Stuttering and other speech impediments are classified as neuropsychiatric disorders. And thus, significant research is directed towards the study of both the physiological and psychological differences in the brain structure of those who stutter. The development and possibility of a medicine/drug that can help alter the neurological responses to cure and treat stuttering remains a tantalizing hope.
The use of a few drugs has resulted in a decline in the duration and severity of stuttering. However, no drug has been found that has been proven to cure stuttering.
The drugs that did reduce stuttering are highly powerful inhibitors. Alprazolam commonly known as Xanax is used to treat anxiety and panic disorders. Similarly, Clomipramine (Anafranil) and Citalopram are respectively used to treat severe panic attacks and depression. They are extremely powerful drugs that can treat the panic that a stutterer might feel when speaking but will not treat the actual speech disorder. These drugs are also extremely addictive, can lead to substance abuse, and fatal when mixed with alcohol. Their use is heavily monitored and are unavailable without a prescription.
There is also a significant amount of research that suggests that stuttering could be a result of the dysfunctionality of dopamine, a neurotransmitter. Medication that addresses the stability of dopamine levels comes with severe side-effects that include but aren’t limited to sensory, muscular, and sexual dysfunction.
The prospect of a fluency pill is incredibly seductive for those who struggle daily with their disfluency and those who are trying to help their child who stutters. But unfortunately, there isn’t a medicine that can help them overcome their obstacles. Speech therapy remains until now the only known effective course of action.