Pharmacotherapy of childhood anxiety disorders

Curr Psychiatry Rep. 2002 Aug;4(4):264-9. doi: 10.1007/s11920-996-0045-8.


Anxiety disorders are among the most common psychiatric disorders of childhood, yet limited data is available regarding the use of psychotropic medications for these conditions. Until recently, much of the data on the pharmacologic treatment of pediatric anxiety disorders has consisted of case reports and small open-label studies, with the exception of pediatric obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD), which has had a comparatively rich literature consisting of several double blind trials. This void has been lessening, however, with four double blind, placebo-controlled studies published in the past year alone. Although the majority of pharmacologic studies of pediatric anxiety continue to focus on the treatment of OCD, additional reports on treatment of generalized anxiety disorder, panic disorder, social anxiety disorder, and separation anxiety disorder have recently been published. This article will review significant pharmacologic studies published in the prior year, and the role of pharmacotherapy in the treatment of pediatric anxiety disorders.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Anxiety Disorders / drug therapy*
  • Child
  • Humans