There are basically three categories of anxiety medications that are prescribed to those who are dealing with anxiety. They are anti-anxiety medications, antidepressants, and beta blockers.
Known as benzodiazepines, these anxiety medications like Valium are quick-acting sedatives that work by slowing down the Central Nervous System. They normally alleviate anxiety symptoms within 30 minutes to an hour. The swift relief benzodiazepines give makes them very effective when taken during a panic attack or when facing other anxiety attack symptoms.
A major drawback to this anxiety attack medication is that benzodiazepines are highly addictive so you need to be wary and should only use them for a short period of time.
Many medications originally prescribed for depression were found to help with the relief of anxiety. Antidepressants take up to 4 to 6 weeks to begin relieving your anxiety problems and symptoms, so they won't be of much help if you take them to prevent a panic attack.
Although the risk for dependency is reduced compared to benzodiazepines - and that is why antidepressants are often prescribed -- antidepressants are not totally flawless when it comes to side effects. All antidepressants are required by the FDA to carry a warning about the risk of suicidal thoughts, hostility, and agitation.
Side effects are the most common reason people stop taking antidepressants used as anxiety medications. Side effects include:
Beta blockers are a type of drug used to treat high blood pressure and heart problems. However, beta blockers are also prescribed for treating anxiety problems. Beta blockers work by restricting the flow of adrenaline that occurs during an anxiety triggering moment.
They can also be used to ease the physical symptoms of anxiety, including heart palpitations, sweating, dizziness, and tremors. Because they don't affect the emotional symptoms of anxiety such as incessant worrying, beta blockers are most helpful for those moments that induce fear in a person, such as large crowds or meeting new people. They can also help with reducing the fear that is associated with getting up in front of other people to talk or give a presentation.
Side effects of beta blockers are numerous and include: abnormal vision, bradycardia, bronchospasm, cardiovascular dysfunction, clinical depression, cold extremities, decreased concentration, depression, diarrhea, dizziness, dyspnea, edema, erectile dysfunction, fatigue, hallucinations, hallucinations, heart block, heart failure, hypotension, insomnia, insomnia, metabolism alteration, nausea, nightmares, nightmares, orthostatic hypotension, Raynaud's syndrome exacerbation, sexual dysfunction
Given the risks of prescription anxiety medications, both financially and in terms of side effects, it is no wonder that people are seeking information about herbs for anxiety and depression. Herbs for anxiety such as St. John's Wort have been found in modern clinical trials to be more effective than prescription anxiety medications.