meds for anxiety only Xanax/Ativan or other meds?

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Regular Member

Date Joined May 2009
Total Posts : 36
   Posted 6/13/2009 1:21 AM (GMT -6)   
Good Evening, or Morning I guess where you may live! I am still a newbie to this group altho I feel very comfy with all of you. I have no insurance left for the rest of the year and need to go to my next doctor appt on Monday. She has been great at trying every med available in samples or very inexpensive to help find some relief. I have had hyper-reactions to everything and bad anxiety to all the antidepressants that are suppose to help fibro. I've tried Cymbalta, Elivin, Lyrica, Effexor, a couple others that I cannot remember and now The last sample she gave me was Paxil. I have tried it and again bad side effects, non stop yawning while I was trying out the meds. Had to be in two different Board meetings and my constant yawning while taking minutes and answering questions was not appreciated, at all! I think from all the yawning I was pulling in too much air and started hyper-ventilating, which was just enough to start long-gone panic attacks. So I have stopped the med after a week and have had four panic attacks in the past 2 days. I am on anxiety overload. My job and life are stressful, just like everyone elses. Now after this it takes a cabinet closing a little loud and I am jumping out of my skin! I am wondering from all the various antidepressants I have tried in the last couple months if this has been the catalyst to start up anxiety attacks again!!!! I had a couple ativans from an older perscription from a previous doc. They worked great, no anxiety and didn't need muscle relaxers either. My new doc says ativan is a bad drug....

My question for you is does anyone take a med for only anxiety that helps the anxiety/panic and also the pain. I go back to my doc and have to pay the full charge of $179 for the visit and need help creating a list of possible meds to get rid of this anxiety. I cannot afford to see her again for another month so Mondays visit is important to me. BTW I am not depressed just now highly anxious, hyper-venting and over-worried.

Has anyone else experienced anxiety/panic attacks after taking one of the antidepressants that are suppose to help with fibro?

Thanks so much!

lost in philly
Regular Member

Date Joined Jan 2009
Total Posts : 243
   Posted 6/13/2009 6:15 AM (GMT -6)   
Hello, Sorry you are having such bad luck with everything, maybe we can help...

If you were on a high enough dose of any of those antidepressants you mentioned (especially Effexor) and not weaned off slowly and gradually--that would definitely cause a rise in your anxiety. In which case, given your insurance issue, you may want to "ride out" the next few weeks of side effects until you get clean again. I just had to do that myself with Effexor but I also had the dizziness and nausea.

In any case, it sounds like you are like most of us who are very sensitive to Rx...I would start all meds with a half dose or maybe 1/4 and slowly work up, let your body get used to it & you might not have such bad reactions all the time. Also, it stinks I know, but I have learned the hard way that unless the side effect is truly life threatening...I need to give the Rx at least a month trial before I give up on it b/c it may take my body that long to get used to it. Just a guess here but, I think it is better for your brain to try and stick through the hard times with a couple Rx than to try a handful of others. I just recently stuck through 3-4 weeks of hell being on Savella but we have been adjusting my dose and now I am better and I think I can stay on it. Each person has to find that line themselves...just my 2 cents. I hate to see people sick from drugs when they shouldnt have to be. And it is scary territory to enter when we start medicating our side effects! Then we become a vicious cycle.

Good luck! Let us know how your visit goes!
lost in philly

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Veteran Member

Date Joined Nov 2008
Total Posts : 2854
   Posted 6/13/2009 7:00 AM (GMT -6)   

Hi...yawning is a side effect that comes with most SSRI's...I don't think you were hyperventilating.  I yawned constantly when I first started Lexapro and I am doing it again now that I am weaning off.  I wasn't 'anxious' when beginning the drug but very hyper and agitated.  None of these drugs come without paying a miserable side effect price.  Also, you can never just stop taking them cold turkey.  Even through the several months of weaning slowly off Lexapro I get brain zaps.  It did nothing for my fibro pain and I gave it over a year.  Also, because fibromites have such a sensitivity to drugs, I would take whatever your next med may be,(like Philly said) to not start eith the recommended dosage but to slice the pill in small pieces and work your way up.  It helps with the side effects and if you still can't tolerate it, at least the withdrawals won't be so severe.

Personally, I have discovered that plain old Advil alternated with Tylenol work just as well as these high powered drugs for the pain.  I know that is not enough for some people but I cannot stand to be in a stupor and suffer from the endless mind numbing side effects some of these drugs have.  I do take valium (5mg) at night if I can't sleep.  I don't know anything about Ativan but it seems to me that if it works for you, you shouldn't be denied the opportunity to feel better.  What's worse...taking one drug after another that don't work...then having to take something else to relieve the side effects...and before you know it you have a medicine cabinet full of drugs, ecah one designed to relieve the symptoms of the other one...It's ridiculous.  I assume Ativan is addicting?  So is valium and I am smart with it and only take it when I need it.  I guess I ask I would just tell your doctor it works for you and see what happens.  Explain that if you are not anxoius, the pain decreases.  One drug instead of three our four.   Less is more, in my opinion!




fibro, menieres disease, RLS, anxiety disorder, disc compression, scoliosis, spinal stenosis TMJ  Meds: Lexapro and valium

Veteran Member

Date Joined Aug 2007
Total Posts : 6067
   Posted 6/13/2009 9:37 AM (GMT -6)   
I agree if you tried all those ADs in a short period of time without giving them a chance to work or getting them completely out of your system slowly that could be what is causing the anxiety. I don't have panic attacks but just anxiety for what seems to be for no reason sometimes. Xanax is the only thing I have been on for it but I don't know what it cost without ins. Distraction is helpful when your anxious sometimes.
Have you looked into getting help with the medical bills and meds??? That seems really high for one office visit. I hope she can find something that will help you til you get over the panic attacks.
luv and hugs
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Regular Member

Date Joined May 2009
Total Posts : 36
   Posted 6/14/2009 11:00 AM (GMT -6)   
Thanks so much for the feedback. I go to the docs tomorrow and see what she says? I feel the connection between stress, anxiety and then both or either making the pain and muscle spasms worse. I have signed up for Tai Chi classes. That might help too.

Veteran Member

Date Joined Feb 2009
Total Posts : 686
   Posted 6/14/2009 4:10 PM (GMT -6)   
I take Ativan (also called Lorazapam) for my anxiety. It works great for me, and is a good drug if you don't abuse it - as with any other med. It's a pretty cheap drug, too.
DX fibromyalgia 2007, osteoarthritis, obsessive-compulsive disorder OCD, depression, anxiety, sleep apnea, hysterectomy.

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New Member

Date Joined Jun 2009
Total Posts : 18
   Posted 6/15/2009 2:53 PM (GMT -6)   
I am in the same group of you where drugs don't like me much and I can't tolerat the side effects. The best one I had was ativan but like valium which i have also used in the past when it wears off there is such a low that the depression and anxiety feelings were very high. I didn't like it so I just weaned off it over the past few weeks. I had one GI specialist tell me to double my ativan and stay on it for life. Like insulin for diabetics. And they get paid the big bucks. I almost believed him until I realized that I didn't want to live that way and I couldn;'t work with all the ups and downs from the drug.
I tired Cymbalta with horrible horrible effects (. I thought I was going to die( i only had 1/2 dose because of my size-I weigh less than 100 pounds now) and I have tried Paxil 3 years ago for an IBS flair up. The paxil gave me the shakes and tingling .

I know someone who uses amitripilon for their fibro (low dose) for years and I was perscribed it for my ibs in January but I haven't tried it. I am doing a med cleanse now for a few months to see if my body will readjust because I have the shakes weakness too much. I am trying other stuff that seems to be helping the anxiety.

Look into a Mindfullness Based Stress Reduction course, tai chi or chronic pain management course. My favorite is a mindful yoga class. Great for relaxing and strengthening. I use all for relaxing. I am going to try this new cream on the market -volterin (i think that is the spelling). Some fibro people on this site use a roll on pain one called act-on and I use Myoflex for my shoulders and lower back when they are really bad. It helps for a few hours. You may want to try the myoflex before a big meeting to relax the muscles.

there is a new cream on the market for nerve pain called Neuragel that is all natural and my fibro friend loves it. I don't know if you can get it in the US. I live in Canada.

Good luck. it is so hard to know the right drug and what is the best thing to do.
Today is another beautiful day!  Take a deep breath and let it go!

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