Psycho-Babble Medication Thread 1016

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Re: Effexor withdrawals...things we AREN'T being told! deb723

Posted by cpallen79 on April 7, 2004, at 22:35:40

In reply to Effexor withdrawals...things we AREN'T being told!, posted by deb723 on April 7, 2004, at 21:17:44

Deb, I completely sympathize with you. I was on a super low dose and still went through absolute hell. I'ma highly sensitive person so that made it all the worse. As you can see it lasts quite a while. Nurture yourself and avoid any life changes for about 6 months after this to avoid relapse 'n stuff... you'll get through it!

> I am in the withdrawal stages from Effexor XR and I'm keeping an online journal (blog) of my journey @
>
> http://www.stuffiwannasay.blogspot.com
>
> I am more than a bit angry that Effexor users like myself have no idea of what to expect when they begin to take this drug ( in the form of side effects) nor are we told of the terrible withdrawal symptoms we should expect to experience when weaning ourselves off this nasty drug. Please check out what I have to say on my blog and then write to me. I want to know how you feel!

 

Re: How long does withdrawal from Effexor last?

Posted by mom63 on April 8, 2004, at 12:33:43

In reply to Re: How long does withdrawal from Effexor last?, posted by annesand on April 5, 2004, at 7:31:19

I went from 75 mg to 37.5 mg Effexor XR. I'm at the point in my weaning now when I'm suppose to take 37.5 every other day. Yesterday was my first day without taking a capsule. It was horrible! Every time I moved my head, eyes, arms... anything, I felt those electric jolts zap through my body. I was naseous and dizzy. Yuck! I thought about taking doses in "dots" this morning. I'm glad someone else has thought of it and tried it. I opened up a capsule and counted all the little "dots". I felt like such a junkie! Anyways, I found that the 75 mg. capsules have about 200 dots, the 37.5 have about 100 dots.

This is my plan:
80 dots for 5 days
decrease dots by 10 every 5 days.
After 10 dots for 5 days, I'll start doing 8, 6, 4, 2, 1 per day for a couple of days each.

For anyone who has tried this, does this sound like a good rate of decrease? Do you just pop the dots in your mouth? I was thinking about putting them in a piece of bread or something. I know I sound like a drug addict, but I guess I am! I'm physically addicted to effexor! This stuff is so rough to get off of, but I'm ready to get off of it and move on with my life. Any suggestions would be appreciated! Thanks so much!


> About three weeks ago, I started opening up my 150 capsules and taking about 1/4 of the little dots inside. The first few days were rough, but now side effects are minimal, and I am down to just a few "dots" per day. I took vacation time last week because I thought I might not feel well, but I felt fine. Some brain zaps, especially first thing in the morning before taking the dots, but otherwise able to work, function, play, enjoy things. In short, it is going better than I thought it would. Planning to stop all together on Friday. Thanks for your collective wisdom. It helps so much!

 

Re: How long does withdrawal from Effexor last?

Posted by annesand on April 8, 2004, at 12:40:41

In reply to Re: How long does withdrawal from Effexor last?, posted by mom63 on April 8, 2004, at 12:33:43

I actually just lick the dots off my finger! Good luck with your taper. It sounds reasonable to me, but I'm a novice too. I hate that it's still so hard to go all the way off, even after tapering gradually.

 

Re: How long does withdrawal from Effexor last? mom63

Posted by cpallen79 on April 8, 2004, at 12:42:52

In reply to Re: How long does withdrawal from Effexor last?, posted by mom63 on April 8, 2004, at 12:33:43

Don't swallow the dots whole, either put them back into the capsule or swallow them with juice (NOT grapefruit juice).... go to www.antidepressantsfacts.com ... the guy there has information for how to taper... Also I'd go even slower than what you were planning on, evne if it takes months or a year.

> I went from 75 mg to 37.5 mg Effexor XR. I'm at the point in my weaning now when I'm suppose to take 37.5 every other day. Yesterday was my first day without taking a capsule. It was horrible! Every time I moved my head, eyes, arms... anything, I felt those electric jolts zap through my body. I was naseous and dizzy. Yuck! I thought about taking doses in "dots" this morning. I'm glad someone else has thought of it and tried it. I opened up a capsule and counted all the little "dots". I felt like such a junkie! Anyways, I found that the 75 mg. capsules have about 200 dots, the 37.5 have about 100 dots.
>
> This is my plan:
> 80 dots for 5 days
> decrease dots by 10 every 5 days.
> After 10 dots for 5 days, I'll start doing 8, 6, 4, 2, 1 per day for a couple of days each.
>
> For anyone who has tried this, does this sound like a good rate of decrease? Do you just pop the dots in your mouth? I was thinking about putting them in a piece of bread or something. I know I sound like a drug addict, but I guess I am! I'm physically addicted to effexor! This stuff is so rough to get off of, but I'm ready to get off of it and move on with my life. Any suggestions would be appreciated! Thanks so much!
>
>
> > About three weeks ago, I started opening up my 150 capsules and taking about 1/4 of the little dots inside. The first few days were rough, but now side effects are minimal, and I am down to just a few "dots" per day. I took vacation time last week because I thought I might not feel well, but I felt fine. Some brain zaps, especially first thing in the morning before taking the dots, but otherwise able to work, function, play, enjoy things. In short, it is going better than I thought it would. Planning to stop all together on Friday. Thanks for your collective wisdom. It helps so much!
>
>

 

Re: How long does withdrawal from Effexor last?

Posted by mom63 on April 8, 2004, at 14:01:20

In reply to Re: How long does withdrawal from Effexor last?, posted by mom63 on April 8, 2004, at 12:33:43

Thanks folks! I am soooo glad this message board is here.

 

Re: How long does withdrawal from Effexor last?

Posted by TanyaJean on April 8, 2004, at 23:19:09

In reply to Re: How long does withdrawal from Effexor last?, posted by mom63 on April 8, 2004, at 14:01:20

I am so glad I'm not the only one. Mainly I've been on effexor at 150 mg for a year and a half. For the last 3 months I've taken less and less until I was on 37mg for two weeks. Then I dumped out half the 37mg caps and took that for a week. Then I took 1/4 of the 37 mg caps for over two weeks. I've been off for a week and am still going through my version of hell. I'm nauseous, vomiting and have this strange whirring or wooshing sound in my head when I turn suddenly. Almost like a small helicopter is following me around. My tongue goes numb. I have numbness or tingling, although those aren't really the right descriptions. For the previous hour I've started having convulsions and that little effect has turned into just shaking. I'm not at all cold. The most bothersome of all of these is the fact that I have never been suicidal ever. And now those thoughts are popping into my head as I'm going through this withdrawal process. I was having pain issues about 3 years ago and they immediately started me on anti-depressants. Sure, it was all in my head right? The anti-depressants were doing nothing for the chronic pain. I've been on a few. Prozac, celexa, paxil, wellbutrin. Years ago I took imipramine and had extreme dry mouth, no withdrawal problems. I'd take dry mouth any day.

 

Re: How long does withdrawal from Effexor last? TanyaJean

Posted by TanyaJean on April 8, 2004, at 23:22:10

In reply to Re: How long does withdrawal from Effexor last?, posted by TanyaJean on April 8, 2004, at 23:19:09

I posted too soon, can anyone give an idea to how long this withdrawal process takes or how long it took for you?

 

Re: How long does withdrawal from Effexor last?

Posted by TanyaJean on April 9, 2004, at 0:09:47

In reply to Re: How long does withdrawal from Effexor last?, posted by Christina Ann on April 7, 2004, at 19:12:58

> Why is everyone so intent on getting off? Is it that bad? Is someone not telling me something?
>
> Christina

The thought is that if you're on an anti-depressant, eventually you'll have to go off at some point. That was always what was explained to me by whatever doctor or psychologist. You go on the drug to get yourself well and have to go off at some point. I don't think all the people here feel like this is something they "have to do". Although that may be the case with the side effects. It's the going off this drug that is the awful part. I've been weaned off of different anti-depressants and there has never been a problem. Effexor has been the most problematic for me. If I miss a day, I'm distraught. Now that I'm off of them (for a week now), it's my version of hell on earth. I'm so sick.

 

Re: How long does withdrawal from Effexor last?

Posted by worm on April 9, 2004, at 5:35:38

In reply to Re: How long does withdrawal from Effexor last? TanyaJean, posted by TanyaJean on April 8, 2004, at 23:22:10

I don' know. I have been off completely for a week, and I was doing fine until yesterday, (day 7) I got the brain Zings, though not as bad, and the muscle weakness back, plus nausea and a generalized headache. I think I selpt about 14 hours, I hope it's better today. Why am i fine for 6 days, and then terrible on the 7th?

Strange . . .

 

Re: How long does withdrawal from Effexor last? worm

Posted by deb723 on April 9, 2004, at 10:02:17

In reply to Re: How long does withdrawal from Effexor last?, posted by worm on April 9, 2004, at 5:35:38

Are you saying you had no withdrawal symptoms for 7 days but they have now begun? You know, I had been tapering for three weeks and was down to 37.5. Then...cold turkey from there. Days one and two weren't really that bad and I have attributed that to all the leftover effexor that must have been there. So...once it was finding its way out THEN I think the real symptoms set in. I need to post my last two days journal entries into my blog but feel free to read what I have experienced so far. (My own version of Hell!)

http://www.stuffiwannasay.blogspot.com

deb

 

Re: How long does withdrawal from Effexor last?

Posted by annesand on April 9, 2004, at 10:13:21

In reply to Re: How long does withdrawal from Effexor last? worm, posted by deb723 on April 9, 2004, at 10:02:17

Your blog is very helpful. We're on about the same timetable. I've been having an almost uncontrollable urge to cry for the last few days, which is new. Makes it hard to be at work!

Hang in there, and thanks again for sharing.

 

Vitamins, Herbs, Success

Posted by Marjean on April 9, 2004, at 11:53:22

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

This is my sixth day with zero Effexor and I feel good. I posted earlier about some vitamins, herbal compounds, and homeopathic meds that I have been using to help me get through. When I was tapering down I felt fine with the help of these remedies; but I have to be honest that I had four really rough days when I stopped Effexor completely. (But only four-- in the past I didn't even make it that long.) However, I have to really praise the vitamins and homeopathics that I have been taking. On the second day off, I had run out of "Cocculus Indicus" a homeopathic med for motion sickness and thought I was not going to make it. I AM TELLING THE TRUTH, that night I went by the Co-op and purchased some more of that and some "Nux Vomica" b/c I was very nauseas AND WITHIN 45 MINUTES I FELT 90% BETTER. With those two homeopathics and a B-Vitamin plus herbs complex (Source Naturals Hi-Stress B&C) I have been getting through. I still have the itchiness, sweats, "brain zaps", cloudiness and crying but they are much reduced. Yesterday and today I feel great. I agree that exercise can't replace that seratonin, but I salsa dance and have been swimming (as opposed to high-impact aerobics) and that also has really helped. I feel great after exercising, esp. after dancing. I was very surprised and more than a little ecstatic about the effectiveness of the herbal/homeopthic meds. I know that everyone responds differently and these specific remedies may not work for you, but I would encourage everyone to at least speak with an herbalist or give some remedy a try. It has done wonders for me. If nothing else, make sure you are taking a daily vitamin and are getting plenty of B-Complex. Good Luck! I've almost made it!

 

Hang in there, Flygirl!

Posted by Marjean on April 9, 2004, at 11:59:36

In reply to Re: for husband/wife with zoloft/effexor issue Marjean, posted by flygirl on April 7, 2004, at 9:51:32

Hang in there! Aside from Prozac, is your therapist giving you any additional support in your situation? Have you thought about a support group or, if your not into that, maybe something as relaxing as a hiking group or a yoga class. I know it must be hard to find any time for yourself. I wish you the very best. I can't imagine how hard it must be to be dealing with your own emotions and caring for someone else's dehabilitating depression. Again, your in my thoughts and prayers.

 

Re: How long does withdrawal from Effexor last?

Posted by cyclegrrrl on April 12, 2004, at 16:22:18

In reply to Re: How long does withdrawal from Effexor last?, posted by fastblackZZR on March 7, 2004, at 19:33:17


Now two and half weeks off 150 mg of Effexor cold turkey... The bad dreams/nightmares stopped after about 10 days. There is some very minor itchiness, but NOTHING like the first week of when I stopped. My stomach is just a little sensitive, but again very livable in comparison to when I stopped. The body "zaps" occur now breifly maybe once in a day and are much more minor and easier to ignore. I still have a little bit of of that wanting to cry feeling, but am not sure this is all due to effexor, or the reasons I went on an antidepressent to begin with. The main reason I stopped is effexor made it very difficult to sleep and get through the day-- I was waking up at 4 a.m., wide awake and unable to get back to sleep. And that plus the drug caused crippling fatigue that could hit me at any time throughout the day, taking all my focus and energy just to muster up the strength to get through a day of work sitting at my desk. It was so bad I began to fear for my job. That fatigue, I am very happy to report, has totally disappeared since I stopped effexor. I now enjoy a steady state and, more importantly, predictable state of energy. I sleep a solid 8 hours, and for the first time in months need an alarm clock.

Getting back to "baseline normal" has been worth every single day of hellish side effects from coming off this drug. I'm not one for tapering because to me that just stretches out the suffering. I went cold turkey to get it all over with all at once. It's been hard, to be sure, but getting easier every day and well worth it getting it over with quickly. Life is much better without effexor, but being a seasonal bipolar sufferer when fall comes around and if I start to feel so down I'm having suicidal thoughts, I will happily go back on effexor because this has been the only antidepressent to pull me out of that black hole. That I will have to go through these side effects once again to get off the drug in the springtime is worth the relief I get from the effexor during the time I really need it. To me, it's all part of the price I pay for having this illness. Granted it sucks. I really do wish there were better chemicals that don't have all these nasty side effects. My hope is that some day there might be. Until then, I guess I'm resigned to go through all this because it's better than becoming really sick and getting hospitalized.
Peace.

 

Re: How long does withdrawal from Effexor last?

Posted by annesand on April 13, 2004, at 7:18:31

In reply to Re: How long does withdrawal from Effexor last?, posted by cyclegrrrl on April 12, 2004, at 16:22:18

Thanks for this. I've been tapering for about a month, but today is my first day on zero effexor. I'm grateful for a pep talk! I'll probably end up doing a seasonal thing like you, but it's not the worst thing in the world. Best wishes for a wonderful spring and summer!

 

Re: Vitamins, Herbs, Success

Posted by triedalldrugs on April 13, 2004, at 8:05:31

In reply to Vitamins, Herbs, Success, posted by Marjean on April 9, 2004, at 11:53:22

I am on day 15 after quitting cold turkey from 75 mg. I wouldn't have made it except for the help from all of you and these herbal products:
Isotonix OPC-3 (took a double dose 3 times a day for the first week) and Isotonix B-12 formula. The OPC-3 rids your body of toxins, so it speeds the process of getting rid of Effexor.

I don't sell these products, so I don't get anything if someone buys them after hearing about them from me. I get them from my massage therapist, who quit her antidepressants and made it through because of these products and so now she is a distributor. Her web site is thesehands.unfranchise.com. She is not a computer geek and so uses a standard web site provided by the company...please don't be put off by the advertising. Put in opc-3 in the search field.

I am still having some side effects, but very minimal and very minimal depression. This is like a whole new world to me, to feel good and not have to remember to take a pill!

Good luck everyone! You can do it.

 

Re: Effexor withdrawal - very bad news

Posted by kphoo on April 13, 2004, at 9:48:46

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

for everyone who hates effexor (guess that's all of us!!)- and are sick of these drugs and the side effects and torture they cause us...please go to the link below and consider the lucinda b
program- I feel compelled to share this- if only somebody would have told me about it sooner- the suffering I could have avoided

http://www.dr-bob.org/babble/psycho/20040409/msgs/335452.html

 

Crushing fatigue gone. cyclegrrrl

Posted by TanyaJean on April 13, 2004, at 13:05:44

In reply to Re: How long does withdrawal from Effexor last?, posted by cyclegrrrl on April 12, 2004, at 16:22:18

I don't know how any of you went off effexor cold turkey. I did the tapering off and now have been off effexor for over two weeks. Just about 2 days ago the "brain zaps" and dizziness went away. For four days straight I was vomiting and couldn't keep much down, aside from slimfast and I was drinking that just so I could keep my other meds down (just 2 others for rheumatoid arthritis).

Even though I've been very sick, my crushing fatigue is gone. About 2 years ago I became sick with what they called fibromyalgia. At the time I had been taking prozac and thought that was what had caused the problem. I stopped taking the prozac right away. So in and out of the doctors because this fatigue and pain was getting worse and worse and they immediately put me on paxil. Because it's in my head? I was on paxil for a while and told my doctor I didn't like how I felt when I wasn't on it, like if I missed it for day. He put me on effexor (come to find out, it reacted in the same way). Now off the effexor, even though I still have my joint pain, I have none of the fatigue that would cause me to nap 3 hours every afternoon.

 

Re: Effexor withdrawal - very bad news janey

Posted by msdepres on April 14, 2004, at 11:22:34

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

I just can't believe how bad this is - withdrawal from effexor is my worst nightmare. The only time I had anything like it was when I quit cold turkey from elavil and had months of brain zaps - which scared me to death.
Today is day 4 and I'm not sure how I'm going to make it. I have ben crying like no time before in my life. The brain zaps are scary, but this emotional rollercoaster is insane.
I have all the symptoms I've read about - what can I do to tolerate this withdrawal? This is so unlike me! I can understand the suicide syndrom.
Can anyone out there give me some advise or what you are doing or have done to keep going?

 

Re: Effexor withdrawal - very bad news

Posted by triedalldrugs on April 14, 2004, at 13:25:40

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

Janey, I would try tapering off, as many people in the list have suggested. I went cold turkey, but used an herbal supplement to help and by day 7 it wasn't so bad. But if you're having such severe symptoms of withdrawal, I would count out the beads as many people have suggested. Do you have a prescription left that you can fill and try a gradual withdrawal?

 

IT WILL GET BETTER!

Posted by deb723 on April 14, 2004, at 13:45:17

In reply to Re: Effexor withdrawal - very bad news janey, posted by msdepres on April 14, 2004, at 11:22:34

YOU WILL MAKE IT!
I consider days 4 and 5 as "my days from hell" so there is light at the end of the tunnel! I kept an online diary of my withdrawal, from tapering on through, however, I am consumed with doing my taxes now,(Boy, I'm so happy I waited until withdrawal time to do this :-), anyway, I haven't written in it since last Friday but believe me when I say although I do not feel out of the woods yet it, is a MARKED IMPROVEMENT from days 4 and 5! Here's the link to my blog and have faith...you will get through this.
deb
http://www.stuffiwannasay.blogspot.com

 

Re: IT WILL GET BETTER!

Posted by worm on April 14, 2004, at 17:08:18

In reply to IT WILL GET BETTER!, posted by deb723 on April 14, 2004, at 13:45:17

> YOU WILL MAKE IT!

Deb is right - I have been off for 2 weeks now, completely, and aside from a crying jag yesterday (I'm trying to break up with my boyfriend at the same time, I think he is the reason I am depressed in the first place!) I have been good - even got through Easter without screaming at anyone. Of course, it IS spring, but my mood is better, energy level is better, I am still not able to concentrate very well, and it is affecting my work, but there is light at the end of the tunnel.

When I get really bad, I do pop a Prozac (20 mg) that I have leftover. That gets me through the rough spots.


Mgesh

 

Re: Effexor withdrawal - very bad news

Posted by TanyaJean on April 14, 2004, at 21:54:35

In reply to Re: Effexor withdrawal - very bad news janey, posted by msdepres on April 14, 2004, at 11:22:34

> I just can't believe how bad this is - withdrawal from effexor is my worst nightmare. The only time I had anything like it was when I quit cold turkey from elavil and had months of brain zaps - which scared me to death.
> Today is day 4 and I'm not sure how I'm going to make it. I have ben crying like no time before in my life. The brain zaps are scary, but this emotional rollercoaster is insane.
> I have all the symptoms I've read about - what can I do to tolerate this withdrawal? This is so unlike me! I can understand the suicide syndrom.
> Can anyone out there give me some advise or what you are doing or have done to keep going?
>

The only way I can keep going is support. I have 2 friends going through the exact same thing. One is having more emotional trouble from the withdrawal than I am. I am still dealing with a lot nausea all day long. It's been close to 3 weeks totally off effexor. The brain zaps have almost diminished for me. The dizziness is almost gone.

 

Re: IT WILL GET BETTER!

Posted by roomy on April 15, 2004, at 5:58:43

In reply to IT WILL GET BETTER!, posted by deb723 on April 14, 2004, at 13:45:17

> YOU WILL MAKE IT!
however, I am consumed with doing my taxes now,(Boy, I'm so happy I waited until withdrawal time to do this :-),

Deb, you crack me up! A perfect example of getting better every day. When your sense of humor starts to return. I was just a walking calm, unemotional zombie while on effexor for years. Then while getting OFF the effexor, I thought I would never laugh or smile again. Now, 3.5 Months since I have stopped, I have my sense of humor back. ...and as for you Janey...yeah, hang in there. You will be glad you did. (you may try an over the counter medication for motion sickness, but it makes you sleepy)
be tough, but cry when you need to. I allowed myself to cry whenever I wanted and I think I cried myself out! but allow yourself to be happy too. you will make it!
good luck
Roomy

 

Re: Effexor withdrawal - very bad news

Posted by annesand on April 15, 2004, at 7:07:54

In reply to Re: Effexor withdrawal - very bad news janey, posted by msdepres on April 14, 2004, at 11:22:34

I haven't tried this, but lots of others here have. They say that temporarily taking Prozac smooths out the withdrawal symptoms because the half life is a lot longer. Can somebody else fill in the details??


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