Which Medications Are Used To Address Anxiety Attacks And Depression?

anxiety attacks

Many people suffer from anxiety attacks and depression, requiring them to seek professional treatment. Many physicians choose to prescribe various drugs, and although these substances are effective, when used in excess they can become habit forming, requiring rehab to overcome. Here are some of the most common substances.

Drugs Taken For Anxiety Attacks

The most popular medications used for anxiety attacks are antidepressants and serotonin reuptake inhibitors like Zoloft, Prozac, Celexa, Luvox and Lexapro. These drugs are designed to enhance the motivation of the patient in a manner that compels them to face their anxiety. These drugs are designed to reduce the symptoms which are anxiety causes. Other medications will block the anxiety attack directly, which allows the patient to overcome it more rapidly.

Drugs such as Xanax (a benzodiazepine) will block anxiety attacks much more rapidly than antidepressants, typically within one or two weeks. They are also used to prevent an anxiety attack before it even appears. The biggest advantage of benzodiazepines over antidepressants is that they have lower side effects. At the same time, they can cause withdrawal when the patient attempts to quit, even when using them as prescribed.

It isn’t uncommon for doctors to recommend a mixture of both antidepressants and benzodiazepine. The antidepressant may be taken daily while the benzodiazepine can be reserved for times when an anxiety attack becomes severe. Some doctors also recommend using benzodiazepine and antidepressants simultaneously during the first one or two months and then slowly reducing benzodiazepine usage after four to eight weeks.

Drugs Taken For Depression

Individuals who are suffering from depression will often be prescribed antidepressants such as Imipramine or Alprazolam. These medications are designed to reduce the symptoms associated with depression while controlling the appearance of panic attacks. Imipramine is extremely versatile and has been used to treat both depression as well as anxiety attacks and even PTSD (Post Traumatic Stress Disorder). Perhaps the greatest benefit of this medication is that patients will not develop a tolerance for it. The body will metabolize it slowly, which means that it should be taken once a day, usually before retiring to bed.

There are side effects which are associated with imipramine usage. When used for the first time it may cause a brief spike in anxiety which will be reduced over the following weeks. Its anticholinergic effects are greater than what has been demonstrated in other antidepressants, and patients may experience dizziness due to lower blood pressure.

Alprazolam, also known as Xanax is another drug commonly prescribed for depression. When taken its effects begin rapidly, so rapidly that the user will feel it within 60 minutes. It can be used against panic attacks when they appear or to prevent them.

Alprazolam should not be taken by pregnant women or women who are planning to become pregnant. It should also never be mixed with alcohol, as it will cause drowsiness and enhanced intoxication. The common side effects associated with this substance are tachycardia, headache, insomnia and confusion.