• children;
  • tardive dyskinesia;
  • atypical antipsychotics


Recent years have witnessed increased antipsychotic treatment of children despite limited long-term safety data in children. In this study, motor side effects associated with the use of antipsychotic drugs in children were examined in a sample of pediatric psychiatric patients. Child and adolescent psychiatric patients receiving antipsychotics (most were on atypicals) for 6 months or longer (n = 118) were compared with antipsychotic-naïve patients (n = 80) with similar age, sex ratio, and diagnoses. Only 19% of patients on antipsychotics had ever experienced psychotic symptoms. Eleven children (9%) on antipsychotics exhibited dyskinesia, when compared with 0 in the naïve group (P = 0.003, Fisher's exact test). Nine of 62 African–American children (15%) on antipsychotics exhibited dyskinesia, when compared with only 4% (2 of 52) of European–American children (P = 0.003, Fisher's exact test). Children treated with antipsychotic drugs might experience a significant risk of dyskinesia even when treated only with atypical antipsychotics. Ethnicity might also be a risk factor for dyskinesia in children. Side-effect profile of the atypical antipsychotic drugs in children may be much different than that in adults. © 2007 Movement Disorder Society