Anti Anxiety Meds
Anti anxiety medications may be beneficial for some individuals with severe anxiety, especially if other forms of therapy or lifestyle changes haven’t worked. They help suppress fear signals and the fight-or-flight response in your brain.
Anti anxiety medications that work are safe and prescribed by a doctor. It’s essential to discuss the pros and cons of using medication with your healthcare provider prior to starting any regimen.
SSRIs (selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors) are the two antidepressants most often prescribed for anxiety. SSRIs raise levels of serotonin and norepinephrine in your brain, helping promote communication between nerve cells.
They may take a few weeks to become fully effective. While not as addictive as benzodiazepines, you should avoid discontinuing use too quickly if possible.
Beta blockers help alleviate physical signs of anxiety, such as racing heart rate or shortness of breath, by blocking norepinephrine’s action in your body. They’re sometimes prescribed to treat panic disorder or social anxiety disorder.
Hydroxyzine (Atarax, Vistaril) is an antihistamine that may help boost serotonin levels in your brain and relieve some anxiety symptoms. Although not a recommended first-line treatment option, it has proven beneficial for some individuals.
Buspirone is a relatively new anti-anxiety drug that works by activating certain areas of the brain where serotonin binds. While slower acting than benzodiazepines, buspirone has fewer side effects and lower risks of dependency.
Anxiety medications are usually prescribed when therapy or other self-help strategies have not worked, and when symptoms are severe or persistent. They can also be beneficial if you’re prone to anxiety due to an unhealthy lifestyle or tendency to focus on “worst case” scenarios.