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 answer • 3 doctors weighed in
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.
Last updated Sep 23, 2016
Connect with a U.S. board-certified doctor by text or video anytime, anywhere.
$15 per month
Content on HealthTap (including answers) should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment, and interactions on HealthTap do not create a doctor-patient relationship. Never disregard or delay professional medical advice in person because of anything on HealthTap. Call your doctor or 911 if you think you may have a medical emergency.