According to Optum Behavioral Health, children and adolescents on antipsychotic medications may have increased risk for certain health concerns, including:
- Cardiovascular changes
- Metabolic changes, including weight gain
- Type 2 diabetes
That’s why best practices encourage primary care providers (PCPs) to monitor the blood glucose and cholesterol of these patients. Doctors need to order the following metabolic tests after the first prescription for the antipsychotic medicine is given:
- At least one test for blood glucose or HbA1c, and
- At least one test for LDL-C or cholesterol.
Because of the health risks, the care for children and adolescents on antipsychotic medications need to be coordinated between the behavioral health practitioner prescribing the drugs and the PCP managing the patient’s medical issues.
The above recommendations are based on the American Academy for Child and Adolescent Psychiatry (AACAP), the American Psychiatric Association and the National Committee for Quality Assurance HEDIS® specification.