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Sofie Wise

Dr. Adonis Saremi

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About Author — Dr. Saremi completed his Master’s Degree (MS) in Applied Physiology and Medical Doctorate (MD) at the Chicago Medical School. He subsequently completed residency training in Internal Medicine at the University of California, San Diego Medical Center. When he’s not working, he enjoys time with his family and the outdoors.

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.

Can an Online Psychiatrist Prescribe Medication?

Yes. Online psychiatrists can write prescriptions for most medications that are approved by the U.S. Food and DrugAdministration (FDA) on your first visit. You may receive a 90-day prescription depending on the treatment plan you and your psychiatrist decide on.

They can also prescribe refills for medications that have been previously prescribed to you, with the exception of all controlled substances.

Online primary care doctors can also write prescriptions for these same medications.

Services like PlushCare have online doctors available every 15 minutes, so you can book an appointment and get a prescription fast. Click below to book!

What is an Online Psychiatrist?

An online psychiatrist works through a computer, telephone, or tablet to treat people with mental health issues. They may write certain prescription medications to help treat mental illnesses such as anxiety and depression.

This practice is also known as telepsychiatry or telehealthcare.

An online psychiatrist can help provide psychological support and counseling through the internet and offers much of the same treatment that an in-person psychiatrist would provide. Convenient, right?

Online Psychiatrists Can Prescribe the Following Medications Online

Online Psychiatrists Cannot Prescribe:

  • Opiates like Morphine, Oxycodone, Vicodin, etc.
  • Medicinal marijuana
  • Antipsychotics like Seroquel, Risperdal, Zyprexa, etc.
  • Controlled ADHD medications like Ritalin, Adderall
  • Other controlled substances like Xanax and Ambien

Read: What is Zoloft and Can I Get a Prescription?

How Do You Get a Prescription From an Online Psychiatrist?

Legally, you must have a consultation with a psychiatrist or other medical professional before you can get a prescription for medication. Then your doctor must send the prescription to the pharmacy of your choice to fill.

Luckily, there are online telehealthcare websites that are legitimate, safe, and discreet.

Seeing an online psychiatrist or doctor will give you access to mental health treatment in the comfort of your own home.

Sites like PlushCare operate in all 50 states and offer appointments with a trusted primary care doctor or psychiatrist via telephone or video chat, where you can get a proper evaluation and prescription for medications that may work for you.

To speak with an experienced doctor at PlushCare, just click here or call (888) 660-5348 to make an online appointment and discuss with a doctor the risks and benefits of possible psychiatric medications and if they are right for you.

see a doctor, get a prescription

How Does an Online Psychiatrist Work?

An online psychiatrist or online doctor offers services through hospitals, mental health clinics, and tele-healthcare websites like PlushCare.

During a scheduled appointment with PlushCare you will meet with an online doctor who will ask you questions and provide you with consultation, just as you would find in a traditional office setting.

Your first online session will most likely include a brief orientation and an opportunity for you to provide your consent for treatment.

Your physician will ask you about any current medical conditions, medications you take, and any physical symptoms you may be experiencing. They will also ask you about any concerns that may be troubling you.

At the end of your session, your doctor will assess your situation and may offer some suggestions for the next session.

They may also prescribe medications they feel will benefit your treatment.

What’s the Difference Between a Psychiatrist and a Psychologist?

Both psychiatrists and psychologists are involved in identifying issues that can affect your mood, feelings, thoughts, and emotions.

There are, however, a few distinct differences:

Psychologists use tools such as psychological testing, psychotherapy, and behavioral intervention to treat mental and emotional issues. Generally, they receive a doctoral degree in psychology and then complete one to two years of an internship.

Psychiatrists graduate from medical school, become medical doctors, and then receive four years of specialized training in their specific field of mental health. They are licensed to provide psychotherapy and prescribe medications.

Read: What’s the Difference Between a Psychiatrist and a Therapist?

Benefits of Seeing a Psychiatrist Online

Consulting with an online psychiatrist can have many benefits. It can be more convenient to see a psychiatrist when you don’t have to travel to an office. You may also experience an easier time booking an appointment and receiving care without long wait times. 

You can set an appointment that works for you, especially if you work during the day and need to set up an evening appointment.

Many people find it easier to communicate their feelings when using the phone or a video conference during their online psychiatrist appointment.

The privacy and safety of being at home may help you express yourself more freely.

Some studies have shown that the treatment success rates of in-office appointments versus online telehealthcare appointments are very similar. Telehealthcare has also been shown to be effective for a wide range of mental health issues.

The price of an online psychiatrist visit is also usually affordable, as state and private healthcare insurance companies can typically cover some or all of the cost.

Read more of our psychiatric series:


The American Journal of Psychiatry. (2017). Patient-Targeted Googling and Psychiatry: A Brief Review and Recommendations in Practice.

BetterHelp. (2019). Psychiatrists Online: Reasons To Choose An Online Psychiatrist.

British Medical Journal: Journal of Neurology, Neurosurgery & Psychiatry. (2003). Internet Resources for Psychiatry and Neuropsychiatry.

Hilty DM, Ferrer DC, Parish MB, et al. The effectiveness of telemental health: a 2013 review. Telemed J E Health. 2013 Jun;19(6):444-54. 

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