If you have been experiencing anxiety for a long time, you are probably aware of the practice of using antidepressants in the treatment of anxiety. Antidepressant treatment of anxiety disorders is one of the preferred forms of treatment by most doctors, and this could be true for your doctor as well.
Antidepressants are used in the treatment of anxiety because they are generally safe, effective and non-addictive. The good thing about using antidepressants in the treatment of anxiety disorders is that it does not seem to have serious long-term adverse effects although it may cause a few minor side effects, which are generally tolerable.
During the course of treatment, if you do not respond to a particular antidepressant, your doctor can easily switch you to another until you find one that works for you.
The antidepressant drugs used in the treatment of anxiety are classified as selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs) and serotonin-norepinephrine reuptake inhibitors (SNRIs). These drugs have been shown to significantly reduce the level of anxiety felt by up to 70% of those who take them.
One major drawback in the use of antidepressants in the treatment of anxiety is that some side effects may be felt in the first few weeks of taking the drugs. For example, side effects associated with SSRI’s include weight gain, headaches, insomnia, vivid dreams and even anxiety.
Anxiety is also another side effect seen in people who use SNRI’s, aside from insomnia or sedation, vivid dreams, nightmares and weight gain. These side effects are most often the reason why some people discontinue taking antidepressants for the treatment of their anxiety because they feel that the drug is not working or that the anxiety is getting worse.
The initial trial period for the use of antidepressants in the treatment of anxiety attacks is three months, which is the ideal time for the dosage to be adjusted correctly, for the side effects to subside and for the benefits of the drug to become clear.
The side effects of antidepressants when used in the treatment of anxiety will only last for a couple of weeks and will gradually diminish over time. Your doctor may lower your dose or advise you to take the drug at a different time of day in order to minimize some of the side-effects.