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Evidence for Use of Mood Stabilizers and Anticonvulsants in the Treatment of Nonaffective Disorders in Children and Adolescents

Amaladoss, Alfred MBChB*; Roberts, Nasreen MBBS, DPM, MR, FRCP; Amaladoss, Franklin BBA

doi: 10.1097/WNF.0b013e3181f8d4ed
Review Articles

Mood stabilizers and anticonvulsants have been frequently used to control behaviors in children and adolescent with nonaffective disorders. The purpose of this study was to review the literature to evaluate the evidence of these agents as treatment options in this subset of patients. We reviewed all the literature between 1949 and 2009 on the use of anticonvulsants and mood stabilizers in controlling severe behavior dysregulation and aggression in child and adolescent who do not meet the criteria for any mood disorder. The review revealed a total of 19 studies. Of the different mood stabilizers/anticonvulsants, both lithium and divalproex showed some promise in treating children and adolescents with nonmood disorders. Larger studies are nevertheless needed to support the ongoing use of these current anticonvulsants and mood stabilizers in children and adolescents with nonmood disorders. Also, further investigation to the potential use in the long term would need to be established, bearing in mind the balance of side effects and treatment benefit.

*Department of Psychiatry, Hotel Dieu Hospital; †Professor and Chair of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry, Queens University, Ontario, Canada; and ‡Windsor University School of Medicine, St Kitts, Carribean.

Address correspondence and reprint requests to Alfred Amaladoss, MBChB, Department of Psychiatry, Hotel Dieu Hospital, Queens University, 166 Brock St, Kingston, Ontario, Canada; E-mail:

© 2010 Lippincott Williams & Wilkins, Inc.