Anxiety Disorders: 4 Types of Drugs to Soothe Your Troubles
Number one mildly improves your mood. Number two makes your higher. Number three relaxes your body and mind. And number four… you better not know!
Anxiety disorders are a scourge of the modern generation. We live a stressful life and often are not able to cope with overwhelming emotions taking us away from harmony and serenity. But we are lucky: at the same time, we live in a tolerant society, which is wise enough to understand that anxiety disorders are illnesses, not just whims. Today we have many medications to combat anxiety and make the life of individuals and their families better by simple treating symptoms of anxiety disorders.
Understanding Your Anxiety Disorder
Normally, anxiety disorders make you rather unpleasant and asocial person. Symptoms of anxiety disorders may include:
- Irregular heartbeat;
- Loss of appetite;
You may experience more or less symptoms depending on your personality and type of anxiety disorder.
Types of Anxiety Disorders
It is difficult to enumerate all anxiety disorders, as there are many of them. Your psychotherapist knows better all of them, together with the causes and symptoms, but here you can find the list of the most common anxiety disorders:
- post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD)
- social anxiety disorder (SAD)
- generalized anxiety disorder (GAD)
- phobias and panic disorders
- obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD)
Medicines for Anxiety Disorders
Your doctor may prescribe a medicine for anxiety disorders alone or as a part of comprehensive treatment including psychotherapy. Professionals split medications for anxiety disorders into 4 main classes:
- Selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs).
- Serotonin-norepinephrine reuptake inhibitors (SNRIs).
- Tricyclic antidepressants (TCAs).
Selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs)
SSRIs boost serotonin, which is a neurotransmitter in your brain, natural to your body and responsible for mood regulation. When the level of serotonin increases, you feel like troubles have flown away and you dwell on the feeling of wellbeing. You can take SSRIs for any type of anxiety disorders. The group includes the following popular drugs:
- Prozac (fluoxetine);
- Paxil (paroxetine);
- Luvox (fluvoxamine);
- Zoloft (sertraline).
The most common side effects of serotonin-norepinephrine reuptake inhibitors are:
- Sleeping disorders;
- Weight gain;
- Sexual dysfunction.
Mostly, side effects are temporary and go away after discontinuation of intake.
Serotonin-Norepinephrine Reuptake Inhibitors (SNRIs)
SNRIs increase not only the level of serotonin in the brain, but also norepinephrine, a neurotransmitter that may work as a psychostimulant. SNRIs are considered to be especially effective for GAD. Here you can find some commonly used drugs from the group:
- Effexor (venlafaxine);
- Cymbalta (duloxetine);
- Pristiq (desvenlafaxine).
Side effects may include:
- increased blood pressure;
- stomach disorders;
- sexual dysfunction.
Sedative drugs, or benzodiazepines, are recommended for short-term intake when you have such physical symptoms as muscle tension and others. Benzodiazepines help you to relax. Depending on the severity of symptoms and your individual features you may need 1-3 doses daily. Here you can find the most popular options:
You may use benzodiazepines as a course or, when needed, as immediate relief of anxiety symptoms.
Precautions When Taking Benzodiazepines
You should be careful with benzodiazepines, because they are not intended for long-term use. You can develop dependence or tolerance to the medicine.
Tolerance to medication is a condition when you do not feel its action and need to increase the dose.
Dependence means developing a withdrawal syndrome with unpleasant physical symptoms that may include: sleep disturbances, panic attacks, hand tremor, difficulty with concentration, cognitive problems, sweating, muscular pain, headache and others. You need to talk to your doctor if you are going to discontinue intake. Probably, you will be advised gradual withdrawal, reducing a dose day by day.
You also should restrain from alcohol when you take benzodiazepines, as interaction with alcohol can cause life threatening reactions.
Tricyclic Antidepressants (TCAs)
Widely used in the past, as they were the first anxiety aid ever developed, now tricyclic antidepressants are not so popular because of their side effects, as follows:
- blurry vision;
- blood pressure drop;
- dry mouth;
- difficulties when urinating;
Here you can find the most know TCAs:
- Tofranil (imipramine);
- Elavil (amitriptyline);
- Pamelor (nortriptyline).
No matter which kind of anxiety medicine you take, you should follow doctor’s prescription and report any serious side effect shortly. Do not stop the intake of the medicine on your own to avoid unexpected complications.