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Trouble breathing during ANXIETY ATTACK.LEXAPRO.

Resolved Question:

My Primary doctor thinks I have anxiety ever since i had an PSVT with my heart three years ago. I've been seen by a cardiologist already, everything checked out fine in the EKG, Echo, and Stress Test. My doctor gave me Prozac, then after weight gain, switched me to Lexapro. He also gave me xanax. I'm always have pains on the left side of my body, either the arm, leg, or chest. The arm or leg are usually by the joints, and I start to have trouble breathing I'm guessing because of my anxiety attack. Once I calm down, I can breath fine. What could be going on? I never have pain on the right side anywhere (once in a blue moon in the chest)

Category: Psychiatrist

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Dr. Srikanth Reddy is online now

Expert:  Dr. Srikanth Reddy replied 4 Days.

Hello. Thank you for posting your query at DoctorSpring.com
I have gone through your question in detail and I can understand what you are going through.
Clinically an angina and panic attack can look very similar but the fact that all your cardiac work has come out normal suggests that it could very well be a panic disorder. The fact that angina causes causes left side chest and arm pain is no longer specifically followed as many anginas present with central/right sided pain.
YOur anxiety disorder has not be completely treated. You have not mentioned the dose of lexapro, but if its not 20mg then it would be wise to escalate the doses and if still there is no response then a change of medicine to venlafaxine should be suggestible. Also you may consider adding cognitive behavioural therapy to your treatment regime. This therapy is taken by either a psychologist or a psychiatrist in which the therapist identifies impaired cognitions (Thoughts) and try to correct them. They are 15-20 min weekly session and there should be around 8-10 sessions to help you with your illness.
Hope this helps,
If you have any further query, do let me know.
Kind regards
Dr. Srikanth Reddy MD

Patient replied :

It just always feels like my heart is beating slow too. But it's at 72bpm. Now I'm shaking and nervous and I feel tension in my left leg, arm and neck. all left side.

Expert:  Dr. Srikanth Reddy replied 3 Days.

The symptoms that you are narating are all suggestive of anxiety disorder. Ones the anxiety disorder is treated, you will feel much better and wont be having these symptoms
Secondly as mentioned in my previous mail, the left sidedness of the symptoms do not suggest a cardiac problem specifically. Even the anxiety symptoms can present in a similar fashion.

Thanks and regards
Dr. Srikanth Reddy

Patient replied :

What do you recommend? Should I start taking my lexapro that I stopped taking two months ago? It's 10mg. I felt better on it but now I'm scared to go back on it, since I've been taking xanax .5 almost everyday for the past two weeks. should I ween off of that and start the lexapro or should I start taking lexapro now and ween off the xanax? or can I stop the xanax cold turkey since it's only two weeks.

Expert:  Dr. Srikanth Reddy replied 2 Days.

You may start your lexapro and then weanoff xanax after a week. 0.5mg is not a high dose and you may make it half for a week and then stop it abruptly. Lexapro is a good drug for anxiety and you should continue taking it as you still have the symptoms.
Feel free to discuss further,

Patient replied :

So since I had an Echo done, and an EKG and a Holter, if anything was wrong with my heart, it would have been seen then? There is no other tests or hidden things that wouldn't be picked up?

Expert:  Dr. Srikanth Reddy replied 1 Day.

Yes you can be assured of it. Take you anxiety medicines properly.
Dr. Srikanth Reddy

Dr. Srikanth Reddy
Category: Sexologist
Doctor of Medicine (MD), Psychiatry Residency Program,2001 – 2012
M.B.B.S,Mahatma Gandhi Institute Of Medical Sciences, Sevagram

Certificate Course in sex Therapy and Counselling, Sexology and Counselling, A
Sexology,Medikon Sexual Sciences, Mumbai

Training in Advanced Neurology at a leading corporate hospital (CARE hospital) in Hyderabad

Child Psychiatry Training in National Institute of Mental Health and Neuro-Sciences, Bangalore

Sex Therapy and Counsellingat MEDIKON Sexual Sciences, Mumbai.
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