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  • Best "starter" panic/anxiety medication

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    Old 09-15-2004, 06:11 PM   #1
    Join Date: Sep 2004
    Location: Denver
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    skasucka HB User
    Best "starter" panic/anxiety medication

    I have had panic attacks for about 10 months now. I have read as much as I can about them and have practiced breathing exercises, mind control, and i just started to see the phsychologist at my University 2 weeks ago. I talked to her about my problems with anxiety and panic attacks. Sometimes they prevent me from doing things that I need or want to do like going to class, standing up and presenting things in class, getting in a car full of people, and some of the most unusual things you can think of. The list goes on forever.

    Anyway, for 10 months now I have known I have had panic problems, and I dont really want to get on medication. BUT, I feel like i have tried EVERYTHING! Ive been doing a lot of reading on all the different kinds of medication, and they all sound promising at one place, but then are shot down at another.

    I am a 20 year old male and I have panic problems that consist of feeling faint, tight stomach, somewhat nausiated, and just scarred. I do not have problems sleeping. I am not on any other kinds of medication except an inhaler for my minor asthma (Albuterol).

    If anyone can post what they would suggest as what they think is the "Best" medication to start with. I know there is no such thing, but what have you heard or experienced to have the highest success rate, with the lowest drawbacks and side effects.

    I thank you VERY much for your posts, it will help me A LOT!

    [ removed ]

    thank you very much

    Last edited by moderator2; 09-15-2004 at 07:43 PM. Reason: please carefully review the posting rules - no emails

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    Old 09-15-2004, 07:49 PM   #2
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    Join Date: Jul 2004
    Location: Tampa,Florida
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    Emersonfav HB User
    Re: Best "starter" panic/anxiety medication

    well from what here lexapro would be that drug but i didnt have a good run with it because it increases your anxiety for the first couple of weeks

    Old 09-15-2004, 07:56 PM   #3
    Join Date: Jun 2004
    Posts: 69
    bushleaguer HB User
    Re: Best "starter" panic/anxiety medication

    Hi Alan,

    Your situation sounds a lot like what I have been going through the past few months. I've suffered with social anxiety for many years but learned to live with it. A few months ago I started to have full-blown panic attacks...and for me it got to the point to where they were completely debilitating.

    I was put on klonopin, which falls in the benzodiazepine family. A similiar med would be xanax. Both of these will stop the panic attacks and other anxiety symptoms. As soon as I started taking it the panic attacks stopped and I didn't have any side effects. From everything I've read, klonopin is a better choice because it has a longer half-life than xanax.

    I'm seeing a behavior modification specialist, and he has convinced me to start Zoloft, which is a SSRI (more info. on serotonin and these meds can be found on the web). While the klonopin has been very effective, according to my doctor, it isn't a preferred long-term therapy because of the possibility of physical dependancy and addiction (if one is so inclined).
    Zoloft is used to treat panic disorders as well as social anxiety disorder (which might explain your aversion to speaking in front of groups and the anxiety you feel when in a car with a group of people.....I share the same anxiety). I just started the zoloft, so I can't vouch for it yet. From what I've read and was told, it usually takes weeks before the benefit of the therapy will be realized. So until the zoloft does the job with the panic and anxiety I stay with the klonopin. Once the zoloft is doing its thing, my doctor will wean me off of the klonopin. Cognitive behavioral therapy will also be a key component to my overall treatment.

    Like yourself, I was very against taking medications because of all the potential side effects and the horror stories one can find on the web. But I look at it this way - I'd rather give this a shot than continue to live as I have. I had a lot of reservations about zoloft because of all the bad reactions I read from people on the internet, but then again I am sure there are scores of people who had a lot of success with it. A person doing splendidly with zoloft probably wouldn't feel compelled to post on a message board about it......I think its when people are apprehensive about starting or when things go wrong that they will turn to a community like this for advice or support.

    Anyway, that's my story. I hope this info. helps.....and whatever you choose, I hope you start to feel better soon!

    Old 09-16-2004, 08:49 PM   #4
    Join Date: Sep 2004
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    Bareroch HB User
    Re: Best "starter" panic/anxiety medication

    Having been on Xanax, Paxil and Celexa at different times, I would say that the Celexa worked best for me. But Paxil wasn't bad either. I was on Paxil for about 3 years when I was first dealing with my panic attacks.

    But everyone is different and reacts differently to meds. I have a friend who was on Celexa and is now on Effexor and swears that Celexa was by far her favorite.

    I understand where you are coming from regarding meds. But one way to look at taking an SSRI, is if you are a diabetic, would you would take insulin if you needed it? Or if you need heart medicine, would you take that? The end results sometimes far outweigh the possible symptoms which only you will know once you try it.

    You may have some initial side effects like nausea and anxiety BUT you can make it through. Just get a very good support group! They will be a god send! Those symptoms could last for a few weeks. But you can do it...I did.

    I wish you the best! Hang in there!

    Old 09-17-2004, 11:59 AM   #5
    Join Date: May 2003
    Location: Vancouver
    Posts: 51
    laurgan HB User
    Re: Best "starter" panic/anxiety medication


    Be careful not to take in too much from what you read. The best solution is to work with your doctor and look at all aspects of your condition before making a decision.

    Even second or third opinions are worthwhile at this point.

    Sometimes even a regiment of exercise and "emergency only" meds work just as well as other solutions.



    Old 09-17-2004, 04:16 PM   #6
    Senior Veteran
    Join Date: Feb 2003
    Location: melbourne, vic, aust
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    hry33 HB Userhry33 HB User
    Re: Best "starter" panic/anxiety medication

    the best starter med is any valium type one, works immediately with no nasty side effects

    docs are now being brainwashed to prescribe an antidepressant or an antipsychotic by the drug companies as these are still in patent and much more profitable for them

    the addiction problems of valium are being grossly overstated to discourage docs from prescribing them, valium type meds are all out of patent so theres no big money to be made from them

    Old 09-20-2004, 03:00 PM   #7
    Join Date: Sep 2004
    Location: Denver
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    skasucka HB User
    Re: Best "starter" panic/anxiety medication

    What would an "emergency only" medication be? That sounds like that may be worth looking into!


    Old 09-20-2004, 10:29 PM   #8
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    Join Date: Dec 2003
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    Madj HB User
    Re: Best "starter" panic/anxiety medication

    Dear Alan,

    Before you start taking any meds, my suggestion is to try therapy with hypnotherapy, that is if you haven't tried it yet. It has changed my life. I never believed it was possible and I was taking meds for many years with no solution at all. Meds will not cure you and I am talking from experience. I don't have any panic attacks anymore and I much more relaxed and feeling much better.

    I wish you good luck!


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