RMOC: STOMP Resources

Nancy Kane, Senior Medical Information Scientist, Regional Drug & Therapeutics CentrePublished

STOMP stands for stopping the overmedication of people with a learning disability, autism or both. Specifically, the campaign is about the use of psychotropic medication. People with a learning disability, autism or both are more likely to be given psychotropic medications than other people. These medications affect how the brain works. They include medications for psychosis, depression, anxiety, sleep problems or epilepsy. Sometimes they are given to people because their behaviour is seen as challenging. The evidence that psychotropic medication can help with challenging behaviour is poor.

Psychotropic medication can cause side effects such as:

  • significant weight gain
  • feeling tired or ‘drugged up’
  • severe constipation or bowel obstruction
  • serious problems with physical health, including organ failure.

Research by the Learning Disabilities Mortality Review (LeDeR Programme) and others has shown that the inappropriate use of psychotropic medications can be a significant contributory factor, or the cause, of a person’s death.  Use of psychotropic medication can be especially concerning if people take them for too long, take too high a dose or take them without good reason. Psychotropic medications are helpful for some people at some times. For many other people and in many circumstances, there are different ways of helping so that the person needs less medication or none at all.

Relevant NICE guidelines include:

Challenging behaviour and learning disabilities: prevention and interventions for people with learning disabilities whose behaviour challenges

Mental health problems in people with learning disabilities: prevention, assessment and management

Care and support of people growing older with learning disabilities

Dementia: assessment, management and support for people living with dementia and their carers

Learning disabilities and behaviour that challenges: service design and delivery


Relevant NICE Quality Standards:

Learning disabilities: challenging behaviour

Learning disabilities: identifying and managing mental health problems


Key therapeutic topic:

Psychotropic medicines in people with learning disabilities whose behaviour challenges


Medicines evidence commentary:

Stopping or reducing antipsychotics in people with learning disabilities who have challenging behaviour


Shared learning case studies:

Challenging assumptions and improving people’s quality of life within a large social care provider organisation

Adhering to the NICE guidance for initiating and reviewing antipsychotic medications in people with a learning disability for the prevention and intervention of challenging behaviours

Transforming Care in Lincolnshire


The resources below have been provided by the NHS England STOMP team to raise awareness and provide support to local areas: