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Re: Effexor withdrawal - very bad news

Posted by Vexinvixen on February 17, 2005, at 9:28:16

In reply to Re: Effexor withdrawal - very bad news, posted by JennaStarrett on February 7, 2005, at 22:57:25

Effexor hasn't been good for me at all. Several years ago I had tried 2 or 3 other anti-depressants, but the side effects made my already-bad depression so much worse, that I stopped trying.

I eventually recovered from that divorce and illness-induced episode, but still had the dysphoria which I have always had. After some discussion with my doctor, we tried a different anti-depressant (I can't remember which one now.) There were a few mild side effects, but no real positive effect, so we discontinued that and decided to try Effexor.

There was an initial positive effect, with some initial intestinal distress, which subsided, and I was pleased. When the positive effect decreased, the initial very low dose was increased, with questionable additional positive effect, but additional gastro-intestinal discomfort including frequent burping, flatulence, and return of previously-controlled reflux disorder.

I also developed dry skin, dry hair and brittle nails, an itchy rash with compulsion to scratch to the point of bleeding. Also extreme sleepiness -- I was falling asleep at my desk at work.

The dosage was decreased, and a very small amount of Wellbutrin added, and symptoms increased again. Headache. Muscle and joint pain. Painful intercourse. Clumsiness. Nose bleeds. Constipation. Dry mouth. Weight gain. Increasing gastrointestinal reflux, often disturbing sleep. Increasing depression, thoughts of death, lack of interest in normal activities, lack of motivation, hopelessness, frustration. Loss of interest in sex.

Over several months we tried different dosages, with symptoms always increasing and becoming worse, with the exception of the rash, which decreased, but did not disappear.

Wellbutrin was discontinued fairly quickly, and I thought it was the cause of my increased symptoms, but symptoms did not decrease without it. In fact, they kept increasing. I was becoming so depressed, I was only a couple of steps above being suicidal.

After a few weeks, Effexor was slowly decreased and then discontinued a few days ago. Sleep has become troubled -- nightmares and odd disturbing dreams -- where previously there had never been any nightmares and dreams were nearly always pleasant and refreshing. My internal clock has been increasingly "off" -- sleepiness has been coming later and later at night, with difficulty getting up in the morning.

I've had increasing dry skin, dry mouth, dry and irritated eyes. Slight shortness of breath, and occasional heart "flutters." Constant thirst and dehydration. Occasional slight disorientation, lack of focus, increasing emotional swings, light-headedness that has become nearly constant, occasional dizziness. All symptoms seem to be remaining constant, or in many cases getting worse, with the exception of lack of interest in sex, which is subsiding.

I had to leave work yesterday, because the light-headedness/dizziness and fevers/chills were making it impossible to work. I also felt exhausted, but when I tried napping, I had strange, vivid, disquieting dreams.

I missed work today, and have been light-headed or dizzy every waking moment so far. Last night again I had very vivid, disturbing dreams. My dreams have always been very vivid, but never until recently have I had nightmares.

Effexor has made me feel much worse than I felt before taking it. Had I known this was even a possibility, I would never have tried the drug, as we were treating a relatively mild (though chronic) dysphoria. That was a lot easier to live with!




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