Which Medication Work Best for Depression and Anxiety?

Which Medication Work Best for Depression and Anxiety?

June 19, 2023

The most often used drugs for anxiety and depression include benzodiazepines, selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors, and serotonin-norepinephrine reuptake inhibitors. The ideal course of action will be determined by a person’s symptoms, general health, and treatment objectives.

The World Health Organization (WHO) estimates that around 5% of persons worldwide suffer from depression. With 40 million persons affected each year, anxiety disorders are the most prevalent form of mental health illness in the United States.

The drugs that a doctor could recommend to treat anxiety and depression are covered in this page. Additionally, it will examine different approaches to treating and diagnosing these disorders.

The most prevalent type of anxiety illness is generalized anxiety disorder (GAD), according to a 2015 study that was published in the World Journal of Psychiatry. The most prevalent kind of depression is major depressive disorder (MDD).

According to the study, 62% of individuals with GAD may potentially develop MDD throughout the course of their lifetime, and 59% of individuals with GAD reported having an episode of MDD in the previous year.

There are two schools of thinking on why these ailments frequently coexist. According to one view, anxiety and sadness are triggered by biological processes that are comparable. This may imply that if the brain’s chemistry is favorable for the development of one disorder, it may also favor the development of the other.


Fear and anxiety are strongly related. As a result, the individual has a future-focused emotional and behavioral reaction in which they get ready for an impending event or circumstance that they view as dangerous.

Over time, the fear may worsen and become disruptive to everyday living. Generalized anxiety disorder, panic disorder, and phobias are a few examples of anxiety disorders.


Mental illness includes depression. It might cause symptoms like:

  • persistent melancholy
  • hopelessness
  • irritability
  • suicidal thoughts, trouble sleeping, and concentration issues
  • Depression, like anxiety, can affect a person’s day-to-day activities.

Best Drugs for Depression and Anxiety

For patients with anxiety or depression, doctors may advise taking medication in addition to other forms of care, such as counseling.

Depending on a person’s symptoms, co-occurring conditions, and the severity of their disease, the best course of action will be determined. While some drugs are effective for treating both illnesses, some are more suited to addressing depression or anxiety.

The signs of depression may be lessened with the aid of antidepressant drugs. 70% to 80% of patients with depression may notice a substantial improvement in their symptoms with appropriate therapy.

Although medications for anxiety do not treat the disorder, they may assist with symptoms including panic attacks, intense dread, and concern.


SSRIs are taken orally. They come in pill, capsule, suspension, and solution forms.

Each medication has a different starting dosage. For instance, the recommended starting dose for citalopram is 20 mg daily, but the recommended starting dose for escitalopram is 5–10 mg daily.

Depending on how severe the patient’s anxiety is and how well they react to therapy, a doctor may adjust the dosage.

Stopping a Drug Regimen

There are several reasons why an individual would want to stop taking an SSRI, including negative effects. Most usually, a doctor would advise someone to gradually reduce their dosage over the course of many weeks or months.

Low mood and irritability are two discontinuation effects that a person taking an SSRI may experience.

10 Best Herb Supplements for Depression

Can I Experience Both Anxiety and Sadness at the Same Time?

Anxiety and depression are two distinct mental health conditions that frequently coexist. Hence, they take place simultaneously.

Depression is a mental condition that is frequently characterized by strong emotions of despair, worthlessness, and utter misery. According to the Cleveland Clinic, more than 16% of Americans will go through depression (also known as major depressive disorder) at some point in their lives. While sorrow is a normal emotion that everyone eventually feels, in depression the sadness is strong enough to interfere with everyday living and lasts for two weeks or more.

The hallmark of anxiety disorders is excessive concern, trepidation, or fear that interferes with day-to-day activities.

Options for Depression and Anxiety Treatment

There are many other non-medical remedies available if you’re reluctant to use antidepressants for anxiety. According to Dr. Shelton, the majority of successful therapies for anxiety and depression that don’t require medication are versions of cognitive behavioral psychotherapy. Changes to your thoughts and behavior are part of cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT), a form of psychotherapy. Behavioral activation and mindfulness-based cognitive therapy are two CBT strategies.

The following lifestyle modifications might be included among other non-medical treatments:

  • Advisory services
  • Speech therapy
  • Meditation
  • breath control drills
  • relationship with a network of encouraging relatives and friends
  • regular physical activity, such as yoga
  • consuming a balanced diet
  • dietary supplements, such as omega-3 fatty acids

Can Antidepressants Make you Nervous?

According to Dr. Shelton, anxiety problems are often not brought on by SSRIs. To allow the patient to gradually become used to the drug, it’s best to start with a relatively low dose if they are really worried.

According to Dr. Plummer, a patient taking an SSRI may experience an increase in anxiety at first. The time it takes for SSRIs to raise serotonin levels to the required levels to treat depression or anxiety is at least two to four weeks, and occasionally more, according to the expert.

What if my Sadness Doesn’t Improve But my Anxiety Does?

SSRIs can be used to treat depression and anxiety, but not everyone responds to them in the same way. If raising the amount of that drug doesn’t help, you could try adding another one.

Helpful Resources

Depression Treatment Program

Mental Health Program