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  1. I don't know where to start. Several months ago I began seeing a psychiatrist so I could continue getting my prescriptions for Klonopin. That has always been the best med for me, really helps my anxiety. Due to diagnosed liver damage, she severely lowered my dosage from 0.5mg 3 times daily to only one a day and added paxil for depression even though I told her I don't have depression. I was on that for a month and told her it was not working, if anything I felt depressed since starting the med. So she switched me to 37.5mg of effexor 2 pills per day. After one month, told her it wasn't helping me so she increased my dose to 3 pills per day. I've been on this mix for two months and the longer I was on it, the worse I started to feel. I actually started feeling extremely depressed and overall emotionally unstable. 4 nights ago, I had a complete emotional breakdown. I walked out of my house with all my meds, went to the fire department nearby that was at that time closed and I swallowed my last 10 Klonopin and at least 12 effexor. I grew so dizzy and lightheaded that I could barely walk but managed to get home and fell asleep. For the next two days, I felt fine, just tired but then yesterday out of nowhere, I began feeling very sick with severe abdominal pain, electric shocks shooting through me, severe nausea and diarrhea, numbness everywhere, severe disorientation, lower back pain like an extension from the stomach and abdominal pain, severe dizziness, weakness, emotionally broken (crying uncontrollably for no reason, unable to stop), rapidly changing chills and feeling hot, slightly slurred speech, etc. I could not eat or drink anything, even water, without feeling sick. Finally fell asleep and woke up today with the stomach and abdominal pain so strong I can't stand straight and feel like I might fall, still feeling very weak, severe dry throat, still very nauseated, etc. I am at a loss. All my psychiatrist cares about is getting me working, she does not listen to me at all, very condescending and I do not feel she has my health and safety in her best interest. I currently am without transportation and I'm desperate for help. I'm worried about my liver, the Dr expressed real concern about it but neglected to give me much information other than he was concerned about the damage they found. I'm scared, depressed because I'm in no condition to take care of my 3 year old daughter who keeps asking, "mommy are you sick? You need to go doctor?" Please anyone help.
  2. I have been on antidepressants 3 times in the last 14 years. Usually would take them for 6-8 months and then taper off with no problems. The last time I took them (2011), I needed the maximum dose of sertraline (200mg) to get an effect. After a year on it, I felt it was time to stop. The nurse insisted I had to keep taking or risked relapsing into severe depression. I tried several times to bring up the topic to no avail. After about 1.5 years on it, I cut the dose on my own to 150mg and felt ok for 2 weeks. But after I started having a dull headache that lasted hours, dizziness, serious cognitive difficulties and severe fatigue. I could not function and needed excessive sleep (12-14 hours/day). Tried increasing it again and the more severe symptoms got better, but the headache and flu-like malaise persisted for at least a week. I consulted with a psychiatrist. We tried effexor and cut on zoloft. Had no withdrawal symptoms, as I was cross-tapering. I was completely off the zoloft. Only took Effexor for about a month on a low dose (never past 150 mg) because it never helped with the symptoms of Atypical Depression I had. When I started tapering down the effexor, I got the dizziness and extreme fatigue again. When I would fall asleep, I found it extremely hard to get up. Literally felt pinned to the bed. Woke up more tired than I went to bed, even after 12 hours of sleep. Woke up dizzy and with a headache. I increased dose again and we're doing a slower taper over 21 days. The starting dose is 37.5mg. I experience dull headache that lasts hours, flu-like malaise, muscle tension, fatigue every day (with the occassional good day of no symptoms and the occassional day of much worse symptoms). I have learned to cope the best I can with these symptoms, but the fatigue gets unbearable at times. I sleep 12 hours at night and still feel tired and even drowsy during the day. I'm in grad school and it's hard and often impossible to study or even make it to class. I was supposed to decrease dose to 25 mg after 10 days on 37.5mg, but since I still have symptoms, I'll ask dr if I can postpone the decreasing... Im also concerned that the increasing apathy Ive had over the last 7 years might be due to antidepressant use. It could also be depression, but if it is SSRI use, its a very scary symptom that is not going away (has not gone away for more than 3 months in over 14 years since I started having depression/taking SSRIs). The only reason I can semi-function today is because I take nuvigil (a stimulant) 3 or 4 times/week. Without that, I can't do homework or clean or shower. Im extremely dysfunctional. I don't rely only on the stimulant though. I use it to give me energy and motivation and alertness that I use to do positive things, which improve my mood and further help with apathy.
  3. New here, so will hope to fill in fuller history later. I am 71 and have had depression to varying degrees 1977 to date. Managed to work full time 1964-2001, though. 12 years on irregular shift pattern 1964-1977. Last month, went to new younger GP who arranged blood tests, (after I had given him my list of ill-health symptoms!) Blood, mostly OK, but indicated low folic acid, he said. I am on 5mg daily folic acid tab for last 5 weeks. I do feel better (carrying out lots of small projects in my retirement). Had so many ups and downs in last 40 years, though, that I think this may be a placebo effect. However, a more positive side of me thinks I may be on the way to breaking through the wall where "the drugs don't work anymore" at 225mg Venlafaxine slow release. I have been on Losec (Omeprazole 10mg) for decades, too. I read that it can spoil your absorption of certain vital items in the vitamin B family, at least? Thanks for reading, all.
  4. Hi all I'm on day 3 of tapering off venlafaxine XL 37.5, only 2 beads out at a time,I will get a scales soon because It will only get harder the more I have to count out the beads .I am going to take it extremely slowly this time.I did a taper in march 2016 and it lasted till the june and i didn't go beyond 5 beads out each day before going back to 37,5. Its been a very tough time , I have extreme anxiety,extreme iratibillaty ,intrusive thoughts,. to name a few. What I have learned since that time is to have compassion for ones self and b very patient when doing the taper . My advice to everyone is don't ever believe u cant get through it .our nervous system and soul take time to heal Over the last 3 years I have learned and practice mindfulness ,it is amazing. It has helped me to calm down during a couple of flights to the UK when starting to panic. Today I had a bad anxiety attack but I was able to snap out of the attack fairly quickly because I have been practicing it and I recommend always getting out for a walk in the sun if u can and clear your mind. Please always keep your mind open to new ways to heal.We all now its hard but don't ever let anyone break your spirit. Total respect to everyone .
  5. Greetings all. This is my very first post by the way. I have been reading a lot of the posts on this site and there is a wealth of information regarding tapering. However, what I would really like to know is why should I taper at all? I am currently taking the following drugs daily 187.5mg venlafaxine 150mg pregabalin (Lyrica) 2mg risperidone Sometime I take zopiclone to sleep but most nights I don't need it. I don't drink alcohol or take any other substances. I meditate and I eat reasonably well. I get moderate exercise. I am enjoying my work and in general I am feeling well. I was very ill in 2008 requiring hospitalisation though. The diagnosis was psychotic depression. I had a relapse in 2012 and I made a suicide attempt at that point. Since 2012 I have been reasonably well and I am getting better all the time. I can suffer from anxiety at times but it's very manageable. Sometimes I feel a little depressed but who doesn't. I have managed to taper the venlafaxine down to the current dose myself. I was taking 300mg not so long ago. Tomorrow I plan to taper it another 10%. I see a psychiatrist regularly and I told him that I was tapering. He just wrote my a prescription for the new dose. I will be back to see him next week. To be honest, I would like to be eventually free of these meds entirely but I worry that I may have a relapse of some sort if I stop taking them altogether. So far the tapering has been going well though. I keep a diary to monitor my mood and there has been no significant change since I started reducing the venlafaxine. I just don't know though. I feel as if I am stuck between a rock and a hard place. I want to be free of the drugs but perhaps they are keeping me well? But, in the long term, from what I have been reading they could be doing permanent harm. I just don't know. Please advise
  6. I'm new to the forums - currently taking 225mg Effexor, .25mg Klonopin, and .25mg Risperdal. My psychiatrist noted that the Risperdal is temporary (will be taking it for about 3 months), but after reading about withdrawal from this particular drug, I'm wondering if I shouldn't begin going off it sooner than that. It's worth noting that the depression and anxiety that I was experiencing even with Effexor and Klonopin did subside almost immediately after beginning Risperdal. At any rate, I already know I'll be beginning a taper off Klonopin soon, after successfully dropping from .5mg to .25mg without any side effects after 4 weeks - I think I got lucky there. I've been on Risperdal for 28 days, so my natural question, given that withdrawal from psychiatric drugs can occur for anyone taking them for "1 month or longer" is whether I should just stop immediately, since it's been just shy of one month and my dose is low, or if I should taper. I understand that I shouldn't expect a definitive answer to this, but I'm very interested to hear what others think and, quite frankly, very scared about what I'm about to face, given the need to taper from two different drugs. My psychiatrist will undoubtedly tell me to just stop taking it after I've been on it for 3 months, as she seems to believe that there are no withdrawal symptoms from any psych. drugs. So I kind of have to go it alone on this decision without guidance from her. Any thoughts would be much appreciated.
  7. It's the same question, which goes on and n in my head. cause the symtoms are a nightmare. I was on Effexor for 9 years and got off last year by 37,5 mg to 0, cause psychiatrists said this is save. It was not. I went in protracted withdrawal. It's 1 year now since i'm off and the symptoms got more worse with every month. I wish i'd never taken this drug. I researched alot already and found out, that so many others suffer from that even years after coming off. That scares me and makes me so sad.
  8. On the advice of my wife (KarenB) I've been tapering Effexor by 10% monthly since Nov 2015 (sometimes with a longer hold) and am on 105mg (70% of original 150mg). . No w/d symptoms except very, very mild and occasional dizziness. I did become extremely tired at the start but started taking Cellgevity which dealt with that problem. (Cellgevity is sold via an appalling multilevel marketing system which is very offputting but in my case lives up to the hype). I have been on Effexor for over 5 years and had mild itchiness since about year 2. It was restricted mostly to my arms and occasionally torso but about September 2015 I noticed that my calf muscles and behind my knees would get very itchy after going for a walk (basically when my legs got warm). A good scratch always brought a very satisfying feeling of relief. The itchiness gradually moved to the inside of my elbow, between my eyes and the front of my neck, then, at the end of December when we had our first really hot week of summer (southern hemisphere) all hell broke loose. Whenever I got too hot the itchy areas would become extremely itchy and developed a burning sensation. I ended up scratching my arms raw for a bit. Luckily we live in a very cool house and I gradually worked out a system of managing the problem - it involves spending all day and night in front of a fan and using glass jars of food from our freezer on the hot spots when they get too hot. Glass transfers the cold very quickly and there isn't much time for condensation to form which is important because any moisture on the skin increases the itchiness like crazy as it evaporates. Over summer the itchy patches on my arms have spread up the arms to my shoulders and across the top of my chest. Lately the middle of my back gets hot and prickly if I lie on it for too long at night. I'm fairly certain the itchiness is not related to tapering but would like to know if there is something I can do other than manage the problem? Also, my doctor noticed that the itchy areas on my forearm have a visible edge to them so we tried an anti-fungal cream but aside from it's soothing qualities there hasn't been any reduction in symptoms. Extra Info: Skin problems seems to be my body's main way of expressing itself, having had various mild skin problems over the years and especially psoriasis since my 20s. This itchiness is different to the psoriasis and doesn't respond to treatment the same. I also developed asthma while on Effexor. Initially it was mild when I exercised or was cold but about May 2015 (our winter) it got a lot worse and I now use a Ventolin inhaler to cope. The Psoriasis increase and the asthma are both expressions of stress which I assume have come about because the anti-depressants are suppressing most of my emotional symptoms. I first used Prozac for 3 months in 2001, stopping C/T as soon as I felt better. I then used it again for maybe 6-9 months in 2002/3 after our first child was born but gave up on them when they didn't seem to be doing much.
  9. Hi, my name is Steve, just signed up here. I started for the 2nd time in my life an AD (Effexor 75mg), from mid-2015 to Feb-2017 for GAD. I slowly weened off of it for several months starting in Sept-2016. I think I successfully got off it but I'm still unsure and thats why I am seeking some opinions/answers here. My main problem is feeling quit lightheaded non-stop. It is a very annoying and awful feeling (like i didnt sleep enough or something)? I cant explain it but when i wake up in the mornings it isn't much better. I feel like it might be the drugs took a tole on my brain (cuz I'm thinking, these are hardcore chemicals and such). I don't know how to fix this?? So its been about 5 months since i stopped, is this common? Could it be still some long-lasting withdrawal or permanent brain damage? or something else? I always had trouble with sleep quality my whole life generally, and I still usually go to bed late like 3am or even later (i know its bad and mostly my fault). Could it be that? I wake up usually around 11am or even later sometimes. I feel like my brain lacks the usual stimulation it had before the meds, its a weird feeling. Its like im not present. Thank you for your input! I would really like some feedback from people who have gone through this stuff already.
  10. Hello everyone.. I am 5.5 months into withdrawal from effexor and my eye/visual symptoms have only gotten worse by every month/week and I'm getting really worried. Is it possible to completely lose my vision in withdrawal? Has anyone become blind because of this medicine or can I rest my mind in that it will get better when the other symptoms disappear? My symtoms are very much similar to what another member described in this forum: it is the sensation that my eyes cannot accept the input of the objects presented before them: a strained type of feeling upon visual stimulation. pushing a child on a swing will cause great strain on my eyes as my eyes struggles to maintain proper focus on the moving object. Also, everything looks very sharp and it feels like my eyes can not really "cover the whole picture." Wierdly enough, my vision was back to 100% after the last pill and it lasted for something like 2 weeks before it got worse again.. Please, I'm desperate, if you know anything then let me know. I have googled on the internet but have not found any information about someone who have lost their vision due to effexor or other ssri's.
  11. I'm so glad I found this site. I am an 18yr old who was diagnosed with generalized anxiety, andPTSD on June of 2012. My GP referred me to psychiatrist who started me on meds. I was a little wearyAbout going on medication but he gave me xanax as needed and they workedImmediately, I figured if this helps maybe other medication would too.I tried Buspar, Prozac, Zoloft all which gave me immediate side effects.Lastly and I say lastly because after Effexor I will not go on any other psychiatric drugsAfter going through all this hell.Aug 2012 I started Effexor went up to 150 mg, started to feel social anxiety and depersonalization. I talked to the doc about wanting to get off of it. My Mom mentioned to him that her half sister had been on Lexapro and had helped her. He wanted me to wean off Effexor with Lexapro. I left his office and decided on my own to not take Lexapro and cut Effexor dose in half (75mg). Next day I felt more myself. BUT the following day all w/ds set in. Literally was bedridden for 3 months.I had severe vertigo, vomiting, etc.Went to see Doc and he said he hadn't seen any of his patients go through so much w/ds for this length of time. I replied that I was much worse now than before walking into his office.My Mom and I started researching all info on Effexor. She bought me fish oil, Benadryl, Ginger tea, B complex, Magnesium.In Jan 2013 started to feel somewhat better. I decided it was time to start tapering.I am on generic immediate release tablets. I weigh the pills with a jewelry scale and shave off a smidgen. I break them in half and take them through out the day.I am at 48.75mg.As I go lower Should I change to Effexor brand XR.?What helps mood swings?I forgot to mention that Effexor at 150mg made my anxiety much worse.Now at lower dose anxiety has subsided and panic attacks have gotten much better. I don't know if it's due to all the reading I've done to learn how to lessen their effect. Or that I'm not so afraid of them anymore.I am afraid after hearing other people's experiences that I too will get to a point on a lower doseThat I will not be able to get through it.Will I have protracted w/ds since I've only been on Effexor a year now?Have you heard of rhodiola for mood improvement? Lately I've been getting crying spells.Will these get worse as I lower?Thanks for letting me know I am not alone.
  12. Hello everyone! I am 26 years old. I tapered off 150 mg XR a little to quickly. I was on it for about two years. I was off completely for about a month. But the anxiety kept getting worse. The pressure in the top of my chest and bottom of throat. It's hard to describe. Also it was hard for me to speak. I was extremely irritable and edgy! I felt dead and wanted to die. The withdrawal just made me feel this way. I took 25 mg IR yesterday. This morning I took 25 mg. This afternoon i will take the second dose of 25. How long do you guise separate your doses of IR? I am also going to do the 10% deduction of the current amount. I am doing the math, this is going to take a very long time! But that's ok, my fault for taking it. When i get this low is it best to make it into liquid form? I watched the video and I understand. in 4 weeks my next dose will be 22.5 mg.
  13. Hello all! I am new here. Looking for people who are going through this as well. I was on 150mg of effexor xr for 17 years. 3 years ago I slowly started tapering down. I made it to about 20mg (I was taking 140 little balls out of the 37.5mg capsules). I had been super stressed and started drinking lemon balm tea, holy basil, chamomile, and taking l-theanine and all this apparently caused seratonin syndrome. I went to the ER and the ER doc stopped my effexor. I thought that's fine since i want off them anyway... The first 3 days I took 1 mg ativan morning and night to get through the worst. I have some great days where I feel better than I have in years and then some days I feel the withdrawal hard. Nausea, dizziness, headaches, light headed, feeling like I'm in a dream, anxiety constantly... I feel like I'm buzzing all day, panic attacks, insomnia. Tell me this gets better soon. I only have 3 more months off work... I'm getting so tired of fighting all day. I don't know how much longer I can do it.
  14. Hey all! This is my first post here and I'm so glad I found this forum. I've been feeling desperate for months. My question is about drug-induced derealization. I took the combo of Effexor + Valdoxan and only felt good for a month while being on them. In hindsight I almost seemed manic. Then, suddenly, I got very strong derealization that lasted for weeks. It lifted a bit for a few feeks and then came about again when I had a drink one night. I have now tapered off Effexor, I took my last pill about three weeks ago. Three days ago I also started tapering off Valdoxan. I take Oxazepam to cope with the symptoms. I feel like I broke my brain for good. The only other time I've felt derealization was when I ate a hash brownie and clearly it was too much for me. I used to be a caring and fun person before going on the antidepressants. Right now I feel like I'm just completely empty inside. I do and feel things because I know I have to, but I seriously don't care about anything at all. When I do feel emotion, it's mostly fear or worry. Has anyone else expierienced drug-induced DR? Did it go away when you started to withdraw from the drug? How do you cope with this?
  15. Hello everyone, It feels good to discover this site - thank you all for being here. Right now I've run out of everything, my depression has swamped me, I'm exhausted. Doc queried increasing meds, I said no. I realise this would be a silly time to start coming off them, and I'm not thinking of doing that, but the need to stop meds is always in my head. I want to know everything I can about it, especially how to know when to start decreasing. My husband, who is beautifully supportive of me in every other way, is sure that the possible upheaval would be too much for our family. I worry about that too.
  16. Hi guys, So here I am after being off antids for about 6 months, having tapered too quickly and suffering the consequences. I was latterly taking Citalopram 30mg, Lamotrigine 150mg and Venlafaxine 75mg. Summer 2015 I was officially diagnosed with major depression, which had obviously been there for a long, long time but had at that time got particularly bad. This was due to psychological issues, alcohol and drug abuse but wouldn't shift despite years of work fixing these. Now I know the long term citalopram use was probably making the depression worse. Around that time I saw 4 different psychologists and got 4 different opinions on how to recover/which meds to take. This of course was a ridiculous situation so I took matters into my own hands, taking what I thought was the 'best' advice and integrating it with my own research and experience . Following the 'advice' of one of the psychiatrists I added 75mg of Venlafaxine to the Citalopram and Lamotrgine. At the same time I'd heard about l-methylfolate so gradually ramped up to 15mg daily with b-6 and b-12. I know starting 2 things at once is not advisable but I was desperate and could hardly function. Within a couple of weeks something kicked the worst of the depression into touch which was a massive relief. After a couple of months on the 3 med cocktail the side effects were really starting to get to me so it was time to get off this stuff. Yes, I know, I did it all too quickly which is why I am where I am now....I should have listened more closely to the advice here :-) Hoping for a little advice and encouragement about my nervous system which in the last 3 months or so has got worse even though I stopped all meds 6 months ago. The lamotrigine taper had me shouting angrily at my wife a number of times - the intensity of the rage was incredible but passed quite quickly. She was very brave to be able to get through that! Citalopram taper was surprisingly easy. The final stages of the Venlafaxine withdrawl was tricky. I was down to 1 bead and if I didn't take it within a few hours I'd get head zaps, restless legs etc. At some point I had to stop so I did and put with these symptoms for a week or so. After all this I was however very fatigued which has improved to an acceptable level over the last 3 months. The fatigue was probably also due to recovering from the major depression. Right now I have anxiety issues, very easily stressed/snappy, can't sleep more than 5 hours a night and impossible to catch up with sleep during daytime as on the verge of dropping off I wake with intense terror/fear. Often trouble breathing properly, tight stomach and I am very sensitive to noise, light and touch. I also have panic attacks when the stress is high in my life. These have been occurring for a long time though and haven't really changed with changes in meds. Having done years of therapy and some bodywork I know that these are physical symptoms and I have quite a healthy psychological make up. I also do a lot of things to look after my physical and mental health which I won't go into here. On the plus side, I don't have the general low mood caused by taking Citalopram for years, blurred vision, muscle tightness, sexual problems, cognition and memory problems, sense of not being fully present + other well known side effects from these meds. I am having thoughts about re-introducing a very small amount of Citalopram or Venlafaxine - not sure which one of these is causing the nervous system issues - probably both. I'm aware that the likelihood of this helping after 6 months is low, but I'm willing to try to alleviate symptoms. Advice on this is very welcome! As my name suggests, I do finally feel alive after 16 years on these meds - something about taking them was just not 'right'. Even though I'm suffering right now I'd rather be here. I hope this gives some encouragement to others and also serves as a warning about what happens when you taper too quickly! Thanks to mods and users alike for this wonderful resource. Cheers
  17. Hi everybody. My name is Gus from Australia. I think i may have found the right site here. I've been on effexor 150mg/day (most of the time. 200mg/day at worst times, 100/day at better times)for about 11 years, was on zoloft, aropax and citolopram for short times beforehand. I wish i'd found this site earlier as it has some great advice for tapering. Too late though as i've already done that with a set of ebay scales and a calculator. Tapered over about 4 months(yeah i know, too fast according to this site). Even still, a lot slower than the doctors would have me do it. I'd just got down to 75mg and a dr told me to go on 37.5 for 2 weeks then just stop. I took his precription to avoid an arguement and threw it in the bin once i got home. Once i got down to about 60mg/day i only dropped it by about 5mg/week. I've been on zero for just over 9 weeks. If my wife hadn't suggested i try her magnesium powder(as it may help with stress) i'd be a complete mess. This stuff really helps. Are there many people out there who can please tell me how long it took to get back to where you were before you started effexor? What kind of symptoms, waves and windows you had and how often did you have each and how long did they last each time you had them? Also, i've heard omega 3's are usefull. Can anyone please tell me how so? What do they relieve and how much to take? Any informed/positive replies are very welcome. Regards, Gus.
  18. Hi I took effaxor for 5 months 75mg. I stopped 4.5 months ago and still stuck with PSSD. How hopeful should I be, do people here recover substantially from PSSD?
  19. Hi all,[/size] My name is Lisa, I am a 30 year old female and I believe I've experienced protracted withdrawal. I plan on starting to taper off Effexor XR in July. Here is some of my history: [/size] Starting in 2005, I began taking Lexapro after my father got cancer and passed away 4 months later as I started having panic attacks. I am not sure when I went off Lexapro, but I know I was put on Celexa for a while as Lexapro stopped working and I have now been on Effexor XR for 6 years. In the past, when I go off an SSRI/SNRI, I end up going back on after some time because my panic attacks come back. After 6 months of therapy, I went off Effexor XR in March 2014 with a week of a half dose (37.5 mg) and then completely off, by the advice of a psychiatrist. Actually, the book she referred to recommended 2 days of a half dose and then completely off, but she extended it.[/size] Withdrawal was horrendous. Insomnia, nausea, diarrhea, dizzy, not able to concentrate, felt just SO out of it. Finally it was over in a week or so. But in late May 2015 (3 months later, thinking it was all out of my system and I was good), I had just gotten home from vacation and was about to get into the shower when BAM, I was suddenly so dizzy that I couldn't tell which way was up or down. This remained for 3 months day in and out and after a ton of tests (took meclizine (anti-dizziness pill) which did nothing, ENT looked at my sinuses/ears which were clear, inner ear tests which were normal, brain MRI which was normal), until I went back on Effexor XR in August 2014 by recommendation of a neurologist who said it was my anxiety coming back. During what I'm thinking was protracted withdrawal, I was dizzy constantly. I'd wake up from a deep sleep completely dizzy, it did not go away. I also had excruciating headaches at night and could barely sleep 2-3 hours a night because of this (I NEVER get headaches). I was also severely exhausted because of the dizziness - everything was harder, and the low amounts of sleep due to headaches. I did not understand because other than being upset of my state of being constantly dizzy, I really was not anxious. I was meditating, exercising (as much as I could - it was a feat with being dizzy), nothing significant going on in my life. I had also been going to therapy and made huge strides.. I still continue to go to therapy weekly and it's been about a year and a half now. I was so confused as to how this could be anxiety. Now I'm reading this site and I'm learning this was probably protracted withdrawal. After I started taking the Effexor XR again, within 2 weeks I felt totally better. Now that I have been back on Effexor XR since August 2014, and after learning what I've read on this site, I want to start a slow taper in July after my next vacation. My therapist believes I am ready and now I know I am after having a great suspicion that those symptoms were not due to my anxiety. I have read the advice boards and will be doing the 10% per month taper. I also will be going to the recommended doctor in Farmington, MI and have an appt with him at the end of this month.[/size] Has anyone else experienced the protracted withdrawal symptoms that I had? Any other advice or tips that you can share? I will be coming here often and hoping to make friends [/size] Thanks![/size]
  20. Hello folks and sorry for my silly english! My antidepressants history starts at my teenage years (depression, social anxiety disorder) and after trying escitalopram and fuoxetine, I got prescribed venlafaxine ("the one that helps when others have failed", the gp said). It did help, and now that I have built the life I'm comfortable with and no major stress triggers on sight, I decided to go off venlafaxine. Reasons are that my emotional life had gone unnaturally smooth, like being "just ok" all the time. Also, my sexuality was non-existent. I tapered off waaay too quickly, I know it now. I took only 31 days to taper off completely. But I had no bad withdrawal symptoms, just the brain zaps and nausea, but I found cyclizine very helpful with that. Of course I started to get emotional symptoms too, I was very short tempered and had massive anger bursts. Some days I was feeling little low, but nothing massive. I couldn't dring any coffee for about three months, got so sick from it. After 4 months of being completely off venlafaxine, I got my first big bad wave. It lasted a week, when I was unable to go to work and just suffer in my bed. Symptoms were palpations and racing heart, nausea, anxiety, crying spells, insomnia, need to pee every 15 minutes, diarrhea, brethless feeling... Was that all? Anyhoo, I went to see physician and thankfully he somehow understood my condition and gave me one week off so I could rest at home. He also prescribed propranolol for my heart problems (which have helped alot) and said that if this episode of mine won't go away, I need to start taking venla's again with small doze. I refused, not going to give up yet! After that wave, I had almost two months of feeling completely normal. Like my own self! But then, the second bad wave hit. This time it was different. More difficult and scary. I had the same symptoms I had in the previous wave, but also these frightening episodes of de-personalization,feeling of losing my sanity and night terrors. In those episodes I have been very close to call an ambulance. Thank god my partner is a huge support for me and with his help I have been able to get through these attacks, that lasted sometimes few hours and sometimes about twenty minutes. Now I'm once again feeling normal, thank goodness. I wanted to share my progress here, because I felt I owe this to you, since I have got massive help from this forum. So thank you guys! I'll report if something comes up. This is a long journey.
  21. Hello. My name is Dixie and I have been on Effexor for 9 years. I am currently on 150 mg a day (75 twice a day). The last nine years save the 9 months I was pregnant I have been in a fog. I just recently through much research, talking to ignorant psychs and some smart psychs have realized that this is the reason for my increased depression and total personality change. I have tried to go off the effexor with the worst experience of my life. And I have been through alot including spinal fusion surgery and opiate withdrawal. No pain, no experience has ever been this bad. I am determined to start my life anew and get off this horrible drug. I realize I will have a harder time than others getting past this medication because I had a gastric bypass 7 years ago and the way my body absorbs meds is crazy. I have to increase my dosages and it is a tedious balance at times. So this will be trial and error and I am terrified. What scares me more is that most doctors are just as baffled as me. And that is amazing. They should be aware of these issues with this drug. The other thing that has baffled most doctors is that while I was pregnant I was off the effexor for 9 months. With no side effects from the cold turkey method. Nothing. Some have hinted that it may be from the chemicals that change in your body and brain while pregnant. I was a different person while pregnant with my daughter. I had different more positive thoughts...I was not depressed. i was active and motivated. A few days after the baby was born I was a mess again and went back on the effexor. If anyone has any advice or similar experiences please share them with me. I was originally hoping to find a drug that would help with my depressive disorder that I was diagnosed with at 17 that would not make me feel like a zombie but have no good recommendations yet. I have heard wellbutrin and celexa might work. But who knows.
  22. Hi all, Thank you for letting me join this wonderful fountain of knowledge. I have been on Effexor since late 2008, when I was 20 years old. My first long term relationship had just ended and I was understandably an emotional mess. I was also alcoholic at the time and using a lot of recreational drugs, which didn't stop the doctor from providing me 75mg of Effexor XR. I loved it at first because I literally felt high. I had tried other antidepressants in the past but none had worked, whereas with Effexor I just seemed to have so much energy. Fast forward to 2011, I am in residential rehab for my alcohol and drug addiction problem. The counsellors there suggest it might be a good time to try coming off my meds- 300mg Effexor and I also taking 25mg Seroquel at this point, as I was unable to sleep on the Effexor. I am referred to a completely incompetent psychiatrist who gives me a taper programme which takes me from 300mg to nothing in a month. Not knowing any better, I complied with his insane schedule. Within a few weeks I was kicked out of rehab for out of character, rageful behaviour. Back home, I slowly lost my mind. Couldn't leave the house without feeling like I had a target sign painted on me- I felt everyone was looking at me and talking about me. I lost my temper at the drop of a hat over minuscule things. No one around me realised what was happening. My memory of this time is hazy, but I do remember being home alone one night and suddenly becoming obsessed that there was a government conspiracy to give people heart attacks by putting too much salt in food. I was walking around the kitchen in circles screaming, unable to stop. I considered the possibility of hanging myself to make it stop. Luckily I called my boyfriend instead and found another website which is no longer active, who advised me to go straight to a doctor and resume the Effexor at a maintenance dose. I did this and was put back on 75mg. The damage was already done and I fell into clinical depression. A month later I decided I couldn't be more miserable that I was and relapsed on alcohol. Luckily I got straight back into a 12 step programme and have been sober since that relapse. But I struggled with the after effects of that withdrawal for many months. i have been absolutely petrified to try coming off Effexor again since, despite many side effects including palpitations, mental confusion, dry mouth, bad breath, constant clenched jaw and every type of stomach complaint. I fell pregnant in 2014 and came down to a quarter of a 37.5mg tablet during pregnancy. I wanted to come off it entirely, but my relationship was very unstable and I was being constantly triggered (we have now split up). I was devastated to not be able to breastfeed my daughter, but I felt the Effexor presented too much of a risk to do so. I went back up to 37.5mg shortly after her birth. She is fine and healthy today, but the responsibilities of single motherhood have left me terrified to attempt withdrawal again. However, since giving birth I have found that the Effexor now has a sedative effect on me. I now have to take it at night time, or I am almost passing out during the day. Sometimes I forget (I'm insanely forgetful now, which fairly sure is a side effect of long term antidepressant use) and then I have a choice of spending the whole day "shocking" or being a half passed out zombie fighting to keep my eyes open. I realised I can't carry on my life like this, I want and need my energy back. I've become completely reliant on coffee to have any kind of energy, so I'm always up or crashing back down. My daughter needs me to be fully present in her life, which I don't feel like I am a lot of the time due to this horrid side effect. I found this website and have been reading up on safe tapering, and on June 14th began the 10% reduction method. At the moment it looks like it's going to take about 3 years in total. I'm in no rush after my last withdrawal experience, I can't risk ending up in such a bad way as I'm all my little girl has. I have been dissolving the 37.5mg tablet in 75ml water, making sure it's all evenly dispersed, then removing 7.5ml (equal to 3.75mg) with an oral syringe. In the UK they no longer prescribe the slow release Effexor so as I can't do the bead method, this is the only accurate way I can really do it. Yesterday I had tingling in both hands all day then at night I had some brain zaps when I was trying to sleep which went all down my left side, which has made me wonder if I should maybe hold this dose for longer that a month. If anyone could advise me on this, I would appreciate it. I find my daily meditation practice my most valuable asset in keeping me sane so I'm hoping it will aid me in my withdrawal. If you have made it this far in my mammoth post, you are truly amazing! Love and healing light to you all x L
  23. I had been on Effexor XR for fifteen years before making the decision to get off this terrible drug. My concern is that I waited too long. I was tired of the feelings if I missed a dose, the sexual side effects and the general lack of emotions. Had I know how difficult and painful this journey was going to be I would have stayed on the poison just to avoid all of the difficulty. In the beginning of coming off the drug I had all the symptoms others have described. The crying, the brain zaps, the panic attacks at night all were just the tip of the iceberg with coming off. I unfortunately came off too fast. I did the standard weaning described by my doctor from 150, 75 to 37.5. What I should have done was to open the capsules and count the beads. I also should have lengthened the time between each drop in dose. I would say after 3 months in I had it beat, I felt litter but that was short lived. I then began my journey of trying to find other alternatives. I tried Accupunture, Counseling, LDA therapy, NAC, Inositol, heavy doses of vitamin D, magnesium, zinc, omega fish oil, restore, brain octane...... I then , after 9 months off Effexor, decided to try Prozac in order to cope with life. Everything has become insurmountable and my thoughts are all negative. I have never been so pessimist as I am right now. Now only to I judge myself against all others, I internally do the same with my children and their accomplishments. Nothing is ever good enough. I feel perhaps that Effexor has damaged me somehow. My once optimistic trial and error ways have turned to a pessimistic future. My next journey is to try CBD in the hopes that I can return to some normal aspect off life. I welcome all comments, ideas, stories or pep talks to get me through!
  24. Hi all, I have only just started reading all the wonderful, hope-giving posts on this forum. I have been on Effexor for 20+ years and while I had ups and downs it did seem to do the job mostly, although in saying that I would have fatigue which I would put down to the depression - but who knows?? Anyway a couple of years ago I got very fatigued and was diagnosed with Ceoliac Disease, so went GF and started to feel really good, then after about 10 months the fatigue set in again, my Dr felt I should increase the Effexor. Now in the past I am aware that Effexor raises my BP and ( it can also cause lactation in non pregnant women as after seeing a psychiatrist years ago who said "these are safe, some people take up to 10 a day with no effects! " so dutifully me took 5 as instructed of (I think either 75mg or 150mg memory shot sorry!) then started to lactate!! Anyhoo had my meds increased again this time which led me to a hypertensive crises! So after seeing several doctors and finding that the cause was the Effexor (which I tried to tell them!) I was taken off that and looking back now even though I did wean off over several months I probably didn't go slow enough on the last 37.5mg. I was sick with flu at the time so I felt crap anyway! After 6 weeks I had suicidal thoughts so another doc tried Valdoxan which sent me to sleep within 20 mins of having it - not good when you do shift work! So next to try was Zoloft which did nothing, then went on Brintellix and was assured it would lift the brain fog - unfortunetly it made me even more scatterbrained. Not to mention while having all these meds especially after the raised BP I was having new symptoms and still debilitating fatigue. Whenever I increased the meds I would get short of breath or rather air hunger, this may be due to adrenal fatigue? The last 18 months have been a roller coaster ride for sure but it still fascinates me that after going GF I am more sensitive to the meds. Perhaps as the gut healed I absorb more? I have had recent tests with my new integrative GP which shows my endocrine glands are exhausted and I have low levels of all my minerals. So I am now on 8mg of Brintellix which I have to roughly guess by cutting the tabs ( I notice with these ones whether I am becoming more suspicious but the tabs are an oval shape with no middle score so is it manufacturers way of making more money as it is harder to halve them?? )I am so cynical with the world and angry and irritated a lot of the time. Thankfully I have a wonderful supportive husband! Sorry for long waffle!
  25. When do you say enough? that maybe i cant live without this drug,no matter how much i hate it? I am at that point now, this is my third attempt at getting off effexor,which i have been on for 15 years now. I am barely functioning right now,I cant get out of bed, I don't want to get up and face another day? hysterical crying and suicidal and constant thoughts of i cant do this anymore,i dont recognise myself at all and i feel like ive completly lost my self,and i'll never get me back. I started tapering 15 weeks ago, under pysch,s instruction , iwent from 75mg of effexor to 37.5mg plus 10 mg of prozac-the supposed prozac bridge? did that for 1 month, then stopped the effexor and continue 10mg of prozac for 6weeks, then 5mg of prozac for 6 weeks then 2.5mg. i was doing okay, not great and i felt the prozac was making me fuzzy and fatigued? (still do?) any way got to 2.5mgs and within 3 days, i was hysterically crying and overcome with suicidal thoughts. pysch said go back to 5mg of prozac and i started feeling much worse,again within 3 days i was bedridden with suicidal thoughts and this heavy blackness,that was 2 weeks ago now and i havent improved at all? i've also had terrifying moments of akathasia, where im walking the streets and crying hysterically because i cant stop moving? when i took the prozac back up to 5mg it reminded me of how i felt,when i reinstated effexor after 6 weeks of withdrawal a few years ago,it was horrendous and i dont know how i survived it? i live alone with my 19 yr old daughter and i feel like such a burden to her, i dont have any other family, i havent had a job for years now and only a couple of friends.my world has become so small and isolated and its getting worse. i went in to this withdrawal really believing that i could do this, i could finally be off effexor and be well, i thought i had learnt enough coping skills like mindfullness to get me through, but every skill has gone out the window,in the last few weeks and i am consumed with symptoms and thoughts of hang on for one more day and i cant take any more? i feel utterly hopeless and terrified of what my options are? if i tried to reinstate the effexor, it could go horribly wrong i have never been off it this long? i dont like how the prozac makes me feel, and i dont want to start playing russian roulette again with all the other antidepressants? my mind feels so broken and it hurts so much from all of this, i dont know what to do and i desperately need some help, if anyone can please.