PANDAS - Treatment

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include the use of intravenous immunoglobulin, steroids, and plasmapharesis (plasma exchange therapy in which blood is withdrawn from an individual and the liquid portion is removed and replaced and the blood is transfused back into the individual).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.

Return to PANDAS (Pediatric Autoimmune Neuropsychiatric Disorders Associated With Streptococcal Infections)

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