Antianxiety agents, also known as anxiolytics, are a class of drugs used to reduce anxiety symptoms, such as feelings of dread, fear, agitation, uneasiness, irritability, muscle aches, stomachaches, etc. They are considered minor tranquilizers that help the person with excessive anxiety calm and relax.
The very first antianxiety agent was discovered after World War II under the umbrella of serendipity by a Swiss pharmacologist. Its modification in the forthcoming years led to its final name, meprobamate. Later on, benzodiazepines appeared on the face of Earth and to this date, hundreds of different analogs of this class are serving anxiety patients.
Antianxiety/anxiolytic action is brought into play by enhancing the activity of GABA receptors (inhibitory neurotransmitters), thereby reducing the transmission of nerve impulses. The most widely acknowledged synthetic antianxiety agent is alprazolam, which is widely marketed as Xanax.
What are the herbal benefits of anti-anxiety agents?
Antianxiety agents deal with reducing the symptoms of anxiety, such as:
- Increased heart rate
- Panic attacks
- Difficulty in falling or staying asleep
- Trouble in concentrating