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Medication dependence and anxiety

By Lisa L. von Moltke and David J. Greenblatt


Anxiety disorders are common and costly psychiatric illnesses. Pharmacological treatment was enhanced with the introduction of benzodiazepines, which proved safer and more effective than older drugs. The risk of dependence, however, has made clinicians reluctant to use these medications. In fact, few patients appear to develop significant difficulties with these drugs, given how widely they are used. Careful planning for discontinuation of therapy is important. In addition, for some individuals, there appears to be a complex and as yet unelucidaied relationship between dependence on drugs or alcohol and anxiety. The newer antidepressants offer efficacy without abuse or dependence liability, but are expensive and have side effects that are intolerable for some patients. Pharmacological therapy for anxiety should be prescribed and managed so as to minimize any existing risk, while aiming to restore the patient to wellness in terms of symptoms and function

Topics: Pharmacological Aspects
Publisher: Les Laboratoires Servier
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Provided by: PubMed Central

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