Who Can Prescribe Anxiety Medication?

Who Can Prescribe Anxiety Medication? (Image Source: Shutterstock)

Why Might You Need Anxiety Medication?

Anxiety medication is sometimes necessary if you experience severe anxiety symptoms. Alternatively, anxiety medication could help if you believe you are suffering from one or more anxiety disorders or if you have been diagnosed with one or more anxiety disorders.

  • Excessive anxiety or worry that is difficult to control and ignore
  • Fears of specific situations, objects, or experiences
  • Fatigue
  • Muscle tension
  • Irritability or mood swings
  • Difficulty concentrating
  • Difficulty sleeping or insomnia
  • Panic attacks, which may include sweating, shortness of breath, heart palpitations, and more
  • Avoidance of places, things, or individuals you feel may trigger an anxiety or panic attack
  • Having you complete tests
  • Having you complete screening tools
  • Asking you questions

Medication vs. Therapy: What Should I Know?

While anxiety medication can be helpful, it’s not the only means of treating anxiety or anxiety-related symptoms. Therapy is often recommended for many different anxiety disorders. It is frequently a potent treatment for mild to moderate anxiety or anxiety disorders.

  • Antidepressants like buspirone. These are sometimes prescribed for chronic anxiety conditions
  • Benzodiazepines and beta-blockers, which are prescribed for acute anxiety and/or panic attacks
  • Other anti-anxiety medications

Who Can Legally Prescribe Anxiety Medication?

Regardless of your exact diagnosis and medication needs, you may only receive legitimate prescriptions from licensed healthcare professionals. Not every healthcare professional can legally prescribe anxiety medication to patients. Generally, the healthcare professional must:

  • Be licensed to prescribe medication in general
  • Have an education on anxiety medication and its effects

1. Primary Care Physicians

Primary care physicians or PCPs are trained in general medical practices. They can sometimes prescribe medication for mild anxiety, though they cannot always prescribe medications like benzodiazepines.

2. Psychiatrists

Psychiatrists are advanced medical professionals with specialized degrees. They have training in psychiatry or mental health medication. As a result, they can offer therapy and prescribe psychiatric medication, such as anxiety medication.

3. Psychiatric Nurse Practitioners

Psychiatric nurse practitioners or NPs are specially trained nurses who have extra training in psychiatry. Psychiatric nurse practitioners are not medical doctors. But they are still allowed to prescribe anxiety medications. Depending on your state and the NP, they may also be licensed to offer therapy.


OBGYNs can prescribe anxiety medication under specific circumstances. For example, if you are dealing with postpartum depression, anxiety related to pregnancy, menopause, other hormonal changes, or similar conditions, your OBGYN may prescribe you anxiety medication to treat the symptoms.

5. Psychologists

Psychologists can occasionally prescribe anxiety and other medications. Under most circumstances, psychologists can conduct psychological assessments and provide talk therapy only. They are not normally licensed to prescribe any types of medications.

Where Can You Get Refills of Anxiety Medication?

Like most medications, anxiety medications are meant to be taken regularly. After your initial prescription appointment, your medication provider should ask you to return for a follow-up appointment after several days and/or weeks.

Can You Get Over the Counter Anxiety Medication?

At the time of this writing, there are no FDA-approved anxiety medications you can receive over-the-counter or OTC. You cannot refill or try another anxiety medication by visiting a local pharmacy or drugstore.

Be Your Healthiest Self With 1AND1 Life

At the end of the day, anxiety medication is just one of many tools available to you to help you overcome anxiety symptoms. Eating well, practicing mindfulness, and pursuing holistic wellness may all help you cope with anxiety.



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