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date: 25 March 2019

Abstract and Keywords

Pediatric psychopharmacology is a relatively young field. Through the decade of the 1990s and into the early 2000s, there was an unprecedented increase in the number of new psychotropic drugs and new formulations of older drugs. During this period, there was also a series of well-intended federal policies that provided pressure and incentives for pharmaceutical companies to conduct studies of new medications in children. The National Institutes of Health also provided funding for investigator-initiated clinical trials. Although still less than optimal, we now have a body of data on stimulants, selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors, and atypical antipsychotics. These three psychotropic drug classes are the most commonly used in children and adolescents. This chapter charts the rise in use of these drug classes and presents their risks and benefits.

Keywords: stimulants, selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors, atypical antipsychotics, pediatric psychopharmacology, psychotropic drugs, federal drug policies

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