Thursday, May 19, 2022
HomeMust ReadWhat Medication Is Used To Treat Anxiety

What Medication Is Used To Treat Anxiety

An Overview Of Practice

Medication Used to Treat Anxiety/OCD in Kids

A stepped-care model for the management of anxiety is recommended. Australian2 and UK3 guidelines list non-drug approaches as initial interventions. They include individual non-guided or guided self-help, and psychoeducational groups. For patients who present with marked functional impairment and those who do not respond to the initial interventions, high-intensity psychological interventions or medication are recommended.

Australasian guidelines for panic and agoraphobia4 identify cognitive behavioural therapy as first-line treatment. As a sole therapy, it can be at least as effective as pharmacotherapy and in some cases more so. Antidepressants alone are less effective than cognitive behavioural therapy alone, or the combination of an antidepressant and cognitive behavioural therapy.4-6 Additionally, cognitive behavioural therapy is more likely to give lasting benefit. In contrast to depression, efficacy appears to be lost soon after stopping antidepressants, with a recurrence of anxiety being the rule rather than the exception.

Relative Efficacy Of Drugs

In a meta-analysis of all available drug studies in anxiety disorders, the pre -post effect sizes of the different drugs were determined. We simply looked at the absolute difference in anxiety scale scores before and after treatment, without regard to the relative efficacy compared with placebo. This approach makes it possible to include hundreds of studies in comparisons of differential efficacy of all available drugs and not only the few direct head-to-head comparisons. From the patients’ point of view, the improvement in anxiety symptoms as measured by the change from baseline to end point is more relevant than the difference from a control group.

The available medications for anxiety disorders showed considerably large differences in pre-post effect sizes. For example, the improvement achieved with the most efficacious drug was almost three times higher than what was accomplished with the drug with the weakest efficacy . Quetiapine, however, is not licensed for the treatment of any anxiety disorder in most countries. Among the drugs showing high effect sizes and that are licensed for anxiety disorders and recommended by guidelines were the SSRIs escitalopram and paroxetine , and the SNRIs venlafaxine and pregabalin . Also, some benzodiazepines, eg, diazepam and lorazepam , showed high effect sizes. However, these drugs are not recommended for routine treatment.

F Anxiety Or Panic With Depression

For those suffering from a combination of depression and anxiety or panic, certain antidepressant medications can help reduce the depressive symptoms while simultaneously helping to control the panic attacks. The physician can prescribe one of the tricyclic antidepressants with sedating effects, such as imipramine or one of the MAOIs. It is also possible to combine the use of a tricyclic antidepressant with buspirone or the benzodiazepine alprazolam.

Recommended Reading: How To Stop Anxiety Tremors

Selective Serotonin Reuptake Inhibitors And Selective Serotonin Norepinephrine Reuptake Inhibitors

Due to their positive benefit/risk balance, selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors and selective serotonin norepinephrine reuptake inhibitors . During the first 2 weeks, adverse effects may be stronger. Initial jitteriness or an increase in anxiety symptoms may occur, which may reduce the patients’ treatment compliance. Lowering the starting dose of the antidepressants may reduce these adverse effects. A review of studies in depressed patients suggested that SNRIs may be less well tolerated than the SSRIs. However, according to clinical experience, tolerability may differ among patients, and it is also possible that an individual patient may experience less adverse effects when switched from an SSRI to an SNRI.

Some SSRIs and SNRIs are inhibitors of cytochrome P450 enzymes and hence may interact with other psychopharmacological drugs and medications for medical illnesses. After stopping treatment with an SSRI, withdrawal reactions may occur. However, these are much less frequent and severe than the withdrawal reactions observed after terminating benzodiazepine treatment. These adverse reactions may be more frequent with paroxetine than with sertraline or fluoxetine.

Post Traumatic Stress Disorder

Drugs to Treat Anxiety Disorders

A number of epidemiological surveys conducted over the past decade have demonstrated the high co-occurrence of PTSD and SUDs. The National Comorbidity Survey assessed the prevalence and co-occurrence of a range of psychiatric disorders in the general U.S. population using the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, 3rd edition, revised criteria . The NCS found a 7.8% lifetime prevalence of PTSD and a 26.6% lifetime prevalence of SUD and that individuals with PTSD were 2 to 4 times more likely to meet criteria for a SUD than those without PTSD. The NCS Replication study , conducted approximately 10 years later using DSM-IV diagnostic criteria found similar estimates of lifetime PTSD and SUDs . The 2010 National Epidemiologic Survey on Alcohol and Related Conditions estimated a lifetime PTSD prevalence of 6.4% . Nearly one half of individuals with PTSD also met criteria for a SUD, and 22.3% met criteria for substance dependence. International data indicates that 34.4% of individuals with PTSD also had at least one SUD, most commonly AUDs .

Detection and treatment of comorbid PTSD/SUD is critical because the comorbidity is associated with a more complex and costly clinical course. Compared with either disorder alone, individuals with co-occurring PTSD/SUD have poorer social functioning, more suicide attempts and legal problems, greater physical illness, increased risk of violence, and poorer treatment adherence and outcomes .

Don’t Miss: How To Make Friends With Social Anxiety

Side Effects Of Antidepressant Medications

All medications can have side-effects. Some people experience no side-effects. Others may find the side-effects distressing. In most cases, side-effects lessen as treatment continues.

Treatment is usually started at a low dose, to minimize side-effects, and then slowly increased until the ideal dose is found. The ideal dose is one that provides the greatest benefit with minimum side-effects.

If you are experiencing side effects, check the information given to you by your doctor or pharmacist on the specific effects of any drug you have been prescribed. If side-effects are not mild and tolerable, it is best to continue taking your medication as prescribed but let your doctor know as soon as possible. Your doctor may:

  • encourage you to wait a little longer for the side-effects to fade
  • adjust your dose
  • suggest you take the medication at a different time of day
  • prescribe other medications to help control side-effects
  • change your medication
  • stop medication treatment and suggest a different type of treatment approach.

Side-effects vary depending on the type of medication. More information on side-effects is included for each type of types of antidepressant.

You can help to control possible side-effects on your own by:

Do antidepressants increase the risk of suicide?

Before starting treatment, prepare for the possibility of feeling worse before you feel better. Know what supports are available to you and who you can call.

Drugs You Should Not Use With Amitriptyline/chlordiazepoxide

Dont take monoamine oxidase inhibitors while taking amitriptyline/chlordiazepoxide or within 2 weeks of stopping amitriptyline/chlordiazepoxide.

Taking amitriptyline/chlordiazepoxide and an MAOI too close together could lead to a life threatening condition called serotonin syndrome. This can cause uncontrolled muscle spasms, stiff muscles, high fever, sudden changes in heart rate or blood pressure, and confusion. It may be fatal.

Read Also: How To Help A Teenager With Anxiety

What Are Ssris And Snris

Selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors like Zoloft and Prozac, and serotonin and norepinephrine reuptake inhibitors like Effexor and Pristiq are antidepressant medications, but they can help with anxiety symptoms as well. For this reason, many providers will prescribe an SSRI or SNRI if you have a combination of depression and anxiety.

SSRIs and SNRIs are not an instant fix for symptoms associated with an anxiety disorder, nor do they even provide immediate relief, Alonzo said. They work by interacting with the neurotransmitters and receptors in your brain, which can help regulate mood, sleep and energy levels. It is important for patients to understand that these medications may take four to six weeks for full effect.

Some patients may respond better to one of these medications than others. If after taking the medication for two weeks and symptoms have not improved, talk to your provider to have your medication regimen adjusted. Treatment trials with more than one medication are not uncommon.

How Is Alprazolam Ir Oral Tablet Taken

Anxiety Medications

Your doctor will explain how you should take alprazolam IR oral tablets. They will also explain how much to take and how often. Be sure to follow your doctors instructions. Below are commonly used dosages, but always take the dosage your doctor prescribes.

Alprazolam IR oral tablets are available in four strengths: 0.25 milligrams , 0.5 mg, 1 mg, and 2 mg.

IR stands for immediate release, which means the dose is released all at once into your body.

Recommended Reading: How To Help Stomach Pain From Anxiety

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.

RELATED: Depression treatment and medications | What is Wellbutrin?

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.

Taking Alprazolam Ir Oral Tablet With Other Drugs

For the conditions theyre used to treat, alprazolam IR oral tablets may be used alone or with other drugs.

Whether you take alprazolam with other medications to treat your condition will depend on other factors. These include the severity of the condition youre treating with the drug and other medical conditions you may have. Your doctor can answer questions you might have about taking alprazolam IR oral tablets with other drugs.

Recommended Reading: How To Get Rid Of Sexual Anxiety

Warnings For Other Groups

For pregnant women: This drug is a category C pregnancy drug. That means two things:

  • Research in animals has shown adverse effects to the fetus when the mother takes the drug.
  • There havent been enough studies done in humans to be certain how the drug might affect the fetus.
  • Talk to your doctor if youre pregnant or planning to become pregnant. This drug should only be used if the potential benefit justifies the potential risk to the fetus. Call your doctor right away if you become pregnant while taking this drug.

    For women who are breastfeeding: This drug may pass into breast milk and may cause side effects in a child who is breastfed. Talk to your doctor if you breastfeed your child. You may need to decide whether to stop breastfeeding or stop taking this medication.

    For seniors: 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. If you are over the age of 65 years, you may be at higher risk for developing muscle problems while taking this drug, including low salt levels in the blood .

    For children: This medication has not been studied in children as a treatment for major depressive disorder, panic disorder, post-traumatic disorder, social anxiety disorder, and premenstrual dysphoric disorder. It should not be used for these disorders in people younger than 18 years.

    How Do I Know If I Have Generalized Anxiety Disorder

    Drugs to Treat Anxiety Disorders

    The first step is to rule out the possibility that your symptoms are being caused by a medical condition that is not psychiatric. Among the conditions that produce symptoms similar to those of anxiety are hyperthyroidism or other endocrine problems, too much or too little calcium, low blood sugar, and certain heart problems. Certain medicines also can sometimes cause anxiety. A thorough evaluation by your health care provider will determine if any of these conditions are the cause of your symptoms.

    If no other medical culprit can be found and the symptoms seem out of proportion to any situation you are facing, you may be diagnosed with an anxiety disorder.

    Recommended Reading: Why Does Coffee Give Me Anxiety

    Dosage For Premenstrual Dysphoric Disorder

    Adult dosage

    The typical starting dose is 50 mg per day, throughout your menstrual cycle.

    Child dosage

    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.

    Senior dosage

    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.

    Disclaimer: Our goal is to provide you with the most relevant and current information. However, because drugs affect each person differently, we cannot guarantee that this list includes all possible dosages. This information is not a substitute for medical advice. Always to speak with your doctor or pharmacist about dosages that are right for you.

    Other Psychosocial Treatments To Consider

    Another psychosocial intervention with potential for treatment of co-occurring SUD and anxiety is mindfulness. Mindbody interventions such as meditation used to gain better control over emotions are increasingly being investigated for efficacy in reducing substance use. Mindfulness meditation involves an intentional suspended awareness of the present moment experience that excludes judgement, evaluation, and reaction. Mindfulness meditation was explored in a population of incarcerated individuals with PTSD and SUD. Participation in the mindfulness course predicted lower 3-month drinking and illicit drug use consumption regardless of PTSD symptom severity .

    Mindfulness-based relapse prevention , developed as an aftercare treatment for individuals with SUD, has shown promising preliminary results in reducing cravings and drug use . MBRP integrates coping skills from cognitive-behavioral relapse prevention therapy with mindfulness practices with the goal of increasing awareness of substance use triggers without emotional and behavioral reactivity. Future studies of mindfulness based interventions for persons with SUD and anxiety disorders are needed to determine efficacy for co-occurring anxiety and SUD.

    Read Also: How Can I Fall Asleep With Anxiety

    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 of 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.

    RELATED ARTICLES

    Most Popular