Adjustment Disorders Medication

Updated: Nov 22, 2021
  • Author: Julia B Frank, MD; Chief Editor: David Bienenfeld, MD  more...
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Medication

Medication Summary

The goal of pharmacotherapy is to ameliorate the debilitating symptoms of the adjustment disorder, reduce morbidity, and prevent complications.

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Anxiolytics, Benzodiazepines

Class Summary

Benzodiazepines are useful in the treatment of anxiety and panic attacks. By binding to specific receptor sites, these agents appear to potentiate the effects of gamma-aminobutyric acid (GABA) and to facilitate inhibitory GABA neurotransmission and the actions of other inhibitory transmitters.

Alprazolam (Xanax, Niravam)

Alprazolam is indicated for anxiety and management of panic attacks. By enhancing the action of GABA, a major inhibitory neurotransmitter, it may depress all levels of the CNS, including the limbic area and reticular formation.

Lorazepam (Ativan, Lorazepam Intensol)

Lorazepam is a sedative-hypnotic of the benzodiazepine class that has a short time to onset of effect and a relatively long half-life. By enhancing the action of GABA, a major inhibitory neurotransmitter, it may depress all levels of the CNS, including the limbic area and reticular formation.

Diazepam (Valium, Diastat)

Diazepam depresses all levels of the CNS (eg, limbic and reticular formation), possibly by increasing activity of GABA. It is considered second-line therapy for seizures.

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Antidepressants

Class Summary

Antidepressants are useful in treating panic disorder and general anxiety symptoms.

Paroxetine (Paxil, Pexeva)

Paroxetine is a potent selective inhibitor of neuronal reuptake of serotonin and has a weak effect on neuronal reuptake of norepinephrine and dopamine.

Sertraline (Zoloft)

This agent selectively inhibits presynaptic serotonin reuptake.

Fluoxetine (Prozac)

Fluoxetine selectively inhibits presynaptic serotonin reuptake with minimal or no effect on the reuptake of norepinephrine or dopamine.

Trazodone (Oleptro, Desyrel)

Trazodone is a nontricyclic antidepressant with a short onset of action. It is an antagonist at the type 2 serotonin (5-HT2) receptor and inhibits reuptake of 5-HT; it also has negligible affinity for cholinergic and histaminergic receptors.

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