A Rational Approach to Use of Psychotropic Medications for Persons with IDD

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Many individuals with IDD and their families, as well as clinicians and researchers, believe that psychotropic medications, and particularly antipsychotic medications, have been over-prescribed to persons with IDD, often with little clinical justification, and without appropriate monitoring for toxicity. Psychotropic treatment of persons with IDD should start with an accurate psychiatric diagnosis; or in the absence of an agreed-upon diagnosis, a well-thought-out psychotropic treatment hypothesis. This program will briefly describe the history of psychotropic practice with persons with IDD, the current best-practice of establishing a diagnosis before prescribing medications, and the need for continuous monitoring of individuals for evidence of side effects or toxicity.

Stephen Ruedrich, MD