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Eur Child Adolesc Psychiatry. 2015 Feb;24(2):199-207. doi: 10.1007/s00787-014-0563-6. Epub 2014 Jun 3.

Trends in psychopharmacologic treatment of tic disorders in children and adolescents in Germany.

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Department of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry, Faculty of Medicine, Philipps-University Marburg, Sch├╝tzenstr. 49, 35039, Marburg, Germany,


Data on medical treatment of children and adolescents with tic disorders are scarce. This study examined the administrative prevalence of psychopharmacological prescriptions in this patient group in Germany. Data of the largest German health insurance fund were analysed. In outpatients aged 0-19 years with diagnosed tic disorder, psychotropic prescriptions were evaluated for the years 2006 and 2011. In 2011, the percentage of psychotropic prescriptions was slightly higher than in 2006 (21.2 vs. 18.6%). The highest prescription prevalence was found in Tourette syndrome (51.5 and 53.0%, respectively). ADHD drugs were most frequently prescribed, followed by antipsychotics. In 2011, prescriptions of second generation antipsychotics (SGA) were higher and prescriptions of first generation antipsychotics (FGA) lower than in 2006. Concerning prescribed antipsychotic substances, in 2011 risperidone prescriptions were higher and tiapride prescriptions lower. Paediatricians issued 37.4%, and child and adolescent psychiatrists issued 37.1% of psychotropic prescriptions. The FGA/SGA ratio was highest in GPs (1.25) and lowest in child and adolescent psychiatrists (0.96). From 2006 to 2011, there was only a slight increase in psychotropic prescriptions for children and adolescents with a diagnosis of tic disorder in Germany, which stands in contrast towards the significant increase in psychotropic prescriptions in other child and adolescent psychiatric disorders (e.g. ADHD). There were marked differences in treatment patterns by tic disorder subgroups, with Tourette syndrome patients receiving most frequently psychopharmacotherapy. Risperidone prescriptions increased, probably reflecting a switch in prescribing practice towards up-to-date treatment guidelines. In primary care physicians, dissemination of current tic disorder treatment guidelines might constitute an important educational goal.

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