Chapter 14. Pharmacological Interventions

  1. Angela Hassiotis Senior Lecturer2,
  2. Diana Andrea Barron Clinical Research Fellow2 and
  3. Ian Hall Consultant Psychiatrist3
  1. Shoumitro Deb

Published Online: 16 OCT 2009

DOI: 10.1002/9780470682968.ch14

Intellectual Disability Psychiatry: A Practical Handbook

Intellectual Disability Psychiatry: A Practical Handbook

How to Cite

Deb, S. (2009) Pharmacological Interventions, in Intellectual Disability Psychiatry: A Practical Handbook (eds A. Hassiotis, D. A. Barron and I. Hall), John Wiley & Sons, Ltd, Chichester, UK. doi: 10.1002/9780470682968.ch14

Editor Information

  1. 2

    UCL Department of Mental Health Sciences, London W1W 7EJ, UK

  2. 3

    East London NHS Foundation Trust, London E1 4DG, UK

Author Information

  1. Department of Psychiatry, University of Birmingham, Edgbaston, Birmingham B15 2TT, UK

Publication History

  1. Published Online: 16 OCT 2009
  2. Published Print: 11 DEC 2009

ISBN Information

Print ISBN: 9780470742518

Online ISBN: 9780470682968



  • pharmacological interventions;
  • psychotropic medications for psychiatric disorders for adults with intellectual disabilities;
  • assessment of capacity of person - in giving informed consent to proposed intervention;
  • pharmacological treatment in mental disorders;
  • treatment for refractory depression and electroconvulsive therapy (ECT);
  • Generalized anxiety disorder (GAD);
  • non-pharmacological interventions - reassurance, anxiety management and cognitive behaviour therapy (CBT);
  • monitoring effectiveness of intervention;
  • poly-prescribing and problem behaviours;
  • evidence to support withdrawing medication


This chapter contains sections titled:

  • Introduction

  • Pharmacological treatment for mental disorders

  • Pharmacological management of problem behaviours among adults with intellectual disability

  • General principles underpinning the prescribing of medication

  • Input from the person with intellectual disabilities and their families and carers

  • Multidisciplinary input

  • Prescribing within person centred planning

  • Communication issues

  • General principles for prescribing psychotropic medications

  • Evidence of the risks associated with prescribing medication in adults with intellectual disabilities and problem behaviour

  • In instances where the behaviour re-emerges after reducing the dose or withdrawing the medication

  • Poly-prescribing

  • Appendix 14.A Commonly used psychotropic medications, their dosage, adverse effects and necessary investigations

  • References

  • Further reading