HOUSTON (January 21, 2014) – DePelchin Children’s Center is highlighting the results of a study where combining a stimulant and antipsychotic drug along with teaching parents behavior management techniques proved successful in treating children with symptoms of severe physical aggression and attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) who did not respond to the first line of treatments. The study was completed by Dr. Oscar Bukstein, medical director at DePelchin, along with colleagues from several mid-western universities.
“The treatment of persistent physical aggression in children is very important, as left unchecked it can lead to serious consequences later in life for the child as well as costs to society," Dr. Bukstein said. "The use of more than one medication is not uncommon in medicine, but it is important to be careful and use proper steps before determining it is the best course of action. Although doctors have often used stimulants and antipsychotics together in recent years even for severe behavioral problems, we did not have good evidence until now that they would work more effectively when carefully staged and given together.”
The study confirmed that practitioners should start with parent management training and the proven evidenced-based treatments of a stimulant medication (for ADHD) before trying the addition of an antipsychotic drug. But in cases where one medication is not working, this study provided support for the use of a stimulant and antipsychotic medication together in cases of severe levels of aggression and other disruptive behaviors. Using these two medications together in these cases seemed to neutralize some of potential side effects associated with individual use of the medications.
The findings published last week can be found in the January issue of the Journal of the American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry.
About DePelchin Children's Center
DePelchin Children’s Center is committed to meeting the needs of children as one of the largest providers of mental health, foster care and adoption services in Texas. Through its clinical expertise and special brand of caring, DePelchin turns lives around, providing a full continuum of care including psychiatric services, counseling, residential treatment, programs for at-risk youths, parent education, foster care and adoption. DePelchin is a not-for-profit organization and gratefully receives its support from individuals, foundations and corporations; government grants and fees; and United Way agencies.