The use of medication to manage behaviour problems in adults with an intellectual disability: a national guideline

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Colleges, School and Institutes


This article describes a national guideline for the use of medication in the management of problem behaviours in adults with an intellectual disability. As problem behaviours in this group are common and medication is often prescribed ‘off licence’, it is important that a framework is established to direct this practice. The article details a guideline development project that is of importance because it is the only national guideline in the area. It also highlights important issues in clinical practice in the field, and addresses the current evidence base on the effectiveness of psychotropic medications in the management of problem behaviours. There is a lack of good research evidence to support use of medication for problem behaviours. Where medication is used for this purpose, it should be used with a clear rationale, following a thorough assessment of the individual, and carefully monitored, and withdrawal should always be considered. People should always be given information in a way that they understand, and they should be given choices about their treatment.


Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)4-11
Number of pages8
JournalAdvances in Mental Health and Learning Disabilities
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 27 Sep 2010


  • Intellectual disability, Learning disabilities, Medication, National guideline, Problem behaviour

ASJC Scopus subject areas