Psycho-Babble Medication Thread 13781

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Re: Tell me about starting on Effexor XR

Posted by husschick on May 27, 2004, at 12:28:32

In reply to Re: Tell me about starting on Effexor XR, posted by Zarry on May 27, 2004, at 8:42:32

For me the biggest side effects I have had is dry mouth, nausea, and loss of appetite. But for me the good out weighs the bad
good luck

 

Re: Tell me about starting on Effexor XR

Posted by PoohBear on May 27, 2004, at 13:48:01

In reply to Tell me about starting on Effexor XR, posted by NatureGirl on May 27, 2004, at 3:14:38

I've been on Effexor XR for 8 months now...eventually settling down to 150mg once a day.

As noted above, I had most of the common SE's: dry mouth, sleep disruption, constipation, sexual anorgasmia, etc. BUT, it WORKED for my depression and got rid of the continual rumminating thought processes I was putting up with.

The SE's moderate with time. I have been through several adjunct medications for sleep. Seroquel 100mg at night is what works for me. For constipation eat lots of high fiber foods and drink LOTS of water.

Suck on mints (Altoids) for dry-mouth.

Wellbutrin works for anorgasmia, but I don't need it now. Orgasms are intense and better than I've had in a long time.

The "brain zaps" and "wooshing" feeling you get when you turn your head quickly go away eventually. It's VERY important to ramp-up SLOWLY. Spend a week or two at each doseage level. Expect from the outset that while you should get SOME relief right away, the most benefit will be felt 3-6 weeks after starting treatment.

If you find that you need to get OFF, don't do it without your doctor's supervision. Go slowly and augment with Prozac.

Hope this helps. Effexor XR has been wonderful for me and for many others.

Tony


> I've been on Paxil about a year, and I saw my psych doc today asking to try something new. He recommended Effexor XR. I am suppose to start weaning off the Paxil tomorrow and start on the Effexor XR in about a week. What can I expect for symptoms upon starting (starter kit)? And for how long will it last? I've got some important things to do in the next 2.5 weeks...and I'm wondering if I should hold off on starting the Effexor XR until things are a little quieter in my life.

 

Re: Tell me about starting on Effexor XR

Posted by beatrix34 on May 27, 2004, at 19:51:26

In reply to Re: Tell me about starting on Effexor XR, posted by PoohBear on May 27, 2004, at 13:48:01

I was on 75mgs Effexor for just over a month. The SE for me were initially dry mouth, chills, racing thoughts, clouded thinking, anorgasma and insomnia. It was great in that it immediately reduced my anxiety, and I felt good for a change. All of the SE went away for me in this time except for the anorgasma coupled with total lack of sex drive, and insomnia.

I also was on Paxil years ago and went off cold turkey...not recommended. If you taper slowly you should be fine. Also, I noticed with the Effexor that I felt the most SE during the initial 37.5mg and hence stayed on that dose for another week before increasing my dose, which worked well for me. When I increased to 75mg I experienced no additional SE.

For me the lack of sleep and sex drive has proven to be a pain as I am very active and a newly-wed...yike.. so my dr suggested I taper off the Effexor and try Lexapro. I am not experiencing any issues in tapering off Effexor either maybe because I was on a low dose for a short time, thank god...

Good luck!

 

Re: Tell me about starting Effexor XR- JohnPaul

Posted by NatureGirl on May 27, 2004, at 23:47:44

In reply to Re: Tell me about starting on Effexor XR, posted by Johnpaul Q on May 27, 2004, at 8:42:22

> Hi naturegirl,
>
> I've been on Effexor 75mg for 6 days, so am fresh with the start up symptoms.
>
> I am having the following (from day one)
>
> Disrupted sleep (but it wasn't great before), can't seem to sleep past four/five hours regardless of how tired i go to bed.
>
> Dry mouth and thirsty with related needing to pee (from all the water) sometimes once an hour.
>
> Constipation I haven't been since I started..
>
> Sexual insensitivity, but I'm going to see that as a glass half full. I haven't lost any sex drive.
>
> Low level tiredness through the day, probably related to the lack of sleep.
>
> Involuntary swallowing occassionally. This is the least pleasant side affect.
>
> Some muscle restriction in my arms
>
> Night sweats
>
> But to the good news, I'm not anxious anymore, the general depression appears to be lifting, tho that maybe a placebo thing.
>
> I'm less bothered by peoples opinions than I used to be, and I'm feeling less self-critical. I changed from berating myself loudly for my clumsiness and errors in judgement, to just thinking, "Oh, Johnpaul."
>
> Funny thing, I also don't get the energy crash after lunch that I used to.
>
> I hope that helps.

========
Hi JohnPaul...
Thanks for responding...definitely nice to get someone's recent perspective. My sleep has been horrible with Paxil for almost 6 months, so I don't know that I'll notice a difference on Effexor. Fingers crossed I don't get the sexual side effects, that's never fun :-( Most of the other symptoms sound tolerable, I've also been supplementing the Paxil with Xanax for my Anxiety attacks and it helps me a lot...so I do have that to fall back on until the Effexor kicks in - glad to hear Effexor works for your Anxiety, I'd rather take 1 drug than 2 - Paxil never helped with my anxiety. I'm also looking forward to being less critical of myself.

Thanks again for your input. Keep posting and let me know how you're doing.

- NatureGirl

 

Re: Getting off Paxil - Zarry

Posted by NatureGirl on May 27, 2004, at 23:55:26

In reply to Re: Tell me about starting on Effexor XR, posted by Zarry on May 27, 2004, at 8:42:32

> well, for one thing you'll have some fun getting off Paxil - as far as starting on Effexor, it's hard to say - some ppl have no probs, some don't
>
> Good Luck

============
I've been more worried about getting off the Paxil than starting the Effexor. I've heard bad stories. I will definitely wean myself off of it slowly. Cold Turkey is about the worst thing you can do on any AD drug. About a month ago I missed taking my Paxil for 3 days and I got that real scary 'I think I'm losing my mind' feeling. I absolutely hate that. At least I understand it enough to know why it happens and that I can take the medicine and feel better soon.

Thanks for the luck...can always use a little bit of that.

- NatureGirl

 

Re: Tell me about starting Effexor XR -PoohBear

Posted by NatureGirl on May 28, 2004, at 0:11:27

In reply to Re: Tell me about starting on Effexor XR, posted by PoohBear on May 27, 2004, at 13:48:01

> I've been on Effexor XR for 8 months now...eventually settling down to 150mg once a day.
>
> As noted above, I had most of the common SE's: dry mouth, sleep disruption, constipation, sexual anorgasmia, etc. BUT, it WORKED for my depression and got rid of the continual rumminating thought processes I was putting up with.
>
> The SE's moderate with time. I have been through several adjunct medications for sleep. Seroquel 100mg at night is what works for me. For constipation eat lots of high fiber foods and drink LOTS of water.
>
===============
** My doc has been giving me Ambien for sleep meds, and they don't work that great. I have to take 2 to really get to sleep 'Eventually'...and I try not to take them regularly because I'd rather not get hooked on them. The lack of sleep problem seems to be an issue with Effexor, as I've been hearing. I hate to hear that because that's one of the things I've been hating and was crossing my fingers that would go away with Effexor. Why can't any of these drugs treat all the issues? Is that really too much to ask with all that man has accomplished?
===============

> Suck on mints (Altoids) for dry-mouth.
**** Already hooked on Altoids...not a problem.

> Wellbutrin works for anorgasmia, but I don't need it now. Orgasms are intense and better than I've had in a long time.
***** Good for you! Those of us that suffer these symptoms on a daily basis deserve something enjoyable.

> The "brain zaps" and "wooshing" feeling you get when you turn your head quickly go away eventually. It's VERY important to ramp-up SLOWLY. Spend a week or two at each doseage level. Expect from the outset that while you should get SOME relief right away, the most benefit will be felt 3-6 weeks after starting treatment.
*** Really hate that waiting period...but it's to be expected.

> If you find that you need to get OFF, don't do it without your doctor's supervision. Go slowly and augment with Prozac.
>
> Hope this helps. Effexor XR has been wonderful for me and for many others.
***** So glad to hear some assurance. Thanks Tony... --- NatureGirl

> Tony

 

Prozac vs. Effexor XR?

Posted by johnstn on June 1, 2004, at 3:57:13

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

Has anyone found Effexor to be be more effective than Prozac for depression/anxiety? I have been on Prozac for 5 years 40mg/day and it seems to be less effective now than it used to be. What about taking Effexor as an augment to Prozac? (I don't want to take Wellbutrin.)

 

Re: Tell me about starting on Effexor XR

Posted by Johnpaul Q on June 1, 2004, at 12:39:31

In reply to Re: Tell me about starting on Effexor XR, posted by beatrix34 on May 27, 2004, at 19:51:26

Well,

11 days now. The constipation, ahem, cleared up. I get the muscle freezing (i think that was the swallowing - though maybe they are 'brain zaps?? after yawning mostly, or just when very tired. Sleep slightly improving. Night sweats still constant, as is anorgasma, which is beginning to be a pain. Dry mouth not so bad, certainly not as bad as when I was on the Atkins diet.

Still worth it tho. My friends think I'm happier and more placid, though I'm not sure placid is what I want to be!

 

Re: STOPPING Effexor made easy - alternatives

Posted by kgirl on June 3, 2004, at 13:40:41

In reply to Re: STOPPING Effexor made easy - alternatives Spinxxie, posted by Tony P on May 25, 2004, at 6:07:46

Hello to everyone. I'm on the final "weaning off" stage of Effexor. I am down to 37.5 every other day. Effexor was very helpful to me but now I want to try and live without it. One thing I am now finding in weaning off is that all of a sudden I am really quite angry for no apparent reason. I also have a pretty constant headache. Did anyone experience this or anything like it when they were weaning off? When you were completely off, did these symptoms go away? Any help is appreciated as I have found this site to be wonderful in my Effexor experience. Thanks.

 

Re: STOPPING Effexor made easy - alternatives kgirl

Posted by leeeddie2 on June 4, 2004, at 0:17:49

In reply to Re: STOPPING Effexor made easy - alternatives, posted by kgirl on June 3, 2004, at 13:40:41

I am on effexor,my wife is a nurse and has told me that stopping it or suddinly stopping it can cause anger or even make you have violent outburst.as with all meds that effect brain chemistry you have to expect sideeffects even ones not noted by research everyone responds differently to differnt meds.i do feel calmer takeing it none of the others have work well as effexor but i do have feelings of sometimes my heart isnot doing right.one thing to be considered with such meds is can you cope with the sideeffects better than the way you are feeling before takeing the meds.

 

Re: STOPPING Effexor made easy

Posted by Joey Catch on June 8, 2004, at 20:35:03

In reply to Re: STOPPING Effexor made easy, posted by Zarry on May 21, 2004, at 10:18:36

I've been on Effexor for about five months now, and am considering getting off of it. I'm planning to study abroad in Russia in the fall, and have no idea about Effexor's availability there, and don't want to get stuck in a foreign country with no supply of medication, and be forced to go through the miserable withdrawal experience while I'm there. My current dosage is 75 mg, which is what I've been at since starting out the first two weeks at 37.5 mg. I've read here that Prozac is helpful with eliminating the withdrawal symptoms of Effexor, as are antihistamines (Benadryl, Claritin, etc.) and drugs that reduce motion sickness (Dramamine, Bonine, etc.). A few questions:

1. When switching from Effexor to Prozac, should one still taper one's dosage of Effexor, or simply quit it altogether and begin taking Prozac in its place?

2. At 75 mg of Effexor, what dosage of Prozac should I be on for it to offset the withdrawal symptoms?

3. Do these drugs (Prozac, antihistamines and motion sickness pills) effectively help avoid the "brain zaps" that comes with going off of Effexor? To be honest, this is the only side effect I really care about avoiding. Knowing how bad this SE is after missing even a single day's dose, I don't want to go through the hell of two weeks (or longer!) of brain zaps. I've gone out of town and forgotten my medicine for only a weekend, and by the end of it I was so miserable from the brain zaps, and I had light sensitivity so bad that I could hardly stand to be outdoors or even in a well-lit room. Please tell me that Prozac, Benadryl or Dramamine will do something about this.

Thanks for any assistance that you may be able to provide; I've learned a lot from reading this board and want to get off of this stuff while I can still control it, rather than wait and see what surprises the Russian medical system has in store for me regarding prescription drug availability.

- Joe

 

Re: STOPPING Effexor made easy

Posted by Zarry on June 9, 2004, at 9:51:12

In reply to Re: STOPPING Effexor made easy, posted by Joey Catch on June 8, 2004, at 20:35:03

Joe, all your points are valid, but as everyone has said, work with your doctor - he/she should have the answers. The biggest question you need to ask yourself, why are you on Effexor to begin with?

If you have a NEED to be on an AD, then you need to consider what to be on afterwards. Some people have been on ADs just to get them over a rough point in their life. Others HAVE to be on it to survive. I agree with you that being in a foreign country while trying to get off Effexor wouldn't be a wise thing to do.

I can't answer your questions about doseage of Prozac, whether other meds also help the SEs, etc. as I went cold turkey off Effexor and 3 wks later was on Wellbutrin, 3 wks later got hives from it and now I'm on nothing. I'm in counseling and everyone involved believes I really am not depressed. Personally I've been doing pretty good w/o any ADs. Now ask my family and they would probably disagree - you see, I actually have emotions now. They aren't used to it.

To sum things up, work with your doctor about what is best for you. Use the information you have gathered here and work with your doc. Most are open-minded and work with their patients.

Good luck and keep in touch on what you find out.

 

Re: STOPPING Effexor made easy

Posted by Bill LL on June 10, 2004, at 9:06:30

In reply to Re: STOPPING Effexor made easy, posted by Joey Catch on June 8, 2004, at 20:35:03

Are you using Prozac just to wean off Effexor? Or do you plan to keep taking it?

If it's just to wean off Effexor, you might try 20 mg Prozac per day for 2 weeks, then 10 mg until the second week after completely stopping Effexor.

Are you doing well on Effexor? If so, why not take enough with you to Russia to last the whole trip?

 

Re: STOPPING Effexor made easy Joey Catch

Posted by FaithT on June 12, 2004, at 8:37:16

In reply to Re: STOPPING Effexor made easy, posted by Joey Catch on June 8, 2004, at 20:35:03

Dear Joey~
I just posted above in regard to my issues stopping Effexor XR.
After I read your post, I took a Dramamine to see if this will hopefully help these "brain zaps", that I've been having for 2 days now.
I'll let you know if it really works...Thank you for your post.
Faith

 

Re: STOPPING Effexor made easy

Posted by Lori Ann on June 12, 2004, at 11:19:28

In reply to Re: STOPPING Effexor made easy Joey Catch, posted by FaithT on June 12, 2004, at 8:37:16

I missed a dose of effexor (75 mgs.) this past winter and thought that I had the flu. I didn't put two and two together. Well after going to Weight Watchers last Saturday, I realized that I actually gained 30 plus pounds. I was devistated!! There was no rhyme or reason, because I really haven't been eating more than usual. Then it hit me....could this new wonder drug actually be making me fat!! I then decided to call my doctor and ask him to switch my antideppresant. Well he did...he put me on Wellbutrin and told me just to stop taking the effexor. BIG MISTAKE! I had the absolute worst withdraw symtoms known to man!! I had vertigo and brain flashes that only someone who has gone through this terrible ordeal would comprehend. So, I called my doctor crying, and he put me on prozac - 20 mg. It has been a LIFESAVER. I can now drive a car and function like a human being. Please - please if you are going through terrible withdraw symptoms, please ask your doctor for prozac. It truly works! By the way, I only lost .8 lbs this week and I followed Weight Watcher to a "t". That effexor should be banned in the United States!!

 

Re: STOPPING Effexor made easy

Posted by tripperjoe on June 12, 2004, at 22:33:45

In reply to Re: STOPPING Effexor made easy, posted by Lori Ann on June 12, 2004, at 11:19:28

I love effexor withdrawal. Its just like being drunk for weeks on end without having to gulp down a quart of vodka a day. I take my usual dose for a week, then two weeks off, then back to my dosing. The visuals are great, and remind me of my first year of college and LSD.. yumm. It is ironic that you cant buy a joint, but they will let you pop these bad boys.. Gotta love the capitalists eh..

 

Success so far; don't ever run out; and drinking.

Posted by oceanwolf on June 14, 2004, at 4:52:50

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

I've been taking 150mg Effexor XR for over 3 months now, haven't been back to the doctor to get a higher dose because I've been able to exist now and I've been busy getting back into summer work. Missing one day would never effect me, however when I ran out of my prescription (on a Thursday), the second day I started feeling extremely dizzy, and overall like crap! Then came the nauceousness and "unusual" BAD dreams. I unfortunately had to wait over the weekend and finally got a new scrip on a Monday and started feeling better soon after, especially the next day. No other SSRI's have worked on me, and Welbutrin only made me irritable (so the people who were closest to me said). It's nice to finally have something that is dealing with the extreme side of my depression.

Please tell me more about drinking on Effexor...I've been drinking on and off and don't seem to notice a difference. (Except that I can't drink as much as I used to without getting a headache)...

 

Re: Success so far; don't ever run out; and drinking. oceanwolf

Posted by partlycloudy on June 14, 2004, at 8:47:26

In reply to Success so far; don't ever run out; and drinking., posted by oceanwolf on June 14, 2004, at 4:52:50

It gives me a day-long hangover to drink while on effexor xr, and after 2 drinks I black out, too. It is a bad combo!!

 

Re: Success so far; don't ever run out; and drinking.

Posted by PoohBear on June 14, 2004, at 13:40:59

In reply to Success so far; don't ever run out; and drinking., posted by oceanwolf on June 14, 2004, at 4:52:50


> Please tell me more about drinking on Effexor...I've been drinking on and off and don't seem to notice a difference. (Except that I can't drink as much as I used to without getting a headache)...

Ocean:

Glad that Effexor XR is working for you... I have been on it since 10/2003 with great success. As for drinking, I generally don't drink that much anyway, certainly not to excess, ever.

I have tried to limit my alcohol to one or two glasses of beer or wine in the course of an evening. This seems to be okay, at least for me. It's my view that *generally*, it's not a good idea to drink when on any of these meds. Look at it this way, you're on an ANTIdepressant, why take an DEPRESSANT?

Just my two cents...

Good luck,

Tony

 

Re: Success so far; don't ever run out; and drinking.

Posted by Sinnielou on June 14, 2004, at 17:05:55

In reply to Re: Success so far; don't ever run out; and drinking., posted by PoohBear on June 14, 2004, at 13:40:59

I have to agree with Tony I have been on effexor for almost a year and I gave up drinking completely, I don't even have a social drink. Having suffered from depression all my life and drinking to cope made me look at things in a more realistic way. Why drink?? I'm on the meds they make me feel better why resort to alcohol I might as well throw in the towel to living a normal life.
Shannon

 

Re: Success so far; don't ever run out; and drinking.

Posted by husschick on June 15, 2004, at 11:37:09

In reply to Re: Success so far; don't ever run out; and drinking., posted by Sinnielou on June 14, 2004, at 17:05:55

I would have to agree, drinking is not a good combination with effexor xr. I have drank 2 times since starting the med and have blacked out both times.

 

Re: Success so far; don't ever run out; and drinking.

Posted by Dauphine on June 15, 2004, at 12:50:56

In reply to Re: Success so far; don't ever run out; and drinking., posted by husschick on June 15, 2004, at 11:37:09

I drink regularly on Effexor XR at 75 mg/day and have no problems whatsoever. In fact I think it has increased my alcohol tolerance. It seems like for most people it does the opposite though. Everyone is different, but getting out and being social means that I will probably be meeting people out for dinner and drinks, and that social interaction has been great for my depression. You should experiment at home and see how tolerant you are to alcohol when on Effexor before you go out and have a long night. Effexor has made me a bit hypoglausimic, so it is important that if I do choose to drink, that I have a full or moderately full stomach.
Dauphine

 

Re: Everyone's different, but...

Posted by Frannie on June 16, 2004, at 20:45:15

In reply to Everyone's different, but..., posted by Racer on October 24, 1999, at 22:14:55

Hi,
I have been taking Effexor XR for 5-6 weeks now. I have definitely noticed that it has helped my anxiety and impulsivity. It has not, however worked for my depression. I mean I am not sad, but I am not happy either. Kinda blah. Someone mentioned Effexor in combination with Prozac at a low dose. has anyone else tried that combination? I was on prozac for several years and it just stopped working on my depression. Never really helped that much with ADD. Maybe alittle with anxiety. I would like to keep on the Effexor for the other benefits and I am thinking maybe combined with Low dose of Prozac would help the depression. It may be what works for me also.
Frannie

 

Re: Success so far; don't ever run out; and drinking.

Posted by mekka_choo on June 18, 2004, at 1:54:49

In reply to Re: Success so far; don't ever run out; and drinking., posted by PoohBear on June 14, 2004, at 13:40:59

I currenty take 150 mg and I just came down from 225mg. Did any of you gain weight when you started taking effexor?

I find that I get tipsy alot quicker than I did before taking Effexor.

 

Re: Success so far; don't ever run out; and drinki

Posted by helenag on June 18, 2004, at 21:31:08

In reply to Re: Success so far; don't ever run out; and drinking., posted by mekka_choo on June 18, 2004, at 1:54:49

Have been on Effexor for four long years...At 300mg. Now at half that dose. I am currently taking Antabuse because I am an alcoholic and do not desire to drink. Antabuse makes the body unable to break down alcohol. If I drink, I get deadly sick.

Before that, however, I drank on the Effexor all the time. I did have black outs. Never noticed if it increased or decreased tolerance...

I do notice that I feel a heck of a lot better without any alcohol in my system.

But I was not a social drinker, so this may not be a fair comparison. helen


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