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Avatar universal

I have questions about taking the same meds I took before.

I started having panic attacks when I was 18. Diagnosed with both depression and anxiety when I was 23. I did well on Xanax, but the older antidepressants didn't help much. I've tried just about every SSRI and SNRI available. I did well on Effexor but it stopped working around the 7 year mark so I had to be tapered off of it. I was put on Paxil after that and did well on it. I did gain 70 lbs in a year and there were extreme sexual side effects. I was willing to put up with the side effects from both of these meds because I was able to get completely off of Xanax, they helped my anxiety and they helped my depression. Paxil stopped working around the 7 year mark too. So then I was put on Lexapro. It made me feel like a zombie with no feelings at all. I haven't been on an antidepressants for a long time. I was on Xanax for panic attacks. My new Dr said she hates Xanax and really didn't want to prescribe it to me. She wanted me to try Effexor again, which I was willing to do. This time it caused panic attack after panic attack. It caused leg twitching and extreme sexual side effects. My Dr told me to increase the dose. Things only got worse. I told her that and she wanted me to increase the dose again. I refused. So, she wanted me to try Lexapro again. I did terrible at 20 mgs so she wanted me to go down to 10 mgs. I still felt terrible. Then she wanted me to go down to 5 mgs and that didn't work either. I gave these meds a good shot. Not weeks but months of trying before I said to her, I can't do this anymore. She finally gave in and prescribed a small dose of Xanax for my panic attacks. This was after her insisting I get my medical marijuana card. I've never liked marijuana. It causes me to have panic attacks.
My question is this. Why did I do alright on these 2 meds years ago but when I tried them again I didn't do well on them at all the 2nd time I took them. When I took Effexor before I didn't have any sexual side effects at 75 mgs. I did have the leg twitching but I dealt with it. Since they both stopped working before is my brain and body saying, no more? Have any of you done well on a medication for years and then tried it again only for it not to work?.
2 Responses
Avatar universal
This is common if you read up on these meds.  They often don't work again after you stop taking them.  Some have more of this problem than others.  I think Paxil and Effexor are the worst, because those are the worst drugs in terms of something unknown that makes them stronger on our systems and therefore the hardest for the most people to successfully stop taking in the first place.  By the way, are you using a psychiatrist or a regular doc?  I ask because her Lexapro protocol was backwards, and I'm not sure I'd continue using her.  You're supposed to start any med with a small dose and work your way up to the point where it works without bad side effects, not start at the highest dose and work down.  Tapering off is necessary but tapering up allows the body to slowly get used to the new med.  At any rate, in your case, you might have tapped out on anything that affects serotonin.  It happens.  If you don't mind gaining 70 pounds, which is life threatening, you might try Remeron.  Maybe it'll work for you.  Isn't used often because almost everyone gains a ton of weight on it, but you don't seem to mind that.  One thing you don't say is if in all that time you were dealing with this you tried therapy.  When that works, you're cured, and drugs never do that as we haven't discovered any drugs that do that.  But I'm guessing you've had your share.  I also don't understand why some docs are anti certain benzos.  They all have the same problems, and can be handled if you just only take them when you really need them, not all the time.  As for the Effexor, you were probably having a reaction to its effect on norepinephrine, which is a stimulant.  A lot of people with anxiety do poorly on SNRIs for this reason, as well as wellbutrin.  As for medical pot, they claim to have developed through breeding strains that don't trigger anxiety.  My anxiety attacks started while I was stoned, but I never believed pot caused them, just that it triggered them, so I get that, I don't use it either.  You might try CBD oil, which doesn't get you stoned, but don't know a dosage and it might not be strong enough.  You can also try natural medicine, which goes at the same neurotransmitters from a different angle, but it's not as strong and requires a professional to guide you.  You'd use a combination of things to see if any combination helped, but it would include lifestyle changes, therapy, dietary changes, etc.  I learned about your problem when stopping Paxil killed me, and I never recovered.  Nothing works the way it used to, and so I had to do a lot of research to find out what happened, as docs dissemble when the drugs they use harm you.  That's when I learned that it's common for a drug you stopped not to work again if you try it again later.  Peace.
1 Comments
Paxiled. I did mind the weight gain while taking Paxil. Gaining 70 lbs in a year is a lot of weight for a small woman. Once I tapered off of it, which took forever, I lost 50 lbs in no time.
My Dr started me off on 37.5 mgs of Effexor. It caused panic attacks so she told me to increase it to 75 mgs. I did what she wanted and it only got worse. She wanted me to increase it again and both myself and my husband told her, we're done, no way!
I'm not seeing a psychiatrist at the moment. I saw one for many years. I also saw a therapist, counselor and joined group therapy. My husband and I have been married since we were in our teens. There's nothing he doesn't know about me. He said he'll be happy to go with me to therapy, even if if it's just for the 1st few visits. My reason for putting it off is because I feel so completely drained every single day. I've never been this low in my life. I know, that says I truly do need to get back in to therapy. My wonderful daughter has taught me a lot of the skills she's learned in therapy.
I wasn't sure if it was just, or if anyone else had gone through this too. Being on a med that worked, trying it again only for it to not work. Thank you so much for getting back to me. It's really good to hear from you again.
973741 tn?1342342773
Hi remar!  So nice to see you back. My son has had a terrible time with anxiety (has a full load of issues, from general anxiety, social anxiety to ocd, panic and tourettes) and depression (got suicidal, sad to report).  Things have really changed medication wise over the years.  They add things to ssri's often. Atypical anti psychotics like seroquel or abilify (others too) enhance what the ssri does, stabilizes mood.  My son isn't taking one any longer but was for a bit.  However, he has been prescribed hydroxyzene which is pretty awesome, I must say.  It's prn but non addictive.  It holds his anxiety at a manageable spot (he's still trying to get his prozac to the right dose).  I really can't say enough good things about hydroxyzene which is funny as when my son was hospitalized, they talked about putting him on it and I said no.  I can't take benedryl and this is similar (but formulated JUST for anxiety and sleep) so didn't want my kids to take it per their pediatrician who said they may have the same activating reaction I do.  But our psychiatrist who is stellar, love the guy, suggested it.  We had the script for a whole month before trying it and it has been truly impactful for my son.  Anyway, again, so glad to see you
2 Comments
I don't actually think hydroxyzine was developed to treat anxiety or help one sleep.  It's an antihistamine that made people so sedated, much like Benadryl often does, that docs started prescribing it for its unwanted side effects.  Pharmaceutical companies are good at that, they are marketing geniuses.  Nobody makes lemonade out of lemons like they do.  Seroquel and Abilify are very difficult drugs to take, which is why they are seldom prescribed for their intended purpose.  Again, docs use them more for their unintended side effects than what they were invented to do.  Not saying this to stop someone from using them if they help, but they usually don't, and they are very hard to stop taking and have tons of side effects.  Abilify was so hard to take it was only approved if all else had failed to help, and Seroquel has one of the most sordid histories in all the long sordid history of pharmaceutical companies.  It was marketed illegally for things it was never tested for and the amount of lawsuits and fines with this drug is pretty astounding.  Which is to say, let's be very careful recommending specific drugs to people.  Pharmaceuticals haven't in fact come a long way.  Far from it.  We're still in the dark ages with drugs for mental illness, which is why it's all trial and error.  Even when they work they can pack a punch down the road, so do the homework first.  And while hydroxyzine may be technically non-addictive, it's incredibly hard to stop taking when used for sleep and anxiety.  As is Benadryl.  It's always great when medication helps, but what helps one person may not help another, and the bad parts of them and their misuse might doom someone else.  Good to know what's out there, but also the caveats.  We can prevent the bad stuff if we know it exists, and I'm the living proof of what can happen when you weren't told the truth (or anything).  It leaves you unprepared to be flexible and agile when you need to be.  All that being said, the main point, I think, is, keep trying.  Didn't know that was you Remar.  Sorry to see you're having problems.  Peace.
Hi Specialmom. It's so good to hear from you!
I'm really sorry your son is going through this. It's sounds like so much to deal with. Funny you mentioned him being on Hydroxyzene. I literally just did some research on it. I'm not sure if it would work for me or not because I have chronic anxiety. And, funny how you mentioned Seroquel. My Dr wanted to add that med when I was having such a hard time taking Effexor again. When I told her no, I'm not taking Effexor any more because I've given it 2 months, you keep wanting to increase it, and all that's happening is I'm getting worse and worse, she prescribed Lexapro, which I've taken before. She fought me so hard when I told her I needed something for my anxiety and panic attacks. It took my husband telling her how bad things were because he was the one who held me through panic attacks and me crying my eyes out. She told both of us she hates benzo's and hates to prescribe them. I've been taking benzo's off and on, more off than on, for 37 years and have a perfect record. I'm not a drug addict, I've never "lost" my meds, I've never asked for an early refill, and I've always taken them as prescribed.
I'm so glad to hear your son is doing better. That's great news! Thank you for taking the time to respond to my question. I hope we can talk again soon. I've missed you.
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