Anxiety

An Informative List of Medications Used to Treat Anxiety Problems

Anxiety is a thin stream of fear trickling through the mind. If encouraged, it cuts a channel into which all other thoughts are drained.
~ Arthur Somers Roche

Anxiety kills gradually. Constant worrying slowly morphs into panic attacks and the entire life of the victim turns topsy-turvy. It all starts with random instances of harmless emotional discomfort over small things. However, one can hardly trace the moment when this seemingly innocent disquietude turns into a pathological condition, manifesting as serious, sometimes fatal, panic attacks over trifles that can leave the individual emotionally and psychologically drained. The ill effects of this condition have physical manifestations as well and physical symptoms may include hyperventilation, increased palpitation, physical tension, sweaty palms and soles. The complete scope of clinical anxiety disorder comprises four facets – mental apprehension, physical tension, dissociative anxiety and physical anxiety symptoms. In the list of anxiety medications, that is being given subsequently in this article, the anxiety cures (drugs and medicines) belong to various categories and aim at tackling a particular psycho-physical propeller of anxiety disorder and panic attacks.

Anxiety Medication

Anxiety medication belong to various different categories of drugs and medicines and each medication may be directed towards tackling a separate facet or variation of anxiety or related symptoms. The most common categories of antianxiety drugs are benzodiazepinebeta blockerstricyclic antidepressantsmonoamine oxidase inhibitorsselective serotonin reuptake inhibitorsmild tranquilizers and anticonvulsants. Let’s take a quick look at each of these drugs’ mode of action before proceeding towards the anti-anxiety medication’s list.

Benzodiazepine
This drug is extremely effective in accentuating the effects of the chief inhibitory neurotransmitter GABA. This is calming, sleep inducing and anxiety relieving to the anxiety patient and as a result, is effective in arresting phobic symptoms and panic attacks. The enhanced GABA activity also acts as an anti convulsant and muscle relaxer. Some of the best anxiety medications and medical formulae under this category are:-

  • Diazepam
  • Alprazolam
  • Lorazepam
  • Clonazepam
  • Chlordiazepoxide
  • Oxazepam

Beta Blockers
Beta Blockers are generally used to handle situations of cardiac arrhythmia (abnormality in the electric conduction system of the heart), hypertension and heart attack (myocardial infarction). This drug is effective in dealing with anxiety symptoms like increased palpitation, increased blood pressure and arrest the stress inducing effects of adrenaline. This drug is mostly used to curb performance anxiety, social phobia and panic associated with stage fright and public interaction. Antianxiety medications under this category include:-

  • Propranolol
  • Atenolol

Tricyclic Antidepressants
Tricyclic antidepressants have mood stabilizing effects and are usually used in the treatment of clinical depression and ADHD. This drug is considered effective in treating depression-like symptoms associated with certain types of anxiety disorders. Anxiety medications under this category include:-

  • Venlafaxine
  • Imipramine
  • Clomipramine
  • Desipramine
  • Doxepin
  • Nortriptyline
  • Amitriptyline

Monoamine Oxidase Inhibitors
This drug is a type of antidepressant and it acts by checking the activity and effects of monoamine oxidase, enzymes that act as catalyst in the monoamine oxidation process. Medications under this category include:-

  • Tranylcypromine
  • Phenelzine

Selective Serotonin Reuptake Inhibitors
This category of drugs act to control anxiety disorder by inhibiting the reuptake of serotonin, a neurotransmitter that is associated with feelings of well-being and euphoria, into the presynaptic cell by heightening the former’s extracellular level. This increases serotonin level in the synaptic cleft which allows it to bind to the post synaptic receptor. Anxiety medications falling in this category include:-

  • Paroxetine
  • Fluxetine
  • Sertraline
  • Fluvoxamine

Mild Tranquilizers and Anti Convulsants
By providing a calming, sedative effect, mild tranquilizers reduce psychological activity and induce sleep to relax the anxiety patient. Anti convulsants are effective in arresting panic attacks and imparting relief from anxiety driven convulsions and tremors. Mild tranquilizers and anti convulsants include:-

  • Buspirone
  • Valproate

Anxiety Medication Over the Counter

All medications mentioned in the above classified anxiety medications list come under the category of psychotropic drugs. Long-term use or their intake in absence of medical supervision can be extremely dangerous and impart many undesirable antianxiety medication side effects. Also, most of these medications, such as anti depressants and tranquilizers are significant candidates for substance abuse. Therefore, none of the above mentioned medications are available as anxiety medication over the counter products. All of these are available only under prescription by a registered medical practitioner. However, certain herbal and natural remedies for countering anxiety and stress are available over the counter. These may include:-

  • Chamomile
  • Valerian
  • Bach Flower Drops
  • Lavender Tonic/ Essential Oil
  • L-Theanine
  • Benadryl

Although included among over the counter anxiety medications list, Benadryl is something that shouldn’t be taken too lightly. It is just a temporary fix for anxiety which has a sedative effect and may relax the patient and induce tranquility for the time being. This is one of the most abused drugs and regular use without medical supervision may develop drug dependency. One of the most effective and benevolent remedies for anxiety is yoga meditation which imbibe meditation techniques for anxiety in order to gradually condition the mind to relax even in tense situations and seek calm from within.

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