Categorized | Panic

Taking Panic Attack Medication

There are several panic attack medication products on the market right now. The sheer number of medications and treatments can be a little overwhelming for some. The list of medications used to address the signs and symptoms of panic attack and panic disorder alone is very long. Aside from medications, patients may also seek therapy and alternative medicine.

Signs and Symptoms

Before treating the disorder, the signs and symptoms must first be properly identified. Panic attack and panic disorder share the same signs and symptoms with other diseases. Some may confuse a panic attack with a heart attack due. The following are some of the leading characteristics associated with a panic attack:

  1. Breathlessness
  2. Hyperventilation or shortness of breath
  3. Chest pain
  4. Profuse sweating
  5. Upset stomach
  6. Nausea
  7. Lightheadedness or dizziness
  8. Hot or cold flashes
  9. Shaking or trembling
  10. A sense of disconnection from the environment

Hypoglycemia, medication withdrawal, drug overdose, substance abuse and heart attack also have the symptoms mentioned above. It is, therefore, important to first rule out the aforementioned diseases before starting the medication and treatment plan for a panic attack or panic disorder.

Treatment and Medication

The doctors may prescribe several medications to a patient. The list below includes some of the medications given to panic attack and panic disorder patients. However, it is still better to consult a physician first before trying out the remedies given below.

  1. Selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs)

Selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs) are a type of antidepressant. It is the most common antidepressant and is usually given to patients suffering from severe depression. It is notable that this type of antidepressant has fewer side effects than others.

It eases depression by stimulating the production of serotonin. Also known as the happy hormone, serotonin is a chemical messenger. It transmits signals from neuron to neuron.

The following are some of the SSRIs recommended by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA): Escitalopram (Lexapro), Citalopram (Celexa), Fluoxetine (Prozac), Paroxetine (Paxil, Pexeva), Vilazodone (Viibryd) and Sertraline (Zoloft).

The following are some of the side effects of a SSRI: dry mouth, insomnia, headache, blurred vision, and diarrhea.

  1. Serotonin and norepinephrine reuptake inhibitors (SNRIs)

Like SSRI, SNRI is a kind of antidepressant. Aside from panic attack disorders and anxiety disorders, SNRI can also be used to treat long-term chronic pain in the nerves. Like other antidepressants, SNRI triggers change in the chemical make-up of the brain. It changes the brain nerve cell communication relay. The reabsorption of the neurotransmitters of the brain are blocked; therefore alleviating the person’s feelings. SNRIs work similarly to SSRIs. It is also highly addictive. Hence, doctors usually regulate the intake of the medicine and warn their patients about the dangers of overdose and substance abuse.

The following are some examples of SNRIs: Duloxetine (Cymbalta), Venlafaxine (Effexor XR), Desvenlafaxine (Pristiq, Khedezla) and Levomilnacipran (Fetzi)

  1. Benzodiazepines

The next on our panic attack medication list is benzodiazepines. Like the first two, it is also an anti-depressant medication. It works much like a sedative, it relaxes the muscles. The following are some examples of a benzodiazepines: adinazolam, bentazepam, bromazepam, cinazepam and clobazam. This medication acts very fast. It usually just takes within 30 minutes for the benzodiazepines to act. Yet it is also very addictive. This is why most doctors only recommend small quantities of benzodiazepines for a certain period of time.

  1. Beta-blockers

Beta-blockers are also known as beta-adrenergic blocking agents. Just like the previous medications, beta-blockers also ‘block’ the effects of epinephrine or adrenaline.  After taking it, the heart usually beats slower than usual, therefore calming the patient. Aside from that, it also improves blood circulation. Aside from panic attack and panic disorder, beta-blockers are also used to treat heart problems. The following are some examples of a beta-blocker: Bisoprolol (Zebeta), Acebutolol (Sectral), Metoprolol (Lopressor, Toprol-XL), Atenolol (Tenormin), Nebivolol (Bystolic), Nadolol (Corgard) and Propranolol (Inderal LA, InnoPran XL).

  1. Treatment

As pointed out throughout the article, patients can also resort to therapy. Among the therapies done to ease panic attack and disorder are cognitive behavioral therapy, anxiety therapy, and psychotherapy.

The reader must note that the above-mentioned pieces of information on panic attack medication are not those given by a licensed physician. It is still best to first consult a physician before starting a treatment and management plan.

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