antianxiety drug

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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.
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. 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.
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 and norepinephrinenorepinephrine
, a neurotransmitter in the catecholamine family that mediates chemical communication in the sympathetic nervous system, a branch of the autonomic nervous system.
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). 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.
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 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.
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, 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 ?
Results of our present study showed that the time spent in open arm was significantly increased by drug (fluoxetine) as well as by fennel oil in rats suggested the anxiolytic effects of drug and fennel oil.
2%), followed by antiepileptic, antipsychotic, amphetamine, psychoactive, and anxiolytic drugs (n=229, 16.
The role of Y1 receptors in the anxiolytic effect of NPY has been mostly investigated in the amygdala nuclei (46).
In elevated plus maze (EPM) anxiogenic behavior was observed in Tg 2576 mice, but anxiolytic behavior was noted in other types of transgenic mice (mutant PS1 and PS2 genes) and still in transgenic mice overexpressing APP, anxiety status was not changed [25-27].
Many volatile oils rich in terpenes have a variety of pharmacological activities such as anxiolytic, anticonvulsant, and antinociceptive [21,39,40].
Veterinarians still debate whether this medication has any anxiolytic (anxiety-reducing) effects, or whether it is solely a sedative.
The IL-PFC stimulation group saw significant anxiolytic and antidepressant effects, compared with the control group (range, P = 0.
However, the effect(s) of propolis on the Central Nervous System (CNS), such as depressant and anxiolytic effects, have been poorly reported.
There is some research on medications such as olanzapine and anxiolytics for treating anorexia.
We have to do everything possible to minimise over reliance on anxiolytics and sleeping pills," Professor Scott Weich, Professor of Psychiatry at the University of Warwick said.