Drug Interactions And Overdose
While benzodiazepines are relatively safe when taken only occasionally and in small doses, they can be dangerous and even deadly when combined with other central nervous system depressants. Always talk to your doctor or pharmacist before combining medications.
Dont drink on benzodiazepines. When mixed with alcohol, benzodiazepines can lead to fatal overdose.
Dont mix with painkillers or sleeping pills. Taking benzodiazepines with prescription pain or sleeping pills can also lead to fatal overdose.
Antihistamines amplify their effects. Antihistaminesfound in many over-the-counter sleep, cold, and allergy medicinesare sedating on their own. Be cautious when mixing with benzodiazepines to avoid over-sedation.
Be cautious when combining with antidepressants. SSRIs such as Prozac and Zoloft can heighten benzodiazepine toxicity. You may need to adjust your dose accordingly.
Paradoxical effects of benzodiazepines
The benzodiazepines work because they slow down the nervous system. But sometimes, for reasons that arent well understood, they have the opposite effect. Paradoxical reactions are most common in children, the elderly, and people with developmental disabilities. They include:
- Increased anxiety, irritability, agitation, aggression, and rage
- Mania, impulsive behavior, and hallucinations
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How To Stop A Panic Attack
If a panic attack occurs, what do you do?
Duval suggests grounding yourself or becoming aware of your surroundings and sensory experiences. This can be achieved by deep breathing, for example.
A big part of stopping a panic attack is to ride out the initial intensity and let it come down, she says. Sometimes being present in the moment can be helpful. Orient yourself to your surroundings.
While panic attacks arent uncommon, you shouldnt have to live in fear. Frequent attacks become a problem when they are causing distress and causing you to withdraw from activities or responsibilities.
Sometimes people will become afraid they might have another panic attack and will begin avoiding doing activities that might bring one on, Duval says. This can cause significant impairment.
If panic attacks or anxiety are making it difficult to live life the way you want, or if theyre causing distress, it might be time to seek out professional help.
Myth: Bipolar People Cant Hold Steady Jobs
Not true, Dr. Singh said. Bipolar people can hold down jobs. There are so many people living with this and holding jobs as professors, scientists and physicians. Case in point, author and psychiatrist, Kay Redfield Jamison, wrote about her own battle with it and still practices today.
Many people with bipolar disorder are able to hold down a job, although some also have to work hard to monitor their thoughts and moods. Often work can give people a sense of structure in their lives, reduce depression and increase their confidence.
Dr. Singh added, There is a misconception that bipolar people cant live normal, fulfilling lives, and thats just not true. They can work, have families and have strong interpersonal relationships.”
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Dosage For Depression And Anxiety Together
- 5 mg chlordiazepoxide/12.5 mg amitriptyline
- 10 mg chlordiazepoxide/25 mg amitriptyline
- Typical starting dosage: 3 to 4 tablets per day taken in divided doses.
- Dosage increases: Your doctor may slowly increase your dosage up to 6 tablets per day taken in divided doses.
This medication hasnt been studied in children.
The kidneys of older adults may not work as well as they used to. This can cause your body to process drugs more slowly. As a result, a higher amount of a drug stays in your body for a longer time. This raises your risk of side effects.
Your doctor may start you on a lowered dosage or a different dosing schedule. This can help keep levels of this drug from building up too much in your body.
Disclaimer: Our goal is to provide you with the most relevant and current information. However, because drugs affect each person differently, we cannot guarantee that this list includes all possible dosages. This information is not a substitute for medical advice. Always speak with your doctor or pharmacist about dosages that are right for you.
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Warnings For Other Groups
For pregnant women: This drug is a category C pregnancy drug. That means two things:
Talk to your doctor if youre pregnant or planning to become pregnant. This drug should only be used if the potential benefit justifies the potential risk to the fetus. Call your doctor right away if you become pregnant while taking this drug.
For women who are breastfeeding: This drug may pass into breast milk and may cause side effects in a child who is breastfed. Talk to your doctor if you breastfeed your child. You may need to decide whether to stop breastfeeding or stop taking this medication.
For seniors: The kidneys of older adults may not work as well as they used to. This can cause your body to process drugs more slowly. As a result, more of a drug stays in your body for a longer time. This raises your risk for side effects. If you are over the age of 65 years, you may be at higher risk for developing muscle problems while taking this drug, including low salt levels in the blood .
For children: This medication has not been studied in children as a treatment for major depressive disorder, panic disorder, post-traumatic disorder, social anxiety disorder, and premenstrual dysphoric disorder. It should not be used for these disorders in people younger than 18 years.
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How Is Panic Disorder Diagnosed
Medical or mental health providers can diagnose panic disorder. Your provider may diagnose panic disorder when you have repeated panic attacks and you:
- Persistently worry about having more panic attacks or their consequences.
- Obsess about losing control during a panic attack.
- Change your behaviors to avoid situations that may trigger a panic attack.
Alprazolam Ir Oral Tablet Vs Diazepam
Like alprazolam, diazepam is available as an IR oral tablet. Both medications are benzodiazepines. And theyre used to treat some of the same conditions, such as anxiety. But alprazolam and diazepam do have differences as well.
If youd like to know more about the similarities and differences between alprazolam and diazepam, see this comparison article. It discusses the brand-name versions of these drugs.
Talk with your doctor about which treatment is right for you.
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Differentiating Panic Attacks From Anxiety Attacks
Anxiety builds over time, while panic tends to be sudden. Anxiety attacks often arise from an intensified anxiety level, whereas panic attacks result from an intense sense of dread or fear. Those who suffer from anxiety attacks usually feel anxious before an attack occurs. On the other hand, those who experience anxiety attacks often feel fine until they encounter dreadful situations that make them panic.
Anxiety attacks usually take considerable time to build up and may last for some time. Conversely, panic attacks tend to last for a shorter period, usually 20 to 30 minutes. Typically, the attacks reach their most intense level of about ten minutes in.
When panic attacks become frequent, patients tend to develop panic disorder. This is an anxiety disorder characterized by recurrent panic attacks and the fear of having panic attacks. Even so, patients who dont have panic disorder may also experience panic attacks.
Treatment Options For Depression And Anxiety
If youre hesitant to take antidepressants for anxiety, there are plenty of different non-medical treatments for depression and anxiety. Most of the effective treatments for both depression and anxiety that dont involve medications are variations of cognitive behavioral psychotherapy, Dr. Shelton says. Cognitive behavioral therapy is a treatment that involves changing your way of thinking as well as your behavioral patterns. Some CBT approachesinclude behavioral activation and mindfulness-based cognitive therapy
Dr. Plummer says that an alternative treatment that some patients with depression and anxiety find helpful is cannabidiol , a component of cannabis that doesnt create the high of typical marijuana use. Many state that CBD is shown to have positive effects for depression and anxiety, but too much cannabis may be associated with panic attacks, she advises. She also warns that this is not an FDA-approved treatment.
Some othernon-medical treatments may include the following lifestyle changes:
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Myth: Bipolar Disorder Only Affects Adults
Children can have bipolar disorder but diagnosing can be tricky as kids are naturally temperamental and moody at times. Symptoms can and often first appear during the teen years but on average, it is diagnosed by age 25.
As a parent, it can be challenging to differentiate if unruly behaviors, hyperactivity and feeling down are a normal part of childhood or a mental health problem, Dr. Singh said. Diagnosis can be challenging, because a number of other childhood disorders such as disruptive mood dysregulation and anxiety disorders have similar symptoms or occur along with bipolar disorder.
Panic Disorder In Children
Panic disorder is more common in teenagers than in younger children.
Panic attacks can be particularly hard for children and young people to deal with. Severe panic disorder may affect their development and learning.
If your child has the signs and symptoms of panic disorder, they should see a GP.
After taking a detailed medical history the GP will carry out a thorough physical examination to rule out any physical causes for the symptoms.
They may refer your child to a specialist for further assessment and treatment. The specialist may recommend a course of CBT for your child.
Screening for other anxiety disorders may also be needed to help find the cause of your child’s panic attacks.
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Questions To Ask Your Doctor
Youve probably thought of a million questions you want to ask your doctor. But when youre in the office, theyre easy to forget. Writing them down will help both you and your doctor, and save time. Its a good idea to put the most important questions at the top of the list in case there isnt time for all of them. Here are some questions you may want to ask. Add any others you think are important for your doctor to know.
- Do I have an anxiety disorder?
- Is there something else that might be causing my symptoms?
- What treatment do you recommend?
- Should I see a psychiatrist or a psychologist?
- Is there a medication that I can take? Does it have side effects? What can I do to prevent or relieve the side effects?
- Is there a generic medication I can take? How long will I need to take it?
- When will I feel better?
- What else can I do to relieve my symptoms?
The list of questions you make will help you be prepared to answer your doctors questions. Here are some questions your doctor will probably ask you:
Treatments For Generalized Anxiety Disorder
Healthcare providers who truly put you first will not prescribe a one-size-fits-all treatment plan to you rather, they will take into consideration all of your individual factors when advising treatment.
Typically, treatment for generalized anxiety disorder includescounseling, working with a therapist to foster better mental health and healthier coping mechanisms, making lifestyle changes to reduce stress, as well as potentially going into rehab if an addiction is present.
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About Curing Panic Attacks
Panic attacks are complex. One of the issues that adds to its complexity is that panic attacks are often reactionary, and occur more often the more you think about them and the more you worry about them.
While panic attacks can hit out of the blue, they are usually caused by an over-sensitivity to the way you feel, in a pattern that resembles this:
- You live your life worried about panic attacks.
- You feel something – anything – like a slight increase in heart rate or a mild discomfort.
- You _always_ notice it, because your panic attacks make you over-sensitive to them.
- You then worry or believe you’re about to get a panic attack.
- This worry floods your body with anxiety.
- You get a panic attack.
The oversensitivity is known as being hypersensitive, and it’s a condition that is extremely common in those with anxiety and panic attacks.
Essentially, you become overly attuned to your body because you’re always worrying about another panic attack, and this makes you notice every single change that your body experiences, which flood you with anxiety because you’re worried it may mean another panic attack. In addition, anxiety over worrying about panic attacks can cause an increase in heart rate on its own, which may act as the sensation that triggers the attack.
Symptoms Of Panic Attacks
The symptoms of Panic Disorder are clearly defined in the 5th edition of The Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders.
- Recurrent unexpected panic attacks
- A panic attack is a sudden increase in severe fear or discomfort. This discomfort generally reaches its worst peak within a few minutes. During this time four of the following symptoms are experienced:
- Following at least one of these panic attacks, must experience either:
- Continued concern about future panic attacks or the consequences
- Significant change in behavior associated with the attack
- Symptoms cannot be caused by a substance or medication or be due to a medical disorder
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Psychotherapy For Anxiety And Panic Disorders
Cognitive and behavioral psychotherapy can be used alone or in addition to pharmacotherapy. The combination approach yields superior results for most patients compared to either single modality.
Cognitive therapy helps patients understand how automatic thoughts and false beliefs/distortions lead to exaggerated emotional responses, such as anxiety, and can lead to secondary behavioral consequences. Specific patterns of cognitive distortions tend to respond best to specific techniques described in cognitive behavior therapy books . While intended for use in conjunction with therapy, patients can purchase these books and complete the course themselves.
Behavioral therapy involves sequentially greater exposure of the patient to anxiety-provoking stimuli over time, the patient becomes desensitized to the experience. Relaxation techniques also help control patients’ levels of anxiety. Respiratory training can help control hyperventilation during panic attacks and help patients control anxiety with controlled breathing. Other forms of psychological treatment, including psychodynamic psychotherapy for specific issues, are available but exceed the scope of this article.
Consultation with a psychiatrist is helpful to initiate longer-term therapy and to provide follow-up planning. Longer-term therapy currently consists of SSRIs, often with additional psychotherapeutic techniques.
How Cbd Can Help With Panic Attacks
A lot of people now choose to consume CBD for dealing with panic attacks, instead of the prescribed medicines. Doctors usually prescribe benzodiazepines for treating this mental disorder. But this medication comes with a large number of side effects including confusion, lethargy, addiction, gastrointestinal problems, and low blood pressure. Hence, it became important to find a new medicine that can help with panic attacks without creating these side effects. This is when CBD can be useful for you.
Studies conducted for finding the effectiveness of CBD for panic attacks showed promising results. This compound is useful for controlling different symptoms associated with this disease. CBD can influence stress and emotional responses thereby effectively controlling panic attacks. It can bind with the cannabinoid receptors in the brain and control the feeling of anxiety for reducing panic attacks.
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Medication Isnt Your Only Option For Anxiety Relief
Anxiety medication wont solve your problems if youre anxious because of mounting bills, a tendency to jump to worst-case scenarios, or an unhealthy relationship. Thats where self-help, therapy, and other lifestyle changes come in. These non-drug treatments can produce lasting changes and long-term relief.
Exercise Exercise is a powerful anxiety treatment. Studies show that regular workouts can ease symptoms just as effectively as medication.
Worry busting strategies You can train your brain to stop worrying and look at life from a more calm and balanced perspective.
Therapy Cognitive behavioral therapy can teach you how to control your anxiety levels, stop worrisome thoughts, and conquer your fears.
Yoga and tai chi Yoga and tai chi are mind-body interventions that engage you emotionally, psychologically, and spiritually. Data has shown their efficacy for many different medical conditions, including anxiety.
Mindfulness and meditation Mindfulness is a state of mind where you learn to observe your thoughts, feelings, and behaviors in a present, compassionate, and non-judgmental way. It often brings a sense of calm and relaxation.