Novel pharmacological treatments for generalized anxiety disorder: Pediatric considerations

A. Irem Sonmez, Ammar Almorsy, Laura B. Ramsey, Jeffrey R. Strawn, Paul E. Croarkin

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

1 Scopus citations


Background: Pediatric anxiety disorders such as generalized anxiety disorder (GAD) are common, impairing, and often undertreated. Moreover, many youth do not respond to standard, evidence-based psychosocial or psychopharmacologic treatment. An increased understanding of the gamma-aminobutyric acid (GABA) and glutamate neurotransmitter systems has created opportunities for novel intervention development for pediatric GAD. Methods: This narrative review examines potential candidates for pediatric GAD: eszopiclone, riluzole, eglumegad (LY354740), pimavanserin, agomelatine. Results: The pharmacology, preclinical data, clinical trial findings and known side effects of eszopiclone, riluzole, eglumegad (LY354740), pimavanserin, agomelatine, are reviewed, particularly with regard to their potential therapeutic relevance to pediatric GAD. Conclusion: Notwithstanding numerous challenges, some of these agents represent potential candidate drugs for pediatric GAD. Further treatment development studies of agomelatine, eszopiclone, pimavanserin and riluzole for pediatric GAD also have the prospect of informing the understanding of GABAergic and glutamatergic function across development.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)747-759
Number of pages13
JournalDepression and Anxiety
Issue number8
StatePublished - Aug 1 2020


  • agomelatine
  • anxiety
  • drug development
  • eglumegad (LY354740)
  • eszopiclone
  • generalized anxiety disorder
  • pediatric
  • pimavanserin
  • riluzole

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Clinical Psychology
  • Psychiatry and Mental health


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