Effexor XR withdrawal thread.
Please continue posting within this thread.
I am now on day 4 being Effexor free.
I was on 150, then 75 for 2 months, then 37.5 for a month.
I went out of town last weekend and forgot the 37.5 after 2 weeks of taking them.
I decided then that now is as good as any to stop.
Day 1 was fine.
Day 2 was HORRIBLE. Sickness, Brain Zaps, dizziness, lightheaded verdigo. Thank goodness for Emetrol.
Day 3 was a little better. Didn't go to work and tried to stay laying down most of the day. Only symptons were brain zaps, and a little dizziness. And also if I saw something sad on the news my eyes would tear up and that never happens.
I bought some Omega 3 Fish Oil, St. John's Wort, Vitamin B complex, and a multi vitamin.
Today (Day4) is a little better. The Omega 3 seems to be helping the brain zaps a little.
I will update everyone on Day 5.
I am not new to Effexor....and am not new to trying to quit. I was prescribed Effexor XR 8 years ago when dealing with a life altering illness, and I have to say Effexor DID get me through the fear and anxiety.
I am physically healthy now, and for all intents and purposes, have no need to take this medication, but the sides have kept me on it YEARS longer than I really needed an antidepressant. But the withdrawal and easy access to the medication (RX benefits) kept me taking it like a good patient....
Well, things in my life changed, and one of the biggest was losing my RX benefits. Do you all know what an RX of Effexor XR 225 mg daily costs to the consumer??? Well, I will tell you----About $400!!!!!!
I decided to quit....quite frankly because I HAD to as I couldn't afford it, and all the docs who gave out samples have been depleted.
I am in week 3 of going cold turkey...yes, I did say cold turkey.
All I can say now is that I am still alive, still breathing, and every day is a new adventure in sides! But....please.....there is hope...I am feeling better every day! And I know that the bad days are only due to this toxin leaving my body. And I am bound and determined NOT to give one more penny to the Wyeth Corporation for manufacturing this legalized poison.
To anyone who is going through withdrawal, I suggest taking something to sleep at night, and make yourself as comfortable as possible while you are going through this. Alcohol is like adding kersosene to a fire, so please don't do that (been there, done that). Benadryl at night helps to sleep and also helps with the itching...(I have clawed myself raw at times)....Xanax helps. Don't be afraid to ask for it....Sleep as much as you can through the bad nights....just don't take another pill!!!!!
Today I woke up with brain zaps and tingling lips.....and I thought I was over that part! But...I do know, these will go away and tomorrow will be better.
Bless you all in our fight to win our battle with Effexor......
Again....just make yourself as comfortable as possible while your body detoxifies. I, myself, will never, ever, ever, ever take another AD.
I will check back into this site in about 2 weeks.....
I will get through this and so will you all...just please don't give in and take another capsule, or even granules! You can't win if you do.
I have been reading ALL the posts from the beginning to now about Effexor XR withdrawal, and some, well, they were so brutally honest, it made me laugh....(a good thing)
There was one post who claimed the brain zaps were like the "Ah Ah Ah, Ch Ch Ch" sound from the Friday the 13th movies! I laughed so hard....I TOTALLY agree! I told my friends that brain zaps are like a broom inside the back of my eyeballs, swishing back and forth!
I really think this medication should be prescribed ONLY for short term use, NOT as a crutch to lug around your neck the rest of your life. If doctors knew the long term c**p, maybe they would take you off it when your life (anxiety, panic disorders) go away......But DON'T keep prescribing them after that passes! I blame my doc for that.
another day has gone by and today I feel "normal"?.....See, I really don't even know what normal is any more! But at least I don't have the major sides.....
Hang in there everyone and take a moment and read all the posts....very informative and in one case that I know for sure, can give you a little laugh!
Peace and good luck
I was on Effexor for over 5 years to treat symptoms of postpartum nd anxiety. I tried to quit for years but without succes; like all of you, the side effect were horrible and cost me a few jobs.
I recently had a Pneumonia, I was soooo sick out of my mind with the chill and the fever that I couldn't even my self to take the effexor. I was gobbling Ibuprofen and thylenol like no tomorrow so I couldn't get myself to take them. I also thought to myself, I'm already sick out of my mind, my head, my body and everything else can't possibly hurt anymore than it already is. I'm home in bed so now is the time. I was on 75mg one day and 37.5 the other for the past year or so; I had tried to go down to 37.5mg in the past but always ended up sick, depresse, and like someone was pushing a popsicle in one of my eye socket! :-(
Well although I find myself ready to cry at the drop of a hat while watching Bambi or Nancy Grace, I've been free since December 7th,2008!!! Almost 5 weeks. I never never thought it could be done.
I read someone mentioning Benydryl and I can see it being effective.
I was given some strong caugh medication for the Pneumonia, it made me very spleepy. Probably help me live through..... or sleep through the nasty night terror, the popsicle like feelig in my eye sockets, etc.......
I'm trying to talk myself out of the occassional uncontrollable need to cry over little things. I'm happy I got to this stage but I'm praying I'm over the worst part. It can be a bit embarrasing to start tearing up each time someone tells you about something on the news etc....
I have been a bit emotional and over sensitive with Hubby but hopefully it is one of the symptoms and will balance it self out.
If I can manage to lose half of the weight I put on taking this nasty bill, maybe I will start feeling better about myself too.
Hope this helps some and if you have been off of it for more then a month and have some insite on the emotional symptoms please let us know.
It can be done;)
I have NEVER been depressed or diagnosed with any form of anxiety disorder, but I trusted (blindly) that my doctor knew best. It never occurred to me that there would be long term problems with this medication.
Okay, so after 6 years, I had was ready to seriously date again. The pain of the divorce was severe, so I wasn't in a hurry to add that type of drama back in to my now "calm" life. Anyway, I was overwhelmed with emotions! I felt anxiety that I had never experienced before and didn't feel in control of my emotions at all! I went to discuss it with the doctor and he increased my Effexor dosage to 150 mg. Of course, the anxiety subsided a LOT; however it was really only caused by my not having ever dealt with the emotions of my divorce. Mind you, the divorce was at the exact same time of my mother's death, so I guess I blocked it all out.
Anyway, I felt a rush of emotions, which I NOW know was perfectly normal and should have been dealt with versus medicated away! This is yet another example of blindly following a doctor without demanding ALL of the pros and cons!
For several years, I have tried to escape the clutches of this horrible drug. Before reading about the withdrawal symptoms, I would just stop cold turkey. That was NEVER a good idea and the side effects caused me to get right back on it. I even had a doctor lower my dosage previously from 150 back down to 75, but the side effects were too much to bear and I ended up going back up to the 150 mg. Isn't it amazing how you can become depressed just trying to STOP taking a medication for depression EVEN when you weren't depressed to begin with? Geeze.... how have they gotten away with still making this medication?
Long story short, I want to get pregnant and do NOT want this medication in my life or body! I got my ob/gyn to help me begin lowering the dosage. I did 75 mg for 2 months and then last month went to the 37.5 mg. I have now been totally off of the pills for 2-1/2 days and am experiencing uncomfortable side effects. Here is what I have been experiencing...
Fuzzy headed, clouded thinking, which makes it difficult to type. My fingers won't do what my brain is telling them to do. It's very frustrating! Slight dizziness, but not full-fledged vertigo yet; although I feel like it is getting worse not better, appetite increase, which started immediately after dropping from 150 to 75mg and has been getting progressively worse. The brain shocks aren't bad anymore; however the body ones are. I get shooting needle like pains in my arms, hands, legs and feet. For about 2 weeks, I stayed in the bathroom with horrible diarrhea and abdominal cramps. I still have severe stomach bloating, which caused me to take numerous pregnancy tests, but all are negative. You'd swear that I was pregnant though. I also have bouts of nausea nearly every day. I am exhausted, no matter how much I sleep. I have chest pains sporadically, which make me VERY nervous! I also have a weird symptom and I hope that someone can tell me if they have experienced it. I feel that I have to struggle to breathe. I have slight nasal congestion, but I feel almost like I just "forget" to breathe and then have to take a deep breath to feel normal again. I don't know if it is just very shallow breathing or if I literally don't breathe at times. It's making me crazy. Also, my sense of smell is making me truly think that I am nuts! It is so acute that I can smell things that nobody else can smell. This causes not only nauses, but I literally can't be in some places due to it. I actually had to get rid of my couch, which is only 1 year old, due to smell that was causing me to not even be able to stay in the same room with it. I SWORE it was the couch, so my husband spend $2300 on a new sectional and guess what...I still smell it! Talk about feeling nuts! God love him, he is so understanding and patient with me!
Lastly, my vision has been impaired ever since I got on this medication. It's getting fuzzier since coming off of it though. I really hope this isn't long term damage! My memory has been extremely adversely effected since beginning this medication and it appears that may be permanent, so I am concerned about the vision changes too!
I also have gained a lot of weight. I gained a lot when I first got on this c**p and then when the dosage went up to 150 mg, I initially lost 40 pounds, but that was with exercise and diet also, so I don't know if the meds effected it or not. Since then, I gained back the 40 and a bit extra. Since lowering my dosages, I have gained like 15 more pounds and am miserable. I had HIGH hopes of losing weight with coming off of the meds, since I gained so much being on them. I guess that just won't be the case. That's depressing all by itself!
Overall, I just want to feel normal again, if I can ever determine what "normal" actually is. I also think someone should be held accountable for this horrible medication and what it does to you! In the nearly 11 years that I have taken this stuff, NO doctor has ever told me about the horrible effects of it. What worse is that they all continue to prescribe it without any attempt to help you get off of it. I had to TELL my doctor that I wanted off or nothing would have been done. Even now, I could call ANY of my doctors and they would quickly re-prescribe whatever dosage I asked for and THAT is frightening! Wyeth should be VERY accountable for this and the long term damage that it has caused its users.
There are 2 reasons that I posted here today. One is to find out if anyone can help me to figure out how long the side effects last and if the memory and vision issues will be permanent, as well as if the weight issue is permanent too.
Secondly, I wanted to use this as a WARNING to anyone who is even thinking about taking this drug. You may think it solves all of your problems, but that is short term. The long term is damage and misery that you can't even imagine! Don't start it! Educate yourself and find another medication or resource to help you! This is basically addictive stuff!!!
Oh a lighter note, the symptoms aren't as bad as I expected, since coming completely off of it. They are bad, don't get me wrong, but they are getting a bit better with each passing day! My commitment is to having a child and a NORMAL life; therefore no matter how bad it gets, I will NOT take one more granule of this medication!!
Just Before New Years I decided to start weaning off using the granule method, I emptied 30 unused 75mg capsules into a container and started sprinkling some into yogurt or some other food every day (swallow the granules, do not chew them if possible as they are very bitter). For me this was not an exact science, I was eyeballing it and able to reduce the granules gradually this way.
Now I'm down to about 12 granules and it is a lot more exact. I went from 15 granules down to 10 thinking I was almost done, but it was too sharp a drop and I didn't feel well. I'll probably reduce by 3 every 3-4 days, or depending how i feel.
I have 1 question, for the past couple of weeks I have had extremely very dry nasal congestion, resistant to claritin-d and any of those types of decongestants. It just occured to me that perhaps the congestion is a part of the effexor reduction/withdrawal. Does anyone else think that may be the case?
PLEASE, if any of you has experienced vision related problems taking and/or withdrawing from Effexor, would you kindly let me know how you have fared. I sure do appreciate it.
The past week has been terrible for me. I don't want to be around anyone as I say mean things...and it breaks my heart as this is not me. My parents tell me that I am no longer in Zombie state which is good. Please pray for me as I continue to struggle with the withdrawal. Tonight my husband suggested I check myself into a christian mental hospital which absolutely terrifies me cuz they will just give me other drugs and I don't want that.
Can anyone shed some light at the end of my tunnel and tell me what the average withdrawal time period is? I am so tired of the hot and cold flashes, brain shivers, hearing loss and just plain being miserable. Thanks for your advice and support. My heart has gone out to all who posted here when this site first began. Wyeth really needs to take this medication off the market.