A government study finds that a popular antidepressant and three months of psychotherapy can dramatically help children with anxiety disorder.
It's estimated that as many as 20% of U.S. children and teens suffer anxiety disorders. The lead author of the study says while combining the drug sertraline and therapy works best, each method showed big benefits by itself.
Dr. John Walkup says in many cases symptoms almost disappeared in children who had been so anxious that they wouldn't leave home, sleep alone or hang out with friends. The Johns Hopkins Hospital psychiatrist says the good news is that there are "three good treatments."
Sertraline is available as a generic and under the brand name Zoloft. It is among the antidepressants linked with suicidal thoughts and behavior in children with depression.
The study is published online in the New England Journal of Medicine.