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Author Topic: Xanax to Lexapro & Klonopin and a couple of questions...  (Read 1628 times)

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Offline comoso

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Xanax to Lexapro & Klonopin and a couple of questions...
« on: March 16, 2014, 08:16:52 PM »
I have a very stressful job and my BIG anxiety battle started at the beginning of August 2013.  I've had a few small bouts with my GAD in the past but always before a bottle of 30 .5 mg Xanax would take it away.  When I felt it come on in August I went to the Dr. for my "cure" but quickly found this time was different.  The 30 pills wouldn't come close to cutting it.  Long story short, I was prescribed up to 3 mg of Xanax per day up until mid February. I refused to take the 3 mg.  I went through so much panic and anxiety and life was very tough.  I just refused to go above 1.5 mg per day and most days I was at 1.0 mg.  My Dr told me to take more, but I just couldn't make myself do it.  I felt that I was headed to a bad place if I upped the xanax.

4 weeks ago, my go sent me to a Psychiatrist and he quickly switched me to Lexapro and .5 mg klonopin twice per day.  I want off the benzos of course, but after 6 months on xanax I can't just quit.  Psych had me start at 1.0 mg per day and now for the past week i've been at .375 twice per day(.75 mg total).  I've had a few good days and I'm thinking the lexapro is going to work for me.  I've only been on it for 4 weeks, I've had some side effects but nothing unbearable. 

I have 2 questions -

1.  Is klonopin a good way to wean off without switching to valium?  I'm more encouraged because the lexapro seems to be working and hopefully it will help in my benzo wean.  I've been to benzobuddies.org and scared the life out of me months ago.  I'll never visit that website for any reason again. 

2.  Not that it matters, but maybe someone has seen some info on this that I can't seem to find.  I'm 40 years old and I was doing heavy weight training the past few years.  I was supplementing with whey protein 150g per day for about 6 month leading up to my 'break'.  I know that the first amino acid listed on the side of my protein is Tryptophan.  Is there any chance that using so much whey and getting so much tryptophan for so long 'triggered' this event?  I basically just stopped the protein and thought nothing of it, but about 5 days later.  It was extreme anxiety and panic and ER trips.  Coincidence?
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Offline insights

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Re: Xanax to Lexapro & Klonopin and a couple of questions...
« Reply #1 on: March 16, 2014, 11:42:18 PM »
Is klonopin a good way to wean off without switching to valium?

IMHO, Valium (diazepam) would have been better. For one thing it has a large dose range, but is available in low dose tablets which makes it easier to wean off by small steps. The very longer half-life helps too.

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I've been to benzobuddies.org and scared the life out of me months ago.  I'll never visit that website for any reason again.

A very good move, IMHO. Anti med groups are often a repository of much misinformation, IME.

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I know that the first amino acid listed on the side of my protein is Tryptophan.  Is there any chance that using so much whey and getting so much tryptophan for so long 'triggered' this event?

L-Tryptophan (L-T) is a precursor of serotonin and having too much serotonin in the brain may lead to anxiety and depression. But whether oral L-T has an effect on brain serotonin levels is debatable. It cannot get through the blood-brain barrier and must be metabolized to 5-HTP first. However, the gut is by far the biggest synthesizer of serotonin in the body, utilizing about 95% of the body's total compared to a little less than 2% for the brain so it is likely to scavenge most of the available L-T for its own use. Therefore, while it can't be ruled out completely, I doubt the whey protein had any affect on what happened later.

Ian
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NOTE: I'm not a doctor, and particularly not yours, so there may be factors I'm unaware of. Therefore all advice is of a general nature and you should consult your doctor before following any of it, especially before changing med doses.

Offline comoso

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Re: Xanax to Lexapro & Klonopin and a couple of questions...
« Reply #2 on: March 17, 2014, 03:39:03 PM »
Thanks Insights,

Another question if you don't mind.  I was also taking some vitamin packs at the time and took one with Yohimbe in it for about 2 weeks.  This was right up to the point I started getting out of control anxiety.  I stopped them immediately along with the protein wondering what was going on.  I've saw some stuff where Yohimbe can cause anxiety.  Any chance this going on 8 month bout started with that junk?  I so wish I would have told the guy at GNC no when he uphold me the vitamin pack.  I just thought, yeah, I'm out of vitamins.  Took them stupidly without reading ingredients and then found Yohimbe to be a cause of anxiety after mine got out of control.  I have GAD on both sides of my family including both parents.  like I said before I've had small bouts, but nothing like this one.  I've never been on an ssri before but after 6 months on xanax I figured it was time to move on.
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Offline Potatoes

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Re: Xanax to Lexapro & Klonopin and a couple of questions...
« Reply #3 on: March 17, 2014, 03:50:57 PM »
Thanks Insights,

Another question if you don't mind.  I was also taking some vitamin packs at the time and took one with Yohimbe in it for about 2 weeks.  This was right up to the point I started getting out of control anxiety.  I stopped them immediately along with the protein wondering what was going on.  I've saw some stuff where Yohimbe can cause anxiety.  Any chance this going on 8 month bout started with that junk?  I so wish I would have told the guy at GNC no when he uphold me the vitamin pack.  I just thought, yeah, I'm out of vitamins.  Took them stupidly without reading ingredients and then found Yohimbe to be a cause of anxiety after mine got out of control.  I have GAD on both sides of my family including both parents.  like I said before I've had small bouts, but nothing like this one.  I've never been on an ssri before but after 6 months on xanax I figured it was time to move on.


 Precautions/Adverse Reactions:It does have a high-risk–to benefit ratio because of side effects: nervousness, irritability, dizziness, headache, sweating, hypertension.

Interactions with other Drugs:  OTC stimulants (caffeine, phenylephedrine, phenylpropanolamine), SSRI's, Tricyclic antidepressants, and foods containing tyramine.

^ I pulled that off of a site.

As for BodyBuilding many state that it is a form of stimulant, which can, in turn, cause anxiety. I take too much caffeine and I have heightened anxiety.


Ephedra/Ephedra Extract (look for that) can also cause some very high anxiety in high doses. in me anyways.
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Offline insights

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Re: Xanax to Lexapro & Klonopin and a couple of questions...
« Reply #4 on: March 17, 2014, 05:37:00 PM »
Another question if you don't mind.  I was also taking some vitamin packs at the time and took one with Yohimbe in it for about 2 weeks.  This was right up to the point I started getting out of control anxiety.

Bingo, we have a winner!! Yohimbe is one of the most powerful anxiety inducers known. They use it in research to trigger panic attacks.

Unless they're on some really weird diet very few people need to take vitamin supplements. They just produce expensive urine. And it is becoming increasingly clear that some can do great harm. For example, vitamin E may dramatically up the odds of developing many cancers, especially lung and prostrate.

Ian
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NOTE: I'm not a doctor, and particularly not yours, so there may be factors I'm unaware of. Therefore all advice is of a general nature and you should consult your doctor before following any of it, especially before changing med doses.

Offline comoso

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Re: Xanax to Lexapro & Klonopin and a couple of questions...
« Reply #5 on: March 17, 2014, 05:54:12 PM »
OK, So, it was probably started by Yohimbe.  I've went from 24-7 near panic to anxiety that is aggravating with slight depression.  Did I sentence myself to a life of GAD by taking those pills for 2 weeks?   If that stuff caused it, I'm going with it will be more short lived because I'm over 40 and never had any significant problems before this. 

I love this site and I love your answers insights, but there are some people on here that really have resolved themselves to a life of misery and I don't like reading that stuff.  There are millions of people who get out of GAD and move on.  Some with meds, some without.  I can't believe how many people I've talked to in my personal life that have struggled at some point with it now that I've had my problems.  Some took meds, got better and went on without them.  Some take meds and plan on it forever. 
 
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Offline insights

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Re: Xanax to Lexapro & Klonopin and a couple of questions...
« Reply #6 on: March 17, 2014, 06:15:02 PM »
I've went from 24-7 near panic to anxiety that is aggravating with slight depression.  Did I sentence myself to a life of GAD by taking those pills for 2 weeks?   If that stuff caused it, I'm going with it will be more short lived because I'm over 40 and never had any significant problems before this.

Unfortunately, it is impossible to predict. While anxiety disorders (and depression) tend to often begin in the late teens up to the mid twenties, they can start at any age. My panic disorder began at about 40 forty, probably triggered by chronic occupational exposure to chemicals.

Ian
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NOTE: I'm not a doctor, and particularly not yours, so there may be factors I'm unaware of. Therefore all advice is of a general nature and you should consult your doctor before following any of it, especially before changing med doses.

Offline comoso

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Re: Xanax to Lexapro & Klonopin and a couple of questions...
« Reply #7 on: March 17, 2014, 06:44:00 PM »
Of course it is impossible to predict.  But I'll look at the bright side.  They use it to induce panic not give people permanent disorders.  If it caused permanent disorders they'd have a hard time selling the stuff.  I'll continue to improve the same way I have for the past 7 months.

Anyway, insights, I've read you say your PD is under control.  I will control it one way or another.   I haven't missed a day of work at the height of my anxiety and I'll get it under control and move on just as most do.

Heck, this report says Yohimbe helps anxiety -

http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/24237691


My psychologist always told me the way I got it doesn't matter and I guess that's the better way to look at it.  I had 6 of the top 10 stressors happen to me all within 1 year.  That seems to be more the cause.  Yes, I wish I'd never bought that vitamin pack, but saying that it was the cause is just as hard as predicting the future, IMHO.
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Offline comoso

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Re: Xanax to Lexapro & Klonopin and a couple of questions...
« Reply #8 on: March 17, 2014, 07:21:23 PM »
Insights, you're a great help and a huge knowledge base.  I've found myself turning to Dr. Google after this thread and that of course is a big no no.  I'm stopping now...lol.

Truth is 4 weeks on lexapro and I feel about 10X better than the day I walked into the psychiatrists office.  I'll keep doing what I do.  It's not going to effect my life.   I've survived so many panic attacks at work that they've lost a lot of their power over me.  I know I'm not out of the woods yet, but I know Dr. Google or reading negative things is about the worst thing I can do.

Here's to everyone's health and recovery.  We can all get better!
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Offline insights

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Re: Xanax to Lexapro & Klonopin and a couple of questions...
« Reply #9 on: March 17, 2014, 07:34:52 PM »
Heck, this report says Yohimbe helps anxiety -

No, it helps exposure therapy which in turn helps anxiety. Being able to induce anxiety in the safety of the therapist's office and guiding the patient through the attack may well be very useful, though interestingly the clinicians were less impressed with the outcomes than the patients. I think the patients would need to be carefully selected for suitability as it could make matters worse for some.

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I've survived so many panic attacks at work that they've lost a lot of their power over me.

If therapy is an option I suggest you pursue it as you appear to be a good candidate.

Ian
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NOTE: I'm not a doctor, and particularly not yours, so there may be factors I'm unaware of. Therefore all advice is of a general nature and you should consult your doctor before following any of it, especially before changing med doses.

Offline comoso

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Re: Xanax to Lexapro & Klonopin and a couple of questions...
« Reply #10 on: March 17, 2014, 07:48:46 PM »
I have a great psychologist that I've been seeing for 4 months.  This has definitely helped a lot.  Probably equal to the meds.  I was just stuck with the xanax.  I have family that I've seen abuse it and I was WAY too scared of it to trust it to help me.  In the coming weeks.  I'll get off of klonopin and continue on lexapro and continue CBT. 

Thanks for all of your insight, Ian.  You're a good man.
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Offline dh1972

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Re: Xanax to Lexapro & Klonopin and a couple of questions...
« Reply #11 on: March 17, 2014, 08:37:37 PM »
I have found CBT helpful, but have to consistently read my books on it to stay fresh in my head otherwise I start to forget some things (although remember other things).  It's almost like I have to have my own regular sessions on it.

Guided medication from several Youtube views has been very effective for me too - especially later in the evening to help me get to sleep.
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Offline insights

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Re: Xanax to Lexapro & Klonopin and a couple of questions...
« Reply #12 on: March 17, 2014, 08:54:26 PM »
I have found CBT helpful, but have to consistently read my books on it to stay fresh in my head otherwise I start to forget some things (although remember other things).  It's almost like I have to have my own regular sessions on it.

This is one of the main problems with CBT and other similar therapies, you need to work on them regularly. Unfortunately, most people feel good so stop and just get on with living slowly allowing bad mental habits to reassert themselves until their disorder bites again.

Both meds and therapies are only treatment, not cures, and treatments need to be applied to work. Life is complicated. :(

Ian
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NOTE: I'm not a doctor, and particularly not yours, so there may be factors I'm unaware of. Therefore all advice is of a general nature and you should consult your doctor before following any of it, especially before changing med doses.

Offline comoso

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Re: Xanax to Lexapro & Klonopin and a couple of questions...
« Reply #13 on: March 22, 2014, 12:28:06 PM »
Update just for someone else that might be going through this later.

I'm almost completed week 5.  I definitely have good times and bad.  My emotions swing all over the place.  I'll feel good and then bam, bad.  I'm told lexapro will level this out.  I'm hoping it does.  I think I've seen insights say 6-12 weeks...  It's admittedly frustrating reading people say I was better in 1 or 2 weeks.  I do however enjoy good times right now when there was a time I wasn't seeing much of any. 

This is for sure, I'll never accept xanax as a treatment for anxiety again.  I know it works for some, and it worked for me before, this time around.  It just created a dependence that I'll be working off of for months with klonopin.  I'm down to .625 mg per day now(.25 at bed time and .375 in the am).  I'll probably be here a couple of weeks.  I'm ok with it.  I'm going to go slow and who knows.  Maybe one day the lex kicks in and I'll be able to wean off of the klonopin even faster. 

The fun thing I'm feeling now is a definite increase in depression.  Is this common for ssri startup?  I've had a few crying spells and that's not me at all...
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Offline insights

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Re: Xanax to Lexapro & Klonopin and a couple of questions...
« Reply #14 on: March 22, 2014, 05:13:53 PM »
It's admittedly frustrating reading people say I was better in 1 or 2 weeks.

The placebo effect is a wonderful thing. Unfortunately, it often doesn't last.

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The fun thing I'm feeling now is a definite increase in depression.  Is this common for ssri startup?  I've had a few crying spells and that's not me at all...

Just as antidepressants may make anxiety worse initially, so can they exacerbate depression. Both are caused by the same thing, the initial increase in serotonin activity. However, after a while a feedback mechanism kicks in and serotonin synthesis and expression are returned to baseline in most brain regions, and greatly reduced in some associated with anxiety/depression. See: Serotonin: The 'chemical imbalance' myth

Ian
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NOTE: I'm not a doctor, and particularly not yours, so there may be factors I'm unaware of. Therefore all advice is of a general nature and you should consult your doctor before following any of it, especially before changing med doses.

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