Book Definition: A category of drugs that includes the barbiturates and benzodiazepines, drugs that diminish feelings of anxiety.

History (Optional)

  • These drugs are believed to be too often prescribed for problems individuals should face instead of turning to chemicals.
  • Commonly includes barbiturates which act as central nervous system depressants, resulting in a relaxing effect.
  • Also commonly includes benzodiapines which increase GABA, resulting in a decrease in activity in brain regions involved with feelings of anxiety.

In Your Own Words

  • Drugs that reduce stress in certain situations.
  • Drugs that help reduce a person from being overwhelmed or having too much anxiety.
  • Anti-anxiety drugs are medicines that calm and relax people with excessive anxiety.
  • Medication that reduces the feeling of anxiety.
  • Drugs used to calm a person's feelings of anxiety to a controllable level.


  • Anti-anxiety drugs are often prescribed too much.

  • People should face their problems, rather then mask them with chemicals.
  • Most commonly prescribed are barbiturates and benzodiazepines.


  • If used over a long period of time these drugs can be addicting.
  • The medicines should not be taken to relieve anxieties that are part of your everyday life.
  • These drugs should not normally be taken for more than a few days at a time.
  • Since these type of drugs depress the central nervous system they can impair tasks that require alertness.
  • In combination with alcohol or sleeping pills anti-anxiety drugs can lead to unconsciousness and even death.


  • A person with agoraphobia may be prescribed an anti-depressant drug.
  • Someone who suffers from panic disorders may be prescribed an antidepressant drug in order to reduce stress.
  • Xanex and Valium are the most common antianxiety medications.
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