Anxiety-We are here to help!
Sometimes it takes a leap of faith. Treating anxiety can be difficult. Along with counselling, prescription medications can have a hugely positive impact in treating General Anxiety Disorder. Anxiety can affect every part of a person's life and it can also hold the sufferer back from getting treatment. The fear of what the medication will do or what bad side effects may occur is enough to scare the patient away. The perfect drug for anxiety would work quickly and would have no side effects. I've searched high and low but the perfect drug doesn't exist. All medications carry a risk, but many of them can be lifesaving and that's a pretty big benefit.
Selective Serotonin Reuptake Inhibitors (SSRI's) and Serotonin and Norepinephrine Reuptake Inhibitors (SNRI's) can be very effective in General Anxiety Disorder. These drugs take at least 4 weeks to start to work. We often counsel patients that they need to be patient with these drugs. Side effects can show up within a day or two of starting the medication, but they will lessen with time. The benefit of living without anxiety, and the enjoyment of life that is restored, can far outweigh the small but noticeable side effects.
If you have started a new medication for anxiety, talk to your pharmacist. Let us know what you are experiencing. There might be ways to make the side effects go away. We also want to know if you are feeling better on the drug. There are many SSRI's to choose from and it can be a matter of trial and error to find the right drug.
If you haven't started a medication, but your doctor has recommended one, your pharmacist is there to talk to you about it. We can go through how to take the pill and what to expect in the coming days and weeks.
It can take that leap of faith to get started, but your pharmacist can help ease your fears.
Alana Berg, BSP, Pharmacist