How many patients have their symptoms improved after 8 to 28 weeks of treatment?
Medicine against anxiety
Anxiety meds work well. In just over half of the patients treated with an anxiety medication, the symptoms (worries, tremors, tachycardia, dizziness, nausea, muscle tension) have improved. In patients who received a placebo, it was a smaller proportion.
- Anxiety medications work relatively quickly compared to psychotherapy – after just two to three weeks. (In psychotherapy, the effect occurs after about four to fifteen weeks).
- Compared to psychotherapy, the treatment takes less time.
- Studies also show that both treatment with medication and cognitive behavioural therapy (psychotherapy) are equally effective in patients with a generalised anxiety disorder.
Risks and Disadvantages of Drug Treatment
How likely is there to be a relapse if treatment is continued?
To see if it helps to continue taking anxiety medications that worked in the acute phase after the symptoms have subsided, patients were given either the anxiety medication (SSRI or SNRI) for 6 months or a placebo.
Drug treatment for anxiety
The figures show that fewer patients who were treated with an anxiety medication relapsed than patients who were treated with a placebo.
Anxiety medications, like all drugs, can have adverse effects. Talk to your doctor about possible side effects (including dry mouth, drowsiness, insomnia, etc.). By individually selecting a suitable drug, it is often possible to ensure that the treatment is carried out with few or no side effects.
Even if patients are better again, the medication should continue to be taken. If the symptoms have disappeared completely, it is nevertheless helpful to continue taking the anxiety medication for at least half a year to prevent a relapse.
- Anxiety medications work well with generalized anxiety disorder.
- The effect sets in quickly – usually after 2-3 weeks.
- Drug therapy is about as effective as psychotherapy.
- Side effects may occur.
It is important to continue taking the anxiety medication for at least six months after the anxiety symptoms have subsided so that relapses can be avoided more safely.
Patients may not receive guidance/support on how to deal with emerging anxieties and worries.