Comparing and Contrasting Pharmacologic Options for the Treatment of Generalized Anxiety Disorder

Comparing and Contrasting Pharmacologic Options for the Treatment of Generalized Anxiety Disorder

Discussion: Comparing and Contrasting Pharmacologic Options for the Treatment of Generalized Anxiety Disorder

Psychological disorders, such as depression, bipolar, and anxiety disorders can present several complications for patients of all ages. These disorders affect patients physically and emotionally, potentially impacting judgment, school and/or job performance, and relationships with family and friends. Since these disorders have many drastic effects on patients’ lives, it is important for advanced practice nurses to effectively manage patient care. With patient factors and medical history in mind, it is the advanced practice nurse’s responsibility to ensure the safe and effective diagnosis, treatment, and education of patients with psychological disorders.

Generalized Anxiety Disorder is a psychological condition that affects 6.1 million Americans, or 3.1% of the US Population. Despite several treatment options, only 43.2% of those suffering from GAD receive treatment. This week you will review several different classes of medication used in the treatment of Generalized Anxiety Disorder. You will examine potential impacts of pharmacotherapeutics used in the treatment of GAD. Please focus your assignment on FDA approved indications when referring to different medication classes used in the treatment of GAD.

To Prepare

  • Review the Resources for this module and consider the principles of pharmacokinetics and pharmacodynamics.
  • Reflect on your experiences, observations, and/or clinical practices from the last 5 years and think about how pharmacokinetic and pharmacodynamic factors altered his or her anticipated response to a drug.
  • Consider factors that might have influenced the patient’s pharmacokinetic and pharmacodynamic processes, such as genetics (including pharmacogenetics), gender, ethnicity, age, behavior, and/or possible pathophysiological changes due to disease.
  • Think about a personalized plan of care based on these influencing factors and patient history with GAD.

By Day 3 of Week 8

Post a discussion of pharmacokinetics and pharmacodynamics related to anxiolytic medications used to treat GAD. In your discussion, utilizing the discussion highlights, compare and contrast different treatment options that can be used.


Please use a heading for each major part of the assignment



Comparing and contrasting Pharmacologic options for the treatment of Generalized Anxiety Disorder
Generalized anxiety disorder (GAD) is an anxiety disorder that is associated with chronic anxiety, excessive worry and a lot of tension even when there is no course for it. According to Baldwin et al. (2005), the recent evidence-based guidelines for pharmacological management recommend initial treatment with either a selective serotonin re-uptake inhibitor.
Pharmacokinetics and Pharmacodynamics related to anxiolytic medications
used to treat GAD
Pharmacokinetics involves studying the rates of reactions within the body. The timelines of drug’s absorption, bioavailability, distribution, metabolism and the manner in which the body excretes it is what the concept is all about. Pharmacodynamics on the other hand entails the manner in which the drugs work and how it exerts its power in the body. It focuses more on receptor binding, post receptor effects as well as the chemical reactions that are associated with it. Baldwin and Ajel (2007) nots that it is not easy to predict reliability upon which patients will positively respond well to pharmacological treatment. However, responding to antidepressants may not be possible where there is no evidence on an onset of effect within the first four weeks. Nevertheless, continuing treatment for a period of 12 months is highly recommended. Some investigations about extended management of patients who do not respond to first line treatment but opts to switch to another evidence-based treatment. Some augmentation approaches are also likely to be of great importance (Gerlach, & Gloster, 2020).
Comparison and Contrasting Different Treatment Options that Can Be Used
Most guidelines recommend SSRI for first line treatment of GAD as it helps on the balance of efficacy and tolerability. Other common treatments include SNRI, pregabalin, tricyclic antidepressant imipramine and benzodiazepine.
The choice of treatment need to be determined by the clinical features of patients, for instance the presence of comorbid depression and a positive history of previous treatment. According to Baldwin and Ajel (2007), the preferences for an approach over the other as well as the availability of the required services will also determine the choice of treatment to be administered. Patients need to be counselled by the doctors and make them understand that response will not be immediate and that long-term treatment is usually needed to maintain an initial response. There is adequate room for improvement as far as the development of a more efficient and acceptable pharmacological approach to the treatment of General anxiety disorder.


Baldwin, D. S., et al. (2005). Evidence-based guidelines for the pharmacological treatment of anxiety disorders: recommendations from the British association for Psychopharmacology. Journal of Psychopharmacology 19, 567-596.
Baldwin, DS Ajel K (2007). The role of pregabalin in the treatment of generalized anxiety disorder. Neuropsychiatric Disease and Treatment 3, 185–191.
Gerlach, A. & Gloster, A. (2020). Generalized Anxiety Disorder and Worrying: A Comprehensive Handbook for Clinicians and Researchers. NY: John Wiley & Sons.