Top 10 Medications For Anxiety 2024 Types, List And Side Effects

Let’s talk about the “What Are The Top 10 Medications For Anxiety?” If you or someone you know experiences feelings of unease or nervousness, you’re not alone. Anxiety is a common challenge, but the good news is that there are medications designed to help. These medicines are like friendly helpers designed to make you feel better. They work in different ways to calm your mind and ease those anxious feelings. Let’s discover these anxiety-relief buddies and how they can make a positive difference in your life.

What Are The Top 10 Medications For Anxiety?

Top 10 Medications For Anxiety
Top 10 Medications For Anxiety
No.MedicationTypeSide EffectsExample
1Serotonin Reuptake Inhibitors (SSRIs)AntidepressantNausea, Vomiting, Diarrhea, HeadacheCitalopram, Escitalopram, Fluoxetine, Fluvoxamine 
2Serotonin-Norepinephrine Reuptake Inhibitors (SNRIs)AntidepressantNausea & Vomiting, Dry mouth (Xerostomia), Constipation, FatiguePristiq, Cymbalta, Effexor, Venlafaxine
3Tricyclic Antidepressant (TCAs)AntidepressantDry mouth, Constipation, Urine problems, Weight gainAmitriptyline, Imipramine, Nortriptyline, Desipramine
4BenzodiazepinesAnxiolytic (Anxiety)Drowsiness, Dizziness, Poor balance or Coordination, Slurred speechXaxas, Valium, Avitan, Klonopin
5Beta-BlockersMedication for Heart and AnxietyFeeling tired, Cold fingers, Difficulty sleeping, Breathing problemsPropranolo, lMetoprolol, Atenolol, Nadolol
6BuspironeAnxiolyticDazziness, Headaches, Nausea, Difficulty sleepingBuspar, Vanspar, Buspin, Buscalm
7Monoamine Oxidase Inhibitors (MAOIs)AntidepressantNeedles sensations, Sexual dysfunction, Dazziness, DrowsinessPhenelzine, Tranylcypromine, Isocarboxazid, Selegiline
8BupropionAntidepressantNausesa, Sleeping issues, Increases heart rates, Dry mouthWellbutrin, Zyban, Aplenzin, Forfivo XL
9HydroxyzineAnxiolytic and AntihistamineDrowsiness, Constipation, Blurred vision, ConfusionVistaril, Atarax, EquiRab, Orgatrax
10AntihistaminesAllergy Medication
Drowsiness, Dry mouth, Trouble urinating, Agitation
Brompheniramine, Chlorpheniramine, Diphenhydramine, Carbinoxamine
Top 10 Medications For Anxiety

1. Serotonin Reuptake Inhibitors (SSRIs)

SSRIs, or Serotonin Reuptake Inhibitors, are medicines that help with anxiety and depression. They work by balancing a chemical called serotonin in the brain. Serotonin is like a messenger that helps cells communicate. When someone is anxious or depressed, their serotonin levels might be off balance. SSRIs help by stopping the brain from taking back too much serotonin, ensuring enough communication between cells. It, in turn, helps improve mood and reduce feelings of anxiety.

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2. Serotonin-Norepinephrine Reuptake Inhibitors (SNRIs)

SNRIs, or serotonin-norepinephrine reuptake inhibitors, can be like mood-boosting helpers! These medicines act like tiny sponges in your brain, soaking up extra serotonin and norepinephrine. These chemicals are messengers that send signals between brain cells. You might feel anxious or sad when there’s too much of them. SNRIs soak up the extra, helping to balance things and making you feel happier and calmer. They work like bouncers, letting in the good emotions while keeping out the bad ones. It creates a more relaxed and enjoyable atmosphere in your brain, making you feel better overall.

3. Tricyclic Antidepressant (TCAs)

Tricyclic antidepressants (TCAs) are a type of medication mainly used to treat depression. The name “tricyclic” comes from their chemical structure, which has three rings of atoms. There’s another group called tetracyclic antidepressants (TeCAs) with four rings. These newer options often have fewer side effects. It’s important to note that both TCAs and SSRIs can cause side effects, but they are generally similar in severity.

4. Benzodiazepines

Benzodiazepines are medications that help reduce anxiety and improve sleep. People often call them minor tranquilizers or sedatives. While they are widely prescribed worldwide, it’s important to try non-drug methods like exercise, relaxation activities, and talking to someone you trust first. When used correctly, they are safe and effective, but they can be addictive. So, doctors usually recommend them for short-term use only.

5. Beta-Blockers

Beta-blockers are meds that control your body’s fight-or-flight response and reduce its impact on the heart. People use them for heart issues like high blood pressure or irregular heartbeats. Doctors might also prescribe them for anxiety. They stop adrenaline, a stress hormone, from affecting your heart, preventing it from pumping harder or faster. Some also relax blood vessels, lowering blood pressure. While they don’t treat the root causes of anxiety, beta-blockers help manage physical reactions like a fast heart rate and sweating. They work best for short-term anxiety, like public speaking.

6. Buspirone

Buspirone is a drug used for anxiety. It was first made to treat psychosis, but it didn’t work for that. However, it turned out to be good for anxiety. People like it because it has fewer side effects than other anxiety drugs. Doctors use it mainly for generalized anxiety disorder (GAD) and short-term relief of anxiety symptoms. Buspirone works on serotonin receptors in the brain, making it different from other anxiety meds. It doesn’t affect benzodiazepine GABA receptors.

7. Monoamine Oxidase Inhibitors (MAOIs)

Monoamine oxidase inhibitors (MAOIs) were the first antidepressants but are now used less because newer ones are safer with fewer side effects. MAOIs need diet restrictions and avoiding certain meds due to possible high blood pressure. Despite side effects, they can be good when other treatments fail. MAOIs relieve depression by affecting chemical messengers in the brain. Like most antidepressants, they change brain chemistry. MAOIs also impact other neurotransmitters, causing side effects.

8. Bupropion

Bupropion, also known as Wellbutrin, is a medication mainly used for depression. Still, recent research suggests it might help with anxiety, too. Unlike other antidepressants, it focuses on dopamine and norepinephrine, which affect mood and focus. Bupropion can reduce worry, boost energy, improve concentration, and enhance pleasure. While not officially approved for anxiety, studies show it’s as effective as some other anxiety medications, with fewer side effects. Possible side effects include dry mouth, insomnia, agitation, and rare seizures.

9. Hydroxyzine

Hydroxyzine is a prescription medicine used for anxiety and allergy-related itching. It belongs to antihistamines but works differently. Hydroxyzine blocks histamine receptors, easing anxiety symptoms and boosting serotonin, linked to mood and anxiety. It also has calming effects by blocking acetylcholine. Benefits include fast action within 1-2 hours, effectiveness for various anxiety types, mild side effects, and non-addictiveness. Drawbacks include drowsiness (common), not for long-term use, and potential interactions with other medications. Hydroxyzine can be helpful for short-term anxiety relief. Still, it’s crucial to discuss its pros and cons with your doctor to decide if it’s right for you.

10. Antihistamines

Antihistamines treats symptoms caused by histamine, like congestion, runny nose, and itching. They also help with motion sickness, insomnia, and anxiety by blocking histamine effects. People with regular allergies may take them daily, while others use them as needed. They come in various forms, like pills, chewable tablets, and liquid. Some include decongestants to relieve nasal congestion. There are two types: older ones causing drowsiness and side effects, and newer ones with fewer side effects. It’s essential to choose the right type based on your needs and consult with a doctor if necessary.


What is the number 1 drug for anxiety?

Gabapentin is widely prescribed for anxiety, making up 17.6% of dispensee prescriptions in 2024. It’s primarily for seizures but also helps with anxiety and mental health symptoms.

What is best tablet for anxiety?

Tranquilizers, like Benzodiazepines, are the most prescribed for anxiety. Medications such as Xanax, Klonopin, Valium, and Ativan provide quick relief, usually within 30 minutes to an hour.

What is the best daily medication for panic attacks and anxiety?

The FDA has approved SSRIs like fluoxetine (Prozac), paroxetine (Paxil, Pexeva), and sertraline (Zoloft) for treating panic disorder.

What is the new anxiety medication for 2024?

Another potential treatment, LYT-310 (oral cannabidiol), is set to start clinical trials in Q4 of 2024.

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