This is the protocol for a review and there is no abstract. The objectives are as follows:
1) To identify and review all RCTs of the pharmacotherapy of childhood/adolescent anxiety disorders.
2) To compare the efficacy of different medication classes (benzodiazepines, selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs), tricyclic antidepressants (TCAs), other medications) in treating different childhood/adolescent anxiety disorders, relative to a placebo control.
3) To assess whether treatment effects are influenced by methodological characteristics of the trials (eg. multi-centre vs. single centre) or clinical characteristics of the participants (eg. age band membership, presence of comorbidity) included in the trials.
4) To document and describe serious adverse effects (SAEs) associated with the use of each pharmaceutical agent, as well as comparing differences in the incidence of SAEs between different medication classes.
5) To provide guidance for practice by conducting a narrative review of RCT trials which are eligible for inclusion in the review, but could not be quantitatively analysed. This includes RCT trials which are excluded from the meta-analyses due to missing data and/or the use of unreliable measurement scales. While the pharmaceutical agents which fall in the "other medication" category will be included in the meta-analyses, the discussion of their outcomes will be restricted to the narrative review.