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  • SSRI's causing panic attacks??

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    Old 07-26-2007, 11:15 AM   #1
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    pynkett HB User
    Question SSRI's causing panic attacks??

    I recently went to the Dr. for my anxiety since it has been flaring up pretty bad in the last couple months. She prescribed Celexa (20mg) and Ativan (1mg) for me to take for a month then to come back in to see how I am doing. The first night I took the Celexa I had a major panic attack. The only other time I have had a panic attack was when a Dr. three years ago had me try paxil for my anxiety. I stopped taking the paxil and only started taking Ativan as needed back then.

    I called my Dr. back the next day to tell her about the panic attack that I think the Celexa caused. She never called me back so I went in the following day after that. She said the Celexa did not cause the panic attack and that I should continue to take the medication. That I am causing my panic attacks because of my taking new medications...but this is the only type of medication that causes me to have panic attacks. My husband and I decided to try it again while he doesn't have work the next day so he can be there in case I have another panic attack.

    Has anyone had any reactions like this to SSRI's, did you keep taking the medication, and did the panic attacks stop?? Now I am so worried about taking it again that my body is going into panic mode as it is.

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    Old 07-27-2007, 10:35 AM   #2
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    j2006 HB User
    Re: SSRI's causing panic attacks??

    You started out with a very high dose. I started at .5 mg for the first week - then 10mg for a month and then to 20mg. Ask your doctor about lowering your dose until your body adjusts to the medication.

    Celexa worked for me.

    Old 07-27-2007, 12:10 PM   #3
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    springgodess HB User
    Re: SSRI's causing panic attacks??

    Hi Pinkett,

    I was had panic disorder when I went to see my doctor, and she put me on Zoloft (similar to Paxil and Celexa). She did warn me that my condition would get worse for a while (as the SSRI's cause you to be anxious, nervous at first) but as time went on it would help my panic. Well, at first it was hard to believe her, I really did get worse the first two weeks, luckily I was also prescribed Lorazepam (Ativan) as needed, so I took it when I got really bad. But let me tell you, during those first two weeks I felt like hell, I was ready to drop my treatment and was feeling like jumping out of my skin and never thought that such a feeling would ever go away. However, after a month on the Zoloft (and slowly increasing my dose to 50mg) I felt back to normal. I'm telling you from personal experience, it does get better (or at least they help you get back to normal), but you have to stick with the treatment, and if you feel too bad, take your Ativan. I know it's tough right now, but pull through it and you'll be ok.

    Old 07-28-2007, 10:39 AM   #4
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    smurfy33 HB User
    Re: SSRI's causing panic attacks??

    I was put on Paxil 20 mg a day because of very mild anxiety (I just worried a lot but it was not bad at all). I had my first and only panic attack on the Paxil after only the second dose. I stopped the Paxil and went on Ativan. My doctor never warned me that SSRIs could cause anxiety. I was later told that they put me on too much Paxil at once and I should have started with a 1/4 of a pill and worked up to a full pill very slowly. I will never go on another SSRI. I have not had another panic attack, but my anxiety got really bad after the panic attack because of the fear of having another one which led to horrible anxiety about my health. It has been 2 years since my panic attack and I'm still fighting with anxiety. I have a friend who takes Paxil for panic attacks. Initially her panic attacks got worse but after about 2 weeks they stopped and it has been 10 years since she has had one. So, if you can stick it out through those 2 weeks, it may help you.

    Best of luck!

    Old 07-28-2007, 12:05 PM   #5
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    Re: SSRI's causing panic attacks??

    HI there, I saw your question and just had to share my story. In 1997 I went to a psychiatrist for my depression. She prescribed Effexor 37.5 mg--take 1/2 tablet on first day and then 1/2 tablet twice daily until next visit. Well, I took the first 1/2 tablet that night and had rolling panic attacks for 4 hours until it wore off!!!!!!!!!!!
    When I called the psychiatrist that next morning she yelled at me for not following her directions(because I took the tablet in the evening instead of waiting until the next day.) Then she proceeded to tell me that she did not want me as a patient since I could not follow her directions. Needless to say, I did NOT want to return to see her--nor have I taken an SSRI again. The suffering was worse than the depression.
    My mother is bipolar and her experience with every single SSRI has been anxiety and panic attacks along with some noticeable relief from the depression. But only for about 4 months, and then they all seem to wear off and she is just left with the anxiety and panic. Not sure if anyone else has noticed that problem with antidepressants. My family seems to be very sensitive to drugs, & so I look to natural ways to relieve anxiety. I hope that you are able to work out something to help you feel better soon. God bless you.

    Last edited by kidd123; 07-28-2007 at 12:23 PM. Reason: spelling

    Old 07-29-2007, 03:29 PM   #6
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    Re: SSRI's causing panic attacks??

    I also had my first panic attack a couple years ago when my Dr. prescribed Paxil for my anxiety. I took it a couple day and had horrible side effects that led into my panic attack. I started taking Ativan then also on an as needed basis. I hadn't taken Ativan for almost two years when here lately my anxiety started going through the roof because of more things happening in my life...nothing last child starts school this year and I was having major anxiety over what to do ...get a job, volunteer, take college courses. I get anxiety over doing new things and being around people I don't know...among other things.

    My only other panic attack was with the Celexa. I did take the plunge and I started it on 5mg a couple nights ago. The first night I took it I felt a little agitated and had to keep the light on and have my t.v. on when I went to bed. After that though I have actually been feeling pretty good with no major side affects at all. The only side effect so far on the 5mg is just a very slight jitteryness in the mornings and a couple times a day. I might have to take it in the mornings or around dinner because for about the first six hours after I take it I can't sleep very well.

    My Dr. said she wants me to take it for at least six months and then if I want to come off of it I can. She said she wants it to build up the seretonen(sp) in my body so that my anxiety won't be as major once I come off. I have major stomach problems because of my anxiety. I am upset with the Dr. .. who is just my regular Dr. not a psychiatrist.. because she just gave me the medication and didn't warn me about any side effects. She did give me a referral to a psychiatrist who I am going to go see as soon as the referal goes through.

    Last edited by pynkett; 07-29-2007 at 03:36 PM.

    Old 07-29-2007, 07:23 PM   #7
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    JAILYN12 HB User
    Re: SSRI's causing panic attacks??

    You might need xanax to calm you down when you have a panic attack or feel bad at night. It helps you sleep. I was on celexa for 4 years and had no side effects. I felt great. 5mg is an extremely small dose. I was on 20mg and I was told that was a very small dose. I take xanax when I feel anxious or panicky. I calms me down in 15-20 minutes.

    Anxiety is cause by a chemical in your brain and you have no control over it. Medication balances out those chemicals. I was told by my psychiatrist that when you are on these meds you need to be on them for at least a year. You should also not stop taking your meds during a depressing time of the year like winter. The first time I was on zoloft for 6 months under the supervision of my regular physician and he took me off right around christmas. All those bad feeling came flooding back after a few weeks. That is when I decided to see a Psychiatrist. They know way more about anxiety and depression than my regular physician.

    Don't be afraid to take medication for your problem. I wish When my anxiety first surfaced I would have taken something. I thought I could control it on my own and it just spiraled out of control. I went from being outgoing and fun to scared and not wanting to leave the house. When I finally took medication and saw a therapist I learned more about my disease and was able to deal with it. It is just like having any other disease. If you had heart disease you would have to take your meds. It is the same thing.

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