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Xanax (alprazolam) is just one way to control anxiety; it will not be the best choice for everyone. In such cases, possible Xanax alternatives include the following.

Xanax Alternatives

Generic Xanax is alprazolam, and Medicare and most health insurance programs cover it. It is also possible to get the generic form of the drug for less when buying retail or through a discount program. 

For Anxiety 

The most likely alternative for Xanax is another benzodiazepine, such as clonazepam (Klonopin), lorazepam (Ativan), or diazepam (Valium).  All these drugs work the same fundamental way. 

There are other alternatives like SSRI’s, SNRI’s, non medicine therapy, and many other classes of medications that can help treat anxiety or depression.

For the Elderly 

Alternatives to Xanax for the elderly would include diazepam (Valium) and lorazepam (Ativan). All three drugs carry some of the same risks for older people, though, including an increased possibility of developing dementia.

For Flying

Some people require a sedative to help them when flying, and Xanax is a popular choice. Other alternatives include diazepam (Valium) and lorazepam (Ativan). These drugs produce the same sleepy, calming effects. 

Xanax Alternatives Over the Counter 

One over-the-counter alternative to Xanax is diphenhydramine (Benadryl), which promotes drowsiness. There are also natural options such as valerian root, green tea, and GABA. They each play a different role that helps promote calmness or improve sleep. 


What antidepressant works like Xanax?

There are some other medications that can treat depression like Escitalopram (Lexapro) that is an antidepressant sometimes compared to Xanax because it can calm anxiety. They are two different medications that have similar effects, although they are structurally different and work in different ways. Xanax, for instance, is a benzodiazepine while Lexapro is a selective serotonin reuptake inhibitor (SSRI). Xanax works by binding with benzodiazepine receptor sites to promote calmness. By contrast, SSRIs work by blocking the reuptake (reabsorption) of a serotonin, a chemical that plays a key role in mood regulation. 

How can I calm down without Xanax?

The best option would be to try natural calming practices like exercise, meditation, and deep breathing (although certain deep breathing exercises should not be practiced in certain populations). You can also try staying busy with a hobby or writing down what makes you feel anxious on paper. 

What is an alternative to benzodiazepines?

Some antidepressants can work to reduce anxiety. There are also herbal supplements like valerian root and lifestyle practices like meditation that can help. 

Which benzo is best for anxiety?

It’s up to a medical professional to decide which benzo might be the right choice for each person based on their health and other needs. There are pros and cons for each, as well. Some of the most common are Xanax, Ativan, and Valium. 

Disclaimer: this article does not constitute or replace medical advice. If you have an emergency or a serious medical question, please contact a medical professional or call 911 immediately. To see our full medical disclaimer, visit our Terms of Use page.

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