Anxiety can bring feelings of nervousness, agitation, restlessness, irritation and panic attack even when there isn’t any danger. These symptoms can result from taking other medications meant for different health issues. These drugs might make your existing anxiety worse or trigger anxiety symptoms for the first time. Certain drugs and medications can cause anxiety in different parts of the body, but some drugs target the same parts of the body that play a role in anxiety symptoms. Some of these drugs and medications that may cause anxiety include:

Asthma Medication

The National Institute of Health says that the use of bronchodilators can trigger feelings of anxiety and nervousness. Other asthma medication can make mood disorder worse like depression and anxiety. Some of the asthmatic drugs that cause anxiety are:

  • Salmeterol: common side effects include fast heartbeat, sweating, nervousness, and anxiety.
  • Albuterol: can cause trembling or shakiness and on rare cases racing heartbeat all of which are signs of a panic attack.

Medications Containing Caffeine

Caffeine is used as a headache and migraine medication which stimulates your nervous system. Consequently, it can rev your heart and blood pressure leading to nervousness and anxiety. People with anxiety issues should be careful when taking caffeine since it can worsen their condition. Also, these headaches and migraine medication can cause some anxiety issues:

  • Aspirin and caffeine (Anacin)
  • Aspirin, acetaminophen, and caffeine (Excedrin Migraine)
  • Ergotamine and caffeine (Migergot, Cafergot)


These are types of drugs that function similar to some of the hormones made by the body. They are used to treat conditions such as allergies, arthritis, bronchitis, and asthma. Doctors don’t have an explanation as to why these drugs can make some people irritable and anxious.

Taking cortisone, dexamethasone, and prednisone can trigger anxiety symptoms.

ADHD Drugs

Many medications for ADHD condition are stimulants, thus they rev your brain. Plus, they change how your nerve cells send messages, especially if taken in high doses which can make you anxious and restless. In addition to that, these drugs can cause mood changes. They include Amphetamine/dextroamphetamine (Adderall), dexmethylphenidate (Focalin), lisdexamfetamine(Vyvanse), methylphenidate (Concerta).

Some Birth Control Pills

You might experience feelings of emotional disturbance including depression and anxiety from taking certain types of birth control pills. Depression, irritability, and lability are some of the side effects listed in the Yaz birth control website. Cases of women experiencing psychological symptoms are becoming more including weeping and panic attack. The author of Before You Take That Pill: Why the Drug Industry May Be Bad for Your Health, says in his book that some birth control pills can literally make some women feel like they are going crazy.

Thyroid Medications

Lack of enough thyroid hormone in the body can contribute to lack of energy, weight gain or concentration difficulties. The lack of energy can make the body weak automatically. Thyroid pills such as Armour thyroid, nature Thyroid, and NP Thyroid, although they treat this condition, they can trigger shakiness, anxiety, and hyperactivity. You need to watch out for the above side effects if you’re using thyroid drugs.

Seizure Drugs

Seizure attack can be sudden as a result of a stroke or epileptic fit. Phenytoin (Dilantin, phenytek) is a drug used to calm the electrical activity that happens in the brain during a seizure. Sometimes you can be given this medicine to control irregular heartbeats. However, there are negatives side effects that come with it such as a panic attack, agitation, and anxiety.

Parkinson’s Disease

Parkinson’s disease is a progressive nervous system disorder marked by muscular rigidity, tremor, and slow imprecise movement which commonly affects elderly people. A combination of levodopa and carbidopa (Sinemet) are the common medicines prescribed for treating Parkinson’s. But, the extended-release capsule form of this drug, Rytary, can also cause anxiety. You should ask your doctor if an alternative medicine might be a better option. Nevertheless, avoid over the counter medications since you might not be aware of the side effects.


In case any of your meds are causing some unfriendly side effects like panic attacks, shakiness, depression, and anxiety among others, you should talk to your doctor about adjusting the doses or switching the drug. But, if you’re on any of the above medications and you’ve experienced an anxiety disorder, then you should start cognitive-behavioral therapy. This is the first line treatment for anxiety which is a highly effective and lasting treatment. At times, high levels of anxiety might prevent one from getting help from cognitive behavioral therapy, in that case, a combination of medicine and therapy might help. Remember to avoid depression since it can complicate chronic anxiety. Don’t ignore sad moods and depressive symptoms, instead take medication to alleviate such symptoms. Anxiety drugs come from the class of antidepressant medication, and by taking them you end up treating both anxiety and depression effectively.

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