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Old 07-10-2005, 09:46 PM   #1
xfusionx
 
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Panic attacks-Will Paxil help me?

Hey everybody,

A few months ago I started having panic attacks. I seem to be anxious all of the time, but there really is no reason for it. I don't really feel depressed at all. My doctor prescribed Paxil and I've been kind of wary about taking it since it seemed to deal mainly with depression. How well does it work for panic/anxiety?

Thanks
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Old 07-10-2005, 09:48 PM   #2
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Re: Panic attacks-Will Paxil help me?

There are other things that work better. Paxil will not cure your panic attacks, just numb the reaction to whatever is causing them. You need to figure out what is causing them and deal with them in another manner.

Last edited by Delynbetter : 07-10-2005 at 10:03 PM.
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Old 07-10-2005, 10:04 PM   #3
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Re: Panic attacks-Will Paxil help me?

If somebody would have told me how hard it is to get off paxil I would never have taken it. The side effects while on it are pretty awful too (for me anyway) - huge weight gain, night sweats, zaps in the head if I missed a dose, no emotions and the list goes on. These are all side effects that are common.

I wished I had made myself more aware of other non-drug treatments. The paxil may take the panic attacks away but you may end up much worse off in the end - like I am. A pill may seem like a quick fix but it really isn't.
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Old 07-10-2005, 10:11 PM   #4
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Re: Panic attacks-Will Paxil help me?

Absolutely paxil will help.

If you don't mind:

No sex drive (like NONE)
Electric zaps
Putting on at least 10 lbs (oh, and that's cululative every year, not just a one shot deal)
Having NO energy to do ANYTHING
Losing every shred of empathy in your body
A general numb-robotic like trance that permeates your every waking hour

Please seek counselling first. Try therapy that will help you to find out what triggers your panic and anxiety. It always starts from somewhere, and Paxil will only treat the symptoms (which trust me, is a very tempting idea for you right now I'm sure). You will never rid yourself of panic or anxiety unless you treat the cause.

Don't let anybody or any doctor tell you that drugs are the answer. Try therapy first and I'm sure you won't be back on this message board in 2 years miserable and desperate.

Good luck
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Old 07-10-2005, 10:11 PM   #5
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Re: Panic attacks-Will Paxil help me?

Paxil was started for a panic attack that my son had. Now 3 very long years later he's functioning again after suffering the side effects and withdrawal of paxil. Do ANYTHING else for your panic except for paxil. Find a good cognitive behavioral therapist. As my son(now 17) says " I'll live with the panic instead of wanting to die with the paxil". He hasn't had a panic attack since going through withdrawal, but paxil took away 3 years of his high school life. Not worth it!
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Old 07-10-2005, 10:15 PM   #6
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Re: Panic attacks-Will Paxil help me?

xfusionx,
I too had suffered from panic attacks, leading to a quite debilitating panic disorder. It seemed that each day had turned into one long panic attack. It got so bad that I wouldn't leave my house, go to school, see friends. I started on paxil seven years ago for the disorder and it did work wonders, almost immediately. However, I was put on a high dose (80mg). Over time, I was able to cut back on my dose (to a final 30mg) before I was forced to stop taking it cold turkey after ending up in the hospital with serotonin syndrome. I won't lie, paxil was probably the best thing that happened to me during that time. Because of the drug, I was able to complete HS, complete college, get my masters, and now on my way to a PhD. Not to mention, I hooked myself a guy
But, I had to re-evaulate my need for paxil recently. I started experiencing a lot of side effects while on the drug including fatigue and severe cognitive effects...like not remembering a thing! After seven years, the drug had definitely taken a toll on my brain.
So, now since I have quit, I am feeling better. But, still wondering if those awful attacks will emerge again.
As far as your question regarding paxil for panic attacks/disorder, it was one of the first SSRIs deemed effective for the condition. It worked for me, but I would definitely proceed with caution. I have found that the withdrawal has caught me off guard and will take some time to work through. I tried many routes, including therapy and supplements, before drug therapy and none worked for me, but I would advise you to try everything you can before you put your body on a drug. Also take into consideration with that continued panic attacks you are more susceptible to being depressed. I found myself plummeting into a depression, not because I was depressed to start out, but because my attacks were preventing me from doing things that I wanted to and enjoyed doing. It came second to my panic attacks. Best of luck and take care.
Private message me if you wanna chat more.
Kelly
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Old 07-10-2005, 11:13 PM   #7
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Re: Panic attacks-Will Paxil help me?

Kelly,

I, too, was put on paxil for panic disorder w/secondary depression back in Sept 2003 when my 3rd son was a couple months old. My panic came slamming back thanks to post-partum depression so I went back on Celexa (which I had been on when I found out I was pregnant and subsequently was weaned completely before the end of my second trimester). Well a second time on Celexa didn't work as well as the first so my doc switched me right over to Paxil CR 25mg. Didn't take long to work like a charm for both the anxiety and panic. HOWEVER, my weight steadily climbed upward on the scale; my need for sleep increased ten-fold; I felt a general mental-numbness every minute of the day. In the early months of this year, I noticed I would eat until I hurt but the urge to eat was still so strong it was often difficult to combat at times. So again, my weight began to climb upward. I finally went to my doc in March 2005 explaining what was happening and it was THEN (not before I was put on this drug) that she told me 'compulsive eating is a very common occurance/side effect for people on paxil'. Fast forward to today, I've been trying to come off this crap since that appt. I followed her misguided/misinformed directions on how to get off this stuff and the only thing it did for me was put me through a horrific withdrawal experience (I thought I had the flu until a week into these 'flu-like symptoms' I noticed that loud noises hurt my skin). I was put back on the med, this time 10mg reg generic paxil because the CR had been yanked from the market by that point. Within ONE HOUR of reintroducing the drug into my system, all symptoms subsided. VERY SCARY. As of today I have widdled my way down semi-comfortably to 7.5mg, where I've been for a little over 3 weeks now. Since dropping to 7.5 from 9mg (I was on liquid taper but then couldn't get that refilled due to backorder), my panic attacks and anxiety have returned. They are manageable but uncomfortable and VERY frustrating to say the least. For instance, today my hubby and I finally pinned down a babysitter so we could go see a movie and dinner. During the last 15 minutes of the movie I felt the cold rush of anxiety wash over me, I felt like my throat was going to close up and my muscles immediately tighten up all over. Unfortunately, this panic attack kept a presence with me right through dinner. I was so glad to get home but mad that my evening out had been interrupted by anxiety. It sucks. I want to drop to 5mg but not sure if I should yet because of my anxiety/panic attacks returning. To top it off, my toddler is now out of his crib and HATES going to bed at night. So the battle is on to get him into a routine while maintaining some length of patience as he gets used to his new bed and such. I need sleep and another vacation to Italy!!!!
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Old 07-11-2005, 12:42 AM   #8
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Re: Panic attacks-Will Paxil help me?

Many years ago, just before Prozac went on the market, I suffered severe, acute panic attacks. My internist prescribed Xanax then abruptly discontinued it when I showed signs of dependence, which made the panic attacks worse. A psychiatrist prescribed Buspar. I had very minor side effects the first few weeks, slight headache and drowsiness. After two weeks, I had significantly fewer panic attacks. After six weeks, they were gone completley. After four months I stopped taking the Buspar with no withdrawal problems. I did not have another panic attack until ten years later when my mother was diagnosed with terminal cancer. By then SSRI's were all the raqe, and PaxHell was supposed to be better than Buspar. HAH!

I recommend you try talk or behavioral cognitive therapy first. If you absolutely cannot bear the anxiety and cannot wait for therapy to work, ask your doctor about other short-term medications. If he prescribes a benzo like Xanax or Ativan, please note that they can be highly addictive and are a temporary remedy meant to stabilize you while you work on another solution. Do everything you can to avoid PaxHell.

Good Luck!
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Old 07-11-2005, 12:53 AM   #9
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Re: Panic attacks-Will Paxil help me?

Yes, Xanax is addictive but I'd use it over an SSRI any day knowing what I know. I would just keep a check on myself and keep the course under 8 weeks. Apparently, if the dose is kept low and you taper off it, in those 8 weeks, there is less chance of rebound anxiety. I haven't tried Buspar.

I'm not saying that medication is the answer but if I had to take anything I would avoid another SSRI. Xanax did work for me but I was always conscious or even scared of rebound anxiety (found out from the people here and links with pp) so I was extremely careful.
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Old 07-11-2005, 01:01 AM   #10
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Re: Panic attacks-Will Paxil help me?

Michelle,

You used Xanax exactly the way it is meant to be used. When prescribed properly, it is quite effective.

Very little information was available when I took it, and none of it came from my doctor. Consequently, I ended up in trouble. That's why I always stress the dangers of benzos when the subject comes up.
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Life shrinks or expands in proportion to one's courage -- Anais Nin

...the most you can hope is to be a little less, in the end, the creature you were in the beginning and the middle. -- Samuel Beckett (The Unnamable)
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1998: Paxil prescribed during mother's battle with cancer.
07/03 thru 05/05: Poop out; 2 botched attempts at wd; bipolar dx; more drugs added
04/05: quit lithium, Adderall and Xanax
05/05: Began 3rd attempt at wd
07/22/05: Liberated!

http://www.benzo.org.uk
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Old 07-11-2005, 01:41 AM   #11
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Re: Panic attacks-Will Paxil help me?

has anyone had any experirence with acupuncture? Good or bad?
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Old 07-11-2005, 06:40 AM   #12
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Re: Panic attacks-Will Paxil help me?

PLEASE TRY TO STAY AWAY FROM PAXIL!!!

And stay away from all SSRIs if you possibly can! Many people feel great when they start taking them but sooner or later the bad side effects will show up and as for withdrawal it can be a terrifying experience that may last for years. Some people get off with minor withdrawal problems lasting for weeks or a couple of months but so far there is no way of predicting who will get awful and dangerous withdrawal problems. Make sure you look up ALL side effects. May I suggest you go to www.antidepressantsfacts.com and read through the site before you take Paxil.
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Old 07-11-2005, 09:28 AM   #13
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Re: Panic attacks-Will Paxil help me?

Quote:
Originally Posted by GerryDaypray
has anyone had any experirence with acupuncture? Good or bad?
Hi Gerry, perhaps if you start a thread with this question you will get a bigger response. Your question posted here may get lost in the thread.
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Old 07-11-2005, 11:14 AM   #14
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Re: Panic attacks-Will Paxil help me?

I found that Klonipin works as well and longer than Xanax (12 hours vs. 4 hours) and I had virtually no problem weaning off.
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Old 07-11-2005, 01:26 PM   #15
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Re: Panic attacks-Will Paxil help me?

Hey,

Thanks for all the help. I'm really glad I read all of this first. It's still kind of a tough decision. I have good days and bad, but when it's bad it's unbearable. And I've had a few bad days in a row. I've never taken any kind of medication in my life and I was always dead-set against doing so. A lot of this stuff kind of confirms my fears(weight gain, zombification, loss of sex drive). I just don't know what to do as an alternative. Talking to people(therapists) about my problems just seems to make me more anxious.
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Old 07-11-2005, 01:50 PM   #16
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Re: Panic attacks-Will Paxil help me?

a good magnesium supplement and omega 3 fish oil seems to help many people across the board to derive the nutrients they need to help calm the anxiety and depression. 90% of americans are deficient of Mg. it alone can calm anxiety and sooth the nervous system.

how about giving that a try.
also cutting ALL caffeine, alcohol, aspartame, excess sugars & carbs from your diet. Try gentle exercise such as yoga, pilates, walking. meditation. deep breathing exercises. and training the mind to relax.

for specific issues that cause anxiety....try EFT. http://www.emofree.com
its free, drug free, pain free, and non-invasive. and you do it yourself! very empowering.
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Old 07-11-2005, 02:23 PM   #17
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Re: Panic attacks-Will Paxil help me?

Paxil can help, but a lot of other things might also help, depending on the severity of your panic attacks and how they cripple your life. Acupuncture is excellent, but every 'holistic' therapy takes a little longer than the big drugs. If you can stand it, it might be worth checking out alternatives to paxil.
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Old 07-11-2005, 02:26 PM   #18
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Re: Panic attacks-Will Paxil help me?

Quote:
Originally Posted by MizzB
a good magnesium supplement and omega 3 fish oil seems to help many people across the board to derive the nutrients they need to help calm the anxiety and depression. 90% of americans are deficient of Mg. it alone can calm anxiety and sooth the nervous system.

how about giving that a try.
also cutting ALL caffeine, alcohol, aspartame, excess sugars & carbs from your diet. Try gentle exercise such as yoga, pilates, walking. meditation. deep breathing exercises. and training the mind to relax.

for specific issues that cause anxiety....try EFT. http://www.emofree.com
its free, drug free, pain free, and non-invasive. and you do it yourself! very empowering.
Bev--you've recommended magnesium before, and I've seen it recommended other places. So I started taking it--despite taking it and some other supplements (Vitamin C and general B vitamins for YEARS) tests show that my system is still deficient in all of them because my body isn't using them properly--so it might not always be sufficent to simply supplement--the body needs to be able to use the supplements. I can't give advice on that part, but I'm having lots of tests and using the guidance of my naturapath now.
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Old 07-11-2005, 04:44 PM   #19
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Re: Panic attacks-Will Paxil help me?

Quote:
Originally Posted by xfusionx
Hey everybody,

A few months ago I started having panic attacks. I seem to be anxious all of the time, but there really is no reason for it. I don't really feel depressed at all. My doctor prescribed Paxil and I've been kind of wary about taking it since it seemed to deal mainly with depression. How well does it work for panic/anxiety?

Thanks
Hello and welcome to the forum, Xfusionx.

Umm, I am just wondering: What was the actual thing your doctor told you as to why he was prescribing Paxil to you? Were you experiencing these anxious symptoms or anxiety attacks quite regularly and severely? Did he offer any other alternatives before reaching for the prescription pad? I am just curious.

I was prescribed Paxil for depression. I had slight anxiety but was not significant at that time. However, during the time I was on Paxil, perhaps 6 months into it, I began experiencing increased, severe panic attacks. So I was prescribed Xanax to curb them. Once the medications no longer helped me (not to mention the sudden removal of Paxil from the shelves during that time), I entered into the withdrawal process. Unfortunately, that came with its own set of additional problems, including the re-emergence of some panic attacks. So at this point in my life, I am really trying to aim towards using counseling, natural remedies, support from friends and family, this forum, anything that works. This may not be the answer for you, but it has worked for me so far. I still have my bad days (boy do I have them). But generally I feel better and clearer about my life. It requires a little more work to gain control when I feel that anxiety creeping up on me, but I have to believe I can do it and accomplish that goal.

You are doing the right thing by asking questions, researching, etc. I did the same thing before I made my decision. By doing so, I am sure you will find the right combination that will work for you.
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