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Presented at the American Psychiatric Association, 2002 Annual Meeting

Hong Chen, M.D., Department of Psychiatry, Hershey Medical Center; Christopher A. Petersen, M.D.

Introduction: Little published data is available to determine the tolerability of Risperidone in children in an acute setting.

Method: In this prospective pilot study, hospitalized children (n = 10) with age range of 7 to 10 year, were administered Risperidone gradually to 0.04 mg/kg/day as clinically indicated and only if tolerated. Side effect rating scales were completed at baseline, within 24 hours of first dose to assess acute change, at 0.04mg/kg/day if possible to assess effects of therapeutic dosage, and prior to discharge. The average study period is 10 days.

Results: Among 10 hospitalized children with newly started on Risperidone, three (30%) developed mild degree of loss of appetite with one also had diarrhea, one (10%) developed mild rigidity, drooling, slurred speech within 24 hours of first dose, one(10%) had mild sedation. In terms of short term weight change by discharge, three (30%) children gained average weight of 0.9 kg, one (10%) lost 0.7 kg. Nine children were discharged on Risperidone without remaining problems of loss of appetite, diarrhea and sedation except weight change, and one child had to discontinue and switch to another neuroleptics.

Conclusion: The study demonstrated unexpected high rate of side effect but with short duration and mild severity in children who take Risperidone. More studies regarding long term sequelea of weight change, and presence of EPS symptoms in children on Risperidone are needed in future research.

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