Please Note: PlushCare does not have online psychiatrists at this time. That said, our primary care physicians are able to prescribe mental health medications such as antidepressants, and if necessary can provide you with a referral to a psychiatrist.
Can an Online Psychiatrist Prescribe Medication?
Yes. Online psychiatrists can write prescriptions for most medications that are approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) on your first visit. You may receive a 90-day prescription depending on the treatment plan you and your psychiatrist decide on.
They can also prescribe refills for medications that have been previously prescribed to you, with the exception of all controlled substances.
Online primary care doctors at PlushCare can also write prescriptions for mental health medications not classified as controlled substances.
While PlushCare doesn’t currently have psychiatrists, our online doctors are highly trained at treating mental health conditions and are available every 15 minutes, so you can book an appointment and get a prescription fast.
Even though we don’t have psychiatrists at this time, we still want to keep you informed about your options in the world of online healthcare. And remember primary care physicians are a great option and are able to write mental health prescriptions, not classified as controlled substances, online.
Book on our free mobile app or website.
Our doctors operate in all 50 states and same day appointments are available every 15 minutes.
See a doctor, get treatment and a prescription at your local pharmacy.
Use your health insurance just like you normally would to see your doctor.
What is an Online Psychiatrist?
An online psychiatrist works through a computer, telephone, or tablet to treat people with mental health issues. They may write certain prescription medications to help treat mental illnesses such as anxiety and depression.
This practice is also known as telepsychiatry or telehealthcare.
An online psychiatrist can help provide psychological support and counseling through the internet and offers much of the same treatment that an in-person psychiatrist would provide. Convenient, right?
Online Psychiatrists Can Prescribe the Following Medications Online
- SSRI and SNRI antidepressants like Lexapro, Celexa, Zoloft, Prozac, Cymbalta, etc.
- Almost any other psychiatric medication
Online Psychiatrists Cannot Prescribe:
- Opiates like Morphine, Oxycodone, Vicodin, etc.
- Medicinal marijuana
- Antipsychotics like Seroquel, Risperdal, Zyprexa, etc.
- Controlled ADHD medications like Ritalin, Adderall
- Other controlled substances like Xanax and Ambien
How Do You Get a Prescription From an Online Psychiatrist or Primary Care Physician?
Legally, you must have a consultation with a psychiatrist or other medical professional before you can get a prescription for medication. Then the doctor must send the prescription to the pharmacy of your choice to fill.
Luckily, there are online telehealthcare websites that are legitimate, safe, and discreet.
Seeing an online psychiatrist or doctor will give you access to mental health treatment in the comfort of your own home.
Sites like PlushCare operate in all 50 states and offer appointments with a trusted primary care doctor via telephone or video chat, where you can get a proper evaluation and prescription for medications that may work for you.
To speak with an experienced doctor at PlushCare, just click here to make an online appointment and discuss with a doctor the risks and benefits of possible psychiatric medications and if they are right for you. Note, PlushCare connects you with board certified top primary care doctors, not psychiatrists.
How Does an Online Psychiatrist Work?
An online psychiatrist or online doctor offers services through hospitals, mental health clinics, and tele-healthcare websites.
During an online appointment you will meet with the medical professional of your choosing who will ask you questions and provide you with a consultation, just as you would find in a traditional office setting.
Your first online session will most likely include a brief orientation and an opportunity for you to provide your consent for treatment.
Your physician will ask you about any current medical conditions, medications you take, and any physical symptoms you may be experiencing. They will also ask you about any concerns that may be troubling you.
At the end of your session, your doctor will assess your situation and may offer some suggestions for the next session.
They may also prescribe medications they feel will benefit your treatment.
Related Quiz: Do I Need Therapy?
What’s the Difference Between a Psychiatrist and a Psychologist?
Both psychiatrists and psychologists are involved in identifying issues that can affect your mood, feelings, thoughts, and emotions.
There are, however, a few distinct differences:
Psychologists use tools such as psychological testing, psychotherapy, and behavioral intervention to treat mental and emotional issues. Generally, they receive a doctoral degree in psychology and then complete one to two years of an internship.
Psychiatrists graduate from medical school, become medical doctors, and then receive four years of specialized training in their specific field of mental health. They are licensed to provide psychotherapy and prescribe medications.
Benefits of Seeing a Psychiatrist or Doctor Online
Consulting with an online psychiatrist or doctor can have many benefits. It can be more affordable and convenient to see a medical professional when you don’t have to travel to an office. You may also experience an easier time booking an appointment and receiving care without long wait times.
You can set an appointment that works for you, especially if you work during the day and need to set up an evening appointment.
Many people find it easier to communicate their feelings when using the phone or a video conference during their online psychiatrist appointment.
The privacy and safety of being at home may help you express yourself more freely.
Some studies have shown that the treatment success rates of in-office appointments versus online telehealthcare appointments are very similar. Telehealthcare has also been shown to be effective for a wide range of mental health issues.
The price of an online visit is also usually affordable, as state and private healthcare insurance companies can typically cover some or all of the cost.
Take your free mental health assessment.
Your results will help determine which type of support you may benefit from the most.
Meet with a top doctor, get an official diagnosis and prescription treatment plan.
Sit back and have your prescription delivered to your door.
What About Online Therapy?
For many mental health patients, a combined approach of medication and talk therapy yields the fastest results.
For those taking mental health medication, therapy is often recommended because it gives you a safe space to talk through some of the issues that you may be taking medication to help with.
While medication is helpful, it’s not a cure-all. Therapy helps solve the root of the problem so that you’re able to live happily and healthily.
PlushCare is now offering online therapy in California (more states coming soon)! You can meet weekly with a trusted therapist via secure video chat for ongoing emotional support.
Read more of our psychiatric series:
- Online Mental Health Services
- Can You Buy Antidepressants Online?
- Can You Buy Anxiety Medication Online?
The American Journal of Psychiatry. (2017). Patient-Targeted Googling and Psychiatry: A Brief Review and Recommendations in Practice. https://psychiatryonline.org/doi/full/10.1176/appi.ajp-rj.2016.110504
BetterHelp. (2019). Psychiatrists Online: Reasons To Choose An Online Psychiatrist. https://www.betterhelp.com/advice/psychologists/reasons-to-choose-an-online-psychiatrist/
Hilty DM, Ferrer DC, Parish MB, et al. The effectiveness of telemental health: a 2013 review. Telemed J E Health. 2013 Jun;19(6):444-54.