Saturday, July 6, 2024

How Long Does It Take For Anxiety Medication To Work

Don't Miss

How To Get The Most Out Of Your Anti

How Long Does it Take Anxiety Medication to Start Working?

Some people experience benefits from the first medication that they try, while others may have to change doses, medications, or add additional medications to find the right treatment regimen. Combining therapy and medication together can help improve outcomes.1 If you feel that youre not responding to your medication, speak to your prescriber about your concerns.

Some additional ways to ensure youre getting the most out of your anxiety medication include:

When Should You Treat Your Anxiety

Anxiety is treated with psychotherapy , pharmacotherapy , or a combination of the two. Evidence suggests that anxiety disorders can often go untreated or are not treated effectively. Generally, it is recommended to seek treatment for your anxiety symptoms if they:

  • Are persistent

  • Cause depression or suicidal thoughts

  • Cause you to use or misuse alcohol or other drugs to self-treat your anxiety

Although the exact causes of anxiety are not entirely understood, evidence suggests that an imbalance in neurotransmitters within the brain may play a role in the development of anxiety disorders.

If you have low serotonin activity and elevated noradrenergic system activity, you may be more prone to developing anxiety. Anxiety medication, therefore, helps to balance out your neurotransmitters.

Which Benzodiazepines Are Used For Anxiety

They can also be used with antidepressants initially while antidepressants take time to work.

“They’re a powerful tool,” says Duckworth, “but you have to be really smart about their use.”

  • Light-headedness
  • Trouble sleeping

Beta-blockers can be very helpful but in a limited way, says Dr. Salcedo. They are most commonly used for performance anxiety. They are really good for the physical symptoms such as heart racing, sweating, shakiness, but they work less well for the anxious thoughts that might be causing the symptoms.

Additional reporting by Carlene Bauer.

Read Also: Can Gabapentin Be Used For Anxiety

Types Of Antidepressant Medications

There are several classes of antidepressants within each class there are many individual medications. While all antidepressants work well overall, no drug or type of drug works equally well for everyone who takes it. You may be advised to try more than one type of antidepressant or to use a combination of antidepressants to seek relief from your distress.

The different types of antidepressants are listed in the order in which they are most commonly prescribed. Medications are referred to in two ways: by their generic name and by their brand or trade names. Brand names available in Canada appear in brackets.


This group of drugs, including fluoxetine , paroxetine , fluvoxamine , citalopram , escitalopram and sertraline , is usually the first choice for treatment of depression and anxiety disorders. These medications are known to have milder side-effects than some other antidepressants. Buspirone is similar to SSRIs and has been found to help with anxiety but not depression.

Common side-effects include nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, weight gain, dry mouth, headaches, anxiety, sedation and a decrease in sexual desire and response. This group of drugs may also cause a jittery or restless feeling and sleep difficulties, such as problems falling asleep, waking in the night, vivid dreams or nightmares.


Common side-effects are jitteriness and insomnia.


Common side-effects are drowsiness and weight gain.

Nonselective cyclics

With All These Options How Can You Choose

Anxiety Treatment Medications And Natural Options

Your doctor can recommend the best medication to help control your anxiety. There are different types of anxiety disorders, so different medications may be better choices for your type. Your doctor will also consider your other health conditions and medications, and whether you have a family history of responding better to a certain medication. Since you might be taking medication long-term, you may want to factor in affordability.

You May Like: How Long Does Ptsd Last

Common Classes Of Antidepressants And Examples

  • Selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors : Prozac Paxil and Pexeva Zoloft Celexa Lexapro
  • Serotonin and norepinephrine reuptake inhibitors : Cymbalta Effexor XR Pristiq Fetzima
  • Tricyclic antidepressants : Tofranil Pamelor amitriptyline doxepin Norpramin
  • Monoamine oxidase inhibitors : Parnate Nardil Marplan Emsam
  • Atypical antidepressants: Trazodone Remeron Trintellix Viibryd Wellbutrin SR and Wellbutrin XL and more

Most are available in tablet form. Emsam is absorbed through a skin patch.

Clinicians often define “treatment response” as about a 50% decrease in the Hamilton Depression Rating Scale score compared to the patient’s initial score. Although there’s no universal, definitive milestone for “onset of improvement,” this generally ranges from about a 20% to 33% decrease in HAM-D scores.

Why Does Clonidine Work For Anxiety

Part of the reason clonidine is so effective at treating anxiety is that one of the main clonidine MOAs is to target and subdue the fight-or-flight centers of the brain. With the stimulating effects of these areas subdued, many people taking clonidine for anxiety may experience a noticeable reduction in their symptoms.

Read Also: What Is It Like To Be Bipolar

Are There Any Non

Anxiety can consume peoples lives and prevent them from living fully. It is a challenging issue and can be a clinical mood disorder that demands medication. Its important that along with anti-anxiety medication, you also utilize the other therapy that can help manage anxiety. Its understandable to look for alternatives for your anxiety based on the benzodiazepines addiction rate. There are anti anxiety herbs on the market that may help ease the body and mind from stress. Natural supplements may not cause addiction but they are still potentially harmful. Kava, for example had promise of being a viable natural anxiety medication. Reports found that it caused serious liver damage even when its used for a short period of time. Herbs like kava are somewhat sedating which is why they can relax you. They are non-addictive relaxants. Some will consume excessive herbs to try to get to a relaxed place in their mind. Passionflower, chamomile, and lavender are all means of relaxing. If someone has an anxiety disorder, these options probably arent potent enough to prevent panic attacks and other serious anxiety symptoms.

How Long Do Beta Blockers Take To Work For Anxiety

Why Do Antidepressants Take So Long To Work?

It usually takes between 30 minutes and one hour to experience the effects of propranolol. These effects can last for up to twelve hours. Speak with a healthcare professional to determine the appropriate next dose or other treatment options if you are currently taking beta-blockers for anxiety treatment.

Read Also: What Are All The Different Phobias

Benefits Of Clonidine For Anxiety

Among the top advantages of using clonidine for anxiety include the following

  • Clonidine has proven high efficacy. Some patients who have had no success with other medications reported that they saw great results with clonidine. Some of these patients have dealt with anxiety disorders for years and in that time have tried more than a few medications. For these patients, clonidine has been, to say, the least, a game-changer for their mental health.
  • Clonidine, unlike some medications similar to it, is not addictive. There has been no evidence in support of the contrary and patients have used clonidine for anxiety for years without getting to the point of addiction.
  • Clonidine has been proven to boost the effect of stimulants. This is especially helpful for patients who are on stimulants not just for anxiety but for other mental issues such as ADHD and depression.
  • It is appetite-neutral. Some medications, mostly stimulants, have long been associated with suppressed appetite. This can be such a big problem for patients who are already dealing with being underweight. Similarly, it doesnt increase the appetite and you can confidently take the medication without worrying about gaining any weight.
  • The side effects associated with clonidine are fairly mild and not so bad that they would interfere with everyday life. Again, not everyone experiences these side effects. Similarly, and as already stated, these side effects usually go away after a few doses.

Can My Anxiety Medication Cause Long

Benzodiazepines may have a long-term impact on your central nervous system your brain and spinal cord. They might change your brains reaction time and ability to think. But more studies are needed to confirm these long-term effects. These effects are less likely to happen if youre taking a benzodiazepine for a short period of time.

The impact of long-term antidepressant use on your brain also isnt well understood. More studies are needed.

While most medications dont cause long-term changes to your brain function, people with anxiety may have physical changes in their brain. This can affect how they respond to normal situations and their ability to process emotions. Medications and therapy can help with this.

Recommended Reading: What Is The Clinical Definition Of Ptsd

Pros And Cons Of Zoloft For Anxiety

Zoloft is a medication thats often prescribed for anxiety. It helps to alleviate symptoms such as panic attacks, obsessive thoughts, and social anxiety. Some people are hesitant to take this medication because of the side effects which may include weight gain, sexual problems, or sleep disturbances.

However, Zoloft is safe and effective once your body adjusts to it. Despite some side effects, Zoloft can help you get your life back by alleviating symptoms that may be debilitating for you. If you decide to try this medication out, its important to consult with your doctor first so they can provide guidance on dosage and other factors specific to your condition.

Why Lexapro Might Work Immediately Or Rapidly

How long does Xanax last? Timeline, withdrawal, and expiration

It is known that, for a small percentage of users, Lexapro can start working immediately or on the very first day of treatment. Others may notice that Lexapro works within several days or even within a couple weeks of treatment. Persons who derive significant benefit from Lexapro in 1-3 days could be considered ultrarapid responders, those who respond to Lexapro in less than 2 weeks could be considered rapid responders, and individuals who respond to Lexapro in less than 4 weeks could be considered faster-than-average responders.

Below are possible reasons as to why Lexapro users may respond to the medication rapidly or faster-than-average. Possible reasons as to why Lexapro may facilitate a rapid therapeutic effect in some users, include: the placebo response its rapid action upon serotonin reuptake and modulation of neural connectivity. Understand that there might be other explanations as to why Lexapro may kick in faster than expected.

Don’t Miss: How To Help Eating Disorders

Zoloft Effects After 1 Week

Most anxiety patients will start noticing some effects within a week or two. However, since it does not work immediately, the effects will not be the full benefits you expect from Zoloft. This is because the drug takes some time to reach its full therapeutic effect.

Sertraline can also cause some side effects during the first few weeks of your dosing. Some of these side effects are mild or serious depending on the individual. The most common side effects at this stage of taking the medication are nausea, headache, fatigue, and constipation. These side effects occur as the body is getting used to the medication.

Can Zoloft Take 8 Weeks To Work

Yes, it can take up to 8 weeks for Zoloft to work for some people. The average Zoloft treatment takes 2 to 8 weeks to work, but some people notice an improvement in symptoms within a few days. The time it takes for a medication to start working will vary depending on the person, their symptoms, and the severity of their condition.

Recommended Reading: How Long Do Ptsd Triggers Last

Other Psychological Treatment Approaches

Other types of psychological treatment focus more on trying to find the possible causes of the anxiety, such as traumatic childhood events. There hasn’t been much good research on the effectiveness of these approaches in people with generalized anxiety disorder. The few studies that have compared them with cognitive behavioral therapy suggest that these psychodynamic therapies aren’t as helpful as cognitive behavioral therapy.

Are There Any Nonmedication Ways To Help With Anxiety

How Long Does it Take for Antidepressants to Work?

Besides medications, there are different approaches to helping treat symptoms linked with anxiety. Therapy and lifestyle changes are two helpful options that dont involve medications.

Cognitive behavioral therapy

Cognitive behavioral therapy focuses on working with a person who experiences anxiety. It teaches different ways to approach fears and certain social situations. This may also include different relaxation exercises to practice at home.

Lifestyle changes

Caffeine, alcohol, and nicotine can all cause or raise your levels of anxiety. It may be helpful to lower your intake of these substances or avoid them altogether to help control symptoms.

Read Also: What To Do After Your First Panic Attack

Do Anxiety Meds Work Immediately

The rate at which you will feel the effects of anxiety medication depends on the specific medication. Some medications work rather quickly at reducing anxiety symptoms, while others can take much longer. Benzodiazepines are one type of anxiety medication that provide immediate relief.2,3 These medications are often prescribed as-needed for a short period of time. They can help reduce symptoms of anxiety and panic attacks fairly quickly, like intense worry, racing heart, and shaking.

Antidepressants are a group of medications used to treat both depression and anxiety.2 They can help reduce symptoms of long-term anxiety, like those of generalized anxiety disorder. These medications do not reduce symptoms immediately like benzodiazepines. They can take around four to six weeks to have full effect.

What Do Antidepressant Medications Do

Antidepressant medications increase the activity of chemicals called neurotransmitters in the brain. Increasing the activity of the neurotransmitters serotonin, norepinephrine and dopamine seems to help lessen the symptoms of depression and anxiety. However, the brain is a very complex organ and the reasons why these drugs work are not yet fully understood.

We do know that these drugs help to relieve symptoms of depression and anxiety in up to 70 per cent of people who try them. This rate is even higher when people who dont get relief with one type of antidepressant try a second type.

You May Like: What Is Eating Disorder Rehab Like

Serotonin And Noradrenaline Reuptake Inhibitors

If SSRIs don’t help ease your anxiety, you may be prescribed a different type of antidepressant known as a serotonin and noradrenaline reuptake inhibitor .

This type of medicine increases the amount of serotonin and noradrenaline in your brain.

Examples of SNRIs you may be prescribed include:

  • insomnia
  • sweating

SNRIs can also increase your blood pressure, so your blood pressure will be monitored regularly during treatment.

As with SSRIs, some of the side effects are more common in the first 1 or 2 weeks of treatment, but these usually settle as your body adjusts to the medication.

Side Effects Of Antidepressant Medications

What You Must Know about Clonidine for ADHD? · Mango Clinic

All medications can have side-effects. Some people experience no side-effects. Others may find the side-effects distressing. In most cases, side-effects lessen as treatment continues.

Treatment is usually started at a low dose, to minimize side-effects, and then slowly increased until the ideal dose is found. The ideal dose is one that provides the greatest benefit with minimum side-effects.

If you are experiencing side effects, check the information given to you by your doctor or pharmacist on the specific effects of any drug you have been prescribed. If side-effects are not mild and tolerable, it is best to continue taking your medication as prescribed but let your doctor know as soon as possible. Your doctor may:

  • encourage you to wait a little longer for the side-effects to fade
  • adjust your dose
  • suggest you take the medication at a different time of day
  • prescribe other medications to help control side-effects
  • change your medication
  • stop medication treatment and suggest a different type of treatment approach.

Side-effects vary depending on the type of medication. More information on side-effects is included for each type of types of antidepressant.

You can help to control possible side-effects on your own by:

Do antidepressants increase the risk of suicide?

Before starting treatment, prepare for the possibility of feeling worse before you feel better. Know what supports are available to you and who you can call.

Don’t Miss: Which Of The Following Characterize The Disorder Known As Schizophrenia

How Much Lorazepam Can I Take At Once

The maximum amount of Ativan that can be taken in a 24 hour period is 10. The Ativan tablets are used to treat anxiety. The maximum dose can be divided into two or three smaller ones. You can take as much as you want in the morning and afternoon and as much as you want in the evening before you sleep.

Anxiety And Addiction Recovery

When taking a potentially addictive drug for anxiety, dual diagnosis can occur. This is when you experience addiction as well as a mood disorder. Its more challenging to treat two disorders so recovery should incorporate a variety of tools. Benzodiazepine use in the United States is prevalent and many are admitted into treatment programs to help them recover. When a patient stops using anti-anxiety medication, they can become more acutely anxious. This is why group therapy and one-on-one therapy is essential. Some may find holistic treatments like meditation will help them find the mental balance in their life. Benzo addiction stories demonstrate that someone with anxiety cant remain on these medications for a long period of time. While on the medication, this is the time to learn how to better manage anxiety. To continue using benzodiazepines or abuse them will only exacerbate the issues youre trying to heal. Professional treatment for benzodiazepines addiction is likely necessary. The withdrawal can be dangerous so medical detox may be necessary.

Given the dangers of anti-anxiety medications its important to discuss all risk factors with your doctor prior to use. If youre struggling with ongoing misuse and abuse, please give us a call today at to discuss possible treatment programs that can aid in overcoming anxiety medication addictions.

Recommended Reading: How To Calm Down A Person With Schizophrenia

More articles

Popular Articles