Although they're often used to treat anxiety, antidepressants can potentially cause anxiety, especially when people begin taking them for depression. 1 Using various strategies, it is possible to get a better handle on these anxiety symptoms.
More than 100 million people worldwide take selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs), such as Prozac and Zoloft, to treat depression, anxiety and related conditions, but these drugs have a common and mysterious side effect: they can worsen anxiety in the first few weeks of use, which leads many patients to stop ...
SSRIs are thought to improve mood by boosting serotonin activity in the brain. But serotonin is not always a bed of roses. In the early days of treatment, it can increase levels of fear and anxiety and even suicidal thinking in some younger people. As a result, patients may stop using the treatment after a few weeks.
Certain medications can cause or worsen anxiety, especially if you have been diagnosed with an anxiety condition. If you're having trouble with these symptoms and have ruled out other causes, it might be the medication you're taking.
Yes, medication side effects can cause anxiety. This is called a medication-induced anxiety disorder. You can also develop anxiety symptoms when you stop taking certain medications.
“If your depression symptoms get worse as soon as you start taking an antidepressant, or they get better and then very suddenly get worse, it's a sign that the depression medication isn't working properly, and you should see your healthcare professional right away,” Hullett says.
Many people develop a tolerance to anti-anxiety medication and need more and more of it over time for it to remain effective. Not only is medication often not effective, but over time, many people gain a tolerance to the initial dose prescribed by their doctor.
But long-term or chronic stress can lead to long-term anxiety and worsening symptoms, as well as other health problems. Stress can also lead to behaviors like skipping meals, drinking alcohol, or not getting enough sleep. These factors can trigger or worsen anxiety, too.
A sudden onset of anxiety can be triggered by a plethora of things—from a major event, like a death in the family, to everyday stressors, such as work or budget worries—but sometimes it can be caused by seemingly nothing at all—or even issues you're not consciously aware of.
Some patients experience a temporary increase in anxiety when they begin SSRI and SNRI medications and serotonin levels go up. More recent studies show that SSRI and SNRI medications are less effective than we previously thought.
It may be hard to believe that antidepressants can cause depression, but it could be true. The very reason you take depression medication can sometimes make symptoms worse. Depression is a mood disorder that can cause feelings of sadness and lack of energy, among other symptoms.
They found that serotonin produced by these cells is a signal to other neurons in the circuit, leading to an increase in anxiety. Giving mice an SSRI has the same effect on this brain circuit as putting the animals in a fearful situation: Serotonin levels rise and anxiety-like behaviors increase.
When to See a Doctor. If your depression symptoms return for more than a few days, it's time to see your doctor. But even if you feel like your antidepressant isn't working, it's important to keep taking it until your doctor advises otherwise. You may need a dosage increase or a slow tapering off process.
Unfortunately, antidepressant treatment for depression has been associated with increased anxiety, restlessness, and agitation in the early period following treatment initiation(11–13).
You may experience increased jitteriness and an increase in your anxiety for the first two weeks on Lexapro treatment. Your doctor may prescribe another medication, such as a benzodiazepine, to take in conjunction with Lexapro for the first couple of weeks to help to counter this effect.
How do I know if my antidepressant works? When you start taking an antidepressant, you should begin to function better in your daily life before you start feeling better, says Dr. Michael McGee. In other words, you should begin sleeping better, eating better, and having more energy.
Feeling nervous, restless or tense. Having a sense of impending danger, panic or doom. Having an increased heart rate. Breathing rapidly (hyperventilation)
The answer is it depends on the person. An anxiety disorder can last anywhere from a few months to many years. It will go away completely for some, and for others, it may be a lifelong condition to treat.
An anxiety emergency or extreme panic attack may require an ER visit if the sufferer is unable to get it under control. Extreme cases of hyperventilation can lead to tachycardia, an occurrence where the heart is beating so fast that it is unable to properly pump blood throughout the body.
If your depression symptoms get worse as soon as you start taking an antidepressant, or they get better and then very suddenly get worse, it's a sign that the depression medication isn't working properly, and you should see your health care professional right away.
Generalized anxiety disorder (GAD) is characterized by persistent and excessive worry. Around half of the patients treated for GAD will fail to respond to initial treatment.