Anxiety is among the most prevalent psychological health conditions in the United States. It affects roughly 40 million adults. People with anxiety disorder feel excessive nervousness, apprehension, worry, or fear, without the presence of any apparent threat. Anxiety disorders are not only constrained to methal health. People with anxiety often feel physical symptoms like stomach pain, sweating, shaking, muscle pain, shortness of breath, etc.
Having an anxiety disorder can severely disrupt your day to day functioning and can even make you depressed. However, since the advent of anti-anxiety medications in the 1950s, this condition has become highly treatable. Now, people with anxiety can live a life devoid of worries and fear of the uncertain.
Below is all the important stuff that you should be aware of regarding the variety of different generic anxiety medications available in the market these days.
Anxiety Medicines Classes
Anxiety medications come from many different classes of drugs. Some of the most prescribed categories of anti-anxiety medications include:
These medicines work by influencing the brain chemicals to induce a feeling of calmness. They reduce the physical aspect of an anxiety disorder by alleviating muscular tension. This medication class is potent and only suitable for short-term use because prolonged use can lead to psychological or physical dependence on these drugs. Benzodiazepines significantly reduce the symptoms of anxiety and panic disorder. This category of medications consists of some of the most popular brand-name drugs like Xanax, Ativan, Valium, Klonopin, and Librium.
SSRIs (selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors)
This class of drugs also work by altering the brain’s functioning. Once you consume them, they release a substance that reaches the brain and block the reabsorption of a specific neurotransmitter (brain chemical) known as serotonin. This chemical is responsible for regulating a person’s mood, and by blocking its reabsorption, these medicines increase the brain’s serotonin levels and uplift the spirit. SSRIs can help treat the anxiety for an extended period, and doctors prescribe these medicines as a long-term treatment for various anxiety disorders. Paxil and Lexapro are the most well-known brand-name drugs from the SSRIs category.
SNRIs (serotonin-norepinephrine reuptake inhibitors)
Medicines in this class of drugs work similarly to SSRIs category drugs. Instead of only blocking serotonin’s reabsorption, these medications also prevent the brain from reabsorbing the norepinephrine. While the serotonin stabilizes the mood, norepinephrine’s job is to manage stress. Drugs in the SNRIs category block the neurotransmitters’ reabsorption to stabilize the mental state and control stress response. Cymbalta and Effexor XR are the most prescribed medicines for anxiety disorders from this category.
Anti-histamines and azapirone
The medicine hydroxyzine from the anti-histamine class is also an excellent example of anti-anxiety medication. It works by regulating histamine and serotonin levels in the brain. Histamine levels can affect your sleep, and by controlling its levels along with serotonin, this drug can positively affect a person’s state of mind. This medicine’s unique effect on neurotransmitter serotonin is why it is the only anti-histamine recommended for treating anxiety.
Another drug that is extremely helpful in managing anxiety symptoms is buspirone. It belongs to the azapirone class of medicines and plays a role in regulating the brain’s serotonin levels to keep anxiety under control.
Why Should You Choose Generic Medications?
Though there are plenty of anti-anxiety medications available in the market, not everyone responds to each drug in the same way. Meaning, you will have to try multiple medicines before finding the one that works best for you. Doctors often prescribe the most well-known and influential drugs first, but if those medicines don’t work for some reason, you will require to try different ones and consider their cost. While it’s enticing to go for brand-name medicines, try looking for the generic versions, as these usually have the same effects and cost less than the brand-name ones.
The primary reason why brand-name medications are more expensive is that the pharmaceutical company manufacturing them passes the research and development cost to the consumers. In contrast, several manufacturers make generic medications and compete with the same product, which helps drive down these medicines’ prices.
People often think that because generic drugs are less expensive, they lack quality. However, the Food and Drug Administration of the US has strict standards when it comes to generic drugs. The FDA requires generic medicine manufacturers to ensure that people can substitute their product for the brand-name ones without any hic-ups. The generic version of anti-anxiety meds contain the same active ingredients and prepared in the same manner as the brand-name products to match the quality, dosage, and strength.
Prices Of Generic Anxiety Medications
Usually, you can find a considerable price difference between the brand-name and the generic version of the drug. This difference is because, in the initial stage of production, the pharmaceutical company that patented the drug get a period where only it can produce or sell the drug in the market without worrying about competition from other brands.
Throughout this exclusivity period, they charge the enormous amounts from the consumers to recoup the cost they invested in medicine’s research and development. But, once this exclusivity period ends, other manufacturers enter the market with the same product under a different or generic name and sell it for cheaper than the brand-name drug.
You may discover a generic version of drug selling for almost half the price of the brand-name counterpart. With such significant price differences and effects being the same, it only makes sense to opt for the generic version of the drug, whether you are looking for anti-anxiety medication or medicines to treat any other condition.
Pharmacies usually give people generic versions of medicines if they are available. So, when you buy your anxiety medication, you are more likely to receive the generic version, unless you specifically ask for the brand-name one. If you are using a brand-name drug, it is imperative to consult a doctor before switching to its generic version. There might be some minute changes that might not affect most people, but can have consequences for your condition.
You can also discuss the cost of the drug with your healthcare provider when they prescribe you some medicine, as it is a relevant factor that can decide your further treatment. Many studies find that pricing can be a barrier to patients taking prescription medication as recommended by their doctors.