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How to Get Anxiety Medication

writtenByWritten by: Sydney Garrow
Sydney Garrow

Sydney Garrow

Sydney is a contributing health writer and editor who enjoys shedding light on health topics, making information available to anyone who wants it, and ending stigmas or lack of access to care and treatment.

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January 11, 2021 Read Time - 8 minutes

Learn How You Can Get Anxiety Medication

If you’re wondering how to get anxiety medication, it’s important to seek out the appropriate resources and mental health professionals. If you feel like anxiety medication might help you manage an anxiety disorder better, discussing options with your psychiatrist or primary care doctor is the first step.

Read on to learn more about how to get anxiety medication and other top anxiety treatments.

  • Book on our free mobile app or website.

    Our doctors operate in all 50 states and same day appointments are available every 15 minutes.

  • See a doctor, get treatment and a prescription at your local pharmacy.

  • Use your health insurance just like you normally would to see your doctor.

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Where Do You Go to Get Anxiety Medication?

Although you can seek out natural remedies or herbal supplements that might aid with some anxiety, there are no over-the-counter options for anxiety medications. 

In order to get anxiety medications, you must have a medical doctor or a psychiatrist write a prescription. If you’re already seeing a therapist or psychologist, they could refer you to a licensed psychiatrist with the ability to write prescriptions. 

Or you could talk to your primary care doctor about treatment options for your anxiety. 

Should I Go to My Doctor or a Psychiatrist for Anxiety Medication?

Both primary care physicians and psychiatrists are great resources for anxiety medication. 

While psychiatrists are mental health experts, they can be very expensive and may be out of reach to many people. The average psychiatrist appointment without insurance is $400. 

For those with mild to moderate anxiety and depression, there’s really no reason to see an expensive specialist. Primary care physicians are highly qualified to diagnose and treat anxiety. You can even meet with a PlushCare doctor online to get anxiety medication prescribed and sent to your local pharmacy.

For those with severe anxiety or multiple mental health disorders, a psychiatrist may be the better choice. If you’re not sure where to start, talk to a doctor and see if they think you need a referral to a psychiatrist.

When to See a Psychiatrist for Anxiety Medication:

  • You have severe anxiety
  • You have multiple mental health disorders
  • You have tried many anxiety medications and none seem to be working

You have been referred by a medical professional

When to See a Doctor for Anxiety Medication:

  • You have mild to moderate anxiety 
  • You have not gotten an official mental health diagnosis
  • You want to learn more about your treatment options
  • You’re interested in trying mental health medication
  • Browse our network of top therapist to find one that matches your needs.

  • Get private and secure emotional support weekly from your dedicated therapist.

  • Experience comprehensive care with unlimited access to your care team and primary care physician.

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Who Else Can Give Prescriptions for Anxiety Medication? 

As a general rule of thumb only medical doctors such as PCPs and psychiatrists can prescribe anxiety medication.

By seeing an anxiety doctor such as a physician, or psychiatrist, you can be prescribed medication to help manage your anxiety. 

If you see a doctor online, there are limitations to what they can prescribe. For example, online doctors cannot prescribe medications designated as controlled substances by the FDA. 

In some states, other medical practitioners besides doctors can prescribe medications under certain circumstances. This could include: 

  • Licensed physician’s assistants (P.A.)
  • Nurse practitioners
  • Pharmacists
  • Clinical psychologists

What are Common Anxiety Medications? 

Examples of medications you can take for anxiety include: 

  • Benzodiazepines. This medication can relieve symptoms of anxiety by calming your muscles and mind, due to increasing the effects of certain neurotransmitters. Some examples of this kind of anxiety medication include: 
    • Alprazolam (Xanax)
    • Chlordiazepoxide (Librium)
    • Clonazepam (Klonopin)
    • Diazepam (Valium)
    • Lorazepam (Ativan)

It is important to note that PlushCare cannot prescribe Benzodiazepines, since they are a controlled substance. Thus, they cannot be prescribed online.These anxiety medications are habit forming, and are usually meant for short-term treatment due to some of their limiting side effects. 

  • Buspirone. This is a drug that is used for both short and long-term treatment of anxiety. It can take up to several weeks to become effective. 
  • Antidepressants. While most people might associate antidepressants with treating depression, this classification of medicine can also help with the symptoms of anxiety disorders. Some examples of antidepressants include: 
    • Selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs)
    • Tricyclics 
    • Monoamine oxidase inhibitors (MAOIs)
  • Beta-blockers. This medication is also used for heart conditions, yet may be used off-label to help with anxiety disorders, especially social anxiety. 

It’s important to discuss all anxiety medication options with your doctor or psychiatrist, and remember that every medication comes with the potential side effects. 

What is the Fastest-Acting Anxiety Medication?

The fastest acting anxiety drugs are Benzodiazepines. These are intended to be taken at the onset of an anxiety or panic attack.

Some medications take multiple weeks to begin to fully work, while others will relieve you of anxiety symptoms immediately. 

While everyone reacts to medications differently, Benzodiazepines tend to show immediate results, but can be incredibly habit-forming, and are usually only used for short-term treatment of anxiety disorders. 

How Long Does Anxiety Medication Take to Work?

The time it takes for an anxiety medication to start working will vary and depend on the type of medication.

Benzodiazepines tend to start working quickly, typically within an average range of 30 minutes to an hour. 

While Benzodiazepines work the fastest, they are not great long-term solutions, as their side effects (such as dizziness and drowsiness) make daily life difficult. They are also habit-forming, so should not be used in excess to treat your anxiety disorder, or used without a prescription from a licensed medical professional. 

Here are common Benzodiazepines and how long they take to work:

  • Xanax usually starts to work within 1 to 2 hours
  • Klonopin (clonazepam) starts to work in about 20 minutes to 1 hour
  • Valium tends to start working within 30 minutes to 1 hour
  • Llorazepam (Ativan) begins working within 1 hour

Antidepressants take longer to start working. On average, antidepressants typically take 4 to 6 weeks to become active, though this may vary depending on the medication.

As a form of anxiety medication, antidepressants have less of a risk for addiction than Benzodiazepines. Consult your doctor before starting a new anxiety medication and learn more about the different options that may be available.

  • Take your free mental health assessment.

    Your results will help determine which type of support you may benefit from the most.

  • Meet with a top doctor, get an official diagnosis and prescription treatment plan.

  • Sit back and have your prescription delivered to your door.

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What Can I Take Over the Counter for Anxiety?

There are no over the counter medications for anxiety disorders. However, there are some natural supplements and herbal remedies you can take to help deal with some feelings of anxiety from time to time. Always talk to your doctor before beginning new natural anxiety treatments.

Some of these drug-store fixes for anxiety include: 

  • Chamomile. Chamomile tea, or a chamomile supplement can have relaxing effects on your system, and potentially combat some side effects of anxiety. 
  • Essential oils. Using a diffuser, you can inhale essential oils, which have also been proven to provide some level of anxiety relief. Some essential oils that can be used for aromatherapy for anxiety include: 
    • Lavender 
    • Neroli 
    • Chamomile 

How to Relieve Anxiety Naturally 

In addition to essential oils and supplements, there are many lifestyle changes that can help with anxiety relief, and either supplement your anxiety medication, or be used in place of it: 

  • Meditation
  • Daily exercise 
  • Healthy diet
  • Avoiding alcohol 
  • Ditching nicotine 
  • Joining a support group

While there are no medications for anxiety over the counter, you can speak with your doctor about some of the options listed above, and find out if they might be better for you than getting anxiety medications. 

How Can I Get Rid of Anxiety Fast? 

The fastest way to get rid of anxiety is to book a same-day appointment with a PlushCare doctor to get an official diagnosis and treatment plan

Some techniques to help you through an anxiety attack include: 

  • Take deep breaths
  • Remind yourself you are not in danger, and the symptoms you’re experiencing are caused by anxiety the symptoms of your attack are frightening, but not necessarily dangerous
  • Keep someone with you if possible, and if it helps you 

If you feel that your anxiety has gotten out of hand, and you’re wondering how to get anxiety medication, you can get help online through PlushCare, from the comfort of your home. 

  • Book on our free mobile app or website.

    Our doctors operate in all 50 states and same day appointments are available every 15 minutes.

  • See a doctor, get treatment and a prescription at your local pharmacy.

  • Use your health insurance just like you normally would to see your doctor.

PlushCare-App-Steps

How to Get Anxiety Medication Online

If you need to get anxiety treatment, the quality doctors at PlushCare can prescribe certain anxiety medications, and work with you to find the right medication. 

Here is how you get anxiety medication online with PlushCare:

  • Step 1: Book an appointment with one of our knowledgeable doctors from the top 50 U.S. medical schools.
  • Step 2: Use the PlushCare app to speak with a doctor on your smartphone. The doctor may prescribe an anxiety medication based on your diagnosis.
  • Step 3: Pick up your anxiety medication prescription from a nearby local pharmacy, or join our Mental Health Medication Delivery Program.
  • Step 4: Chat with your dedicated care team on the app anytime to get helpful answers.

Some of the top antidepressants that our doctors at PlushCare prescribe are:

  • Paxil
  • Lexapro
  • Zoloft
  • Prozac
  • Celexa

You can also talk to a therapist from the comfort of your own home, and create coping mechanisms to deal with anxiety and its symptoms. 


Read More About Getting Anxiety Medication


Please Note: PlushCare does not have online psychiatrists at this time. That said, our primary care physicians are able to prescribe mental health medications such as antidepressants, and if necessary can provide you with a referral to a psychiatrist.

References

Mayoclinic.org. Anxiety Disorders. Accessed on January 8, 2021. https://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/anxiety/diagnosis-treatment/drc-20350967

Nimh.nih.gov. Anxiety Disorders. Accessed on January 8, 2021. https://www.nimh.nih.gov/health/topics/anxiety-disorders/index.shtml

Nimh.gov. Treatment of anxiety disorders. Accessed on January 8, 2021. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5573566/ 

Helpguide.org. Anxiety, Accessed on January 8, 2021. https://www.helpguide.org/articles/anxiety/anxiety-medication.htm

Most PlushCare articles are reviewed by M.D.s, Ph.Ds, N.P.s, nutritionists and other healthcare professionals. Click here to learn more and meet some of the professionals behind our blog. The PlushCare blog, or any linked materials are not intended and should not be construed as medical advice, nor is the information a substitute for professional medical expertise or treatment. For more information click here.

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