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What antidepressants are used to treat generalized anxiety disorder (GAD)?

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.
  • 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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Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.