Are There Any Medications I Should Avoid If I Have An Anxiety Disorder?

Question: Are there any medications I should avoid if I have an anxiety disorder?

Answer: Individuals who have anxiety disorders tend to be very sensitive to stimulating effects of medication, so things like caffeine or bronchodilators -- medications that are used to treat things like asthma -- which have some stimulating properties, may make anxious individuals feel more anxious. Illicit drugs like cocaine or amphetamines can also cause anxious individuals to feel more anxious and are, for that reason, best avoided.

It's worth, again, discussing with your physician, when starting a new medication, what the possible effects on your anxiety are going to be. Even antidepressants that are used to treat anxiety may, early on, make the individual paradoxically feel a little bit more anxious.

That usually fades over a period of days and shouldn't be a reason why people stop their medication, but it is something they should be aware of, prepared for. And, in collaboration with their doctor, they may start with a lower than typical dose or go up on the dose a lot more slowly than usual to minimize that increase in anxiety.

Next: Do Children Take The Same Medications For Anxiety Disorders That Adults Take?

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