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BACKGROUND INFORMATION The client is an 8-year-old African American male who arr

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BACKGROUND INFORMATION
The client is an 8-year-old African American male who arrives at the ER with his mother. He is exhibiting signs of depression.
• Client complained of feeling “sad”
• Mother reports that teacher said child is withdrawn from peers in class
• Mother notes decreased appetite and occasional periods of irritation
• Client reached all developmental landmarks at appropriate ages
• Physical exam unremarkable
• Laboratory studies WNL
• Child referred to psychiatry for evaluation
MENTAL STATUS EXAM
Alert & oriented X 3, speech clear, coherent, goal directed, spontaneous. Self-reported mood is “sad”. Affect somewhat blunted, but child smiled appropriately at various points throughout the clinical interview. He denies visual or auditory hallucinations. No delusional or paranoid thought processes noted. Judgment and insight appear to be age-appropriate. He is not endorsing active suicidal ideation, but does admit that he often thinks about himself being dead and what it would be like to be dead.
You administer the Children’s Depression Rating Scale, obtaining a score of 30 (indicating significant depression)
Decision Point One
Begin Zoloft 25 mg orally daily
RESULTS OF DECISION POINT ONE
• Client returns to clinic in four weeks
• No change in depressive symptoms at all
Decision Point Two
Increase dose to 37.5 mg orally daily
RESULTS OF DECISION POINT TWO
• Client returns to clinic in four weeks
• Depressive symptoms decrease by 20%. Client reports feeling a little bit better
Decision Point Three
Change to a different SSRI
Guidance to Student
At this point, sufficient symptom reduction has not been realized. Should either increase dose or consider different SSRI. At 8 weeks post-initiation of therapy, there should have been a significant (as defined as 50%) decrease in symptoms. This would be considered an adequate trial of antidepressant and change in dose or to a different agent would be appropriate.
• Review the interactive media piece in this week’s Resources and reflect on the types of drugs used to treat pediatric patients with mood disorders.
• Reflect on situations in which children should be prescribed drugs for off-label use.
• Think about strategies to make the off-label use and dosage of drugs safer for children from infancy to adolescence. Consider specific off-label drugs that you think require extra care and attention when used in pediatrics.
By Day 5 of Week 11
Write a 1-page narrative in APA format that addresses the following:
• Explain the circumstances under which children should be prescribed drugs for off-label use. Be specific and provide examples.
• Describe strategies to make the off-label use and dosage of drugs safer for children from infancy to adolescence. Include descriiptions and names of off-label drugs that require extra care and attention when used in pediatrics.

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