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Managing Anxiety: A Complete Guide to Selecting the Best Anxiety Drug

May 18, 2024 | by Freya Parker

Knowing About Disorders of Anxiety

Millions of people worldwide suffer from anxiety disorders, which can have a distressing impact on daily life due to its symptoms. Without the right care, a variety of anxiety disorders, including social anxiety, panic disorder, and generalized anxiety disorder (GAD), can be extremely crippling. Medication is frequently an essential part of treatment, even while lifestyle modifications and therapy are important strategies for treating anxiety. We’ll explore the world of anxiety medications in this tutorial, including how to pick the best one for you.

Types of Medication for Anxiety

Prior to exploring the selection procedure, allow me to briefly describe the main classifications of anxiety drugs:

One of the most often given drugs for anxiety disorders is selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors, or SSRIs. They function by raising serotonin levels in the brain, which lessen anxiety and aid in mood regulation. Examples include escitalopram (Lexapro), sertraline (Zoloft), and fluoxetine (Prozac).

Serotonin-Norepinephrine Reuptake Inhibitors (SNRIs): 

SNRIs influence norepinephrine, a different neurotransmitter associated with mood regulation, in addition to increasing serotonin levels. SNRIs used to treat anxiety include venlafaxine (Effexor XR) and duloxetine (Cymbalta).


These drugs have a quick-acting anti-anxiety effect, but because they can cause tolerance and dependency, they are often recommended for a brief period of time. Lorazepam (Ativan) and alprazolam (Xanax) are two examples.

Beta blockers, such as propranolol (Inderal), are mainly used to treat heart problems and high blood pressure, but they can also be used to treat the physical signs of anxiety, such as trembling and a fast heartbeat.

Tricyclic Antidepressants (TCAs):

 Because of their negative effects, TCAs such as amitriptyline (Elavil) are less frequently recommended than SSRIs and SNRIs, but they can be used to treat some anxiety disorders.

Considerations for Selecting Anti-Anxiety Drugs

Type of Anxiety Disorder:

 Certain anxiety disorders may respond better to a certain drug. For example, benzodiazepines may be administered for acute episodes of anxiety or panic attacks, while SSRIs and SNRIs are frequently advised for generalized anxiety disorder.

Symptom Severity: 

Your doctor’s recommendation may change depending on how severe your anxiety symptoms are. Generally speaking, SSRIs or SNRIs are recommended for mild to moderate anxiety. Although long-term use of benzodiazepines is typically not advised, there may be circumstances in which severe or acute anxiety warrants their first usage.

Possible Adverse Effects: 

Every medicine class has a unique set of possible adverse effects. While benzodiazepines can result in drowsiness, dizziness, and dependency problems with continuous use, SSRIs and SNRIs may initially produce nausea, sexual dysfunction, or sleeplessness.

Medical History and Comorbid Conditions: 

The best anxiety medicine for you may depend on your medical history, including any coexisting illnesses or prescription drugs. For instance, because of the possibility of abuse, benzodiazepines might not be recommended to people with a history of substance abuse.

Pregnancy and Breastfeeding Considerations: 

Due to possible dangers to the fetus or child, some anxiety drugs may not be advised if you are pregnant or nursing. Talking with your healthcare physician about these factors is crucial.

Choosing Wisely

It’s important to speak with a mental health expert or healthcare provider before using anxiety medication. To assist you in making an informed choice, follow these steps:

Seek Professional Guidance:

 Make an appointment with a mental health specialist primary care physician, psychologist, or psychiatrist. To recommend the best prescription, they can evaluate your symptoms, medical history, and unique needs.

Talk about the treatment’s objectives: .

Make sure to express your treatment choices and goals clearly. Your provider can adjust their advice based on your preferences, which may include long-term care, reducing side effects, or obtaining quick relief.

Examine Possible Side Effects: 

Recognize the dangers and possible side effects connected to each prescription. Find out from your healthcare practitioner how to deal with side effects and how they could affect your day-to-day activities.

Examine Non-medicine Options: 

In addition to medicine, investigate non-medication interventions such stress-reduction strategies, lifestyle changes (such as exercise, diet, and sleep hygiene), and counseling (such as cognitive-behavioral therapy and mindfulness-based therapies).

Monitor and Modify: 

After beginning medication, keep your doctor informed about your progress on a frequent basis. If you encounter any side effects, they may need to change medications or increase the dosage based on your response.

In summary

Selecting the best anxiety medication is a customized process that necessitates giving serious thought to a number of aspects. You can start a treatment path that promotes your mental health by collaborating with medical professionals, being aware of the many pharmaceutical options, and assessing the advantages and disadvantages. Recall that while there may be some trial and error in selecting the appropriate medicine, with perseverance and patience, you can find a treatment plan that relieves the symptoms of anxiety and works best for you.


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