What medicine do doctors put you on for anxiety? (2023)

There are a variety of medications that doctors may prescribe for anxiety which are known as anxiolytics, or antianxiety medications. These drugs alter the activity and levels of certain neurotransmitters in the brain, such as serotonin and norepinephrine, to help treat the symptoms of anxiety.

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The specific type of medication prescribed will depend on a variety of factors, such as the severity and type of anxiety disorder, and any other medical issues or health concerns the patient may have.

Some common types of anxiolytics include benzodiazepines, selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs), tricyclic antidepressants (TCAs), and Monoamine Oxidase Inhibitors (MAOIs). Before starting any medication, it is important to discuss the potential side effects and risks with your doctor.

Additionally, counseling and therapy can be helpful in managing anxiety symptoms, so in many cases a combination of medication and therapy is recommended.

Table of Contents

What do most doctors prescribe for anxiety?

Most doctors will start by prescribing medications from the class of drugs known as benzodiazepines, as these are commonly used to treat anxiety. Benzodiazepines are fast-acting drugs that target the brain’s chemistry to control levels of anxiety.

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Examples include diazepam (Valium) and alprazolam (Xanax). Other medications may be prescribed if benzodiazepines are not effective. These include selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs), such as sertraline (Zoloft), and serotonin and norepinephrine reuptake inhibitors (SNRIs), such as venlafaxine (Effexor).

These drugs are thought to modify the levels of certain brain chemicals, such as serotonin and norepinephrine, that affect mood. Some doctors also prescribe tricyclic antidepressants, such as imipramine (Tofranil), and monoamine oxidase inhibitors (MAOIs), such as phenelzine (Nardil).

In addition to medication, most doctors may suggest psychotherapy, relaxation techniques, and lifestyle changes, such as exercise, to help reduce symptoms of anxiety.

What are the top 3 anxiety medications?

The top three anxiety medications differ depending on the person and the type of anxiety they are experiencing.

The most commonly prescribed medications for anxiety are selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs). These medications work by increasing serotonin levels in the brain, which can help improve mood, reduce anxiety, and decrease the physical symptoms of anxiety.

Examples of SSRIs include paroxetine (Paxil), fluoxetine (Prozac), escitalopram (Lexapro), sertraline (Zoloft), and citalopram (Celexa).

Another type of medication for anxiety is serotonin and norepinephrine reuptake inhibitors (SNRIs). These medications work by affecting the levels of serotonin and norepinephrine in the brain, which can help reduce anxiety symptoms.

Examples of SNRIs include venlafaxine (Effexor XR) and duloxetine (Cymbalta).

Benzodiazepines are another type of medication that is used to treat anxiety. These medications work by boosting the amount of a neurotransmitter called gamma-aminobutyric acid (GABA) in the brain, which helps to calm the nervous system and reduce anxiety.

Examples of benzodiazepines include alprazolam (Xanax), clonazepam (Klonopin), diazepam (Valium), and lorazepam (Ativan).

It is important to remember that these medications should generally be used as part of a larger treatment plan that includes lifestyle changes and psychotherapy. Your doctor will be able to make an individualized treatment recommendation based on your particular symptoms and needs.

What is the first drug of choice for anxiety?

The first drug of choice for anxiety is typically a benzodiazepine. Benzodiazepines, also referred to as “benzos”, are a specific class of drugs used to treat disorders involving anxiety, panic, and insomnia.

They work by affecting neurotransmitters in the brain, making them more relaxed and less agitated. Common benzodiazepines include Valium, Xanax, Klonopin, and Ativan among others. In general, benzodiazepines are very effective in treating anxiety because of their rapid onset of action.

They can often help relieve symptoms quickly and are typically used for short-term relief. However, they should not be used long-term, as they can become habit-forming and potentially addictive. Other treatment options for anxiety, such as cognitive-behavioral therapy or natural remedies, may be better suited for long-term management.

What is the mildest anti-anxiety med?

The mildest anti-anxiety med is typically a benzodiazepine. This class of medication works on the central nervous system, to help reduce the symptoms of anxiety. Some of these medications include: alprazolam (Xanax); lorazepam (Ativan); and oxazepam (Serax).

Other anti-anxiety drugs that may be prescribed by a doctor include: buspirone (Buspar); certain selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs); and certain anti-depressants. Depending on the severity of your symptoms, your doctor may recommend a combination of some of these medications.


It is important to talk to your doctor to determine which medication and dosage are right for you.

How do I know if I need anxiety medication?

Deciding if you need to take anxiety medication can be a difficult decision to make. The first and most important step is to speak with a qualified healthcare provider. Your healthcare provider can help you determine if anxiety medication is right for you.

They will be able to diagnose your specific condition and recommend the best course of treatment or management strategy.

Medication is not right for everyone, and many people find that lifestyle changes and/or therapy may be all they need to manage their anxiety. This could include things such as meditation, yoga, and other relaxation techniques, as well as talk therapy and cognitive behavioral therapy.

If you decide to try these methods first, it’s important to monitor the level of anxiety you are experiencing.

If it is determined that medication may be necessary, make sure to discuss the risks, benefits, and possible side effects of the medications before starting. It is also important to tell your healthcare provider about any other illnesses and/or medications you are taking.

Additionally, you should consider asking questions about the potential interactions between any medication you may take and any supplements you are taking or planning to take.

By speaking with your healthcare provider, you can work together to properly assess your needs and find an effective treatment strategy that works for you.

Are anxiety meds worth it?

Whether anxiety meds are worth it or not depends on the individual situation and context. Anxiety medications can be beneficial if they help the person manage their mental and emotional distress, feel better and cope more effectively with their situation.

On the other hand, there are potential risks associated with taking medications, such as side effects, addiction or other health concerns.

In general, it is best to talk to a doctor before considering medications for anxiety. The primary goal should be to find the best treatment or combination of treatments that works for the individual.

This should also include lifestyle changes, regular exercise, good nutrition, sleep and relaxation techniques, as well as counselling or psychotherapy. Medication may be an option if these other treatments are not effective enough.

A doctor can assess the person’s overall health and medical history and decide which medications are best for them.

When debating the pros and cons of anxiety medications, it is important to keep in mind that some people may benefit from taking anxiety meds while others may not. Ultimately, the decision should be made in consultation with a doctor and based on the individual’s needs.

What does constant anxiety feel like?

Experiencing constant anxiety can feel overwhelming and can affect various aspects of one’s life. It can take a toll on both physical and mental health, resulting in feelings of fear, helplessness, and dread.

Physically, constant anxiety can manifest itself through increased heart rate, hyperventilation, dizziness, nausea, headaches, chest tightness, and muscle tension. Mentally, it can bring intense worries and preoccupations, difficulty concentrating, trouble sleeping, difficulty making decisions, racing thoughts, and frequent catastrophizing.

Constant anxiety can also lead to social isolation and difficulty in relationships, as well as problems with work performance and academic achievement. As a result, it is important to seek help in order to identify and manage sources of anxiety, such as physical symptoms, environmental factors, stress, and emotional triggers.

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There are various treatments, such as self-care strategies, relaxation techniques, psychotherapy, and medication, that can help to safely treat and prevent issues associated with constant anxiety.

What anti anxiety medication is not addictive?

Non-addictive anti-anxiety medications include Buspirone (BuSpar), Pregabalin (Lyrica), Vortioxetine (Trintellix), Atypical antipsychotics (such as Risperidone or Seroquel) and various antidepressant medications, including SSRIs (Selective Serotonin Reuptake Inhibitors) like Citalopram (Celexa) or Escitalopram (Lexapro).

Many of these medications can cause physical dependence, so they should not be stopped abruptly without consulting your doctor. However, they can generally be tapered off slowly without the onset of major withdrawal symptoms.

Additionally, cognitive behavioral therapy and lifestyle changes are non-medicinal alternatives to treating anxiety and can be just as effective.

Is there over the counter anxiety medication?

Yes, there are over-the-counter (OTC) medications for anxiety. However, it is important to understand that OTC medications cannot and should not replace traditional treatments such as psychotherapy and prescription medications.

Additionally, OTC medications may not be suitable for every individual and should be used only after consulting with a healthcare provider.

OTC medications commonly used to relieve anxiety symptoms include antihistamines, anti-anxiety supplements, and herbal remedies. Antihistamines help relax the body while anti-anxiety supplements can provide nutrients to help alleviate some physical symptoms.

Herbal remedies, such as kava, chamomile, and lavender, can be helpful in reducing anxiety and improving relaxation, but their efficacy and safety can vary.

In most cases, OTC medications are considered to be safe and effective for milder forms of anxiety. However, it’s important to consult with a healthcare provider to make sure that whatever OTC medication you choose is right for you.

Additionally, if your anxiety is more severe, then prescription medications and psychotherapy are usually recommended and should be discussed with a healthcare provider.

What pill can I take to calm my anxiety?

Depending on the severity of your anxiety, your doctor may recommend a medication that is best for you. Antidepressants such as selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs), serotonin-norepinephrine reuptake inhibitors (SNRIs), and tricyclic antidepressants (TCAs) are commonly prescribed and usually have the fewest side effects.

Other medications that can be used for anxiety include benzodiazepines (benzos) and buspirone. These drugs can help you manage your symptoms more quickly, but they are habit-forming and can cause physical dependence, so they’re typically used as a short-term option.

In addition to medication, therapy is also an effective way to reduce anxiety symptoms. Cognitive-behavioral therapy and other forms of talk therapy can help you identify and change negative patterns of thinking, which can then lead to decreased anxiety.

Speak to your doctor or mental health provider to determine which option is right for you.

What is better for anxiety than Xanax?

While Xanax is an effective and widely prescribed medication for effectively treating anxiety, there are numerous alternative treatments that may be more suitable and less risky options, depending on the individual.

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Some of these include lifestyle changes, cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT), relaxation techniques and other psychological therapies. Making lifestyle changes by increasing physical activity, reducing processed foods and addictive substances, increasing the amount of fresh fruit and vegetables, and drinking plenty of water can help to reduce anxiety.

Mindfulness meditation can also be helpful in controlling anxiety. CBT helps people to identify and manage unhelpful thoughts and behaviors. It teaches individuals how to alter the way they think and act, which in turn can help reduce anxiety.

Relaxation techniques that are commonly used for anxiety relief include mindful breathing, progressive muscle relaxation and yoga. Finally, psychotherapies such as dialectical behavior therapy (DBT) and Acceptance & Commitment Therapy (ACT) are designed to help people accept their thoughts and feelings rather than trying to avoid or change them, which can lead to long-lasting relief from anxiety.

What vitamins are good for anxiety?

Vitamin B complex—especially B-12 and folate—have been shown to help reduce anxiety and improve mood stability. Additionally, omega-3 fatty acids, such as those found in fish oil and flaxseed, have been found to have an anti-anxiety effect.

Vitamin D is another important vitamin for reducing anxiety. A study in the journal Brain, Behavior, and Immunity found that people who don’t get enough vitamin D are more likely to experience higher levels of anxiety.

Magnesium has also been found to be a helpful supplement in reducing anxiety. It can be found in foods like almonds and spinach, but a supplement is recommended for those who don’t get enough of it through diet alone.

Finally, zinc can help reduce anxiety levels, so eating foods like oysters, chickpeas, and pumpkin seeds can help boost zinc levels in your body. Supplements can be helpful for those who don’t get enough zinc in their diet.

Is anxiety a form of mental illness?

Yes, anxiety is considered to be a form of mental illness. Anxiety can manifest in a variety of different forms and can range from mild to severe. Symptoms may include excessive worry, fear, restlessness, irritability, difficulty concentrating, insomnia, and nausea.

Depending on the severity of symptoms, it can significantly interfere with one’s daily functioning and even cause physical ailments. Anxiety is often accompanied by depression and other mental health disorders, and if left untreated, it can get worse.

Therefore, it is important to seek help from a mental health professional if you believe you are struggling with anxiety. Professional treatment typically includes talk therapy, medications, and lifestyle changes.

What lack of vitamin causes anxiety?

A lack of certain vitamins and minerals can result in symptoms of anxiety. Magnesium, vitamin B, and omega-3 fatty acids are all important nutrients that can have a significant impact on mood and mental health, including anxiety.

Magnesium deficiency, for example, is especially linked to anxiety and can cause symptoms such as headaches, low energy, and irritability. Vitamin B, meanwhile, is necessary for the production of neurotransmitters, which play a major role in mood.

B12 deficiency, in particular, has been linked to symptoms of irrational fear and depression, which can lead to anxiety. Omega-3 fatty acids are also essential for healthy mental functioning and can have a beneficial impact on brain health and mood.

Some studies suggest that increased omega-3 fatty acid intake can improve symptoms of anxiety.

Overall, a balanced and nutritious diet is important for both physical and mental health, and being deficient in vitamins and minerals can result in symptoms of anxiety. It is therefore important to ensure that you get all the essential vitamins and minerals that your body needs in order to maintain a healthy and balanced lifestyle.

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