Optimizing Pharmacotherapy of Generalized Anxiety Disorder to Achieve Remission

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More than half of patients with generalized anxiety disorder (GAD) have chronic and persistent symptomatology that may warrant ongoing pharmacotherapy. Many of these patients also have significant comorbid mood and anxiety disorders. There is growing consensus among clinicians that the treatment goal for anxiety disorders should be remission, including the minimization of anxiety and depression and resolution of functional impairment. Clinical management strategies for optimizing pharmacotherapy aimed at achieving remission in GAD include attention to drug selection, dosing levels, and duration of treatment. To optimize treatment for GAD with the goal of achieving remission, it is reasonable to select an agent with demonstrated effectiveness for GAD and associated comorbidities as well as a favorable side effect profile. Dosing and duration of treatment should be adequate, and consideration of adjunctive strategies for refractory patients may be warranted. This article discusses the optimization of pharmacotherapy with the goal of promoting remission in patients with GAD.

J Clin Psychiatry 2001;62(suppl 19):20-25