Psychopharmacology of anxiety disorders.

Dialogues in clinical neuroscience

PubMedID: 22033867

Cassano GB, Baldini Rossi N, Pini S. Psychopharmacology of anxiety disorders. Dialogues Clin Neurosci. 2002;4(3):271-85.
Exposure of the general population to a 1:4 lifetime risk of disabling anxiety has inspired generations of fundamental and clinical psychopharmacologists, from the era of the earliest benzodiazepines (BZ) to that of the selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs) and related compounds, eg, the serotonin and norepinephrine reuptake inhibitors (SNRIs). This comprehensive practical review summarizes current therapeutic research across the spectrum of individual disorders: generalized anxiety disorder (GAD), panic disorder (PD) and agoraphobia (social anxiety disorder), compulsive disorder (OCD), phobic disorder (including social phobia), and posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD). Specific diagnosis is a precondition to successful therapy: despite substantial overlap, each disorder responds preferentially to specific pharmacotherapy. Comorbidity with depression is common; hence the success of the SSRIs, which were originally designed to treat depression. Assessment (multidomain measures versus individual end points) remains problematic, as-frequently-do efficacy and tolerability The ideal anxiolytic remains the Holy Grail of worldwide psychopharmacologic research.