Best antidepressants for anxiety? And about to begin a benzo taper

Posted by sears @sears, Nov 24, 2019

What are the best antidepressants for anxiety? I know everyone is different, looking for opinions and options. I’m about to begin a benzo taper. My doctor wants me to stabilize a little before starting.

Liked by grandmaj5

That is a good question. I went to a Pharmacist and explained my tapering information. I asked him if there was anything over the counter I could take in Between. He was very interested and perplexed. We went to the over-the-counter medications and he said the only thing he could think of was the B-Complex vitamins. I did not ask him about an actual drug for anxiety though. I am wondering what Physicians are going to do with patients with anxiety after they are off benzos. They don't seem to mention that. If you have anxiety, do they think it is just going to end? What is the plan? That is why I know I need Clonazepam and I am willing to cut the dose only. Unless, I am told that there is another non-benzo miracle drug out there. I also wonder, if the drug companies are still making benzos for patients, why do they have to taper off? I know there is a big thing about opioids. I think they get worried sometimes that we are going to sell them on the street! I am also on Adderall (which is considered a controlled substance). One day I went to the office to get my "official paper signed by the Physician" to pick up Adderall. They told me that I first had to do a urine test (out of the blue). I took it and it showed I had the correct amount of Adderall in my body. I told them, did they do this to make sure I was taking it and not selling it?" I believe that was the reason. I read that even if you sold a drug like Adderall, the buyer would have to take quite a few to get high. When I take it, I can't tell. I actually get calmer and of course focus better. My sister asked her Physician if she could try Adderall, because she thought she had the same diagnosis as me (ADHD). She tried it and said she got very hyper and felt like she was climbing the walls. I am actually surprised he gave it to her (Psychiatrist). I was put on it after my Psychiatrist tested me for ADHD. I then realized that I probably have always had this. I had a hard time when I was young following directions and somehow got through school by not reading book assignments. I still have a hard time sitting down to read (unless it is very short or a magazine). If this is the case with Adderall being a controlled substance, why aren't the benzos considered a "controlled substance"?

Liked by sears

REPLY
@grandmaj5

That is a good question. I went to a Pharmacist and explained my tapering information. I asked him if there was anything over the counter I could take in Between. He was very interested and perplexed. We went to the over-the-counter medications and he said the only thing he could think of was the B-Complex vitamins. I did not ask him about an actual drug for anxiety though. I am wondering what Physicians are going to do with patients with anxiety after they are off benzos. They don't seem to mention that. If you have anxiety, do they think it is just going to end? What is the plan? That is why I know I need Clonazepam and I am willing to cut the dose only. Unless, I am told that there is another non-benzo miracle drug out there. I also wonder, if the drug companies are still making benzos for patients, why do they have to taper off? I know there is a big thing about opioids. I think they get worried sometimes that we are going to sell them on the street! I am also on Adderall (which is considered a controlled substance). One day I went to the office to get my "official paper signed by the Physician" to pick up Adderall. They told me that I first had to do a urine test (out of the blue). I took it and it showed I had the correct amount of Adderall in my body. I told them, did they do this to make sure I was taking it and not selling it?" I believe that was the reason. I read that even if you sold a drug like Adderall, the buyer would have to take quite a few to get high. When I take it, I can't tell. I actually get calmer and of course focus better. My sister asked her Physician if she could try Adderall, because she thought she had the same diagnosis as me (ADHD). She tried it and said she got very hyper and felt like she was climbing the walls. I am actually surprised he gave it to her (Psychiatrist). I was put on it after my Psychiatrist tested me for ADHD. I then realized that I probably have always had this. I had a hard time when I was young following directions and somehow got through school by not reading book assignments. I still have a hard time sitting down to read (unless it is very short or a magazine). If this is the case with Adderall being a controlled substance, why aren't the benzos considered a "controlled substance"?

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@grandmaj5 There is a change coming in some states where benzos are being made a controlled substance. A few already do.
You state that you take a benzo and Adderall together. My former mental health clinic had a policy that benzos and Adderall were not to be prescribed together. As for replacements, someone on here stated their doctor was prescribing an antihistamine for anxiety as they make a person drowsy. For many like me a good ssri antidepressant works fine to control my anxiety.

Liked by grandmaj5

REPLY
@grandmaj5

That is a good question. I went to a Pharmacist and explained my tapering information. I asked him if there was anything over the counter I could take in Between. He was very interested and perplexed. We went to the over-the-counter medications and he said the only thing he could think of was the B-Complex vitamins. I did not ask him about an actual drug for anxiety though. I am wondering what Physicians are going to do with patients with anxiety after they are off benzos. They don't seem to mention that. If you have anxiety, do they think it is just going to end? What is the plan? That is why I know I need Clonazepam and I am willing to cut the dose only. Unless, I am told that there is another non-benzo miracle drug out there. I also wonder, if the drug companies are still making benzos for patients, why do they have to taper off? I know there is a big thing about opioids. I think they get worried sometimes that we are going to sell them on the street! I am also on Adderall (which is considered a controlled substance). One day I went to the office to get my "official paper signed by the Physician" to pick up Adderall. They told me that I first had to do a urine test (out of the blue). I took it and it showed I had the correct amount of Adderall in my body. I told them, did they do this to make sure I was taking it and not selling it?" I believe that was the reason. I read that even if you sold a drug like Adderall, the buyer would have to take quite a few to get high. When I take it, I can't tell. I actually get calmer and of course focus better. My sister asked her Physician if she could try Adderall, because she thought she had the same diagnosis as me (ADHD). She tried it and said she got very hyper and felt like she was climbing the walls. I am actually surprised he gave it to her (Psychiatrist). I was put on it after my Psychiatrist tested me for ADHD. I then realized that I probably have always had this. I had a hard time when I was young following directions and somehow got through school by not reading book assignments. I still have a hard time sitting down to read (unless it is very short or a magazine). If this is the case with Adderall being a controlled substance, why aren't the benzos considered a "controlled substance"?

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I’ve mentioned in another thread that my psychiatrist cut Xanax dosage in half. That was three months ago. This past week at my appointment he said he wants me off of Xanax and ordered vistaril for anxiety and sleep. I dug back in my brain and remembered from nursing school that vistaril is used for hives/rashes/itching. It’s an antihistamine! Why can’t I try Benadryl instead of a Rx? Just wondering.

Liked by johnhans, Ellen

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I know it sounds weird that I am on both drugs. Somehow, they work for me. My former Psychiatrist put me on both. I don't think Wisconsin has controlled substance on Benzos. If we did, we would have to show our Driver's License when getting our medication. Also, we don't have to get a Physician's signature on a paper to pick it up. I have heard of antihistamine for anxiety. I think my body is different because I took an antihistamine for a bee sting once and felt that I was "in the woods". I had to go to sleep right way, but I was way too tired. I have never heard of a Mental Health clinic having the policy of benzos and Adderall not taken together. Maybe it is just my because of WI. I guess I don't really want to be drowsy, because naturally I always feel tired. I think, for me, the benzos and Adderall somehow work together, giving me help for anxiety and also energy. I know that might seem strange. I also take Zoloft which is supposed to work well with Lamictal, which I take. After I was put on these 2 drugs, I felt less depressed. The Physician who did this was not a Psychiatrist and knew this would help me. I told him that he knew more than my Psychiatrist, because I was never told this. These also help me with anxiety, but I really feel the Clonazepam is needed. I am cutting the Clonazepam to half my dose, which seems to be fine. It is hard to find the perfect combination when you have these problems. The Physicians seem to just hit and miss on prescribing. My body seems to reject some of the medications I have been given. When I have my appointment, I have to tell the Psychiatrist and then they switch me again. They work for a little while and stop. I think I have that condition (can't remember the name) where your body will reject some medications. I believe I have tried over 15 antidepressants. I was also told that you can go back on an antidepressant that you took a while before and try it again. Thanks Johnhans for your informative information!

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@johnhans

@grandmaj5 There is a change coming in some states where benzos are being made a controlled substance. A few already do.
You state that you take a benzo and Adderall together. My former mental health clinic had a policy that benzos and Adderall were not to be prescribed together. As for replacements, someone on here stated their doctor was prescribing an antihistamine for anxiety as they make a person drowsy. For many like me a good ssri antidepressant works fine to control my anxiety.

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Benzos have always been a controlled substance.

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@sears technically speaking all prescription drugs are controlled substances. There are 5 levels of controlled however. Level 1 is for heroin and similar drugs not seen as worthwhile medically. When most people think of controlled they are usually those in levels 2 and 3. Benzos are in level 4. There has been a move to increase the level of benzos to more severe. States can make enforcement decisions based on their own rules. The Federal government may enforce stricter requirements than a state, but must follow federal law if the state is stricter. Thus you may have different levels of enforcement across different states. Even some drugs on Level 4 may have federal enforcement of a level 1 drug. I am not an attorney so I can not give exact legal advice, but I worked for many years in the legal field and so have some understanding of the complexities of the law.

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I like prozac, doxepin and lithium for antidepressants. Lithium can be used as a booster even if you are not bipolar. I also like amitriptyline, also helps with sleep. Ive been on almost everything and numerous combos. Nothing ever really helped my anxiety but Atavan. I hate that i take it, but it pretty much saved my life. I cant help you much for the taper cuz mine are always hard. Just small dose take aways over larger amount of time.

Liked by sears

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I have had several drugs prescribed for anxiety over the years. I have taken exactly one pill of each, and had an awful side effect. The Buspar I tried caused an incident of uncontrolled rage. Fortunately I was alone at the time. With Lexipro, one pill caused horrible, bloody hallucinations and I did not sleep for four days. My cognitive function was pretty bad for a week. Welbutrin caused increased anxiety, as do antihistamines. I have two friends who had similar issues with anti anxiety meds–either vivid hallucinations or extreme personality changes including paranoia and anger. Drugs seem to cause more problems than they solve.

Liked by sears

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@mostlybill

I have had several drugs prescribed for anxiety over the years. I have taken exactly one pill of each, and had an awful side effect. The Buspar I tried caused an incident of uncontrolled rage. Fortunately I was alone at the time. With Lexipro, one pill caused horrible, bloody hallucinations and I did not sleep for four days. My cognitive function was pretty bad for a week. Welbutrin caused increased anxiety, as do antihistamines. I have two friends who had similar issues with anti anxiety meds–either vivid hallucinations or extreme personality changes including paranoia and anger. Drugs seem to cause more problems than they solve.

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Hi @mostlybill – just curious about for how long you tried the bupropion (Wellbutrin)? I'm asking cause I have been on it for years, and I recall that the start of it was a very bumpy ride. I had increased anxiety, too, and was pretty worried about that. I was close to telling my doctor I'd like another antidepressant when a pharmacist told me I'd need to give it quite a bit longer — I think 2-3 months for things to all level out and feel the maximum positive effect and less side effects from the medication. That proved to be true in my case, and things all leveled out in a couple or three months and it was really helpful for my depression.

Will you share more about what your experience with this medication was like?

Liked by sears

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@lisalucier

Hi @mostlybill – just curious about for how long you tried the bupropion (Wellbutrin)? I'm asking cause I have been on it for years, and I recall that the start of it was a very bumpy ride. I had increased anxiety, too, and was pretty worried about that. I was close to telling my doctor I'd like another antidepressant when a pharmacist told me I'd need to give it quite a bit longer — I think 2-3 months for things to all level out and feel the maximum positive effect and less side effects from the medication. That proved to be true in my case, and things all leveled out in a couple or three months and it was really helpful for my depression.

Will you share more about what your experience with this medication was like?

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I just started Prozac. I’ve been on a few other the last 30 years. They all start out bumpy! And yes do try to ride out the storm. They can take several months to adjust. Most people jump off because of side effects and don’t give them time to work. I will say Prozac has been the easiest to adjust to. Although my anxiety has ramped up. Doc says it should diminish. I’ll be tapering a benzo when the Prozac kicks in. I’m 67 with an extreme anxiety disorder. We’ll see what happens. I’m too old for this crap! LOL!

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@lisalucier

Hi @mostlybill – just curious about for how long you tried the bupropion (Wellbutrin)? I'm asking cause I have been on it for years, and I recall that the start of it was a very bumpy ride. I had increased anxiety, too, and was pretty worried about that. I was close to telling my doctor I'd like another antidepressant when a pharmacist told me I'd need to give it quite a bit longer — I think 2-3 months for things to all level out and feel the maximum positive effect and less side effects from the medication. That proved to be true in my case, and things all leveled out in a couple or three months and it was really helpful for my depression.

Will you share more about what your experience with this medication was like?

Jump to this post

I really never took any anxiety medication for any length of time. I took three anti-depressant drugs suggested by several different doctors when I discussed anxiety issues. I maybe took four Welbutrin tablets and it made me physically uncomfortable. Extremely. The buspar and Lexapro were ultra extreme reactions after only one pill. Drugs effect everyone differently. This whole class of drugs is now listed in my medical record as an allergy because of the extreme reaction I had. All drugs seem to have a side effect, and we each have to weigh benefit and risk. The goal is to have the best quality of life possible. I know meds can be helpful. Anxiety is not an easy thing to live with.
Best wishes.

Liked by Lisa Lucier, sears

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Makes complete sense, @mostlybill. I would not want to take any more of a medication that made me extremely physically uncomfortable.

You are totally right, from my personal experience and those I have heard from many others, that drugs affect everyone differently.

Anxiety is indeed not an easy thing to live with, especially when it's heightened. In some more highly stressful circumstances, like buying a home, selling our then home and moving all this calendar year, my anxiety did go way up. I was prescribed fluoxetine (Prozac) for a period to help me get over the hump. It helped me out, but this time my doctor had to up the dose once before it worked well for me.

@mostlybill, did you end up taking any medicine for anxiety, or going a different treatment route altogether?

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@mostlybill

I have had several drugs prescribed for anxiety over the years. I have taken exactly one pill of each, and had an awful side effect. The Buspar I tried caused an incident of uncontrolled rage. Fortunately I was alone at the time. With Lexipro, one pill caused horrible, bloody hallucinations and I did not sleep for four days. My cognitive function was pretty bad for a week. Welbutrin caused increased anxiety, as do antihistamines. I have two friends who had similar issues with anti anxiety meds–either vivid hallucinations or extreme personality changes including paranoia and anger. Drugs seem to cause more problems than they solve.

Jump to this post

I have issues with Anxiety meds … trying Buspar for almost 2 weeks … creates more anxiety.. told my Psychiatrist.. response just keep taking it .. takes about 6 weeks .. just can’t … I have had the testing … cannot take SSRI or SNRI…. yet they still push them … at my wits ends

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@lisalucier

Hi @mostlybill – just curious about for how long you tried the bupropion (Wellbutrin)? I'm asking cause I have been on it for years, and I recall that the start of it was a very bumpy ride. I had increased anxiety, too, and was pretty worried about that. I was close to telling my doctor I'd like another antidepressant when a pharmacist told me I'd need to give it quite a bit longer — I think 2-3 months for things to all level out and feel the maximum positive effect and less side effects from the medication. That proved to be true in my case, and things all leveled out in a couple or three months and it was really helpful for my depression.

Will you share more about what your experience with this medication was like?

Jump to this post

Trying Buspar 2 weeks now… not helping … side effects .., bloating stomach ache …. I have had the testing .. no SSRI or SNRI but they just keep pushing them … I told my PSYCHIATRIST was told just keep taking them give them a little longer .. then on to another one … at my wits end …. Mental healthcare I have is not the best .. rural South Dakota

Liked by Lisa Lucier

REPLY
@lisalucier

Hi @mostlybill – just curious about for how long you tried the bupropion (Wellbutrin)? I'm asking cause I have been on it for years, and I recall that the start of it was a very bumpy ride. I had increased anxiety, too, and was pretty worried about that. I was close to telling my doctor I'd like another antidepressant when a pharmacist told me I'd need to give it quite a bit longer — I think 2-3 months for things to all level out and feel the maximum positive effect and less side effects from the medication. That proved to be true in my case, and things all leveled out in a couple or three months and it was really helpful for my depression.

Will you share more about what your experience with this medication was like?

Jump to this post

Lexapro has kept me on an even keel for several years, but I stopped taking it because when I learned that SSRI's can contribute to dementia. There is a strong history of Alzheimers in my family, and I am already having some memory issues. I am looking for an anti-anxiety med that is not associated with dementia. Someone told me SNRI's are good for older people. Does anyone have research about those?

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