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Generalized Anxiety Disorder Medication

Doctors may prescribe medication to help treat Generalized Anxiety Disorder (GAD). Two types of medications are commonly used to treat GAD—anti-anxiety medications and antidepressants. Anti-anxiety medications are powerful, and there are different types. Many types begin working right away, but they generally should not be taken for long periods due to their addiction potential.

Antidepressants are generally used to treat depression, but they also are helpful for anxiety disorders, such as GAD. They usually take several weeks to a month to start working. These medications may cause side effects such as headache, nausea, or difficulty sleeping. Usually these side effects are not a problem for most people, especially if the dose starts off low and is increased slowly over time. Talk to your doctor about any side effects you may have.

Although antidepressants can be safe and effective for many people, they may be risky for some, especially children, teens, and young adults. A "black box"—the most serious type of warning that a prescription drug can have—has been added to the labels of antidepressant medications. These labels warn people that antidepressants may cause some people to have suicidal thoughts or make suicide attempts. Anyone taking antidepressants should be monitored closely, especially when they first start treatment with medications. 

One of the more common problems with relying solely on medication, is the high incidence of reoccurence of symptoms once the patient discontinues medication. This is one reason cognitive-behavioral therapy is recommended as a treatment to be used alongside or lieu of medication management. At Cognitive Behavioral Therapy Los Angeles, we specialize in cognitive-behavioral treatment of anxiety disorders. Call or email today for an appointment.