SSRIs are commonly used. Have you tried any of those?
People react differently to different types of medications however there are various classes of medications that have proven effective for anxiety. Benzos are usually prescribed short term and on an 'as needed' basis because of their short halve lives and tendency to become addicting after long term use. I have been prescribe benzos in the past and found them quite effective however, SSRIs like Zoloft, Prozac, etc, are usually prescribed more long term but are not quick acting like a benzo. I was prescribed a benzo when I originally started on Zoloft and once the Zoloft 'kicked in' I rarely if ever used it.
Counseling is also very important in my opinion. Why anti-anxiety medications are good for what they are designed to do, they will not 'cure' you of anything. In my experience they are a useful tool to have while you learn to confront the source of your anxiety....keep us posted!
I'm on Lexapro and Buspar now. It does not work fast enough when I have a panic attack. I was on Clonazapam but I was so addicted. I am having counseling too. I feel like I just need something when I panic.
The SSRis take a good 4 to 6 weeks to really kick in to where you see the full benefits so if you haven't been on them that long, then don't throw in the towel on them yet. If you have, then you may want to discuss with your doctor a switch to something else since not every medication works well for every person. As far as the klonopin, how much and how often were you taking it? I assume you have tapered off of it?
Yes I was on klonopin for at least 5 yes until last Dec. and then I tapered off. I've been on Lexapro and Wellbutrin for a long time. Either they are wearing off or I need something else. They are not helping me and I hate to go up on a dose.
Sometimes increases are needed. I was on 150 mg XR Wellbutrin and I had to go up to 300. I too hope that I don't have to hit the 450 mark but you know what, if I do I do. Not sure how much you are on but if it isn't working then I would discuss an incresae with your pdoc if not something else altogether since it seems that you are having problems right now on your current doses of lexapro and wellbutrin.
As for the benzos...I have been on klonopin for at least 2 years now. I take 1 mg to sleep. I don't need it during the day because the Wellbutrin works for me. The little bit of panic that I do have I am able to get rid of using CBT. Have you ever learned cognitive behavioral therapy?
The short answer is no, THERE IS NOTHING BETTER THAN BENZOS. The long answer is that benzos are extremely addictive and harder to come off than heroin or methadone. I have suffered with panic,anxiety and depression for decades. I spent lots of money on specialists,tests and drugs. All I know for sure is that the more I went to the doctor, the more meds I was taking and the sicker I was getting. I ended up addicted to benzos and z drugs and didn't even know it.......until I tried to stop taking them. OMG..... the withdrawals were horrible and I wouldn't wish it on my worst enemy. It has been 11.5 months and I am still suffering. I am back to work now and trying to get on with life. Please seek out some psychotherapy to work through these things. I wish someone had suggested that to me instead of just suggesting to pop a pill. I would be lying if I said that I didn't miss those little pills but I know that I can live without them and my anxiety and insomnia are almost completely gone. Good luck!!
JG is right, with these kinds of meds, it is common to require an occasional dosage increase to maintain the efficacy of the medication. Also, sometimes, a change to a completely different medication may be warranted. There are MANY MANY different medication approaches to treating anxiety and panic, along with therapy. There are so many different kinds of drugs used to treat anxiety, not just benzos.
Usually, in the event of a panic attack, the shorter acting benzos (Xanax, Ativan), are the best choices, because they have a much quicker onset of action, and if only taken here and there "as needed", there is very little concern of tolerance or dependency. Klonopin is best used on a regular basis, as it has a long half life, and is most effective when it is allowed to build up in the plasma. That's something you may want to mention to your doctor.
CBT (cognitive behavioral therapy) is really the best form of therapy for panic and anxiety. If you haven't yet tried it, ask your doc for a referral.
Bottom line, I understand you are feeling discouraged, but there are always options. You need to speak with your doctor about how you're feeling, and decide what's next. Try hard not to get caught up in other people's horror stories, especially if you were to be put on a new med. Always allow yourself to have your OWN experience.
Best of luck, please update us when you can!
Getting off klonopine was very hard. I never want to do that again! Psychotherapy sounds good and CBT. I've had them for a little time but didn't stick with it. I hate relying on meds but I'm afraid not too. I guess there's no quick fix and I guess having anxiety and panic makes it worse.
You're 100% right!! There IS no quick fix! I'm sorry you had a bad experience with Klonopin. When managed correctly, and weaned slowly and deliberately, benzos can be very helpful medications.
If you want to address your anxiety with therapy, that's great. Just be patient with yourself. It takes time to undo that anxious way of thinking and worrying.
Very best to you...update us when you can!
Please remember that before you start or stop any medication that you should seek input from your medical professional.
Just got back from Dr. and he has given me nerontin two more times during the day. It feels like it has calmned me down so far. Hopefully this will work!
Hi again hon!
Do you mean Neurontin? That's an interesting choice of meds. it's usually prescribed for different Neuro conditions, like peripheral neuropathy, nerve related pain, etc. I have seen it Rx'd here and there for anxiety and/or depression.
If it's working a little, that's fantastic! Keep us updated!!
hi...just doing some reading on your community, I'm having a terrible time with anxiety right now myself..
I wanted to add that I have been on neurontin for many years for nerve related pain, I'm taking normally 1200mg a day but will use up to 1800mg depending on the level of pain I'm experiencing. I wasn't aware that this can also help with anxiety or depression.
But if it works for you Wanda than thats great news :)
Going on day three with adjustment. Still feel better,just hope it works.. Neurontin is also used for mood disorder, I'm not saying it's the answer but Dr's may not know how it works with anxiety. It may not be for everyone, even me!
I've actually seen Neurontin successfully treat depression and anxiety in the elderly population, so there are definite advantages to using it for this kind of off-label use.
The important thing is, you've already started seeing some improvements, which is great! This may end up being your "miracle" drug!
Keep us udpated hon!
I am on zoloft,abilify and neurontin for
my depression and anxiety and for the
most part it is working for me. The
anxiety is my biggest problem so my
pdoc recently increased my neurontin
to twice a day. I am on a total of
1400mg a day of it. I have been on
it for years and it has never lost its
effectiveness and the only side effect
I have is drowsiness so I take it at
night and I sleep great. I hope it works
as well for you,
Thanks for sharing your experiences! It always is nice to read about someone else, and what worked for them.
Best wishes for continued success with your regimen!
My psychiatrist has mentioned neurontin as a possibility. Neurontin is basically a straight shot of GABA, which is what regulates relaxation. That's why it reduces pain -- it doesn't actually do anything about the source of the pain, it just makes one not feel the pain because of the feel-good purpose of GABA. That's the theory behind it being an anti-anxiety drug, though for the same reason I don't know how it would work for depression. Haven't taken it yet, but I might be forced to, but that's the theory of it.