Depression and anxiety, to a certain extent and in specific situations, is quite common. Normally, people get out of that depression mode and are back to their own self. They do not experience anxiety attacks and severe bouts of depression. But, there are people amongst us, who in psychological terms are said to be suffering from Generalized Anxiety Disorder (GAD). These people experience more than normal level of anxiety. According to studies, GAD in many cases has other psychiatric problems like major depression along with it. To deal with this anxiety and depression, a common and initial treatment which is given by doctors is dosage of antidepressants and a few other classes of depression medications. Many people want to know which is the best medication for the treatment of anxiety. It is difficult to explain one single depression medication for anxiety. However, those medications which have been to be the best in the business can surely be elaborated upon.
Best Medications for Depression and Anxiety
There are three major categories of medications that are used to treat anxiety and depression. They are as follows:
Monoamine Oxidase Inhibitors
Monoamine oxidase inhibitors, (MAOIs) are amongst the first generation of antidepressants. These were used initially for treatment of anxiety and depression as well. This category of drugs derives its name from an enzyme called ‘monoamine oxidase’. The function of this enzyme is to break the neurotransmitters comprising serotonin and norepinephrine. The MAOIs too simulate this reaction, leading to an increase in the level of these neurotransmitters. These are used to treat anxiety, atypical and severe depression, especially when other medicines have not yielded desirable results. In short, this is the last resort as there are serious side effects of MAOIs.
Selective Serotonin Reuptake Inhibitors (SSRIs)
These medications too work on increasing the level of serotonin in the brain. The process though is different from MAOIs. The level of serotonin is increased by the way of blocking the process (reuptake) which eliminates serotonin. SSRIs are one of the most effective medications to treat anxiety and depression. They are also the most favored depression medications for dealing with anxiety symptoms because of lesser side effects.
Tricyclic Antidepressants (TCAs)
Amongst medications for anxiety, panic, and related psychological disorders, tricyclic antidepressants cannot be ignored. These have an impact on norepinephrine, dopamine, and to some extent on acetylcholine and histamine. Initially, these were considered as the best medications to ease depression and anxiety till SSRIs and other medications were introduced. Nowadays, TCAs are prescribed in a frequency less than the others owing to their side effects. When someone is not responding to SSRIs, these are prescribed.
All the aforementioned medications work well in varying amounts, in different situations. Some other classes of depression medications which have been developed recently are bupropion, nefazodone, trazodone, venlafaxine, and mirtazapine. These medications are comparatively new additions to the depression medication list. Further, panic attacks, which sometimes accompany severe, chronic anxiety, and depression are dealt with benzodiazepines.
Now, the best medicine for anxiety depends on individual cases. What the patient feels before and after he takes the medicine is very important. In other cases, aspects like the side effects of the drug as well as the patient’s response to the drug also determines which is the best antidepressant.