Medications for Anxiety Disorders Chart
Medication can play a useful role in treating anxiety disorders and may be used in conjunction with other forms of therapy. Anti-depressant and anti-anxiety medications are often used to ease symptoms so that other therapy can go forward.
|Chemical Category &
|Target Anxiety Disorders
|How It's Thought to Work
|Enhances the function of GABA.
|Fast-acting, with most people feeling better in the first week and many feeling the effects the first day of treatment.
|Potentially habit-forming; can cause drowsiness; can produce withdrawal symptoms.
|Reduces effects of adrenaline.
|Fast acting; non-habit forming.
|Should not be used with certain pre-existing medical conditions, such as asthma, congestive heart failure, diabetes, vascular disease, hyperthyroidism, and angina pectoris.
|Enhances the activity of serotonin.
|Effective for many people; less sedating than benzodiazepines.
|Works slowly; can't switch from benzodiazepines immediately.
|Monoamine Oxidase Inhibitors (MAOIs):
|Blocks the effect of an important brain chemical, preventing the break-
down of serotonin and noradreniline.
|Effective for many people, especially for patients not responding to other medicines; 2 to 6 weeks
|Strict dietary restrictions and potential drug interactions; low blood pressure, moderate weight gain; reduced sexual response; insomnia.
|Serotonin Reuptake Inhibitors (SRIs):
|Affects the concentration of serotonin, a chemical in the brain thought to be linked to anxiety disorders.
|Effective for many people; 2 to 6 weeks until improvement occurs.
|Nausea; some can cause nervousness; sexual difficulties.
|Tricyclic Antidepressants (TCAs):
|Regulates serotonin and/or noradreniline in the brain.
|Effective for many people; may take 2 to 6 weeks until improvement occurs.
|Dry mouth, constipation, blurry vision, difficulty urinating; dizziness, low blood pressure; moderate weight gain; sexual difficulty.
|May take 2-4 weeks to work.
|Medicines used to manage anxiety disorders are grouped based on their chemical properties.
Most anxiety disorders respond best to a combination of medication and other treatments.
Staff, H. (2007, February 20). Medications for Anxiety Disorders Chart, HealthyPlace. Retrieved on 2024, February 29 from https://www.healthyplace.com/anxiety-panic/articles/medications-for-anxiety-disorders