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    Old 03-15-2009, 10:51 PM   #1
    hamstachick
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    Experiences with any anti-anxiety meds

    I am currently on Lexapro and have been on for a year and a half, approx. I had started taking it in July of 2007 and stopped in September of 2008 because of weight gain and I thought since I was taking 5 mgs. a day, that I was handling my anxiety myself. I had lost my Mom in 2007 and it's been horrible, the separation anxiety. It all came back when I quit Lexapro in September.

    By December I had decided I needed something to help with the anxiety and all the herbal and homeopathic remedies just weren't strong enough or wouldn't last long enough in my system. Both, really. So I went back the the dr. and he put me back on Lexapro. I thought maybe Buspar would help but he didn't think that was strong enough for me.

    I have come to believe that the Lexapro is not quite working the same this time around as it did before. In fact, the panic attacks have come back again and start as soon as I wake up. They are just intolerable! I am not knew to them, as they started when I was 7 years old and I am 39 now. I have had to take lots of Xanax just to be able to leave my room. =( Thank God for Xanax.

    So now I am not sure what to try. I tried Prozac long ago and Paxil, but they made me suicidal and I cut on myself and was just crazy acting. Course they had me taking TOO MUCH OF IT! I quit taking it. I was in a bad place then and not able to really remember if it helped at all, besides all the crazy behavior it prompted me to engage in!

    I am not sure if I should up my dose of Lexapro a bit or try something else. I HAVE upped the Lexapro a tad in the past two nights but no change. I just don't want to gain weight. It's a big deal with me. I will be calling the dr.'s office tomorrow, if I can keep from losing it while calling!

    SO TO THE POINT FINALLY:

    Can you please let me know your experiences with different anti-depressants you have taken for your anxiety? What have those of you taken for panic disorder? I am THINKING about Zoloft. But what about side effects? What about withdrawls when I get off of it? Weight gain? Icky feelings?

    Thank you for your help. It will help not only me but others too!

     
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    Old 03-15-2009, 11:04 PM   #2
    catheryn
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    Re: Experiences with any anti-anxiety meds

    I was on paxil for years. I guess I was lucky at the onset because it worked wonders for my anxiety and I felt like a completely normal functioning person (my anxiety disappeared). But, it made me soooo tired and all i'd want to do is sleep (and I'd sleep for 30+ hours, no problem). I was on the highest dosage: 60mgs. From there i went on celexa and zoloft and wellbutrin. I didn't like celexa or zoloft: I found they didn't work as well as the paxil and I was still tired (and gained some weight). The wellbutrin works on dopamine not serotonin so I didn't have any of the weight gain but I pretty much felt high as a kite all the time (tripping out on speed was pretty much how I felt), I couldn't sleep for very long which was ok because I liked not being tired and being able to function on small amounts of sleep. Wellbutrin says it has a low risk of sexual side effects, however, that's only if you don't count a hyperactive sex drive as a sexual side effect. I'm weening off of zoloft right now and am likely going back on the paxil because that was the only thing that really worked for me.

    I was also given ativan (0.5mgs I think?) which I was taking when I needed it, like when I had a panic attack, but I found it didn't really help: it just made me tired.

    Overall, the best AD I found that helped my anxiety was Paxil. I know a ton of people on paxil and they all say aside from the tiredness it's very effective in getting rid of their anxiety/panic attacks.

     
    Old 03-15-2009, 11:15 PM   #3
    light the world
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    Re: Experiences with any anti-anxiety meds

    I've been on effexor, celexa, and zoloft for anxiety. None have worked for me and they all have had sexual side effects. I also found that on the effexor at 150mg dose I had problems urinating. There was definitly urinary retention going on. Celexa just gave me headaches. The Zoloft gave me stomach aches and made me sick. This was probably because I didn't eat after taking the medications. The number one rule when taking an antidepressent is to have it during a meal or it increases the risk of stomach aches and being sick. Sorry I could offer any good medications that have helped out with anxiety, I still haven't found one yet. I do take ativan though on a prn basis ocassionally to relieve anxiety. Thats the only thing that has worked though for me. By the way you would need a good 2-3 mg of ativan to relieve a panic attack to some extent. Yes 0.5 mg won't do anything in fact I wouldn't be surprised if you never would have even noticed anything.
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    Last edited by light the world; 03-15-2009 at 11:18 PM.

     
    Old 03-17-2009, 01:19 AM   #4
    hamstachick
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    Re: Experiences with any anti-anxiety meds

    Thank you for the replies so far. I have seen that Paxil has helped some people with panic disorder as well as Zoloft too. Since I hadn't tried Zoloft, that's why I thought I would ask for it next. I had also heard that Paxil is hard to get off of because of the withdrawls. I know they all do to some extent. The first time I got off of Lexapro the withdrawls weren't too bad, with all the vitamins I was taking. I think the omega 3's helped a lot considering what it could have been like. As it was I was very irritated and weepy the first week. Sucked. I knew what was causing it though.

    I am currently waiting on the dr. to call back to let me know what I should do about the horrible anxiety that is breaking through the Lexapro. I am having to take Xanax around the clock now. I skipped today's dose of Lexapro to see if I still feel as anxious tomorrow when I wake. That could be a mistake as withdrawl crap may start to set in. Really, I am just not sure what to do. I am thinking, though, that the dr. will simply tell me to up my dosage. I really don't want to do that and have to ween off of a higher dosage....plus the weight gain comes faster at higher doses. I am turmoil not knowing what to do. If only my brain would produce enough serotonin on it's own so I wouldn't have to live with this.

    Any more experiences with anti-anxiety meds?

     
    Old 03-17-2009, 05:15 AM   #5
    Sweetgirl
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    Re: Experiences with any anti-anxiety meds

    Hamstachick - have you tried Cymbalta? It's supposed to be good for generalized anxiety. It isn't marketed for panic attacks, though. It's an SNRI, not a SSRI, so it works differently than Zoloft & Lexapro. It might actually curb your appetite a little. Here's the catch - my experience and many others is that coming off is a long process, although coming off Zoloft, Lexapro & the others isn't a cakewalk, in spite of what the drug companies say.

     
    Old 03-18-2009, 12:48 AM   #6
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    Re: Experiences with any anti-anxiety meds

    If your doctor put you on too high a dose of something to start with, you may want to find a different doctor. Not an easy thing to do, of course, but it may be a good idea. I don't know what type of doc you're seeing, but there are some who specialize in psychiatric drugs, and they will possibly give you multiple prescriptions to address certain aspects of your problem. For example, I was on Cymbalta daily, with something else to take at night for sleeping, and a blood pressure med to take in high-anxiety situations.

    The thing to remember with the drugs is that everybody is different, and different people react differently to different drugs, and it may even be that some drugs can become less effective as time goes on. The best you can do is keep trying.

    You mentioned skipping a dose of your medication to see what happens, but most anxiety meds don't work that quickly. It takes a couple weeks for most to have an effect, and skipping one day will have very little effect because there are still a few days of that medication coursing through your system. That's why withdrawal is such a concern: your body is expecting that drug to be there, and when it's not being resupplied, it causes withdrawal symptoms. Which is why it's so important to work your way gradually up with a medication, and gradually down when you decide to stop taking it, rather than cold turkey.

    Very few herbal supplements have been proven to have any impact on anxiety (besides the placebo effect), and those that have are rather weak in comparison to regular meds. And homeopathy is pure placebo.

    I've tried Lexapro, Effexor, Zoloft, and Cymbalta, so don't be too concerned if something doesn't work for you. Just keep trying; there are lots of drugs out there, and more being created every day.

     
    Old 03-19-2009, 08:02 PM   #7
    hamstachick
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    Re: Experiences with any anti-anxiety meds

    Thank you again for more replies! I appreciate it and others are helped too by each of our experiences with meds.

    The dr. called back and wanted me to go to 10 mgs. of Lexapro up from my usual 5 mgs. I knew he was going to do that. I just don't know if it's helping me anymore than if I was off of it, ya know? I mean, before I took it again, I was having to take more Xanax and Vistaril and I am doing the same thing now, as soon as I wake up, except instead of Vistaril, I take Benedryl pieces with the Xanax, which actually works out better, because it's not as potent as Vistaril, meaning it doesn't kick my butt as much.

    So I am at about 7.5 mgs. to see if that helps. I just don't want to go all the way to 10mgs. More side effects...blech. But, I am trying going higher so I can at least say I tried. We will see.

    I have not tried Cymbalta, but if it helps with panic disorder too and has had some good results with few side effects, like weight gain, then yahooo, let's try it. I am still researching Zoloft too. Some seem to have weight gain with it and some not.

    It's so depressing actually to not be able to just BE and have to constantly check my internal status, "Am I ok? How do I feel? Can I get out of here and go home if I need to? Yikes, those screaming kids (at walmart)!". And constantly having to take something to make it through the day. I mean, JEEZ!!!

    I saw Montel Williams the other night on Oprah and I didn't know he had MS. Wow, he is an inspiration. You can see that he is in pain and depressed from it, but is trying hard to be positive and not let it take over him over. But like many of us, his world is consumed with meds and handling of his condition. I sure did feel for him.

    Please keep the responses coming. They are helping. Oh and I go to a clinic and see the dr. there. I THINK he is an MD. He sure isn't sympathetic about weight gain!!!

    Last edited by hamstachick; 03-19-2009 at 08:03 PM. Reason: forgot a bit

     
    Old 03-19-2009, 09:19 PM   #8
    light the world
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    Re: Experiences with any anti-anxiety meds

    Despite of what I've said about effexor in my earlier post this would be a medication that I would reccommend for treating panic attacks and severe anxiety. It didn't work for me but I know plenty of people where it has worked for them very well. If you do get any side effects though from it I'd say try to live with it as best you can. Remember when you find the right med its not like you would be on it for the rest of your life.Wish you luck.
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    Old 03-19-2009, 11:42 PM   #9
    hamstachick
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    Re: Experiences with any anti-anxiety meds

    I have looked into Effexor, but from what I have read about it being a nightmare to get off of, it has scared me away from it. I THINK I saw somewhere that it was for panic too, but like I said, the withdrawl stuff scared the peewadden out of me. I do know two people that are taking it and seem to be fine, but I think they were taking it for depression and not panic disorder. Anyone else take Effexor for Panic disorder and find it help?

    Thanks!

    Last edited by ms_mod; 03-20-2009 at 05:03 AM. Reason: Removed unnecessary quote. Ms_Mod

     
    Old 03-20-2009, 05:46 PM   #10
    catheryn
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    Re: Experiences with any anti-anxiety meds

    Well, I've heard paxil is the mother of all ADs to withdrawal from and I managed to do it relatively unscathed, so you might be ok with Effexor. My panic attacks increased a little, but I started taking ativan when I needed it and it helped with the paxil withdrawal. Sometimes things aren't as bad as they're made out to be

     
    Old 03-20-2009, 06:35 PM   #11
    hamstachick
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    Re: Experiences with any anti-anxiety meds

    Yea, I know we are all different when it comes to meds and withdrawls. I took Paxil years ago and took myself off of it, but I don't recall anything about withdrawls from it. That was before I knew there were withdrawls from meds! I know more now.

    How was Effexor for quelling panic attacks?

    Any more out there about anti's for panic disorders?

    Last edited by hamstachick; 03-20-2009 at 06:36 PM. Reason: Added question

     
    Old 03-20-2009, 08:00 PM   #12
    light the world
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    Re: Experiences with any anti-anxiety meds

    Effexor is supposed to be a great med for people with panic disorders and severe anxiety disorders.
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    Old 03-20-2009, 09:18 PM   #13
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    Re: Experiences with any anti-anxiety meds

    only thing effexor helped me with was my OCD. I have severe anxiety too. I was on 150 mg. Did NOTHING for my anxiety symptoms though. Thats not to say it wont help you though! For me though so far NO anti-depressants did anything for my anxiety.

    The weird thing though is i still always got that feeling i was about to have a panic attack while on it. Even though i didn''t have one, i could have if things got bad enough. It does nothing to stop those thoughts in your brain, so it was pretty much useless in my opinion.

    Last edited by Lourage; 03-20-2009 at 09:21 PM.

     
    Old 03-21-2009, 05:36 AM   #14
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    Re: Experiences with any anti-anxiety meds

    Cymbalta is the newer version of Effexor and can be difficult to get off of. I think the key is to do it with doctor's supervision. I suspect that many people just quit and end up in trouble. You must taper off slowly.

     
    Old 03-21-2009, 01:15 PM   #15
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    Re: Experiences with any anti-anxiety meds

    I've suffered with anxiety and panic disorder since I was a small child... diagnosed with insomnia and just being 'different' lol ...doctors

    Finally in my late 20s a dr asked me if anxiety runs in my family and I was like huh? No one had EVER mentioned anxiety to me and I had no clue what it was! I thought my panic was due to sleeplessness as per my family dr. She tried me on all types of ADs including older ones and also wellbutrin and buspar but nothing helped and the side effects were horrible

    Finally she took me off the ADs sent me to a pdoc and he tried me on xanax.. 0.25 as needed.. I was taking 3 or 4 a day and a sleep aid. I'm now 39 and a few yrs back had to return to xanax after being off it for awhile and doing well. I've been taking 3mg a day for over 2 yrs now with no sleep aid needed. I havent had any panic attacks and for that I am very thankful. I was told by my pdoc I will more than likely need to remain on xanax possibly forever and I'm ok with that as long as it keeps working. After 2 yrs of being on the same dose it seems to be fine still. My grandma has severe panic and is 76 yrs old and still takes 3mg of xanax a day and has since 1985 so the reports I read about xanax not being for longterm use due to its decrease in effectiveness is just not true.

    So bottom line, for me, xanax is the only med that has really helped me feel normal and lead a normal life

     
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