Click on the links in the anxiety medications list below to see more information about the anxiety medication such as it’s warnings, side effects, interactions, and storage instructions.
List of Available Medications for Anxiety:
Anxiety or anxiety disorders are an umbrella term for a group of mental illnesses loosely associated with each other based on the symptoms they cause, usually manifesting in one or more of the following symptoms:
- Insomnia or issues sleeping
- Inability to remain still or calm
- Sensations in feet or hands including cold, sweat, numbness or tingling
- Trouble breathing
- Heart palpitations
- Nausea or vomiting
- Muscle tension
- Dry mouth
Common anxiety disorders include panic disorder, depression, social anxiety disorder, specific phobias, post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) and generalized anxiety disorder.
Antidepressant Medications for Anxiety
The first line of defense against anxiety is usually an antidepressant drug. Antidepressant drugs are taken long term as they act on and try to restore the balance of serotonin and norepinephrine chemicals in the brain.
Here is the list of anti-depression medications:
- Citalopram (Celexa) –off label medication for panic disorder, social phobia and trichotillomania
- Duloxetine (Cymbalta) – prescribed for generalized anxiety
- Escitalopram (Lexapro) – prescribed for generalized anxiety
- Fluoxetine (Prozac) – prescribed for obsessive compulsive disorder (OCD) and panic disorder
- Fluvoxamine (Luvox) – prescribed to children (8-17 y) and adults with OCD
- Paroxetine (Paxil) – prescribed for OCD, panic disorder, social phobia, GAL and post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD)
- Sertraline (Zoloft) – prescribed for panic disorder, PTSD, social phobia and OCD
- Trazodone (Desyrel) – off label medication for for panic disorders
- Venlafaxine (Effexor XR) – prescribed to adults general & anxiety, and panic disorder
Tricyclic Anti-Depression Medications List for Anxiety
Tricyclic antidepressants, despite being an older type of antidepressant, are also sometimes still used to treat anxiety. Tricyclics affect more chemicals in the brain than the more modern antidepressant drugs shown above and are therefore more likely to cause side effects, making them less likely to be a first choice in treatment of anxiety using medications.
- Clomipramine (Anafranil) – prescribed for OCD
- Desipramine (Norpramin) – off label drug for panic disorder
- Doxepin (Silenor) – off label drug for general anxiety
- Imipramine (Tofranil)- off label drug for panic disorder
Monoamine Oxidase Inhibitors (MOAI’s)
MAOI’s are another older and powerful class of antidepressants used to treat anxiety. Monoamine oxidase inhibitors are not first choice treatments as improved options are available, but may be useful where other treatments have failed.
- Isocarboxazid (Marplan) – off label drug for social phobia
- Phenelzine (Nardil) – off label drug for panic disorders and social phobia
- Selegiline (Emsam) – off label drug for social phobia
- Tranylcypromine (Parnate) – off label drug for social phobia
Benzodiazepines Medications Used to Treat Anxiety
Benzodiazepines are most often used to relieve acute or short-term anxiety, including general & social anxiety and panic disorders. For example a benzodiazepine may be prescribed to help a patient anxious about flying on airplanes feel capable of boarding a flight. Benzodiazepins are considered a potentially addictive substance having increasing tolerance when taken regularly which can lead to dependence an abuse. Due to these concerns they aren’t generally prescribed long-term.
- Alprazolam (Xanax) – prescribed for general anxiety disorder, panic disorder; used as a off-label drug for agoraphobia with social phobia
- Chlordiazepoxide (Librax) – prescribed for anxiety (in general)
- Clonazepam (Klonopin) – prescribed for panic disorder; used as off label drug for general anxiety
- Diazepam (Valium) – prescribed for general anxiety disorders
- Lorazepam (Ativan) – prescribed for general anxiety disorders
- Oxazepam (Serax) – prescribed for general anxiety disorders
Anticonvulsants Medications Used to Treat Anxiety
Anticonvulsant medications or antiseizure medications are also being investigated for their potential to treat anxiety.
Beta-Blocker Medications for Anxiety
These medications are antihypertensive drugs because of their use in treating high blood pressure. Beta-blockers and other similar medications may reduce the physical symptoms of anxiety.
- Atenolol (Tenormin) off label drug used for situational/performance anxiety
- Nadolol (Corgard) – off label drug used for situational/performance anxiety
- Propranolol (Inderal, InnoPran XL) – off label drug for panic disorder, situational/performance anxiety, PTSD and anxiety in general
Antipsychotic Medications List Used To Treat Anxiety
Antipsychotic drugs are often prescribed together with other medications used to treat anxiety. These drugs are prescribed when other treatments have’t worked due to having more severe side efftects.
Here is the list of antisychotic medications:
- Molindone (Moban) – investigational drug which research suggests has antianxiety properties
- Olanzapine (Zyprexa)–off label drug used for general anxiety
- Quetiapine (Seroquel) – effectiveness in treating anxiety and safety with other medication still being researched, pending FDA-approval for general anxiety disorder
- Risperidone (Risperdal) – off label drug use for anxiety (in general)
Click on the links in the list above to see more information about the anxiety medication such as it’s warnings, side effects, interactions, and storage instructions.
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