Psycho-Babble Medication Thread 13781

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Re: Have I got too many side-effects?

Posted by SJMA on November 19, 2002, at 14:09:27

In reply to Re: Have I got too many side-effects?, posted by Stamper on November 19, 2002, at 9:40:11

> Has anyone experienced a metal taste in their mouth? Also muscle twitching and jerking which seems to be worse at night? Most of my other side effects have gone away but these remain and are most annoying. My psych said the twitching is rare. I have had these side effects since starting effexor xr and wellbutrin sr about April.
>


I have started to have an intermittent hiccup. Just every once in a while, I hiccup. Not numerous times, like when you have to drink water and stand on your head and such, just a single hiccup. Anyone else noticed this?

 

Re: I gained 20 pounds BLAH

Posted by wheresheruns on November 19, 2002, at 20:28:14

In reply to Re: I gained 20 pounds BLAH, posted by Angel1 on September 3, 2002, at 15:15:55

It seems like skinny people who are on effexor gain weight and the not so skinny people lose weight. I lost 20 lbs while I was on effexor xr (I weighed in @ 150 at 5'9", and when I came off of it I was at 130). I was on it for 3 months and and Ive now been off of it for about 5 months. Since then I've only gained back 5 lbs. I think it permanently changed my metabolism, because I don't watch what I eat.

It would be great to hear about some weight gain/loss issues from others out there on effexor or any other drug for that matter =)

 

Re: I gained 20 pounds BLAH

Posted by sly on November 22, 2002, at 9:02:24

In reply to Re: I gained 20 pounds BLAH, posted by wheresheruns on November 19, 2002, at 20:28:14

When I started Effexor I was about 5'5 and 130, I lost 20 lbs in the first 3 months, however I still felt very depressed. I had anhedonia, total loss of pleasure which included eating, but I was also bingeing at the time. It all turned around after 4-5 months, the depression began to lift and I started to gain some weight back.

I try not to weigh myself anymore, but I know I haven't put it all back on because my old clothes are still a little too big.

 

Re: Effexor dose levels and effects? Cam? anyone?

Posted by Zinya on November 22, 2002, at 14:48:01

In reply to Re: Effexor dose--lowering it? Cam-anyone? shar, posted by Cam W. on August 10, 2000, at 1:26:15

I'm working my way through these posts for the first time and still in posts from 2 yrs ago so I don't know yet who is still on here or not, but now find myself with a Q to post before I forget it ...

Both Cam and i think Kimberley have talked about how the multiple effects of Effexor kick in at different dosages -- that at lower doses it's more of a serotonin effect, higher levels bring on noreneprine effects, the highest leves add dopamine effect. Does anyone know if these vary by individual? Or is it possible to 'quantify' at what levels these additive effects take place? The posts I'm reading here imply that at 225mg, people are at more of (or equal effects on?) noreprenephron levels and advising people who are going off that at some point they will re-enter a 'serotonin-only' effect stage... Does anyone know what level that distinction happens at (for someone going on the way up or down in dosage levels?) Specifically, at 150 mg, can one expect to already be gaining both effects or is that still more of a serotonin effect level?

fyi: I have tried either an AD (prozac) or a bipolar med (lithium, and one other - i think it was depakote) about 4 times scattered over past 15 yrs each time (except once) giving it at least a month but the combo of side effects and failure to feel any decrease in depression led me to quit. Not coincidentally, I think, that time frame coincided with both grief (my dad's death 15 yrs ago) and diagnosis of fibromyalgia/chronic fatigue syndrome at that same time 15 yrs ago with lesser and greater struggles with the latter even since. Now as of 3-1/2 months ago, my mom has passed away after my taking care of her (alzheimer's) for 8 years, at the end moving her to live with me, buying home in order to do so, only to discover that she had an undiagnosed cancer and that enormous output whereby as recently as 10 months ago, i was cooking on 5 burners at once in the process of escrow, moving her and me, with expectation of having several years yet with her. I would say 80% of my identity became caring for her, happily so, as she was very precious to me. The sudden loss has been fairly devastating, and I increasingly realize as much to my own sense of self (purpose, future direction, resume career i'd put on hold to care for her, etc.) as the grief and loss itself... This led me to feel that I by now perhaps this was more depression I'm dealing with than guilt per se, and so went to my md. yesterday who I hadn't seen in over a year -- an md. who had been previously helpful in suggesting new paths for dealing with a hormonal imbalance. But I went to him already saying I thought it was time to try an AD if there was now a new one and a different one I hadn't already tried. I'd heard of Lexapro and also Paxil CR, neither of which i'd tried. He said Lexapro was so new he'd had no experience with it, that Paxil CR might be okay, but proposed Effexor XR instead, telling me only that it works on both serotonin and norepinephrine (adrenalin levels, right?) too--which sounded good since I've long felt my adrenalin levels were erratic and mostly unreliably low [and actually tested low once 2 yrs ago]. He said nothing about how different levels of the Effexor yield different mixes of effects and so I assumed it would work on both equally from the outset. (He also said nothing about dopamine levels that two of you have mentioned -- and I don't know what that does to one's system except one of you mentioned that it offsets serotonin effects -- which sounds odd as to why a drug would have one thing offsetting another) ...

Since I'd never heard of Effexor, I decided to check out the web last night before starting it today and stumbled on this site first of all. I've read just enough already that I've postponed starting it until I read all these posts and other websites first.

I had allowed myself, I now realize, to sort of "forget" the realities of side effects -- last time I tried any such AD was 2 yrs ago briefly Celexa than an endocrinologist thought would be the ticket for me and I couldn't tolerate it (as I recall I became agitated, but i could be forgetting the specific side effect) and that was a case of not even making it to a month's worth on the drug...

I've added this background of my own situation in case it helps to know where I'm coming from in asking this question about dosage levels and effects... Again, I haven't started yet. What he gave me was 37.5 to take for 1 week, then 75 mg to take for 3 wks with the idea that I would then go to 150 mg if okay a month from now on the lesser dosages. I'm partly wondering, after reading these posts so far, if for the first month, not yet up to 150, will I only be getting the serotonin effects? One person spoke of having superordinate energy levels in first month (which sounds wonderful to me if it didn't mean agitatedly so -- my single biggest manifestation of depression is zero energy to do much of anything -- a 180 degree contrast looking back to where I was just 10 months ago.... or even 4 months ago in the throes of being nurse 24/7 to my mom etc... Even my doc and a bereavement counselor I have seen suggest and recognize that the grief process itself could be much or most of this zero-energy but since it seems to have gotten worse instead of easing up--and since a prior history makes me think that this grieving is not an isolated phase but bringing to bear full force a predisposition that was already there but somehow more often masked than unmasked, that was why I began to feel a need to try an anti-dep but now I'm reminding myself from reading here that the concern with side effects possibly making this grief period actually worse instead of better... Of course, I'll never know if I dont' try, but I am trying to avoid making too hasty a decision here and wondering if I should postpone trying an AD again to see. And yet holiday season looms as a time that always was a rough time even when I had energy.)

Well, enough babbling/background. If anyone has advice, answers, thoughts on any of this, I will greatly appreciate it... Meanwhile, I'll keep reading your postings up to the present...
Thanks.

 

Re: Effexor dose levels and effects? Cam? anyone? Zinya

Posted by jannbeau on November 22, 2002, at 16:43:10

In reply to Re: Effexor dose levels and effects? Cam? anyone?, posted by Zinya on November 22, 2002, at 14:48:01

> Hello, Zinya and Welcome to Psychobabble-Effexor! My name is Jannbeau and I occasionally post my thoughts here--my own opinions, only, as I am not a doctor, so take my comments for what they are worth, which might not be much!

Please accept my deepest sympathy for you upon the loss of your dear mother. My mother died almost ten years ago and I have yet to recover fully, so don't be surprised if this takes you a long time. The loss of one's mother is devastating to any person, man or woman, I think. I know that we are supposed to be healthier if we can let go, but. . .I loved her so!

Then, also, please let me say up front that I am not a doctor so I cannot tell you how to treat your illness.

With respect to your questions about Effexor, I would suggest that the approach you are attempting may be too analytical. Most of the effects about which you comment are those observed in experimental animal or cell culture experiments on receptor kinetics. It is difficult, if not impossible, to sort these effects out in the human brain because, generally, we cannot do the experiments; although there are some noninvasive imaging techniques that will give a good idea of what areas of the brain are more or less active under different conditions, including those of depression, agitation, personality disorders, and drug therapy, these are seldom definitive of the neurotransmitter systems in operation. There are too many of them and they are too intertwined to make these simplistic statements about the activities of such systems at different doses of a medication(by the way, norepinephrine is NOT adrenalin, it is noradrenalin, a related compound; adrenalin is also known as epinephrine). Additionally, there are multiple neuromodulators in the brain, including triiodothyronine, substance P, etc, just to mention a couple (I don't keep up too well with the research anymore) that modify the behavior of neurotransmitters on brain function AND that may affect the efficacy of a medication for a given disorder in a given individual. Which brings me to the question of interindividual variability in response parameters: each person probably has a different threshold in his/her brain for different effects of a dose of any given medication, meaning that my brain might react differently to a certain dose of a medication than would your brain. Sometimes one medication will not even work on a specific person, although it works fine for another. All we can talk about is the general effects of the medication, which in the case of the antidepressants is a lifting of depression.


Hope I've made my point without being didactic.

God Bless and Good Luck. Let us hear from you with any concerns you might have.
Jannbeau
I'm working my way through these posts for the first time and still in posts from 2 yrs ago so I don't know yet who is still on here or not, but now find myself with a Q to post before I forget it ...
>
> Both Cam and i think Kimberley have talked about how the multiple effects of Effexor kick in at different dosages -- that at lower doses it's more of a serotonin effect, higher levels bring on noreneprine effects, the highest leves add dopamine effect. Does anyone know if these vary by individual? Or is it possible to 'quantify' at what levels these additive effects take place? The posts I'm reading here imply that at 225mg, people are at more of (or equal effects on?) noreprenephron levels and advising people who are going off that at some point they will re-enter a 'serotonin-only' effect stage... Does anyone know what level that distinction happens at (for someone going on the way up or down in dosage levels?) Specifically, at 150 mg, can one expect to already be gaining both effects or is that still more of a serotonin effect level?
>
> fyi: I have tried either an AD (prozac) or a bipolar med (lithium, and one other - i think it was depakote) about 4 times scattered over past 15 yrs each time (except once) giving it at least a month but the combo of side effects and failure to feel any decrease in depression led me to quit. Not coincidentally, I think, that time frame coincided with both grief (my dad's death 15 yrs ago) and diagnosis of fibromyalgia/chronic fatigue syndrome at that same time 15 yrs ago with lesser and greater struggles with the latter even since. Now as of 3-1/2 months ago, my mom has passed away after my taking care of her (alzheimer's) for 8 years, at the end moving her to live with me, buying home in order to do so, only to discover that she had an undiagnosed cancer and that enormous output whereby as recently as 10 months ago, i was cooking on 5 burners at once in the process of escrow, moving her and me, with expectation of having several years yet with her. I would say 80% of my identity became caring for her, happily so, as she was very precious to me. The sudden loss has been fairly devastating, and I increasingly realize as much to my own sense of self (purpose, future direction, resume career i'd put on hold to care for her, etc.) as the grief and loss itself... This led me to feel that I by now perhaps this was more depression I'm dealing with than guilt per se, and so went to my md. yesterday who I hadn't seen in over a year -- an md. who had been previously helpful in suggesting new paths for dealing with a hormonal imbalance. But I went to him already saying I thought it was time to try an AD if there was now a new one and a different one I hadn't already tried. I'd heard of Lexapro and also Paxil CR, neither of which i'd tried. He said Lexapro was so new he'd had no experience with it, that Paxil CR might be okay, but proposed Effexor XR instead, telling me only that it works on both serotonin and norepinephrine (adrenalin levels, right?) too--which sounded good since I've long felt my adrenalin levels were erratic and mostly unreliably low [and actually tested low once 2 yrs ago]. He said nothing about how different levels of the Effexor yield different mixes of effects and so I assumed it would work on both equally from the outset. (He also said nothing about dopamine levels that two of you have mentioned -- and I don't know what that does to one's system except one of you mentioned that it offsets serotonin effects -- which sounds odd as to why a drug would have one thing offsetting another) ...
>
> Since I'd never heard of Effexor, I decided to check out the web last night before starting it today and stumbled on this site first of all. I've read just enough already that I've postponed starting it until I read all these posts and other websites first.
>
> I had allowed myself, I now realize, to sort of "forget" the realities of side effects -- last time I tried any such AD was 2 yrs ago briefly Celexa than an endocrinologist thought would be the ticket for me and I couldn't tolerate it (as I recall I became agitated, but i could be forgetting the specific side effect) and that was a case of not even making it to a month's worth on the drug...
>
> I've added this background of my own situation in case it helps to know where I'm coming from in asking this question about dosage levels and effects... Again, I haven't started yet. What he gave me was 37.5 to take for 1 week, then 75 mg to take for 3 wks with the idea that I would then go to 150 mg if okay a month from now on the lesser dosages. I'm partly wondering, after reading these posts so far, if for the first month, not yet up to 150, will I only be getting the serotonin effects? One person spoke of having superordinate energy levels in first month (which sounds wonderful to me if it didn't mean agitatedly so -- my single biggest manifestation of depression is zero energy to do much of anything -- a 180 degree contrast looking back to where I was just 10 months ago.... or even 4 months ago in the throes of being nurse 24/7 to my mom etc... Even my doc and a bereavement counselor I have seen suggest and recognize that the grief process itself could be much or most of this zero-energy but since it seems to have gotten worse instead of easing up--and since a prior history makes me think that this grieving is not an isolated phase but bringing to bear full force a predisposition that was already there but somehow more often masked than unmasked, that was why I began to feel a need to try an anti-dep but now I'm reminding myself from reading here that the concern with side effects possibly making this grief period actually worse instead of better... Of course, I'll never know if I dont' try, but I am trying to avoid making too hasty a decision here and wondering if I should postpone trying an AD again to see. And yet holiday season looms as a time that always was a rough time even when I had energy.)
>
> Well, enough babbling/background. If anyone has advice, answers, thoughts on any of this, I will greatly appreciate it... Meanwhile, I'll keep reading your postings up to the present...
> Thanks.

 

Re: Effexor dose levels and effects? Cam? anyone?

Posted by zinya on November 22, 2002, at 18:19:08

In reply to Re: Effexor dose levels and effects? Cam? anyone? Zinya, posted by jannbeau on November 22, 2002, at 16:43:10

hi Jannbeau,

first, thanks much for responding... and I appreciate your empathies... Indeed losing a parent and especially a mom and especially one you've taken care of is rough going... and I do realize it's bound to take time but knowing how to sort that out from some depression syndrome that needs treatment beyond that of time ... when I keep lagging in energy to do much of anything or even desire to do much except somehow in some abstract plane... I don't want to react too impulsively or desperately to get on a track with side effects (which previous a-d use unfortuantely involved) and withdrawal problems (which I don't think i *have* had in the past though) ... So i'm at least giving myself a few more days of reading here before deciding to 'take the plunge' ... Yesterday I came home from md. with the meds feeling only hopeful, but I *am* grateful something made me check the web first last night and realize I needed to think a bit more first about what might lie ahead ... And, in that regard, a new question: I realized last weekend (my body "speaking to me") that i'd surely overdone in past 3 months on alcohol - never very much but just that fact of having a glass of wine or the equiv. almost every night to the point that i realized i had to quit -- and this is the 5th day since last drop of alcohol, which seems at the least like a wise thing to do first and for a bit longer to try to detox my liver, if nothing else, before some new potency starts its effects ... And maybe in the interim some degree of depression might lift as well and alter how I weigh the cost/benefit of starting on this course... I must say the reports of withdrawal symptoms I started reading here were a big factor in taking a big gulp and thinking maybe wise to wait at least a while and keep trying to 'detox' in the interim... Do you know much about liver effects on Effexor?

One other Q - a clarification: You wrote that ".... they are too intertwined to make these simplistic statements about the activities of such systems at different doses of a medication(by the way, norepinephrine is NOT adrenalin, it is noradrenalin, a related compound; adrenalin is also known as epinephrine)"
I confess to just mimicking what i've heard without necessarily understanding it. Do you mean that the norepinephrine effects of Effexor do *not* work on the adrenal system? If you (or anyone) could elaborate any more on this, to the extent you could, I'd appreciate it ...
And, secondly, did you mean that the posters I'd read here who said the lower doses of Effexor impact more on serotonin and that they only start impacting norepinephrine at higher levels were speaking too simplistically? or incorrectly?
thanks again for your feedback and kind thoughts!

 

Re: I am scared of this medicine, HELP ME!

Posted by dde on November 22, 2002, at 22:25:58

In reply to Re: Effexor dose levels and effects? Cam? anyone?, posted by zinya on November 22, 2002, at 18:19:08

First, my heartfelt condolences.
Second, give yourself time to grieve. I have also lost a loved one, but to depression and Effexor XR. Please do not put a time limit on your grief or try to mask it with medication. It would be my opinion that trying to mask the pain, or the other effects such as no energy and loss of feeling, will only prolong the effects, as I have been told that once you come off the medication the feelings are still there and still have to be felt to get past them. After the death of my son in August, I took some Paxil for the anxiety. I can tell you that I became totally numb to any emotion, and that once I stopped taking it, I was feeling again, sometimes to an extreme, but at least I know it will come and go....not so with the medication....all I felt with it was NOTHING. Allow yourself all the emotion. It is natural and normal. Pain, Guilt, Anger (and this is the worst phase for me, so far, as when I am angry I cry, then become frustrated and cry more), will eventually turn to acceptance and being able to move on. Try to find a group for support. I have had to do that. I try to be kind with myself. The doctors keep trying to get me to take more medication as I have a heart condition and they are afraid of the stress of grief on my heart. I function at work, but on my off days, I find little to get out of bed for....some days I just stay there and FEEL.
I am told by our grief counselor that grieving has no time limit and takes different routes for everyone. I truly believe it is so.

I hope you will give yourself time: time to feel and time to heal. If the healing doesn't start, if you aren't moving through the emotions, THEN look for the least offensive drug and listen to your body. I will keep you in my prayers. de

 

Re: Anyone had success on Effexor XR?

Posted by befree on November 22, 2002, at 22:29:40

In reply to Re: Anyone had success on Effexor XR? Redula, posted by jannbeau on September 24, 2002, at 16:35:15

I took Effexor XR for two weeks and decided to go off of it because I was experiencing severe sleepiness and felt real spacey. I went off the medicine abruptly and didn't think that I would experience very many side effects because I was only on it for such a short while. Three days after withdrawing from the medicine I am experiencing bad lower abdominal cramping type pain, and dizziness? Is this normal? Any body else experience anything like this? If so, how long did it last?

 

Re: Effexor dose levels and effects? Cam? anyone?

Posted by Sioux on November 22, 2002, at 22:34:03

In reply to Re: Effexor dose levels and effects? Cam? anyone?, posted by Zinya on November 22, 2002, at 14:48:01

Zinya, if you have 'low adrenaline' and tested low - this would be a 'cortisol challenge' test + a 24 hr urine cortisol - you should be on adrenocorticosteroid replacement such as prednisone or cortef + florinef. Low adrenal function causes depression and fatigue.

S

 

Re: Effexor dose levels and effects? Cam? anyone?

Posted by Sioux on November 22, 2002, at 22:36:43

In reply to Re: Effexor dose levels and effects? Cam? anyone? Zinya, posted by jannbeau on November 22, 2002, at 16:43:10

Jannbeau, *be* didactic. I love it. Thanks. S.

 

Re: I am scared of this medicine, HELP ME! dde

Posted by zinya on November 23, 2002, at 0:01:21

In reply to Re: I am scared of this medicine, HELP ME!, posted by dde on November 22, 2002, at 22:25:58

thank you, dde... and i'm sooo sorry to hear of your own loss ... As my mom had had the experience of losing her son, my brother, i can imagine from close proximity the added grief of such a loss... And I wish *you* well ...

i have days (or rather hours of each day) when i feel it's still so recent - and it was all too sudden so that i still have recurrent flashes of denial mixed in -- that i 'forgive' myself or indulge myself or whatever it is for having zero energy and doing nothing but the minimalist of tasks and sometimes getting rather bleak. But interwoven with those voices are others that surface which are more "social" voices and especially "American" voices that are in me whether i believe they're "right" or not and they berate me or even shame me a bit as floundering and thinking i should have more energy by now, that this vegetative-seeming state should be further ... I know cognitively to be wary of "shoulds" -- and i do attend a bereavement group every 2wks -- although it's possible that missing the last meeting was either a cause or an effect of gettiing to a place where i finally this week started thinking i had "gone long enough" -- and one particularly horrid night's sleep Wed. night waking with awful thoughts and anxieties about the future too made me think i had to start some kind of a-d ... despite some past experiences, as i mentioned earlier that never yielded any relief ... But i am now -- as I sense you are suggesting -- pausing a bit more before starting, being reminded (thankfully - whatever i decide) for this website giving me your voices and helping me at least be more aware of a bunch of pros and cons that i would otherwise have been potential ambushes i could ill afford (who can?) ... With holidays coming up i think i may have also started to feel a bit panicky in a way (an energyless sort of way) cuz like many, it seems, i have trouble on the inside during this season even though i didn't usually show it ... but indeed, perhaps i can weather some more time to see that grief's process before adding meds to the mix... In he interim, i'm starting even tonight to think that now five days since having any alcohol, which i had let become a rather nightly way to take the edge off, even though it wasn't much, it was pretty routine and laying off alcohol since last Sunday might be starting to pay off a bit too... Thanks for the encouragement.

And again my deepest condolences to you, de...

 

Effexor --some little big Qs (to Bizzou and all)

Posted by zinya on November 23, 2002, at 15:22:45

In reply to Re: Effexor SR, posted by Bizzou on November 11, 2002, at 23:14:23

The post that specifically triggers this post and several specific Qs and one bigger/broader Q is Bizzou's (nice tag name :)) and a comment she/he made:

"I am quite positive this Effexor will help me but I thing that eventually you have to quit. But before I do quit these drugs, I will have resolved the inner reasons for these **inappropriate feelings**. I'm planning to see a psychologist with experience in PNL and with those two aids (effexor and PNL), I should feel better again." [**s added]

First, some clarification Q's:
a) Bizzou's post was titled Effexor SR -- is that different from XR? or perhaps a typo? or what it's called in Canada where Bizzou is?

b) what is PNL ?

Finally, the meatier question which Bizzou's post prompted in referring to "inappropriate feelings." I mentioned yesterday that I'm in a time of huge loss -- of my mom in August -- leaving me as the one surviving family member (except for cousins and nieces, nephew, none of whom I am close to in our adulthoods). I have great friends who are loving and supportive and some of whom are urging me to see what i'm going through as 'normal', others of whom though now that I mention I am considering perhaps needing an a-d say "yeah, maybe so" -- reflecting both their concern, their wish to see me more active again, and their lack of fresh experience if any with this grieving process. This mix of voices mirrors my own internal voices of "give the grieving more time" vs "i *should* be moving on by now." ...

Bizzou's phrase made me think about the convergence of plenty of "things to be depressed about" - not only my mom's loss but also the 'high and dryness' of my own life and where to go from here - i had (quite willingly) resigned from my professional job (mostly cuz i didn't like where i was living) and moved back to where my mom was after 5 yrs of her being diagnosed with alzheimer's and trying to essentially parent her from 2,000 miles away. And I wound up buying a home for her to be with me because two diff. retirement homes she was in had screwed up royally enough that i just wanted her with me, but now i face a HUGE sense of zero on the horizon, a sense of absolute loss not only of a precious mom who also, consciously or not, gave meaning and sense to many big and little orderings of priorities in my life, and now there's this void of purposelessness, not knowing where i'm going -- themes echoed by others in my bereavement group whose parents' deaths were longer ago than my own. Which on the one hand weighs in on the side of feeling "well, okay, this is normal... Don't overreact to this amount of zero energy and depression." On the other hand, this extra component of also being high and dry, with a sense of relative (not supreme but relative) urgency to "get on with my life" for financial as well as other reasons yet finding no energy to even finish unboxing and moving into this house, which represents a decision that turned out to be made on ill-informed grounds given that mds had failed to diagnose that my mom's pains for a year were due to cancer and their encouragement even that i get a home and move mom in with me cuz they saw what a caring daughter i was -- all that prompted a decision to invest in a house which now feels rather like an 'albatross' and a daily constant reminder of all that is lost and wound up having only 5 months living here with mom when i'd imagined at least 5 years as realistic...

In sum, and to get to my question, how many of you would say that your feelings of depression strike you as "appropriate" vs. "inappropriate" given the realities in your life? Or does that strike you as an irrelevant Q? Are others similarly taking a-d's because of feelings that what may have once been appropriate levels of depression have at some point turned 'inappropriate'? I'm guessing many of you, like me, have total lack of energy as a final straw kind of thing that has led to a pharmacol. approach ???

I took the Depression test that was on a website on washingtonian.com mentioned by one of the posters here - apparently a classic 'test' on a 54 point scale where anything over 20 points is consdiered 'major depression' and, while it's hard to know how to quantify some of the responses, i seemed to be somewhere in the level of 15 points plus or minus. It also made me wonder if the risks of taking such meds - which I confess have been very important to hear and rather bracing to learn of on this board -- that perhaps i should be asking myself more importantly just how "inappropriate" these feelings of depression are... before risking something that could be a boon but, quite obviously, could just as easily be a new kind of nightmare given what some report here (plus my own history of trying a-ds or bipolars in past 15 yrs a few times to no avail).

Any thoughts will be MUCH appreciated - and I apologize for being so wordy. My censor is on hiatus too.

thanks :)

 

Effexor vs. Lexapro

Posted by zinya on November 23, 2002, at 15:26:46

In reply to Re: Effexor SR, posted by Bizzou on November 11, 2002, at 23:14:23

While I'm at it, another Q:
Is anyone here familiar with Lexapro? I had heard of it via both a friend whose daughter is taking it and from my bereavement counselor who had heard good things about it. But my md. said it was too new, he'd never used it, and raised Effexor instead, as I mentioned in prior post. But since I've put on hold starting the Effexor until i process more all your postings, I'm curious if any of you have any experience with or knowledge of Lexapro (apparently an SSRI that is supposedly a newer, less-side-effect version of Paxil et al.) ???

 

Re: starting effexor... keep posting.. success/dosage?

Posted by Fee on November 23, 2002, at 18:33:50

In reply to Re: starting effexor... keep posting.. success/dosage?, posted by lg on November 7, 1999, at 19:11:05

Interesting stuff about Effexor/Remeron combination. I am on Zoloft and Remeron, but the Zoloft has 'pooped out' I think, after 12 years on it. (See thread 'SSRI Poop Out'). My doctor is switching me to Effexor and keeping me on the Remeron. Anyone else had experience of these two drugs in combination?
Fee. xxx

 

Re: Effexor; came and went

Posted by Fee on November 23, 2002, at 19:48:38

In reply to Effexor; came and went, posted by Paul 1952 on October 25, 2002, at 23:28:07

Paul, I know its a long time since you posted this message, but I found it interesting and wanted to thank you. I am a 38yr old woman who has been on ssris for twelve years - very successfully up until six months ago. I am suffering from drug 'poop out' effect, where the drug just stops working. My doctor is considering putting me on Effexor. But the last time I tried to come off the ssri (lustral) that I have been on for years, I got this constant light headed feeling, like my brain couldn't keep up when I moved my eyes or head. It was really horrible and weird. Did you go through that too? Now that youv'e been off the drugs for a bit longer, are you feeling ok? And, if you don't mind me asking, did you have any side effects with Effexor that affected your sex life? Thanks again for your message. All the best,
Fee

 

Re: Anyone had success on Effexor XR?

Posted by oscarcatt on November 23, 2002, at 23:28:05

In reply to Anyone had success on Effexor XR? , posted by jp on October 24, 1999, at 14:59:14

Yes, I have had good success with Effexor XR. I am on a high dosage of it. I've been on meds for 10 years now and been through quite an assortment of them, some with some success, some with absolutely none.

I used to have nausea from the Effexor. The nurse practicioner I saw recently suggested that perhaps I had an ulcer. This time while taking it I haven't experienced that. (I had been taking some herbal stuff that seemed to get rid of my constant nausea and it hasn't been back)

However, I've been out for 2 days now and I"m going through bad withdrawl. I don't recall this from the past.

I'm having lengthy vivid bizarre dreams with Effexor.

 

Re: Anyone had success on Effexor XR?

Posted by jmmrc2002 on November 25, 2002, at 2:35:35

In reply to Re: Anyone had success on Effexor XR? , posted by oscarcatt on November 23, 2002, at 23:28:05

I have found this board very informative.

I've been on FXR for 5 months now. At my last visit to the doctor, she bumped me up from 150/day to 150 twice daily and a drug to help me sleep better.

I have never been depressed before and the symptoms slowly progressed because of situations and circumstances. When the outside influences got better, I felt better. Then the outside influences returned to "normal" and I became depressed again and finally sought the physician.

I generally do not like to take medicine and am very sceptical of doctors. I will take medication when I have to but would prefer to go the natural route.

I also have been diagnosed with hypothyroid. Through various links from this forum, I have discovered that the depression that I have been experiencing could be caused by my thyroid level not being balance even though I am taking the appropriate dose of medication. This doctor, who I saw for the very first time 5 months ago for the depression, never related the depression to my thyroid nor did she inform me that FXR was addictive (causing withdrawls), nor did she explain the side effects. Normally, I read the brochure from the pharmacist, but I did not this time.

I have experienced some of the side effects that I have read about in this forum but didn't relate it to the FXR. THANK YOU!!

 

Re: I am scared of this medicine, HELP ME! dde

Posted by jannbeau on November 25, 2002, at 12:12:23

In reply to Re: I am scared of this medicine, HELP ME!, posted by dde on November 22, 2002, at 22:25:58

> Hi, DDE, I can feel your pain in this post. I wish that I knew how to help you through it, but I think you are doing the very best you can with it. I'd like to say to Zinya that your words seem very wise, so perhaps she can go with what you suggest for the moment as she tries to sort out the differences between grieving and depression. Zinya, I have to think about the questions you asked me in response to my earlier post re pharmacokinetics of Effexor and other ADs.

Jannbeau

First, my heartfelt condolences.
> Second, give yourself time to grieve. I have also lost a loved one, but to depression and Effexor XR. Please do not put a time limit on your grief or try to mask it with medication. It would be my opinion that trying to mask the pain, or the other effects such as no energy and loss of feeling, will only prolong the effects, as I have been told that once you come off the medication the feelings are still there and still have to be felt to get past them. After the death of my son in August, I took some Paxil for the anxiety. I can tell you that I became totally numb to any emotion, and that once I stopped taking it, I was feeling again, sometimes to an extreme, but at least I know it will come and go....not so with the medication....all I felt with it was NOTHING. Allow yourself all the emotion. It is natural and normal. Pain, Guilt, Anger (and this is the worst phase for me, so far, as when I am angry I cry, then become frustrated and cry more), will eventually turn to acceptance and being able to move on. Try to find a group for support. I have had to do that. I try to be kind with myself. The doctors keep trying to get me to take more medication as I have a heart condition and they are afraid of the stress of grief on my heart. I function at work, but on my off days, I find little to get out of bed for....some days I just stay there and FEEL.
> I am told by our grief counselor that grieving has no time limit and takes different routes for everyone. I truly believe it is so.
>
> I hope you will give yourself time: time to feel and time to heal. If the healing doesn't start, if you aren't moving through the emotions, THEN look for the least offensive drug and listen to your body. I will keep you in my prayers. de

 

Re: Effexor dose levels and effects? Cam? anyone?

Posted by jannbeau on November 25, 2002, at 12:35:00

In reply to Re: Effexor dose levels and effects? Cam? anyone?, posted by Sioux on November 22, 2002, at 22:34:03

> Zinya, take this posting to your doctor and get him to explain the adrenal glands. The information contained below should be clarified by a physician. The appropriate doctor to see is an internist with a subspecialty in endocrinology if your adrenal glands are thought to be malfunctioning.

Jannbeau

Zinya, if you have 'low adrenaline' and tested low - this would be a 'cortisol challenge' test + a 24 hr urine cortisol - you should be on adrenocorticosteroid replacement such as prednisone or cortef + florinef. Low adrenal function causes depression and fatigue.
>
> S

 

Re: Effexor dose levels and effects? Cam? anyone?

Posted by jannbeau on November 25, 2002, at 12:40:30

In reply to Re: Effexor dose levels and effects? Cam? anyone?, posted by Sioux on November 22, 2002, at 22:36:43

> Ah, Sioux--are you being complimentary or sarcastic? Hard to tell via the electronic medium in which we chat and I would not want to offend anyone here or elsewhere.

Cheers, and Happy Thanksgiving!
Jannbeau
Jannbeau, *be* didactic. I love it. Thanks. S.

 

Effexor XR? Successful but very ugly!

Posted by Harry J on November 25, 2002, at 20:48:03

In reply to Re: Anyone had success on Effexor XR? YES! , posted by Shel on July 18, 2000, at 1:35:45

I have been on Effexor XR for about 6 months now. I was first diagnosed with post traumatic shock syndrome in 95 as a medic in Detroit. Shortly after I had a daughter born profoundly handicapped. She died about 7 months ago at age 16. Up until then I had been on just about everything, with Paxil working the longest and best.
Effexor has been a miracle drug for me. However, unlike the typical reaction time for it to start working (usually 2-3 weeks), I have found that it works within a matter of days. Similarly, if I should go without it for more then three days things happen fast. I not only get quickly and deeply depressed, but I actually get psychotic in a way I have never been before. This happened twice, once on a business trip where I forgot my medicine. The second occurance was an admission for chest pain to the hospital. I did not remember the right and told them the paxil. When I left the hospital I did not know who I was or what I did for the next two days. I have never been diagnosed manic or psychotic. I believe it reacts similar to that which Prozac was suggested to have worked: such a fast come down that you actually go far beyond even "your" normal depressive states.
I have no knowledge of anyone else on it and therefore subsequently cannot tell you if this reaction is typical. I am thinking about seeking an alternative medicine, which as you all know is not easy. However to think of going through another episode of withdrawel almost makes suicide look like a much better option. At least that is my opinion.
With regard to Dr. Bob's discontinuation note on the site I also experienced a mild flu like symptom. That was however the least of my worries.

 

Complimentary

Posted by Sioux on November 25, 2002, at 22:13:41

In reply to Re: Effexor dose levels and effects? Cam? anyone?, posted by jannbeau on November 25, 2002, at 12:40:30

> > Ah, Sioux--are you being complimentary or sarcastic?

> Jannbeau, *be* didactic. I love it. Thanks. >

Complimentary, for sure! I don't do sarcasm. Thanks for clarifying.

S

 

Re: Effexor and Effexor XR

Posted by Badger on November 26, 2002, at 10:51:56

In reply to Re: Effexer and Effexer xr, posted by jannbeau on September 13, 2002, at 16:39:23

I understand that Effexor XR is an extended release formulation of Effexor (thanks to Jannbeau's posting of September 13), but I'm curious to know what differences, if any, there are in the effects (and side effects) of the two formulations.

By way of background ...

I've just started on Effexor (regular) about nine days ago - 75mg/day (37.5mg in the morning and in the evening). This medication was prescribed by my family doctor - I'm not sure how much experience she has with it or with other anti-depressants, although she is definitely not a 'pill pusher'. At the end of two weeks, I'm supposed to up my dosage to 75mg (2 tablets) in the morning and 37.5mg in the evening, and we'll evaluate from there whether to increase, maintain or decrease that amount. FWIW, I'm a 47 year old man, weighing approximately 95kg (~210lbs).

This is the first time I've taken an anti-depressant, and I realize that it will take some time for my system to adjust. In retrospect, I knew next to nothing when I was prescribed this drug, and have been reading the posts here with great interest. So far I've had a few side effects - nausea for a day or two, some loss of appetite (a good thing in my case), some muscle tension, and fatigue - but overall, nothing too serious. I've been sleeping better than I have for a while, even though I'm still tired. Actually, it's probably too soon to tell, since my insomnia was back last night (I can fall asleep without any problem, but wake up around 4AM and can't get back to sleep). I think I may sleep better if I take my last pill shortly before bedtime, although I need to test this theory a bit more.

It's hard to say whether the drug is having any effect on my depression. I was quite down last Sunday (day 7 since I started), but have had a few bouts of feeling up since then. I realize that it may well take several weeks before I can really judge its effectiveness, and this will also require finding an optimum dosage.

Although some people specifically mention that they have been taking the XR formulation, I don't know if the others (i.e., those who refer only to Effexor) are taking the 'standard' version or just don't bother to spell it out. I'm wondering if anyone who has experience with both could comment on which they preferred and why. Or, if anyone knows of refernces on this subject, perhaps they could respond with links.

I recognize that not everyone reacts the same way to this drug - it can either make you tired or keep you awake, give you constipation or diarrhea, make you gain or lose weight, etc.... Still, I'd like to be able to discuss alternatives with my doctor the next time I see her (in another couple of weeks), and would feel more confident if I knew some of the pros and cons of the XR option.

Thanks in advance for any information that you can provide.

Badger

 

Re: Complimentary Sioux

Posted by jannbeau on November 26, 2002, at 11:24:21

In reply to Complimentary, posted by Sioux on November 25, 2002, at 22:13:41

> > >Well, Thank you, Maam!! I appreciate that --a lot!

Cheers,
Jannbeau

Ah, Sioux--are you being complimentary or sarcastic?
>
> > Jannbeau, *be* didactic. I love it. Thanks. >
>
> Complimentary, for sure! I don't do sarcasm. Thanks for clarifying.
>
> S
>
>
>
>

 

Effexor Side Effects

Posted by sarah w on November 26, 2002, at 17:11:28

In reply to Re: Anyone had success on Effexor XR?, posted by befree on November 22, 2002, at 22:29:40

I've been on Effexor XR for about 8 months now, started off with 37.5mg and gradually increased to where I am now which is 225mg.
Generally, I think Effexor has helped me with my depression and anxiety. I still have good days and bad days, but most are good. I've just been experiencing a side effect problem lately. It might not sound like much, but I'm having problems getting to sleep, I generally don't fall asleep until around 3-5 am, then once I'm asleep I have problems waking up. This is not good for me because I'm a student and these sleeping problems are causing me to miss classes. Just wondering if anyone else has had this problem and if they found a way to make it better.


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