Anti-anxiety drugs; Anti-anxiety medications
Anxiolytics are prescription drugs used to reduce the severity and extent of symptoms due to anxiety-related disorders. The most commonly prescribed anxiolytic drugs are benzodiazepines, drugs used to treat generalized anxiety disorder, panic attacks, phobias, and other ongoing issues of excessive fear and dread. Medical illness often associated with high levels of anxiety also includes brain injury, heart disease, and COPD. There are six approved benzodiazepines in the USA today including the popular diazepam (Valium), lorazepam (Ativan), and alprazolam (Xanax). Anxiolytics are designed to impact neurotransmitters in the amygdala by increasing gamma-aminobutyric acid (GABA), an inhibitory neurotransmitter that diminishes the fear response. Other drugs with anxiolytic effects include selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs).
Neuropsychologists must be aware of the potential effects of anxiolytics on the physical,...
References and Readings
- Lanctôt, K., Herrmann, N., Mazzotta, P., Khan, L., & Ingber, N. (2004). GABAergic function in Alzheimer’s disease: Evidence for dysfunction and potential as a therapeutic target for the treatment of behavioural and psychological symptoms of dementia. Canadian Journal of Psychiatry, 49(7), 439–453.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar