Effexor withdrawal brain shivers?

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Acheybody
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Date Joined Nov 2008
Total Posts : 5930
   Posted 4/12/2010 9:06 AM (GMT -7)   
Uuugh, why is this happening to me?  smhair I've read about this, I even experienced it a little when I tried to go off Nortriptyline a few years ago, but I'd been on it for about 15 years.  I ended up staying on that (also was getting more pain w/out it), so end of story. 
 
 But I was on Effexor for only 3 weeks!  I was getting weird symptoms last week, afraid it might be incr. blood pressure.  So my doctor said sure, go off if you want.  I was only on 37.5 mg. once a day, so I thought it should be no biggie to quit.  That was 5 days ago.  Now every time I move my eyes, or my head or anything else, I get the "zappies," or shivers, or someone thumping on my head sensation.  Anyone else (probably everybody else!) know what I mean?  It's very disconcerting!  As if I weren't already disoriented enough.shocked
Debbie
 
  Diagnosed: Fibromyalgia, Meniere's, mild liver damage (why?), keloid scar tissue (from burn) on back, arthritis, lumbar disc damage, IBS, migraine
  Meds: Nortriptyline, Clonazepam, Darvocet as needed
multivitamins, l-lysine, probiotics, magnesium, malic acid, calcium + vit. D, vit. C
  Chiropractic adjustments


harleybluz
Regular Member


Date Joined Sep 2009
Total Posts : 122
   Posted 4/12/2010 9:33 AM (GMT -7)   
I know exactly what you're talking about.  And...try to explain it to someone whose never been on these meds.  They look at you like you have two heads.  If you're tapering off the med, (and by the way, Effexor is supposed to be the worst for this brain zapping thing) then they'll level off a bit and then start again on the down taper but I didn't think it was as bad the second time, third time.  Maybe because I had gotten used to them or knew what to expect.  I really do feel for you.  Mine went away completely after about 2 weeks off the med.  They mellowed considerable during those 2 wks.  Hang in there sweetie, it gets better and doesn't take too long.

This is no Social Crisis... Just another Tricky Day (The Who)

 


getting by
Forum Moderator


Date Joined Sep 2007
Total Posts : 40603
   Posted 4/12/2010 11:31 AM (GMT -7)   
Effexor is one of the hardest antidepressants to go off of, but if you can make it though, it does get better with time. I know about the brain zaps. It felt to me like I could hear my eyes move. It sure was wierd. I got really dizzy and coudln't even get to my neighbor's house to ask for a ride to the doctor. I thought that I was going crazy.

You were on a low dose though so yours shouldn't be as bad. I am sorry that the medication didn't work for you. It is really a good med if it does work for you. I was on it for many years.

I hope that you feel better soon.

Hugs, Karen
  Moderator-Depression and fibromyalgia
 
fibromyalgia, Chronic fatigue, depression,allergies


upbeat
Regular Member


Date Joined May 2009
Total Posts : 240
   Posted 4/12/2010 11:31 AM (GMT -7)   
Debbie

I know exactly what you are describing and like harley said unless you have experienced it, it is hard to explain. I hope it ends quickly since you were not on effexor long. I think effexor might have the shortest half-life of the AD's, which makes it worse. I am finally on day 8 of no Lexapro after being on it 18 months. I was taking an 1/8th of a tablet every 48 hours at the end, basically just crumbs. I have a little of the woozy head today, but no zaps!

I swear this is the last time I ever take an SSRI or SSNRI!

Hope you feel better quickly! :)
Fibro dx 2004, RLS, raynauds
Ultracet, Robaxin, Neurontin, Lidoderm patch, Vit D, CoQ10, Mag


vestabula
Veteran Member


Date Joined Nov 2008
Total Posts : 2855
   Posted 4/12/2010 1:33 PM (GMT -7)   

Debbie...YES.  I weaned off Lexapro slowly and suffered from brain zaps... After doing some extensive research, I realize I should have not stopped cold turkey at 2.5 mgs but cut the pill in smaller and smaller pieces.  I still get 'zapped' them from time to time.  I am one person that will never take another SSRI.  The withdrawals are worse than the condition they are supposed to treat...but that's just my opinion.

Donna


fibro, menieres disease, RLS, anxiety disorder, disc compression, scoliosis, spinal stenosis TMJ  Meds: valium Advil


GSDgirl
Veteran Member


Date Joined Mar 2010
Total Posts : 1286
   Posted 4/12/2010 4:23 PM (GMT -7)   
Donna, how long ago did you stop lexapro that you are still getting zapped?

I did a treatment a few years ago that had zaps & shivers for 6 months to a year. Something I never want to repeat
Denise from Pittsburgh, Pa
 ***diagnosis: high blood pressure, gastritis, fibromyalgia, hepatitis (SVR),  disc problems in neck, depression, anxiety & stress
 ***meds: metroplol 25mg, zoloft 150mg, gabapentin 300mg 3x a day zocor , (soma, fioronal, tramadol, as needed).
 ***other supps: calcium, vit D 2,000-4,000 per, milk thistle, vit C &E, acidopholos (sp?),  
CO-Q 10,  flax or fish oil, ginsing, magnesium, B complex,
 


vestabula
Veteran Member


Date Joined Nov 2008
Total Posts : 2855
   Posted 4/12/2010 8:37 PM (GMT -7)   

Denise...I stopped Lexapro six months ago and am still suffering.  According to their own website, withdrawal symptoms especially brain zaps can last a year or more.  When I complained to my doctor about these symptoms, he told me that SSRI's 'are a lifetime committment.'  I would have NEVER gone on it in the first place if I had known that.

 

Donna


fibro, menieres disease, RLS, anxiety disorder, disc compression, scoliosis, spinal stenosis TMJ  Meds: valium Advil


Acheybody
Forum Moderator


Date Joined Nov 2008
Total Posts : 5930
   Posted 4/13/2010 12:52 PM (GMT -7)   
Thanks for all the replies.  Donna, sorry you're still getting zapped!  Doctors sure prescribe this stuff casually, don't they??  My husband has been on Lexapro for a couple of years.  He even says that he doesn't feel anxious or depressed anymore (never really did) but the doctor told him to take it, so he does.  He is one who never thinks about his body at all if he doesn't have to.  Must be nice to have that optionturn !
Debbie
 
  Diagnosed: Fibromyalgia, Meniere's, mild liver damage (why?), keloid scar tissue (from burn) on back, arthritis, lumbar disc damage, IBS, migraine
  Meds: Nortriptyline, Clonazepam, Darvocet as needed
multivitamins, l-lysine, probiotics, magnesium, malic acid, calcium + vit. D, vit. C
  Chiropractic adjustments


Statgeek
Veteran Member


Date Joined Jul 2008
Total Posts : 1495
   Posted 4/13/2010 10:35 PM (GMT -7)   
yes yes yes. It is horrible!!! It is like racing up and down a hilly street in the back seat while you read and inhale tar funes.

You have to cut it down very gently. I went on prozac for awhile when it was nearing the end of the prescription. That helped me wean off of the effexor. Then I weaned off the prozac. That was the only way I could do it and it did work.

Good luck!
Sue

mdtobe
New Member


Date Joined Apr 2010
Total Posts : 1
   Posted 4/29/2010 2:11 PM (GMT -7)   
I am so sorry you are feeling this way! I have been completely off Effexor for a week and a half now, and the first 8 days were HORRIBLE. I am still getting dizzy but the zaps have been gone since day 7. I am currently a 4th year medical student, so I was very trusting in taking the advice of a psychiatrist, but now I truly think these drugs can do a great amount of harm. This is not to say they do not benefit some, but my experience (any many others!) has been nothing short of hellish!

I was on Effexor for 6 months. Before I took this evil thing, I was fit and very busy....I had frequent anxiety and panic, and had not been successful on Wellbutrin. I was TOLD I must be depressed too, although I knew deep down I was only depressed because I was anxious all the time! I went from being a fitness model to a couch potato who gained 25lbs in 2 months! Not only this, but I was experiencing urges to cut myself during the first month of the pill (I never did). When I tried to workout, I would lose my breath and turn bright red. It progressed so far that on four occasions I experienced 1-2hrs of tachycardia where my heart beat out of control despite lying in bed and taking sedatives. I went from being the healthiest person I knew to being a patient worked up for heart problems! In addition, I discovered that my blood pressure had become borderline hypertensive! I also experienced such severe constipation that I had to use enemas to go at all, and had a belly so swollen it looked like I was 8 months pregnant. Finally, after 6 months of being MORE DEPRESSED than ever in my life, unable to fit any clothes, workout, poop, desire sex, or have any sort of a life, my doctor FINALLY decided maybe it actually was the drug causing these problems.

Just to let you all know, it CAN be done to get off of this pills. I am feeling like a new person already after only a week and a half. I still need to take Dramamine at times, or a small dose of Klonipin for anxiety, but overall my mood has been so much BETTER after getting the drug out of my system. My boyfriend says I am a new person again! To any of you who are considering quitting, but have read the terrible reports of withdrawal, you can do it, trust me! If I can help just one person get off of this drug (and they feel ready to do so!) I will be very happy. There are many natural alternatives and over the counter medications that can help ease the experience and help you lead a better life off of the pills!

These forums are so important, at my worst last week I was lying in bed being zapped and dizzy, but hearing other peoples experiences kept me going!

Acheybody
Forum Moderator


Date Joined Nov 2008
Total Posts : 5930
   Posted 4/29/2010 2:40 PM (GMT -7)   
Wow, thanks! I'm sorry you had to go through so much Hell. But you stuck it out, and now you're better - wonderful!

I agree that these forums can be lifesavers because you realize that somebody besides you knows what the heck you are talking about. And I'm sure you'll be a more compassionate doctor because of your experiences.
  Achey 
 
  Diagnosed: Fibromyalgia, Meniere's, elevated liver enzymes, skin grafting on back, arthritis, scoliosis,   lumbar disc damage, sciatica, IBS, migraine headaches, tachycardia, skin cancer surgeries on face
    Meds: Nortriptyline, Clonazepam, Darvocet as needed
    Multivitamins, l-lysine, probiotics, magnesium, malic acid, calcium + vit. D, vit. C
    Chiropractic adjustments
 
Be yourself.  Everyone else is already taken.


Sherrine
Forum Moderator


Date Joined Apr 2005
Total Posts : 17101
   Posted 4/29/2010 7:03 PM (GMT -7)   
My heart goes out to every one of you.  That has to be horrible but it shows what strong people you really are.  You can do anything if you put your mind to it.  You should all be so proud that you have stuck with your decision.  I think you will be happy you did.
 
Sherrine
Forum Moderator/ Fibromyalgia
***********************
Fibromyalgia, Crohn's Disease, Ostomy, Diabetes, Autoimmune Inner Ear Disease, Osteoporosis
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
God does not give us a spirit of fear, but of power and of love and of a sound mind.    2 Timothy 1:7

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