Anti-Anxiety Drugs

Breakdown

Anti-Anxiety Drugs

Anti-anxiety drugs can cause hallucinations, delusional thinking, confusions, aggression, violence, hostility, agitation, irritability, depression and suicidal thinking. They are also some of the most difficult drugs to withdraw from.

Anti-anxiety Drug Warnings

There have been 39 warnings from 8 countries (Australia, Canada, Denmark, Germany, Ireland, New Zealand, United Kingdom and United States) and the European Union warning that anti-anxiety drugs cause harmful side effects. These include the following (note that some warnings cite more than one side effect, so the list below may not be equal to the total number of warnings):

  • 14 warnings on anti-anxiety drugs causing impaired driving or sleep-driving
  • 7 warnings on anti-anxiety drugs causing cognitive impairment
  • 6 warnings on anti-anxiety drugs causing sleep problems
  • 5 warnings on anti-anxiety drugs causing cardiovascular disorders
  • 5 warnings on anti-anxiety drugs causing heart problems
  • 5 warnings on anti-anxiety drugs causing sleepwalking
  • 4 warnings on anti-anxiety drugs causing swelling
  • 3 warnings on anti-anxiety drugs causing allergic reactions
  • 3 warnings on anti-anxiety drugs causing amnesia
  • 3 warnings on anti-anxiety drugs causing depression
  • 3 warnings on anti-anxiety drugs causing drug abuse
  • 3 warnings on anti-anxiety drugs causing hallucinations
  • 3 warnings on anti-anxiety drugs having lack of efficacy
  • 3 warnings on anti-anxiety drugs causing withdrawal reactions
  • 2 warnings on anti-anxiety drugs causing suicide risk or attempts
  • 1 warning on anti-anxiety drugs causing abnormal behavior
  • 1 warning on anti-anxiety drugs causing abnormal bleeding
  • 1 warning on anti-anxiety drugs causing dependence
  • 1 warning on anti-anxiety drugs causing anxiety
  • 1 warning on anti-anxiety drugs causing death or increased risk of death
  • 1 warning on anti-anxiety drugs causing hostility or aggression
  • 1 warning on anti-anxiety drugs causing liver problems
  • 1 warning on anti-anxiety drugs causing newborn complications
  • 1 warning on anti-anxiety drugs causing risk of falls
  • 1 warning on anti-anxiety drugs causing risk of fractures

Anti-anxiety Drug Studies

There are 79 studies from 19 countries (Australia, Canada, China, Colombia, Croatia, Denmark, Finland, France, Germany, India, Ireland, Italy, Japan, New Zealand, South Korea, Sweden, Taiwan, United Kingdom and United States) showing that anti-anxiety drugs cause harmful side effects. These include the following (note that some studies cite more than one side effect, so the list below may not be equal to the total number of studies):

  • 13 studies on anti-anxiety drugs causing death or increased risk of death
  • 12 studies on anti-anxiety drugs causing risk of fractures
  • 9 studies on anti-anxiety drugs causing risk of falls
  • 6 studies on anti-anxiety drugs causing dementia
  • 5 studies on anti-anxiety drugs causing cardiovascular disorders
  • 5 studies on anti-anxiety drugs causing impaired driving or sleep-driving
  • 5 studies on anti-anxiety drugs causing suicide risk or attempts
  • 4 studies on anti-anxiety drugs causing cancer
  • 3 studies on anti-anxiety drugs causing aggression
  • 3 studies on anti-anxiety drugs causing violence
  • 2 studies on anti-anxiety drugs causing cognitive impairment
  • 2 studies on anti-anxiety drugs causing homicidal ideation
  • 2 studies on anti-anxiety drugs causing newborn complications
  • 2 studies on anti-anxiety drugs causing pneumonia
  • 2 studies on anti-anxiety drugs causing premature birth
  • 2 studies on anti-anxiety drugs causing stroke
  • 1 study on anti-anxiety drugs causing abnormal behavior
  • 1 study on anti-anxiety drugs causing agitation
  • 1 study on anti-anxiety drugs causing allergic reactions
  • 1 study on anti-anxiety drugs causing anxiety
  • 1 study on anti-anxiety drugs causing heart problems
  • 1 study on anti-anxiety drugs causing involuntary movements
  • 1 study on anti-anxiety drugs causing lack of efficacy
  • 1 study on anti-anxiety drugs causing liver problems
  • 1 study on anti-anxiety drugs causing sedation
  • 1 study on anti-anxiety drugs causing sleepwalking
  • 1 study on anti-anxiety drugs causing tumors
  • 1 study on anti-anxiety drugs causing withdrawal reactions

Anti-anxiety Drug Side Effects Reported to the FDA

There have been 35,110 Adverse Drug Reactions in connection with anti-anxiety drugs that have been reported to the FDA’s Adverse Event Reporting System (MedWatch), between 2004 and 2012.

The FDA estimates that less than 1% of all serious events are ever reported to it, so the actual number of side effects occurring are most certainly higher.

  • 5,593 cases of drug being ineffective
  • 4,009 cases of insomnia
  • 3,753 cases of dysgeusia (impairment of taste)
  • 2,576 cases of completed suicide
  • 1,863 cases of somnolence
  • 1,801 cases of amnesia
  • 1,801 cases of cardiac arrest
  • 1,750 cases of respiratory arrest
  • 1,337 cases of death
  • 1,289 cases of anxiety

Documented Side Effects of Anti-anxiety Drugs


Source: Physicians Desk Reference, National Institutes of Health’s Medline Plus, and/or the drug label.

  • Aggressive behavior
  • Agitation
  • Agranulocytosis (condition affecting white blood cells causing susceptibility to infection)
  • Akathisia
  • Amnesia
  • Anxiety
  • Epileptic seizures
  • Hallucinations
  • Hostility
  • Insomnia
  • Irritability
  • Jaundice
  • Lethargy
  • Liver problems
  • Memory impairment
  • Muscle tremors
  • Nervousness
  • Nightmares
  • Psychosis
  • Rage
  • Sedation
  • Seizures
  • Severe depression
  • Sexual dysfunction
  • Shuffling walk
  • Sleep disturbances
  • Slurred speech
  • Suicide attempt
  • Transient amnesia
  • Tremors
  • Unusual movements
  • Weight changes
Please Note: No one should attempt to get off psychiatric drugs without doctor's supervision.
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