Anxiety is a common psychiatric disorder that affects almost all the age groups. Moderate-to-severe anxiety requires medical treatment in addition to psychotherapy in order not to progress to a more severe condition. However, the use of anti-depressant, especially, selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs) for these indications, has been questionable. This review paper was aimed at evaluating the literature on the role of SSRIs in the management of anxiety. The online databases Pubmed, Google Scholar, and CINAHL were used to perform a literature search for publications published between 2012 and 2019, without any date or language restrictions. We used a combination of relevant search terms "SSRI and anxiety'." We independently identified publications and systematically screened titles, abstracts, and full texts of the collected publications. Among 27 articles initially selected based on the title and abstract, 21 articles were excluded as the targeted population was not Saudi Arabian ethnicity. Finally, six review articles were selected and included in the review. SSRIs have a significant role in the management of anxiety disorder, especially anxiety that is correlated to depressive disorders. SSRIs showed a better safety profile compared to conventional agents used to treat anxiety previously.
Key words: SSRI, treatment, anxiety