Peter Hibberd, M.D., is a doctor whose advice is based on more than 28 years of hospital outpatient and inpatient experience. He is an experienced emergency medicine physician, surgeon, and consultant. Dr. Hibberd is certified by the American Board of Emergency Medicine. He is also a fellow and active member of the American Academy of Family Physicians, an active member of the American College of Emergency Physicians, and a member and fellow of the American Academy of Emergency Medicine. Dr. Hibberd has earned numerous national and international professional certifications, memberships, and awards.
Tags: anxiety | otc | natural

Can I Take an OTC Drug for Anxiety?

Wednesday, 02 January 2013 09:43 AM

Question: I have long had issues with anxiety. I’ve used Xanax, but I’m worried about dependency and I don’t like the way it makes me feel. Are there any over-the-counter or natural treatments for nervousness and anxiety that really work?

Dr. Hibberd’s answer:

The reason drugs such as Xanax are regulated by prescription is because they are addictive and tolerance does develop easily. The U.S. Food and Drug Administration closely regulates their production and manufacture, and periodically checks their purity. The U.S. Drug Enforcement Agency monitors their use and prosecutes abusers.

Over-the-counter and natural products are not FDA regulated because when, used as directed, such remedies don’t usually pose a risk to consumers. But that doesn't mean they are safe for everyone. Some OTC and natural products contain food products and are seen as dietary supplements. There are many herbal remedies available, but not all are safe or as effective as makers claim.

And because they are not tracked as closely as prescription medicines, such products may cause under-reported side effects and interactions with medications and foods. I don’t recommend drugs or products that have no regulatory oversight in their production and lack proven efficacy and safety.

© HealthDay

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Some over-the-counter and natural products are available for anxiety and don’t usually pose a risk.
Wednesday, 02 January 2013 09:43 AM
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