Psychopharmacology

Literature pertaining to pharmacological treatment of somatoform disorders in childhood is limited. Clinical experience suggests that mood and anxiety disorders will respond to medications even when somatization complicates the picture (Fritz et al. 1997). Although data are not available for pediatric patients, some adult studies suggest that antidepres-sants may be helpful with certain somatic symptoms, such as functional gastrointestinal disorders (Campo and Fritz 2001). Benzodiazepines may ameliorate distress and anxiety in anxious somatiz-ing patients (Campo and Fritz 2001). In an open-label study of adult patients with somatoform disorders, including somatization disorder, hypochon-driasis, and conversion disorder, 61% of patients experienced at least moderate improvement following a 2-week trial of treatment with fluvoxamine (Noyes et al. 1998). Selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs) have also been found to be helpful in the treatment of irritable bowel syndrome (Zeiter and Hyams 2002).

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