Anxiety Disorder Medication: What They Are and What They Do

If anxiety negatively affects your life every day, you may have a disorder. There are many ways that you can manage your anxiety disorder. 

Often, you can use counseling, and therapy, such as cognitive-behavioral therapy, to try and keep the anxiety at bay and give you moments of peace and a better quality of life. But in other cases, the most powerful tool to manage anxiety is taking medication.

You can find plenty of anxiety medication available today. This article will explore the typical inhabitants of anxiety medications lists to give you a better understanding of what they are and how they affect you.

Tricyclic Antidepressants 

Tricyclic antidepressants, such as Tofranil, Elavil, Pamelor, and Anafranil, help manage anxiety. Common side effects include constipation and blurry vision. Decreased blood pressure is also a potential side effect if standing right after sitting for so long.

Serotonin-Norepinephrine Reuptake Inhibitors (SNRIs) 

A common category of medications for anxiety is serotonin-norepinephrine reuptake inhibitors (SNRIs), which are antidepressants. One example is venlafaxine (Effexor). 

SNRIs make more serotonin and norepinephrine available in the brain to make depression symptoms go away. Their effects are similar to SSRIs.

Selective Serotonin Reuptake Inhibitors (SSRIs) 

Selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs) are a class of drugs used to manage depression. They increase serotonin levels in the brain to improve the mood. It is also known to cause headaches, dry mouth, drowsiness, decreased sex drive, and weight gain as side effects. 

As with many antidepressants, SSRIs pose a higher risk of suicidal ideation, especially in children, teenagers, and young adults. Therefore, medical professionals are careful in prescribing this medication.


BuSpar (buspirone) can be used long-term to manage chronic anxiety. It is a standard prescription for people with generalized anxiety disorder. This medication increases the action of a neurotransmitter called serotonin, which helps improve mood and reduce anxiety. 

However, Buspar takes about a week to start having an effect, and it takes about four to six weeks for the medication to work completely. Because of this, it is not effective for managing panic attacks. It is interesting to note that it is less sedating and non-addictive but may cause dizziness, headache, nervousness, and trouble sleeping.


Beta-blockers control heart disease. They are known to reduce your heart rate and blood pressure. They can also help with physical symptoms of anxiety, such as trembling or sweating. When the symptoms of anxiety are severe, doctors usually prescribe beta-blockers.


Benzodiazepines, such as Valium, Xanax, and Klonopin, are sometimes prescribed to manage anxiety. They are effective in controlling generalized anxiety disorder.

However, they may be used as second-line management for panic disorder or social anxiety disorder. They should be avoided in the long term due to the risk of addiction.


There are many ways to treat anxiety, and on the whole, medication is a great way of managing symptoms and giving you a better quality of life. Although prescriptions are beneficial, depending on them solely to help with anxiety can be dangerous. That is why they need to work in tandem with regular visits to your psychologist or counselor. You must also try to live a healthier and more active lifestyle and use a medication management app to keep track of your anxiety medications list.

MedManage is a cloud-based medication management app that we at My Medication Log offer to help people keep track of their medication. Our app can make remembering, storing, and sharing your medication list, history, and status more accessible than ever. Download it today! 

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