Tailor the pharmacological management of childhood dystonia to meet the needs of each child
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The diagnostic evaluation and treatment of childhood dystonia is complicated by the clinical and aetiological heterogeneity of the disorder, as well as by a shortage of adequate clinical trials. Clinical diagnosis is based on history and distinctive examination findings, which direct the assessment process. Treatment for childhood dystonia is mainly symptomatic, with therapy being customized based on the clinical situation of each child. Levodopa can aid in the diagnostic process, as well as being potentially therapeutic; when the cause of the dystonia is unknown, the use of levodopa should be initially considered. Other pharmacological options include trihexyphenidyl, baclofen, benzodiazepines, tetrabenazine and botulinum toxin. Drugs should be initiated at low doses and gradually increased as required for symptomatic improvement.
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Conflict of interest
The article was adapted from Pediatric Drugs 2017;19(5):447–61  by employees of Adis/Springer, who are responsible for the article content and declare no conflicts of interest.
The preparation of this review was not supported by any external funding.
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