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.
Po-Chang Hsu, M.D.
Dr. Hsu received his medical degree from Tufts University in Boston, Massachusetts, and holds a Master’s of Science degree from both Harvard University and Tufts University. Outside of the medical profession, Dr. Hsu loves to write, learn new languages, and travel.
March 16, 2021
Yes, there are certain over-the-counter medications or remedies you can take to ease symptoms of anxiety:
If you find yourself crippled by an overwhelming feeling of fear, nervousness, worry, or an unshakable sense of dread, you may have one of many types of anxiety disorder.
In other words, the brains of anxiety sufferers produce an excessive amount of stress hormones and a distinct deficit of “happy chemicals.” This means that the most effective method of combating anxiety disorder is to manage the levels of hormones being produced by the user’s brain. The most effective anxiety medications alter the brain’s chemistry and cannot be sold over the counter.
There are, however, many medications and supplements intended to help relieve anxiety symptoms that don’t require a prescription.
Although there is no equivalent to prescription anxiety medications available over-the-counter at typical stores or pharmacies, you can take natural supplements to help aid your anxiety symptoms. Anxiety is relieved by either increasing serotonin levels or decreasing the level of stress hormones produced by the brain. Here is a list of over-the-counter medications that can treat anxiety symptoms:
Over-the-counter anxiety medication is different from prescription medications in several ways.
It should be noted that over-the-counter anxiety medication is not, at least clinically, as effective as prescription medication. This does not mean that OTC medication doesn’t work at all, of course – only that the effects are often more subtle and take longer to kick in.
The advantages that over-the-counter medications have over prescriptions are also considerable. Side effects can be very severe for those who take prescription drugs. The side effects of anxiety medications like benzodiazepines and SSRI/SNRIs can be very intense for the first few weeks of use and even long-term.
OTC medications, by contrast, have little to no side effects. There is also considerably less risk of developing dependency or addiction from taking OTC medications. In certain cases, pre-existing conditions and current prescriptions can interfere with the effects of OTC remedies. If you have a pre-existing condition or current prescriptions, you should consider talking to a doctor before starting any over the counter medications for anxiety.
According to the Mayo Clinic, “Several herbal remedies have been studied as a treatment for anxiety, but more research is needed to understand the risks and benefits. Herbal and dietary supplements aren’t monitored by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) the same way medications are. You can’t always be certain of what you’re getting and whether it’s safe.”
With that said, some natural store-bought remedies can be helpful for those dealing with anxiety. Here is a brief list of natural over-the-counter anxiety medications that are natural and available at most common stores:
What is the best over-the-counter anxiety medication? The answer to that question depends on the individual. The effectiveness and safety of OTC medication depend on your psychological makeup and medical history. For example, having nervous system issues may interfere with the effectiveness of magnesium, or experiencing a sleeping disorder may make sedatives dangerous.
It’s important to have a detailed understanding of your body before choosing a medication to take. The best way to build a solid blueprint of your medication options is to consult with a healthcare professional. You can make an appointment on our telehealth partner PlushCare, and develop a treatment plan for your anxiety with a trained healthcare professional.
If you think you may benefit from prescription-strength anxiety medication, online doctors are a convenient and affordable way to discuss your options and get your prescription. Our trusted telehealth partner PlushCare even offers medication delivery to make your experience seamless. Talk to a doctor to get anxiety medication prescribed and delivered here.
If you are looking for over-the-counter remedies for anxiety, you can hop over to your local store and find supplements, essential oils, and such very quickly.
You can get consultations on anxiety medications online from the comfort of your home. Telemedicine has enabled healthcare professionals to make appointments with patients and prescribe medication in a remote environment.
If you’re looking for a doctor to discuss prescription medication with or an expert that can recommend the best over-the-counter anxiety medications, schedule an appointment through our partner site PlushCare.
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