Response to Effexor in People with Anxiety Disorders

Generalized anxiety disorder (GAD) is characterized by persistent worry or anxious feelings. People with this disorder worry about a number of concerns, such as health problems or finances, and may have a general sense that something bad is going to happen. Symptoms include restlessness, irritability, muscle tension, difficulty concentrating, sleep problems and generally feeling on edge. Anxiety disorders are common in both adults and children. About 18 percent of U.S. adults and 25 percent of adolescents age 13 to 18 will experience anxiety, according to the National Institute of Mental Health. About 4 percent of adults, and nearly 6 percent of teens, have anxiety disorders classified as severe.

Anxiety disorders are very treatable. The majority of patients who suffer from anxiety are able to reduce or eliminate symptoms after several months of psychotherapy, and many patients notice improvement after just a few sessions. When psychological treatments haven't helped, antidepressant drugs are the preferred choice for treatment; however, treatment response is often variable.

Several studies have implicated a role of the serotonin receptor gene (HTR2A) in treatment response. Data from these studies in GAD patients treated with Effexor (venlafaxine XR), indicate that individuals with the HTR2A rs7997012 single nucleotide polymorphism G-allele have better treatment outcome over time.

Related to:
Venlafaxine, SSRI, Anti-depressants, generalized anxiety disorder, GAD