Overview and management of anxiety disorders
Keywords: Anxiety disorders, anxiety, panic disorders, anxiolytic, antidepressant
AbstractAnxiety disorders are some of the most frequently occurring mental disorders in South Africa and can negatively impact on a patient's quality of life and disrupt important activities of daily living. They are a result of abnormal neurotransmitter function within the central nervous system. Abnormal functioning of neurochemicals as well as abnormal chemoreceptor activity lead to anxiety. There are various neurotransmitters that are involved in anxiety such as serotonin, glutamate, gamma-amino butyric acid. Treatment options for anxiety disorders include lifestyle modifications, psychotherapy and pharmacotherapy. Several drug classes are indicated for the management of anxiety disorders with selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors considered as first-line therapy. Benzodiazepines are effective in reducing anxiety symptoms, but their use is often limited by the risk of abuse and adverse-effect profile. Pharmacists should be aware of adverse drug reactions and drug interaction for the various medications used in the treatment of anxiety disorders. Lifestyle modifications are as important as pharmacotherapy.
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