Question for "Putter"

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Wotan
Regular Member


Date Joined Jun 2005
Total Posts : 462
   Posted 12/29/2005 2:55 PM (GMT -7)   
....or anyone elsewho has been on Effexor.   Putter, i read w great interest your experience w Effexor.         I really would be interested in more detail from you...or anyone who is/was on Effexor.   OK---here i go again-- dx w BP 2.       I'm on 37.5 mg Effexor XR capsules---going on 5 months.   My depression was bad.  Also, om 100mg of Seroquel at nite. (For sleep & "mood stabilizer")-   Now--last month or so---feeling very "anxiety ridden"---"hyper"...not "manic".    Some nites awaken from sleep w nighmare hyperventilating (have had this problem for 20 yrs--but since on Effexor---anxiety lasts longer upon awakening.)---I WILL bring this up w my therapist AND pdoc in 2 wks--but---to put my mind at rest ..until i talk w them---How long did it take you (Putter...or nyone on Effexor)---to "Wean off" of it----you had a higher dose.   HOW did you do it?? (Take it every other day---then every 3rd day??  And, for how long?)  Thanks--Hope i don't get too much of a withdrawel problem.   Looking fwd to some responses & support.---Thanks soo much--Happy New Yr to all---Robert     

Putter
Regular Member


Date Joined May 2005
Total Posts : 204
   Posted 12/29/2005 3:51 PM (GMT -7)   

Hi Robert - I saw your first post the other day and haven't had much of a chance to reply - sorry about that.

I always try to be really honest about the whole Effexor thing since i think that it easily gets a bad wrap (i'm totally guilty). Anyway, it really did wonders for me when I needed it most and cut the anxiety and the upset very quickly. In total, I was on it for almost two years and it was an overall success - it really gave me my life back. That's not to say that another med wouldn't have, but it certainly did the trick. I had plenty of annoying little side effects, but they were all worth the effort over the perpetual state of upset I had been in when I started the medication.

Started out at 37.5 then gradually increased to 112.5 for most of the two years. I followed doctors instructions for tapering off. For me he said to take the usual dose for 6 days and then half on the seventh (37.5), then take the usual (75) for another five and then half on the sixth and seventh until I was down to taking 37.5 every day. Then I was supposed to do the same thing until I was taking 37.5 every other day and then hold it there. Up til this point I had been ok - the usual foggies that would happen if I forgot a regular dose, but nothing out of the ordinary. If I missed a dose, then I would get a headache and upset tummy and usually dizzy, but it would all set in rather quickly.

I was at about 37.5 every other day for two weeks and then was supposed to stop at that point. I actually felt pretty good overall, I had the usual annoyingness that came with medication changes - the little electric shockies in my fingers, some mild dizziness and mental foginess, the usual uncoordination (but I think that is nothing to do with meds, LOL), nothing that was a real problem.

I did however deal with a good portion of nausea for four weeks after I had taken the last pill. Actually - my stomach wasn't upset - i just kept getting sick. It was a bit of a problem at work since I would have to leave meetings (that I arranged) to speed to the washroom. The tricky part is that it would just over take me and I would get sick. I guess that it was better than feeling sick all the time but didn't make it any easier to have to excuse myself all the time to run to the washroom. It turns out this isn't that uncommon, according to the doc. I was checked out for the possibility of any other problem and was fine. The doctor did offer that if it continued to be bothersome that he could prescribe some temporary fixes until everything settled back out. For me, I was ok to suffer through and decided I'd just wait for it to settle out on its own. And it did.

I guess that when you've been on medication like that, your body makes adjustments and when you stop, it has to make other adjustments to cope - sometimes there is just a delay in the time your body has to pick up the slack, hence the discontinuation. I did quite a bit of reading afterwards and found out that in many cases, they prescribe a single dose of prozac to help readjust the balance in your body. I guess the long half life of the prozac carries you through long enough to kick start the re-balancing act that is otherwise delayed by the abrupt absence of the effexor.

The big thing for me that I tried to remember was that it was a lot of help for me in the beginning, and I suffered far longer and greater with depression than I had from the Effexor so it was worth the effort.

Robert - please don't worry too much about it. I won't say that it wasn't uncomfortable at times, but it wasn't anything that a little time wouldn't fix. Talk to your doctor and see what they say. There are options.

Take care of yourself and a happy new year to you! :)

Putter


Wotan
Regular Member


Date Joined Jun 2005
Total Posts : 462
   Posted 12/29/2005 7:42 PM (GMT -7)   
Dear Putter-  Thank you so much for your kindness & compassion in such a detailed response.  You really answered my questions & put my mind at ease until i see my Therapist & psychiatrist.     God bless you & may you have a happy & healthy New Year---regardfs
                                                    Robert :-)

Wotan
Regular Member


Date Joined Jun 2005
Total Posts : 462
   Posted 12/30/2005 11:44 AM (GMT -7)   
Dear Putter & all of my "HW" friendse
My pdoc just called this AM.(Fri). I told him of how I'm feeling w the Effexor.    That I'm not feeling "smooth"...rather edgy-nerrvous, etc.    He was so kind & understanding---saying meds affect everyone differently.     And, he said not to worry.  Told me to take Effexor every OTHER day---for 5 doses---then stop (I see him in 11 days).   I told him of my concern about withdrawel--he said I'm on minimum dose---37.5 mg......so it will not be a problem---he also suggested i increase my Seoquel by 25mg.
 
  We'll try some other regimen...(Maybe another antidepressant--i was thinking of Wellbutrin)---or maybe just a mood stabilizer.     Hope my "waening off" goes well--without not much discomfort......I have Seroquel, valium..& Benadryl handy-----Thanks again---any feedbackx...or input is appreciated---I need the moral support & everyone here is always so kind & supportive.  yeah      Regards--Robert :-)

Putter
Regular Member


Date Joined May 2005
Total Posts : 204
   Posted 12/30/2005 12:13 PM (GMT -7)   
Robert - it sounds like you have a good plan in place with your doc. It sounds like you are on the same page with your concerns and his approach.
 
I'm big on the whole mood stabilizer thing. I don't know anything about seroquel, but I know for me, getting the right dose of the mood stabilizer was key. I take epival, and am only on 180mg. I'm ultra sensitive to medication, so even at the lowest doses I still notice a big difference. I was starting to feel pretty anxious and panicky again a few months ago. I adjusted my dose of the epival and it made a significant change without creating a lot of side effects. I was able to ride out the anxiety and now that I've been more diligent about taking the meds on time, I've been feeling really well and stable for a while. I know that almost certainly there will come a time when I'll need to add another medication for the BP, but I'm pretty sold on the idea that a proper mood stabilizer will go a long way as a first defence against the swings, especially for me.

Robert - I hope that your effexor detox process goes well - keep us posted and take good care of yourself,,
Putter

Undone
Regular Member


Date Joined May 2005
Total Posts : 44
   Posted 1/2/2006 3:43 PM (GMT -7)   
I don't know if you will be interested in this or not but I figured I would let you in on my experience with Effexor. I was up to 150 once a day for approximately 6 months, this after the recommended dosage increases. I guess I should tell you I am BP 2 as well, anyway....the Effexor did cause me to be hypomanic right from the first 37.5 dose, I was just very uneducated about my mental problem and kept taking the Effexor despite this. It's possible that you may be experiencing the same thing I went through.

Now about coming off Effexor......It was horrible for me. I experienced what I now have seen described as "brain shocks". The best way to describe this would be like if you plugged you brain in to a electrical outlet and allowed the shock to travel from the center of you brain out. This seems to be fairly common among people who stop taking Effexor. I did also have some stomach aches, dizzyness, and I was a little more moody than normal. The worst by far were the "brain shocks" when I described these to my Doc he new all about it and prescribed me a med called Clonidine. It was only for a couple of weeks to help with the withdrawl symptoms, let me tell you it worked like a charm. The withdrawl symptoms were almost non existant. Obviously I'm not a doctor and not all meds respond the same to different people, so like putter said check with the Doc. I just wanted to share my experience.

Wotan
Regular Member


Date Joined Jun 2005
Total Posts : 462
   Posted 1/2/2006 4:37 PM (GMT -7)   
Thanks so much "undone"--Well, you were on 150mg-over four times my 37.5 mg a day dosage.   
  Also, you were on it longer than me. I've just finished 4 months.    You did not mention how slowly your taper was---& how your dosage was reduced.      As I said---I'm just taking one every other day--for 10 days.     So far (fingers crossed)- so good.   Also, I'm on Valium...(7 or 8 mgs a day) & Seroquel---last nite went up to 75mg from 50.   Thanks again---& I hope more people get back.  Robert

Wotan
Regular Member


Date Joined Jun 2005
Total Posts : 462
   Posted 1/4/2006 4:22 PM (GMT -7)   
Hi Putter---just keeping you updated...as you asked.   I started going without Effexor every other day---this past Saturday (Dec 31)
Sunday-on....Monday, off.......Tues-on.......Wed (today) off..Thurs-on....Fri...off.....LAST one....this Saturday. 
 
.I am OK but have a terrible headach today.   I just took 2 Aspirin...(I'll take it tomorrow, none on Saturday
    Saw my Therapist today---She suggested after ....after i'm off Effexor...i take either Lexipro....or...Celexa....as an anti-Dep.....THEN....as a "mood stabilizer"....either ...by order of her preference.....Lithium...or Neurontin......let me know what you think..(ANYONE out there)---about experiences w Lexipro...or Celexa.....& Neurontin..(as mood stabilizer)---or Lithium.....Thanks.....How much longer will i have these headaches????  Robert 

Putter
Regular Member


Date Joined May 2005
Total Posts : 204
   Posted 1/4/2006 6:01 PM (GMT -7)   

Robert - glad to hear that things seem to be going smoothly. It sounds like things are going fairly well. I would guess that you would have noticed some withdrawl by now if it was going to be a problem. I don't know anything about the other meds that you mentioned. I take depakote as a mood stabilizer and it works well. When I was first diagnosed my doc preferred to try the depakote first and then lithium if I had any troubles. He said that most mood stabilizers work well and are fairly well tolerated so there are options.

Take care and I hope things continue smoothly,
Putter

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