How Does Alprazolam Compare With Flualprazolam And Etizolam
Flualprazolam and etizolam are benzodiazepines, the same group of drugs that alprazolam belongs to. These drugs are used to treat some of the same conditions, such as anxiety.
However, unlike alprazolam, flualprazolam and etizolam are not approved for use by the Food and Drug Administration . Neither of these two drugs are available in the United States.
If you have questions about how alprazolam compares to other medications, talk with your doctor.
How Do I Know If I Have Generalized Anxiety Disorder
The first step is to rule out the possibility that your symptoms are being caused by a medical condition that is not psychiatric. Among the conditions that produce symptoms similar to those of anxiety are hyperthyroidism or other endocrine problems, too much or too little calcium, low blood sugar, and certain heart problems. Certain medicines also can sometimes cause anxiety. A thorough evaluation by your health care provider will determine if any of these conditions are the cause of your symptoms.
If no other medical culprit can be found and the symptoms seem out of proportion to any situation you are facing, you may be diagnosed with an anxiety disorder.
Side Effects Of Antidepressant Medications
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.
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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.
The Role Of Psychotherapy
Many emotional and mental health issues are not reducible to a biochemical imbalance. Often, psychological concerns originate and are influenced by life eventsâwhat happens to and around us. Because medications do not change how people relate psychologically to their experiences, medication alone cannot “fix” all psychological issues. Treatment with medication alone can be like stitching up a bullet wound without taking the bullet out first.
Whatâs more, according to research done at Northwestern University, oversimplification of what causes depression has led to the development of antidepressant drugs that are actually designed to treat stress. Because the same research shows that, in animal models, chronic stress does not cause depression, these medications are often ineffective. Psychotherapy, on the other hand, is often able to discover and treat some of the mental health issues that may contribute to depression, such as psychological trauma and anxiety. For example, a 1995 Consumer Reports study shows that some individuals experiencing mental health issues were significantly helped by psychotherapy. The study found that long-term therapy had, in general, the most beneficial effect, and that treatment with therapy alone was no less effective than treatment with medication and psychotherapy.
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What About Prescription Medication And Treatments For Anxiety And Depression
More info on this topic
According to Henry Emmons in his book TheChemistry of Joy, you should consider taking medications if you have any of the following symptoms:
- Severe depression that makes it hard to function in daily life or is accompanied by suicidal or self-destructive thoughts
- Moderate depression that has not improved within three to four weeks of trying natural therapies
- Mild depression that has not improved within six to eight weeks of trying natural therapies
- A severe sleep disturbance that does not improve with natural therapies
- Repeated episodes of depressions, especially if they occur without any particular trigger
Interactions That Increase The Risk Of Side Effects
Taking certain medications with sertraline may result in increased side effects. These drugs include:
- Nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs such as ibuprofen, naproxen, aspirin and warfarin. Taking these drugs with sertraline increases your risk of bleeding or bruising.
- Triptans such as sumatriptan. Your risk for serotonin syndrome is increased when you take these drugs with sertraline. Your doctor should watch you closely if you take these drugs together.
- Lithium. Taking this drug with lithium increases your risk for serotonin syndrome.
- Serotonergic medications such as fentanyl, tramadol, and St Johns wort. Taking these drugs with sertraline increases your risk for serotonin syndrome.
- Cimetidine. Taking cimetidine with sertraline may cause a buildup of sertraline in your body. Your dose of sertraline might need to be lowered if you take it with cimetidine.
- Tricyclic antidepressants such as amitriptyline, desipramine, and imipramine. Taking sertraline with these drugs may cause these drugs to build up in your body. Your doctor may need to adjust your dosage of tricyclic antidepressants while you take sertraline.
Sertraline oral tablet comes with several warnings.
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Comorbid Anxiety And Depression
Although the interrelationship between anxiety states and depression has long been recognized in psychiatry, extensive exploration of the clinical significance of this relationship has begun only recently. Data are accumulating to suggest that these 2 conditions occur together even more frequently than they do as distinct clinical entities.58 Some investigators have concluded that these disorders may reflect a continuum of the clinical expression of a single disease. Because patients with chronic anxiety often develop depressive disorders over time, it also has been hypothesized that anxiety disorders actually may be, in some cases, a prodrome for depression.59 Contrasting data suggest that GAD, in particular, is an anxiety disorder that should be considered an independent entity, rather than as a prodrome, residual, or severity marker of depression.60 Nevertheless, the coexistence of anxiety and depression in the same patient negatively affects his or her clinical outcome substantially. Such patients typically have more severe manifestations of these illnesses and respond less robustly to treatment than do patients with either disorder alone.61 Fortunately, with the wide array of new antidepressants available today that can provide robust efficacy, these patients now have access to new agents that can treat both mood and anxiety disorders effectively.
How Do Antidepressants Work
Various antidepressant medications are available for prescription use. There is no single best antidepressant, and the best one for you depends on your symptoms and individual needs.
Usually, antidepressants help balance the levels of neurotransmitters, which are chemicals responsible for communications between neurons in the brain. These chemicals include serotonin, dopamine and norepinephrine. Higher levels of these chemicals usually correspond with lower levels of depression.
While antidepressants can be helpful in depression, effectiveness varies from patient to patient. How long the drugs stay in your body also varies. Some drugs stay in your body for about 36 hours, while others last as long as several days.
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Do I Have An Anxiety Disorder
Common signs and symptoms of anxiety include nervousness, restlessness or tenseness, a sense of impending danger or doom, increased heart rate, breathing rapidly, sweating, trembling, feeling weak or tired, trouble concentrating or sleeping, stomach aches and headaches and the urge to avoid things that trigger anxiety.
Anxiety disorders often develop from a complex set of risk factors. The risk factors may include exposure to trauma, certain medical problems like thyroid disease or heart disease, stress due to a severe illness and other mental health disorders like depression. The use or misuse of drugs and alcohol can worsen symptoms of anxiety.
Anxiety disorders are best treated with a combination of therapy and medication, Alonzo said. It takes time to find the perfect combination for your symptoms. Your primary care provider is the best place to start that journey.
Other Conditions Or Medications
Some medications can interact with antidepressants, so your doctor will need to know what other medicines youre taking including over-the-counter drugs, prescription medications, vitamins, or supplements before prescribing a drug to treat depression.
In addition, your doctor will consider if you have any other conditions that may react or counteract the prescriptions. Some antidepressants might aggravate existing conditions such as Type 1 or Type 2 diabetes, cardiovascular disease, or liver problems.
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Medications For Depression: Which Is Best
There are many medications that can be used to treat mood disorders. But finding the right one can be a lengthy process, and the choice can be more complicated than you might imagine. Just because a particular drug worked for a friend doesn’t mean it will work for you. Psychiatrists and doctors who prescribe antidepressants choose a particular drug and dosage based on many factors, including the following:
To learn more strategies for battling depression, check out Understanding Depression, a Special Health Report from Harvard Medical School.
Image: Getty Images/eternalcreative
Psychological Therapies For Gad
If you have been diagnosed with GAD, you’ll usually be advised to try psychological treatment before you’re prescribed medication.
You can get psychological therapies like cognitive behavioural therapy and applied relaxation on the NHS.
You can refer yourself directly to an NHS psychological therapies service without a referral from a GP.
Or your GP can refer you if you prefer.
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The Interpersonal Psychotherapy Model
The interpersonal psychotherapy model of MDD is based on Sullivans interpersonal theory in which interpersonal relationships play an important role in onset and maintenance of MDD. This model focuses on interpersonal functioning, which includes unresolved grief, interpersonal disputes, role transitions and social isolation or withdrawal.
IPT, initially a time-limited, weekly outpatient treatment for depressed patients, focuses on the connection between onset of symptoms and current interpersonal problems in the treatment. The first of the three phases of IPT treatment, usually during sessions 1-3, includes diagnostic evaluation and psychiatric history and sets the framework for the treatment. In the middle phase, strategies specific to the interpersonal problem area are pursued. During the final phase, usually the last few sessions, the patient is encouraged to recognize and consolidate therapeutic gains and to develop ways of identifying and countering depressive symptoms should they arise in the future.
A Dutch study offered MDD patients the choice of treatment: CT or IPT with or without antidepressant medication with the collaboration of their clinician. Treatment duration was up to 26 wk. At 8 wk, only 20% remitted based on Beck Depression Inventory, but by 26 wk 35% remitted. All the treatments were similarly effective, even the combination of antidepressants and therapy with effect sizes ranging from 1.3 to 1.5.
Add Greenery To Your Home Or Office
You may also find it helpful to add indoor plants to your home or office environment. Natural settings are associated with improved mental well-being, so it makes sense that “bringing the outdoors in” might help improve your mood.
Studies have shown that adding indoor plants to your home or office can help in a variety of ways, including:
- Improving the workplace: Research has shown that office spaces enhanced with indoor plants improve worker concentration and workplace satisfaction.
- Reducing stress levels: Another study found that actively interacting with indoor plans by caring for them can reduce both physiological and psychological stress.
- : Research has found that students who spent most of their time at home during the COVID-19 pandemic had better mental health if they were exposed to more green plants. While about a third of the participants reported symptoms of moderate depression, those exposed to more greenery had lower levels of depression and anxiety.
Choosing certain plants may provide additional benefits. For example, research suggests that the scent of a lavender plant can help people feel calmer and more relaxed. No matter what type of plants you choose, greenery can be a great way to beautify your surroundings and potentially improve your mood.
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The Severity Of Side Effects
During a consultation with your doctor, you will be asked whether you experienced any side effects while using antidepressants in the past.
A doctor also strives to select one with the fewest side effects if you take any other medicine with side effects that you cant stand. You may have to try a few before finding the right one.
If You Feel Better Can You Stop Taking Antidepressants
Once you and your provider have determined it is safe for you to stop taking your medicine altogether, you should continue to be monitored during periodic follow-up appointments to detect any signs of depression returning.
Long-term treatment with antidepressant medicine may be recommended to prevent further episodes of depression in people who have already had two or more episodes of major depression. A history of depression in ones family is another factor that supports long-term treatment.
Last reviewed by a Cleveland Clinic medical professional on 05/24/2019.
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Depression And Anxiety Medication Benefits And Drawbacks
Depression and anxiety medication are common forms of treatment for these life-disrupting mental illnesses. There are many opinions regarding prescription drugs for mental health, and these opinions are expressed loudly and often. It can be overwhelming and make it difficult for you to know if you should take or avoid medication. Heres a straightforward look at depression and anxiety medication, its benefits and drawbacks. Let this information help you decide if talking to a doctor about medication is right for you.
Mood and anxiety disorders can sometimes be caused by disruptions in the way the brain operates. Chemicals in your brain called neurotransmitters, such as serotonin, norepinephrine, and dopamine, are messengers between brain cells. They are partly responsible for our mood and emotions. If they become out of balance , smooth communication and operation within the brain is interrupted. This can lead to depression and/or anxiety.
Depression and anxiety medications are designed to restore proper balance and functioning to these neurotransmitters. Psychopharmaceuticals, or psychiatric medications, are also chemicals, and theyre created to properly interact with the chemicals in the brain. They provide a helping hand directly to the brain so it can restore natural functioning.
Depression and anxiety medications can be helpful, but its important to consider both their benefits and side effects.
Treating Anxiety And Depression
Treating anxiety comorbid with mood disorders requires an adjustment of pharmacological approaches when compared to treating only anxiety or only depression. We discuss how anxiety disorders may manifest with variations of depression and how we should adapt pharmacotherapy for a range of situations that may be encountered. Conversely, when patients are being treated for bipolar disorder or major depression, anxiety disorders commonly go unnoticed. For instance, data obtained from the first 500 participants in the systematic treatment enhancement program for bipolar disorder indicated that lifetime comorbid anxiety disorders were extremely common, occurring in over one-half of the sample. Bipolar disorder comorbid with anxiety disorders was associated with younger age at onset, decreased likelihood of recovery, poorer quality of life, less time euthymic, and greater likelihood of suicide attempts. In one study, panic disorder occurred at higher rates in patients with bipolar compared to unipolar mood depression. Similarly, in cross-national epidemiological surveys, patients with major were shown to be at increased risk for comorbidity with substance abuse and anxiety disorders at all sites.
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Can Antidepressants Cause Anxiety
Dr. Shelton says that SSRIs typically dont cause anxiety symptoms. However, if a patient is very anxious its a good idea to start on a very low dose to allow the patient to adjust to the medication slowly.
Dr. Plummer says that a patient starting an SSRI may notice an initial increase in anxiety. It takes a minimum of two to four weeks, sometimes longer, for SSRIs to reach the serotonin levels needed to relieve the depression or anxiety, she says.