Unipolar depression in adults: Treatment with anxiolytics
- Andrew Goddard, MD
Andrew Goddard, MD
- Professor of Psychiatry, UCSF
- Chief of Psychiatry, UCSF Fresno Medical Education & Research Program
Unipolar major depression that includes high levels of anxiety symptoms (often called anxious depression) is common [1,2]. In a study of 2876 patients with major depression, high levels of anxiety were present in more than 50 percent .
This topic reviews the use of anxiolytics to treat unipolar major depression, including their indications, contraindications, administration, and efficacy. Choosing a medication regimen for the initial treatment of depression and for treatment resistant depression is discussed separately. (See "Unipolar major depression in adults: Choosing initial treatment" and "Unipolar depression in adults: Treatment of resistant depression".)
Unipolar major depression that includes high levels of anxiety symptoms is often called “anxious depression” . The clinical features and diagnosis of anxious depression are discussed separately. (See "Unipolar depression in adults: Clinical features", section on 'Anxious' and "Unipolar depression in adults: Assessment and diagnosis", section on 'Depressive episode subtypes (specifiers)'.)
Indications for augmenting antidepressants with anxiolytics to treat unipolar major depression include:
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- ANXIOUS DEPRESSION
- GENERAL PRINCIPLES
- Patient assessment
- When to start the anxiolytic
- Duration of treatment
- SPECIFIC DRUGS
- - Alprazolam monotherapy
- Nonbenzodiazepine hypnotics
- Second-generation antipsychotics
- Other agents