Pediatric anxiety is a prevalent psychiatric disorder that may have important implications for school, social, and academic function. Psychopharmacological approaches to the treatment of pediatric anxiety have expanded over the past 20 years and increasing empirical evidence helps guide current clinical practice.
To review studies which examine the pharmacological treatment of pediatric anxiety disorders, including obsessive-compulsive disorder and to summarize treatment implications.
All relevant studies were searched using MEDLINE and PsycINFO search engines, supplemented by a manual bibliographical search; studies published between 1985 and 2006 that met inclusion criteria were examined.
This article provides a systematic review of the psychopharmacological treatment of pediatric anxiety disorders based on available empirical evidence, with a focus on randomized controlled trials. General treatment principles and pharmacological management of specific pediatric anxiety disorders are also reviewed.
There is good evidence to support the efficacy of several pharmacological agents including the selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors to treat pediatric anxiety and obsessive-compulsive disorder, although there are still many unanswered questions.
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