Anxiety disorder has become a common ailment that seems to be striking at will. The National Institute of Mental Health estimates that seventy five percent of people afflicted with anxiety disorder experience their first bout at an average age of 21.5 years.
More and more people are falling prey to this disorder in the United States. Given the seriousness of the problem, medication becomes necessary to control the epidemic and provide anxiety relief. Different classes of medication are prevalent in anxiety disorder and panic attack treatment.
The physical symptoms of anxiety disorder and panic attacks are characterized by sweaty palms, dizziness, insomnia, restlessness and feeling of uncertainty and apprehension. Increased rate of heartbeat, rapid breathing and a tingling sensation in the limbs are other symptoms of anxiety.
The line of treatment in such cases is focused towards improving the level of motivation of the person under treatment and enabling him to face his anxieties. This is achieved by addressing the condition in two phases. The first phase deals with the physical symptoms and depression. The second phase is the manifestation of the attack itself.
Medication has been found to be helpful in treating these phases and the positive effects of it have been ratified through clinical trials. The primary medications that are being used for anxiety disorder are the antidepressants, benzodiazepines and selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors. These may be used singly or in combination.
Amongst the tricyclic antidepressants, Imipramine (Tofranil) has been used successfully for a long time. It is non-addictive and has a long lasting effect. It is effective in reducing anxiety attacks and elevating depressive mood. Clinical studies have shown that Imipramine is beneficial for seventy to eighty percent of patients.
The other tricyclic antidepressants that are used regularly by the physicians are clomipramine, amitriptyline, doxepin and desipramine. Physicians usually recommended them to be taken along with the benzodiazepines. The latest formulations of selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors that have been reported to be beneficial are fluoxetine, paroxetine, fluvoxamine and sertraline.
These also have fewer side effects than tricyclic antidepressants. Clonazepam and alprazolam are the most commonly used benzodiazepines. These work faster than the tricyclic antidepressants. In fact, alprazolam offers almost instant relief.
Though these are capable of offering faster relief and also have fewer side effects, these can have withdrawal effects. It is important to note here that these medications should be taken under the supervision of a physician. All these chemical formulations have some or the other side effect and hence it is crucial that these be taken as per the recommended dosages.
Because of this reason, the natural treatments for anxiety are becoming popular with people. However, these natural treatments can only supplement the treatment and will never be able to diminish the importance of the medication.