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I looked at a number of threads and blogs about meds for MI and how frightened people are and how they hate the side effects and so on.   More then one person has commented that looking for personal opinions about a drug are screwed up because its like the news.  Reporting bad news is the norm.  Reporting good news?  Not so much.  So what I hope to do with this thread is to hear from people who had a problem (Like Depression etc) and were prescribed something that worked.   My first visit to crazyboards was me having a stroke worried that MI drugs would veg me out, ruin my brain, turn me into a junkie etc etc.   My actual experience is that it took me from a terrible place and made me functional.  I took one thing that had side effects that sucked so I switched to something else.  Doses had to be jiggled on everything I've taken but I think this is to be expected.

So people.  For those that have just been diagnosed (DX) and find Crazyboards.org help them see some positive examples.   I'll start with anxiety meds I've used.  *Note I am a compliant Boy Scout.  I don't change the dose or try to snort pills etc.  

Buspar.   When I was diagnosed I had bad anxiety levels which made driving a nightmare.  Every intersection was me wondering if someone was going to speed through the stop sign or red light and smash into me.   Of if I would smash the side of a parked car.   It took a while to kick in and it seemed "subtle" but driving is at worst just annoying (Traffic) Its not perfect but it helps.  I can't think of any side effects that I had and everyone seems to agree its not addictive and you can't get high / addicted to it.

Valium - Diazepam.  I took this for "as needed" because I would have external BS that would reach a level that the Buspar didn't seem to be able to handle.  Panic Attacks (Rare) *Like am I having a heart attack?  It would squelch those fairly quickly and seemed (To me) to last long enough that I was dumping a bucket of water on the anxiety fire.  I also deal with some anxiety thing like dry mouth, muscles tensed up, breathing (Holding my breath) kind of in the "whats about to get me?" kind of tension.  This is always some trigger type of thing.  This drug also worked for that type of thing.    There are a lot of negative things on the web about this and all benzos.  If you look at patient reviews there seems to be a lot of people who rate it highly and don't have problems so...  I dunno...  I plan on having a long talk with PDoc to find out what he thinks.  People can abuse it and its addictive for some.  Reading some of the web sites from the UK you would think its bottled by Satan and its worse then Heroin.  Maybe its the way they take it?  Maybe its that the people reporting problems have 10 presciptions and take it by the shovel full?   

Xanax I switched back and forth between Valium and this.  It worked about the same in as far as how fast it kicked in.  The time it continued to work (my opinion) wasn't always as long as I would have liked.   To go back to the fire analogy its like dumping a cup of water on a fire.  It puts out the small fires and will reduce a larger fire to ambers but the large fires can restart.  I've read its the most addictive benzo.  I've heard some people abuse it because they report getting buzzed but....  I don't get anything but normal feeling.  I use it prn so there are weeks that go by where I don't take it so if its addictive? I'm not feeling it. 

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It took a while to come up with the cocktail (see signature) but it works quite well. I experience one side effect, EPS based hand tremor caused by Abilify, for which I take propranolol. It totally eliminates the tremor. Abilify has had me in remission from depression since I started it several years ago. So I am not giving it up due to an easily mitigated side effect.

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The main meds that hold my MI at bay are:

Carbamazepine (Tegretol): It keeps me from becoming suicidally depressed and removes all serious suicidal ideation. It's the glue that keeps my head together, and it is the last med in my cocktail that I'd be willing to give up.

Abilify: It raises me above baseline and works better than any antidepressant I've ever taken. At first it felt amazing (literally bliss), but that has worn off a little, but I'm still better off on Abilify than off  it. It gives me motivation and tackles anhedonia, and it is the only med that has ever touched my apathy.

Citalopram (Celexa): It really, really, really works for anxiety and it gives me a feeling of well-being. Unfortunately it adds to the apathy, but the Abilify takes care of that.

My other meds incrementally help, but those three meds above are what keep me going every day. I don't really have any side effects to speak of.  Maybe, I can attribute occasional blurred vision, and I think that my glasses prescription changed but that could also be because I'm getting older. Well, I guess I do have sexual side effects from the citalopram. Other than that though, I'm pretty side effect free.

Two out of the three meds that help me the most are not antidepressants. This is why I spent my entire life searching for the right meds. It was only following a hospitalization and a psychiatrist who thought outside the box that I hit on my magic cocktail of AD + AAP + AC.

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I'm loving this idea too!!

Seroquel XR - helped minimize the amount of voices I hear. I have been able to lose weight. I sleep well. My anxiety is a bit better. I do not get extremely manic anymore. It really calms down my freaking out brain. 

Abilify - I have zero side effects from it. It helps with my depression side of things. I think it helps keep the voices from bothering me too much.

Klonopin - This med has given me my life back. I can do things again without being crippled by anxiety. I couldn't leave the house or drive. Now I can. And I know people are scared about building a tolerance but I have been able to reduce my dose in half over the years. 

Nuvigil - I can't believe I'm not sleeping my life away anymore! And it doesn't make me manic either.

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Remeron: I have to give props to Remeron. My pdoc was looking for something to add to my Effexor that would work on depression, and FAST while I tapered up on Abilify. It did exactly that! It pulled me out of the darkest depression I've experienced. I was crying constantly, and a few days later, it was like the damn sun came out.

Klonopin: I have no side effects, and this stuff makes my anxiety take a back seat to my life instead of the other way around.

Adderall: I know it's basically crack, but this stuff makes my ADD issues sooooooo much easier to handle. I can actually focus. I can READ without having to re-read everything. It's amazing.

Effexor: I want to say nice things about Effexor, because it's been doing its job. It just needed a little AAP help to really do what it's supposed to. I'm at the highest dose now, so I'm sort of wondering if it's as much of a miracle drug as I once thought. Time will tell.

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A bunch of meds worked on treating most of symptoms but unfortunately every single one had side effects.

I think the only symptom that the medication didn't play a significant role are some types of delusions or anything related to it outside an acute episode.

I think for acute mania there are a bunch of good stuff out there, maintenance and depression unfortunately I'm not having good experiences.

 

Taking PRN Valium would be the best med and treatment that I found.

 

 

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2 hours ago, jt07 said:

Citalopram (Celexa): It really, really, really works for anxiety and it gives me a feeling of well-being. Unfortunately it adds to the apathy, but the Abilify takes care of that.

My other meds incrementally help, but those three meds above are what keep me going every day. I don't really have any side effects to speak of.  Maybe, I can attribute occasional blurred vision, and I think that my glasses prescription changed but that could also be because I'm getting older. Well, I guess I do have sexual side effects from the citalopram. Other than that though, I'm pretty side effect free.

 

The first thing I tried was Citalopram / Celexa and it worked but had sexual side effects.  Anorgasmia - its awful.  Which at the time was a bad side effect but not feeling lower then whale poop was more important.  Luckily GDoc didn't think I ought to live with that so she informed me I was switching to wellbutren XL which I would give a thumbs up to.  

I just want to say thanks for everyone that has participated.  With all the blogs and websites I've been reading as of late in my attempt to understand the antiBenzo thing I was worried there would be no one posting good news.

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Hey, no problemo! I know a lot of people are against benzos, as they're a quick fix, can be addictive, etc., but I've never had the urge to take more than is prescribed. I don't want to fall asleep- I don't get the appeal of downers. The fact that they are a quick fix has been a lifesaver for me, literally. Don't fear them, imo. 

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13 hours ago, heilmania said:

Hey, no problemo! I know a lot of people are against benzos, as they're a quick fix, can be addictive, etc., but I've never had the urge to take more than is prescribed. I don't want to fall asleep- I don't get the appeal of downers. The fact that they are a quick fix has been a lifesaver for me, literally. Don't fear them, imo. 

^^this!!! I don't want to fall asleep either and that is what would happen if I took extra. No thanks. I don't understand the anti benzo craze.

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Provigil saved me because I went from sleeping with no given notice (I wouldn't even feel tired, yet I'd fall asleep).  After the provigil, I was able to stay awake a lot more and I don't fall asleep without warning like I used to.

Klonopin ODT helps when I take in AM and PM.  It definitely keeps me from the anxiety.

Xanax ODT I rarely take now.  I don't like the tired feeling when I wake up.  So I use it in only rare cases when I have a chance to sleep in more.  I take it as needed.

Naltrexone ... my favorite med because it stops me from having a voracious appetite lasting 24/7, and I can eat now without worrying about eating until I can't eat anymore.

Wellbutrin ... gives me the ability to stay awake and works as an anti-depressant.

Abilify keeps the hallucinations away to an extent, and never caused weight gain.

Lamictal ODT is a mood-stabilizer that works great.  When my mind starts going fast, the level is raised and that solves the problem.

Prozac keeps the irritability and anger away, as well as it keeps me from being so weepy.

Trazodone is great for me ... not for sleep, but at 200 mg it got rid of the voices and echoes, almost 100%, and the being tired was never a problem.

Propranolol helps with anxiety.  At first it helped with headaches, but that wore off.  I take it as needed.

Lansoprazole helps with GERD and chronic gastritis.  I tried going off of it at one point and regretted it.  I've been on other PPIs but found this one to be the best for me.

Asmanex and Xopenex inhalers ... for Asthma

Flexeril ... a muscle relaxer that helps with tension headaches and low back pain.  Best of the other muscle relaxers around for me.

Zofran ODT is a great anti-nausea ... don't know what I'd do without it.  Take as needed.

Bentyl is taken for IBS, to calm down my intestines.  Works very well.  I take as needed.

B12 shot, needed for a B12 deficiency where I can not absorb it, so I get the shot.

 

If any of my meds don't work, my pdoc will stop me from taking them to try something else that might work.  He wouldn't keep me on something that wasn't helping.


ETA: None of theses meds give me bad side effects, that I know of.

Edited by melissaw72
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Lamotrigine - I get zero side effects from this. Which I am relieved about because in the Patient Information Leaflet it mentioned tics as a potential side affects and I already have them; I don't want them to get any worse. It has helped me stave off depression.

Risperidone - Very few side effects from this. I do have a increased prolactin level but most people experience this to a varying degree and it's nothing to really worry about unless it's huge. It has helped yank me out of a very bad episode of depression, it has stopped unusual experiences like visual distortions and phantom smells, it also stopped "delusional thoughts". All of this at the second lowest dose, 1 milligram. 

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Right now I can really only speak to non-psych meds, as I'm still in an episode (I think at least) and it's hard to declare anything definitively working on that front:

zofran - really great anti-nausea, regardless of the cause (I use for anxiety-related or migraine-related)

imitrex - I keep feeling like I should knock on wood, but it works for migraines super well and it doesn't put me to sleep like it does for many people

tisanidine - jury's slightly out because I'm still getting a few migraines and a handful of tension headaches, but it's only been attempting for two months and we are probably still fixing the dose a bit; it's definitely better than nothing and only side effect is sleepiness, which is intentional and a benefit 

hyoscamine - used as a smooth muscle relaxer for abdominal cramping; I've only had to use it a handful of times, but it helped each time and didn't cause any side effects 

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Rexulti - This has been the god-send med for me. I've been on Abilify before, and while it managed my depression pretty well, it caused GI upset and intolerable insomnia above 3mg, along with mild akathesia. Rexulti does an even better job at killing my depression, with only very slight akathesia. I can sleep again and eat!!

Trileptal - Smooths out my mood swings and with practically zero side effects. Can't ask for anything better than that. It just freaking works.

Xanax PRN - Kills my anxiety better than Valium or Klonopin. Can bring me from a 8/10 anxiety attack to 1/10, and keeps me chill for better than 24h. I know the half-life of it is less than 12h, but it still keeps working. Also helps me fall asleep at night, even if I take it 12-15h before bedtime. Amazing drug!

Belsomra PRN - Helps generate a relaxing sleep, and has a side-effect of killing my akathesia at night -- better than anything else. Does cause nightmares sometimes, but works beautifully otherwise.

Halcion PRN - Better than the Z drugs that replaced it, short half-life so no hang-over. Very light touch, perfectly for those nights I just can't fall asleep and it's really late.

About the only thing I would even consider changing is a slight bump on the Trileptal because I'm only on 900mg. The rest is no-touch!

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1 hour ago, dtac said:

Rexulti - This has been the god-send med for me. I've been on Abilify before, and while it managed my depression pretty well, it caused GI upset and intolerable insomnia above 3mg, along with mild akathesia. Rexulti does an even better job at killing my depression, with only very slight akathesia. I can sleep again and eat!!

3

This is super helpful, as I may be switching to Rexulti from Abilify. There's always a certain amount of fear for me with trying new meds, so thank you for sharing! :)

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