Medication Treatment Algorithm for Adolescent Depression in Primary Care 4/16/24

Adolescent depression is a significant mental health concern, with potential long-term implications if left untreated. While psychotherapy remains a cornerstone of treatment, medication can be an essential component for moderate to severe cases or when psychotherapy alone is insufficient. This medication treatment algorithm outlines evidence-based pharmacological interventions for adolescent depression, incorporating safety considerations, efficacy, and […]

Prescribing Antipsychotic Medications in Children and Adolescents:  Part II 4/2/24

Continuing the discussion on the Off Label use of antipsychotic medications for minors, this edition of our newsletter addresses considerations in tapering and, when feasible, discontinuing treatment with these agents. Case Vignette: Steven is a 13-year old boy with autism, mild intellectual disability and expressive speech delay who presented 2 years ago with concerns related […]

Tapering Antipsychotic Medications in Children and Adolescents: Part 1 3/21/24

Although pediatricians do not often initiate prescriptions for antipsychotic agents, this and a subsequent e-newsletter edition discuss important issues in their use that can be of relevance to pediatric practice, both in managing acute clinical situations and in managing care for youth with longer term needs for these medicines. About 1% of children ages 7-12 […]

Free Digital Supports for Kids & Families 2/28/24

An important new resource for families with kids, teens and young adults up to age 25 has been launched by California’s Department of Health Care Services as part of the state’s CalHOPE program. This is a resource for youth and families that should be added to a provider’s tool kit in assisting patients and their […]

Deprescribing Psychotropic Medication 2/7/24

Medication regimens that were once good, might not be the best choice now. While psychotropic medications can be remarkably helpful in the management of many behavioral health disorders, it is not infrequently the case – particularly with children and adolescents— that revisions in established medication regimens are appropriate as the patient goes through the developmental […]

Compassion Fatigue 1/11/24

This week we would like to focus on you! As healthcare, emergency and/or community service professionals we are privileged to be able to offer our skills and compassion to those suffering from physical and emotional health challenges, yet while doing so we must attend to our own needs to sustain our physical, mental, emotional and […]

“APPY” Holidays! 12/15/23

A national survey found that 38% of young adults 14-22 years old experiencing moderate to severe symptoms of anxiety and depression are using stress and anxiety-reducing apps to help them feel better. [Rideout: 2018] Common signs of anxiety in children and adolescents are acting worried or afraid, crying, shaking, tantrums, and refusing to do things, such as […]

Smoking Cigarettes and E-Cigs: Unmasking the Real Deal

Buckle up, because we’re going to show you what’s really behind the smokescreen. What’s the Deal with Cigarettes and E-Cigarettes? Cigarettes: Imagine tiny toxic torches. You light ’em up, and they become a cocktail of chemicals that mess with your body. Sounds kind of gross. Cigarettes can kill too: 5.6 million kids under the age […]

San Diego’s CARE Act Program 11/17/23

Although severe debilitating psychiatric disorders such as schizophrenia, chronic substance use and other serious disorders are relatively rare in the populations served by pediatricians, the recently implemented CARE Act Program is an important new resource for the community that pediatricians may find valuable for some patients who are in their transition age years as young […]


Few topics in pediatrics stir the pots of privacy, personhood, possibility, and politics as does the topic of gender affirming care for minors—though immunizations and various other topics run a close second at times.  Today’s newsletter provides some preliminary background on this very complex topic as a prelude to the upcoming AAP-CA3 CME program “Gender Journeys: A […]