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I'm pretty sure I have been suffering from panic attacks. I know I'm anxious all the time, but these panic attacks are a different level altogether. I was talking with a co-worker about it and she recommended Trazodone. I had never thought about medication before but I know I don't want to go on with the panic attacks and constant anxiety either! I wanted to ask if someone here has used Trazodone and knows whether it is good for anxiety relief and stopping panic attacks? Can you tell me something about the side effects and how it has worked for you? 

 

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Whoah, hold on a sec... it's great that you're investigating anxiety treatments, it really is, 'cause if you have constant anxiety you do need help, but this is not how it works. You can't walk into your doctor's office and say, give me some Trazodone please, much less buy it over the counter. Trazodone is just one antidepressant (SARI class) amongst many and you're running ahead of yourself here. You may find that when you do see a psychologist/psychiatrist about your anxiety, they'll suggest talk therapy before even being willing to consider medication, for the simple reason that therapy is actually more than enough for many people with anxiety. Make an appointment with a therapist and figure the rest out later I say. 

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Trazodone is one of the older antidepressants out there. Nowadays, it is used off label for anxiety and insomnia more often than for depression, but some people react really badly to SSRIs, getting side effects like terrible headaches, dizziness, a dry mouth, all sorts. I have heard that it is very effective for anxiety in a lot of people, but I would be scared of the side effects and see if there is something else available that will give you the improvement you need without the added side effects.
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Hey,

I am sorry that you are struggling with anxiety. That can be very hard, so I completely understand that you are eager to try the one thing that someone said helped them. 

If you are not in therapy yet you should know, however, that cognitive behavioral therapy and sometimes another treatment... acceptance and commitment therapy I think? would be first line treatments and you should ideally take medication for your anxiety only where therapy does not work well enough. I am sure it is not that hard to find a psychiatrist and ask for Trazodone and be given it, but why would you if you can cope without? It does have side effects. 

Natural treatments like St Johns Wort and Valerian would be other things to look into. 

Rosie

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While one of the previous posters was right in suggesting that you cannot simply pick an anxiety medication and then start taking it, whoever suggested Trazodone to you knows what they are talking about. Trazadone is one of the more effective medications for panic disorder and agoraphobia on the market, with research suggesting that the medication holds antipanic and antiphobic effects that other medications do not. 

Sometimes, for people who are not yet receiving treatment, it is helpful to come in with a concrete idea: "I have been suffering from panic attacks and anxiety, I would like help, and I have heard that Trazodone can be very effective", vs "I am having panic attacks, what now?"

If this is you, I think this is a great starting point. You may be recommended another drug, you may be encouraged to try psychotherapy first, or you may be told that Trazodone will likely be a good match for you. Whatever happens, if this idea makes it easier for you to access treatment, that is a positive thing. 

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Hi,

I've been on Trazodone for five days so far so not a long time but I can share my experience so far. It has really improved my insomnia and anxiety so good on that front, but on the other hand it's also making me feel very drowsy, like I'm in a constant fog, and I have aches and pains all over. I will give it a while longer to see if this will all pass but so far I am not ecstatic about the side effects. I wish someone had warned me about this going in, so I'm doing that for you now.
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This was my experience as well. Trazodone made me VERY drowsy to the point where I could not function at all. It did me much more harm than good, but I'll add that I was taking it as a sleep aid only and it was the first thing I took. I'd honestly rather suffer the insomnia than the side effects that Trazodone put me through.

I know that some other people swear by it so you can't tell before you try it and I don't want to knock Trazodone in general but it is not for me, and many people have the same experience.
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How much are you taking? Maybe you are on too high a dose and that is why you are feeling terrible right now? I think I would ask for my dose to be reduced. You can start on a lower dose and then gradually increase if that is necessary.

Having said that, the groggy feelings do go away in some people after an adjustment period. In others, they stick around and in that case, different medication might be suggested.

Keep your doc up to date on what is happening, especially if you are feeling like you can't go on any more, and the best of luck to you.
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Apparently Trazodone is not a good choice for people with heart problems, hypotension or hypertension, cancer, anemia, kidney problems, liver problems, a history of addiction, and the list goes on. It is also sometimes used as a recreational drug, because it can cause a "high" and even hallucinations when taken in high doses. 

On the other hand, many people taking Trazodone therapeutically experience may drowsiness, confusion, fatigue, low energy, headaches, loss of balance, libido issues, and many other side effects. There is also a warning that your depression (if this is why you are taking it) gets worse before it gets better. And a warning that young people should not take it. 

While I know these are all common to many antidepressants, if it was me seeking medication for anxiety and panic attacks, I would ask my doctor what the medication most likely to help my symptoms yet least likely to cause unpleasant and even dangerous side effects was. You have to find a balance between risks and benefits. 

Rosie

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Hello,

Trazodone is meant to be taken continuously for general anxiety relief. If you are looking for something that is short acting and that can stop panic attacks in their tracks when you experience them, then you will want something else. Benzos are best for panic attack relief, because you can take benzodiazapines when you have a panic attack and get relief, without having to take them all the time.

I'd have to agree with everyone else who says you have to see a doctor and ask for medication before you can think further, but just keep that in mind. There's a difference between systematic relief and short acting relief.
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