Best Medications for Anxiety and Depression

Medical Disclaimer
The medications listed on this website are provided for informational purposes only. Their inclusion does not guarantee that they will be prescribed to any individual, as treatment decisions are ultimately at the discretion of healthcare providers. This list is not exhaustive, and healthcare providers may prescribe other medications, including non-stimulant options, based on the patient's unique health circumstances and needs.

Two of the most prevalent mental health conditions in the US are anxiety and depression. But did you know that having depression and anxiety simultaneously is rather typical? According to the Anxiety and Depression Association of America [4*]  (ADAA), almost 50% of individuals with a diagnosis of depression also have a diagnosis of an anxiety disorder.

You might be concerned about the possibility of receiving two different medications if you or a loved one is given this dual diagnosis. But, there are drugs available to treat both mental health conditions. Your healthcare professional will choose the best treatment for your unique requirements. And this article will give you up-to-date information about the best medications for anxiety and depression.

At the EZCare Clinic, you can consult with top-notch health professionals to make the best decision regarding depression and anxiety meds.

Aspects to Consider

Your healthcare professional may consider various factors when deciding on a prescription that will likely perform well for your depression and anxiety, including the following:

  • Personal attributes: Your healthcare professional will take into account factors like your age, gender, weight, height, and medication intolerance to ensure the treatment and dosage are safe for you.
  • Symptoms: Any disorder may have various symptoms in each patient. For instance, anxiety may cause severe psychological symptoms in some people but more physical symptoms in others. The doctor will determine your medication considering your individual state.
  • Potential side effects: Your doctor will want to know which side effects were the most irritating if you have ever taken a medication. The idea is to choose a prescription with the fewest adverse effects possible because if you experience severe side effects, you are less likely to continue taking it. Trial and error may be necessary. In addition, the doctor will ask you about all the other medications and supplements you are taking to avoid any harmful drug interactions.
  • Pregnancy or breastfeeding: The trade-off between risks and benefits must be considered when deciding which pills can be taken during pregnancy and breastfeeding.
  • Other health conditions: If you have certain physical or mental health disorders, some medications may cause issues for you. If you have any other physical or mental health condition, your doctor will ensure that the medication prescribed won’t cause problems.

Types of Anxiety and Depression Medications

Medications can often help manage symptoms in those with chronic depression or anxiety disorders(such as panic attacks or phobias). The main pharmacological classes for anxiety disorders and depression are as follows:

1. Selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs): SSRIs function by preventing the brain’s nerve cells from reabsorbing serotonin, an essential neurotransmitter for mood control.

2. Serotonin-norepinephrine reuptake inhibitors (SNRIs): These drugs function by lowering the amounts of serotonin and norepinephrine that the brain absorbs.

3. Tricyclic antidepressants (TCAs): They also prevent the reabsorption of norepinephrine and serotonin as SNRIs. Additionally, they impact cholinergic, muscarinic, and histaminergic receptors and decrease their activity, leading to sedation and hypotension. They are typically only administered when other antidepressants have failed to help.

4. Benzodiazepines: These are sedative-hypnotic medications that ease the physical signs of anxiety, such as stiff muscles. They promote relaxation, and their results appear swiftly.

5. Monoamine oxidase inhibitors (MAOIs): They work well, but newer, safer, and less side-effect-prone antidepressants have mostly taken their place. Although MAOIs were initially prescribed for depression, they are occasionally used off-label for anxiety by medical practitioners.

6. Atypical antidepressants: Because they don’t cleanly fit into any other antidepressant categories, these medications are referred to as atypical antidepressants.

7. Other Classes: Your doctor may recommend off-label drugs in addition to the standard antidepressants and anxiety meds to treat your condition. Examples include; beta-blockers, antiepileptic medicines, NMDA, atypical antipsychotics, and skeletal muscle relaxants.

FDA-Approved Anti-anxiety Medications

It is mentioned that several of the FDA-approved [5*]  anti-anxiety pills fall under the above-mentioned categories.

MedicationsClass of Medication
Clonazepam (Klonopin)Benzodiazepines
Alprazolam (Xanax)Benzodiazepines
Diazepam (Valium)Benzodiazepines
Lorazepam (Ativan)Benzodiazepines
Escitalopram (Lexapro)SSRIs
Paroxetine (Paxil)SSRIs
Sertraline (Zoloft)SSRIs
Fluoxetine (Prozac)SSRIs
Venlafaxine (Effexor)SNRIs
Duloxetine (Cymbalta)SNRIs
Buspirone (Buspar)Azapirones


Find the right anxiety medication with the help of our anxiety specialists.

Off-label Anxiety Meds

Several off-label meds for anxiety may be prescribed to patients who do not respond to traditional anxiety treatments. Following are examples of off-label.

MedicationsClass of Medications
Propranolol (Inderal)Beta-blocker
Mirtazapine (Remeron)Atypical antidepressant
Nortriptyline (Pamelor)Tricyclic antidepressants
Phenelzine (Nardil)Monoamine oxidase inhibitors
Pregabalin (Lyrica)Antiepileptic
Gabapentin (Neurontin)Antiepileptic
Memantine (Namenda)NMDA
Quetiapine (Seroquel)Atypical antipsychotic
Risperidone (Risperdal)Atypical antipsychotic
Baclofen (Lioresal)Skeletal muscle relaxants


FDA-Approved Medications for Depression

MedicationsClass of Medications
Citalopram (Celexa)(SSRIs)
Escitalopram oxalate (Lexapro)(SSRIs)
Fluoxetine (Prozac)(SSRIs)
Desvenlafaxine succinate (Pristiq)(SNRIs)
Levomilnacipran (Fetzima)(SNRIs)
Nortriptyline (Pamelor)Tricyclic
Amitriptyline (Elavil)Tricyclic
Maprotiline (Ludiomil)Tetracyclic
Trazodone (Desyrel)Atypical
Mirtazapine (Remeron)Atypical
Bupropion (Wellbutrin)Atypical
Selegiline (Emsam skin patch)(MAOIs)
Isocarboxazid (Marplan)(MAOIs)
Esketamine (Spravato nasal spray)NMDA antagonists


For a complete list of the approved medications, you can refer to the official FDA website [6*] .

Best Medications for Severe Anxiety and Depression

The medication that best matches your condition and helps with the symptoms of both disorders may be prescribed after a detailed assessment conducted by your doctor. The following are typical drugs used to treat comorbid anxiety and depression.

  1. Zoloft (sertraline)
  2. Prozac (fluoxetine)
  3. Lexapro (escitalopram)
  4. Cymbalta (duloxetine)
  5. Nardil (phenelzine sulfate)
  6. Effexor XR (venlafaxine XR)
  7. Pristiq (desvenlafaxine)

End Point

What works for one individual may not work for another when it comes to treating any disorder. It may take some time for you to find the proper medication for depression and anxiety. Ask your doctor what’s best for your symptoms.

Consult doctors at EZCare if your symptoms haven’t subsided by your current medication. They might recommend a different drug that could be better at treating your depression or anxiety.


+6 sources
  1. Anxiety Disorders - Facts & Statistics
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  3. Depression Medicines. (2019)
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  4. Anxiety Disorders - Facts & Statistics
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  6. Depression Medicines. (2019)
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