Antipsychotic prescribing: old wine in new bottles?



Background:  Recent research suggests first generation antipsychotic medications may be no less effective or tolerated than second generation antipsychotics.

Aims:  To review prescribing practices in UK adolescent mental health settings.

Method:  A review of literature and a postal survey (structured questionnaire) of clinicians in UK adolescent mental health settings (80 general and specialised in-patient units) were conducted.

Results:  Second generation antipsychotics remain the drug of first choice for most UK clinicians (based on a survey response rate of 40%).

Conclusions:  Guidelines for antipsychotic use in adolescents need updating. Clinicians who qualified in the last 10 years may need specific training and experience in use of first generation antipsychotics.