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Curr Psychiatry Rep. 2003 Aug;5(4):282-8.

Algorithm for the pharmacotherapy of anxiety disorders.

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Medical Research Council Research Unit on Anxiety Disorders, University of Stellenbosch, Cape Town, PO Box 19063, Tygerberg 7505, South Africa.


Since the introduction of distinct anxiety disorders in the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, Third Edition, there has been a growing interest in these conditions, leading to a wealth of pharmacotherapy trials. Guidelines for the treatment of anxiety disorders have been developed on the basis of systematic reviews of the literature and expert consensus in areas where data are lacking. Algorithms provide scaffolding for integrating the data on pharmacotherapy and for pointing to gaps in current knowledge. Pharmacotherapy algorithms have the potential advantage of being concise, user-friendly, and evidence-based. However, such algorithms run the risk of oversimplifying complex clinical realities, and are only as good as the data on which they rest. In this article, an algorithm for the pharmacotherapy of anxiety disorders is presented.

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