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Healthcare Insights

Most common anti-anxiety medications

Anxiety is one of the most common mental health diagnoses in the U.S., impacting nearly 20% of the adult population. Worldwide, more than 300 million people are affected by anxiety.

Treatments for anxiety disorders can include therapy, medication, complementary and alternative treatment, and transcranial magnetic stimulation.

Using data from the Definitive Healthcare Atlas Prescription Claims product, we created this list of the top 20 most prescribed anti-anxiety medications dispensed to U.S. patients in 2023. Information on anti-anxiety prescription patterns helps biopharmaceutical companies understand the competitive landscape and target the right providers.

Top 20 anti-anxiety prescriptions dispensed in 2023

1Gabapentin 17.30%Explore
2Trazodone hydrochloride 9.70%Explore
3Bupropion XL 8.10%Explore
4Duloxetine hydrochloride 7.10%Explore
5Alprazolam 7.00%Explore
6Buspirone hydrochloride 6.00%Explore
7Clonazepam 5.20%Explore
8Hydroxyzine hydrochloride 5.00%Explore
9Venlafaxine hydrochloride ER 4.60%Explore
10Lamotrigine 4.20%Explore
11Lorazepam 4.00%Explore
12Topiramate 3.00%Explore
13Levetiracetam 2.40%Explore
14Bupropion hydrochloride SR 2.00%Explore
15Hydroxyzine pamoate 2.00%Explore
16Diazepam 1.90%Explore
17Desvenlafaxine succinate ER 1.30%Explore
18Oxcarbazepine 1.20%Explore
19Divalproex sodium 1.20%Explore
20Divalproex sodium ER  0.90%Explore

Fig. 1 Data from the Definitive Healthcare Atlas Prescription Claims product for calendar year 2023. Claims data is sourced from multiple medical claims clearinghouses in the United States and updated monthly. Accessed February 2024.

What are the most common anti-anxiety medications?

Gabapentin is the most common drug used to treat anxiety, accounting for 17.3% of prescriptions dispensed in 2023. While typically used to treat seizure disorders, the medication is also used to manage symptoms for patients with anxiety and other mental health disorders.

Trazodone hydrochloride, also a common antidepressant, is second on the list with 9.7% of anti-anxiety medication prescriptions dispensed.

The next three drugs, bupropion XL, duloxetine hydrochloride, and alprazolam each represent 7 – 8% of anti-anxiety prescriptions dispensed in 2023.

What are the types of drugs used to treat anxiety?

Drugs approved for treating anxiety include selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs) and serotonin norepinephrine reuptake inhibitors (SNRIs). However, medications not approved for anxiety are commonly used “off-label” in clinical practice.

The different types of drug types used to treat anxiety include:

  • Serotonergic/norepinephrinergic antidepressants
  • Gamma aminobutyric acid (GABA)
  • Antihistamines
  • Antipsychotics
  • Novel treatments for anxiety disorders
  • Serotonergic agents
  • Glutamate modulators
  • GABAergic medications
  • Neuropeptides
  • Neurosteroids
  • Alpha- and beta-adrenergic agents

Anxiety medication trends

Pharmaceutical and clinical research and development (R&D) for mental health condition treatments is helping more people manage their mental health. Anxiety medication R&D explores how different types of medications affect the brain. Some emerging mental health and new anxiety medications also fall into the following categories:

Learn more

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