How Long Can You Stay On Anxiety Medication?

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What role do anxiety medications play?

When you are consumed by excessive amounts of fear or worry or panic, the only thought that runs through your mind is to stop this feeling and get immediate relief. When your anxiety reaches crippling effects, medicines are a lifesaver. But, how will you know which drug works the best for you? To get the answers you are seeking for an answer read through the articles and get an idea about how various anti-anxiety medications work thereby helping you make the right choice.

The most commonly prescribed antianxiety medications are benzodiazepines, SSRIs, and SNRIs. However potent the medicines are, none of them cures the condition but will provide temporary relief until your body can manage them on its own. In a recent survey taken, anti-anxiety medicines tend to lose their therapeutic effect after 4-5mths of use.


Benzodiazepines are the most common and widely prescribed anti-anxiety medicines. This class of drugs works on the brain and the central nervous system to provide an overall sense of calm and relaxation. They are rapid-acting medicines and the peak effects are reached within 2 hrs after consumption. It is for the most part recommended for momentary use because of its physical and psychological dependence. The hangover can last until the next day, so take the least effective dosage possible.

What are the common side effects?

Typical side effects of benzodiazepines include dizziness, drowsiness,  loss of balance and coordination, concentration difficulties, headache, stomach upset, blurred vision, and it tends to increase symptoms of depression in those already having the condition.

With regard to safety conditions, it is better to take the medication after appropriate medical consultation. Lower doses are recommended and the course of therapy should last only for a maximum of 2 weeks. Not more than that. Continuous usage for a prolonged period can cause dependency and lead to withdrawal symptoms when you stop its usage.

Do not combine benzodiazepines with alcohol or other medicines, especially opioids.

SSRI antidepressants:

SSRI medications, although prescribed for treating depression, are also used for anxiety relief conditions. The risk of abuse and dependence is comparatively lesser compared to benzodiazepines. It can take up to a few weeks to see visible improvement and therefore is prescribed only for the initial  stages.

The most commonly prescribed medications are  Paxil, Prozac, Zoloft, Celexa, and Lexapro.

Usage of these drugs can cause one to experience common side effects such as agitation, nausea, drowsiness, nervousness, headaches, dry mouth, weight gain, fatigue, and increased sweating. Abruptly stopping the usage of the medication can trigger withdrawal symptoms and they can be quite severe in those who have been taking them for quite long.

How long should I take anxiety medications?

It varies. The duration of one taking the medication is based on how well your symptoms are controlled over time. If there is significant improvement after you have taken them for a few weeks, your doctor will then start tapering your dosage levels. This happens over the course of a month. Your healthcare advisor will decide the regimen and when you should start and stop its usage.

What should I know about taking anxiety medications?

It is important to know what happens to your body when you start taking anxiety medications and what to expect as the outcome. Keep in mind that irrespective of whatever medication you are taking, side effects are unavoidable. These side effects if they last for more than a few days or become worse, consult your doctor immediately. Anxiety pills are recommended to be taken for a short term only to avoid progression to dependence or addiction. Avoid drinking alcohol or taking any other medicines. Change your lifestyle by reducing your caffeine intake or other substances that make you feel jittery.




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