Generalized Anxiety Disorder (or GAD) is a mental condition wherein a person suffers from excessive, overstated anxiety and worries about day-to-day life events with no apparent causes for worry. The sad part is that the recent decade has witnessed a huge rise in the number of people complaining about anxiety disorder. The uneasiness suffered is just unbearable and they are bound to go for medication and drugs for relief. Common antidepressants such as Prozac, Zoloft, Paxil, Wellbutrin, Lexapro, Desyrel, Effexor and Elavil have proved to be quite helpful for people suffering from anxiety, panic attacks and depression. However, these anxiety medications can lead to a number of uninvited side effects that can be as unpleasant as anxiety itself. It is therefore important to research the drug options that are available and weigh their benefits and risks before starting anxiety medication. A well informed decision along with the support from your health care provider is the key to the right treatment for you.
Anxiety Disorder Medication
Let’s look at the most common side effects that can crop up due to the use of anxiety disorder medication.
- Psychological addiction to the drug; since even a mild dose provides relief to the victim
- Uninhibited behavior
- Slow reflex reactions
- Stomach upset
- Impaired thinking
- Dry mouth
- Sudden outbursts of crying
An overdose of these drugs may cause other awful side effects to the patient. Some of these side effects due to over dose are:
- Partial or substantial memory loss
- Weight gain
- Bladder problems
- Sexual problems
- Heart palpitations
- High Blood pressure
- Low Blood pressure
- Blurred vision
- Alterations in heart beat rate
- Unclear speech
- Anterograde amnesia
- Rashes on the skin
- Sleeping disorders
- Increased risk of suicidal behavior and homicidal rages
Facts About Anxiety Medication Side-Effects
- These side-effects vary from individual to individual depending on the biological makeup of the individual.
- It has been observed that the side-effects of these antidepressants can be reduced and even evaded by starting initially on a low dosage and then increasing it gradually.
- These side effects are generally not permanent and fade away bit by bit within two to three weeks. However, they do relapse once the dosage is increased again.
- A class of anxiety medications viz. benzodiazepine is a very commonly used drug as it is very fast acting and brings relief within thirty minutes to an hour. However, this class of drugs has been found to be a major cause for many physical and psychological side-effects. An abrupt cut on its dosage can lead to a comeback of all the anxiety symptoms with greater force and severity. It is therefore advisable to carry out the withdrawal process only under watchful supervision of a medical practitioner. Pregnant women, people below 18 years and above 60 years of age are strictly advised to keep away from these.
- A research has reported that in almost half of all cases, antidepressant drugs do not serve the purpose; in fact, they work no more effectively than a sugar pill (placebo).
- There are quite a few complementary treatments such as exercising, yoga and meditation that have been found to be extremely fruitful along with therapy and medication. These relaxation techniques, when followed religiously, increase the feeling of emotional well-being and help reduce anxiety.
In the light of the above text, it can be easily said that anti-anxiety drugs are meant to relieve you from the symptoms of anxiety but do not end the root cause of anxiety. Hence, beware of the trap of such medications!