When you are being treated for cancer, your oncology provider, your primary care doctor, or a psychiatric provider may prescribe medications to help manage anxiety. These medications can be used to treat other conditions besides anxiety. In some cases, antipsychotics or mood stabilizers may be prescribed to treat anxiety and depression in people with cancer. It is important to take these medications only as prescribed by your doctor and not to stop them without the help of a medical professional.
Research indicates that caution should be taken when using anti-depressants (AD) in cancer patients due to potential safety risks and interactions with other prescription drugs. If your anxiety symptoms remain after 8 weeks, it may be necessary to change your treatment plan. This could involve trying a new approach or being prescribed a different medication. It is often beneficial for a psychiatrist to work with your oncologist to diagnose an anxiety disorder if present, or to determine if chemotherapy or other medications may be causing anxiety symptoms and how to manage side effects.