I just happened across this thread bookmarked when I'd first joined SA a month or two ago. I had to check my email to get my username, and it made me laugh then get serious when I remembered how stressed and anxious I was when I joined.
I really think for anyone reading this thread who is contemplating trying it, or asking to try it, don't let the naysayers discontent push you away, to your detriment.
Realize a few things up front:
1. This is not a Benzo, and will take 3-5 days to kick in most likely. Rarely less than that unless you luck out and get an initial good placebo effect. And often times a week or two, similar to an SSRI.
2. It IS hard to quantify how or if this is working for many people apparently. And I have to include myself. I know its working because I am now on a scale of 2-3 vs 9.9 when I joined SA. And I am on nothing else.
You're not going to get a Benzo-like sense of relief out of this drug.
What I seem to be getting is a significant reduction of GAD ( I guess thats what I have), and as someone else mentioned, almost no more of those anxiety spikes that seem to pop into your head and cause a physical sensation akin to being speared in the chest, rumination, and the gloom and doom over everything.
This is decidedly different than Paxil and even Lexapro.
If this works for you, be prepared for something of a minor miracle. I haven't gained weight, unlike the above mentioned SSRI's caused me, I don't have sexual dysfunction, I am not shut-down any more than normal, etc, etc.
The effect IS somewhat SUBTLE. I say SUBTLE, in CAPS, because I think a lot of people are used to the forcefield effect which strong SSRI's and Benzo's create.
I don't feel like I am divorced from reality like I did with Paxil/Lexapro. I can feel emotion, my highs/lows do not feel as though they have been clipped to a point where I am living in some intermediate narrow zone of "OK-ness".
I still get stressed and frustrated, however not anywhere near the almost job-quitting levels I was at a short while ago. Nothing there has changed much, perhaps a bit less, but not enough to account for my current well-being.
On the other hand, I can't believe some of the complaints regarding getting scripts/$$. Walmart has this for $4/month in 5mg/10mg tablets.
I read up and upped myself from an initial 7.5mg x2/day to 7.5 x3, and now I am at 15mg x2. I only just realized the other day I should have gone with the 10mg or 20mg to get the best Walmart price, but since I am seeing my Primary in several weeks, I'll ask him to either go to 10mg or 20mg/90days Rx.
I am so glad I persisted even after the first week or two when I felt it was not really working. After I upped my dose (and reading about it from Peer-related studies), things seemed to rapidly, but without noticeable fanfare seem to 'normalize'.
And, I just checked my JOINED date, and it was 10/20/11. Wow, only 5-6 weeks after all..... I have to agree with someone above who said some Dr. called it a Miracle Drug.
I forgot to add, I do feel slight dizziness after taking these occasionally, but then I usually take it upon waking on an empty stomach. Not dizzy enough to affect me to much, or impact my life.
For $4/month, its probably worth asking your Dr. to give you an Rx to see if you are one of the lucky one's it works for.
Average dose is 3x/day, with or without food as long as you are consistent.
2x/day is also what a lot of people do, may work as well, or not.
I am 2x/day because I did want to reduce some of the dizzyness, but I think mainly because I kept forgetting that middle of the day dose until around dinner time......
I've been thinking of going back to 3x/15mg just to see if it helps that much more to be worth the effort.
Also, Medical Literature. seems to explicitly approve of raising dose every 3-5 days upon starting. This is so odd compared to most SSRI's/etc, so don't dilly-dally at 5 or 7.5mg... I think they want to get you start initially, and obviously at the lowest dose, just to prevent those statistical outliers from side effects. However once you are on it for a week or so, if its not working start ramping it up. If you are on 3x/day, make it 4x. then 5x.
Of course I am not a DR., but talk to your DR. when you ask for the Script, do some reading beforehand of the Lit. where this is discussed as Normal Dosing Strategy, in the event your Dr. is not up on Buspar or is overly conservative.
I think 30-60mg/day is most commonly found to be effective, if its going to be effective for you.
OK, an hour writing this post. Hopefully someone reads this and writes back that they did talk to their Dr. and its working for them.