AVOID EFFEXOR UNLESS THERE IS NO OTHER CHOICE!!!!!
Do a google search on Effexor side effects and Effexor withdrawal.
At low levels effexor effects the seritonin in your brain, but at higher levels it also effects the norepinephrin. It can give some very very nasty side effects while taking it. I became afraid to leave my house, afraid to be in a group of people, afraid of many things. I also had "brain shivers" where my brain literally felt like it kept moving when I turned my head after my skull had stopped. My husband said I became a very different person.
While taking effexor it is VERY important to know that you can have withdrawal if you are even 30 minutes late with the next dose. 30 MINUTES. It has such a short half-life that your body goes into withdrawal that quickly.
And the withdrawal is U.G.L.Y. . Look it up online, you will find more there than I can tell you.
If you are taking effexor and want to stop, there is a way to reduce the withdrawal symptoms. Very few docs know about it, but it WORKS. Prozac (fluoxetine) is a similar medicine. If you are not going on to another SSRI/SNRI med, then take 1 prozac tablet or capsule of just 20 mgs once a week. It substantially reduces the withdrawal symptoms. Prozac stays in your body for a much longer time, so you can take a small dose and have it offset the withdrawal symptoms.
Both my son and I were VERY suicidal when stopping effexor, until I read about htis. I asked my doc, who had no clue but said that since both my son and I had taken prozac before it wasn't any big deal. My son's doc actually sent me to the site about withdrawal and when I suggested the prozac he said OK. He was surprised at how much it helped. He started using it with other patients.
There are a LOT of other meds in this category. I highly recommen trying several of them before you try effexor. To me, it was a very scary drug.
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