Medication strategies in childhood aggression: a review

Can J Psychiatry. 2003 Jul;48(6):367-73. doi: 10.1177/070674370304800602.


Objective: To review studies of psychopharmacological management of aggression in common childhood psychiatric disorders.

Method: Using OVID software, we searched Medline for studies that were undertaken in the last 30 years. Controlled and uncontrolled data are summarized for each condition.

Results: A paucity of evidence-based information currently exists. Even so, specific indications from the existing literature can be suggested for several classes of psychotropics, particularly in conduct disorder (CD), attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), mood disorders, and other conditions.

Conclusions: Clinicians can use findings from reviewed controlled and, where necessary, uncontrolled studies to inform pharmacologic practice. This review offers suggestions for future research directions that will aid clinical practice.

MeSH terms

  • Aggression / psychology*
  • Anxiety Disorders / drug therapy
  • Anxiety Disorders / psychology
  • Attention Deficit Disorder with Hyperactivity / drug therapy*
  • Child
  • Conduct Disorder / drug therapy*
  • Controlled Clinical Trials as Topic
  • Evidence-Based Medicine
  • Humans
  • Mood Disorders / drug therapy
  • Mood Disorders / psychology
  • Psychotropic Drugs / adverse effects
  • Psychotropic Drugs / therapeutic use*


  • Psychotropic Drugs