Fear of Flying Pills & Medicines
Many different types of medications are used in the treatment of phobias like fear of flying, including traditional anti-anxiety drugs such as benzodiazepines, and newer options like antidepressants and beta-blockers.
Drugs can seem very effective in the short term, but they are not a cure. Anxiety medication can provide temporary relief, but it doesn’t treat the underlying cause of the disorder. Once you stop taking the drug, usually all the symptoms of fear of flying return in full force.
You need to be aware of the risks of anxiety medication, too:
Anxiety drugs often cause a wide range of unpleasant and sometimes even dangerous side effects.
Many anxiety meds are habit forming and physically addictive too, making it difficult to get off the medication once you’ve started. The bottom line is that anxiety medications can be helpful in the short term but can only ever mask the symptoms of fear of flying, never cure and tackle the root cause.
The Best Drug or Medication for Fear of Flying
We strongly believe that no medication is the best prescription for fear of flying. If you are currently taking meds, of course, you should consult with your doctor before changing anything, but we believe the goal should always be to deal with the source of the problem, so you will not need pharmaceuticals.
That said, three types of medication are commonly used in the treatment of fear of flying (aviophobia):
Beta blockers are used for relieving performance anxiety. They work by blocking the flow of adrenaline that occurs when you’re anxious. While beta blockers don’t affect the emotional symptoms of anxiety, they can control physical symptoms such as shaking hands or voice, sweating, and rapid heartbeat.
Antidepressants can be helpful when the feelings of fear are severe and debilitating. Three specific antidepressants — Paxil, Effexor, and Zoloft — have been approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration for phobias.
Benzodiazepines are fast-acting anti-anxiety medications. However, they are sedating and addictive, so they are typically prescribed only when other medications have not worked.
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