Username and password. I recently started having panic attacks @ 4am. They were so bad I thought I was having a heart attack. I started on 2-4 mg minipress with good success. Then the attacks came back. I'm now at the max dose of 5 mg and still having panic attacks 3-5 nights per week. Any suggestions to ask my doc about? Mini press is a blood pressure medication so I'm using it off label. My blood pressure is remaining normal but my heart pounds when I have a nightmare/panic attack. Thanks. River Grace
Hi River Grace,
I took alprazolam for years for panic attacks now on Effexor for various anxieties and able to lower alprazolam/Xanax dosage
So in my humble opinion..get your doc to give you Xanax then add an antidepressant and lower the Xanax dose my shrink said Xanax only caused problems if you went over 3 mg a day
Ive had them since 1977 when I was diagnosed with Grave's Disease (hyperthyroidism). So terrifying and awful - Ive tried different meds thru the years and now am on 4 that control it all pretty well but I also have Depression. I take Lexapro 10mg, Tofranil 25mg, Ativan 0.5mg x 3/day and Atenolol 25mg at nite for the heart pounding tachycardia. I hope your doc can prescribe whats best for you. Good luck!! You have my deepest empathy!
Hey River Grace, my heart goes out to you because knowing from first hand experience panic attacks can be a terrifying experience. I used to get so afraid of having one in public that I actually caused them to happen I would become so full of anxiety. To this day I am so afraid of having one (after being quite a while on medication) I NEVER leave my house without making sure I have at least a two day supply of Klonopin with me. Roughly four years ago I was having panic attacks almost daily and sometimes three or four in a day with increasing severity. I saw a psychiatrist finally who was very honest and open about treatment options. He would even include me in the process which made it a good dr - patient relationship. I also have ADHD but hadn't been treated for years prior. My new psych dr insisted I be put back on Adderall which he thought part of the panic attacks were from untreated ADHD.
I wasn't the least bit concerned the Adderall would make anything worse as I had taken it in relatively high doses in the past for 10+ years with only minor anxiety. He then asked if I had ever been on anything before that helped my anxiety and I told him no. He ended the session with handing me two scripts: Adderall IR 15mg 2X a day and Klonopin 1mg 2X a day. He said too take the Klonopin for 4 days then start the Adderall. I took it as prescribed and like a miracle the attacks were gone. To make an already long story shorter, over the next two years the attacks returned in three months resulting in an additional 1mg of Klonopin daily. Over the course of two-three years the panic attacks came and went mostly due to tolerance so my psychiatrist added 1mg Xanax daily as a prn which worked great due to it's fast onset of action, 10-15 min compared to 45-60min with the Klonopin. My Adderall has also slowly increased to 20mg 3X daily. I have since weaned myself off Xanax over a year ago with no problem due to the Klonopin. My best advice to you is IF YOU AND YOUR DR AGREE GOING ON A BENZODIAZEPINE IS YOUR BEST TREATMENT OPTION, TAKE FROM MY OWN PERSONAL EXPERIENCE: REGARDLESS WHAT A DR SAYS, YOU SHOULD BE KEPT TO A MINIMUM DOSE AND NOT FOR ANY LONGER THAN 3-6 WEEKS!!! I'm not a dr and in some cases being on benzos may be the only long term option. I'm just trying to warn you about how quickly tolerance builds, thus dose increases. The withdrawal is a living hell!!! They're near impossible to get off and actually cause panic attacks 10X worse than the original ones when the med is stopped. Try going on an SSRI with the benzo at first as most people respond well to them with little to no panic attacks upon discontinuation of the benzo. My point is do as much research as possible on benzos: Xanax, Klonopin, Ativan, Valium, etc. They aren't as harmless as they may seem and can literally ruin your life when trying to withdrawn from them. So tread lightly, and I wish you the best of luck!
Hi River Grace.
What helped me with panic attacks was knowing "why" I had them. For me it was because I had to go somewhere with ANYONE, except my daughter. I panicked when I was in a situation where I had to be somewhere at a certain time. When I don't know the answer to a question someone asks, I panic. If I've done something wrong, I panic. If I have to get something done at a certain time, I panic. If someone comes to my door or my phone rings and I don't know who it is, I panic. Knowing why I panic allows me to prepare for it. I take Klonopin "before" I panic. I still panic and I understand how you must feel. Have you asked your Dr. what to do when you panic, or if you know one is coming on? They do feel like heart attacks. That would be one question I'd ask my doc. What to do when your having one and what to do if you feel panic coming on. It's vital to know what med to take at the time of a panic. Maybe he/she may add or adjust a med.
Here's some other questions you might want to ask:
Are you diagnosing me with panic disorder?
What type of panic disorder do I have?
Can other medical conditions be associated with panic disorder?
What types of medication are used to treat panic disorder?
Will you refer me to other mental health specialists?
Do you recommend any coping techniques or self-help strategies?
Is it possible that I also have depression?
Can you recommend any support groups?
When can I expect to feel better?
When can we follow up?
You're getting great answers from our friends. It's a good question. It helped me.
Faith, Hope and Love, Anna
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