Pharmacological Agents for Developmental Stuttering in Children and Adolescents: A Systematic Review

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Stuttering affects approximately 5% of children up to the teenage years. There are many possible forms of intervention, one of which is pharmacotherapy. No review about the treatment of stuttering with pharmacological agents in children and adolescents has been undertaken. The objectives of this review were to determine the extent of previous research in this area and to assess the success of pharmacological agents in reducing the frequency of disfluency in child and adolescent stutterers (<18 years). A systematic search of MEDLINE, PsychInfo, Embase, and Cochrane Systematic Review databases was carried out to identify potential studies for the review. Studies that met specified criteria were selected for detailed examination, and the quality of evidence they provided was assessed according to 7 criteria that pertained to study design and data provision. Seven publications met the inclusion criteria for the review. Only 1 publication was classified as strong evidence quality, and this reported that clonidine did not reduce the frequency of disfluency in a group of 25 individuals who stuttered. All further publications were classified as either very low or low evidence quality. The agents examined were risperidone, olanzapine, clonidine, tiapride, haloperidol, and chlorpromazine.

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