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Top Anxiety Attack Medications

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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reviewBy Reviewed by: Ken Cosby M.D.

Ken Cosby M.D.

Dr. Ken Cosby received his medical degree from Howard University College of Medicine (Washington, DC) and completed his research post-doc work at Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine and the National Institutes of Health including the National Heart Lung Blood Institute and the National Cancer Institute.

March 1, 2021 Read Time - 8 minutes

Please Note: Online doctors are unable to prescribe controlled substances such as benzodiazepines. That said, online doctors can prescribe highly effective and less risky non-controlled substances such as antidepressants to treat anxiety attacks. Read on to learn more.

What Are Anxiety Attack Medications?

The Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM-5) does not recognize anxiety attacks as a condition. According to the DSM-5, anxiety is defined as excessive worry occurring more days than not, for at least 6 months. For the purposes of this article, the term “anxiety attack” will be used to reference overwhelming symptoms of anxiety.

Although taking medication for anxiety attacks isn’t right for everyone, it can be a necessary and incredibly helpful treatment for many who struggle with anxiety attacks. Some examples of medications your primary care doctor or psychiatrist might suggest for anxiety attacks include: 

  • Benzodiazepines
  • Serotonin and norepinephrine reuptake inhibitors (SNRIs)
  • Selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs)

Which class and specific medication your doctor prescribes will be based on your symptoms, medical history and preference. 

What is The Best Medication for Panic Attacks and Anxiety?

There is no “best” anxiety attack medication, and what works best for you is completely personal. 

That said, benzodiazepines are highly effective, fast acting anxiety and panic attack medications. The most commonly prescribed benzodiazepines are:

  • Xanax
  • Klonopin
  • Ativan
  • Valium
  • Restoril  

Online doctors are unable to write prescriptions for benzodiazepines as they are classified as a controlled substance. Benzodiazepines have potential for addiction and abuse and can lead to overdose. This class of medications is not for everyone, they are prescribed very carefully and require close monitoring by your doctor. 

SSRIs are also considered top medications for anxiety attacks and are commonly prescribed.

 Top SSRI medications for anxiety attacks are:

  • Prozac
  • Zoloft 
  • Paxil
  • Luvox
  • Lexapro
  • Celexa

SSRIs are highly effective at preventing anxiety attacks and come with less risks for addiction and abuse than benzodiazepines. Online doctors are able to prescribe all SSRIs during a virtual video appointment, assuming prescription medication is necessary for treatment. 

  • 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.


Getting an Anxiety Attack Prescription

When discussing plans with a doctor through PlushCare, or elsewhere, it’s important to be your own advocate and know the options available to you for anxiety attack medications that can help stop panic and anxiety attacks.  

Everybody’s mind and body reacts differently in some ways to medications, so provide your doctor with all the information you can about your medical needs and history. 

It’s also completely normal to try out different anxiety medications if the first one you try doesn’t work for you. 

As with any medication, keep in mind that side effects are always a risk. Make sure to talk to your doctor about possible side effects, and discuss other conditions that may interfere with anxiety attack medications, such as pregnancy or other medications you might be on. 

What Are Side Effects of Anxiety Attack Medications? 

A few side effects caused by anxiety medications include: 

  • Blurry vision
  • Weight gain
  • Drowsiness
  • Fatigue
  • Dry mouth 
  • Sweating 
  • Sexual Problems 
  • Headaches

These are just a few examples of common side effects in certain medications for anxiety attacks. 

Each different anti-anxiety medication has its own list of potential side effects, and even then, each individual may experience none of them, some of them, or all of them. This is why it is so important to discuss anti-anxiety medications with your doctor or pharmacist, understand the risks, and be open to trying a new medication if the first one you try doesn’t work out. 

Read: Am I Having an Anxiety Attack?

Are There Any Medications Over the Counter for Anxiety? 

If you’re not yet ready to commit to taking a medication prescribed by a doctor, or you’ve been advised not to, you might be wondering if there is anything to treat anxiety over-the-counter. 

The truth is, any medication that is solely intended to treat anxiety or anxiety attacks will need to be prescribed by a doctor. This is where PlushCare comes in handy, because you can speak to a doctor from the comfort of your home, and have your prescription sent to your local pharmacy or delivered to your door. 

Any “over-the-counter anxiety medication” is not technically an anxiety medication, and the use of certain medications with sedative effects should be discussed in detail with a doctor. 

If you are suffering from anxiety attacks, it is highly advisable to reach out to a medical professional and create a treatment plan with them rather than self treat.

Natural Remedies for Anxiety 

Just as therapy and anxiety attack medications can be used together, you can also integrate natural remedies into your treatment plan for anxiety. 

Unlike using over-the-counter medications as a quick fix for your mental health, natural remedies are typically less dangerous. That said, before trying any natural remedies or new diets it is important to consult with a medical professional and disclose your medical history. 

Some great examples of herbal remedies or dietary changes that could help with anxiety include: 

  • Topically applying or diffusing essential oils
  • Changing your diet
  • Taking vitamin D and Omega-3 vitamin supplements

In addition to herbs and vitamins, changing your lifestyle can drastically improve anxiety. Some practices you might consider adding to your routine include:

  • Meditation 
  • Joining a support group
  • Avoiding caffeine, smoking, and recreational drugs 
  • Getting sufficient rest 
  • Staying physically active 

While these natural or homeopathic suggestions can be excellent additions to your mental health care plan, understand that they should not be considered as substitutes for anxiety attack medication. 

Oftentimes, these kinds of solutions are great for people who experience occasional anxiety, but for those who have anxiety disorders, the use of anxiety attack medication might be necessary. 

Regardless of your preferences, it’s always a smart idea to discuss any practices, herbal supplements, or vitamins that you’re taking or wish to try out as a supplement to your anxiety medication with a physician. 

Treatment for Anxiety 

While anxiety attack medication might be the first thing that comes to mind as treatment for anxiety attacks or other anxiety disorders, there are plenty of different treatments for anxiety, and it’s important to take into consideration all the options. 

While it may take trying out different treatments for anxiety, or a combination of a few, we at PlushCare are here to provide you with the best information, and ultimately get you connected with a trustworthy doctor that can help you find a treatment plan that works best for your mental health. 

Besides anxiety attack medication, there are a few different routes that you can take towards managing your anxiety. Some of these include: 

  • Psychotherapy. This kind of therapy, also sometimes referred to simply as talk therapy, is a great first choice to try out before, or along with anxiety attack medication. A therapist, psychologist, or psychiatrist can help you understand your anxiety, and figure out ways to cope with it. 
  • Cognitive behavioral therapy. Cognitive therapy is a form of psychotherapy that can help you identify the root of your anxiety. According to the Mayo Clinic, one method of cognitive therapy your therapist may try is to help you recreate similar situations of your anxiety attacks in a safe space, and understand that you are not in true danger. 

For many who struggle with anxiety attacks, a combination of therapies and medication will gradually help decrease anxiety attacks, and make your day to day life easier. It’s important to reach out to a medical professional, create a comprehensive plan, and try out therapies and anxiety attack medications under the watchful eye of an experienced professional. 

  • 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.


Get Anxiety Attack Medication Online  

Anyone can use PlushCare to speak to a healthcare professional about whether or not medication is the right solution for your anxiety attacks. Book a same day appointment with a top online doctor and get diagnosed, discuss treatment plans, and get prescribed anxiety medication by a professional, all from the comfort of your home. 

Interested in therapy? We can help there too. Chat with one of our top therapists today by booking a session here

Read More About Anxiety Attack Medication


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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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