Psycho-Babble Medication Thread 12459

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Re: Horrible Effexor withdrawal symptoms!

Posted by Iceofire on April 10, 2003, at 12:47:37

In reply to Horrible Effexor withdrawal symptoms!, posted by Iceofire on April 10, 2003, at 12:27:56

I have been slowly getting off Effexor for about a month. I started getting withdrawal symptoms the other day. They're horrible! I feel like i have all of the symptoms of a fever without a fever. I have chills, nightsweats, shakes, nausea, dizziness, bodyaches... I believe what I have is called "body shivers." I also fell into a deep sleep yesterday. I couldnt wake up for the longest time. These symptoms are driving me crazy. I can't wait till they end.

 

Re: Horrible Effexor withdrawal symptoms! Iceofire

Posted by hageshe on April 10, 2003, at 16:35:09

In reply to Horrible Effexor withdrawal symptoms!, posted by Iceofire on April 10, 2003, at 12:27:56

Here is a note of recommendation: Since I have NOT been able to get off Effexor XR due to it's withdrawal syndrome (even through I have never had any sort of addiction and am a VERY strong willed person), I am taking it again after neverly going crazy for 4 days. I am trying the "remove a few balls from the capsule" trick...not going well.

If you search for my other posts you will see that I have been "stepping" off for over a month and the symptoms won't stop.

One person wrote that they are taking the Effexor capsules apart and removing 2, then 4, then 6 little white balls each day until there are eventually none left. PROBLEM: with Effexor XR the balls appear to be "stacked" in the capsule by order of time release duration at the factory. What does this mean? Well, I tried the method and the "top" of the pill is filled with great, fast acting balls. By the 3rd day I was down to the bottom of the capsule and the little balls must have been either the very slow release or the very fast release....because I had to leave work sick (again!!!!) this time at 2:00pm due to brain shivers and light, short fainting, headache, nausea, and a completely ineffective thought process.


PLEASE PLEASE PLEASE anyone who is reading this PLEASE join me in what I am doing next! I have been taking very specific notes of what I am trying, how I am suffering, and the value of my lost wages due to this problem. My wife is Soooo concerned that I am going to lose my job. The bottom line: careful notes from all of us will help the legal process greatly. Keep dates, times, levels of pain, whatever you can think of. I am keeping my notes in a simple file on my computer.

But I HAVE to do this. This drug was GREAT for the first 6 months I was on it. After that it has slowly and steadily taken my life away. I have put on a HUGE amount of weight, had no zest for life, suffer from terrible lethargy, and besides the dangerous jump in my blood pressure, (don't laugh) my private parts have literally "shrunk" from 7 inches to 1/2 inch. I swear I could not use the men's urinals because I could not "find" my private parts to hold and aim. Even worse, when I sat to use the bathroom (again, don't laugh) I could not aim down into the bowl...nothing to grasp. I frequently (at work of all places) wet my pants because instead of aiming down into the bowl it would shoot straight ahead directly into my pants. This is DEFINATELY something they never want to talk about. 7" down to 1/2" hmmmm. Last straw.

So, I am writing all the seemingly silly but truthfully debilitating effects of this drug and it's withdrawal syndrome and will be starting a class action law suit. Please join me if you are in the same situation.

r_man70@yahoo.com

 

Horrible Effexor withdrawal symptoms!

Posted by Inqueerer on April 11, 2003, at 3:41:19

In reply to Re: Horrible Effexor withdrawal symptoms! Iceofire, posted by hageshe on April 10, 2003, at 16:35:09

hi everyone, new poster here.

I'm currently in England for a long holiday. Before I left the US, my psychrink and I determined that I could begin tapering myself of 150MG of Effexor XR. I'd been taking 3 75MG capsules a night before bed.

I tried to slowly work myself off of them, but I was expecting some cessation effects anyway. Heck, I've missed one dose before and felt like I was getting some strange Star Trek-like virus where I'd stand up and then a 1/2 second later the rest of my body would stand as if I was phasing or something.

Well, as I was coming down off the meds I began to have really horrible nightmares, but only when trying to get to sleep or when waking up. REM seems to be fine. I was also getting the above 'phasing' and other flu like symptoms.

I'm off of them now and have been for about a week, but since coming off of them, I've been itching like crazy. I thought that it was a bug bite or something, but there's no marks and it's all over my body, and not constant. I then thought maybe it was my laundry detergent, except that I've been using it for about 2 months and can't figure out why it would suddenly start aggrevating my skin.

I bought some anti-itch cream, it's package is pretty and reflects light, but otherwise it's not doing a thing for me. I've also taken some antihystomines, but they're not helping.

Just now I woke up itching all over and scratching myself to the bleeding point in some spots. But, and here's the really weird bit, I was only asleep for 3 hours, but feel like I slept for 6. I'd have no problem with this extra few hours in the day, except that my skin will be shredded in a few more days.

Has anyone else experienced this? Am I going mad? Does anything help make this itching stop?

 

Re: They're AWFUL!!!!

Posted by ladylight57 on April 11, 2003, at 16:16:41

In reply to They're AWFUL!!!!, posted by janey girl on October 2, 1999, at 23:04:18

I recently weaned off of effexor and agree that the symptoms are bad.

My psych told me that she had a patient that would dissolve her capsule in water and then gradually decreased the amount of the mixture she drank bit by bit.

I on the other hand was impatient to get off. I had vertigo so bad that I went to my regular doc and got an antihistamine especially for vertigo (?) and that stopped the woozyness and the motion sickness....the ride to the doctors was horrible. I hope some of that will help. It's been 3 weeks and I no longer suffer with the withdrawal effects but I am depressed....this whole situation just sucks.

ladylight

 

Re: They're AWFUL!!!!

Posted by geo on September 18, 2003, at 15:08:59

In reply to Re: They're AWFUL!!!!, posted by ladylight57 on April 11, 2003, at 16:16:41

Hi, I'm a little late to this thread.. I just quit a 375mg a day Effexor regimen cold turkey. That was four days ago and I've been pretty dizzy and having weird dreams, but not too bad overall.

I was told by a pharmacist that it takes about 5 days for it to get completely out of your system. Does this mean the withdrawal effects will stop after 5 days or could they linger for weeks? Has anybody else had a similar experience with quitting a fairly high dose cold turkey?

 

375mg Effexor Quit Cold Turkey. Needs Help geo

Posted by KimberlyDi on September 18, 2003, at 15:17:13

In reply to Re: They're AWFUL!!!!, posted by geo on September 18, 2003, at 15:08:59

Revised Subject Line:

> Hi, I'm a little late to this thread.. I just quit a 375mg a day Effexor regimen cold turkey. That was four days ago and I've been pretty dizzy and having weird dreams, but not too bad overall.
>
> I was told by a pharmacist that it takes about 5 days for it to get completely out of your system. Does this mean the withdrawal effects will stop after 5 days or could they linger for weeks? Has anybody else had a similar experience with quitting a fairly high dose cold turkey?


 

Re: 375mg Effexor Quit Cold Turkey. Needs Help

Posted by ladylight57 on September 19, 2003, at 12:57:46

In reply to 375mg Effexor Quit Cold Turkey. Needs Help geo, posted by KimberlyDi on September 18, 2003, at 15:17:13

Hey Kimberly,

It seems to be a little different for everyone, but I cut down quite gradually and expreienced my worst side effects in the first 5 days with the 3rd day being the worst. I had vertigo so bad I couldn't drive and my doc put me on an anti-vertigo drug that helped immensly. I did however have a rebound depression during the next couple of weeks.. But it was worth every minute of it to get off. It worked well for a while, and then just became ineffective....that happens sometimes.....good luck, let us know how you make out.
ladylight

 

Re: Effexor withdrawal symptoms!

Posted by Heather33 on October 4, 2003, at 21:27:27

In reply to Re: Effexor withdrawal symptoms!, posted by Sniveltap on October 5, 1999, at 11:55:59

I gradually went off of Effexor and the withdrawals from it have far surpassed the nightmare of Paxil. I am on day 4 and I have the "zaps" so bad that I wish I could crawl out of my skin, my stomach is a mess, I am irratible, I am itchy, I have hot flashes that make my skin feel like it is on fire, I have crying spells and to top it off now I sleep exactly an hour and wake up as if I had slept all night (which would be fine if I didn't desparately want to sleep to escape this living hell). Does anyone know of anything that might lighten these symptoms (I am currently on Wellbutrin which is helping my mood some or I would probably be in the hospital). Does anyone have any insight on the average duration of the withdrawal. HELP!!

 

Re: Effexor withdrawal symptoms!

Posted by Medusa on October 6, 2003, at 4:00:57

In reply to Re: Effexor withdrawal symptoms!, posted by Heather33 on October 4, 2003, at 21:27:27

Hey, I feel your pain.

Would your doctor give you fluoxetine to use while you're tapering?

I don't know if I'm logged in, so I'll post more if this works.

 

part 2

Posted by Medusa on October 6, 2003, at 4:21:12

In reply to Re: Effexor withdrawal symptoms!, posted by Heather33 on October 4, 2003, at 21:27:27

Me again. When I last was on Effexor, I took a very low dose, combined with fluoxetine/Prozac. When I decided to taper off, I increased the fluoxetine and decreased the Effexor v-e-r-y slowly. I mean dust-on-the-finger amounts. And I still wasn't in a happy place.

Effexor contains norepinephrine reuptake inhibitors, right? I think that's why I keep going back. I hate the label "ADD", but my picture is right there beside it, and on Effexor, I didn't drop things. Seriously, every day I make really clumsy physical blunders. And on Effexor, this was reduced by about 95%, and I'm guessing the remaining 5% is what everyone experiences. On the right combination of fluoxetine (haven't tried other SSRIs yet) and venlafaxine/Effexor, I feel ... normal. Myself without the yuck layer.

The worst withdrawal EVER for me was before I knew about the SSRI/Effexor interaction. I'd thrown a bunch of meds in my bag before a 10-day trip, and then decided to only bring what I needed. Somehow I removed the SSRI I was on, and brought only an old bottle of Effexor. I thought that Effexor was just like the other SSRIs and was interchangeable, and figured I'd better take *something*. Well, that trip was lovely. I was building up courage to do all kinds of things I'd feared for years. When I got home, I'd run out of Effexor, and had to travel to my sister's huge wedding, so I didn't think about meds. Basically I went cold-turkey off of Effexor 10 days after I'd gone cold-turkey off the SSRI. Not cool. Fortunately, I had to arrange all the flowers for her over-the-top froofy herding, so I was pretty much locked in her in-laws cool glassed-in porch for a couple of days. I had no idea what was going on in my body - and I wish I had, because this was a prescription-happy family of doctors.

I remained fascinated by that 10-day period of plain-me clarity I'd enjoyed, and twice since, I've gone back on very low doses of Effexor combined with Prozac. I hate hate hate the short half-life, and the w/drawal symptoms that start a few hours before dose time. But I can't take XR - the doses are just too high.

Anyway! I don't know why withdrawal from Effexor is such h-e-double-hockey-sticks.

 

Re: Effexor withdrawal symptoms!

Posted by T_R_D on October 6, 2003, at 15:26:26

In reply to Re: Effexor withdrawal symptoms!, posted by Heather33 on October 4, 2003, at 21:27:27

> I gradually went off of Effexor and the withdrawals from it have far surpassed the nightmare of Paxil. I am on day 4 and I have the "zaps" so bad that I wish I could crawl out of my skin, my stomach is a mess, I am irratible, I am itchy, I have hot flashes that make my skin feel like it is on fire, I have crying spells and to top it off now I sleep exactly an hour and wake up as if I had slept all night (which would be fine if I didn't desparately want to sleep to escape this living hell). Does anyone know of anything that might lighten these symptoms (I am currently on Wellbutrin which is helping my mood some or I would probably be in the hospital). Does anyone have any insight on the average duration of the withdrawal. HELP!!

We are in EXACTLY the same boat...I am on day 6 and am also taking Wellbutrin. I have had some experience going off Effexor...I did it once already earlier this year. It was EXTREMELY bad. I was rendered non-functional for about 10 days (off work, moving from bed to couch to bed to couch...) I finally felt *normal* again about three weeks later. The drug that I switched to at the time was Manerix/Moclobemide. It is an MAOI and did nothing to alleviate the withdrawal symptoms.

I'm wondering if the Wellby (I'm stealing this from another poster--kind of cute nickname) is helping somewhat this time around. so far, I haven't missed a day of work (although my days have been FAR from struggle free!) I am finding that I am getting better in small increments...I am noticing slight improvement every day. I guess we both just have to be patient and try to maintain our sanity through all of this. I know how sick you are feeling right now...I know!

Take care and keep on fighting it. I swear, it will get better.

 

is THIS normal?

Posted by ellie B on October 6, 2003, at 21:51:37

In reply to Re: Effexor withdrawal symptoms!, posted by T_R_D on October 6, 2003, at 15:26:26

I'm past most physical withdrawal effects. Off effexor about three weeks. Feel depressed off and on, one day happy, one day sad, one day tired and stressed and one day happy again. It's not the usual feeling down all the time blues I had before taking any ADs. Now, it's like an exaggerated pms horror story as far as moods go. Also had a break out of acne like I never had before and, conveniently, the hair stopped growing on my legs. Do you think the stuff is still flushing itself out? I'm wondering if I'm just fooling myself and I do need to be on ADs for the rest of my life.


 

Re: Effexor withdrawal symptoms sleeping a lot

Posted by bcoffman on October 7, 2003, at 3:26:09

In reply to Re: Effexor withdrawal symptoms & sleeping a lot, posted by anita on October 3, 1999, at 14:38:53

I totally hear you anita, I can sleep for almost a full day without waking up when on effexor. Im trying to get off of the medicine for that, among other reasons. Hang in there.

 

Re: is THIS normal?

Posted by T_R_D on October 7, 2003, at 16:10:31

In reply to is THIS normal?, posted by ellie B on October 6, 2003, at 21:51:37

Hey ellie B...I'm not sure...but I have learned to expect just about anything while dealing with these drugs. Sure, some residual drug might still be there. As far as lifetime usage? My jury's still out with that one. I had been in remission for months before going off Effexor this time around and now, everything is seeming pretty hopeless again. I'm hoping that it's just the withdrawal talking. I have gone from FIERY EVIL B*TCH to weak, teary idiot...not sure if that's an improvement.

Interesting about the pseudo-hormonal things you're experiencing...although over the last few years (while on ADs) I have had odd bouts of acne and loss of leg hair also. I don't know if the two are related...I just thought maybe my hormones were out of whack or soemthing. Interesting...

I think we all can just take it day be day and be hyper vigilant about any relapses or potential relapses...it sucks to be one of the afflicted but what can you do, right? We shouldn't let it kill us!

Take care,
Karen


> I'm past most physical withdrawal effects. Off effexor about three weeks. Feel depressed off and on, one day happy, one day sad, one day tired and stressed and one day happy again. It's not the usual feeling down all the time blues I had before taking any ADs. Now, it's like an exaggerated pms horror story as far as moods go. Also had a break out of acne like I never had before and, conveniently, the hair stopped growing on my legs. Do you think the stuff is still flushing itself out? I'm wondering if I'm just fooling myself and I do need to be on ADs for the rest of my life.
>
>
>

 

Re: Effexor withdrawal symptoms!

Posted by Jane Austen on October 8, 2003, at 10:43:15

In reply to Re: Effexor withdrawal symptoms!, posted by Heather33 on October 4, 2003, at 21:27:27

I have had no Efexor for about 7 days now and I found the only thing that helped was about 50mg of codeine. It even got rid of the zaps. The only thing it didn't get rid of was the nausea - which I'm well and truly fed up with.

Anyone without a codeine tolerance should only try 20mg. And of course it's use is very limited because of the addictive potential. We don't need extra problems.

I have just started Aurorix today (moclobemide). I was going to start Reboxetine but my Efexor withdrawals have made me so sick I just wanted something mild.

My dreams are starting to get spooky. I can recall VIVID nightmares from previous Efexor withdrawals which caused me to sleep with the light on. I have some benzo sleeping pills which I may try because I know they give you dreamless sleep - not normally something I like but they might be just the thing for these freaky nightmares.

- jane.

 

How to scratch without shredding your skin.

Posted by Jane Austen on October 8, 2003, at 12:26:21

In reply to Horrible Effexor withdrawal symptoms!, posted by Inqueerer on April 11, 2003, at 3:41:19

For anyone with the itchy skin problem, don't scratch yourself with your fingernails - you'll only end up shredding your skin. Get one of those little brushes they call nail brushes and scratch your itches with that. It's very satisfying and doesn't cause any scratch wounds. When I get really itchy I just strip down and scratch myself all over with my little brush. It's great.

 

Re: They're AWFUL!!!!

Posted by karen t bag on October 13, 2003, at 4:20:04

In reply to Re: They're AWFUL!!!!, posted by DebraA. on August 29, 2002, at 10:00:17

im gradually tapering off effexor - gone from 75mg to 37.5 - half a tablet twice a day - side effects are already hitting one week on - angry or tearful - screaming at the kids over nothing - raedy to cry at the drop of a hat - and such vivid dreams - is there anyone out there i can chat to??? im dreading cutting it out completley

thanks

 

Re: They're AWFUL!!!!

Posted by KimberlyDi on October 14, 2003, at 9:21:20

In reply to Re: They're AWFUL!!!!, posted by karen t bag on October 13, 2003, at 4:20:04

> im gradually tapering off effexor - gone from 75mg to 37.5 - half a tablet twice a day - side effects are already hitting one week on - angry or tearful - screaming at the kids over nothing - raedy to cry at the drop of a hat - and such vivid dreams - is there anyone out there i can chat to??? im dreading cutting it out completley
>
> thanks

I had problems just cutting down from 300mg to 150mg a day. Dizziness, throwing up, depression... my husband discounts effexor withdrawal and suggests that i'm pregnant! heaven forbid. they say the suffering will end eventually (without death).

Good luck, and I'm right behind ya.

KDi in Texas

 

Re: They're AWFUL!!!!

Posted by MamaB on October 14, 2003, at 13:42:54

In reply to Re: They're AWFUL!!!!, posted by KimberlyDi on October 14, 2003, at 9:21:20

Karen and Kimberly,
You have my sympathy and empathy! I too had to get off of Effexor XR and the first time was like what you describe. However, and I posted this somewhere else, srudies show that it takes AT LEAST four weeks, if not six or seven to get off Effexor. When I did it that way, I had minimal problems. I agree, Effexor is a very good AD, but physicians should be aware of rapid withdrawal problems, and thus inform their patients before starting it.

 

Re: Effexor withdrawal symptoms! Becky

Posted by Dr...Not! on October 14, 2003, at 14:17:50

In reply to Effexor withdrawal symptoms!, posted by Becky on October 2, 1999, at 22:03:30

I got bad side-effects when I went on Effexor (dizziness, dry mouth, nausea and headaches), and now I've got bad withdrawal symptoms as I go off (pre-ventricular contractions (I call it "a hamster dance," because it feels as if there's one inside my ribcage, dancing!) shakey hands, sudden profuse sweating, confusion, lightheadedness)!

Since June, I have withdrawn from Serzone and Clonazepam, without any major problems. With Effexor, however, the problems will start 2-3 days after a doseage reduction of 37.5 mg. I was on a very high dose for a very long time (300mg daily for 6-7 years). The psychiatrist I'm working with for the withdrawal was absolutely astounded that I was able to walk around and function at all during this time (I was also taking Serzone and Clonazepam, remember)(my husband had a neurological disorder similar to ALS, and died 3 years ago - I started seeing a psychiatrist and he put me on the pills. I'm not saying he was wrong to do so, because everyone has 20/20 hindsight after an event has passed, but I just wish now that there had been some other options presented to me).

Anyhow, I'm now at 150mg/day (75mg am & pm). I've found that I get the worst problems the week immediately following a doseage reduction. Then everything tapers off until I feel OK, which means it's time to reduce the doseage and feel horrible again.

The good news (up to now) has been that the PVCs etc. have cleared up between reductions. This time they haven't, so I'm seeing my internist to find out if the PVCs are causing the other symptoms or if the Effexor withdrawl has caused a blood pressure or glycemic problem, either of which also cause heart arrythmia and those other symptoms.

I'd like to be sure I don't drop dead during withdrawal! I really don't think that will happen, but "Better safe than sorry."

Thank you all for your posts, I've been feeling really punk for the past week because of all the nonsense, but you reminded me that this is all temporary. Sorry to babble on, but I get so confused during this phase.

"Everything works together for good for those who love God." (sorry, can't remember NT chapter or verse #s at the moment)

 

Re: Effexor withdrawal symptoms!

Posted by MamaB on October 14, 2003, at 14:22:20

In reply to Re: Effexor withdrawal symptoms! Becky, posted by Dr...Not! on October 14, 2003, at 14:17:50

Becky,
It's Romans 8:28. Amen!! Sorry to hear of your difficulties, I guess I was just fortunate.
I will pray for you. Mama B

 

Re: Effexor withdrawal symptoms! MamaB

Posted by Dr...Not! on October 14, 2003, at 14:26:19

In reply to Re: Effexor withdrawal symptoms!, posted by MamaB on October 14, 2003, at 14:22:20

Mamma B, appreciate your prayers muchly!

 

Re: Effexor withdrawal symptoms!

Posted by Dr...Not! on October 14, 2003, at 14:37:42

In reply to Re: Effexor withdrawal symptoms!, posted by Jane Austen on October 8, 2003, at 10:43:15

How could I forget to mention the NIGHTMARES! Technicolor, moving and swirling like Matrix Reloaded, epic, deep, terrifying, the most vivid dreams I've ever had - but I can't remember any details right now.

They only happen the first night or two after a reduction.

I also forgot to list the coldness, which sometimes comes as chills, sometimes just as freezing extremities. A hot bath will take care of that; after "the sweats," all you can do is change your sopping clothes for dry ones, until you can get home and take a shower. (Note: I recently had a kidney stone - my first, and last, I hope - and wonder if "the sweats" caused an unbalance somewhere?)

 

Another help Website!

Posted by Dr...Not! on October 14, 2003, at 14:49:07

In reply to Effexor withdrawal symptoms!, posted by Becky on October 2, 1999, at 22:03:30

This site has useful information:

http://www.join-the-fun.com/effexor-withdrawal.html

 

IGNORE previous post

Posted by Dr...Not! on October 14, 2003, at 14:55:44

In reply to Effexor withdrawal symptoms!, posted by Becky on October 2, 1999, at 22:03:30

I shouldn't be allowed out when my brain isn't working - the guy at the site is just shilling his "technique" - and I fell for it. Sorry to waste your time (and glad I'm anonymous).


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