An umbrella review on the use of antipsychotics in anxiety disorders: A registered report protocol

Amir Garakani, Rafael C. Freire, Frank D. Buono, Robyn P. Thom, Kaitlyn Larkin, Melissa C. Funaro, Mona Salehi, Mercedes M. Perez-Rodriguez

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

2 Scopus citations


Anxiety disorders, including panic disorder (PD), generalized anxiety disorder (GAD), social anxiety disorder (SAD), agoraphobia, and specific phobia, are among the most common psychiatric disorders. Although the traditional pharmacologic treatments for anxiety included barbiturates and then benzodiazepines, the introduction of tricyclic antidepressants, followed by the selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs), marked a tidal shift in the treatment of anxiety. Although not approved for treatment of anxiety disorders (with the exception of trifluoperazine) there is ongoing off-label, unapproved use of both first-generation “typical” antipsychotics (FGAs) and second-generation or “atypical” antipsychotics (SGAs) for anxiety. Although there have been systematic reviews and meta-analyses on the use of antipsychotics in anxiety disorders, most of these reviews focused on SGAs, primarily the use of quetiapine in GAD. Given that there is little known about the potential benefits and short-and long-term risks of using antipsychotics in anxiety, there is a need for an umbrella review of systematic reviews and meta-analyses of the use of both FGAs and SGAs in anxiety disorders. The specific aims of this study are as follows: (1) Evaluate the evidence of efficacy of FGAs and SGAs in anxiety disorders as an adjunctive treatment to SSRIs, serotonin norepinephrine reuptake inhibitors (SNRIs) and other non-antipsychotic medications; (2) Compare monotherapy with antipsychotics to first-line treatments for anxiety disorders in terms of effectiveness, risks, and side effects; and (3) Evaluate the short- and long-term risks and side effects of prescribing antipsychotics in anxiety disorders. The review is registered on PROSPERO (CRD42021237436). Since data extraction has not begun, there is not preliminary data to share.

Original languageEnglish
Article numbere0269772
JournalPLoS ONE
Issue number6 June
StatePublished - Jun 2022
Externally publishedYes


Dive into the research topics of 'An umbrella review on the use of antipsychotics in anxiety disorders: A registered report protocol'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this