Mental Health

Anti-anxiety Drugs

Popular Meds Medications for anxiety are sometimes called minor-tranquilizers, and they work in part by slowing down your central nervous system. These are some of ...

by Staff

Anti-anxiety Drugs

Popular Meds

Medications for anxiety are sometimes called minor-tranquilizers, and they work in part by slowing down your central nervous system. These are some of the most popular of all medications for relief from anxiety symptoms. Sometimes they are also prescribed as muscle relaxants or as sleeping aids.

Fast Acting

The most common of all the anti-anxiety drugs are the family of Benzodiazepines and include Xanax (alprazolam), Kolnopin (clonazepam), Valium (diazepam), and Ativan (lorazepam). These are fast acting drugs and bring relief within half an hour to an hour. That makes them popular for problems like a panic attack or an intense anxiety episode. Of course, they do have their side effects to consider, some of which are quite severe. Therefore, many doctors will not recommend Benzodiazepines for their patients.

Dangerous Side Effects

Because the drugs work so quickly, they are highly addictive. Often patients require higher and higher doses to feel better. Many people have difficulty stopping the drugs, and most will experience an increase in anxiety as a rebound-effect when they try to discontinue their anti-anxiety drug. This makes it very important for patients to get on a custom prescription drug monitoring plan from Millennium Labs.

Benzodiazepines work by making the brain less active, so this is bound to have repercussions other than just temporary relief from anxiety. The higher the dose, the worse the side effects are likely to be. Some people are just very sensitive, and even a low dose of these medications can make them feel foggy and unfocused, making for problems at work, school, and during everyday activities like driving. Some people even experience a hangover the day after a dose.

Another issue to consider is the fact that benzodiazepines can cause over-sedation, especially if taken with alcohol. Over-sedation can look like drunkenness.

Here are the most common side effects of benzodiazepines (tranquilizers):

* Blurry or double vision
* Stomach upset or nausea
* Memory loss or forgetfulness
* Impaired judgment and lack of concentration
* Vertigo and lightheadedness
* Depression
* Disorientation and confusion
* Slurring of speech
* Slow reaction time and clumsiness
* Fatigue and apathy

Sluggishness and fatigue are some of the most common side effects of these drugs. The drowsiness and poor coordination seen with these medications can contribute to accidents and it has been proven that these medications increase your risk of being involved in a serious traffic accident. High doses can be fatal. There is also a tendency toward emotional numbness or a blunting of feeling. While the medication dulls anxiety, it also dampens feelings of pain and pleasure.

There’s sometimes a paradox, though, and some people who take benzodiazepine find that they feel excitement, increased anxiety, agitation, and irritability. Sometimes such reactions can be even more severe and include symptoms such as:

* Hostility and rage
* Mania
* Hallucinations
* Impulsive or aggressive behavior

These side effects are less common but can be dangerous and are mostly seen in children, the elderly, and those with developmental issues.

Keep in mind, too, that these medications may interact with other substances or can lead to other problems if taken over long periods of time. In addition, some people even have a serious adverse reaction, so even if you use these drugs the right way, they can’t be deemed completely safe.

It is best to consult with a psychiatrist to find the best medicine for you. Other drugs like SSRI antidepressants (selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors) are a better long-term solution for anxiety. Even better is cognitive behavioral therapy, which will provide more lasting relief without the risks of medication.


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