Article Title

Side effects of second-generation antipsychotics: The experiences, views and monitoring practices of Australian child psychiatrists


Objective: The aim of this study was to ascertain the experiences, views and monitoring practices of Australian child psychiatrists regarding the metabolic and other side effects of second-generation antipsychotics (SGAs).

Method: A 19-item questionnaire was posted to all members of the RANZCP Faculty of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry living in Australia.

Results: Of the 290 eligible members of the Faculty of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry, 126 (43%) returned a useable survey. SGAs are commonly prescribed for a range of disorders. The majority of respondents expressed a high level of concern regarding weight gain and other metabolic side effects. Weight gain was the most frequently observed and monitored side effect in clinical practice. Other side effects were observed and monitored to a variable extent. Notably, monitoring practices did not parallel psychiatrists’ reported level of concern or knowledge regarding weight gain and metabolic side effects, nor coincide with published recommendations.

Conclusions: Further research is required into the use, efficacy, side effects and monitoring of SGAs in children and adolescents, and there is a need to ensure that monitoring guidelines are implemented in clinical practice. This need is heightened by the likelihood that our data on clinicians’ practice, which is based on their perceptions, may overestimate what actually occurs.



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