Medications for Anxiety
Other names: Nervousness
Two classes of medications are commonly used to treat anxiety: SSRIs and benzodiazepines.
SSRIs (selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors) are usually the first medications doctors will prescribe to help manage anxiety before considering other options such as benzodiazepines. Common SSRIs include sertraline (Zoloft), fluoxetine (Prozac), citalopram (Celexa), and escitalopram (Lexapro). They impact serotonin, a neurotransmitter influencing mood, sleep, and more, and they are particularly useful for people who also have depression as well as anxiety. While SSRIs they might initially cause side effects like nausea or insomnia, these usually subside in 4-8 weeks. They're not addictive, but abrupt discontinuation can lead to severe symptoms, so dosage changes should be discussed with your doctor.
Benzodiazepines, such as alprazolam (Xanax), lorazepam (Ativan), and diazepam (Valium) are second-line options for generalized anxiety disorders (GAD) and may be considered when panic attacks or severe muscle tension are prominent. They enhance the inhibitory neurotransmitter GABA, providing quick relief but for a short duration. They are effective in reducing physiological symptoms like tension and insomnia. While generally well-tolerated, prolonged use can lead to dependence. Benzodiazepines and alcohol don't mix well and should be avoided. They're not recommended for individuals with a history of addiction or severe suicidal tendencies.
Other medications that may be considered if SSRIs and benzodiazepines are not appropriate, tolerated, or effective include:
- Buspirone (BuSpar)
- Cannabidiol (CBD)
- Serotonin-norepinephrine reuptake inhibitors (SNRIs), such as duloxetine (Cymbalta) or venlafaxine (Effexor XR)
- Tricyclic antidepressants (TCAs) such as amitriptyline, imipramine (Tofranil), or nortriptyline (Pamelor)
- Beta-blockers such as propranolol.
Drugs used to treat Anxiety
The following list of medications are in some way related to or used in the treatment of this condition.
|Drug name||Rating||Reviews||Activity ?||Rx/OTC||Pregnancy||CSA||Alcohol|
|Tranxene T-Tab||10||2 reviews for Tranxene T-Tab to treat Anxiety||Rx|
|trifluoperazine||8.2||10 reviews for trifluoperazine to treat Anxiety||Rx|
|vilazodone Off-label||6.1||68 reviews for vilazodone to treat Anxiety||Rx|
Frequently asked questions
- How to sleep while taking Cymbalta?
- Panic attack vs Anxiety attack - What's difference between them?
- Valium vs Xanax: Which is better?
- How long does Xanax last for / stay in your system?
- Klonopin vs Xanax - How are they different?
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- Why does Lexapro cause weight gain?
- Can you take hydroxyzine for anxiety and sleep?
- Lorazepam vs Xanax: What is the difference?
Topics under Anxiety
Alternative treatments for Anxiety
The following products are considered to be alternative treatments or natural remedies for Anxiety. Their efficacy may not have been scientifically tested to the same degree as the drugs listed in the table above. However there may be historical, cultural or anecdotal evidence linking their use to the treatment of Anxiety.
Learn more about Anxiety
Medicine.com guides (external)
|Rating||For ratings, users were asked how effective they found the medicine while considering positive/adverse effects and ease of use (1 = not effective, 10 = most effective).|
|Activity||Activity is based on recent site visitor activity relative to other medications in the list.|
|Rx/OTC||Prescription or Over-the-counter.|
|Off-label||This medication may not be approved by the FDA for the treatment of this condition.|
|EUA||An Emergency Use Authorization (EUA) allows the FDA to authorize unapproved medical products or unapproved uses of approved medical products to be used in a declared public health emergency when there are no adequate, approved, and available alternatives.|
|Expanded Access||Expanded Access is a potential pathway for a patient with a serious or immediately life-threatening disease or condition to gain access to an investigational medical product (drug, biologic, or medical device) for treatment outside of clinical trials when no comparable or satisfactory alternative therapy options are available.|
|A||Adequate and well-controlled studies have failed to demonstrate a risk to the fetus in the first trimester of pregnancy (and there is no evidence of risk in later trimesters).|
|B||Animal reproduction studies have failed to demonstrate a risk to the fetus and there are no adequate and well-controlled studies in pregnant women.|
|C||Animal reproduction studies have shown an adverse effect on the fetus and there are no adequate and well-controlled studies in humans, but potential benefits may warrant use in pregnant women despite potential risks.|
|D||There is positive evidence of human fetal risk based on adverse reaction data from investigational or marketing experience or studies in humans, but potential benefits may warrant use in pregnant women despite potential risks.|
|X||Studies in animals or humans have demonstrated fetal abnormalities and/or there is positive evidence of human fetal risk based on adverse reaction data from investigational or marketing experience, and the risks involved in use in pregnant women clearly outweigh potential benefits.|
|N||FDA has not classified the drug.|
|Controlled Substances Act (CSA) Schedule|
|M||The drug has multiple schedules. The schedule may depend on the exact dosage form or strength of the medication.|
|U||CSA Schedule is unknown.|
|N||Is not subject to the Controlled Substances Act.|
|1||Has a high potential for abuse. Has no currently accepted medical use in treatment in the United States. There is a lack of accepted safety for use under medical supervision.|
|2||Has a high potential for abuse. Has a currently accepted medical use in treatment in the United States or a currently accepted medical use with severe restrictions. Abuse may lead to severe psychological or physical dependence.|
|3||Has a potential for abuse less than those in schedules 1 and 2. Has a currently accepted medical use in treatment in the United States. Abuse may lead to moderate or low physical dependence or high psychological dependence.|
|4||Has a low potential for abuse relative to those in schedule 3. It has a currently accepted medical use in treatment in the United States. Abuse may lead to limited physical dependence or psychological dependence relative to those in schedule 3.|
|5||Has a low potential for abuse relative to those in schedule 4. Has a currently accepted medical use in treatment in the United States. Abuse may lead to limited physical dependence or psychological dependence relative to those in schedule 4.|
|X||Interacts with Alcohol.|
Always consult your healthcare provider to ensure the information displayed on this page applies to your personal circumstances.