I still get brain zaps from Effexor and haven't taken one in three years what do I do? I never had t

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I took 150 mg once daily for a year and stopped one day and I've had brain zaps ever since that was 3 years ago 

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  • Posted

    Not surprised at all! I've been on Prozac and Citilopram over the past 21 years! Came off them when they ceased to work on my receptors! I've been on Venlafaxine for 2 years and I don't like them or their side effects! Coming off them is awful, I've taken it very slowly as well! I think I could very well suffer with brain zaps as you are, read a lot about this medication and brain zaps are mentioned too often! Hope you're coping in other ways without this vile antidepressant?

  • Posted

    Same here i havent took effexor in 4 years and i still get brain zaps occasionally. I notice that i get them when my mind is well relaxed and rested. Hopefully they wont last forever hang in there! 
  • Posted

    I took Effexor XL about 20 years ago. The brain zaps that started when I was on it have never completely gone away. They are un predictable but occur when I’m in bed trying to sleep, or waking up in the morning.

    Sometimes they are worse, like this morning. My sense is that they’ve been gradually getting worse over the last few years, and I’ve attributed it to aging. I’m 64. 

    I have been on Bupropion (Welbutrin) for several years now. It is the only antidepressant I’ve ever taken that has no side effects for me. I don’t think it causes the brain zaps, because they happened before I started it. 

    I blame the zaps on Effexor, because that’s when they started. I had some very strong and scary side effects on Effexor, and withdrawing from it, far more than any other antidepressant. I think it did some kind of permanent damage to cause the brain zaps. 

    My experience of the zaps is that it is sort of like a sudden jerk-like sound in my ears, except it isn’t in my ears, it’s inside my head. It’s a sudden ZING or jolt or jerk, a fraction of a second. When it is happening, it reoccurs at unpredictable intervals from less than a second to maybe 15 seconds. It sometimes seems that I can trigger it by moving my eyes suddenly, especially if I have the sense that it is about to happen. Sometimes it happens in a burst of 3 or 4 zings in a row. It seems like I can reduce it by focusing strongly on relaxing. It goes away when I get out of bed, I guess I need to be lying down for it to happen. 

    It scares me. 

    Looking for info about it, I found that it might be a form of myoclonus. There is no actual muscle twitch though, except maybe in my ears. It is not middle ear myoclonus, a thumping sound in the ear. I have that too, but it is far more rare. It is not sleep myoclonus or a hypnic jerk. 

    I thought maybe it was a spasm of my heart, but when I monitor my heartrate, it is completely normal when the zaps occur. 

    I’ve had increasing memory problems, and my mom has dementia. I worry this may be a sign of growing dementia. 

    • Posted

      One other thing. I often feel slightly dizzy at the same time these jerks are happening. For me, the word ‘jerk’ is probably a better description than zing or zap or jolt. But again, there is no movement associated with this, it is a jerk I experience inside my head. 

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