Use of psychotropic medications in special education students with serious emotional disturbance

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Abstract

The three-year usage of psychotropic medication was investigated for the first time in elementary school students classified by the special education category serious emotional disturbance. Almost 40% of the original 89 students were on a medication at baseline, primarily stimulants (26%), and multiple medications were not common (17%). Over the three time points of followup, 52% of the constant 54 students used a medicine at least once, principally stimulants followed by, in descending order, antipsychotics, antidepressants, and Clonidine. The order of distribution was constant at each point of follow-up. Only 24% received a medication at all three time points (rarely the same specific medicine), and only 9% received therapy at each time. Overall, 41% of the ongoing students received no medication or therapy over the course of the study. The medication needs, as well as the therapy needs, of this highly dysfunctional group of students appear unmet.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)149-155
Number of pages7
JournalJournal of Child and Adolescent Psychopharmacology
Volume9
Issue number3
DOIs
StatePublished - Jan 1 1999

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Pediatrics, Perinatology, and Child Health
  • Psychiatry and Mental health
  • Pharmacology (medical)

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