While a number of articles have reviewed the use of long-acting injectable antipsychotics (LAIs) in first-episode psychosis, there has been extremely limited focus on LAIs in children and adolescents. This review of the literature evaluated use of LAIs in children and youth under the age of 18.
We conducted a comprehensive search of the PubMed, PsychINFO, CINAHL, and EMBASE databases using keywords related to LAIs, children, and psychiatric conditions, including schizophrenia, bipolar disorder, and schizoaffective disorder. Reports were included if they were in English, conducted between 1971 and 2015, and reported on use of LAIs in individuals less than the age of 18.
The search identified seven reports including one open-label trial, three case reports, and three case series. No controlled trials were found. Sample sizes ranged from 1 to 19 with a total of 36 individuals in all cases combined. Mean sample age was 12.1 +/- 2.2 in the open-label trial and calculated to be 14.9 +/- 1.5 in the remainder of the reports. Most patients (80.6%) were boys. Primary diagnoses included bipolar I disorder (n = 18; 50%), schizophrenia (n = 7; 19.4%), and bipolar spectrum disorders (n = 6; 16.6%). The LAIs used were risperidone long-acting injection (n = 24; 66.7%), paliperidone palmitate (n = 8; 22.2%), fluphenazine decanoate (n = 1; 2.8%), aripiprazole extended-release injectable (n = 1; 2.8%), zuclopenthixol decanoate (n = 1; 2.8%), and olanzapine extended release (n = 1; 2.8%). Most cases reported clinical improvement and the majority of individuals (n = 14; 82.4%) were reported to tolerate the medication well. The most common side effects were weight gain (mean 5.7 +/- 4.1 kg in the open-label trial), tremor (n = 2; 5.6%), and oculogyric crisis (n = 2; 5.6%).
This literature review suggests that LAI use in youth with serious mental illness may improve clinical outcomes and adherence. Side effects of LAIs among youth appear are similar to oral preparations. However, there is a paucity of data despite issues with nonadherence in youth and the fact that they have much to lose and much to gain. Existing reports have substantial methodological limitations, and research is needed to guide the use of LAIs in children and adolescents.
(PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2017 APA, all rights reserved)
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