prescribing all types of psychotropic agents to African American children, taking into consideration preexisting/comorbid conditions or individual risk factors for adverse reactions, especially when multiple medications are prescribed.

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