Antianxiety medicines are sometimes used to shorten an episode of psychosis. In rare cases, taking antianxiety medicines makes psychotic symptoms worse.
When antianxiety medicines are combined with antipsychotic medicines to treat schizophrenia, the dose of antipsychotic may need to be lowered.
Side effects of antianxiety medicines include fatigue, balance problems, and sleepiness. These can lead to falls and accidents. For this reason, antianxiety medicines are used with caution in older adults and people who already have problems with balance and coordination. Antianxiety medicines also can be habit-forming.
Alprazolam (Xanax) may be more habit-forming, and you need to take it several times a day. It may be best not to use this medicine unless you also have a panic disorder.
Antianxiety medicines should never be stopped abruptly. This can cause weakness, severe confusion, and seizures.
The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has issued a warning on clonazepam (Klonopin) and the risk of suicide and suicidal thoughts. The FDA does not recommend that people stop using this medicine. Instead, people who take clonazepam should be watched closely for warning signs of suicide. People who take clonazepam and who are worried about this side effect should talk to a doctor.
For more information on antianxiety medicines, see Drug Reference. (Drug Reference is not available in all systems).
ByHealthwise Staff Primary Medical ReviewerKathleen Romito, MD - Family Medicine Specialist Medical ReviewerLisa S. Weinstock, MD - Psychiatry
Current as ofNovember 14, 2014
WebMD Medical Reference from Healthwise
November 14, 2014
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