I am 77 years old and have been suffering from panic
disorder and depression for many years. I was taking 150 mg Effexor XR and 2mg Xanax XR divided during the morning and evening for over 12 years with wonderful success. Suddenly three years ago after numerous injections of steroids for spine problems, the meds suddenly stopped working, at least the Xanax but my psych doctor wasn't sure about the effexor.
From one moment to the next, after all that time, I got a really bad panic attack and from that one moment on, both panic and anxiety
attacks constantly. We tried upping the Xanax but nothing worked. He got me off the Xanax by using Ativan but I went through hell because I metabolize meds very quickly.
After getting off both Xanax and Effexor you will be surprised that I went back on them again because it seemed nothing else was working and I was almost in a state of total collapse.
Now here it is exactly a year later and while I am so much better that I was a year ago, I suddenly am having a problem again. Let me add
that I am now on 3mg XanaxXR daily, divided by 1mg morning, afternoon, and bedtime. Effexor dose stayed the same.
During these past three, four months, I felt the effexor wasn't working as well and we tried several antidepressants, the last being Viliibryd, starting at 1/2 of the lowest dose but it seemed to give me diahrrea. On at least two weeks and off a couple. Of course suffered side effects and withdrawal symptoms. Then on to Serzone (whatever the generic name is now) with same results. Now back on Effexor and Xanax by themselves. I said no more of the up and down because I can't take the effects anymore.
I've been on this regime for 5 days today. Starting a couple of days ago I started noticing getting palpitations
starting about an hour or so after taking my Effexor. By around one or so, they have gotten pretty severe. I am able to call my psych doctor on weekends and I called him today because I could not figure out what or why the change that was happening. Before all this I was feeling good but extremely tired in the a.m. after I took my morning dose of Xanax. So tired and sleepy I have to go back to bed to sleep it off. My doc wouldn't change the Xanax dose because we had gone up and down on the antidepressants too close and too often and he wanted me to stay on one thing for awhile to see what happens.
Today when I told him of my problem he said he wanted me to keep a chart for one week, putting down the exact time I took my meds and then call him next week. I am to take them right on the dot, no messing around with the time. He said with all the changes, if I haven't been as observent when I take my meds it could cause a problem especially with my fast metabolism. I have to be honest and say I haven't taken them right when my alarm goes off my I phone like I did
when I first started taking them.
I said all that to ask you could this be the reason for the problem I'm having with the palpitations? I started taking my 1mg Xanax at 7 a.m. and then changed it to 7:30 or 8 a.m. as I started feeling better. I take my second dose at 2 p.m. and last dose at 9:30 p.m. I'm pretty good at taking them when my alarm goes off but honestly? The better I felt the later I got around to taking them.
My question is: why is it so important to take these meds exactly at the same time every day? I know during the 12 years I was in recovery using only 1mg. Xanax daily and the Effexor, I took them whenever I remembered to take them and never had a problem. However, the truth is I don't remember how long it took me to get to that point but I do not remember having any problem with taking the meds like I do now. I know I did not have a problem with fast metabolizm then.