Are There Risks From Taking Prozac For Anxiety
Prozac has a black box warning. This is the most serious warning about a medication from the FDA.
People with major depressive disorder may experience worsening of their depression, suicidal thoughts, or behavior. The risk is higher for children and adolescents under age 25.
Prozac may cause loss of appetite and weight loss. This may be serious in some people. Your doctor will need to monitor your weight while youre taking Prozac.
What Is Anxiety And Who Should Care
Generalized anxiety disorder is a common mental health condition. People with GAD worry a lot about many different things. Many people around the world have anxiety. In the United States, almost 8% of women will have GAD at some point in their lives compared to about 5% of men. The causes of generalized anxiety disorder may be related to genetics, life experiences, personality traits, and brain structure and function.
Its normal to experience occasional feelings of anxiety. The difference is that people with GAD feel anxious most of the time. They experience worry that interferes with daily life, is very hard to control, and is usually out of proportion to the actual situation.
People with GAD often worry about the future. They also tend to avoid situations that might be anxiety-provoking and may think a lot about bad things happening. It can sometimes make them feel tense or irritable, and make it hard to concentrate on work or other activities. GAD can also cause physical symptoms, including:
A racing heartbeat
Changes in bowel movements, like diarrhea or constipation
With All These Options How Can You Choose
Your doctor can recommend the best medication to help control your anxiety. There are different types of anxiety disorders, so different medications may be better choices for your type. Your doctor will also consider your other health conditions and medications, and whether you have a family history of responding better to a certain medication. Since you might be taking medication long-term, you may want to factor in affordability.
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Should You Treat Your Depression With Medications
You might be asking your healthcare provider this question if you have been feeling low and your friends and family have mentioned this to you. Your provider might have mentioned medication if your mood interferes with work, family or socializing for more than two weeks. Some people with depression might even have legal troubles linked to outbursts.
Selective Serotonin Noradrenaline Reuptake Inhibitors
Both SSNRI and SSRI medications affect serotonin levels, but SSNRI drugs also impact the level of norepinephrine, another neurotransmitter that may affect mood. This type of medication is helpful for those who have extreme fatigue associated with depression, or who have had side effects or poor response to SSRI drugs.
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Selective Serotonin Reuptake Inhibitors For Anxiety
Selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors approved by the FDA to treat anxiety disorders include:
Fluoxetine. Sold under the brand name Prozac®, fluoxetine is approved as a treatment for several anxiety disorders, such as panic disorder and obsessive-compulsive disorder .
Paroxetine. Sold under the brand name Paxil®, paroxetine is approved as a treatment for panic disorder, generalized anxiety disorder , obsessive-compulsive disorder , social anxiety disorder and post-traumatic stress disorder .
Sertraline. Sold under the brand name Zoloft®, sertraline is approved as a treatment for panic disorder, social anxiety disorder , obsessive-compulsive disorder and post-traumatic stress disorder .
Escitalopram. Sold under the brand name Lexapro®, escitalopram is approved as a treatment for generalized anxiety disorder .
Fluvoxamine. Sold under the brand name Luvox® CR, fluvoxamine is approved as a treatment for obsessive-compulsive disorder and social anxiety disorder.
Some other SSRIs, such as citalopram , arent approved by the FDA to treat anxiety disorders, but may be prescribed off-label by your healthcare provider to treat anxiety disorders if deemed safe and appropriate.
Symptoms Of Anxiety In Men
Anxiety is more than having sweaty palms and butterflies in your stomach. Symptoms of anxiety can include ongoing feelings of worry, fear and impending doom that are so severe they interfere with your ability to work, maintain relationships and get a decent nights sleep. Physical signs of anxiety may include:
- pounding or racing heart
- thinking about death or suicide.
The Signs Of Depression
Everybody is liable to a gloomy day here and there. It may even be the case that you’re feeling low for a few days to a week, only to bounce back to your usual self.
It makes sense, seeing as everybody experiences heartbreak, suffering, and adversity. Those things are difficult to deal with, so it’s natural that you would feel a little low while they’re happening.
Depression, on the other hand, is distinguished by a period of at least two weeks of symptoms. Those symptoms can include a significantly diminished mood, lack of appetite, a notable increase in appetite, and a general sense of lethargy.
You might not want to get out of bed, and when you do get out of bed it may seem like a challenge to do almost anything. These factors are independent of your thoughts, which may be far more negative than usual.
Intense thoughts that challenge your self-esteem, worthiness, and guiltiness might occupy your mind most of the time. In the scheme of all these symptoms, you might have trouble relating to the people you love, concentrating on the things that are important to you, or maintaining your normal life in any meaningful way.
It’s hard. There’s no getting around that fact, but know that depression is a medical condition, and your thoughts, although convincing and intense, are made darker by the fact that you are suffering from a very real illness.
Why Is This Medication Prescribed
Escitalopram is used to treat depression in adults and children and teenagers 12 years of ago or older. Escitalopram is also used to treat generalized anxiety disorder in adults. Escitalopram is in a class of antidepressants called selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors . It works by increasing the amount of serotonin, a natural substance in the brain that helps maintain mental balance.
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Time To Start Working
Studies have shown that antidepressants are effective in reducing or eliminating panic attacks and improving anticipatory anxiety and symptoms of agoraphobia. Unfortunately, antidepressants generally dont result in immediate relief of symptoms. Many people will not see a significant improvement for several weeks.
Studies have generally shown that the full benefits of antidepressant therapy may take as long as 8 to 12 weeks. However, this timeline is variable among individuals.
When To See A Doctor
You shouldnt delay seeing a doctor when you have doubts about your medical condition or youre about to start a new medication. Talk to your doctor or psychiatrist at the first sign of anxiety or depression as these are serious conditions that may need professional care. Always ask your doctor about potential drug interactions if youre currently taking medication or herbal supplements for any reason. Seek help immediately if you take an antihistamine and experience a negative reaction, especially if it impairs your ability to breathe.
Anxiety and depression are both very serious emotional health issues that frequently need specialist care to treat. If you think you may be dealing with an anxiety disorder, call us at 299-0618 right away. Our compassionate team of counselors knows what youre going through and can help. Start your journey to lifelong recovery with us now.
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When To Talk To Someone About Your Symptoms
Once anxiety or depression impacts your life, you should seek help from a mental health professional. The psychological conditions can lead to social isolation, worsening performance at school or work, and substance abuse as a coping mechanism.
If you rely on drugs or alcohol as a response to anxiousness or depression, consider rehabilitation. The Recovery Village has centers throughout the country that provide co-occurring disorder treatment when a mental illness pairs with addiction. The team of experts can help you attain a substance-free lifestyle and treat your mental condition.
If youre looking for healthy ways to manage anxiety and depression, the Nobu app can help. It is free and for anyone that is looking to reduce anxiety, work through depression, build self-esteem, get aftercare following treatment, attend teletherapy sessions and so much more. Download the Nobu app today!
Can Antidepressants Give You Suicidal Thoughts
In 2004, the FDA issued a black box label warning for suicidal ideation among 18- to 24-year-olds for common antidepressant drugs. This warning is the FDAs strictest warning for labeling prescription drugs.
The effect of suicidal thoughts is most common with SSRIs, occurring in about 4% of people who take them. However, untreated depression is considered to be much more of a suicide risk than taking antidepressants.
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Supporting Someone With Anxiety Or Depression
There are ways that you can help someone with anxiety or depression. It may be helpful to:
- let them know if youve noticed a change in their behaviour
- spend time talking about their experiences and let them know youre there to listen without being judgmental
- help them to get information from a website, library or community health centre
- suggest they go to a doctor or health professional, and help them to make an appointment
- offer to go with them to their appointment and follow up with them afterwards
- encourage them to get enough sleep, to exercise and to eat well
- encourage family and friends to invite them out and keep in touch, but dont pressure them to participate in activities
- contact a doctor or hospital if they become a threat to themselves or others.
It is unhelpful to:
- put pressure on them by telling them to snap out of it or get their act together
- stay away or avoid them
- tell them they just need to stay busy or get out more
- pressure them to party more or wipe out how theyre feeling with drugs and alcohol
- assume the problem will just go away.
If you or someone you know needs support, talk to a doctor or other health professional about getting appropriate treatment.
Using Antidepressants For Anxiety And Depression
It should be mentioned that SSRI antidepressants are a great first-line treatment option for people with anxiety and comorbid depression and individuals with depression and comorbid anxiety. Although most doctors will simply throw SSRIs at you if you mention anxiety and depression, they may tweak treatments based on whether you are experiencing more anxiety than depression or vice versa. Below are various scenarios of how a person may be affected by anxiety.
Anxiety with comorbid depression: In this diagnosis, a person is primarily dealing with anxiety. The anxiety may be causing them to feel depressed and/or may be significantly more problematic than the depression. In this case, treating the anxiety may help the depression. In other cases, both the anxiety and depression need to be targeted.
Depression with comorbid anxiety: In this diagnosis, a person primarily is dealing with major depression. The depression could be causing them to feel anxiety and/or may be significantly more problematic than the anxiety. In this case, treating the depression may help the anxiety. In other cases, a doctor may need to target the depression and the anxiety for a person to feel relief.
Pure anxiety: For individuals with pure anxiety, it may be better to pursue anxiolytics prior to using antidepressants. If you get no relief from any drugs that your psychiatrist prescribes, you may get put on a benzodiazepine.
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The Philosophy Of Functional Medicine
When people hear the term “holistic” or “whole person,” they often think that the treatment methods aren’t specific and may not even work. This is certainly not always the case in terms of functional medicine.
The philosophy of treating the whole person in no way rules out the use of western medicine. The difference is the belief that a person’s well being is not just the absence of illness.
Instead, wellbeing is considered the flourishing of a person’s physical, mental, emotional, and social health. These factors, especially the spiritual, can be difficult to pinpoint and treat. That doesn’t mean they aren’t essential, though.
When treating anxiety and depression, no stone is left unturned. A great example of this is inflammation.
Inflammation, when present in a person, can be a contributing factor to depression. Alternatively, depression can contribute to inflammation. Both of these illnesses contribute to each other as well as a whole host of other illnesses.
It follows that taking out one or more of these root causes can have a chain effect that frees up a person’s wellness in other areas. In other words, you take out the inflammation and improve depression as well as the other illnesses that exist as a result of it.
This is a radical idea in the treatment of chronic diseases that were previously thought to be incurable. In the process of finding a solution to depression and anxiety, we can’t rule out the use of eastern medicine such as meditation and yoga.
Doses And Duration Of Treatment
Antidepressants are usually taken in tablet form. When they’re prescribed, you’ll start on the lowest possible dose thought necessary to improve your symptoms.
Antidepressants usually need to be taken for 1 or 2 weeks before the benefit starts to be felt. It’s important not to stop taking them if you get some mild side effects early on, as these effects usually wear off quickly.
If you take an antidepressant for 4 weeks without feeling any benefit, speak to your GP or mental health specialist. They may recommend increasing your dose or trying a different medicine.
A course of treatment usually lasts for at least 6 months after you start to feel better. Some people with recurrent depression may be advised to take them indefinitely.
Read more about antidepressant dosages.
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What Is Functional Medicine
Functional medicine is an approach to health and well being that tries to treat the whole individual. That said, the methods used in functional medicine are not nebulous or vague.
Treatments are very specific, in fact, many treatments are more specific than those given in a traditional treatment of anxiety and depression. Many individuals see their general practitioner about their newfound mental illness, only to be given a prescription and sent on their way.
Instead of treating all symptoms with a pill, functional medicine aims to identify the root of the issue from a genetic or environmental point of view.
How Are Antidepressant Medications Selected
The type of drug prescribed will depend on your symptoms, the presence of other medical conditions, other medicines you are currently taking, the cost of the prescribed treatments, and potential side effects. If you have had depression before, your provider may prescribe the same medicine that worked for you in the past. If you have a family history of depression, medicines that have been effective in treating your family member may also be considered.
Usually you will start taking the medicine at a low dose. The dose will be gradually increased until it has reached the therapeutic dose, or until you start to see an improvement .
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How Does Prozac Work For Anxiety
Prozac belongs to a class of medications called SSRIs. While the exact way SSRIs work isnt known, one of the ways its thought to work is by regulating mood by increasing serotonin in your brain.
This is one of the reasons doctors often prescribe SSRIs like Prozac to ease symptoms of mood-related conditions like anxiety.
Prozac and other antidepressant-type medications can also be effective when someone has other mental health conditions, like depression, along with anxiety.
Prozac and generic fluoxetine are available in several different strengths and dosage forms for ease of dosing.
The dosage for Prozac depends on
- the condition being treated
- your health
- other medications you may be taking
For panic disorder, the usual starting dose is 10mg per day and may be increased if needed. Your doctor will decide the best dose of Prozac for you based on your condition and how you respond to treatment.
Take Prozac exactly as prescribed. Keep in mind, it may take several weeks to see the full effects of Prozac. Do not suddenly stop taking Prozac, you could experience withdrawal symptoms.
Prozac can be taken with or without food.
Ask your doctor or pharmacist about the best way to take Prozac and how to manage side effects.
Do Antianxiety Medications Help Treat Depression
Dr. Andrew Leuchter answers the question: ‘Anxiety Medications For Depression?’
— Question: Do antianxiety medications help treat depression?
Answer: About two-thirds of patients with major depression also have anxiety symptoms. About a third of patients with major depression actually have panic attacks. So anxiety is a very very common symptom of depression. So it’s very common for patients with major depression also to get an anxiety medication. An antidepressant once it’s effective is going to help somebody get over not just the symptoms of depressed mood, but also the anxiety symptoms. In the short run though, when a depressed patient has severe anxiety so severe they may not be able to function during the day or sleep at night, it can be helpful to use a small amount of an antianxiety medication. Usually we use these only for about two or three weeks to get somebody started on the antidepressant, and then after that they’re able usually to do without the anxiety medication at all.