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Are there any anti-anxiety medications available over-the-counter?

anti-anxiety medications available over-the-counter

Anxiety is a condition that generally worsens after teenage, as it is characterized by the feeling of fear and worry, which are so strong that it affects your day-to-day activities. Most people look for immediate relief when going through intense anxiety; using medications as they are the only thing right now that could give immediate relief to a problem like anxiety.

Research has shown that the medications available are prescription-only. Every person suffering from such a condition wonders if any over-the-counter medications are available for anxiety to get immediate relaxation.

Unfortunately, there are no approved over-the-counter medications available for a problem like stress, but there are some things you can take without a prescription that may give you relief from anxiety, it has similar effects to medication and has the potential to energize anxiety medication benefits.

Depending only on medications is not the right thing to do. Still, the current situation states that most people prefer medication over any other alternatives; knowing the proper knowledge could easily solve your problem.

In this blog, we have given information about alternatives that could comfort you from anxiety and why most of the medications are prescription only. To know if any anti-anxiety medications are ever offered over-the-counter, keep reading this!

Why most of the medications are prescription only?

Prescription drugs are the drugs that legally require a medical prescription to distribute. However, problems like stress and anxiety occur in the brain and affect it adversely, so always consult a doctor or a specialist when taking a drug that works on the brain. Hence these medications are considered under controlled substances.

Anxiety is not a disease that could be solved by taking any medication for a week or month; it depends on your way of living and how you feel and think about things around you that might affect your brain, creating stress in your body.

An important point to note is that you don’t completely depend on any prescribed medicine or over-the-counter medicine; you need to change your way of thinking and feel optimistic about the things that come your way. In addition, it may involve learning to tackle the issues that might cause stress, something that any prescribed or OTC medications won’t do.

Many anxiety medications are also used as drugs and considered to be potential for abuse. There are specific ways to consume the drug which might cause significant mental imbalance. If these medications are available over-the-counter, these drugs will primarily be sold off label, which is too dangerous.

If these drugs are taken with prescription, it might be helpful because doctors will inform you with proper way and proportion of the consumed medication. However, these pills directly affect the brain and work by altering your body’s production and reception of neurotransmitters that help reduce stress but can have side effects and be very dangerous if taken in more amount.

It’s a kind of situation that could occur if the medicines are not prescribed, so the medications are not simply sold over-the-counter to avoid any significant risk for the community. Taking any non-prescribed medicine would affect your health as there would be no information about warnings and side effects. So, if you are taking any medication, always prefer for prescribed one, which is a safer option.

Will anti-anxiety medications ever be offered over-the counter?

Over-the-counter medications are directly sold to the user without any prescription taken by doctors or healthcare professionals, and this is the only reason why most remedies are not available easily over-the-counter. Drugs contain a powerful active ingredient that could affect your brain must be taken with prescription, and anxiety drugs contain such ingredients. Hence, any anti-anxiety medications are not available OTC, but there may be a day when anxiety medications will be taken without any prescription.

We have to use alternative medicines that can cure anxiety problems like buspirone, which is a bit less powerful and could be a good alternative. The drug is still helpful for mild anxiety and has lesser side effects.

We will talk based on possibilities, as studies and research didn’t help this time to get a guaranteed result of offering anti-anxiety medications over-the-counter. Buspirone may be released someday, but the only problem is that the relief is not instant, and it may also take several days to start the effect of the medication.

Being an alternative for anxiety drugs, it is compared to benzodiazepines and other prescription medications; the results are not in favor of buspirone. There is a hope that someday anxiety medicines will be available over-the-counter. Still, the criteria for coming under prescription medications are not viable for the anti-anxiety drug.

Here is the list of alternatives for anxiety meds over the counter

We hope that any anxiety medicine would be available over-the-counter in the future, but we can use alternatives for that. Several options can be used to treat stress until any treatment is available over-the-counter, which are as follows.


Some studies and research have shown that it is an herbal supplement used as anxiety medication. Though this herb is available without any prescription, still take this medicine under the supervision of any healthcare professional since it can interact with alcohol and other medicines. 


It is an extract of the cannabis plant which is known as Cannabidiol. CBD oil has minimal THC (the drug that causes the high), generally taken from industrial hemp.

The oil is not entirely recommended because of its questionable legality and lack of research. Still, the studies have shown that this extract may have ingredients that could relieve anxiety. Take advice from the doctor before using CBD oil to avoid any risk. 


Regular exercise releases hormones like calming endorphins and burns the stress hormone cortisol. If you suffer from any stress and want quick relief, then a 30-minute jog or 1-hour gym would be very beneficial.  It is seen that an intense exercise may mimic the effects of anxiety drugs.

Water and Magnesium

Keeping your body hydrated is a solution for many issues in the body, and sometimes lack of essential nutrients can cause uneasiness and anxiety in some cases. So, intake of more water and magnesium may not completely reduce your anxiety but could comfort you that might take off your mind from the stress. 

5-HTP, L-Tryptophan, or Sam-e

Research has shown that increasing serotonin levels in the brain might help reduce anxiety symptoms as it has a strong connection for most people. To increase the serotonin level in the brain, natural health promoters suggested using these three supplements 5-HTP, L-Tryptophan, and Sam-e. These supplements are available over-the-counter for those who want to give them a try.


From the blog, we concluded that don’t get utterly dependent on medications to get relief. There are many natural practices or remedies that you could try for instant comfort, like meditation, using a lavender essential oil, and intake of processed food with low sugar.

The anti-anxiety drugs are not available over-the-counter as they don’t come under the legal criteria of the pharmaceutical sector. In the future anti-anxiety medicines might be available OTC till then use the alternatives that could relieve stress.


Bushnell, G. A., Compton, S. N., Dusetzina, S. B., Gaynes, B. N., Brookhart, M. A., Walkup, J. T., Rynn, M. A., & Stürmer, T. (2018). Treating Pediatric Anxiety: Initial Use of SSRIs and Other Antianxiety Prescription Medications. The Journal of clinical psychiatry79(1), 16m11415. https://doi.org/10.4088/JCP.16m11415 Accessed on 19/06/2021

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