What do anti anxiety meds do?

So, you’re feeling anxious? Well, that’s no big deal. It happens to the best of us. Anxiety is like a pesky mosquito buzzing around your head, and sometimes all we need is a little bit of bug spray to get rid of it.

But what happens when that buzz just won’t stop? When your palms start sweating uncontrollably or your heart starts racing for no apparent reason at all?

Enter: anti-anxiety medication! In this article, we’ll take a closer look at what these little pills actually do.

The basics

Before we dive in too deep, let’s go over some basic info about anti-anxiety medications:

  • They are typically grouped into two categories: benzodiazepines and non-benzodiazepines.
  • Benzodiazepines are usually fast-acting, but come with a risk of addiction and abuse.
  • Non-benzodiazepines take longer to work but have less risk of dependency.

Okay! Now that those details are out of the way, let’s move on.

How they work

Anti-anxiety medications affect certain neurotransmitters in our brains – chemicals that transmit signals between neurons. Specifically, they target gamma-Aminobutyric acid (GABA) receptors in our brain cells’ membranes.

Think of GABA as an overprotective bouncer at the club – except instead of keeping people out, he keeps electrical impulses in your brain from firing erratically causing anxiety-like symptoms. When GABA binds with its receptor sites on cell surfaces promptly by taking down brain activity — specifically amygdala which plays significant roles while cognizing fear or threat effectively diminishes any impending attacks right off the bat!

Not controlling nerve cells can be disastrous for a person– think seizures and panic attacks –and so here’s where these neat drugs swoop in Imagine the GABA molecule as a key fitting into the receptors’ lock(?) , telling these cells to “calm down” and halting any wacky signals that could lead to anxiety attacks.

Common types of anti-anxiety medications

There are quite a few different types of anti-anxiety meds out there. Let’s break down some common ones:


Also known as “benzos,” benzodiazepines work by enhancing the effects of GABA on your brain cells which are why they work pretty quickly –usually within two hours or even minutes — to calm anxiety-related symptoms.

Some frequently prescribed benzos include:

  • Valium (diazepam)
  • Ativan(lorazepam)
  • Klonopin(clonazepam)

Benzos come with pros and cons! Even though they relieve people from stress caused due to slight indisposition creating delusions, they are in fact an addictive substance. Therefore doctors do not usually prescribe it for fear that patients will become habituated.

Non-benzodiazepine anxiolytics

These medicines directly target selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs) – antidepressants initially used off-label for treatment purpose –but marketed more recently specifically for including dealing with depression, anxiety spectrum disorders like PTSD and social phobia since SSRIs can help restore balance in those neurotransmitters targeted by benzodiazepines as well.No such severe side-effects have been recorded yet!

Some names you might recognise here include:


Unlike benzos or Valiums Buspirone doesn’t produce sleepiness or dizziness thus is safe for pilots who have flying fears perhaps?


Beta blockers work differently from both benzodiazepines and SSRI medication; rather than targeting full-on panic attacks, these drugs focus mainly on the symptoms that come along with anxiety

Some well-known beta blockers include:


❌ Beta-blockers work on blocking adrenaline which helps alleviate effects like shaky voice or trembling hands but do not target mental symptoms of the condition.

Side Effects of Anti-Anxiety Medication

All medications have side effects, and anti-anxiety meds are no exception. Depending on what sort of medication you end up being recommended, potential side-effects to keep an eye out for might consist:

  • Dizziness/faintness/headaches
  • Blurred vision
    -Nausea/ diarrhoea/upset stomach/ abdominal pain
    -Joint pains/muscular cramps/ spasms.
    -Trouble sleeping/Lack Of Sleep
    -Low mood(due to medicines) 😢🤕😴);

It is always best to talk with your physician regarding any anxieties – this means you can also make sure they totally understand any additional conditions that you may have before prescribing medicine). Additionally, if something does arise regarding these tablets’ side effects, one recommendation would be seeing another medical expert that can help change your prescription as things don’t relax after starting it initially (which sometimes happens).

## Withdrawal Symptoms

As mentioned earlier, benzodiazepines in particular; can become addictive –leading to tolerance where doses need increased overtimes– which means withdrawal symptoms could arise when people stop taking them suddenly.

Underlying conditions & durations taken all matter however some typical indicators for withdrawals could include,

  • Anxiety irritability /agitation/restlessness/confused thoughts/experiencing lows emotionally 🙄🤔😣)

Speak frankly with a medic if stopping suddenly needed otherwise doctor monitoring will oversee that user hasn’t experienced any worrisome consequences similar will occur even while cutting down slowly off long-term usage.

So there we have our ins and outs of anxiety medication covered –while these tablets can be a fantastic way to manage difficult symptoms, they are indeed only one part of an adequate management plan. Exercises like yoga or meditation could alternatively help (or commonly in combination with medicine), while behavioural therapy may have lasting more long-term benefits – whatever way that suits you best!

Remember too; speaking openly with someone about anxiety is all the more important than ever–since mental matters impact people even when they don’t show anything on exterior – so look out for yourself!

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