Medications For Anxiety
Medications can help manage anxiety symptoms and give you a sense of control. They may be taken alone or combined with therapy.
Finding the optimal medication to treat your anxiety disorder requires time. Once you identify which drug best addresses your individual symptoms, it will become easier to find relief.
Some antidepressants, such as selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs), increase serotonin levels in your brain to reduce feelings of anxiety and depression. They may also improve sleep quality which helps you relax and manage stress better.
Other medications, such as benzodiazepines (including alprazolam, Xanax, clonazepam and diazepam) can provide short-term relief from anxiety by calming the brain. While these drugs have potential risks and should never be taken longer than necessary, they may cause dependence if taken excessively.
SSRIs can be effective for generalized anxiety disorder and some panic disorders when combined with psychotherapy and cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT).
When taking SSRIs, they should be taken for at least 12 months in order to achieve optimal results. You may discontinue them once your symptoms have decreased to a manageable level.
If you need to discontinue taking a medication, be sure to inform your doctor so they can prescribe another type. They may suggest trying a generic version of your current drug which is produced by another company and typically costs less than its brand-name equivalent.
Other medications for anxiety exist as well, such as naltrexone (which helps control substance abuse) and buspirone (which increases levels of an enzyme called epinephrine in your body). Warning: these medicines should never be taken in large amounts without medical supervision.