Psychiatry Fast Five Quiz: What Do You Know About Anxiety Disorders?

Stephen Soreff, MD


November 02, 2016

Patients with significant discomfort from their anxiety can benefit from emergency anxiolytic treatment, primarily with a benzodiazepine. However, this use should be in a controlled setting, as the potential for addiction to benzodiazepine is significant. In addition to emergency department treatment, patients in an acute anxious state of such severity that they pose a danger to themselves or to others should have a psychiatric consultation.

Antidepressant agents are the drugs of choice in the treatment of anxiety disorders, particularly the newer agents, such as SSRIs, which have a safer adverse-effect profile and higher ease of use than the older tricyclic antidepressants.

Successful treatment approaches generally involve medication combined with psychotherapy. However, cognitive-behavioral therapy has been proven superior in placebo-controlled trials.

In patients with panic disorder, evidence is insufficient to recommend any pharmacologic or psychosocial approaches as superior to the others or to routinely prescribe a combination of treatments over monotherapy.

For more on the treatment of anxiety disorders, read here.

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