Long-Term Anxiety Medication Use on Brain Chemistry

Posted by Happy Trails on Jan 16th 2024

Long-Term Anxiety Medication Use on Brain Chemistry

The Effects of Long-Term Anxiety Medication Usage on Brain Chemistry

Recently, there's been growing evidence that long-term use of anxiety medications can lead to changes in brain chemistry. This is concerning news for the millions of people who rely on these medications to manage their anxiety symptoms. We’re going to take a closer look at this phenomenon and discuss what it could mean for those who rely on these medications for relief.

How Anxiety Medications Work

Anxiety medications are designed to help reduce feelings of fear, panic, and worry. They do this by affecting the chemicals in the brain called neurotransmitters. These medications work by blocking certain receptors in the brain that cause anxiety. They do this by attaching themselves to certain receptors and blocking them from being stimulated by neurotransmitters like serotonin and dopamine. This can help people feel calmer and more relaxed in stressful situations.

Long Term Effects of Anxiety Medications

Research suggests that long-term use of these anxiety medications may lead to changes in brain chemistry over time. It is believed that because the medication blocks certain receptors, it also affects how other parts of the brain function. This can lead to changes in behavior, emotion regulation, decision making, memory formation, cognitive functioning, and even physical reactions like heart rate and blood pressure.

What This Could Mean For People With Anxiety

These findings are concerning for anyone who relies on anxiety medications as part of their treatment plan. It is important to be aware of the potential risks associated with long-term use so that you can make an informed decision about your treatment options. It is also important to talk to your doctor before making any changes or stopping your medication. Sudden cessation can have serious health consequences. Instead, it is recommended that you make gradual adjustments or seek alternative treatments such as therapy or lifestyle modifications if possible before discontinuing medication altogether.

Potential Risks & Making an Informed Decision

Increasing evidence suggests long term use of anxiety medications may lead to changes in brain chemistry over time. This could have serious implications for people with anxiety disorders who rely on these medications for relief from their symptoms.

Scientists have finally discovered why anti-anxiety drugs increase cognitive decline or dementia risk later in life. A new study from researchers at the Australian Nuclear Science and Technology Organisation (ANTSO) showed that the drugs could damage the microglial cells in the brain, which then interfere with dendrites.

  • Anti-anxiety medications put users at risk of dementia down the line
  • The medications can cause damage to the brain's microglial cells - which in turn damage connects between parts of the brain
  • The number of Americans using anxiety medications surged during the COVID-19 Pandemic, and their use especially jumped among teens

While further research into this phenomenon is necessary, it’s important for those taking these medications to be aware of the potential risks involved so they can make informed decisions about their treatment plans going forward. Talk with your doctor if you’re considering making changes or discontinuing your medication so they can provide guidance during this process.

CBD for Anxiety

Looking at a 2015 review, researchers were interested in using CBD oil to treat different anxiety disorders. After review existing studies, the review found that preliminary evidence supported the use of CBD oil for generalized anxiety disorder, social anxiety disorder, panic disorder, and post traumatic stress disorder. The review notes that studies used CBD oil for acute anxiety appearing quickly and intensely. Few studies had been done on chronic anxiety at the time of the review.

A 2019 study concluded that CBD oil has a calming effect on the central nervous system and may hold benefit for anxiety-related disorders. Researchers assessed the impact of CBD oil on 72 people with anxiety. They found it reduced anxiety in 79.2% of the study participants within the first month. Only three individuals did not tolerate the CBD oil well.

With the number of clinical tests being conducted with CBD and cannabis continuing to grow, a more precise understanding of how CBD can help individuals manage their anxiety and depression continues to evolve. CBD could be the alternative to prescription medication that doesn't induce changes in your brain that will leave your brain in disarray overtime.

Read more about CBD for anxiety and depression here

FDA Disclosure The statements made regarding these products have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. The efficacy of these products has not been confirmed by FDA-approved research. These products are not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease.