The original treatment indicated for those suffering from neurotic anxiety was to employ psychotherapy to facilitate changes in behavior and coping with stressful events. A spectrum of somatic treatments “from cathartics and emetics to opium and “strengthening tonics”, from atropine and digitalis to potassium bromide and chloral hydrate, from barbiturates to benzodiazepines”, to serotonergics, came to be used as well . The Food and Drug Administration originally approved many gamma-aminobutyric acid (GABA) facilitating drugs since the 1960s for anxiety treatment. The 1980s evidenced the approval of a few serotonergic treatments that cornered the prescribing market and the front line of most treatment protocols. More recently, GABAergic drugs are making a return in the treatment of anxiety disorders. The following paper details the pharmacodynamic history of treating anxiety and also updates the reader as to the newer GABA-based approaches mentioned above.
Keywords: anxiety, gaba, serotonin, medication
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