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Drug Therapies
Drug therapies are used to alleviate the
emotional symptoms of stress
They do not tackle the cause
The two most common anti-anxiety drugs are
Benzodiazepines (BZs) and Beta-blockers (BBs)…read more

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Benzodiazepines (BZs)
These are the most common drug used to treat
anxiety and stress
They slow down the nervous system
The body naturally has a neurotransmitter which
relieves anxiety, called GABA
GABA reacts with GABA receptors on neurons in the
brain, increasing the flow of chloride ions into the
The chloride ions make it more difficult for other
neurotransmitters to stimulate the neuron.
This slows down activity and causes the individual to
feel more relaxed…read more

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Benzodiazepines (BZs) cont.
BZs enhance the effect of GABA by binding to the
GABA receptor, allowing more chloride ions to
pass into the neuron. This makes the individual
feel more relaxed
BZs prevent the increase of serotonin in the
body; serotonin is a neurotransmitter which
arouses the brain. This therefore helps to reduce
anxiety.…read more

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Beta-Blockers (BBs)
Beta-blockers reduce the activity of adrenaline
and nor-adrenaline by binding to beta-receptors
on the cells of the heart and other parts of the
body which are usually aroused by stressors
Beta-blockers have the opposite effect of stress
hormones, decreasing heart rate and blood
BBs cause blood vessels contract less easily…read more

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Kahn et al. (1986)
250 patients took either BZs or placebos, not
knowing which they were taking, over 8 weeks
BZs were found to be significantly more effective
than placebos
A meta-analysis found BZs to be more effective
than similarly administered antidepressants at
reducing social anxiety…read more

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