ZocdocAnswersIs medication appropriate for children with aggression?

Question

Is medication appropriate for children with aggression?

I have a friend whose toddler is uncontrollable. He is constantly acting out, at home and at school. Even so, I am worried about my friend's choice to have him medicated. When is medication the right choice for a child - even a child with extreme discipline problems?

Answer

It is important to remember that every child is unique and every situation has to be considered on its own merit. It is also difficult to assess what exactly the toddler is doing that is considered to be uncontrollable. Nevertheless, there are some basic points that can be evaluated to decide if and when a child may require medication to control his aggression. One big factor is whether the child is considered to be a danger to himself or others. In situations such as this one, it may be considered best to medicate the child if the child is not safe to interact socially otherwise. Another important factor to assess is what underlying medical problems and developmental history the child has. Based on his medical history, he may be a candidate for certain medications that have been shown to decrease aggressive behaviors. The medication choices and treatment regimens for aggressive children is beyond the scope of this discussion. Your friend may want to consult child's pediatrician to discuss possible treatment regimens available for his son. His pediatrician will be able to assess his presenting symptoms and his clinical history and best decide upon an appropriate work up and possible treatment options if available.

This answer is for general informational purposes only and is not a substitute for professional medical advice.

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