Types of Anxiety Medication: What You Need to Know
Category: Prescription Related Questions
Posted on February 9, 2023
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It's believed that 3.6% of the global population experiences has an anxiety disorder. This means that roughly 264 million people suffer from this mental health issue.
Anxiety is something that most people have experienced at some point in their life. A large percentage of people suffer from chronic anxiety that can become debilitating.
When this happens, different types of anxiety medication may be necessary. These medications can control the symptoms of anxiety and improve your quality of life.
Keep reading to find out more about the different types of anxiety medication to choose from.
A very common type of anxiety medication is benzodiazepines, also called tranquilizers. The reality of these medications is that they are not very well understood.
There isn't much information about the mechanisms of how benzodiazepines work for anxiety. They mostly increase the gamma-aminobutyric acid in the brain and spinal cord.
This chemical substance is also referred to as GABA. Higher amounts of GAB create a calming effect on the nerve cells in your body, which can help to relieve anxiety.
That is why they are often referred to as tranquilizers, as they promote positive feelings of calmness and peace. With that said, there are side effects to this type of medication to be aware of.
A common side effect could include confusion, drowsiness, sleep disturbances, and disorientation. You may also feel dizzy, unsteady, irritable, or have memory issues.
These benzodiazepines are often found in the form of diazepam, lorazepam, or alprazolam. Although, you may find other medications that are considered to be benzodiazepines.
One of these types of anxiety medication also includes beta-blockers. These may also be called beta-adrenergic blockers by some in the medical field.
These anxiety meds work by blocking the effect of adrenaline, which is a hormone. When this hormone is blocked, the result is that your heart rate lowers.
Many people who suffer from anxiety describe having a racing heartbeat. Those with severe anxiety may even have heart palpitations that can be scary at times.
Beta-blockers can be a great option for those people and provide them with some form of relief. This is a very common type of medication that is also used for other kinds of health concerns.
Side effects of beta blockers include cold hands, trouble sleeping, and weight gain. Those who have asthma may find that this medication triggers worse asthma symptoms.
Common examples of beta blocker anxiety medication types are propranolol, acebutolol, and bisoprolol. Keep in mind that there are more options available.
Serotonin-Norepinephrine Reuptake Inhibitors
This anxiety medication guide also includes serotonin-norepinephrine reuptake inhibitors. Or it is also called SNRIs for a short.
This type of medication helps increase your brain's level of serotonin and norepinephrine.
These two hormones are feel-good hormones. They naturally occur in your brain to help with mood improvement.
SNRIs work by blocking the reuptake of these hormones by the nerve cells. When this happens, this increases the activity of these hormones in your brain.
Those who take this medication usually experience positive emotions that help to reduce anxiety. The side effects can include headaches, hot flashes, erectile dysfunction, and constipation.
You may also experience dry mouth, nausea, diarrhea, or reduced libido. These medications are often found in the form of venlafaxine, duloxetine, and desvenlafaxine.
If you are looking into anxiety medication, you may have seen tricyclic antidepressants. These medications help to restore the balance of some neurotransmitters in the brain.
When this happens, the levels of serotonin and norepinephrine in your brain increases. While at the same time reducing the levels of acetycholine, another neurotransmitter.
Some of the side effects that you could experience from this are dry mouth, constipation, or hives. You could also experience dry mouth, weight gain, increase heart rate, or vision issues.
You will usually find this type of medication in the form of Sinequan, elavil, and tofranil. Your doctor can help you to choose the best option for your needs.
Medications known as azospirodecanediones are believed to modulate serotonin levels. Not much is known about how these medications work, but it is believed to promote more positive feelings.
We have already discussed the benefits of serotonin levels in your brain. This helps to increase positive feelings and reduce the side effects of anxiety that you may feel.
Some of the side effects that you could experience are trouble sleeping, headaches, dizziness, and nausea. You may even experience nervousness, skin reactions, or drowsiness.
You can find this kind of medication in the form of Buspar or vanspar.
Another very common type of anxiety medication is antipsychotic medication. These types of medications change the levels of neurotransmitters in the brain.
These neurotransmitters usually include dopamine, serotonin, and adrenaline. It can help to increase the feel-good hormones while reducing the more anxiety-related hormones.
When you take antipsychotic medications, you may feel drowsy, constipated, or gain weight. You may even develop sexual dysfunction, palpitations, or postural hypotension.
You can find this medication in the form of Seroquel, Abilify, or Risperdal, just to name a few options.
One of the anxiety medication types you have probably heard about is antihistamines. This is a type of medication that is often used for a wide variety of issues, not just anxiety.
Anti-histamines have a calming effect on the entire body, including your brain. They work by blocking certain types of receptors within the brain, reducing anxiety symptoms.
Antihistamines are often used for inflammation, making them a well-known and accessible medication. You may experience side effects when you take this anxiety med.
You could experience drowsiness, confusion, nervousness, and appetite loss. Some people also have a dry nose or mouth, increased heart rate, or blurred vision.
Some antihistamines include options like Vistaril and Sominex. But your doctor may have more options available.
Another kind of anxiety medication is alpha-blockers. This help to block the hormone norepinephrine in your brain helping to increase calmness.
This is a medication that is often used for people who have nightmares. It is often used for post-traumatic stress disorder as well.
There is not a huge amount of information available about alpha-blockers for anxiety. But it is believed to be a good option if you have tried some of the more common medication types.
When taking this medication you may experience some side effects or reactions. This includes side effects like drowsiness, tiredness, diarrhea, constipation, or headaches.
Who Needs Anxiety Medication?
Now that you know more about the available types of anxiety medication, who need this medication? This is a good question to ask since so many people struggle with anxiety.
A huge portion of the global population suffers from anxiety and stress. The reality is that not everyone’s anxiety is going to be at the same level.
Anxiety medication should generally be reserved for those with more severe cases. This would include people who have debilitating anxiety or who get panic attacks.
Having anxiety or stress here and there due to life‘s triggers is quite normal. For many people, practicing stress-relieving habits may be enough to help them.
This is something that you should carefully discuss with your doctor. Your doctor will have your medical history and will be able to give you their professional opinion.
How to Choose the Right Medication?
What is anxiety medication, and how do you choose the right one? This is a question that many people have when they look at the long list of options available.
Most people start off by trying the most common type of anxiety medication on the market. This is a good place to start since this most likely means it is effective.
Most people will have to try 2 to 3 medications before finding the right fit. Every medication is different, and you may experience side effects occasionally.
If you don’t feel like your medication is working, it is important to let your doctor know. They will be able to help you find out what medication to try next.
Common Types of Anxiety Medication
With so many different types of anxiety medication, it can feel overwhelming. The good thing is that you don’t have to stick with a single medication if you don’t believe that it is working.
Do you want to find anxiety meds that are the right fit for you? Contact us today at PricePro Pharmacy to look at our affordable medication options.