for better mental health

Sleeping pills and minor tranquillisers

Explains what sleeping pills and minor tranquillisers are used for, how the medication works, possible side effects and information about withdrawal.

What are the different types of anti-anxiety medication?

Here's an overview of all the non-benzodiazepine anti-anxiety drugs currently licensed in the UK.

Some of these drugs have more than one name. You might know a drug by its generic name or its trade name (see our page about drug names for more information on this).

For detailed information about a particular drug, you can look it up in our Sleeping Pills and Minor Tranquillisers A–Z.

You may also be prescribed other types of drugs for anxiety, such as antidepressants, beta-blockers or antipsychotics (at low doses).

Overview of non-benzodiazepine anti-anxiety drugs

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Generic name

Trade names (UK)

Forms available

Half-life

Dietary considerations

buspirone

Buspar

  • tablets

2–4 hrs

  • contains lactose
  • avoid grapefruit juice

pregabalin

Alzain, Lecaent, Lyrica, Rewisca

  • capsules
  • liquid

about 6.3 hrs

  • capsules contain gelatin

meprobamate

none

  • tablets

6–17 hrs

  • none

These three drugs are all quite different and have no shared characteristics.

For information on when to avoid taking these drugs and adverse effects, see the listing for each drug in the Sleeping Pills and Minor Tranquillisers A-Z.

This information was published in August 2016. We will revise it in 2019.

References are available on request. If you would like to reproduce any of this information, see our page on permissions and licensing.

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