When it comes to treating anxiety disorders with medications, there are two main options: benzodiazepine drugs like Alprazolam (Xanax) or antidepressants, such as SSRIs. Patients commonly ask which of these options is better. There is no one “best” treatment option for anxiety. Patients have to have their conditions assessed on an individual basis.
Factoring the Severity of Anxiety
The main factor which determines your course of anxiety treatment is the severity of anxiety. If the symptoms of the anxiety are severe, such as by causing physical symptoms or insomnia, then Alprazolam is usually prescribed. Alprazolam enters the bloodstream quickly and acts on GABA receptors to calm the body. Within just a short time of taking Alprazolam, patients can already feel relief from their anxiety symptoms and get on with their lives. For people with panic disorder (panic attacks), Alprazolam are nearly always preferred over antidepressants because only the former will immediately stop symptoms.
If the symptoms of the anxiety disorder are not severe but are constant, then antidepressants may be a better choice over Alprazolam. In the long run, antidepressants are much safer and they can be just as effective in controlling anxiety symptoms, though it will usually take several weeks before any benefits are seen.
Benefits vs. Side Effects
It is up to your doctor to determine what the best anxiety treatment is for you. However, you can take part in the prescription process by making sure your doctor knows as much about your medical history and lifestyle as possible. This is especially important when it comes to weighing the benefits of a drug over its potential side effects. With Alprazolam, the side effects can commonly include:
- Low libido, sexual dysfunction
If Alprazolam is used frequently, then it can also lead to a drug tolerance, dependence or addiction.
Antidepressants can also cause side effects, such as:
- Low libido, sexual dysfunction
- Weight gain
- Constipation or diarrhea
There is also evidence that antidepressants can increase young people’s risk of suicide.
If you have a lifestyle which requires you to be constantly alert (such as if you work in a factory or enjoy sports), then Alprazolam may not be for you because it so commonly causes drowsiness and dizziness. On the other hand, many people don’t take well to antidepressants and could even experience a worsening of their symptoms. Let your doctor know about your preferences and the reason why. Also, keep in mind that not everyone experiences side effects from Alprazolam or antidepressants.
Anxiety Medication Should Always Be Used with Therapy
Whether your doctor decides to go with Alprazolam or antidepressants for treating your anxiety, medications should never be the sole treatment. Anti-anxiety medications will only treat the symptoms of anxiety. If you want to truly cure your anxiety, it will be up to you to follow through on counseling to get to the root of the problem.
What is Alprazolam?
Alprazolam, better known by its brand name Xanax, is a prescription drug belonging to the benzodiazepine group. It is currently the most prescribed benzodiazepine drug and primarily used for treating anxiety and panic disorders though it may also be used for other purposes as well. The [...] Continue Reading…
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Alprazolam (Also known as Xalol, Xanax and other trade names) is a rather short duration anxiolytic medicine. It belongs to the benzodiazepines class of psychoactive medications. Alprazolam has positive effects on the central nervous system, and is often used to treat patients with most forms of panic disorders and [...] Continue Reading…