What treatment was effective for your child's PANDAS?
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What is the treatment for PANDAS?
PANDAS is treated primarily with cognitive behavioral therapy and medication, depending on the breadth and severity of symptoms. Currently, the
primary medical therapy is focused on controlling the OCD symptoms and therefore
select selective serotonin reuptake inhibitor (SSRI) medications are frequently
used (fluoxetine [Prozac] and others). The other more acute measure in treating PANDAS is
treating the strep infection associated with the symptoms. Antibiotics are the
treatment of choice to eradicate an active strep throat infection. Your doctor
may prescribe penicillin, amoxicillin (Amoxil), azithromycin (Zithromax), or another antibiotic. For
severe and refractory symptoms, the use of other treatments aimed at controlling
the immune response have been studied and found to be effective. These include
the use of intravenous immunoglobulin, steroids, and plasmapharesis (plasma
exchange therapy in which blood is withdrawn from an individual and the liquid
portion is removed and replaced and the blood is transfused back into the
individual). For both treatments, the "offending" antibodies are removed.
Steroids are less effective, because, although symptoms decrease during the
treatment, they return soon after stopping. More studies are needed to be able
to recommend immune-modulating therapies without hesitation.