antianxiety drug

(redirected from anxiolytic)
Also found in: Dictionary, Thesaurus, Medical, Wikipedia.
Related to anxiolytic: anxiolytic drugs

antianxiety drug,

drug administered for the relief of anxietyanxiety,
anticipatory tension or vague dread persisting in the absence of a specific threat. In contrast to fear, which is a realistic reaction to actual danger, anxiety is generally related to an unconscious threat.
..... Click the link for more information.
. Although their action is not fully understood, most antianxiety medications appear to affect the action of neurotransmitters in the brain (see serotoninserotonin
, organic compound that was first recognized as a powerful vasoconstrictor occurring in blood serum. It was partially purified, crystallized, and named in 1948, and its structure was deduced a year later.
..... Click the link for more information.
 and norepinephrinenorepinephrine
, a neurotransmitter in the catecholamine family that mediates chemical communication in the sympathetic nervous system, a branch of the autonomic nervous system.
..... Click the link for more information.
). They may work by affecting the limbic system, that part of the brain associated with emotion.

Antianxiety drugs frequently prescribed in the United States include the benzodiazepinesbenzodiazepine
, any of a class of drugs prescribed for their tranquilizing, antianxiety, sedative, and muscle-relaxing effects. Benzodiazepines are also prescribed for epilepsy and alcohol withdrawal.
..... Click the link for more information.
 alprazolam (Xanax) and clonazepam (Clonopin), most often prescribed for panic attacks and general anxiety. Long-term use is discouraged because of side effects (impaired alertness, sedation, interactions with alcohol and other drugs), potential for addiction, and withdrawal symptoms. Nonbenzodiazepine drugs that work by acting on benzodiazepine receptors include zolpidem (Ambien), which is widely prescribed as a sleeping pill. Beta-blockersbeta-blocker
or beta-adrenergic blocking agent
, drug that reduces the symptoms connected with hypertension, cardiac arrhythmias, angina pectoris, migraine headaches, and other disorders related to the sympathetic nervous system.
..... Click the link for more information.
, usually prescribed for hypertension, are sometimes used for people facing an anxiety-producing "crisis," such as performing on the stage or giving a speech. Buspirone (BuSpar), a drug chemically unrelated to the benzodiazepines or beta-blockers, is often preferred for cases of long-term anxiety because it has fewer side effects, less addictive potential, and no withdrawal symptoms.

References in periodicals archive ?
Numerous species from the Lamiaceae familly have previously been reported to possess anxiolytic activity including Stachys tibetica, Stachys lavandulifolia, Salvia officinalis, Salvia elegans, Salvia, reuterana, and Scutellaria baicalensis (Rabbani et al.
For group one (the first to have placebo treatment), there was an enhanced within-group anxiolytic effect following active treatment.
Benzodiazepine anxiolytics, selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors and other antidepressants have been used to treat GAD.
John's Wort monotherapy has insufficient evidence for use as an effective anxiolytic treatment, researchers concluded.
A regression analysis found that narcotic use was significantly associated with low health-related quality of life; rating pain as the most bothersome symptom; having a larger number of hospitalizations and surgeries; and the concurrent use of antidepressants, anxiolytics, and antacid medications.
These results suggest that chamomile may have antidepressant activity in addition to its documented anxiolytic action.
It is suggested that the anxiolytic effect and learning and memory enhancement of GBE may be clue to bilobalide and of its effect on hippocampal GRs.
Adding the anxiolytic indication to our existing patent portfolio around pTeroPure allows us to capitalize on new product opportunities that we can pursue independently or with partners looking to differentiate their own products," said ChromaDex President William Spengler.
Clinical trials have shown anxiolytic and sedative effects.
The anxiolytic effect of chamomile has been hypothesized to relate to binding to gamma-aminobutyric acid, noradrenaline, dopamine, and serotonin neurotransmission or through modulation of the hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal axis.
Condensed from chapters on pharmacotherapy in their volume Psychiatry, Second Edition from 2003, chapters are organized by drug class: antipsychotics, antidepressants, mood stabilizers, anxiolytic drugs, sedative-hypnotic agents, psychostimulants, cognitive enhancers and treatments for Alzheimer's Disease, and drugs for substance abuse disorders.