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SSRIs more effective than SNRIs for treating anxiety in youth

03-23-18 Category: Anxiety

SSRIs more effective than SNRIs for treating anxiety in youth

Selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIS) are more effective than the newer generation of antidepressants selective serotonin-norepinephrine reuptake inhibitors (SNRIs) for treating anxiety disorders among children and adolescents. A recent study published in the Journal of the American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry has provided evidence of the same, with the respondents exhibiting significant improvements within the first two weeks itself.

Researchers from the University of Cincinnati (UC) had known for long that SSRIs are more effective than SNRIs but there weren’t sufficient clinical data to validate it. The current study is the first to find out the extent and trajectory of the treatment. After compiling data from nine randomized and controlled trials, the researchers noted more pronounced improvements in the fourth week of the treatment. They also took into account the role of the dosage and tried to find out if higher doses had any impact. Commenting on the findings, Jeffrey Strawn, an associate professor from the Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Neuroscience at the UC, said, “We saw that dosage didn’t necessarily affect how much the patients improve, but it did affect how quickly they get better.”

The importance of the current study hopes to bring changes in the way clinicians select medications for treating anxiety disorders in young people.

Both SSRIs and SNRIs are popular antidepressants that block the reuptake or reabsorption of neurotransmitters in the nerve cells of the brain for relaying messages between brain cells (neurons) after they are released. Some common SSRIs are Prozac and Paxil while popular SNRIs include duloxetine (Cymbalta), Pristiq and venlafaxine (Effexor). While both impact serotonin, SNRIs also affect norepinephrine levels.

Anxiety is common but remains undiagnosed   

Little bit of anxiety is usually harmless. It is a response stimuli to fearful situations, such as exams, performance, sport finale, prom night, etc. that subsides after some time. However, chronic anxiety can make children exhibit negative behaviors and adopt avoidance tactics. Therefore, addressing this at an early stage through medications and therapeutic measures is essential. Here are some ways to cope with excessive worry or fear.

  • Learning how to manage time: Most children get anxious on finding that they do not have sufficient time to complete a project or an assignment. Instead of learning to deal with it, they worry needlessly. It’s important to plan a schedule and adhere to it diligently.
  • Writing a journal: Stress can creep in anytime but instead of leaving aside all work and worrying, writing a journal about the experiences can help.
  • Engaging with Nature: One of the best ways to cope with anxiety and stress is by immersing oneself in Nature. Taking a long walk, playing with pets in a garden or simply enjoying the beauty around can bring a sense of happiness.
  • Indulging in mild relaxation exercises: The best way to beat stress is by being calm. Slow breathing can help dissolve negative thoughts or emotions and instill positivity. With time, the child could also be taught yoga or meditation, which are excellent means of fighting anxiety.
  • Finding distractions: It’s also important to keep oneself busy by readily taking up a new hobby or an activity.

Getting help in time

It’s critical to understand that persistent anxiety is a sign of a mental disorder that needs professional intervention. Ignoring the signs or insufficiently treating the condition can create more problems and impact the overall well-being.

Sovereign Health is a premier behavioral health caregiver in the United States offering holistic and evidence-based anxiety disorder treatment to patients. If you have a loved one struggling with anxiety who is looking to connect to the best anxiety disorder treatment centers, call at our 24/7 helpline. For more information on our credible anxiety rehab centers, you can chat online with an advisor.

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