My Meds & issues

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Veteran Member

Date Joined Oct 2008
Total Posts : 1683
   Posted 1/9/2009 5:25 AM (GMT -6)   
Ive been on Zoloft and Xanax for 6 yrs. Previous to that i have been on Prozac, Aurorix, Effexor (severe allergic reaction), Aropax and Tofranil. Ive been medicated every day since i was 14.
The Zoloft/Xanax combo has worked well for me- really well. it let me sleep, which the others didnt. it really controlled my symptoms and has allowed me to live a relatively 'normal' life- i studied, graduated, i work full time etc.
But now i feel it is starting to wear off, my anxiety has crept back in and turned things up a notch. I dont want to increase my Xanax dose as it is such a potentially dangerous med. I am addicted to it, both physically and emotionally. Im on 150mgs of Zoloft, and my Pdoc said that if i start to feel like im unravelling, i can increase my Zoloft to 200mgs, under her supervision of course.
Normally after 3-4 yrs, i switch to a new med, as i build up a tolerance to the previous med and it doesnt work for me anymore. The Zoloft/Xanax combo has by far been the longest, 6yrs is great for me.
I know you guys arent health professionals, and i WILL consult myt Pdoc, but i have to admit, im not super educated about the latest AD's out there, some with less side effects and the like. I have heard Lexapro is good-
I dont know what to do. I will have to wait until the easter/April school hols if i DO go ahead and change meds, i cant do it when im teaching as im sure you can understand. what i DO know is that after 6 succesful years, im building a tolerance and my AP is creeping back. and i hate it- as again, im sure you can all appreciate.
I really felt i hit the jackpot with Zoloft and i feared the day would come when it stopped being as effective as it had been in the past. NO doctor in their right mind would increase my Xanax (4mgs) as i have a history of abuse/addiction with prescription benzos, opiates, narcotics. and when the day comes that i have to come off Xanax, that will be a dark day. they say the withdrawals are similar to that of IV injecting, illegal narcotics.
Im at a crossroads- and im a little overwhelmed. any input would be appreciated. I hate sounding weak, it goes against everything i have worked for, i have worked so hard to be strong and it has paid off, but at the end of the day, the mask must come off and i must face my fear.
Thanks for listening, family.
Maz XX

            'He heals the broken hearted and binds up their wounds.' (Psalm 147:3)                  
Panic Disorder, Agoraphobia, CFS, Fibromyalgia, Chronic Sinusitis, TMJ disorder, Endometriosis, PCOS, Chronic E.N.T and Upper respiratory tract infections, Reactive Arthritis, GERD,  IBS, Glandular fever, Migraines, Anemia, Chemical/Noise/Light sensitivity, Trichotilomania, PTSD, Seasonal Mood  Disorder, OCD, Benign Vertigo,  Impaired immune system. Tachycardia, tinnitus, low clotting factor= bruising. Tendonitis, Bursitis.
Meds: Zoloft 150mg. Xanax 4mg. Celebrex. Mobic. Panadeine Forte. Digesic. Nexium.
Multiple surgeries- I bear the scars of my poor physical health.
Age:28. First diagnosed at 14. Proud Aussie.

Green Grove
Veteran Member

Date Joined Oct 2008
Total Posts : 2424
   Posted 1/9/2009 6:17 AM (GMT -6)   

I'm not up on all of the new meds myself but I just wanted to let you know that you are in my prayers. I know things have been difficult (to say the least) and I hope things start turning around for you soon my friend. I'm sure there will be many people on here that know a lot about what you are facing and maybe have some good recommendations to suggest to your doc. I'll jump off of here now to give the more competent some room :)
Take care and have a wonderful day! . . . Your Bro . . . Sam :)
 ~Co-Moderator Anxiety & Panic Forum~
  "When you come to the end of your rope, tie a knot and hang on."
~Franklin D. Roosevelt~
Not a professional.  Seek your physician's advice before making changes to your meds or lifestyle.

Forum Moderator

Date Joined Oct 2008
Total Posts : 7348
   Posted 1/9/2009 8:23 AM (GMT -6)   
Hi Maz

Sorry to hear you are having a rough time of it at the moment you don't deserve that and i hope things start to improve for you. I am sorry to hear that your Zoloft/Xanax combo seems to be waring off and your anxiety is coming back.

As far as i know the serotonin norepinephrine reuptake inhibitors (SNRIs) are the newest type of antidepressants with Pristiq being the latest of these which is a modified form of Effexor which i have heard has good results but i know you did not get on well with Effexor so maybe not a good choice. The other Meds in this class are Duloxetine (cymbalta) and Mirtazepine (Remoron).

I have tried Mirtazipine and I am currently taking Effexor as you know i have yet to find an antidepressant that works for me and I am starting to think I wont, but as we all know we are all different and what works for one person may not work for an other . I can relate to you on the narcotic and benzo thing as i have a history of abuse/addiction and i think this has something to do with why antidepressants don't work for me.

Like you said consult your pdoc as they will be able to give you the professional advice you need. I can relate to what you are going through at the moment Maz and wish you all the best and hope that you can find an other Medication which will be as successful as your Zoloft/Xanax combo and know that my thoughts are with you and that we are here for you, to listen and support and advice were we can. Have you tried CBT? I find therapy really does help me as it is good to talk rather than let things build up which is also why i like to come to healingwell.

Take Care Maz



Elite Member

Date Joined Apr 2005
Total Posts : 14995
   Posted 1/9/2009 10:05 AM (GMT -6)   
I think if you have had such good luck with the Zoloft/Xanax combo, maybe talk to your pdoc and just upping the Zoloft will quiet things back down for you. I am not familiar with any of the newer drugs, so I can't help you there. But I think I would start off with upping the Zoloft and see how that works first.

Good Luck,
Gail *Nanners*
Gail*Nanners* Co-Moderator for Anxiety/Panic Forum
Been living with Crohn's Disease for 33 years. Currently on Asacol, Prilosec, Estrace, Prinivil, Diltiazem, Percoset prn for pain, Zofran, Phenergan, Probiotics, and Calcium and Xanax as needed. Resections in 2002 and 2005. Also diagnosed with Fibromyalgia and Osteoarthritis and Anxiety. Currently my Crohns is in remission.
*Every tomorrow has two handles.  We can take hold of it by the handle of anxiety, or by the handle of faith"*

Veteran Member

Date Joined Jul 2005
Total Posts : 1952
   Posted 1/9/2009 10:20 AM (GMT -6)   

I'm thinking of you, my friend.

Is it possible that the change in your meds' effectiveness is just temporary? It does sound like this happens to you often, and you seem to do a really good job of keeping tabs on how you're responding. The only reason I ask is that I have had periods sometimes of a month or so when my meds feel less effective, and those periods have always come during seasons when my job is really, really slow. I know that you're on holiday from teaching right now and wonder if you feel that the cycles of intensity that ebb and flow in your career as a teacher have any sort of connection to when your meds work or don't work. And, yes, for me, my anxiety is usually harder to deal with when my job is *easier* or when I'm taking time off. Go figure!

I'm so glad that you're taking such good care of yourself and are so in tune with how you feel.



Co-Moderator, Anxiety and Panic Forum

Veteran Member

Date Joined Dec 2008
Total Posts : 1015
   Posted 1/9/2009 1:27 PM (GMT -6)   
Maz, I'm wondering if you're symptoms are from the Xanax? You've been on the Xanax for way too long, as you stated. Usually doctors don't keep you on Xanax for long because of the dependency issue. I spent 2 weeks in a psych ward because of Xanax. My psych had me go off of it cold turkey. Not a wise thing to do.

I suggest you speak to your therapist/pcp about replacing the Xanax with Ativan or Klonopin. The Zoloft may still be doing its job and it's just the Xanax causing problems. Or like Nanners mentioned, maybe you need to up the dose of Zoloft. But going off the Xanax is a great idea. Learn how to do it properly though.

I think you'll be feeling great after making a few changes in meds. Hang in there!
Anxiety Disorder/Mitral Valve Prolapse

Veteran Member

Date Joined Dec 2006
Total Posts : 708
   Posted 1/9/2009 5:00 PM (GMT -6)   


I have heard the same thing about the withdrawal of Xanax that it can be harder to come off of then cocaine and I have been on it for several years as well and am terrified of having to come off of it.  I tried a while back and couldn't do it.  I am afraid I will have to go to a drug withdrawal clinic to do it.  My doctor continues to prescribe it and has not said anything to me about the fact I've been on it so long so I guess he knows what he is doing and I have to trust him.  My Xanax doesn't work for me as well as it used to but I too don't want to up my dosage either.  I have taken Ativan a couple times but my doctor will not prescribe it as a "daily" med.  I don't know about any newer drugs (I can't take antidepressants - severe allergic reaction).  I hope you can find a combo that works for you.  Sending you lots of prayers that you feel better soon.


Anxiety 2007; IBS 2004; Chronic Hives 2002.  Medications:  Allegra, Zantac, Xanax, Darvocet.

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