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  • New Here. What's the best meds for Panic Attacks?

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    Old 11-24-2004, 07:27 AM   #1
    Join Date: Oct 2003
    Location: Clearwater, FL, US
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    hypodude HB User
    New Here. What's the best meds for Panic Attacks?


    Im a veteran of the Thyroid boards as my Thyroid is messed up but have never visited these boards before. I posted this same thread on the Anxiety board looking for an answer. Due to my Thyroid problem, I tend to turn Hyperthyroid often, which is almost the exact same thing as an anxiety attack, which I also get frequently.

    I have prescriptions for a few different anxiety meds as a result, including .5 mg Xanax (generic version) and Propanolol (a beta blocker). Recently my ENT who is working to correct my Thyroid problem (might require surgery) told me to take my Xanax every day for 10 days to see if I feel better. The problem for me is:

    1. I hate taking pills

    2. Im not sure which is better to take for anxiety.

    I've heard Xanax is very addicting and although I have some conrtol, I definitely have an addictive personality.

    My questions are, What drug would I be better off taking for the panic attacks and can it be taken each day without it wearing off after a while and having to keep increasing my dose.

    Also, what does it feel like when you take it? Does it stop a panic attack dead in its tracks?

    I've been pretty debilitated with PA's for a long time. I just recently programmed myself to get over the agoraphobia and am doing fine getting out but I am by no means comfortable like I once was. I feel totally edgy when Im at someone else's house or out and about. I do it, but its just not fun.

    Is Paxil the long term answer or Xanax or beta blockers?

    I just want to get back to something that represents a normal life without all this anxiety. Im a classic "Type A" personaility. I tend to go over the edge with everything and have been very successful with my life in general given my medical and/or psychological problems.

    If I start taking a med, which do you think is best and if so, will I lose my "edge". Sometimes I think the thing that is hurting me is one of my best attributes cause I get a lot of work done and achieve a lot of goals and would hate walking around feeling like a zombie.

    Any advice would be greatly appreciated. Im particularly interested to know what it feels like when you take the meds. I do not want something that is going to make me more nervous than I already am.

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    Old 11-24-2004, 07:39 AM   #2
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    Graciecat HB UserGraciecat HB User
    Re: New Here. What's the best meds for Panic Attacks?

    I can answer a few of your questions, but not all.
    Some people become dependent on or tolorant to Xanax, while others don't...I took it for a very long time and I never had a problem with it...but some people do.
    Yes, it does stop an attack in it's tracks...when I was taking it I felt relief within 15 or so minutes.
    Paxil is an SSRI...some people have great sucess with this type of drug while others don't...I was one who had a problem with it...but like I said some people have success with it.
    Also, SSRI's are know to cause an increase in anxiety when they're first started, but once your body gets used to them that side effect should go away.
    As for what would be best for you, nobody on here can reallly answer that because all these medications have different effects on different people.
    The only people who can really decide what's best for you are you and your Doctor working together.
    If your Doctor tries you on a medication and if you feel that it's not working for you, talk to your Doctor about it don't just assume that because your Doctor prescribed it or because it works well for another person that it will be the right thing for you.

    Good luck to you and I hope you find something that works well for you.

    Old 11-24-2004, 08:49 AM   #3
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    LinmcHugh HB User
    Re: New Here. What's the best meds for Panic Attacks?

    I've been taking Xanax 1 mg prn for man years. I have had panic attacks since early teens. They stopped but came back after the birth of my daughter when I was 24 and they were worse. Certain triggers still bother me--hospital situations and flying, but I do. I'm now 43. I have tried the entire range of medications all with horrible side effects--in fact paxil and a couple others produced parodoxial effects. doctor said I would probably be on them forever anyway, and it does have the shortest 1/2 life in your body, so why not stay on it. I have not increased my dose, and I have had no problems on the medication. I don't drink or smoke, and if this controls the panic attacks, then so be it. I don't believe I will go through withdrawal, because I will probably be needing it my entire life.

    Old 11-24-2004, 12:52 PM   #4
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    hry33 HB Userhry33 HB User
    Re: New Here. What's the best meds for Panic Attacks?

    xanax or any other valium type med will help with panic attacks but a tablet only lasts a few hours
    beta blockers reduce physical but not mental anxiety problems

    paxil or any other prozac med often reduces panic attacks a lot but needs to be taken daily for up to 6 weeks before it works properly

    I would try to get better control of yout thyroid, I dont think panic attack meds are very suitable for thyroid problems

    Old 11-26-2004, 09:59 PM   #5
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    krisdance83 HB User
    Re: New Here. What's the best meds for Panic Attacks?

    I also believe I have an "addictive personality." I can't answer all of your questions but I just wanted to share my story with Ativan which is a similar drug to Xanax.

    I was having panic attacks daily so I took .5mg of Ativan for 2 months daily. It made me feel great. But I soon noticed that it wasn't working so well, and actually when it wore off I was feeling sick! My doctor told me it was a "tolerance withdrawal" and that I would need to increase the dose to have the same effect. Well since I was feeling so horrible I decided not to increase the dose but to taper off because I didn't want to go through an even worse time with a higher dose.

    I've heard from many sources that people should not take benzos regularly for more than two weeks because tolerance can build that quickly. BUT THEN AGAIN, there are many people here who have stayed on the same dose and NEVER had a problem!!! So I'm not trying to scare you because I'm probably a weird case but it can happen very quickly...that's all I wanted to say. Honestly I wish I would have only taken it here and there AS NEEDED because it really does work wonders for panic attacks. It is great stuff and I'm really sad that I had to get off it because of the tolerance effects I had.

    I wish you the best of luck.

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    Old 11-27-2004, 05:12 PM   #6
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    ScaredyKat HB User
    Re: New Here. What's the best meds for Panic Attacks?

    Xanax is the only drug that I can take that will make me feel "normal" again. I take the lowest dose possible. I usually take .25 mg first thing in the morning, then twice more during the day at 6 hour intervals so that I know I'll be OK while at work, and at night when I return home.

    I hate taking meds and only took Xanax after another 3am trip to the Emergency Room and the ER doctor assured me that it would help me feel better and that I would be OK. He even stayed with me while I took it in the ER. Xanax calmed me down and let me feel normal again. I continue to take it while searching for the cause of my PAs so that I can treat them, and not the symptoms. Good luck to you!

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