The current state-of-the-art in pharmacotherapy for pediatric generalized anxiety disorder

The current state-of-the-art in pharmacotherapy for pediatric generalized anxiety disorder

Castagna, P. J. Farahdel, E. Potenza, M. N. Crowley, M. J.
Expert Opinion on Pharmacotherapy
INTRODUCTION: Anxiety disorders are the most prevalent psychiatric disorders among youth. Among the various anxiety disorders, generalized anxiety disorder is particularly prevalent. Youth with GAD appear at elevated risk of developing other anxiety disorders, mood disorder, and substance use disorders. Functional outcomes of youth with GAD can be improved through early recognition and treatment, thus promoting better longer-term outcomes. AREAS COVERED: The current article summarizes evidence-based state-of-the-art pharmacotherapy for pediatric GAD based on open-label, randomized, and controlled trials. Two electronic databases (PubMed and Scopus) were systematically searched in April 2022 for relevant publications. EXPERT OPINION: The literature supports a combination of psychotherapy and pharmacotherapy as being associated with better outcomes when compared to mono-therapies. While longer-term follow-ups are limited, one such study does challenge this notion. Both selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs) and selective norepinephrine reuptake inhibitors (SNRIs) have been found across studies to have moderate effect sizes in the treatment of pediatric anxiety disorders. SSRIs continue to be a first-line intervention, whereas SNRIs may be considered a second-line treatment. While more evidence is needed, there are emerging data indicating that SSRIs are associated with a more rapid and greater reduction in anxiety symptoms when compared to SNRIs.

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Behandling og hjelpetiltak


Psykiske vansker og lidelser


Angst og engstelighet (inkl. både vansker og lidelse)


Medikamentell behandling


Stimulerende midler


Barn i skolealder (6-12 år)

Ungdom (13-18 år)

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