Ethical and pragmatic issues in the use of psychotropic agents in young children

Peter S. Jensen

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

20 Scopus citations


Objective: To provide an overview of the knowledge base concerning the prescribing of psychotropic agents in young children with mental disorders and related mental health problems. Method: Relevant information is reviewed concerning the knowledge base available to inform pediatric psychopharmacology prescribing practices. Results: Very few psychoactive medications have been adequately tested for safety and efficacy in young children, despite relatively high rates of prescribing. Conclusion: Behavioral and psychotherapeutic strategies are often the wisest first therapeutic intervention for this age group. Psychotropic medications may be required, but should be used cautiously in young children, while additional studies are being conducted.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)585-588
Number of pages4
JournalCanadian Journal of Psychiatry
Issue number6
StatePublished - 1998


  • Child psychopathology
  • Efficacy
  • Ethical issues
  • Pediatric psychopharmacology
  • Safety

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Psychiatry and Mental health


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