Anti-anxiety medications


Check out the pharmacology section of thedrnurse.com for a helpful reference guide! Benzodiazepenes This class is exclusively for anxiety and sometimes insomnia The ‘pams Clonazepam, Lorazepam Enhance effects of GABA Side effects include sedation, drowsiness, lethargy RESPIRATORY DEPRESSION Dependence and tolerance is also a concern Benzos treat acute, SEVERE anxiety Atypical anxiolotyics=BuSpar BuSpar increases free levels of serotonin and dopamine BuSpar treats depression also BuSpar will NOT work for an acute anxiety attack or severe anxiety BuSpar treats generalized anxiety disorder Inform your patient of GI side effects Such as nausea, constipation, diarrhea Tell your patient to take BuSpar with food to minimize these effects Antihistamines Hydroxyzine Brand name is vistaril Can also treat insomnia due to sedating effects They directly block histamine receptors NOT to be given for an acute attack OR severe anxiety Antihistamines are used for mild anxiety or performance anxiety Inform of GI side effects such as nausea Anti-histamines dry secretions so inform patient they may experience dry mouth, constipation, dry eyes Abdominal cramps is another possible side effect Headache is also frequently experienced by patients taking antihistamines SNRIs and SSRIs Serotonin norepinephrine reuptake inihibitors Selective serotonin reuptake inihibitors SNRIs increase free levels of norepinephrine and serotonin SSRIs increase the levels of serotonin SNRI prototype is duloxetine Also called Cymbalta; can treat neuropathic pain SSRI used most frequently for anxiety is escitalopram (Lexapro) Both SNRIs and SSRIs are also prescribed for depression These classes are NOT for acute or severe anxiety! Teach about how to cope with GI side effects Take with food Non-selective beta blockers These decrease stimulation from epinephrine and norepinephrine Slow heart rate, relax blood vessels Non-selective BB do not differentiate between beta receptors on heart and beta receptors on lungs MAY INDUCE BRONCHOCONSTRICTION Non-selective BBs are contraindicated in patients with respiratory conditions, ESPECIALLY ASTHMA! This class is great for social and performance anxiety They calm the symptoms of social and performance anxiety Prototype is propranolol Head over to thedrnurse.com! SUBSCRIBE! THANKS FOR WATCHING!