Anti Anxiety Medications

When looking for some relief from anxiety you will find that there are a number of anti anxiety medications available. These medications are designed to treat your symptoms of anxiety, not the causes of anxiety.

Anxiety medications can even be used in conjunction with other therapies for treating anxiety disorders but it is important to talk to your doctor or therapist before starting or changing your anxiety medication. Here we discuss some anti-anxiety medications and their side-effects. Some of the anxiety medications include:

  • benzodiazepines
  • selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors
  • beta-blockers
  • Buspirone

Types of anti anxiety medications


These anti-anxiety medications have a tranquilizing effect.

They calm your nerves so that other therapies can be more effective. Some of the primary anti-anxiety medications used are in the benzodiazepines group and include such medications as:

  • Diazepam (Valium)
  • Alprazolam (Xanax)
  • Lorazepam (Ativan)
  • Clonazepam (Klonopin)

These take effect quickly, calming you down in less than an hour in many cases. These are good for anxiety attacks or other types of severe anxiety problems that occur quickly.

However, they do have some bad side-effects. These may include:

  • slurred speech
  • lack of energy
  • drowsiness
  • confusion
  • dizziness
  • depression
  • memory loss or impaired thinking
  • nausea
  • double or blurred vision

The benzodiazepines can be addictive, and should only be used for the short-term.

Users often experience withdrawal symptoms coming off these types of medications.

Also, tolerance to them develops and doses have to be increased to be effective. After about 4 to 6 months of use, according to the American Academy of Family Physicians, these drugs can outlive their usefulness.

There are a number of other medications which are also used for depression that are also good for treating anxiety without such bad side-effects as the benzodiazepines. Some of these include:


SSRIs (selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors) are anti-depressants that are also effective with anxiety.

A few brand names that you may know include Paxil, Zoloft or Prozac.

They are effective because they regulate the levels of serotonin in the brain, resulting in a lift in the user's mood.

SSRI's have been used to treat obsessive compulsive disorder, panic disorder, and generalized anxiety disorder.


Beta-blockers are used for high blood pressure and heart problems, and are also used unofficially for anxiety.

These work by blocking the stress hormone, norepinephrine, part of the body's response to anxiety.

The physical symptoms that come with anxiety, such as dizziness, sweating, and rapid heartbeat can be treated with beta-blockers.

They are more helpful with phobias than treating the emotional side of anxiety.

An example of these is propranol (brand name Inderal). Some side-effects include sleepiness, light-headedness, abnormally slow pulse, and nausea.


Buspirone is one of the newer drugs used for anxiety.

It is a mild-strength tranquilizer with the brand name, BuSpar. This increases the serotonin in the brain, like the SSRIs, but it also lowers the amount of dopamine.

This is a slow-acting drug and must be taken for a couple of weeks to be effective against anxiety.

However, it is more appealing to take as it isn't as sedating, does not impair coordination or adversely affect the memory, and is non-addictive.

Buspirone has some side-effects such as dry mouth, constipation, nausea, dizziness, upset stomach, diarrhea and headaches. However, there is a low risk of addictiveness and there is no known serious interactions with other drugs.

Buspirone works best on generalized anxiety disorder and doesn't seem to work with other types of anxiety disorders.

Explore all your treatment options for your anxiety

Even though some of the medications are quite effective for treating the symptoms of anxiety disorders, they do not treat the root of the problem.

For this, there are various talk-therapies and other kinds of therapies that are quite effective. We talk more about this at treating anxiety disorder

Lifestyle changes might need to be implemented to effectively lower the level of anxiety. We talk more about this at self help for anxiety.

These various non-drug approaches to treat anxiety produce results that can last a long time.

Anti-anxiety drugs may be used to take the edge off one's emotions while going through these various therapies.

Are anti anxiety medications for you?

This is a decision between you and your doctor. The pros and cons must be considered and the side-effects of the different anti-anxiety medications understood.

Learn which anxiety medication is best for your anxiety disorder.

Just remember though that these anti anxiety medications don't get to the root cause of your anxiety.

They only help the relieve the symptoms of anxiety.

Other therapies are required to treat the cause, such as cognitive-behavior therapy, exposure therapy, and various other therapies that deal with the heart of the issue, while the anti anxiety medications make you feel calmer.

Search here for other anti-anxiety medications

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