I would like to strongly express that I am not a licensed health care professional and that this post is about my experience with taking medication and is mine alone. Always consult a doctor or a medical professional before starting any medication and if you have any queries about medication. I am hoping that by sharing my experience you can utilise this information and adapt it into your own care and to find something that works for you. As I previously stated in my last post; what may work for one person may not work for you.
My experience with medication
Fluoxetine (also known as Prozac)- this is an anti-depressant. My first dosage was 20mg, but I found that this did not provide me with any relief from my depression and it was later increased to 40mg. This higher dosage did not relief me from my depression. I took it for 6 months with no benefits.
Citalopram- this is an anti-depressant. My first dosage was 20mg, this did not help with my depression and was later increased to 40mg. This higher dosage did not relieve me of my depression. I took citalopram for a year.
Sertraline- this comes from a new class of anti-depressants and is more widely prescribed than Citalopram and Fluoxetine. It also provides relief from mood disorders. My first dosage was 50mg, and then increased to 100mg after two weeks. I was on Sertraline for my depression and anxiety, also providing relief from my serve mood swings. I was on Sertraline for a year. It provided me with no relief from my symptoms.
Me and my doctor discussed that the above drugs classed as SSRIs were not working for me. Often patients who cannot get relief by taking SSRIs are prescribed an SNRI instead. The drugs work in a different way in the brain. They are also often stronger and less likely to be prescribed.
Duloxetine (also known as Cymbalta)- this is a SNRI. This is an anti-depressant and anti-anxiety. It is also used to treat major depressive disorder and generalised anxiety disorder. My first dosage was 30mg after three months this provided me with no relief from my symptoms. The dosage was increased to 60mg. I have been taking this dosage for a few weeks and have noticed a dramatic decrease in my mood swings and depression. My sleep has also improved and I no longer wake up depressed in the morning.
Propranolol- this is a beta-blocker. It works by slowing down the heart and relieves people from the physical side effects of anxiety. Therefore the body is more relaxed and panic attacks are less likely to occur. Propranolol can be prescribed as a PRN meaning you can take it to prevent a panic attack. My first dosage was 20mg twice a day. I took this for a month and it did not provide any relief from my daily panic attacks. The dosage was increased to 40mg 3 times a day. My panic attacks have disappeared! I feel relaxed and calm, although I still feel panicky and shaky at times.
Mirtazapine- this is an anti-depressant. My dosage was 30mg. I took this for a week but experienced serve insomnia. This medication wasn’t for me.
Quetiapine- this is an anti-psychotic. It is used to treat Schizophrenia and Bipolar Disorder. It was primarily used to treat my mood swings. I started on 25mg, after a week this provided me with no relief and was increased to 50mg. The same thing happened again and was increased to 100mg, then 125mg, then 175mg over 6 months. At the time I had a massive crisis and my Quetiapine was increased to 375mg for a month. This left me feeling like a zombie and unable to function. When I was stable it was reduced to my comfortable amount of 175mg and at times of distress increased to 200mg. I have been taking quetiapine for 5 years. It has provided me with some relief from my symptoms but this is normally short lived and the dosage needs to keep on being increased as I build up an intolerance to it. Quetiapine makes me very sleepy. I often pass out after taking it and sleep 12-14 hours straight. This amount of sleeping has affected my daily life dramatically. I wake up groggy and unable to get out bed in the morning. This has escalated my depression in the morning. The plan is to slowly wean me off the Quetiapine and to replace it with Aripiprazole. For the last week I have reduced my dosage from 175mg to 150mg, then to 100mg and then it will finally be down to 50mg then 25mg. Already not taking a high dosage I am feeling more awake during the day and sleeping 8-10 hours and do not “pass out” when trying to fall asleep. So far I haven’t experienced any negative withdrawals.
Cetirizine- this is a strong antihistamine and is used as a quick acting sedative for those who experience panic attacks and serve anxiety. During a panic attack I took 10mg this medication had no effect at all on me.
Lorazepam- this is an anti-anxiety medication that is used to cause relaxation and sedation quickly. It is useful when you need fast acting relief from a panic attack or agitation. I was recently prescribed this as a PRN to provide me with relief from my panic attacks. Reducing the Quetiapine can increase my risk of panic attacks. I was nervous about taking Lorazepam as it is a very powerful and controversial drug. I felt a huge panic attack coming on and took 1mg Lorazepam as prescribed. It kicked in after 5 minutes. I felt spaced out and my body was heavy. I almost fell over when trying to walk to the toilet! I also felt a mini “high”. My racing mind calmed down. I did not feel overly sedated but more relaxed. I noticed my face felt numb and my speech was slurry. An hour later I feel calmed and relaxed. And very nauseous. I wont want to be taking this medication forever! I must’ve looked wasted! Any way here’s a shocking but funny photo after I took it.
For now I’m at that mid way point of coming off and starting a new medication and just need to stable myself. I’ll let you how I get on with Aripiprazole, hopefully it wont make me so sleepy.
I hope this post helps you to find a medication to suit you. As I said before I am not a licensed health care professional. Always consult a doctor or a medical professional before starting any medication and if you have any queries about medication
Please feel free to comment and share your experiences with medication?