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Antibiotics & Anxiety


Antibiotics Anxiety Treatment - Antibiotics Cause Anxiety - Antibiotics Anxiety Side Effects - Antibiotics Anxiety Medications

Generalized anxiety disorder (GAD) is a common anxiety disorder that involves chronic worrying, nervousness, and tension.

Unlike a phobia, where your fear is connected to a specific thing or situation, the anxiety of generalized anxiety disorder (GAD) is diffuse—a general feeling of dread or unease that colors your whole life. This anxiety is less intense than a panic attack, but much longer lasting, making normal life difficult and relaxation impossible.

If you have generalized anxiety disorder (GAD) you may worry about the same things that other people do: health issues, money, family problems, or difficulties at work. But you take these worries to a new level.

A co-worker’s careless comment about the economy becomes a vision of an imminent pink slip; a phone call to a friend that isn’t immediately returned becomes anxiety that the relationship is in trouble. Sometimes just the thought of getting through the day produces anxiety. You go about your activities filled with exaggerated worry and tension, even when there is little or nothing to provoke them.

Whether you realize that your anxiety is more intense than the situation calls for or believe that your worrying protects you in some way, the end result is the same. You can’t turn off your anxious thoughts. They keep running through your head, on endless repeat.

Anxiety disorders include:

  • Obsessive compulsive disorder (OCD)
  • Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD)
  • Generalized anxiety disorder (GAD)
  • Panic disorder
  • Social phobia.

Treatment of Anxiety

Antidepressants, anti-anxiety medications, and beta-blockers are the most common medications used for anxiety disorders.

Antidepressants
Antidepressants were developed to treat depression, but they also help people with anxiety disorders. SSRIs such as fluoxetine (Prozac), sertraline (Zoloft), escitalopram (Lexapro), paroxetine (Paxil), and citalopram (Celexa) are commonly prescribed for panic disorder, OCD, PTSD, and social phobia. The SNRI venlafaxine (Effexor) is commonly used to treat GAD. The antidepressant bupropion (Wellbutrin) is also sometimes used. When treating anxiety disorders, antidepressants generally are started at low doses and increased over time.

Some tricyclic antidepressants work well for anxiety. For example, imipramine (Tofranil) is prescribed for panic disorder and GAD. Clomipramine (Anafranil) is used to treat OCD. Tricyclics are also started at low doses and increased over time.

MAOIs are also used for anxiety disorders. Doctors sometimes prescribe phenelzine (Nardil), tranylcypromine (Parnate), and isocarboxazid (Marplan). People who take MAOIs must avoid certain food and medicines that can interact with their medicine and cause dangerous increases in blood pressure. For more information, see the section on medications used to treat depression.

Benzodiazepines (anti-anxiety medications)
The anti-anxiety medications called benzodiazepines can start working more quickly than antidepressants. The ones used to treat anxiety disorders include:

  • Clonazepam (Klonopin), which is used for social phobia and GAD
  • Lorazepam (Ativan), which is used for panic disorder
  • Alprazolam (Xanax), which is used for panic disorder and GAD.

Buspirone (Buspar) is an anti-anxiety medication used to treat GAD. Unlike benzodiazepines, however, it takes at least two weeks for buspirone to begin working.

Clonazepam, listed above, is an anticonvulsant medication. !See FDA warning on anticonvulsants under the bipolar disorder section!

Antidepressants
Beta-blockers control some of the physical symptoms of anxiety, such as trembling and sweating. Propranolol (Inderal) is a beta-blocker usually used to treat heart conditions and high blood pressure. The medicine also helps people who have physical problems related to anxiety. For example, when a person with social phobia must face a stressful situation, such as giving a speech, or attending an important meeting, a doctor may prescribe a beta-blocker. Taking the medicine for a short period of time can help the person keep physical symptoms under control.

Antibiotics and Anxiety

What if there weren't a pill for what ailed you?

The development of new, more powerful antibiotics has slowed, since there is not much profit in drugs that work well and quickly and cost little, says Professor James Hughes, executive director of the Southeastern Center for Emerging Biologic Threats at Emory.

This turn of events poses a severe public health threat, he says.

Antibiotic-resistant infections are increasing every year, due to overuse and misuse of antibiotics. Chronic coughs, colds, sore throats, diarrhea, and nausea are usually caused by viruses, Hughes says, which cannot be cured by antibiotics.

“The effectiveness of these lifesaving resources is at risk,” Hughes writes in the Journal of the American Medical Association. “Many medical advances that physicians and patients take for granted—including cancer treatment, surgery, transplantation, and neonatal care—are endangered by increasing antibiotic resistance and a distressing decline in the antibiotic research and development pipeline.”

Antibiotic-resistant infections cost the US about $20 billion annually and result in additional days in the hospital for patients—especially the elderly, who are more prone to these infections.

“Preserving the effectiveness of antibiotics is in everyone’s interest and is everyone’s responsibility,” Hughes says.

Antibiotic helps cure anxiety disorder - BOSTON (UPI) Study
Researchers at Boston University say a drug used to treat tuberculosis helps people with Social Anxiety Disorder (SAD) overcome fear of social situations.

The drug, D-cycloserine (DCS), has been used to treat tuberculosis and has also been shown to stimulate learning, according to The Center for Anxiety and Related Disorders.

In a double-blind, placebo-controlled study, 27 patients were randomized to receive 50 mg. of D-cycloserine or placebo one hour before each of four exposure therapy sessions, conducted as part of an overall five-session treatment plan.

During the sessions, participants were required to give speeches in front of other group members or a video camera and then listen to feedback from their peers.

Patients who received exposure therapy plus the active drug reported significantly less anxiety compared with the placebo group.

The results of the study are published in the March issue of the Archives of General Psychiatry.

An earlier study conducted at Emory University demonstrated similar results in individuals with acrophobia, the fear of heights.

Some Antibiotics Can Cause Anxiety
Dr Jay Cohen published a study in 2001 demonstrating a link between patients taking the fluoroquinolone-class of antibiotics, and adverse effects on the central nervous system. Dr Cohen’s study found that the nervous system symptoms typically were long-lasting, with the majority of respondents suffering one year or longer after taking the medication.

In addition to the clinical research, there has also been a LOT of anecdotal evidence that Fluoroquinolones and Quinolones can cause anxiety and related nervous system issues. It has been noted on many benzo-recovery message boards, for example, that people attempting to taper off of benzodiazepines often have very negative reactions to taking either Fluoroquinolone or Quinolone antibiotics.

Of course, in these cases, the individual’s nervous systems are already somewhat compromised by the benzo withdrawal; but even so, it suggests that Fluoroquinolones and Quinolones have a pretty profound negative impact. Anyone who is already dealing with anxiety related issues should discuss this with their doctor before taking these particular antibiotics.

These meds are primarily prescribed for combating infection and the have a variety of trade and generic names, including:

  • Avelox (moxifloxacin)
  • Cipro (ciprofloxacin)
  • Levaquin (levofloxacin)
  • Factive (gemifloxacin)
  • Floxin (ofloxacin)
  • Levaquin (levofloxacin)
  • Noroxin (norfloxacin)
  • Tequin (gatifloxacin)

Unfortunately, many doctors are unaware of the potential nervous system problems associated with Fluoroquinolones and Quinolones, so they continue to be prescribed often. But personally, even without anxiety issues, I would be hesitant to take either of these drugs.

Jon Mercer

Anxiety Disorders
Antibiotics Dictionary

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