Psycho-Babble Medication Thread 1016

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Re: Effexor withdrawal - very bad news gadman

Posted by Fathe on January 29, 2005, at 12:13:34

In reply to Re: Effexor withdrawal - very bad news Fathe, posted by gadman on January 29, 2005, at 11:36:44

> Thanks Fathe... This is day 8 of completely being off of Effexor. I continue to suffer depression....
>
> My question is... How do you know if it is an Effexor withdrawal (the depression) or just a symptom of my original problems (Anxiety with depression)
>
>

Hi Gadman
Unfortunately (or fortunately !) anxiety and depression were not part of my withdrawal symptoms. The only "emotional" type symptom I experienced was a marked reduction in my tolerance level of situations which most times I have no control over...but even those are leveling off now. My symptoms were physical (the "volts", nausea, sweating, eye movement sensations, fatigue, leg heaviness and nightmares). It could be that your new drug is not the right medication for your type of anxiety and depression and possibly Effexor IS the better choice for you. Each person's body is different. But that is the point this forum is not trying to make; that Effexor is a bad drug while you take it and should be taken off the market. It is really a wonder drug, for many and me included. We just want to make sure that those who follow in our footsteps who are prescribed Effexor, know that the possibility of severe withdrawl symptoms can occur once you try to taper down your dose. With so many other SSRI's out there, why not have the information available so you can make an informed choice to pick Effexor?

Maybe others here on this site can tell you that if they had the anxiety and/or depression as part of their withdrawal, they can help you by posting how they dealt with it and how long it lasts.

Just hang in there though. Whether you love Effexor of hate it, I have found that everyone here is very supportive and typically can relate to one thing or another of what you are experiencing. For me, that was golden.

We are all thinking of you...keep us posted of how you are doing.

 

Re: Effexor withdrawal - very bad news Fathe

Posted by gadman on January 29, 2005, at 15:57:19

In reply to Re: Effexor withdrawal - very bad news gadman, posted by Fathe on January 29, 2005, at 12:13:34

Thanks again Fathe... Your words are encouraging. The new Med I am on is Cymbalta and I am not sure what to do... I hate to go back to Effexor, especially after reading all of the horror stories.

I have only been off the Effexor for 8 days and on the Cymbalta for nearly 3 weeks. I am still trying to adjust my Cymbalta dose and get back to the way I was before I went off the Effexor (I hope that comes soon)

Gadman

 

Re: Effexor withdrawal - very bad news gadman

Posted by roobie on January 29, 2005, at 17:38:14

In reply to Re: Effexor withdrawal - very bad news Fathe, posted by gadman on January 29, 2005, at 15:57:19

Hi, Gadman. I wondered the same thing too when I thought 'hey, maybe I don't need this anymore'... and I am sorta mixed about what I want to do.

When I tried to quit, I had the side affects, but infrequent as I could still function just fine, but knew the 'dizzies' were there. It was the uncontrollable hostility, which I think was brought on by the anxiety which is why I started taking these things in the first place (Paxil first).

I do feel that the Effexor is 'good' for me, but am totally greatful that folks on this site confirmed the side-effects, as well as the 'danger' of coming off that the drug companies and docs don't really acknowledge. I would have REALLY thought I had some unexplainable issues.

I would consider something else and may even ask about that Cymbalta(?) you mentioned.

roobie

 

Re: Effexor withdrawal - very bad news gadman

Posted by Fathe on January 29, 2005, at 17:38:46

In reply to Re: Effexor withdrawal - very bad news Fathe, posted by gadman on January 29, 2005, at 15:57:19

Gadman, I would definitely speak to your health care professonal who prescribed the new drug. I am sure there was a good reason to be taken off Effexor and put on this new medicine but it could be that Effexor is more effective for you. That would be something you and your doctor should weigh in on.

I do know, however, that if you need a sounding board while on Effexor or if you continue to stay off and feel you need support for that as well, this forum is the place for it. I would not have been able to face my witrhdrawal without "picking the brains" of others here.

You will find comfort in that others here have been through the same thing as you are experiencing.

Take care and keep us posted of your progress.

 

Re: Effexor withdrawal - very bad news roobie

Posted by gadman on January 29, 2005, at 17:54:03

In reply to Re: Effexor withdrawal - very bad news gadman, posted by roobie on January 29, 2005, at 17:38:14

Roobie... Effexor and I had a good relationship over that last 3 years but the Doc thought I might do better on Cymbalta.

It was a rocky start with Effexor if I remember it right, and it took several months (probably 6 or so) before I felt good again. I was going through what I could only describe as a break down and Effexor coupled with Xanax at night go me through it.

Now it is 3 years later and although Effexor is still working, my BP is up and I have gained alot of weight. (And I was also feeling sluggish)

So Enters Cymbalta... And here I am... The verdict is still out.

Gadman

 

Re: Effexor withdrawal - very bad news Fathe

Posted by gadman on January 29, 2005, at 17:56:23

In reply to Re: Effexor withdrawal - very bad news gadman, posted by Fathe on January 29, 2005, at 17:38:46

Thanks once again...

I will continue monitoring my progress over the next couple of weeks... I at least want to give the Cymbalta a full fighting chance to kick in.

Gadman

 

Re: Effexor withdrawal - very bad news

Posted by roobie on January 29, 2005, at 17:59:18

In reply to Re: Effexor withdrawal - very bad news Fathe, posted by gadman on January 29, 2005, at 17:56:23

I stopped the Paxil and started Effexor in a hopes to LOSE the weight I gained on Paxil. I acutally felt MORE energy on Effexor.

Not sure what CYMBALTA is... (SSRI...?) but good luck and keep us posted; I'm very curious to hear how it all goes.

roobie

 

Re: Effexor withdrawal - very bad news roobie

Posted by gadman on January 29, 2005, at 20:33:16

In reply to Re: Effexor withdrawal - very bad news, posted by roobie on January 29, 2005, at 17:59:18

Roobie,

Cymbalta is an SSNRI just like Effexor. They both inhibit reuptake of Serotonin and Nor-Epinehrine. My research tells me that Cymbalta works on Nor-Epinehrine at lower dosages than Effexor, which makes sense for me since I was only on a 75 mg dose of Effexor.

Cymbalta was suppose to be everything Effexor is but without the side-effects. I know some on the forum have found this to be true while others did not have luck with Cymbalta.

Right now I am still in the trial stage. I do know if it can produce the same results without the dangerous withdrawal effects I will be happy.

I also know I went this far with it, so I am going to stick it out a bit longer...

Gadman

 

Re: Effexor withdrawal - very bad news gadman

Posted by Fathe on January 29, 2005, at 22:58:32

In reply to Re: Effexor withdrawal - very bad news roobie, posted by gadman on January 29, 2005, at 20:33:16

Gadman,

I think you have a good plan. Good luck.

 

Re: another thread to help withdraw

Posted by not2late4u on January 30, 2005, at 14:34:27

In reply to Re: Effexor withdrawal - very bad news gadman, posted by Fathe on January 29, 2005, at 22:58:32

feel free to visit my thread. "renee tapering off effexor".

 

Re: another thread to help withdraw not2late4u

Posted by gadman on January 31, 2005, at 9:50:58

In reply to Re: another thread to help withdraw, posted by not2late4u on January 30, 2005, at 14:34:27

Thanks Renee for the post... I read thru your thread and still have to ask the same question I have had all along... How can you differentiate between Effexor withdrawal and Re-appearing symptoms of why you were taking Effexor in the first place? (Besides the Brain Zaps and nausea)

Your explanation of what put you on Effexor (Extreme Anxiety, Panic Attacks, Etc... ) could be me... It is exactly the reason I started Effexor to begin with.

gadman

 

Re: Effexor withdrawal - very bad news

Posted by Dkscully on January 31, 2005, at 17:28:32

In reply to Effexor withdrawal - very bad news, posted by janey on November 1, 1998, at 16:30:34

Hi all! I'm new here, and have read most of the posts in this thread. In one sense, they've provided me with some assurance that I'm not "crazy"--for which, I am more grateful than you all could possibly know.

I notice that some of you have an easy time going off Effexor. I honestly thought that would be me. Truthfully, it did nothing for me, and when I previously stopped Zoloft, I suffered few to no withdrawal symptoms, so I thought, "Yay! I can't wait to get this out of my system and try Wellbutrin!" There were several hitches in this plan.

First, I was prescribed Effexor by my family doctor. A wonderful fellow, but in retrospect, I don't believe he knew enough about these meds. When we decided that I would switch to Wellbutrin, I had to ASK him if I should wean off the Effexor. He told me, "Sure, take your 150 mg of Effexor every other day, instead of everyday, for a week. Then stop."

Apparently, this was not wise. But, I survived. I had a horrible first couple weeks, in terms of "brain zaps," dizziness, nausea, and my emotional state was just terrible. There were a few days during those couple weeks when I couldn't leave my house, I was just such a mess.

Along with going off Effexor way too quickly, I learned that switching to Wellbutrin is worse than switching to an SSRI when going off Effexor, due to the fact that Wellbutrin doesn't impact seratonin levels at all, so basically, I think it's pretty much as bad as not switching to anything, in terms of withdrawal? Or at least that's my understanding?

At any rate, it's been five weeks since I stopped Effexor totally and went up to my full dose (300 mg) of Wellbutrin XL. The brain zaps have almost gone away, but I'm feeling insane...

When I get up in the morning, I'm generally OK. I take the Wellbutrin, and I feel energized and ready to go. At approximately 3 p.m., however, I sort of crash--I get a headache, nausea, generally feel like crap. My new psychiatrist (yes, I left the clueless doctor) says it's more than likely the Effexor withdrawal, rather than the Wellbutrin, but I'm not sure if I should believe this, at five weeks Effexor-free...

Along with this afternoon/evening "crappy-feelingness," I'm still INCREDIBLY emotionally volatile. I cry about everything. I freak out when my boyfriend doesn't call me by 1 p.m. or so.

I'm in my last semester of my master's degree program, I have an assistantship, I need to start looking for post-graduate employment, and my brain, which (I swear) really used to work, doesn't seem functional anymore. I can't afford to "lose it."

So, anyone, is there hope? Have I destroyed my brain? Is there anyone who had these symptoms last 5 weeks, but eventually felt normal again?

I really apologize if I've repeated other people's questions... I'm sure I have. But, I would just really appreciate some reassurance, or at least some realistic expectations.

Thanks so much!

 

Re: Effexor withdrawal - very bad news Dkscully

Posted by gadman on January 31, 2005, at 17:38:09

In reply to Re: Effexor withdrawal - very bad news, posted by Dkscully on January 31, 2005, at 17:28:32

I have been off of Effexor now for 9 Days and know where you are coming from.

I have to repeat though I can never tell what is Effexor Withdrawal and what is my original illness because they seem so similar.

Everything I read suggests that yes, 5 weeks is NOT uncommon for the withdrawal symptoms and YES everything well go back to normal. When you might ask? It depends on the individual sorry to say... But be assured everything will be fine!

Gadman

 

Re: Effexor withdrawal - very bad news

Posted by Dkscully on January 31, 2005, at 18:20:32

In reply to Re: Effexor withdrawal - very bad news Dkscully, posted by gadman on January 31, 2005, at 17:38:09

> I have been off of Effexor now for 9 Days and know where you are coming from.
>
> I have to repeat though I can never tell what is Effexor Withdrawal and what is my original illness because they seem so similar.
>
> Everything I read suggests that yes, 5 weeks is NOT uncommon for the withdrawal symptoms and YES everything well go back to normal. When you might ask? It depends on the individual sorry to say... But be assured everything will be fine!
>
> Gadman


Thanks, I need that right now! I think I'm definitely worse than I was before all this fun with meds, which is scary. I used to sort of be the type of person who could "suffer silently," meaning that I always seemed to be together and got everything done that I needed to, no matter how much time I spent crying alone in my room or having panic attacks that very few people knew about. Now, I almost have to disclose my situation to people, because I just feel so bad and am so unproductive, particularly later in the day...

I just picked up some Claritin, since some people say that relieves the symptoms, but I really don't want to be taking anything else on a regular basis--for those of you who used that, how long/often did you take those to relieve your symptoms?

I guess I should be proud of going 5 weeks, Effexor-free, but really I'm just scared.

Again, thanks... I'm so glad I found this place.

 

Re: Going through Effexor Withdrawl now

Posted by Raggy on January 31, 2005, at 18:37:04

In reply to Re: Effexor withdrawal - very bad news, posted by Dkscully on January 31, 2005, at 18:20:32

Please, please, please, whether you have had sucess on effexor or not, please let the FDA know how this drug affected you, whether when taking or getting off it. It will help maybe hundreds of others.
They won't know if people like us don't tell them.
Thank you.

 

Re: Effexor withdrawal - very bad news Dkscully

Posted by gadman on January 31, 2005, at 20:49:00

In reply to Re: Effexor withdrawal - very bad news, posted by Dkscully on January 31, 2005, at 18:20:32

Hang in there.... I am sure it gets better as soon as your brain adjusts.

I wonder if part of your problem might be the lack of Seratonin. You went a while with a boost and now you are not getting that boost.

I'm getting my boost with Cymbalta and still having bad days... But slowly and surely the bad ones become fewer and fewer....

Gadman

 

Re: Effexor withdrawal - very bad news

Posted by Dkscully on January 31, 2005, at 23:08:33

In reply to Re: Effexor withdrawal - very bad news Dkscully, posted by gadman on January 31, 2005, at 20:49:00

> Hang in there.... I am sure it gets better as soon as your brain adjusts.
>
> I wonder if part of your problem might be the lack of Seratonin. You went a while with a boost and now you are not getting that boost.
>
> I'm getting my boost with Cymbalta and still having bad days... But slowly and surely the bad ones become fewer and fewer....
>
> Gadman


Yeah, I think the lack of seratonin is probably part of the problem--but if it wasn't helping me in the first place, it seems bizarre that it would make me feel so bad now.

Actually, despite anxiety and my typical late-in-the-day sick feeling, I haven't burst into tears at any point today, which is actually an accomplishment. Maybe I'm on the way to improvement, although feeling sickish from mid-afternoon on makes it hard to feel too super, even if I'm slowly becoming less emotional. I'm going to try the Claritin tomorrow, in hopes that it'll "balance me out" like it has other people (I still don't understand why that is?). I'll keep you all updated. Any advice on when/if to take the Claritin for these side effects would be appreciated (though I really wish I didn't feel the need to do this after 5 weeks off effexor!)

Thanks!

 

Re: Effexor withdrawal - very bad news Dkscully

Posted by gadman on February 1, 2005, at 7:52:48

In reply to Re: Effexor withdrawal - very bad news, posted by Dkscully on January 31, 2005, at 23:08:33

My guess is that even though the seratonin did not appear to be helping, your body was still "getting use to" having it in production a while longer than normal. Again, I am just guessing, I am not a doc (I just read alot) :-)

Anyway, claritan does not make you sleepy so in the AM should be good.

Keep me posted, As I will you...

<Yeah, I think the lack of seratonin is probably part of the problem--but if it wasn't helping me in the first place, it seems bizarre that it would make me feel so bad now.>

 

Re: Effexor withdrawal - very bad news-Claritin

Posted by Dkscully on February 1, 2005, at 22:04:04

In reply to Re: Effexor withdrawal - very bad news Dkscully, posted by gadman on February 1, 2005, at 7:52:48

Well, I tried the Claritin when I got up this morning. I'm not entirely clear on what it was supposed to do for my withdrawal symptoms, still, but I didn't see any effect. Still got that mid-afternoon nausea/dizziness/headache thing. Tomorrow I have to give a presentation at work during that time... I've gotten to the point that I donn't even want to take anything for my headaches after reading on here about people getting liver disease from Effexor--I already took tylenol PM for 2+ years, every night, I'm totally terrified that I killed my liver already, so I feel bad taking anything else.

I used to be such a healthy person. Miss Perfect Attendance in high school, and all that. I'm so scared effexor has destroyed me.

 

Re: Effexor withdrawal - very bad news-Claritin

Posted by gadman on February 2, 2005, at 8:04:10

In reply to Re: Effexor withdrawal - very bad news-Claritin, posted by Dkscully on February 1, 2005, at 22:04:04

I understand exactly... The problem is that you/we don't know how to separate the truths from the realities when it comes to these things.

I had quite a long talk with my pdoc last night and he assured me that what I am experiencing is not necessarily effexor withdrawal, but seratonin withdrawal.

I am also in quite a bit of a quandry because the Cymbalta is not playing well with my Blood Pressure. Cymbalta was SUPPOSE to have less of an effect on BP than Effexor but it is just the opposite. My BP increased 20 points on the high and low end since I have been on Cymbalta and I am taking a BP med.

So, back comes Effexor for now... The Doc recommended I switch to Zoloft and I think I might eventually, but for now I have been through enough, so for now I am going to go back to a low dose of Effexor.

Oh Well... Such is life

> Well, I tried the Claritin when I got up this morning. I'm not entirely clear on what it was supposed to do for my withdrawal symptoms, still, but I didn't see any effect. Still got that mid-afternoon nausea/dizziness/headache thing. Tomorrow I have to give a presentation at work during that time... I've gotten to the point that I donn't even want to take anything for my headaches after reading on here about people getting liver disease from Effexor--I already took tylenol PM for 2+ years, every night, I'm totally terrified that I killed my liver already, so I feel bad taking anything else.
>
> I used to be such a healthy person. Miss Perfect Attendance in high school, and all that. I'm so scared effexor has destroyed me.

 

effexxor wthdrwl - very worried - alternatives?

Posted by oilfan on February 6, 2005, at 0:26:10

In reply to Re: Effexor withdrawal - very bad news-Claritin, posted by gadman on February 2, 2005, at 8:04:10

I am currently going off effexxor xr 300mg . I am now down to 262.5 My clueless doctor told me before i started dropping he had no idea that it was as hard and had so many side effects to getting off. He just read up on it. My faith in physchitrist's and the medical community is very low.Any Ideas's????

 

Re: effexxor wthdrwl - very worried - alternatives? oilfan

Posted by gadman on February 6, 2005, at 7:06:59

In reply to effexxor wthdrwl - very worried - alternatives?, posted by oilfan on February 6, 2005, at 0:26:10

Go Slow... Take your time tapering down... Think Positive!

Don't let all the horror stories scare you, there are just as many positive stories...

gadman

 

Re: effexxor wthdrwl - very worried - alternatives?

Posted by oilfan on February 6, 2005, at 14:33:12

In reply to Re: effexxor wthdrwl - very worried - alternatives? oilfan, posted by gadman on February 6, 2005, at 7:06:59

gadman: thanks for the encouragement! I have been on the withdrawl stage for about 3 weeks now and wow are the headaches something!

 

Re: Effexor withdrawal - very bad news worm

Posted by californiagirl on February 7, 2005, at 0:26:23

In reply to Re: Effexor withdrawal - very bad news, posted by worm on January 24, 2005, at 11:57:16

i have been completely off effexor for two days now. It didn't seem to work for my depression. i am nauseus and dizzy. i tried taking dramamine but puked. i was only on the drug for 8 weeks but was unable to sleep and in the past week decreased my dosage. i have been depressed and crying. what should i do to make it more tolerable? i am a student and need to make it through my day. please help.

 

Re: Effexor withdrawal - very bad news californiagirl

Posted by PoohBear on February 7, 2005, at 12:24:54

In reply to Re: Effexor withdrawal - very bad news worm, posted by californiagirl on February 7, 2005, at 0:26:23

> i have been completely off effexor for two days now. It didn't seem to work for my depression. i am nauseus and dizzy. i tried taking dramamine but puked. i was only on the drug for 8 weeks but was unable to sleep and in the past week decreased my dosage. i have been depressed and crying. what should i do to make it more tolerable? i am a student and need to make it through my day. please help.

Go get a prescription for Prozac, 20mg per day. Plus Benedryl helps with the headaches and swooshy head feeling. I ramped down using Prozac and it works.

I'm hoping that you ramped down your Effexor and didn't quit cold.

I tapered off over ten days at the end of December and have been completely 'off' Effexor now for 5 weeks. I am still taking Prozac (I feel great on it) and plan to for the foreseeable future. I no longer take Benedryl.

Good Luck!

Tony


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