Items in AFP with MESH term: Anxiety Disorders
ABSTRACT: Chemical dependency is a common, chronic disease that affects up to 25 percent of patients seen in primary care practices. The treatment goal for patients recovering from chemical dependency should be to avoid relapse. This requires physicians to have an open, nonjudgmental attitude and specific expertise about the implications of addiction for other health problems. First-line treatment for chemical dependency should be nonpharmacologic, but when medication is necessary, physicians should avoid drugs that have the potential for abuse or addiction. Medications that sedate or otherwise impair judgment also should be avoided in the recovering patient. Psychiatric illnesses should be aggressively treated, because untreated symptoms increase the risk of relapse into chemical dependency. Selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors may help to lower alcohol consumption in depressed patients, and desipramine may help to facilitate abstinence in persons addicted to cocaine. If insomnia extends beyond the acute or postacute withdrawal period, trazodone may be an effective treatment. If nonpharmacologic management of pain is not possible, nonaddictive medications should be used. However, if non-addictive medications fail, long-acting opiates used under strict supervision may be considered. Uncontrolled pain in itself is a relapse risk.
Off-Label Applications for SSRIs - Article
ABSTRACT: Selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs) are widely used because of their safety, tolerability, and demonstrated efficacy across a broad range of clinical conditions. Medical literature supports the use of SSRIs for the treatment of many conditions outside of the indications approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration. SSRIs offer a reasonable alternative to traditional therapy for generalized anxiety disorder. A side effect of SSRIs coincidentally provides therapy for premature ejaculation. SSRIs may reduce the frequency and severity of migraine headaches and are possibly effective in reducing the pain of diabetic neuropathy. When taken in combination with tricyclic antidepressants, SSRis offer more potent therapy for fibromyalgia than either agent alone. SSRIs appear to be effective in some patients with neurocardiogenic syncope that is refractory to standard therapies. Clinical experience supported by ongoing research continues to expand on the broad array of therapeutic applications for this class of medication.
ABSTRACT: Use of complementary and alternative medicine has increased over the past decade. A variety of studies have suggested that this use is greater in persons with symptoms or diagnoses of anxiety and depression. Data support the effectiveness of some popular herbal remedies and dietary supplements; in some of these products, particularly kava, the potential for benefit seems greater than that for harm with short-term use in patients with mild to moderate anxiety. Inositol has been found to have modest effects in patients with panic disorder or obsessive-compulsive disorder. Physicians should not encourage the use of St. John's wort, valerian, Sympathyl, or passionflower for the treatment of anxiety based on small or inconsistent effects in small studies. Although the evidence varies depending on the supplement and the anxiety disorder, physicians can collaborate with patients in developing dietary supplement strategies that minimize risks and maximize benefits.
Diagnosis of Anxiety Disorders in Primary Care - Point-of-Care Guides
ABSTRACT: Generalized anxiety disorder is common among patients in primary care. Affected patients experience excessive chronic anxiety and worry about events and activities, such as their health, family, work, and finances. The anxiety and worry are difficult to control and often lead to physiologic symptoms, including fatigue, muscle tension, restlessness, and other somatic complaints. Other psychiatric problems (e.g., depression) and nonpsychiatric factors (e.g., endocrine disorders, medication adverse effects, withdrawal) must be considered in patients with possible generalized anxiety disorder. Cognitive behavior therapy and the first-line pharmacologic agents, selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors, are effective treatments. However, evidence suggests that the effects of cognitive behavior therapy may be more durable. Although complementary and alternative medicine therapies have been used, their effectiveness has not been proven in generalized anxiety disorder. Selection of the most appropriate treatment should be based on patient preference, treatment success history, and other factors that could affect adherence and subsequent effectiveness.
Generalized Anxiety Disorder - Clinical Evidence Handbook
Antidepressants for Generalized Anxiety Disorder - Cochrane for Clinicians
Risks Associated with Long-Term Benzodiazepine Use - Editorials
Collaborative Care for Depression and Anxiety - Cochrane for Clinicians