For anxiety, healthcare professionals may give anti-anxiety agents or sedatives. Some common medications of this type are: alprazolam (Xanax), chlordiaxepoxidine (Librium), diazepam (Valium), lorazepam (Ativan), buspirone (BuSpar), and hydroxyzine (Atarax).
What do anti-anxiety medications and sedatives do?
- These medications help reduce anxiety and calm a person down.
What should I tell the healthcare professional about the individual who will be taking these medications?
- Tell the healthcare professional about any alcohol or medications (prescriptions, or nonprescription) that the patient is taking.
- Tell if the individual is pregnant.
- Tell if the individual has liver or kidney disease.
How should I give this medication and how should I store it?
- Give these medications by mouth unless indicated on the prescription.
- You can give these medications either with or without food unless indicated on the prescription.
- Give these medications on time and as prescribed.
- Store these medications at room temperature.
What side effects should I look for and when might I see them?
- The person taking the medication may feel sleepy, dizzy, weak, or unsteady in the first 48-72 hours (2-3 days) after taking the first dose.
- Older people are more likely to feel sleepy or unsteady.
- Less common side effects are disorientation, depression, nausea, change in appetite, headache, sleep disturbance, agitation, or skin irritation.
Where can I find more information about Anti-anxiety Treatments and Medications?
- Anxiety Disorders: http://www.nimh.nih.gov/health/topics/anxiety-disorders/index.shtml
- RxList.com - learn more about anti-anxiety drugs.