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Child and Adolescent Psychopharmacology $19.95
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Child and Adolescent Psychopharmacology

According to the National Institute of Mental Health, children and adolescents handle medications differently than adults. The brains of children and adolescents are still growing and developing in complexity, and the younger the child, the more development still has to take place. It is important to note that most medications were originally developed to treat mental health disorders in adults. Children’s livers, kidneys, and gastrointestinal tracts, which are involved in metabolizing medications, may also be at different levels of development and functioning in comparison to adults. Pharmaceutical companies have not done the studies necessary to obtain FDA approval for many, if not most, of the medications that are used to treat mental health problems in children. In 1997, the U.S. congress passed laws offering incentives for drug manufacturers to test medications in children and adolescents, but due to ethical concerns over testing the medications in children, most psychiatric medications have not undergone the rigorous testing necessary to gain FDA approval. Children are considered more vulnerable than adults are, and require parental or guardian consent to receive prescriptions as well as to enroll in clinical pharmaceutical research. Therefore, it tends to be more difficult and costly for drug companies to obtain approval for specific medications to treat the various mental health disorders and symptoms. Despite the relatively few medications with FDA approval, many medications are used to treat children and adolescent mental health disorders. Providers can do this legally, and when medications are prescribed for specific indications for which they have not received FDA approval, this is called “off-label prescribing.” Most of the medications used to treat child and adolescent mental health conditions are probably prescribed off label. Through research, scientists continue to learn the specific needs and precautions to take when treating children and adolescents. Some younger individuals may be more comfortable speaking with a mental health professional about their medications and any side effects, rather than the person who prescribed their medication. Hence, as a mental health professional, it is important for you to be familiar with child and adolescent psychopharmacology. By having some familiarity of the medications that are used in youth and their potential side effects, you will be able to help clients and their guardians understand when to approach the provider with concerns and how to discuss those concerns. The course covers a variety of medications, including antipsychotics, stimulants, mood stabilizers, and others. You will learn about the unique issues surrounding psychopharmacology for pediatric populations, including common uses, side effects, and timelines for medication response. Through interactive games, quizzes, and vignettes, this course will help you to take the learning back to your real-world work environment. This course is appropriate for non-MD mental health professionals, including marriage/family therapists, and licensed clinical social workers. DSM™ and DSM-5™ are registered trademarks of the American Psychiatric Association. The American Psychiatric Association is not affiliated with nor endorses this course. This module is text-based.
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Child and Adolescent Psychopharmacology
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