Hi, I gave recently been suffering from quite bad anxiety which had led to several panic attacks in a short space of time. I had to resign from my job as the panic attacks become unbearable, and has now led to being down and depressed because of the panic and anxiety. Although I have always been naturally anxious, I guess I have dealt with it fine in the past but the work stress really took its toll on me and I guess I came close to a mental break down (or maybe that was a mental break down). When I had experienced my very first panic attack over 2 years ago, I bounced back fairly quickly. The last 3 weeks, I experienced about 3-4 panic attacks and it has really taken its toll on me and haven't been able to bounce back, hence the feeling of depressed. I am usually a very upbeat, positive, sharp go getter type of person but this time round, I have had to give in for some help with medication. Obsessed with over researching everything, I felt so anxious going on antidepressants because of all the bad reviews and warnings you read about it. Today I took my first 10mg of fluoxetine and I guess I just want to hear other people's experience with this drug. Side effects etc. I read and heard that it hasn't got as bad side effects as other ones but I should be prepared to get worse before I get better. Is this true, and how bad is "worse". I will ride it out, but of course, being anxious already, it makes you even more anxious thinking about another potential panic attack. Sometimes I think panic attacks and anxiousness is worse than emotions, as in, I can deal with emotions and being down better than I can anxiety. Any help, advice, stories would be helpful.
I can't comment on dosage because it is different for different people. But stick with the fluoxetine because it is good for both panic and depression. Staying the course is very important. Managing mental illness is tough but you have many strong supporters out here. We are all in this together! John T
As my friend, John, says it's hard to comment on dosage because every person reacts differently to every medication. That being said, 10mg is an initial starting dose that will minimize or eliminate any potential side effects until you adjust to the drug. In the future you may find you need to increase your dose to control your panic up to 80mg/day.
It's fine to be aware of what side effects you may encounter and that the drug can initially mildly increase anxiety, but there is no need to anticipate that you WILL experience them. In fact, far less than 10% of all users have any problem at all tolerating this drug. Also, if you do have side effects they generally resolve on their own over a few days to a week or two ~ and then you're on your way to better health. You should allow at least 4-6 weeks to feel the full benefits and 6-8 weeks to attain peak blood levels.
It's a great medication for most people and I'll bet you can deal with anything that beats what you're living with now, right?
Best regards and stay in touch with your progress, okay?
- Fluoxetine Information for Consumers
- Fluoxetine Information for Healthcare Professionals (includes dosage details)
- Side Effects of Fluoxetine (detailed)
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