More than 40 million Americans suffer from the impacts of anxiety disorders. The particular triggers and even some of the symptoms can vary depending on the exact disorder at hand, but many patients find their ability to enjoy life is greatly sidetracked when one of these disorders is present.
To help patients overcome some of the symptoms and work through therapy, many doctors prescribe medications. There is information about anxiety medications that patients do need to be aware of before taking, however.
Some of the questions people need to ask in regard to information about anxiety medications can even save lives. Here some common questions that can provide patients with insight and valuable information about anxiety medications. These questions should be asked of doctors in regard to the particular medications prescribed:
What is the brand name of the medication you are prescribing?
It is important for patients to know exactly the medication they are supposed to take and whether or not generic equivalents are recommended.
What is the exact dosing I should take and how many times a day?
This information about anxiety medications can make or break their ability to function. It is very important with certain medications to take exactly the right dose at the right times each day.
What precautions should I take when on this medication?
Some anti-anxiety medications are also depressants. Inasmuch, it can be very important to watching for side effects, avoid alcohol and not operate heavy machinery. Side effects can include dizziness and drowsiness.
Are there medications I should avoid?
Certain anxiety medications can have bad interactions with other prescription, herbal and even over-the-counter medications. This is very valuable information about anxiety medications patients should be aware of.
How long should I take this medication?
Some forms of anxiety medications are addictive. Inasmuch, doctors will only prescribe them for short-term use. Patients should be aware of the potential for addiction and understand the need to discontinue use after a certain period of time.
What kind of results should I see?
Anxiety medications are not meant to be a panacea. In most cases, they are meant to lessen the worst symptoms and allow for other forms of treatment to have a chance to work.
What else should I be doing?
In most cases, anxiety medications are meant to supplement other forms of therapy that can help give patients the techniques they need to regain control of their lives. Pursuing other forms of treatment can be invaluable for coping with anxiety disorders.
Patients who arm themselves with information about anxiety medications and what they can and cannot do are one step ahead in the battle against their condition. Taking the right steps to ensure medications work and other forms of therapy are pursued can help many patients overcome the symptoms that control their lives.
Information About Children And Anti Anxiety Medications
It’s an unfortunate fact that children sometimes suffer from anxiety disorders. Unlike their adult counterparts, however, children are often limited in their treatment options, especially in regard to medication. Children and anti anxiety medications do not always go together terribly well. While these medications can be very useful in the treatment of adults with anxiety disorders, some of the most common of medications are not advised for young children with the same conditions.
According to the National Institute of Mental Health, caution must be exercised deciding if children and anti anxiety medications should mix. While medications are sometimes called for, doctors generally carefully weigh the risks versus the benefits to decide if children and anti anxiety medication should go together.
If other forms of therapy show promise, there is a strong chance that doctors will recommend them instead of medications. This is especially so in very young children.
It is also important to remember that children and anti anxiety medications have different implications than adults. Children’s bodies are in a state of rapid development and they can sometimes have different reactions to medications. In most cases, dosages will be greatly different than what adults would be given. If potentially addictive drugs are called for, doctors will generally monitor use very closely in children. They will also typically strongly urge other forms of treatment, such as psychotherapy to help young children cope and overcome anxiety disorders.
Although most doctors would prefer to treat children with anxiety disorders without medications, sometimes they are called for. If they are, there are some medications that have been used successfully to treat children with anxiety disorders. When children and anti anxiety medications do have to mix, the most commonly prescribed form of drugs are selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors, or SSRIs.
Medications In Common Use
When children and anti anxiety medications do have to mix, the National Institute of Mental Health points to a few SSRIs in particular that have proven useful, even in young children. Some of the most common name brands that are used in treating youngsters include:
o Anafranil – This is used for children age 10 and over for the treatment of obsessive-compulsive disorder.
o Luvox – This SSRI is used for obsessive-compulsive disorder in children age 8 and older.
o Tofranil – This medication is used in children as young as six, but is most commonly prescribed for bed wetting.
o Zoloft – This SSRI has been used in children age six and older for the treatment of obsessive-compulsive disorder.
When it appears as if children and anti anxiety medications will have to mix to make treatments more effective, parents will generally find their use does not continue for too long. Youngsters can sometimes benefit from the symptom relief these medications provide, which is good for helping other forms of therapy along the way.
Long Term Effects Of Anxiety Medications Are Troublesome
Anxiety disorders are almost always treated at some point with medications. People who suffer from generalized anxiety disorder, post traumatic stress or any of the other classes of this condition, however, will generally find that medications are not used as the only line of defense.
Since the long term effects of anxiety medications can be very troublesome, most patients and their physicians prefer they only be used during acute situations or as stop-gap measures.
Why Medications Are Important
While the long term effects of anxiety medications are worth watching out for, these drugs do have their place. They are very often used in acute situations to give patients near immediate relief from their symptoms.
Drugs like Xanax and Valium can have an almost immediate impact on acute anxiety. For example, a person in the midst of an acute episode will find relief in less than two hours in most cases. Because these medications can ease the symptoms and enable patients to focus on other coping mechanisms, they are considered incredibly useful for short-term, even emergency use. They may sometimes be called for over a short duration for everyday use, especially if the effects of anxiety are very high or are causing patients problems with daily routine.
What Are The Effects
The long term effects of anxiety medications are precisely why they are typically only indicated for short use. These medications are technically depressants, which means they can cause addition. To avoid addiction problems, most doctors only prescribe drugs like Librium and Ativan for temporary use. Beyond addiction, some other long term effects of anxiety medications can also center on memory loss.
In the short term, anxiety medications can also have some unpleasant side effects. Since these medications are depressants, people taking them might experience drowsiness, dizziness and fatigue. Other side effects include such things as stomach upset, headaches and sexual problems.
Avoiding Long Term Effects Of Anxiety Medications
Patients who suffer from anxiety disorders are often prescribed these medications to help them alleviate symptoms in the short term. They are generally prescribed along with other forms of therapy, including psychotherapy.
To avoid long term effects of medications, patients are strongly advised to learn coping techniques that do not involve drug interventions. These are generally taught in therapy sessions and can also be added to through meditation, relaxation and other self-help methods.
Living with anxiety disorders can be a very difficult path to say the least. While medications are useful in treating some of the symptoms, they are not generally the best route to take for the long haul. To avoid the long term effects of anxiety medications, patients are often urged to take advantage of other forms of therapy available to them.