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antianxiety agent

 

Definition: a functional category of drugs useful in the treatment of anxiety and able to reduce anxiety at doses that do not cause excessive sedation. Most commonly used drugs falling into this category are benzodiazepines, which act at the γ-aminobutyric acid (GABA) receptor sites. Historically, barbiturates were the main agents in this category; a newer category, which acts at serotonin (5-HT1A) receptor sites, is currently represented by buspirone.

Synonym(s): anxiolytic1, minor tranquilizer

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© Copyright 2017 Wolters Kluwer. All Rights Reserved. Review Date: Sep 19, 2016.
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