Psycho-Babble Medication Thread 1016

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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!!!

 

Re: Effexor withdrawal - very bad news

Posted by lorily on September 12, 2004, at 18:15:23

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

Andrew, Effexor saved my life. I was not able to get sober until I got the depression under control. I now have 1-1/2 years clean, I also discontinued effexor and depakote. I was frightened, too, but it is possible to get off of it, for me and many others it is tolerable as long as it's done very slowly, little at a time, I dumped granules out of the capsule too. Not very medically recommended but I didn't want to go through what I read people here going through.
I've been off since mid-July and feel good. If you're really concerned, perhaps you should talk to your doctor about trying another medication. I've read that cymbalta works like effexor without the side effects.
the reason the withdrawals are so severe is because of the short half life. Some people get them if they miss a dose or are late taking it. It wasn't like that for me though.
Good Luck to you, I hope you find relief. Do you belong to a fellowship? There are many people there who can help you although NA seems to frown upon psych meds as a "mood-altering substance" and you'd probably find most opposed to your taking meds at all. Remember, It's YOUR decision and YOUR mental well-being, NOT THEIRS.

 

Re: Effexor withdrawal - very bad news

Posted by shanny on September 12, 2004, at 18:39:49

In reply to Re: Effexor withdrawal - very bad news, posted by lorily on September 12, 2004, at 18:15:23

Hi everyone -

I have been going through Effexor withdrawal HELL today, working with my doctor, but I'm wondering if anyone has any little "tricks" that help to get you through? I don't want to miss work tomorrow, but I'm afraid I'll burst into tears in front of my boss if I get a *zap*!
I wish you had to sign some sort of form BEFORE taking Effexor for the first time, that says the withdrawal effects have been described IN GREAT DETAIL to you, and that it can last WEEKS.
I was looking for info on the withdrawal on WebMD, and, funny enough, there wasn't a lot about it. Hmmmm. There was a whole heap of info about how GREAT the drug can be (which it CAN be if it's right for you), but precious little on the withdrawal symptoms.
I've experienced just today: electrical currents / brain zaps (so uncomfortable, but you know about those...), nausea, crazy realistic disturbing dreams, agitation and crying bouts...plus my eyes hurt, has anyone ever had that?
Let me know what has helped you!
Thanks so much guys!
-Shanny

 

Re: Effexor withdrawal - very bad news

Posted by 4WD on September 12, 2004, at 20:59:14

In reply to Re: Effexor withdrawal - very bad news, posted by shanny on September 12, 2004, at 18:39:49

Klonopin in very small doses has helped me get through the worst of the panic attacks. I get so scared and start crying. I am still taking about 1/10 of a 150mg capsule per day. (I was on a dose of 37.5mg per day for about five years)

Do any of you have panic/anxiety attacks while withdrawing from Effexor? Like you get nervous and then it spirals up into fear and then into terror and despair and crying?

Marsha

 

Re: Effexor withdrawal - very bad news shanny

Posted by lorily on September 13, 2004, at 12:47:08

In reply to Re: Effexor withdrawal - very bad news, posted by shanny on September 12, 2004, at 18:39:49

I found this great site with all sorts of info
I hope this helps you:

http://www.clinical-depression.co.uk/anti_depressants/withdrawal/venlafaxine.html

 

Re: Snake: How long does withdrawal last?

Posted by Petranella on September 28, 2004, at 14:20:59

In reply to Re: Snake: How long does withdrawal last?, posted by carissa on September 12, 2004, at 17:42:57

I've been on 150mg Effexor for approx 6 years - for anxiety (one episode after giving up smoking - no one told me about the side effects of withdrawl then). I'm always tired and have no motivation and would really love to get off these awful tablets. First time I tried was cold turkey (felt awful) and was back on them in a couple of days. Have tried to go down to 75mg, but that brings the withdrawl symptons back with the those horrible `brain shimmers' . Can anyone advise what is the best reduction method. I have heard that you can go onto liquid Prozac and this helps to reduce the dosage really slowly. Any ideas.

 

Re: How long does withdrawal last? Petranella

Posted by ccb on October 7, 2004, at 9:22:26

In reply to Re: Snake: How long does withdrawal last?, posted by Petranella on September 28, 2004, at 14:20:59

I was on effexor 75 mg for about 5 years. I had the capsules. My doctor advised me to go down the the 37 mg capsules for a week, then take one every other day for another week. I got the brain zaps and my world was constantly spinning.

I ended up pulling open the capsules and taking the "dots" inside. There are about 200 dots in each 75 mg capsule. I started taking 195 dots per day for a week, then went down to 190 per day for a week, etc. When I got to the lower number of dots each day (80 or so) I had to slow down the weaning, taking 79 for a couple of weeks, then 78 for a couple of weeks... you get the idea. If the brain zaps or dizziness returned, I would bump the dose back up to my previous dose and wait another week or so before I tried to reduce the number of dots again.

It is a long process, but it worked for me. When I got down to 4 dots per day, I was able to stop all together. I had a little dizziness, but nothing I couldn't handle. Finally, I was free of effexor!!!

I have been off the medicine for about 2 months now and feel good. I'm no longer an effexor zombie. You can do it!!! Just go slow and steady. I know 9 months seems like a long time, but just remember your end goal, and that it can be done. Good Luck!

> I've been on 150mg Effexor for approx 6 years - for anxiety (one episode after giving up smoking - no one told me about the side effects of withdrawl then). I'm always tired and have no motivation and would really love to get off these awful tablets. First time I tried was cold turkey (felt awful) and was back on them in a couple of days. Have tried to go down to 75mg, but that brings the withdrawl symptons back with the those horrible `brain shimmers' . Can anyone advise what is the best reduction method. I have heard that you can go onto liquid Prozac and this helps to reduce the dosage really slowly. Any ideas.

 

My Effx withdrawel with no side effects!

Posted by meds4life on October 7, 2004, at 22:30:02

In reply to Re: How long does withdrawal last? Petranella, posted by ccb on October 7, 2004, at 9:22:26

I have responded in the past about my Effexor withdrawel process. I have been on Effexor XR for over a year 150 mg. I gained about 45 pounds and decided to try Wellbutrin. I have been off Effexor completely for about 2 weeks and did not have hardly any side effects the whole time. I believe part of the reason I was side effect free was the fact that I was taking Wellbutrin at the same time. I withdrew from Paxil before and had dreadful withdrawal symptons, so I was expecting the same horrible process. Here is what I did- I went from 150 to 75+37.5 for a week. The next week I went to 75 mg. I stayed on 75 for 2 weeks. Then I went to 37.5 for 2 weeks. At this point, I figured any further lowering of my dosage would be extremely uncomfortable, but it wasn't! 37.5 every other day was my next drop (for about a week). Then, I stopped. The only thing that might have been a withdrawel effect was slight nausea once in a while and a little dizziness. Really nothing that unpleasant. I was so thrilled because I was so scared of withdrawing after my experience with Paxil and because of the information at this site. I feel great now and hope that this message will help someone else. Good luck!

 

Re: My Effx withdrawel with no side effects!

Posted by Arhian on October 8, 2004, at 11:14:33

In reply to My Effx withdrawel with no side effects!, posted by meds4life on October 7, 2004, at 22:30:02

Hello from a newbie who is SO glad to find all of you!
I came off Effexor XR from 150 to 0 about 18 months ago, with horrid withdrawal symptoms lasting about a month that my GP hadn't heard of - he thought it unlikely to be the drug! About last Christmas, I was having a really bad time and went back on the treatment, which does do the trick for me, but yet again, if I missed a day, I had all of the nausea, dizziness and general hideousness - I notice someone posting here compares it to a "Star-Trek virus", and I think that describes the wierdness really well.
I decided to come off again, and try it slowly. I've got down from 150 to 75 a day, taking about a month and feeling less bad after about 2 weeks. Now I'm trying to take a 75 every other day, but I'm all over the place! I try to take a tablet just on the days I work really late, but some days I feel so very sick, I end up giving in and taking one when I've planned not to. My life is going so much better at the moment, but ironically, it's my treatment that's holding me back now! To cap it all, this week I've had real flu as well as the flu-symptoms of withdrawal! I KNOW I can do this as I've done it before, but I'm starting to wonder if I should have just gone cold turkey as I did last time - at least I was feeling almost normal a month later.
Glad I've been able to share this with people who know what it's like! Good luck to all of you.

 

Re: Going through Effexor Withdrawl now

Posted by Raggy on October 17, 2004, at 9:26:36

In reply to Re: My Effx withdrawel with no side effects!, posted by Arhian on October 8, 2004, at 11:14:33

I do hope that everyone has seen or heard about the new warning on these anti-depressants. The warning is for children, but adults have to be warned also.

 

Re: Effexor withdrawal - very bad news

Posted by seegar on October 29, 2004, at 23:51:15

In reply to Re: Effexor withdrawal - very bad news, posted by 4WD on September 12, 2004, at 20:59:14

I thought that I was going crazy. I have taken Effexor xr for two years to help control the symptoms of fibromyalgia. Since coming off the Effexor (slowly, over the course of 4 weeks, as recommended) I have been getting withdrawl symptoms like I would have never believed.

"Brain Zaps", those awful dizzy, nauseous, shock-to-the-brain-for-a-second sensations whenever moving my head.
Sleeping issues
dizziness, which I chalked up to exhaustion. I have fallen twice in the last month, injuring myself.
Nausea. after I eat, for some strange reason
increase in acid reflux and irritable bowel syndrome symptoms
myalgia, meaning more pain, but I think that that's the fm symptom no longer being controlled
uncontrollable fits of anger, rage
crying crying crying for no reason
depression, ah depression
increased sexual dysfunction, can you believe that the dysfunction got worse?

even after a month since the last stepped down dosage.

Turns out I can blame so much of this on the Effexor withdrawl. Apparently, a great deal of people who stopped taking this drug have experienced these symptoms for this long, some even longer. Generally most made the comment that they were so thankful that their spouses were so understanding, and had not divorced them yet. That's how bad things had gotten.

This drug has affected so many people that the makers have had to change the warning labels. and, as we all know the warnings are maybe 50% as truthful and conservative as they should be. (http://remedyfind.com/newsletter_archives/August04-Bipolar.htm) article 2

After much perusal on the web, viewing many chat forums regarding this issue, I have realized that what I have been experiencing is not uncommon. I am not going crazy. I am not getting menopausal emotional symptoms at the age of 34. I just had an online chat conversation with my best friend, my husband, and ended up in tears when he told me that he was working an extra half shift this week, as we need the extra money right now. I flipped out, truth be told. I am still not sure if this was because my fella is so sweet and is working so hard to earn extra dollars, or if I was upset that he would not be at home to help me work on our deadline burdened home renovations. This behavior on my part is distressing, depressing, and has been going on for over a month. The good news is that from all research, I understand that this living hell will end. Sometime. In the future. Interestingly enough, one of the websites offering information about combating withdrawl symptoms of Effexor offered up to 80% savings off retail price for Effexor. Does that mean that staying on the drug is the best method of battling withdrawl? Nice going. If I werent so afraid of anti depressants now, I would have actually asked my doctor for a prescription for a drug to counteract the withdrawl symptoms of a drug. Wow. How stupid.

I realize that I will get through this, but am discouraged nonetheless as I now am back to the drawing board with regards to the original issue: reducing fibromyalgia symptoms so that I can live a normal life again.

Well, at least life is not boring!

 

Re: Effexor withdrawal - very bad news

Posted by TrinityX1 on October 30, 2004, at 19:26:06

In reply to Re: Effexor withdrawal - very bad news, posted by seegar on October 29, 2004, at 23:51:15

THANK GOD I am not the only one with these CRAZY side effects. I though I was gong NUTS as well.
I was on EFFEXOR XR for about 10 weeks and am now coming off and down and up for about 4 days now.
I was on 75mg which I understand is NOT a lot but, I went down to 35mg by cutting the pills in 1/2 and still am experiences terrible withdrawals.
The 1st day I cried over everything, even a stupid commercial and experienced BRIAN VOLTS every time I moved my head. I was feeling nauseous and every time I tired to eat I could only take a few bites before having to turn away. I did experience stomach pains, kind of like menstrual cramps too. I experienced a bit of confusion and was tired but not sure if I really wanted to go to bed. The 2nd day got a bit better however; still experience the dreaded "BRAIN VOTLS" but did not feel as nauseous as the 1st day. The 3rd day was slightly better but not far from the day before. Here I am on day 4 and the only symptom I experience is the BRAIN VOLTS. The only way that I can explain them is being spun around on a chair until you feel dizzy and having the dizziness pulsate through your brain and fingertips and heart like a VOLT of electricity. It really is annoying but they VOLTS are getting further apart as the days go by. I sure hope they go away real soon.
Coming off of Effexor really stinks and I feel for the individuals that have been on a larger dost then I have and for a longer period of time. I can only speculate the withdrawal symptoms are much more rampant than I have explained.
I just wanted the next person who reads this forum to know that they are NOT ALONE and NOT going CRAZY. Everything will become more NORMAL as each day passes.
I cant say that EFFEXOR actually helped me, but I can say that coming off of it sure makes you feel much more NORMAL then before being on it hey maybe that is the purpose for the drug ????
Thanks for your time. Looking forward to Day 5

 

Re: Effexor and extreme thirst!

Posted by ladyofthelamp on November 8, 2004, at 10:12:21

In reply to Re: Effexor withdrawal - very bad news, posted by TrinityX1 on October 30, 2004, at 19:26:06

Hi everyone,i was just wondering if anyone else has extreme thirst either during or after stopping effexor.I drink approx 4 litres a day yet i still feel and look dehydrated.This cannot be normal.I stopped effexor 3 weeks ago but if anything the thirst has got worse!!Any ideas as i feel i need to be on an intravenous drip!!!!!

 

Re: Effexor and extreme thirst!

Posted by pandareina on November 8, 2004, at 13:39:00

In reply to Re: Effexor and extreme thirst!, posted by ladyofthelamp on November 8, 2004, at 10:12:21

I hardly drink water, during of after effexor. The only condition I know that causes thirst like that is diabetes. Have you checked your blood sugar lately?

> Hi everyone,i was just wondering if anyone else has extreme thirst either during or after stopping effexor.I drink approx 4 litres a day yet i still feel and look dehydrated.This cannot be normal.I stopped effexor 3 weeks ago but if anything the thirst has got worse!!Any ideas as i feel i need to be on an intravenous drip!!!!!

 

Re: Effexor and extreme thirst!

Posted by ladyofthelamp on November 8, 2004, at 14:13:04

In reply to Re: Effexor and extreme thirst!, posted by pandareina on November 8, 2004, at 13:39:00

My doctor checked my urine,presumably for sugar and didn't say there was anything wrong but did tell me that the thirst was caused by effexor and to stop it.I assumed stopping effexor would make the thirst go away but it hasn't.I do not go any where without a bottle of water and it is getting me down.I do not urinate alot either so i have no idea where all the water goes!!!!.My doctor never seems concerned whatever i say to him but i feel this is a serious matter.He just tells me to always carry water with me.This cannot be normal can it???

 

Re: Effexor and extreme thirst!

Posted by ed_uk on November 8, 2004, at 14:37:07

In reply to Re: Effexor and extreme thirst!, posted by ladyofthelamp on November 8, 2004, at 14:13:04

Hello!

Effexor can cause a dry mouth, this could make you thirsty. Do you have a dry mouth on Effexor?

Increased sweating is another common side effect. Effexor made me extremely sweaty :-( I had to drink a lot of water to compensate.

Ed

 

Re: Effexor and extreme thirst!

Posted by seegar on November 8, 2004, at 14:54:30

In reply to Re: Effexor and extreme thirst!, posted by ed_uk on November 8, 2004, at 14:37:07

Oh, ya, was I thirsty on Effexor. Dry mouth is a common side effect with this drug. Dry mouth is also common with fibromyalgia, so I was doubly damned. I am one of those people who can't be without water nearby normally, but on the Effexor, my mouth would be so dry that I sounded mush mouthed when talking. Almost two months off the drug, I am still drinking water. Hey, it is very good for the complexion, so keep drinking water, not pop or coffee.


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