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A 24-year-old female asked:

what is the difference between a sedative anti anxiety drug and one that increases serotonin? what is the difference in how they make you feel?

1 doctor answer3 doctors weighed in
Dr. Kevin Nasky
Psychiatry 16 years experience
Mechanism of Action: Different anxiolytic meds target different neurotransmitter systems. 'Sedatives' usually refer to drugs that modulate GABA in some way, e.g. benzodiazepines, and are usually very effective immediately, however a small percentage (about 2%) will develop dependency/addiction problems. Other medications target serotonin and noradrenergic pathways, can take weeks to work, but aren't habit forming.

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Last updated Sep 23, 2016

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