Emergency psychopharmacology in childhood and adolescence

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Emergencies in child psychiatry settings are not uncommon and call upon the clinician to assess, form a differential diagnosis and devise treatment strategies in rapid succession. Few studies in the literature offer guidelines as to the management of the various types of psychiatric emergencies in the child and adolescent population. Very little has been written about psychopharmacologic approaches, in particular. The author divides psychiatric emergencies in this group into three categories: those that are drug treatable, those that are drug induced and those in which drug treatment is less likely to be useful. She outlines basic management of such common emergencies as acute psychosis, acute agitation, acute suicidality, and acute school refusal; commonly prescribed drug toxicities such as anticholinergic crises, extrapyramidal syndromes, and Lithium toxicity are reviewed. Finally, common drug intoxications and withdrawals frequently seen in the adolescent population such as alcohol, marijuana, and cocaine intoxication, and benzodiazepine withdrawal are discussed.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)97-115
Number of pages19
JournalEmergency health services review
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jan 28 1986
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Health Policy
  • Marketing


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