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nuttyprof. 12-01-2005 02:00 PM

I do not have schizophrenia. I have panic disorder (with agoraphobia) and as a result, suffer with major depression. I'm typically, obviously on the panic disorder boards but no one really seems to have any experience with this medication on there.
Anyway, I was prescribed risperdal with zoloft and xanax for my conditions about 3 and half weeks ago. I was skeptical in taking the risperdal because i never heard of it being used for panic disorder or depression so i never used it until last night because i was feeling so agitated, anxious and unable to sleep. So i took 2 mg of it and it knocked my rear end out. I felt depressed upon wakining like a zombie and everything seemed in slow motion and i couldnt get out of bed. In talking to another doctor, he said that it takes weeks for the risperdal to start really working for anxiety and depression and it is effective but i'm still skeptical because i don't see it FDA approved for use in depression or anxiety disorders.
Instead of psychiatrists just throwing this medication at me and telling me to take it, i would prefer to ask people who have actually taken this kind of medication everyday. I understand risperdal is prescribed to decrease or eliminate hallucinations and delusions present in schizophrenia but I'm curious to know if it has worked for the anxious and depressive components of your condition. Thank you for any help.

Best wishes to all

barkingshark 12-01-2005 04:21 PM

Re: Risperdal?
Risperdal can knock out about any symptom you can imagine :D

On the serious side, Risperdal will stop the anxiety and the depression in a few weeks. In fact you should be able to stop all the other meds and be right as rain. The downside that you need to be prepared for is when you stop taking it after a period of continous use, is it will cause you to have many vivid dreams to the point of where you won't get much sleep. Two milligrams is a strong dose for just anxiety and depression. I took less than that for Schizophrenia. But if the doc says two milligrams then two milligrams it is.

One thing you have to remember when you take a dopamine agonist (antipsychotic) is to never miss your regular dose. It works best if you take it at bedtime, twenty minutes before you go to bed. That way you don't fall asleep driving or sleep half the day.

Risperdal can cause agitation and pacing if taken in too stronge a dose (which isn't dangerous in any way, just annoying).
You need to watch out for your lower jaw or lip trembling when your mouth is open, also for your tongue to make small rhythmic movements. If you experience those side effects you need to tell the doctor right away. If it doesn't stop on it's own after a couple weeks or so, you will need to change meds as these are the early symptoms of tardive dyskinesia and it is dangerous but uncommon at low doses. Sometimes if you lower the dose of Risperdal for a few days then raise it again, all the side effects will go away as if by magic.

Another good med for the anxiety and depression in the antipsychotic family is Zyprexa, but it is more expensive.

Unlike anticonvulsants which can be taken for anxiety, an antipsychotic doesn't cause panic attacks and more anxiety when it is withdrawn after regular use. Also unlike those meds, it is not addictive and you won't build up a tolerance where you will need to take a larger dose over time to control the same symptoms.

That is about all I know about Risperdal. I took it 4-5 years and on a couple different occasions. The longer you take it the more effective it is.

nuttyprof. 12-01-2005 06:50 PM

Re: Risperdal?
Thank you very much barking shark. I feel much more comfortable using a medication which i know little about when i hear of patients who have taken it (especially 4-5 years).
I'm also interested in that dopamine agonist and antagonist stuff. I looked up some info on risperdal and it says unlike the old antipsychotics, this med works on serotonin too like the antidepressants although in a different way. Anyway, i dont know if that makes them better than the old antipsychotics or not but it's interesting. I think the risk of tardive dyskinesia is lower too than with the old agents but definately don't quote nuttyprof on that. I'm sure you probably know anyhow.

Once again thanks for the info. I have nothing to lose, except disabling anxiety and depression.

barkingshark 12-02-2005 11:58 AM

Re: Risperdal?
yes, Risperdal will help if you give it a chance to.
But you have to decide if the benefit of using it outweighs the risk.
The nickname for Risperdal is 'Rats perished all' and they don't call it that for nothing. Risperdal killed many lab rats before it went to clinical trial. Rat pups were born dead because of it. But people aren't rats. However the makers of Risperdal recently admitted that Risperdal does increase a person's risk of death. But all antipsychotics do.

If a person is mentally ill and need the medicine is best to choose to try it because it can make them well.

You will notice when you take an Antipsychotic which includes Atypicals and non-atypicals that you will feel less pleasure because of it's action of blocking dopamine. That is the main reason people with Schizophrenia don't want to take their medicine is the lack of pleasure they feel. It makes people feel bland. But it also fixes what is wrong so a person must choose for themselves which is better. I have always chosen medicine because I would rather suffer side effects than be mentally ill.

nuttyprof. 12-02-2005 12:50 PM

Re: Risperdal?
Again, thank you for more info barking shark. I do have another question though. Well, first off, i'm not afraid of dying from taking risperdal because i'm already dying in my house from severe panic and depression symtoms, which is keeping me out of work and my social life sucks pretty bad too. Everyone thinks i'm lazy, which makes it worse. The xanax is working okay, but i'm afraid it's going to poop out again, which is not always the case with panic sufferers.

But you talk about the antipsychotic drugs blocking dopamine and many also block serotonin it seems as well (particularly the newer ones). Does this blocking of serotonin cause loss of pleasure also or even make it worse than conventional antipsychotics because it blocks 2 neurotransmitters? Also, if these agents are helpful in relieving depression and anxiety, how can that be if the blocking of dopamine takes away pleasure and patients are feeling bland from it? I know some psychiatrists do percieve these agents as being effective antidepressants and/or antianxieties but how is that so if one cannot feel much pleasure?

I remember in the movie "A Beautiful Mind", John Nash's positve or active symtoms were being decreased or were decreasing in intensity because of the antipsychotics but it didnt make clear if he was helped at all with the negative symtoms (such as depression and i guess you can throw anxiety in there as well). Well, i'm getting ahead of myself here and everyone is different and there are other circumstances involved in his and everyone elses situation. Besides, i know treatment with meds wasn't the point of the movie.

I know you are not a neuroscientist, barking shark, and by far, nor am I and we don't know exactly how the meds work. But if these agents are being advocated for other mental disorders (depression, anxiety, manic depression, etc...) how can they work if lack of pleasure is a common side effect? Or do you think they should only be reserved for the delusions, hallucinations and/ or catotonic symtoms often present in schizophrenia?

Once again, thanks for your knowledge and opinions. They're very helpful

barkingshark 12-06-2005 06:14 AM

Re: Risperdal?
When Seratonin is blocked the brain responds by making more of it which relieves depression. Depression is very hard to treat for unknown reasons, yet some people respond very well to meds. Depression is treated 3 ways,an antidepressant, an antipsychotic, or lithium or a combo of those meds. I've never heard of anyone ever recovering from depression on an antidepressive except for the med Prozac, at least that is what the people who went to my mental health group claimed. I have never had depression really so I don't know how much truth there is to that.

When Dopamine is blocked only certain areas of the brain respond by making more, which helps the negative symptoms of Schizophrenia as this usually occurs in the fore parts of the brain. Gaba controls the release of Dopamine in the brain and sometimes it is all some people need who do have excess Dopamine to control their symptoms. Gaba is sold at the health food stores and has to be taken once a day, about every 22 hours. Gaba stops anxiety for a period of about 23 hours after it is taken, however the anxiety does return and it needs to be taken again.

It is when Dopamine is lowered that a person feels less pleasure. But usually this is compensated for by feeling of relief of anxiety or certain depressive symptoms and making a person feel more secure and safe with clearer thoughts so it is a good trade off.

Not all people with Schizophrenia have negative symptoms. Negative symptoms can sometimes be confused with depression by the person experiencing it. Not all Schizophrenics have negative symptoms. Anxiety is one of the easiest symptoms to treat with antipsychotics. An antipsychotic starts to work on anxiety immediately and it improves for a period of 6-7 weeks till it gets as good as it will get.

Making a decision to use an antipsychotic is a serious decision and you should give it careful thought, as you may experience serious withdrawal if you're depressive should you discontinue the medicine which could include psychosis that might last a period of 1-7 weeks once you stop the med. If you decide to take one, you need to use it regularly without missing does and make a long term commitment to it. It takes 3-6 weeks to work, but once it works, you will understand for yourself why they are considered miracle meds.

Mortician 01-26-2006 12:23 PM

Re: Risperdal?
I have been on zyprexa for a year, and gained an insane amount of weight then i quit them and they tried to give me respirdal.I couldnt even take it because every time i did i would get this INSANE feeling all over my body and i couldnt sit still, sleep, or anything. it was like super anxious and on i quit that too.
recently one of my friendsa that shows absolutely NO psychotic symptoms or anything got put on respiral...... i think my doctor doesnt know what hes talking about :nono:

and i didnt find respirdal worked at all. the only one that took away EVERYTHING i was feeling a the time and what iw as seeing/hearing was zyprexa.....and that, is a very horrible drug.

katay 03-23-2006 08:03 AM

Re: Risperdal?
i've been on Risperdal for 3 years now. I'm bipolar.
I've tried lots of meds, and Risperdal is the most effective for me with little side effects.

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