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Medication for Post Tramatic Stress
And Anxiety Disorders

Medication can play a useful role in treating anxiety disorders and may be used in conjunction with other forms of therapy. Anti-depressant and anti-anxiety medications are often used to ease symptoms so that other therapy can go forward. Please be advised that the list is always changing as new drugs become available to veterans.

MEDICATIONS

Below is a chart listing the names of drugs commonly prescribed for anxiety disorders, the disorder for which they're indicated, how they are thought to work. Medications approved by the Food and Drug Administration for the treatment of the various anxiety disorders are identified with a "†".

NOTE: The information provided in this table applies to the treatment of anxiety disorders in adults 18 years of age and older, and does not apply to the treatment of these conditions in children and adolescents.

Key:
GAD = Generalized Anxiety Disorder * Generic commercially available
OCD = Obsessive Compulsive Disorder † FDA approved for the treatment of one or more anxiety disorders
PD = Panic Disorder
PTSD = Post Traumatic Stress Disorder
SAD = Social Anxiety Disorder

Drug Class Brand Name Generic Name Target Anxiety Disorder How It's Thought to Work
Antidepressants
Selective Serotonin Reuptake Inhibitors (SSRIs)
Celexa
Lexapro †
Luvox †
Paxil * †
Prozac * †
Zoloft †
Citalopram
Escitalopram
Fluvoxamine
Paroxetine
Fluoxetine
Sertraline
PD, OCD, SAD, GAD, PTSD Affects the concentration and activity of the neurotransmitter serotonin, a chemical in the brain thought to be linked to anxiety disorders
Tricyclic Antidepressants (TCAs)
Adapin *
Anafranil *
Aventyl *
Elavil *
Ludiomil *
Norpramin *
Pamelor *
Sinequan *
Surmontil *
Tofranil *
Vivactil *
Doxepin
Clomiprimine
Nortriptyline
Amitriptyline
Maprotiline
Desipramine
Nortriptyline
Doxepin
Trimipramine
Imipramine
Protriptyline
PD, PTSD, GAD
OCD (Anafranil only)
Affects the concentration and activity of the neurotransmitters serotonin and norepinephrine, chemicals in the brain thought to be linked to anxiety disorders
Monoamine Oxidase Inhibitors (MAOIs)
Marplan *
Nardil *
Parnate *
Isocarboxid
Phenelzine
Tranylcypromine
PD, SAD, PTSD Blocks the effect of an important brain enzyme, preventing the breakdown of serotonin and norepinephrine
Other Antidepressants Cymbalta
Desyrel *
Effexor †
Remeron
Duloxetine
Trazodone
Venlafaxine
MIrtazapine
PD, OCD, SAD, GAD, PTSD (Data in PTSD is sparse)

Affects the concentration of the neurotransmitters serotonin and/or norepinephrine, chemicals in the brain thought to be linked to anxiety disorders
Wellbutrin Bupropion No current indication for any anxiety disorder.
Depression, possibly ADHD
Exact mechanism unknown.
Effects may be mediated through the neurotransmitters norepinephrine and dopamine

Anxiolytics

Azapirones

BuSpar * †

Buspirone

GAD

Enhances the activity of serotonin

Benzodiazepines

Ativan *
Dalmane *
Klonopin * †
Halcion *
Librium *
Restoril *
Serax *
Tranxene *
Valium *
Xanax * †

Lorazepam
Flurazepam
Clonazepam
Triazolam
Chlordiazepoxide
Temazepam
Oxazepam
Clorazepate
Diazepam
Alprazolam

GAD, SAD, PD

Exact mechanism unknown.
Some research shown to enhance the function of gamma aminobutyric acid (GABA)

Antihistamines

Atarax, Vistaril * Hydroxyzine GAD

Sedative effects through blockade of histamine receptors in the brain

Anticonvulsants

Augmentation therapy

These medications may be added when symptoms only partially respond to another medication to increase the overall response to treatment

Gabitril
Neurontin

Tiagabine
Gabapentin

Enhances the function of GABA
Depakote *
Lamictal
Topimax

Valproate
Lamotrigine
Topiramate

Exact mechanisms unknown. Possible effects include: enhancing or inhibiting effects of neurotransmitters believed to be associated with anxiety; blockade of sodium channels in the brain

Noradrenergic Agents

Beta Blockers

Inderal *
Tenormin *

Propranolol
Atenolol
Prazosin

Performance anxiety, possibly PD Blocks receptors associated with physiologic symptoms of anxiety

Alpha Blocker

Minipress *

Prazosin PTSD (nightmares)

Catapres
Tenex

Clonidine
Guanfacine

Some evidence in PTSD, anticipatory anxiety
Atypical Antipsychotics Augmentation therapy These medications may be added when symptoms only partially respond to another medication to increase the overall response to treatment
Abilify
Geodon
Risperdal
Seroquel
Zyprexa
Aripiprazole
Ziprasidone
Risperidone
Quetiepine
Olanzapine
Affects the concentration and activity of the neurotransmitter serotonin, a chemical in the brain thought to be linked to anxiety disorders

Disclaimer:
This information is for educational purposes only. Speak with your doctor if you have questions about a medication or are experiencing side effects from your medication.

Last revised: 10/04

This material was supported by an educational grant from SmithKline Beecham.

 

2004 Anxiety Disorders Association of America


   

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