Psycho-Babble Medication Thread 1016

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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

 

Re: Effexor withdrawal - very bad news

Posted by oilfan on February 7, 2005, at 12:49:35

In reply to Re: Effexor withdrawal - very bad news californiagirl, posted by PoohBear on February 7, 2005, at 12:24:54

because of the side effects and how high my dosage is it is going to take approx. 5 months to get off!

 

Re: Effexor withdrawal - very bad news

Posted by oilfan on February 7, 2005, at 12:51:20

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

I have found that the dizziness and nausea as well as headaches go away with marijuana. even though its illegal it works!!

 

Re: Effexor withdrawal - very bad news

Posted by JennaStarrett on February 7, 2005, at 22:57:25

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

> > 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!

Hi,
I have written a couple postings about Claratin because it helped me soooo much. I guess everyone is different though, because I never read any one else really raving about it like I do. I was taking Claratin-D either twice a day (12 hr) or once a day (24 hr). I could take it at night time and it never kept me up. It totally wiped out all of my side effects (I went off Claratin D once too early and all the sweats, crying, aggitation, nausea, "volts" etc... came right back). It took about 8-10 hours to get Claratin D back into my system after that experience. I went off 300mg Effexor in December, and I just recently quit taking the Claratin D (about two months total to get over the withdrawals). I don't believe I have anymore side effects from Effexor (I feel somewhat anxious but I think it from the Wellbutrin I'm taking now). The whole experience almost wiped me out, but I do a lot of praying and reading these postings help a lot. Please hang in there, there is a light at the end of the tunnel. God Bless, Jenna

 

Re: Effexor withdrawal - very bad news

Posted by Vexinvixen on February 17, 2005, at 9:28:16

In reply to Re: Effexor withdrawal - very bad news, posted by JennaStarrett on February 7, 2005, at 22:57:25

Effexor hasn't been good for me at all. Several years ago I had tried 2 or 3 other anti-depressants, but the side effects made my already-bad depression so much worse, that I stopped trying.

I eventually recovered from that divorce and illness-induced episode, but still had the dysphoria which I have always had. After some discussion with my doctor, we tried a different anti-depressant (I can't remember which one now.) There were a few mild side effects, but no real positive effect, so we discontinued that and decided to try Effexor.

There was an initial positive effect, with some initial intestinal distress, which subsided, and I was pleased. When the positive effect decreased, the initial very low dose was increased, with questionable additional positive effect, but additional gastro-intestinal discomfort including frequent burping, flatulence, and return of previously-controlled reflux disorder.

I also developed dry skin, dry hair and brittle nails, an itchy rash with compulsion to scratch to the point of bleeding. Also extreme sleepiness -- I was falling asleep at my desk at work.

The dosage was decreased, and a very small amount of Wellbutrin added, and symptoms increased again. Headache. Muscle and joint pain. Painful intercourse. Clumsiness. Nose bleeds. Constipation. Dry mouth. Weight gain. Increasing gastrointestinal reflux, often disturbing sleep. Increasing depression, thoughts of death, lack of interest in normal activities, lack of motivation, hopelessness, frustration. Loss of interest in sex.

Over several months we tried different dosages, with symptoms always increasing and becoming worse, with the exception of the rash, which decreased, but did not disappear.

Wellbutrin was discontinued fairly quickly, and I thought it was the cause of my increased symptoms, but symptoms did not decrease without it. In fact, they kept increasing. I was becoming so depressed, I was only a couple of steps above being suicidal.

After a few weeks, Effexor was slowly decreased and then discontinued a few days ago. Sleep has become troubled -- nightmares and odd disturbing dreams -- where previously there had never been any nightmares and dreams were nearly always pleasant and refreshing. My internal clock has been increasingly "off" -- sleepiness has been coming later and later at night, with difficulty getting up in the morning.

I've had increasing dry skin, dry mouth, dry and irritated eyes. Slight shortness of breath, and occasional heart "flutters." Constant thirst and dehydration. Occasional slight disorientation, lack of focus, increasing emotional swings, light-headedness that has become nearly constant, occasional dizziness. All symptoms seem to be remaining constant, or in many cases getting worse, with the exception of lack of interest in sex, which is subsiding.

I had to leave work yesterday, because the light-headedness/dizziness and fevers/chills were making it impossible to work. I also felt exhausted, but when I tried napping, I had strange, vivid, disquieting dreams.

I missed work today, and have been light-headed or dizzy every waking moment so far. Last night again I had very vivid, disturbing dreams. My dreams have always been very vivid, but never until recently have I had nightmares.

Effexor has made me feel much worse than I felt before taking it. Had I known this was even a possibility, I would never have tried the drug, as we were treating a relatively mild (though chronic) dysphoria. That was a lot easier to live with!

 

Re: Effexor withdrawal - very bad news Vexinvixen

Posted by PoohBear on February 17, 2005, at 11:31:33

In reply to Re: Effexor withdrawal - very bad news, posted by Vexinvixen on February 17, 2005, at 9:28:16

Vexinvixen:

Sorry to hear of your rough time...

I too had heart 'flutters', or palpitations, and that's what got me off Effexor, though I'd gotten used to those side effects that remained past the break-in period.

If you get off Effexor, don't stop cold, but slowly discontinue while substituting Prozac. It worked very well for me, with slight discomfort made easier by Benedryl and Tylenol.

One of the things that bugged me the most with Effexor was the vivid dreams. Thankfully those are now gone. I take 25mg of Seroquel and 10mg of Ambien every night for sleep. I generally sleep through the night, whereas I would normally need to get up 3-4 times during the night.

The best thing for me has been the talk therapy that my therapist and I have been engaging in over the past 2 months. It has helped tremendously.

Take care and God Bless,

Tony


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