Trial & Error
For panic attack sufferers, Benzodiazepines will offer fast relief, especially Xanax, Valium, and Ativan. Klonopin, on the other hand, is taken regularly (not just when needed) and as my psychiatrist Dr. Robert Franklin says, “Take a Klonopin and tell me how you feel in an hour, not 15 minutes."
All such medications in this class are considered to be addictive if abused, but with smart control and doctor therapy, they are very effective, especially when combined with SSRIs.
When benzodiazepines are combined with SSRIs such as Zoloft or Prozac, the benefits that SSRIs offer is to maintain a balance serotonin level and if needed, a benzodiazepine can be taken during difficult times or in uneasy situations to alleviate the panic attack.
Over the years, I have tried a combo of all types of these medications for my panic disorder and have found that benzodiazepines mixed with a body-accepted SSRI are the best medications for panic attacks. Some SSRIs such as Paxil, however, have been improved upon and drugs like Effexor, although in the antidepressant class, are also being used. Many reach top dose levels and if the meds aren’t working, doctors often change the type of drug combo to find the best result.
Often, however, one person may suffer the side effects from SSRIs such as drowsiness, sleeplessness, and dry mouth or a jittery feeling. While Zoloft may work for one, Prozac may work for another. This is where the trial and error of panic attack medications comes into play because as we all know, if you’ve tried these types medications, SSRIs often take up to 4 to 6 weeks to reap the reward.