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Antipsychotic deemed effective for anxiety disorder

Written by: Staff

NEW YORK, Oct 28 (Reuters) The anti-psychotic drug trifluoperazine is well-tolerated and superior to inactive ''placebo'' in the short-term treatment of generalized anxiety disorder, a chronic disorder associated with exaggerated worry and tension, according to a study in the Journal of Clinical Psychiatry. However, the value of other antipsychotics for treating anxiety is less clear because of the lack of large, well-designed studies.

Dr Keming Gao, of University Hospitals of Cleveland/Case Western Reserve University, Ohio, and colleagues conducted a review to examine the benefits of antipsychotic drugs for anxiety disorders.

The researchers also reviewed studies on bipolar disorder or major depressive disorder that included data regarding changes in anxiety.

''We found that in a well-designed study, low doses of trifluoperazine...were well tolerated and superior to placebo in the short-term treatment of generalized anxiety disorder,'' Gao said in an interview with Reuters Health.

''In less well-designed studies, other...antipsychotics appeared to be superior to placebo and might be as effective as (sedative drugs) in the short-term treatment of generalized anxiety disorder and other anxiety conditions.'' In patients with bipolar disorder, two antipsychotic drugs -- olanzapine and quetiapine -- significantly reduced anxiety symptoms compared with placebo.

Antipsychotic drugs may be useful for combatting anxiety in patients who don't respond to antidepressants or sedative drugs or in patients who should not be treated with these two classes of medications, Gao concluded.


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