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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hi everyone,So I'm back in college for the first time since my IBS-D crushed me 2-3 years ago, and this is my last chance to get things right, or else I'm permanently expelled.Over the years and incidents, I have developed these intense fears and anxieties related to my D & P attacks while sitting in the classroom. It's been a terrifying problem for years now, and it led to 2 near-panic attacks when my IBS first started getting bad. In the beginning of this semester, I was doing alright with attendance, but then I started taking Librax in hopes that it would give me the control I would need to be able to attend everyday. Well, the opposite happened, as it turned out to be a bad mix with my body (I was getting bad side effects). My body's rhythm was completely fouled up by the Librax, my symptoms became as bad as they have been since my problems began, and soon I started missing classes regularly again. Part of me knows it's a fear thing and I just need the balls to force my attendance at some point...but the other part knows that my symptoms and anxieties must also be managed to a certain level for me to physically be able to attend.So I'm getting help from my little "support system" I have on campus. I have talked to my school's Health Services Office and Counseling/Psychological Services, and I have been referred to a school psychiatrist who will prescribe me a drug next week to try to tackle my classroom-ibs anxiety issue.So my question is, what anxiety drugs would you guys recommend? My school's head nurse mentioned that Paxil and Zoloft are possibilities. Do you guys have any pro's and/or con's for me with regard to these two drugs? Please mention what you know/experienced about the side effects of whatever drugs you're referring to as well.Thanks for your input everyone, I appreciate it. I'll be checking hear regularly.Methical
 

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I have always been on a regular anti-depressant, and along with that now something for anxiety. Zanax. Have you ever tried that? The thing with it is you can take it just when you need it, as opposed to a daily dose of Paxil or Zoloft. But a daily dose of something may be what you need. I have been on Zoloft before, and it worked very well.Its good that you have the little support group, as you called it. Its good to keep them up to date with what you are going through. I cant imagine going back to school right now. I applaud you, you are very brave.Let us know what the psych says, and what he puts you on.
, Marriah
 

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I personally do not like Paxil at all. It has very bizarre side effects for me and I've heard a lot of bad press on the medication. However, Zoloft and Prozac seem to be the better meds in that same category. Xanax works well for severe anxiety but sometimes it needs a bit of help because it's not a long acting medication and sometimes they put it together with with either Prozac or Zoloft.I have a friend who is a musician and he had terrible stage anxiety. He was given Prozac andthat worked really well for him.The best thing to do is to try one medication out and see which one works well for you. You might also have to work with dosage.I found that I only do well on the lowest beginning doses.We all have different dosage levels in addition to different reactions to the various medications.Keep clear and breathe deep.Focus straight ahead.You'll do fine.Kamie
 

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I know how it is in college and having the IBS and anxeity I also suffer the exact same thing. I have been put on double academic probation because I copuld not attend class reguarly. I take paxil for the anxeity but it I am still getting the panic attacks at work so I have called out for the last week, My solution to the classroom problem was that I take classes through distance learning so I can be at home and do all my school work. But I just wanted to let you know that there is someone just like you out there and its good to know I'm not alone.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
thanks for responding marriah, kamie, and mybellyhurts...so, so far i've heard zoloft, xanax, prozac, and paxil. anything else that is typically used to help with anxiety issues? are the side effects for any of them particularly prone to risk? sounds like paxil's like that, at least from what i've been told so far.
 

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of all the mentioned therapies only Paxil gave me a bad time.I do well on Zoloft only at the smallest dose.I do much better on Prozac at the smallest dose.Xanax is very good medicine.A lot of Doctors don't like to prescribe it because it's addicting.However, even though I only take it when I need it I'm supposed to take it 3x a day with a bunch of other stuff for the whole mess of malfunctions with my body.When I'm in anxiety mode I'll take xanax as prescribed.When not, I might just not need it.Prozac seems to be a medication that helps a lot of other meds work better.Xanax w/ prozac makes better use out of the antianxiety effect.I also get Elavil w/ Prozac for neurological pain from my surgery.Elavil all by itself does not touch my pain.Elavil w/ Prozac.....amazing pain relief.Again, I only need the lowest dose made.We are all different so we each need the doctors to work with us to get our dosing right.Also, there's a lot of other stuff out there in the way of medicatino help.Have a long talk with your doctor and go over the pros and cons of a few medicine choices.Research and get your questions organized and then you stand a better chance of getting your right med early on in the diagnosing meds stage.Best of Luck to you.You can do this. You know that....right?Kamie
 

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Some of whether they go with something like Xanax or one of the antidepressants (or Buspar which is like an antidepressant but works on a different receptor so it really only works for anxiety) may depend on how often you have attacks.If it is fairly occasional you may want to do more symptomatic relief when it happens. Daily treatment with the antidepressants will tend to make attacks further apart. Generally the SSRI's can cause either drowsiness or over alertness (and sometimes the same drug will do both, but not in the same individual
) GI symptoms are common, the nausea tends to go away after the first couple of weeks. But especially with the IBS type problems it may take some work to find the one that works best with you. With the SSRI's sexual side effects are common, usually in the failure to achieve orgasm kinda thing. Some people find they effect dreaming, either on them, or coming off of them. Many of the SSRI's really need to be tapered off of with supervision. Sometimes switching to another med to come off (like if you are taking a short acting one they may switch you to one that is longer acting so you come off the drug in a slower more controlled manner)Some other things to consider is if you can predict when the attacks come and easing the GI side of thing will help taking an Imodium or antispasmodic prior to the attack may help.I would talk with the counslor also about doing some therapy (Cognitive Behavioral Therapy is often a good choice) because that may reduce your dependance on medications if you can calm the attackw without drugs. This type of thing can also be used to reduce IBS symptoms. (Basically the brain talks to the nerves controlling the gut and you can alter the talk between the two. Your brain can either do things that increase/sustain symptoms or things that decrease/limit symptoms and altering your brain's reaction can make a big difference)The tranquilizers tend to be more of a panic now take now thing. The main problems with them is making you drowsy and sometime a bit "drunk". They also have addition issues, so you may become tolerant to the drug and have problems getting off of it when you use too much too regularly.K.
 

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I've had IBS, spastic colon, diverticulosis, diverticulitis, (infected diverticulum), diverticulur abcess, resulting in ER colostomy ,anasstimosis (reversal of colostomy)so I've been on every medication at one time or another.After many trials, I've found that xanax combined with soma 3 x day helps best.If you have severe spasms, as i do then demerol will sometimes relax the spasm. Am I addicted to prescription drugs....YES! Do I care what others say about this affliction..Yes! Do I feel guilty that sometimes I need to be medicated to the point of not being myself...H*** no! Try to find the good things in your life and focus on them. and when I'm having a bad day ...LEAVE ME ALONE!GOOD LUCK...AIK
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
thanks for all the advice and help, guys. i need all the honest and real-world advice about my ibs i can get.everytime i ask about my options on medications here, i get certain "this might be a hope for you" suggestions and other "this med was terrible for me" comments, etc....but it seems like whenever a doctor's planning on prescribing me something, he chooses the one medication i am afraid of. when i hoped mind-body dig ctr would try remeron or zofran or questran for me in august, they strongly suggested librax; now when i am about to be put on something for my classroom anxiety, i am told positives about xanax, prozac, and zoloft and mostly negatives about paxil...and what do you know, my new psychiatrist (thru my school) prescribed me paxil yesterday.so i'm about to start paxil soon. i suppose i should start asap, but i'm reluctant (as i was, regrettably, with the librax)...i guess i'll start it with my dinner tonight.time for me to do some research on here about paxil...thanks for all the advice everyone, please, i'm all ears if you have more.i'll be around
methical
 

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if it helps, my friend wason paxil for quite some time for anxiety. she said it was a life saver. she's off it now and weaned herself off very slowly. took a while but she did it slowly and safely (and at the time because she had no health insurance and couldn't afford it)take carenancy
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
what kind of side effects are especially common? what side effects, common or not, are especially unpleasant?if the withdrawal effects are no worse than effexor's, i could definitely deal with it. i would just hate to go through a whole new *type* of side effects. ugh. medications.
sure beats failing out of school though.methical
 

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methical,I am in my senior (5th and final) year of college and I started having IBS a couple years ago. I noticed most of my anxiety would happen at school and I would have panic attacks while going to and from my classes, and sometimes I would run out of my classes because I was having irrational fears that I would throw up in front of everyone. An IBS related symptom of mine is that: severe nausea. I told my GI doctor and he just nonchalantly wrote me out a prescription for 20mg of paxil. I didn't take it because I was nervous about going on a drug that was going to do things to my mind. I went to a psychotherapist instead, and after I decided that was a waste of time, I decided to go on the paxil. I did a lot of research, measuring the pros and cons. I went to search engines and typed in paxil, and side effects of paxil, and things like that, and I read a lot about it. I also talked to people on this board and got their opinions and accounts as you are doing. After a month, I decided to go on the paxil, but I called my GI doc and got put on 10 mg instead of 20 because I am tiny and knew that 20 would be way too much. From advice from someone on this board, I started taking 5mg at first. This is because the side effects are kinda rough at the beginning while your body is getting used to the drug and weening yourself onto the drug helps reduce them. My cousin was given 20mg when she went on it for social anxiety disorder a few years ago, and she just took it, not knowing that it was too high of a dose for her little body, and she ended up sleeping for 72 hours straight! Her parents took her to the er and they told her that it would go away, and to go on 10 mg instead. Both of us don't even weigh 100 lbs. Also, what I found to be important besides taking half the dose at the beginning is taking the pill at night right before bedtime, so you sleep through the peak of the drug. I was able to sleep right through the nausea, severe drowsiness, dizziness, etc. After a couple of weeks, the side effects went away, and I felt fine. I don't have to take it at night anymore, I basically take it whenever I remember to. It helped my IBS a whole lot too, and now it is the only drug I take for my IBS (besides donnatal that I take rarely). For me, 5mg was enough to curb the IBS symptoms and make the panic attacks go away, so I just stayed on that dosage for a few months. It was just recently that I began taking 10mg because the neurologist thought it might get rid of my migraines. I am now on 10mg but it's not helping the migraines, but going up from 5 to 10mg didn't give me any weird side effects.I have had no bad sexual side effects, no long term side effects that are still lingering at all, and I am completely myself, yet free of all that irrational anxiety stuff. I was really afraid that the paxil would put me in la-la land and I would not be "me" but that is not what it did at all. It is important to note that every antidepressant has a million side effects, and a lot of them contradict each other (i.e., weight gain/weight loss, constipation/diarrhea). I talked to a paxil CR drug rep at the doctor's office I work at and she said that when they do their studies on the pills, they have to list every single side effect that a person in the study had while taking the drug. Someone could have had a bee sting and they have to list the swelling from the bee sting as a possible side effect of the drug. So just keep that in mind when you are reading the side effects of the pill. I have heard that it sucks getting off of paxil, and that was one thing that I really took into consideration before going on the pill, and I decided that helping my IBS and anxiety right now is more important than getting off of the pill in the future. I know it will probably not be fun, but I probably won't die from it.Everyone's reactions are different, so just because some people have good experiences doesn't mean you will, and just because people have had horrible experiences doesn't mean you will. Also, when I first started on it, even the 5mg gave me bad side effects throughout the day, even though I slept through the worst of it at night. I have to drive about 20 minutes on the freeway to get to my school, and for the first couple of weeks, I kind of felt like I was in a video game when I was driving. I was mostly out of it, and during that time, I was also trying to get through finals (I probably didn't pick the best time to start the drug!). It was hard to concentrate in class, and I felt somewhat out of my body, my mind felt like it was elsewhere. I still managed to be on the President's Honor List, so it wasn't unbearable.If you do decide to take it, it might really help you, but just be aware that you will suffer some side effects, and just stick with it for a couple weeks and hang in there and the effects will probably go away. Now I forget to take mine some days, and about the 3rd day of not taking it, I begin to feel weird and think, "oh, I think it's time for my paxil" and a lil while after I take it, I feel completely fine again. Good luck with it, and I hope it works well for you.
 
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