Thursday, June 07, 2007

Antiepileptic drugs and anxiety

Anxiety disorders can last for a long time and be difficult to treat. A variety of drug groups have been shown to be effective in treating anxiety and the most-favoured treatments currently are selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs). However, these are effective in only 50-60% of patients. Benzodiazepines are also used but they can cause drowsiness and are addictive. Recently there has been some success in using antiepileptic drugs against anxiety disorders. A review of trials into the uses of antiepileptics for anxiety disorders has found that the strongest evidence was for the use of pregabalin in social phobia and generalized anxiety disorders, lamotrigine in post-traumatic stress disorder and gabapentin in social anxiety. The review suggested that antiepileptic drugs do have the potential to be an alternative treatment in certain anxiety disorders.

Mula, Marco, Pini, Stefano and Cassano, Giovanni B. - The role of anticonvulsant drugs in anxiety disorders Journal of Clinical Psychopharmacology 27(3), 263-272

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