Antianxiety medicines are drugs that help calm and relax you. They are also called sedatives or tranquilizers. They may be prescribed to treat:
Generalized anxiety disorder
Post-traumatic stress disorder
If you are taking medicine for anxiety, or other problems, you may feel better if you also seek counseling or therapy.
How do they work?
The brain makes chemicals that affect thoughts, emotions, and actions. Without the right balance of these chemicals, there may be problems with the way you think, feel, or act. People with anxiety may have too little or too much of some of these chemicals. Antianxiety medicines help treat the imbalance of chemicals.
Not all antianxiety medicines affect your brain chemistry in the same way. Your healthcare provider will work with you to carefully select the right medicine for you.
What else do I need to know about this medicine?
Follow the directions that come with your medicine, including information about food or alcohol. Make sure you know how and when to take your medicine. Do not take more or less than you are supposed to take.
Try to get all of your prescriptions filled at the same place. Your pharmacist can help make sure that all of your medicines are safe to take together.
Keep a list of your medicines with you. List all of the prescription medicines, nonprescription medicines, supplements, natural remedies, and vitamins that you take. Tell all healthcare providers who treat you about all of the products you are taking.
Many medicines have side effects. A side effect is a symptom or problem that is caused by the medicine. Ask your healthcare provider or pharmacist what side effects the medicine may cause and what you should do if you have side effects.
If you have any questions, ask your healthcare provider or pharmacist for more information. Be sure to keep all appointments for provider visits or tests.
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Adult Advisor 2015.1 published by RelayHealth. Last modified: 2013-04-29 Last reviewed: 2014-01-27
This content is reviewed periodically and is subject to change as new health information becomes available. The information is intended to inform and educate and is not a replacement for medical evaluation, advice, diagnosis or treatment by a healthcare professional.
Antianxiety Medicines: References
Guidelines for the pharmacological treatment of anxiety disorders, obsessive-compulsive disorder and posttraumatic stress disorder in primary care. Bandelow B, Sher L, Bunevicius R, Hollander E, Kasper S, Zohar J, MÃ¶ller HJ; WFSBP Task Force on Mental Disorders in Primary Care; WFSBP Task Force on Anxiety Disorders, OCD and PTSD. Int J Psychiatry Clin Pract. 2012 Jun;16(2):77-84. doi: 10.3109/13651501.2012.667114. Epub 2012 Apr 30. Accessed 1/26/2014 from http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/22540422Anxiety Disorders: Treatment. National Institues of Mental Health. Accessed 1/26/2014 from http://www.nimh.nih.gov/health/topics/anxiety-disorders/index.shtml
Massachusetts General Hospital Comprehensive Clinical Psychiatry; Theodore A. Stern MD, Jerrold F. Rosenbaum MD, Maurizio Fava MD, Joseph Biederman MD, Scott L. Rauch MD; Mosby; 2008
Curr Top Behav Neurosci.Â 2010;2:453-67. Pharmacological treatment of generalized anxiety disorder.Baldwin DS,Â Ajel KI,Â Garner M.