Medication for Anger Management

Published on: 25 Aug 2023
Clinically Reviewed by Cynthia V. Catchings LCSW-S
Medication for Anger Management

Ever asked yourself why am I so angry all the time? Anger is a normal emotion everyone will experience at some point. Managing and learning how to calm down from anger effectively is crucial to maintaining healthy relationships and overall mental health well-being. For those needing help, medication may be an important component of a comprehensive anger management treatment plan. 

Dealing with anger can be challenging, but several medication for anger options are available to help. Read on for an anger medication list and other important information you should know if you’re considering taking medication to control anger. 

Do Psychiatrists Prescribe Medication for Anger Issues?

For some people who have anger issues, a psychiatrist might prescribe anger medication to treat extreme cases of rage when other treatments, such as therapy for anger management, lifestyle changes, self-help techniques, and other modifications, haven’t been effective.

“There are medications that can reduce the impulsivity and mood swings associated with anger issues. Medications known as mood stabilizers are the most commonly used.”

Talkspace psychiatrist Dr. Dion Metzger

Common Types of Medications for Anger Management

For many people, therapy and lifestyle changes can be effective ways to learn to manage their types of anger. Sometimes, they’re not enough. In certain instances, medication might be part of a treatment plan to help control anger-related problems.

It’s important to note that anger isn’t an official diagnosis in the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, Fifth Edition (DSM-5). Thus, no medication has been FDA-approved to treat anger. That said, several drugs are used off-label to treat anger (meaning they’re effective but weren’t developed for or FDA-approved to treat a specific condition).

It’s also worth noting that anger may be a symptom of or the result of a mental health condition, and the type of medication you’re prescribed might depend on that diagnosis.

Antidepressants for anger

The types of antidepressants are typically prescribed for depression and anxiety disorders, but they can also treat anger disorders by regulating mood and reducing intense anger.

Commonly prescribed antidepressants for anger issues

Research shows that selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs) might be an effective anger medication for some people. Some commonly prescribed SSRIs for rage or anger include:

  • Citalopram (Celexa)
  • Fluoxetine (Prozac)
  • Sertraline (Zoloft)
Potential side effects of antidepressants for anger issues

There are some known and common side effects of SSRIs, including:

  • Indigestion
  • Dizziness
  • Blurred vision
  • Dry mouth
  • Constipation

Talk to your doctor if side effects of Zoloft, Prozac, or other SSRIs worsen or start to affect your quality of life.

Anxiety medications for anger

Sometimes your doctor might suggest anti-anxiety medication to help you control your anger. Anti-anxiety medications help keep neurotransmitter levels in the brain stable, which may help you manage angry feelings of anger or rage. 

Commonly prescribed anxiety meds for anger issues

Benzodiazepines are a commonly prescribed, fast-acting group of anxiety medication. Some research suggests they can be effective in reducing agitation. Common benzodiazepines include:

  • Lorazepam (Ativan)  
  • Midazolam
Potential side effects of anxiety meds for anger issues

Anxiety medication can cause side effects, including:

  • Dizziness
  • Drowsiness
  • Sedation
  • Loss of balance

Mood stabilizers for anger

Mood stabilizers decrease abnormal brain activity that can cause agitation and anger. They can level out mood swings and balance the neurotransmitters involved in mood disturbances.

Commonly prescribed mood stabilizers for anger issues

Common mood stabilizers your doctor may prescribe to treat your uncontrolled anger include:

  • Carbamazepine (Tegretol)
  • Lithium
  • Valproic acid
Potential side effects of mood stabilizers for anger issues

There are some common side effects of mood stabilizers you should be aware of before starting them. They can include:

  • Stomach cramps or nausea
  • Thirst
  • Headache
  • Fatigue
  • Mild tremors

Antipsychotics for anger

Atypical antipsychotics — newer versions of a drug — might effectively manage extreme agitation and uncontrolled anger in some people. They can be beneficial when anger is related to health conditions, and the type of condition you’re dealing with may dictate what medication your doctor prescribes. 

Commonly prescribed antipsychotics for anger issues

Some antipsychotics that might be prescribed to help treat anger include:

  • Quetiapine (Seroquel)
  • Olanzapine (Zyprexa)
  • Risperidone (Risperdal)
Potential side effects of antipsychotics for anger issues

Side effects to be aware of if you take antipsychotic medication for anger include:

  • Dizziness
  • Dry mouth
  • Weight gain
  • Sedation
  • Blurred vision
  • Tremors or stiffness
  • Fluid retention

What Medications Have Anger Side Effects?

Almost any medication you take can have side effects. Some types of drugs are known to increase irritability and angry feelings For this reason, it’s important to know which medications you might want to avoid if you struggle with maintaining and controlling your anger. 

Some medications that list anger as a potential side effect include:

  • Bupropion (Wellbutrin) 
  • Levetiracetam (Keppra)
  • Lisdexamfetamine (Vyvanse)
  • Methylphenidate (Ritalin) 
  • Mixed amphetamine salts (Adderall)
  • Montelukast (Singular) 
  • Testosterone replacement therapy (TRT)
  • Varenicline (Chantix)

“Medications that are stimulants (Adderall, Ritalin, and Vyvanse) can have side effects of increased anger. This is why it’s important to only take these medications for the appropriate diagnoses and not to take higher doses than necessary. Stimulants can lead to aggressive behavior if taken incorrectly.”

Talkspace psychiatrist Dr. Dion Metzger

Manage Your Anger Effectively at Talkspace

Anger can be a normal, healthy response to certain circumstances. However, anger that you can’t control or that’s increasing in frequency or severity should be addressed. If you’re looking for professional mental health support to help you manage your anger, Talkspace has experienced therapists and psychiatrists ready to work with you.

You don’t have to let your angry outbursts control your life. It’s possible to learn coping skills and techniques — through in-person or online therapy, lifestyle changes, and possibly medication for anger — that will help you manage symptoms of anger so you can develop and nurture fulfilling, positive, healthy relationships without anger getting the best of you.


  1. Romero-Martínez Á, Murciano-Martí S, Moya-Albiol L. Is sertraline a good pharmacological strategy to control anger? results of a systematic review. Behavioral Sciences. 2019;9(5):57. doi:10.3390/bs9050057. Accessed June 2, 2023.
  2. Amore M, D’Andrea M, Fagiolini A. Treatment of agitation with Lorazepam in clinical practice: A systematic review. Frontiers in Psychiatry. 2021;12. doi:10.3389/fpsyt.2021.628965. Accessed June 2, 2023.
  3. Sajdeya R, Joseph V, Stetten NE, et al. Reasons for Marijuana Use and Its Perceived Effectiveness in Therapeutic and Recreational Marijuana Users Among People Living with HIV in Florida. Cannabis: Publication of the Research Society on Marijuana. 2021;4(1). Accessed June 2, 2023.
  4. Ansell EB, Laws HB, Roche MJ, Sinha R. Effects of marijuana use on impulsivity and hostility in daily life. Drug and Alcohol Dependence. 2015;148:136-142. doi:10.1016/j.drugalcdep.2014.12.029. Accessed June 2, 2023.

Talkspace articles are written by experienced mental health-wellness contributors; they are grounded in scientific research and evidence-based practices. Articles are extensively reviewed by our team of clinical experts (therapists and psychiatrists of various specialties) to ensure content is accurate and on par with current industry standards.

Our goal at Talkspace is to provide the most up-to-date, valuable, and objective information on mental health-related topics in order to help readers make informed decisions.

Articles contain trusted third-party sources that are either directly linked to in the text or listed at the bottom to take readers directly to the source.

You May Also Like
woman smiling
Read More
Published on: 01 Dec 2020

4 Ways to Avoid Toxic Positivity

Published on: 01 Dec 2020
Close to a decade ago, when I was going through a particularly dark time, a friend suggested that…

Talkspace mental health services