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Medication For Anxiety Disorders - The Various Options

Mar 12, 2008
There are many different anxiety disorders, but their one common underlying characteristic is the overwhelming and incessant worry and fear experienced. For those who suffer from anxiety disorders, there is a variety of treatments available to help you overcome this illness and live a normal life free from panic attacks. These range from medication to therapy and alternative medicines. Often, the different treatments can be combined together, depending on each individual's needs as well as the particular anxiety disorder experienced.

Medications is a common treatment of anxiety disorders used to alleviate the symptoms of anxiety disorders and panic attacks, and are consisting of anti-anxiety drugs, beta blockers and antidepressants. Whilst this may seem ideal, it is always better to cure the problem at its roots - identify the cause of your panic attacks and overcoming it through behavioral cognitive therapy. Medication is a quick fix but it does not cure the problem. Also, it may cause a myriad of severe side effects, such as nausea and dizzy spells.

Anti Anxiety Drugs

Benzodiazepines are sedatives used to treat symptoms of panic attacks by slowing down the nervous system. They have few side effects, but the human body adapts to the intake of this drug and with time, higher dosages are necessary to see any effect. Generic brand names often prescribed are Clonazepam, Lorazepam and Alprazolam, anti-anxiety drug used for social anxiety disorders, GAD and panic disorders. There is a high danger of being addicted to these drugs, and it is necessary to slowly wean off it as you may experience withdrawal symptoms if you halt medication consumption.

Azapirones are a newer variety of anti anxiety drugs which take a longer time to take effect, ranging from 2 weeks to a month. They are usually prescribed for GAD and obsessive compulsive disorders (OCD), and are less addictive with minimal withdrawal symptoms.

Anti Depressants

Anti depressants have been used for treating anxiety disorders, and take a longer time to see the effects, ranging from 4 to 6 weeks. They are often prescribed in place of anti anxiety drugs as there is less risk of addiction, but they have severe side effects including suicidal thoughts and agitation. They may also increase depression.

Selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs) are used to assist neurotransmitters by acting on the serotonin in the brain. They have severe withdrawal effects as well as side effects, although these are of a lesser magnitude than the older varieties of anti depressants. They are commonly prescribed for OCD, GAD and panic disorders.

Tricyclics and Monoamine oxidase inhibitors (MAOIs) are older classes of antidepressants. Tricyclics can be combined with SSRIs for anxiety disorders except for OCD. However, MAOIs should not be taken with SSRIs as they react to produce hallucinations, seizures and blood pressure changes.

Beta Blockers

Beta blockers are used to treat heart conditions, but are also prescribed for anxiety disorders. By blocking the effects of norepinephrines, it is able to alleviate symptoms of panic attacks such as tremors and heart palpitations. They are hence useful for situations where the user is aware of the possibility of panic attacks occurring, such as before public speaking.

Anxiety disorders are treatable via medication, and usually treatments are a mix of different medications and combined with therapy. You should always seek your doctor's advice in determining the type of anxiety disorder, and the appropriate medication that is suitable. Do not give up on medication if you do not see immediate effects, as it is possible that your body takes more time to react to the drugs. Alternatively, you may feel that another variety of treatment may be more suitable as well.
About the Author
Greg Frost is a leading innovator in the field treating anxiety attacks and the director of http://www.AttackAnxiety.org which specializes providing a whole range of Anxiety Treatment topics to assist you in your life.
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