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Shortcake: Effexor withdrawal. When will it end?

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ChessieCat

I'm glad my math explanation helped.  You could try 1 extra bead to start with.

 

Some people have mentioned that they can get windows and waves moment by moment throughout a day, so I don't think what you are experiencing is anything unusual.

 

I'm not sure if it's been posted before but this really helps me (I think because I have solved a Rubiks cube by following along with a YouTube video and realise how messed up it can seem at times and because it is visual) to remember what is going on Video:  Healing From Antidepressants - Patterns of Recovery

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peng

I can go from window to wave on alternate days.  We just have to try and ride it out.

 

What about the Ativan "as required"?  I have experience of that medication, years ago.  It could be a big fly in the ointment, so to speak.  It is notorious, and was, even in the 1980s just after it came out.  "Non-addictive !", they shouted.

I found it relieved anxiety for a few hours but eventually gave chronic depression.

I believe nowadays, our GPs are instructed to prescribe it for only a max of four weeks.

However, it is perfectly understandable that you will have needed extra anxiety relief after your traumas.

Best wishes,

peng

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Shortcake

Thank you Chessie, I had seen that before but it was a good reminder.  Sometimes I forget I have withdrawal and I think "wow... My mind is really messed up.  I need drugs or something"  but the drugs did this.  I just want to get back to myself.  Something needs to change soon because i feel like at times things are getting WORSE.  

 

Peng, yeah... I have a love hate relationship with ativan. Sometimes i really need it to get me through hard times... But i dont like the after effects.  I dont take it "willy nilly", only when its a last resort.  

 

All i know is that i cant do this for much longer.  I need to get back to work to pay the bills and rent.  I need to be a good mom again.  Ill do whatever it takes.

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coldturkmama

Ativan is probably the worst thing you could subject your already delicate nervous system to....be careful. :)

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Shortcake

Today is day 1 of my 1 bead updose.  Nervous.  

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Shortcake

So far feeling shaky/gross/tired.  I dont like the way this makes me feel.  Does the feeling go away after a few days?  Normal to feel icky when updosing? Like I feel shaky like my whole body is staticky? Like t.v. static? Lol.  

 

Now I'm not sure if I want to do this.   

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TryingToHoldOn

How are things going for you?

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Shortcake

I couldnt do it.  Day 1 and I just felt so weird.  Like a body buzz.  And I had insane diahrea and even my 3 year old (who I nurse) had diahrea.  After a 7 week wave I had just hit a window and then did the updose and felt like crap.  I just couldnt bring myself to do it again the next day.  

 

I'm in my window and I feel great.  Again better than I did last window.  I feel like after each wave I'm that much better.  I thought of it like if you fall and get shards of glass in a cut.  While they are removing the glass and cleaning it, it hurts sooooo much but they are actually healing it.  So when I'm in a wave it is literal hell... But my brain is healing.  And when the wave is done it feels better.  Youve improved.  You just need to get through the bad parts and there's light on the other side.  

 

Someone please remind me next wave lol.  

 

I had an ultrasound appt at my work today and actually talked to them about coming back.  Thst is my goal.  Back to work.  I want to go back so bad and in a window I could do it, but whats holding me back are the waves.  I'm not sure I could do it while in a wave.  Luckily for me tho I never work full time.  And my supervisor today said I could just work even once a week if I want.  I'm just still scared.  

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Shortcake

Well things had been improving.  Haven't had a big wave since July.  But still battling gi problems.  Recently had a colonoscopy and endoscopy and was diagnosed as ibs and diverticulosis.  Still waiting on celiac biopsy.  I started the fodmap diet for ibs with the help of a registered dietician.  And I felt even mentally better the first week. However I'm having a flare up now.  My whole body aches, nausea, diahrea, feeling of full, increased anxiety.  Others have mentioned talking to my doctor about sibo or fibromyalgia.  I should mention mental health issues and ibs/gut issues run in my family.

 

I'm wondering... Could the effexor have been treating all these things?  I had gut issues prior to effexor and they went away.  Go off effexor and major gut issues.  I wonder if it was not only treating my anxiety but also my ibs and whatever else I may have. 

 

Could all my current issues be from withdrawal?  I feel like mentally ive come so far but now I'm battling these gi issues.  

I'm scheduled to return to work in 2 weeks and with these flare ups I don't see myself being able to go.  If I don't go.. I lose my home.  

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Shortcake

Okay so just got diagnosed with fibromyalgia.  Doc gave me lyrica.  Not sure I want to take it.  Still on 2.25mg effexor xr.  Is there anyway this could be a withdrawal symptom?  

 

I just read "The causes of fibromyalgia are unclear. They may be different in different people. Current research suggests involvement of the nervous system, particularly the central nervous system (brain and spinal cord). "

 

And I know withdrawal messes with your cns...so could this really just be withdrawal still? 11 months later? Grasping at straws.  

 

Mods have you seen a lot of fibro dx after withdrawal? 

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AliG

Hi Shortcake. I would not take the Lyrica if I were you. It could start a whole cascade of extra symptoms from the side effects of the drug not to mention it is a drug you will eventually have to taper off as well. We have members here who are tapering this drug.

 

This is an extract by Alto from the Fibromyalgia thread

 

can we all agree that fibro is hard to diagnose and often misidentified?

 

There's even a lot of controversy about the significance of those trigger points.

 

Also, pharma has seen a big pot o' gold in blurring the definition and diagnosis of fibro to sell drugs like Lyrica, making every doctor this he or she can identify and treat it.

 

Incessant TV advertising makes people believe ordinary aches and pains are fibro and Lyrica is just the thing to ask the doctor for.

 

Pharma has seen the opportunity in hard-to-diagnose conditions with no physical markers and made billions from encouraging doctors to throw anyone with complaints (usually women) into one wastebasket diagnosis or another, like depression or fibromyalgia.

 

In terms of withdrawal syndrome-fibro overlap, my understanding is that one theory of fibro involves hyper-reactivity of pain neurons or an autonomic hypersensitivity syndrome. Since withdrawal syndrome often frequently incurs autonomic hypersensitivity, it can also incur sensations that some might call fibromyalgia-like.

 

This article from Beyond Meds:

https://beyondmeds.com/2013/07/08/psych-drug-withdrawal-cfs-fibromyalgia/

Edited by AliG

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ChessieCat

I agree with AliG ^.  Sometimes we get so desperate that we are willing to try anything.  Since joining SA I have become very cautious about pharmaceutical drugs.  My vet suggested a drug for my dog and whereas before I would have blindly gone along with it, I came home and researched it before deciding that I didn't want my dog on that particular drug.

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Shortcake

Im not going to take it right now.  This is all super new to me.  The thing is the fibro symptoms seem to explain my entire life.  Even before withdrawal.  But I've also been on meds since I was 14. I just dont even know anymore.  I didnt listen to my doctor when she wanted me to go back on the effexor when I FIRST went through withdrawal (er doc stopped my meds at 8mg).  I thought I could tough it out and stayed off and went through hell.  I wish I had listened to her and went back on them in order to taper slowly and safely.  So now I want to listen to her.  

 

But I also know that my system is so senaitive right now.  I am FINALLY becoming stabalized.  10 months of withdrawal hell, off work, and finally starting to feel better (or maybe just in a good wave).  But also was just diagnosed with severe ibs (it keeps me from leaving the house), and now she saya she thinks fibro because I have all of the symptoms of it.  

 

As for the lyrica I'm not going to take it right now.  I'm so scared to mess up the bit of balance ive found.

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AliG
1 hour ago, Shortcake said:

 

As for the lyrica I'm not going to take it right now.  I'm so scared to mess up the bit of balance ive found.

 

Ok .That's a GOOD THING !  It's best to remain stable and establish homeostasis.

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Martina23

Shortcake, please dont take Lyrica if you can help it. Lyrica damaged my brain so much that now  almost three years after stopping it I am still not healed. I am still having intrusive thoughts, intrusive pictures and an absolute hypersensitivity against all chemical products, can not drink alcohol anymore. On my thread you can read what I went through because of Lyrica. I had no mental problems before (was put on it for pain after caesarian delivery).

 

Hope you are well.

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AliG

Thanks Martina. Hopefully between you and me we have convinced Shortcake not to take it. 

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Shortcake

I do believe I had fibro prior to coming off the effexor/ going thru wd.  The main reason I wanted off effexor was what I thought were the side effects.  

-brain fog

-sensitivity to noise/bright lights/temperature

-always exhausted, never enough sleep

-aches and pains all over my body

-tender when people touch me

-restless legs

-memory issues

 

I was convinced it was effexor. So I weaned off. And these symtpoms intensified.  My doctor believes I had undiagnosed fibro for years and that the effexor was actually treating it as well as my ibs and anxiety.  

 

That being said.  After withdrawal hell... And finally starting to find balance, would I jump right back onto one and rock the boat? No chance.  If I knew what I know now, I would have stayed on low dose effexor maybe forever.  But now that I'm down to 2.25mg and went through what I did, I cant risk messing with my poor brain anymore.  I need to try do get my life back after wd.  I will try natural things.  Meds will only be a very last resort.  Eventually I will finish tapering fully from effexor but very slowly and not yet.  

 

Thank you guys for your help.  ❤  

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Shortcake

Okay so had a major breakdown and my doctor put me on cymbalta.  I'm on 30mg for a week then go up to 60mg.  

 

I am still weaning off effexor xr.  I am at 2.25mg (11 beads).  My doctor said now that I'm on cymbalta I can just stop the effexor.  Is this true? Or should I still slowly wean off?  Can an admin help please?  

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bubble

I'm sorry to hear that.

 

What happened when you say you had a major breakdown? Why would you go to 60 mg Cymbalta (except that your doctor says so)? That's a very high dose and we often see high doses unnecessary and only increasing side effects. Did you try any non-drug coping skills when hit with symptoms you refer to as a major breakdown? It must have been something that scared you very much.

 

For me 2.25 mg Effexor is much less of an issue now compared with the possibility of 60 mg Cymbalta :( . But since you are so unstable, removing it might cause even more distabilisation although your doctor thinks that such a small dose is nothing. 

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Shortcake

This entire withdrawal thing has been too much for me.  I'm a single mom struggling to take care of a 3 year old.  Ive recently been diagnosed with ibs/diverticulosis/fibromyalgia.  For the past 10 months I havent lived.  If my anxiety is okay, then my ibs is acting up, if ibs is okay anxiety is acting up, or my fibro.  I'm exhausted all the time.  I have zero patience anymore.  Even during my Windows , I still cant live fully.  I cant go out by myself.  I'm bewildered all the time.  I am the only source of income and haven't worked since January when withdrawal hit.  I recently went back to work for a day and the stress leading up to and the exhaustion from just working 1 shift had me so sick the next day.  Ive gone from 125 lbs to 107 lbs.  I cant eat or sleep.  Im just done.  I give up.  I need to work to support my daughter and I can't work while I feel like this.  I honestly dont even care if I'm on drugs.  My life was better on them.  I have no quality of life now.  I dont have time to let my brain heal from withdrawal, I need to work, I need to care for my daughtee.  I should have never gone OFF effexor.  The only reason I did was because I thought I had side effects but since going off those side effects are worse and my doctor thinks ive had fibromyalgia and ibs for years and that effexor was treating that as well as the anxiety.  I'm just done.  Im done feeling "alright" but still not living fully and then hitting a wave of hell.   The stress my body is going through is doing more damage than the drugs did.  

 

So, should I still wean off the effexor slowly? 

 

As for why 60mg cymbalta I'm not sure.  I asked if 30mg would be enough and she said probably not, that even her 90 year olds are on 60mg.  And honestly I've followed my own rules since I went off effexor and went through hell.  She tried to put me back on effexor 2 weeks after withdrawal and I said no.  I should have listened to her before and I didnt and I paid for it, so I want to listen to her now. 

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coldturkmama
45 minutes ago, Shortcake said:

This entire withdrawal thing has been too much for me.  I'm a single mom struggling to take care of a 3 year old.  Ive recently been diagnosed with ibs/diverticulosis/fibromyalgia.  For the past 10 months I havent lived.  If my anxiety is okay, then my ibs is acting up, if ibs is okay anxiety is acting up, or my fibro.  I'm exhausted all the time.  I have zero patience anymore.  Even during my Windows , I still cant live fully.  I cant go out by myself.  I'm bewildered all the time.  I am the only source of income and haven't worked since January when withdrawal hit.  I recently went back to work for a day and the stress leading up to and the exhaustion from just working 1 shift had me so sick the next day.  Ive gone from 125 lbs to 107 lbs.  I cant eat or sleep.  Im just done.  I give up.  I need to work to support my daughter and I can't work while I feel like this.  I honestly dont even care if I'm on drugs.  My life was better on them.  I have no quality of life now.  I dont have time to let my brain heal from withdrawal, I need to work, I need to care for my daughtee.  I should have never gone OFF effexor.  The only reason I did was because I thought I had side effects but since going off those side effects are worse and my doctor thinks ive had fibromyalgia and ibs for years and that effexor was treating that as well as the anxiety.  I'm just done.  Im done feeling "alright" but still not living fully and then hitting a wave of hell.   The stress my body is going through is doing more damage than the drugs did.  

 

So, should I still wean off the effexor slowly? 

 

As for why 60mg cymbalta I'm not sure.  I asked if 30mg would be enough and she said probably not, that even her 90 year olds are on 60mg.  And honestly I've followed my own rules since I went off effexor and went through hell.  She tried to put me back on effexor 2 weeks after withdrawal and I said no.  I should have listened to her before and I didnt and I paid for it, so I want to listen to her now. 

 

Dr's tend to diagnose fibro and IBS a lot when they don't know the answers.

i wouldn't honestly be so quick to believe that those are what you have. 

Paxil and other antidepressants tend to cause inflammation. 

I ended up very inflamed after 14-15 years on Paxil. The pain and agony I went through after getting off Paxil was devastating. I thought maybe I had fibro as well. My inflammation markers were off the charts, I could hardly move I ached so badly and my legs felt like tree trunks.

after about two years from my cold turkey I no longer ache! I am not so full of pain and agony like I was. I had horrible gut issues before Paxil and they did get better on it but they flared up really badly after I went off. I'm doing much better in that regard too.

i just wouldn't be so quick to believe everything the dr says, they are good at pushing pills. 

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Shortcake

I honestly dont have any time left to just wait to feel better.  Unless someone wants to pay my rent and bills and take care of my daughter for me then I dont feel I have a choice.  Sure i can stay off the drugs and live on the street, with a 3 year old, in the middle of a Canadian winter, but I'm not up for that.   I've had fibro symptoms for years now, thinking it was effexor side effects and my doctor said those are actually fibro symptoms.  Fibro also runs in my family.  Ive had multiple tests checking for inflammation and inflammation is basically non existant in my body.  If these drugs can let me live my life again then I'm all for it.  I will probably be on them for the rest of my life.  Ive been on them for 20 years since I was 14.  Regardless, I've made my decision for now.  I was having suicidal thoughts, and that cannot happen.  I have a life to live and a little girl to take care of.  Sure they are over prescribed and most people dont need them, but some people actually do.  Mental illness runs in my family.  

 

Anyway, my family, psychologist and doctor and myself have made the decision that this is what a best for me at this point in time.  I may come off them eventually but right now I need something to help me deal.  I just need to know about weaning the effexor. 

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bubble

I listened to my doctor for 15 years and that was the reason my life was turned to hell.

 

You didn't listen to your doctor when you went off Effexor and you did things your own way but sadly that decision was not well informed either. The reason for digestive system problems is the fact that our gut is called our second brain due to the number of serotonin receptors it has. 

 

You seem to have made your decision. Of course we can fully understand the wish to be fully functional. We all want that. It is just that for some of us drugs don't do the trick any more and only make us worse. I've been following many stories and there are some examples were going to the full dose of another drug helps but there are also cases where it makes things worse. I really hope you are the former category. Also, I see every day examples when people wanted to feel better but only ended up feeling worse.

 

I would personally wait and see how I feel on a few weeks of 30 mg Cymbalta. If you don't feel better or worse you can always double the dose (ouch).

 

Then you can see what to do with Effexor. If you start fiddling with Effexor now you won't be able to tell what is causing what if there are some problems. (whether it is te introduction of the new drug, too high dose, reduction and stopping of Effexor - and then you won't know what to do to make things better). 

 

I'm only saying this because you asked. You will of course make your own decision. 

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Shortcake

Thank you bubble.  

 

We did discuss that it could make things worse, and in that case she would take me off immediately and I could try something else or nothing.  It was like the devil you know or the devil you dont know, but I have to try it.  I cant keep going the way I was.  Not with the responsibilities I have.  I pray it doesn't make me worse but its a chance I need to take.  I'm on day 3 and already seeing a slight improvement.  Fingers crossed.  I will leave my effexor for now and continue to wean off once I am stable.  I also want to stay at 30mg cymbalta until I see if it works.  Apparently 60mg is the therapeutic dose on which all studies were based, so I really havent made up my mind.    

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ChessieCat
1 hour ago, Shortcake said:

Apparently 60mg is the therapeutic dose on which all studies were based

 

This is a term that pharmaceutical companies have invented.  It is better to think in terms of "lowest effective dose".

 

On 04/05/2016 at 9:32 AM, Altostrata said:

"Therapeutic dose" means absolutely nothing. It's an arbitrary number from the drug companies.

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