To evaluate the efficacy and tolerability of quetiapine for the treatment of generalized anxiety disorder (GAD), a literature search of the Medline database was conducted from inception to May 2014. The search was not restricted by language. Keywords used in the search were quetiapine and generalized anxiety disorder or anxiety. All studies assessing the use of quetiapine as monotherapy or adjunct therapy for the primary management of GAD in adults 18-65 years of age were included in this review. The nine studies included in this review were three studies evaluating the use of quetiapine extended release (XR) as monotherapy for acute GAD treatment, one study evaluating quetiapine XR monotherapy for maintenance treatment of GAD, and five studies evaluating quetiapine (2 XR, 3 immediate release) as adjunct therapy for acute GAD treatment. Quetiapine displayed both efficacy and tolerability in all monotherapy trials evaluating its use for acute and long-term treatment of GAD. Despite some limitations to and heterogeneity among the five adjunct therapy studies, three studies showed that quetiapine resulted in statistically significant changes in the Hamilton Anxiety Rating Scale or Clinical Global Impressions-Severity of Illness Scale scores. Although future studies of longer duration with broader inclusion criteria are needed to further evaluate the benefits and risks of quetiapine for GAD, in patients failing to respond to conventional antidepressant therapy, quetiapine may be a potential treatment option. With appropriate monitoring and management of adverse effects, the potential benefits of quetiapine in patients with treatment-refractory GAD may outweigh the risks associated with its use.
Keywords: Seroquel; anxiety; generalized anxiety disorder; quetiapine.
© 2015 Pharmacotherapy Publications, Inc.