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dishnc
@dishnc

Posts: 1
Joined: Jul 31, 2018

Finding the Right Medication for Anxiety/OCD

Posted by @dishnc, Tue, Jul 31 9:01am

I tried prozac but got worse anxiety, so the doctor switched me to lexapro . I’m at 20 mg daily for almost 4 weeks but still have side effects, especially in the morning (headache, anxiety, restless leg). Both the doctor and pharmacist said to lower the dose to 10 mg, which I did. The question is, what next? Add a medication? Switch to a new medication? Which one? I have to go to a 3 week course for work, starting Monday, and I’m worried that all of this will interfere with it. I’m desperate for advice.

REPLY

Anxiety, it seems to me, is one of the more difficult things to address, medically at least. I suffer from regular anxiety, and I'm taking 20 mg of Lexapro daily without any side effects (now). Benzos seem to work for a lot of people, but I have to avoid the potentially addictive nature of these medications, and they all seem to have their own problems with withdrawal after regular usage anyway. Off-label I take Gabapentin, and I think that helps me somewhat, but it's not been proven clinically to aid in control of anxiety. To help me control my racing thoughts that I get with anxiety I have used some techniques from cognitive behavioral therapy to get through moments of anxiety, and they are useful but require practice, and some coaching in their use is beneficial in my case. I hope that you find some combination of medication and therapy that is equally useful for you, but it can take some time.

Hi, @dishnc, and welcome to Mayo Clinic Connect. I wanted to apologize for the delay in responding to you.

@guener has provided some really good information and perspective from personal experience. I agree with guener that finding the right medication and other therapies for these things can take time.

If you'd like to look up information on the medications you've mentioned, here is a good Mayo Clinic resource: https://www.mayoclinic.org/drugs-supplements.

I'd also like for you to meet @gailb @mamacita @wellandhappy @angelinaprinzivalli @falconfly and @kmkm who have also talked about OCD, anxiety or related conditions. Hoping they may also have some insights to share about getting to the right treatment for OCD and anxiety.

Sounds like your work course may be starting today? How are you doing?

My 31 yr old son with autism has suffered from severe anxiety, perseverative thoughts (OCD like behaviors at times) and severe behaviors that often seem triggered by the anxiety. He has been on poly pharmacy for years.- SSRi's, atypical antipsychotics, clonazepam, atavan , gunaficine. In the past 4 months he has had a significant reduction in anxiety and behaviors by using CBD oil tincture with tiny amount of THC in it. have used CBD tincture 20:1 for the past 4 months that has a very small amount of THC in it to assist in weaning my son with autism off his poly pharmacy. He takes 1 dropperful contains 9.5mg CBD to.5mg THC I so far have successfully weaned my son off 2 prescriptions which dealt with his extreme anxiety- Clonazapam and Guanficine. His extreme anxiety often triggered serious behaviors in the past . Initially I weaned him off Guanficine while substituting the CBD oil. I then weaned him very slowly off clonazepam while giving him the cbd tincture generally 2-3 times/day. This is a trial and error method and there is no hard and fast methodology to guide a person in dosing. I am having his staff take behavioral data since we began the CBD and started taking him off the other prescription drugs very slowly , one medication at a time. . We are now very slowly weaning him off an atypical anti psychotic. His behaviors have decreased significantly. He is not as anxious or perseverative or irritable and I, his staff, psychiatrist and him are so far very encouraged. The CBD oil seems to last about 4-6 hours. The medical marijuana dispensary people were very helpful but it is all anecdotal data at this point. You need to make sure you find a reputable company and dispensary There is some scientific evidence to show that CBD may be impacting GABA receptors or others but we need a lot of research. INMHO, We need the FDA to change its policy of having medicinal marijuana as a Schedule 1 drug since this is preventing the research. I am not too worried about any potential side effects from the CBD but I am very careful about the amount of THC given, as that has been known to sometimes cause psychotic episodes if too much THC. . If anyone has information on weaning off atypical antipsychotic medication I would be most appreciative . Hopefully the CBD oil will make these other medications unnecessary. He does not get high since there is almost no THC in the tincture. Any information on using medicinal marijuana in controlling anxiety would be greatly appreciated

Hello, @stephanieann – Nice to meet you here on Connect. I'm hoping that members like @guener @dishnc @gailb @parus @ecjames71 and
@lalyfa may have some input on your son's anxiety and OCD, use of CBD oil and weaning off atypical antipsychotic medication.

I'd also like to suggest you might look at this thread on adults with autism and consider participating in that discussion, as well: https://connect.mayoclinic.org/discussion/seniors-on-the-spectrum/bookmark/?ajax_hook=action&_wpnonce=4c346a31d6

Is the psychiatrist looking at your son potentially being off of all his mental health medications longer-term, or potentially prescribing something different?

@stephanieann I am on a low dose of aripripraole (Abilify) to help with my Lexapro working with depression and anxiety, while the anxiety sounds like your main concern for your son. I have not tried to wean off this, as it (5 mg) is working for me, but the slow approach of doing one medication at a time with the CBD oil seems like it is working well for your son's case. Maybe you've found a good replacement for the mix of drugs that your son has been taking, and I certainly hope so! 🙂

@guener

@stephanieann I am on a low dose of aripripraole (Abilify) to help with my Lexapro working with depression and anxiety, while the anxiety sounds like your main concern for your son. I have not tried to wean off this, as it (5 mg) is working for me, but the slow approach of doing one medication at a time with the CBD oil seems like it is working well for your son's case. Maybe you've found a good replacement for the mix of drugs that your son has been taking, and I certainly hope so! 🙂

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Thank you for your kind words. My goal would be to get him off all the psychiatric meds and hopefully just have to take CBD oil. I am concerned about the sometimes serious long term side effects of the prescribed psych meds and I understand that CBD oil does not have serious side effects. The psychiatrists have little experience with CBD so it is being done by trail and error.

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