An anxiolytic (also antipanic or antianxiety agent) is a medication, or other intervention, that reduces anxiety. This effect is in contrast to anxiogenic agents, which increase anxiety. Together these categories of psychoactive compounds or interventions may be referred to as anxiotropic compounds or agents. Some recreational drugs such as alcohol induce anxiolysis initially; however, studies show that many of these drugs are anxiogenic. Anxiolytic medications have been used for the treatment of anxiety disorder and its related psychological and physical symptoms. Light therapy and other interventions have also been found to have an anxiolytic effect.Beta-receptor blockers such as propranolol and oxprenolol, although not anxiolytics, can be used to combat the somatic symptoms of anxiety such as tachycardia and palpitations.Anxiolytics are also known as minor tranquilizers.
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