18.104.22.168 Acute anxiety state
|1st choice||Non-drug treatment|
|2nd choice||Diazepam tablets 2mg, 5mg, 10mg; oral solution 2mg/5ml|
- Benzodiazepines are indicated for the short-term relief (2-4 weeks only) of anxiety that is severe, disabling or subjecting the individual to unacceptable distress. The use of benzodiazepines to treat short-term ‘mild’ anxiety is inappropriate and unsuitable.
- Benzodiazepine anxiolytics should not be used as sole treatment for chronic anxiety, and they are not appropriate for treating depression or chronic psychosis.
- Treatment should be limited to the lowest possible dose for the shortest possible time.
- Diazepam has a medium duration of action and rapid onset. It is the recommended daytime anxiolytic (and issued as pre-medication before surgery and other procedures. See BNF).
- Beta-blockers (e.g. propranolol) are useful for reducing autonomic symptoms, such as palpitations and tremor in performance anxiety (e.g. public speaking or a musical performance). See BNF.
See cautions here.