Anxiety Disorders treatment: Fast Acting Medication for Panic Attacks

Fast acting medication for panic attacks and other anxiety disorders

Anxiety is a normal reaction to stress and is something everyone experiences from time to time. Can I get fast acting medication for panic attacks?

Alprazolam (Xanax) and clonazepam (Klonopin) to treat an active panic attack because they begin to work quickly in the body and help reduce symptoms within minutes. Other people use SSRIs as the medication for managing severe anxiety, especially when it is related to panic disorders.

However, for some people, their anxiety can become unmanageable and even persistent. This is known as an anxiety disorder. There are many different types of anxiety and the most common are Panic attacks are a common symptom of panic disorder.

They’re episodes of intense fear and apprehension that can strike without warning. If you’re suffering from panic attacks, the following are some helpful tips that may help you manage your condition and alleviate its symptoms

What is a panic attack?

A panic attack is an unexpected occurrence of extreme fear usually caused by events that pose unproportionate danger to the anxiety or no danger at all. The attacks are most at times terrifying.

Most of the people who experience a panic attack think that they are going mad, are getting a heart attack, are losing control, or are even dying.

Most people may experience a panic attack once or twice in their lives. In those instances, once the object or event causing the fear ends, the attack subsides.

The human body has a natural fight-or-flight mechanism that responds to danger. The same mechanism according to some research is responsible for panic attacks. The fight-or-flight response increases the heart
rate and breathing to help you to run, hide or fight the danger. The danger for example a gun-trotting person triggers that response.

It is however unknown what triggers the panic attack in situations where there is no imminent danger or when the danger is not very harmful.

Whatever the cause every person who experiences it will want a fast-acting medication for panic attacks or other ways for quick relief.

Symptoms of panic attacks:

Most the people experience panic attack symptoms unexpectedly while undergoing their normal routines. They may happen when you are driving, shopping, at work, at school, or even when sleeping.

The commonly experienced symptoms include:

  • Very fast, pounding heartbeat
  • Having a weak, faint, or dizzy sensation
  • Presenting with numb or tingly fingers and hands
  • Having chills
  • Breathing difficulties
  • Chest pains and abdominal cramping
  • Having a feeling of losing control or fear of death
  • The sensation of imminent danger or disaster
  • Sweating
  • Shivering
  • Hot flashes
  • Nausea
  • Headache
  • The feeling of unreality or detachment

After the symptoms subside, most the individuals feel fatigued and sapped of all energy. For some people, panic attacks are recurrent and unexpected with an accompanying period of fear of another attack. These persons suffer from the Panic disorder.

Panic attacks are so sudden in nature but with panic disorders, the triggers may be pinpointed.

Panic attacks are never life-threatening but are in most instances extremely alarming. They also significantly reduce the quality of life for persons with recurrent panic attacks.

Causes of panic attacks

Research has not been able to pinpoint the real cause of panic attacks. However, several factors play a major role in having panic attacks. They include:

  • Stress
  • Genetics
  • Changes in brain function that facilitate the occurrence of anxiety
  • Having a temperament that is delicate, and thus prone to stress and negative emotions.

Risk factors for panic attacks and panic disorder

Panic attacks affect more women than men and, in most cases, start during the late teenage period to early adulthood.

Some of the risk factors for developing panic attacks or panic disorders are:

  • Having a blood relative with a history of panic attacks or panic disorder
  • Major stress for example the loss of a loved one.
  • A disturbing occasion, for example, rape or grave accident
  • Key life changes like divorce.
  • Smoking, drugs, or too much intake of alcohol or caffeine.
  • Trauma: Having been abused physically or sexually in childhood.
  • Having other mental disorders like depression
  • Personality types that are prone to panics and anxiety.

Treatment of panic attacks

Panic attacks like most anxiety disorders can be treated by using 3 broad methods, namely:

  • Use of medication
  • Psychotherapy
  • Symptom management

Medication

Fast acting medication for panic attacks and other anxiety disorders

It should be noted that medication for anxiety and other mental disorders should be used under the guidance of a doctor or a pharmacist. Therefore, if you feel the symptoms of a panic attack, it is recommended that you see a doctor.

A doctor may prescribe a fast acting medication for panic attacks or a long-acting one.

Fast acting Medication for panic attacks

During a panic attack, the fear and symptoms are a bit extreme to the point of feeling like dying. In those instances, one feels the need for prompt relief from the symptoms. The instant anxiety relief medication helps to improve the ability to function.

The fast acting medication for panic attacks might be having some side effects but the benefits may outweigh the effect of the anxiety.

Some of the fast acting medications for panic attacks include:

Benzodiazepines:

These drugs are also known as tranquilizers are quick acting with relief taking place within 30 minutes to 1 hour after use. They are widely used because of this. They work in the brain slowing down the nervous system hence giving the body a chance to relax.

One of their side effects is that they cause dependence on long-term use. Examples of benzodiazepines include Xanax (alprazolam), Klonopin (clonazepam), Librium (chlordiazepoxide), Valium (diazepam), and Ativan (lorazepam). Benzodiazepines also have other side effects including drowsiness, irritability, faintness, memory problems, and difficulty in paying attention, and thus should be used for panic attacks when the benefit far outweighs the side effects.

Beta blockers:

Beta blockers are a class of antidepressants that help the body to regulate the fight-or-flight chemicals. This is done by preventing adrenaline from reaching the beta blockers. Due to this, the heart slows down and the muscles relax including blood vessels.

How long do beta blockers take to work for anxiety?

Beta blockers function almost immediately after taking them, but the full effects are seen an hour or two after taking the medication. The beta blockers help the heart to slow down thus reducing anxiety. This makes you feel more relaxed.

For maximum effects, beta blockers are used together with psychotherapy or lifestyle changes or other drugs for anxiety.

Beta-blockers work best in managing short-term anxiety. Examples of beta blockers are propranolol (Inderal), acebutolol (Sectral), bisoprolol (Zebeta), carvedilol (Coreg), atenolol (Tenormin), and metoprolol (Lopressor).

How long do beta-blockers last? The beta-blockers when made into extended-release capsules are taken once a day. The slow-release capsule slowly releases the beta-blocker into the bloodstream throughout the day meaning that the effects of beta-blockers will last for 24 hours.

Gamma-aminobutyric acid (GABA) for anxiety:

Gaba is a naturally occurring amino acid whose function is to be a neurotransmitter in the brain. They are therefore chemical messengers in the nervous system. GABA makes an individual calm when it binds to a protein in the nervous system called the GABA receptor.

GABA has been shown through an article published in 2006, to have a calming effect during a stressful occasion as compared to a placebo or an L-theanine. The calming effects of GABA were experienced within an hour of taking the supplement. GABA also works for stress, Insomnia, high blood pressure, and fatigue.

Fast acting medication for panic attacks and other anxiety disorders

Other medications for panic disorders

Selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs):

These antidepressant drugs enable the body to increase the levels of serotonin. Serotonin is a neurotransmitter that regulates mood, memory, sexual desire, sleep, and appetite.

Some of the commonly used SSRIs include escitalopram (Lexapro), fluoxetine (Prozac), paroxetine (Paxil), citalopram (Celexa), fluvoxamine (Luvox), Vilazodone (Viibryd), sertraline (Zoloft). They are the first-line medication for anxiety disorders.

How long do SSRIs take to work? For anxiety, SSRIs take about 4 to 6 weeks of treatment to work. At that time positive improvements are noticeable.

Paxil, an SSRI, improves sleep, energy, and appetite within 1-2 weeks. Having these improvements is how to tell if Paxil is working.

For maximum benefits to be felt it may take up to several months. It should be noted that people respond differently but if no positive changes are felt within 6-8 weeks inform your doctor to try a different regimen or to increase your dosage.

Serotonin and norepinephrine reuptake inhibitors (SNRIs):

The SNRIs are antidepressants that prevent the reabsorption of neurotransmitters serotonin and norepinephrine in the brain. This changes the communication and chemistry in the brain in the brain areas that are used to regulate moods, memory, sexual desire, sleep, and appetite.

Examples of SNRIs include Desvenlafaxine (Pristiq), Duloxetine (Cymbalta), Levomilnacipran (Fetzima), and Venlafaxine (Effexor XR).

Like the SSRIs, SNRIs take 4-6 weeks for positive changes in moods and relaxation can occur. Some people claim to be getting better 2 weeks after starting taking the medications.

If a doctor prescribes one of the medications above and it does not work for you or gives you serious side effects, it is recommended that you can consult the doctor for a change of drugs or dosage adjustment.  In some cases, the doctor might also combine the drug with another to boost the effects.

As discussed above, the length in time that the onset of relief from panic disorder and panic attacks should be considered before a deduction about the effectiveness of a drug is made.

Psychotherapy

It is also referred to as talk therapy. It is a very effective treatment for anxiety attacks. It is considered a first-line
treatment for anxiety attacks and panic attacks.

The treatment process done with a Psychologist aids the individual to learn about the anxiety and get ways how to cope, prevent or manage the anxiety. Psychotherapy gives you control over your anxiety. Without being forced by the psychologists when not ready, the patient is supposed to practice the learned skills to manage anxiety in real-life situations out of the therapy session

Cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT), a form of psychotherapy, demystifies to you that the panic attack symptoms are not harmful. This is done through learning from your own experience and the therapist helps you to manage
the symptoms.

CBT enables you to relive the symptoms of panic safely to prove that they are not dangerous. A repetition of this process helps the brain to learn that panic is not life-threatening. In addition to that, you learn to overcome the fears that accompany the panic which makes you avoid some events, situations, or places.

Treatment through psychotherapy does not offer immediate results. It takes determination and time. In some patients, relief from some panic attack symptoms is noticed weeks after the start of the therapy but the significant drop in symptoms takes several months.

Some psychologists may employ other forms of psychotherapy like group psychotherapy and family psychotherapy to improve the prognosis of the treatment.

Transdiagnostic treatment of anxiety disorder is another method to treat anxiety disorders. The methods discussed in transdiagnostic treatment apply to several emotional disorders because they target the underlying common elements of anxiety disorders and emotional disorders.

Examples of transdiagnostic treatment of emotional disorders are the unified protocol, MATCH, CETA, cognitive therapy among others

Management of panic attacks symptoms/ Home remedies for anxiety

Several self-care activities can be used to manage the symptoms of panic attacks. These steps can be used together with getting help from a psychologist. Some of the steps that can be taken to prevent, reduce or treat panic attack symptoms include:

  • Reduce or eliminate the intake of caffeine, alcohol, drugs, or smoking. Drugs and caffeine are one of the triggers for panic attacks. Also, it has been noted that these substances can also worsen a panic attack.
  • Exercise: Exercise for example aerobic activity has a calming effect during a panic attack. Exercise improves brain chemicals regulation and also improves blood circulation. The two exercise effects enable you to control the anxiety symptoms.
  • Get enough sleep every day: Having enough sleep often enables the body to regulate the brain chemicals well. This helps in reducing drowsiness the following day and also improves the mood.
  • Learn relaxation techniques: Relaxation techniques such as yoga, meditation, listening to music or a massage can help you to clear the negative thoughts. This helps you to relax when an attack sets in or even manage future attacks.
  • Talk about the anxiety: Joining a support group, discussing with your family, or talking to a doctor can help in understanding how to deal with the attack. A support group helps to know how different people are coping or managing the symptoms. Talking to the family helps your family to know and help whenever you
    have a panic attack.
  • Practice stress management techniques: To help in panic attacks taking deep breaths and counting to 10 helps in anxiety reduction. The process enables the body to get enough oxygen while also calming the brain.
  • Stick to the treatment plan: Following a treatment plan laid down by a doctor helps in anxiety management. It is very difficult to deal with an anxiety attack but with proper treatment, the attacks reduce in number and intensity.
  • Humor: Laughter is quoted as the best medicine. In anxiety, laughing reduces stress while also helping the body to regulate neurotransmitters.

Complications of panic attacks and panic disorder

When panic attacks and panic disorders are left unmanaged, they can affect every facet of your life. Panic attacks are always followed by a fear of when the next panic attack will take place. This constant living with fear is quite debilitating.

Some of the complications that are linked to panic attacks or may be a result of panic attacks include:

  • The panic attacks may aid in the development of other phobias. People with panic attacks may develop a fear of leaving their homes, being in a new place, or even driving.
  • Have problems at school or work due to fear.
  • Having to see the doctor often for other medical conditions.
  • Can increase the chances of getting other mental disorders like depression and other anxiety disorders.
  • Misuse of alcohol and other substances to get relief or try and prevent the attacks
  • Having suicidal thoughts or even committing suicide
  • Financial stress due to problems with work and medical expenses

Talk to Your Doctor

Talk to your doctor about your symptoms. They may refer to it as a panic attack when you can’t identify it as another type of anxiety disorder. Your physician may be able to recommend a course of treatment, such as counseling or medication. In some cases, this is enough to help ease the symptoms of your anxiety and lead a more fulfilling life.

Don’t Try to Manage Panic Attacks on Your Own

Panic attacks are often difficult to manage on your own. They can happen at any time and be triggered by something as simple as seeing a spider or being around groups of people. If you have panic disorder, you must see a doctor determine the best course of treatment for you. You should also take steps to manage your attacks by making sure you don’t become isolated and managing your stress levels.

Try Fast Acting Medication for Panic Attacks

Panic attacks can be debilitating, making it difficult for people to go about their normal lives and lead fulfilling lives. Often, these attacks are triggered by something as simple as seeing a spider or being around groups of people. Anxiety is a normal stress reaction and is something everyone experiences from time to time. However, for some people, their anxiety can become unmanageable and even persistent. This is known as an anxiety disorder. There are many different types of anxiety and the most common are Panic attacks are a common symptom of panic disorder. They’re episodes of intense fear and apprehension that can strike without warning. If you’re suffering from panic attacks, the following are some helpful tips that may help you manage your condition and alleviate its symptoms:

* Identify triggers- It’s important to identify what triggers your panic attacks so that you know what to avoid to prevent them from happening in the future. For example, if you usually have an attack when you’re around crowds, then avoiding large gatherings might help keep them at bay.

* Limit caffeine intake- Caffeine has been shown to worsen the symptoms of panic disorders for those already diagnosed with them.

* Get enough sleep- A lack of sleep worsens mood disorders like depression, which in turn can trigger anxiety disorders such as panic disorder or PTSD (post-traumatic stress disorder).

* Exercise- Exercise has been shown to improve mental health by helping people feel less anxious and more relaxed,

What medicine helps with panic attacks fast?

Alprazolam (Xanax) and clonazepam (Klonopin) treat an active panic attack because they begin to work quickly in the body and help reduce symptoms within minutes.

Does Klonopin work for panic attacks?

Klonopin is a benzodiazepine that’s used to treat anxiety and panic. It’s one of the most prescribed medications for this type of condition, also known as an anti-anxiety drug. Klonopin can be effective at treating some symptoms of panic disorder like psychomotor agitation, tachypnea, and other symptoms associated with panic attacks.

The idea behind these drugs is to reduce the fear or anxiety associated with the attack so you can think more clearly and less intensely. Some people may experience relief right away after their first dose; others may need to build up a tolerance before they see an effect.

It’s important to note that while Klonopin is often effective in relieving some symptoms of panic, it’s not always enough to treat people who suffer from this condition. Additional methods of treatment like therapy or counseling might be necessary.

How do I get instant relief from panic attacks?

Using breathing exercises using the nose, and mouth, count steadily from one to five, close your eyes, hold your breath and count to five, then exhale slowly. One of the most common ways to get instant relief from panic attacks is by using breathing exercises.

It can be difficult to slow down when you’re experiencing an attack, but taking deep breaths can help. Yoga is a great way to teach yourself how to breathe properly and it also has many other physical benefits as well. If you need help in the moment, some apps can guide you through calming exercises for panic attacks.

The bottom line

Panic attacks markedly reduce the quality of life. They can also make you live with fear about when the next attack will take place. Panic attacks can be treated or managed to improve the quality of life.

Fast acting medication for panic attacks and panic disorders will always help to relieve the symptoms of a panic attack almost immediately.

For panic disorder though, it is better to explore medications that can be used for a long time.

Panic attacks are intense bouts of anxiety that strike without warning. Although they can be frightening, they’re also a sign that your body is fighting to keep you safe from harm. If you have panic attacks that come out of nowhere and make you afraid of going out or living your normal routine, you may have an anxiety disorder.

An anxiety disorder is a condition where your body feels threatened, which can make you feel frightened, nervous, or stressed out over harmless things. A panic attack is when your body goes into “alarm mode” and releases hormones and neurotransmitters that raise your heart rate and make you feel anxious.

They’re short-lived, usually, last less than 10 minutes, and can be triggered by anything from stress to a smell. If you’re a victim, there are ways to manage it. Panic attacks can be triggered by many different things, but the most common are stress, anxiety, and certain substances. You can be a victim of panic attacks or a perpetrator, or both.

If you’re unable to stop panic attacks from coming on or you have a hard time getting through them, you might have an anxiety disorder. An anxiety disorder is a condition where your body feels threatened, which can make you feel frightened, nervous, or stressed out over harmless things. This can make anxiety attacks seem like a natural reaction to stress.

FAQs

Is Xanax and Klonopin the same?

They are both used to reduce or eliminate the symptoms of anxiety. Klonopin is a long-acting benzodiazepine, which means that its effects last longer than Xanax. In addition, Klonopin is not as likely to cause withdrawal symptoms when you stop taking it. Klonopin may be prescribed when Xanax is not an appropriate treatment option because of your unique needs.
Xanax and Klonopin are both effective in relieving the symptoms of panic disorders, but they are different medications with unique properties. If you’re experiencing severe symptoms, talk to your doctor about which medication would be best for you.


Is Ativan stronger than Klonopin?

Both Klonopin and Ativan are effective drug treatments for panic disorders.
A common question that many people ask is whether Ativan (a benzodiazepine) is stronger than Klonopin (a type of antianxiety). The answer to this question is not cut and dry. Both drugs are effective treatments for panic disorder, but each person will react differently to the drug. In general, if you’re taking Klonopin as your only anxiety medication, then it would be a good idea to take one pill in the morning and one at night. You should also try to avoid alcohol because it can intensify the sedative effects of these drugs. However, if you’re taking both medications (Klonopin and Ativan), you should only take one pill in the morning or evening before bedtime. It’s important to follow your doctor’s guidelines for dosage since he or she may have prescribed a different dosage regimen based on your needs.

What is the best medication for severe anxiety and panic attacks?

SSRIs are the best type of medication for managing severe anxiety, especially when it is related to panic attacks. Patients who use SSRIs have seen a decrease in the number and severity of panic attacks by as much as 75%. What’s more, patients who have taken SSRIs for at least one year are less likely to experience heartburn with these medications.

What is the best medication for severe anxiety and panic attacks?

SSRIs are the best type of medication for managing severe anxiety, especially when it is related to panic attacks. Patients who use SSRIs have seen a decrease in the number and severity of panic attacks by as much as 75%. What’s more, patients who have taken SSRIs for at least one year are less likely to experience heartburn with these medications.