what is the best medication for anxiety?

I first had a panic attack on new years eve last year (before I drank alcohol). Since then I have suffered a lot with anxiety and panic attacks - mainly if I'm hungover. As you could probably assume, I tend to avoid alcohol at all costs these days as I fear that I will have a panic attack. I have been on citalopram 20mg for 2 months and although they worked great at the start, I now feel helpless again and don't know whether or not I need to change the medication that I am on. I know this sounds selfish/immature/irresponsible etc, but I don't want to have to give up alcohol just because it gives me panic attacks. I want to be able to do things other people can do and not let my anxiety get the better of me.

Any advice would be greatly appreciated, thank you xx


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7 Replies

  • Hi

    Welcome to the club... I too had anxiety and have valuable advice to pass on. If you read blogs many people also agree. If you have a headache you take a tablet and withing 15mins it goes away. That is not the case for anxiety, tablets do not work in the same way. You have to beat the problem using several techniques, some work better than others for different people. CBT, distraction, (forcing your mind to be occupied by something else rather than worry), relaxation methods, exercise, reading books about the subject. Combine all of these and you will beat it. Do not rely on taking a pill as you will find it will not work

    I hope this helps


  • Hi

    Medicine are good for a short term but I

    On the long run is better using other tecniques.mixing alcohol and antidepressant is not a good mix..it makes everything worse..

  • Dear All

    Just to advise that if you are members of Anxiety UK I would strongly suggest you take advantage of the Anxiety UK psychiatric pharmacy helpline service who can advise on medication (prescribed and alternative medication). The service is led by a team of volunteer NHS psychiatric pharmacists who give their time to support Anxiety UK members requiring support around medication.

    Hoping this is of help. Nicky Lidbetter, CEO - Anxiety UK

  • I can't find the number on the site. Can you publish the link or the number pls?

  • One of the reasons alcohol consumption will prompt panic attacks is because it is a stimulant and kick-starts the adrenal glands to produce more adrenaline. Do you also drink a lot of coffee, energy drinks, and do you smoke? Do you eat a lot of foods and drinks containing refined sugar, especially on an empty stomach? All these can wreak havoc with your blood-sugar levels and bring on a panic attack. If you still wish to drink alcohol, why not eat little and often throughout the day before you go out in the evening. Try slow-releasing foods like a handful of nuts, a glass of milk, buttered crackers, a banana, etc, rather than sugary or salty foods. Then start with weaker forms of alcohol, interspersed with small amounts of food (nuts again) to absorb it. This will mean you are not so quickly affected by the alcohol.

    If you find you still can't tolerate alcohol, maybe in the long run you are better off without it. As for the Citalopram, it is one of the best modern anti-depressants useful for panic attacks. You could also do with learning to de-mystify your anxiety symptoms and learn techniques for dealing with them as they come along. Either ask for NHS counselling who will provide anxiety-management tehcniques, or go online and work through an anxiety management plan. The "For Dummies" book range also have a good book on anxiety.

    Hope that helps

  • You'be hit the nail on the head there. Yes I do drink coffee and smoke, and also my diet and eating habits aren't great either. Thank you for your advice you've been very helpful x

  • I have found exercise really helpful in managing my anxiety, and also maintaining some sort of work-life balance is also helpful. I relate because I was also given citalopram recently and haven't started it, probably won't either. Also cbt can be really helpful in the long term x

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