New here, and scared with questions - Going from Effexor to Cymbalta - 30 Year Old Male w/ busy life

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HybridKOOP
New Member


Date Joined May 2008
Total Posts : 3
   Posted 5/2/2008 8:31 AM (GMT -7)   
Hello everyone,
 
I'm new to these forums but joined because I have a couple of questions about what has happened with me lately...
 
about three years ago, I was diagnosed with depression when out of the TOTAL blue, I was hit with the inability to concentrate, I wasn't eating, I had terrible anxiety, I was waking up earlier than normal with anxiety... etc.  Before this, I was a healthy 26 year old guy, who had graduated college, and led a totally normal life.
 
I originally had no idea that it was even depression, but after MRI's and catscans, we figured it out, and I was started on Lexapro.  Lexapro did nothing for me.  We then tried Zoloft.  Again... it did nothing for me.  At this point, I was truly freaking out.  I felt that my girlfriend of the time would wind up leaving me since I was "crazy", I thought I'd lose my job... etc.  I marched forward and decided to try Effexor XR after my psych doc suggested it.  I started out on 75mg, and voila, I felt much better.  2 months went by, and I had relapsed.  Went up to 150mg, felt great for another two months.  This continued until I was at 225mg per day and Remerol at night.  I took the Remerol for a couple of months, and gained a TON of weight (I needed some weight, but not so much).  I eventually stopped taking the Remerol on my own, and worked my way down to 150mg of Effexor.  While on the 150... I was living life to about 90%+ as the Effexor was truly making a difference for me.  I got engaged to my girlfriend, bought a house, got married last July... all was well.  The only downside to the Effexor was lack of sexual drive, and increased blood pressure.  To think and function on a normal basis, these side effects were very very minor to me overall.
 
about two weeks ago, like a freight train, all of the initial symptoms came back.  My concentration is terrible, zero short term memory, not eating, waking early, etc.  I called the doctor and asked for 37.5mg of Effexor more per day.  It helped ONE night and I felt like I was headed in the right direction.  But the next day was upsetting since I felt like I was getting worse.  A week ago, we upped me to 225mg of the Effexor... but to no avail.  I feel like I am getting worse as the days go by. 
 
I am terribly frightened that since the other drugs we tried didn't work, and now that the Effexor doesn't seem to be working, that I will always have to feel like this.
 
My doc assures me that he has many many different options and combinations that could help me out.  I guess I should believe him considering he got me through the last three years relatively symptom free.  I met with him yesterday and he decided to take my Effexor down to 150mg for 3 days, then switch over to Cymbalta 60mg per day.  Does ANYONE out there have any experience or know of anyone who Cymbalta has worked for after Effexor had stopped being effective?  Any input is appreciated.  I am praying to God every day that this is going to help me like the Effexor used to.
 
- Louis
 
 

HybridKOOP
New Member


Date Joined May 2008
Total Posts : 3
   Posted 5/2/2008 8:35 AM (GMT -7)   
One other thing I forgot to mention...
 
All of the sudden with this "relapse" or with the Effexor losing its effectiveness, I have very blurry vision.  Is this common for Effexor, or for depression in general?  My doc told me it can be a side effect of higher doses of Effexor, but I never had it when I was at 225mg in the past...
 
Thanks.

getting by
Forum Moderator


Date Joined Sep 2007
Total Posts : 40576
   Posted 5/2/2008 8:45 AM (GMT -7)   
Welcome to Healing Well Louis,

I believe that effexor and cymbalta are related, so hopefully the transition will be okay. But normally it is hard to go off of effexor.

I take 375mg each day. I have had little problem with it. There are supplements that can help the libido. That might be something you would want to look into.

I wish you luck,
I have not taken cymbalta so there isn't anything I can help you with there. There are some threads on it here on the forum. You might want to read about it. What works for some doesn't always work for others. I hope that it helps.

hugs, Karen
  Moderator-Depression
 
fibromyalgia, Chronic fatigue, depression,allergies


HybridKOOP
New Member


Date Joined May 2008
Total Posts : 3
   Posted 5/2/2008 8:56 AM (GMT -7)   

Hi Karen,

How did you get up to 375mg of Effexor?  Did it keep quitting out on you at lower doses, so you stepped up and up? 

That is the thing I am contemplating right now... is it better to stick with the Effexor since it's worked in the past and just keep increasing, or take my docs advice to make the switch over to Cymbalta.  He said if the Cymbalta doesn't work, he has "other things" he can try... such as augmenting the Effexor with lithium or "thyroid", which I've never heard of...?


getting by
Forum Moderator


Date Joined Sep 2007
Total Posts : 40576
   Posted 5/2/2008 9:17 AM (GMT -7)   
My pdoc was prescribing it to me and then I went to a psychiatrist who said that it was working I just wasn't taking enough, so he upped the dose. I take the highest dose possible. He said I will have to take that for the rest of my life. I also take xanax and abilify. The abilify really helps me. I had no sexual side effects from effexor, actually oppisite. So yours could be the depression. Talk to your doctor some more and see what he thinks. Changing isn't easy with effexor. But maybe it is worth a shot to try something different. I like the abilify. Ask him about that. But I take it with the other, it is a mood stablizer.

So good luck with whatever you do. See if you can take abilify instead of lithium. It is a newer drug and works well for me anyway.

hugs, Karen
  Moderator-Depression
 
fibromyalgia, Chronic fatigue, depression,allergies

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