List of Anxiety Medications: Classifications and Categories

There are a number of anti-anxiety medications available, and they can be classified into several different categories of drugs. Not all medications work equally well for all people, so it may take a few tries and good guidance from a medical professional to find a medication or combination of medications that works well to control your anxiety. Commonly prescribed anxiety medications are as follows;

Selective Serotonin Reuptake Inhibitors (SSRIs)

These are commonly prescribed antidepressants that are also used to treat anxiety disorders such as panic disorder, OCD, PTSD, and social phobia:

  • Fluoxetine (Prozac®)
  • Sertraline (Zoloft®)
  • Paroxetine (Paxil®)
  • Citalopram (Celexa®)
  • Escitalopram (Lexapro®)

Serotonin–norepinephrine reuptake inhibitors (SNRIs)

A class of antidepressants commonly prescribed to treat generalized anxiety disorder (GAD):

  • Venlafaxine (Effexor®)
  • Duloxetine (Cymbalta®)

Benzodiazepines

Most often prescribed for short-term relief of panic disorder, phobias, and generalized anxiety:

  • Alprazolam (Xanax®)
  • Clonazepam (Klonopin®)
  • Diazepam (Valium®)
  • Lorazepam (Ativan®)
  • Oxazepam (Serax®)
  • Chlordiazepoxide (Librium®)

Tricyclic Antidepressants

Used to treat people with both anxiety and depression:

  • Imipramine (Tofranil®) - panic disorder and GAD
  • Clomipramine (Anafranil®) - OCD
  • Desipramine (Norpramin®)
  • Nortriptyline (Aventyl®, Pamelor®)
  • Amitriptyline (Elavil®)
  • Doxepin (Sinequan®)
  • Maprotiline (Ludiomil®)
  • Protriptyline (Vivactil®)
  • Monoamine Oxidase Inhibitors (MAOIs)

Type of antidepressant sometimes prescribed to treat anxiety disorders:

  • Phenelzine (Nardil®)
  • Tranylcypromine (Parnate®)
  • Isocaroxazid (Marplan®)

Beta Blockers

Most often prescribed for social phobia/anxiety; beta blockers treat physical symptoms of anxiety:

  • Propranolol (Inderal®)
  • Atenolol (Tenormin®)

Other

  • Buspirone (BuSpar®) - often compared to benzodiazepines, but a different type of medication used to treat GAD
  • Photo: Pixabay

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