The experience of anxiety is overwhelming, and as the day proceeds, the symptoms become worse. Approximately 40 billion Americans suffer from anxiety at some point in their life. However, professional help and the best anxiety medication are the most effective methods to control anxiety. The stigma against anxiety medication remains a barrier due to most drugs being addictive.
Is There a Non-addictive Anti-anxiety Medication?
Yes. Anti-anxiety medication includes both non-addictive anxiety medication and addictive anxiety medication. This blog will learn about the best non-addictive medication options, how these drugs work, and their side effects.
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A List of 5 Non-addictive Anxiety Medication Options:
If you are diagnosed with an anxiety disorder, your mental health professional will determine a requirement for a non-addictive anxiety medication prescription. Any medication should only be taken under the prescription and direction of certified mental health experts.
Below is the list of the best non-addictive anxiety medication options;
- Selective Serotonin Reuptake Inhibitors (SSRIs)
- Serotonin and Norepinephrine Reuptake Inhibitors (SNRIs)
- Hydroxyzine (Vistaril)
- Buspirone (Buspar)
Selective Serotonin Reuptake Inhibitors (SSRIs):
Selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs) are drugs commonly prescribed for depression, but these drugs have also shown great potency in managing the symptoms of anxiety. Selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors work by increasing the amount of a particular brain chemical known as serotonin which is primarily responsible for boosting mood. The drug shows better efficacy for the treatment of obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD) and post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD).
The most common SSRIs include the following medicines;
- Sertraline (Zoloft)
- Fluoxetine (Prozac)
- Escitalopram (Lexapro)
- Citalopram (Celexa)
Serotonin and Norepinephrine Reuptake Inhibitors (SNRIs):
SNRIs are most commonly prescribed for generalized anxiety disorder and panic disorder. Similar to the mechanism of action of SSRIs, SNRIs also act on the reuptake of norepinephrine (another brain chemical responsible for alertness) and serotonin. These drugs are known to produce positive mood effects. Examples of SNRIs include;
- Duloxetine (Cymbalta)
- Venlafaxine (Effexor)
Hydroxyzine is a fast-acting non-addictive anxiety medication. The drug is commonly prescribed to treat anxiety attacks and panic attacks, and the effects of hydroxyzine are temporary. The significant action of the drug is to balance the neurotransmitters of the brain (serotonin and histamine) that regulate mood by acting on the histamine receptors.
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The mechanism of actions and effects of buspirone is similar to that of selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors; buspirone also acts on serotonin. The fact that buspirone only affects a single subtype of serotonin receptor only produces effects in a specific brain area.
Beta-blockers are also a widely used non-addictive anxiety medication and help to relieve the symptoms of anxiety temporarily. The drug targets the specific hormone (adrenaline) by blocking its effects. Adrenaline has a crucial role in producing the fight and flight response, which increases anxiety. Beta-blockers are not the first-line drugs for anxiety, as these do not change the brain’s chemical balance. The results produced by beta-blockers are temporary, so they are prescribed for the short term. Some common beta-blocker drugs are as follows;
- Propranolol (Inderal)
- Atenolol (Tenormin)
- Acebutolol (Sectral)
NOTE: any medication should only be administered under the proper guidance and prescription of a certified and licensed mental health professional.
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Side Effects of Non-addictive Anxiety Medication
The table below summarizes the non-addictive anxiety medication side effects;
|Non-addictive Anxiety Medication||Side Effects|
Selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors
Serotonin-norepinephrine reuptake inhibitors
The side effects of the non-addictive anxiety medication usually subside after three to four weeks. However, promptly report your mental health professional if the side effects don’t subside and any adverse reactions are seen. When prescribed non-addictive anxiety drugs, don’t stop taking the medications on your own because most of the drugs are associated with withdrawal effects. Instead, talk to your doctor about tapering your dose.
Coping Techniques to Manage Anxiety at Home
Although non-addictive anxiety medication remains the standard option for the treatment of anxiety, some evidence-based self-coping skills can accelerate the recovery process, these include;
- Practicing progressive relaxation techniques
- Guided meditation
- Exercising daily for 30 minutes can release particular chemical substances called endorphins, which help to boost mood
- Listening to music is also known to relieve anxiety
- Perform square breathing: breath in (inhale) for 5 seconds; next, hold the breath for 5 seconds. Finally, breathe out (exhale) for 5 seconds. Pause for some time and repeat.
Get Professional Help
Non-addictive anxiety medication helps manage anxiety symptoms and lower their impact. Some adverse effects are associated with non-addictive anxiety medication, which subsides within a few weeks. However, any medicine should only be taken under the prescription and strict guidance of a licensed mental health expert. Get the best professional help from MEDvidi and access the best treatment options at the most competitive price.