Panic Attack

Have any of you experienced a panic attack when first starting up an antidepressant? I have never had one before in my life & I woke up to one last night. I am on the 1st week of Zoloft. Has this happened to any of you before?

I didn’t have one when first starting an antidepressant but I do know that the first few weeks on an SSRI can cause alot of anxiety. Many psychiatrists give patients an anti-anxiety medication to take in addition to the SSRI. The anti-anxiety med is to help patients get through what my psychiatrist calls “hell week” (the first week on a SSRI)

Hi Dizzygrl,
So sorry to hear you had a rough night last night. What dose of zoloft are you on? In my experience, most patients do not have an increase in anxiety, but it is certainly possible. Concurrent short term use of a benzo can be prescribed for those patients who are being treated for anxiety to help calm them down until the SSRI takes over. However, we are MAV patients, so it is hard to compare drug reactions to those without this condition. Are you using this to treat MAV? What other meds are you on? Are you anxious about taking this med?
Even if this is a side effect, it should go away with time.
Good luck and keep us posted!

Hi Dizzy Girl,

Several years ago I was on an SSRI (Aropax here in Australia). For the first couple of weeks I didn’t have anxiety but I did have a weird sort of aggressive energy and hard core insomnia (I’m a chronic insomniac anyway :roll: ). I was given Prothiaden (which I’m on again now) to take at night, which helped.

With MAV I’ve had blasts of panic and anxiety. Mostly now I can ride it out but have found that even a tiny bit of Valium (like 2.5mg) works wonders. Low dose of Xanax is also good (shorter half life too). I try and limit how much I take of any of those as I don’t want to get in a benzo loop.


Just wanted to report I’m feeling a little better today. Less anxious, but it’s still there. I’m on Day 6 right now so I’m hoping that my body will adjust soon. I started on 25 mg of Zoloft. I am trying the Zoloft to see if it helps my MAV. My doc & I decided to try it because nortriptyline has helped me in the past and Effexor was starting to work but some side effects made me go off of it. I know SSRI’s have helped some people on this board so I decided to give it a try. I’ll let you know in a few weeks if it helps.

FWIW, one pill of Buspar put me on edge for 8 hours. I almost had to go to the emergency room…