If you’ve experienced stress or panic attacks that are disrupting your life, and you cannot find relief through the practice of relaxation or behavioural modification exercises, then maybe it’s time to consider anxiety panic medications. Physicians recognise their importance because they break up the patient’s pattern of anticipating panic and reducing related symptoms.
Benzodiazepines have been in use for decades, and they include such well known medications as Valium, Librium, Ativan, and Xanax. They work by increasing the effectiveness of specific neurotransmitters, which actually depresses the central nervous system. Typically, people who take these feel a decrease in irritability or excitement, or they simply feel relaxed enough to fall asleep. They are referred to as sedative-hypnotic drugs, and they should only be utilised for a short time period because they can cause memory loss. They are very addictive. Xanax and Klonopin have been identified as two drugs with a high rate of success at blocking panic attacks.
A milder, newer entry in the list of anxiolytics is BuSpar, which has a lesser effect of sedation and dependence than the benzodiazepines. People also retain better memory response when they use this drug. However, many patients complain about not being able to find “the right dose” – maybe because sedation is really what they’re looking for.
Selective Serotonin Reuptake Inhibitors, also referred to as SSRI’s, include Prozac, Zoloft, and Paxil. They were developed to increase the body’s supply of a neurotransmitter called serotonin, which is developed by the brain to help you with sleep, mood adjustments, appetite, memory, and other functions. With this drug enabling the body to keep a naturally higher level of serotonin, the patient’s depression and anxiety are relieved.
Tricyclic antidepressants are another older group of drugs, including such familiar medications as Elavil, Imipramine, Sinequan, and many others. They used to be the first line of defense as anxiety panic medications but they have been pretty well upstaged by the SSRI’s. Many physicians still use them, and they do have an additional but little understood mechanism for alleviating chronic pains experienced as part of an anxiety disorder.
Monoamine Oxidase Inhibitors are no longer used widely. They are involved in a wide variety of negative dietary interactions. Most often today they are used as a last line defense for those affected by social disorders, obsessive compulsive disorder, and agoraphobia. Nardil and Parnate are the best known of these.
There are a variety of medications used as anxiety panic medications that are difficult to categorise, possibly because their primary indication is for something other than panic or stress. Depakene is an anticonvulsant medication that has been noted to provide relief from depression, stress, and anxiety. Hydroxyine is an antihistamine medication that allows patients to sleep and become more relaxed and calm, but it is much less addictive than the sedative drugs. Some common brand names of this type are Vistaril and Atarax, and even Zyrtec exerts a similar effect. Buproprion, more widely known as Wellbutrin, preserves the norepinephrine and dopamine in the system, and it is widely used for smoking cessation.
Many herbs are recommended for relieving anxiety, stress, and depression. Kava treats anxiety and helps the patient to sleep better. Valerian relieves anxiety and insomnia. St. John’s Wort is probably the best known of all herbs. Studies have shown it to be more effective than a placebo, and it’s probably well advised for patients who are very sensitive to side effects. The problem with most herbal supplements is that there is a lack of standardisation among distributors.
If you begin a medication regimen, it’s important for you to feel that you can use the drug while you learn how to control your panic or anxiety. You should never feel as if the drug is the only thing that is helping you. Talk with your doctor to find the best anxiety panic medication for you, and use it hand-in-hand with other stress-relief techniques.