The most common drugs to stress To relieve or reduce the acute chronic effects of the hormones that increase in response to stress, such as adrenaline, cortisol, serotonin, are discussed in this article. These drugs will help you deal with the symptoms of stress.
Medicines that reduce stress
These drugs relieve the distressing effects such as excessive, acute or sustained stress, such as:
- Symptoms of anxiety, including irritability, tremors, increased heart rate, anxious breathing, panic attacks, and so on.
- Symptoms of depression, including insomnia, poor appetite, mood, and low energy.
Below we discuss the most commonly used drugs for the treatment of stress symptoms. They may also be used in the treatment of post-traumatic stress syndrome, which can develop after a traumatic experience.
Anxiety medications and benzodiazepines
benzodiazepines suppress the central nervous system by reducing excitatory signals between cranial nerve cells due to their effect on the inhibitory hormone gama aminobutyric acid (GABA). By this mechanism, they reduce the symptoms of stress and are used to treat anxiety, panic, insomnia and treat muscle tension.
They come on quickly and can be taken intermittently when symptoms recur. Two common benzodiazepines used to calm down are:
- Alprazolam: Under the brand name Xanax™ is number one on the list of medications for anxiety and panic disorders.
- Diazepam: Under the brand name Valium™ is the second most prescribed anti-anxiety drug in the Netherlands. It is also on the list of essential medicines.
Side effects of benzodiazepines include:
- Fatigue, sedation, confusion and double vision
- Lack of coordination and reduced driving skills
- Memory loss and a depressed mood
- Withdrawal symptoms when quitting and a risk of addiction
zolpidem is a sedative hypnotic that helps relieve insomnia, a common response to stress. It induces sleep through its central nervous system inhibitory effects and was developed as a milder alternative to benzodiazepines. Zolpidem is available as Ambien ™, which induces sleep in about 15 minutes and is short-lived.
The side effects and risks include:
- Fatigue, light-headedness, dizziness, unusual dreams, recurring insomnia, etc.
- Nausea, change in appetite, constipation or diarrhea
- Change in balance and coordination, difficulty walking, muscle cramps, etc.
- Decreased consciousness and memory loss
It is recommended that you only take this sleep medicine for a short time as it can be addictive. Doctors recommend taking the lowest possible dose, especially for women, because of the possibility of drowsiness the next morning, which can affect driving and other critical activities.
Alternative herbal remedies
People who prefer alternative medicines for the treatment of anxiety may be interested in the potential benefits of Chinese traditional herbs for stress management. These herbs include valerian root, dong quai, bupleurum and remania. It is important to note that there has been little research around these Chinese herbal remedies to support their use for stress relief. There is also a lack of data regarding their security.
Stress medications should only be seen as a last resort and only if your stress symptoms are severe or persistent causing other psychological or physical problems. These medications should be considered a short-term measure as you work on non-medical ways to control your stress and seek psychotherapy, if necessary, to help you manage and reduce your stress.