Kids on Meds

Up-to-Date Information About the Most Commonly Prescribed Psychiatric Medications

Kevin T. Kalikow, MD (Author, New York Medical College)


A popular guide for consumers about all the psychiatric drugs used with kids.

Arguments abound about whether psychiatric medicines are over- or underprescribed, even as their use in childhood and adolescence has become commonplace. Knowing how various medicines work, their side effects and doses, will help parents understand their child's experience. And if you are considering medication for your child, the crucial question is, could it help?

This book is an overview of the four groups of medicines most commonly used in child and adolescent psychiatry—for ADHD, depression and anxiety, psychosis, and mood disorders. It discusses not only the drugs but also how they work in the body, as well as the culture of today's medical practice. Kevin T. Kalikow offers measured advice on how to evaluate and treat young people with medicine and how to decide if medicine isn't the right course of action. It is essential reading for anyone who needs to wade through the complicated—and often contradictory—medical information about kids and drugs.

Book Details

  • Hardcover
  • September 2011
  • ISBN 978-0-393-70637-6
  • 6.5 × 9.5 in / 448 pages
  • Sales Territory: Worldwide including Canada, but excluding the British Commonwealth.

Endorsements & Reviews

“[T]akes the reader through the history and evolution of psychopharmacology…so that the reader will be well informed when talking to professionals…. [A]n easy-to-read reference to make some sense between the facts and the art of psychiatric medicine as it affects children and adolescents.” — PsychCentral

“I loved this book and savored every word. It is timely, extremely relevant, and should be in every mental health practitioner’s reference library. Dr. Kalikow provides rich clinical insights together with ever-changing historical perspectives as he discusses the risks and benefits of medication use in children and adolescents suffering from common psychiatric disorders. These complex issues are addressed with extraordinary clarity, compassion and wit. It’s as if the reader is receiving a personal consultation with a leading expert in the field of child and adolescent psychiatry.” — Arlene G. Adler, PhD, Chief, Pediatric Psychology, The Maria Fareri Children’s Hospital at Westchester Medical Center

“This comprehensive, practical guide covers a plethora of relevant topics ranging from brain physiology and psychopharmacological principles to nuts and bolts of determining the need for medication, prescribing medication for various conditions, and evaluating treatment outcome. Kalikow translates evidence-based information into everyday language that will suit the needs of a variety of audiences including prescribing physicians, psychologists, other mental health professionals, educators, and parents of children receiving treatment. This book serves a critical need in the fields of child psychiatry and psychopharmacology.” — George J. DuPaul, PhD, Department of Education and Human Services, Lehigh University

“[O]ffers parents crucial and often complex information in an understandable format…. Written and thoroughly researched by Dr. Kalikow, a child and adolescent psychiatrist, this is an invaluable resource for parents, clinicians and school staff to understand the use and evaluation of commonly prescribed medications and their effects on children and adolescents.” — More Than Just Books

Kids on Meds is an important resource for professionals with a non-medical background who want to understand treatment decisions made for children. Using a biopsychosocial perspective, it explains where medication fits in the context of overall treatment, demystifies the science of psychopharmacology, and provides a clear, practical, and up-to-date discussion of the disorders of childhood, treatment options, and the medications of choice along with case examples connecting to practice. This book belongs on the shelf of all school mental health professionals.” — Marian C. Fish, PhD, Professor & Coordinator, School Psychology Program, Queens College, CUNY

Kids on Meds is a MUST as a reference tool for all practitioners working with children and adolescents. Kalikow is thorough and honest; his 'tell it like it is' approach provides detailed and crucial information to help us find out way in a complex and compelling field. I highly recommend this book!” — Barbara George, MS, LCSW, Social Worker, Ridgefield High School, Ridgefield, CT; Private Practice, Mt. Kisco, NY

“[A]n invaluable resources not only for parents of children who have been diagnosed with psychiatric disorders, but also for those who work with children in any capacity, including educators, health care workers, and day care providers. . . . [E]asy to read and informative, providing the reader with a wealth of knowledge.” — Journal of Child and Family Studies

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