What Kind Of Doctor Can Prescribe Anxiety Medication
- They both work with the same chemicals in your brain. Doctors commonly prescribe benzodiazepines for people with anxiety disorders. These medications manage the levels of a neurotransmitter called GABA, which balances your anxiety levels. Early studies show medical marijuana can also impact your GABA levels.
Important Information About Anxiety Medication
Medication often takes longer to treat anxiety than it does to treat depression. It might take several weeks for the medication to take effect. Studies show that anxiety medication works better if someone also has therapy.
Anxiety medication can cause side effects in some people. These may include:
- dry mouth
- difficulty with sexual drive or arousal
These side effects normally fade away, but if you are experiencing side effects from anxiety, always tell your doctor as they may be able to help.
Some antidepressants can cause a harmful reaction when taken with certain other medications. Talk to your doctor or pharmacist before you take any other medications, including sleeping pills and painkillers.
Take your anxiety medication as prescribed. Do not adjust doses on your own without consulting your doctor. Dont drink alcohol while taking anti-anxiety medication.
If you are not sure about taking medications to treat anxiety, ask your doctor about the following:
- What are the benefits of the particular medication for anxiety?
- What are the risks of the medication?
- What are the possible side effects?
How Can I Get Anxiety Medication
In order to take anxiety medication, you need a prescription from a licensed healthcare professional. Depending on the medication, you may be able to meet with a provider through telehealth. Some medications can be safely prescribed this way.
Because benzodiazepines are a controlled substance, they must be prescribed during an in-person visit.5,6 There are some exceptions to this, such as during the COVID-19 pandemic. You can ask your provider what meeting formats, either telehealth or in-person, are available.
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Combining Medicinal Cannabis And Anti
If the idea of switching over entirely to cannabis medicine intimidates you, you might be asking yourself, Can I use marijuana with anti-anxiety medications? You likely can use medical cannabis as a supplement. Many patients use medical marijuana as part of a combined treatment plan that involves pharmaceuticals and other treatments like therapy.
But, patients who do decide to use both kinds of medicine at the same time should make sure their doctor approves. Work with a doctor with experience in marijuana medicine to determine how to balance your dosages and monitor side effects.
Since anti-anxiety medication and cannabis have some overlapping side effects, taking both can exacerbate them. For instance, folks who take citalopram with medical marijuana might experience confusion, concentration problems and drowsiness. But if you and your doctor take care when adjusting your dosages and dosage time, you can minimize or eliminate these symptoms.
Reasons To Talk To Your Doctor About Anti
Your MDVIP-affiliated doctor is in the best position to advise you on whether and when to take medication for anxiety. Your doc knows about all the medications you take, your health history, your personal goals, and whats going on in your life. So, if youre wondering whether anti-anxiety medication is right for you, start there.
In the meantime, well share with you some of the facts that go into the decision-making process.
1. If your anxiety occurs along with symptoms of depression, a common co-occurrenceAntidepressants are usually prescribed here. Despite the term antidepressant, these drugs effectively reduce anxiety. They tend to be safe and well tolerated, regardless of your age or what medications you take.
Many adults will also be prescribed a benzodiazepine a short-acting anxiolytic, such as alprazolam . These drugs can help tamp down anxiety episodes until the antidepressant takes full effect in a few weeks. Benzodiazepines are rarely prescribed in the elderly, however risks to an older population include falls, hip fractures, and cognitive impairment.
- Ways to change the thinking patterns that contribute to your fears and over-reactions.
- How to become desensitized to the situations that trigger anxious feelings
- Relaxation techniques, such as belly breathing, a type of deep breathing where you focus on your diaphragm expanding as you fill your lungs with air.
Why Not Take Anti
Medication as the first line of treatment for anxiety feels great. It’s just the later down-the-line results that can prove to be significantly problematic.
The growing awareness of the dangers of taking opioid medications for physical pain gives an important perspective on the downsides of anxiety-pain pills.
Twenty years ago, physician Russell Portenoy, a prominent New York pain specialist, spearheaded the movement that encouraged doctors to prescribe painkiller medications. This movement helped many suffering patients and at the same time was based on naivete with regard to the dangers of addiction.
Now Portenoy has come full circle. He has become a leader in warning physicians and the general public of the addictive potential of painkillers. For brief acute pain like when someone is recovering from a surgery, painkillers pose less addiction risk. For on-going long-term problems, addiction is a major issue. The high from these drugs, and the body’s craving for the drugs, takes over.
The Wall Street Journal reported back in December 2012 that 16,500 people die of overdoses annually from pain medications, more than from all illegal drugs combined. Opioid use has only increased since that time. Like Dr. Portenoy, many doctors by now have dramatically decreased the frequency with which they prescribe opioid pills to quell physical pain.
Do Over The Counter Anxiety Meds Exist
There are no FDA-approved medications for anxiety that are available over-the-counter, but studies have been done on various natural remedies for anxiety that may be helpful in conjunction with medication or on their own.
Supplements like kava, passionflower, and magnesium may be helpful.8 Research has looked at the benefits of CBD for anxiety, but has found mixed results.9 Always speak to your doctor before taking any supplements, as they could negatively interact with certain medications.
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What Does Doctor Prescribe For Anxiety
Asked by: Declan Labadie MD
The antidepressants most widely prescribed for anxiety are SSRIs such as Prozac, Zoloft, Paxil, Lexapro, and Celexa. SSRIs have been used to treat generalized anxiety disorder , obsessive-compulsive disorder , panic disorder, social anxiety disorder, and post-traumatic stress disorder.
What Type Of Medication Is Prescribed For Anxiety
Lets say youre comfortable with the idea of taking medication for your anxiety. Youve consulted with mental health professionals, and a prescription for anti-anxiety medication seems right.
Here are some of the medications you can expect your therapist, doctor or nurse practitioner to recommend:
Buspirone: Buspirone may be used to treat generalized anxiety disorder. After staring this medication, it usually takes a few weeks to start feeling better. It can be a better option for individuals with chronic anxiety, as it is less addicting than benzodiazepines.
Beta Blockers: Beta Blockers can help control some of the physical symptoms of anxiety, including trembling, sweaty hands, rapid heart rate and dizziness.
Those with social anxiety disorders may take beta blockers to help control the anxiety stemming from being in a crowd.
Benzodiazepines: Benzodiazepines are used for short-term treatment of anxiety disorders. They typically take effect within 30 to 60 minutes of administration, and have been a reliable source of anxiety medication for quite some time.
Common benzodiazepines include alprazolam, clonazepam, diazepam and lorazepam.
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Primary Care Physician Vs Psychiatrist
Both primary care physicians and psychiatrists are licensed to prescribe antidepressant medications.
But not all patients understand the differences between these two licensed professionals:
- Primary Care Physician: Primary care physicians, also known as general practitioners , are trained in comprehensive, acute, and continuing care. They are skilled in diagnosing and treating a wide range of illnesses and conditions, but also regularly collaborate with other specialists to offer patients the best care possible. In many cases, a primary care physician acts as a patients first point of contact to receiving health care.
- Psychiatrist: A psychiatrist is a medical doctor who specializes in mental health. Psychiatrists can treat acute issues, such as panic attacks or suicidal ideation, but they can also offer ongoing care for patients with more chronic conditions. Because of their medical training, psychiatrists can interpret the relationship between emotional and physical illnesses to offer customized treatment plans to their patients, including prescription medication.
Anxiety Meds: The Basics
There are several different anxiety disorders, each with different symptoms. Your healthcare provider will choose an anxiety medication thats right for you.
Numerous common anxiety medications are used to treat anxiety disorders, including benzodiazepines, selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors , beta-blockers, monoamine oxidase inhibitors , and tricyclic medications.
Medication doesnt cure anxiety. Instead, anti-anxiety medications provide relief from the symptoms of anxiety, allowing you to focus on living a normal life.
While anti-anxiety drugs are safe for most people, some can cause dependence and withdrawal symptoms when used over a long period of time or abused.
If you have an anxiety disorder, medication alone may not be enough to help you bring your symptoms under control. For better results, your healthcare provider may suggest psychotherapy or encourage you to make certain changes to your lifestyle.
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What Are Prescription Anxiety Meds Available
Your doctor will be the one to prescribe or not prescribe an anxiety med for you. Still, it’s a good idea to be familiar with the most common anxiety medications beforehand if that is probable. After all, you probably want some input into what you put into your body. By learning about the options, you can be prepared to have an intelligent discussion with your doctor.
Anxiety Med Names
Anxiety med names can be confusing. One reason is that generic names and brand names are often used interchangeably. Another reason is that many people don’t like to talk about their medications for mental health problems, so the names of these medications are often less familiar. Below is a list of brand name anxiety medicines and their generic equivalents. The brand name are listed first, followed by the generic names.
- Xanax: alprazolam
- Vistaril, Atarax, Vistaril IM, Hyzine, Vistaject-50, Rezine, Vistacon, Vistacot, Vistazine, Vistazine 50: hydroxyzine
- Cymbalta: duloxetine
- Gralise, Horizant, Neurontin, Gabarone: gabapentin
- Brisdelle, Paxil, Paxil CR, Pexava: paroxetine
- Wellbutrin: bupropion
- Inderal: propranolol
Do I Have To Take My Anxiety Medication For Life
Not always. It depends on your symptoms and how controlled they become over time.
As mentioned, if youre taking an antidepressant, it may take a few weeks before your symptoms improve. Its recommended to keep taking your medication for at least 12 months if youre benefiting from the medication. This is meant to help prevent symptoms from getting worse again.
After 12 months or so, you and your healthcare provider may decide to continue the medication or to gradually stop taking it.
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You Have A Permanent Bellyache
When you were a kid, your mom thought you were faking it if you got sick on the day of your math test. Turns out, your upset stomach and test anxiety were probably related. The microbiome inside your gut has trillions of microbes that help digest your foodand also protect you against bacteria that can cause health problems.
People with anxiety tend to have distorted microbiomes, says Gerard Mullin, MD, author of The Gut Balance Revolution. Your gut and your brain are definitely linked.
Scientists at University College Cork in Ireland found that persistent stomach problems often contribute to stress-related issues like depression and anxiety. Another study showed that people experiencing panic attacks were four to six times more likely to have irritable bowel syndrome.
With gut troublesas with other health concernsfrequency matters. When gut problems transform from rare to frequent or even daily, or when they go from mildly uncomfortable to noticeably annoying, its time to call your doctor, says Dr. Mullin.
Managing An Anxiety Disorder
Anxiety disorders are the most common of mental disorders and affect more than 25 million Americans. Anxiety disorders are more than normal feelings of nervousness or anxiousness they involve excessive fear or anxiety. However, there are several effective treatments available that can help most people lead normal productive lives.
Anxiety disorders can cause people to avoid situations that trigger or make their symptoms worse. In general, for a person to be diagnosed with an anxiety disorder, the fear or anxiety must be out of proportion to the situation, last longer than six months, and hinder the ability to function normally. For more information about Anxiety Disorders, see the NC Health Info page on Anxiety, Bipolar Disorder and Depression.
Anxiety disorders can be treated by a wide range of mental health professionals, including psychologists, psychiatrists, clinical social workers, psychiatric nurses, and licensed professional counselors. You may need to visit with several different providers before you find the right match. A good relationship with your mental health provider will help you get the most out of your treatment.
You can use your health insurance plans directory to find a mental health provider in your network. If you have Medicare, you can use the Physician Compare directory from Medicare.gov to find a provider that accepts it. Other directories for specific types of providers are listed below.
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Youre Perpetually Nervous And On Edge
If you feel edgy almost every day, its a good idea to seek help. Talk therapy will sometimes do the trick.
However, if you often feel like youre standing at the edge of a cliffheart racing, palms sweating, feeling like you might faintyou could be having panic attacks. In that case, bring that up with your clinician or find one who can explain what is happening to you.
Special Benzodiazepine Risk Factors
Anyone who takes benzodiazepines can experience unpleasant or dangerous side effects. But certain individuals are at a higher risk:
People over 65. Older adults are more sensitive to the sedating effects of benzodiazepines. Even small doses can cause confusion, amnesia, loss of balance, and cognitive impairment that looks like dementia. Benzodiazepine use in the elderly is associated with an increased risk of falls, broken hips and legs, and car accidents. Long-term benzodiazepine use also increases the risk of Alzheimers disease and dementia.
People with a history of substance abuse. Because theyre physically addicting and on their own and dangerous when combined with alcohol and other drugs, anyone with a current or former substance abuse problem should use benzodiazepines only with extreme caution.
Pregnant and breastfeeding women. Benzodiazepine use during pregnancy can lead to dependence in the developing baby, with withdrawal following birth. Benzodiazepines are also excreted in breast milk. Therefore, pregnant women need to have a thorough discussion about the risks and benefits of these medications with their prescribing doctor. If medication is necessary, the goal is the smallest effective dose.
The connection between benzodiazepines and accidents
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Benzodiazepine Side Effects And Safety
According to an article published in the journal, The Mental Health Clinician, although benzodiazepines are generally safe when used over the short term, long-term use of most benzodiazepines is generally discouraged by experts due to the risk of abuse.
As we mentioned above, benzodiazepines can become less effective as your body develops a tolerance.
This means that you may need to constantly increase your dose over time to get the same effects from the medication.
Because of this, its surprisingly easy for people to go from using benzodiazepines responsibly, carefully and exactly as prescribed to abusing their medication as they develop a tolerance.
Benzodiazepines also have several other safety risks. According to another article published in The Ochsner Journal, while theyre usually effective at treating anxiety, they can also cause a range of side effects, such as:
At higher doses, such as those that may be used by people with dependence, benzodiazepines can also cause:
Impaired motor coordination
Hostile or erratic behavior in some people
These side effects may interfere with regular life, potentially causing danger if you need to drive, work with machinery or spend time in other potentially hazardous situations.
People who use benzodiazepines frequently may also experience withdrawal symptoms if they suddenly stop.
Withdrawal from many benzodiazepines can also cause serious, potentially harmful symptoms, such as seizures.
How Do I Know If I Need Anxiety Medication
Anxiety feels terrible. Anti-anxiety medications, also called anxiolytics, can deliver fast relief. So why doesnt everybody with anxiety take them?
The short answer, from a treatment perspective: These drugs can do much more to your body than simply turn down the dial on anxious feelings. Anxiolytics have a well-known risk for addiction and potentially harmful side effects especially as you age.
The short answer, from a cultural perspective: Anxiety is common and commonly treated in celebrity and youth culture. However, the fact remains that the older population often doesnt recognize or discuss their symptoms of an anxiety disorder.
What all patients should know is that many people struggle with anxiety disorders and that life can be easier when theyre treated under a doctors supervision. That may mean you need to consider anti-anxiety medications.
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What To Ask Your Doctor Before Taking Anxiety Medication
If you have anxiety, its a good idea to tell your doctor, because anxiety is treatable, says Dr. Dubovsky. If your doctor recommends a medication, then ask the following questions, suggests the ADAA:
- Will this medication interact with any other medication, over-the-counter drug, or supplement Im taking?
- What side effects can I expect and what should I do if I notice them?
- How should I take this medication ?
- How long will it take to start working?
Anxiety can be a chronic or acute problem. Chronic anxiety often requires long-term treatment, says Dr. Dubovsky. Acute anxiety is a response to stress, and once that specific stress is over, then you may be able to stop the medication.
Before you do that, however, talk to your doctor before stopping any medication. Sometimes patients will say that theyre feeling better, but maybe the thing that was helping them was the medication, says Gallagher.
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