Psycho-Babble Medication Thread 12459

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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

 

Re: Effexor withdrawal - I found out the hard way Mark Horrell

Posted by KimberlyDi on October 31, 2003, at 11:00:57

In reply to Effexor withdrawal - I found out the hard way, posted by Mark Horrell on October 30, 2003, at 18:01:18

I'm glad you mentioned the "gasping for air" remark because that happened to me last night. While walking to my vehicle in the work parking lot, all of a sudden my throat closed up. Trying to breath was this pathetic squeeekkk and I was close to a full-blown panic attack. I gave myself options, 2 more attempts, then I was going to stumble back to the front office and collapse on the floor and hope someone rescued me. I concentrated on relaxing and my airpassages started opening up. I don't have asthma but I am going through Effexor withdrawal. From 300 to 225mg daily, this weekend I lower from 225 to 150. Give myself 2 weekend days to get over the worst before work starts again on Monday. I'm not looking forward to it.

I also took Effexor before, never went higher than 75mg, and also had no problem quitting.

Naseas, vomiting, hot and cold sweats, dizziness... this sucks

Good Luck
KDi in Texas

> 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

 

Effexor Withdrawl - I did it, so can you

Posted by soshie on October 31, 2003, at 14:41:33

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

Hi,

I was on 300 mg. of Effexor XR which was prescribed for panic attacks. I really wish that the dr. (who spent ~10 minutes with me before getting me on effexor) had told me of the side effects for withdrawl.

The meds did nothing for me, besides making me feel detached most of the time. I decided to come off of the meds - my dr. was on medical leave so I was on my own. Here is what I did

I decreased by 37.5 mg. per week until I got to 37.5. From there I opened my capsule and tapped out a little more each day. When I was coming off completely, I took two vacation days so that I could not have to leave the house. I went through the following:

Brain Shivers - these were awful, just awful. Thanks to the other posts on this board, I knew that they were normal - otherwise I would have thought I was dying!

Short fuse - I had a VERY short fuse. Thanks to my wife for helping me out!

I took Benadryl to help with the brain shivers - don't know why it helps, but it really did.

The Brain shivers were VERY bad for the first 3 days and then got better and better, with symptoms gone today - 3 weeks after going off the meds.

Please know that you can do this. The medicine is awful. I hope that it helps some of you, but when you come off, make sure that you have both time and support.

Good luck. If you have any questions, let me know.

 

My experience with quitting cold turkey (150 mg)

Posted by Sanjay Singhal on November 1, 2003, at 4:03:42

In reply to Effexor Withdrawl - I did it, so can you, posted by soshie on October 31, 2003, at 14:41:33

I first came off effexor 2 years ago. It took me 3 months of tapering, with recurring nausea and headaches. It was bad enough that I swore I'd never take the damn medication again. But a year later I went through 4 months of depression hell and started effexor again, swearing this time I'd take it forever since I didn't want to go through withdrawal ever again. Silly me...

After 6 months of relative normalcy, all of a sudden one day the effexor stopped working. This may mean I have bi-polar disorder. I'm not sure. But it's pretty apparent that the doctors, therapists, and psychiatrists who treat me haven't a clue either. All the people out there who wish that their physicians had warned them about effexor withdrawal -- THEY DON'T KNOW. That's why they didn't warn you. My MD told me that the worst symptoms would be over after 3-4 days. Yeah, right.

I'm one week into quitting my 150 mg Effexor XR cold turkey. I shut myself up at my parents house and told all my friends I was going away for a while. And then it still proceeded to be worse than I could have imagined.

1. Nightmares, vivid dreams, what have you. Pretty darn interesting for the first 3 nights. Then it got so I couldn't sleep. Which is worse.

2. Vertigo, nausea, "phasing". Has gradually declined, and now is only sporadic.

3. Bad indigestion. Was vomiting every night the first few nights, now its just acid reflux.

4. The "fever". I keep complaining that I have a fever, but Tylenol doesn't help, and I've finally accepted that I have only fever symptoms. Weak all over, hot/cold reversals, etc. Getting better after day 6.

5. Mild itching all over. Not as bad as others have reported.

6. A strange case of salivating continuously at night. I'm addicted to Altoids sours (tangerine). May be the culprit, but I refuse to stop eating them... one of the few things that can take my mind off the withdrawal symptoms.

7. Extreme sensitivity to light, noise, and emotion. Can't read more than a paragraph of anything without starting to cry (including this message board). This has stayed constant all week. Will be interesting if its permanent...

8. Can't sleep. Yes, I know I already mentioned this, but it's 4:49am in my part of the world, and guess what? I can't sleep. Meaning, I sleep for an hour or two or three, and then I'm awake for 20 hours.

My best guess is that it takes 10 days to go from initial cessation to most major symptoms being gone. And 2 weeks to feel 'normal'.

Good luck all.

Sanjay

 

Re: My experience with quitting cold turkey (150 mg) Sanjay Singhal

Posted by foodie on November 1, 2003, at 22:56:25

In reply to My experience with quitting cold turkey (150 mg), posted by Sanjay Singhal on November 1, 2003, at 4:03:42

I have been taking 225 mg of effexor xr for over a year. I want to get off the medicine in hopes it will allow me to stop taking my blood pressure medicine (have NEVER had high BP). My doctor said to just drop back to two a day for awhile and see how I did. It never occurred to me that I may be having symptoms until I read this site. Itchy skin, severe insomnia, irritable (not common for me) weepy, and venom that can come out of nowhere (but only for my husband,) enhanced sensitivity. I only struggle with clinical depression but have reached a point that I just want to do this without meds if possible and take my life back. So, dear readers - quite gradually or cold turkey.

 

Re: Effexor Withdrawl - I did it, so can you

Posted by foodie on November 1, 2003, at 23:25:24

In reply to Effexor Withdrawl - I did it, so can you, posted by soshie on October 31, 2003, at 14:41:33

what are brain shivers. i do get cobwebby in my head but do not understand the term brain shivers. it sounds a bit scary. i am the caretaker for my 80 yo alzeimhers mom-in-law and cannot have a jiggery brain or be mean. thanks.

 

Re: My experience with quitting cold turkey (150 mg)

Posted by soshie on November 2, 2003, at 8:50:15

In reply to Re: My experience with quitting cold turkey (150 mg) Sanjay Singhal, posted by foodie on November 1, 2003, at 22:56:25

Quit gradually!!!


> I have been taking 225 mg of effexor xr for over a year. I want to get off the medicine in hopes it will allow me to stop taking my blood pressure medicine (have NEVER had high BP). My doctor said to just drop back to two a day for awhile and see how I did. It never occurred to me that I may be having symptoms until I read this site. Itchy skin, severe insomnia, irritable (not common for me) weepy, and venom that can come out of nowhere (but only for my husband,) enhanced sensitivity. I only struggle with clinical depression but have reached a point that I just want to do this without meds if possible and take my life back. So, dear readers - quite gradually or cold turkey.

 

Re: Effexor Withdrawl - I did it, so can you

Posted by soshie on November 2, 2003, at 8:54:01

In reply to Re: Effexor Withdrawl - I did it, so can you, posted by foodie on November 1, 2003, at 23:25:24

Here is a series of articles on Brain Shivers that taught me a lot....

http://depression.about.com/cs/venlafaxine/a/brainshivers.htm


> what are brain shivers. i do get cobwebby in my head but do not understand the term brain shivers. it sounds a bit scary. i am the caretaker for my 80 yo alzeimhers mom-in-law and cannot have a jiggery brain or be mean. thanks.

 

Re: Effexor Withdrawl - I did it, so can you

Posted by Dr...Not! on November 5, 2003, at 16:19:07

In reply to Re: Effexor Withdrawl - I did it, so can you, posted by soshie on November 2, 2003, at 8:54:01

I thank God for all you wonderful people! I've been gradually reducing my Effexor XR for the past few months, and had 37.5 left. I was (and am) tired of all the withdrawal symptoms, the most persistent of which has been heart arrythmia (PVCs, or Pre-Ventricular Contractions), either "lite" (palpitations) or "hamster dance" (yup, the little feller's in there and havin' himself a GOOD time). Almost forgot, what I call "the sweats." Absolutely soaking, and usually in the middle of the night. The first time it happened, I thought I had wet the bed, because my cotton underpants were so totally soaked!

Glad to hear about "brain shivers." Not that I'm glad they happen, but I'm glad I heard of them before I had them.

Anyhow, took my last 37.5 on Sunday; Monday OK; Monday night, the sweats, unpleasant kalaidescope dreams and a VERY strange experience of (please excuse me if this sounds vulgar) involuntary orgasms (no, they were not "fun" - I'm a 53-year-old widow, they woke me up, they wouldn't stop, they became painful, and I'm scared they'll happen again); Tuesday, OK; Tuesday night, sweats, dreams; today, my sight is as if I'm at one end of a tunnel, I can't think, I break into sobbing every few hours, and I'm afraid to go to sleep tonight.

Forgot to mention the constant ringing in my ears and the fact that my eyes keep going in and out of focus. This has been going on for a month.

My faith in God is my lifeline. He has, after all, given me YOU! When you post your symptoms, you remind me that I am going through withdrawal of a physical addiction to drugs, and I am not alone. I focus my mind and heart on that, and put my trust in God. In a way, I am thankful that I have experienced these things, as I feel greater compassion for those who suffer from their own addictions, whether to nicotine, alcohol or recreational drugs. I am better able to pray for the wellbeing of others, having been so far from well myself.

Anyhoo, I'm just back from a quick Dunkin'-donuts-and-library-books run (accompanied by one bout of sobbing in the car) and am ready to hunker down at home for the next couple of days. I'll keep you posted (if my memory works so that I remember you're here). (If I didn't get the automatic notices of follow-ups, I would forget you are available for me in my misery!)

ta ta for now


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