This topic contains 10 replies, has 4 voices, and was last updated by  V.R. Peterson 4 months ago.

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  • #18454
     Brittany Foster 
    Keymaster

    On Friday I had a really hard night. I was dealing with multiple panic attacks brought on by the stress of the week that felt too overwhelming. From dealing with appointments that went bad, procedures, testing, and my nephew getting a surgery, it all felt like too much.

    Today I took a step towards getting on a medication to help with my anxiety. I have had bad experience with some medications for anxiety and depression in the past and have been hesitant about trying any other ones. I have been put on Klonopin as needed for panic and a small dose of prozac for something to take every day.

    If you don’t mind sharing, are you taking medications for anxiety/ depression? What medication are you currently taking/have you tried? What benefits do you see from medication therapy?

  • #18456
     Jen Cueva 
    Participant

    Ohh, Brittany, I imagine you have been overwhelmed with all you’re going through. Like yourself, I’ve never had much luck in the past with anxiety medications. First, I wouldn’t take any at all, then I was prescribed a few that did not work well with my body.

    Currently, I take Ativan for anxiety but I don’t think it’s the best choice for me. It helps a little. I only take it as needed, a low does. I may need to address this again soon.

    I hope that you do well with your new medications. I’m interested to hear how this combination works for you. I have not tried Klonopin or Prozac. You got this!

    • #18466
       Brittany Foster 
      Keymaster

      Thank you for the much needed encouragement, Jen! I have taken ativan in the past too and sometimes it didn’t work as well for me. From what I have been told about ativan it is more of a fast acting medication and it leaves your body quicker. Good for short term for things like panic attacks or acute anxiety. I have realized that I need something more for chronic use and this was a really important topic to bring up with my doctors. I spend a really long amount of time the last few months just numbing myself to everything that I was going through and realizing how chronic this is going to be, it makes me think that I need more for my mental health. This is why I started the conversation and chose to get back on something. Not every medication works for everyone and every BODY is different and reacts differently to these things. It takes a lot of patience to find the right medication and dosage, but I know it will be worth it to feel more at east mentally.

    • #18473
       V.R. Peterson 
      Participant

      Oh @brittany-foster, I’m so sorry you’re dealing with this. I almost didn’t post this because I don’t take antidepressants any more, but I feel it’s important. Several years ago, I was dealing with a lot of pain, and the PA had me on Tramadol for it. She later added an SSRI. Unfortunately, that mix is contraindicated, as they both increase serotonin in the body, having an additive effect. It almost killed me, but because many of the symptoms are psychological and cognitive, the PA ignored the physical symptoms I was having and decided I needed *more* Prozac. Which made things even worse. She finally had me see the real doctor. He decided I was bipolar, and took me off all my medications (both Prozac and Tramadol), the plan being to put me on Lithium after I’d been off it for a month. Funny thing happened during that month. Except for the original pain, all my other symptoms — both physical and mental — went away. The doctor finally realized what I had been trying to tell them all along (that my symptoms were being caused by taking the opioid and anti-depressant together.

      Anti-depressants and anti-anxiety definitely have their place, but my warning to you is to use a good interaction checker before adding anything to your routine. The one I use is https://reference.medscape.com/drug-interactionchecker

      If I’ve shared too much, please feel free to delete this and accept my apologies.

      • #18506
         Brittany Foster 
        Keymaster

        Thank you so much for being so vulnerable and sharing this here. I know it is hard and I actually had something similar happen to me when I was on anti anxiety medications in the past. They started to really impact my hormones an i ended up with a lot of hormonal complications including having swelling and mimicking symptoms of pregnancy when I was NOT and could not possibly be pregnant. It was pretty horrific and since then I have been so overly cautious when it comes to medications and especially an ssri. I am sorry you experienced such a bad interaction between both of those medications an I’m sorry they did not listen to you when YOU know your body best.

      • #18534
         V.R. Peterson 
        Participant

        “I am sorry you experienced such a bad interaction between both of those medications an I’m sorry they did not listen to you when YOU know your body best.”

        Thank you, Brittany. I survived. Just as important, I learned a lesson I’ll never forget, and I can use that lesson to help others. 😊

  • #18463
     Colleen Steele 
    Keymaster

    Brittany, good for you in taking the necessary steps to take care of your emotional needs. When my son was listed for transplant my doctor had to talk me into taking something to help with anxiety. I’m so glad I listened to him because I believe it has helped a great deal. I’m on a low dose of Sertraline (Zoloft). I have Long QT Syndrome and am limited to what I can take because of this heart condition. It seems to work well for me though and I haven’t experienced any side effects.

    • #18467
       Brittany Foster 
      Keymaster

      Hi Colleen,
      A lot of my health conditions especially the ones that involve the pacemaker of the heart and the conduction disorders I have also limit me on what I can take. I usually make sure to check with a pharmacist on this too and always start out on a really low dose of things. Something that my doctors told me too is that when I take my metoprolol during the day (I am supposed to be taking the 50 mg extended release) it also can serve as a type of anti-anxiety medication for some people. So I would highly advise people to check with your pharmacist and doctor about anxiety meds especially if you are already on something to slow down your heart rate or that helps with your heart conduction.

      • #18490
         Colleen Steele 
        Keymaster

        I appreciate the things we learn from each other in these forums. Brittany, my son is on a high dose of metoprolol and I did not know the anti-anxiety benefits of it. He was briefly on an anti-anxiety medication after transplant. He reached a point where he felt like he didn’t need prescription help and one less pill is always a welcome. I wonder though if the metoprolol could be helping him with more than his blood pressure…interesting!

      • #18507
         Brittany Foster 
        Keymaster

        Colleen,
        I always love learning from our members and from you here. That is interesting about your son! I know that it helps with my anxiety just from a heart rate standpoint and lower blood pressure. The higher heart rate and blood pressure really makes my mental health and anxiety worse so controlling that was a huge part in helping keep me more stable over the years. I don’t know if it’s necessarily prescribed for anxiety in itself especially because of the blood pressure and heart rate effects but it certainly has helped with mine AND the underlying arrhythmia too !

    • #18482
       Jen Cueva 
      Participant

      Colleen, I’m glad that the Zoloft has helped you. This shows how we all react differently to these medications. Zoloft is one that I wasn’t able to take as it lowered my BP more and it’s naturally low m even prior to PH medications.

      Brittany makes a great point that these medications tend to lower not only our blood pressure but our heart rates, too.

      Great tips as I’m sure many others here in the forums use anxiety /antidepressant medications.

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