What Medications Are Used to Treat Anxiety Disorders?

When treating anxiety disorders, antidepressants, particularly the SSRIs and some SNRIs (serotonin-norepinephrine reuptake inhibitors),  have been shown to be effective.

Other anti-anxiety drugs include the benzodiazepines, such as as alprazolam (Xanax), diazepam (Valium), buspirone (Buspar), and lorazepam (Ativan). These drugs do carry a risk of addiction or tolerance (meaning that higher and higher doses become necessary to achieve the same effect), so they are not as desirable for long-term use. Other possible side effects include drowsiness, poor concentration, and irritability. Some anticonvulsant drugs (such as gabapentin [Neurontin] or pregabalin [Lyrica]), some blood pressure medications (such as propranolol), and some atypical antipsychotics (such as aripiprazole or quetiapine or Seroquel) are also occasionally used “off label” to treat anxiety symptoms or disorders.

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