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Complementary Medicine

Anxiety Problems

07/24/2008

Question:

What types of medications are available for anxiety and how is it diagnosed?

Answer:

Anxiety is first a symptom. It can present in many ways including psychological and behavioral ones.  It can also coexist in many psychiatric and nonpsychiatric conditions, including depression or alone. The Diagnostic and Statistical Manual Fourth Addition  (DSM-IV-TR) has labeled a group of these disorders, Anxiety Disorders,  that differ in both the quality of their symptoms and in the way they are best treated. 

Treatment can involve different types of medications or without medications. Many of the currently available antidepressants have FDA indications for some of these disorders. Other agents, such as the benzodiazepines (Valium, Xanax, etc.) or other agents like buspirone (Buspar), also have FDA indications for some of these disorders. The investigation for newer agents with better efficacy and an improved side effect profile continues. Diagnostic specificity gives patients suffering from these illnesses the best chance for significant improvement.

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Response by:

Nicholas A Votolato, RPh BCPP Nicholas A Votolato, RPh BCPP
Assistant Professor of Pharmacy
College of Pharmacy
Assistant Professor of Psychiatry, Emeritus
College of Medicine
The Ohio State University