Risperidone treatment of preschool children with thermal burns and acute stress disorder

Karen G Meighen, Lori A Hines, Ann M Lagges
Journal of Child and Adolescent Psychopharmacology 2007, 17 (2): 223-32
Pharmacologic treatment of acute stress disorder (ASD) is a novel area of investigation across all age groups. Very few clinical drug trials have been reported in children and adolescents diagnosed with ASD. Most of the available, potentially relevant, data are from studies of adults with posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD). The atypical antipsychotic agents have been reported to be effective as an adjunctive treatment for adults with PTSD. There have been a limited number of studies published regarding atypical antipsychotic treatment of PTSD in children and adolescents, and there is no current literature available on the use of these agents for children with ASD. This report describes the successful treatment of three preschool-aged children with serious thermal burns as a result of physical abuse or neglect. Each of these children was hospitalized in a tertiary-care children's hospital and was diagnosed with ASD. In all cases, risperidone provided rapid and sustained improvement across all symptom clusters of ASD at moderate dosages. Minimal to no adverse effects were reported. These cases present preliminary evidence for the potential use of risperidone in the treatment of ASD in childhood.

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