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Anxiety drugs - important side effects of the 6 types you should know about!



Sometimes the world of anxiety meds can be confusing. There are different types that work in different ways and they have different names. Pharmaceutical companies have names for their own brands that are the same kind of drug, leading to more confusion.

Only doctors can prescribe them so if you are having problems then it might be time to make an appointment to see yours.


If you are already taking one or considering doing so, read on:


It has been proven that meds alone aren't always the answer. Psychotherapy is important too. Here at TDW Hypnotherapy Harrogate we work with the underlying thought processes that contribute to feeling anxious and related symptoms. Being on medication does not negate the improvements achievable with hypnosis and somatic anxiety release techniques. So they can be used together for faster results.


  1. Sertraline (Zoloft): Sertraline is an SSRI (Selective Serotonin Reuptake Inhibitor) that is commonly used to treat anxiety disorders. Its side effects can include nausea, diarrhea, sexual dysfunction, insomnia, and headache. (Source: Mayo Clinic)

SSRI's can increase the risk of suicidal thoughts so go back to your doctor if you

start to experience these.


SSRIs are a class of antidepressant drugs that are also used to treat anxiety. They

work by increasing the levels of the neurotransmitter serotonin in the brain. Examples

of SSRIs include Prozac (fluoxetine), Zoloft (sertraline), and Lexapro (escitalopram).

2. Alprazolam (Xanax): is a benzodiazepine that is used to treat anxiety and

panic disorders. Its side effects can include drowsiness, dizziness, confusion,

impaired coordination, and memory impairment. Long-term use can also lead to

dependence and withdrawal symptoms. (Source: National Institute on Drug Abuse)


Benzodiazepines are a class of drugs that work by enhancing the

effects of the neurotransmitter gamma-aminobutyric acid (GABA) in the brain, which

can help reduce anxiety. Examples of benzodiazepines include Xanax (alprazolam),

Ativan (lorazepam), and Valium (diazepam). Side effects of benzodiazepines may

include drowsiness, dizziness, confusion, memory problems, and risk of addiction.


3. Buspirone (Buspar): is an anxiolytic drug that is used to treat generalized

anxiety disorder. Its side effects can include dizziness, headache, nausea,

nervousness, and lightheadedness. (Source: MedlinePlus)


Buspirone is a non-benzodiazepine anti-anxiety drug that works by

binding to serotonin and dopamine receptors in the brain. It may take several weeks

for the full effects of buspirone to be felt. Side effects of buspirone may include

dizziness, nausea, headache, and restlessness.


4. Venlafaxine (Effexor): is an SNRI (Serotonin and Norepinephrine Reuptake Inhibitor)

that is used to treat anxiety disorders. Its side effects can include nausea, headache,

dizziness, insomnia, and dry mouth. (Source: MedlinePlus)


SNRIs are serotonin-norepinephrine reuptake inhibitors, which means they affect both

serotonin and norepinephrine rather than only serotonin. (unlike SSRI's that affect just

serotonin)


5. Propranolol (Inderal): Propranolol is a beta-blocker that is used to treat performance

anxiety and other anxiety-related symptoms such as tremors and sweating. Its side

effects can include fatigue, dizziness, weakness, and cold hands and feet. (Source:

MedlinePlus)


Beta-blockers are a class of drugs that are typically used to treat high blood pressure

and heart conditions. They can also be used to treat anxiety symptoms such as heart

palpitations and sweating. Examples of beta-blockers used for anxiety include Inderal

(propranolol) and Tenormin (atenolol). Side effects of beta-blockers may include fatigue,

dizziness, depression, and lowered blood pressure.


6. Pregabalin: Pregabalin is a drug that is used to treat anxiety and neuropathic pain. It

works by binding to calcium channels in the brain, which can help reduce anxiety

symptoms. Side effects of pregabalin may include dizziness, drowsiness, dry mouth, and

blurred vision.


Pregabalin is classified as an anticonvulsant and used for other conditions in addition to

anxiety. Research has shown that it should not be taken in conjunction with any opioids.


As you can see there are sometimes significant side effects with these medications and it is important to get the balance right or change dosages with the direction of your doctor. Don't be afraid to get a second opinion if you feel the side effects are outweighing the benefits. Also bear in mind that some meds take time for their benefits to become apparent, like Sertraline.


Also be aware that clinical studies have generally shown that medication is more effective than placebo in reducing symptoms of anxiety disorders.

For example, a meta-analysis of 17 randomized controlled trials involving over 3,000 patients found that SSRIs were significantly more effective than placebo in treating generalized anxiety disorder (GAD), with a response rate of 50.7% for SSRIs compared to 37.8% for placebo (Cipriani et al., 2017).


Similarly, a meta-analysis of 22 randomized controlled trials found that benzodiazepines were significantly more effective than placebo in treating panic disorder, with a response rate of 64.7% for benzodiazepines compared to 40.6% for placebo (Mitte, 2005).

Medications can be very effective for treating anxiety disorders, particularly when used in combination with therapy and other lifestyle modifications. However, the effectiveness of medication can vary depending on the individual and the specific type of anxiety disorder being treated.


For example, benzodiazepines like alprazolam (Xanax) can provide quick relief of anxiety symptoms, but can also be habit-forming and may cause withdrawal symptoms with prolonged use. SSRIs and SNRIs like sertraline (Zoloft) and venlafaxine (Effexor) may take several weeks to become effective, but are less likely to cause dependence and can be effective for treating both anxiety and depression.The effectiveness of anxiety medication can vary widely depending on the specific medication, the individual, and the severity of the anxiety disorder being treated. However, clinical studies have demonstrated that medication can be effective for treating anxiety disorders in many cases.


For example, a meta-analysis of 17 randomized controlled trials involving over 3,000 patients found that SSRIs were more effective than placebo in treating generalized anxiety disorder (GAD) (Cipriani et al., 2017). Another meta-analysis of 20 randomized controlled trials involving over 4,000 patients found that benzodiazepines were more effective than placebo in treating panic disorder (Bandelow et al., 2015).


It's important to note that medication is not a one-size-fits-all solution, and that finding the right medication and dosage for an individual can take some trial and error. In addition, medication should be used in combination with other treatments such as therapy and lifestyle modifications for optimal effectiveness.The effectiveness of anxiety medication can vary depending on the specific medication, the individual, and the severity of the anxiety disorder being treated. However, clinical studies have demonstrated that medication can be effective for treating anxiety disorders in many cases.


The surprising findings of the above studies is that:


PLACEBO CAN WORK UP TO 40.6 % OF THE TIME!


So 4 out of 10 anxiety sufferers can experience improvement WITHOUT any medication and have no side effects.


MEDICATION CAN WORK UP TO 64.7 % OF THE TIME!


So 6 out 10 anxiety sufferers experience improvement WITH medication and some of those will experience side effects.


Worth bearing in mind.


We at TDW Hypnotherapy Harrogate hope you found this useful. Feel free to get in touch if you have questions or would like to explore how hypnosis may be able to help.


Disclaimer

This website/blog/article is provided for information only and is not intended to replace a consultation with your GP or other health care professional. The information on this website should not be considered as medical advice. If you have any doubts or concerns about your health, you should seek advice from a medical doctor. Results vary and depend on your participation and homework completion.





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