Medical Questions > Mental Health > Anxiety and Stress Forum

Generalized anxiety disorder medication ?

Dear Doctor

About 8 years ago I was diagnosed with GAD, which I inherited from my mother. I am what you would term extremely bad GAD. I also have later in life developed agoraphobia. I am now 31 years old.

About 5 years ago I had would people would call a nervous breakdown. I was away in France for a friends wedding and a few days before I left, I came extremely anxious. My doctor gave me 1mg Xanor tablets to take with and because I was so bad on the day I was leaving he gave me a Valium injection. The whole trip I was in a constant state of anxiety. The Xanor made me more sleepy than actually suppressing the anxiety symptoms. When I returned back home to South Africa (Cape Town) I thought I would slowly get better, but I actually became worse. Now for the first time in my life I was having ad least 2 to 3 anxiety attacks per day. A psychologist prescribed me 1mg Ativan tablets. Which at my worst I was having to take 3 tablets 3 times a day, just to make it through the day. At the same time they put me on the drug called Effexor XR (venlafaxine hydrochloride) which I had been on in the past and it was not doing anything even with the dosage being increased. They then add Remeron (mirtazapine), which in about 2 days made me feel almost normal. It felt like a miracle.

I had a bit of anxiety about 2 years ago and went on Remeron again which did nothing for me this time. Nor did the Effexor XR.

When I was about 9 years old they put me on Tofranil (imipramine hydrochloride) and also tried it in my early twenties in higher dosages but no good. I have also tried Zoloft also no help.

I am very scared of Xanor and Ativan as they are highly addictive and the longer one uses them the higher the dosage you need to take to achieve the same results.

I am writing to you as my psychologist is away at the moment and my General Doctor has given me 1mg Xanor SR (slow release) to take in the mornings which is the worst part of the day for me. If the SSRIs and the SNRIs aren’t helping ad least the ones I have tried, would is there for me to try.

I have made major progress with my anxiety and have not had an anxiety attack for about 3 years and I now understand my symptoms more by seeing a psychologist and cognitive behaviour techniques.

My reason for my new anxiety symptoms is I am in a family business with my parents and we are in property development and with the state of the global and local economy it seems that my business is going under and I will lose everything. This is definitely one of my worries I would normally have which seems to becoming a reality.

I need some suggestions as this problem is not a short term thing and a more long term medication with be required.
Please can you help

Kind regards

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First Helper daryn
Users who thank daryn for this post: Simon007 

replied January 2nd, 2010
Hi I am also South African suffering from anxiety and GAD. I was given Xanor SR used it on and off for almost 4 years. It is highly addictive and very hard to get off it. I am in Edinburgh and here they wont give you Xanor at all. I am currently weaning off xanor sr and it is been a nightmare.
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replied January 7th, 2010
Experienced User
I am on Lexipro for my anxiety, and so far I love it! The past few days I have felt some anxiety feelings return, and I am wondering if it is because I am not on a normal schedule right now due to the fact that I am out of school for break. I haven't been taking my medication around the same time like I had been while in school, so hopefully come monday I will be okay...

After consulting a counselor at school since my anxiety was awful this summer due to a new job, they told me to see the college doctor and she prescribed me lexipro. I started out with 10 mg and after about 2 weeks she had to increase it to 20 because the 10 mg was waring off in the middle of the night and i was waking up with chest pain, like I couldn't breath and I wasn't sleeping well...After about three for four days on the 20 mg I felt awesome!

I am happier. I don't feel detatched and I haven't had the feeling of my throat closing over since September and I got it quite often! I use to feel like puking too when I had the attacks, and I haven't experiences any of that at all. The first few days of being on Lexipro I was nausious but it was well worth it to feel great!

Best of luck to you!
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replied January 7th, 2010
Generalized anxiety disorder (GAD) involves anxiety and worry that is excessive and unrelenting. This high-level anxiety makes normal life difficult and relaxation impossible.

If you have generalized anxiety disorder (GAD) you may worry about the same things that other people do: health issues, money, family problems, or difficulties at work. But you take these worries to a new level.
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replied January 7th, 2010
Experienced User
Today I had my first panic attack since the beginning of September. I took my medicine at noon (which my body is use to taking it between 10 and 2) and today at work for no reason I felt the anxiety coming at me. Luckily my favorite manager at work was there. She also has anxiety and panic attacks so she knows what it is like and knows it is hard to control it. She is also on an anti-dpressent for it, I believe it is Paxil but I cannot be sure.

Up until today I forgot what a panic attack felt like. I was dizzy, sluggish and my stomach hurt badly. I thought I would black out at one point. I simply dropped what I was doing and sat down in the back for three or four minutes and then came back out and I was relatively fine.

The past few days I have been worried about a position outside of work that was going to offer me 5 hours extra but the hours were not going to work out the way I had hoped. I was worried about telling these people I couldn't do it, and the position starts on Monday. School is starting, I am starting to make payments again on my car since I had money saved up I did not have to make payments in December so I could focus on Christmas shopping. I have to worry about books and currently the snow coming in my area, and my fiance currently lost his job he kept for 3 years due to cut backs. He and I have been together for over 6 years and he has money problems as it is due to a house payment, credit cards and a junky car that needs replaced.

I hope that all this was the case of the attack. It was not near as mild as what my other ones have been in the past. One day I was antsy all day and went to dinner with a friend, and there I completely broke down and almost wrecked my car going home because I was so mentally upset.

Since I started Lexipro it has changed my life, like I said.

Remember you are not alone with this condition. I was lucky enough to have a highly understanding fiance because when I wasn't on the medicine we use to argue constantly. We haven't argued but once or twice since I started the medication, and looking back had our places been switched I would have left a long time ago. The people at work were patient with me, and luckily my one manager understood everything I went through.

Good luck!
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replied March 8th, 2010
Xanor SR oh dear...
I have had GAD/Panic since i was 25 and am now 34 and want to have a child. I sat in the movie "gladiator" and all of a sudden i felt like i was going to die. Needless to say the following 4 years were some of my more difficult ones. I was hospitalized twice. After attending a groundbreaking course called Turning point, i realized that i had some 'issues'. that probably needed to be dealt with, and could have triggered the anxiety. Well 9 years on. although i managed to cut my dosage by x3 i still take 1 Xanor SR 0.5 a day, Molipaxin and 1mg Ativan at night. Needless to say i have not touch a drop of alcohol since. Not that i had an issue with it before, but hey would be nice to have a glass of wine once in a while! Anyway..I am told that i can't take Xanor while pregnant, and so i am attempting to wean off this. It isn't horrendous, but it's a bit uncomfortable. I suggest to those who have been on Xanor SR for a while to get off it slowly. I have been on it for 9 years and i honestly feel like a drug addict. It surprises me that there are not decreasing dosages of the Slow Release on the market, so that one is able to move to lower and lower dosages. I have had to hack through the pill with my incisors, as you know, they are tough pills to crack through. I have started taking 1 a day and every alternate day half. Now i have felt a tad strange, with some 'withdrawal' symptoms such as "heat" and fuzziness, but i have not felt anxious, more off balance. They say the mind is a strong thing and i will do what it takes.

This GAD has completely disrupted my entire life and in a sense robbed me of many experiences. All i can say is enough is enough. I strongly suggest that people avoid Xanor SR as far as possible as getting off it is a tough thing to do. As for cognitive behavorial. therapy i believe it could well work, perhaps if we 'rewire' out thoughts it could get to the root of the issue.

Remember you are all you have got, and you are stronger than what your mind may tell you, you can do it if you set your mind to it. Make the decision to be free, and do what ever it takes. Lots of love Nikki F (South Africa)
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replied April 25th, 2012
Hi, please note that you should not cut a slow release tablet in is designed to dissolve in layers creating the slow release effect. If you cut it in half it will release differently and probably faster.
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replied June 30th, 2013
Alternative medication for treatment of Anxiety
I have been on Molipaxin 100mg and Serlife 100mg for the treatment of anxiety for the past 4 years. In addition I have been placed on Rivotril 2mg as I just cannot sleep which I find strange and worrying as I have lost the ability to fall asleep naturally.

This has made me think that the medication that I am on the wrong treatment overall. I want to find something that deals with my GAD which is really the route cause of me going onto medication at all and i am concerned that my body has become so accustomed to the meds that it will be hard to go off it.

My script needs to renewed soon and as mentioned I have serious reservations - can anyone give me some advice in terms of supplementary or even better, alternative meds that I could consider and suggest to my Dr - I do realize it will come with side effect and my body may even react by withdrawing but I just don't want to be on these heavy doses of meds for the rest of my life.

i would appreciate some advice. I have noticed the comments on Lexipro and have also heard good things about Adco-Talomil.

Thanks in advance
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