Psycho-Babble Medication Thread 12459

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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).

 

Re: Effexor withdrawal symptoms! Dr...Not!

Posted by KimberlyDi on October 14, 2003, at 16:03:21

In reply to Re: Effexor withdrawal symptoms!, posted by Dr...Not! on October 14, 2003, at 14:37:42

Oh yeah, nightmares. Last night was about the exploding outside AC unit that sent the fan blades spinning and knocking a hole in my brick wall. I about jumped out of my skin. Where do these nightmares come from?

KDi in Texas

> 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?)

 

Re: Another Qwack Website!

Posted by stjames on October 14, 2003, at 19:42:07

In reply to Another help Website!, posted by Dr...Not! on October 14, 2003, at 14:49:07

> This site is a Qwack site:
>
> http://www.join-the-fun.com/effexor-withdrawal.html
>

 

Re: Effexor withdrawal symptoms!

Posted by karen t bag on October 15, 2003, at 2:53:26

In reply to Re: Effexor withdrawal symptoms! Dr...Not!, posted by KimberlyDi on October 14, 2003, at 16:03:21

Thank you so much for all the mail on the subject of tapering and withdrawal - it has helped so much - god bless you all!!!
im from uk - my doctor didnt even mention side effects to me im so glad i found you guys!
im beginning to wonder if going cold turkey and completley stopping may be the best answer?

think when we come through this we are going to be one of the strongest group of people on the planet - depression and withdrawal - we can face anything!
thanks again

 

Re: Effexor withdrawal symptoms!

Posted by iluvdaisys on October 15, 2003, at 4:52:36

In reply to Re: Effexor withdrawal symptoms!, posted by karen t bag on October 15, 2003, at 2:53:26

Hi, I just found this site, after waking up so itchy that I thought I'd research my problem. I'm on effexor right now, and want off. I've been on it since about April of this year, and it has been a nightmare ever since. I cry so easy now. I take trazadone to cope with the effexor. And god help me if I miss a dose of effexor!!!!! I've embarrassed myself at work a number of times now, with my crying. Now, I'm itching all over, especially my hands, feet and scalp. I don't know if it is from the effexor or not. I want my doctor to ween me off, but after forgetting a dose twice in a row, and the nightmare that came with that...I'm frightened of withdrawl. I just felt the need to post here. I have what my doc thinks is manic depression, and I have severe panic attacks and PTSD. I'm afraid to try another med...I don't want to be trapped in another nightmare like this :( My family needs me, and I'm just not really here. Any input is appreciated. I don't have a clue what I'm hoping to hear, but I hope to hear something.

 

Re: Effexor withdrawal symptoms!

Posted by karen t bag on October 15, 2003, at 11:15:31

In reply to Re: Effexor withdrawal symptoms!, posted by iluvdaisys on October 15, 2003, at 4:52:36

> Hi, I just found this site, after waking up so itchy that I thought I'd research my problem. I'm on effexor right now, and want off. I've been on it since about April of this year, and it has been a nightmare ever since. I cry so easy now. I take trazadone to cope with the effexor. And god help me if I miss a dose of effexor!!!!! I've embarrassed myself at work a number of times now, with my crying. Now, I'm itching all over, especially my hands, feet and scalp. I don't know if it is from the effexor or not. I want my doctor to ween me off, but after forgetting a dose twice in a row, and the nightmare that came with that...I'm frightened of withdrawl. I just felt the need to post here. I have what my doc thinks is manic depression, and I have severe panic attacks and PTSD. I'm afraid to try another med...I don't want to be trapped in another nightmare like this :( My family needs me, and I'm just not really here. Any input is appreciated. I don't have a clue what I'm hoping to hear, but I hope to hear something.

hiya, I have been to see a nutritionist today - who assures me that all these effects can be helped with good diet and healthy food etc - the only trouble being that when you feel like this the last thing you can be bothered with is cooking fancy foods - i know i may be clutching at straws but im going to give it a go - it can only help - she swears by getting as much organic as you can afford and has given me a list of foods with low sugar content to even out mood swings - i dont know about you but my moods can be like the himalayas - she tells me i want nice rolling small hills not mountains - if you are interested i could mail you the list??

hang on in there you arent alone!
karen

 

Re: Panic Attacks iluvdaisys

Posted by Dr...Not! on October 16, 2003, at 11:26:02

In reply to Re: Effexor withdrawal symptoms!, posted by iluvdaisys on October 15, 2003, at 4:52:36

I had a couple of panic attacks, and the hospital gave me Klonopin (clonazepam) .5mg, which worked fine to stop it from spiraling out of control. I also asked what was the worst thing that could happen with a panic attack (they should call them "death attacks," because the symptoms were so terrifying), and was told that I would just pass out. At that point, breathing would resume normally, and I'd wake up. So now I don't worry about it. If it happens again, I'll just pull the car over, or lie down, until it passes. (I also carry a Klonopin, just in case!)

I'll pray for you - God made us the way we are for His purpose, and "everything works together for good for those who love God." (Romans)

 

Re: Effexor withdrawal symptoms!

Posted by T_R_D on October 16, 2003, at 11:54:18

In reply to Re: Effexor withdrawal symptoms!, posted by iluvdaisys on October 15, 2003, at 4:52:36

If you're going to wean and eventually quit...ask your doctor for a temporary prescription for Prozac. I took it for three days in the midst of my withdrawal hell and it helped immediately and immensely. You can get off the drug...

Good luck,
Karen

 

Effexor withdrawal - I found out the hard way

Posted by Mark Horrell on October 30, 2003, at 18:01:18

In reply to Re: Effexor withdrawal symptoms!, posted by T_R_D on October 16, 2003, at 11:54:18

I was relieved to find this message board. I started getting what I now believe to be withdrawal symptoms while taking a full dose of Effexor XR and Depakote. My blood pressure zoomed from 110/70 in February to 160/110 in May. A few weeks ago my shrink finally agreed to let me stop taking it, and told me to take a week to taper off. I was dizzy, had vertigo, was hot when it was cold and cold when it was hot, couldn't drive, and am gasping for air sometimes. It has been two weeks of hell and I am about 70% better, but still cannot work a full day. Fortunately for me, I have a lot of sick days coming.

I didn't know what my problem was, and my primary care physician insisted I have a CT scan to rule out anything serious, such as a stroke. The CT came back OK, but it shows you just how severe these symptoms can be.

Funny, but I had taken Effexor about 7 years ago under another shrink and don't remember any withdrawal symptoms. However, I followed that with Paxil which, when that quit working for me, I quit cold-turkey (didn't know any better) and ended up with a severe headache, followed by a speach problem for well over a year. I think I had a mini-stroke. My current shrink now wants me to go back on Paxil - No Way!

I am glad I found this forum. I was really concerned that I had some serious, permanent brain damage. Now I am hopeful that there may be a light at the end of the tunnel. By the way, how much longer is this going to last?

Mark


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