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Re: Effexor withdrawal - very bad news

Posted by hopndoodle on February 18, 2005, at 22:35:00

In reply to Re: Effexor withdrawal - very bad news, posted by Vexinvixen on February 17, 2005, at 9:28:16

My heart goes out to you. I, too, have experienced many of the same symptoms. It helped greatly to find this site and feel validation. Somehow that alone made my distress manageable. I have also recently tapered down and then stopped effexor completely. It's been about 10 days. The first four days were the worst. I almost went home from work due to the nausea on day 4. But that decreased and subsided altogether around day 6 or 7. That was the worst symptom for me, and now that its gone I feel I can manage the rest. I wanted to encourage you that things WILL get better. I have one persistent symptom: hives. Itchy, torturous hives. The day after I cut down from 150mg to 75mg they doubled. I lifted my sweater to show my tummy to a couple of my co-workers and they gasped out loud. I told them that they weren't just on my tummy, but all over my body. That's when I went to the Dr. and, of course, he said the hives couldn't possibly be from the withdrawal. He said probably a food allergy to one of five culprits: peanuts, chocolate, strawberries, shell fish and tomatoes. So we have a bet going. I haven't eaten any of those foods for three weeks and I still have hives. Now that I am completely off the effexor, they are getting better and I can manage them with antihistimines. Once they are completely gone I plan to add those foods back into my diet one at a time and dollars-to-doughnuts I bet the hives don't come back.
I have a funny story about the hives, tho. One morning, at their worst, we were all at the breakfast table. I stood up and discreetly pulled down my the back of my pjs to show my husband how bad they were on my butt. He chuckled, "Oh, I bet they liked that." I looked behind me to see the drapes wide open on the picture window! I sighed and said, "Well, I guess they saw the moon...even if it was all pink." A few minutes later I saw my 8 year old daughter looking out the window, very puzzled. She said, "Mommy, I don't see any pink moon out there." We had a great giggle when I explained what "the moon" meant.
God bless you. Hang in there. It WILL all pass.

> 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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