I had panic attacks in the past, in 2001 I was put on Paxil 20 mg and that pretty well took care of that issue. It wasn't until recently, when I was sexually assaulted, that Paxil started to fail and I began feeling anxious and suicidal. At that point, I wasn't having panic attacks again. The doctor took me off Paxil right away and switched me to Effexor XR at the time.. which I took for a few weeks but it didn't seem to do anything.. so the doctor took me off of it cold turkey (that was fun) and gave me Ativan to help me through any anxiety that I experienced. After I got through the Effexor withdrawal, the Ativan worked very well.. usually instantly. As the months have gone on, Ativan has begun to work less and less which brings me to where I am now. I am having full fledged panic attacks again. The hot sweats, tingling in my arms, heart palps and the feeling like I'm going to pass out. I went back to the doctor and he once again put me on Effexor XR 75 mg. It has just been over three weeks since I was put on it and it really hasn't done anything at all, plus with my ativan nothing providing any relief I feel completely exasperated. I recently was laid off from work (not because of my condition, but low work) and would like to get my head sorted out before starting a new job. I'm just looking for some advice, personal experience with Effexor XR... and other options other than Ativan.. I've heard of Xanax.. it's like ativan correct? Those that are on Effexor or have been, once it's 'fully' in your system, does it work?