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Re: Effexor withdrawal - very bad news

Posted by caleb96 on January 24, 2005, at 17:36:58

In reply to Re: Effexor withdrawal - very bad news, posted by Jenna Starrett on January 22, 2005, at 11:02:16

> > > I don't know if Effexor has a shorter half life than the SSRIs, or really what the withdrawal side effects might be for those,
> > > but Victor brought up a good point. Whenever I have missed more than 2-3 doses of my Effexor, whether the regular sort or the XR, the withdrawal is terrible.
> >
> > *Part of the problem is that therapeutically, according to the last counselor I saw, Effexor is about SIX major drugs combined into one. Hence the withdrawals are MAJOR and ugly.*
> > >
> > > In my experience, I have had a kind of numbness in my extremeties (this is such a wierd sensation, I don't even know if numbness is good description!), nausea, headache, extreme tearfulness, can't focus or make decisions, anorexia, and hot and cold chills just to name a few.
> >
> > *Sounds JUST like what my mother went through (did you fall down & throw up or have clinical migraines?) AND what my partner is still dealing with (he stutters, now, too), although the numb/strange feeling in his fingers stopped about two weeks or so after he was totally weaned. He still has decision-making issues, and increased social anxiety :( *
> > >
> > > One question for the docs here. I hate this about myself, but why do I forget whether I took my medicine or not a lot of the time? I feel like an old lady having to put my pills in a little day-of-the week pill box. ~laughing~
> >
> > *I'm only taking one med daily at this time, and believe me, if it's more than one I can't remember either. I think short-term memory fog is a side effect of being human!
> >
> > snakeadelic
> Hi! I was on 300mg of Effexor XR at one point and I truely believe now that I'm off it, that it was really adding to my depression. I had some of the same symptoms you did... I even had to tell my boss that I was having memory problems. I would forget if I took my medicine, made phone calls EVERYTHING! I thought it was my depression but it was clearly the Effexor. I had sexual side effects and just felt crappy (crying, depressed)all the time on this med. My doc decided to add 150mg of Wellbutrin XL to the Effexor to help with the sexual side effects. Finally I got so fed up with the memory problems, I asked him if I could get off the Effexor. I first went down to 150mg and after about 2-3 days I started to get major side effects (cold sweats, crying over everything, severe headache, nausea, aggitation, and major "volts" in my body)I ended up in the hospital because I thought I was going to die. They took me off Effexor all together in the hospital, and left me on the 150 Wellbutrin. Thankfully I found this website and saw that taking Claratin D may help with the side effects. I immediately went out and got some and it helped me AMAZING! as long as I took it like the directions said. The Claratin D does not effect my sleep or make me feel jittery at all...just normal. Also, at first I thought that I was feeling bad because of the Wellbutrin (when they first lowered my Effexor), but it turns out I am off Effexor now and on 300mg of Wellbutrin, and feel great (I haven't noticed ANY side effects). Plus I take 100mg of Trazedone to sleep (works great! no hangover). I have been taking sublingual B complex vitamins for a while, as well as capsules of Flax oil (Omega 3) but I'm not sure if this is helping because I've been taking them for a long time. The Wellbutrin has worked very well for me! I feel real again. I hope this helps, but as you know everyone is different. Take care, Jenna

Effexor has a very short half-life (<12 hours) relative to other SSRIs (e.g., Prozac clears your system over several days, the others fall somewhere in between). As I understand it, Effexor was developed to treat pain, and it is a good pain modulator for cetain conditions. Its biochemical structure is very close to an opioid. It's a very good antidepressant for most people--especially people who either don't respond to or have lost depression control with the other SSRIs. Effexor is an SNRI or "serotonin/norepinephrine reuptake inhibitor," so it actually has action on two receptor systems. I like the energizing effect of Wellbutrin, too. Wellbutrin works on dopamine receptors (at least that's the hypothesis) and tends to be very energizing. It doesn't have the sexual problems of Effexor, Prozac, Zoloft and other serotonin boosting drugs. The problem is, it doesn't work on depression for everyone. Not everyone has problems with Effexor withdrawal--although that's not meant to trivialize anyone's suffering. I took 300 mg Effexor per day for nearly 4 years, then tapered off in about a month with no problems. I have no idea what taking Claritin is supposed to do--I know some people use Benadryl (diphenhydramine) to come down off benzodiazepines because it's so sedating. It takes the edge off the Xanax heebie-geebies. Like you said, everyone's different. I took Trazodone once and it put me in the hospital because I had such a violent reaction to it. Others take it with no problem. Go figure.





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