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Author Topic: Anxiety Meds Frustration!  (Read 617 times)

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Offline Christophe

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Anxiety Meds Frustration!
« on: April 30, 2014, 12:08:53 PM »
So I have a situation where my anxiety has increased greatly after having a minor surgical procedure done in my throat.  Part of it wasn't healing properly and I started getting nervous about eating foods that might affect it or make it worse.

Now my body is in a heightened state of anxiety where mornings are always really bad, can't sleep past 5AM or so because I wake up with tense feelings and nausea.  Usually gets better as the day progresses and I can usually go to sleep normally with the help of Trazodone but only until 3 AM or so.

So, tried Wellbutrin first as it was prescribed by my General Doctor.  Made me feel too tense and I don't know why this was chosen for Anxiety as I hear it's an anti-depressant.  Got off that and tried Zoloft for a few days but nausea was too much for me so went off of it.  After this I went back and saw my regular General Doctor and he suggested anafranil to help out with OCD issues I might have.  Took it one night and had horrible side effects, fever, chills, nausea and almost couldn't go to work the next day.  So I stopped that.

Not sure what to try next for someone really sensitive to side effects.  Effexor might be next on the list but I may do Lexapro as I've been on that before and I remember side effects not being too bad.  I have been doing mostly Xanax but my GD is really paranoid about getting addicted to it.  He doesn't even want me doing two 1 mg pills a day but that's what I've been doing to get through morning anxiety problems.  Even the bottle says to take three times a day as needed.

Any help or advice.  Appreciate this forum and what a great place for us all to exchange info and get through these difficult mental health issues.
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Offline Snoopy10

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Re: Anxiety Meds Frustration!
« Reply #1 on: April 30, 2014, 02:37:13 PM »
I also had increased anxiety and edginess on Wellbutrin.  Lexapro works really well for me but it took months for it to truly work and I felt worse in the beginning.  I find that start up symptoms on any drug are really difficult to get past and its hard to know what will happen as time goes on.  But try to stick with it if you can because for me, being on Lexapro has really helped with my anxiety symptoms (especially social anxiety).
My psychiatrist is very against Xanax.  I actually tried taking it and it wore off too fast so I had rebound anxiety.  My psychiatrist has had me on Klonopin for 7 years off and on and I have been taking Klonopin off and on for 15 years total.  Its generally not as addictive as Xanax or at least that is what my psychiatrist says for me it works really well for acute symptoms and I dont find myself taking more and more. 
That being said everyone is different and some drugs work really great for some people (my friend swears by Prozac) and not for others. 
I have also taken Cymbalta (I have posted elsewhere about it) it works and the only bad start up symptoms I had were sleepiness.  But that drug is pretty heavy duty and I had some bizarre side effects (for me) and its not good for your liver, especially if you drink alcohol.  But that drug did work for anxiety.
Good luck and try to stick with it!
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Offline insights

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Re: Anxiety Meds Frustration!
« Reply #2 on: April 30, 2014, 06:34:51 PM »
So, tried Wellbutrin first as it was prescribed by my General Doctor.  Made me feel too tense and I don't know why this was chosen for Anxiety as I hear it's an anti-depressant.

You need to get a better doctor. Wellbutrin is the most stimulating antidepressant by a considerable margin, far to stimulating for those with anxiety. 

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Got off that and tried Zoloft for a few days but nausea was too much for me so went off of it.

All the antidepressants may produce a range of side-effects initially, including nausea. The best way of getting past them is to start on a low dose and ramping it up by small increments every week or two until you get to the target dose. Most find starting Zoloft at 25mg/day is tolerable, some may need to go down to 12.5mg.

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After this I went back and saw my regular General Doctor and he suggested anafranil to help out with OCD issues I might have.  Took it one night and had horrible side effects, fever, chills, nausea and almost couldn't go to work the next day.

This is unusual as the tricyclics antidepressants typically produce fewer initial side-effects than SSRIs and SNRIs. They also come in tiny dose tables relative to their therapeutic dose range which makes starting them much easier. What starting dose were you prescribed?

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Effexor might be next on the list

It would be at the bottom of mine. It has no real advantage over the SSRIs for anxiety (though it does for depression) and can be hard to discontinue, for some much harder than the benzodiazepines, yet most benzophobic doctors will happily prescribe it. Go figure.

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but I may do Lexapro


Yes, it is worth a try. Taking trazodone as an antidepressant instead of a sleeping pill is another possibility. It is a pretty good antidepressant once you get past the sedation which diminishes at higher doses, and often produces far fewer side-effects than the SSRIs, SNRIs and TCAs.

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 forever young

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Re: Anxiety Meds Frustration!
« Reply #3 on: May 01, 2014, 09:27:51 AM »
Ian I hate to hijack this thread but when I saw you suggest taking trazodone for an anti depressant. I have been debating what to do myself. I am on celexa and still have spells and now am having trouble sleeping. I have trazodone for sleep but haven't taken it yet. I am afraid to take it with another ant depressant. I was wondering could you switch to trazodone without tapering off the celexa. and does it have the same heart effect as celexa and the TCA. this worrys me as I do have missed heart beats. I took imipramine for several years and the constipation was horrible I even got severe stomach pains too. I would hate to go back to them. I was okay on Prozac but when I tried to get back on it the insomnia was terrible I would lay awake all night. I have switched to celexa and have been on it for about 6 months at 20mg. It I have been sleeping at night is it not the celexa? I tend to get nervous and think I will never sleep and just freak out and this makes it worse. I hate taking something to sleep. just keep thinking if I could take something that would help with sleep. I know I never had trouble with sleep with imipramine.
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Offline Snoopy10

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Re: Anxiety Meds Frustration!
« Reply #4 on: May 01, 2014, 10:34:39 AM »
I would like to know more about trazodone too please.  Can you take it with an SSRI (as forever young asks) and will it boost the current anti-depressant?  I took trazodone one time and I had crazy dreams and was so sleepy the next day I never took it again.  But Lexapro works so well for my social anxiety - now I am looking for more help with my agoraphobia.
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Offline AncientMelody

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Re: Anxiety Meds Frustration!
« Reply #5 on: May 01, 2014, 11:06:30 AM »
Might be time to request a referral to a pyschiatrist, they can get a handle on what medication might be best for you.
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Offline Snoopy10

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Re: Anxiety Meds Frustration!
« Reply #6 on: May 01, 2014, 11:35:14 AM »
I have a psychiatrist but at this point, he kind of let's my drive my own boat on meds. I've tried everything and then get demoralized on start up effects, but I can go in and ask to try things again. But just want opinion here.  I tried to start Lexapro several times and finally did it. Maybe now I can try the trazadone again?  Just looking for other peoples experience.
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Offline Christophe

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Re: Anxiety Meds Frustration!
« Reply #7 on: May 01, 2014, 11:53:02 AM »
Thanks for all the feedback.

I heard Wellbutrin was used to treat people who quit smoking and the anxiety that comes with it.  Probably no point in giving that a try again if it just stimulates me.

Yah, I started at I think 25 mg of Zoloft and didn't like the nausea but I'm having morning nausea anyway every day so If I had to I could give it another try.

Don't know why I reacted so badly to Anafranil, but those side effects were a bit much.  It was only a 25 mg starting dose.  And from what I'm reading elsewhere most people have bad side effects with it and eventually go off even though it's supposedly great for OCD symptoms.

Don't like the idea of going on Effexor at all if it's that hard to discontinue.  I'll scratch that from the list.

Regarding Trazodone, didn't know if could be a regular anti-depressant.  Been taking one before going to sleep and it's working ok until 5 AM or so when I wake up with awful morning anxiety.  Still trying to figure out how to remedy that.  One Xanax usually only gives me another hour of sleep and then when I try and close my eyes, I just get too nauseous.

My Doctor just prescribed Lexapro so that's going to be next.  Maybe I can chop it into a third of a pill for the first few nights.  If that doesn't work I suppose I can continue through the SSRI's until I find something that works.  This anxiety episode is only bad for the first few hours of the day, then I'm mostly fine.  Currently limiting myself to 2 mg of Xanax per day to get through those first few hours.  I did go on Celexa a few years back and had bad side effects but only the first night, then after that they were tolerable.  Let's hope Lexapro does good for me.



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Offline forever young

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Re: Anxiety Meds Frustration!
« Reply #8 on: May 01, 2014, 12:25:24 PM »
snoopy I was talking about taking trazodone instead of celexa. I feel like celexa has helped me a lot and I don't know if that is all they all can do. I know there is normal anxiety too. I just have my good and bad days. I don't like not being able to sleep. It just might be glitich and will go away but with me getting nervous about it that won't let it I am afraid. I think too much. with the agrophobia, I didn't know medication would take it away. I though you had to unlearn your fear of what you are afraid of. I too have agrophobia and have had for years I have gotten some better but there is a lot of work to do. I too am see a PDR but I like to know about the medication and not just blindly take something. I like to know my options.
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Offline Snoopy10

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Re: Anxiety Meds Frustration!
« Reply #9 on: May 01, 2014, 02:35:21 PM »
Hi forever young, thanks for clarifying what you were curious about related to trazodone.  I agree, insomnia is the absolute worst, I hate it too.  I am lucky, for me if I take Lexapro I can sleep pretty well. 

From what my doctor tells me, antidepressants and medication for anxiety can help with agoraphobia.  But I imagine you are right, with agoraphobia unlearning it would probably be the best way to get rid of it more permanently.  I have been so encouraged by the effect Lexapro had on my social anxiety, I thought maybe something would help with the agoraphobia too.  The weird thing is that I go to lots of places and I travel, etc.  I hate traveling and avoid it at all costs but I must for work so to help myself, I book nice hotels where I can create a little haven for myself. 

At home, in the morning I happily walk the dog and go running.  But when I get home from work its very difficult to extract me from the house.  I hate being in the grocery store so much that sometimes I will have little in the fridge.  I started bringing my little dog to th egracery store in the cart with me (I just ignore all the sideways looks from employees and say "I picked her up in aisle 4") and she helps my anxiety level a lot in the store.  But yet the feeling still persists.  Its such a tough one because it hits me every time I walk out the front door of my house.  What are your strategies?
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Offline Snoopy10

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Re: Anxiety Meds Frustration!
« Reply #10 on: May 01, 2014, 02:46:00 PM »
Hi Christophe - also wanted to reply to you.  I like Lexapro a lot and  I hope it works for you!  I started with 5mg and moved to 10mg but I am a woman.  I take it in the morning.  I sleep well on it but again I take it in the morning, not sure if you take it at night if that will make a difference? In my experience I gave Lexapro at least one week to do its thing before I decided to stay on it or not.  The first pill of any drug is hard to persist through because it makes you feel funny/different.  try super hard to ignore any strange feelings and give it time to do whatever it needs to do.  If sleep is a big issue for you don't take it at night because if it wakes you up, you might be scared to take it again.

I do agree with Ian that Effexor (and Cymbalta, I did take that and I hear its similar) are hard to go off. 

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Offline Christophe

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Re: Anxiety Meds Frustration!
« Reply #11 on: May 01, 2014, 06:23:44 PM »
Thanks for the reply Snoopy.

I'm waiting a few more days until I start with the Lexapro. 

Does anyone know how long anafranil stays in your system?  I took the one pill last Sunday night and I'm still feeling weird today.  Increased OCD thoughts and anxiety.  Don't know what's going on as I haven't taken it since.
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Offline insights

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Re: Anxiety Meds Frustration!
« Reply #12 on: May 01, 2014, 09:44:03 PM »
I am on celexa and still have spells and now am having trouble sleeping. I have trazodone for sleep but haven't taken it yet. I am afraid to take it with another ant depressant.

At doses below 150-225mg trazodone is only an antihistamine, essentially a much stronger Benadryl, so won't affect Celexa.

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I was wondering could you switch to trazodone without tapering off the celexa.

No. You could cross taper though.

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does it have the same heart effect as celexa and the TCA. this worrys me as I do have missed heart beats

Yes, trazodone may prolong the QTc interval. However, this is not the same as missed beats. Missed beats are normal, actually a good thing because the heart is supposed to be chaotic. It is the perfectly regular beats that are abnormal and often a very bad sign (and before everyone starts checking whether their heart is beating with metronome precision, it is nearly impossible to detect this even with a stethoscope, plus other serious symptoms would be evident).

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I took imipramine for several years and the constipation was horrible I even got severe stomach pains too.

The main imipramine metabolite desimipramine (Norpramin) is as effective but much less likely to trigger the typical TCA side-effects such as constipation and dry-mouth.

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 insights

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Re: Anxiety Meds Frustration!
« Reply #13 on: May 01, 2014, 09:50:09 PM »
I would like to know more about trazodone too please.  Can you take it with an SSRI (as forever young asks) and will it boost the current anti-depressant?

No. You'd need to cross taper onto trazodone.

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But Lexapro works so well for my social anxiety - now I am looking for more help with my agoraphobia.

What is the Lexapro dose, and how long have you been on it?

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 Snoopy10

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Re: Anxiety Meds Frustration!
« Reply #14 on: May 01, 2014, 10:48:29 PM »
I am on 10 mg Lexapro and I have been on it for about 6 months.  I weigh about 140lbs female gender.
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