Sydney is a contributing health writer and editor who enjoys shedding light on health topics, making information available to anyone who wants it, and ending stigmas or lack of access to care and treatment.
Po-Chang Hsu, M.D.
Dr. Hsu received his medical degree from Tufts University in Boston, Massachusetts, and holds a Master’s of Science degree from both Harvard University and Tufts University. Outside of the medical profession, Dr. Hsu loves to write, learn new languages, and travel.
March 17, 2021
Some of the most common types of anxiety medications:
There are millions of people around the world who suffer from various anxiety disorders, which are what anti-anxiety medications treat. If you experience high anxiety levels while performing daily, low-stress life functions, you may require one of these prescription medications.
In the United States, only 36% of those who suffer from anxiety disorder get the treatment they need. This means 64% of people are struggling with an anxiety disorder and aren’t properly treated.
There are many types of anxiety disorders, such as panic disorder, social anxiety, generalized anxiety disorder, and phobia-based anxiety. While there are many anxiety types, there are also many anxiety treatments and medications that all anxiety sufferers should consider.
According to the Mayo Clinic, “The two main treatments for anxiety disorders are psychotherapy and medications. You may benefit most from a combination of the two. It may take some trial and error to discover which treatments work best for you.”
Most doctors and therapists will suggest one or a combination of the following to treat anxiety:
To prevent anxiety and panic attacks, the medication you take needs to increase the level of serotonin, a mood-regulating neurotransmitter, or decrease the level of stress hormones in the brain.
All of the medications you’ll see further down either perform one or both of these functions. The most common anxiety medications on the market include:
Here are some of the most common anxiety medications, with a brief description:
The best anxiety drug for you entirely depends on your:
The way your body interacts with the drug determines whether or not it works, as well as if the side effects are tolerable enough for prolonged use. If you have a heart problem, for example, taking beta-blockers may cause more issues since they tend to weaken the heart muscles.
The only way to find the best anxiety medication for you is to gain a full understanding of your physiology, take inventory of all other medications you’re taking, and gain an understanding of the type of anxiety disorder you’re suffering from. Only then can you decide which anxiety medication is the best for you.
The safest and most efficient way to determine this is to speak with a healthcare professional, either in person or online, through telemedicine. Our sister site PlushCare gives you access to top doctors who can identify anxiety disorders, develop a treatment plan, and prescribe common anxiety medications. You can make an appointment here.
Any of the common anxiety medications listed above can help calm you down. Some of them only work long term, meaning you need to take them for weeks or months to feel them affecting your anxiety. Others, like Benzodiazepines, will calm you down immediately and don’t need to be taken consistently.
Because some common anxiety medications work immediately to calm you down, they are better suited for panic attacks and should be taken on a need-by-need basis.
These antidepressants have proven themselves as effective anxiety treatments for some patients. While benzodiazepines sedate anxious people, SSRIs and SNRIs improve the mood of those suffering from anxiety.
These are best for those who suffer from social anxiety and fear that their peers are constantly judging them and may be considered less effective for those with chronic panic disorders.
Tricyclic Antidepressants (TCAs), although different in their chemical processes from SSRIs and SNRIs, accomplish a similar result. Best for those with more continual forms of anxiety, TCAs work to regulate the patient’s mood consistently.
The major downside of prescription medication is the side effects associated with them. Some common anxiety medication side effects include:
Many users have reported that these side effects subside after 2-4 weeks of using the medication daily. Dealing with these side effects is a trade-off everyone must consider when choosing a common anxiety medication. To reduce anxiety symptoms significantly, some patients may have to endure some discomfort for a few weeks or even long term in some cases.
When it comes to balancing the risks and rewards associated with these anxiety treatments, it’s important to talk to a healthcare professional to guide you through the process. What’s great is that now, thanks to telemedicine, you can consult with a doctor online from the comfort of your home.
Accessing anxiety treatment online is made easy through telemedicine professionals. You can book appointments, attend consultations, and even get prescription medications from a licensed physician through our partner PlushCare.
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