Depression Community
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Avatar universal

Giving up on AD meds...

For some reason, I can't seem to tolerate AD meds.

I've tried Paxil, Effexor, Wellbutrin, Celexa and others, but always seem to suffer with some pretty bad side effects on all of them.

With the Paxil, I had insomnia, really bad night sweats and GI problems.

With the Effexor, I had really bad insomnia, heart palpitations and anxiety.

With the Wellbutrin, I actually got more depressed and even had a "road rage" incident while on it.

And the Celexa reacted badly with my blood pressure meds causing on-going PVC attacks and bouts of a-fib.

So, I've pretty much given up on them at this point.

The doctor also gave me Xanax (PRN), but I have been taking one (1) tablet on a daily basis, and it seems to be helping more than the previously mentioned meds without the side effects (other than some really weird dreams).

The only issue is that my doctor calls Xanax a "high", and doesn't believe it should be taken daily.

However, it has been working for me, so when I go to him this Friday for a follow up on the Paxil, I am going to tell him that I want to be put on Xanax as a daily dose and that I really don't want to be put on the AD meds anymore.
41 Responses
480448 tn?1426952138
No doubt the initial side effects can be a real b*tch!  Like Bubulous has said,,the sleep WILL indeed come.

Please be careful with the Xanax, as it is habit forming.  The best way to take Xanax is either only "as needed" (here and there, not daily) when anxiety is at its worst, or for short term periods of time, a few weeks to a month or less if possible.  The longer you take it every day, you will have to deal with tolerance (where you will need a higher dose to maintain the same level of efficacy), and dependency, where you would experience w/ds if stopped abruptly.

Benzodiazepines are great meds for anxiety, but there are some considerations.  Definitely ask your doc the best way to proceed.  Worst case scenario, if you end uop needing the Xanax until you get used to the Effexor (which is probably a good idea), you'll just have to be slowly tapered off.

Is your doctor a psychiatrist?

Let us know how it's going!
1551327 tn?1514049467
I don't understand.  It is ok for him to warn you that it is abused by a lot of people and that it is addictive but it is prescribed for a reason and if you need to take it everyday, I don't see what the problem is.  Doctors crack me up these days.

That being said it is an addictive drug and you should be careful with it.  It does give people a buzz but for those that it helps, it is not about the buzz.  Advocate for yourself and don't let anyone make you feel like a drug seeker.  Is this a psych dr or a medical dr?
Avatar universal
No need to get cracked up about doctors advice since there is potential for dependence.
From wikipedia "The potential for abuse among those taking it for medical reasons is controversial with some expert reviews stating that the risk is low and similar to that of other benzodiazepine drugs[3] and others stating that there is a substantial risk of abuse and dependence in both patients and non-medical users of alprazolam and that the pharmacological properties of alprazolam, high affinity binding, high potency, having a short elimination half-life as well as a rapid onset of action increase the abuse potential of alprazolam."
Avatar universal
How long did you take each of the medications? Most side effects go away with continued usage.
1551327 tn?1514049467
No worries,

I am an addict myself.  I have seen both sides of it but I have a lot of friends that benefit greatly from it.  Not taking sides that is why I stated the positive and negative.

Anyway, thanks for your concern.

480448 tn?1426952138
Sorry to hear you can't seem to find a med that works for you.

In addition to the info you've already received, let me just say that, for the MOST optimal efficacy, try very hard to ONLY take the Xanax when you really really need it.  Taking it reguarly every day will only be effective for so long, as your tolerance will build, and you will require a higher dose to maintain the same level of effectiveness, and also of course, taking it regularly will lead to physical dependency, where you will have to be carefully weaned off.

"I've tried Paxil, Effexor, Wellbutrin, Celexa and others, but always seem to suffer with some pretty bad side effects on all of them. "

Have you ever tried any other meds, like one of the older tricyclic antidepressants (like Elavil)?  Or a beta blocker (like Inderal)?  I'll be honest, your medication resume includes just about all of the meds that are historically more difficult to tolerate and/or come off of.  Just my opinion, but there are a lot of other meds I would have recommended trying first before those ones.  If you have it in you for one more try, perhaps you could give Zoloft a shot?  It's the most prescribed SSRI antidepressant for anxiety disorders, because it has a great track record of not only being effective, but also easy to tolerate.  Or, like I said, you could try a med in a completely different class.

I'm assuming you've been managing this with a psychiatrist?  If not, I highly recommend doing so.  They are much more knowledgeable about meds than a GP.

Let us know how you're doing, okay?
Avatar universal
How long did you take each of the medications? Most side effects go away with continued usage. If you only tried each of them for a month that is when the side effects are the strongest.
Avatar universal
I was on the Wellbutrin for about a week, stopped taking it after the road rage incident.

I tried Effexor twice, same problem both times. Was on them a few weeks.

Only used the Celexa for a few days as I found out there was an interaction with my HBP med (the doctor never mentioned the interaction either).

And Paxil, the most recent, I gave up on after a few days as I've just grown tired of all of the side effects from the other meds and really wanted to get some sleep and didn't want to wake up every 30 minutes soaked in sweat. Plus the GI problems were really bad as well (cramps, diarrhea). Not something I wanted to deal with for a few weeks to see if they wore off.

Been on Elavil, but that always made me horribly groggy the next day. I was given that to help me sleep, though. Was on Ambien as well. Can't remember if I've tried any of the other tri-cyclics though.

I am already on a beta blocker (metoprolol) for HBP.

And all of this has been from my GP. I haven't seen a psychiatrist. They really aren't much different, though. They just throw meds at you too until something sticks.

However, my other half is seeing a psychiatrist, and he as her on an AD med PLUS three 0.5 mg Klonipin a day (she suffers from severe anxiety and depression). She's been on 1.5 mg of Klonipin for some time and hasn't had to increase her dose.

I just want something to work. I'm sick and tired of being sick and tired. :(
1551327 tn?1514049467
Like birdie said, the side effects go away after a while.  You are right psych drs are going to give you meds as well but you have to be willing to give the meds a try.  Xanax and Klonipin are not really prescribed for depression, mostly anxiety.  Drs are not trying to torture you with the side effects.  It is their job to decide if the therapeutic effect of the medicine is worth the side effects and sometimes it is.  You have to give something a chance or you will never find one that works.

Don't base what your treatment should be like on what your other half (or anyone else) is taking.  We are all different and our treatments are all different.  

I know it is frustrating but you have to be patient.  Depression doesn't go away over night and there is no med that is going to just fix it by itself.  Every time you skip a med and don't give it time to work, you don't get to scratch it off the list so you might as well have never tried it.  Please be patient and work with your dr.  I have been through it before and I have been on a  lot of meds but I finally found some that work and they have greatly improved the quality of my life.
480448 tn?1426952138
Great post from Bubulous!!  Read and re-read that a few times!

Let me also say that it would help you if you try to have a little bit of a pocitive attitude.  Believe me, I understand you're frustrated and fed up and don't FEEL like being positive...but it WILL help.  You're making your mind up about things before giving them a fair chance.

Just like your post about psychiatrists.  You have a very negative view of them.  You're right in that their job is typically to find the right medication regimen to help people.  Yes, they don't always have the best bedside manner...but they can and WILL help you...but you have to TRY too.

I'm not suggesting that you stay on meds that are giving you unbearable side effects, but from what you've written, I don't think you gave all of them a fair shake.  Also, like I said before...all of the meds you mentioned (minus the Celexa) are notorious for being hard to tolerate.  It's like you somehow managed to try the very worst, when there were probably better options.  So, for that reason alone, it's not fair to say you are giving uop on meds.  

This is where its important to have a psychiatrist who can help you navigate through this.  If you start a med and have side effects, you communicate with the doctor and figure out a game plan, not just throw in the towel.

Finding the right med to treat things like depression and anxiety IS basically trial and error.  It's not an easy process sometimes...I know that...been there, done that..but you have to give a  little.  It's absolutely worth a couple of weeks of some side effects, when you finally realize that you've found something that really helps.  Each med you try is going to take time.  To be fair..you should give these meds 6-8 weeks (longer if you're started out on a low dose and tapered up).  Are you seeking meds primarily for depression or anxiety?  Which issue is a bigger problem for you? That should be what you're seeking the med for.  Sometimes...people seek treatment for the lesser of the two issues, and then the "right" meds are not tried first.  A lot of the meds treat both, but it's important to recognize which disorder is the primary one.  Like for me, depression is secondary to the anxiety...so it would make more sense to try an SSRI over an SNRI, which are more appropriate for depression, and can actually make anxiety worse.

How about therapy?  Have you had any experience with that?  That's a must...whether meds are involved or not.

Take the first step...ask for a referral to a psychiatrist..and go in with an open mind...be willing to listen to the recommendations and be wiling to give a med a fair chance.  Try not to let all of these past "failures" affect your attitude too much.  Some people do sincerely just have a history of not beibng able to tolerate meds..I don't think you can fairly say that.  I think you threw in the towel prematurely in some of the cases, instead of trying to deal with what was going on.

Hang in there...we're all here for you!!!  Hope to hear that you made an appointment!
Avatar universal
I had frustrating yawns non-stop for the first 5 or so weeks on Celexa but then one day it just stopped and I was on it for 6 more months, so one day or 2 of usage like you did doesn't even count. The med builds in your system and sort of rewires the part of your brain that is depressed or anxious, so until 6 weeks is up you can't know its full positive effects either.
It takes the body a while to stop "rebelling" at this newcomer med, so you can't expect to get an immediate good effect but have no side effects.
The fact your doc incorrectly prescribed a med that had bad known interactions with another is just a medical error, and not to be confused with your worry that meds don't agree with you.
Avatar universal
I believe a few weeks is enough time to see if side effects will subside.

I talked to the doctor about the Effexor and not being able to sleep for several days. He said he would have taken me off them based on that anyway. Furthermore, as I mentioned, I tried Effexor in the past with the same results.

The Wellbutrin, as I mentioned, caused me to have a road-rage incident and also made me more depressed. I believe staying on them would have been detrimental.

And, as also mentioned, the Celexa reacted with my metoprolol. I ended up having PVC's/palps for about an hour after taking it.

The Paxil was just basically the last straw with waking up every 30 minutes covered in sweat and having bad cramps, shakes and diarrhea. Not something I really felt like dealing with for two weeks or however long it took to shake them, IF I were to be able to shake them.

I have GI issues (GERD, possible IBS, food allergies, etc., but have never "officially" been diagnosed with anything), so that may be exasperating the side effects or may be the reason my body has a hard time dealing with them.

I am going to the doctor for a follow up tomorrow, so I am just going to stick with the Xanax for now and have him give me a referral to go see a GI doctor to find out whats going on with my stomach and/or intestines and go from there.

I guess I'm just tired of having problems for years and not getting anywhere with doctors, other than to have them tell me "Try this medication and see if it works!" every time I visit them.

I want solutions, not band-aids. :/
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