What Happens To Your Body When You Start Taking Anti-Anxiety Medication

Some anti-anxiety medications work their magic by improving your mood and making you feel better. For example, buspirone affects your levels of serotonin and dopamine, the main “feel-good” neurotransmitters in your brain (via Brain Research). Buspirone works as a partial serotonin agonist: it increases serotonin receptor activity by binding to and stimulating the 5HT1A receptor. It also antagonizes (blocks) dopamine receptors to a lesser degree, increasing the availability of dopamine in the brain. This is how buspirone is supposed to help you feel better when stress and anxiety come crashing down.

Anxiolytic is commonly prescribed to relieve symptoms of generalized anxiety disorder (GAD), such as fear, tension, and rapid heartbeat. Because it does not act on GABA receptors, buspirone lacks the hypnotic and muscle relaxant properties of benzos, notes a 2022 study published in Drug Design, Development and Therapy. Therefore, chemical dependence and withdrawal symptoms are much less common with buspirone than with benzos or barbiturates.

In addition to treating GAD, buspirone has been used to manage symptoms of various neurological and psychiatric disorders, such as Parkinson’s disease, attention deficit disorder, and depression (via Brain Research). There is evidence that it may be useful in treating behavioral disorders often seen in people with dementia, autism spectrum disorders and chronic schizophrenia (via drug design, development and therapy).

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