Exploring Medication for Anger: What Options Do I Have?

Dealing with anger is challenging, especially if you don’t have the skills to calm yourself down in a reasonable amount of time. Plus, sometimes anger can be so intense that it puts us at risk of hurting ourselves and others. What can you do to calm down? Are there medications for anger?

The simple answer is yes. Medication is a treatment that many prescribing mental health professionals recommend, along with other non pharmaceutical options.

But before starting a new medication, it’s essential to know the background information about your symptoms and your options as a patient. This way, you can be an informed, active participant in your healthcare.

We’ll start by defining what anger is and what it looks like

What is Anger?

When you think of someone with anger issues, you might think of a person having extreme emotional outbursts that involve screaming, yelling, or hitting. These grandiose displays of emotions are on the spectrum of how anger manifests itself, but that’s not always what it looks like.

The American Psychological Association (APA) defines anger as: “an emotion characterized by antagonism toward someone or something you feel has deliberately done you wrong.”

Some signs of anger are:

There are physical, emotional, and social consequences to anger. It may:

If these things begin to happen, it may be time to seek treatment for your anger. While it might feel good to express your anger, letting it run rampant can wreak havoc on your life and relationships. Seeking help doesn’t mean you’re weak; you’re taking charge of your well-being.

Anger isn’t always destructive, such as when it causes you to think more deeply about a situation and come up with solutions to your problems – but that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t practice self-awareness and intervene if anger overwhelms you.

Treatment Options for Anger

Managing anger doesn’t have a one-size-fits-all solution. Everyone’s brain works differently, so looking at all your options is crucial to ensuring you’re taking the best care of your mental well-being.

For many people, therapy and lifestyle adjustments can serve as effective methods to learn how to manage their anger. However, there are instances where these approaches may not be enough. In these cases, medication could be the missing link to a treatment plan aimed at mitigating anger-related issues.

Let’s break down what medication and non-pharmaceutical options there are for anger.


The Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, Fifth Edition (DSM-5) doesn’t classify anger as a distinct diagnosis, although it is a symptom of dozens of conditions for children and adults, like conduct disorders, oppositional defiant disorder, anxiety, or depression. It’s also a sign of some physical health conditions.

Consequently, no medications have received FDA approval specifically for treating anger. Off-label medications are used to address anger symptoms, which means they help alleviate or reduce symptoms, although that isn’t the drug’s original intended purpose.

Beware of the side effects of other medications you’re taking since anger can be a side effect. Chantix, bupropion, Singulair, and Adderall are some examples.


Non-pharmaceutical approaches can also be highly effective, often used in conjunction with medication or as standalone treatments.

Therapy, such as cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT) or anger management counseling, helps you learn to express your emotions healthily instead of relying on anger to get your point across. Specifically, how to:

Lifestyle changes, including regular exercise, stress reduction techniques like meditation, and improving communication skills, also play a significant role in anger management.

Medication Management + Anger Management = Holistic Mental Health Care

Medications can be a helpful tool in managing anger; they are just one piece of the puzzle. Rather than relying solely on medication to suppress symptoms, taking a comprehensive approach addresses the underlying causes of anger while also providing support for symptom management.

At Balance Psychiatric Services, we advocate for a holistic treatment approach for our patients. Whether that’s a combination of behavioral therapy, anger management, medication management, or something else, looking at the whole body and mind creates avenues for more effective treatment. Our psychiatric mental health and family nurse practitioners utilize this philosophy with each of their patients, allowing them to deliver what’s needed to help people effectively manage anger.

We also know that reaching out for help isn’t easy, especially when it’s for your mental health. Remember, it’s okay to ask for support. Plenty of resources are available to you; it just takes that first email or phone call to start.

When you call us at 412-467-6410, you’ll speak with one of our administrative staff, who will guide you on the next steps to schedule your first appointment. We can’t wait to hear from you and walk with you on your journey towards better anger management and an overall happier and healthier life.