Medically reviewed by Katelyn Hagerty, FNP
Written by Our Editorial Team
Last updated 5/19/2021
But these problems can become severe and negatively impact your life without proper help.
Anxiety medications, like antidepressants, have been around for quite some time and are an effective and largely safe treatment option that can help quell the worry and tension that an anxiety disorder can bring.
Mental health conditions don’t need to come with a stigma, and a mental health care provider such as a psychiatrist can help get you on track toward brighter days. People with anxiety deserve to live symptom free.
Here’s how to get anxiety medication, and what you should know.
Anxiety medications are drugs prescribed by a doctor to help treat the symptoms of an anxiety disorder.
There are several types of effective treatments and anxiety medicines available that have been approved by the Food and Drug Administration. These include:
Benzodiazepines are quick-acting drugs used to treat panic and anxiety disorders. They’re also used for insomnia and to induce sedation before surgery.
Types of benzodiazepines include alprazolam (Xanax), clonazepam, lorazepam (Ativan), diazepam (Valium) and others. They’re generally prescribed as tablets or capsules, which are taken by mouth.
These anti-anxiety drugs work by increasing the effects of GABA, a neurotransmitter that induces feelings of calmness, counteracting anxiety symptoms.
While these medications are faster-acting than other anxiety treatment drugs, you can build a tolerance for them over time–which means you’ll need more of the drug to produce the same effects.
These medications can also be addictive, so are generally prescribed for a shorter amount of time.
Antidepressants are often prescribed for the treatment of anxiety, and may be considered a “first-line” treatment for anxiety disorders. (As-needed benzodiazepines are typically considered a second choice.)
Antidepressants work on the chemicals in your brain that control mood and how you handle stress.
They take time to build up to maximum effectiveness, so are not a “quick fix,” but can provide long-term relief.
Buspirone is an alternative to both antidepressants and benzodiazepines, and is more likely to be used as a long-term treatment as it can take a few weeks to reach full effectiveness.
Buspirone doesn’t work for everyone, and your healthcare professional can help determine if it’s right for you.
All of these treatments for anxiety are prescription drugs–which means a healthcare provider must prescribe them. For some folks, asking how to get medication for anxiety can be uncomfortable.
In fact, asking for help with mental health in general can sometimes feel tough, and it can sometimes be hard to find the time to book an appointment with a psychiatrist.
But getting medication for anxiety isn’t as difficult today as it once was.
In fact, several types of healthcare providers (including those who practice primary care) and mental health professionals can prescribe anti-anxiety medications like those above.
A telepsychiatry evaluation with a qualified psychiatric provider can be the first step to getting the mental health help you need, and you can learn more about how to get anxiety medication sent directly to you.
The healthcare professional may also be able to direct you to other forms of treatment including psychotherapy, group therapy and follow-up evaluations to check on how you’re tolerating the medication.
How much you pay for your anxiety medication depends on your insurance, the medicine you’re prescribed, and how many pills you get per order.
For example, someone with prescription drug coverage through a health insurance provider may pay only a copayment of around $10-20 for a month’s supply of covered mental health medication.
Generic anxiety medications can also be quite affordable. While costs can vary, mental health drugs can be within your price range, and you may be surprised at what you find.
While getting medication for anxiety might not be as simple as popping into the grocery to snap up some medicine for a headache, it’s not that much more difficult.
There are several different kinds of anxiety medications available, all of which require the prescription of a healthcare or mental health professional.
The first step to getting medication for anxiety is chatting with such a provider.
Then, prescription-in-hand, you can either visit your local pharmacy or have the medicine delivered to your home. Costs can vary, but generic versions of anxiety meds make them quite affordable.