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Combination Therapy Eases Anxiety in Children

Posted by Jane Akre
Thursday, October 30, 2008 4:35 PM EST
Category: Major Medical, Protecting Your Family
Tags: Zoloft, SSRI, Pfizer, Depression, Anxiety, Children's Health, FDA and Prescription Drugs, Antidepressents

Kids with extreme anxiety did best with cognitive therapy combined with medication.



IMAGE SOURCE:© iStockphoto/ kids and bullying/ author: chrisboy2004


Children can experience anxiety, sometimes to a debilitating level.

Anxiety over missing their parents, social phobias, or trouble at school, can lead them into therapy. Anxiety affects as many as 20 percent of young people.

But the question has been- what works best? Medication or talk therapy, or just hoping they will grow out of it?

Anne Marie Albano of the New York State Psychiatric Institute tells Reuters, “We are not talking here about normal fears all kids get. We are talking about intractable anxiety and fear to the point that there is such distress that the child shrinks away from the world.”

In this, the largest study of children and adolescents suffering from disabling anxiety, nearly 500 7-to-17 year olds were tracked for several months in treatment. 

Funded by the National Institute of Mental Health in the largest study yet of anxiety in children,  researchers from six major medical centers divided the children into four groups – one receiving placebos, one receiving Zoloft, another engaging in cognitive therapy for 12 weeks, and a fourth receiving both Zoloft and cognitive therapy.

Talk therapy or cognitive therapy involves teaching children to identify the thoughts that lead to their worries and then somehow moderate with help from the parents. 

After three months, 80 percent of the children receiving the combined therapy had measurable improvement.

Talk therapy alone resulted in improvements in 60 percent of participants while the Zoloft group reported a 55 percent improvement.  

Less than one quarter of those taking the placebos reported improvement.

Sertraline is the generic name of Pfizer’s Zoloft, is one of a class of antidepressants called selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs). That class of drugs has been linked to depressed feelings and thoughts of suicide. 

The results are reported in today’s New England Journal of Medicine (NEJM) and were led by author Dr. John T. Walkup of Johns Hopkins and Dr. Philip C. Kendall of Temple University.  #


Anonymous User
Posted by PepsiJuror
Thursday, October 30, 2008 5:10 PM EST

The doctors who engaged in this study should SHOT. Putting 7-17 aged children on Zoloft to study them. Know wonder their feeling bad about themselves.

Anonymous User
Posted by PepsiJuror
Thursday, October 30, 2008 5:13 PM EST

The doctors who engaged in this study should SHOT. Putting 7-17 aged children on Zoloft to study them. Know wonder they're feeling bad about themselves. Zoloft is compared by the FDA as cocaine and PCP. Anyone would feel better if you put them on such a drug. My grandmother would feel better about her age if you put her on that crap.

Anonymous User
Posted by PepsiJuror
Thursday, October 30, 2008 5:14 PM EST

Now, what would happen if you took the child off the drug. Stupid psychs playing god with how people feel.

Anonymous User
Posted by PepsiJuror
Thursday, October 30, 2008 5:31 PM EST

As you are aware, Psychiatry and psychology are unlike other branches of health and medicine. They do not adhere to the same rigorous objective standards for diagnosing, but are subjective, without a single biological test for any psychiatric disorder. There is poor agreement among mental health professionals, not only for diagnosing and ways to screen if there is anything to focus upon, but there is also poor agreement about the cause for all the disorders - often called “illnesses.” Lastly, you know the mental health system has even poorer agreement as to the best treatment approach for the behaviors we label.

Thankfully the population is waking up to the fact you can't just take a pretty little pink pill as a panacea for your troubles.

Comments for this article are closed.

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