- Selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs) are medications that alter brain chemistry (specifically the levels of serotonin in the brain) and reduce vulnerability to anxiety.
- Serotonin norepinephrine reuptake inhibitors (SNRIs) are medications that also alter brain chemistry (affecting serotonin, norepinephrine, and other chemicals in the brain).
- Tricyclic antidepressants (TCAs) also work by altering brain chemistry, specifically the noradrenergic system.
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Antidepressants, commonly used to treat depression, are also used to treat generalized anxiety disorder (GAD). Antidepressants require consistent use (four to six weeks) to achieve relief from symptoms. Several types of antidepressants -- selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors, serotonin norepinephrine reuptake inhibitors, and tricyclics -- are typically used to treat GAD.