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Venlafaxine Extended Release (XR) in the Treatment of Generalized Anxiety Disorder

David V. Sheehan, MD, MBA

Published: August 1, 1999

Article Abstract

This article reviews results of reports suggesting that venlafaxine extended release (XR) may play an important role in the treatment of anxiety disorders, particularly generalized anxiety disorder (GAD). Statistically significant improvements in GAD for venlafaxine XR compared with placebo on the basis of the Hamilton Rating Scale for Anxiety were seen in the acute treatment studies up to 8 weeks and were maintained for 6 months. One comparative study found venlafaxine XR to be as effective as, or on some measures more effective than, buspirone at relieving GAD. Venlafaxine XR was safe and well tolerated in the GAD studies, with discontinuation rates due to adverse effects similar to the rates seen with placebo or buspirone.

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