Long term use of medication (10 years +) don't think it's working anymore need some advice please.

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I've suffered from Anxiety, Depression and Panic Attacks for over 10 years. I'm on Citalopram, Propanolol, and Diazepam when I have a really bad Panic Attack. (I also have Vertigo, Diabetes Type 2, Gastroesophageal reflux disease, High Cholestrol, and have blackouts)

For the last year or so my Panic Attacks have become really frequent and are driving me mad. It's gotten so bad that I'm afraid to fall asleep in case I don't wake up. I can only sleep once I'm exhausted. I don't want to go out anywhere either.

My doctor is useless as they keep changing all the time so they don't know anything about me.

I'm scared to change my medication as I have to be drug free for about 2 weeks to get the old anti-depressants out of my system before I start new ones and I know I will panic really badly doing this and then panic starting new ones as well.

What do I do? Do I shut up and put up and or I change my medication.

Thanks in advance for any help anybody gives me.

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6 Replies

  • Posted

    Hi Shelley,

    Is it possible for you to join a different doctors' surgery? It's so important to have a good consistent doctor when you have mental health problems, as you know. I've had some shockers in the past, but very satisfied with my GP now. It depends how isolated you are where you live, but if you can change I'd recommend you do. 

    A couple of things, do you have to be completely drug free for two weeks? I believe the half-life of diazepam is only 48 hours, and clearance from the body depends on age, meaning it can take 40 to maximum 100 hours (about 4 days). I know 4 days is still worrying, but it's better than 2 weeks.  It may be that as diazepam works on the body differently to your other medications you won't have to stop taking it, and can use it until the Citalopram is out of your system. It might be worth investigating htis with your (new) GP.

    In my experience, panic attacks wake you up anyway, so you don't need to worry about falling asleep. There's a lot of really good self-help out there for panic attacks, you can get rid of them completely by just letting them wash over you and not tensing up to fight them. Then over time you get less scared of them, and your body's fight or flight response stops being activated, and they stop happening. I've tried recommending the book I used on here before but it got deleted. I don't know how the filter picked it up. If you're scared of changing your medication it's a good avenue to try though. I guess I could try hiding the name in text, but maybe I should play by the rules.

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  • Posted

    Hi you don't have to be drug free at. All.

    id been on trazadone for 9 years and decided 4 months ago that I'd become immune to it. It wasn't doing anything.

    went and told my dr that I wanted to try a different anti-depressant because they weren't working.

    she was a new doctor at my surgery and was horrified I'd been on them for so long and said straight away I needed a new a.depressant. The first week I was on a reduced dosage of the old 1. Second week started low dose of new one. Third week dose lower with the old one and higher with new one.the fourth week stopped the old one and increased the new one.

    it sounds a bit complicated at first, but makes perfect sense when you think about it.

    i can definitely assure you that you won't be drug free at all. My new one, citralapam is working well and can honestly say I feel better than I've been for the last couple of years.

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    • Posted

      How long until. You feel your self again, I'm on sertraline AD, for 3 weeks now, still anxious and very low especially the mornings not eatin brain always thinking about how I'm feeling, think I'm going mad, sometimes feel like I want to just die! 😢
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    • Posted

      I was just the same, and was getting more and more anxious. I felt worse than I did before I started. Towards the middle of the 4th week, I started to feel a bit better each day. After six weeks I felt like a different person and am so glad I stuck it out. You will feel better, maybe quite gradually, but you'll get there. I could hardly eat a thing for the first three weeks, then suddenly I started to think about food and appetite was back to normal five weeks since I started taking new tablets.

      good luck, just hang in there

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  • Posted

    I do not think you should take any drug for such a long time. It becomes resistant and most importantly it creates long term effect on your body. I have personally seen fatal consequences of taking such drugs over long period. If possible, try to go on a trip in a beautiful place for few weeks. try to avoid bad habits and your dependencies on drugs.  
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    • Posted

      If going on a trip in a beautiful place cured anxiety and depression, 50% of the population would tripping in a beautiful place at the same time.

      nobody chooses to suffer with anxiety and depression. It's a horrible illness, which can be successfully treated with medication. So if you were diagnosed with cancer and were offered chemotherapy, you wouldn't take any drugs as you want to avoid bad habits and your dependence on drugs then!

      what about diabetics and insulin, thyroid problems and thyroxine, breast. cancer and tamoxifen. You're saying going on a trip is all that's needed to cure these illnesses so that the patient doesn't come dependant on drugs. Personally, I would much rather be dependant on these drugs to keep me alive. Diabetics are dependant on insulin, of course insulin is needed, or is it a bit of a bad habit. I personally have seen fatal consequences  when patients don't take the drugs they are dependant on, and they will take them for a long time.

      Incidentally, telling people not to take their medication due to possible

      long term use on their body is not helpful, it's a stupid statement

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