The Different Types of Anxiety Medication

There are many types of medication that can be used to treat anxiety disorders, which include benzodiazepines, a traditional anxiety drug and newer options like beta-blockers and antidepressants. These medications are very effective and provide temporary relief of the anxiety disorder. However, you should beware of the side effects caused by anxiety medication. Once you start taking anxiety medication, it becomes difficult to stop them, which makes you an addict of the medication, but it relieves the anxiety quickly. To decide the right medication for you, visit a doctor and weigh the benefits of the recommended medication against its drawback. Here are the main types of anxiety medicine:

Tranquilizers / benzodiazepines

These anxiety drugs slows down your central nervous system and therefore relieving the anxiety. They have a calming and relaxing effect, which makes them very popular. They are the most prescribed drugs for anxiety. The tranquilizers can also be used as muscle relaxant as well as sleeping pills.These drugs include:

  • Valium (diazepam)
  • Ativan (clonazepam)
  • Xanax (alprazolam)
  • Klonopin (clonazepam)

These drugs act very fast bringing relief in thirty minutes.

Despite the potential of benzodiazepines, they have their side effects, which include Blurred or double vision, Clumsiness, slow reflexes, Slurred speech, Impaired judgment and thinking, Confusion and disorientation, Memory loss, forgetfulness, Drowsiness, lack of energy, Dizziness, lightheadedness, Depression, Nausea and stomach upset. Tranquilizers also causes depression and long-term intake increases the risk of suicidal feelings and thoughts as well as depressive symptoms. Moreover, Tranquilizers can cause numbness and emotional blunting. Benzodiazepines relieves anxiety but blocks feelings of pain and pleasure.

Anxiety medication also causes paradoxical excitement which include irritability, agitation and increased anxiety. More severe effects include Hallucinations, Mania, Aggressive or impulsive behavior, Hostility and rage. Although rare, these affects are very dangerous but more common in the elderly, people with disabilities and children.

Antidepressant medications for anxiety

The risk of abuse and dependency when using antidepressants are smaller, thus antidepressants are preferred to Tranquilizers. However, antidepressants take a longer time to relieve the symptoms of anxiety so they would not help instantly. They can take up to six weeks to relieve the anxiety. They are therefore not recommended when one is in panic attack. The use of antidepressants is limited to treatments that need ongoing treatment such as anxiety problems.

The most recommended antidepressants are the SSRIs such as:

  • Celexa
  • Prozac
  • Paxil
  • Lexapro
  • Zoloft

The common side effects of antidepressants are sexual dysfunction, Nausea, Dizziness, Nervousness, Weight gain, Sleepiness, Stomach upset and Headaches

Buspirone (BuSpar)

This is a new anxiety medication. It acts by decreasing dopamine and increasing serotonin in your brain. Buspirone acts slower than the traditional anxiety drugs taking up to two weeks to start relieving the anxiety. However, its advantage over the traditional anxiety drugs is that it is not sedating, it is not addictive , it has minimal withdrawal effects and it does not impair coordination and memory. Its side effects are Dry mouth, Headaches, Constipation, Dizziness, Diarrhea, Drowsiness and Nausea.

Beta blocker medications for anxiety

This is a type of medication that is used in treating heart problems and blood pressure. However, they can also be used as anxiety medication. Beta blocker acts by blocking norepinephrine effects enabling them to control anxiety physical symptoms such as a trembling voice and shaky hands. Their side effects include nausea and sleepiness.

There you have the types of anxiety medications most commonly prescribed.

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