Anxiety treatment · Generalized anxiety · Anxiety symptoms · Antidepressants The two classes of antidepressants most commonly used to treat anxiety disorders are selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs) and serotonin and norepinephrine reuptake inhibitors (SNRIs). They may also be used with antidepressants initially, while antidepressants are slow to work. Buspirone (trade name BuSpar) is typically used to treat generalized anxiety disorder. It is often prescribed with an antidepressant.
Antihistamines (such as hydroxyzine) and beta-blockers (such as propranolol) can help mild cases of anxiety, as well as performance anxiety, a type of social anxiety disorder. Antidepressants such as SSRIs or SNRIs or tricyclics should be taken daily, regardless of whether you have anxiety on that particular day, as prescribed by your healthcare provider. Antihistamines or beta-blockers are usually taken only when needed for anxiety or immediately before an anxiety-causing event (for example, taking propranolol shortly before giving a speech). Finally, certain anti-seizure medications, such as gabapentin (Neurontin) and pregabalin (Lyrica), are also beginning to show value in treating some forms of anxiety in early research studies.
SSRIs and SNRIs are often the first line treatment for anxiety. Common SSRI brands are Celexa, Lexapro, Luvox, Paxil, and Zoloft, and common SNRI brands are Pristiq, Cymbalta, and Effexor XR. Smelling diluted aromatherapy oils can help reduce anxiety, according to an article published in the journal Evidence-Based Complementary and Alternative Medicine. Anyone taking MAOIs should ask their doctor for a complete list of medicines, foods, and drinks to avoid.
If you have acute anxiety (panic attack), you may also need to take an anti-anxiety medicine.