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    SSRI vs SNRI: Which is better for Anxiety & Panic Attacks. 
    #1
    Hello everyone!

    This is a fairly basic question, especially for the more knowledgeable of you all. I'm looking for personal experiences, or 'in general' type responses.

    The question is; for someone suffering from moderate-high Anxiety (in general, and worsening during social situations) and Panic Attacks (due to social situations and substances), what would likely prove more effective?

    SSRI's or SNRI's.
     

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    #2
    Bluelighter Whipped Dream's Avatar
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    I was prescribed 20mg Fluoxetine (Prozac) (an SSRI) for exactly the same condition you are describing and it turned me into the walking dead. Absolutely ZERO ambition to do anything. I would happily lay in bed and stare at the ceiling all day long. After about 10 days of that shit I flushed the rest of the pills down the toilet cold turkey.

    I'm unsure what an SNRI is and what the difference would be between the the two.

    Nowadays I treat my anxiety/social situation problems with opiates OR benzos. I trade off between 30mg Valium (a benzo) or 20mg Hydrocodone (a semi-synthetic opiate). I only dose up on average 6-7 times a month (which is about as often as my anxiety gets unbearable). I switch back and forth between the two because both have the tendency to build tolerance within the body and/or create addiction - neither of which I want.

    I'm a STRONG opponent of SSRIs. I nickname them "drone pills" because they make it so you can't feel any heightened emotions - good or bad.
     

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    #3
    Bluelighter Zenethylamine's Avatar
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    SNRIs would probably be worse than SSRIs for such a condition. The increased amount of norepinephrine in your system would only increase anxiety, if anything. I don't think that SSRIs would be terribly helpful either. Consider benzodiazepines, although they are quite habit-forming and make you tired.

    It depends, though. A SNRI like wellbutrin could possibly increase social confidence. Hard to say.
     

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    #4
    Quote Originally Posted by Zenethylamine View Post
    SNRIs would probably be worse than SSRIs for such a condition. The increased amount of norepinephrine in your system would only increase anxiety, if anything. I don't think that SSRIs would be terribly helpful either. Consider benzodiazepines, although they are quite habit-forming and make you tired.

    It depends, though. A SNRI like wellbutrin could possibly increase social confidence. Hard to say.
    For me, I'm diagnosed with ADD and prescribed Ritalin to help with my attention span and motivation. The only issue is, Ritalin in any sort of stimulating dose gives me Anxiety and can provoke scary Panic Attacks. They can however make me quite productive on good days, when the anxiety is not as present. I find they don't help much with social anxiety at all either, and more than often make it much worse.

    As for the Benzo's, well, I really enjoy them. They make me feel really relaxed and worry free, and can help me get to sleep easier. My experiences are based off free/bought Xanax, Valium and Temazapam (in order of preference). The only thing is, I value my ADD medication, especially since I plan on convincing the Psychiatrist to change me from Ritalin to Dexedrine, which hopefully I'll cope a lot better with. Is it possible to get scripts for both?

    Just an additional note. My anxiety is weird, it's sort of like a lazy depression, but also the constant feeling of mild electricity going through me. I only notice how anxious I actually was/have been after a few drinks/Benzo's which makes me really appreciate the feeling of being properly relaxed.
     

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    #5
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    I was diagnosed with anxiety and depression (on the mild to moderate end of the spectrum).

    I could write alot about ssris and to a lesser extent snris so if you want more info, PM me.

    I was given effexor, an snri. I had to give up quickly because of the bad side effects. couldn't sleep for three days, nausea, weird speedy feeling, feeling like shit.

    I was later prescribed zoloft, an ssri. Though it had side effects they were not as bad. I found it to be quite helpful with depression, and helpful with anxiety but to a lesser extent.

    The problem that I have with ssris is quite long, so bear with me:

    They kill your sex drive and reduce your ability to orgasm. this is the big side effect for antidepressants.

    some of them can make u put on alot of weight.

    for me they reduced some of my depression intially. they also through me into a weird sort of more anxious headspace, that was more irrational or 'crazy'. hard to explain, and this went away after a few months.

    they take about a month before they are properly effective. but the side effects are very strong to begin with.

    they make you emotionally numb, though preferable to depression or anxiety, it is still not as good as normality.

    they are fucking hard to quit. though not abusable like benzos, and the withdrawal symptoms are not as bad, you will still have some nasty withdrawal symptoms if you give up.

    I hope this helps. if you want more info feel free to PM me.

    personally, I'd recommend some sort of psychological treatment like CBT, if you haven't already. ssris can be helpful but they have alot of downsides.
     

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    #6
    Quote Originally Posted by psytaco View Post

    The problem that I have with ssris is quite long, so bear with me:

    They kill your sex drive and reduce your ability to orgasm. this is the big side effect for antidepressants.
    To be honest I consider this more of a positive aspect. Not that I'd get SSRI's specifically for that reason, but I'm sure it'd make me more popular with partners haha.

    But from what you explained, SSRI's and SNRI's don't help much with my style of Anxiety. I guess Benzo's would do me fine if I could also combine them with my ADD medication. The combo of uppers and downers would conflict weirdly wouldn't it?
     

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    #7
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    Not sure, you should ask your doctor about that one. benzos are great for anxiety in the short term, but you have to be really careful about not abusing them and getting addicted. benzo withdrawal is no joke, alot of people say it is more painful than heroin withdrawal.

    i don't know if ssris would work well for your anxiety. for me personally, i found them better for depression, but they might work for you. i still think seeing a psychologist might be better. have you tried this? it lets you get to the heart of the anxiety, drugs just cover up the symptoms but never fix anything.

    as for the sexual stuff. i never had a problem with lasting a while, so with the ssri trying to cum just became fucking annoying. half the time i couldn't at all. ssris are actually prescribed to people with premature ejaculation problems.
     

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    #8
    Quote Originally Posted by psytaco View Post
    Not sure, you should ask your doctor about that one. benzos are great for anxiety in the short term, but you have to be really careful about not abusing them and getting addicted. benzo withdrawal is no joke, alot of people say it is more painful than heroin withdrawal.

    i don't know if ssris would work well for your anxiety. for me personally, i found them better for depression, but they might work for you. i still think seeing a psychologist might be better. have you tried this? it lets you get to the heart of the anxiety, drugs just cover up the symptoms but never fix anything.

    as for the sexual stuff. i never had a problem with lasting a while, so with the ssri trying to cum just became fucking annoying. half the time i couldn't at all. ssris are actually prescribed to people with premature ejaculation problems.
    I know Benzo's are great for Anxiety, and honestly I couldn't care less about the addiction at the moment. If it ever concerned me, I'd do as my Grandma once did and just slowly taper down. She was a user for something like 20+ daily, and never had any side affects slowly weaning off it. My disregard for the seriousness of addiction may seem stupid, but the way I see it, I'm already forced into constantly being buzzed on a drug called "anxiety", and Benzo's could be my Methadone so to speak.

    Psychologists can't help me. My anxiety is just random anxiety caused by a combination of more anxiety and "A.D.D.". Not to mention it sky-rocketed after I overdosed on Acid/Speed/Alcohol/Weed/MDMA. It's getting better in some way, for example I can smoke weed now and not get as much anxiety.

    As for the premature ejaculation thing, well I was just classifying the "side affect" as something I see as potentially positive! I'd rather it be really hard than too easy. :P
     

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    #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by MatthewD View Post
    I know Benzo's are great for Anxiety, and honestly I couldn't care less about the addiction at the moment. If it ever concerned me, I'd do as my Grandma once did and just slowly taper down. She was a user for something like 20+ daily, and never had any side affects slowly weaning off it. My disregard for the seriousness of addiction may seem stupid, but the way I see it, I'm already forced into constantly being buzzed on a drug called "anxiety", and Benzo's could be my Methadone so to speak.

    Psychologists can't help me. My anxiety is just random anxiety caused by a combination of more anxiety and "A.D.D.". Not to mention it sky-rocketed after I overdosed on Acid/Speed/Alcohol/Weed/MDMA. It's getting better in some way, for example I can smoke weed now and not get as much anxiety.

    As for the premature ejaculation thing, well I was just classifying the "side affect" as something I see as potentially positive! I'd rather it be really hard than too easy. :P
    Have you tried seeing a psychologist though. They do help, and much better than drugs alone probably will.

    Man famous last words about the benzos. Your grandmother was lucky, giving up benzos even with proper tapering is TOUGH. I've done it, and it something I never want to experience again. Your anxiety will come back harder and stronger, plus the benzos will only work for a short time. Do yourself a favour and don't get started abusing them. if you need more encouragement just look at the dark side threads and they fill you in on how tough kicking benzos is.
     

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    #10
    Bluelighter Stay.Blazed.420's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by MatthewD View Post
    To be honest I consider this more of a positive aspect. Not that I'd get SSRI's specifically for that reason, but I'm sure it'd make me more popular with partners haha.

    But from what you explained, SSRI's and SNRI's don't help much with my style of Anxiety. I guess Benzo's would do me fine if I could also combine them with my ADD medication. The combo of uppers and downers would conflict weirdly wouldn't it?
    it's not positive when you start getting frustrated and your mind starts wandering.

    i REALLY wanna get off citalopram and just go on xanex. i officially stopped using citalopram because it makes me have more mood swings
     

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    #11
    Bluelighter Psychedelic Jay's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Stay.Blazed.420 View Post
    ... i officially stopped using citalopram because it makes me have more mood swings
    This means you are probably Bi-polar...

    Antidepressants are know to trigger mania in Bi-polar people...

    But Anti-psychotics are even worse...
     

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    #12
    Bluelighter Stay.Blazed.420's Avatar
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    can't i get a xanex or lorazapam script for being bi-polar?

    and believe me - i know i'm bi polar. i wrote down 2 pages of shit thats wrong with me (depression, depressive mania, anxiety, social anxiety, general anxiety, ocd) and gave it to him and he quickly read over it and said 'yeah i will definitely get you a referral. here take this citalopram in the mean time'
    Last edited by Stay.Blazed.420; 08-02-2011 at 01:09.
     

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    #13
    Bluelighter Psychedelic Jay's Avatar
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    Benzos also are known to be rather weird in effects to people.

    This also includes mania...
     

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    #14
    Bluelighter Stay.Blazed.420's Avatar
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    my dad was prescribed lorazapam for his bi-polar disorder.
     

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    #15
    Bluelighter Psychedelic Jay's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Stay.Blazed.420 View Post
    my dad was prescribed lorazapam for his bi-polar disorder.
    I didn't say it won't happen, it's just an older thing.

    Younger people will have a harder time, naturally getting benzos...


    To the O.P.

    I get tramadol from my psychiatrist for it's SNRI properties, and Lyrica for anxiety.
    I am prescribed tramadol 1x 200 mg ER a day and 3x 50 mg IR a day as booster doses...
    Lyrica i take in doses of 75 mg 3x a day...

    Here's how I dose.

    12:00pm: 1x 200 mg ER, 50 mg IR tramadol 1x Lyrica 75 mg

    4:00pm: 1x 50 mg tramadol 1x Lyrica 75

    8:00pm: 1x 50 mg 1x Lyrica 75 mg

    Note: My day ends at 1:00am, so that is why I even have a dose at 8pm. Otherwise, it's too energizing for such a late dose...

    You do get high in the beginning, this is why It doesn't have the anxiety in the beginning like any regular SNRI or SSRI... But the high goes away, and it is not a "Funky" head-space, just a really productive, anxiety free perkiness.

    These meds are presumably safe in long term use...

    If everything goes right, you will need no benzodiazepines using Tramadol and Lyrica...
     

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    #16
    Quote Originally Posted by MatthewD View Post
    Hello everyone!

    This is a fairly basic question, especially for the more knowledgeable of you all. I'm looking for personal experiences, or 'in general' type responses.

    The question is; for someone suffering from moderate-high Anxiety (in general, and worsening during social situations) and Panic Attacks (due to social situations and substances), what would likely prove more effective?

    SSRI's or SNRI's.
    Didn't read the other answers to see if anyone else said this, but Zoloft (sertraline) is pretty much the standard for panic disorder, for preventative and xanax (alprazolam) for acute attacks.

    SNRI's (serotonin/Norepinepherine reuptake inhibitors) would tend to make one MORE anxious, since it increases the amount of adrenaline in the CNS.
     

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    #17
    An SNRI is very effective at treating anxiety, particularly social anxiety. I am on it and it works wonders. I used to be unable to sleep due to anxiety, and now I barely ever worry. I am more outgoing and talkative, and honestly, an all around more popular person. When you get rid of the anxiety and gain some confidence people react positively, which reinforces the confidence.

    I will say that I also take bupropion (welbutrin) alone with my venlafaxine. I am on 150mg a day of the venlafaxine and 100mg a day of the welbutrin. Low doses, but they have worked wonders. One thing I would advise is DO NOT DRINK ALCOHOL with these drugs. I had tried venlafaxine before and it was a nightmare for me. But I had been drinking while taking it. About a year later a psychiatrist recommended it to me and this time I didn't drink at all. HUGE difference.
     

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    #18
    Bluelighter K'd-OUT-in-AZ's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Stay.Blazed.420 View Post
    my dad was prescribed lorazapam for his bi-polar disorder.
    I was originally prescribed Klonopin for the manic episodes of my bi-polar. After years of being on it he never took me off. He talked to my parents without me when I want once and he told them if I stay on the Klonopin right now I will probably be on them for the rest of your life. They said, "well it helps" and he said OK. This was like 10 years ago. I just got off them and I want back on them. Its impossible to stay off these things. I quit one other time and went 9 months but the withdrawals never went away so I told my doctor I want back on and relapsed. I'm about to do the same thing. I've gone 4 months. I have such horrible cravings. The worse mental withdrawals. And lingering withdrawals from benzos can last up to 12-18 months and I just can't fight them that long. I tapered slowly with diazepam and had barely any physical withdrawals but these mental withdrawals are such a bitch.

    I suggest nobody go on them but of course I'm going to say that because I'm having such fucking hard time fighting with these things. Benzo addiction brings out your own personal hell. Its all good and comfortable when you are on them but...
     

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    #19
    Bluelighter Psychedelic Jay's Avatar
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    If you do use Tramadol for AD purposes, I recommend to have ER plus a booster dose for the beginning and middle of the day... At least 150 mg a day
     

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    #20
    Bluelighter Whipped Dream's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by K'd-OUT-in-AZ View Post
    I suggest nobody go on them but of course I'm going to say that because I'm having such fucking hard time fighting with these things. Benzo addiction brings out your own personal hell. Its all good and comfortable when you are on them but...

    How often do you/did you take benzos? Daily?
     

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    #21
    Bluelighter Stay.Blazed.420's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Whipped Dream View Post
    How often do you/did you take benzos? Daily?
    Yes i'm wondering this too.

    i'm not talking about abusing the shit out of them and getting a benzo addiction i'm talking about taking it when i'm having bad anxiety. some days are better than others, some are worse.
     

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    #22
    Bluelighter K'd-OUT-in-AZ's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Whipped Dream View Post
    How often do you/did you take benzos? Daily?
    Yes, I took them daily although the prescription bottle said "as needed". I knew NOTHING about benzo addiction. I took them just because he told me to. He didn't ever say "take them as needed". The idea was to be on them when I was manic but when they worked we assumed great this is a miracle cure so just kept taking them and no mania. I was 16 at the time and parents controlled my medicine and they loved the Klonopin because the one thing they hated worse was when I went into manic states. They would ask the doctor to increase my dose.

    Eventually I ended up at 8mg Klonopin/60mg Temazepam daily for 11 years...doctor knows best
     

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    #23
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    I wouldn’t recommend either Lyrica or Tramadol. I developed myself really bad anxiety and panic attacks after using those two (over 2 years) by the doctor’s directions. But that’s just me. Still I have to note that at first they worked like a charm for all of my problems. So I would say that not for long term use but short term maybe.
     

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    #24
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    Quote Originally Posted by Skelu View Post
    I wouldn’t recommend either Lyrica or Tramadol. I developed myself really bad anxiety and panic attacks after using those two (over 2 years) by the doctor’s directions. But that’s just me. Still I have to note that at first they worked like a charm for all of my problems. So I would say that not for long term use but short term maybe.
    To each his own I guess. Effexor IMO is the last thing anyone with anxiety to take without benzos or some other effective antianxiety med. It's too rough to get to a baseline without too much discomfort.

    I like tramadol. ER is the key. I saves a lot of headache from dosages. No one wants to pop 6 plus pills a day and peak and dip all day. They need to come out with a Lyrica ER. I hate losing count of pills...
     

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    #25
    Bluelighter Sweet P's Avatar
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    SSRI's, in my opinion. I tried an SNRI (Effexor) but had to stop taking it after only a couple of weeks, cos it was giving me unbearable anxiety and panic attacks. My doc said it will pass, but I just couldn't stand it any longer.
     

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