The history of anti-anxiety medication

anxiety medications history

The history of anti-anxiety medication

Using anti anxiety medication is the most common approach for the treatment of generalized anxiety disorder. Most people are very familiar with “Valium”, “Xanax” and others. Other anxiety interventions include biofeedback and relaxation training. Individuals can also learn how to voluntarily control panic attacks and biological processes that may contribute on their anxiety problems. The history of anti anxiety medication for the treatment of generalized anxiety disorder started several decades ago.

The history of anti anxiety treatments started from using barbiturates. These are known primarily as biological treatments to all anxiety disorders in the 1950’s. These drugs are sometimes referred to as sedative-hypnotic drugs. They are used low doses to help and calm people during panic attacks. Patients who frequently take anti anxiety medicines may fall into sleep. Barbiturates are known to cause serious side effects, especially in high doses. Eventually, it would lead them to be completely dependent on these drugs.

Going back in the 1940’s, Frank Berger who was known as a pharmacologist tried to make an effective antibiotic medicine. He developed meprobamate that can help reduce anxiety and relax muscles. It was only in the 1950’s that the sedative was released- known as hypnotic medication under the Milltown brand name. This new anti anxiety medication still had its effect of great drowsiness. However, it was much less addictive and less dangerous than barbiturates.

The history of anti anxiety treatments continued until the 1950’s. Later then, Lowell Randall discovered the chlordiazepoxide. This was considered a member of the drug family called benzodiazepines. It served as a tranquilizer to animals without making them tired. This drug was discovered in the 1930’s. It was known as relatively useless at that time. It was marketed as a hypnotic drug under Librium after its discovery.

Later on, another medication has been developed under the name of Valium. Most patients and doctors considered these anti anxiety medications as safe especially as sedative hypnotics. In the end they became the most prescribed medication in the United States!

Drugs like Valium are the result of decades of research and discovery leading to a better understanding of the problem that we now know as anxiety. Imagine a world without any of these anti anxiety drugs, it would be so hard for affected people to live normal lives!

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