Psycho-Babble Medication Thread 13781

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Redirect: posting policies

Posted by Dr. Bob on November 10, 2003, at 15:39:39

In reply to Re: blocked for week Clayton, posted by Dr. Bob on November 9, 2003, at 23:28:51

> PS: Follow-ups regarding posting policies should be redirected to Psycho-Babble Administration, thanks.

Here's a link:

http://www.dr-bob.org/babble/admin/20031008/msgs/278280.html

Thanks,

Bob

 

Re: For Music Clayton

Posted by Mercedes on November 10, 2003, at 17:10:18

In reply to Re: For Music, posted by Clayton on November 9, 2003, at 8:58:21

Clayton, when you get back, I'd like to hear more on your experiences with the AD's. Effexor made me "stupid" for lack of a better word. I should have been saying "impairs my cognitive functioning" (your words, thanks). I have to write them down, as I still have memory problems from the Effexor.

I withdrew from Effexor, Paxil and Topamax within a month, under Dr's guidance I must say. Well, Paxil imo, caused me to have heart pains, so I only took it for m/b 2 weeks? yea, I'm the one that has to carry nitro now, just in case. But that's neither here nor there.

I too, have had very demanding, analytical jobs....25 yrs worth, and suffered greatly with the meds affecting my intellect, among other things.

Anyway, w/b interested in what AD finally worked for you and how you are progressing. I apologize if you've written it before and I missed it or just "forgot" it. The withdrawals have at times put me in that dark side, but I won't go into details now.

See ya soon and Peace to you too,
Mercedes
***********************************************

I've taken amitryptylan and I know it impairs my cognitive functioning, slows my thinking (a lot!)and kills my memory. As a tempoary expediant to withdraw from Effexor, it's probably worth it...as long as your job doesn't demand unrelenting analytical acuity like mine does. Just watch out. You have already discovered that every drug with beneficial effects - especially psychotropics - have a dark side. Beware of the dark side.

I've been on Paxil, Prozac and Remaron. No real bothersome side-effect (EXCEPT!!! - my libido vanishes - poof! It's like, "I can't quite recall but didn't I used to find women attractive and exciting in some way??"). Thank God no doc ever put me on Effexor. Just reading about peoples' personal experiences is a nightmare!

Kindest Regards & Peace Be With You

 

Re: Effexor tapering isn't like falling off the wagon KimberlyDi

Posted by Mercedes on November 10, 2003, at 19:05:00

In reply to Effexor tapering isn't like falling off the wagon zinya, posted by KimberlyDi on November 10, 2003, at 14:09:16

I agree KDi somewhat, however, my experience with the withdrawals have been like "falling off the wagon" in some ways. Even with Dr's advice, I've gone through what probably most drug addicts go through, whithout the help of the rehab place. I'm glad I never used "those" kinds of drugs, and even as I type, I'm getting the brain & body zaps, porqpine needles exiting my body.

What i'm trying to say is that going off Effexor or any other kind of potent AD should be closely monitored by a doctor, like rehab places do. My feeling is that the Pdocs are not paying attention to the patients complaints and/or are just giving another drug to offset that drug and then when we get like high blood pressure, they give you another drug and pretty soon you are on 5 to 10 efn medications!

Never mind...my brain is zapping and I don't know what I'm saying, except that I feel for all of you that are going through withdrawals. Hang in there and keep writing, cause it helps just to jot it down sometimes and hopefully we won't need the meds anymore.

"Mind over matter" is what a good freind told me. I have to find my "Mind" first and then the answer to "what's the Matter"? Sorry, bad joke.

LUV,
Mercedes


> Listen to Zinya, she knows! HI ZINYA!!! This isn't like heroin or alcohol and even if it were... in rehabs they switch you to a similar-type drug (methadone or librium) and decrease your dosage on that until withdrawal symptoms are gone. It's all about tapering. If the withdrawal is unbearable, you're quitting too quickly.
>
> Be kind to yourself
> KDi in TX

 

Re: Anyone had success on Effexor XR?

Posted by Nunaka on November 10, 2003, at 19:36:49

In reply to Anyone had success on Effexor XR? , posted by jp on October 24, 1999, at 14:59:14

Hello, I have been taking Effexor xr for about 2 weeks for depression and anxiety. I took the 37.5 for a week and then started on the 75. I am feeling much better, energized, happier, than I was on Zoloff. I have a couple of concerns. My interest in sex has dropped off drastically. I am a 50 year old, just married 3 years and I hope this is just temporary. I have been having terrible problems with insomnia and I manage to keep up the pace of the day, but I am really tired. I hope these effects are temporary. Today all the sudden I noticed a lot of background noise. I thought it was in my office,
but then I realized it was in my head. It is kind of like high pitched ear ringing or the chirping of a thousand crickets and it has been going on for a couple of hours. It is bad enough in this work environment, but I can't imagine what it will be like when I try to go to sleep in my quiet bedroom. Has anyone experienced this? If it continues tomorrow, I guess I should call my doctor, because it could really drive me up a wall. I have lost a little weight and that is a good thing, but for the most part, until today, it has really put me in a much better frame of mind. Please give me your imput. Thanks

 

Re: Effex. Withdrwl - How R U doing? Concerned..

Posted by Marlena on November 10, 2003, at 22:58:08

In reply to Re: Effex. Withdrwl - How R U doing? Concerned.. Francois, posted by Mercedes on November 10, 2003, at 13:13:58

I totally agree. And I am so glad I found this site. I "accidently" went cold turkey with Effexor when I ended up with a stomach virus and couldn't keep anything down -- including the Effexor. I was only off for 2 days, but I am stunned at the side effects I have had. I have been so dizzy. Also I had nightmares that were the worst I have every had. They were more like hallucinations and I couldn't wake up! NOt to mention the nervous shakes, crying spells and hot flashes. I talked to my doctor. I was hoping that I would not have to go back on it because the power that it has had on me frightens me. She said I have to get back on it now, but I am going to try to work my way back off and change meds. I have tried several others and have never had withdrawal like this. And for ME, the benefits have not been any better than other drugs. It's too "mind-altering" for me!
I wish I had know about the side effects BEFORE I started this drug.

 

Sexual side-effects Nunaka

Posted by Zellie on November 11, 2003, at 3:01:14

In reply to Re: Anyone had success on Effexor XR? , posted by Nunaka on November 10, 2003, at 19:36:49

I have been on Effexor XR since May. Titrated up slowly, and have been at 150 mg for about 3 months.

I read in the beginning that climax would cease but would resume after 6 weeks to 3 months, and it did. However, it is only about once a week or once every 2 weeks that I desire to climax. My husband of almost 20 years has been used to our making love 3-4 times a week, with both of us always having climaxed. At first he didn't like that I wasn't climaxing. I have been at peace with it, though. We are still making love as frequently, but most of the time I am very content just to give to him. When I do climax, it is nice, but I am happy that he does not pressure me to climax. I have had to reassure him that I am not missing out, since I feel no sexual tension (i.e. desire to climax) most of the time. Whenever I do feel it, I let him know, so both our needs are gettting met when I do and when I don't climax.

I am very grateful for the help the medication is giving me with the depression. I also have Generalized Anxiety Disorder (GAD)and ADHD, and the Effexor XR has helped dramatically in all areas.

Lately, I've begun having the voracious appetite I've heard so many acquire while on the med, so I've decided to buy and prepare tons of fresh fruit and veggies and dip, so I can gorge my appetite on healthy stuff...whole grain foods, with the use of fructose (this is NOT fruit sugar) instead of regualar sugar whenever sweetening is needed, to keep the level of sugar in my blood low (helps prevent weight gain if glycemic index is kept low). I am considering stopping coffee, since I suspect it may be making me more hungry. I love coffee! :(

Anyway, the Effexor has taken away the ball-and-chain that I have had to drag around all my life, that weighed me down so miserably. I am enjoying life for the first time ever, at 42 years of age. I have an amazing pyshician, who is a psychiatrist specializing in these areas. I love my G.P., but I do not want to be under the care of someone who is not expert in the treatment of Major Depression, GAD, OCD, ADHD, etc. etc.

By the way, tried Concerta with the Effexor to help with the ADHD, but it raised my anxiety level again, so I came off it again. It was worth the try, but sure enough, is not for people with GAD.

P.S. When titrating up with the Effexor, I found that at certain dosage levels I actually felt more depressed, until I got to the optimum level. It worked on the anxiety first, so with that lowered, the depression really took over, which was why I felt worse. But once the dosage was increased a couple of more times up to my current dose, I began feeling much, much better.

Kindest regards,
Zellie


> Hello, I have been taking Effexor xr for about 2 weeks for depression and anxiety. I took the 37.5 for a week and then started on the 75. I am feeling much better, energized, happier, than I was on Zoloff. I have a couple of concerns. My interest in sex has dropped off drastically. I am a 50 year old, just married 3 years and I hope this is just temporary. I have been having terrible problems with insomnia and I manage to keep up the pace of the day, but I am really tired. I hope these effects are temporary. Today all the sudden I noticed a lot of background noise. I thought it was in my office,
> but then I realized it was in my head. It is kind of like high pitched ear ringing or the chirping of a thousand crickets and it has been going on for a couple of hours. It is bad enough in this work environment, but I can't imagine what it will be like when I try to go to sleep in my quiet bedroom. Has anyone experienced this? If it continues tomorrow, I guess I should call my doctor, because it could really drive me up a wall. I have lost a little weight and that is a good thing, but for the most part, until today, it has really put me in a much better frame of mind. Please give me your imput. Thanks

 

Thanks. The good needs to be heard also (nm) Zellie

Posted by KimberlyDi on November 11, 2003, at 11:36:13

In reply to Sexual side-effects Nunaka, posted by Zellie on November 11, 2003, at 3:01:14

 

Withdrawal from venlafaxine

Posted by on-the-wave on November 11, 2003, at 13:11:14

In reply to Thanks. The good needs to be heard also (nm) Zellie, posted by KimberlyDi on November 11, 2003, at 11:36:13

I have been on effexor at 300mg for 3 years and have just had a break through in therapy in which i have recovered from about 20 years of depression. I am very anxious to ween myself off the effexor asap. I am worried that my GP will not know how to do this effectively because:

i. During taking the medication when I missed taking it in the morning, by the evening i would have headaches, dizziness, mood swings, etc.

ii. I tried to discontinue on my own about 12 months ago by reducing to 150mg for 1 week and 75mg for 3 days (75mg by approximating half a 150mg capsule)and experienced severe mood swings, feelings of total invincibility, elation, depression, anger, etc. This continued for about 10 days before i relented and continued the medication with almost immediate recovery to my medicated normalcy.

My current side effects are reduced sexual interest, not being able to urinate for long periods, impotence plus very vivid dreams.

Is there a strategy for tapering the effexor which i can refer my GP to.

 

Withdrawal from venlafaxine/effexor on-the-wave

Posted by KimberlyDi on November 11, 2003, at 14:59:03

In reply to Withdrawal from venlafaxine, posted by on-the-wave on November 11, 2003, at 13:11:14

I would taper from 300mg to 225mg for at least a week or until you feel ok again. Then go to 150, or an in-between dose. I think you need to plan your own withdrawal schedule, and be able to adjust it as needed.

KDi in TX

 

Re: Withdrawal from venlafaxine on-the-wave

Posted by Zellie on November 11, 2003, at 18:10:42

In reply to Withdrawal from venlafaxine, posted by on-the-wave on November 11, 2003, at 13:11:14

It is my understanding that the longer a person has had a history of depression, and the earlier the onset in life, the more likely they will benefit from continuing the medication therapy indefinitely.

Apparently there are people who have episodes of depression once or twice in their life, who can successfully go on and then off of anti-depressants, without recurring episodes. However, the greater the number of recurrences of episodes a person has had, the greater the likelihood that they will continue to occur.

I have suffered from major depression for as long as my memory goes back...4 years old perhaps. I have seen numerous physicians, including psychiatrists, psychologists, G.P.s, psychotherapists, etc, beginning back in the sixties. Back then, there were no answers. Even in the eighties there was little help in the way of medicine (valium, imiprimine).

Now that I have finally found a drug that gives me relief, hope, emotional stability, and peace, I have no desire to come off of it, so long as the benefits of it continue to outweigh the side effects.

My point is, most physicians seem very eager to wean their patients off anti-depressants as soon as possible, and the patients sometimes begin again to suffer depression. So I have to ask, why the urgency to go off the meds? If side-effects are unbearable, then I can easily see why. Otherwise, if there is a long history of continual or repeated depression, why stop the meds arbitrarily?

Moreover, I have also read in several places that if the patient returns to taking the anti-depressant later, the drug's efficacy may be substantially reduced, compared to the prior occassion of being on it.

Regarding sexual side-effects, if they do not ease up with time, then apparently viagara (for use by both men AND women)can be helpful. Also, apparently Wellbutrin has been used, taken a couple of hours prior to sex, with some success. Of course, this eliminates sponteneity, but, in my estimation, it is better than discontinuing the anti-depressant.

If you are resolved to go off the Effexor, then doing so extremely slowly is necessary. Others in this thread have posted methods they've discovered that can ease symptoms. Everyone is different, so you must find what works with your body chemistry, and you must weigh out the pros and cons.

Kindest regards,
Zellie

> I have been on effexor at 300mg for 3 years and have just had a break through in therapy in which i have recovered from about 20 years of depression. I am very anxious to ween myself off the effexor asap. I am worried that my GP will not know how to do this effectively because:
>
> i. During taking the medication when I missed taking it in the morning, by the evening i would have headaches, dizziness, mood swings, etc.
>
> ii. I tried to discontinue on my own about 12 months ago by reducing to 150mg for 1 week and 75mg for 3 days (75mg by approximating half a 150mg capsule)and experienced severe mood swings, feelings of total invincibility, elation, depression, anger, etc. This continued for about 10 days before i relented and continued the medication with almost immediate recovery to my medicated normalcy.
>
> My current side effects are reduced sexual interest, not being able to urinate for long periods, impotence plus very vivid dreams.
>
> Is there a strategy for tapering the effexor which i can refer my GP to.

 

Effexor XR Experiences, Withdrawals and Thoughts

Posted by Samadhi on November 11, 2003, at 21:09:47

In reply to Anyone had success on Effexor XR? , posted by jp on October 24, 1999, at 14:59:14

I was put on Effexor XR after trying various other Anti D's (ie: Zoloft, Aurorex, as well as Diazepam for anxiety and Tamazepam for sleep disturbance) and following the sudden and unexpected death of my Mother when I was 22 (just over a year ago). I went to my trusted GP and requested I be put on an Anti D again, and one I hadn't tried before. She suggested Effexor XR, told me it was a relatively new drug and she'd heard positive things about it, and I accepted her suggestion gratefully and without a second thought.
Well, my first week on Effexor was HELL. Shaking. Sweating. Insomnia. Nausea. Severe leg and other muscles spasms. Headaches. Confusion. Vivid dreams that stayed with me all day and felt real and disturbing and disorienting. No appetite. Emotions all over the place. But I stuck with it, thinking "it HAS to get better than this". And it did. And for a period of time it really helped me - it no doubt got me through my Mum's death and my subsequent year of deep depression and trauma.
But the side effects were ALWAYS strong (particularly the sweating, shaking, dreams, twitches) and scary, and it has now reached the point where the side effects so outweigh the benefits that I am weaning myself off. I was on 225mg and reduced to 150mg for a few weeks. No severe withdrawals, but I definitely noticed mood disturbances and a bit of nausea and increased sweating and vagueness - as well as extreme absent mindedness and memory issues.
Anyway, after a few weeks at 150mg I reduced again to 75mg, 2 days ago. Obviously it's too soon to say how that will affect me, so far I feel ok, a little "out of it" and lethargic, still sweaty, but otherwise standard. Nothing like the horror stories I have read on here (which helped me a lot, by the way, as I knew to decrease slowly) and none of the "brain zaps" or "porcupine needles" I have read about here. But I'll wait and see and won't speak too soon.
This board has been so helpful to me during my time on Effexor. I have experienced so many side effects and had so many foreign things occurring in my brain and body that I would have been terrified and confused about had I not been able to see other's experiences matched mine. Thankyou all!

 

Re: Effexor XR Experiences, Withdrawals and Thoughts Samadhi

Posted by Mercedes on November 12, 2003, at 5:40:29

In reply to Effexor XR Experiences, Withdrawals and Thoughts, posted by Samadhi on November 11, 2003, at 21:09:47

Samaldi? Sorry if the sp is wrong. First, my sincere condolences on the death of you mother. I lost my mom 3 yrs ago, and still miss her so much.

Your description of being on effexor, are exactly how I felt when I started. And always thinking, "it's got to get better". And it did. My worst titration up was when my Pdoc took me up from 300mgs to 350 and I started hallucinating. that's when I said Whoa, so I went back to 300.

It sounds like you are doing fine as you decrease you dosages. You are definatly going slower than me and please keep doing that. The one thing I learned is that all the side effects going up the ladder of effexor, I got the same SE's going off effexor.

I'm off completly now but had I to do it over agian (the decrease that is), I would have stayed on the lowest dose...37.5 at least three weeks, not one, like I did. And then, even after 3 weeks, go a 4th, even a 5th week and take your lowest dose by skipping a day till the side effects are gone. But this s/b monitored by your doctor. Unfortunatly, they don't take the drug.

Keep us posted ok. Your experience may be helpful to other future withdrawer's?

One good thing, is that the mental alertness is getting better for me, but I still have the zaps and the porqupine needles. And it's weird cause one day I'll have them real bad, then another day nothing, then again like today...Yikes!! Zaps and very unco-ordinated. They don't realy scare me anymore though. I just know I'm having withdrawals. What's funny is that when I was titrating up...I would read these posts about zaps and had no idea what people were refering to. Now I know. I reeeallly KNOW.

My blood pressure going haywire on me does scare me though. But you seem to be doing it right. Get off effexor slooooowly.

Good luck,
Mercedes
**************************************

> I was put on Effexor XR after trying various other Anti D's (ie: Zoloft, Aurorex, as well as Diazepam for anxiety and Tamazepam for sleep disturbance) and following the sudden and unexpected death of my Mother when I was 22 (just over a year ago). I went to my trusted GP and requested I be put on an Anti D again, and one I hadn't tried before. She suggested Effexor XR, told me it was a relatively new drug and she'd heard positive things about it, and I accepted her suggestion gratefully and without a second thought.
> Well, my first week on Effexor was HELL. Shaking. Sweating. Insomnia. Nausea. Severe leg and other muscles spasms. Headaches. Confusion. Vivid dreams that stayed with me all day and felt real and disturbing and disorienting. No appetite. Emotions all over the place. But I stuck with it, thinking "it HAS to get better than this". And it did. And for a period of time it really helped me - it no doubt got me through my Mum's death and my subsequent year of deep depression and trauma.
> But the side effects were ALWAYS strong (particularly the sweating, shaking, dreams, twitches) and scary, and it has now reached the point where the side effects so outweigh the benefits that I am weaning myself off. I was on 225mg and reduced to 150mg for a few weeks. No severe withdrawals, but I definitely noticed mood disturbances and a bit of nausea and increased sweating and vagueness - as well as extreme absent mindedness and memory issues.
> Anyway, after a few weeks at 150mg I reduced again to 75mg, 2 days ago. Obviously it's too soon to say how that will affect me, so far I feel ok, a little "out of it" and lethargic, still sweaty, but otherwise standard. Nothing like the horror stories I have read on here (which helped me a lot, by the way, as I knew to decrease slowly) and none of the "brain zaps" or "porcupine needles" I have read about here. But I'll wait and see and won't speak too soon.
> This board has been so helpful to me during my time on Effexor. I have experienced so many side effects and had so many foreign things occurring in my brain and body that I would have been terrified and confused about had I not been able to see other's experiences matched mine. Thankyou all!

 

Re: Withdrawal from venlafaxine

Posted by camel on November 12, 2003, at 7:21:44

In reply to Re: Withdrawal from venlafaxine on-the-wave, posted by Zellie on November 11, 2003, at 18:10:42

Zellie......I agree with you whole heartedly. I weaned myself off Paxil several months ago (after 3 years) as the side effects were beginning to get out of control but also because my husband urged me to try to get back to "normal". I never thought of myself as being depressed but after the death of my father ( a very slow and emotionaly draining experience) I realized I had to get help. The paxil was a dream come true...I was my "old" self again, the person I had been 20 years ago! After weaning myself off the paxil within 3 weeks I knew I had to go back to something...my GP recommended Effexor and so far so good. I accept the fact that I may need these the rest of my life, and with time and research I hope the drug companies can make further progress in finding a drug with less severe s/e.

 

Anyone on Effexor had mucous retention cysts?

Posted by Zellie on November 12, 2003, at 17:48:24

In reply to Re: Withdrawal from venlafaxine, posted by camel on November 12, 2003, at 7:21:44

Has anyone on Effexor had mucous retention cysts show up on the inside of their mouth, generally the lower lip area??? Curious.

The cyst is small, clear, and when it breaks open (since the bump makes you bite your lip often!) clear, salty fluid comes out. It heals over, and builds fluid again. Aparently it is a saliva gland that goes haywire for some reason. They do not yet know what causes them. The only way that the cysts generally go away is with surgery.

A friend of mine on Effexor XR had a mucous cyst appear during the summer, and had it removed in September. She had never had one before (she is in her 50s). Then I had the same thing appear, in the same location (inside bottom lip), and had it removed in October (I have never had one before in my 42 years). Just curious whether the "dry mouth" side effect that can occur with Effexor might also cause a cyst to occur. It's just odd that both she and I have never had this (and don't even know of anyone else who has), and then, within months of each other, we both developed a cyst in the same location. She began Effexor in the late winter, I in the spring.

Anyone have anything similar?

Kindest regards,
Zellie

 

Re: Effexor XR Experiences, Withdrawals and Thoughts Mercedes

Posted by Samadhi on November 12, 2003, at 19:21:00

In reply to Re: Effexor XR Experiences, Withdrawals and Thoughts Samadhi, posted by Mercedes on November 12, 2003, at 5:40:29

Thanks Mercedes. It's day 3 of 75mg now, and those withdrawals are sure kicking in. You're absolutely right about the same SE you get titrating up, you get them going down too. When I went from 225mg to 150mg, no extreme side effects. But I think I now know what a "zap" is...was lying in bed last night and thought I saw a flash of light. It startled me, so I looked towards my window, thinking it must have come from there. Then suddenly a massive "zap" of light hit me again and I realised it was in my head and eyes, not external. It scared the hell out of me and left me looking around confusedly. Am I on track here - have I finally felt the infamous "zap"? I still don't have porcupine needles though, touch wood.

As for hallucinating, yep, I've had that too, on 225mg only though. I actually heard a woman's voice whisper loudly to me "I'm going to eat you" in an empty room. That was when I decided to wean myself off. I've heard voices and hallucinated whilst on the higher dose. The "zap" experience last night was a bit like that, like an internal rapid hallucination of light followed by fear and confusion and exhaustion. Ugh. Gotta love it, eh? Can't wait to get off.

I don't know about my blood pressure...I have had heart palps since being on Effexor...but not sure if it has affected my blood pressure itself. I have always had low blood pressure anyway - maybe it's actually balanced that out for me!!!

Oddly, I am feeling very happy today. Cheerful and positive to the extreme. Very unusual and not what I would expect to be feeling on day 3 of withdrawals. Good, though!

Woke up in the early hours of the morning bathed in sweat and trembling from the dark dreams. But I knew it was just withdrawals, so I'm handling it.

This board is invaluable to deal with this process!!!

xxx

> Samaldi? Sorry if the sp is wrong. First, my sincere condolences on the death of you mother. I lost my mom 3 yrs ago, and still miss her so much.
>
> Your description of being on effexor, are exactly how I felt when I started. And always thinking, "it's got to get better". And it did. My worst titration up was when my Pdoc took me up from 300mgs to 350 and I started hallucinating. that's when I said Whoa, so I went back to 300.
>
> It sounds like you are doing fine as you decrease you dosages. You are definatly going slower than me and please keep doing that. The one thing I learned is that all the side effects going up the ladder of effexor, I got the same SE's going off effexor.
>
> I'm off completly now but had I to do it over agian (the decrease that is), I would have stayed on the lowest dose...37.5 at least three weeks, not one, like I did. And then, even after 3 weeks, go a 4th, even a 5th week and take your lowest dose by skipping a day till the side effects are gone. But this s/b monitored by your doctor. Unfortunatly, they don't take the drug.
>
> Keep us posted ok. Your experience may be helpful to other future withdrawer's?
>
> One good thing, is that the mental alertness is getting better for me, but I still have the zaps and the porqupine needles. And it's weird cause one day I'll have them real bad, then another day nothing, then again like today...Yikes!! Zaps and very unco-ordinated. They don't realy scare me anymore though. I just know I'm having withdrawals. What's funny is that when I was titrating up...I would read these posts about zaps and had no idea what people were refering to. Now I know. I reeeallly KNOW.
>
> My blood pressure going haywire on me does scare me though. But you seem to be doing it right. Get off effexor slooooowly.
>
> Good luck,
> Mercedes
> **************************************
>
> > I was put on Effexor XR after trying various other Anti D's (ie: Zoloft, Aurorex, as well as Diazepam for anxiety and Tamazepam for sleep disturbance) and following the sudden and unexpected death of my Mother when I was 22 (just over a year ago). I went to my trusted GP and requested I be put on an Anti D again, and one I hadn't tried before. She suggested Effexor XR, told me it was a relatively new drug and she'd heard positive things about it, and I accepted her suggestion gratefully and without a second thought.
> > Well, my first week on Effexor was HELL. Shaking. Sweating. Insomnia. Nausea. Severe leg and other muscles spasms. Headaches. Confusion. Vivid dreams that stayed with me all day and felt real and disturbing and disorienting. No appetite. Emotions all over the place. But I stuck with it, thinking "it HAS to get better than this". And it did. And for a period of time it really helped me - it no doubt got me through my Mum's death and my subsequent year of deep depression and trauma.
> > But the side effects were ALWAYS strong (particularly the sweating, shaking, dreams, twitches) and scary, and it has now reached the point where the side effects so outweigh the benefits that I am weaning myself off. I was on 225mg and reduced to 150mg for a few weeks. No severe withdrawals, but I definitely noticed mood disturbances and a bit of nausea and increased sweating and vagueness - as well as extreme absent mindedness and memory issues.
> > Anyway, after a few weeks at 150mg I reduced again to 75mg, 2 days ago. Obviously it's too soon to say how that will affect me, so far I feel ok, a little "out of it" and lethargic, still sweaty, but otherwise standard. Nothing like the horror stories I have read on here (which helped me a lot, by the way, as I knew to decrease slowly) and none of the "brain zaps" or "porcupine needles" I have read about here. But I'll wait and see and won't speak too soon.
> > This board has been so helpful to me during my time on Effexor. I have experienced so many side effects and had so many foreign things occurring in my brain and body that I would have been terrified and confused about had I not been able to see other's experiences matched mine. Thankyou all!
>
>

 

Re: Effexor XR Experiences, Withdrawals and Thoughts Samadhi

Posted by Mercedes on November 13, 2003, at 2:07:48

In reply to Re: Effexor XR Experiences, Withdrawals and Thoughts Mercedes, posted by Samadhi on November 12, 2003, at 19:21:00

Sorry Sahmadi....I don't think you've had the infamous "zaps" yet. However the light thing you describe seems to be a hallucination, similar to what I also experienced.

One of my "weird" hallucinations was in the middle of the day, I was on my reclyner watching TV, and I saw...don't laugh ok...these 3 little skinny ET looking creatures in my perifial vision. They were black in color, and had very skinny arms and long poiny fingers. Only saw them from the waist up and for a moment. I even drew them on a peice of paper and showed the drawing to my Pdoc. I had the most vivid memory of what they looked like. Another was when my occilating fan, suddenly had a face. Another was a faceless bald man with outstreached arms as if he was going for my throat. He had no legs though. My pdoc said that could be from my PTSD. That's when he lowered my dose of effexor from 350 to 300, T.G. And I stayed on 300mgs for about 10 months maybe.

Some of the things I constantly complained to my Pdoc about was my inablility to concentrate, comprehend, retain info, short term memory loss, migranes, sensitivity to light, blurred vision, etc. while on Effexor. Fortunatly some of the SE's are disapearing slowly the longer I'm off Effexor. It will be one month on the 14th!

THE question I have is...are any of the SE's I've listed above going to be permanent???? No one will answer that. I really feel my IQ has suffered.

I didn't start getting the "zaps", or as some people call them "electric shocks" until I was off Effexor completly. OH.....MY.....GOD!

But then again, I was on my lowest dose, 37.5 mgs for only one week, then quit Effexor completly. I shuda stayed on 37.5 for at least 2-3 weeks. So please do spend longer on your lower doses....then again, some people here have stated that they didn't have any withdrawals whatsoever. I guess it affects everyone differently?

Yesterday I had the zaps really bad accompanied with lack of co-ordination, dizzyness, and today none....go figure.

Anyway, I enjoyed your stories. Makes me feel "not-so-weird". Oh, did I mention I've never ever done illegal drugs? So these hallucinations were very new and scary to me.

Keep us posted.
Mercedes

***************************************
> Thanks Mercedes. It's day 3 of 75mg now, and those withdrawals are sure kicking in. You're absolutely right about the same SE you get titrating up, you get them going down too. When I went from 225mg to 150mg, no extreme side effects. But I think I now know what a "zap" is...was lying in bed last night and thought I saw a flash of light. It startled me, so I looked towards my window, thinking it must have come from there. Then suddenly a massive "zap" of light hit me again and I realised it was in my head and eyes, not external. It scared the hell out of me and left me looking around confusedly. Am I on track here - have I finally felt the infamous "zap"? I still don't have porcupine needles though, touch wood.
>
> As for hallucinating, yep, I've had that too, on 225mg only though. I actually heard a woman's voice whisper loudly to me "I'm going to eat you" in an empty room. That was when I decided to wean myself off. I've heard voices and hallucinated whilst on the higher dose. The "zap" experience last night was a bit like that, like an internal rapid hallucination of light followed by fear and confusion and exhaustion. Ugh. Gotta love it, eh? Can't wait to get off.
>
> I don't know about my blood pressure...I have had heart palps since being on Effexor...but not sure if it has affected my blood pressure itself. I have always had low blood pressure anyway - maybe it's actually balanced that out for me!!!
>
> Oddly, I am feeling very happy today. Cheerful and positive to the extreme. Very unusual and not what I would expect to be feeling on day 3 of withdrawals. Good, though!
>
> Woke up in the early hours of the morning bathed in sweat and trembling from the dark dreams. But I knew it was just withdrawals, so I'm handling it.
>
> This board is invaluable to deal with this process!!!
>
> xxx

 

Re: Effexor XR Experiences, Withdrawals and Thoughts

Posted by on-the-wave on November 13, 2003, at 13:15:20

In reply to Re: Effexor XR Experiences, Withdrawals and Thoughts Samadhi, posted by Mercedes on November 13, 2003, at 2:07:48

Mercedes, Samadhi

Thanks for your discussion, I was supposed to kick off reducing my dose today, but lost the courage after reading all the stories. I unfortunately cancelled my appointment, so have to wait till next apointment to get a prescription.

Is 300 to 225 ok for the first drop. While depressed i tried dropping to 225 and all the benefits of the effexor evaporated into hopelessness, mood swings, anger, lack of control, etc.

I think i am passed the mood swings, anger, lack of control, etc., as a result of progress with emotional/depression issues (I hope).

I also experienced all the physical SE that you describe on first taking effexor, however after months of trying another drug i was so relieved to experience some reaction i didn't mind the SE (night sweats, dizzyness, confusion, lack of concentration, etc, etc.) After almost 3 years on 300mg i dont have many SE (or don't notice them as much) other than sex drive and inability to pee unless i concentrate (sometimes for 10-15mins).

Thanks

 

Re: Effexor XR Experiences, Withdrawals and Thoughts on-the-wave

Posted by KimberlyDi on November 13, 2003, at 15:36:33

In reply to Re: Effexor XR Experiences, Withdrawals and Thoughts, posted by on-the-wave on November 13, 2003, at 13:15:20

otw:

I made the 300 to 225 drop at the beginning of October 2003. I noticed the difference by the 4th day. During almost all my drops, my moodiness has increased and waves of depression wiped me out. Then things would even out and I would feel better.

I think the mood swings have nothing to do with coping skills learned during the "drug vacation" from depression. The brain's flow of chemicals will have to adjust, and every adjustment will probably mess with our emotions.
Bummer!

300 to 225 is probably safe but unpleasant. I think 37.5mg a week drops would be the easiest to manage if you had the luxury of taking 2-3 months to withdrawal.

Don't be too afraid. I'm down from 300mgs to 75mgs a day so far. I've kept my sanity (i think!).

:) KDi in TX

 

Re: Effexor XR Experiences, Withdrawals and Though

Posted by Salty_Dog on November 13, 2003, at 21:49:29

In reply to Re: Effexor XR Experiences, Withdrawals and Thoughts, posted by on-the-wave on November 13, 2003, at 13:15:20

Hello All,

I have dropped from 600 mg to 450 mg. This is day five and so far I am doing FINE. I have soreness from muscle tension and a sore throat each morning from tensing my jaw during sleep as well as other little complaintants. In two or three days I will drop to 300 mg x 7 days, then 225 mg x 7 days, 150 mg x 7 days, 75 mg x 7 days

If it wasn't for the lack of energy as well as some other smaller proublems ( "O" ), I would continue at 600 mg. All and All, I think the effectiveness of this dosage has reached the point of diminishing returns. The triggers which set off one of my deepest depressions has passed and the AD are messing with the balance I need to maintain as a Bi-Polar. My Dr. tells it this way --- What do you get when you cross a Bi-Polar (Untreated) with a AD ???

The answer of course is a Manic or even Hyper-Manic (Postal) I think, in almost every case of someone who has gone 'Postal' there lurks some recent AD drug history. Just a theory.....


Good luch to all

 

Re: effexor

Posted by skyboy451 on November 14, 2003, at 6:39:46

In reply to effexor and drinking, posted by Jane on April 15, 2000, at 4:01:54

i just started taking effexor-xr 75mg ,daily. i have lots of jaw tension and sleeplessness, wich really sets off my anxiety. i hope this passes quickly. does effexor help with paranoia and related anxiety? im new to all this.

 

Re: effexor

Posted by Zellie on November 14, 2003, at 11:05:09

In reply to Re: effexor, posted by skyboy451 on November 14, 2003, at 6:39:46

Muscle tension, cramps, twitches, etc. are common. So is sleeplessness. These things subsided in time with me, as was predicted. My Pdoc had me titrate up very, very slowly...37.5 for one month, then 75 for 5 weeks, 112.5 for 8 weeks, then for the last many months I've been at 150, which I am hoping to remain at. My body has had time to adjust to the meds with each increase, so the side-effects have been minimal, compared to what I am hearing some have had. I know that if I were to ever come off of this, he would titrate me down over an even longer duration than I went up. This seems to be key. I have very, very little in the way of side-effects now, and what I do have, I am learning strategies to keep them minimized.

As for drinking while on anti-depressants, I wouldn't at all. Alcohol is a depressant, not to mention, the interaction with any meds isn't all that certain.

Hope all goes well.

Kindest regards,
Zellie

 

Re: effexor

Posted by Zellie on November 14, 2003, at 11:07:50

In reply to Re: effexor, posted by skyboy451 on November 14, 2003, at 6:39:46

Sorry, forgot to add that Effexor is very effective for reducing paranoia and anxiety.

Kindest regards,
Zellie

 

Re: Effexor tapering isn't like falling off the wa KimberlyDi

Posted by zinya on November 14, 2003, at 18:36:42

In reply to Effexor tapering isn't like falling off the wagon zinya, posted by KimberlyDi on November 10, 2003, at 14:09:16

hi Kim!

That last post of mine was, unwittingly, on the edge of a cybermuda triangle blackout... My internal computer 'clock' battery died, my e-mail and internet were both 'corrupted' and after my 'puter spending the whole week in the "mind shop" (as opposed to body shop), to the tune of $300, i've lost ALL my internet bookmarks/links and my e-mail address book -- 4 years' worth of accumulated and organized accesses to everything under the sun, gone...

erg, aargh, ugh...

i'm back but also with bummer headache and backache so i'll be short ... just to say 'hi' and sign in... the usual ups and downs of life thus being all i have to report... only Effexor-related in the sense that -- as i reported last weekend in those posts -- this whole barrage of carpal tunnel and foot torn-ligament reactivation seems to be related to the paresthesias (nerve-frying) symptom of Eff. w/d...

I'm still down to 9 mg - since about 10 days ago... and i forget or fall asleep too early just enough nights that i don't have to program in the next stage which is skipping the 9 mg dose every other night ... But after that happened again 2 nights ago, i still was vulnerable enough to feel zappy stuff by last night and know i couldn't go two nights yet without it... I'll keep doing it like this for a while longer...

The loss of my whole computer network of connections this week was making me feel amputated, addicted to internet needing an IA group to attend, etc., all week but it still didn't prep me for last night when i actually came home with "repaired" 'puter and was faced with the reality of not only no addresses/bookmarking but also "upgraded" (hah!) versions of both Internet Explorer and Outlook Exp the guy had installed upon claiming my corrupted programs were unrecoverable ... And so i don't know my way around the new programs either -- as well as all that sense of loss (of info) and i just found myself completely retapped into the grief of my mom's loss (which is now 16 months ago) and weeping ... probably worse due to only 4 hrs sleep the night before for some reason - unusually little sleep for me in recent times ...

so i'm kind of a mess :) ... but i did force myself this week, wrist and ankle braces notwithstanding, to build a couple more of the shelves i'd been unable to have even the will to do since moving in here with my mom, and then never could manage cuz i'd no more than bought this house for her and moved us both in her (she had alzheimer's) than came the belated diagnosis that she had cancer as well... And it's only been since mid-Sept (not coincidentally, i think, AFTER i started tapering down from Effexor on Sept 3) that i'd finally actually started "moving in' to this home which i still have days of wondering why i'm living here.... But i'm not depressed anymore, not in the way that i may have been (i'm not sure any more what it was) all last winter and spring, at least i have the will to make this house into a home and feel 'moved into'...especially with bunches of friends descending here at christmas time and the place still in chaos... But still any loss, like this loss of computer and all access #s for people, taps me back into such grief...

Did sleep last night but today awoke with one of these outrageous left-temple headaches that i get (since before Effexor) and tend to last 3 days...

okay, i'm repeating myself. Enough.. This was only supposed to be a Hi! back to you, dear Kim... and hope all's going well on your own offramp since you last wrote...

hugs to Kim and all,
zinya

 

Re: Anyone had success on Effexor XR?

Posted by Lacey2001 on November 15, 2003, at 1:05:57

In reply to Anyone had success on Effexor XR? , posted by jp on October 24, 1999, at 14:59:14

Hi everyone. I was incredibly happy to see this board. I have recently started taking Effexor XR this week. I have been on it for 7 days now. I was feeling down for a few years and was always too shy or embarassed bringing it up to anyone at all but finally thought to myself that I am sick of feeling like this. It seems to be getting worse since my only daughter was born two years ago.
My Dr. put me on Effexor XR 37.5 mg for the first 7 days, and today I moved up to 75 mg. The past week has been awful for no sleep at all. I feel like a zombie all during the day. The first two days I was quite sick to my stomach but thought Iw ould hold it out and at least that feeling went away. Now I am stuck with no sleep. Does this seem to go away because I couldn't handle this all the time?
Another question I have is the price of this prescription? I am from Canada and I want to know from anyone really not just a fellow Canadian if it is expensive?
One more question is how it affects everyone's sex drive? I didn't have one to begin with so I hope this doesn't destory it completely.
I am excited to have all of you to chat with. Take care.
Lacey

 

Re: Anyone had success on Effexor XR?

Posted by awatts on November 15, 2003, at 8:53:30

In reply to Re: Anyone had success on Effexor XR? , posted by Lacey2001 on November 15, 2003, at 1:05:57

Hi Lacey,
Most of your side effects except the sexual ones should go away or at least get a lot better. ONLY take it in the morning to help with sleep. You probably won't realize any benefits until you are up to 150mg/day. Effexor XR is the only AD that has worked for me. I take 225mg. Sex drive is gone, but the depression was worse.
Good luck.
Alan

> Hi everyone. I was incredibly happy to see this board. I have recently started taking Effexor XR this week. I have been on it for 7 days now. I was feeling down for a few years and was always too shy or embarassed bringing it up to anyone at all but finally thought to myself that I am sick of feeling like this. It seems to be getting worse since my only daughter was born two years ago.
> My Dr. put me on Effexor XR 37.5 mg for the first 7 days, and today I moved up to 75 mg. The past week has been awful for no sleep at all. I feel like a zombie all during the day. The first two days I was quite sick to my stomach but thought Iw ould hold it out and at least that feeling went away. Now I am stuck with no sleep. Does this seem to go away because I couldn't handle this all the time?
> Another question I have is the price of this prescription? I am from Canada and I want to know from anyone really not just a fellow Canadian if it is expensive?
> One more question is how it affects everyone's sex drive? I didn't have one to begin with so I hope this doesn't destory it completely.
> I am excited to have all of you to chat with. Take care.
> Lacey


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