An anxiolytic (also antianxiety agent) is a medication or other intervention that inhibits 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.
Anxiolytic medications have been used for the treatment of anxiety and its related psychological and physical symptoms. Anxiolytics have been shown to be useful in the treatment of anxiety disorders.
Anxiolytics are also known as minor tranquilizers. The term is less common in modern texts, and was originally derived from a dichotomy with major tranquilizers, also known as neuroleptics or antipsychotics.