Combating Anxiety With Anti-Anxiety Medications

You might have been plagued with worry at certain points in your life. It might have been starting a new career, in the wake of beginning a marriage, or caring for a sick child. The worry might have affected you not only emotionally but also physically as well.

You might have experienced feelings of faintness, uneasiness, or breathing troubles. When it comes to anxiety there are degrees of severity. For example, it can be mild, lasting only a day or two, or severe, lasting an entire month.

You might experience generalized anxiety disorder or something more particular such as panic, phobias, or post-traumatic stress disorder. Anxiety might be treated with an anti-depressant or an anti-anxiety medication.

Types Of Anti-Anxiety Medication

Generally speaking, there are three categories of anti-anxiety medications: Selective Serotonin Reuptake Inhibitors or SSRIs; tricyclics; and monoamine oxidase inhibitors or MAOIs. SSRIs include Paxil, Prozac, and Zoloft.


These anti-anxiety medications often have fewer side effects than the older generation of anti-anxiety medications. Initially, when you are taking SSRIs, you might feel nervous, but after few weeks, the feeling often disappears.

Sexual dysfunction is one of the most important side effects of these anti-anxiety medications, which can often be corrected by changing the dosage.


Tricyclics tend to have side effects such as sleepiness, dizziness, and weight gain. More research conducted on them, as they are older than the SSRIs.


If the MAOIs are mixed with certain foods and drinks, such as cheese and wine can cause reaction. These reactions can include increased blood pressure and other life-threatening problems.

Side Effects Of Anti-Anxiety Medications

Fatigue, confusion, or drowsiness, are some of the side effects of anti-anxiety medications. The anti-anxiety medications may be taken two or three times a day or just when needed. Dosage starts low then increases until symptoms disappear.

According to symptoms and a person’s body chemistry, the amount of anti-anxiety medications prescribed varies. Doctors generally believe that while taking anti-anxiety medication, you should not drink alcohol because the combination can create a life-threatening situation.

The drugs are usually prescribed for only days or weeks at a time because the anti-anxiety medication can lead to dependence. In fact, a user might be directed to take the medication only when symptoms of anxiety occur.

In some cases, individuals suffering from anxiety may need treatment for an extended period of time. It is important that you stay on it until the doctor recommends that you stop taking it, if you begin taking anti-anxiety medication.

You may experience anxiety, dizziness, or loss of appetite, if you stop taking anti-anxiety medication abruptly. Common forms of anti-anxiety medication include Ativan, Valium, and Xanax. At times, physicians may prescribe beta-blockers to combat anxiety.


Although beta-blockers such as Propanolol may be used to deal with heart damage, they have also emerged as an effective treatment for social anxiety. Your physician may give you a beta-blocker, if you face a stressful situation, such as a job interview, that can keep your head from swelling, your palms from sweating, and treat other symptoms of anxiety.

There are certain steps you should take before you begin a drug regimen for anxiety. For example, you should do your homework on the anti-anxiety medication. Find out the probable side effects, and determine whether you can live with those side effects.

Also, you’ll need to inform your doctor of any over-the-counter medications you are using. Be sure to find out how long you will have to take the anti-anxiety medication. You should realize that you could find symptoms of anxiety reappearing, if you decide to stop taking the drug.

It can be a daunting experience, if you’ve been diagnosed with anxiety. You may not know where to go or who to turn to. However, it’s best if you begin your search for treatment with your family physician, who can refer you to a psychiatrist if need be.

While any type of anti-anxiety medication can lead to side effects, many people report good experiences, particularly with SSRIs. By working closely with your physician, you can find the anti-anxiety medication that’s appropriate for you. However, you should know that anti-anxiety medication might be only one part of the treatment puzzle.



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