8 Replies

  • Posted

    I was told to only take it in the morning.  I took it at night a couple of times because I forgot to take it earlier and barely slept a wink.  Before you get to far into taking this medication, please check out the other threads regarding this medication.  It has been very bad news for hundreds of people that I know of personally.  There are probably lots more blogs and forums out there with more horror stories.  I was on it for 13 years, which was way too long.  After asking my doctor to get me off it.  I realized that I had been in a sort of mental fog for the previous 5 years or so.  It was a very insidious drug that has left some lasting side effects, even after being off it for 5 months.  Do your research regarding any psych. medication being offered you.  Read the patient reviews and decide for yourself if you want to try it.  Don't take you doctor's word for it.  The pharmaceudical companies push doctors to give out SSRI's like candy, but only about 30% of patients actually need their seratonin increased.  Unfortunately, there is currently no way to measure the levels of all these pych chemicals in a living person.  So doctors use us as guinea pigs and we suffer the consequences. Just be careful and be aware of what you're putting into your body.  Just like you read the labels on food you eat, you have to be pro-active regarding your medication.

    It helped me for quite awhile, and I wish you luck.  Please take care of your mind and body as you only get one set.

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    • Posted

      Patti, I have an almost identicle story as yours, was on Effexor for almost 13 years but was spellbound as to how poorly I was doing on it. What other symptoms did you have?  I have a truly horrible memory because of this drug - I can't remember details of my life, like I was never there!  I also ground my teeth so badly that I have major bone loss in my jaw, receeded gums.  I also drop things all the time, have trouble controlling picking things up, and my hand strength is poor.  I have sprained my ankles so many times that I have no ligaments left, and I think this was because I wasn't in touch with the ground when walking due to this drug. I also stumble a lot.  I have hand twitches, became a skin picker to the extreme, never slept Ivery well, not to mention the sexual side effects!  Mystery aches, too. I have trouble being still - akathesia?  Lots of hand clenching.  Always fidgeting and shifting around, shifting my weight when standing.  I know there's more, just can't remember as usual!

      My recommendation to anyone considering these drugs is to look into alternatives like CBT and meditation first; only use these as a last resort!  

      I also had a terrible attempt at getting off last year, 10 months of protracted withdrawal before I gave up and went back on.  I didn't realize it was withdrawal because it took awhile to ramp up, and I thought the early symptoms were due to menopause!  I saw no fewer than five health care providers during this time and not a one of them suspected withdrawal even though they knew I had gone off recently!

      I am now doing a very slow taper that will likely take a couple of years  It just isn't worth it.

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    • Posted

      Sleep has eluded me for so many years that I can't remember when I actually woke up feeling like I was rested.  I sleep very lightly and wake often.  I'm taking clonazopam to help with sleep and panic attacks, though they aren't related to the Effexor.  When I had the withdrawals, the clonazopam didn't do anything to alleviate them, though I didn't try going without it to find out.  It has its own set of evils.  The Trazadone is helping but my husband is going through a very traumatic last few months and it's taking everything I have in me to keep him afloat.  He's on some meds, but our regular doctor had to triple the dose this month.  She's sending him to a pyschiatrist as she doesn't want to take the chance of putting him on too high of the wrong thing.  This dose barely gets him by.  I spent half of the winter break (my husband is a teacher) crying.  He was irrational and angry.  The though of going back to work after the break was more than he could handle.  We got through, but there were times that I really needed something strong.  I just am afraid of taking high doses of anything anymore.  

      As for the side effects, as I had previously mentioned, the brain fog has been lifting.  Memory losses.  Sometimes it feels like a word I want to use in a conversation is just hanging right there in front of me, but doesn't register.  It's very different from the old "it's right on the tip of my tongue" word losses.  My typing used to be a solid 50wpm, corrected as I went along, but now I have to correct every few words because I type letters out of order or get total mish mash of letters.  I'm trying to find a job and those kinds of errors are not acceptable in any job that requires data entry.  I hadn't thought about it until you mentioned it, but I have developed a habit of picking on myself, as well.  Not sure when it actually started, but it's been a while.  It's an anxiety thing from what I can tell.  

      Another thing that suddenly popped up is possibly a neurological thing.  Actually, I'm seeing a neurologist tomorrow to begin finding out what's going on.  Within a week of my going totally off the Effexor,  I awoke suddenly at nigh with incredibly painful muscle spasms radiating from my tail bone and through my hips.  When I tried to stand up to relieve them and straighten up, my thighs started fierce cramps.  I had to double over to get them to stop, but that only brought the hip ones on stronger.  The spasming continued down to my toes.  I'd try to alleviate one set and another would fire off.  I was in tears from the pain.  It took several minutes of breathing focus and moving around to get them to finally let up.  I've been prone to nightime leg cramps since I was a child, but this was totally different.  My MD wants me to have a nerve conduction test to see what's going on.  I'm now on gabapentin and that helps most of the time.  At least the cramps are more like my old foot/calf cramps from before.  

      As far as getting off the stuff.  My previous psych. who I refuse to go to anymore, tapered me off by weekly cutting the doses in half and said after 4 weeks to stop.  One day off like that and I was back on the lowest dose, about 35 mg.  I was taking my big capsules and opening them up and divying up the little white balls of medicine.  It was very time consurming and frustrating.  After cutting my piles from halves, to thirds, to forths, etc. for 5 or 6 weeks, I'd had enough and just quit.  I was having the brain zaps either way and was just done with the messing around.  I really think I was over dosing on Seratonin through the past five years.  I don't think that's what causes my depression.  Since being "clean", I've joined a gym and go 3-4 days a week.  It really helps.  I'm not a big weight-lifting person, I prefer the pool as it's better on my sore joints and they have very zen music playing in there.  I tried Zumba last week and almost started crying.  It felt so much like this was what I truly need.  Unfortunately, I need to get my joints and muscles back to shape. They just don't feel right.  But the music, and the positive environment in the room was amazing.  I haven't danced in many years and I miss it terribly.  Will see how it goes at the doc's tomorrow.  Good luck with your personal pick of symptoms.  It seems to vary to some degree among individuals.  Either way, it sucks!! 

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    • Posted

      Well, at least you know what is going on!  When I was in withdrawal before, I didn't know, and maybe having that awareness would have made a difference  Maybe I would have been able to push onward.

      Muscle stuff...don't go too wild on the exercise because it can trigger withdrawal.  And joints, yes, they don't seem right anymore, like the ligaments and tendons aren't as strong as they used to be.  I started doing yoga last year before WD hit really hard, to tone up my hips and butt.  I've always been a tough one, doing weight lifting over the years, but these poses triggered a tendonitis or something in my butt muscles that got so bad I couldn't sleep at night from the pain!  Even now, a year later, those pains are still there, though not as severe.  Just a couple of years ago I was doing weight lifting without any trouble!  I tire more easily, too.   

      I could totally relate on the typing.  I make mistakes constantly, the mish-mash thing, and unable to complete a sentence and reach for words, yup!  We went for sushi last week, and I've had miso soup a million times before, but I looked at the bowl and couldn't for the life of me remember what it was called!

      I wish you smooth sailing, Patti!

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  • Posted

    Hi,

    Have you just started taking them?

    I am not exaggerating but starting these evil things was the worse mistake ever! They need to be banned they literally just put you in a world of your own as well as disgusting side effects! I'm weaning off mine now and it's been the worse 4 weeks ever some days I can't even drive or keep anything down! I don't sleep and I get these weird brain zaps I can't explain! Honestly if your just starting them then I would strongly suggest you consider! Sertraline worked better for me X

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    • Posted

      Tamara, please look into non-drug alternatives to your issues!  I concur with the others' take on this drug.  I know, there are many out there who say it gave them their life back, but I think these drugs spellbind us and we don't realize how poorly we actually are doing on them.  For years I just didn't even realize that I was still unhappy, and my sex life went south and I just couldn't feel LOVE and attraction for my husband, and just didn't feel in general.  It is called "emotional anesthetic."  I was just not self-aware enough to realize all of this.  How I wish I had known about CBT and meditation 20 years ago before I took that first Prozac!  There's tons of self-help on the web now, too. 
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    • Posted

      I would strongly recommend you get something else pescribed anything but these evil things! Save yourself!! Sertraline worked better for me but I can honestly say everyone I've spoken to have had the worse experience with venlaxafin please re think because I wouldn't wish these symptoms on my worst enemy. Xx
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