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Anxiety & Panic Disorders Health Center

Yet Another Antidepressant May Help Treat Anxiety

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But whether Effexor showed real therapeutic value remains unclear, says Walton Roth, MD, who reviewed the study for WebMD. "One problem with the study as it is written is that it is unclear whether the ... improvement [seen] is great enough to be clinically important," Roth says. "The differences in change between drug and placebo do not seem very large." Roth is a professor of psychiatry and behavioral sciences at Stanford University School of Medicine in California.

But based on the study data, Rickels believes Effexor is a good drug for patients who need therapy lasting longer than four weeks. "We assume that the drug is safe for the long term, but there is no good data available," he says. "It has been used as an antidepressant, and there is safety data for that purpose ... but there is no good data on how long patients with GAD will need to take this drug."

He recommends that more studies be conducted, not only to determine the safety of Effexor for use in anxiety disorders, but also to see if it is effective.

This study was funded by Wyeth-Ayerst, makers of Effexor.

Vital Information:

  • Effexor is an antidepressant medication, but researchers have found that it also may be effective in treating anxiety.
  • Other medications for anxiety have potential problems, such as taking a long time to start working or having the potential to be addictive.
  • Experts say that more studies are needed to determine whether Effexor is truly effective and safe for treating anxiety.
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