Everyone knows what anxiety is like – the feeling when you are about to have a difficult test, when you are going to have a presentation in for your big boss, when you are having family problems that are quite hard to solve and other similar situations. Anxiety is but a normal feeling but when it already interferes with the way you live your life and the situation is all that you are thinking of, it is already a disorder. Here are the different anxiety medications with their actions and side effects.

Before taking any anxiety medication, you must first understand why it is being given to you. You should also learn about the effects of the medication, the side effects and if there are any contraindications. It is also important for you to understand that the anxiety medication will not cure the cause of your anxiety, but will only provide temporary relief for the signs and symptoms that you are manifesting. You should not take any anxiety medication at all without a doctor’s prescription and you should also follow strictly the dosage that was prescribed for you. Medication therapy can also be combined with other treatment options such as counseling and behavioral therapy, depending on your needs and the severity of your anxiety disorder.

Benzodiazepines are the most common anxiety medications because they are very effective and are short-acting. These medicines work by acting on the central nervous system to slow down its functioning, thereby providing a calming and relaxing effect. Also called tranquilizers, these too are used as muscle relaxants and as sleeping pills. Some common benzodiazepines are diazepam, lorazepam and alprazolam. For the side effects of these drugs, these include dizziness and drowsiness, slow reflexes, confusion and being disoriented, nausea and vomiting, blurring of vision and in some, depression.

Antidepressants are also used to treat anxiety disorders. These work by increasing the level of serotonin in the brain, which will result in mood elevation. These drugs are preferred for chronic anxiety disorders such as obsessive compulsive disorder and generalized anxiety disorder since these are slow acting. It has also been found out that there is a lesser risk for these drugs to be abused as well as patients being dependent on them. Some of the common antidepressants that are used as anxiety medications include Zoloft, Prozac, Celexa and Paxil. Their side effects include nausea, headaches, dizziness, weight gain and sexual dysfunction.

Beta blockers are commonly known as medications for heart disorders but these too are used as anxiety medication. These block the hormone in the body which stimulates the fight or flight response called norepinephrine. When this happens, the signs and symptoms of anxiety will then be controlled which will also help you relax. The common side effects are drowsiness, nausea, being light headed and very slow pulse rate.

There are other anxiety medications but these three are the most commonly used. While you are taking them, remember not to be overly dependent on these drugs and that you need to help yourself too. Find other ways on how you can treat anxiety disorder since these medications will only provide temporary relief.

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