Medicine To Help Anxiety
When you’re overwhelmed by heart-pounding panic, paralyzed by fear, or exhausted from yet another sleepless night spent worrying, you’ll do just about anything to get relief. And there’s no question that when anxiety is disabling, medication may help. But are drugs always the best answer? Is there solid evidence that they’re beneficial in the long run? Just what are the safety concerns and potential side effects? And are there any truly effective non-drug options? These are some of the important questions you’ll need to consider when deciding if anxiety medication is right for you, in this article we will review some of these medications.
Alprazolam is a drug in the benzodiazepine class. Like other benzodiazepines, Alprazolam isn’t just an anxiolytic. It’s also a:
- Muscle Relaxant
All of these other properties have both benefits and weaknesses for reducing anxiety. Alprazolam is one of the most prescribed medicines because it works quickly. It may take as little as 10 minutes and usually no longer than an hour for the Alprazolam to start working.
Alprazolam is used for all types of anxiety, but it’s one of the few medicines prescribed for panic disorder. Most other benzodiazepines (including Alprazolam) are used primarily for generalized anxiety disorder and social anxiety disorder.
Alprazolam binds to GABA receptors to produce these anxiolytic qualities. Alprazolam is also generally not prone to allergic reactions, which is another reason it is prescribed so frequently.
Alprazolam as an Anxiety Treatment
There is no denying that Alprazolam works. It’s been prescribed for severe anxiety and panic for decades, and appears to show some fairly strong success rates. Xanax and the generic drugs all seem to work well for most anxiety disorders, and continue to provide relief for many months if necessary.
The problem isn’t generally that Alprazolam doesn’t work. The problem is that it is prescribed without any other treatment, and with issues like panic attacks, you need to be able to control them otherwise when you stop taking the medication, the panic attacks will not only come back – they may come back stronger.
Clonazepam, sold under the brand name Klonopin among others, is a medication used to prevent and treat seizures, panic disorder, and for the movement disorder known as akathisia. It is a tranquilizer of the benzodiazepine class. It is taken by mouth. It begins having an effect within an hour and lasts between six and 12 hours.
Common side effects include sleepiness, poor coordination, and agitation. Long-term use may result in tolerance, dependence, and withdrawal symptoms if stopped abruptly.Dependence occurs in one-third of people who take clonazepam for longer than four weeks. It may increase risk of suicide in people who are depressed. If used during pregnancy it may result in harm to the baby. It binds to GABAA receptors and increases the effect of the neurotransmitter GABA.
Clonazepam was initially patented in 1964 and went on sale in the United States in 1975. It is available as a generic medication. The wholesale cost in the developing world is between 0.01 and 0.07 USD per pill. In the United States the pills are about 0.40 USD each. In many areas of the world it is commonly used as a recreational drug.
Serax (oxazepam) is an antianxiety medication usually prescribed for short periods of time to help ease symptoms of anxiety. It also helps to relieve sleeplessness caused by being anxious. Oxazepam is the metabolite of several other benzodiazepines.
Additionally, Serax is useful for treating conditions such as depression, insomnia, psychosis, suppression of transplant rejection, and can also be given in adjunctive therapy as an alternative drug of choice for alcohol dependence and alcohol withdrawal.
This drug affects the limbic, thalamic, and hypothalamic levels of the central nervous system, which results in anxiolytic, sedative, hypnotic, skeletal muscle relaxant, and anticonvulsant effects. The effects of this medication inhibit the neurotransmitter gamma-aminobutryic acid, or GABA.
Serax produces skeletal muscle relaxation by inhibiting spinal polysynaptic afferent pathways together with inhibition of monosynaptic afferent pathways. This is achieved by inhibiting neuronal transmitters or by blocking excitatory synaptic transmission. This medication also depresses motor nerve and muscle function.
This drug is well-absorbed in the gastrointestinal tract after oral administration. It reaches a maximum plasma concentration in about two to four hours. It has a slow onset of action, taking more than three hours to take effect. Serax undergoes hepatic metabolism (glucuronidation) and has no active metabolites. It has a half-life of about 8 hours (ranging between about six to 11 hours) after which it is eliminated via urine.
Librium capsules contain the active ingredient chlordiazepoxide, which is a type of medicine called a benzodiazepine. Chlordiazepoxide is also available without a brand name, ie as the generic medicine. Benzodiazepines are used for their sedative, anxiety-relieving and muscle-relaxing effects.
Chlordiazepoxide works by acting on receptors in the brain called GABA receptors. This causes the release of a neurotransmitter called GABA in the brain.
Neurotransmitters are chemicals that are stored in nerve cells in the brain and nervous system. They are involved in transmitting messages between the nerve cells. GABA is a neurotransmitter that acts as a natural ‘nerve-calming’ agent. It helps keep the nerve activity in the brain in balance, and is involved in inducing sleepiness, reducing anxiety and relaxing muscles.
As chlordiazepoxide increases the activity of GABA in the brain, it increases its calming effect and results in sleepiness, a decrease in anxiety and relaxation of muscles.
Chlordiazepoxide is used for the short-term treatment of severe anxiety, including anxiety associated with insomnia. Chlordiazepoxide decreases the time taken to fall asleep and nocturnal awakenings, as well as increasing the total amount of time spent sleeping. However, it is only suitable for short-term treatment of anxiety and insomnia as it has a high potential for dependence and addiction. As chlordiazepoxide remains active in the body for many hours, drowsiness may also last into the next day.
Chlordiazepoxide is used in the treatment of alcoholism for its sedating and anxiety-relieving effects, which help relieve the symptoms of acute alcohol withdrawal.
A further use is in controlling muscle spasms.