Medications Used to Treat Anxiety

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Last Updated on November 20, 2021 by Ben Lesser

Anxiety can be cured by anxiety medication. Anxiety is a term well-known to all, so is an anxiety disorder. You probably have heard about it too. There are a few different types of anxiety disorders. Some of them include panic disorder, obsessive-compulsive disorder, phobias, and even the widely known post-traumatic stress disorder. Anxiety Medication is prescribed depending upon the type of the disorder and its severity. Other factors that should be taken into consideration when deciding on an anxiety medication include substance abuse or the use of other medications.

The National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH) categorizes anti-anxiety medications, beta-blockers, and antidepressants as anxiety medications are commonly prescribed to a patient suffering from an anxiety disorder.

One should keep in mind that it may take time for the doctors to find the right medicine or the right anxiety medication for a disorder and to figure out the most suitable dosage, depending upon the patient’s scenario. However, before we move forward, it is important to note that there is no cure for an anxiety disorder. The anxiety medication can reduce anxiety, but no pill can cure the disorder. A sustainable recovery plan includes a detailed treatment involving different services and medicines.

Medicines

Anti-Anxiety Medications

Benzodiazepines are known for their quick action. They provide immediate relief to patients.

The Types of Anxiety Medication Treatments that Are Prescribed to Patients Who Suffer from Anxiety Are:

  • Klonopin: for a generalized anxiety disorder or social anxiety
  • Ativan: for panic disorder
  • Xanax: for a generalized anxiety disorder or panic disorder

Alarmingly, these anxiety medications are easily abused. Patients tend to take more than the prescribed dosage when they feel the symptoms of anxiety. Some patients become psychologically dependent on these medications and have a constant fear that they cannot function without them. People can become addicted to these pills if the overdose/abuse goes on for the long term. These anxiety medications should never overdose.

Antidepressants

Another type of medicine used as anxiety medication is antidepressants. These help in the medication of specific anxiety disorders. The effect of these isn’t as rapid as benzodiazepines. This anxiety medication takes time to develop in the system. However, they are not addictive so there is no risk of abuse or overdose. Below are some antidepressants commonly prescribed for anxiety disorders:

  1. SSRIs e.g. Zoloft, Prozac, Paxil, Celexa, Lexapro for a panic disorder, PTSD, OCD, and social anxiety

Side Effects of SSRIs:

  • Nausea
  • Muscle weakness
  • Diarrhea
  • Dizziness
  • Dry mouth
  • Sexual dysfunction
  • drowsiness
  1. SNRI e.g. Effexor for generalized anxiety disorder
  2. Antidepressants e.g. Wellbutrin
  3. Tricyclic antidepressants e.g. Anafranil, Tofranil for OCD and a panic disorder respectively

Side Effects of Tricyclic Antidepressants:

  1. MAOIs e.g. Parnate, Nardil, Marplan

Precautions of MAOIs:

MAOIs are also used as anxiety medications and have more side effects as these are older drugs. You cannot eat cheese or drink red wine if you take MAOIs. SSRIs, some pain medications, certain birth control pills, ibuprofen, some herbal supplements, and allergy medicines can react if taken with MAOIs.

Your blood pressure can increase to a dangerous level if MAOIs are consumed with these medicines or foods. It can also have some lethal side effects.

Beta-Blockers

Beta-blocker like Inderal can address the physical symptoms of anxiety and can be used as anxiety medication. Heart palpitations, hyperventilation, shaking, sweating, and other symptoms that may occur during a panic attack or in anticipation of an anxious situation can be controlled through beta-blockers. These are usually prescribed on-need basis or for short periods.

Side Effects of Beta-Blockers:

  • Fatigue
  • Drowsiness
  • Dry mouth
  • Nausea
  • Dizziness
  • Trouble in sleeping
  • Shortness of breath

Therapy

Psychotherapy is an important aspect of anxiety medication or treatment. This can be with or without anxiety medicines.

Different types of psychotherapy have been detailed in recent research as methods of reducing the symptoms of generalized anxiety disorder. Psychodynamic psychotherapy and supportive-expressive therapy are the two forms that focus on anxiety medication and cultivates due to feelings revolving around important relations. The third form that focuses on anxiety medication of psychotherapy is known as cognitive-behavioral therapy. It involves techniques that encourage relaxed behaviors. It also helps in dealing with thought processes that may encourage anxiety.

Another helpful tool is biofeedback. This type is mostly used as an anxiety medication for mind relaxation. What happens in this is that you watch your brain-wave patterns on an electroencephalograph in a series of sessions with your therapist. You slowly learn how to control the waves. You can then achieve a relaxed state of mind at your own will. According to medical practitioners, after almost a dozen sessions, one can have control over their mental activity without external help from a therapist or any instrument.

Home Remedies

With time, there have been multiple interventions that you can use at home to ease your anxiety. These can be taken along with prescribed anxiety medication.

Let’s Look at These Home Remedies in Detail:

Exercise

The Anxiety and Depression Association of America (ADAA) states that exercise can aid in being an anxiety medication and reducing stress as well as improving your sense of well-being. It produces neurotransmitters called endorphins, commonly known as happy hormones. These act as natural painkillers in your body. Bonus: these may enhance your sleep quality.

Meditate

You can reduce your anxiety by observing at least 15 minutes of quiet me-time. Meditate and practice deep breathing. You can repeat a mantra or listen to music if you carry out this anxiety medication regularly. Yoga is also said to be a stress-reliever.

Chamomile

Drinking chamomile tea or consuming a chamomile supplement can be an anxiety medication and helps to reduce anxiety symptoms. A study was done on individuals with generalized anxiety disorder, and it was published a few years ago. Participants who had taken 500-milligram chamomile supplements thrice a day daily reported that they are moderate to severe generalized anxiety reduced. Not only supplements, but drinking chamomile tea has also proven to reduce anxiety and act as an anxiety medication.

Aromatherapy Oils

Another way to reduce anxiety is to smell diluted aromatherapy oils.

Essentials Oils that Can Be Used as An Anxiety Medication Are:

  • Lavender
  • Chamomile
  • Neroli

Avoid Caffeine

You may have noticed that caffeine is capable of making you feel jittery and anxious. You should try avoiding caffeine to reduce anxiety.

Lifestyle Changes to Ease Anxiety

Exercise is always helpful to reduce anxiety. If you figure out that exercise helps you, then you should take brisk walks. You can also take part in any active sport of your liking. Your aim should be to get your heart rate into the target range for people of your age. It should stay in that range for at least 30 minutes every time you exercise. Sometimes, exercise becomes so helpful that you won’t need any other anxiety medication.

Shallow Breathing is a Common Symptom of Anxiety. Deep Breathing Exercises can Take Care of That. Try the Following Routine:

  • Lie down on your back in a relaxing place.
  • Slowly, breathe in through your nose. Use your diaphragm to draw air in your lungs Allow your abdomen to extend. (Place your hand on the abdomen just under the navel and make sure the abdomen is being driven up and out by the diaphragm.) After the abdomen is enlarged, continue to inhale as deep as possible.
  • When you breathe out, use the reverse process: Contract the abdomen while exhaling gradually and entirely.
  • Repeat multiple times.

Another useful technique that can be used as an anxiety medication is progressive relaxation. It involves straining and then relaxing one part of your body. You can start with your toes. When this part of the body is loosened, another part of the body is strained and eased until the whole body is relaxed. You can also practice relaxing visualization as anxiety medication. You can hold some relaxing images in your mind. You can use a couple of those with relaxing scents and soothing sounds. You should practice this in stressful situations.

Need for Treatment

Feel free to call 615-490-9376 and acquire information about the treatment of anxiety-related disorders. You shouldn’t let this slip as anxiety can interfere with the patient’s life and their ability to function normally. You can trust us to give you all the relevant and authentic information as well as guide you about anxiety medications to treat an anxiety disorder.

Anxiety can eat up a person from the inside. You may not know, but a person could be suffering from anxiety without any physical symptoms. Diagnosis is very important. However, where physical symptoms show, it is very important to note that relevant measures should be taken to reduce the symptoms and deal with the anxiety. Seeking help from a medical practitioner is highly advised, as anxiety medications shouldn’t be used without proper prescription. While such medication can be of immense help, overdose or abuse of these can be life-threatening. People lose their lives due to overdose and some end up badly addicted to anxiety medications.

One should be careful when dealing with such anxiety medicines. However, the home remedies to ease anxiety are always easy to follow. You can try them at home as those are harmless. An overall lifestyle change, including exercise in your routine, and deep breathing can help you tackle anxiety. Don’t lose hope just because no pill can straight away cure anxiety. Stay hopeful and believe in the processes of treatment including therapy, anxiety medicines, and exercise.

However, the first step to treat anxiety is to admit to yourself that you are suffering from an anxiety disorder and you need to treat it properly. The rest of the journey starts then! Contact us and seek help to start your anxiety medication on time!