Anxiety Community
Elavil for Panic/Anxiety
About This Community:

This patient support community is for discussions relating to generalized anxiety, anxiety and eating, anxiety and sleeping, mood swings, panic attacks and panic disorders.

Font Size:
A
A
A
Background:
Blank
Blank
Blank
Blank Blank

Elavil for Panic/Anxiety

I am wondering if anyone has had any success or opinions with using Elavil for panic disorder, or if it is even used for it.  I know it's of the older antidepressants, but I can't tolerate the newer SSRIs as they make me too anxious.  I've read somewhere that the older ones are more sedating, but still have quite a list of side effects.  I don't know how true this is.  Thanks to anyone who responds.

Elsa
Related Discussions
11 Comments Post a Comment
Blank
Avatar_f_tn
Elsa,

I just began Elavil about 2 weeks ago for generalized anxiety and insomnia. Elavil is used for multiple psychiatric disorders including panic disorder but is more widely used for depression and migraine headaches. But because it is an older antidepressant, its effects are not seen until 4 - 6 weeks after beginning the medication (one of the major downfalls when you need relief from panic/anxiety asap). So far, I have noticed a slight decrease in my anxiety. While I have never had a full blown panic attack, I have experienced some of the symptoms associated with them. My main issue for trying Elavil is for its supposed 'sedating' effect. I am on 30mg a day at bedtime and it is not putting me to sleep at all. But it is making me relax better at bedtime. I have not had ANY negative side effects at all which is very surprising to me since I have had major side effects from Celexa, Trazodone, Xanax, and Ambien for sleep (i.e. vivid hallucinations, panic like symptoms, vomiting, etc.). If you have tried other medications with no relief, Elavil may be an option for you since it is not an SSRI but a tricyclic antidepressant. It works differently on the chemicals in your brain. Has your Dr. mentioned Elavil as an option for you? What other meds have you tried?

Best wishes,

Stephanie
Blank
212161_tn?1410016711
my mother has been on it for 2 months it has helped her so much with her anxiety and depression, she takes 25mg at bed time she sleeps great and feels so much better , she was on 50mg at bed time but made her still tired next day so cut it to 25mg, she says she has dry mouth a lot but not sure if its from that or klonopin. but yes its been great for her . good luck.
Blank
Avatar_f_tn
Are you still on Elavil?  Are you still having sedating problems at 30mgs?  Do you use any other drug for sleep?  I used Elavil for only a few days.  I stopped because it was not giving me the sedating effects that I wanted.  For me, that meant not sleeping at night unless I use Xanax or Ambien etc.  to help me out.  I do know that doctors are recommending Elavil for sleep.  I started at 10mg. and then 25 mg.; still no sedating effect at least not to help me sleep.  
Blank
Avatar_f_tn
Yes, I am still on Elavil at 30mg and it is not sedating me at all. I am not on any other meds right now. In the recent past, I have tried all of the following for sleep: Lunesta, Xanax, Rozeram, Ambien, Celexa, Trazodone...and now Elavil. The only reason I am still on it is the hope that it will reduce my anxiety which in turn will help my problem with sleep. Elavil is also the only meds that I have been on that has not given me side effects.  I wish Xanax or Ambien put me to sleep. Xanax gave me panic attack symptoms and on Ambien I hallucinated. Rozeram was a bust along with Lunesta. I was having issues 2 - 3 xs a week where I would not sleep ALL night. then, i'd have to go out and work the next day with school at night. Ended up having to quit my job because of it. I hate this. Are you diagnosed with an anxiety disorder or do you just have problems sleeping?

Also, with Elavil, there is a large area for adjustment in dosage. It is not uncommon for outpatient individuals to be up to 50 - 100mg doses. 10mg and 25mg may not be enough to put you to sleep. I find that I still have problems initiating sleep but I eventually do sleep now where in the past I wouldn't sleep at all. I'll keep you posted if I get bumped up on dosage to let you know if it knocks me out.
Blank
Avatar_f_tn
I have an anxiety disorder and also can't sleep at night.   I have tried  Lunesta,  Rozeram, Ambien CR, etc.  What worked for me was Ativan.  Lunesta would give me around 5 hours of sleep, but I felt tired during the day.  I am currently taking Ambien Cr.  at a higher dose 12mg., because the 6mg didn't do much for me.  I'll let you know if the higher dose  works better.  The doctor stopped my taking Ativan because he said it would cause more problems for me in the long run because of addiction.  Xanax also worked for a while as well.  So now I have started with Elavil 10mgs twice a day and the Ambien Cr. at night.  Hoping to get the same result at your doctor to be able to sleep at night on my own.  He suggested also putting me on a mood stablizer  to see if this might help as well.  I am a little dubious about this med since I have never taken it before.  I'm not great when it comes to side effects.  I am sensitive.  How long have you been on Elavil?  I have been very disappointed in the sleeping meds such as Lunesta, ambien etc.  They don't seem to always put one to sleep; or if they do, you don't always stay asleep.
Blank
Avatar_f_tn
I've been on Elavil for a little over 2 weeks. Two more weeks or so and it should reach full effectiveness. I moved myself down from 30mg back to 20mg once a day at bedtime. My heart began racing at 30mg and I couldn't sleep well. I am very sensitive to meds also and have found this whole trial and error thing very frustrating. I'll have to ask my dr. if she thinks Ativan would work for me. But since it is in the same class of meds as Xanax, I doubt she'll prescribe it to me since Xanax set me off into a panic. My friend suffers from GAD and major depression and swears by Klonopin for his anxiety and Elavil for sleep. But, everyone is different. I just feel as if nothing is going to help me. I don't want to suffer with this forever.
Blank
Avatar_f_tn
I know what you mean by frustrating.  This is my second day of taking Elavil.  I have had a little dry mouth which I understand is a side effect.   I took Ambien CR. last night 12mg.  I did work for sleep, but I woke up with a headache and some drowsiness.  I did not like the headache or drowsiness since I can't seem to take a nap in the afternoons due to my insomnia problem.  I don't know if your doctor will prescribe the Ativan, but it does work.  I am certainly missing that good sleep I got from it.  I wish it weren't so addicting.  I really feel terrible the next day when I sleep so poorly or not at all.   I feel the same way as you that nothing is going to help and I don't want to suffer.  Let me know what your doctor says.   I don't know if I mentioned to you before that this is the second time I try Elavil.  The first time I tried it it also made my heart race and this made me panic.  I then stopped it.   I also have tried Lexapro, an antidepressant.  I stopped this after 3 weeks.  It was just awful for me.  Hopefully this second go around with Elavil is better.  
Blank
Avatar_f_tn
Did it take you two weeks on Elavil until you were able to fall asleep on your own?  I was wondering how long it would take me because of using Ativan for sleep.  It would be great if it could be two weeks for me also.  
Blank
366811_tn?1217426272
As you can see, there are numerous experiences with good old Elavil, so taking a vote shouldn't be regarded as any particular endorsement or condemnation of the med -OK?

My own experience was that it seemed to ive me what I would say was a "damned good night's sleep," I awoke feeking sort of clean and refreshed. But a side-effect I experienced was a balance problem. I needed to grab the railing or hold my hand against the wall when taking the stairs, for example.

And, that's just me. My psychiatrist moved me to Klonopin, and later Zoloft (SSRI) together with talk therapy and today I'm fine and take no meds (well, I do take a tiny aspiring to keep the vampires away).

Your mileage will vary.

Glad you are here.
Blank
Avatar_f_tn
I'm a little confused on what you mean by "falling asleep on my own". If you mean falling asleep without taking some sort of medication, then I have not slept without taking either a prescription med or OTC sleep aid in almost 4 years.

I have been able to sleep at night while using Elavil alone. I don't sleep particularly well though and Elavil definitely does not "knock me out." My schedule has been very flexible lately with school being out for winter break. Elavil will be put to the real test on Jan 27th, the night before I go back to school.

For some reason, I get very anxious the nights before I have class because I have to drive over an hour to school and I have some lingering PTSD from 2 serious car accidents that I have been in. I'll let
Blank
Avatar_f_tn
Yes, what I meant by "falling asleep on my own" is not having to take any meds.   I understand because I have not been able to fall asleep without taking some sort of sleeping medication whether it was Xanax  Lunesta, or Antivan.  As I mentioned before,  Ambien has not helped me sleep for any good length of time only just 2 or 3 hours and then I am wide  awake.   I tried even the CR.  I have tried warm baths, warm milk, reading, soft music.  Nothing works!!   I can't function especially  not having had enough sleep in the last 4 nights that I have taken Elavil.  I will have to go back to my doctor to see if there is anything better out there that can give me more hours of sleep and perhaps continue on Elavil.  This is so frustating that it makes me feel so depressed and disappointed.  In looking at the various reponses from people in the forum, I wonder how people get to sleep after they have discontinued their drugs whether they be antidepressants or benzo, etc.  
Blank
Post a Comment
To
Recent Activity
139792_tn?1299416777
Blank
Dalubaba commented on Rainbow
47 mins ago
Avatar_m_tn
Blank
blockhead123 commented on Tramadol & Ultram...
1 hr ago
6942344_tn?1410169826
Blank
Swollentoe, and Amandag78 commented on Amandag78's status
4 hrs ago
MedHelp Health Answers
Blank
Anxiety Tracker
Track Anxiety Symptoms
Start Tracking Now
Anxiety Community Resources
RSS Expert Activity
242532_tn?1269553979
Blank
The 3 Essentials to Ending Emotiona...
Sep 18 by Roger Gould, M.D.Blank
242532_tn?1269553979
Blank
Control Emotional Eating with this ...
Sep 04 by Roger Gould, M.D.Blank
242532_tn?1269553979
Blank
Emotional Eating Control: How to St...
Aug 28 by Roger Gould, M.D.Blank