There is a wide range of anxiety medications, such as antidepressants, benzodiazepines and beta blockers. Your mental health professional will identify the right one for you based on your symptoms and other factors.
SSRIs and SNRIs (selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors) are often prescribed for treating anxiety disorders. They work by blocking nerve cells in the brain from reabsorbing serotonin, a chemical which helps control moods.
These medications are generally safe to take long term and do not usually lead to physical dependence. However, they may cause gastrointestinal distress, sleep difficulties and increased sexual dysfunction risks; thus it’s essential that you discuss any potential side effects with your doctor prior to beginning or discontinuing this type of medication.
Benzodiazepines, such as Xanax, Klonopin and Ativan, are often prescribed to alleviate short-term anxiety symptoms. These medications induce muscle relaxation and reduce symptoms related to anxiety like trembling, sweating, nausea or feeling dizzy.
Beta blockers such as oxcarbazepine, propranolol and verapamil are often prescribed to treat anxiety. They help regulate heart rate and blood pressure by blocking the effects of epinephrine–a chemical produced naturally in your body–on heart rate and blood pressure.
Self-help and therapy are often the best methods for managing anxiety symptoms. These treatments teach you how to take control of your symptoms by altering how you think and act, as well as by developing new coping skills.
Exercise, nutrition and stress management can all be effective treatments for relieving anxiety. With these approaches in place, you may be able to better manage your symptoms and lead a more satisfying lifestyle.