Medications for Anxiety

Medications for Anxiety

While medications for anxiety don’t often solve the underlying problem with anxiety – your thought patterns – they can help correct hormonal imbalances and make anxiety less pressing. If you decide to take medications for anxiety, it’s a good idea to know what’s out there. It’s also a good idea to consider therapy and coping techniques alongside medications for anxiety, since these other techniques can complement the work of the medications so that you get over your anxiety more quickly and effectively.

If you’re wondering about the main medications for anxiety, here is information about the four major types of medications for anxiety:

Benzodiazepines

These drugs are often prescribed when you’re going through a particularly stressful situation and your anxiety is becoming overwhelming. They’re usually only meant to be used in the short term, but they can be a good option if you want to start out on medication but slowly wean yourself off medication as you go through therapy and learn other coping techniques. These medications relax tension in your muscles and increase overall feelings of relaxation. Just by relaxing muscle tension – one of the most common physical indicators of anxiety – these medications can help you feel less mental tension and anxiety.

Serotonin-Norepinephrine Reuptake Inhibitors (SNRIs)

These medications for anxiety boost levels of serotonin and norepinephrine – two of the major feel-good neurotransmitters in the brain – by blocking cells from reabsorbing them. These medications are a great treatment for Generalized Anxiety Disorder, in particular, and they can be a long-term treatment. However, like most medications, they can have side effects, including upset stomach, headache, sexual problems, increased blood pressure, and insomnia.

Tricyclic Antidepressants

These medications can have serious side effects, so they aren’t used as much today. However, they can be used if benzodiazepines work for you, as they can be used for longer time periods than these other options. They can cause side effects like drop in blood pressure, urinary retention, blurry vision, dry mouth, and constipation.

Selective Serotonin Reuptake Inhibitors

These medications, like SNRIs, block the brain from reabsorbing serotonin, so they can boost the overall mood. These can be used to treat OCD and lots of anxiety disorders, but, of course, they also come with side effects, including insomnia, sexual problems, and weight gain.

Choosing the Right Medication

Although these are the four major classes of medications for anxiety, there are plenty of options in each class. Different brands and types of medications work differently in different people. This means it can take time to find the right medications for anxiety for your needs. Your doctor will work with you on finding the perfect medication and dosage so that you get the most benefits with the fewest side effects when you choose the right medication for your needs.

The best way to find the right medications for anxiety is to be open about trying different options after you’ve researched how they might affect your body. It’s also a good idea to see both a therapist and a doctor at the same time. Oftentimes, a therapist will be able to help you see exactly how a medication is affecting your brain and thought processes, so you can use the therapist’s help as well as the doctor’s to find the perfect medication in the right balance. You can combine therapist and doctor into one person if you see a psychologist who is licensed to prescribe medications, as well.

If you do experience any side effects from medications for anxiety, it’s important to let your doctor know right away. Even side effects that don’t seem serious at the time might become so later on.