Differences between antidepressant and antianxiety medication effects

Differences between antidepressant and antianxiety medication effects

Though antidepressant and antianxiety medications have similarities, they also have specific differences, including unique and possible side effects. Those who take either of these as part of a treatment plan will need to be aware of these and discuss them with their doctor to reduce complications. For example, a health professional will need to be made aware of any other medications being taken due to drug interactions. Otherwise, unforeseen risks can be possibilities. This can be doubly so if a person decides to misuse prescription drugs recreationally for any reason.

Antianxiety medications

Antianxiety medications often take the form of benzodiazepines, of which there are many different varieties. Though there are not always multiple side effects, common ones includes lack of coordination and drowsiness, according to psychcentral.com. This is one main reason why doctors will often advise against drinking alcohol while using such medications, as there can otherwise be a compound effect. Mental confusion and fatigue are also possible at times. Therefore, those taking benzodiazepines are often advised not to drive a vehicle or operate heavy machinery. Due to the possibility of becoming dependent on such medications, they are often prescribed for the short term if possible.

Antidepressant medications

Many antidepressant medications are associated with a number of different side effects. Therefore, patients will need be informed of these ahead of time so they are not later caught off guard. According to webmd.com, they can include sleeplessness, blurry vision, dryness of the mouth, increased appetite and weight gain. Those who are sexually active may discover that they have less desire for sex or face personal complications related to physical intimacy. Nausea or irritability can be possible at times as well.


The fact remains that there will be those who question the use of prescription drugs in treatment due to these side effects. However, it is significant to remember that these drugs have gone through clinical testing through the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) to prove effectiveness, as well as positives that outweigh negatives. Not everyone who takes these medications will necessarily experience all of these symptoms and some could experience certain signs quite rarely overall. If a switch in medication is needed, it can always be discussed with a health care professional. Yet there will always be groups with arguably more extreme views. For example, scientologists have often been known to take a stance against psychiatry altogether due to their personal beliefs.


The most serious side effects that can arise from taking prescription drugs are often in cases of recreational misuse. Those who abuse such medications deliberately go against the instructions of their doctor, who is better trained in such matters than a patient is likely to be. Again, many such prescriptions are provided for emergency situations or the short term so that the potential for abuse is lower overall. Yet, the reality remains that prescription drug abuse has become an epidemic and has made many doctors wary to prescribe them as a result in specific cases.

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), 2014 saw almost half a million drug overdose deaths. Florida had the fourth-highest number of deaths in 2014, with approximately 2,600. The increase stems mostly from prescription painkillers and heroin.


Many would agree that the ideal situation for these patients is to recover from a health disorder or find means of better management to allow for a normal, healthy life. For instance, a dose of medication could eventually be lowered and stopped altogether if recovery is significant enough. Seeking professional help at this point to minimize any risks is essential.

The Florida Prescription Drug Addiction Helpline seeks to offer reputable and reliable information on these matters for patients and families. For more information on how to begin a treatment plan today, please contact us at 866-292-3211.

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