Drugs to Treat Anxiety Disorder

Written by Resurchify | Updated on: March 03, 2023

Drugs to Treat Anxiety Disorder

Here is an article that can help you treat your anxiety with the help of some medicines and natural ways.

Most people experience anxiety at some point in life, and it frequently goes away. A disorder of anxiety is distinct. If you have one, you might need assistance controlling your pressure. Usually, medicine and psychotherapy are used as treatments. Drugs can help you control your symptoms to perform correctly and feel better in your daily life, even if they cannot cure anxiety.

There are numerous different pharmaceutical options. You and your doctor might need to test a few drugs because each person is unique to find the correct one for you.


Sedatives known as benzodiazepines can help you unwind and clear your head. They function by amplifying the actions of specific neurotransmitters, which are substances that comAssignmentmunicate between your brain cells. Numerous anxiety disorders, such as panic disorder, generalised anxiety disorder, and social anxiety disorder, can be treated with benzodiazepines. These medications, as examples, include:

  • Clonazepam (Klonopin)
  • Diazepam (Valium)
  • Chlordiazepoxide (Librium)
  • Alprazolam (Xanax)
  • Lorazepam (Ativan)

Benzodiazepines are frequently used to relieve anxiety temporarily. It is because they may worsen drowsiness and result in balance and memory issues. They may also develop into habits. There are more and more instances of benzodiazepine-related substance use disorders.

It is crucial to use these medications only up until your doctor recommends another course of action. However, your doctor might recommend benzodiazepines for up to a year if you have panic disorder.

Adverse Effects

Benzodiazepines can result in the following side effects in addition to sleepiness and memory issues:

  • Feelings of depression
  • Headaches
  • Confusion
  • Vision problems

It is crucial to avoid stopping benzodiazepines abruptly if you have been taking them consistently for more than two weeks, as this could result in unpleasant withdrawal symptoms. Instead, to lower your chance of seizures, discuss carefully decreasing your dosage with your doctor.


Both acute (short-term) and chronic (long-term) anxiety disorders are managed with buspirone. Although the exact mechanism of action of buspirone is unclear, it is believed to impact the brain's neurotransmitters that control mood. Buspirone may take up to a few weeks to start working its magic. Both the generic version and the brand-name medicine Buspar are readily available.

Adverse Effects

Headaches, nausea, and vertigo are possible side effects. When using buspirone, some people experience weird nightmares or trouble falling asleep.


Neurotransmitters are impacted by antidepressant drugs as they work. You can use these medications to treat anxiety symptoms, but it often takes 4 to 6 weeks to start working. Antidepressants come in several forms:


Serotonin is a neurotransmitter that influences mood, hunger, sleep, memory, and sexual desire. Selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs) function by raising serotonin levels in the body. SSRIs are frequently begun at a low dose and then progressively increased by your doctor.

The following are some SSRIs used to alleviate anxiety:

  • paroxetine (Paxil)
  • sertraline (Zoloft)
  • fluoxetine (Prozac)
  • escitalopram (Lexapro)

Adverse Effects

Although SSRIs can have many negative effects, most users tolerate them well. Included among the side effects are:

  • Dizziness
  • Dry mouth
  • Diarrhoea
  • Muscle weakness
  • Sexual dysfunction
  • Nausea
  • Drowsiness

If you have concerns about a specific side effect, speak with your doctor.


Except for obsessive-compulsive disorder, tricyclics are just as effective as SSRIs at treating most anxiety disorders (OCD). Tricyclics are believed to function similarly to SSRIs. Like SSRIs, tricyclics are introduced at a low dose and then gradually increased.

Tricyclics, which are prescribed to treat anxiety, include:

  • Imipramine (Tofranil)
  • Clomipramine (Anafranil)

Because newer medications have fewer adverse effects, older tricyclics are used less frequently.

Adverse Effects

Tricyclics' adverse effects can include:

  • Weight gain
  • Confusion
  • Drowsiness
  • Blurred vision
  • Nausea and vomiting
  • Constipation
  • Urinary retention
  • Dizziness

Changing the dose or using a different tricyclic drug can frequently reduce side effects.


Inhibitors of monoamine oxidase (MAOIs) are prescribed to treat social anxiety and panic disorders. They function by boosting the number of neurotransmitters that control mood.

The following MAOIs have FDA approval to treat depression but are also used off-label to treat anxiety:

  • Phenelzine (Nardil)
  • Tranylcypromine (Parnate)
  • Isocarboxazid (Marplan)
  • Selegiline (Emsam)

Adverse Effects

Similar to tricyclics, older pharmaceuticals like MAOIs have higher adverse effects than more recent medications. Among the negative impacts are:

  • Insomnia
  • Diarrhoea
  • Dizziness
  • Constipation
  • Drowsiness
  • Dry mouth
  • Nausea

SSRIs, some birth control pills, acetaminophen, ibuprofen, and other painkillers, as well as several herbal supplements and cold and allergy drugs, can interact with MAOIs.

Combining an MAOI with medicines can severely raise blood pressure and have other side effects that could be fatal.


Most frequently, beta-blockers are used to treat heart diseases. They are additionally employed off-label to lessen the physical signs of anxiety, particularly in cases of social anxiety disorder. Propranolol (Inderal), a beta-blocker, may be recommended by your doctor to lessen your anxiety symptoms when you are in stressful situations like going to a party or giving a speech.

Adverse Effects

Beta-blockers often do not have harmful side effects for all users.

Possible adverse effects may include:

  • Cold fingers or toes
  • Fatigue
  • Drowsiness
  • Dizziness

Some more negative effects include:

  • Nausea
  • Trouble sleeping
  • Shortness of breath

Cures At Home For Anxiety

Numerous at-home strategies are available to reduce your anxiety symptoms. In addition to taking drugs, you can use many interventions. These interventions include, for instance:


According to the Anxiety and Depression Association of America, exercise can help you feel less stressed and better overall (ADAA). Endorphin-producing neurotransmitters are produced with its aid. These neurotransmitters can help you sleep better and are your body's built-in painkillers.

According to the ADAA, even brief exercise sessions (approximately 10 minutes at a time) can significantly improve your mood.


Your anxiety may be reduced by setting aside 15 minutes for meditation, quiet reflection, and deep breathing. You can regularly repeat a motivating phrase or listen to music.


It may be beneficial to drink chamomile tea or take a chamomile supplement to reduce anxiety symptoms. The subjects of a double-blind study conducted in 2016 and published in the Phytomedicine journal were people with generalised anxiety disorder.

According to the study, people who regularly took chamomile supplements of 500 milligrammes three times a day reported having less moderate to severe generalised anxiety. It has also been demonstrated that chamomile tea can aid in lowering anxiety.

Aromatherapy Oils To Smell

An Evidence-Based Complementary and Alternative Medicine journal report suggests that inhaling diluted aromatherapy oils may help lessen anxiety. Some instances of essential oils that are used to reduce anxiety include:

  • Chamomile
  • Neroli
  • Lavender

Skip the Caffeine

Caffeine can occasionally make you jittery and anxious. Some people find that avoiding it helps them feel less anxious.

Natural Remedies for Anxiety

There are numerous all-natural ways to feel better and less anxious, including:

  • Consuming a balanced diet: Although food alone is probably not sufficient to treat anxiety disorders, diets heavy in vegetables, fruits, high-quality meats, fish, nuts, and whole grains can reduce the chance of developing such illnesses.
  • Consuming fermented food and probiotics: Probiotic use and consumption are associated with better mental wellness.
  • Restricting caffeine: For some people, especially those with anxiety issues, excessive caffeine use might make them more anxious.
  • Avoid drinking alcohol: Avoiding alcoholic drinks may be beneficial because they can affect your anxiety.
  • Giving up smoking: Smoking may make it more likely for someone to acquire an anxiety disorder.

When to Get Professional Assistance

If your feelings of anxiety are severe, it is crucial to get professional care. Anxiety can be crippling.

  • If you feel anxious most days of the week and have experienced one or more of the symptoms mentioned above for at least six months, you may have an anxiety disorder.
  • Regardless of how long you have been experiencing symptoms, you should get professional assistance if you ever feel that your emotions are interfering with your life.
  • A range of techniques is available for treating anxiety disorders by qualified psychologists and psychiatrists.
  • Cognitive behavioural therapy, anxiety medicines, or any of the natural remedies mentioned above are standard treatment options.
  • Working with a specialist can control your anxiety and get rid of your symptoms as fast and securely as possible.

Consult your Physician

Anxiety disorders are medical conditions that a range can treat of specialists. The more quickly you begin treatment, the better the results you might anticipate.

  • You must be honest and transparent with your doctor to receive effective therapy for an anxiety problem. You must have confidence and a good relationship with the doctor treating your ailment. Do not feel "trapped" with the first physician you see. You should seek out a different provider if you do not feel comfortable with them.
  • To successfully treat your disease, you and your doctor must be able to collaborate. A fantastic place to start is with your primary care provider. Numerous medical professionals may be able to assist you in controlling your anxiety.
  • Your doctor's advice can determine the ideal course of treatment for your anxiety. Psychotherapy and medicines will probably be part of an effective treatment plan.
  • When taking anxiety meds, follow their directions and inform them of any adverse effects you have. Ask any type of queries you may have about your condition or course of therapy, including:
    • What negative consequences might this drug have on me?
    • How soon will it begin to function?
    • Does this medicine interact with any of the other medications I take?
    • Can you suggest a therapist for me?
    • Could exercise assist me with the symptoms of my anxiety?
  • Speak with your doctor before quitting a medication you believe is not helping you or causing unpleasant side effects.

Generalised Anxiety Disorder (GAD)

Generalised anxiety disorder (GAD) patients worry excessively about everyday events and circumstances. A different name for it is chronic anxiety neurosis. GAD is distinct from typical anxiety-related sensations. It is normal to experience occasional anxiety over events in your life, such as your finances. For months on end, someone with GAD might worry excessively about their finances many times every day. This is possible even when there is no reason for alarm. The person is frequently aware that they have nothing to worry about.

About 3% of Americans suffer from GAD, making it a moderately prevalent illness. Sometimes those with this problem simply worry without being able to express their worries. They express sentiments of impending doom or an inability to control their emotions. It can be frightening and disruptive to relationships and daily activities when someone worries excessively and unreasonably.

Generalised Anxiety Disorder Signs And Symptoms

GAD symptoms, both physical and mental, include:

  • Interpreting circumstances as more dangerous than they are
  • Trouble letting go of concerns
  • Having trouble concentrating
  • Inability to sleep
  • Having trouble in unclear circumstances
  • Irritation, anxiety, overthinking, and trouble unwinding
  • Weariness and drowsiness
  • Skeletal tension
  • Persistent diarrhoea, stomachaches, or other digestive problems
  • Clammy palms
  • Feeling unsteady or frail
  • Quick heartbeat
  • Mouth ache
  • Prone to becoming startled
  • Neurological signs include tingling or numbness in various body sections.

At some point throughout their adolescent years, one in four youngsters may have childhood or teen anxiety at some point throughout their teenage years. Young children and teenagers may also exhibit the following symptoms:

  • Apprehension over not being accepted by their peers.
  • challenges with self-esteem and confidence
  • excessive or avoidant anxiety about social and academic circumstances
  • being concerned with receiving acceptance from teachers and other authority figures
  • experiencing problems with physical manifestations like stomachaches

Gad's Distinction From Other Mental Health Conditions

Anxiety is a frequent sign of many mental health issues, including depression and different phobias. GAD differs from these disorders in several ways.

People with a phobia may worry about a specific item, while those who are depressed may occasionally feel nervous. People with GAD may worry about numerous different things for six months or more, or they may be unable to pinpoint the cause of their anxiety.

What Are The Root Causes And Danger Signs Of GAD?

Both environmental and genetic factors can be causes of or risk factors for GAD, such as:

  • An anxiety disorder in the family
  • Exposure to stressful conditions recently or over a long period, including personal or family illnesses
  • Excessive coffee or smoke usage can exacerbate already-existing anxiety
  • Kid maltreatment or bullying
  • Some medical ailments, like thyroid issues or heart arrhythmias

According to some research from 2015, people with GAD may exhibit specific brain activation in regions linked to mental activity and introspective thought when they encounter circumstances that could result in concern. Studies show that the lifetime prevalence of GAD is probably 7.7% for women and 4.6% for males.

How Is A Diagnosis Made For Generalised Anxiety Disorder?

Your doctor can conduct a mental health screening to identify GAD. They will enquire about your symptoms and how long you have experienced them. It might also be advised to consult a psychologist or psychiatrist specialising in mental health.

Your doctor may also order medical testing to ascertain whether an underlying sickness or substance addiction issue is the source of your symptoms. Anxiety is associated with:

  • The disease of gastroesophageal reflux (GERD)
  • Thyroid conditions
  • Heart condition
  • Epilepsy
  • Bipolar illness
  • Pheochromocytoma
  • Using decongestants, caffeine, or albuterol

Your primary care physician may order additional testing if they think a medical ailment or substance addiction issue is the source of your worry. These may consist of:

  • Blood tests to measure hormone levels that may be indicative of a thyroid condition
  • Urine tests are used to detect drug usage.
  • Tests for gastric reflux, such as a digestive system X-ray or an endoscopic to examine your oesophagus to look for GERD
  • Stress testing and X-rays are used to look for heart problems.

How Is Generalised Anxiety Disorder Treated?

  • Cognitive behavioural therapy (CBT) entails frequent consultations with a mental health specialist.
  • Changing your thoughts and behaviours is the aim of CBT for general anxiety. This strategy has been linked to fewer anxiety symptoms within a year of treatment.
  • Compared to other conditions like social anxiety disorder or post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), it may be even more effective for GAD (SAD).
  • You will learn to identify and control your anxious thoughts throughout therapy sessions. You will also learn how to relax when troubling thoughts come to mind from your therapist.
  • To treat GAD, doctors frequently recommend medication in addition to treatment.


If your doctor prescribes medicine, they will probably make both a short- and long-term medication plan. Some physical signs of anxiety, including muscle tightness and stomach cramps, can be reduced using short-term medicines. These are referred to as anti-anxiety drugs. Several popular anti-anxiety drugs include:

  • Lorazepam (Ativan)
  • Clonazepam (Klonopin)
  • Alprazolam (Xanax)

Anti-anxiety medications have a high potential for dependence and abuse, so anyone should not use them for extended periods.

Antidepressant medications can be effective for long-term treatment. Typical antidepressants include:

  • Paroxetine (Paxil, Paxil CR, Pexeva)
  • Escitalopram (Lexapro)
  • Desvenlafaxine (Pristiq)
  • Citalopram (Celexa)
  • Venlafaxine (Effexor XR)
  • Buspirone (Buspar)
  • Sertraline (Zoloft)
  • Fluoxetine (Prozac, Prozac Weekly, Sarafem)
  • Fluvoxamine (Luvox, Luvox CR)
  • Duloxetine (Cymbalta)

The onset of action of these drugs may take several weeks. Additionally, they may cause adverse symptoms like diarrhoea, nausea, and dry mouth. Some people's sensitivity to these side effects may cause them to discontinue taking their drugs.

Additionally, there is a meagre chance that young adults starting antidepressant treatment may see an increase in suicide ideation. If you are on antidepressants, keep in touch with your doctor. Any mood or mental changes that disturb you should report to your doctor.

Your doctor may recommend both antidepressants and anti-anxiety medications. If so, you will likely only need to take the anti-anxiety medication occasionally or for a few weeks until your antidepressant begins to function.

Adapting Your Lifestyle Can Assist With GAD Symptoms

Changes in lifestyle or behaviour might provide relief for many people. These may consist of:

  • If possible, regularly exercising
  • Eating a nutritious, well-balanced diet
  • Obtaining adequate rest
  • Meditating and doing yoga
  • Avoiding stimulants like coffee as well as some OTC drugs like diet and caffeine pills
  • Discussing problems and misgivings with a dependable friend, spouse, or family member

Anxiety and Alcohol

Alcohol can almost immediately help you feel less stressed. This is why those who experience anxiety may drink alcohol to help them feel better. However, it is crucial to remember that drinking can impair your mood. You can feel more agitated or depressed the day after drinking or a few hours afterwards.

Alcohol can also affect the way that anxiety drugs work. Combinations of some medications with alcohol can be lethal. Speak with your doctor if you see that your drinking is affecting your everyday activities. Additionally, you can get free assistance from Alcoholics Anonymous to stop drinking (AA).

Doctors Who Deal With Anxiety

You must be honest and transparent with your doctor if you want to receive effective therapy for an anxiety problem. You must have confidence and a good relationship with the doctor treating your ailment. Do not feel "trapped" with the first physician you see. You should seek out a different provider if you do not feel comfortable with them.

To successfully treat your disease, you and your doctor must be able to collaborate. A great place to start is at your primary care doctor. Numerous medical professionals may be able to assist you in controlling your anxiety.

Primary Care Physician

To ascertain whether another ailment exacerbates your symptoms, your primary care physician will perform a thorough physical examination. Anxiety symptoms could be brought on by:

  • Certain illnesses
  • Hormone imbalance
  • Side effects of medications
  • Various other conditions

If your doctor filters out other conditions, your diagnosis might be an anxiety disorder. At that time, they might suggest that you seek the help of a psychologist or psychiatrist, among other mental health specialists. A referral is more likely if your anxiety is persistent or coexists with another mental health illness, such as depression.


Psychotherapy, usually referred to as talk therapy or counselling, can be provided by a psychologist. This kind of therapy might be highly beneficial if you have been a victim of abuse or trauma. Finding the source of your worry and altering your behaviour is possible with a psychologist's help. Your psychologist might recommend drugs for your depression, depending on the state where you reside. Only Illinois, Louisiana, and New Mexico permit psychologists to write medication prescriptions.

Any psychological therapy will probably combine your continuous care from your primary physician. Medication and psychotherapy are frequently combined to treat anxiety disorders.


A medical professional with specific training in identifying and managing mental diseases is a psychiatrist. A psychiatrist can treat your anxiety condition with both psychotherapy and medicines.

Psychiatric Nurse Practitioner

People seeking treatment for various mental health disorders can receive primary mental health care from psychiatric nurse practitioners. In addition to prescribing drugs, psychiatric nurse practitioners are qualified to diagnose and treat patients with mental diseases. More and more psychiatric nurse practitioners provide psychiatric treatment as fewer medical students choose to specialise in the field.

Most people can control GAD by altering their lifestyles, taking medication, and receiving therapy. If you have concerns about your level of worry, consult your doctor. They can suggest a mental health professional for you.




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