Bandelow B, Zohar J, Hollander E, Kasper S, Moller HJ, Zohar J et al. World Federation of Societies of Biological Psychiatry (WFSBP) guidelines for the pharmacological treatment of anxiety, obsessive-compulsive and post-traumatic stress disorders-first revision. World J Biol Psychiatry 9: 248-312

Department of Psychiatry and Psychotherapy, University of Gottingen, Gottingen, Germany.
The World Journal of Biological Psychiatry (Impact Factor: 4.18). 02/2008; 9(4):248-312. DOI: 10.1080/15622970802465807
Source: PubMed


In this report, which is an update of a guideline published in 2002 (Bandelow et al. 2002, World J Biol Psychiatry 3:171), recommendations for the pharmacological treatment of anxiety disorder, obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD) and post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) are presented. Since the publication of the first version of this guideline, a substantial number of new randomized controlled studies of anxiolytics have been published. In particular, more relapse prevention studies are now available that show sustained efficacy of anxiolytic drugs. The recommendations, developed by the World Federation of Societies of Biological Psychiatry (WFSBP) Task Force for the Pharmacological Treatment of Anxiety, Obsessive-Compulsive and Post-traumatic Stress Disorders, a consensus panel of 30 international experts, are now based on 510 published randomized, placebo- or comparator-controlled clinical studies (RCTs) and 130 open studies and case reports. First-line treatments for these disorders are selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs), serotonin-noradrenaline reuptake inhibitors (SNRIs) and the calcium channel modulator pregabalin. Tricyclic antidepressants (TCAs) are equally effective for some disorders, but many are less well tolerated than the SSRIs/SNRIs. In treatment-resistant cases, benzodiazepines may be used when the patient does not have a history of substance abuse disorders. Potential treatment options for patients unresponsive to standard treatments are described in this overview. Although these guidelines focus on medications, non-pharmacological were also considered. Cognitive behavioural therapy (CBT) and other variants of behaviour therapy have been sufficiently investigated in controlled studies in patients with anxiety disorders, OCD, and PTSD to support them being recommended either alone or in combination with the above medicines.

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    • "Selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs) may increase anxiety in MD during the initial treatment of MD and, as an alternative to lowering SSRI dosage, adjunctive BZD use may be recommended (Edwards and Anderson, 1999; Bandelow et al., 2008). Recently, there has been increasing concern that such BZD administration may worsen depression, cause transient cognitive or motor impairment , and potentially lead to abuse or dependence (Lader, 2011; Dell'osso and Lader, 2013). "
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    ABSTRACT: Modest antidepressant response rates of mood disorders (MD) encourage benzodiazepine (BZD) co-medication with debatable benefit. Adult hippocampal neurogenesis may underlie antidepressant responses, but diazepam co-administration impairs murine neuron maturation and survival in response to fluoxetine. We counted neural progenitor cells (NPCs), mitotic cells, and mature granule neurons post-mortem in dentate gyrus (DG) from subjects with: untreated Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM) IV MD (n = 17); antidepressant-treated MD (MD*ADT, n = 10); benzodiazepine-antidepressant-treated MD (MD*ADT*BZD, n = 7); no psychopathology or treatment (controls, n = 18). MD*ADT*BZD had fewer granule neurons vs. MD*ADT in anterior DG and vs. controls in mid DG, and did not differ from untreated-MD in any DG subregion. MD*ADT had more granule neurons than untreated-MD in anterior and mid DG and comparable granule neuron number to controls in all dentate subregions. Untreated-MD had fewer granule neurons than controls in anterior and mid DG, and did not differ from any other group in posterior DG. MD*ADT*BZD had fewer NPCs vs. MD*ADT in mid DG. MD*ADT had more NPCs vs. untreated-MD and controls in anterior and mid DG. MD*ADT*BZD and MD*ADT had more mitotic cells in anterior DG vs. controls and untreated-MD. There were no between-group differences in mid DG in mitotic cells or in posterior DG for any cell type. Our results in mid-dentate, and to some degree anterior dentate, gyrus are consistent with murine findings that benzodiazepines counteract antidepressant-induced increases in neurogenesis by interfering with progenitor proliferation. We also confirmed, in this expanded sample, our previous finding of granule neuron deficit in untreated MD.
    Full-text · Article · Jun 2014 · The International Journal of Neuropsychopharmacology
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    • "Current guidelines for the pharmacological treatment of patients with GAD recommend antidepressants, such as selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors and selective noradrenaline reuptake inhibitors, pregabalin, benzodiazepines, buspirone, and tricyclic antidepressants.14 "
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    ABSTRACT: Whilst studies suggest that generalized anxiety disorder (GAD) represents a considerable health care burden in Europe, there is a paucity of published evidence. This study investigated the burden of illness associated with GAD across five European countries (France, Germany, Italy, Spain, and the UK). Information from the 2008 European National Health and Wellness Survey database was analyzed. Bivariate, multivariate, and cost analyses were used to compare patients with GAD and propensity-matched controls. Compared with non-GAD controls, patients with GAD had more comorbidities and were more likely to smoke but less likely to be employed, use alcohol, or take exercise. They also had significantly worse health-related quality of life, and significantly greater work impairment and resource use, which increased as GAD severity increased. Within-country analyses demonstrated results similar to those for the five European countries overall, with the largest differences in resource use between patients with GAD and non-GAD controls documented in France and Germany. The average mean differences in direct costs were relatively small between the GAD groups and controls; however, indirect costs differed substantially. Costs were particularly high in Germany, mainly due to higher salaries leading to higher costs associated with absence from work. The limitation of this study was that the data were from a self-reported Internet survey, making them subject to reporting bias and possibly sample bias. Across all five European countries, GAD had a significant impact on work impairment, resource use, and economic costs, representing a considerable individual and financial burden that increased with severity of disease. These data may help us to understand better the burden and costs associated with GAD.
    Full-text · Article · Apr 2014 · ClinicoEconomics and Outcomes Research
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    • "However, not all patients with anxiety disorders remit even after adequate treatment; for instance, the remission rate was 45% in a clinical trial of one treatment in panic disorders.3 Such treatment-resistant anxiety disorders have not been studied enough.2 The “switching to” or “augmenting by” drugs with different pharmacological profiles are recommended as the third or fourth treatment by the treatment guideline. "
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    ABSTRACT: Mirtazapine, a noradrenergic and specific serotonergic antidepressant, which blocks the α2-adrenergic autoreceptors and heteroreceptors, has shown anxiolytic properties in clinical trials and preclinical animal experiments. The addition of mirtazapine to selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs) is clinically suggested to be more effective for anxiety disorders. In this study, we examined the combined effects of mirtazapine and citalopram, an SSRI, on the freezing behavior of rats, which was induced by contextual conditioned fear as an index of anxiety or fear. Male Sprague Dawley rats individually received footshocks in a shock chamber, and 24 hours later, they were given citalopram and/or mirtazapine injections. One hour after citalopram and 30 minutes after mirtazapine administration, freezing behavior was analyzed in the same shock chamber without shocks. Mirtazapine decreased freezing in a dose-dependent manner, which is consistent with a previous report; it also enhanced an anxiolytic-like effect at a high dose (30 mg/kg) of citalopram. Because mirtazapine blocks α2-adrenoreceptors, the combined effect of atipamezole, a selective α2 receptor antagonist, with citalopram was also examined. Similar to mirtazapine, atipamezole reduced freezing dose-dependently, but the enhancement of citalopram's effects by atipamezole was not clear when compared with mirtazapine. The present findings suggest that mirtazapine has an anxiolytic-like effect and may enhance the anxiolytic-like effect of SSRIs, but this enhancement may not be explained by its anti-α2 property alone.
    Full-text · Article · Feb 2014 · Neuropsychiatric Disease and Treatment
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