Stopthepanic; SO sorry but there really is not one answer to this question. Everyone gets different results off of different medications due to the fact that we are all different, and there are so many different medications and if one worked for everyone they would not have so many on the market. The best thing you can do is go to a doctor that you can work with and talk to him or her to see what would be the best one for you to start with. Many times it is a process of elimination. But I can tell you that the sooner you get into the doctor. The better you well feel. I know this panic is a real pain. And nobody should have to put up with it. But as I said it all starts with a doctor to see what they can figure out. I found when I first started going to a doctor I would write down my symptoms and how long they would last which this way if you chicken out talking to the doctor you can hand them the list and see what they come up with. Good luck to you and you well come out fine.
It really depends on a lot of factors. Most doctors would put you on a benzodiazepine like Ativan, Xanax, Klonopin, etc. However, as with every medication, there are risks and side effects. These meds can cause depression and long term effects like dementia. The lowest dose necessary like 0.5 mg of any of the ones I mentioned twice a day would be helpful short term or only as needed. Talk to your doctor. Be open and if you're not already going- I would suggest counseling or therapy to get down to the root of what's causing the anxiety and panic. Because then you can get rid of the pain.
I also believe the benzodiazepam group of drugs work the best. If you can, I would start with a psychiatrist or psychologist to get a definite diagnosis of your condition. I believe it's helpful if you write or type a memo of the physical and mental problems you experience and what happens to you if you get a full blown panic attack. The reason I suggest the shrink first is that your family doctor is much more likely to prescribe a benzo if he has confirmation from a mental health expert first. Additionally, getting an accurate diagnosis is helpful in determining which benzo to take, how to take it, etc.
Regarding the dementia issue, there is some concern, but I wouldn't say potential benzo side effects are anymore dangerous than other drugs in the same risk category. If you do have a concern, there are short tests a psychiatrist, psychologist or GP can have you take. I'm in my early 70's and I forget things, mainly names or issues that were discussed years ago. Anyhow, to satisfy my wife, I took an exam, got a perfect score and a diagnosis of extreme stress being the cause (My wife is seriously ill and I'm having a number of physical problems related to nerve damage that has created chronic moderate to severe pain in much of my body 24/7 for many years.) When you factor in all these problems, severe stress could definitely put you in a state of mind of "what next". In any event, I continue to take Xanax for social anxiety disorder and a secondary diagnosis of panic disorder with agoraphobia. Almost forgot (no LOL), if you have known trigger events that will set off a full blown panic attack, be prepared to list them for which ever professional you see first. It will be of considerable value in his or her diagnosis and could lead to a preferred drug recommendation.
You can also go the talk therapy route - that is, seeing a mental health expert routinely and possibly trying some things like cognitive behavioral therapy. It's usually done in a very small group of similar patients with similar issues and involves learning how to eventually be able to face your anxiety. It didn't help me, but just as with drugs, not all approaches result in the same outcome for all people.
Incidentally, when I was still living in the U.S,,, extended release Xanax (at different dosage strengths) came onto the market and I thought it was a godsend. I'd take one in the morning before heading for work and another in the early evening. I also had a script for a small number of fast acting Alprazolam that I could use as needed - like when a meeting was coming up, I could take one or two of these, but I rarely did.
Another thing: early on when my anxiety disorders were first "officially" diagnosed, my doctor's choice of medication was ssri anti depressants. I don't recall how many brands we tried, but if they helped at all, it was so minimal that I didn't notice any difference. Eventually I was put onAlpraolam, gradually ramping the dose up until I finally reached a level where I could come pretty close to leading a normal life again.
If you decide to try Xanax or its generic, be aware of the fact that some doctors won't recommend or prescribe it.
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