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Anxiety Medications (cont.)

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For what conditions are anxiety medications used?

Anxiety medications are used either alone or in combination with psychotherapy to treat a number of different disorders all classified as anxiety disorders. These include:

Which anxiety medication is used depends on the specific diagnosis:

  • Antidepressants known as selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs) are used to treat panic disorder, obsessive-compulsive disorder, social anxiety disorder, general anxiety disorder, and posttraumatic stress disorder.


  • Tricyclic antidepressants (TCAs) are used in treating panic disorder, posttraumatic stress disorder, and general anxiety disorder. One tricyclic, Anafranil, may also be used to treat obsessive-compulsive disorder.


  • The antidepressants known as monoamine oxidase inhibitors (MAOIs) are used for panic disorder, social anxiety disorder, and posttraumatic stress disorder.


  • Other antidepressants, including the serotonin norepinephrine reuptake inhibitors (SNRIs), are used for panic disorder, obsessive-compulsive disorder, social anxiety disorder, general anxiety disorder, and posttraumatic stress disorder.


  • Buspirone (BuSpar), an anti-anxiety drug, is used in the treatment of general anxiety disorder.


  • Another group of anti-anxiety drugs known as benzodiazepines is used to treat general anxiety disorder, social anxiety disorder, and panic disorder.


  • Antihistamines can be used to treat general anxiety disorder.


  • Beta-blockers are used to treat performance anxiety, a kind of social anxiety disorder, and sometimes for panic disorder.


  • Alpha-blockers are used in treating posttraumatic stress disorder, specifically for nightmares.


  • Other drugs, such as anticonvulsants and antipsychotics, are used as augmentation therapy to increase the overall response to therapy when symptoms respond partially to another medication.




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