Xanax and Paxil

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Jo-Erin
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Date Joined Oct 2013
Total Posts : 46
   Posted 10/9/2013 10:05 PM (GMT -7)   
So today I went over to my dad's house to visit. As soon as I got there he offered me a beer, which I reluctantly accepted. I just started Paxil and Xanax yesterday and my nurse practitioner asked me to cut out alcohol completely. I'm not a huge drinker, so I figured just one beer wouldn't be a problem. about 1/3 of the way through the beer I started feeling panicky. I knew that it was almost time to take my Paxil and I just felt nervous about going against medical advice, even if it was a minuscule amount of alcohol So, I gave the beer back to my dad and had a coffee instead! took my Paxil and ate dinner with them.

The panicky feeling never went away. After dinner I developed a terrible headache. I'm assuming this is a likely side effect of Paxil. My panicky mind decided that it was the alcohol and Paxil interacting and I began to have an actual attack. My dad and stepmom advised me to take a Xanax, saying I could stay there or they would give me a ride home if it made me too drowsy to drive. At this point, my panic over the medication as so intense that I was afraid to take the drug that is supposed to be the most helpful for panic. ;) I thought I might overdose on the 12.5mg Paxil, 0.25mg Xanax and 1/3rd apple crisp beer. I know how stupid that sounds now, but I'm sure you guys know how real it can feel. After some convincing from my dad and an escalating attack I took a Xanax. It kicked in sometime later and I was fine. I was able to make the ten minute drive home just fine.

Now, however, I'm sitting g in my living room having another attack that is centered around this headache. My Xanax rx bottle says I can take two tablets if necessary, but I'm once again worried about overdosing (even though I know people take up to 2mg at a time for panic attacks and a total of 0.5mg for me would be within the suggested dose). I'm also scared to take an ibuprofen for the headache as I googled it and found that it can interact with Paxil and cause even more thinning of the blood than it usually does, resulting in internal bleeding.

Can someone please tell me tha I'm being crazy and that I just need to take my medicine and I will be fine?! ;)

Jo-Erin
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Date Joined Oct 2013
Total Posts : 46
   Posted 10/9/2013 10:06 PM (GMT -7)   
Wow. There are so many typos in that. Stupid iPad. :)

lgm1942
Veteran Member


Date Joined Feb 2013
Total Posts : 6008
   Posted 10/9/2013 10:22 PM (GMT -7)   
Jo, take the xanax, just don't get in this situation every day. "use as needed only"
I took xanax for ten years started with the highest strength I think it was 1.0 used several a day, when I
was confident they would work i started using only as needed, next I took a step down, now I cary them in
the same size you have but have not taken one in two years. "you can do this and you can see it works".
Knowing I could take it if I was really bad led me to just letting it run its course, a major victory. Peace

Larry ***

Jo-Erin
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Date Joined Oct 2013
Total Posts : 46
   Posted 10/9/2013 10:27 PM (GMT -7)   
Thanks. :) I know it's an addictive drug and I don't want to go down that road with it by taking it every time I feel the slightest bit of anxiety. On the other hand, I haven't been anxiety free in years and I suspect (my doctor agreed) that my anxiety is super intense right now and that the Xanax may be necessary at least once a day for the first few days to weeks.

It's so crazy that I'm having a panic attack about taking Xanax, the medicine to stop my attacks. I am pretty messed up, apparently.

Would you/have you taken ibuprofen with it?

Jo-Erin
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Date Joined Oct 2013
Total Posts : 46
   Posted 10/9/2013 11:17 PM (GMT -7)   
I don't know why I'm having such a problem with this. I have been on SSRIs many times in the past and never felt this afraid of them. I've even taken Xanax before and would take two if I needed to without questioning it. I've gotten to a point where I suppose my thoughts themselves are so scary and ominous all the time that it has bled into every area of my life and superimposed itself on everything.

"What if I were to stop breathing while sleeping because of the Xanax?"
"What if I have a waking blackout?"
"What if the Paxil and extra pill of Xanax are too much for my nervous system and it just shuts down?"
"Hmmmm, what if I stop googling Xanax and Paxil and just trust my doctor?"

I think I need to just take the second Xanax and shut up. ;) It's been four hours anyway, the first one is probably almost through its half-life.

lgm1942
Veteran Member


Date Joined Feb 2013
Total Posts : 6008
   Posted 10/9/2013 11:25 PM (GMT -7)   
Jo, I took them with a heart condition, and yes you can take asprin or Ibuprofen just no narkotics. and yes
the half life is about over. Peace

Larry ***

Jo-Erin
Regular Member


Date Joined Oct 2013
Total Posts : 46
   Posted 10/9/2013 11:41 PM (GMT -7)   
Ok, thanks for the reassurance. Sorry of I was annoying. I don't have anyone in my life that I can talk with about this who would really understand it.

Jo-Erin
Regular Member


Date Joined Oct 2013
Total Posts : 46
   Posted 10/9/2013 11:42 PM (GMT -7)   

floatinggirl
New Member


Date Joined Oct 2013
Total Posts : 2
   Posted 10/10/2013 2:51 AM (GMT -7)   
That's scenario sounds so familiar, except after taking Lexapro (Escitalopram) previously with no problems at all for about a year. I recommenced taking it last December 10mg and at the beginning of June the this year I woke up in the early hours of the morning with a panic attack to end all panic attacks. shaking uncontrollably. With a diagnosis of GAD I had previously not been prone to panic attacks more on the edge of one at times and a couple only experienced in 14 yrs since diagnosis. After that I had a ongoing headache on the right side of my head for weeks and extreme nausea. I was packing up my house and felt like I was going to die as I did it and would have to stop and curl up in a ball and sleep for hours before I could continue.
 
I stopped taking the medication from that moment and stopped all alcohol. Building up to that time I had been under extreme stressors for a year, relationship with a very disturbed person ended, huge work pressures ie. working with clients covering domestic violence, abuse, drug & alcohol issues, visiting prisons etc. etc...had just been diagnosed with a mosquito virus after a few months of pain and being off work, and just sold my house, ...so every level of my life was under pressure.
 
Since that panic attack I never recovered (4 months now) I have experienced floating sensations to the point where I feel I have to almost shuffle when I walk. Hearing feels blocked all of sudden, everything seems technicolour and bright sometimes, extreme depersonalisation, de-realisation and disassociation - these have eased up a bit but still struggle to look in the mirror and know who is looking back at me. Rapid heart beat, shaky, sense of limbs being larger, I never know how I am going to feel from one moment to the next, am not sure how much longer I can hold on....while trying to relocate to another state, find a place to live and housesitting moves x 5 since moving out of my home.
 
I am an old hand at GAD and depression having a diagnosis about 14 yrs ago, its been tough, but this is off the richter scale and with many new and intensified symptoms (didn't know it could get this bad). I did attempt 5mg of Lexapro again recently under dr supervision, but same result woke up in the early hours shaking which lasted for 3 nights waking in the morning. Its pretty clear to me I Have developed a sensitivity to SSRI. I am wonder (to cut a very long story short) if anyone else has had this experience.
 
I desperately need medication to overcome my hugely debilitating and distressing symptoms but understandably am pretty terrified about trying new meds, particularly as I tried out Effexor years ago and it made me feel suicidal and horrible. I can't continue taking clonazepam and drinking wine to cope (both are new behaviours since all of this awful stuff started but quarter of .5mg or half a .5mg daily and about 1 bottle of wine a day) I am under the care of psychologist but its clearly way beyond just talk therapy although it helps a bit.
 
Yes, I know my dr is the one to advise me on this, but I seemed to have lost a lot of faith in the medical profession, and no-one really knows the long term effects of SSRI's SNRI's etc. I thought Lexapro was fairly innocuous until this horrible experience. I see my dr next week to discuss next step.
 
Some support, shared experiences, ideas would be great! and I keep on hearing about people taking benadryl? whats that all about.
 
 

floatinggirl
New Member


Date Joined Oct 2013
Total Posts : 2
   Posted 10/10/2013 2:55 AM (GMT -7)   
sorry Jo-Erin I just signed up and didn't mean for the above post to be added here, should have been separate. In answer to your question, yes I think its your anxiety, but don't forget starting new meds can exacerbate your condition initially - always read the online side effects fact sheet if one is not included in the box (but don't let it freak you out!) I have found benzo's are fine to take for emergency panic but of course check in with your Dr. We are not silly we are just panicked freaked out people, impossible for other to understand unless you have been there. Sure it has past by now.

Scaredy Cat
Forum Moderator


Date Joined Sep 2006
Total Posts : 27124
   Posted 10/10/2013 9:15 AM (GMT -7)   
Hi floatinggirl and welcome.

I can move your post to it's own thread if you would like...let me know.

Scaredy Cat
Moderator:Anxiety/Panic

"Courage is not the abscence of fear, it is feeling afraid and doing it anyway!"

"Worrying does not empty tomorrow of its troubles...it empties today of its strength."
Corrie Ten Boom

Panic Syndrome recovery due to CBT

Scaredy Cat
Forum Moderator


Date Joined Sep 2006
Total Posts : 27124
   Posted 10/10/2013 9:18 AM (GMT -7)   
Hi JE,

Fear of taking one's medication is not at all unusual. I have a couple of suggestions...

I can post some information on pharmocophobia (fear of taking meds) and also a site for checking on interactions between medications.

Of course your doctor and pharmacist check for these when you are prescribed your Rx...but it doesn't hurt to look and see for yourself that it is safe...to give you peace of mind.:)

Keep posting!

S.C.
Moderator:Anxiety/Panic

"Courage is not the abscence of fear, it is feeling afraid and doing it anyway!"

"Worrying does not empty tomorrow of its troubles...it empties today of its strength."
Corrie Ten Boom

Panic Syndrome recovery due to CBT

Scaredy Cat
Forum Moderator


Date Joined Sep 2006
Total Posts : 27124
   Posted 10/10/2013 9:21 AM (GMT -7)   
 
http://www.healthline.com/druginteractions
Moderator:Anxiety/Panic

"Courage is not the abscence of fear, it is feeling afraid and doing it anyway!"

"Worrying does not empty tomorrow of its troubles...it empties today of its strength."
Corrie Ten Boom

Panic Syndrome recovery due to CBT

bullbull
Regular Member


Date Joined Apr 2013
Total Posts : 101
   Posted 10/10/2013 11:16 AM (GMT -7)   
Don't feel bad JE I have the same fears as you. Luckily I have not needed a xanax in a month or two. You just have to work through this, its just another nasty side of panic attacks.
good luck
Ed

Jo-Erin
Regular Member


Date Joined Oct 2013
Total Posts : 46
   Posted 10/10/2013 2:44 PM (GMT -7)   
Thanks, everyone. Floating girl, don't worry about your post showing up here. Reading about others' experiences is one of the things that helps me the most. I also had a bad experience with Effexor (and its successor, Pristiq). In fact, I've been on many different antidepressants, starting at the age of 12. I suffered from depression as a kid. In my adult years, the depression faded into anxiety. I would say that, for me, the anxiety is far worse. It's absolutely terrifying.

I think the Paxil is going to make it worse before it gets better. I took it for depression in high school, and throughout the first two years of adulthood, and never had a problem with it. No side effects, nothing. It really helped me. Supposedly it is great for a wide range of anxiety disorders. I just hope that the increased anxiety I'm experiencing will be worth it once it truly begins to work. My psychiatrist said it could be 8-12 weeks.

I ended up taking two Xanax last night and, although it definitely sedated me, I still felt panicky underneath the sedation. I woke up five hours after I went to sleep and immediately began obsessing over my social interactions with my dad and stepmom (when I was at their house last night I had a mild attack). It took a while to get back to sleep. Now I have to go to work. :/

lgm1942
Veteran Member


Date Joined Feb 2013
Total Posts : 6008
   Posted 10/10/2013 3:20 PM (GMT -7)   
Jo if you ever feel the need my email address is in my profile.

Larry

Jo-Erin
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Date Joined Oct 2013
Total Posts : 46
   Posted 10/11/2013 12:58 AM (GMT -7)   
Thanks. Had a really bad day. :/ I was afraid I was getting serotonin syndrome. I felt feverish, out of it and nervous all night at work. I had difficulty keeping my eyes open even though I was panicky... Almost felt as if I hadn't slept all night, although I did. I was super nauseated and couldn't make myself eat anything. On my way home I had a severe panic attack, almost calling the ER over it. My jaws have been constantly clenched all day. :( I'm going to call the psychiatrist tomorrow and tell them about these symptoms. I'm definitely not making these up. Total increase in anxiety. I'm always complaining here and I'm sorry about that, I just can't stand this! I wish there were a magic pill!

Scaredy Cat
Forum Moderator


Date Joined Sep 2006
Total Posts : 27124
   Posted 10/11/2013 9:19 AM (GMT -7)   
An increase in anxiety upon starting an SSRI is not unusual, and most suredly will fade over time.

Definitely call your p-doc, but don't worry about Serotonin Syndrom in the meantime...as I am sure that you are simply going through initial s/e's from your Rx.:)

Use your coping skills as well.;)...and let us know what you hear from your phone consult.

S.C.
Moderator:Anxiety/Panic

"Courage is not the abscence of fear, it is feeling afraid and doing it anyway!"

"Worrying does not empty tomorrow of its troubles...it empties today of its strength."
Corrie Ten Boom

Panic Syndrome recovery due to CBT

stkitt
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Date Joined Apr 2007
Total Posts : 32602
   Posted 10/11/2013 9:39 AM (GMT -7)   
 
SC is correct and perhaps you remember having this same issue when starting antidepressants in the past.  I went through at least 12-14 of the meds and sometimes if was not tolerating the start up sx  while other times I had physical allergic reactions but I knew I had to push forward as without meds I am not able to function.
 
Use the Xanax if the Dr. ordered it.  When your mind starts to think of the "what ifs?" side effects, picture a big red stop sign and Stop the thoughts from twirling  in your head.
~~Kitt~~
Moderator: Anxiety, Osteoarthritis,
GERD/Heartburn and Heart/Cardiovascular Disease.



"She Stood in the Storm & When the Wind Did Not Blow Her Away, She Adjusted Her Sails."

gizmofab
Regular Member


Date Joined Dec 2012
Total Posts : 281
   Posted 10/11/2013 9:53 AM (GMT -7)   
I take paxil cr and have xanax. I stare at the xanax and have the panic attack because of the same fears as you. Do you find the xanax works. I am afraid it will make me sleep. what if I have a reacation. Same thoughts as you.

Jo-Erin
Regular Member


Date Joined Oct 2013
Total Posts : 46
   Posted 10/11/2013 12:47 PM (GMT -7)   
Gizmofab, it always helps when I take it. I took one 0.25mg last night after my awful experience with the Paxil yesterday and it definitely calmed me down. I probably would have benefited even more from taking two.

I have taken antidepressants in the past and was even on Paxil for years as a teenager. I don't remember having terribly increased anxiety, but I was actually taking it for depression back then. I didn't have as severe of an anxiety issue. Maybe that's why. I was totally miserable, though. I couldn't eat and barely made it home from work (which is 45 minutes from my apartment). :(

I got the answering service for my psychiatrist. They said they will call me back. I work 4-12 tonight and still feel awful. I hope these side effects don't last much longer, as I don't think I can handle it. I'll have to start taking Xanax at work.

Jo-Erin
Regular Member


Date Joined Oct 2013
Total Posts : 46
   Posted 10/11/2013 1:12 PM (GMT -7)   
And thank you, SC and Kitt and everybody else. I don't want to get so caught up in myself that I don't express gratitude to you all. :) this is just really hard.

Scaredy Cat
Forum Moderator


Date Joined Sep 2006
Total Posts : 27124
   Posted 10/11/2013 1:36 PM (GMT -7)   
I know it is...I remember when my anxiety was at its peak.:(

Hang in there. I hope you get a call back soon, that it brings you some comfort/reassuarance...and that you get through your work shift without any panic.

Talk to you soon.

S.C.
Moderator:Anxiety/Panic

"Courage is not the abscence of fear, it is feeling afraid and doing it anyway!"

"Worrying does not empty tomorrow of its troubles...it empties today of its strength."
Corrie Ten Boom

Panic Syndrome recovery due to CBT

Jo-Erin
Regular Member


Date Joined Oct 2013
Total Posts : 46
   Posted 10/12/2013 12:03 AM (GMT -7)   
My doctor called me back personally. When I described my reaction to him (severe headache, increased anxiety, shaking, derealization, chills, severe loss of appetite) it was plain that he didn't like it. He said that, yes, there can be side effects, but they should not be that severe. He said that they don't know why, but Paxil actually activates anxiety in some people. When it works it's one of the best antidepressants out there for anxiety/panic, but in rare cases it can cause this. He said I can either try taking it at night with two Xanax, breaking it in half (and destroying the time release system in it) or just not taking it and managing with Xanax until my next appointment on Tuesday. Regardless, he is going to change me to something else.

I don't want to break it in half because the tablets are not scored. That means the medication is not homogenously distributed across the pill. I definitely don't want to take a whole one again, either, as I have two twelve hour shifts to go before I get another break from work and it was hell working with those symptoms. I think I just won't take it and hope the next med they try is the right one.

Thanks for caring, everyone. :)

Scaredy Cat
Forum Moderator


Date Joined Sep 2006
Total Posts : 27124
   Posted 10/12/2013 6:35 PM (GMT -7)   
I hope that you do okay and can hang in there until Tuesday.

Use those coping skills until then!

I am sorry that this didn't work out for you...but know that it can take more than one try until you find the right med for you.

Let us know how you are doing soon...and how we can be of support.

S.C.
Moderator:Anxiety/Panic

"Courage is not the abscence of fear, it is feeling afraid and doing it anyway!"

"Worrying does not empty tomorrow of its troubles...it empties today of its strength."
Corrie Ten Boom

Panic Syndrome recovery due to CBT
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