Activity Preview


Understanding the Evidence: Off Label Use of Atypical Antipsychotics: Self-Assessment Activity

Activity Type:

  • Self-Assessment

Release Date: 4/1/2014

Expiration Date: 12/31/2016

  • AAPA Self-Assessment: 5
  • AMA PRA Category 1: 5
  • Participation: 5



Supported by a grant from the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality (R18 HS021944) In 2011, the Agency for Healthcare Quality and Research (AHRQ) published a comprehensive report , Off-Label Use of Atypical Antipsychotics: An Update - Comparative Effectiveness Review 43 (1) summarizing the evidence for off-label use of antipsychotics for treatment of mental disorders. As described in the report, prescribing of atypical antipsychotics has moved beyond approved indications, however the effectiveness, benefits, and adverse effects in off-label uses are not well understood. Through a grant from AHRQ, the American Psychiatric Association (APA) developed a FREE multipart CME program to disseminate the conclusions of the AHRQ Report and to update clinicians about new developments regarding the evidence. Our understanding of the evidence continues to evolve. The developers of this program are aware that off-label uses of antipsychotic medications constitute rapidly changing areas in clinical investigation, and that new studies and revised FDA approvals appear on a regular basis. The material in this program represents the best information available to the developers based on AHRQ reviews and updated literature as of February 2014. Overall, a class effect of the atypical antipsychotics for each disorder cannot be assumed, and for most atypical antipsychotic medications, adequate supporting evidence for either efficacy or comparative effectiveness is still lacking for many indications. The study of the evidence provided in this program will assist the physician in making informed decisions and provide a foundation for discussions with patients about the risks and benefits of this class of medications.


  • General Member - Free
  • Resident-Fellow Member - Free
  • Non-Member - Free

Educational Objectives

Clinicians will:

1) review evidence for treatment of psychiatric disorders
2) review the evidence for the risks and benefits associated with atypical antipsychotic use for off label indications
3) incorporate knowledge about atypical antipsychotic use for off label indications into practice
4) identify areas where more study is needed

Target Audience

Psychiatrists and all other physicians, as well as all clinicians with an interest in evidence based prescribing for psychiatric disorders

Estimated Time to Complete

DURATION: 5 hours
PROGRAM END/REVIEW DATE: December 31, 2016

Contact for questions about this course | Contact for technical assistance

How to Earn Credit

Participants complete a 25 question, multiple choice self-assessment and assess their strengths and weaknesses regarding their knowledge of evidence for off-label use of atypical antipsychotics. After completing the quiz, participants receive a detailed score report with peer comparison, review the answers and rationales for the quiz, and access links to the AHRQ report and to other important clinical references that describe the evidence for the risks and benefits of these medications.

Continuing Education Credit

The American Psychiatric Association (APA) is accredited by the Accreditation Council for Continuing Medical Education (ACCME) to provide continuing medical education for physicians. The APA designates this enduring material for a maximum of 5 AMA PRA Category 1 Credit(s)™. Physicians should claim only the credit commensurate with the extent of their participation in the activity.

The American Board of Psychiatry and Neurology has reviewed the APA program Understanding The Evidence For Off Label Use Of Atypical Antipsychotics and has approved this program for MOC Part 2 – self-assessment.

APA reports MOC completion data on behalf of our members directly to ABPN, however, diplomates are still required to log on to their ABPN Physician Folios at least once per calendar year to attest to completion of their MOC activities.

This Self-Assessment CME program has been reviewed and is approved for a maximum of 5 AAPA Category 1 Self-Assessment CME credits by the Physician Assistant Review Panel. Approval is valid until December 31, 2016. Physician Assistants should claim only the credit commensurate with the extent of their participation in the activity. This program was planned in accordance with AAPA’s CME Standards.

Faculty and Planner Disclosures

Program Planners

Deborah J. Hales, M.D., Director, APA Division of Education | Reports no financial relationships with commercial interests

Eve Moscicki, SC.D., M.P.H, PRN, Director, Practice Reach Network, APA Division of Research | Reports no financial relationships with commercial interests

Kristen Moeller, Director, APA Department of CME | Reports no financial relationships with commercial interests


Robert Boland, M.D., Professor of Psychiatry & Human Behavior, Brown Alpert Medical School | Reports no financial relationships with commercial interests

Ian A. Cook, M.D., Professor of Psychiatry, David Geffen School of Medicine and Semel Institute for Neuroscience and Human Behavior at UCLA | In the past 5 years, Dr. Cook has received grant support from Aspect Medical Systems/Covidien, Cyberonics, Lilly, the National Institutes of Health, Neuronetics, NeoSync, Novartis, Pfizer, Seaside Therapeutics, and Sepracor, as Principal Investigator or Co-Investigator; has served as an adviser or consultant to Ascent Media, Bristol-Myers Squibb,Cyberonics, Lilly, Neuronetics, NeuroSigma, Pfizer, Scale Venture Partners, and the U.S. Departments of Defense and Justice; and has spoken on behalf of Bristol-Myers Squibb, CME LLC, Medical Education Speakers Network, Neuronetics, NeuroSigma, and Wyeth. Dr. Cook's biomedical device patents are assigned to the University of California. He has been granted stock options in NeuroSigma.

David Fogelson, M.D. Clinical Professor of Psychiatry, UCLA Department of Psychiatry and Bio-behavioral Sciences | Research Support: Genentech

Joel Yager, MD, Professor of Psychiatry, University of Colorado School of Medicine | Reports no financial relationships with commercial interests

Hardware/Software Requirements

For PC users, we recommend using a computer that is running the most recent version of Microsoft Windows.
For Macintosh users, we recommend using a computer that is running OS X or later.
Although the presentations and website can be viewed on any browser, we suggest Google Chrome for PC users and the latest version of Firefox for Macintosh users. Make sure your computer's software and browsers are updated regularly for an optimal experience.

Due to the media-rich content, we recommend viewing programs at a minimum screen resolution of 800 x 600 pixels, but preferably 1024 x 768 pixels.