08 Mar 2024

Anxiety disorders are among the most common mental health issues worldwide, affecting millions of individuals regardless of age, gender, or background. While therapy, lifestyle changes, and self-care strategies are often recommended as first-line treatments, prescription medications are frequently used to manage symptoms. However, the question remains: Is prescription medication truly the answer to anxiety?

The Role of Prescription Medication:

Prescription medications like Pregabalin (also known as Lyrica) as well as selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs), benzodiazepines, and serotonin-norepinephrine reuptake inhibitors (SNRIs) are commonly prescribed for anxiety disorders and can be one component of treatment, but they are not always the sole answer. Treatments such as CBT therapy, face-to-face or online therapy, as well as group therapy can all help to aid anxiety.

Anxiety is a complex condition with various underlying causes, and treatment approaches can vary depending on individual factors such as the type and severity of anxiety, as well as other medical conditions and personal preferences.

These medications work by altering brain chemistry, either by increasing the levels of certain neurotransmitters like serotonin or by affecting the receptors in the brain. Pregabalin specifically works by reducing the release of certain neurotransmitters in the brain, which can help alleviate anxiety symptoms.

For many individuals, prescription medications can be highly effective in reducing the severity of anxiety symptoms. SSRIs, for example, are often used to treat generalised anxiety disorder, panic disorder, and social anxiety disorder. These medications can help reduce feelings of worry, fear, and panic, allowing individuals to function more effectively in their daily lives.

Similarly, benzodiazepines are fast-acting drugs that can provide rapid relief from acute anxiety symptoms. However, they are typically prescribed for short-term use due to their potential for dependence and addiction.

What are the drawbacks of prescription medication for anxiety?

While prescription medications can be beneficial for managing anxiety, they are not without their drawbacks and considerations. One of the primary concerns is the risk of side effects. Common side effects of anxiety medications include drowsiness, dizziness, nausea, and sexual dysfunction. Additionally, some individuals may experience more serious side effects or adverse reactions, which can impact their quality of life and treatment adherence.

Another consideration is the potential for tolerance and dependence with certain medications. Prolonged use of these drugs can lead to physical dependence, withdrawal symptoms, and a higher risk of addiction. In some cases due to the addictive nature of these drugs residential rehab is often needed. This is to allow the individual to get the support they need whilst detoxing from the drug. There will also be a range of treatments and therapies available which will be tailored to the individual and their needs. Home detox may also be an option for those who it's suited for. This is conducted by a fully qualified professional doctor with daily check ins.

It's essential for individuals to work closely with their healthcare providers to monitor their medication use and adjust their treatment plan as needed. If you or are concerned about a loved one and need advice on signs of Benzodiazepine addiction or Pregabalin addiction please contact our fully trained Treatment Advisors for a confidential chat and free assessment.

These prescription drugs are extremely addictive and can cause a lot of harm. In recent news Pregabalin, sold under the brand names Lyrica, Alzain and Axalid, has been linked to nearly 3,400 deaths in Britain in the last five years. This includes 779 fatalities in 2022, according to ONS data — an increase of over 8555% from the nine seen in 2012.

Prescription medications may not address the underlying causes of anxiety unlike certain therapies such as Cognitive Behavioural Therapy, 1-2-1 therapy, or involvement in support groups. While medications can help manage symptoms, they do not necessarily provide long-term solutions or address the root causes of anxiety disorders. Therapy, lifestyle changes, mindfulness and self-care strategies are often recommended in conjunction with medication to provide a more comprehensive approach to treatment.

It's crucial to recognise that there is no one-size-fits-all approach to treating anxiety. What works for one person may not work for another, and treatment plans should be tailored to individual needs, preferences, and circumstances. Some individuals may find relief from anxiety symptoms with medication alone, while others may benefit from a combination of medication and therapy.

If you or a loved one have concerns about prescription medication or addiction issues please contact our specialist Treatment Advisors today!