Generalized anxiety disorder: acute and chronic treatment.

Journal Article (Journal Article;Review)

Clinical and epidemiological data suggest that generalized anxiety disorder (GAD) is a chronic illness causing patients to suffer for many years leading to significant distress in daily life functioning. The literature suggests the several conclusions. GAD is a disorder in need of appropriate treatment and often has a chronic course with comorbid conditions, such as major depression and other anxiety disorders. Benzodiazepines, while effective anxiolytic agents acutely, when prescribed for >4 weeks cause rebound anxiety and following prolonged therapy may lead to withdrawal symptoms. Antidepressants cause significant anxiety relief compared with placebo and for psychosocial treatment cognitive-behavioral therapy is an efficacious psychosocial treatment. Many GAD patients are in need of long-term medication management. Furthermore, there is limited data for patients diagnosed with GAD the treatment outcome with the combination of medication and psychotherapy both acutely and long-term; how to best sequence these treatments; for those patients who do not meet remission criteria what is the ideal approach for augmentation; and for patients with treatment-refractory GAD the empirical evidence is lacking on medication switching and augmentation strategies. Research is needed in the area of developing treatment strategies for patients suffering from treatment-refractory GAD. There is still an urgent need to explore treatment combinations and duration strategies in the management of patients suffering with GAD.

Full Text

Duke Authors

Cited Authors

  • Rynn, MA; Brawman-Mintzer, O

Published Date

  • October 2004

Published In

Volume / Issue

  • 9 / 10

Start / End Page

  • 716 - 723

PubMed ID

  • 15448583

International Standard Serial Number (ISSN)

  • 1092-8529

Digital Object Identifier (DOI)

  • 10.1017/s1092852900022367


  • eng

Conference Location

  • United States