brain zaps with effexor

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My first time joining a forum..specially for medicine.  I was diagnosed with Post partum depression and tried a few different anti depressants.  The most recent has been effexor which I have been taking for about 2.5 years.  I started with 37.5 and now I am taking 150 mg once a day.  Effexor has helped me tremendously but the worst part is having to deal with the Brain Zaps.  Weeks go by and I don't have any issues but then there are some days where I feel awful.  Just tired, sleepy, irritable, head feels heavy and then I get the most annoying zaps throughout my body.  Is there anything that I can do to help with the brain zaps?

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14 Replies

  • Posted

    Hi jav

    are you taking ven consistently at roughly the same time of day?

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    • Posted

      I take it in the morning but I don't take it at the same time every morning.  I think I need to be careful about that.  thank you!cool

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    • Posted

      Taking Effexor sane time everyday.. I've been on it for 8 years and you miss a day or take late get

      Ready for a horrible day.. Brain zaps, stomachs

      Problems , disoriented .. Effexor saved my life so

      Way I look at it, I'd rather deal with side effects

      Than being dead...

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  • Posted

    I'm sorry to hear you are suffering with post partum. Set an alarm so you are taking the medicine at the same time each day, I was taking Effexor for 3 months and forgot the meds once and had the most awful brain zaps and other symptoms. This actually triggered me to come off them as this scared me, but if it is making a difference just now then just make sure you take them at the same time each day, it's to do with the effects of the meds wearing off quicker than other antidepressants.xxxx

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    • Posted

      Hi Jane, I really want to come off this medicine.  It has helped me with my depression but the side effects and the withdrawal like symptoms (even though I haven't missed the dose) are killer.  I like your idea of setting an alarm to take it at the same time every day.  Thank you!

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    • Posted

      Hey, I would reccomend you get off it as soon as is feasible for you as the longer it goes on the harder it is to come off, I don't want to worry you but the withdrawals are awful.taper down as slowly as you can, I took a week off work to cope but I'm guessing that's not feasible for you with a wee one but I'm sure you have a lot of support so just try and rest as much as is possible when you stop taking them. There is a thing called Prozac bridge I read about that may be beneficial to you.dont hesitate to message me for support or a chat it's not easy but good luck!xx

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  • Posted

    It does sound like tolerance has set in and you are experience withdrawal symptoms even though you haven't reduced or quit.  It is NOT a good idea to cold turkey or fast taper off this med.  People find they feel BETTER as they slow taper off.  Does your ven have little beads inside?  Count how many are inside and let us know what you find.

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    • Posted

      I was think that as well about the tolerance. But can you build tolerance in less than 6months!?! I don't have the courage to quit cold turkey. My doctor also mentioned adding prozac when weening off. I don't want to be dependent on medicine!! My capsules do have beads so I will count them and let you know. smile

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    • Posted

      Oh no do not quit cold turkey, maybe I worded that badly, I just meant get off them as soon as is feasible but taper down! Side effects coming off from 37.5 was bad enough. Yes I was only on them for a few months, your doc will explain about the half life of it as I don't have medical knowledge only personal experience. I have been off this drug for around a month and still have the odd brain zap,tinnitus and other effects. Same as you I do not wish to be dependant on anything. As other people suggested you can take beads Out the capsule, personally I didn't want to do it that slow I tapered to the lowest dose then stopped, but do what's right for you!x

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  • Posted

    It is absolutely not true that the longer you are on them the harder it is to come off. The longer you are on them the more time your brain has had to rewire properly. Your brain zaps should have faded after the first couple of months so something is obviously up. Either the dosage is just a tad bit too high or tad too low for your current needs. Your doctor should evaluate this. Nothing helps with brain zaps except getting the right dosage and taking it regularly. No skipping pills. No spacing them out too much. Roughly the same time of day. If you have covered all of that and still get zaps, you can try taking them at noon if you normally take them in the morning, and see how you fare. Or take them in the morning if you normally take them with lunch. Make sure you do not consume alcohol or any other medication that may interact - your doctor should know everything you take. Brain zaps can also be happenning if you are overtired. Check that out too. Don't worry about dependancy. This is a controlled substance, prescribed to you by a doctor for a condition for which you needed assistance. There is nothing wrong with this. Untreated or under-treated post-partum can wreak havoc on your life. And your relationship with your child... It is really important to follow through, as long as needed and then some. Make sure you are completely symptom-free for at least a few months before beginning to very gradually taper off. Therapy for an acute case of post-partum depression rarely lasts less than 2 years. And judging by my experience, 2 years was just taking the edge off. Post-partum I personally needed a total of 8 years to get to the right dosage, complete a nice long maintenance therapy and taper off - the latter alone lasted 2 years!!! I had zero probms getting off the drug after being on it for 8 years (and 4 years prior to that at a different dosage so shall we say 12 years? biggrin. We dropped by quarter doses every 3-9 months to give you an idea of how slow I mean! smile Take-your-time! Best of luck.

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    • Posted

      I am so glad I joined this forum. My husband is very supportive but he he really doesn't know how this medicine makes me feel at times. So relieved to have found people going through similar challenges.

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  • Posted

    When is the last time you were leveled on the drug?  I found I had some of these symptoms including irritability, tiredness and brain fog when my body became used to the dosage.  I was only at 37.5 at the time, now I'm at 75mg and I've been there for a couple months and I feel good.

    I take mine at exactly the same time every day and this could be part of the problem.  Set an alarm so you don't forget .  For me, taking it when my alarm goes off in the morning seems the best.

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