Anxiety and Prescription Medicine International

Anxiety and Prescription Medicines

What Is Anxiety?

Feeling nervous, worried, or afraid is common, but usually short-term. However, the feelings may last longer and get worse over time. Anxiety is also likely to create problems with relationships, work or school, or almost any activity.

What Are The Symptoms Of Anxiety?

Our assessment has questions about anxiety symptoms including:

  • Feeling nervous, anxious, or on edge

  • Not being able to stop or control worrying

  • Worrying too much about different things

  • Trouble relaxing

  • Being so restless it is hard to sit still

  • Becoming easily annoyed or irritable

  • Feeling afraid, as if something awful might happen

These symptoms have occurred at least several days over the past two weeks. And, they may make it difficult for you to do your work, take care of things at home, or get along with people.

How Common Are Anxiety Disorders?

Anxiety disorders, meaning an actual diagnosis of anxiety, are quite common. For example, a national study of adults in the U.S. estimated close to 20% had an anxiety disorder in the previous year. The study determined that anxiety disorders were more common in women than men.

What Is The Treatment For Anxiety?

The treatment for anxiety is based on the individual, their specific diagnosis, and their symptoms. Treatment may include a combination of prescription medicines, counseling or therapy, relaxation and stress reduction, physical activity, lifestyle changes, and complementary treatments (e.g. mindfulness meditation, yoga, etc).

For most people, treatment consists of a combination of therapies. For example, you may start seeing a therapist, begin taking anti-anxiety medicine, establish a regular exercise routine, and try daily meditation.

What If I Need Prescription Medicines?

Depending on your symptoms, you may benefit from prescription medicines. At this time, Goodpath does not provide prescription medications but you can still participate in the rest of your Goodpath program.

Family doctors can oftentimes prescribe these medications or they can refer you to a mental health doctor (psychiatrist) for anti-anxiety medicine. Before prescribing medicine, the doctor will explain the effects, the side effects, the costs, as well as your preferences.

Which Prescriptions Are Used To Treat Anxiety?

There are several types (classes) of medicines to treat anxiety. The way they are prescribed varies. It depends on many factors, such as the type of anxiety, a person’s medical history and symptoms, an individual’s response to the medicine, and possible side effects. When prescribing medicine for anxiety:

  • Doses may be gradually increased.

  • They may be prescribed short- or long-term.

  • Medicines may be added or changed.

Prescription Medicines

Different groups (classes) of medicines may be used to treat anxiety. Note: Some antidepressant medicines are effective in the long-term treatment of anxiety.

The classes contain many different medicines. Their names and availability vary from country to country.

Antidepressant and Anti-Anxiety Prescription Medicines

The most commonly prescribed antidepressant medicines for anxiety are in two groups. They are the selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs) and the serotonin-norepinephrine reuptake inhibitors (SNRIs).

Benzodiazepines are a class of prescription anti-anxiety medicines. Although they are commonly used, they are associated with risk of substance use disorder and overdose.

Common Antidepressant Medicines Used for Anxiety in the U.S. and Canada

  • SSRIs. Sertraline (Zoloft), paroxetine (Paxil) and escitalopram (Lexapro or Cipralex).

  • SNRIs. Venlafaxine (Effexor XR) and duloxetine (Cymbalta).

Common Anti-anxiety Medicines in the U.S. and Canada

Benzodiazepines. Alprazolam (Xanax), diazepam (Valium), clonazepam (Klonopin or Rivotril), lorazepam (Ativan).

Is Treatment Follow-up Needed?

Once you start taking medicine for anxiety, it is extremely important for you to follow up with your doctor.

Follow-up is necessary to monitor your response to the medicine and adjust the dose as needed. Your doctor can also help identify any side effects or safety issues.

As you improve, your doctor may suggest a plan to slowly taper the medicine. They will carefully monitor you for worsening symptoms. 

IMPORTANT! Do not stop taking your medicine without specific instructions from your doctor.


If your symptoms are very severe or if you have thoughts of harming yourself, you should get help right away. 


Canada 1-833-456-4566 (Talk Suicide Canada) or 1-866-277-3553 (Quebec)

United States 988

Australia 13-11-14 or 000

France 0033-145-39-4000 or 01-46-21-46-46

Germany 116-123 or 0800-111-0-111

Italy 112 or 800-86-00-22

Japan 03-5774-0992

Netherlands 113

Poland 116-123

South Korea 1588-9191

Spain 024

Switzerland 143

UK 116-123 or 111

For More Information

National Institute of Mental Health (2022). Anxiety Disorders. Retrieved 7-28-2022 from

National Institute of Mental Health (2022). Mental Health Medications. Retrieved 7-28-2022 from

Government of Canada (2023). Benzodiazepines. Retrieved 8-23-2023 from