Sadly, there are no approved over-the-counter anxiety drugs at this time. While not medications per se, there are a few items you can take without a prescription that, while not medications per se, may be able to relieve your symptoms. These substances either have effects that are similar to or have the ability to mimic those of anxiety medications.
Anxiety is a serious illness. Many people want immediate comfort when experiencing extreme anxiety. The only thing that can instantly ease severe anxiety is medication, but regrettably, most of these drugs are only available with a prescription. To acquire the quick comfort they require, a lot of individuals question if there are any over-the-counter drugs for anxiety.
Due to symptoms like a quick heartbeat, excessive sweating, insomnia, and restlessness, anxiety can seriously interfere with your daily life. Even though there are many strategies to deal with and control anxiety, many people turn to medicine, particularly those who have anxiety disorders that have severe symptoms.
Again, Unfortunately, there are no over-the-counter drugs for anxiety; they may only be obtained with a prescription. Over-the-counter anxiety medications do not exist. Because anxiety medication changes the brain, it is a regulated chemical that you can only get from a doctor.
On the other side, there are items you may buy over the counter that are not prescription drugs for anxiety and that you can use. These things may ease some anxiety and stress symptoms, but they won’t have the same effects as over-the-counter anxiety medications.
Will Over-the-Counter Anxiety Drugs Ever Be Offered?
There might come a time when anxiety medications are available over the counter. Some drugs, like Buspirone, are a little less potent but still effective for treating mild anxiety. They also have fewer adverse effects. It’s possible that a drug similar to Buspirone will one day be available, but considering that it may take a few days for the medication to begin working (there won’t be any immediate relief) and that it isn’t as potent as benzodiazepines and other prescription drugs, it might not be the best option.
There will eventually be an over-the-counter anxiety drug, but as of right now, none of the pharmaceuticals exist that would be suitable for such a position.
Why Do Medications Require a Prescription Only?
For a reason, anxiety drugs are considered controlled narcotics. Anything potent enough to impact the brain should probably only be used when prescribed by a doctor because anxiety is a brain condition.
However, it should be noted that even if you were able to use an over-the-counter (OTC) drug, you might not want to. Anxiety is not a condition that can be treated with medication for a week at a time. You need to alter the way you feel and think about it. That requires you to develop coping mechanisms for the problems that stress you out; drugs can’t do that.
Drugs can reduce anxiety, but they cannot eliminate it. Since anxiety drugs also stop working after a year or so, having to take the medication for the rest of your life can be risky and not ideal.
Alternatives to OTC Anti-Anxiety Medicines
There are a few things you may do while you wait for an over-the-counter drug to be made accessible. Some of these choices consist of:
Exercise has been thoroughly researched, and vigorous exercise may even have effects similar to those of some of the most potent anxiety medications. Going to the gym or going for a 30-minute jog may be quite helpful if you need immediate relief because exercise releases calming endorphins and burns away the stress hormone cortisol.
According to several Studies, the herbal supplement kava may be just as helpful as certain common anxiety drugs. Since kava is a herb that is available without a prescription, it might be worth a go. However, because it might mix with other medications and alcohol, it should still be used under a doctor’s supervision. Although they are not thought to be as effective, passionflower and valerian may also be helpful.
CBD oil is a cannabis plant extract (known as Cannabidiol). Typically, industrial hemp is used, which has very little THC (the psychoactive ingredient that gives you a high), and even then, all traces of THC are entirely eliminated. There are studies suggesting that this extract may have benefits for reducing stress, however we are unable to endorse CBD oil at this time due to a dearth of data and its dubious legality. Discuss the advantages and hazards of CBD with your doctor.
Sam-e, L-Tryptophan, or 5-HTP are all examples. Serotonin is the neurotransmitter that most people associate with happiness, despite the fact that neurotransmitter abnormalities in general have been related to anxiety. Theoretically, lowering anxiety symptoms should be possible by elevating serotonin levels in the brain. Natural health advocates claim that the supplements 5-HTP, L-Tryptophan, and Sam-e boost serotonin levels. Although it is unclear whether they are effective in the research, anyone interested in giving them a try can buy them over the counter.
Each of these is not certain quick fixes, but they can all be quite beneficial. You should also attempt relaxation techniques like progressive muscle relaxation, deep breathing, and visualization if you find that these help you.
Never use alcohol or any other medication not intended for anxiety relief as a form of self-medication. Self-medication has a similar impact to anxiety medications in that if you use it frequently, you become dependent on it and lose the ability to deal in other ways.
Other justifications to abstain from drugs.
The potential for worsening anxiety is another drawback of anxiety medicines. These drugs may offer some help in the short term. However, if you use these medications for a long time without learning any other coping mechanisms, your brain will start to rely solely on them to manage stress.
Therefore, if you stop taking these medications, you’ll have lost some of your natural coping mechanisms, which may already be having trouble if you have anxiety. Without alternative therapies and a doctor’s supervision, that risk is very high.
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Possibility of abuse
The majority of anti-anxiety meds are also highly addictive. These medicines have the potential to significantly impair mental function when used in specific ways, and if they were sold over the counter, many more people might be abusing them. That’s very risky.
Keep in mind that these medications directly impact your brain. They change how your body makes and receives neurotransmitters. That has the potential to help people feel less anxious, but if taken in excess, it can have serious negative side effects and be very harmful. They also interact with a wide range of other drugs, alcohol, and other substances. These drugs can’t possibly be sold over the counter without putting the public at serious risk.
Since any medicine that affects the brain needs to be carefully managed and because medication is not the only form of treatment a person should receive, there are no over-the-counter treatments for anxiety. Fortunately, there are several of natural remedies and activities that can help with anxiety.