Anti-anxiety Medications – Your Guide

Although they can cause addiction and high tolerance, benzodiazepines are still the most commonly used drugs in the fight against anxiety.
Anxiety Medications - Your Guide

Anxiety becomes a problem when the reaction is too strong in relation to the situation. There are anti-anxiety medications that can help.

Anxiety is a natural condition that people experience in response to any physical or psychological threat. But it becomes a problem when the reaction is too strong in relation to the situation that caused it. It can also turn into a pathological condition that can only be alleviated by anti-anxiety medications .

There is no clear line between ordinary anxiety and a pathological problem. However, we could say that it is exceeded when symptoms begin to affect our daily activities and well-being.

Remember that you should only take anti-anxiety medications after consulting your doctor.

Calculates fear

Anxiety and anxiety are disorders that are becoming more and more popular all over the world. For example, the number of people suffering from depression and anxiety increased from 416 million to 615 million between 1990 and 2013.

So, to understand why some medications are more appropriate than others, we need to distinguish between two basic types of anxiety:

1. Some anxiety is mainly based on fear, including panic attacks, social anxiety and others.

2. Other fears are of a more general nature, they arise for no apparent reason.

Anxiolytic drugs

On the other hand, benzodiazepines are an ideal drug for anxiety because, although they may induce sleep, if consumed in larger amounts, they are effective in dealing with anxiety while posing a low risk to the patient.

The brain and anxiety medications

However, anti-anxiety medications of this kind have the disadvantage that they can cause side effects such as memory loss, addiction and physical intolerance.

Additionally, these drugs must be combined with an appropriate psychological approach to treatment. In the last decade, anxiety medications have moved from traditional sleeping pills to a very wide variety of medications.

They are also used to treat other disorders of the central nervous system.


The first benzodiazepine was chlordiazepoxide, made in 1961. These drugs act by selectively interacting with GABA receptors. Additionally, neurotransmitters mediate inhibition of the central nervous system.

Therefore, benzodiazepines facilitate the opening of GABA-activated chloride channels and enhance their inhibitory effect. In addition, they gently calm down, relax the muscles and have an anticonvulsant effect.

Moreover, benzodiazepines are also used to treat acute anxiety disorders. They are generally effective for panic attacks and are used as enemas for children with epilepsy. We distinguish between several types of these drugs, depending on the duration of action:

  • Short-term benzodiazepines: midazolam, trazolam
  • Intermediate duration of action: alprazolam, bromazepam, lorazepam, lormetazepam
  • Long-term: clobazam, clorazepan, diazepam, chlordiazepoxide

Moreover, the body easily absorbs these drugs. However, anti-anxiety medications can interact with psychotropic drugs, alcohol, barbiturates, sleeping pills and antiallergic drugs.

In the elderly, they should be dosed carefully to avoid their accumulation in the body.

The main side effects of these medications include:

  • Dizziness
  • Confusion
  • Amnesia
  • Movement coordination disorders

In addition, all benzodiazepines can lead to over-tolerance (gradually increasing the dose required to achieve the same effect) and dependence. This is why it is recommended to gradually reduce the dose in patients whose treatment is about to end.

chemical reaction

It is worth noting that overdosing on benzodiazepines is relatively less dangerous than excessive consumption of other anti-anxiety medications. However, it can significantly slow down your breathing.

Fluamzenil will be best in this situation. Doctors use it to reverse a similar effect from alcohol poisoning.


Buspirone is an anxiolytic drug from the 5-HT1a class of serotonin receptors. It can help treat general anxiety but not phobias or social anxiety. It has no hypnotic, anticonvulsant or muscle-relaxing effect.

Additionally, it does not interact with many medications. Its main side effects are nausea, dizziness, headache and restlessness.

Antidepressants for anxiety

These anti-anxiety medications are effective against general anxiety disorders, phobias, and social anxiety. Besides, tricyclic antidepressants and monoamine oxidase inhibitors (MAOIs) have more side effects, but can also be used.

In addition, this class of drugs also includes other drugs that are commonly used to treat anxiety:

  • Selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs) such as fluoxetine and sertraline.
  • And serotonin and norepinephrine reuptake inhibitors (SNRIs) such as venlafaxine and duloxetine

Antiepileptic drugs

Additionally, anti-epileptic drugs such as gabapentin, pregabalin, valproic acid, and levetiracetam are equally effective in treating general anxiety.

Unusual antipsychotics

Some atypical antipsychotics, such as olanzapine, risperidone, quetiapine, and ziprasidone, are effective in treating some forms of anxiety, including post-traumatic stress disorder.

Beta blockers

Propranolol is a drug that is widely used to relieve some forms of anxiety. It is especially effective in treating physical symptoms such as sweating, chills and high heart rate.

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