J Korean Acad Child Adolesc Psychiatry.  2017 Jan;28(1):14-19. 10.5765/jkacap.2017.28.1.14.

Pharmacologic Considerations for Youth with Posttraumatic Stress Disorder

Affiliations
  • 1Department of Pediatrics, University of Utah, Salt Lake City, UT, USA. brooks.keeshin@hsc.utah.edu
  • 2Department of Psychiatry, University of Cincinnati, Cincinnati, OH, USA.

Abstract

Children exposed to potentially traumatic events are at risk of developing posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD). However, the subsequent developmental course of posttraumatic stress symptoms appears to vary considerably. In this regard, some PTSD symptoms resolve without significant interventions, while for many children and adolescents, they persist until the patient receives appropriate treatment specifically designed to address PTSD and other trauma related symptoms. Evidence-based psychotherapies represent the standard of care for children with PTSD and, while psychopharmacologic interventions are utilized for many youth with posttraumatic stress symptoms and PTSD, there is little data available to guide the use of these medications in this population. However, given the structural challenges involved in disseminating and delivering evidence-based psychotherapies in all settings, prescribing clinicians should be aware of the medications whose use in children with pediatric PTSD has been studied. Herein, we review the PTSD assessment modalities, as well as the use of pharmacologic interventions in PTSD, including antiadrenergic agents, selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors and other medications.

Keyword

Posttraumatic stress disorder; Treatment; Medication

MeSH Terms

Adolescent*
Adrenergic Antagonists
Child
Humans
Psychotherapy
Serotonin Uptake Inhibitors
Standard of Care
Stress Disorders, Post-Traumatic*
Adrenergic Antagonists
Serotonin Uptake Inhibitors
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