View Full Version : Worried about me (relates to Valium)

02-18-09, 04:52 PM
Here's the story. When I was on Lexapro 20mg, everything was fine and dandy. I was not having panic attacks and I was doing very well. I was seeing the doctor and I was getting the script each month. Recently, Lexapro was the cause of a manic episode so it was dropped (reduced to 10mg and then a few days later taken off). It was replaced with Valium 2mg TID. But the problem was even before I was relesed from the hospital, I told the pdoc that the anxiety and panic attacks were returning. He told me to continue to take the Valium 2mg TID and take a 4th one should I need it. Then I left the hospital and I was still anxious and panicy. So I went back to the ER. They raised the dosage to 5mg TID. The only problem is there are times where I am ok and there are times where it feels like it may not be helping at all. I explained this to the doctor yesterday but she told me that I'm on a high dose of Valium and could not raise it. I don't have a problem with that since she put through for therapy which I wanted more. But I feel sometimes like I'm going through withdrawals even though I know I'm not. It feels like my feet tingles, I feel like I'm loosing my mind, I get extremely anxious, etc. This makes me feel like I need my Valium sooner than my scheduled times. What can I do about this so I don't get so anxious and not need the Valium so often like this?

02-18-09, 05:34 PM
I would talk to your doctor about being on some other type of anti-anxiety medication, like Lexapro (which has both antidepressant and anti-anxiety qualities.) Some others are Prozac, Paxil, Zoloft, and Doxepin. Buspar is another one just for anxiety.

Benzos like Valium are not good for general anxiety. They are better for anxiety episodes, to keep the anxiety from becoming acute, and panic attacks. I myself take Lexapro with Klonopin (a benzo) and taking Klonopin alone would not be enough for my anxiety.

They are basically something that provides a "band aid" to anxiety, whereas the other anti-anxiety agents are more of a "cure", in my mind.

Almost all the benzos taken on a daily basis have to be withdrawn gradually- there are physical withdrawal symptoms, even seizures, that can occur if you suddenly stop or miss a couple days.

I'd ask to be put on one of the others and keep the Valium for panic attacks or periods of extreme anxiety that may arise. The less you take it, the less chance of withdrawal as well.

02-18-09, 06:04 PM
I should've mentioned this but here is the problem. Antidepressants send me into mania. I've taken Zoloft and Pexeva (a form of Paxil) in the past and both sent me into a manic state. I worry about taking another antidepressant and heading into another manic state. My p-doctor has the same concerns about using another antidepressant.

Buspar I've tried, but it put me into a negative funk. I was on 5mg @ bedtime. Mom once told me she was going to through me into the street and I found the idea pleasant and I mentally freaked out because I didn't want to have the thoughts. It's a no-no for me.

Other benzodiazapines I've tried. Ativan is like swallowing water, Klonopin sent me into a manic state w/ one .5mg dose @ bedtime, Xanax increased my restlessness, and Niravam (a newer benzo) made me suicidal. So I'm stuck with the Valium for anxiety and panic attacks.

I don't mind having to take the Valium for the anxiety and panic attacks. I just wish that it was @ the right dosage. My mom thinks the anxiety could be coming from the Abilify as a side effect, which may be true. The dosage was just slightly reduced from 15mg/day to 12.5mg/day just yesterday, which was started last night so we will see what happens.

Are there other options that can be used to treat anxiety? Here are other medications that I have failed on for one reason or another:
Depakote, Ritalin LA, Metadate CD, Ambien, Cogentin, Strattera, Cymbalta, Lyrica, Seroquel, Risperdal, Focalin XR, Vistaril, Clonodine, and Invega.
If there is anything that someone can think of to be of help either pharm or non-pharm, please let me know. I could really use the help as I speak to my pdoc in the next 2 weeks.


02-18-09, 06:55 PM
From ( here are some options (these are NOT SSRIs which seem to cause you problems, and NOT Buspar either):


propranolol (Inderal) social anxiety
atenolol (Tenormin) social anxiety


imipramine (Tofranil) panic, depression, generalized anxiety, PTSD
desipramine (Norpramin, Pertofrane and others) panic, generalized anxiety, depression, PTSD
nortriptyline (Aventyl or Pamelor) panic, generalized anxiety, depression, PTSD
amitriptyline (Elavil)panic, generalized anxiety, depression, PTSD
doxepin (Sinequan or Adapin)panic, depression
clomipramine (Anafranil) panic, OCD, depression


trazodone (Desyrel) depression, generalized anxiety


phenelzine (Nardil) panic, OCD, social anxiety, depression, generalized anxiety, PTSD
tranylcypromine (Parnate) panic, OCD, depression, generalized anxiety, PTSD


Valproate (Depakote) panic
Pregabalin (Lyrica) generalized anxiety disorder
Gabapentin (Neurotin) generalized anxiety, social anxiety
Another very good one is hydroxyzine, an antihistamine that also is very good for anxiety as well as nausea.

Abilify, in that high of a dose, DOES produce anxiety. I was on it at 15 mg and had HORRENDOUS akathisia (restlessness to the point of not being able to sit still or even really sit at all). I'd consider going off that or at least going down to under 10 mg/a day.

02-18-09, 07:13 PM
Well from the list, all the antidepressants are out. As I stated above, my doctor won't put me on an antidepressant because of the mania/bipolar cycling risk. And Depakote and Lyrica gave me problems. The Depakote blood levels could never stabilize, and Lyrica gave me bad side effects. Inderal I've heard of, but my pdoc has never mentioned of it, but when I mention of a treatment, the doctor thinks I'm trying to be the doctor and she tells me to let her be the doctor and let me be the patient. It get's frustrating.

I'm on the Valium for the anxiety and restlessness and the Artane for muscle stiffness and restlessness and both medications are not enough for the restlessness from Abilify. That's why the dosage was slightly reduced. But it seems today I've been more restless than yesterday. Does that make since?

p.s. I get akathisia from Abilify too. It was told to me by my inpatient pdoc that that's what I get from the Abilify...

02-18-09, 11:44 PM
I seriously would consider asking your doctor to lower your dose of Abilify to 10 mg a day or less. That could be your major problem right there.

I also would consider Hydroxyzine as an anti-anxiety agent. Very cheap and effective, been around a long time, not many side effects.

There's also another one I failed to mention, prochorperazine, or Compazine. It is mostly prescribed for nausea and vomiting but also is a potent anti-anxiety agent .

There's also the MAO inhibitors I've listed above that may be worth a shot discussing with your doctor.

02-19-09, 01:42 PM
Well I called my doctor today because of the anxiety, akathisia/restlessness. I told her that I remember from a long time ago that I functioned better on Zyprexa Zydis 5mg. She asked me "Didn't that send you into the hospital?". I told her that it didn't and I explained to her that I was complaining of weight gain from the medicaiton and that I went off of the medication and then I went to the hospital. So the following changes were made. She told me to only take 5mg of Abilify in the morning and then take 5mg of Zyprexa Zydis in the night. I have an appt with her March 3rd. At that appt. I plan to explain to her I'd like to get off of Abilify because I realize now it's not the right medication for me. At least for the short term it was able to control my symptoms but the side effects are too much for my body and me to handle. I do better on Zyprexa Zydis...

02-19-09, 03:37 PM
Good- glad to hear you're only on 5 mg of Abilify. That should help you out a lot. And that you've got an appt with your doc. Good luck!

02-19-09, 04:39 PM
Thank you. The only thing is, I've gotten akathisia before from even 1mg of Abilify (taking the 2mg tablets and splitting them) so I hope with the Valium and Artane (since I was on neither before), it will help as I ween off of the Abilify. I don't plan on remaining on Abilify. When I see my pdoc, I want her to take me off of it. I want to get off of Abilify and remain solely on Zyprexa Zydis 5mg for the bipolar maintenance. The only reason I chose it over Zyprexa Zydis in the hospital was because I was already on Abilify 10mg before being in the hospital so they raised the dosages of my medication, and I was having weight gain from Zyprexa Zydis (something I don't think will happen this time)...

03-01-09, 02:19 AM
I've been on a slew of anti-anxiety drugs (xanax, klonipin, ativan, gabapentin, various "anti-anxiety" antidepressants, antipsychotics, herbal supplements, vitamins, etc.), and Valium is the ONLY one that has worked well for me.

I take 20 mg in two doses. 10 mg in the early afternoon, 10mg 8 hours later. It completely manages my anxiety, and has none of the side-effects that Xanax and Klonipin did. For one, I was the worst self dose-increaser in the world with Xanax. I was taking 8 mg a day at one point.

When I started on Valium, they put me on 2.5 twice daily, it did not have any effect. 5mg twice daily, did not have much effect. 10 mg twice daily, it has the effect of eliminating anxiety and very, very few side effects for ME. I think it takes a little time to get rolling on Valium; it's a lot more subtle in many ways than other benzos, but if you go even a hair over your threshold, it's very sedating (I call it the "jelly effect").

I've held steady at this dosage for many months now. My brother responds well only to Valium too; like me, he has problems regulating doses with other benzos, but not Valium.

It's very addictive. But it works very well. And it doesn't give a "high" like Xanax or Ativan to most people, myself included, which is important. If I'm gonna be on an addictive medication, I don't want to be getting off on it.

It controls my anxiety better than anything else. It may or may not be the best benzo, or drug option for you, especially since you said Lexapro worked effectively, and that would be a better alternative since it's non-habit-forming. But give the dosing some time. I hope you find the medication that works for you. I just thought I'd post a Valium success story since I know I'm one of the few! :cool:

03-01-09, 01:59 PM
Well I'm finding that as the days go by that Valium is working for me. It is becoming a replacement for the Lexapro that I use to take. I can no longer take the Lexapro because of a manic episode that was caused by the Lexapro. At least @ my current dosage, the Valium is handling my anxiety well. I've also been doing other things to handle my anxiety like going out and doing some daily activities, yoga and the like. I know that if I continue to work the way I am, I will be able to have the anxiety relief that I am looking for. Thanks for the positive story and I hope the medication continues to work for you...

03-04-09, 04:41 AM
That's great about the yoga. I take martial arts three days a week, and it drastically helps me in nearly every aspect of my life, including anxiety. I am calmer and more serene through submitting myself to a discipline and vigorous exercise.

I'm curious; how would you compare the Valium's effect on your anxiety versus that of the Lexapro?

Just asking because no antidepressant ever did anything whatsoever for my anxiety, despite many doctors' promises. Neither did they help the slightest bit with depression, despite doctors' promises and the name "antidepressant."

You know-- and this is like, my Lebowski-ish opinion, man, but I have to say it ;) -- I just don't get antidepressants. They don't seem to do jack $hit. They supposedly take three weeks to a month and a half to "start working," and for me and many people with whom I've spoken, no one really knows when they "start" doing anything... or in my case, if they did anything at all. For me, they were nothing more than placebos, with the exception of Prozac, which had one effect: slightly enjoyable but uncontrollable manic episodes after I'd been on it about a year and increased my dose from 60 to 80 mg per day.

So for me, only one medication works as an antidepressant, and that's Vyvanse, and the depression vanished from the day I took the first dose. Same with Valium and anxiety. People often demonize amphetamines and benzodiazepines for being habit-forming, but somehow antidepressants-- with their hazily-understood methods of action even among doctors, not to mention bizarre side-effect profiles including weight gain and sexual dysfunction-- don't take so much flak. They fiddle with brain chemistry in more complicated, less effective ways than amps and benzos and do less. And on top of that, you have to keep taking them daily for a while before they even start to "work," after which you have to continue taking them daily or they will stop "working"... which surely sounds habit-forming to me. :cool:

I dunno. I can say with 100% certainty that Valium helps anxiety. I can say one thing with 100% certainty about antidepressants: they are expensive.

03-04-10, 04:27 PM
I just wanted to add a Valium success story - my doc prescribed 5mg TID to help anxiety that I just could not get under control - I had tried Xanax, Ativan, Klonopin, etc.

Took my first 5mg pill & I feel 'normal' for the first time in years. I doubt I'll need it three times a day, but I'm just glad to be able to think. No music, phrases, etc. going through my head constantly. Just quiet. And not sleepy either. I was shocked that he put me on this med (thinking about all the stigma associated w/it), but I'll be damned - it works. I'm not that concerned about becoming addicted, I'm more concerned about having some quality of life! :)

For my ADD, we're going to try Strattera, but if that doesn't work, I think a Valium/Vyvanse combo would work. Time will tell.