Side effects

Posted , 4 users are following.

This discussion has been locked due to a period of inactivity. Start a new discussion

Hi everyone. Now I know this subject is not the same for everyone but I'm going to ask the question anyway...

Back in 2009 I went on venlafaxine 75mg. I was happy in my own life and went on them for my mood swings. They worked and I stayed on them for 5 yrs.

I came off them fully after a year of dose reduction, in February 2015.

I fell clinically depressed in the March. I have battled to stay off them for 6 months but my thoughts and feelings have got worse. I am now back on them after trying peroxetine. They made me properly Ill.

Worth thinking about if anyone is trying these drugs in that I've tried the SSRI's and SNRI's and the SSRI's made me poorly. Fluoxetine and peroxetine are of the same group. I've stayed on what I know and opted for the SNRI's.

My question is, is can your body chemistry change from the last time I took them? I had a few side effects when I took them but they lifted after about 2 weeks. I had another 2 weeks of feeling good but now after week 5, I'm getting side effects again. They aren't bad but I'm getting anxiety and I can feel slight sensations in my brain. I can cope with it if it lifts but I'm paranoid that these aren't going to work this time around.

Just wondering if anyone else has experienced any of these symptoms later into the start of their dose??

Thanks in advance,

Chris.

0 likes, 14 replies

Report

14 Replies

  • Posted

    Body chemistry always changes as time goes one and we can't feel good all the time regardless of what we're on.  It takes trial and error to find the right ssri or snri or ssnri to determine which works best and at what time in our lives.  Bear in mind it also takes time for the effects of these meds to kick in.
    Report
  • Posted

    I would argue that your relapse in March was actual withdrawal from going off in Frebruary.  You said you went off over the course of a year, but how did the taper go?  Did you do 10% drops, or bigger drops less often?  What was the last dose before you went off entirely?  The bigger the drops, the more your body acts like you have gone cold turkey.

    Would you say that your symptoms are worse now than they were before you ever took meds?

    It would be good to know what your last dose was before stopping, when you started the paroxetine, how much and for how long, and when you started the ven again and how much?

    A very good forum that is moderated by people who really know what's going on and have been in the trenches is surviving antidepressants dot org.

     

    Report
    • Posted

      Hi betsy. I weened myself of over a year taking a quarter of a tablet away from my dose each time. I think I did withdrawal correctly.

      I split with my long term partner back in 2013. All was fine so I decided to come off them. I moved out of the marital home in March this year. One week after this I fell ill. It was like a bereavement. I've not been right ever since hence why I'm back on them. I've woken tonight with horrendous anxiety for no reason. My mind is telling me it's the drugs playing up but I don't know.

      Report
    • Posted

      I'm pretty sure this is still withdrawal.  If you jumped off from a quarter pill, that is still a big jump when it comes to venlafaxine, so it doesn't surprise me that you'd have WD.  I essentially did the same thing lat year, going down to a quarter and then to 0.  Waking up with anxiety for no reason is usually WD.  I had that happen, where I was laying in bed agonizing over things, a sense of doom, worrying about the future,  and that was NOT me, never been like that before drugs especially. Your brain is still adjusting to the absence of the drug, down-regulating.  it takes time.  Best thing to do is tell yourself that this is withdrawal and it will pass.  Take one day at a time - stop yourself from fretting over what ifs about the future and remind yourself this is withdrawal.  You will come out of it and feel better again, but then you may have waves of these symptoms on and off over time as you heal; that is normal.

      I recommend you go to that website I mentioned and do a search on venlafaxine.  You will be able to read others' experiences with it and see if it resonates with your own experience.

       

      Report
    • Posted

      Hi betsy. I think you've misunderstood my post. I came off the drugs back in February full stop. I tried staying off them but have gone back on them again as of last month. I am now into week 5 and I'm getting side effects again. After week 5 they should have stopped surely?
      Report
    • Posted

      I'm not sure about when drug side effects should stop, though I've heard of people getting sensitized when they go on and off such that they can't tolerate a drug any more.  I went off venlafaxine last year similarly to you and initially didn't have extreme WD effects, so when I did start to have extreme anxiety, insomnia and depression I didn't realize it was due to protracted WD. I was simply suggesting that that may have been what happened to you.  It is your choice to do whatever you choose.  I know a lot of docs will insist on raising the dose when people complain of side effects rather than deciding that that medication isn't right for the patient.  I would expect that within the month the side effects would have gone away if they were going to.  Just proceed carefully, because there are lots of stories of people getting polydrugged whereby the doc prescribes a second drug to address the side effects of the first one, and so on until they are on a cocktail, and still miserable, and then in a real pickle to try to come off all of it.
      Report
  • Posted

    I've just gone back on venlafaxine after a 12 week break and the depression returning very suddenly. It's taken 8 weeks on the new dose for the last of the anxiety to disappear and now it has it's bliss! The anxiety and sleep difficulty have been the last symptoms to disappear. I too had improvement, then a plateau, then it got better without a dose increase. Hope this helps.
    Report
    • Posted

      Thanks so much for that. You seemed to have the same as what I have now. I know everyone is different but it's nice to know someone else has experienced the same as it eases the fear of going mad!

      Its just weird that I had initially had a week or so of funny brain sensations then I too plateaued to feeling ok.

      Now I seem to have gone backwards and feel worse for it ie the feeling very sick and the anxiety and racing thoughts.

      On Sunday I will have finished my 5th week so I'm hoping that after 6-8 weeks I'll be feeling ok. If not I'll start getting worried again. Do you think you'll stay on them? I personally can't see me coming off them in the near future.

      Report
  • Posted

    Well you can see my history from my other posts. I was on them for 19.5 years because nothing else worked- spent 10 years trying to find ANYTHING that made me better (couldn't move, think or speak at my worst). Doses up to 375mg and lived a perfectly normal life. They worked so well that I gradually tapered off them over a period of 5-10 years. Gave up the last tablet and was ill (depressed) 12 weeks later. Went straight back on at first sign of symptoms. Now well again on dose of 225mg and sticking with it. So no plans to come off ever - and I think the GPs, etc. would agree with me! This drug was a miracle for treatment-resistant depression when it came out and my consultant was having to plead daily with hospital finance to prescribe it because it cost £1 per tablet at the time. It is difficult to withdraw from though.
    Report
    • Posted

      Well done you for being level again. It's so hard to try and communicate with people about it all unless they've had experience with it. I feel so alone with it all and find it very difficult to get through each day at times without ultimate fear of the future.

      I am hopeful that I will make a full recovery but I hate taking medication. I'm scared that I'm going to get onto a massively high dose, them still not work and me be in a pickle trying to get off them.

      When you increased your dose did your side effects worsen even though you had the drug already in your body?

      Report
  • Posted

    I think getting well is the first priority. In my experience of venlafaxine each increase of dose increases the side-effects briefly and then they subside. You'll find that once you're well you will stop worrying about having to take medication and maybe be able to reduce it.

    The side effects which don't disappear for me on venlafaxine are very slight glowing of light coloured letters on a dark back ground above and below the line (especially useful when arriving with jetlag in the USA - all their signs used to be white on dark blue so I couldn't read them), mild constipation (sorry to mention it) and a slight increase in bp. Now I'm in my 40s we'll have to treat the bp, but I may be prone to that problem anyway.

    My experience of other drugs was that they didn't make me better and the side-effects were much worse (those much more severely, plus balance problems - walls actually moving round (sodium valproate, carbamazepine), constantly sleepy (amitryptaline), anxiety, wanting to trash places and anger (prozac), needing to go on a drip and weight gain (lithium)) , etc. Everybody's different. Each of those will be a life-saver to somebody.

    Report
    • Posted

      So no major side effects then? I reckon if the initial problems go, ie depression and anxiety, then a little longer on the throne is easy!!!

      You've taken quite a few different drugs then? Did you take both SSRI's and SNRI's? Obviously not at the same time but you've tried both types? I took fluoxetine 10 yrs ago for 4 weeks. Massive panic and anxiety attacks and peroxetine more recently. They just made me unwell. A zombie. They are both from the SSRI group while venlafaxine is from the SNRI group so I've just assumed that SSRI's don't agree with me? I have great difficulty in taking medication anyway as I always think that they are going to harm me rather than make me better.

      My first go on venlafaxine was ok. I lead a normal life. I had my life sorted. Was getting married, the lot. This time around I don't have that now. I live alone and spend too much time thinking and looking on the Internet regarding the whole subject. I'm just worried that because my issues are different now, my body won't accept venlafaxine now.

      Report
    • Posted

      Yep, no major side effects with this one. Remember worrying and brooding and issues are probably <20% real worries and >80% the illness talking.

      I've taken tricyclics - the old fashioned anti-depressants (amitryptaline), prozac didn't exist then (1989).  The SSRI was prozac - my reaction seemed similar to yours, but the first go was highly experimental prozac + amitryptaline which was the first thing that really worked on me (after 10 years of illness), only problem was that it would work for a week or two and then stop working; also the combination of drugs boost their levels unpredictably so one can give heart attack, the other fits. The only time a patient would be on that normally was if a GP did it without knowing the dangers I was told by the psychiatrists.

      Then they tried prozac on its own, followed by venlafaxine which did a similar job to prozac + amitryptaline, but safely and consistently ever since (20 years).  I've been very fortunate in life with a long contented marriage, a career and three sons. My husband is very supportive. I probably woudn't be here without the right medication.

       

      Report
    • Posted

      It sounds like a long hard journey you've been on. It's sad that people need medication to basically keep them here. Although I don't like hearing these stories, it's fact.

      I also hate the fact that these pills play Russian roulette with your life. I don't know how long to give it before I throw in the towel. I don't want to because I want to be level headed and be able to enjoy life but if they aren't going to treat the condition I have then I don't know.

      My CBT therapist said to me that the NHS are trialling a test that monitors your brain activity and selects the drug most likely to work for you. I wish these drugs would be more tolerable to take. Some are lucky and have no side effects. I'm not liking them and it's truly scary.

      Report

Join this discussion or start a new one?

New discussion

Report as inappropriate

Thanks for your help!

We want the forums to be a useful resource for our users but it is important to remember that the forums are not moderated or reviewed by doctors and so you should not rely on opinions or advice given by other users in respect of any healthcare matters. Always speak to your doctor before acting and in cases of emergency seek appropriate medical assistance immediately. Use of the forums is subject to our Terms of Use and Privacy Policy and steps will be taken to remove posts identified as being in breach of those terms.

newnav-down newnav-up