best medicine for ocd and anxiety


This article will provide comprehensive information on the best medications for treating OCD and anxiety, helping individuals understand their options and encouraging them to seek professional help for personalized treatment plans.


Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder (OCD) and Anxiety are two mental health disorders that can each have a detrimental impact on daily life. Research suggests that around 13% of those with OCD also have an anxiety disorder, and around 76% of those who are diagnosed with OCD have had one at some point in their life.

best medication for ocd and anxiety

There is a strong relationship between anxiety and OCD because both of them can exacerbate the other. Someone who is struggling with obsessions or compulsions might have increased anxiety, which leads to worse obsessions. Likewise, someone who is struggling with compulsions might develop strong anxiety about them, especially in social settings, and this can make the symptoms of both conditions much worse.

Both conditions can be severe enough to impact daily life, making it difficult to sustain relationships or complete personal and professional responsibilities. Finding the best medication for OCD and anxiety is, therefore, very important. But what are the best meds for anxiety and OCD?

The Role of Medication in Treating OCD and Anxiety

So why is medication important? OCD and anxiety treatment should, for many people, involve medication, at least temporarily. Medication can help with severe anxiety disorders and OCD diagnoses, the result of neurobiological imbalances. If the brain is not functioning the way it should, medication can help make changes adequate enough that individuals can find relief from their symptoms while also incorporating long-term coping mechanisms.

Types of Medications for OCD and Anxiety

There are several different types of medications, and the best medication for OCD and anxiety is based on individual needs. Some people see Improvement right away with SSRIs, while others have increased results on benzodiazepines.

Best Medication for OCD and Anxiety

The best meds for anxiety and OCD tend to overlap.

Selective Serotonin Reuptake Inhibitors (SSRIs)

SSRIs are one of the most common prescription medications, especially for OCD, and go under names like Zoloft or Prozac. These increase the amount of serotonin in your brain by preventing your body from absorbing what serotonin is naturally released.

For many people, the symptoms of depression, anxiety, and OCD are caused by low levels of serotonin, so preventing serotonin from being reabsorbed means it stays in your system longer, and you can enjoy the effects of it for a greater length of time.

Serotonin-Norepinephrine Reuptake Inhibitors (SNRIs)

SNRIs are another class of antidepressants that are prescribed for anxiety disorders and OCD. This medication blocks the reabsorption of norepinephrine and serotonin, which increases the amount of neurotransmitters active in your brain at any time. It works much the same way as SSRIs, but it prevents reabsorption of serotonin and norepinephrine, so you have increased communication in your brain chemistry and better mood.

Tricyclic Antidepressants (TCAs)

These are other forms of antidepressants that are used to treat OCD and anxiety disorders. They work very similarly to SSRIs, but they have fewer side effects.


Benzodiazepines are designed to relax your muscles and your mind. They do this by increasing the effects of specific neurotransmitters.

Benzodiazepines are considered sedatives, and they are more commonly prescribed for anxiety but can also be prescribed for OCD to help reduce sleeping issues or anxiety-related symptoms.

Benzodiazepines can increase your drowsiness, cause issues with memory, and cause addiction, so they are typically only used to relieve symptoms of OCD and anxiety in the short term.

Other Medications

For OCD, a newer medication is Truriluze, which is designed to regulate glutamate and offer relief from symptoms.

Best Medicine for OCD and Anxiety

When you start choosing the best medicine for OCD and anxiety, it is best that you work with a doctor or therapist who can help you monitor the efficacy of your medication. Sometimes, you might be asked to complete something like a journal so that you can monitor the severity of your symptoms and how you feel over a span of several weeks.

It is very important that you understand that these medications take time to change the chemical structure of your brain, so you might not feel relief from your symptoms right away. This does not mean the medication is not working, and you should absolutely not stop taking your medication until instructed to do so.

best medicine for ocd and anxiety

Under normal circumstances, it can take a couple of months before you have a noticeable difference, after which time you can work with your doctor to determine whether or not you have seen positive changes from your medication and whether it’s time to try something else.

Personalizing your medication treatment can take a while because you have to wait several months before you realize whether or not a particular medication is working. You might, for example, try benzodiazepines to help with OCD or anxiety and realize that it’s not really working, so you switch to SSRIs. But from there, you might find that after a few months, the Prozac you were prescribed doesn’t seem to work well, in which case you can try something else, or you can try a different medication under the same category.

Anxiety and OCD Treatment Beyond Medication

As mentioned, even the best medicine for OCD and anxiety might not be designed for long-term use. Medication can give you short-term relief while you focus on managing treatment in other ways. This can include things like transcranial magnetic stimulation, cognitive behavioral therapy, or exposure and response prevention.

Cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT) and Exposure and Response Prevention (ERP)

The best medication for OCD and anxiety is increased in terms of its success rate when you participate in therapy at the same time you are taking medication. The most common therapy is cognitive behavioral therapy and exposure and response prevention. Together, these offer an opportunity to work with a therapist to uncover negative automatic thoughts that make your symptoms worse and to learn how to switch them with positive alternatives that do not increase your symptoms.

Summing Up

It’s important that you find the right healthcare provider if you are going to develop a long-term plan for medication management and therapy. The therapist with whom you work should be someone you are comfortable with. You should feel comfortable tracking the efficacy of your anxiety and OCD treatment and getting a personalized plan that makes adjustments accordingly.