Tips for Use of Medications for Anxiety

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Anxiety is often treated in a variety of ways. One common treatment is medications for anxiety that help with some of the causes of anxiety.  These medications are always prescribed under a doctor’s care.  Some medications can have serious side effects so it is important to always follow the doctor’s instructions for taking the medication.

Commonly Prescribed Medications

In the past the main medications for anxiety were benzodiazepines.  Currently, though, in addition to those traditional anti-anxiety medications, antidepressants are also being used.  These two types of medications prove to have few side effects and are quite helpful in relieving the symptoms of severe anxiety.  They are also not addictive as some other classes of drugs that have also been used to treat anxiety.

It can take a while before the medications actually begin to work.  They help make changes in the chemicals within your brain and therefore take some time to work.  It can be anywhere from two weeks to 12 weeks before the medication is fully working.

Possible Side Effects

All medications have possible side effects.  Most commonly these side effects are minor and are not enough to cause a person to stop taking them.  However, severe side effects are possible.  Here are some common side effects that may be experienced on medications used to treat anxiety:

– Headache
– Nausea
– Upset stomach
– Dizziness
– Sexual issues

Sometimes side effects can be eliminated by simply changing the dosage.  Other times a new medication needs to be tried.  If you ever experience a side effect it is important to immediately contact your doctor.

Limitations of Medications

Medication is often a good start to treating anxiety, but medications do have their limits.  Therapy is often used in conjunction with medication to provide a more complete treatment.  Since anxiety stems from many causes medication will only cover some of the reasons for the anxiety and that is why combination treatments are most common. Medications will treat the symptoms and help bring relief, but the underlying causes may never go away with medication alone.

Additionally, medication will only work when it is taken responsibly and according to doctors orders.  If a person does not follow the instructions on how to take the medication then chances are it will not work properly or it could cause other problems.  It is important to completely discuss your lifestyle and other medications you take with your doctor to ensue the right medication is chosen for your treatment.

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