FDA-Approved Medications for Pediatric Anxiety – Overview
Studies have shown that anxiety is a more serious health problem than any other in the modern world. Starting from children to adults, everyone faces this problem. This problem is increasing in kids rapidly due to the modern lifestyle.
FDA-approved pediatric anxiety medications help you understand what medications are good for your children to overcome this problem.
The Reason Behind Anxiety in Children
Children are in their developing-mind state where they study, learn new things, explore different places, and more. Anxiety knocks on their door in any situation such as due to an exam, before going on a date with a girl or guy, a presentation in school, etc.
Anxiety has become a big problem in kids as they use electronic gadgets like mobile phones, video games, etc. As a result, they spend their time watching movies, playing games, and doing irrelevant things rather than going for a walk with their parents or doing some productive activities.
Parents with such kids always look for help as they don’t want their children to spoil their future themselves. Well, some medications available in the market can help such kids overcome this problem.
Types of Anxieties in Children
Most parents don’t pay attention to the changing behavior of their kids. It becomes problematic for them when they start affecting their kids’ social, educational, and other functions. If not treated, it can become a chronic disorder that remains lifelong.
There are many types of anxiety found in children. Each problem needs unique medication or treatment. Let’s check out the types of anxieties in Children first.
- Society anxiety
- General anxiety
- Panic anxiety
- Separation anxiety
- Stress disorder post-traumatic treatment
These are the types of anxieties found in teens. But unfortunately, each type affects differently on children’s minds and for that reason, their treatments are also different.
If your kids show any of these symptoms, you must start worrying about them.
#1. Some kids experience fatal accidents or some incidents which they can’t forget. If they met with an accident a few months back, they would feel like exercising the same again, so they refuse to get inside the car.
#2. Some kids think that other people are looking at them, so they refuse to look up or eat anything, even if they go out to a restaurant. This is because they feel nervous looking up and staring at someone.
#3. In some cases, kids start experiencing panic attacks, so they don’t want to move out. They don’t want to go to school or the garden.
Studies have shown that over 60% of kids don’t get proper treatment for this problem. Well, the good news is it is treatable now. You can treat it with normal therapies or with medications. The FDA-approved medications for pediatric anxiety are listed below!
FDA-Approved Medications for Pediatric Anxiety
Finding the proper medication for your children to cure anxiety can be challenging. However, some medications can cure this problem. You can take any of these medications after consulting your kids’ pediatrician. However, you are advised not to take these medications without consultation.
SSRI stands for Selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors. It is the most prescribed medication by pediatrics to cure anxiety in children. This medication works perfectly on kids’ minds as it blocks a neurotransmitter called serotonin which causes this problem.
Serotonin neurotransmitter functions worry, fear, and stress. After taking the prescribed medicines, this situation will not happen and kids will start living a normal life as it regulates fear, stress, and worry.
Here’s the list of commonly prescribed medications that are part of SSRI.
- Zoloft (sertraline)
- Paxil (paroxetine)
- Prozac (fluoxetine)
- Lexapro (escitalopram)
- Celexa (citalopram)
- Luvox (fluvoxamine)
SNRI stands for Serotonin-norepinephrine reuptake inhibitors. It is yet another commonly prescribed medication category to cure anxiety in kids. However, unlike SSRI, this medicine controls two neurotransmitters in the brain: serotonin and norepinephrine.
- Cymbalta (duloxetine)
- Effexor XR (venlafaxine ER)
SNRIs are given to those children who cannot cure their anxiety with SSRIs. In addition, pediatricians prescribe SNRIs less due to their side effects.
What Are the Most Common Side Effects Post Pediatric Anxiety Medications?
Side effects of SSRIs and SNRIs are just like any other medications. These medications have no specific side effects; however, they act differently on different people. Here are the most common side effects reported by kids on SSRIs and SNRIs.
- Nausea and vomiting
- Dry mouth
- Weight loss or weight gain due to impact on appetite
Your physician may also prescribe other medications to treat anxiety. Some of the prescribed medications to cure this problem are listed below. Although these medications affect your brain, ensure you take them only if they are prescribed by your pediatrician.
- Ativan (lorazepam)
- Klonopin (clonazepam)
- Risperdal (risperidone)
- Abilify (aripiprazole)
- Seroquel (quetiapine)
- Buspirone (Buspar)
- Catapres (clonidine)
- Kapvay (clonidine)
- Tenex (guanfacine)
- Intuniv (guanfacine)
- Benadryl (diphenhydramine)
- Atarax (hydroxyzine)
- Vistaril (hydroxyzine)
Timing for SSRIs and SNRIs to Cure Anxiety
As per the studies, it takes up to 8 weeks for medicines to show their effects. Firstly, you will be prescribed medications for two weeks to reduce the effects of anxiety. It will control the symptoms and stop them increase further. After two weeks, you will be prescribed the same medicines for up to 8 weeks – 6 more weeks.
Your doctor will increase the dosage gradually to overcome anxiety without showing its side effects. Remember one thing medication dosage may be different from child to child as it depends upon the age and body structure of the child.
Most doctors follow the standard method to treat anxiety- providing a mild dosage of the medicines and gradually increasing the dosage. It is recommended that kids should take these medicines for up to 1 year to overcome this problem.
The Bottom Line:
Before taking any of these medications, it is recommended to consult a physician (pediatrician) who will better understand your kid’s situation and prescribe the medicines accordingly.
The physician would first examine your kid and then will ask you a few questions to study his anxiety level. Some pediatricians would prescribe medications others suggest you go for therapies, depending upon the situation.
Parents can treat anxiety simply by talking with their kids, going out with them, taking them out for dinner, etc. In addition, parents should spend more time with their kids to help them overcome this problem faster.