A panic attack drug or any type of panic attack medication can be useful, but you need to understand just what they do and how they work. If you are hoping for a drug to stop a panic attack once it starts, you are out of luck. Medications simply do not act that fast.
A typical panic attack comers out of the blue and peaks in around ten minutes. Sometimes there are some symptoms that may persist for quite a while, especially the fear of another attack. So a medication might be helpful in reducing the lingering after effects but once an anxiety panic attack starts, a medication won’t help. The time is too short.
Several classes of panic and anxiety attack medication exist in both prescription and natural herbal supplement forms. Since very few alternative or herbal medicines are ever put through the Federal Drug Administration testing programs, they are classed as dietary or food supplements. Some people find herbal anti-anxiety, calming and nerve tonic supplements work well for them. If you happen to be one of these, count yourself very lucky.
The most commonly prescribed medications fall into two classes. First, the benzodiazepines which are tranquilizers – a common one is aprolazam (better known as Xanax). These act to reduce your day-to-day anxiety levels which hopefully reduces the incidence or severity of any anxiety or panic attack. The problem is that these drugs tend to not only make the world at least a little fuzzy but they are linked to dependence and addiction. As such they make a poor long-term solution. Getting hooked on a drug is probably not the outcome you want.
The most commonly used panic attack drug comes from the anti-depressant class called SSRIs (Selective Serotonin Reuptake Inhibitors). Once thought to have relatively few long-term side effects, more experience with this class of drug has revealed sleep disturbances, sexual dysfunction and weight gain as some of the more disturbing longer term side effects. There are also a variety of early onset side effects including agitation, nausea, diarrhea and headaches though these will normally cease in 2 to 3 weeks. And they do not work for everyone either. in that case, doctors will often try one of the benzodiazepines.
As you can see there is no magic take-me pill that will eliminate an anxiety panic disorder. Even with the use of medication, additional forms of treatment are needed. The most successful psychological treatment methods are behavioral and cognitive techniques. Basically these involve learning to modify your behaviors and thoughts to rapidly eliminate an attack or reduce the severity significantly. Since some of the most negative effects of a panic disorder are caused by the sense of fear and helplessness it makes people feel, these kinds of action steps can make a huge difference. Since much of this is a matter of learning, training and practice, thousands have used these type of behavioral and cognitive techniques without the expense involved in paying a psychotherapist week after week and month after month.
In a very real sense, taking action is the best panic attack drug that exists.