Drugs Used For The Treatment Of Anxiety

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Drugs Used For the Treatment of Anxiety


Anxiety is an emotional disorder that manifests itself by a feeling of insecurity. Anxiety is characterized by feelings of apprehension, tension, uneasiness and terror faced with the risk of indeterminate nature. It is often expressed by the patient in terms of nervousness or worry.

Several researches have shown that in many cases, drugs that affect various neurotransmitters, particularly serotonin, norepinephrine and gammaaminobutyrique acid (GABA), have beneficial effects on people with anxiety disorders. These drugs can reduce symptoms, especially when combined with CBT. The main drugs used to treat anxiety are selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs), selective serotonergic reuptake inhibitors (SNRIs) and benzodiazepines (BZD). SSRIs and SRNIs belong to the class of drugs called antidepressants, which are commonly prescribed to treat anxiety and depression. Benzodiazepines belong to the category of "sedative" and are commonly used to treat anxiety or insomnia. (Pacher, et al, 2001, pp. 89-100)

Before prescribing or using drugs for the treatment of disease, it is necessary to distinguish the type of anxiety and personality of the subject who experiences it. The long-term side effects of drugs treatment have not been established. These drugs can induce many side effects in patients such as manic episodes in with bipolar disorder. (Healy & David, 1997, Pp.42-48)


Anxiety can be normal, even necessary to life by its adaptive function, or conversely, debilitating disease. The boundaries between normal anxiety reactions involve the subject to face a difficult situation and pathological anxiety is unclear. (Kramer & Peter, 1997, Pp. 201-214)

Treatment of Anxiety Disorders

If there is any physical illness, a patient may be referred to a psychiatrist or psychologist and mental health professionals who are specially trained to diagnose and treat mental illnesses such as anxiety disorders. The treatment for anxiety disorders most often includes a combination of medication and cognitive behavioral therapy. (Baumel & Syd, 1999, Pp. 167-172)

Medications are available to treat anxiety disorders and can be especially helpful for people whose anxiety interferes with daily functioning. The medications used to treat anxiety disorders in the short term are a class of drugs called benzodiazepines. These drugs are sometimes referred to as "reassuring" because they make patients feel calm and relaxed. It works by decreasing the physical symptoms of GAD, such as muscle tension and restlessness. Common benzodiazepines include Xanax, Librium, Valium and Ativan. These antidepressants can take several weeks to start working, but are more suitable for long-term treatment of anxiety. (Stahl & Stephen, 1997, Pp. 32-34)

The treatment of GAD should be oriented preferably at primary care level. The choice of intervention should be determined by the patient's clinical characteristics (e.g., the presence of comorbid disorders or history of response to previous treatment), patient preferences and portfolio of services available in each health center. (Kirsch, 2002, pp. 74-78)


Some antidepressants include imipramine, trazodone, venlafaxine and paroxetine. These antidepressants are also used in the treatment of generalized anxiety disorder, but these substances are less valued than benzodiazepines and are not ...
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