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Re: 4 Weeks off Effexor VMBW

Posted by Cam W. on November 2, 2001, at 21:47:33

In reply to Re: 4 Weeks off Effexor Cam W., posted by VMBW on November 2, 2001, at 17:48:17

VMBW - To tell you the truth, I haven't seen many Effexor withdrawl cases since the XR version was introduced. This probably isn't indicative of the number that truly occur, because I generally only get called in to a situation when the doc can't be reached or their are multiple drug changes going on. I have trained our mental health nurses and therapists to recognize withdrawl symptoms. Still, I do not hear about it occuring very often.

When I am lecturing to doctors (both GPs and psychiatrists) I always have a number that are shocked that serotonin withdrawl syndrome really happens.

For the large number of people that we have taking Effexor, I was only seeing (or hearing about) one case every month or two. This may not reflect the true incidence, because severe cases would be referred to hospitals, and mild cases may not even be noticed.

I am sure that at work I mentioned serotonin withdrawl syndrome more than it actually happened. Also, many potential cases are probably masked. Usually, I was dealing with patients who would be taking an antidepressant for life. If they were not responding to Effexor XR, they were often switched to another serotonergic antidepressant, without a washout peiod. Therefore, there was no chance of serotonin syndrome developing. Also, we have a lot of people who are staying on Effexor, so they do not go through withdrawl, umless they quit taking it.

I guess to answer your question of percentages; I would have to say that overall, the incidence of a significant withdrawl effect is approximately 5%. Again, I warn that this is an unscientific guess; more of a feeling. I know that I don't hear about 1 in 20 having problems, but that would be my guess.

- Cam




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