By We Level Up FL Treatment Center | Editor Yamilla Francese | Clinically Reviewed By Lauren Barry, LMFT, MCAP, QS, Director of Quality Assurance | Editorial Policy | Research Policy | Last Updated: March 28, 2023
Can Over The Counter Medicine For Anxiety And Depression Help With Mental Disorders?
Anxiety and depression are the most common mental health conditions, affecting millions of people in the US annually. Prescription medications are commonly used for treating anxiety and depression symptoms. But some people turn to over the counter anxiety and depression medication or are looking for more affordable over the counter medicine for anxiety and stress.
OTC depression and anxiety medications are becoming increasingly popular as treatment options and depression mood stabilizers. But before using over the counter medicine for anxiety and depression, you should know that OTC anxiety meds aren’t regulated like prescriptions. Over the counter anxiety pills’ safety and efficacy aren’t under the same scrutiny. And supplements can cause serious adverse effects. Hence, over the counter anxiety meds are best used with medical supervision.
In this article, we’ll review seven natural remedies and over the counter medicine for anxiety and depression and the best mood stabilizer for depression that you may see on the pharmacy shelf. We’ll discuss how safe and effective over the counter anxiety medication for adults are in helping mental health treatment programs and management.
Natural Anxiety Medication Over The Counter
Unsurprisingly, there is universal interest in finding effective natural anti-anxiety and depression treatments with a lower risk of adverse effects or withdrawal. According to research, natural over the counter anxiety medications and natural mood stabilizers for depression have been used for centuries in many cultures to alleviate anxiety and depression with surprising effectiveness.
However, in Western cultures, research that proves the usefulness of medicinal herbs and natural over the counter medication for anxiety has only begun to gain momentum over the past few decades.
Moreover, the absence of proper guidelines governing the production and use of vitamins, minerals, amino acids, and herbs for medicinal purposes is also causing the clinical prescription of these natural over the counter medicine for anxiety and depression to lag in the United States.
With the rising cost of prescription medications and mood stabilizers for bipolar depression and their production of unwanted side effects, patients are exploring herbal and natural over the counter anxiety medicines to manage and treat psychological conditions. Psychological disorders are one of the most frequently seen by clinicians and often require a long-term regimen of prescription medications.
Herbal medicines hold a special place in the history of medicine, as most of our current over the counter meds for anxiety, and the majority to be discovered, are derived from plants. While locating the active ingredients in herbal substances is pivotal to producing effective OTC supplements for anxiety, understanding the quantity needed and the potency of different ways of extracting and preparing the phytochemicals is vital to creating a standard measure of their effectiveness.
Furthermore, the dangers of overconsumption and interactions with prescription and over the counter medicine for anxiety and depression need further analysis. 
Over The Counter Beta Blockers For Anxiety
Beta blockers for anxiety over the counter medications treat heart problems, help with anxiety and prevent migraines. Propranolol is the beta blocker that has been most studied for anxiety. However, Propranolol is a prescription-only medication.
While beta-blockers may relieve some anxiety, some may be hesitant to use these prescription drugs owing to the potential of adverse effects or long-term reliance, and hence seek out more natural, anti anxiety over the counter alternatives.
FDA Approved Over The Counter Anxiety Medication
Unfortunately, the only drugs available for anxiety require a prescription and cannot be purchased over the counter. There are no over the counter anti anxiety meds. Since anxiety medication modifies the brain, it is a regulated substance that must be obtained from a doctor.
SSRIs and SNRIs are frequently used as first-line treatments for anxiety. Celexa, Lexapro, Luvox, Paxil, and Zoloft are common SSRI brands. Pristiq, Cymbalta, and Effexor XR are common SNRI brands. They are effective for many individuals and have a good safety profile. But, antidepressants are prescription medications requiring a prescription from a health care professional.
Antidepressant medications are only available by prescription. But one may try anxiety medications over the counter and anti-depression herbs and supplements. Over the counter anxiety medications and mood stabilizers depression has mild antidepressant qualities and may help relieve symptoms that are not severe.
For comprehensive and compassionate treatment of anxiety, consider We Level Up FL Treatment Center, where a team of experienced professionals is dedicated to guiding you on your journey to recovery.
Depression And Anxiety Fact Sheet
Depression and anxiety frequently co-occur, especially in primary care settings. These co-occurrences manifest themselves in several ways and have different clinical courses. The scope and impact of depression and anxiety disorders worldwide are overwhelming.
The watershed Global Burden of Disease study found that major depression ranked fourth among all medical illnesses in terms of its disabling impact on the world population. The authors estimated that by the year 2020 and beyond, depression would be second only to ischemic heart disease. Anxiety disorders rank close behind major depression, contributing additional disability. 
Depression is a severe medical illness. It’s more than just feeling sad or “blue” for a few days. If you are one of the more than 19 million individuals in the United States who have depression, the feelings do not go away. They persist and interfere with your everyday life. Symptoms can include:
- Feeling sad or “empty”
- Loss of interest in favorite activities
- Overeating, or not wanting to eat at all
- Not being able to sleep or sleeping too much
- Feeling very tired
- Feeling hopeless, irritable, anxious, or guilty
- Aches or pains, headaches, cramps, or digestive problems
- Thoughts of death or suicide
There are effective treatments for depression, including antidepressants, talk therapy, or both.
To be diagnosed with depression, your provider will ask about your medical history and symptoms. Your answers can help your provider diagnose depression and determine its severity.
Blood and urine tests may be done to rule out other medical conditions with symptoms similar to depression.
Anxiety is a feeling of fear, dread, and uneasiness. It might cause you to sweat, feel restless and tense, and have a rapid heartbeat. It can be a normal stress reaction. For example, you might feel anxious when faced with a complex problem at work, before taking a test, or before making an important decision. It can help you to cope. The anxiety may give you a boost of energy or help you focus. But for people with anxiety disorders, the fear is not temporary and can be overwhelming.
There are several types of anxiety disorders, including:
- Generalized anxiety disorder (GAD). People with GAD worry about everyday health, money, work, and family issues. But their worries are excessive, and they have them almost every day for at least 6 months.
- Panic disorder. People with panic disorder have panic attacks. These are sudden, repeated periods of intense fear when there is no danger. The attacks come on quickly and can last several minutes or more.
- Phobias. People with phobias have an intense fear of something that poses little or no actual danger. Their fear may be about spiders, flying, crowded places, or being in social situations (known as social anxiety). 
When to Contact a Medical Professional
See your provider if you or someone you know has symptoms of depression and anxiety disorders. It is especially important to seek help immediately if you or someone you know is having thoughts of suicide.
You can also call 911 or the local emergency number or go to the hospital emergency room. DO NOT delay.
If someone you know has attempted suicide, call 911 or the local emergency number immediately. DO NOT leave the person alone, even after you have called for help.
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Depression And Anxiety Disorders Statistics
Mental illnesses, such as anxiety and depression, are common in the United States. Nearly 52.9 million U.S. adults have a mental illness in 2020. Mental illnesses include many conditions that vary in severity, ranging from mild to moderate to severe. 
1 in 5
In 2020, Nearly one in five U.S. adults lived with a mental illness. The most common mental disorders in the US are anxiety, major depression, and bipolar disorder.
An estimated 31.1% of U.S. adults experience any anxiety disorder.
Approximately 9.5% of American adults, ages 18 and over, will suffer from a depressive illness (major depression, bipolar disorder, or dysthymia) each year.
What Is The Best Over The Counter Medicine For Depression And Anxiety?
What can you take for anxiety over the counter? It’s challenging to find the best OTC depression and anxiety medication because anxiety pills over the counter are not regulated, unlike prescription mood stabilizers for depression and anxiety. On top of that, only a few studies can prove anxiety medications OTC effectiveness and adverse effects.
Furthermore, side effects and interactions are possible with natural remedies and anxiety OTC medication. You must talk to your provider before trying alternative treatments.
All FDA drugs for anxiety are only available on prescription. On the other hand, there are over the counter drugs for anxiety. These alternative pills for anxiety OTC can have comparable benefits in alleviating anxiety and stress symptoms. Still, over-the-counter anxiety medicines are not the same as prescription anxiety medication in duration and effectiveness.
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Top 7 Over The Counter Medicine For Anxiety And Depression, Best OTC For Anxiety
What is a good over the counter drug for anxiety? And what is the best anxiety medication over the counter? Over the counter medicine for anxiety and depression aren’t often the first recommended option, as treatment options like prescription medications and therapy are usually the most effective. However, these best OTC anxiety medication options can supplement these two main treatment methods as examples of complementary and alternative medications.
It is challenging to find the best over the counter anxiety medication while pregnant. Therapy is recommended to help treat anxiety for pregnant. You also can consider prescription medication, especially if anxiety has a big impact on your life or if therapy does not help on its own. Making time for self-care, joining support groups, and using community resources also can help with anxiety. You must speak to your doctor before taking any drugs or over the counter pills for anxiety to avoid side effects that can also affect your baby.
Some OTC vitamins and OTC anxiety and depression meds may effectively reduce symptoms of anxiety and depression. Still, it is always important to consult your provider before taking a new vitamin or supplement, especially if you take any other medications. While more research is needed to establish how effective supplements and anxiety OTC medicines can be, if you use OTC anxiety medications properly, they are generally not harmful.
1. Magnesium As One Of The Anxiety Meds OTC
Magnesium is an essential vitamin from leafy green vegetables, legumes, nuts, seeds, and whole grains. Aside from supporting your regular cell function, magnesium may also support your moods and emotions, and inadequate magnesium has been linked to anxiety and other health problems. Magnesium supplements have been proven to reduce anxiety because of their nervous system relaxant effects. It is considered the best over the counter med for anxiety.
Studies have found that magnesium can be an excellent anxiety medicine over the counter for mild anxiety. They may be particularly helpful for people dealing with anxiety and depression as symptoms of premenstrual syndrome.  Can mood stabilizers make depression worse? Yes, if you don’t consume them properly or without medical advice. But some of these mood stabilizers are very natural in our food that we must include in our healthy diet.
Omega-3 fatty acids are great for mood stabilizer depression and your health for many reasons, and they naturally occur in fish and specific plant sources like nuts and seeds. Omega-3 fatty acids help manage medical conditions and mental illnesses and can help reduce inflammation and anxiety among young adults.
3. L-theanine OTC Anti Anxiety Meds
L-theanine is one of several amino acids commonly promoted because of its potential calming effects. L-theanine is frequently found in teas. Research has shown that L-theanine may be highly effective at promoting relaxation without causing drowsiness, making it a great way to combat anxiety and depression without becoming tired. More research is needed, but L-theanine may also be linked to reduced symptoms of stress. It can be an over the counter anxiety relief alternative. 
4. Lavender In OTC Anti-Anxiety Meds
What to take for anxiety over the counter? Have you considered lavender one of the best over the counter for anxiety? Taking lavender orally, or using lavender for aromatherapy, may also be very effective at lowering feelings of anxiety. Lavender has been used in medicinal remedies for centuries and is well-known for its aroma and color. Do mood stabilizers help with depression? Yes. Several trials have shown that lavender can be a great way to reduce minor anxiety symptoms, and it may also help with insomnia.
5. Ashwagandha As OTC Med For Anxiety
Ashwagandha is an ancient remedy that can be derived from a shrub plant that is native to India and North Africa, and it has been studied extensively. Ashwagandha has been widely recognized for its ability to lower cortisol levels and reduce stress and anxiety since it is known as the stress hormone.
Chamomile is a flowering plant, and it is very commonly found in teas. Chamomile essential oil, extracted from the plant itself, has long been used for its anti-inflammatory and calming properties. Chamomile can help reduce the effects of anxiety and depression, but generally, its impact is only modest, and more research is needed.
Some OTC drugs for anxiety and herbal supplements are effective against anxiety symptoms. Herbal supplements like passionflower, chamomile, and kava are helpful and can be used as OTC medications for anxiety.
7. Valerian Medication For Anxiety OTC
What can you take over the counter for anxiety? Valerian, like chamomile, is also a flowering plant widely used as an herbal supplement and can be very effective at treating insomnia. Studies have shown mixed results regarding its effectiveness in treating anxiety, but this herb may be largely beneficial if you have insomnia-related anxiety. Some studies have suggested that valerian does reduce anxiety and stress. In contrast, other studies have reported no changes at all, so more research is needed to confirm the effectiveness of this remedy.
While medication for anxiety over the counter and the other natural over-the-counter anxiety medication mentioned above can be useful in reducing or eliminating anxiety symptoms, they are not a cure. Medication is not a miracle potion that will cure your anxiety.
The drug treats the symptoms, not the cause. To treat anxiety, awareness, self-reflection, and coping skills are required to learn what causes your anxiety and how to modify how you feel and think. This does not imply that medicine, such as social anxiety medication over the counter, isn’t useful, especially if your symptoms are severe.
At We Level Up FL Treatment Center, individuals battling anxiety are met with personalized treatment plans that use medical expertise, counseling, and holistic practices to foster positive change.
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Anxiety And Cortisol
How to reduce cortisol? Increased cortisol levels are a common cause of anxiety to awaken in the morning. Eat a nutritious breakfast high in foods rich in magnesium, such as oatmeal, to reduce morning anxiety. To reduce anxiety, abstain from caffeine, engage in physical activity, and create a daily routine.
Can High Cortisol Cause Anxiety?
A little cortisol can do a lot of good. Cortisol’s heightened level of arousal, which it produces in response to stress, is energizing and beneficial. At the end of the episode, cortisol levels return to normal. However, when free-floating anxiety gets in the way, there is no way for the cortisol to get rid of itself, which leads to the fight-or-flight response going awry.
Cortisol levels continue to be high, which increases anxiety and eventually leads to a wide range of major health problems, such as digestive problems, immune system inadequacies, heart disease, high blood pressure, and diabetes.
Cortisol Awakening Response Anxiety
Cortisol and other stress hormones can be produced more readily due to eating problems. This, in turn, feeds panic, worry, and depressive thoughts. Moreover, eating disorders are anxiety-based illnesses even when issues with food, exercise, and body image are their outward manifestations.
To escape the cycle of anxiety, you must first take care of your body’s dietary requirements. Coping strategies that trigger the relaxation response provide your brain with the nutrition it requires and can also help you feel less stressed.
Cortisol Blockers For Anxiety
The brain instructs the adrenal glands to produce cortisol in the bloodstream while you’re under stress. Cortisol levels that are consistently high might cause weight gain, especially around the midsection. “Cortisol blockers” have substances that are intended to reduce stress by calming your anxiety.
Over The Counter Flight Anxiety Medication
Dramamine, a flight anxiety medication over the counter typically used to fight motion sickness, can perform double duty as an anxiety reliever for air travel. Medicine for flight anxiety over the counter, like Dramamine, is usually recommended for nervous flyers. Many think the otc medication for anxiety, Dramamine, is only taken to combat nausea, but it’s quite effective at inducing drowsiness and reducing anxiety.
Traditional Anxiety and Depression Treatment Methods, OTC Anxiety Medicine Alternatives
While over the counter medicine for anxiety and depression options may be helpful if you start dealing with your conditions, anxiety remedies over the counter may not always be the most effective option for some people. Some more traditional treatment methods include prescription anxiety medication and therapy.
Antidepressants such as SSRIs (selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors) are some of the most commonly prescribed medications for anxiety and depression. However, psychotherapy, paired with medication, is even more effective. Regarding getting high-quality, professional mental health treatment, We Level Up FL has your needs covered, and we are here to help you get back to being you.
With total access to mental health services from treatment options backed by science, we will work with you every step to develop a personalized treatment plan to get you back on track. The process starts when you take your free assessment by contacting us, and then we will match you with one of our expert providers. Your provider will work with you to adjust your treatment as often as needed until you find what suits you.
We offer evidence-based therapy, medication, and a combination of both, and your provider will prescribe any necessary medications. Furthermore, lifestyle changes, including exercise, stress reduction strategies, yoga, mindfulness practices, and meditation, are other excellent options that can be highly effective in helping you cope with and manage your anxiety and depression.
Natrol Stress and Anxiety
Natrol, also called SAMe, is a manmade form of a chemical that happens innately in the body. The FDA has not approved the medicinal use of this product. As for the Natrol stress and anxiety reviews, many find them effective. However, Natrol anxiety med is often sold as an herbal supplement. There are no regulated manufacturing standards for many herbal mixtures, and some marketed supplements are contaminated with toxic metals or other drugs. Herbal/health supplements should be bought from a reliable source to minimize the chance of contamination.
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Anxiety and Depression Mental Health Treatment
The co-occurrence of depression and anxiety disorders is extremely common in primary care. The clinical implications of depression/anxiety comorbidity include the following:
- Increased risk of suicide
- Increased risk of psychiatric hospitalization
- Increased disability
- Decreased compliance with treatment of medical illness
Patients with depression/anxiety comorbidity tend to have more chronic and recurrent illnesses requiring long-term treatment. This puts a premium on medications, such as SSRIs, with broad-spectrum efficacy (notably sertraline and paroxetine), expansive therapeutic windows, and favorable pharmacokinetic and drug-interaction profiles (such as sertraline and citalopram). SSRIs are well tolerated regarding side effects (such as weight gain), contributing to compliance with long-term treatment.
Unfortunately, despite the high prevalence and significant clinical implications of depression/anxiety comorbidity, very little prospective over the counter medicine for anxiety and depression research is available.
Having a relative or loved one with depression and anxiety can be stressful, and family members or caregivers may unintentionally act in ways that can worsen their loved one’s symptoms. Call We Level Up FL now for a free mental health assessment! In addition, for the substance abuse or dual diagnosis approach, our inpatient treatment, inpatient medical detox, and residential primary addiction treatment may be available at our affiliated facility. For more treatment resources, call We Level Up Florida about your symptoms, and we can help you determine the cause and develop a treatment plan.
At We Level Up FL Treatment Center, individuals with anxiety can expect a highly trained and experienced team of professionals dedicated to helping them overcome their challenges.
Top 10 Over The Counter Medicine For Anxiety And Depression FAQs
What is the most common drug prescribed for anxiety and depression?
Unlike over the counter medicine for anxiety and depression, SSRIs and SNRIs are often the first-line treatment for clinical depression and anxiety disorder. Common SSRI brands are Celexa, Lexapro, Luvox, Paxil, and Zoloft. Common SNRI brands are Pristiq, Cymbalta, and Effexor XR.
What drugs treat both anxiety and depression? Is there medicine for anxiety over the counter?
Selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs) are the drug that doctors most commonly prescribe to treat depression and anxiety disorders. But these are not over the counter anti anxiety medications. Contact your doctor or a mental health professional to be assessed and obtain the prescriptions.
Can I have both depression and anxiety?
Yes. Many people have a diagnosis of both an anxiety disorder and clinical depression. But symptoms of both conditions usually improve with psychological counseling. It’s crucial to seek help and not settle for over the counter medicine for anxiety and depression alone. Science-based therapies can bring you the best outcomes.
How to cope with anxiety and depression?
No one has to suffer from depression or anxiety disorders. People with mental health disorders should not only seek over the counter medicine for anxiety and depression but also speak with a psychiatrist, therapist, or other healthcare professional about their symptoms and start treatment as soon as possible.
What to do when depression and anxiety mix?
Connect with a mental health professional or ask your doctor for a referral. A professional therapist can develop a plan to treat your anxiety and depression simultaneously. Remember that clinical depression and anxiety disorder can lead to suicide, so do not only look for over the counter medicine for anxiety and depression. Reach out to accredited treatment centers that offer personalized treatment based on your situation.
Does High Cortisol Cause Anxiety? Does Cortisol Cause Anxiety?
Nearly every bodily function might suffer from prolonged exposure to cortisol and other stress chemicals. Your chance of developing conditions like heart disease, lung problems, obesity, anxiety, depression, and more may rise.
What can I take over the counter for anxiety? What can I take for anxiety over the counter?
The eight B vitamins, notably B6, B9 (folic acid), and B12, are necessary for optimal nervous system function and can aid to soothe nerves and relieve mental tension and exhaustion. Because of this, they are frequently referred to as anti-stress nutrients and good anxiety medication OTC alternatives. Some are trying over the counter antihistamine for anxiety because they typically cause side effects of drowsiness or sedation.
What over the counter medicine is good for anxiety?
If you experience anxiety symptoms, discuss lifestyle changes and OTC medicine for anxiety options with a healthcare provider. They can recommend supplements and other treatments that are likely better for you, considering your overall health and specific symptoms.
What is the best sleep aid for adults with anxiety over the counter?
Many people use sleeping drugs to help them fall asleep faster and get adequate rest. Certain sleep drugs, such as benzodiazepines, must be prescribed by a doctor. Other types of sleep aids are available without a prescription. Over the counter anxiety and sleep medication can be used to treat insomnia and other sleep issues. However, you should still exercise caution and consult with a doctor about risk factors, side effects, and other potential concerns before taking your best over the counter sleeping pills options for anxiety medications for the first time.
What is the best medication for panic attacks and anxiety over the counter?
Magnesium, L-theanine, omega-3 fatty acids, and ashwagandha are some of the over the counter anxiety medication at Walmart and over the counter anxiety medication CVS that have especially been noted for being able to impact symptoms of anxiety and reduce stress largely.
Anxiety Disorder Facts & Anxiety Treatment Programs Video
Anxiety disorders are the most prevailing psychiatric disorders and a leading cause of disability. While there continues to be extensive research in post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), depression, and schizophrenia, a relative scarcity of efficient medications is under investigation for anxiety disorders. Regarding pharmacological development, whether prescription or not, it is time for anxiety disorders to catch up to depression, PTSD, bipolar disorder, and schizophrenia.
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