About 70 percent of American adults say they experience anxiety or stress daily, and the majority of them say it interferes at least moderately with their day-to-day life.
More importantly, about 50% of those adults say they have trouble sleeping.
Bellow are two medications that are used to treat anxiety.
It is the brand name of a generic drug, called diazepam. It is part of the benzodiazepine family and has strong effects on the central nervous system by suppressing the abnormal electrical signals in the nerves and brain as well as by boosting the activity of GABA (gamma-aminobutyric acid) – a neurotransmitter that carries signals throughout the human body.
In 1963, FDA first approved this drug for the Roche drug company, a Swiss multinational healthcare company. Between 1968 and 1982, in the US, this drug was the highest selling medication, selling about 2 billion tablets per year.
It is a prescription medication typically used to treat certain symptoms of alcohol withdrawal including tremor, agitation, and hallucinations. Furthermore, it is used to treat muscle spasms, anxiety, and certain types of seizures.
Also, it is used before some medical procedures to decrease anxiety, cause drowsiness, and cause forgetfulness about the surgery.
The usual recommended dose for adults ranges from 2 to 10 mg per day that is taken 2 to 4 times. For children older than 6 months, the initial dose ranges from 1 to 2.5 mg per day taken 3 or 4 times.
Side Effects And Precautions Of Diazepam
Common side effects may include:
- slurred speech;
- decreased memory consolidation;
- dry mouth;
- blurred vision;
- trouble urinating;
- delayed reflexes;
- changes in heart rate;
- decreased respiratory rate;
- appetite changes.
Rare side effects may include:
- shallow breathing;
- unusual thoughts;
- worsening seizures;
- loss of bladder control;
- muscle twitching;
- decreased inhibitions;
- little or no urinating;
- a feeling like you might pass out;
- thoughts of suicide;
- depressed mood;
- no fear of danger;
- unusual risk-taking behavior.
- you have chronic lung disease;
- you have any type of drug addiction;
- you suffer from narrow-angle glaucoma;
- you have had an allergic reaction to any benzodiazepine medicine;
- you suffer from severe muscle weakness;
- you have myasthenia gravis (a chronic autoimmune neuromuscular condition that causes weakness in the skeletal muscles)
- you have temporary stops in breathing during sleep;
- you have liver disease.
Note – do not perform any type of activity which requires mental alertness, such as operating a machinery.
It may interact with the following drugs:
- Zoloft (sertraline);
- Ambien (zolpidem);
- baclofen (a medication used to treat spasticity);
- Cymbalta (duloxetine);
- Flexeril (cyclobenzaprine);
- Subutex (buprenorphine);
- Hydrocodone (a semisynthetic opioid derived from codeine);
- Lexapro (escitalopram);
- Prozac (fluoxetine);
- Lyrica (pregabalin);
- methadone (an opioid used for opioid maintenance therapy);
It is not recommended to drink alcoholic beverages while using this drug because it increases the risk of side effects.
Other Drugs From Benzodiazepine Family Include:
- Alprazolam (Xanax) – it acts by boosting the effects of gamma-aminobutyric acid in the brain.
- Lorazepam (Ativan) – it is used for the short-term relief of symptoms of anxiety associated with depression.
- Flurazepam (Dalmane) – it possesses anticonvulsant, anxiolytic, sedative, hypnotic, and skeletal muscle relaxant attributes.
It is the brand name for a drug known as clonazepam, a benzodiazepine that affects chemicals in the brain which may be unbalanced. It works by increasing the activity of GABA, a chemical which sends signals throughout the human body’s nervous system.
This drug was first patented in 1964 and in 1975 went on sale in the US.
It is approved in the US for the treatment of certain types of seizure disorders and panic disorders. In addition, it is used to treat epilepsy in children. This drug is occasionally prescribed for other uses.
It comes in tablet form and is typically taken 1 or 3 times per day. It is recommended to take this medication at around the same time every day. It starts having an effect within 60 minutes and lasts between 6 and 12 hours.
Side Effects And Precautions Of Clonazepam
Common side effects may include:
- loss of coordination;
Rare side effects may include:
- problems with breathing;
- increased saliva production;
- problems concentrating;
- a sore throat;
- easy bruising;
- body aches;
- lack of appetite;
Do not drink alcoholic beverages while taking this drug since it can intensify certain effects of this medication. Additionally, you shouldn’t drive or do other activities which need alertness.
If you are allergic to medicines from the benzodiazepines family, like – Xanax, Tranxene, Librium, Serax, and Ativan, do not use this drug.
To make sure you can safely use this medicine, tell your healthcare specialist if you have any of these other conditions:
- liver disease;
- kidney disease;
- a history of alcohol addiction;
- a history of suicidal thoughts;
- chronic obstructive pulmonary disorder or asthma.
Long-term use always leads to low-dose dependence. Signs and symptoms of addiction include:
- losing interest in professional or social obligations;
- developing financial issues;
- having a desire to quit, however, you are unable to do so;
- continuing the use of this drug, despite negative consequences on your body and mind;
- persistent cravings for this drug.
Valium vs Klonopin – Which Is Better For Sleep & Anxiety?
Both are from a group of drugs called benzodiazepines. Klonopin is best known to treat panic attacks and other symptoms of anxiety disorder, like – insomnia.
Diazepam is a type of medicine that is used for its sedative, anxiety-relieving, and muscle-relaxing properties. However, it should be used only for two to four weeks as well as a treatment for severe anxiety which is disabling the sufferer to unacceptable distress.
Both these drugs come with plenty of side effects including – headaches, dizziness, sweating, blurred vision, impaired coordination, trouble sleeping, and confusion.
Top 10 Natural Remedies For Anxiety
According to research, this root reduces stress and anxiety levels.
Note – it is generally considered safe, however, long-term use can cause some side effects, like – drowsiness and headaches.
It is one of the most important adaptogen herbs in the Ayurvedic tradition. Ashwagandha is typically used as a natural remedy for anxiety due to its properties that help to stabilize the human body’s response to stress.
It is useful in reducing anxiety because some compounds in chamomile (scientific name – Matricaria recutita) bind to the same brain receptors as benzodiazepines.
Kava is one of the strongest known natural remedies for anxiety and is a medicinal plant that originates in the South Pacific.
It has an active ingredient known as kavalactones, which is considered to prevent epinephrine from overwhelming the body as well as to improve gamma-aminobutyric acid levels.
#5 Physical Exercise
Regular physical activity is excellent for your emotional and physical health. More importantly, physical exercise is not just a short-term fix, but you may experience anxiety relief for many hours after exercise.
It was proven to work just like some of the benzodiazepine drugs for people experiencing anxiety, according to the University of Maryland Medical Center.
The leaves and flowers of the hops plant are used to alleviate insomnia and restlessness. Its properties come from dimethyl vinyl carbinol, a volatile compound. Hops can be taken by stuffing a pouch with hop flowers as well as a standardized extract or sipped as a tea.
#8 Deep Breathing Exercises
Breathing exercises can help people with anxiety issues, like – a fear of public speaking or panic attacks.
#9 Mindfulness Meditation
Mindfulness meditation is actually the practice of being aware of what you are experiencing in the present moment. This meditation practice involves focusing on your breathing, and, more importantly, bringing your awareness to the present moment without thinking about any problem of the future or past.
#10 Foods High In Magnesium
Magnesium, also referred to as relaxation mineral, is an essential mineral that is used by the body, especially when we are stressed. Foods rich in magnesium include – navy beans, flax seeds, Brazil nuts, peanuts, spinach, Swiss chard, walnuts, pecans, apricots, quinoa, raisins, kale, avocado, red kidney beans, lentils, oats, and chickpeas.
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