Anxiety disorders are the most common of the psychiatric disorders and are also associated with significant economic costs and impaired work productivity. The first-line pharmacotherapy of pharmatherapy for a number of anxiety disorders comprises selective serotonin re-uptake inhibitors (SSRIs) and serotonin and noradrenaline re-uptake inhibitors (SNRIs). Benzodiazepines are still widely used for the treatment of several anxiety disorders. Although these agents are effective, many patients are treatment-refractory and more effective, better tolerated medications are required. This paper discusses the understandings of mechanisms involved in the anxiety disorders and reviews emerging medications. Mechanisms underlying the use of d-cycloserine, second generation antipsychotics and beta-blockers are particularly exciting.