Chapter 16. The Pharmacology of Human Anxiety

  1. Eric J.L. Griez1,
  2. Carlo Faravelli2,
  3. David Nutt3 and
  4. Joseph Zohar4
  1. D.J. Nutt

Published Online: 6 DEC 2001

DOI: 10.1002/0470846437.ch16

Anxiety Disorders: An Introduction to Clinical Management and Research

Anxiety Disorders: An Introduction to Clinical Management and Research

How to Cite

Nutt, D.J. (2001) The Pharmacology of Human Anxiety, in Anxiety Disorders: An Introduction to Clinical Management and Research (eds E. J.L. Griez, C. Faravelli, D. Nutt and J. Zohar), John Wiley & Sons, Ltd, Chichester, UK. doi: 10.1002/0470846437.ch16

Editor Information

  1. 1

    Department of Psychiatry and Neuropsychology, University of Maastricht, The Netherlands

  2. 2

    Department of Neurology and Psychiatry, Florence University Medical School, Italy

  3. 3

    Psychopharmacology Unit, School of Medical Sciences, University of Bristol, UK

  4. 4

    Department of Psychiatry and Anxiety Clinic, Sheba Medical Center, Tel Hashomer, University of Tel Aviv, Sackler Faculty of Medicine, Israel

Author Information

  1. Psychopharmacology Unit, School of Medical Sciences, University of Bristol, UK

Publication History

  1. Published Online: 6 DEC 2001
  2. Published Print: 29 MAY 2001

ISBN Information

Print ISBN: 9780471978732

Online ISBN: 9780470846438

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Keywords:

  • anxiety disorder;
  • pharmacotherapy;
  • comorbidity;
  • depression;
  • substance abuse;
  • SSRIs;
  • anxiolytics

Summary

Excessive anxiety has been called either morbid or pathological anxiety. It is common, affecting up to 15% of the population at some time in their lives and can also be very disabling. Anxiety disorders themselves cause profound individual distress, suffering and reduced work and social achievement. There is also a major risk factor for other types of psychiatric disorders, particularly depression and alcohol/drug abuse. For these reasons, understanding the neural bases of anxiety, particularly the role of neuro-transmitters in the generation and treatment of anxiety is a key aspect of biological psychiatry. We now have a great deal of pharmacological evidence that anxiety can be increased as well as reduced by drugs. These studies have shown that there must be a number of different transmitters and possibly brain circuits involved in anxiety.