Psycho-Babble Medication Thread 1016

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Re: Snake: How long does withdrawal last?

Posted by LynnM. on August 11, 2004, at 16:33:05

In reply to Re: Snake: How long does withdrawal last?, posted by carissa on August 11, 2004, at 14:34:25

carissa,
I promise it DOES get better. Hang in there. I've been off Effexor about 1.5 months, now. My withdrawal symptoms are slowly "withdrawing". I only feel a few brain zaps now and then, but I am still trying to cope with the impaired memory. It's slowly coming back, I hope.

 

A Note of Thanks

Posted by Andy2004 on August 12, 2004, at 14:27:27

In reply to Effexor withdrawal - very bad news, posted by janey on November 1, 1998, at 16:30:34

A _sincere_ note of thanks to all of you who have shared their withdrawal experiences from the slow poison known as Effexor XR. Being in my second (or is it third or fourth?) day of cold-turkey from 225mg ... I now understand that these symptoms of brain-zaps, vertigo and violent bursts of crying are common ... tomarrow may be the worst day, maybe the day after.
I am finding that trying to remain still is very helpful, as is plenty of good clean water and a supply of kleenex ... and the awareness / remembrance that these are the effects of poison and not my final days on Earth.
How did this stuff ever make it to market ?

Never to take AD's again,
--Andy2004

 

Re: Effexor withdrawal - very bad news

Posted by pandareina on August 13, 2004, at 10:54:41

In reply to Re: Effexor withdrawal - very bad news, posted by pandareina on July 10, 2004, at 23:39:18

I first wrote on 7/10 regarding my attempt to leave Effexor behind. I am not good at writing, but I have been following the thread ever since. This place provided me the support and assurance that I am not alone ... thank you all!

Well I am still taking very small amounts of Effexor XR ... I am at about 25 pellets right now ... yep - 25 pellets of the hundreds in each 75mg capsule ... and I still get withdrawal symptoms when I skip a day! Sometimes I think I am over doing the slow detachment from this drug, but the symptoms are there to remind me that despite of the amount you take, your body reacts in a negative manner when you deprive it of this "medicine".

So my strategy has been been 3-4 pellets less per every couple of days. So far so good, I still have a couple of wekks left before I am done ... My fiancee tells me that I will be down to one pellet and will not be able to let it go ever!!!! :) Let's hope not.

I tried stopping cold turkey at the 32.5 mg mark and suffered for about 10 days, each being worse than the day before ... I could not do it any longer and I popped a pill in ... :(

This is my experience that I wanted to share with you ... once I am free of this drug I will write again to make a summary of how long it took me ...

God Bless and good luck to you.

V.


> I have been reading this thread - may have read most of it, actually ... and I want to share my story:
>
> I have been taking Effexor for over 4 years - usually 150 mg a day, and I was taking 225 mg a day for the last couple of months.
>
> I am one of those "for-lifers" in this med, as per my doctor (I have chronic depression). However, I want to start a family and want to do so drug free. I have been reducing my intake every 7 days or so (225 to 150 to 75 to 1/2 a capsule (37.5 approx) to none).
>
> I have to say that when I was down to 37.5 I started saying 'I do not get this thing about having a terrible time getting of Effexor" because I have had none of the feelings I experienced when I used to forget taking a pill for a day or so ...then I stopped altogether taking effexor ... 24 hours later - the shocks, and all those other well known symptoms started creeping up. Then I realized that it does not matter the size of the dosage ... my ears go zoom-zoom, my brain falls behind when I turn my head ... the nausea ... the poopies ... the confusion ... But thank God, I have no depression - on the contrary, I cannot sleep. I am hyper, happy (too happy), calm and in control.
>
> This is my 4rd day without Effexor - the symptoms are now stronger than yesterday, and I am starting to feel a bit fed up with them. I want to tough it out - I do not want to take another type of pill or take some Effexor to take the edge off. I am looking forward to my crazy dreams ...or nightmares ... they can be fun and very scary too.
>
> Has anyone out there though it out - cold Turkey, can it be done? Will I go crazy before I succeed? I keep reading the thread - I have so many meds I can take - from Claritin to Vicadin to Clonapin (spelling) to pot to 5HTP and Omegas and good Vitamins ... the need for relief grows with every passing hour ... How much stronger the symptoms will/can get?
>
> I am so shocked with the addiction level of this med ... Effexor has saved me, after trying so many failed antidepressants. How sad to know now the price I have to pay for being saved by it.
>
> Ok, enough rambling - I am going to try to sleep some.
>
> Sorry for the grammar and spelling and rumbled thoughts - this is my brain ...this is my brain freshly out of Effexor! :)
>
> V.
>

 

Re: Effexor withdrawal - very bad news

Posted by itsrick on August 13, 2004, at 12:21:04

In reply to Re: Effexor withdrawal - very bad news, posted by pandareina on August 13, 2004, at 10:54:41

hi,
trick to reduction (according to my new doc who helps people get off this garbage) is to go slow, reduce in increments once every two weeks and reduce not in equal parts but in equal % to the whole. so one week you might reduce 20 pellets and two weeks later remove 30 and two weeks later 35 etc

r

> I first wrote on 7/10 regarding my attempt to leave Effexor behind. I am not good at writing, but I have been following the thread ever since. This place provided me the support and assurance that I am not alone ... thank you all!
>
> Well I am still taking very small amounts of Effexor XR ... I am at about 25 pellets right now ... yep - 25 pellets of the hundreds in each 75mg capsule ... and I still get withdrawal symptoms when I skip a day! Sometimes I think I am over doing the slow detachment from this drug, but the symptoms are there to remind me that despite of the amount you take, your body reacts in a negative manner when you deprive it of this "medicine".
>
> So my strategy has been been 3-4 pellets less per every couple of days. So far so good, I still have a couple of wekks left before I am done ... My fiancee tells me that I will be down to one pellet and will not be able to let it go ever!!!! :) Let's hope not.
>
> I tried stopping cold turkey at the 32.5 mg mark and suffered for about 10 days, each being worse than the day before ... I could not do it any longer and I popped a pill in ... :(
>
> This is my experience that I wanted to share with you ... once I am free of this drug I will write again to make a summary of how long it took me ...
>
> God Bless and good luck to you.
>
> V.
>
>
> > I have been reading this thread - may have read most of it, actually ... and I want to share my story:
> >
> > I have been taking Effexor for over 4 years - usually 150 mg a day, and I was taking 225 mg a day for the last couple of months.
> >
> > I am one of those "for-lifers" in this med, as per my doctor (I have chronic depression). However, I want to start a family and want to do so drug free. I have been reducing my intake every 7 days or so (225 to 150 to 75 to 1/2 a capsule (37.5 approx) to none).
> >
> > I have to say that when I was down to 37.5 I started saying 'I do not get this thing about having a terrible time getting of Effexor" because I have had none of the feelings I experienced when I used to forget taking a pill for a day or so ...then I stopped altogether taking effexor ... 24 hours later - the shocks, and all those other well known symptoms started creeping up. Then I realized that it does not matter the size of the dosage ... my ears go zoom-zoom, my brain falls behind when I turn my head ... the nausea ... the poopies ... the confusion ... But thank God, I have no depression - on the contrary, I cannot sleep. I am hyper, happy (too happy), calm and in control.
> >
> > This is my 4rd day without Effexor - the symptoms are now stronger than yesterday, and I am starting to feel a bit fed up with them. I want to tough it out - I do not want to take another type of pill or take some Effexor to take the edge off. I am looking forward to my crazy dreams ...or nightmares ... they can be fun and very scary too.
> >
> > Has anyone out there though it out - cold Turkey, can it be done? Will I go crazy before I succeed? I keep reading the thread - I have so many meds I can take - from Claritin to Vicadin to Clonapin (spelling) to pot to 5HTP and Omegas and good Vitamins ... the need for relief grows with every passing hour ... How much stronger the symptoms will/can get?
> >
> > I am so shocked with the addiction level of this med ... Effexor has saved me, after trying so many failed antidepressants. How sad to know now the price I have to pay for being saved by it.
> >
> > Ok, enough rambling - I am going to try to sleep some.
> >
> > Sorry for the grammar and spelling and rumbled thoughts - this is my brain ...this is my brain freshly out of Effexor! :)
> >
> > V.
> >
>
>

 

Re: Snake: How long does withdrawal last?

Posted by carissa on August 13, 2004, at 16:04:23

In reply to Re: Snake: How long does withdrawal last?, posted by LynnM. on August 11, 2004, at 16:33:05

thanks for the words of encouragement lynn. it is the dizziness and brain zaps that get to me the most, although lately it has been headaches and nausea that have been worrisome. i just started a new job and can't afford to be taking time off, so most of the time i go to work feeling like crap...uuuugh!!!

 

Re: Snake: How long does withdrawal last?

Posted by carissa on August 13, 2004, at 16:13:09

In reply to Re: Snake: How long does withdrawal last?, posted by carissa on August 13, 2004, at 16:04:23

oh my goodness! someone mentioned wooshimg in the ears. i noticed that too. i thought i was just being a hypochondriac. it sure helps to know that i'm not alone. however, i wish all of you well in recovering from this. my doc told me that some people have trouble coming off the drug, but i had no idea.

 

Re: Effexor withdrawal - very bad news

Posted by sha on August 13, 2004, at 23:23:55

In reply to Re: Effexor withdrawal - very bad news, posted by itsrick on August 13, 2004, at 12:21:04

i actually stopped taking effexor cold turkey it is going on three weeks. The first week was terrible but i have to say thank god i feel better now. Dont get me wrong i have my days and i do get depresed i just try and focus on other things like i joined weight watchers because i feel effexor contributed to my weight gain i would like to lose about 20 pounds. I also started seeing a therapist which i never thought i do and i began excersising. I am trying my best so that is all i can do it is tough dont get me wrong. I found this site to be very helpful and a lot of very nice people. Write back i would love to know how you are doing and why did you go on in the first place? talk to you soon

 

Re: Snake: How long does withdrawal last? carissa

Posted by lorily on August 14, 2004, at 6:21:41

In reply to Re: Snake: How long does withdrawal last?, posted by carissa on August 13, 2004, at 16:13:09

The enormity of this withdrawal is frightening. Probably one of the reasons it took me a while to attempt getting off. I am so happy that I did it. Off the depakote (which me and my therapist never thought i needed anyway) and the effexor. still need to take about 25 mg of trazadone or i'm up and down all night. The ONLY problem with not taking all these meds is that I forget to take my thyroid medication!!!!!!!
Today I'm quitting, or have quit rather, smoking. I put the patch on about 2 hours ago, so far so good. Normally I'd have had at least 5 get the day going cigarettes. I know this is going to be tough.
The thing with the effexor, you don't crave it like cigs and alcohol. Nothing is like the alcohol detox, effexor was a piece of cake compared to that.
It's been a solid month since no effexor at all, I weaned off of 37.5 for about 2 weeks, 1/2 to a little less every couple days, then every day the granules got halfed. Reading posts here, I was scared the side effects would have been a lot longer, but i really feel good. Good luck to you and anyone getting off.

 

Re: Snake: How long does withdrawal last? carissa

Posted by lorily on August 14, 2004, at 6:24:50

In reply to Re: Snake: How long does withdrawal last?, posted by carissa on August 13, 2004, at 16:04:23

try dramamine for the nausea, maybe it's your equilibrium that makes your stomach sick. It seemed to help me, I hated that feeling that the elevator had suddenly stopped when you turned your head or even your eyes, LOL Still having the headaches ehre and there but I think it's from smoking *which I quit today)

 

Re: Snake: How long does withdrawal last?

Posted by carissa on August 14, 2004, at 12:19:12

In reply to Re: Snake: How long does withdrawal last? carissa, posted by lorily on August 14, 2004, at 6:24:50

lorily-
hmmm.. dramimine...that makes sense. i think i'll try it. thanks for the tip. good luck with the smoking. as far as the effexor withdrawl, it sounds like you're over the worst of it. i am now taking welbutrin which actually took away my urge to smoke. i haven't smoked for two weeks. maybe some of my symptoms are related to that. but i'm not turning back. hopefully it's uphill from here. i have found clonapin to be helpful, but they are extremely addictive so i use them sparingly. well, good luck to all.

 

Re: Snake: How long does withdrawal last? carissa

Posted by lorily on August 15, 2004, at 14:52:20

In reply to Re: Snake: How long does withdrawal last?, posted by carissa on August 14, 2004, at 12:19:12

Thanks for the encouragement. I considered strongly asking my doctor for welbutrin for the smoking thing, but I just got off AD and you know............
Today is day 2 without a cigarette. Yesterday was a breeze. Today is like the storm rolling in. I was bored and dying for a cig. I did my bills, balanced the checkbook, did the budget for the coming weeks, cleaned out all the old receipts and outdated paperwork from my desk, vacumned the apartment and took the dog for an hour walk. I'm using the patch which I know doesn't come near the same nicotine level as if I were smoking, but it does help with the physical effects. I'm just dying to get that burn sucking on a cigarette!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
AAAAAAAAAACCCCCCCKKKKKKKKKKKKKKKKKKKKKKKKKKK

 

Re: Snake: How long does withdrawal last?

Posted by carissa on August 15, 2004, at 15:32:10

In reply to Re: Snake: How long does withdrawal last? carissa, posted by lorily on August 15, 2004, at 14:52:20

lorily-
LOL wow, sounds like you've been very busy!!! well, all i can say is try and hang in. it will be worth it. today my digestive tract is giving me hell. i went to brunch with a friend and had to go straight home. uuuuugh...good thing i have a drs. appt. on monday. sending positive energy to you all. peace-christine

 

Re: Snake: How long does withdrawal last? carissa

Posted by lorily on August 16, 2004, at 8:23:34

In reply to Re: Snake: How long does withdrawal last?, posted by carissa on August 15, 2004, at 15:32:10

Digestive problems---got those too. I have an allergy to wheat, Celiac's Disease. Have to be on a gluten-free diet for the rest of my life. You'd think, OK, so I just don't eat bread and pasta, no biggie. WRONG. No wonder they have support groups for this. Gluten is found in everything, under disguised names of course, like caramel coloring, food flavorings, and many many more.

 

Re: Snake: How long does withdrawal last?

Posted by carissa on August 18, 2004, at 16:51:36

In reply to Re: Snake: How long does withdrawal last?, posted by carissa on August 15, 2004, at 15:32:10

a couple of days with minimal symptoms... woo hoo

 

Re: Effexor withdrawal - very bad news

Posted by Andrew Phelps on September 10, 2004, at 21:26:42

In reply to Effexor withdrawal - very bad news, posted by janey on November 1, 1998, at 16:30:34

I am 19, I have been dealing with the symptoms of depression for possible 5 or 6 years now, and as of only two weeks ago did I try a medication. Due to illegal substance abuse through highschool my problems were not recognized, but after having nearly a year of sobriety, I find I truly need help. I recently tried Lexapro, but did not sleep for 50+ hours straight, followed by 1 hour of sleep, which I then woke up from with a migraine that lasted over 8 hours. I called my doctor and stopped immediately. As of yesterday I am trying a new medication, Effexor, which has led me to this website. I was told by my doctor that if I am to stop taking Effexor I should immediately seek medical attention. I then spoke with a friend of the family, who is a well credited psyciatrist. I asked him what he knew and he tried to explain the severity of the withdrawl. Seeking more information I searched the web for some personal responses to the withdrawl from Effexor. I am now quite worried as I am young, in great physical health, and have extensive plans for my future. Although I truly feel I need help through medication, and don't want to take the risk of not taking it, I don't want to happen to me what I have just read. Please respond to this or email me personally with advice. I am very concerned. Thankyou.

Andrew Phelps

 

Re: Effexor withdrawal - very bad news

Posted by Phamos818 on September 11, 2004, at 2:57:22

In reply to Re: Effexor withdrawal - very bad news, posted by Andrew Phelps on September 10, 2004, at 21:26:42

effexor is a hard drug to come off of after you've been on it, so you should consider that before you go on it. i've had great success with it myself, however. there are other drugs where the withdrawal isn't so bad that maybe your doc could consider first -- like wellbutrin?

what concerns me more is the reaction you had to your last antidepressant. often teenagers will present with depression as their first bipolar episode. you can usually tell if someone's really bipolar rather than just depressive if taking an antidepressant makes them manic/hypomanic. from your description of not sleeping, i would guess that's what happened to you. you should mention this to your doctor. it's very possible that if you are actually bipolar, taking antidepressants will just continue causing the same reaction. you might want to ask about lamictal. it's a mood stabilizing drug that's also been approved as an antidepressant, so it might kill two birds with one stone.

good luck! i know how hard it is to start dealing with mental illness as a teenager -- i've been there. take care of yourself.

 

Re: Effexor withdrawal - very bad news

Posted by pandareina on September 11, 2004, at 8:07:50

In reply to Re: Effexor withdrawal - very bad news, posted by Andrew Phelps on September 10, 2004, at 21:26:42

In Response to Andrew ...

I am sure many people will suggest differents paths to follow - I believe there is no right or wrong here, just degrees of healing and dependence! SO here is my 2 cents:

I have been diganosed as chornically depressed - that is, I would need to be in meds all my life. I been through many, many antidepressants which provided different levels of "normal" feelings. By far, for me, Effexor was the best of them all. Granted, at first, "the getting used to" symptoms were umpleasant - from diarrea to lack of sleep to sexual side effects ... But once that phase was over, I was in bliss and life truly became a pleasure, it remained so for years, without a relapse, without even remembering that I once was the suicidal type ...
I made the decision to stay with Effexor forever ... until I met my other half and decided to try for a baby ...

Leaving Effexor behind was truly a nightmare, a lot harder that I thought it would be. It took me 4 months of trial an error until I got rid of it. Now I am clean and I am still happy (no depression) My withdrawal symptoms were purely physical, no emotional changes (Well ,I am a bit more snappy and more oppinionated, but that is it).

Should depression come back in the future I would go back to my doctor and ask him if there is a pill from the same family that creates less dependence. If the answer was no, I would go back to Effexor because this medicine saved my life and made it all better for many, many happy years. For me the price to pay to be happy was worth it - every tinny and huge withdrawal symptom was 100% worth it ... because life in Effexor is grand!

Good luck to you and keep us posted on your progress and decisions.

V.

 

Re: Effexor withdrawal - very bad news

Posted by pandareina on September 11, 2004, at 8:28:14

In reply to Re: Effexor withdrawal - very bad news, posted by pandareina on August 13, 2004, at 10:54:41

I am finally Effexor free! It has been 2 weeks now!
If I can summarize the whole ordeal I would say this:

It is easy to drop from large amounts to small ones - almost no withdrawal symptoms.

It is hard to go from small amounts to none at all.

I went from 225 Mg a day to 32.5 mgs by decreasing 75 mgs on week one, 75 mgs on week 2, 32.5 mgs on week 3. When I was down to half 75 mg capsule y quit cold turkey and that did not go well at all. I returned to 32.5 mgs and started taking 10 pellets out every 8-10 days or so. When I got down to 15 pellets I stayed there for about a week and then stopped. The withdrawal symptoms were very mild and lasted almost 3 days. This place helped me very much and taught me to pace myself and that everyone's body quits the drug differently.

I started effexor early on 1999 and quit mid 2004.

Good luck to all who are getting into Effexor or out of it.

V.


 

Re: Snake: How long does withdrawal last?

Posted by Americk on September 12, 2004, at 1:37:39

In reply to Re: Snake: How long does withdrawal last?, posted by LynnM. on August 11, 2004, at 16:33:05

I have been off Effexor xr 75mg now for 3 days, and I have severe brain shakes. I am scared that this will last for a long time and that my job will suffer from my memory, and concentration problems due to effexor.

The withdrawals have made me feel like Im on the inside looking out, and that's very scary. I do have my family support which is awesome. But I am nervous that I will give in.

My wedding is next year; I am a happy person now and look forward to my future. But I tell you, its hell right now being off Effexor and feeling this way. How much longer will this go on.?

I hope this will go away soon. Thank you all for your messages and support.


 

Re: Snake: How long does withdrawal last?

Posted by Andrew Phelps on September 12, 2004, at 4:12:06

In reply to Re: Snake: How long does withdrawal last?, posted by Americk on September 12, 2004, at 1:37:39

I recently posted for the first time on here, and recieved a variety of much needed advice. I am grateful for such opportunities to learn and share. I have begun attempting to take approximately 3 pellets or granules out of each capsule from each dosage, and plan on working my way down to none, never increasing or decreasing the amount of reduction. This seems to be the most obvious solution, and I hope it will allow for a smooth decline in my bodies requirement of this chemical. I plan to share my results after completing this. Thanx again, Andrew

 

Re: Snake: How long does withdrawal last?

Posted by awatts on September 12, 2004, at 9:53:54

In reply to Re: Snake: How long does withdrawal last?, posted by Andrew Phelps on September 12, 2004, at 4:12:06

> I recently posted for the first time on here, and recieved a variety of much needed advice. I am grateful for such opportunities to learn and share. I have begun attempting to take approximately 3 pellets or granules out of each capsule from each dosage, and plan on working my way down to none, never increasing or decreasing the amount of reduction. This seems to be the most obvious solution, and I hope it will allow for a smooth decline in my bodies requirement of this chemical. I plan to share my results after completing this. Thanx again, Andrew

Sounds like a good plan.

What worked for me:

-150mg to 75mg in one step and stayed at 75 mg for 2 weeks
-75mg to 37.5mg in one step and stayed at 37.5 for 2 weeks.
-no really bad side effects so far, so I went to zero - BIG MISTAKE! - after 2 or 3 days of no Effexor XR, major side effects.
-went back to 37.5mg, and then did about what you're doing. Went just fine.

For me, the last reduction (from 37.5mg to nothing) was the hard part.

 

Re: Snake: How long does withdrawal last?

Posted by pandareina on September 12, 2004, at 11:07:01

In reply to Re: Snake: How long does withdrawal last?, posted by Americk on September 12, 2004, at 1:37:39

WHen I started Effexor, I was given a start up pack of 2 weeks worth of Effexor at 32.5 mg each pill. After the 2 weeks the dosage increased to 75 mg. I had symptoms during the first couple of days - 4 or 5 and that was it.

Maybe you may want to talk to your doctor and start with a lower dosage.

Good luck.

v.

>I have been off Effexor xr 75mg now for 3 days, and I have severe brain shakes. I am scared that this will last for a long time and that my job will suffer from my memory, and concentration problems due to effexor.
>
> The withdrawals have made me feel like Im on the inside looking out, and that's very scary. I do have my family support which is awesome. But I am nervous that I will give in.
>
> My wedding is next year; I am a happy person now and look forward to my future. But I tell you, its hell right now being off Effexor and feeling this way. How much longer will this go on.?
>
> I hope this will go away soon. Thank you all for your messages and support.
>
>
>

 

Re: Snake: How long does withdrawal last?

Posted by pandareina on September 12, 2004, at 11:11:19

In reply to Re: Snake: How long does withdrawal last?, posted by Andrew Phelps on September 12, 2004, at 4:12:06

Andrew ...

I thought you just started taking Effexor. Is that right, if so, why trying to get off it?

I am confused, but good luck to you on whatever you decide to do.

v.


> I recently posted for the first time on here, and recieved a variety of much needed advice. I am grateful for such opportunities to learn and share. I have begun attempting to take approximately 3 pellets or granules out of each capsule from each dosage, and plan on working my way down to none, never increasing or decreasing the amount of reduction. This seems to be the most obvious solution, and I hope it will allow for a smooth decline in my bodies requirement of this chemical. I plan to share my results after completing this. Thanx again, Andrew

 

Re: Snake: How long does withdrawal last?

Posted by carissa on September 12, 2004, at 17:42:57

In reply to Re: Snake: How long does withdrawal last?, posted by Americk on September 12, 2004, at 1:37:39

americk-
hang in there. i experienced alot of what you're describing and have come out on the other side...finally. i have to say that for me the symptoms took a couple of months to resolve. however, bear in mind that i was on a much higher dose than you were...225 mg. finding this message board was also a godsend. thanks to all who have posted there support.
peace-carissa

 

Re: Effexor withdrawal - very bad news

Posted by lorily on September 12, 2004, at 18:03:58

In reply to Re: Effexor withdrawal - very bad news, posted by pandareina on September 11, 2004, at 8:07:50

FYI: There is another that works like effexor without the horrible side effects, I'm pretty sure it's called Cymbalta. I agree that effexor truly is a life-saver and did wonders for me. If my depression returns, I plan the same as you, try the other one. Good Luck to you, I hope we never need to find out if Cymbalta works!!!


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