Juvenile mood disorders and office psychopharmacology

J. Q. Bostic, T. Wilens, T. Spencer, J. Biederman

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

15 Scopus citations


Mood disorders afflict pediatric patients, cause significant impairment, and interfere with normal development. Increasingly, pediatricians are called on to assess and collaborate with mental health practitioners in medicating children and adolescents with mood disorders. Approaching the juvenile with a primary emphasis on clarifying the diagnoses, determining environmental antecedents and sequelae, and investigating suicide risk enables the pediatrician to institute appropriate treatment. Despite limited data from controlled studies, psychotherapy often is used for mild to moderate depression. Pharmacotherapy is indicated in cases unresponsive to psychotherapy and in severe or suicidal cases. First-line pharmacotherapy for depressed adolescents is usually an SRI followed by the atypical or TCA antidepressants. Bipolar disorder typically requires an aggressive medication regimen, including anticonvulsants, lithium, or a combination, as well as environmental modifications. With severe, difficult, or refractory cases, mental health consultation is recommended to clarify diagnoses and to provide psychotherapy and medication input.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1487-1503
Number of pages17
JournalPediatric Clinics of North America
Issue number6
StatePublished - 1997
Externally publishedYes


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