Other than anti-depressants, what types of medication can help treat the symptoms of anxiety disorder? For more than 50 years, anxiolytics, or anti-anxiety drugs, were the medications of choice to treat anxiety symptoms. The most widespread anxiolytics are a group of medications called benzodiazepines. Benzodiazepines calm neurotransmitter action in the central nervous system, in turn leading to a reduction in the physical and mental symptoms of anxiety. Well-known benzodiazepines include alprazalom, or Xanax, clonazapam, or Klonopin, and diazepam, or Valium. These drugs are most commonly prescribed for treating panic disorder, social anxiety disorder, and post-traumatic stress disorder. Aside from drowsiness, benzodiazepines dont have many side effects but, unfortunately, it IS easy to build up a tolerance to them. Over time, a person usually requires larger doses to see the medications effect, which can lead to addiction. For this reason, anxiolytics are often prescribed for short-term periods only or for use when stress is predicted, like before giving a speech or boarding an airplane. Alternatively, a doctor may prescribe a newer anti-anxiety medication called buspirone, which is branded as BuSpar. BuSpar works well to combat the symptoms of Generalized Anxiety Disorder but it takes about two weeks to start working on anxiety. Although older anxiolytics work faster, BuSpar is advantageous in that its not as sedating, and has no addictive properties. Meanwhile, for anxiety that manifests mainly as physical symptoms, a group of drugs called beta-blockers can be effective. Beta-blockers are used in the treatment of heart disease, but because they improve the hearts ability to relax they can be extremely effective for people with social anxiety disorder and panic disorder. Common beta-blockers include propranold, which is branded as Inderald, and atenolo, which is better known as Tenormin. Remember that beta-blockers, anxiolytics, and other anxiety medications should ALWAYS be taken under the supervision of a doctor. So if you have questions or concerns about treating an anxiety disorder, make an appointment to see your healthcare provider.
Seniors Not Taking Benzos With Care
Mental Meds Don't Match the Chart
Beta Blockers May Protect the Brain
Heart Health for the Mentally Ill
What, Me Worry?
Paralyzed by Fear on Friday the 13th
Pacifying the Panic
New Drugs Changing Outlook on Bipolar Disorder
Last Updated:December 20, 2012