What are anxiolytics?
Anxiolytics are medications used for the prevention or treatment of anxiety and its related problems. They are prescribed for short-term use. Their addictive nature is a well-known side effect. They have been found to induce the formation of habits that cannot be easily stopped.
How do anxiolytics work?
The target organ is the brain. When anxiety medications get to the brain, they interrupt the activities of certain chemicals by reducing their ability to cause unhealthy excitation.
Commonly used anxiolytics belong to a group of drugs called benzodiazepines. Examples of drugs in this category include diazepam, clonazepam, alprazolam, lorazepam, chlordiazepoxide, etc.
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What are the uses of anxiolytics?
These medications are mainly used to treat symptoms associated with anxiety-related disorders especially the generalized ones and those related to social phobias.
A person suffers from social phobias if they start sweating uncontrollably or feel nauseous at a social setting. The thought of this can trigger an antisocial personality disorder.
Social phobia is a deep-seated fear of been seen in public places or actively participating in social events. Generalized anxiety problems can be recognized when you have been experiencing fears or worries that have lasted for over half a year.
They can be used secondarily as sedatives prior to the administration of anesthesia meant for a surgical procedure.
These medications can be used to enhance the quality of your life particularly when you are having any form of anxiety disorder. These can be achieved when they are used in combination with therapies for cognitive behaviors.
Side effects of anxiolytics
Side effects associated with the use of these medications are;
- Low blood pressure.
- Decreased rate of breathing.
- Memory-related disorders.
Using anxiolytics for a very long time will even worsen these side effects.
All drugs including anxiolytics must be taken based on the instructions given by the doctor. Follow the prescriptions given by your doctor.
Certain anxiolytics have been reported to induce the formation of addictive habits when taken for a very long time. Long-term usage will result in intolerance. Tolerance with drugs means for you to get the same result that you will usually get from normal dosage, more of the same drug will have to be taken for the same effect to be achieved.
These medications must not be stopped suddenly; they must be progressively (gradually) reduced for your safety. Suddenly stopping their use will result in symptoms called withdrawal symptoms. These symptoms are not good for you. Seizures, for instance, have been associated with a sudden stopping of anxiolytics use. If you must stop taking any anxiolytic drugs, notify your doctor beforehand so he can help map out how to go about it.
Avoid taking more than the prescribed dosage. It can prove fatal.
Talk to your doctor
Anxiolytics can prevent or treat anxiety disorders. They are addictive in nature and are thus administered for short-term usage for anxiety-related problems only. Hence, adapting them for long-term use can result in life-threatening defects.
If you, therefore, have been using addictive substances, inform your healthcare provider. They will be able to create better alternative treatments for you.