The Dark side of Effexor

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So I started taking Effexor a couple of months after my last baby was born I had lots of Anxiety,and crying spells I stayed on the Effexor because it made me feel good my Anxiety was gone anyway 6 years later I am know on day 26 Free of the Evil Effexor ,I had being through Hell all the withdrawal symptoms everyone has the Anxiety crawling every hour the body shaking the brain moving so slow,I am definitely doing much better than week  2 but still is awful I just want to know for How Much Longer is this stuff will last It feels like is never going to end .I just want to cry .

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  • Posted

    Hi. I've taken effexor since it first came out. Ten years about on it. It gave me my life back over all other antidepressants and I've tried them all back then. Anyway going off takes time unfortunately unless you switching over to something else then its easier at least for me. I've taken benedryl daily and have ativan on hand to get me through the effects of going off. Hope this helps but call your Dr. For advice to take the edge off. Keep us posted ūüėä good luck
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    • Posted

      Hi thanks for your reply they put me on Zolof .50 but I only took half of that because I was feeling so bad I thought it was also from the new medicine today I took a full one of the Zolof and things started to get better but for sure I am not there yet,the Anxiety feels really bad ,How long did it take for you to get back to normal??
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    • Posted

      About a month. Zoloft had me way off as I just couldn't sleep. Went on cymbalta and I was ok almost immediately. Depends what your switching from and to what. It the Zoloft just didn't help for anxiety or depression and I take latuda pm for depression.
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  • Posted

    What dosage were you taking when you quit 26 days ago?  It sounds like you did a cold turkey jump, which is not advisable as you are finding out. This one is very tough to get off of.  I would advise reinstating the amount you were on and then doing a slow taper once you have stabilized.  I speak from experience, having tried to go off last year after doing a fast taper.  I was taking 5-htp and Sam-E to replace the Effexor, and I believe those delayed the worst symptoms.  I had mostly cognitive stuff initially, really bad memory and concentration, couldn't remember what I was doing from one moment to the next . Only later did the horrid anxiety, insomnia and depression hit hard.  I ended up reinstating ten months after I quit, and within an hour of taking that first pill, I was feeling dramatically better, which is a sure sign of dependence/withdrawal!  I should add that before reinstating, I went on Remeron, which initially helped but pooped out very quickly even as I raised the dose, so that's when I went back on Effexor.  I am in the process of tapering off Remeron now, and am doing a micro-taper of the Effexor.

    To truly minimize withdrawal impact, it is advised that you should cut no more than 10% per month.  Do you take the capsule that has beads inside?  If so, count the beads from a few capsules to get an average (I know, they are tiny and there are many - you may need your reading glasses or a magnifying glass!).  Then, remove 10% from each capsule.  So, if your capsules contain about 200 beads, then remove 20.  

    This is a real pain, but believe me, it is the more sane way to go in the long run.  Many who have jumped off cold turkey suffere protracted withdrawal symptoms - I was still bad at 10 months out!  So, slow and steady wins the race!

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  • Posted

    Hi it just feels like after 27 days without the Effexor I really don't want to go back on it Yesterday and today I can see some improvement but no as fast as a will like it to be I will see my psychiatrist tomorrow and I need to come up with smart questions of course my brain is not working properly This is one of the worst nightmares I had ever being on .I can't even feel the water running while I take a shower and my sense of smell and taste is so Bad,I had being taking melatonin for sleeping they gave me trazodon but I am really scared to get hook on an other pill , I will ask if 5HTP is safe to take while taking Zolof,Thank you for replying it really means a lot to me I feel so lost and alone in this path right now I want my family to get back the Mom and Wife I can be.
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    • Posted

      Hi - so interesting to read similar stories.

      I've been on effexor or similar 300mg for maybe 16 years. I've moved away from much of the madness that got me there and grown up a lot along the way.

      I no longer feel I want to take the drug and so stopped - probably too quickly. Boy, do I get tired and woosy! Worst of all I can't smell anything and can only taste certain tastes. My mouth has this metallic feel to it. Not worried so much about the woosy etc - I figure that will pass, but I am really concerned I may have cooked my olfactory neurones and taste buds. I love food and wine. It would be a real loss for me.

      Did you get your sense of taste/smell back?

       

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  • Posted

    Oh I was on 75 then I went down to 35.7 for 1 week then one day on one day off for 1 week then None,I definitely did it wrong so so wrong if I could go back and do it properly I would but now I am 27 days after and is very scary to think about taking it again I see one psychiatric tomorrow but she can't see me again is very far and she has a lot of patients and doesn't give me the time I need I will see a new Doctor on the 23 October and he is asking me for all my records so I hope he can help me ,I had never being on a psychiatrist care before I was just prescribed by my OBGY We move a year ago to a new city so I am new here trying to find new doctors .
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    • Posted

      Are you on the one with the beads inside, Angelitos?  You could always take 10 beads and see if that small reinstatement makes you feel better. Then, each month, take one less bead and take it nice and slow.  I am just worried that the worst symptoms of such a fast taper are yet to come.  I had such horrifying insomnia and feelings of doom, I was worrying about the future and simply terrified!  I didn't know I was in WD, but never before did I have such horrible symptoms.  Everyone would have you believe that you are relapsing from your original illness, but it has an entirely different feel to it.  Just know this in advance, because the doctors don't acknowledge WD - they think everyone should be over it in three weeks, and if they aren't, then it's a relapse, but they are WRONG!  I have read many stories of people having prolonged WD from going too fast, lasting one to two years!  But when they finally got over it, they felt better than they ever had, even before and during meds!

      Just know that we are here for you.  There will be times where you are frightened and feel like it will never end, that you will be this way forever, and you won't be rational.  It is the WD tricking you.  But it also helps to see WD as a sign that your brain and body are healing.  The drugs created an imbalance that the brain adapted to, and now, without the drug, the brain is still in that adapted state and must adapt again, but that process takes time and the imbalance is what is causing the symptoms.

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    • Posted

      I forgot to mention also that healing occurs with a windows and waves pattern.  You will start to feel better, great in fact (a window), and then regress (the wave) for a time, and then have another window.  People who don't understand this get freaked out when a wave hits, saying "I was feeling better but now I'm bad again - why is this happening?  Help!"  If you unerstand going in that this is how it will be, windows and waves over and over again until gradually the windows get longer and the waves shallower, you will be able to tolerate the waves much better!
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  • Posted

    I think this is a good window right now but still The brain is not that clear the anxiety is getting better from yesterday to today , I really also believe I went through the worst I was getting up in the morning and 5 minutes later I had to lay down I was just exhausted then the Pain in the body came for 4 days where I felt that I had aged like 10 years in a week,the pain went away I also suffered from intense Back discomfort I even went to see a chiropractor I thought I had a broken bone in my spine the pain is gone the only thing right now is still the foggy brain and No emotions I feel like a zombie also the taste buds are very mild and the smell is bad I guess I don't mind that but I want to feel a Live,So ladies are you guys off the medicine or are you still on it ?? Good luck in this process it feels like is forever.
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  • Posted

    Hi everyone The doctor clearly doesn't have an idea what the withdrawal symptoms are for Effexor and she did not believe me it has lasted so long good thing I am going to a new Doctor,Today is a little worts than yesterday but for sure the Zolof is kind of Off for me I have to wait until the 23 to see the new Doctor I hope he can help so far I am on day 28 without the Effexor and the 2 weeks and the 3 rd were the worts with body pains the 4 is very foggy in the brain.
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    • Posted

      Could you clarify, Angelitos, are you on Zoloft now or not?  As far as WD symptoms, all the doctor can do to "help" is prescribe more meds, all of which will disrupt and delay your nervous system's healing.  All the symptoms you are having are due to your nerves down or up-regulating in response to the absence of the drug; it takes time for your neurons etc. to adjust.  Your nervous system is healing, but it takes time.  The longer you were on venlafaxine the longer it will take for that healing to take place.  Drugs that are prescribed for sleep effect neurons,  Benzos prescribed for the anxiety affect neurons.  Then you have to taper those off as well.

      So, you have three choices.  1)  Reinstate a small amount of Effexor in hopes of getting relief and then do a very slow taper to get off  2) tough it out, which will take time, perhaps months or longer or 3)  allow the doc to prescribe drugs that treat your symptoms, causing new dependencies that you will then have to taper off of.

      I hope that helps.  It's not an easy choice, I know.  The docs really need to not prescribe these drugs so willy-nilly for bouts of anxiety and depression because they create more problems than they fix when it comes to getting off, as you are finding out :-)  Sure, for acute, serious depression they can be helpful, but shouldn't be used for the long haul, IMHO.

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  • Posted

    Hi Betsy yes I am in Zolof 50 I take it  in the morning,I really don't want to be taking it but for now is making the anxiety a little better until the Effexor totally leaves my body I am on day 29 without  the Effexor ,I still have bad sintoms,low energy the brain is still foggy but not as much my blood pressure is really low ,I am just learning to be very very patient with my self and do just what I really have to do In order to make it through the day taking naps really helps,I am not sure if Zolof is the right medicine for me I will see what the new doctor says, I just need to wait until next week to see him hopefully he can really listen and understand the situation,thank you for your advise I guess I am being though but is taking so long.

     

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  • Posted

    I've been on 75mg since midwife's insistance I had PN depression. Anyway, it was finally diagnosed as underactive thyroid. Too late by then. I'd been on the stuff for 3 years. Have been on it now for 13 years. I stopped trying to come off of it probably about 9 years ago and resigned myself to the fact that I might as well stay on it for life since I'm have been and am going along nicely lol
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  • Posted

    The battle is still on ,I really think that now the Zolof is not really the right one for me Is very confusing if my sintoms are still from the Effexor withdrawal or from the the new one I am taking to tamper of from the Effexor so I have no idea if is the Zolof not working on me or is the withdrawal from the bad Effexor I don't even know if this makes any sense,any one going through this also when does it stop on Friday I will see a new psychiatric.
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    • Posted

      I don't know about Zolof but can say a lot about Effexor (75mg slow release) and out of the various attempts to withdraw, the last one I tried was to switch to the two 35mgs tablets a day to reduce a bit per week, as slowly as possible.  I managed this for 6 months until I was literally shaving fragments off the tablets. I had mild symptoms throughout and then it all came to a head and I was back in the Drs. Took four weeks to feel 'centre' again but have not been off them since. I would still never promote these tablets but since I'm stuck with them and they work for me, I'm too far down the road to worry now and I know it's helped me through all sorts of life's  twists and turnswink.  I wish you all the best with getting sorted, Someone once said to me to remember although it feels awful right now, you will get better. It helped at the time. I hope you will remember this too x
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    • Posted

      Yvy thank you so much for your kind words yes it has being awful but today is better so I do believe it will get better ,tomorrow I go and see the new doctor hopefully he can take of this path of medicines that only coverup the sad feelings and anxiety,I don't have a doubt the Effexor helped me but it was my fault to be on it for so long I also was taking Klonopin so that was my concoction with a glass of wine now I being free from klonopin since August 03 and free from Effexor since September 17 and thank God also free from my wine so I did kick those 3 things out of me But I am still paying the consequences.
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    • Posted

      Oh my, Angleitos, you have come a long way!  How are you doing with withdrawal from Effexor and Klonopin at the same time?!!!!  I am on Remeron and Effexor and want off both so badly, but I am doing the slow taper so as to hopefully minimize suffering, and focusing on one at a time. I was only on Remeron for six weeks before beginning a taper (it absolutely did nothing for me so Effexor was reinstated), and even though I was on it for such a short time I am going slow because I am terrified of having the horrible WD that people report.  I fluctuate back and forth between going slower and going faster, because hey, I was only on it a short time...but even the small cuts give me WD symptoms!

      I've told my story before, but I had a horrific spring after a strange fall, having gone off of Effexor last summer after being on it for 12 years.  I did not realize all that was happening was WD.  When I took that first dose back on Effexor in June, I had a radical lifting of low mood within an hour, a true sign of dependency and addiction!  You are so lucky to have the awareness about what you are embarking on that I didn't have.  When you feel bad, you can remind yourself that this is withdrawal, not "You"

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