SSRIs are first-line agents for managing many of the symptoms of ASD. They can be helpful in dealing with the core symptoms (including anxiety, depression, withdrawal, and avoidance) and can play a central role in longer-term treatment. Citalopram is the least activating of the SSRIs and is particularly useful in ASD. Escitalopram may have a faster onset of depression relief (1-2 weeks) in comparison with other antidepressants.
Benzodiazepines, by limiting hyperarousal and fostering sleep, can be helpful in the initial stages. Continuous administration may interfere with grieving and readaptation, however, because these agents can interfere with learning. In some cases, they may lead to abuse and addiction.
Beta-adrenergic blocking agents, such as propranolol, may be useful for the treatment of hyperarousal. Older, sedating antihistamines (eg, diphenhydramine) are often prescribed as sedatives because of their CNS-depressing properties.
To learn more about medications for treating ASD, read here.
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Cite this: Stephen Soreff. Psychiatry Fast Five Quiz: How Much Do You Know About Acute Stress Disorder? - Medscape - Feb 08, 2017.