Because of their sedative action, anxiolytics reduce anxiety and stress-related disorders. The French are known to consume very large amounts of these treatments that do not have antipsychotic or antidepressant activity.
The most widely used are the medicines in the benzodiazepine class. These compounds are undoubtedly effective, but their side effects (drowsiness, risk of falls, memory problems, dependency, etc.) are such that they must be administered for very short periods of time. Their prescription is now more strictly regulated than in the past.
Other classes of anxiolytics exist in addition to the benzodiazepines:
- Merck Manuel, 4th edition
- Pharmacorama, website accessed on 17 July 2011.
For anxiety, anxiolytics. © Phovoir