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Thanks for every input here. About 6 weeks ago I started having increased back pain from an injury of 3 months ago. X-rays, MRI'S, lead my neurologist to request a myelogram (spinal tap) in order to construct a surgical plan for removing bone spurs in my neck that are impinging on my spinal cord. The condition is serious and not uncommon for folks over 60, I'm 66, because the spinal cord is delicate and within the next few years I would be walking or shuffeling and bent over. A larger concern is that a minor fall or auto accicent could result in death or total paralysis. The myelogram dye requires minimum of 72 hour free of Effexor XR. No problem, after 10 years, I have been wanting to drop it for the last few years. I had read the Pfizer info indicating one should not quit abruptly, and my GP recommended reduction schedule from 37.5 X 3 daily, to X 2 daily for "a week or so" then X 1 for a "week or so" and then stop. You may have some residual side effects, but you'll be fine.
I have a very high tolerance to pain and only used the occasional Tylenol Extra Strength for my back pain. For those of you still reading, this is where my life changed.
[u]Week 1 of 2 caps X 37.5 daily.[/u]
No noticable difference until day 3, and I started to feel a bit more alert but light-headed. Then occasional dizziness but my back pain was more distracting, and I caught a cold...first in 2 years.
[u]Week 2 of 1 cap X 37.5 daily[/u]
Hate colds, but not any real intense WD symptoms except the dizziness. This is where my bride started to notice that I was not myself. A bit grouchy, short, and ill-tempered. I thought it was more the cold, which was not a bad cold except for the cough.
[u]Week 3 No more Effexor[/u]
Day 2 was starting to get just a little ugly. Day 3, the first "zinger" was alarming as was the first "visual shift." I was looking at my work bench and it seemed to move about a foot to the right, INSTANTLY and I had the electric zap in my head. I built that bench and spent 15 years working at it and not once did it ever do that. Maybe I should do a little research on some of this via Google. Probably wouldn't find anything on shifting work benches, so looked at WD from Effexor and that's when the fear started. You guys said this could go on for a long time!
That week got worse and worse. I could not get a myelogram with a cough, and that puts a lot on hold, and I can't start Effexor again because I don't want to go through this again. Reschedule the myelogram and try to figure out what is happening to me.
[u]Week 5 no Effexor[/u]
I'm begging my bride to go see the kids for a while because I feel CRAZY. I'm afraid she may call some very kind folks in white to take me for a 30 day visit to some institution. Had my myelogram 3 days ago and it went very well. The Radiology Nurse and Radiologist said they have heard some ugly stories from patients who have gone through the WD from Effexor, but most do fine in a month or so. That gives me a lot of hope, because they are the only medical professionals to whom I have spoken, that have ever heard of Effexor WD problems. Called my cousin, a pharmacist, and she said "Good luck and God bless you Cuz! It's worse than heroin WD, but worth it on the other side."
Anybody still there?
My question: When does it become worth it? At 66 years old and in need of neck/back surgery, I will NEVER put another Effexor in my mouth again. If my GP gently recommends that I try going back to 37.5 just for a while, I will not be responsible for my actions or his health.
My words have reached my limit, so thank you for being here!
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