Posted 3/24/2007 6:30 AM (GMT -7)
Well, I am being treated for chronic depression. For about five years I was on Zoloft @200 mg. a day. about a month ago, I went through a "poop out" on that regimen and crashed really hard. I felt so bad I nearly checked myself into the hospital, although I had no health insurance at the time. To address the fact that the Zoloft had stopped working, my doctor started me on Effexor. She is gradually reducing my Zoloft and increasing my Effexor. I am now down to 100 milligrams of Zoloft per day, and up to 75 milligrams of Effexor per day.

There are lawsuits for Effexor? This I did not know. That is kinda scary. Now I am too afraid to go look at any information. What's done is done, I guess.

And I ain't sleepin' nekkid on rubber sheets, either. Ick!

Posted 3/24/2007 6:37 AM (GMT -7)
I take effexor myself and dread the day I have to stop taking it. I didnt really have many side effects when I started the med and am praying that I will be ok when I stop taking it. I have to say that it has really helped me though and I couldn't have gotten better without it. Victoria x Moderator ~ Depression and Anxiety Forum Xx Sometimes we all have to go a little crazy just to stay sane xX
Posted 3/24/2007 11:55 AM (GMT -7)
Hi Zinnia & Victoria,
I'm truly not trying to scare anyone.  I just think that we should all be more informed as to what we are being given by these docs!  Like I said they get in these samples and just hand them out freely without the docs even researching the drug.  I was desperate for relief when I started them as well and felt immediate relief and was thankful for that. And I've been on them for 6 months.  Started getting the shocks about 3 weeks ago and it all has to do (for me anyway) with the light change having the condition Seasonal Effective Disorder (S.A.D.).  If it makes you feel any better...........I think the worst of the withdrawal has passed yeah   ~I pray~   And I think it could have been made easier on me if I had a doc that understood what I was going through.  She had no clue!  The day I found this site I was also ready to bring myself to the hospital.  And trust me I don't go to a hospital unless I'm dragged there. But I stuck it out. Maybe wasn't the smartest thing.  A co-worker of my husband was on this only a short time and when he withdrew from it he did have to go to the hospital!  They gave him ativan to help him cope with the symptoms.
So hang in there ladies!  We all work differently when we take these meds.  You may not have any problems at all.  I just wanted to share in the hopes that you become more informed.  We have to take control of our well being~no one else will cool
Zinnia...........................don't blame you on the rubber sheets  LOL  But invest in a good fan.  My poor hubby has been dealing with me turning the air down to 72 at night  LOL  I don't know where everyone is from but turning air down that low in Florida is cold to us. Keep in touch.  And I'll check in with progress reports, K?  ~God Bless~  Here's to healthy minds and bodies yeah


Posted 3/24/2007 1:38 PM (GMT -7)
Catwhisperer, I'm confused. Why are you going off the Effexor? Was that on your doctor's advice, or just by yourself? Was the Effexor not working?

More importantly, are you a real-life catwhisperer? If so, I need to talk to you about some feral cats of mine.

Posted 3/24/2007 9:45 PM (GMT -7)
Hi Zinnia,
I am going off because I started to get "zapped" and that is one of the warning signs to immediately tell your doctor.  Are you familiar with Seasonal Effective Disorder (S.A.D.)?  I only need treatment during the months that we have less light.  It is very debilitating for me to the point I can't function, all I want to do is sleep, cry and mope around.  My thoughts get confused, it's a big old mess! eyes   I'm a Realtor and I NEED my energy and when the SAD hits I can't conjure up enough to get out of bed.  You would have to read up on it to understand it.  For some it's called the winter blues and there are different degrees of "winter blues" my luck is I have about the worst kind you can have.  I also suffer from depression but seem to manage that, also Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD).  I hope that helps you understand it a little better?? tongue
about the catwhisperer.....I have been called that for many years by friends and my hubby because of the deep connection I have with kitties.  I have adopted some of the most broken spirited, damaged little creatures and nurtured them to a different animal.  So I guess that would be a catwhisperer?  Where are the feral cats coming from?  Can anyone have them spayed/neutered?  Many places will do it for free. Let me know a little more about the story, K?  You can always e mail @ my yahoo address too  scool   
Take care,


Posted 3/25/2007 2:39 PM (GMT -7)
I have not checked in in quite a while.
I don't have a chance to check in, but hope everone is at least doing OK.
I joined this thread as I trying very hard to get off Effexor.
Apparently I am not alone in my misery.
I have been tapering off of Effexor.

Cut back from 75mg to 37.5mg around Jan. 20

Cut back from 37.5 mg everyday to 37.5mg every other day on March 8.

Doc told me do on and off for 12 days or so.

Well I am having a real tough time.

I've got those darn "brain shivers" that are driving me bonkers.
I'm going to try and tough it out and get off of this stuff.
I will try and report my progress.
Let's all try and hang in there.!
That was a week or so ago.
I am still having problems, but they are les severe.
I only missed one day of work.
Having a bit of a problem concentrating.
I have been taking fish oil capsules and trying to drink as much water as possible.
Are there any other nice tips on any type of OTC or even Rx that folks have used to help along this wonderful journey.

Post Edited (tase2) : 3/25/2007 4:18:31 PM (GMT-6)

Posted 3/25/2007 5:16 PM (GMT -7)
Hi Catwhisperer,
I would wheen off slower.  I tried getting off of Paxil a few years back and threw up every hour.  I had to stay in bed.  Finally I took a little more and wheened off slower.  I read somewhere that Effexor is what that Andrea Yates was on and she stopped taking it.  (might not be true but I read it somewhere on the internet.) I'm not trying to scare you just let you know to please Go off this VERY VERY SLOW.
I have had so many problems with SSRIs that I quite trying them.  I was always worried Id be stuck somewhere in an emergency situation and not be able to get to my meds.  Scared me so much because I would get those headaches, electric shocks and other weird crazy thinking if I missed a dose. 
Days ago I just started taking L-Tryptophan from a health food store.  (amino acid in turkey meat)  Miraculously my depression has lifted and my aches and pains are not nearly as bad.  No side effects so far at all.  I have had depression for years since I was a little girl.  Terrible diablitating (spelling?) depression and pain all over.  (post tramatic stress disorder as well)  These last 7 years it was getting so much worse.  I have been frantically trying to find somethng to help me.  Finally a doctor I listen to on the excellent doctor, suggested to a caller to use L-Tryptophan for depression.  I ran out and bought some and felt immediate results.  It is weird because I don't know how else to feel besides depressed.  And now I feel like weird feeling 'normal'  it is foreign to me.  But I love it.
Posted 3/25/2007 5:39 PM (GMT -7)
I went through that Effexor he11 a few years ago. Only thing that helped me was valium... i had a scrip left over... doc wouldn't wean me off of it and wanted to keep me on Effexor when it was doing me no good.

First two weeks I wanted to go into the hospital the withdrawl was that bad... the Valium was the only thing that helped me get through the first few weeks. After that it wasn't AS bad, I could deal without meds, but I didn't feel "normal" again for 2-3 months after.

Just hang in there... yes the withdrawl from Effexor is he11, but you'll feel so much better being off of it and free from it.

btw, I too signed the petition (I'm guessing you're talking about the one on


I have chronic fatigue syndrome, anxiety (at this current moment), and some minor abdominal pain which still hasn't been figured out yet... need a break from all the testing ;)


CFS: Provigil 200mg, once a day
Anxiety: Lorazepam .5 or 1mg 3xs a day or as needed

Posted 3/25/2007 10:38 PM (GMT -7)
Wow! Hi everyone, it's nice to know I'm not alone but yet I'm sorry anyone else is going through this hell. It's late so I can't respond like I would like too so I will right tomorrow back to everyone. I'm feeling better over this wknd. Went to the beach today it was 86! That helps my spirit and soul to rejuvinate in the sun, surf and sand. Catch up with all of you soon. Hang in there and God Bless Catwhisperer58

Posted 3/26/2007 4:03 AM (GMT -7)
Is it like this for everyone trying to come off effexor????? I am not planning on doing so for quite a while but am pretty scared Victoria x Moderator ~ Depression and Anxiety Forum Xx Sometimes we all have to go a little crazy just to stay sane xX
Posted 3/26/2007 6:05 AM (GMT -7)
Hi Victoria
It appears as though it this bad for just about everyone. Of course anyone who did not have a problem would more than likely not be posting to a forum like this, so we can't be sure.
My wife had withdrawal hell for a couple of days REAL BAD, but she transferred immediately onto Lexapro. The transition lessened the effect of the withdrawal.
I am still waiting to hear a success story of someone who survived this hell.
BTW-This morning I feel much better. As we know this can change by the time I finish typing this, but so far so good.
Posted 3/26/2007 7:39 AM (GMT -7)

Hey guys, I have been taking antidepressants for well over 15 yrs and I just have to say here that the side effects mentioned here in this thread is common for most all of them.  I have quit taking several antid's both cold turkey and weaning and either way have suffered severe side effects from doing so.  It does usually take 4-6 weeks for the medications to fully leave your body, just as it takes them to enter your body.  However, I am now on Effexor Xr and have heard (rumors) that it does have some of the worst side effects...I haven’t stopped taking it so I don’t know and can’t attest to that.

catwhisperer, It sounds like you had a physician who didn’t do you and your health justice and for that I am very sorry.  But in the psychiatric field there are many doctors who are knowledgeable regarding these medications and put their patience’s health first and foremost.  I have worked in the mental health field for many years and worked closely with psychiatrists not to mention that I am working toward getting my training in this area also.  I just think it is irresponsible to make a blanket statement as you have in your posts.  This is my opinion only....

This medication has helped a lot of people and given them their lives back when they would of just given up and died. Everyone wants to talk of the negatives of Effexor Xr and this petition they have on-line…big deal! How about looking up every other antidepressant that is on the market now and see the negative side effects they have. There is no perfect medication. No perfect cure for depression.


Co~Mod: Depression
Moderator: Heart & Cardiovascular Disease

Posted 3/26/2007 8:00 AM (GMT -7)

Effexor is very good at doing what it is intended for. It was verry effective in combonation with Wellbutrin for me.

The reason I am getting off of it is because I was tested for proved positive for low testosterone levels.

I have been on testosterone treatment for that for 6 months or so with very little positive results.
The endo, psych doc, and I agreed that the antidep totally act to counteract any positive results of the testos treatment. One helps to keep you mellow, while the other is trying to increase energy...

I will stick out this withdrawal and give the testosterone treatment a little longer to see if it helps.

My goal was to get off all antidep meds, but after these last 2 weeks I am hesitant to try and quit Wellbutrin anytime soon.

We all agreed to give this process as much time as it takes. So if I wait another 6 months or more to start to wean off of Wellbutrin so be it.

For the immediate future I just want all this Effexor out of my system.

My gut feeling is that I will end up back on some type of antidepressant/antianxiety med in the future, but for now I will stick to my gameplan.

Sorry to ramble, I now return you back to you regularly scheduled thread. tongue






Posted 3/26/2007 8:24 AM (GMT -7)
Tase, I am glad to hear that your working closely with your doctor while coming off your Effexor dosage.  Still being on Wellbutrin may help some with any lingering depressive symptoms that you may incounter.  Going off antidepressant's is most difficult and we often do end up feeling like crap for many weeks.  Hang in there and know we are here for you... :-)

Co~Mod: Depression
Moderator: Heart & Cardiovascular Disease

Posted 3/26/2007 8:47 AM (GMT -7)
Thanks Elisha
Actually my pdoc had a very cavalier attitude about this withdrawal. He kind of towed the company line. That has irked me some.
Also since I never diagnosed with major depression, he kind of lets me do whatever I want. I do my research and tell him whatI would like to do, and he just nods, writes the script and says see you in 3 months.
The last recommendation he made was to put me on 600mg of Wellbutrin confused   Well that didn't go very well.
Anyway, I'm sure if I suggested something he did not approve of he would let me know. He is a nice guy, but I may look for a new pdoc in the future if need be.
I should say that I know if I have a serious problem, he would see me in a minutes notice. I think he sees me as kind of a breath of fresh air over some of the patients he has to see.
I am still feeling ok today so far.
Posted 3/26/2007 9:12 AM (GMT -7)
els I just think it is irresponsible to make a blanket statement as you have in your posts.  This is my opinion only.... eyes
ELS....very confused by this statement????  What "blanket" statement did I supposedly make that was so irresponsible?  I know there are wonderful docs out there I have had my share over my lifetime.  But I have also come across more bad than good and that is my opinion.  I was only stating what I have been going through.  I thought that is what this forum was for?  Too speak freely about our experiences and support from people experiencing the same?  I can't apologize for the nightmare I have been going through.  And I am very aware of the terrible side effects of many other drugs, I have had first hand experience with, busbar, prilosec, Elivil and several others. So please don't stand in judgement of me for speaking of my experiences. You don't know me or what my life has been about.  My Dad (God rest his soul) always said "IF you can't say something nice, don't say nothing at all"  nono           Thanks


Posted 3/26/2007 11:57 AM (GMT -7)
I'm going through the Effexor withdrawal too but it hasn't been too bad. I thought it would be worse to be honest after reading here. I was expecting withdrawal effects, and that's why I waited to be on sick leave. I can sleep when I need to, relax when I want to, and just do things at my own pace. I keep busy too and I think that helps. I have pain but then I also suffer from FMS and with the withdrawal symptoms I find my pain level is higher but I'm managing. As you've all said, it's different for everybody. I, so far, think I've been pretty lucky, so there are better stories out there, but as I said, I think mentally I was prepared for the withdrawal symptoms. I knew it wouldn't be a walk in the park so I'm rolling with the punches as best I can. The one thing I'm finding most difficult is having to deal with the anger again. The Effexor has kept me calm and helped me deal with things. Now that I'm down to a 75mg dose/daily, I'm noticing I'm more uptight and more prone to get upset. I will be going back on an anti-depressant. I've been on effexor for about 4 years, or so. It just didn't seem to be working anymore so I'm going to be trying something new. But had to go through the withdrawal first. By my game plan, I'll be off by early next week and I see my doctor Tuesday so hopefully I'll be starting my new regime soon. Good luck to the rest of you.

 It would be easier to tell people I have cancer than it is to tell them I am severely depressed.....

Posted 3/26/2007 1:10 PM (GMT -7)
Congrats slowlygoingcrazy :-)
How much sick time do you have?
I don't want to put a damper on your good feelings, and really pray they continue all the way through.
I just want you to be realistic. If you read closely on this and other forums, the problems start one you enter the 37.5mg zone.
I too thought this wasn't going to be so bad, and I really really really am not trying to throw negativity at you, but the hellish ride I am still on started at 37.5/day to 37.5/every other day and then off. I started cutting back on Jan 20 and rereading my post above I realize I did not have the problem until I started going every other day. I did that for approx 2 weeks. But when the stopage actually took place, thats when I started to feel awful.
I just wanted you to be aware, and if you still have sick time to wait until you stop to use it.
It's been 1 week and 1 day, and I am indeed starting to feel less effects. I am praying there is a light at the end of the tunnel.
I have vowed to myself, that when/if I really start to feel OK that I would post my happy results, as it appears we never hear from folks more than once or twice.
We will be here for you and with you.
I hope you can tell us nothing but continued good news and make me eat my words (believe me they will taste good) and I will have obtained my goal of trying to find a success story.
Keep us posted
Posted 3/26/2007 8:00 PM (GMT -7)
Hi Tase & all, 
Tase I hope you continued freedom from the withdrawal from Effexor.  I was only on 150mg and have been going through a 4 week regiment to wean off the drug.  Starting Wednesday I will begin 37 1/2 mg every 3rd day and then off. I too intend to hang around to talk to all of you and help from my "personal" experience and when you need to talk to someone.  Don't go it alone, if it gets bad please call your Dr..  If She/he won't listen go to the ER if you are financially able too or a clinic.  As I stated in one of my earlier posts, a buddy of my Husband was on Effexor XR for only a few months and he landed in the hospital because he could not take the withdrawal symptoms he was experiencing.  They put him on Ativan to get him over the hump while it left his system. 
I had a pretty good weekend, but today I was getting "cattle prodded" in good doses!! sad
My lips and teeth go numb, my limbs jerk independently and a couple of time I have jumped up in bed from nightmares. Especially of my Mom who is in the end stages of Alzheimer's. 
You may be the fortunate one who has no problems and I hope that is the case. But again, don't be afraid to ask for help or let us know if you need help.  There was a post, and I don't remember from whom, but it is a factual statement that the women who drowned her 5  children in the tub was on effexor along with another anti d.  I found it when doing a search for anti d lawsuits.  I care about people and be here for you as a survivor of this nightmare called Effexor.  I DON'T STAND IN JUDGEMENT OF PEOPLE only try to help.  God Bless cool


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