When people are paralyzed by fear, besieged by heart pounding panic or simply exhausted from sleepless nights, they find relief in anti-anxiety drugs without knowing the darker side of these drugs. It is an undeniable fact that when anxiety is troubling you, then the anti-anxiety drugs can help you, but longer usages of these drugs can lead to severe health complications. The dangers of taking anti-anxiety drugs are many and are discussed here.

Anti-anxiety drugs are prescribed to millions of people suffering from anxiety attacks. While there are some hidden dangers, these drugs are not as harmful as people believe. Some people can benefit from such drugs, if taken in prescribed doses under supervision of medical professionals. Taking anti-anxiety drugs without medical advice and any uncontrolled use of such drugs can cause serious problems and at times may prove to be fatal.

Dangers of Taking Anti-Anxiety Drugs

Dangers of Taking Anti-Anxiety Drugs

Bundling all the drugs for anxiety would be misleading indeed. Most of the drugs have fewer side effects than others. Some of the anti-anxiety drugs have stronger impact on health, while others have very negligible effects. The most widely used anti-anxiety drug is Benzodiazepines which are known to have pronounced side effects, while another anti-anxiety drug Buspirone which is used very rarely has very fewer side effects due to its weaker compositions.

So, different anti-anxiety drugs have different side effects, nevertheless, the dangers of taking anti-anxiety drugs remain in some way or the other. The most common side effects associated with most of the anti-anxiety drug include:

  • Nausea, diarrhea or other gastric disturbances
  • Low blood pressure
  • Difficulty in thinking
  • Headache and dizziness
  • Memory loss and depression
  • Sexual disorders or decreased libido/sex drive
  • Emotional dysfunctions including violence and anger
  • Reduced IQ
  • Weight loss or weight gain

Most of the drugs prescribed for anxiety attacks are known to experience paradoxical effects, where the patient experiences deterioration of symptoms rather than any improvement in the condition. In some rare cases, the attacks of anxiety increases combined with serious suicidal ideation. It is an uncommon, but serious concern for the users of anti-anxiety drugs.

Some of the common dangers of taking anti-anxiety drugs include:

Dependency

The primary reason to avoid using anti-anxiety medicines is that some of the dangers of taking anti-anxiety drugs are really worrisome. These drugs can cause psychological and physiological dependence. Since you keep on using the anti-anxiety drugs to overcome anxiety and stress, gradually, it becomes difficult for you to manage without these medicines. So, it is very crucial for you to avoid becoming dependent on anti-anxiety drugs. It may prove to be dangerous in the long run.

Dependency actually causes two problems. First, it makes your body bigoted to the medicine, which means you need to find other replacement drugs to control anxiety. Second is excessive use of the drugs which may lead to serious withdrawal symptoms. The withdrawal symptoms include seizures, psychosis, depression, increased anxiety attacks, suicidal thinking and hypersensitivity. In some cases, insomnia and gastrointestinal problems are common.

Increased Risk of Health Problems

Apart from suicidal ideation, increased anxiety and paradoxical effects, the other hidden dangers of anti-anxiety drugs are cardiovascular diseases, increased aggressiveness, violent and more. These drugs have some dangerous side effects which may lead to untimely death. Some of the hidden dangers of taking anti-anxiety drugs mainly include the increased risk of other health problems.

Some of the common conditions and health problems that can be caused due to taking anti-anxiety drugs include

  • Persistent pulmonary hypertension, which is a fatal lung disorder
  • Increased internal bleeding, which can cause death
  • Heart disorders, especially the cardiovascular diseases
  • Interactions with other drugs.

Dangers of Long Term Use of Anti-Anxiety Drugs

The anti-anxiety drugs have received negative reputation, however, for certain cases, they may be absolutely necessary. Hence, they are best taken only as prescribed. However, even in such cases, long term use of anti-anxiety drugs may lead to severe side effects. The hidden dangers of taking anti-anxiety drugs for long can also be troublesome. Although, most of the side effects are mild and may alleviate once the drugs are stopped, increasing dependence can pose a major threat.

Hence, it is also advisable that you seek other ways to fight stress and anxiety and not rely on mediations. If your physician prescribes anti-anxiety drugs for a certain period, it is good to complete that and find alternative ways to deal with stress. This can save you from the hidden dangers of taking anti-anxiety drugs and help you lead a healthy life.

Ways to Deal With Dangers of Taking Anti-Anxiety Drugs

Although the anti-anxiety drugs can help you deal with stress and anxiety, but they are not the last resort. There are alternative options to deal with anxiety and stress. Psychological counseling, talk therapy, cognitive behavioral therapy can help people identify and reverse the negative thoughts and anxiousness. If you are suffering from specific fears, then with exposure therapy, the doctors can treat the condition. You may also be prescribed with some other strategies to augment the effects of the therapy like exercises, medications, regular sleep schedules and diet. Additionally, relaxation therapies, yoga, stress management techniques and massage can help fight stress and feelings of anxiety.

Although using medications for anxiety attacks is very effective, but you must always consider the dangers of taking anti-anxiety drugs before using them. Consult your doctor to know the right medications, dosage and other options to deal with stress and anxiety.

Written, Edited or Reviewed By:

, MD, FFARCSI

Last Modified On: April 25, 2017

Pain Assist Inc.

Pramod Kerkar
  Note: Information provided is not a substitute for physician, hospital or any form of medical care. Examination and Investigation is necessary for correct diagnosis.

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