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Anxiety and no medication to help!
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Anxiety and no medication to help!

Ive been having some anxiety for a while now, about a year and a half. Last Febuary I had a thryoidectomy because of thyroid cancer. I still feel anxious and angry, irritable and just uncomfortable all the time. Ive been trying all kinds of different anti anxiety medications, Ive tried paxil, celexa, buspar, and the benzos. I must be really sensitive to medications because the side effects of all of these are horrible. I take them for two days and im seeing things, cant sleep and have jolts. Has this happened to anyone else? Does anyone have any other medication suggestions?
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973741_tn?1342346373
Hi  there and welcome to med help.  Sorry to hear about your cancer and surgery but am glad it is in the past!  Now just ridding yourself of anxiety is the task at hand.

It is now well known that when coming off an antidepressant, it is essential to wean slowly from it but it also can be very beneficial to titrate slowly when begining to take the medication.  That way it is introduced slowly to the body so there are fewer start up side effects.  An example would be this--  say you wanted to take 20mg of Paxil/paroxetine (the target dose), you'd start on maybe 5 mg and take that for a week, then titrate up to 10mg and so on.  That way,  you may get away from some of the initial starter side effects.  Many medications now come in a sustained release formula which supposedly has fewer start up side effects associated with it but when one goes to the pharmacy, they are given the generic version of the older drug.  So then the slower titration system of taking it can be very beneficial.  so, talk to your doctor about that.

There are some medications that have the generalized anxiety disorder (GAD) indication and they might be good for you to try.  Have you ever tried Effexor/venlaflaxine?  This is a duel receptor medication that has been widely used successfully for anxiety.  

Lots of luck dear.  You are a fighter and will conquer this anxiety too!!  
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612551_tn?1247839157
Great advice and information above.  If I say anything below that is in conflict, disregard my input, please.

My wife has been treated for depression and anxiety (and for cancer, now on a second round of chemo) and has gone through a number of meds.  One called "Ability" which is "out-of-sight" in cost (we have insurance and that prescription took care of our annual deductible with one 90 day order). I posted on this a few weeks back because I was shocked her doctor didn't tell her, just handed her a prescription that could bring on anxiety on how to pay the bills after paying for the one prescription.  

I send the above "bad news" just to suggest you discuss cost if your doctor suggests Ability.  

One's emotional state is a very complex matter, and so it isn't easy to determine if a medication for anxiety is helping, so far I don't see any help from the high cost Ability med.  I am not complaining to my wife about the cost to add to her anxiety, as siad we are fortunate to have insurance and boy is it needed for this med.
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973741_tn?1342346373
Hi there!  With finding the best medication for someone, it can take some work.  Each person is so different and doctors expect that the first one or two medications may not be a great match.  Sounds like this may be the case with your wife and Abilify.  It also sounds like she was treated with a number of medications at this point and in a slightly cavalier way.  I'm wondering if it is her oncologist that is prescribing this and maybe it would be better to see a physician that focused soley on her mental health for this help??  (not sure what your insurance is covering at this point but worth it if it is covered.)  

I agree that part of prescribing medications for patients is to have dialogue with them telling them the benefits and draw backs, what they can expect, etc.  Mentioning if it is a second, third tier medication to insurance companies is helpful.  That can sometimes be hard to do as each person has individual medical/prescription coverage making it hard to tell what any one person's cost would be.  If your wife is still working with an oncology department of a hospital, it might be helpful to see if the hospital has a patient advocate who can work out the specifics of your coverage for your wife and find best ways to offset costs.  But a prescribing physician should slow down and have these types of discussions with patients especially when the anxiety is secondary to a major healthcare concern.  

It is also worth noting that there is a percentage of the population that doesn't respond to treatment.  Unfortunate that this happens but that is when one must implement other methods of soothing such as meditation, exercise, yoga, etc.  Hopefully this isn't the case of your wife and I would try further treatment before determining that she will not respond.

Anyway, make sure to communicate with her doctor about the issues she is having with Abilfy.  Lots of luck to you and your wife!

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612551_tn?1247839157
Thanks, and thanks for your outstanding contributions here and on other Communities.

In my wife's case Ability was prescribed by her Psychiatrist  She also works at times with a Psychologist.  The cancer problems and the fact that Oncology is one of her medical treatments adds considerably to the depression and anxiety.

I do my best to be positive and to get her out, for a walk, for a movie, for a day trip, for a concert, ....  I think that is some of the best medicine, and it helps me to.  None of us are immune to depression and anxiety.

The case of the Ability was that while she had gotten the prescription last year after our insurance deductible had already been paid the cost went unknown to us as the co-pay was under $100 I did not dig for details.  A problem I have with the pharmacy, CVS, is they do not provide details on the total cost, just showing what the patient owes.  The Ability prescription was up for refill in January - any prescription that cost over $1,000 has got to catch the eye, and is enough to take food off the table for many, thus my warning to check it out when a doctor hands you a patent medicine for which there is no generic alternative.      
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973741_tn?1342346373
Ugh, that medication cost is indeed a major financial drain.  1000 dollars sounds very high to be honest when it looked to me like the average was 400 a month.  Still a good amount but wowie, 1000 bucks is a massive chunk.

But you are saying that you had a copay of under 100 dollars.  Hope that is the case still.  The outlandish cost of various drugs would make them unavailable to patients that can't afford them although I always caution people to look for various indigent programs to receive medication free or at a cheaper rate.  Different avenues to go about that and again, that is where a patient advocate in the hospital setting or a caring nurse in a physician setting can be of great value.

Does the medication work for your wife?
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Avatar_m_tn
Thyroid problems cause anxiety.  Getting that regulated is very difficult now that it has to be done artificially.  If you're anxiety is thyroid caused, anti-depressants and benzos aren't going to help as much as if it's just an emotional problem.  I have no idea if this is thyroid caused, but as that's one of the largest physiological causes of anxiety it seems likely, so you might want to emphasize with your docs that you don't think they've got the synthetic hormones right yet.  Worth a try.
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