Antianxiety drugs: clinical pharmacology and therapeutic use

M Lader


It is difficult to choose among the many drugs advocated for treating anxiety symptoms. The barbiturates were the most commonly used antianxiety agents until recently but are being superseded by the benzodiazepines. The latter are more effective than the barbiturates as shown in comparative clinical trials, they are safer in overdosage (deliberate or accidental), and they are somewhat less likely to induce dependence. The barbiturates have the additional drawback of interfering with the action of other drugs by inducing liver microsomal (oxidising) drug metabolising enzymes. The major tranquilisers (neuroleptics or antipsychotics) are often of value in low dosage in patients with a previous history of dependence on alcohol, the barbiturates or the benzodiazepines. Tricyclic antidepressants are the treatment of choice in anxious and depressed patients and monoamine oxidase inhibitors may be helpful in phobic patients. The beta-adrenoreceptor blocking agents such as propranolol often ameliorate somatic symptoms such as palpitations and tremor. In the treatment of anxious patients it is important to remove causes for anxiety and to limit any course of drug treatment to a finite period. Both dosage level and dosage interval should ...Continue Reading


Mar 1, 1985·Neuroscience and Behavioral Physiology·A M VeinV I Mazhukin
Jan 1, 1982·International Journal of Aging & Human Development·J F Sallis, K L Lichstein
May 31, 2019·History of Psychiatry·Ariel Gershon, Edward Shorter

Related Concepts

Adrenergic beta-Antagonists
Tricyclic Antidepressive Agents
Drug Interactions
Drug Tolerance
Sedative Effect
Reversible Inhibitors of Monoamine Oxidase

Related Feeds

Adrenergic Receptors: Trafficking

Adrenergic receptor trafficking is an active physiological process where adrenergic receptors are relocated from one region of the cell to another or from one type of cell to another. Discover the latest research on adrenergic receptor trafficking here.

Antipsychotic Drugs

Antipsychotic drugs are a class of medication primarily used to manage psychosis (including delusions, hallucinations, paranoia or disordered thought), principally in schizophrenia and bipolar disorder. Discover the latest research on antipsychotic drugs here

Related Papers

The New England Journal of Medicine
D J GreenblattD R Abernethy
Clinical Pharmacokinetics
J Karbwang, N J White
European Journal of Clinical Pharmacology
D J GreenblattH G Giles
The New England Journal of Medicine
D J GreenblattJ Koch-Weser
© 2021 Meta ULC. All rights reserved