The pharmacology of stuttering: a critical review

Am J Psychiatry. 1991 Oct;148(10):1309-16. doi: 10.1176/ajp.148.10.1309.


Objective: The author critically examines the limited world literature on pharmacologic treatments of stuttering.

Method: The literature on stuttering and drugs was identified by means of two computer-assisted searches.

Findings: A great variety of pharmacologic agents have been used to treat stuttering, reflecting the many theories about the origin and nature of the disorder. In some instances new hypotheses about the nature of stuttering have followed the chance discovery of agents having some efficacy.

Conclusions: Few studies have used adequate experimental designs. Promising avenues of research, both for the treatment of stuttering and for exploring its nature, include the use of calcium channel blocking agents and cholinergic drugs.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Antipsychotic Agents / therapeutic use
  • Benzodiazepines / therapeutic use
  • Calcium Channel Blockers / therapeutic use
  • Haloperidol / therapeutic use
  • Humans
  • Parasympathomimetics / therapeutic use
  • Research Design / standards
  • Stuttering / drug therapy*
  • Verapamil / therapeutic use


  • Antipsychotic Agents
  • Calcium Channel Blockers
  • Parasympathomimetics
  • Benzodiazepines
  • Verapamil
  • Haloperidol