Two typical lines of treatment are followed to cure anxiety disorders, namely medication and psychotherapy. It is left to the choice of the individual and the doctor as to the course of treatment to be followed. At times, a combination of both methods is used to cure the symptoms of anxiety.
It has been studied that several of the antidepressant medicines are also effective in treating anxiety. Monoamine oxidase inhibitors (MAOIs), serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs), and Tricyclics are some of the antidepressants that are used as anxiety disorder treatments.
Benzodiazepines of high potency are known to alleviate symptoms of anxiety disorder very quickly. Drowsiness is one of the very few side effects that are exhibited by this genre of drug. They are only prescribed for short durations, as their continued usage is known to make the body develop a tolerance for them, necessitating use of higher doses every time. Panic disorder is an exception where in this type of medication is used for a period from six months to a year. This genre of drugs is also found to be addictive and hence is not recommended for patients who have a history of dependence.
Azipirones are a new class of drugs that are the latest entry in treatment of anxiety. Buspirone (BuSpar) is a brand name of this drug in the market. However, it brings a few side effects such as dizziness, nausea, and headaches, and also takes a longer time – at least two weeks – to achieve the anti-anxiety effect.
Propanolol, a Beta-blocker used in case of heart conditions, is also found to be effective on anxiety disorders. This is especially true in cases of social anxiety like stage fright, which can be forecast in advance. Its use is known to prevent signs such as pounding of heart, dry mouth and shaking of hands from happenings.
Although medications do not cure anxiety disorder, they are known to keep a check on the symptoms, controlling them and hence making it possible for the individual to lead an ordinary and rewarding life.