Anxiety Drugs By Disorder
Every anxiety disorder responds differently to each medication. That means that your doctor may recommend a different medication depending on the type of anxiety. The following is a list of the most likely recommended medications for each condition, but always talk to your doctor and determine the one that is best for your symptoms.
E Social Anxieties And Phobias
For those with social anxieties, medications can help to reduce the tensions associated with entering the fearful situation, to bring a racing heart and sweaty palms under control, and to reduce some shyness.
The drugs with the longest history of use with social anxiety are the beta adrenergic blocking agents, also known as beta blockers. The most commonly used are propranolol and atenolol . The patient can take propranolol as needed or in dosages of 10 to 20 mg three to four times a day, or atenolol in dosages of 25 to 100 mg once daily. Surprisingly, controlled research studies have not supported the widespread anecdotal reports of success with beta blockers. Its possible that their best use is for occasional mild social anxieties associated with performance.
If the social anxiety is more general, unpredictable and widespread, then patients may need to take venlafaxine, an MAOI such as phenelzine, or an SSRI such as sertraline. Keep in mind that these medications take several weeks to work.
Bupropion does not have enough evidence yet to verify its effectiveness for social anxiety disorder.
Alprazolam Ir Oral Tablet Vs Diazepam
Like alprazolam, diazepam is available as an IR oral tablet. Both medications are benzodiazepines. And theyre used to treat some of the same conditions, such as anxiety. But alprazolam and diazepam do have differences as well.
If youd like to know more about the similarities and differences between alprazolam and diazepam, see this comparison article. It discusses the brand-name versions of these drugs.
Talk with your doctor about which treatment is right for you.
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Medication For Anxiety And Depression
There are many medications for anxiety and depression that are available for patients experiencing both disorders. The antidepressants below can treat panic disorder, social anxiety disorder, generalized anxiety disorder, or phobias, in addition to depression. Antidepressants increase the activity of certain neurotransmitters, such as serotonin or norepinephrine, in the brain.
The best treatment depends on which anxiety disorder a patient has. For generalized anxiety disorder , both SSRIs and SNRIs are first in line, says Danielle Plummer, Pharm.D. She adds that the most commonly prescribed medications to treat both depression and anxiety are SSRIs and SNRIs.
Can Adhd Cause Anxiety
A patient may suffer from both ADHD and anxiety sometimes these two disorders may be occurring independently of one another, and in other cases the patients ADHD is actually causing anxiety. Living with ADHD is stressful. Not completing your work, forgetting important appointments, or losing your keys can all be anxiety provoking.
Although there are many overlaps between ADHD and anxiety, there are important differences. ADHD is mainly characterized by lack of focus and excessive physical movement, whereas the hallmarks of an anxiety disorder are worry, fear, and nervousness. A person suffering with anxiety may not be able to concentrate in any given situation that provokes their anxiety. A person with ADHD will find it difficult to concentrate almost all of the time.
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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.
Alprazolam Ir Oral Tablet Vs Lorazepam
Like alprazolam, lorazepam is a type of benzodiazepine. Both drugs are available as immediate-release oral tablets. And theyre both used to treat some of the same conditions, such as anxiety. But they do have some differences.
To get an idea of how alprazolam and lorazepam compare, check out this article that covers the brand-name versions of these drugs.
Let your doctor know if you have questions about which drug is better for your condition.
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People Who Are Pregnant Or Who May Become Pregnant
Researchers are continuing to investigate the use of mental health medications during pregnancy. The risks associated with taking medication during pregnancy depend on the type of medication and the stage of pregnancy. While no medication is considered universally safe during pregnancy, untreated mental disorders can also pose risks to the pregnant person and the developing fetus.
Pregnant people and health care providers can work together to develop a personalized treatment plan that considers individual needs and circumstances. It is important to weigh the benefits and risks associated with all available treatment options, including psychotherapies, medications, brain stimulation therapies, or a combination of these options. Health care providers may closely monitor a persons physical and mental health throughout pregnancy and, after delivery, pay particular attention to signs of perinatal or postpartum depression.
Certain medications taken during pregnancyincluding some benzodiazepines, mood stabilizers, and antipsychotic medicationshave been linked with birth defects, but the risks vary widely and depend on the specific medication.
Do I Have An Anxiety Disorder
Common signs and symptoms of anxiety include nervousness, restlessness or tenseness, a sense of impending danger or doom, increased heart rate, breathing rapidly, sweating, trembling, feeling weak or tired, trouble concentrating or sleeping, stomach aches and headaches and the urge to avoid things that trigger anxiety.
Anxiety disorders often develop from a complex set of risk factors. The risk factors may include exposure to trauma, certain medical problems like thyroid disease or heart disease, stress due to a severe illness and other mental health disorders like depression. The use or misuse of drugs and alcohol can worsen symptoms of anxiety.
Anxiety disorders are best treated with a combination of therapy and medication, Alonzo said. It takes time to find the perfect combination for your symptoms. Your primary care provider is the best place to start that journey.
Potential For Misuse Or Abuse
There is also a risk that some anti-anxiety medications will be misused or abused. This risk is greater with benzodiazepines, especially alprazolam .
Research published in 2020 found that benzodiazepine misuse occurs in 17% of users, with a majority of these individuals misusing these drugs in an attempt to control distress symptoms and the remainder attempting to get high.
A 2014 study involving 2,700 students in high school and middle school found that the risk of benzodiazepine abuse was 12 times higher in teens who had been prescribed these drugs.
Referral To A Specialist
If you have tried the treatments mentioned above and have significant symptoms of GAD, you may want to discuss with your GP whether you should be referred to a mental health specialist.
A referral will work differently in different areas of the UK, but you’ll usually be referred to your community mental health team.
These teams include a range of specialists, including:
- occupational therapists
- social workers
An appropriate mental health specialist from your local team will carry out an overall reassessment of your condition.
They’ll ask you about your previous treatment and how effective you found it.
They may also ask about things in your life that may be affecting your condition, or how much support you get from family and friends.
Your specialist will then be able to devise a treatment plan for you, which will aim to treat your symptoms.
As part of this plan, you may be offered a treatment you haven’t tried before, which might be one of the psychological treatments or medications mentioned above.
Alternatively, you may be offered a combination of a psychological treatment with a medication, or a combination of 2 different medications.
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Can You Use Other Medications To Treat Symptoms Associated With Social Anxiety Disorder
Other medications may be used off-label to treat social anxiety disorder. According to the Anxiety and Depression Association of America , other SSRIs such as , , and may also be effective in treating social anxiety disorder. These might be prescribed if youve tried sertraline, paroxetine, or extended-release venlafaxine, and they havent seemed to help enough.
Benzodiazepines, including clonazepam and alprazolam , may sometimes be second-choice treatments for people with social anxiety disorder. Because many of these medications help calm anxiety symptoms within a few hours of a dose, they can be helpful when first starting SSRIs or venlafaxine until they kick in.
However, people taking benzodiazepines long-term may develop dependence on the medication and experience withdrawal symptoms when attempting to stop them. Its best to discuss the safest way to take benzodiazepines with your healthcare provider if they prescribe them for you.
Medications used to treat seizures or nerve pain, such as gabapentin and pregabalin , are also sometimes used off-label to treat social anxiety disorder. However, research suggests that these medications are less effective in relieving symptoms than SSRIs or venlafaxine.
Some medications may be particularly effective in treating specific symptoms of social anxiety disorder, such as performance anxiety. People with performance anxiety may have an intense fear or worry while speaking or performing in public.
Do Anxiety Medications Have Any Serious Risks Or Side Effects
Of all the medications described here, benzodiazepines have the highest risk for side effects. Its possible to become dependent on them and build tolerance to them. Over time, you may need higher doses to experience the same effects.
These effects can happen to anyone. This is because of the way benzodiazepines work in the brain.
Withdrawal symptoms can develop if benzodiazepines are suddenly stopped after being used for a while. To avoid withdrawal symptoms, its recommended to gradually lower your dose. Your healthcare provider can help you with this. But because of these potential side effects, benzodiazepines arent recommended as first-choice medications.
Suicidal thoughts and behaviors are a serious side effect associated with antidepressants. You should talk to your healthcare provider right away if you experience this while taking an antidepressant.
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Dosage For Major Depressive Disorder
- The typical starting dose is 50 mg per day.
- Your doctor will slowly increase your dose every week, as needed.
- The maximum dose is 200 mg per day.
The use of this drug to treat children with this condition has not been studied. It should not be used in people younger than 18 years.
The kidneys of older adults may not work as well as they used to. This can cause your body to process drugs more slowly. As a result, more of a drug stays in your body for a longer time. This raises your risk for side effects. Your doctor may start you on a lowered dose or a different dosing schedule. This can help keep levels of this drug from building up too much in your body.
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:
- 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?
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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.
What Is Alprazolam Ir Oral Tablet Used For
If you have an anxiety disorder, your doctor may prescribe alprazolam IR oral tablets for your condition.
Its normal to have feelings of anxiety caused by the stress of everyday life. But for people with anxiety disorders, anxiety symptoms can be more severe and dont go away on their own. These symptoms include trouble concentrating, being irritable or angry, and more.
Alprazolam is used to treat:
- Generalized anxiety disorder . People with GAD have uncontrollable worries about common situations. They may have symptoms such as feeling that something bad will happen or being unable to calm themselves.
- Symptoms of anxiety. Symptoms of anxiety vary, but they generally include trouble concentrating, restlessness, and sleep problems, among others. Alprazolam may be used short term to treat symptoms of anxiety.
- Panic disorder. A person with panic disorder has recurring and unexpected panic attacks. A panic attack involves feeling sudden, intense fear. And it can cause physical symptoms such as breathing difficulties, fast or racing heartbeat, and sweating.
For each of these uses, alprazolam is prescribed only to adults. The drug hasnt been studied in children .
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Medications Change How The Brain Functions And Some People Experience A Benefit As A Result Of These Changes
As stated previously, at this time, no one, including the pharmaceutical companies, know what most of the anti-anxiety and antidepressant medications are actually doing in the brain. But these types of medications are changing brain chemistry and function in some way. These changes can affect some people in a positive way, some people in a neutral way, and some people in a negative way.
Its not that the medication is correcting anything, but that the changes caused by the medication will affect each person uniquely. Some people experience a benefit as a result.
You also have to keep in mind that many people feel better when they drink alcohol because of how alcohol affects the brain. The same is true with antidepressants. Some people feel better NOT because antidepressants restore a faulty chemical balance in the brain, but because of the chemical and functioning changes the chemicals in the medication are causing in the brain.
And since anxiety disorder, and its sensations and symptoms, can be completely eliminated by doing the right work, we prefer people deal with their anxiety issues correctly so that it can be eliminated for good and without introducing what could be harmful drugs.
Much more could be said, but the above explains why some people benefit from anti-anxiety and antidepressant medications.
There is a vast difference between someone who has learned about anxiety and someone who has personally lived it and worked through to lasting recovery.
Medication Isnt Your Only Option For Anxiety Relief
Anxiety medication wont solve your problems if youre anxious because of mounting bills, a tendency to jump to worst-case scenarios, or an unhealthy relationship. Thats where self-help, therapy, and other lifestyle changes come in. These non-drug treatments can produce lasting changes and long-term relief.
Exercise Exercise is a powerful anxiety treatment. Studies show that regular workouts can ease symptoms just as effectively as medication.
Worry busting strategies You can train your brain to stop worrying and look at life from a more calm and balanced perspective.
Therapy Cognitive behavioral therapy can teach you how to control your anxiety levels, stop worrisome thoughts, and conquer your fears.
Yoga and tai chi Yoga and tai chi are mind-body interventions that engage you emotionally, psychologically, and spiritually. Data has shown their efficacy for many different medical conditions, including anxiety.
Mindfulness and meditation Mindfulness is a state of mind where you learn to observe your thoughts, feelings, and behaviors in a present, compassionate, and non-judgmental way. It often brings a sense of calm and relaxation.
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