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All Social Anxiety Disorder Medications

Are you suffering from social anxiety disorder and looking for the medications used for it? Or the current medicines you are using for SAD is not working, and you are looking for a replacement? Well, you are at the right place then.

Here, we are going to share all the social anxiety medications. We will also share how they help you select the best possible medicine for yourself. We will also share the famous brand names of each class of medications.

This blog post will equip you with the knowledge of all types of medication prescribed for social anxiety disorder. Let’s have an in-depth look at the most prescribed class of social anxiety disorder medication, which are antidepressants.


The first type of medication for social anxiety disorder is antidepressants. There are two types of antidepressants. Both of these are prescribed for social anxiety disorder, depending upon which is more suitable for you.


The first type of antidepressant we are going to learn about is SSRIs. SSRIs stand for selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors. SSRIs work for social anxiety disorder by reducing the use of serotonin by our body. More serotonin in the brain helps you stay more relaxed.

Many studies have claimed SSRIs as the medication with the best results for social anxiety disorder, mainly when used alone. One more thing about this type of antidepressant is that they have very few side effects. Here are some of the popular SSRIs for social anxiety disorder;

  • CR Paxil (paroxetine)
  • CR Luvox (fluvoxamine)
  • Celexa (citalopram)
  • Prozac (fluoxetine)
  • Zoloft (sertraline)
  • Lexapro (escitalopram)


The next type of medication is SNRIs.It stands for serotonin and norepinephrine reuptake inhibitors. These are also FDA-approved medications for this purpose. If the SSRIs don’t work for you, these are the best alternatives.

As the name indicates, these involve the neurotransmitters serotonin and norepinephrine. Serotonin helps you in social situations, and norepinephrine helps increase your focus and attention. Here are some of the popular SNRIs used for social anxiety disorder;

  • Venlafaxine (Effexor XR)
  • Duloxetine (Cymbalta)
  • Desvenlafaxine (Pristiq)
  • Levomilnacipran (Fetzima)


Benzodiazepines also known as benzos are depressants. These work by increasing gamma-aminobutyric acid (GABA) activity in your central nervous system, which results in hypnosis and sedative effects. These effects help you calm down and deal with anxiety.

These show quick and sensitive results, so you should only use them if prescribed. Here are some of the most prescribed medications in this regard.

  • Lorazepam (Ativan)
  • Diazepam (Valium)
  • Alprazolam (Xanax)
  • Clonazepam (Klonopin)


The next on the list are beta blockers. Although it’s not an approved medication for social anxiety disorder, it is also recommended by doctors sometimes as an off-label treatment. Beta-blockers work by blocking adrenaline, which causes anxiety in certain situations.

Beta-blockers help you calm down both mentally and physically. These will reduce physical symptoms like sweating and shivering and psychological problems like fear and anxiety. Upon prescription, these are usually taken before going to any social function. The best thing about these medicines is that they work without affecting your cognitive skills.

  • Atenolol (Tenormin)
  • Metoprolol succinate (Toprol XL)
  • Bisoprolol (Zebeta)
  • Propranolol (Inderal)
  • Metoprolol tartrate (Lopressor)


The next on our list are MAOIs. MAOIs stand for Monoamine oxidase inhibitors. There is an enzyme in our body named monoamine, which breaks down neurotransmitters. These neurotransmitters include dopamine, norepinephrine, and serotonin. Due to these drugs, our neurotransmitters increase, and anxiety decreases.

MAOIs are beneficial for social anxiety disorder, but there are some potential concerns associated with this type of medication, so it should be used carefully. Here are some of the renowned MAOIs for social anxiety;

  • Phenelzine (Nardil)
  • Tranylcypromine (Parnate)
  • Isocarboxazid (Marplan)
  • Selegiline (Emsam)

Other Medications For Social Anxiety Disorder

So far, we have discussed all the proven and reputable medicines for social anxiety disorder, but some medications might be beneficial in this record. Although their use is not approved, these might be helpful in some cases. Here is a list of these classes of drugs and their brand name;

  • Anticonvulsants E.g pregabalin and gabapentin
  • Antipsychotics, e.g., olanzapine
  • Antihistamines, e.g., hydroxyzine
  • Anxiolytic, e.g., buspirone hydrochloride

Beware, these medications are not approved, so only use them if a relevant doctor prescribes them.

Final Words

Antidepressants, benzodiazepines, beta-blockers, and MAOIs are the most effective medications for social anxiety disorder. Remember to look at the potential side effects and working of these medicines.

Remember, these are sensitive and can cause some side effects. Some of these medicines also have the risk of dependency and addiction. The best way to use them is to use them as prescribed. Strictly follow the dosage and timing of the medicine told by your doctor.

If you can’t use these medicines, therapy treatment is the best option for you. Cognitive behavioral therapy, psychodynamic therapy, and acceptance and commitment therapy are helpful therapies for this purpose.

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