Review of atypical antipsychotics in anxiety

Nienke C.C. Vulink, Martijn Figee, Damiaan Denys

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

32 Scopus citations


Atypical antipsychotics are increasingly used for treatment of anxiety disorders, either in mono- or combination therapy. This is the first review reporting on the use of atypical antipsychotics in monotherapy or augmentation in patients with primary anxiety disorders or anxiety (disorders) comorbid to schizophrenia, bipolar disorder (BPD) and major depressive disorder (MDD). We included 49 open-label trials, 32 randomized, placebo-controlled trials (RCTpls) and five randomized controlled trials without placebo arm with almost 6000 patients (open-label: 1710, randomized: 4145). An increasing number of RCTpls show promising results in 27-71% of patients with primary or comorbid anxiety disorders who were treated with monotherapy atypical antipsychotics or augmentation therapy. However, methodological flaws of included studies may limit conclusions of this review and larger placebo-controlled trials are warranted comparing standard treatment with monotherapy and augmentation therapy of atypical antipsychotics and placebo. In addition, higher dropout rates and side effects from treatment with atypical antipsychotics may limit the use of atypical antipsychotics in patients with anxiety disorders.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)429-449
Number of pages21
JournalEuropean Neuropsychopharmacology
Issue number6
StatePublished - Jun 2011
Externally publishedYes


  • Anxiety disorders
  • Atypical antipsychotics
  • Obsessive-compulsive disorder


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