Drug therapies

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  • Created by: z_mills1
  • Created on: 15-05-14 15:44
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  • Drug therapies
    • Benzodiazepines (BZs)
      • drugs used to treat anxiety and stress e.g. librium and valium
      • they work by slowing down the activity of the central nervous system
      • BZs enhance the action of GABA, making neurons in the brain even more resistant to excitation and making the person feel much calmer
    • Beta-blockers (BBs)
      • reduce the activity of adrenaline and noradrenaline (part of the SAM response to stress)
      • BBs can prevent some of the cardiovascular problems associated with chronic levels of stress
    • Advantages
      • speed and effectiveness
        • drugs rapidly reduce dangerous symptoms e.g. raised blood pressure (BBs)
      • research support
        • Hidalgo et al.
          • conducted a meta-analysis and found that BZs were more effective than any other drug
      • availability
        • drugs can be prescribed immediately
    • Disadvantages
      • dependency
        • long term use (especially BZs) can lead to psychological and physical dependency
          • BZs should only be prescribed for short periods to help cope with short term stress
      • tolerance
        • original dose of the drug has progressively less effect - higher dose is required to obtain original effect
      • side effects
        • BZs can cause drowsiness and affect memory
        • BBs only have minor side effects e.g. fatigue, cold extremities (hands,feet)
      • only target symptoms
        • drugs treat symptoms and not the cause - may prevent real cause being addressed

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