Medication Versus Natural Supplements for Anxiety with Pro's and Con's

Anxiety disorders is now the most common mental disorder treated by doctors in the USA. The approximate forty million in the united states of 18 and over have or will seek treatment by a doctor during the 2019 year. 

Anxiety treatment varies from simple regimen and diet changes to medication and intake prolonged therapy. Out of the 40 million USA adults seeking treatment this way approximately 37% of these adults find the right treatment that works for them. 

People with anxiety are up to 5 times more likely to go to a doctor and up to 6 times more like to be hospitalized for a psychiatric condition or disorder.  Anxiety disorders effect 1 in 5 people in america at one point in life but the complex risk factors have yet to be discovered of how or why this happens, Including chemistry, character traits from personality and life events that cause trauma. This making it hard for doctors to make sure the right tools, regimen or medication is prescribed that works for those suffering anxiety. 

prescription for anxiety

Before explaining pro's and con's of Natural supplements of anxiety we need to understand how prescribed medication is broken down based on a individual. 

According to the Anxiety and Depression Association of America there is 4 classes of drugs that are used in treatment for anxiety. 

1. Selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors or SSRI's 

Selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs) are more commonly prescribed as a antidepressants. They seem to help some ease symptoms of moderate to severe depression, are relatively safe and typically cause fewer side effects than other types of antidepressants do. More than 100 million people worldwide take selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors.

Typically used or prescribed as a anti-depressant doctors still tend to prescribe them for anxiety and those with obsessive-compulsive disorder due to its non habit forming,and they help increase serotonin levels which is the chemical messenger or neurotransmitter that signals some of the anxiety or stress we feel. 

SSRI Are commonly

IF you were prescribed one of these and had good results but could not deal with the side effects such as Diarrheanauseavomitingdizzinesstrouble sleeping, decreased interest in sexdry mouth, loss of appetite, increased sweating,  upset stomachmuscle cramps/weakness, shaking (tremor), unusual weight loss or gain. Click on any of the links and see other peoples reviews on the medication as well. But a good alternative for a natural supplement for SSRI treament for anxiety is Ashwagandha

Ashwagandha also known as Indian ginseng, Withania somnifera

Ashwagandha is a small shrub that is a perennial herb with dull papery husk yellow flowers that's native to India and North Africa that take about 150 days to reach maturity and has bright vibrant red berries inside the flowers. 

Over the years ashwagandha has grown in popularity due to its almost magical results. It helps to rejuvenate the body stress response system without drowsiness like a SSRI.  Ashwagandha is also used to help those with side effects from medication used to treat cancer and schizophrenia. 

Ashwagandha can decrease blood pressure. This could cause blood pressure to go to low in people with low blood pressure; or interfere with medications used to treat high blood pressure. Ashwagandha should be used cautiously if you have low blood pressure or take medications for your blood pressure.

Ashwagandha might increase thyroid hormone levels. Ashwagandha should be used cautiously or avoided if you have a thyroid condition or take thyroid hormone medications.

Ashwagandha is KNOWN AS SAFE when taken by mouth short-term.  Large doses of ashwagandha might cause stomach upset, diarrhea, and vomiting.

2. Serotonin-norepinephrine reuptake inhibitors or SNRIs 

Another medication commonly prescribed for depression and some chronic pain conditions. These types of medications work by reducing the serotonin absorption and norepinephrine the natural hormone that functions as a neurotransmitter in the sympathetic nervous system. The general function of norepinephrine is to help mobilize the brain and body for action. Norepinephrine is responsible for how the person reacts to stress and anxiety and is associated with the fight-or-flight response and how we react to the stress or anxiety we recieve. This is why a SNRI is prescribed. 

Types of SNRI's 

As with SSRIs, SNRIs can take several weeks to have an effect.

SNRI's Should not be prescribed if you have or had 

  • bipolar disorder (manic depression);

  • cirrhosis or other liver disease;

  • kidney disease;

  • heart disease, high blood pressure, high cholesterol;

  • diabetes;

  • narrow-angle glaucoma;

  • a thyroid disorder;

  • a history of seizures;

  • a bleeding or blood clotting disorder;

  • low levels of sodium in your blood.

Side effects that range from skin rash, hives, mood or behavior changes, trouble sleeping, blurred vision, easily bruising, headaches, confusion, dry mouth, yawning, fast heartbeats, increase in sweating, decreased sex drive and having trouble with orgasms. 

However if you had good results with a SNRI but could not handle the side effects 

A great natural supplement to try is our natural formula mix with all B vitamins, 

Anxiety Natural Supplement Formula

With a little more than ashwagandha a good source of b vitamins is useful in keeping the serotonin levels better. Combined with hawthorn to help with cardiovascular and heart health but keeping energy levels up without drowsiness.

Some side effects from this natural formula are lower blood pressure than normal, increase in B vitamins level, first month of thyroid levels too high. Cause slow breathing, cases and studies have been shown that these are rare. 

Pros:
  • Treat underlying cause of anxiety.
  • Can prevent panic from happening.
  • Can be used to treat most anxiety disorders.
Cons:
  • Must be taken daily and consistently.
  • Take time to work, typically 1-3 weeks

 

 

3. Tricyclic antidepressants

  • Amitriptyline.
  • Amoxapine.
  • Desipramine (Norpramin)
  • Doxepin.
  • Imipramine (Tofranil)
  • Nortriptyline (Pamelor)
  • Protriptyline (Vivactil)
  • Trimipramine (Surmontil)
tricyclic antidepressants (TCAs), a class of drug used to treat depression, OCD, bedwetting, migraines, tension headaches, premenstrual syndrome

 

 Tricyclic antidepressants increase levels of norepinephrine and serotonin, two neurotransmitters, and block the action of acetylcholine, another neurotransmitter. Scientists believe that by restoring the balance in these neurotransmitters in the brain that tricyclic antidepressants alleviate depression signs of anxiety and restore balance. 

tricyclic antidepressants are extremely well known for a long list of side effects,

Because of the different ways cyclic antidepressants work, side effects vary somewhat from medication to medication. Some side effects may go away after a time, while others may lead you and your doctor to try a different medication. Side effects may also be dependent on the dose, with higher doses often causing more side effects.

Some common possible side effects include:

  • Blurred vision
  • Constipation
  • Dry mouth
  • Drowsiness
  • Drop in blood pressure when moving from sitting to standing, which can cause light headed symptoms
  • Urine retention

Other possible side effects, among others, include:

  • Increased appetite leading to weight gain
  • Weight loss
  • Excessive sweating
  • Tremor
  • Sexual problems, such as difficulty achieving an erection, delayed orgasm or low sex drive.

They are extremely well known for the tired and drowsiness effect and have some safety issues with driving and day to day routines that could be effected. 

They are often prescribed for those with overwhelming panic attacks, PTSD, and GAD, 

Possible Benefits. Often effective in reducing panic attacks and elevating depressed mood. Well researched. Usually a single daily dose. Some generics available, which reduces cost. Tolerance does not develop. Non-addicting.

Possible Disadvantages. Delayed onset (take from 4-12 weeks). Anticholinergic effects. Postural hypotension. Possible side effects initially (including insomnia, tremor, or both) may last up to the first two to three weeks of treatment. Weight gain can be as much as one pound per month with about 25% of patients gaining 20 pounds or more. Dangerous in overdose. Should not be used by patients with narrow-angle glaucoma or certain heart abnormalities. Men with an enlarged prostate should avoid certain antidepressants.

Possible Side Effects:  effects of dry mouth, blurred vision, constipation, and difficulty in urination; postural hypotension; tachycardia, loss of sex drive; erectile failure; increased sensitivity to the sun; weight gain; sedation (sleepiness); increased sweating. Some of these side effects will disappear with the passage of time or with a decrease in the dosage. Some people may experience side effects on dosages as low as 10 mg per day: jitteriness, irritation, unusual energy, and difficulty falling or staying asleep.

If you were prescribed a tricyclic antidepressants in the treatment of panic disorder, PTSD, generalized anxiety a good natural supplement to ween off it or to try after discussing with your doctor is B-12 

B12 deficiency can cause almost any psychiatric symptom-from anxiety, and panic to depression and hallucinations. This is because B12 deficiencies trigger symptoms in the nervous system and red blood cells.

The Internet is full of articles lauding the use of vitamin B12 to prevent Alzheimer’s disease, heart disease, and other chronic conditions or reverse infertility, fatigue, eczema, and a long list of other health problems. Most are based on poor or faulty evidence. However vitamin B12 deficiency can be slow to develop, causing symptoms to appear gradually and intensify over time. It can also come on relatively quickly. Given the array of symptoms a vitamin B12 deficiency can cause, the condition can be overlooked or confused with something else. Vitamin B12 deficiency symptoms may include:

  • strange sensations, numbness, or tingling in the hands, legs, or feet
  • Anxiety and or panic attacks
  • difficulty walking (staggering, balance problems)
  • anemia
  • a swollen, inflamed tongue
  • difficulty thinking and reasoning (cognitive difficulties), or memory loss
  • weakness
  • fatigue

However B12 is a good general boost in your system and combined with coconut or fish oil can help ease panic attacks faster and help with restorative cognitive functions to help understand the fight or flight when you feel it. 

 

     

    Benefits.

    Can be helpful for panic, generalized anxiety, and PTSD. Blocks panic attacks in 70% of people. Non-addicting. Tolerance doesn't develop. Helps depression. Continued improvement for several months. Because it is slowly metabolized by the body, you can take it once daily up to 3 times depending on deficiency. Please consult with your doctor on getting a Vitamin B deficiency test. 

     

    4. Benzodiazepines

    Benzodiazepines are types of sedative drugs that reduces the physical symptom of anxiety, such as tense muscles. These drugs also encourage relaxation, and their effects take place within a few minutes.

    Benzodiazepines include:

    • alprazolam (Xanax)
    • chlordiazepoxide (Librium)
    • diazepam (Valium)
    • lorazepam (Ativan)

    doctors rarely prescribe benzodiazepines because they become less effective over time and can be addictive.

    Due to these risks, experts suggest that doctors do not prescribe the continuous use of benzodiazepines for more than 1 month.

    Some people may take benzodiazepines to manage short-term anxiety. For example, people with a fear of flying may take them before a flight.

    At times, people may take a benzodiazepine alongside an SSRI for a few weeks until the SSRI takes effect.

    Withdrawal from benzodiazepines may lead to:

    • anxiety and restlessness
    • depression
    • sleep problems
    • sweating
    • seizures

    More severe risks of benzodiazepines may include:

    • addiction
    • cognitive decline
    • hip fractures
    • motor vehicle accidents, as they can affect a person's ability to drive
    • overdose, especially in combination with opioid drugs or alcohol.

     

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