Pharmacological management of anxiety disorders

by Dr Zia Nadeem and Dr Allan Scott


Last updated: November 2016


Anxiety disorders are common psychiatric disorders. Despite their high prevalence rates however, they are often under-recognised and undertreated.


One major controversy surrounding the topic is whether anxiety disorders and depressive disorders can be reliably distinguished, or if they lie on a single continuum of affective disorders. [Read more about this in the Appendix.]


It is very important that anxiety disorders are clearly diagnosed and appropriately treated in accordance with the latest, critically appraised evidence for management that is currently available.


This module concerns the practical pharmacotherapy of the primary anxiety disorders of generalised anxiety, panic and generalised social phobia. The focus will be on the efficacy, and, to a lesser extent effectiveness of treatment. (Evidence about the cost effectiveness of drug treatment, in particular comparison with non-drug treatments, is only now becoming available).


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If you like this module, you may also be interested in:


Pharmacological treatment of resistant depression – an overview

by Professor Philip J. Cowen


An introduction to cognitive behavioural therapy by Dr Chris Williams and Dr Rebeca Martinez


Social Anxiety Disorder: The NICE Guideline on Recognition, Assessment and Treatment (book from RCPsych publications)



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Note: The information given in this module is based on the best evidence available and may not tally with prescribing guidelines.



© 2019 Royal College of Psychiatrists