Your Guide To Anti-Anxiety Medications
One efficient method of managing Anti-Anxiety Medications, and there are various possibilities for anxiety medications. Anxiety sufferers may be interested in learning how medicine can control their symptoms. There’s a chance it might. According to the Anxiety & Depression Association of America, anxiety is the most prevalent mental health issue, impacting about 40 million adults in the United States (ADAA). Only 37% of persons with anxiety seek treatment, although it is relatively treatable.
Anxiety disorders come in various forms, and you can have more than one. Among the most typical are:
- disordered generalized anxiety
- panic attack
- disordered social anxiety
The most frequently prescribed drug for treating anxiety is an antidepressant. Anxiolytics, often known as Anti-anxiety Drugs, are included in numerous different families of medications in addition to antidepressants. They are efficient and frequently function best when combined with therapy.
Does Anxiety Medication Work?
It is thought that a mix of genetic, environmental, and brain chemistry variables contribute to anxiety. Antidepressants impact the neurotransmitters in the brain, while anti-anxiety medicines aim to reduce anxiety symptoms. Neurotransmitters are chemical messengers that support the health of our brains and impact our emotions. Neurotransmitter imbalances or low levels may be a factor in developing some mental health issues, including sadness and anxiety.
Reducing the levels of specific neurotransmitters in the brain, such as serotonin, antidepressants can be beneficial. Different anti-anxiety medications exist. Some medications, like benzodiazepines, are made to relieve symptoms in the body swiftly. It may take many weeks to notice a change in how you feel after taking some medications, such as antidepressants. Different people will react to drugs in different ways. You can always go to your doctor if one isn’t working to find out if you should change your dosage or try another medication.
Different Types of Anti-anxiety Medications?
Antidepressants and anxiolytics are among the medications available to treat anxiety.
Selective Serotonin Reuptake Inhibitors (SSRIs)
Serotonin levels in your brain are regulated and elevated by SSRIs. You can use them to treat all forms of anxiety. However, you could need greater doses depending on your background and health.
Generally speaking, SSRI side effects might consist of the following:
- mouth ache
- weak sex drive
- improper sexual behavior
- gaining weight
SSRIs include, for instance:
- fluoxetine (Prozac)
- sertraline (Zoloft)
- paroxetine (Paxil)
- escitalopram (Lexapro)
Serotonin-norepinephrine Reuptake Inhibitors (SNRIs)
SNRIs function similarly to SSRIs; specifically, they aid in elevating norepinephrine and serotonin levels. All anxiety disorders are routinely treated with SNRIs, and these medications have side effects strikingly comparable to SSRIs.
SNRIs for anxiety include, for example:
- duloxetine (Cymbalta)
- venlafaxine (Effexor)
- desvenlafaxine (Pristiq)
Like SNRIs, tricyclics, sometimes known as TCAs, are an older class of antidepressants. It can treat some anxiety disorders with them but not social anxiety. Tricyclics are no longer used as frequently since newer drugs have fewer negative effects. Included among the side effects are:
- mouth ache
- fuzzy vision
- difficulty urinating
- gaining weight
- lowering of blood pressure upon standing
Tricyclics, for example, are prescribed for anxiety.
- amitriptyline (Elavil)
- nortriptyline (Pamelor)
- imipramine (Tofranil)
- clomipramine (Anafranil)
You can treat all types of anxiety medications with this group of medications. If you have excessive or persistent anxiety, benzodiazepines are frequently prescribed for short-term use in addition to a maintenance drug (such as an antidepressant) since they work faster. Your doctor could recommend a benzodiazepine if you frequently feel anxiety or panic in situations like traveling or seeing the dentist.
Gamma-aminobutyric acid (GABA), a neurotransmitter that lowers neuronal activity, is one neurotransmitter that influences benzos. Some scientists think that anxiety might be brought on by excessive nervous activity. Therefore, benzodiazepines function by amplifying the effects of GABA. Although benzodiazepines have considerable potential for dependence and withdrawal, they can also be quite effective. Thus they aren’t frequently recommended as a long-term remedy.
It’s possible to experience severe withdrawal symptoms even after taking benzodiazepines for a brief period. Additionally, the FDA has published certain recommendations for safe benzodiazepine usage due to how quickly dependence can develop with these medications — within a few weeks of use. You can reduce the likelihood of issues if you take these medications as directed by your physician. You can speak with your doctor or pharmacist if you have any questions.
The following are benzodiazepine side effects:
The benzodiazepine your doctor may have prescribed for your anxiety could be:
- diazepam (Valium)
- alprazolam (Xanax)
- clonazepam (Klonopin)
- lorazepam (Ativan)
Both short-term and long-term treatments for anxiety are possible with buspirone (BuSpar). The most typical condition it is used to treat is generalized anxiety disorder. Buspirone reduces anxiety by raising serotonin levels. It’s typically not the greatest choice if you have a condition that demands fast-acting treatment, as if you’re having a panic attack because it can take time to build up in your system.
Included among the side effects are:
- bizarre dreams
Beta-blockers can be prescribed for conditions other than their original indications or “off-label” to treat anxiety. These drugs are mostly used to assist people in managing certain heart problems and lower blood pressure. They may help with physical signs of worry, such as a beating heart. One of the most frequently recommended beta-blockers for anxiety is propranolol. It is a remedy for social anxiety.
Most side effects are mild, and they could include:
- mouth ache
Monoamine Oxidase Inhibitors (MAOIs)
Although MAOIs were initially prescribed for depression, they are occasionally used off-label for anxiety by medical practitioners. MAOIs function differently than SSRIs and SNRIs by preventing the body from producing the chemical monoamine oxidase. This substance is in charge of lowering the concentrations of several neurotransmitters. The neurotransmitters have a chance to rise when monoamine oxidase is inhibited, which can elevate your mood.
Although MAOIs are effective for some patients, they are no longer as frequently used due to the developing of other drugs with fewer side effects. These medications may interact negatively with some foods, leading to health problems. It can treat most types of anxiety with MAOIs, but panic disorder and social anxiety may respond best. Possible negative effects include:
- mouth ache
- difficulties urinating
- gaining weight
- lower libido and erection issues
If an MAOI is recommended for anxiety, it might be:
- isocarboxazid (Marplan)
- phenelzine (Nardil)
- tranylcypromine (Parnate)
- selegiline (Emsam)
How To Get a Prescription
Speaking with the appropriate healthcare provider is one of the first steps to obtaining an anti-anxiety drug prescription. Typically, the following individuals have the authority to write prescriptions for drugs:
- nursing professionals
- health care assistants
To ensure that another medical problem doesn’t cause your anxiety and to assess your general health, your healthcare provider may first want to perform a physical examination.
They might inquire as to the following:
- When did your worry first start?
- What signs and symptoms do you have?
- Do you suffer from any additional mental health issues?
- Have you already tried any other drugs to manage anxiety?
What To Know Before Starting or Stopping An Anti-anxiety Medications
Anti-anxiety drugs are generally safe when taken as directed. It’s crucial to speak with your doctor first before stopping any anti-anxiety medications. Most of these medications need to be taken off gradually rather than abruptly. Everybody’s body will respond to the tapering process differently. You can still notice the following signs as this procedure progresses:
- digestion problems
- difficulty sleeping
- difficulties with balancing
Even though these symptoms are typically transient, it can be useful to be prepared. You must take your drugs exactly as directed and consult your doctor before changing your dosage. Your body may develop a dependence on some drugs (like benzodiazepines). Thus, discontinuing them suddenly, especially without weaning off, may result in withdrawal symptoms like:
- nauseous and dizzy
Antidepressant discontinuation syndrome, which affects 20% of people who take these drugs, may occur if you abruptly stop taking an SSRI. It may result in nausea, balance problems, and flu-like symptoms. When you initially start taking some anti-anxiety medications, especially Antidepressants, they may have substantial side effects. Suicidal thoughts are among these adverse effects, which may be more frequent in children and young people. You can treat these adverse effects if you inform your doctor as soon as you see them.
Anxiety drugs can effectively manage your anxiety, but it’s vital to take them exactly as directed and to let your doctor know if you experience any negative side effects or reactions. Finding the best therapies may require trial and error, like with any ailment. To find the best dosage or medication, you may have to change it.