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How To Get Anxiety Medication

Katelyn Hagerty

Medically reviewed by Katelyn Hagerty, FNP

Written by Our Editorial Team

Last updated 5/19/2021

Getting help for a mental health condition—whether it’s severe panic attacks, constant anxiety, depression, or something else—can be difficult. 

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.

What Are Anxiety Medications?

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

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.

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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 

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. 

Selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs) used to treat anxiety may include escitalopram (Lexapro), sertraline (Zoloft), fluoxetine (Prozac) and citalopram (Celexa). 

They take time to build up to maximum effectiveness, so are not a “quick fix,” but can provide long-term relief.

Buspirone 

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.

Getting Anxiety Medications 

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.

Anxiety Medication Costs 

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.

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Finding Anxiety Medication Can Be Easy 

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.

5 Sources

Hims & Hers has strict sourcing guidelines to ensure our content is accurate and current. We rely on peer-reviewed studies, academic research institutions, and medical associations. We strive to use primary sources and refrain from using tertiary references.

  1. National Institute of Mental Health. (2018, July). Anxiety Disorders. Retrieved from https://www.nimh.nih.gov/health/topics/anxiety-disorders/#part_145338
  2. https://www.nimh.nih.gov/health/topics/mental-health-medications/index.shtml#part_149857 Centre for Addiction and Mental Health. (n.d.) Anti-anxiety medications (benzodiazepines). Retrieved from https://www.camh.ca/en/health-info/mental-illness-and-addiction-index/anti-anxiety-medications-benzodiazepines
  3. Gomez, A., Hofmann, S. (2020, May) SSRIs and benzodiazepines for generalized anxiety disorder. Anxiety and Depression Association of America. Retrieved from https://adaa.org/find-help/treatment-help/medication-options
  4. National Institute of Mental Health. (2016, Oct.) Mental Health Medications. Retrieved from https://www.nimh.nih.gov/health/topics/mental-health-medications/#part_149861

This article is for informational purposes only and does not constitute medical advice. The information contained herein is not a substitute for and should never be relied upon for professional medical advice. Always talk to your doctor about the risks and benefits of any treatment.

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