Medications For Social Anxiety Disorder: Here's What Can Help

Social anxiety disorder, sometimes also called social phobia, is characterized by overwhelming anxiety and self-consciousness in normal social situations. People with social anxiety disorder worry so much about being watched and judged by others that they may worry for weeks about an upcoming social situation. Their fear is so severe that it can begin to interfere with work, school, and everyday activities. Although many people with a social anxiety disorder know their fears are excessive, they can't help but worry before, during, and even after social situations.

There are several medication choices for people with a social anxiety disorder. While they will not cure the disorder, medications can help manage anxiety levels. Antidepressants, anti-anxiety drugs, and beta-blockers are the most common medications prescribed for anxiety disorders.

Antidepressants

Antidepressants take about 4 to 6 weeks to reach full effectiveness and reduce anxiety symptoms. Selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors, or SSRIs, are some of the most commonly prescribed antidepressants. SSRIs such as fluoxetine (Prozac®), sertraline (Zoloft®), escitalopram (Lexapro®), paroxetine (Paxil®), and citalopram (Celexa®) are often used to treat social anxiety disorder. Monoamine oxidase inhibitors (MAOIs), the oldest class of antidepressant medications, are also sometimes used to treat social anxiety disorder. Those most commonly prescribed are phenelzine (Nardil®), tranylcypromine (Parnate®), and isocarboxazid (Marplan®). People who take MAOIs can't eat certain foods and beverages or take certain medications, as a number of substances can interact with MAOIs and cause dangerous increases in blood pressure.

Anti-Anxiety Drugs

The benzodiazepine clonazepam (Klonopin®) is often used for social anxiety disorder. Benzodiazepines work quickly and are very effective, but are usually prescribed only for short periods of time or certain situations, as users can develop a tolerance.

Beta-Blockers

Beta-blockers, which are used to treat heart conditions, are used to prevent physical symptoms of anxiety. They can be very effective for treating social anxiety disorder infrequently in particular situations, such as giving a speech.

Photo by Rene Asmussen from Pexels

More Articles

Tofranil is a brand name of the antidepressant medication imipramine. It is used primarily to treat major depression in adults and bed-wetting in...

Everyone has concerns in life. Sometimes these concerns become overwhelming and we can become riddled with anxiety. Some people, when overwhelmed...

A study from Deakin University that looked at 3,000 Australian adolescents has revealed that mental health in adolescents over time could be...

If you suffer from a generalized anxiety disorder, you probably feel fearful a lot of the time. Don’t let fear and anxiety rule your life!...

In the movie The Phenomenon, the main character (played by John Travolta) was under a tremendous amount of stress. He seemed to be at a breaking...

More Articles

Cortisol is often referred to as the "stress hormone", because of your body's levels of cortisol increase in response to stressors. Since cortisol...

For sufferers of post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), prolonged exposure (PE) therapy is a proven, effective treatment. Sometimes referred to as...

Practicing yoga regularly can be incredibly beneficial both mentally and physically. If you suffer from anxiety, stress, or depression yoga can be...

The University of Central Florida newspaper published an article about an interesting clinical trial at the UCF Anxiety Disorders Clinic in the...

Around 40 million American adults suffer from some kind of anxiety disorder. While there are effective therapies and medications that make it...

The terms stress and anxiety are used interchangeably by many people, and everyone will experience both at some point in their life. But although...

The adrenal glands, located above the kidneys, produce a variety of essential hormones. When these glands don't produce enough of one or more of...

Everyone experiences mild anxiety from time to time. Occasional stress over work and family obligations is a normal part of life, as is anxiety...

Serotonin is the neurotransmitter most linked to mood disorders like depression, but scientific evidence showing the role it plays is surprisingly...

Norpramin is a brand name for the pharmaceutical desipramine, a tricyclic antidepressant which operates by inhibiting the reuptake of...

Food for Thought

Scientists, nutritionists, and accountants agree that creative and clear thinking depends on having a well-nourished...

The expression "worried sick" caught on for a reason--it is not uncommon for anxiety to produce nausea as a symptom. Severe anxiety or fear cause...

The first step in managing anxiety stomach pain is determining the nature, and causes of your discomfort.

For the best treatment, anxiety...

The antidepressant doxepin (originally marketed by Pfizer under the brand name Sinequan) is a tricyclic antidepressant approved to treat anxiety...

Mental health disorders, particularly anxiety disorders, are very common and often quite treatable. However, many of them remain poorly or...