Can Anxiety Medication Help?
Anxiety medication can help with anxiety, which is a general term for many disorders that result in nervousness, fear, anxiety, and anxiety.
The disorders affect our feeling, the way we behave, and also the disorders can cause physical symptoms. Mild anxiety is unclear and disturbing, while severe anxiety, on the other hand, has been found to affect our daily activities.
In the United States, anxiety Disorders has been found to affect more than 40 million people. This is the most common group of mental illnesses in the country. However, only 36.9% of people with this disease get anxiety medication treatment.
Most people are worried about life at certain times. But when it comes to an anxiety disorder, it is a different case entirely. If you have a diagnosis, you will probably need treatment and get some sort of anxiety medication or holistic suggestions. The available treatment options may usually consist of psychotherapy and anxiety medication.
Although anxiety medication does not cure anxiety, it has been found to manage the symptoms. This is so they can work well and feel better in your daily life. There are many types of medications available. Since each person is different, you and your doctor will need to try out several medications to find the one that suits you.
The type of anxiety medication prescribed by your doctor for anxiety depends greatly on the symptoms and type of anxiety disorder. If you feel like you are involved in a legal matter, you can contact a lawyer to better understand your rights.
What Conditions is Anxiety Medication Used For?
There are many ways to use anxiety medication. Medications can be used alone or in combination with psychotherapy for the treatment of many disorders, all classified into the category “Anxiety Disorders”, including the following.
- Generalized Anxiety Disorder (GAD)
- Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder (OCD)
- Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD)
- Panic disorder (PM)
- Social Anxiety Disorder (US)
The anxiety medication used depends on the specific diagnosis:
- Antidepressants: this can also be referred to as selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs) and it has been found to be useful in the treatment of panic disorder, obsessive-compulsive disorder, social anxiety disorder, and general anxiety disorder, and post-traumatic stress disorder.
- Tricyclic antidepressants (TCAs): these are also anxiety medication which is used in the treatment of panic disorders, post-traumatic stress disorder, and general anxiety disorder. Obsessive-compulsive disorder can also be treated with the use of tricyclic, clomipramine (Anafranil).
- The antidepressants referred to as monoamine oxidase inhibitors (MAOIs) are also used for the treatment of panic disorder, social anxiety disorder, and post-traumatic stress disorder.
- Other antidepressants, including serotonin-norepinephrine reuptake inhibitors (SNRIs), are used for the treatment of the following panic disorder, obsessive-compulsive disorder, social anxiety disorder, general anxiety disorder, and post-traumatic stress disorder.
- Buspirone (BuSpar): this is an anxiety medication and it can be used for the treatment of generalized anxiety disorders.
- Benzodiazepines are used in the treatment of the following types of anxiety disorders and it can include the following, general anxiety disorders, social anxiety disorders, and panic disorder.
- The first generation antihistamines, which include diphenhydramine and they can be used in the treatment of generalized anxiety disorders.
- Beta-blockers, for example, propranolol can be used in the treatment of performance anxiety, a type of social anxiety disorder, and are used most of the times for the treatment of panic disorder.
- Alpha blockers, for example, prazosin, used in the treatment of post-traumatic stress disorder, especially for nightmares.
- There are some other medications for example anticonvulsants and antipsychotics which are used as augmentation therapy in order to improve the total response to therapy when symptoms last after receiving first-line anti-anxiety medications.
There are several types of anxiety medications used to treat anxiety disorders.
In each of these categories, there are subgroups of medicines that work in a different way and have their own potential advantages, risks, and side effects.
Which Antidepressant Are Used for the treatment of Anxiety?
Antidepressants act by affecting neurotransmitters. These medications have been proven to be effective in the treatment of the symptoms of anxiety, but usually, last four to six weeks to produce palpable effects. The two most commonly used antidepressants in the treatment of anxiety disorders are selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs) and serotonin-norepinephrine reuptake inhibitors (SNRIs).
These types of antidepressant have been shown to work by increasing the level of serotonin, a neurotransmitter that affects mood, sexual desire, appetite, sleep, and memory. SSRIs usually begin with low doses that your doctor gradually increases.
Here are some examples of SSRIs used to treat anxiety:
- escitalopram (Lexapro)
- fluoxetine (Prozac)
- paroxetine (Paxil)
- sertraline (Zoloft)
There are many side effects which can occur as a result of the use of SSRIs, but most people prefer them. Some side effects of SSRIs are listed below:
- dry mouth
- muscle weakness
- sexual dysfunction
Examples of SNRIs include:
- Effexor XR (venlaxafine)
- Cymbalta (duloxetine)
- Side effects of SNRIs include:
- Weight gain or loss
- Dry mouth
Tricyclic works the same way as SSRIs for the treatment of most anxiety disorders with the exception of obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD). It is believed that tricyclic functions are similar to SSRIs. And like SSRIs, tricyclics start with a low dose and then gradually increase.
Examples of tricyclics that are used for the treatment of anxiety include:
- Clomipramine (Anafranil) – approved for OCD
- Doxepin (Sinequan) – off-label for GAD
- Imipramine (Tofranil)- off-label for panic disorder
List of Monoamine Oxidase Inhibitor Anxiety Medication Drugs for Anxiety
Tricyclics have been in existence for so many years and they have been referred to as older medicines that are rarely used today because new drugs cause fewer side effects. Dizziness, drowsiness, lack of energy and dry mouth among other are the possible side effects of tricyclics. They can also include nausea and vomiting, constipation, blurred vision, and weight gain. Side effects can often be controlled by changing the dose or by changing to another tricyclic.
Monoamine oxidase inhibitors (MAOIs): This type of anxiety drugs are used in the treatment of panic disorder and social phobia. Monoamine oxidase inhibitors (MAOIs) work by enhancing the number of specific neurotransmitters which helps in the regulation of mood.
Below are some MAOIs which are approved by the FDA for the treatment of depression but they are used off-label:
- Isocarboxazid (Marplan)
- Selegiline (Emsam)
- Tranylcypromine (Parnate)
MAOIs are older drugs just like tricyclics and it causes more side effects than modern drugs. MAOIs also have some limitations. For example, if you take MAOI, you will not be able to eat certain foods, such as cheese and red wine. There are some medications which you cannot take and examples of such medications include SSRIs, some birth control pills, painkillers such as acetaminophen and ibuprofen, cold and allergy medications, and herbal supplements. Taking MAOIs in combination with these foods or medicines can increase the blood pressure and cause other side effects that endanger life.
Pros and cons of Antidepressants
- Less risk of developing a dependence on benzodiazepines
- Less devastated to brain chemistry compared to benzodiazepines
- Can be used for various anxiety disorders
- The time to take effect may have a deterrent effect on continuous use
- It may cause complications in combination with other drugs such as alcohol and anti-inflammatory drugs.
- reduced appetite
Which Benzodiazepines Are Used For Anxiety?
Anxiety can also be reduced with the use of benzodiazepines by increasing the activities of neurotransmitter in the brain and building a sedative effect. They work fast and often can work for an hour or more. They are generally prescribed for those with a generalized anxiety disorder, panic disorder, and social anxiety disorder.
Due to the fact that they work so fast and people who take them can develop a tolerance that requires larger doses to feel better, doctors prescribe them for a very short period of time – usually no more than a month.
Addiction to benzodiazepines is common among individuals. In the event that you stop taking them suddenly, withdrawal symptoms may appear, so it is important to follow your doctor’s instructions to reduce the treatment.
They can also be used together with antidepressants because anxiety and depression often coexist in order to improve the effects of both drugs.
Benzodiazepines are very powerful tools. You have to make sure the anxiety medication is used as prescribed.
Below are the commonly prescribed benzodiazepines:
- Xanax or Niravam (alprazolam)
- Klonopin (clonazepam)
- Ativan (lorazepam)
- Valium (diazepam)
Other side effects of benzodiazepines may include:
- Blurred vision
Benzodiazepines are generally used for the treatment of anxiety for a short-term period of time. This is due to the fact that they can increase drowsiness and cause balance and memory problems. They can also create addiction and there is an increasing epidemic of benzodiazepine abuse. It is important to use these medications only as a short-term option for treating anxiety until your doctor prescribes another treatment. However, if you have a panic disorder, benzodiazepines may be recommended by your doctor for up to one year.
- They are effective for short-term relief
- Not dangerous for critical vital functions (except in combination with other sedatives)
- Useful sedative for surgery, immediate seizure prevention
- Very addictive when used for long-term treatment
- Dangerous withdrawal symptoms for example seizures, anxiety, physical cravings
- Long-term use may interfere with the functionality in the brain
Buspirone is generally used to treat a generalized anxiety disorder. It is usually prescribed together with an antidepressant.
Buspirone is used to treat short-term anxiety and chronic (long-term) anxiety disorders. It is unclear how buspirone works but it has been found to affect the chemicals in the brain which regulate the mood.
It may take several weeks for buspirone to become fully effective. Buspirone is available as a generic medicine as well as a medicine that has the brand name Buspar.
Side effects of Buspirone
- Trouble sleeping
Beta blockers are commonly used for the treatment of heart disease. They also use the off-label to relieve physical symptoms of anxiety, especially in some other types of anxiety disorders such as social anxiety disorders.
Beta-blocker such as propranolol (Inderal) may be prescribed by your doctor in order to reduce the symptoms of anxiety in stressful situations, such as attending parties or giving a public speech.
List of Beta-blockers For Anxiety
These anxiety medication is generally referred to as antihypertensive drugs because they have been found to reduce blood pressure. Beta-blockers and others help to lower the physical symptoms of anxiety. The beta blocker list includes:
- Atenolol (Tenormin) off-label for situational/performance anxiety
- Propranolol (Inderal, Betachron E-R, InnoPran XL) – off-label for panic disorder, situational/performance anxiety, posttraumatic stress disorder and anxiety in general
Hydroxyzine (Atarax, Vistaril) is another drug that is prescribed for the treatment of anxiety disorders. It is an antihistamine used for the treatment of allergic reactions, but this form of antihistaminic has been found to how serotonin is processed. They work fast, like benzodiazepines, but unlike benzodiazepines, they do not cause addiction.
Are There Differences Between Anxiety Drugs?
Anxiety medication that belong to the same category work the same way and there are similarities between the classes of anxiety. SSRIs affect serotonin levels in the brain. They are the first line to treat most anxiety. Other antidepressants, including tricyclic and monoamine oxidase inhibitors (MAOIs), which also act on serotonin and norepinephrine levels in the brain, have more limited use due to their side effects and drug interactions.
Some other type of anxiety medication, such as anxiolytics, specifically target these disorders work in entirely different ways. They also possess specific therapeutic uses. Benzodiazepines act on the neurotransmitter gamma-aminobutyric acid (GABA). Buspirone (BuSpar) increases the activity of serotonin. An antihistamine such as hydroxyzine (Atarax, Vistaril) has a sedative effect which blocks certain receptors that are found in the brain.
Medications commonly used in the treatment of high blood pressure also have a specific off-label use for the treatment of panic disorders. The two types of beta blockers which are the propranolol (Inderal) and atenolol (Tenormin) have grown to become a popular remedy for performance anxiety, also referred to as stage fright. They may also perform some functions in PTSD. Other alpha-blocker helps to alleviate nightmares that occur as a result of PTSD and examples are prazosin (Minipress). Other alpha-blockers such as clonidine (Catapres) and guanfacine (Tenex) may also be useful in the treatment of PTSD.
Lifestyle Changes in the Treatment of Anxiety
Anxiety is a normal part of life. It is the by-product of life in an often chaotic world. Anxiety is not so bad. This makes the dangers known to you, and this motivates you to stay organized and get prepared and help you in the calculation of the risk. However, when anxiety becomes a daily struggle, it is time to take action before it gets out of control. Uncontrolled anxiety can have a major impact on your quality of life. Take control by trying the ideas below if you don’t want to take anxiety medication.
Engaging in regular exercise is good for both physical and emotional health. Regular exercise is as effective as well as taking drugs to relieve anxiety in some people. And this is not just a short-term solution. You can feel relief from anxiety after hours of physical exercise.
Quit alcohol consumption
Alcohol is a natural sedative. Drinking a glass of wine or whiskey when your nerves are pulled out can calm you down first. Once the feeling of slight intoxication is over, anxiety may come back with vengeance. In the event that you depend on alcohol to reduce anxiety instead of treating the root of the problem, there is every possibility of developing alcohol dependence.
Smokers often come for a cigarette during the time of stress. However, as you drink alcohol, taking a cigar when you are under stress is quick to fix that can make your anxiety worse over time. studies have shown that before you start smoking, you are more likely to develop an anxiety disorder later. The research also suggests that nicotine and other cigarette smoke chemicals change the brain pathways associated with anxiety.
Do not take caffeine
If you suffer from chronic anxiety, caffeine will not help your condition. Nervousness and jitters may occur as a result of caffeine intake. None of these features is good if you are worried. Research has shown that caffeine can cause or exacerbate anxiety disorders. It can also cause panic attacks in people with panic disorder. In some people, the removal of caffeine can significantly improve the anxiety symptoms.
Get some night rest
Insomnia is a common symptom of anxiety. Make your sleep priority by:
- Just sleep at night when you are tired
- Don’t read or watch TV in bed
- Try not use your phone, tablet or computer in bed
- Do not turn and go back to bed if you cannot sleep; get up and go to another room as long as you’re not sleepy
- Avoid caffeine, heavy meals and nicotine before bedtime
- Keep the room dark and cold
- Putting your worries into writing before going to bed
- Go to sleep at the same time each night
One of the main goals of meditation is to eliminate the chaotic thoughts of your mind and replace them with a sense of calmness and full awareness of the present moment. It is well known that meditation releases stress and anxiety. Research by John Hopkins suggests that 30 minutes of daily meditation can lessen some symptoms of anxiety and act as an antidepressant.
Changes in mood can occur as a result of taking low blood sugar levels, dehydration or chemicals in process foods such as artificial flavors, artificial colors, and preservatives in some people. A diet that has a high sugar level can also affect the temperament. If anxiety gets worse after eating, check out your eating habits. Make sure you are hydrated, get rid of processed food and consume healthy diet that are high in complex carbohydrates, fruits and vegetables, and lean proteins.
Engage in deep breathing
In anxiety, shallow and fast breathing is common. This can lead to rapid heart rate, dizziness or lightheadedness, or even panic attacks. Deep breathing exercises – the deliberate process of taking slow, regular and deep breathing – can help restore normal breathing patterns and reduce anxiety.
Aromatherapy makes use of essential oils that have a pleasant scent to promote health and well-being. This oil can be inhaled directly or added to a hot bath or diffuser. Research has shown that aromatherapy:
- Helps you relax
- helps you sleep
- improves mood
- Reduces heart rate and blood pressure
Home Remedies For Anxiety
If you’re nervous, chamomile tea can help you calm down. Some controls compounds (Matricaria recutita) in chamomile bind to the same brain receptors as medications like Valium.
Chamomile can be taken as a supplement, usually standardized to contain 1.2% apigenin (active ingredients), and together with dried chamomile flowers. According to a study carried out at the University of Pennsylvania Medical Center, in Philadelphia, patients with a generalized anxiety disorder (GAD) that had been supplemented by camelids for eight weeks had a significant reduction in anxiety when compared with patients taking a placebo,
L-theanine (or green tea)
They say that the Japanese Buddhist monks could think for hours, get excited and relaxed. This can occur as a result of the amino acid which can be found in their green tea known as L-Theanine, according to Mark Blumenthal of the American Botanical Council.
Studies show that L-Theanine helps reduce heart rate and blood pressure, and several smaller studies have shown that it reduces anxiety. In a study performed, those that are vulnerable to anxiety are more relaxed and more focused during the test in the event that they take 200 milligrams of L-theanine.
L-theanine can be obtained from green tea, but you have to drink a lot of coffee, which can be less than five and as many as twenty.
There are many types of herbal supplements which are available and they have been found to reduce anxiety without having any effect the way you sleep (an example is L-Theanine), while others are sedatives. Valerian (Valeriana officinalis) is in the second category. It serves as a sleep aid for insomnia and they have been found to contain sedative compounds.
Valerian scent is somehow offensive, so most people take it as a capsule or tincture instead of tea. If you want to try, take it in the evening, not before you go to work! Valerian is often associated with other sedative herbs, such as hops, chamomiles and lemon balm.
The name was given by the Greek word for “honey bees”, lemon balm also known as Melissa officinalis was used at least in the middle ages to lower stress and anxiety and help to sleep. Has shown in a study carried out on healthy volunteers, the volunteers were grouped into two those that have standardized lemon balm extracts (600 mg), they are more relaxed and more alerted than the other groups volunteers that took placebo.
Although generally safe, be aware that some studies have shown that taking too many medications may make you more worried. So follow the instructions and start with the smallest dose. Apricot is sold in the form of tea, capsules, and tinctures. It is often associated with other soothing herbs, such as hops, chamomile, and valerian.
Exercise has been found to be safe, good for the brain and a powerful antidote for depression and anxiety, both immediately and in the long run. If you exercise regularly, you will have more self-esteem and feel healthier. “One of the major causes of anxiety is to take care of the illness and the health, and it disintegrates when you’re in shape.”