Psychiatric Annals

Feature Articles 

Pharmacotherapy for Anxiety Disorders in Children and Adolescents: An Evidence-Based Medicine Review

Scott N. Compton, PhD; Christopher J. Kratochvil, MD; John S. March, MD, MPH

Abstract

Childhood-onset anxiety disorders are among the most common problems affecting children and adolescents, with an estimated prevalence of greater than 10%. Although common, childhood-onset anxiety disorders are not benign. Anxiety in children and adolescents can range from mild worries to incapacitating symptoms, which can significantly interfere with functioning. Children with anxiety disorders are at increased risk for later anxiety, depression, illicit drug dependence, educational underachievement, suicide attempts, and psychiatric hospitalization. Over the past three decades, researchers have investigated a variety of psychopharmacologic agents for the treatment of these disorders.

ABOUT THE AUTHORS

Scott N. Compton, PhD, and John S. March, MD, are with Duke University Medical Center, Durham, North Carolina. Christopher J. Kratochvil, MD, is with University of Nebraska Medical Center, Omaha, Nebraska.

Address correspondence to: Scott N. Compton, PhD, Pediatric Psychiatry, Duke University Medical Center, DUMC Box 3527, Durham, NC 27710; fax 919-416-2420; or e-mail scompton@duke.edu.

Dr. Compton has disclosed no relevant financial relationships. Dr. Kratochvil has disclosed the following relevant financial relationships: Abbott Laboratories, Eli Lilly, and Cephalon: Consultant; AstraZeneca and Pfizer: Data Safety Monitoring Board; Abbott Laboratories, Cephalon, Eli Lilly, McNeil, Shire: Research Grant Recipient; and Eli Lilly: Member of Speakers’ Bureau. Dr. March has disclosed the following relevant financial relationships: MedAvante: Stockholder; Eli Lilly, GlaxoSmithKline, Pfizer, and Wyeth: Scientific Consulting; Eli Lilly and Pfizer: Scientific Advisor; Eli Lilly: Research Support (Primary Investigator/Investigator); AstraZeneca, Johnson and Johnson, and Organon: Data Safety Monitoring Board; Eli Lilly and Pfizer: Drug Supplied for National Institutes of Health Study; Child/Adolescent Anxiety Multimodal Study (CAMS), Child and Adolescent Psychiatry Trails Network (CAPTN), K 24, Pediatric Obsessive-Compuslive Disorder (OCD) Treatment Study (POTS I and POTS II), Treatment of Adolescents who Made a Recent Suicide Attempt (TASA), and Treatment for Adolescents with Depression Study (TADS): Federal Study Participant; and Multidimensional Anxiety Scale for Children (MultiHealth Systems): Other.

Abstract

Childhood-onset anxiety disorders are among the most common problems affecting children and adolescents, with an estimated prevalence of greater than 10%. Although common, childhood-onset anxiety disorders are not benign. Anxiety in children and adolescents can range from mild worries to incapacitating symptoms, which can significantly interfere with functioning. Children with anxiety disorders are at increased risk for later anxiety, depression, illicit drug dependence, educational underachievement, suicide attempts, and psychiatric hospitalization. Over the past three decades, researchers have investigated a variety of psychopharmacologic agents for the treatment of these disorders.

ABOUT THE AUTHORS

Scott N. Compton, PhD, and John S. March, MD, are with Duke University Medical Center, Durham, North Carolina. Christopher J. Kratochvil, MD, is with University of Nebraska Medical Center, Omaha, Nebraska.

Address correspondence to: Scott N. Compton, PhD, Pediatric Psychiatry, Duke University Medical Center, DUMC Box 3527, Durham, NC 27710; fax 919-416-2420; or e-mail scompton@duke.edu.

Dr. Compton has disclosed no relevant financial relationships. Dr. Kratochvil has disclosed the following relevant financial relationships: Abbott Laboratories, Eli Lilly, and Cephalon: Consultant; AstraZeneca and Pfizer: Data Safety Monitoring Board; Abbott Laboratories, Cephalon, Eli Lilly, McNeil, Shire: Research Grant Recipient; and Eli Lilly: Member of Speakers’ Bureau. Dr. March has disclosed the following relevant financial relationships: MedAvante: Stockholder; Eli Lilly, GlaxoSmithKline, Pfizer, and Wyeth: Scientific Consulting; Eli Lilly and Pfizer: Scientific Advisor; Eli Lilly: Research Support (Primary Investigator/Investigator); AstraZeneca, Johnson and Johnson, and Organon: Data Safety Monitoring Board; Eli Lilly and Pfizer: Drug Supplied for National Institutes of Health Study; Child/Adolescent Anxiety Multimodal Study (CAMS), Child and Adolescent Psychiatry Trails Network (CAPTN), K 24, Pediatric Obsessive-Compuslive Disorder (OCD) Treatment Study (POTS I and POTS II), Treatment of Adolescents who Made a Recent Suicide Attempt (TASA), and Treatment for Adolescents with Depression Study (TADS): Federal Study Participant; and Multidimensional Anxiety Scale for Children (MultiHealth Systems): Other.

Childhood-onset anxiety disorders are among the most common problems affecting children and adolescents, with an estimated prevalence of greater than 10%. Although common, childhood-onset anxiety disorders are not benign. Anxiety in children and adolescents can range from mild worries to incapacitating symptoms, which can significantly interfere with functioning. Children with anxiety disorders are at increased risk for later anxiety, depression, illicit drug dependence, educational underachievement, suicide attempts, and psychiatric hospitalization. Over the past three decades, researchers have investigated a variety of psychopharmacologic agents for the treatment of these disorders.

ABOUT THE AUTHORS

Scott N. Compton, PhD, and John S. March, MD, are with Duke University Medical Center, Durham, North Carolina. Christopher J. Kratochvil, MD, is with University of Nebraska Medical Center, Omaha, Nebraska.

Address correspondence to: Scott N. Compton, PhD, Pediatric Psychiatry, Duke University Medical Center, DUMC Box 3527, Durham, NC 27710; fax 919-416-2420; or e-mail scompton@duke.edu.

Dr. Compton has disclosed no relevant financial relationships. Dr. Kratochvil has disclosed the following relevant financial relationships: Abbott Laboratories, Eli Lilly, and Cephalon: Consultant; AstraZeneca and Pfizer: Data Safety Monitoring Board; Abbott Laboratories, Cephalon, Eli Lilly, McNeil, Shire: Research Grant Recipient; and Eli Lilly: Member of Speakers’ Bureau. Dr. March has disclosed the following relevant financial relationships: MedAvante: Stockholder; Eli Lilly, GlaxoSmithKline, Pfizer, and Wyeth: Scientific Consulting; Eli Lilly and Pfizer: Scientific Advisor; Eli Lilly: Research Support (Primary Investigator/Investigator); AstraZeneca, Johnson and Johnson, and Organon: Data Safety Monitoring Board; Eli Lilly and Pfizer: Drug Supplied for National Institutes of Health Study; Child/Adolescent Anxiety Multimodal Study (CAMS), Child and Adolescent Psychiatry Trails Network (CAPTN), K 24, Pediatric Obsessive-Compuslive Disorder (OCD) Treatment Study (POTS I and POTS II), Treatment of Adolescents who Made a Recent Suicide Attempt (TASA), and Treatment for Adolescents with Depression Study (TADS): Federal Study Participant; and Multidimensional Anxiety Scale for Children (MultiHealth Systems): Other.

10.3928/00485713-20070701-05

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