Which medications in the drug class Anxiolytics, Benzodiazepines are used in the treatment of Panic Disorder?

Updated: Mar 21, 2018
  • Author: Mohammed A Memon, MD; Chief Editor: Randon S Welton, MD  more...
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Anxiolytics, Benzodiazepines

By binding to specific receptor sites, benzodiazepines appear to potentiate the effects of gamma-aminobutyrate (GABA) and facilitate inhibitory GABA neurotransmission and other inhibitory transmitters. These agents are effective on standing-dose and as-needed (prn) schedules

Lorazepam (Ativan)

Lorazepam is a sedative hypnotic with a short onset of effects and a relatively intermediate half-life. By increasing the action of GABA, which is a major inhibitory neurotransmitter in the brain, lorazepam may depress all levels of the CNS, including the limbic and reticular formations.

Clonazepam (Klonopin)

Clonazepam is a sedative hypnotic that is a long-acting benzodiazepine with a half-life of approximately 36 hours and an intermediate onset of action. This agent facilitates inhibitory GABA neurotransmission and other inhibitory transmitters.

Alprazolam (Xanax, Xanax XR)

Alprazolam is used for the management of anxiety attacks. It is a short-acting anxiolytic with an intermediate onset of effects. This agent binds to receptors at several sites within the CNS, including the limbic system and the reticular formations. The effects of alprazolam may be mediated through the GABA receptor system. Alprazolam has been widely reviewed in the literature, although its use is currently discouraged because of its higher potential to elicit dependency.

Diazepam (Valium, Diastat, Diazepam Intensol)

Diazepam is an anxiolytic benzodiazepine and has a rapid onset of effects. This medication depresses all levels of the CNS (eg, the limbic and reticular formations), possibly by increasing the activity of GABA.

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