Drug Therapy Overview

Just a one-page overview on Drug Therapy including studies :-) Hope it's helpful!

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  • Created on: 03-05-13 19:23
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Drug Therapy
Drug therapy aim: to induce or amplify an already present effect on on the brains neurotransmitters
through the use of drugs
How they work:
· Work on brain/ slowing central nervous system
· Enhances gaba action (Gaba = neurotransmitter/bodies natural form of anxiety relief)
· When neurons in the brain respond to this neurotransmitter, it has a quieting effect on them
· The GABA locks into these receptors on neurons and opens a channel which increases the flow of
chloride ions into the neuron
· Chloride ions make it harder for the neuron to be stimulated by other neurotransmitters and so
therefore slows down activity, making person relaxed
· Serotonin = neurotransmitter that has an arousing effect on the brain (Too much serotonin leads
to anxiety, low levels lead to depression)
· Reduce any increased serotonin activity and so, in turn, reduces anxiety
Kahn et al (1986) ­ 250 patients followed up for eight weeks ­ Bz superior to placebo in
reducing anxiety
Hildalgo et al ­ found Bz more effective than other drugs such as antidepressants
Beta Blockers
How they work:
· Reduce heart rate
· Works on calming sympathetic nervous
system/FOFR when aroused by stress
· Reduce activity of adren and noradren
· Bind to receptors on cells of heart and other
parts of body usually stimulated by adren
and noradren
· Blocking receptors make stimulating cells
· · Heart beats slower ­ blood vessels don't
contract as easily ­ blood pressure doesn't
raise ­ less stress on the heart ­ person
would feel calmer and less anxious

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Lockwood (1989) studied over 2000
musicians and 27% took beta blockers ­ they
felt better about their performance and
were judged to be better
· No proven side effects (though some linked
to developmental diabetes
· Require little effort from user ­ taking pills
requires no time/effort/motivation
Benzo: Addiction ­ withdrawal symptoms when stopped, physical dependence even with very low
doses ­ use of Bz now limited to four weeks max (ashton 1997)
Side effects ­ paradoxical symptoms - opposite effect of whats expected…read more


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