Anxiety/Panic Medications

By Kristina Randle, Ph.D., LCSW

I have been taking 1 mg Xanax twice a day as needed for about 6 months for Anxiety that builds to Panic.It worked fine but did not last very long. I wanted to get off the Xanax because I have heard it is not good for you. I have no issues with dependency, just wanted to try something safer. My Dr. prescribed Klonopin 1 mg two times a day. The first couple of doses made me feel druged and then evened out. To my shock, after 3 days I had a full on panic attack. This has not happened in over 6 months. She told me to increase to 1 mg 3 times a day in addtion to xanax for breakthrough anxiety/panic. Now she wants to put me on Zoloft. I am concerned. I did not realize how serious my problem was until switching meds. I know it is bad considering the full panic attack after going so long without one and worse than ever. Do the meds seem appropriate. I want help. I need to run a business, take care of my Mother and children. I am the only one they have and can not fall apart. I just want to be safe and function. Do you have any advice?

A. You asked whether the medications that you are being prescribed are appropriate. They may or may not be but only your physician could realistically answer that question.

Generally, trying to find the right medication is a trial and error process. This seems to be the norm for many people. It often means trying a new medication, coming off another, and so forth. Unfortunately, it can be an unpleasant process but once the right medication is found, you can experience significant relief. It’s worth the effort.

My main suggestion is to consider therapy in addition to medication. Medication can relieve your symptoms but therapy can address the cause.

In addition, a therapist can also teach you helpful strategies for dealing with the onset period of your panic symptoms. Comprehensive behavioral treatments, for most mental health disorders, include both psychiatric medication and counseling. One without the other can lead to ineffective results. I hope this helps. Please take care.

Dr. Kristina Randle

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Last reviewed: By John M. Grohol, Psy.D. on 19 Dec 2011

APA Reference
Randle, K. (2011). Anxiety/Panic Medications. Psych Central. Retrieved on November 1, 2014, from http://psychcentral.com/ask-the-therapist/2011/12/19/anxietypanic-medications/

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