Effexor XR Withdrawal

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shari04
New Member


Date Joined Aug 2004
Total Posts : 5
   Posted 8/16/2004 7:17 AM (GMT -7)   
I am currently taking effexor xr, 150 mg./day. Like most medicaitons, it has not helped me at all!!! mad
I go to my doctor today and I am sure she will put me on something else. She will have me wean myself off the effexor. I have heard some pretty bad things about effexor withdrawal. Does anyone have any suggestions????? I would appreciate it!

Ralph
Regular Member


Date Joined Aug 2004
Total Posts : 139
   Posted 8/17/2004 8:20 AM (GMT -7)   
I know of a person that told me she went of her Effexor on her own, and had a very difficult time of it for a week or two. I will call her to see what exactly she has experienced. I am on effexor too, and I have thought of stopping my medication. I know that if I miss a day now and then, I seem to have a reaction the next time I take it.

Ralph
Regular Member


Date Joined Aug 2004
Total Posts : 139
   Posted 8/17/2004 2:18 PM (GMT -7)   
Talked to my friend, and she says not to try to stop the Effexor without discussing it with your doctor.
She gave it up on a gradual basis over a period of eight weeks. Giving it up slowly was the answer for her. She was on a 150mg daily dose at the time. She is now off the drug entirely.

These changes should never be made on your own. Also because one person has a problem, onother may have a totally different experience with the medication. As far as I know, there is no hard and fast answer as to how you personally will be affected.

Good luck, and keep talking.

shari04
New Member


Date Joined Aug 2004
Total Posts : 5
   Posted 8/17/2004 3:03 PM (GMT -7)   
Thanks for checking for me. I did go to my doctor and she told me to stop the effecor, start this new medication and not slowly wean off the effexor. I have never stopped an anti-depressant cold turkey. She said the only side effect I may have is dizziness. Know anything about zyprexa? She wants me to start this. I researched it on the internet. It sounds terrible! Mainly for bi-polar manic episodes (which I am not. I suffer from major depressive disorder) & schizophrenia. Then again, I cannot do without medicine. Tried before. Absolutely does not work. I would appreciate any suggestions. Thanks for listening!

Niko
New Member


Date Joined Aug 2004
Total Posts : 1
   Posted 8/19/2004 7:08 AM (GMT -7)   
Shari04

I have just joined and your messages are the first I read. I am on Effexor XR (300mg) and have been (on & off) for 3 years. I believe your doctor is giving you some bad information.

First of all, for her to have you stop the Effexor 'cold-turkey' is inappropriate. I had to do this when being treated for something else and it was a big mistake. The side-effects are much more than simply 'dizziness" they include physical symptoms much like having the flu. In addition, they may cause your depression to become much worse (this was definately true in my case and reputable doctors/psychologists fully know this to be a reaction to such an event). Gradual reduction is the best way. You can take reduced amounts of Effexor while on Zyprexa. Talk to another doctor (hopefully a psychologist). The reduction should take a week or ten days and will substantially decrease the side effects.

I did'nt have a positive reaction to Effexor until I increased my dose from 150 to 300. I won't say it's a total fix but it does provide relief from the 'lower depths'. Of course, there are so many other factors involved in any depression. I really recommend you seek therapy in conjunction with medication. Once you find the right med combination, you will have some stability and a basis from which to get better. My therapy includes Congnative treatment.

In terms of taking Zyprexa, I have done this also. I took it while taking Zoloft. Neither of of these had any effect. I may be wrong but I don't think Zyprexa is supposed to be taken by itself as a treatment for depression. It is a 'mood stabilizer' (hence bi-polar, schitz, treatment) and doesn't neccessarily treat the physical aspects of the depression. Again, this is all my 'lay person' information based on my own experiences. Find a reputable resource.

Finally, your doctor shouldn't have told you that no medication will bring you 'complete relief' from depression. This is a highly morose concept, an inconsiderate remark to make to someone suffering depression, and frankly, inaccurate. We will always have 'ups and downs' in our lives. Once you find the right medication(s), you will know and see such a complete (positive) difference. Dealing with the normal events in life is possible. The right meds will bring you stability and clear thinking. Your doctor was wrong about 'periodically slipping back into your depression' no matter what meds you were taking.

Finding the right medications can be really exhausting and often there are so many side effects. Despit this, it is truly a matter of life and death. It's worth it. I have felt what its like on the 'other side' (albeit only briefly in my life) and it was so much easier. Life actually made sense and I had real hope and dreams.

Keep trying.

Ralph
Regular Member


Date Joined Aug 2004
Total Posts : 139
   Posted 8/19/2004 8:33 AM (GMT -7)   
Hi Niko

I am glad to see you on the site. I am on 150mg Effexor. I think to a lage extent, this has been a great help to me as I also tried Zoloft with poor results.

I am interested in your statement that you are taking 300mg. I fear that would be a fairly large dose for me personally, and 150 to 300 seems like a great leap towards the unknown. Was this a gradual change, or was it done at once ? I went up to 150 gradually and found it to be OK as I did not have a depression for a period of about 8 months.

Depression is back with me now and I hesitate to seek help as I feel the less I take the better it is in the long run. Have you experienced recurring periods when you were in and out of gloomy, helpless times.
I have this this problem. Even before I ever sought medical help, I experienced weeks of depression between months of what I would call a normal, contented life.

You seem to have a great insight into our shared problem. Thank you for the input.

Ralph

Rock Lobster
New Member


Date Joined Aug 2004
Total Posts : 3
   Posted 8/26/2004 12:19 AM (GMT -7)   
Hi

I'm on effexor XR with a dose of 300mg per day. I find that it gets me to a level where I can cope but its not a miracle cure (for me anyways).

Unfortunately due to money issues I've occasionally missed medication in the past. It was a very weird experience. The first thing I noticed was a feeling almost like electric shocks in my fingers and up my arms. I felt like when I moved quickly, it took a few seconds for my brain to follow. I also became depressed again very quickly.

As far as I know, because it affects the chemistry of your brain, its a really bad idea to stop any mental health drug cold turkey. Thats a really big shock for your system that is likely to be harmful.

Darkness
New Member


Date Joined Sep 2004
Total Posts : 4
   Posted 9/21/2004 4:51 PM (GMT -7)   
I too was on Effexor xr 150mg/day and a few weeks ago i was switched to some new medication, called Cymbalta and its 60mg, and they had me take a smaller dose of Effexor and a smaller dose of Cymbalta to take care of the withdrawl symptems. and ive got no complaints about withdrawls, so yea. maybe you can talk to your doctor about it, Good luck Rock Lobster

~Darkness~

Greg
New Member


Date Joined Sep 2004
Total Posts : 8
   Posted 9/21/2004 10:53 PM (GMT -7)   
Hello everyone,
Everyone of you have some great advice to give concerning Effexor XR. I took, ready for this, 375 mg. per day for two years. That's 75 mg. above the recommended daily dose. I have treatment resistant depression so I have to take quite a bit of medication to feel better. Not perfect, just better. I'm usually on four meds at one time. I'd rather go through life feeling better than worry too much about meds. Don't get me wrong though. I do my research before starting a new med. I do have an excellent Dr. though. He saves his professional journals for me. The journals are ahead of what you hear on the "streets" so to speak.

I switched from Effexor XR to 250 mg. Zoloft. I did this very very slowly. It took me 24 days. I would drop 37.5 mg's over a period of four days; then drop another 37.5 mg. until I was to zero. I did have some withdrawal symptoms but mild. Now, if I had stopped cold turkey, I believe it would have been pretty unbearable! In my opinion, when quitting a drug like Effexor XR, it should slowly be replaced by another med that you and your Psychiatrist agree on. In fact, I think any med taken over a long period of time should be tapered. Afterall, your brain needs to re-adjust back to it's previous state; (meaning, before the med was started.)

If your doctor neglects to tell you about common side effects of meds, then personnally I would look for another Psychiatrist.

From Greg.

Jersey 2
New Member


Date Joined Mar 2005
Total Posts : 7
   Posted 3/21/2005 3:26 PM (GMT -7)   

Hello,

I tried quitting Effexor "cold turkey" a couple of years ago and it was very difficult. I cried a lot and had flu like symptoms. I could barely get out of bed. I would suggest tapering off of it as gradually as possible. I made the mistake of going off Effexor too abruptly without being on anything else. I am currently taking Cymbalta. Does anyone have any feedback on this? Thank you.....


florist
Regular Member


Date Joined Dec 2003
Total Posts : 366
   Posted 3/22/2005 8:17 AM (GMT -7)   
I was on Effexor 150 mg a day for a few years. If I even missed one day, I would have horrible dizziness and these weird electric "zaps" in my head all the time. When I switched from Effexor to Zoloft I had to do it gradually over about two months.
Laura J.
No longer a florist,
now a stay-at-home-mom to an amazing little boy


scott2004
New Member


Date Joined Mar 2005
Total Posts : 5
   Posted 3/25/2005 8:22 PM (GMT -7)   
shari04,

Hi. It seems that you are going through the samething i did with trying different meds. I done that for a long time. I got so depressed i wouldent even step outside. Well my doc mentioned ETC's Electric shock thearpy. I in no way wanted to do that but i had just tried about everything else. But i decided to try it i felt it was my only chance to get better. I thought to myself. What else could be as bad being the way i felt with my depression. Well i had 6 shock thearapys. They did help me out of my deep depression. Then my doc started me on a MAOI. Not that i like taking the med you realy have to watch your diet. But the new med has brought me a long ways. Good luck i realy hope you can get on a med that will help you.


Scott.....

ColleenConnie
New Member


Date Joined Mar 2005
Total Posts : 1
   Posted 3/28/2005 10:56 AM (GMT -7)   
nono  
I have done such stupid thing!  I have realized over the past few days that I too am going through the withdrawls from Effexor...stupid stupid..
I should have known better than to just stop taking this drug..it helps me..geesh...but I ran out...and then the pharmacy was closed...and then it was Holy Week...and work was chaotic...
Then all of a sudden I realized oh my it has been a week...without Effexor...
Why am I feeling so so ill...well I think I just found my answer...I have a Dr. appointment in a half hour and will fill him in on what I have done....boy do I feel guilty...bout bringing this on...and having my family to deal with me with the flu like symptoms....it is like going through hell...I am curious to see how the Dr. will react....
Thanks for letting me vent...
 
Colleen redface

rebel84
New Member


Date Joined Dec 2005
Total Posts : 4
   Posted Yesterday 10:11 AM (GMT -7)   
I am quitting Effexor XR (150mg daily) after 2 years use. Have tried before and couldn't. I am determined this time. I have been diagnosed as bi-polar/depression. However, symptoms always return no matter what I'm on. I have been on Zoloft and Lexapro also. I think these meds are changing me for the worse. I am who/what I am. It has been 24+ hours since my last dosage. I will update as time progresses. Come what may, I'm quitting.

dsinger
New Member


Date Joined Dec 2005
Total Posts : 5
   Posted Yesterday 11:44 AM (GMT -7)   
I asked my doctor about getting off celexa and he said to do it very gradually over as long a period as possible.

rebel84
New Member


Date Joined Dec 2005
Total Posts : 4
   Posted Yesterday 12:32 PM (GMT -7)   
The longest I have made it before was 5 or 6 days before I completely broke down. Believe me, it was horrendous. I expect the same this time, but I will be prepared a bit more mentally knowing what to expect. Or so I think. I have tried the taper bit before and I can't say it is any less painful, only more strung out.

charmingsuz
New Member


Date Joined Dec 2005
Total Posts : 19
   Posted Yesterday 6:36 PM (GMT -7)   

I went off of Effexor cold turkey, and was the worst mistake I ever made.  I had blinding headaches, flu symptoms as other people have said, and extreme depression; much worse than I had experienced before.  This lasted two weeks.  I swore I wouldn't take Effexor again, tried Paxil; but it didn't work; so I'm back on Effexor, Remeron and Klonipan. 

My doctor told me 150 mg was the max dosage of Effexor one could take.  From reading the posts, I see it can be increased.  By taking a larger dose, have any of you started feeling better?  Because what I'm taking is not doing much at all for my depression and anxiety. 


rebel84
New Member


Date Joined Dec 2005
Total Posts : 4
   Posted Today 7:51 AM (GMT -7)   
Well, I'm still off the Effexor and it's day 3. Let me interject a little humor that we all need. This morning I woke up and went downstairs and I'm currently at a high point where everything is great. Well, I saw my dog in the backyard and when he looked at me I waved at him man as if he was a person. When it hit me what I had just done I just lost it and laughed so hard I couldn't explain to my wife what I had done. Oh well, it may not be funny to anyone else, but dang, I freakin' waved at my dog. With God's help I'm breaking away from the drugs, waving at dogs or not. Take care everyone...

rebel84
New Member


Date Joined Dec 2005
Total Posts : 4
   Posted 12/13/2005 8:00 AM (GMT -7)   
Well, I didn't make it. After day 4 I had to get back on my medication. I don't know why I occassionaly think I can and should get off my medication. I must say, the Effexor XR has been the most effective medication I have tried. It works on the seretonin and norepinephrine levels both where most SRIs just work on one or the other. I am doing well again. Good luck........ 

charmingsuz
New Member


Date Joined Dec 2005
Total Posts : 19
   Posted 12/13/2005 2:00 PM (GMT -7)   
If the medication is working for you, stay on it!! Glad you're feeling better.

Glenniem
Regular Member


Date Joined Nov 2005
Total Posts : 30
   Posted 12/14/2005 5:35 AM (GMT -7)   

I was on 300mg of Effexor PLUS 20 mg of Lexapro. Didn't feel much better, but the addition of Lexapro started changing the way I think. I started making desperate choices, rather dumb ones, and my wife saw it, I saw it, and it took me about 3-4 weeks to get off the stuff.

 

By the way, Rock Lobster, those strange feelings you experienced are called "Brain shivers" and I was having them even on a daily dose. Those would be the last effects I felt on that stuff.

I have been off the stuff for about 4 months and I noticed little difference on my happy meter.


sloan
Regular Member


Date Joined Feb 2007
Total Posts : 64
   Posted 2/22/2007 8:55 AM (GMT -7)   
 I might of missed the post if someone else posted it earlier. I am taking effexor and it is still early. A week or so. I was wondering if anyone has taked effexor and zyprexa together for any length of time? I like the way zyprexa helps me sleep. But I don't like the other side effects. I'm going to ask my doctor if he will give me a small dose of zyprexa to go along with the effexor.

Nolagrl377
Regular Member


Date Joined Feb 2007
Total Posts : 60
   Posted 2/23/2007 11:23 PM (GMT -7)   
Hi all,

I am taking Effexor now 75mg. I first started out for 5 days on 37.5mgs and then my Dr bumped me up to 75mgs. I used to take Zoloft, but that didn't seem to help. So far, i've been on the Effexor for a month now. how long does it normally take for me to feel better so to speak? Should I ask to be bumped up more if I'm still feeling the same? I have my moments still when I get depressed and have anxiety. i am scared to ask my dr to give me Xanax or Ativan, which I've had before, btu I dont want her to tell me no. At times I feel like I need something to calm my nerves,but I'm scared she'll say, "No, that's what the Effexor is for"
Any ideas on how long it takes for me to feel the difference? Should I ask for anxiety meds on the side too?
Is there a 12 step program to this Walt Disney World addiction?
 
God is my strength and my Fortress. In Him I put my trust!


WeepingWillow
Regular Member


Date Joined Feb 2007
Total Posts : 24
   Posted 2/24/2007 1:23 AM (GMT -7)   
I am taking 225mg of effexor. I first started on 75, then they upped it to 150mg... and then 2 weeks ago they upped it again to 225mg. I have been taking it for about 5 or 6 months now. I think only now they are starting to do something. Its a small change so far... and things still seem so hard. I am not sure what will happen, whether it will be upped some more or whether I get put on something else yet... but hopefully things look better for me soon. If I accidently forget to take my medication I get tremors and little shock like feelings in my head.

Nolagrl377, I get anxiety also and my Pdoc hasn't put me on anything else apart from risperidone, but that was for something else. But everyone is different... so I think the best thing to do would be ask her. The worst thing that could happen is that she will say no. If she says no then thats ok. She won't think less of you at all if you ask her. If she says no, it will probably be because she wants you to just wait and see how the effexor goes for you... If you are having a really hard time with your anxiety, talk about it with her. Communicate, just talk and ask and she should help as best as she knows how.

Nolagrl377
Regular Member


Date Joined Feb 2007
Total Posts : 60
   Posted 2/24/2007 8:38 AM (GMT -7)   
Thanks WeepingWillow. I will talk to her about it and just explain my situation again to her. Like you siad, the worst she can say is no. and i've got nothing to lose in asking.
God is my strength and my Fortress. In Him I put my trust!
 
29, single female, Diagnosed with Crohns in 1998. Total of 3 surgeries:
In 2000, had a temporary colostomy, reversed 4months later. In 2004, had an illeostomy performed and have it to this day. It saved my life and the good news I can have it reversed in 2 more years! Many many hospitals stays here and there since 1998 for flare ups.
 
Taking: Pentasa, Synthroid, Prednisone, 6-mp, Atenolol, Prescribed Mulit-Vitamin, B-12 supplements, Effexor, Lunesta, Percocet, Nexium, Iron pills, Remicade every 8 weeks. Lastly, reading my Bible is the best medicine so far that I've come across! :)

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