Therapy for Pediatric Clients

Pediatric Client Therapy
Depressive symptoms in children are a common problem in African-American families. To avoid negative side effects, treatment of depressive symptoms in children requires careful medication prescription. For example, Zoloft is an evidence-based medication used to treat pediatric depression, but it has significant side effects. Suicidal thoughts in children are one of the side effects. FDA experts warn clinicians in pediatric departments that prescriptions for small amounts are required (Estévez-Calvar et al., 2017). As a result, the patient is currently suffering from a variety of ailments. Zoloft 50mg orally daily is one of the best medications. If the patient does not show significant improvement, the dosage should be increased to 50mg orally daily. In decision 2, the patient showed significant improvement as a result of reduced depressive symptoms. As a result, increasing the dosage is unnecessary because the depressive symptoms are already subsiding. To reduce the risk of side effects, pediatric patients should be treated with caution when taking Zoloft.
First decision
The first choice is to take Zoloft 25mg orally once daily to treat depression. I will suggest that the patient return to the clinic in two weeks. When the patient returns to the clinic, his depressive symptoms have not improved. The medication was prescribed because off-label drugs are effective in treating pediatric depression (Magellan Health, Inc, 2013). According to randomized controlled trials, Zoloft is both safe and effective in treating mood disorders in children. The decision is intended to improve the patient’s condition, specifically his or her sleep and appetite (Estévez-Calvar et al., 2017). Zoloft has been shown to improve child interaction and decrease withdrawal from peers (Magellan Health, Inc, 2013). If the medication’s expectations are met, the prescription will be extended until the next appointment. When the client returns to the clinic after two weeks, the depressive symptoms have not improved. The dosage is the difference between what was expected and what was achieved. The expected results are likely to be realized if the dosage is increased to 50mg.
Decision No. 2
The second choice is to increase Zoloft dosage to 50mg orally daily for two weeks. The goal of increasing the dose to 50mg is to improve the medication’s therapeutic ability. Notably, the medication is intended to improve a variety of symptoms such as sleep, peer interaction, mood, and appetite (Stahl, 2013). The anticipated outcome is a reduction in depressive symptoms. The decision will also take into account the potential side effects of the high dosage. When the patient returned to the clinic after two weeks, his symptoms had significantly improved. The reduction in depressive symptoms was 50%, indicating that the dosage increase was significant. Decision 2 produced results that were similar to those expected.
Third decision
The third decision was to continue taking Zoloft 50mg orally daily. The goal of continuing the medication is to alleviate depressive symptoms. The patient is also not experiencing any side effects, indicating that the medication is both effective and safe. Suicidal thoughts are one of the side effects of taking too much Zoloft (Estévez-Calvar et al., 2017). Because it has not yet emerged, the side effects should be monitored. Since the patient had reduced depressive intentions, the expected and actual outcomes are similar. The results were comparable because the dosage had a therapeutic ability to suppress depressive symptoms such as sleep, appetite, and social interaction. It is not necessary to change the medication because the patient is improving with no side effects.
Considerations for Ethical Behavior
The ethical considerations are important in balancing between treatment and limiting the side effects. For instance, Zoloft can trigger suicidal thoughts which can put a patient at risk (Gordon & Melvin, 2014). Clinicians who are planning to prescribe Zoloft should monitor the side effects. For instance, the Food and Drugs Authority requires pharmaceutical companies to label drugs with the caution of suicidal thoughts. Therefore, children below 18 years cannot decide on taking Zoloft without parental approval according to FDA regulations (Gordon & Melvin, 2014). Clinicians should, thus, acquire approval of a parent or guardian before prescribing medication. Patients should be informed about the ethical requirements of the drug. It is essential to inform African-American communities that the treatment of depressive symptoms requires medical attention apart from faith and spirituality.
FDA advises clinicians to always prescribe small amounts of Zoloft to reduce the risk of overdose or side effects. It is important to monitor patients closely to avoid side effects such as suicidal thoughts that can lead to death. FDA recommends that the use of Zoloft should be accompanied by the approval of a parent or guardian. It is the role of a psychiatrist or mental health professional to increase the knowledge of depressive symptoms and the ethical requirements of the drugs. Psychotropic medication is essential for children with depressive and anxiety disorders. Depression is one of the major health conditions affecting children in African-American communities. The three major decisions are subsequent monitoring was critical to prevent possible overdose.
Estévez-Calvar, N., Canesi, L., Montagna, M., Faimali, M., Piazza, V., & Garaventa, F. (2017). Adverse effects of the SSRI antidepressant sertraline on the early life stages of marine invertebrates. Marine Environmental Research, 128, 88-97.
Gordon, M. S., & Melvin, G. A. (2014). Do antidepressants make children and adolescents suicidal? Journal of Pediatrics and Child Health, 50(11), 847–854. DOI:10.1111/jpc.12655
Magellan Health, Inc. (2013). Appropriate use of psychotropic drugs in children and adolescents: A clinical monograph. Retrieved from
Stahl, S. M. (2013). Stahl’s essential psychopharmacology: Neuroscientific basis and practical applications (4th ed.). New York, NY: Cambridge University Press.