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 shown to be useful for the treatment of anxiety disorders and their related psychological and physical symptoms.
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.