6 Anxiety Medication Alternatives – Everything You Need to Know

Anxiety Medication Alternatives

The expression of anxiety circumscribes the feeling of fear, worry, and unease. This is usual to have some anxiety at times, persistent and intense anxiety must be indicative of a disorder of anxiety. According to various surveys, up to 30 percent of persons experience some form of anxiety issues in their life.

A variety of medications are accessible to treat this issue. A prescription from the doctors may also come with the medication, and sometimes it is combined with therapies including cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT) or another kind.

What is Anxiety Medication?

Anxiety is a response often in the situation of potential stress or danger. It enhances the awareness of what’s going on around the person.

Most of the time, anxiety is short-term and generally left away after the situation may pass. The distress also evinces various physical symptoms like headaches, muscle tension, or even chest pain.

For the solution of anxiety, there are a lot of medications available that include multiple kinds of drugs, which are used to treat the symptoms. The usually prescribed anxiety medication are anti-anxiety medications that are also known as anxiolytics, antidepressants, and beta-blockers.

Examples

  • Citalopram (Celexa)
  • Escitalopram (Lexapro)
  • Fluvoxamine (Luvox)
  • Paroxetine (Paxil)
  • Fluoxetine (Prozac)
  • Sertraline (Zoloft)
  • Vilazodone (Viibryd)
  • Vortioxetine (formerly Brintellix; now Trintellix)

Conditions for Anxiety Medications?

These medications are often used alone but sometimes it has a combination with psychotherapy for treating different disorders. The classification of anxiety may include the following disorders:

  • Generalized anxiety disorder (GAD)
  • Phobias
  • Obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD)
  • Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD)
  • Panic disorder (PD)
  • Social anxiety disorder (SAD)

Anxiety Medication on Specific Diagnosis?

These are also known as selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs). Generally used for treating various disorders including panic, obsessive-compulsive, social or general anxiety, and post-traumatic stress, etc.

The panic disorder as well as the post-traumatic stress and general anxiety disorder can be treated with Tricyclic antidepressants (TCAs) specifically. Clomipramine called Anafranil should also help in the treatment of an obsessive-compulsive disorder.

Several other medications are used for the specific disorders given below:

  • Serotonin-norepinephrine reuptake inhibitors (SNRIs), are used for panic, obsessive-compulsive, social or general anxiety disorder, and post-traumatic stress.
  • Buspirone (BuSpar) and diphenhydramine are specifically used to treat general anxiety disorder.
  • Beta-blockers like propranolol may use to treat performance anxiety, which is a type of social anxiety disorder.
  • Alpha-blockers like prazosin, are used in the treatment of post-traumatic stress disorder and specifically for nightmares.

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Anti-Anxiety Medications – Warnings/Precautions

It may maximize the risk of suicide even in children, adolescents, and adults up to the age of below 24. The use of other anti-medication with MAO inhibitors causes the serious threat of creating several fatal side effects.

Sudden withdrawal of serotonin-norepinephrine reuptake inhibitors (SNRIs), as well as selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs), may have resulted in confusion, dizziness, anxiety, agitation, etc. in addition to that while using SSRIs and SNRIs, the person should be avoided to use the other nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory medications.

Some of the SNRIs and SSRIs may cause a drop in levels of sodium in the blood, especially in the elderly, dehydrated patients, or those using diuretics. While using Prozac, if a patient experiences rash then the medication should be discontinued. Fluoxetine also may cause significant weight loss and insomnia.

What are the Alternatives to Anxiety Medication?

There is a study shows that assorted herbal remedies are helpful in the treatment of anxiety. More research must be needed in understanding the entire benefits and risks.

Herbal supplements can cause the person to feel sleepy, so they are not safe to take while doing dangerous tasks or driving. The doctor should help the patient to understand the possibilities if he chooses an herbal supplement.

1. Kava

Kava emerged as the treatment for anxiety, but it is reported that even short-term use can cause serious liver damage.

Food and Drug Administration issued a warning about using dietary supplements that may contain kava. The initial reports of liver toxicity while using this remedy should be questioned for the advanced possibilities.

Patients should have extra caution and involve their doctor in the decision that they may consider using the products containing kava.

2. Passionflower

Passionflower is another kind of herbal remedy that is suggested for the treatment of anxiety after running a few small clinical trials.

It is combined with other herbs in various commercial products, but this will become difficult to determine the unique qualities present in each herb.

This herb is usually taken as safe to use as directed. On the other hand, some trials found that it can also be causing dizziness, drowsiness, and confusion to the patient.

3. Valerian

Valerian is an herb used to lessen the disorders such as anxiety and stress effectively. This herb is usually considered safe while used in the recommended dose.

The long-term safety for using this herbal product is lacking, so it is not being used unless the doctor will recommend it for a few more weeks at a time.

Valerian also comes with some sort of side effects including headaches along with dizziness and drowsiness.

4. Chamomile

Chamomile is generally taken as a safe and effective herb treatment in case of the symptoms of anxiety disorder. While using it with the blood-thinning drugs, may enhance the risk of bleeding.

Long-term usage of this herbal remedy can also cause the reaction of allergy in some patients who are even sensitive to that type of plant that contains chamomile.

In addition to that, there are a lot of other members present in the Chamomile family, such as marigolds, ragweed, daisies, and chrysanthemums, etc.

5. Lavender

Lavender is a kind of herb that is vernacular to northern Africa and the Mediterranean’s mountainous regions. The production of its essential oil occurred, which comes when the distillation of flower spikes takes place of individual lavender species.

The oil is then used in some cosmetics as well as also has various medicinal uses. Some of the studies suggest that aromatherapy with lavender or oral lavender can minimize anxiety symptoms.

Along with advantages, Oral lavender may cause headaches and constipation. It can also maximize the sedative effect of other medications, and cause low blood pressure.

6. Lemon Balm

Lemon balm is a persisting herb, which is grown by people to help attract bees. The use of lemon balm is for various purposes, such as for stress relief and to enhance mental alertness.

It can also improve digestive health and cause antispasmodic and analgesic pain-relieving effects. The research on lemon balm shows that it can reduce a few symptoms of anxiety, including nervousness and excitability. Considered safe only for short-term use as it may cause nausea and abdominal pain.

Conclusion

Anxiety may be a normal condition, but sometimes it is highly subjective to human emotions. Factors of psychological, biological, and social, which may contribute to the formation and maintenance of pathological anxiety disorders are taken as dangerous.

Medications, as well as treatments for anxiety disorders, are based on an advanced scientific foundation, grounded from the field in research by experts. So, the development of various empirically-based treatments medication occurred that proved to be highly effective in case of disorder.

As a result, tons of individual patients have retrieved their health, functioning been restored, and enjoying satisfying lives. Advancements in the medications and treatments of anxiety disorders will be continued to initiate hope and bring relief to the ones, affected by these disorders.