Medication For Anxiety And Depression
There are many medications for anxiety and depression that are available for patients experiencing both disorders.
Danielle Plummer, Pharm.D., says that antidepressants can treat panic disorder, social anxiety disorder, generalized anxiety disorder, and phobias. Dr. Shelton adds that the medications are also somewhat effective for OCD, and less so for PTSD, which are technically not anxiety disorders.
Dr. Plummer says that the treatment depends on which anxiety disorder a patient has. For generalized anxiety disorder , both SSRIs and SNRIs are first in line, she says. She added that the most commonly prescribed medications to treat both depression and anxiety are SSRIs and SNRIs.
Selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors are a class of medications that have a broad therapeutic range. They can be used to treat some anxiety disorders, depression, or, in some cases, both at the same time. SSRIsblock the reuptake, or reabsorption, of serotonin. As a result, SSRIs increase serotonin in the brain.
Serotonin-norepinephrine reuptake inhibitors are a class of medication that are similar to SSRIs because they too inhibit reuptake and increase the level of serotonin. Unlike SSRIs, they also increase norepinephrine, which is considered a component of our brains stress response.
Medications For Dog Anxiety
Reviewed for accuracy on July 17, 2019, by Dr. Jennifer Coates, DVM
Dogs can suffer from different types of anxiety, some of which can be truly debilitating. As pet parents, we want to help, but were faced with many confusing treatment and medication options.
Your veterinarian paired with an experienced dog trainer that focuses on positive reinforcement are your best resources. Once your veterinarian has given your dog a clean bill of health, they might prescribe a medication for dog anxiety as part of your pets treatment.
How Is An Anxiety Disorder Diagnosed
Heres what you can expect when you visit your doctor.
- Your doctor or nurse will ask you questions about your symptoms.
- Your doctor may perform a physical exam and order lab tests to rule out other health problems.
- If no other health problems are found, your doctor may refer you to a psychiatrist or psychologist to make a diagnosis.
- A psychiatrist or psychologist will identify the specific type of anxiety disorder thats causing your symptoms.
- This doctor will also look for any other mental health conditions that you may be experiencing, including depression.
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What Is An Anxiety Disorder
An anxiety disorder is a type of mental health condition. If you have an anxiety disorder, you may respond to certain things and situations with fear and dread. You may also experience physical signs of anxiety, such as a pounding heart and sweating.
Its normal to have some anxiety. You may feel anxious or nervous if you have to tackle a problem at work, go to an interview, take a test or make an important decision. And anxiety can even be beneficial. For example, anxiety helps us notice dangerous situations and focuses our attention, so we stay safe.
But an anxiety disorder goes beyond the regular nervousness and slight fear you may feel from time to time. An anxiety disorder happens when:
- Anxiety interferes with your ability to function.
- You often overreact when something triggers your emotions.
- You cant control your responses to situations.
Anxiety disorders can make it difficult to get through the day. Fortunately, there are several effective treatments for anxiety disorders.
What Are The Signs Of Stress And Anxiety
Stress and anxiety can have very similar signs and symptoms. A critical distinction between the two is how long the symptoms last. If you cannot sleep the night before you have a big presentation at work, that makes sense, and is most likely just stress. If you have not been able to sleep for weeks, and you are not sure why, that is most likely anxiety, and could be an indication of something bigger, and could be a sign of an anxiety disorder.
The difference is the cause of the stressor, which in terms of stress is a definable situation, and with anxiety, it is constant if there is a stressor present or not. Anxiety is persistent, while stress is temporary.
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How Can I Treat Anxiety Naturally
Unless you experience adverse side effects, don’t be too quick to abandon treatment because it doesn’t provide instantaneous results. Weeks may pass before you detect improvement. Discuss all side effects with your mental health provider it’s often worth sticking with treatment and seeking out ways to reduce or eliminate any negative side effects. Importantly, never stop taking medication without consulting your doctor first because an abrupt stop may cause other health problems.
Serotonin And Noradrenaline Reuptake Inhibitors
If SSRIs don’t help ease your anxiety, you may be prescribed a different type of antidepressant known as a serotonin and noradrenaline reuptake inhibitor .
This type of medicine increases the amount of serotonin and noradrenaline in your brain.
Examples of SNRIs you may be prescribed include:
SNRIs can also increase your blood pressure, so your blood pressure will be monitored regularly during treatment.
As with SSRIs, some of the side effects are more common in the first 1 or 2 weeks of treatment, but these usually settle as your body adjusts to the medication.
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What Is Separation Anxiety Disorder
This condition mostly happens to children or teens, who may worry about being away from their parents. Children with separation anxiety disorder may fear that their parents will be hurt in some way or not come back as promised. It happens a lot in preschoolers. But older children and adults who experience a stressful event may have separation anxiety disorder as well.
The Role Of Serotonin In Brain Function
In addition to depression, serotonin may play a role in other brain and mental health disorders, including anxiety disorder, obsessive-compulsive disorder , post-traumatic stress disorder , phobias, and even epilepsy.
Serotonin plays an important role in many other body functions, too. Its involved in appetite and digestion , bone health, sex, and sleep.
Too high or too low levels of serotonin have been linked to diseases such as irritable bowel syndrome , heart disease, and osteoporosis a disease that weakens the bones according to an article published in April 2016 in the journal Cell.
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When Are Anxiety Symptoms Not A Sign Of Anxiety
Some of the physical symptoms of an anxiety disorder may be symptoms of other medical conditions, such as:
Researchers are not sure why anxiety and conditions like these occur together, but one explanation may be that the stress of dealing with a chronic illness could contribute to developing a mood disorder.
British Journal of PsychiatryAging and Mental Health
Its important to see your doctor if any changes in your mood or health are concerning you. Your doctor can help you determine what disorder or medical condition you may be suffering from, and what assistance you might need.
What If My Anxiety Gets Better But My Depression Doesnt
Sometimes an SSRI will work to reduce anxiety, but it wont be effective for a patient who has low energy or low mood, says Dr. Shelton. If increasing the dosage of that medication doesnt work, another medication to tackle the low energy will likely be introduced. SSRIs actually seem to work best for clusters of anxiety symptoms, but there are other antidepressants that have the opposite profile, Dr. Shelton explains.
Wellbutrin is a common antidepressant that tackles low mood and low energy, but it can increase feelings of anxiousness. Its one of the reasons why its often combined with an SSRI, says Dr. Shelton, if depression isnt alleviated completely.
As always, make sure you talk with a mental health professional about which medication or treatment plan is right for you. If you are experiencing suicidal thoughts, are thinking of harming yourself, or would like to talk to someone, contact the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-TALK . This hotline is available free, 24/7 for anyone experiencing emotional distress or suicidal thoughts.
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Stress Drugs For Stress And Anxiety
While there are currently no drugs specifically for stress, there are enough for anxiety that should have roughly the same overall effect. But because of the adverse reactions and the physiological and psychological dependency risks, even these should be used extremely sparingly.
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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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With All These Options How Can You Choose
Your doctor can recommend the best medication to help control your anxiety. There are different types of anxiety disorders, so different medications may be better choices for your type. Your doctor will also consider your other health conditions and medications, and whether you have a family history of responding better to a certain medication. Since you might be taking medication long-term, you may want to factor in affordability.
Selective Serotonin Reuptake Inhibitors
This type of medication works by increasing the level of a chemical called serotonin in your brain.
Examples of SSRIs you may be prescribed include:
- difficulty achieving orgasm during sex or masturbation
- in men, difficulty obtaining or maintaining an erection
These side effects should improve over time, although some such as sexual problems can persist.
If your medication isn’t helping after about 2 months of treatment or it’s causing unpleasant side effects, your GP may prescribe an alternative SSRI.
When you and your GP decide it’s appropriate for you to stop taking your medication, you’ll normally have your dose slowly reduced over the course of a few weeks to reduce the risk of withdrawal effects.
Never stop taking your medication unless your GP specifically advises you to.
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Warnings For People With Certain Health Conditions
For people with a history of heart problems: This drug could cause heart problems. These include irregular heart rate, heart attack, and stroke. You shouldnt take amitriptyline/chlordiazepoxide if youve had a recent heart attack.
For people with a history of bipolar disorder: This drug shouldnt be used to treat bipolar disorder. Taking antidepressants, such as amitriptyline, can cause people with bipolar to switch from depression to a manic phase. You should use other drugs called mood stabilizers instead of antidepressants.
For people with a history of seizures: This drug may increase your risk of seizures.
For people with a history of glaucoma or increased eye pressure: This drug may make your condition worse.
For people with a thyroid condition: Thyroid drugs may increase the side effects of amitriptyline/chlordiazepoxide.
How Does Medication Treat Anxiety Disorders
Medications cant cure an anxiety disorder. But they can improve symptoms and help you function better. Medications for anxiety disorders often include:
- Anti-anxiety medications, such as benzodiazepines, may decrease your anxiety, panic and worry. They work quickly, but you can build up a tolerance to them. That makes them less effective over time. Your healthcare provider may prescribe an anti-anxiety medication for the short-term, then taper you off or the provider may add an antidepressant to the mix.
- Antidepressants can also help with anxiety disorders. They tweak how your brain uses certain chemicals to improve mood and reduce stress. Antidepressants may take some time to work, so be patient. If you feel like youre ready to stop taking antidepressants, talk to your provider first.
- Beta-blockers, usually used for high blood pressure, can help reduce some of the physical symptoms of anxiety disorders. They can relieve rapid heartbeat, shaking and trembling.
Your healthcare provider will work with you to find the right medication combination and dosage. Dont change the dose without consulting your provider. Theyll monitor you to make sure the medicines are working without causing negative side effects.
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Which Benzodiazepines Are Used For Anxiety
They can also be used with antidepressants initially while antidepressants take time to work.
“They’re a powerful tool,” says Duckworth, “but you have to be really smart about their use.”
- Trouble sleeping
Beta-blockers can be very helpful but in a limited way, says Dr. Salcedo. They are most commonly used for performance anxiety. They are really good for the physical symptoms such as heart racing, sweating, shakiness, but they work less well for the anxious thoughts that might be causing the symptoms.
Additional reporting by Carlene Bauer.
Interactions That Can Make Drugs Less Effective
Taking paroxetine with certain drugs may cause one or both of the drugs to not work as well. This is because the interaction between the drugs may cause a decrease in your body of paroxetine or the other drug. Examples of these drugs include:
- Tamoxifen, a breast cancer drug
- Protease inhibitors, such as fosamprenavir and ritonavir
Disclaimer: Our goal is to provide you with the most relevant and current information. However, because drugs interact differently in each person, we cannot guarantee that this information includes all possible interactions. This information is not a substitute for medical advice. Always speak with your healthcare provider about possible interactions with all prescription drugs, vitamins, herbs and supplements, and over-the-counter drugs that you are taking.
Paroxetine oral tablet comes with several warnings.
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