Posted 3/22/2021 7:20 PM (GMT -6)
You said you had taken many antidepressants and they "either had adverse side effects or inefficacy (for panic disorder)?"
And "My psychiatrist wants to try Gabapentin next because she thinks antidepressants just don’t work for me. I want to hear about other people’s experiences with different medications while having panic disorder."
As a bipolar, going in as depressed, I got dxed as depressed when I was really manic-depressed. The anti-depressant put me into mania and panic attacks.
When Lithium was added, the panic attacks stopped immediately. Now my panic attacks were caused by being given an anti-depressant with no stabilizer (from being mis-dxed). They were medicine caused.
Yours doesn't appear that. But I was wondering if what helped me (Lithium and my anti-depressant), which combined to stop both the depression and the panic attacks, might help you.
So in the search engine, I typed in "can lithium treat panic attacks?"
One about the 5th or 6th entry, the "National library of medicine" wrote something about that.
In reduced form it said,
“There is evidence that panic disorder and major depression might share some common neurobiological factors. This would be consistent with the fact that most antidepressant drugs are effective in preventing panic attacks.”
The report noted a woman who had panic disorder and was also depressed. “The depressive syndrome improved rapidly with amitriptyline (150 mg/day), but the panic attacks persisted.” (Net says Amitriptyline is a tricyclic antidepressant.)
They tried adding Lithium Carbonate at 600 mg a day (900 mg was too much).
“Forty-eight hours later the patient showed a clinical improvement…. …. "She remained symptom free with the maintenance of the drug combination.
“To date, several reports have confirmed the beneficial effect of adding Lithium to a tricyclic antidepressant drug in resistant major depression. However, we believe that the present case report is the first one documenting the augmentation of a tricyclic antidepressant drug by lithium in a patient suffering from a panic disorder.”
Again, you can find this by typing into the Google search engine: "can lithium treat panic attacks?" and it was the 5th or 6th one from the top (National library of medicine). You might want to print out the full report and show it to your psychiatrist. It's only about 20 sentences long.
Again, as a bipolar, I take 600 mg of Lithium a day and 7.5 mg. of Mirtazapine anti-depressant and have done well on that for decades.