I was prescribed beta blockers for my physical symptoms of anxiety & sertraline for the mental side. I've been on them for a few weeks now and already seen a massive difference!
So much depends on how your anxiety affects you and how bad it makes you feel. Some people do need to take medication because of anxiety but personally I would try the CBT again first - it doesn’t suit everyone, though, so ask your therapist if there’s other options like counselling available, especially since you say that you feel that CBT didn’t work for you last time.
Side effects are the lesser problem. The problem mostly to get used to the changes while you are taking certain medications. Sleep pattern, work, relation to people.
It's easy to work with side effects if you know what they are and making a list of them when they happen. So you will be prepared in advance and can find solution to overcome. The first 2 weeks is the hardest after that most of it just disappear.
If you suffer of anxiety medication will help 100% just try to get through the initial 2 weeks and you will be fine.
Thank you all for your replies. I have been prescribed medication and will start taking them from tomorrow, and I am continuing with CBT. It's annoying that I'm getting anxious about taking medication and the potential side effects!