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Resources to Help Kids Thrive

This newsletter contains a weekly update of content from featuring parenting advice, in-depth articles, and the latest thinking on children’s mental health and learning disorders.

Antipsychotic Medications and Children

July 2, 2024

Antipsychotic medications are powerful drugs that were designed to treat psychosis, but they are also widely used to help children whose behavior is out of control or dangerous. For some kids who are extremely aggressive, impulsive, or harmful to themselves or others, taking antipsychotic medications can calm them down — and that can mean the difference between staying at home (and in school) and having to go into residential care. But these medications can also have serious side effects, so they should be prescribed with caution and monitored carefully.

This week at, we explore what are called “atypical” or “next-generation” antipsychotics, a group of medications developed in the 1990s that have fewer side effects than older antipsychotics. They are often prescribed for children and teenagers on the autism spectrum, with ADHD, or with behavior disorders like ODD, and they have a role in treating Tourette’s and OCD, too. We offer expert advice on when these medications should be used and how kids should be monitored for side effects. We also offer tips on how to make sure your child is getting the right dose of whatever medication they’re taking, what you should know if your child is taking more than one medication, and how to transition kids off meds.

– Michelle Shih, Managing Editor | 

Related Resources

Antipsychotics and Children

How these powerful medications are used to treat kids.


Is Your Child Getting the Right Medication Dosage?

Why starting medication slowly and observing kids carefully are necessary for successful treatment.


Multiple Meds and Kids: What Parents Should Know

And warning signs that you should be concerned about the care your child is getting.


How to Take Kids Off Medication

Tips for making sure your child makes a good transition.


How to Help Children Calm Down

Techniques for helping kids regulate their emotions and avoid explosive behavior.


Is My Child's Anger Normal?

How to tell if emotional outbursts or aggression are beyond typical childhood behavior.


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