Anxiety Disorders

Frequently Asked Questions

23. What are the most common types of antidepressants used to treat anxiety disorders?

Antidepressants are increasingly recommended to treat anxiety disorders in older adults. They are most commonly prescribed to treat generalized anxiety disorder (GAD) and panic disorder.

The newest and most popular types of antidepressant medications are called selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs) and serotonin and norepinephrine reuptake inhibitors (SNRIs). SSRIs include fluoxetine (Prozac), citalopram (Celexa), and several others. SNRIs include venlafaxine (Effexor) and duloxetine (Cymbalta).

The most common side effects of SSRIs and SNRIs include headache, nausea, insomnia or nervousness, agitation or a jittery feeling, and sexual problems. Often they are mild and temporary. However, any unusual reactions or side effects that interfere with normal functioning should be reported to a doctor immediately.