Drugs and Stuttering

Much has been written about various drugs and stuttering. The following is not intended to be the final word on the subject. For those interested, there is much more information to be explored online, in texts, and in peer-reviewed journal articles. The information provided is only intended to provide some direction for interested persons to continue to research. A few suggested resources for researching

Thomas David Kehoe has written a 17-page freely-available eBook Medications for Stuttering (2013)

Drug therapy FOR stuttering

From Mayo Clinic Staff: "Although some medications have been tried for stuttering, no drugs have been proved yet to help the problem." from "Treatments and drugs By Mayo Clinic Staff" http://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/stuttering/basics/treatment/con-20032854

From the National Institutes of Health: "The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has not approved any drug for the treatment of stuttering. However, some drugs that are approved to treat other health problems - such as epilepsy, anxiety, or depression - have been used to treat stuttering. These drugs often have side effects that make them difficult to use over a long period of time. In a recent study funded by the National Institute on Deafness and Other Communication Disorders (NIDCD), researchers concluded that drug therapy has been largely ineffective in controlling stuttering. Clinical trials of other possible drug treatments are currently under way." (http://www.nidcd.nih.gov/health/voice/pages/stutter.aspx)

There is currently no "pink pill" that can "cure" stuttering. Many different drugs have been tried. Some have produced some results in alleviating some overt stuttering symptoms for some people (not all) who stutter. It is recommended that if you try any drugs to alleviate stuttering, you do so under the care of a qualified physician or psychiatrist.

  • Right Diagnosis "Medication causes list: The list of possible medications or substances mentioned in sources as possible causes of stuttering includes: About medication causes: Another misdiagnosis possibility is that a particular medication or substance may be the real cause of the disease. Certain medications, chemicals, toxins or substances may possibly be underlying causes of Stuttering. Side effects of medications, or exposure to toxins, chemicals, or other substances may cause a symptom or condition. Hence, they become possible underlying causes of Stuttering but are often misdiagnosed or overlooked as a cause."

  • A case series of stuttering induced by the atypical neuroleptics olanzapine and clozapine. Olanzapine- and clozapine-induced stuttering. A case series. (PMID:15179972) Baer KJ, Haeger F, Sauer H Pharmacopsychiatry [2004, 37(3):131-134]

  • A Case of Drug Induced Stuttering by Don Mowrer and Jan Yount (1999 ISAD online conference) shared a case study of an individual with multiple sclerosis treated with multiple drugs.

  • Masand reported a drug induced stuttering resulting from desipramine. (Masand, P. (1992). Desipramine-induced oral-pharyngeal disturbances: Stuttering and jaw myoclonus (letter). Journal of Clinical Psychopharmacology, 12, 444-445.)

  • John Van Borsel, in a 2011 ASHA presentation, Acquired stuttering: differential diagnosis includes Pharmacogenic stuttering: types of drugs that can elicit stuttering:

  • The reader is referred to Alex F. Johnson, Barbara H. Jacobson's Medical Speech-Language Pathology: A Practitioner's Guide. Just finding a few pages through books.google.com uncovered several drugs with possible side affects of stuttering including:

  • The reader is also referred to Brady, John Paul MD, Drug-Induced Stuttering: A Review of the Literature, Journal of Clinical Psychopharmacology: February 1998 - Volume 18 - Issue 1 - pp 50-54

    Illegal Drugs which may cause stuttering symptoms in some people

  • Ecstasy - YouTube disclosure by 20-year-old Jordy Hurdes

    Drugs which may alleviate or exacerbate overt stuttering symptoms in some people

  • Alcohol
  • Olanzapine
    added May 27, 2015
    updated December 3, 2015