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  1. https://www.consumeraffairs.com/rx/wyeth.html
  2. Hi Everyone, I am 27, British, and recently stopped taking Venlafaxine 75mg XR via a very short fluoxetine 20mg taper. My GP was keen I stopped taking the medication as my BP was 169/98 at one consultation! ( I am 27, I don't take the contraceptive pill, do not smoke and my BMI is 23) - since stopping the Venlafaxine it has dropped to normal ranges (although I'd take the stroke risk over my current situation!) I am currently struggling to do anything productive, barely getting to the gym, crying for 25% of my waking hours, experiencing extreme social anxiety and feeling generally negative. I am a fourth year medical student and also have a paid job as my family don't have the money to pay my way through med school - what this means in practise is that I work 6-7 days per week, I am also engaged to a medical student. I am probably not being the easiest person to live with but he keeps telling me to go to the doctor - I know (and he knows) more than most, that my GPs options are more pills or CBT with a 6 week waiting list (I'm not keen on CBT anyway personally, I've tried it before) Anyone who can help me to understand if this is relapse (and so I should maybe take Venlafaxine again) or withdrawal, and if it is withdrawal how do I explain to my partner and how do I get through the day? If I have low attendance I will be kicked off my course and I am so close to the end it would be awful. I also doubt there would be a 'less stressful time' in the next 5 years of my life due to the career of a doctor in the NHS, so I don't think going through this at a 'better time' is an option unfortunately.
  3. Hello everyone, I'm new to the group and I'm desperately looking for help, suggestions, insight. I've been off and on anti-depressants since 1987 and on Effexor XR for 15 years. I've gone off Effexor 3 times and ended up hospitalized with severe anxiety and depression several months after going off it, hence having to go back on it each time. I have terrible side effects from Effexor, but no other drug has really worked. I want to get OFF the drug, but because I have failed in a rather scary way in the past I am terrified. Does anyone have experience going off meds after decades? Does anyone have experience going off Effexor permanently without having to go back on something else? Do you have any resources, books, films, websites that have been helpful? Thanks so much. Wishing you all peace and wellness.
  4. Until two days ago, I didn't know about anti-depressant withdrawal syndrome. I was on Paxil for 5 years and after that my Dr. switched to effexor 37.5mg for 6 months and 75 mg for a year and lowered it to 37.5 mg for 6 months till recently. In the past, I quit paxil 4 times and I had relapses (now I know those were withdrawal symptoms) and quickly I put paxil back on and got better each time. About two months ago I quit effxor (cold turkey way) again without knowing about the withdrawal symptoms. For a month and a half, I didn't notice a major physical problems. My case is that when I quit paxil and effexor, I didn't have a major noticeable symptoms until 1-2 months. Now I can think of slight symptoms but I didn't take it seriously before. And after 1-2 months, suddenly acute symptoms occur. About 10 days ago, I started to notice feeling depressed and my body was having strange sensations, shaking, my legs were numb and I felt very unstable. I thought my relapse was coming and I put the effexor 75 mg back on. And this time the symptoms didn't go away more than 5 days like the other times and I started to research about my symptoms online and finally found the "Withdrawal symptoms" which describes exactly my condition. "Withdrawal symptoms" are really terrible like most people here say. I was in bed shaking and having all sorts of sad negative thoughts. I feel like I would never get back on my own feet. Now my concern is what should I do now? I got 75mg of effexor back on from 10 days ago. My mental state is better from two days ago. I have insomnia and flu like symptoms but mentally more positive. Should I continue 75 mg? or should I reduce? And how?
  5. I came to this site in hopes of finding some answers or a timeline for this awful withdrawal, but I'm going to take this chance to join a community of people who will understand how horrible what I'm going through actually is. I have been taking some form of anti-depressant for about 10 years, with Effexor XR being the last 8 years of that. I was prescribed Celexa through my physician as a way of combating college anxiety issues, and my body took that and ran with it. After two years on Celexa I started to have problems with it and my life and through my physician again I was given Effexor XR. Over the next few years life was ok. It wasn't perfect, but Effexor gave me the ability to live without the crippling depression that I was starting to experience at that point. Then I hit a wall. I spent the better part of 6 months laying in bed crying and depressed beyond anything I could have ever imagined. I ended up checking myself into the psychiatric unit of our local hospital and my life of medication took a giant leap forward. I was then given psychiatrists and therapists and any medication they thought could ease my blues. Disappointingly, the answer I was given was to increase my Effexor to a 150 mg and a 75 mg and then work some trial and error until I found something to combine with it. At this point I had zero health coverage and was using Wyeth, and then Pfizers, patient assistance programs. Years pass, my emotions calm down, life happens, and I'm ok. In the last year of my Effexor use, I moved and lost any form of funding I had, I was no longer able to meet with my therapist or have prescriptions filled by my psychiatrist. Pfizer would no longer fill my prescription and I was unable to find a way to have my medications covered. *Insert sob story about the poor healthcare system and treatment of those with mental disabilities or addictions to prescription medications that were no fault of the party going through the struggle.* I decided, without the help of a doctor (I was pretty much told "too damn bad" by the doctor's office), I decided to use the medication I had left to taper off entirely. I was, and still am, convinced that the Effexor was a crutch that I no longer need in my life. I tapered off of the medication over the course of 5 weeks. I experienced no real problems until the last week of tapering and the 2-3 weeks after completely stopping the medication. I think anyone here is well aware of the hell coming off of one of these medications can be. Brain zaps, nausea, roller coaster emotions--all the great things where my life for those couple of weeks. Luckily most of those problems have since faded. Now, however, 3 months out, I've hit a wall, and this is why I'm here on this site. I've read that at the three month mark people do tend to see some relapse, but I did not expect the emotional and physical pain that I'm experiencing. I can't sleep, my body aches, and I cry and pick fights for no reason. This issue is for another post entirely, but it's the main reason I'm here introducing myself now. I'm terribly sorry I've made this so long, but this is the first forum I've ever joined with the full intent of being an active member, so I figured a decent story should be thrown out there. Ok, in short: Hi, I took Effexor XR and now I'm angry that no one told me how much it would mess up my life. Hugs?
  6. Hi. Now im 25 years old. I grew up and raised in Bangkok, Thailand. Then destiny took over and i spent my years of high school and college in Boston, Massachusetts. How did i come to find you guy? well, it started about September 2012 when my first pet, Yoda the cat, passed away at age of 1 year 8 months. He spent half of his life in Boston with me and then another in Bangkok before he went to heaven. After he passed away, i was very sad and lost (yet, i didnt the meaning of depressed compare to now). At time, i began to drink and smoked very heavily. About sep 2013, a year later, i was feeling quite confident and happy, yet i was still on alcohol and mj to hide my sadness. Its an asian thing you see, where a man talking about his struggle and sadness is unacceptable. Then one night in sep 2013, i didnt want to keep anymore secret to my parent, i told them "i was on weed and alcohol daily, but im trying to give them up, please bare with me during the giving up period". Then, after few of aggression behaviour and with my parent's frustration (its totally not their fault), they put me in a car, drove to the Psychiatrist they planned. I knew it was just alcohol and weed withdrawal and i needed sometime. Atleast thats what i told my parent and the Doctor. Instead, the doctor quickly put me into Rehab after about 10 minutes of our conversation. At first, i believe them. They are doctor and nurses, for god sake. i was given a handful of drug every morning and night for 5 weeks in rehab. At the time, i didnt question anything. After i got out of Rehab, which was in October 2013, i was doing fine. I mean, i remember things vaguely and was not depressed. I was slow and zombie-like ofcause. After rehab, thats when i see what kind of drugs they were given me; Depakine, Seroquel, Litium, and many more i couldn't remember. 3 months have passed and it was X'mas time. I started to feel really weird, not to mention the zombify and slowness. I felt like i did not want to do anything, i was hopeless in life for the first time in my life. By that time, i did not drink or smoked at all, i was believing in my Doctor whom i see every 2 weeks. Drugs he gave me were still in high amount. My girlfriend who was very understanding and very close to me at that time also noticed the strangeness in me. i could not make a single decision on anything, i was very fearful of seeing my friend and family, and very scared of talking to my girlfriend. I went back to the doctor and told my fear and sorrows. Right then, he stop given me all the MoodStabilizer drugs and switched to all Antidepressants; Effexor 300mg in the morning, Remeron 30mg at night and Rivotril 4mg. i was very surprised by how he switched the drugs so easily. By January 2014, i was very depressed and could not get out of bed, only thinking about welcoming death. It was the most hopeless chapter of my life. I did not want to do anything, talk to my parent nor even my girlfriend. I could not eat. January till April was just that. About the beginning of June, i felt a little bit better... glad i did not took my life. I asked my doctor to lower the dosage of my dugs.. and he agreed. From 300mg of effexor to 150mg, yet 30mg of remeron and rivotril still the same. Within the next day i felt full withdrawal classic symptoms; headache, fatigue, brainzap, nauseas and many more. I was terrified. At that time, i started to make some research and found you guy. Thanks god. With fear and little knowledge, i stayed on 150mg of effexor for a week, then 75mg for 3 days, 37.5mg for another 3 days, then off to ZERO. i did the same with remeron right after where i cut down to 15mg for a week, then ZERO. YES, acute withdrawal was very server for the first month. Then physically symptoms was diminished. 2nd and the 3rd month i was living in Fear and Terror. I would waking up with such a horrid dreams every 3 hours. i could not really function well. I learned about Wave and Window from this site, and i tried to live my life as healthy as possible, yet it was very hard. I have been taking alot of fish oil and Vitamins B. Some day i was doing ok, i mean be able to walk around and get food at the market. Most of the time i was very sick. My girlfriend was very understanding and took care of me well. I told everything and she listened. But by the end of July, she had to leave for school in London. That was when i get super stress and down. It seems like i was back at square one. I tried to hold on to what Althos said about Wave and Recovery, but i just cant. I am very desperate.
  7. NVbar

    Intro: NVbar

    Hey everyone, First off I think it's really great that there's a community that supports each other in coming off of these horrible drugs. I don't really have that support in real life from friends, family or medical professionals who don't understand what it's like. So I want to say thank you to everyone on the SA forum. Really. Anyways a short history of my drug dependancy: I've had brief stints with Paxil and Citalopram prior, but since 2004 I've been solely taking Effexor XR 37.5 mg for anxiety. There have been a couple times when I dropped dosage too fast, and paid for it. But since finding some resources online like this one, I've been reducing by counting beads since 2013. As of today I'm down to 7 beads left. So far I was finding 1 bead a month reduction to be working ok, but since I've gotten to about 10 beads it's gotten more difficult, with anxiety and other side effects appearing the next day. At that point, I go back up to the previous dosage to hold for about a couple weeks, and try again. Worked so far until a few days ago I went from 7 to 6 beads, and got hit hard. Interestingly, in previous cases I would feel withdrawal symptoms the next day, but in this case it wasn't till about 3 days later I had nausea, headaches dizziness and the rest I'm sure your familiar with. I did notice increasingly vivid dreams up to that point however. Looks like I might be at that oh-oh threshold point I've read about on here. I should probably try to switch to regular Effexor tablets and make a solution, but because I've been reducing by beads I don't have an accurate measure of what mg dosage I actually am at. Ballpark average no. of beads in the Effexor brand I'm taking is about 100, so I'm guessing around 4mg? Anyways, this is just supposed to be an intro, so I'll post my questions in the appropriate forums in a bit. Thank you!!!!!
  8. Hi, About my experiences, well about 16 yrs ago my gp gave me zoloft because I had really bad fatigue and body pains. I willingly tried it, because I had no idea of the difficulty getting off of course, until I tried a few months later and had problems, so I just stayed on because I didn't really know how to get off or if I should. Then I moved a lot went to university and worked alternately in different places. With all the stresses of life I decided just to stay on. Finally about 5 yrs ago doctors gave me a hard time getting refills for effexor because I couldn't really explain why I was on it, so I went off and broke the pills apart myself. Well I was alright until about 6 mo's later I started getting really wonky, kind of bipolarish, and then it transformed into major anxiety and panic attacks for which I really had to get back on the stuff. I had never experienced any of those kind of symptoms before in my life. I previously had no idea what anxiety or panic felt like. The panic attacks came on in waves. Terrifying experience to say the least. So I really had no choice but to restart the drugs and of course to the docs and psychiatrist it was "relapse." So I'm really glad to find this forum and know that maybe it's all withdrawal. However, even if it is, I still don't know how I'll ever get off this stuff. I'd like to know also, if this is belated withdrawal, how can I explain it to docs who don't know about it, are there any studies or anything at all to back me up besides anonymous people on the web?
  9. Hi I'll share a little of my story. In 2004 I took Effexor for less than a year having been depressed, tapered off slowly over a few months with no withdrawal issues. This time the Effexor definitely lifted my mood significantly. I took the slow release version 75mg. In Summer 2010 I took Effexor for 3 weeks, for what in hindsight was PTSD and stopped with no withdrawal issues. In Sept 2011 I started taking 75mg Effexor XR for depression. There was no big improvement, I wasn't sure if the medication even made a difference but didn't want to stop in case things got worse. Interestingly I got a big improvement once I was diagnosed with hypothyroidism and started taking levothyroxine. Around Spring 2013 my symptoms of depression had significantly reduced, enough to declare myself 'better'. I decided to give myself 6 months of feeling good before withdrawing. In Sept 2013 switched to 37.5mg Effexor or a generic venlafaxine twice a day and after 10 days tapered to half a tablet (18mg) in morning, 37.5 mg in evening, just by using a pill cutter. At this point I went through a relationship breakup so decided to postpone withdrawal and went back to the full dose, just in case the medication was providing me with some support. I started to withdraw again this year. I again started by tapering to half a tablet in the morning and a whole one in the evening. I then continued on this dose for a few weeks before reducing to half for both morning and evening in August 2014. The next stage was to reduce to a quarter tablet in the morning and a half in the evening. It's impossible to be very scientific about these reduced sizes - my inexpert pill cutting meant the quarters varied hugely in size. I decided not to be in any hurry over this, which my doctor agreed was sensible. If I felt bad or low then I paused and just continued on the current dose. I am now, November 2014, on a quarter tablet both morning and evening and occasionally forget one or both. I plan another week or two at this dose and then I will stop the morning dose. It will be good to come off this medication. I do wonder if I will become depressed again. Statistically I know it is likely. I wanted to add my voice to the mix partly to reassure that not everyone has difficulty withdrawing - although I did take it much slower than the standard advice.
  10. Hello everyone. I'm on day 6 of my prescribed three week taper off of Effexor XR. I started out at 225 mg and the doctor instructed me to drop down to 150 mg for seven days and then to drop down to 75 mg for seven days and then discontinue use. Thus far, I've been doing okay, I guess, I am currently taking 150 mg before bed. I've been waking up at 5 a.m. like clockwork and am very drowsy at that time, as well as for the rest of the day. I cannot go back to sleep at that time and it takes me two hours to wake up enough to be able to drive to my work. As the days progress on the 150 mg dose, I've noticed an increase in forgetfulness, sleepiness, and a change in my emotions. During the daytime, I feel as though I have no emotions. I feel like a void. It's just nothing but feeling tired. No emotions. However, when evening rolls around, I will feel intense sadness, anger, or joy within minutes of each feeling. Last night, I felt absolutely intense sorrow for a friend's little boy who has leukemia. I cried harder than I've cried in days after reading the update regarding his status. Then, not even 15 minutes later, that feeling was over and I was laughing robustly at a joke my husband told the family. I feel like an utter train wreck just waiting to happen. I am scheduled to drop down to 75 mg tomorrow night and wanted to share my story with everyone here in hopes of getting some feedback regarding such a fast taper. I've been told by some caring folks in a support group on Facebook that I should post on this site as soon as possible in order to get that feedback. I would appreciate any advice or stories from you so I can understand what is happening to me, what I can do about it, and how I should proceed. My doctor is staunch about staying with this taper even though I have told him that I am a very, very sensitive person. I would and DO label myself as an HSP (Highly Sensitive Person), which makes me believe that I may indeed not fare so well on such a fast taper. However, I should mention that the doctor is wanting me to start a sample pack of Viibryd tomorrow night, as well, to "bridge" medications. I'm hoping that this goes seamlessly, but that hope is diminishing as I speak with more people who have experienced withdrawing from Effexor. Thanks for reading my story. I hope that someone can identify with what I'm going through and be able to offer some advice. I hate to say this, but I really don't think my doctor understands how to properly taper someone such as myself (or maybe even anyone, for that matter) off of this medication.
  11. I found this wonderful forum on accident. A wonderful accident... I have done A LOT of reading here before I got up the courage to register. I have been on Effexor XR 75mgs daily for about 10 years. In June this year I decided that I had had enough. The medicine was causing me more problems than it was helping. Typical symptoms of AD tachyphalaxis (poop-out) had made life very mediocre feeling. Not bad, not good. So I read as much as I could about tapering and microtapering. I began my taper off Effexor XR in June with the standard 10% reduction. I am using a digital scale to measure bead weight. Today I am at approximately 50% of my original 75mg dose and up to this past weekend it has gone pretty much uneventfully. But as of late I have been hit with some pretty severe anxiety. I am not at the point of going back to the full dose but I have though about it. I hope to interact with all of you as I continue a journey many people before myself have made. Thanks for listening.
  12. I have been taking Effexor for about three years and I didn't really so much as have side effects. I was taking it for Dysthymia and General Anxiety Disorder. I'm 28 and have been dealing with these two things since I was thirteen. The withdrawal symptoms if I missed a day or two were quick, evident and annoying (the most annoying was, I cannot recall the name, but sensations of movement as if my brain moved several feet in a direction when it didn't). A few months back I started having symptoms that could only be described as toxic levels of serotonin, though the conditions didn't seem to fit, all the symptoms did (muscle spasms, rigid leg muscles, trembling). I stopped taking the medication and battled on and off withdrawal symptoms that I was used to and after a few weeks both the Effexor withdrawal symptoms and the other symptoms gradually dissipated. By this point I was starting to feel really normal again, the most normally I'd felt in about 6 weeks. But for the past month or so I've had different symptoms. Muscle weakness in the legs (mostly in the thigh above the knee) and in my arms (the biceps) along with short lived, seemingly sporadic numbness in my chest (which reminds me a lot of the feeling I get during times of extreme anxiety but I'm unsure if it's actually sporadic or if I just don't realise I'm feeling anxious) and a little bit of shakiness, nothing profound (I notice it most when say holding a cigarette, which I'm in process of quitting). I haven't made a doctors appointment because well, I've been afraid to. I've been convinced that I am dying for the past few months and it doesn't help I've spent a great deal of this year so far slowly watching people/pets die and even had several cats (including one I loved dearly) die in my arms and death is a central theme to a character in the novel I've written and re-written in the past year so that concept has been at the forefront of my mind lately. I've had a lot of digestive issues and some vomitting that came with it which I of course attributed to everything else. I've been terrified that I have MS or, worse, ALS, Muscular Dystrophy, Parkinsons or some other conditions I haven't researched (reading about these things isn't helping, I know). I've had a lot of panic attacks (I'm not really prone to them in the first place) which usually lead to extended bouts of dry-heaving. I came across a few people who've posted their experiences online who have also had these exact same fears and near same symptoms and were tested for MS and ALS and Lyme Disease amongst other things and the tests came back negative. I know I can no longer hold off much longer when it comes to seeing my doctor and I am sure I will have to get tested for all these possible conditions anyways, but I am wondering if anyone here who is more experienced and knowledgable about Protracted Withdrawal Syndrome and whether or not that is something I should bring up to my doctor. Sometimes it feels like my muscle weakness almost feel percieved; I will avoid doing anything strenuous because I feel weak/fatigued but if I force myself to I've done extended period of activities like playing hours of horseshoes at my aunt's memorial, heavy lifting, hours of weeding/gardening along with day-to-day housecleaning; but then sometimes, like today out for a walk, it felt as if my legs were straining, kind of like the feeling of weakness muscles can for a day or two following weightlifting. Also, a side note, I've been a daily user of Marijuana for about a decade and I haven't smoked any for about ten days because smoking it resulted in nausea, lightheadedness and an increased chance of panic attacks so I am not sure it was aggrivating my already existing symptoms or if that is merely a mental thing. I couldn't find anything online about marijuana aggrivating existing medical conditions. Any input or suggestions will be much appreciated. I live away from family and have grown apart from my most of my friends and am out of work currently on medical leave for mental health reasons...so I say I spent about 90% of my time by myself which means I've been kind of stuck with all this stuff in my head. I haven't wanted to worry my family about my health if it's just problems with withdrawals. I've already told them I'm not going to my uncle's cottage all next week because the idea, much like going to my aunts memorial in the same region (six hour drive) a month ago, filled me with a great deal of anxiety because I'm afraid either a) something is seriously wrong with me and something will happen on an island, an hour and a half away from any hospital or b ) they will notice what I've been dealing with and they'll be worrying about me. I'll be making a doctors appointment for next week so any information anyone can offer me before I go in will be apprecaited!
  13. Hello! I have been around these different types of boards just as a 'viewer' and NEVER thought i'd join but this particular group seems to be the perfect type for me-highly researched, and wanting to take their own health back and into their own hands! My quick story: struggled with anxiety my whole life on and off. Especially health worrying and obsessing. This past summer it got really bad and I couldn't stop looking online about symptoms of this disease or that. Facebook didn't help. And by the end of this summer it snowballed into depression because I was just feeling hopeless and consumed with worry I stopped going to the gym and doing things that interested me (like cooking healthy foods, etc). Backtrack-for a YEAR my GP was trying to get me to go on lexapro or paxil and i kept saying 'no' - so he gave me xanax. So I was taking that (.25 mg) for about 6 months at night and it was keeping things at bay (until this summer). So I go and see at talk therapist, to talk about my 'health obsessions' and she mentions that Celexa would be the 'perfect' drug for me and she's seen people 'just like me' do great on it. So I start taking 10 mg I think end of Sept/beginning of October 2013..I was feeling OK on it but around the 4 week mark I started waking up in a complete panic, sweat and couldn't breathe. Then these panic attacks led to suicidal thoughts-I thought I was going crazy, I was not ME. So mid-october I go off of it cold turkey (only been on it about 6 weeks). Felt awful for a week, tried 5-HTP, Valerian Root..felt a little better but my therapist and those around me kept saying 'i needed something' and I had friends who had been on these meds and were 'feeling fabulous' So I thought maybe I just didn't find the right med. So I decided to see a psychiatrist this time. Beginning of November, I see a psych, does an hour evaluation, perscribes me effexor. Started at 37.5..5 days later, panic attack in the morning, a plan to kill myself. *NOTE* I NEVER HAD PANIC ATTACKS OR SUICIDAL THOUGHTS BEFORE THESE MEDS My Psych and Therapist tell me: 'you would've had these attacks anyway, nothing to do with the meds, up your dose' - so I up my dose and spend 4 days at a mental health clinic for 'anxiety and depression' - Then for the next month I upped my effexor dose to 150. For a couple weeks I felt agoraphobic and didn't want to leave my house. Turns out the effexor gave me really high BP so my dr has been weaning me off of this (which i'm happy about anyway because I don't want to be on this and i'm glad my BP is my 'excuse' for getting off of it) - so now i'm BACK on celexa, but this time 20 mg. I have NO panic attacks BUT I have horrendous nightmares. Once i'm done weaning off of effexor completely in the next week or so ( i'm going to split the 25mg in half and then i'm done doing this weekly). But my question is-do I stay on Celexa? Will Celexa actually 'retrain my brain' to be 'right?' (my friend's GP actually told her that). Or am I just prolonging the inevitable of relapsing and I should just go off of it now. I'm researching SAM-e. St. John's Wort. positives: my mood has improved on celexa, my anxiety is down to nothing, BUT I wake up exhausted from these dreams, i have diareah, (sorry if that's TMI), and my obsessions about health are just turning into obsessions about what these meds really do to your brain. I'm meditating now, reading about buddhism which is helping and I journal every night. THANK YOU if you read this-or even a little bit-is it me or is it the meds that caused these attacks? Am I going crazy? I kind of miss the 'old me' looking back that was a worried anxiety mess-because atleast i was ME. Hindsight's 20/20 I suppose. Wishing you all well. I look forward to making some friends and hearing from you guys.
  14. So, I've decided to start tapering my dose of venlafaxin, or Effexor, so I decided to join this forum to get help, tips, ideas and so on. I haven't noticed many benefits, and to be honest I think I was just prescribed antidepressants because hey, that's what doctors do these days. I originally just wanted to see a psychologist/therapist, because I realise my problems can't be fixed with medication. Hell, I don't know if therapy would help either, but I figured it'd be worth a shot. The side effects during day time aren't too bad, except for the occasional anxiety/restlessness when I'm out and about, and also mistaking grout between tiles as holes/stairs etc. This doesn't happen too often, but it's difficult to get home when I feel like I'm about to trip and fall every 5 seconds. The venlafaxin has also caused me to have extremely vivid nightmares, which was originally one of the reasons that caused me to seek help: vivid nightmares that made me wake up feeling extremely anxious. These nightmares were about things I was consciously anxious about, childhood bullying, body image and self-esteem issues etc. NOW I'm still having those nightmares, AND also nightmares about things I've never been scared of, like spiders, guns and, well, anything. The dreams have caused me to do a bit of self searching, but I'd still rather just sleep properly, which I haven't been able to do for a few months now. I've only forgotten to take my medication once, and after that one time, the nightmares were terrible. But now they're always like that, because of the medication. I haven't been taking the AD's for long, started with Effexor 37,5mg on 24th of December 2013, then after a week it was upped to 75mg, and in February my doctor doubled my dose, to 150mg. After the start I've been eating generic drugs rather than effexor and personally I didn't notice any difference. Unlike effexor, the generic brand has pellets inside the capsule rather than tiny round spheres. The pellets are 12,5mg each, so 6 pellets in a 75mg capsule and 12 in a 150mg capsule. The capsule is described as a "depot capsule", but I'm not entirely sure if that refers to the capsule, or the small pellets inside it? I've been wondering if this is similar, or the same thing as Effexor XR? Do you know if opening said depot capsules is safe? I was planning on opening a capsule, without breaking it, taking one pellet out for X amount of time, then two, three and so on. Does opening the capsule and then closing it again affect... things? Something, anything, a lot of things? Also, how long does it 'generally' take to come off effexor? Several months? I've read scary stories about someone's doctor halving the patient's dose right away, and then again as a way to taper it, and to me that barely sounds like tapering. Sounds more like trouble. Anyway, all tips and tricks and advice and questions are appreciated, and thanks if you bothered to read all that!
  15. Hi guys I have been of effexor for 6 months I tapperd of slowly from 75mg I was on it for 4 years and I was on 150mg for a while but 75mg for the most part. I really feel i need to go back on the drug as I'm not sleeping, I'm finding it hard to multi task at work and I feel a little lost sometimes (could be lack of sleep) Is my only option to hop bask on this drug, I feel like I've done so well, I'm 6 months out and it seems like a waste I originally went on the drug for anxiety and when coming off I no longer have anxiety but other issues or dependencies that I feel I need this drug for Ie sleep and concentration My doctor said some of us are missing something and we need a Chemicle to supply it so she gave me another script Thanks I found this forum and thought I would post something before beginning back on effexor again
  16. Quazzi

    Quazzi Intro

    Hello, It's very difficult to concentrate right now, but I thought I would try to post an intro anyway. I'm not a man of many words, so this is going to be somewhat brief. I really don't have great memory capacity at this time, and can't tell you a detailed history of myself, but I was on Effexor XR from some time in 1993 when it first came to market, until 2013, when I switched to Prozac to try to get off of it completely. A few times over the years I had tried to wean off of Effexor, but after a few months of not getting any better I always ended up going back on it. I actually never felt as bad off of the Effexor as I do now after switching to Prozac and tapering to zero. I only recently (in February) went completely off of Prozac with a very slow taper down to as little as 1mg per day. That was a few months ago, and now I completely regret that I went off. I tried to reinstate Prozac a month or so later with 10mg, which felt good the day that I took it, but then I had a bad reaction in the middle of the night and have been worse since. I tried to take a little bit less (5mg) for two days, but I couldn’t stand it and stopped. I had noticed that my sleep was getting worse even while I was still on the low dose of Prozac, but now my sleep is so bad that I can hardly function, and I have constant impaired concentration and memory issues. I also now have a type of akathisia every day and night that makes me not able to stay laying in my bed and makes it difficult to sit at work or in social situations. I am in constant agony and feel like I’m 100 years old. My nervous system is so dysfunctional and hyper-sensitized that I can hardly take any supplement or drug without having some kind of paradoxical effect. I can’t believe that I did this to myself when I was doing well just a few months back. I had all my energy then and was still sleeping well. I had the energy to pack a moving truck mostly by myself and move 2000 miles. I can hardly imagine doing that now. I recently gave in to friends telling me to go to a psychiatrist, who I tried to explain everything to. He did the usual mis-diagnosis of telling me that withdrawal doesn’t last that long, etc. and that there’s a possibility that I am bi-polar. I cringed at the drugs he suggested to me, so he finally ended up just giving me a prescription for Propranolol to supposedly help with the akathisia so I could sleep. I have not taken any of it yet and really don’t want to, although I am considering trying it. I can’t believe that’s the best he could do is give me a prescription for a drug that messes with my heart! Like messing my brain up isn’t enough, now we’re going to screw around with my heart. I am afraid that it is going to probably mess me up even more than I already am.
  17. I was on Effoxor about six years ago and weaned myself off successfully. When I was diagnosed with Breast a Cancer last year I started getting severe hotflashes because of chemo. I read that a low dosage effexor is helpful. Even though I remember that it was difficult to get off of Effexor last time, I decided to give it a try. I took 37.5 twice a day with no success. Now I'm trying to wean myself off of it again. I guess I forgot how difficult it was last time. I successfully got down to one dose a day and then started taking out two pebbles out of the capsule. I was down to 3 pebbles but the brain shiffers have been horrible. I've also been having severe cold sweats over the past week, which I just found out today, could be due to withdrawl also. After reading this site, I decided to up my dosage back to six pebbles but after six hours I'm still feeling horrible. The brain shiffers and cold sweats are the worst but I'm also very sensitive to light and sound.
  18. PLEASE check your lot numbers. http://abclocal.go.com/kabc/story?section=news/consumer/recalls&id=9460569 LOS ANGELES (KABC) -- Pfizer is recalling the anti-depressant Effexor because it may have been contaminated with a heart drug. Interaction between the two could be fatal. The recall affects 30-count and 90-count bottles of Effexor XR 150-milligram extended release capsules and 90-count bottles of Greenstone-branded Venlafaxine 150-milligram extended release capsules. According to a press release, a pharmacist had reported that a bottle of Pfizer's Effexor XR contained one capsule of Tikosyn. There have been no other reports, but three lots that were packaged on the same line are being voluntarily recalled as a precaution. The use of Tikosyn by someone taking Effexor or Venlafaxine could have "serious adverse health consequences that could be fatal," the press release states. Patients should watch out for signs of abnormal heartbeat and contact their doctors if they have any problems. (Copyright ©2014 KABC-TV/DT. All Rights Reserved.) http://reno.legalexaminer.com/fda-prescription-drugs/effexor-antidepressant-recalled-by-pfizer/ The widely used antidepressant, Effexor has been voluntarily recalled by Pfizer Inc., because it has the potential to be contaminated with a heart drug. The interaction between both drugs could prove fatal. The recall involves the following prescription medications: 1 lot, 30-count – Effexor XR (venlafaxine HCI) 150-mg extended-release capsules 1 lot, 90-count Effexor XR (venlafaxine HCl) 150-mg extended-release capsules 1 lot, 90-count Greenstone LLC-branded venlafaxine HCl 150-mg extended-release capsules. The Pfizer lot numbers are V130142 and V130140, which both expire in October 2015, and Greenstone lot number is V130014, which expires in August 2015. According to the company, other bottles are not likely to be compromised and the recall is a precautionary measure. However the drug Tikosyn (dofetilide), used to treat atrial fibrillation, may be found in one bottle of Effexor. If patients experience any of the following symptoms they are urged seek medical attention: abnormal or fast heartbeat or if they feel faint or dizzy. Stericycle should be called with any questions about returning the product at 888-345-0481. While questions regarding the recall should be directed to Pfizer at 800-438-1985. Adverse reactions with this medication, or any other, should be reported to the FDA’s MedWatch Adverse Event Reporting Program which you can access online.
  19. Hi guys well I've finally become a member after visiting the forum many times in an attempt to try and build up the courage to get off Effexor once and for all. I've been on between 225mg and 75mg for the last 10 years. Originally to treat Major depression and Borderline Personality. Took 75mg through two healthy pregnancies. I've tried twice in the past to get off this drug with no success. I experience heavy sweating and derealisation as a side effect. I'm struggling to find a doctor that a) believes in venlafaxine withdrawal and knows how to combat the withdrawal symptoms The first time I came off cold turkey as instructed by my psychiatrist. This was about 5 years ago before my first pregnancy. Prior to any warning labels being on the medication which now say 'Do Not Stop Taking This Medication Abruptly'. I had really bad anxiety and panic which I had never experienced before in my life. As soon as I got back on I was back to normal. The second time I reduced my dose from 75mg to 37.5mg then to 0 over the course of about two weeks. As per instructions by my GP. As soon as I stopped I felt like I was pretty close to losing it (as in my mind). Major anxiety and panic again. Started taking Effexor again after three days. I am seeing a new doctor and she has suggested halving my dose straight away from 75mg to 37.5mg. Then after two weeks start taking half a 10mg Endep tablet before bed for three days. After three days stop the Effexor completely. She said the Endep should combat the withdrawals. Having read a lot on here about tapering I said to her that that reduction sounds way too fast and I started freaking out because I don't want to end up in that psychotic limbo like I have all the other times I've stopped. I hope this makes sense. Any advice would be very much appreciated. Thanks
  20. Hi! I stumbled across this site a while ago and it planted the seed to try to ween off of antidepressants altogether. I'm finally doing it and registered here today. I've been on some sort of antidepressant for years now. After suffering frequent, severe panic attacks for years and just trying to deal with it, I finally had a doctor prescribe Lexapro because of prolonged, severe insomnia. Not only did the insomnia clear up, but I stopped having panic attacks! I had been having several a day, every day for years. It was horrible. After a year or so, I changed jobs and my new insurance didn't cover as much so my Lexapro got more expensive than I could afford so I ended up switching to a much cheaper generic citalopram. I was told it was very similar chemically. I noticed some depression symptoms after the switch. In hindsight I think I've had episodes of moderate depression since childhood, but it was never a major problem until I was on antidepressants (ironically). But I was still not having panic attacks and I was so terrified of going back to that nightmare, I didn't even consider stopping. I also started noticing major symptoms if I would miss a couple of doses -- there were a few times when I needed my doctor to call in a new prescription, but it was the weekend so I went a couple of days without. At the time, I wasn't aware of the propensity of these drugs to cause such negative symptoms if you missed. I had wild mood swings including full-on rage over things that should have been minor irritants. Eventually the depression symptoms got bad enough I talked to my doctor about trying something else. Two days after switching to a low dose of Prozac, I got up at about 1am because I couldn't sleep and ended up taking our washing machine apart to try to fix something that didn't require that much disassembly. So that wouldn't work. We eventually settled on nortryptaline which actually helped me get to one of the best places I had been in a long time emotionally. Of course that didn't last and it also had some physical side effects (constipation) that were getting so bad I had to make another change. I ended up on generic Effexor XR less than a year ago. I've had splitting headaches if I took my daily dose even a couple of hours later than usual - it was the least-forgiving of all the antidepressants for me so I was pretty nervous about weening off, but I was determined to stop being a slave to these drugs. I waited until after all our family Christmas gatherings and since I was on the lowest dose available, I thought I'd try just going every-other day. (Now that I look through this website, I see that's not really a recommended way to do it). But surprisingly, I wasn't really having problems. The splitting headaches that usually came after just being 2 hours late taking my daily dose, didn't come until the second day when I was planning to take my next dose anyway. After two weeks I wasn't getting the headaches at all! So I just stopped altogether early this week. Surprisingly I wasn't having any major symptoms at first. I was just feeling a little otherworldly/lightheaded. That lightheaded feeling seems to be getting worse though. I'm hoping it will go away soon. My other concern is that I'm starting to have some very minor "panicky" feelings creep up now and then. I'm really praying that I don't go back to those multiple-daily panic attacks. That was just horrible. But I also don't want to be dependent on these awful drugs for the rest of my life either.... Fingers crossed.
  21. Hello... I have decided to wean myself off Effexor. I was on Prozac for about 15 years (dr. put me on to help with perimenopause), then another dr. switched me to Effexor about 2 years ago as he said it would help with hot flashes. A week ago I cut my dose in half and have been experiencing many side effects, so I did an internet search and found this site. After reading the "tapering..." forum, I realize I cut back way too much and will now start the 10%/month approach. Thank goodness I found you... I am so glad to have found a support system.
  22. Hello Everyone Just introducing myself to you all. Im completely new to this kind of thing, so bear with my training wheels! Hope I've posted this in the right spot.... Hoping to find information, support, validation and shared experiences here. Have hit a seriously low point on my journey, and feeling (almost) ready to admit defeat. I would so appreciate any insights, experiences or information you can share. So far I have found the site very informative and a source of great comfort in a strange kind of way - it has certainly helped me feel a little less alone, and alot more validated. Here's a little about me and my Effexor XR/Seroquel NIGHTMARE. Cheers PoisonPills ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ Drugged with Prozac by mother/family doctor in 1984 aged 14 for being moody, emotional, angry and depressive. Never been the same. Decades of trialling on/off medications followed including Zoloft, Paxil, Lithium, Cipramil, Celexa, Lexapro, Seroquel and others to treat "anxiety/depression". None of which I tolerated. Significant memory loss from those years. Eventually lived medication free until events 9 years ago pushed me into severe anxiety/depression, and I returned to ADs. Big mistake. Have spent the last 8 years in the care (and I use that term loosely) of a psychiatrist who prescribed Effexor XR (doses ranging from 37.5mg to 300mg) with Seroquel (doses ranging from 25mg to 500mg) as a stabiliser. He routinely raised/lowered large dosages causing significant and incapacitating side effects - although often delayed - and therefore dismissed by psychiatrist as "imagination". I did have some improvement for a while. But as time progressed, I began to decline significantly; experience symptoms more intensely; and developed additional features/characteristics over the years including speech disruption (ie forgetting words/what Im saying literally mid-sentence); an electrical brain zap sensation; suicidal feelings; severe panic/anxiety/agorophobia/terror/dread; obsessiveness; light/sound sensitivity; skin flushing and staying red; difficulty regulating/controlling internal body temperature (sweats/shivers); complete inability to cope with stress/change/low resilience; spontaneous uncontrollable rage; paranoia; fantasising; excessive and spontaneous crying episodes; mood swings; tics/twitches; extreme fatigue; inability to function in daily life; food sensitivities; digestive/absorption problems; shocking sleep disturbance/nightmares and mania. It wasn't until I started researching and looking for my own answers that the "picture" of my collective symptoms and their causes began to emerge. The psychiatrist treating me later admitted he thought I was "faking" in order to get disability, and added that he thought I was too "open to suggestion" and being "influenced" by what I was reading/researching on the subject. He rubbished all the information I brought to him. When openly confronted with my extreme level of decline under his care, he nonchalantly replied, "I don't have all the answers". No longer being treated by said psychiatrist. To this day, I STILL have no clear diagnosis; or reason as to why I was drugged so extensively (or so long). When pressured, psychiatrist stated I had a vague "anxiety/depressive" illness with only some features of "personality disorder" and "bipolar disorder" due to mania/mood swings (which, incidentally, I never experienced prior to being drugged with SSRI's). My life has been utterly decimated by this experience. I remain unable to function in daily life, or maintain relationships, let alone work. I am literally staring down the barrel of homelessness at present. My medical team has utterly failed me, and I despair at the lack of local sources of support who will validate my experience. TAPERING HISTORY Began reducing Effexor from 225mg mid 2013. Got Effexor down to 75mg. Seroquel down to 25mg without much difficulty. Tapered in 75mg intervals over 4-8 weeks with a few uncomfortable but manageable side effects. Then reduced Effexor dosage to 37.5mg and held for 3 weeks, with problems emerging. Forced to "cold turkey" due to financial reasons. Hit with shocking (some instant/some delayed) discontinuation symptoms, and remain completely incapacitated. Its been 5 weeks since 11 February 2014. Symptoms include speech disruption; brain zap; suicidal feelings; panic/anxiety/agorophobia/terror/dread; obsessiveness; light/sound sensitivity; impaired ability to cope with stress/change; spontaneous uncontrollable rage; paranoia; fantasising; excessive and unexplainable crying episodes; mood swings; extreme fatigue; food sensitivities; digestive/absorption problems; shocking sleep disturbance/nightmares and mania. Seroquel now back up to between 100mg and 500mg a night due to anxiety and severe sleep disturbance. Recently commenced taking Organic Cold Pressed Flaxseed Oil; Magnesium (2000mg daily) and B Complex/Vitamin C but too early to tell if they are beneficial, although I have noticed significantly less muscle tension.
  23. how is that the psychiatrists do not know about the Withdrawal from effexor is so difficult and the body is get use to it and is Addictive? they need to know this is their Profession
  24. Glad to have found this forum. I found it by looking for articles on long-term symptoms of quitting Effexor. Started taking Effexor XR around 10 years ago. Only 75 mg, went to 150mg for probably a year or so, then back down to 75mg for the last several years. I found lots of research pointing to the fact that andrenergic receptors are targets of norepinephrine. These receptors are in your sweat glands (activating the micromuscles that make you sweat) and digestive tract (sphincter constriction, etc). They affect your fight or flight response. I had a lot of symptoms that didn't make sense, then I started to research long-term effects of effexor/venlaflaxine. A lot the side effects that were listed as 'rare' or 'uncommon' were appearing in my day to day life. Granted I was taking only 75mg, but over a long time. This is a NON-SCIENTIFIC observation, but I believe that I was being affected by the norepinephrine. I considered EffexorXR a wonder drug, as in the beginning I was more confident, smarter, energetic. Of course, there's tolerance... afterwards I had to keep taking it just to be normal and avoid the side effects. After my norepinephrine discovery, and observing all the rare side effects.. I decided that this was not a good drug. So I started taking my 75mg once every other day. Once I got used to that, I started stretching the next dose by 12 hour or more increments. If I couldn't handle it I'd take my pill and try to stretch it next time. The half life of venlaflaxine is under 24 hours, so 48 hours later, presumably 25% is still in your system. Once I got to the 4 day mark, I got a prescription for 37.5 mg and followed the same process. I've tried doing it by granules as others have, but this was proving to be difficult, which is why I decided to vary TIME rather than DOSE. I took my last 37.5 mg Effexor XR in mid-July of this year. A couple of weeks after, I was on fire! Waking up early without an alarm, extremely organized, productive, and everything seemed extremely positive. Two months later, it wasn't the same. Some depressive or anxious days, mostly good days though. CURRENT SITUATION I'm feeling anxious and depressed more often. Judging myself and my life, making comparisons to where I was, comparisons to other people, etc. I originally took Effexor XR because I was diagnosed with Generalized Anxiety Disorder--but didn't want to do expensive therapy sessions (mistake, I'll admit). Depression wasn't really there before. Now it is -- although I felt depression at times when I was on Effexor. (Withdrawal?) Symptoms: - anxiety - depression - weight loss - some fatigue - IBS (supposedly effexor is sometimes used for IBS) - less social Attempts at Solving: - 200mg L-Theanine daily - 500mg DL-Phenylaline (don't think it does anything) - 1200mg of DHA/EPA fish oil daily - exercise every other day - 2 cups kefir probiotic fermented milk - 12 strains of probiotics (this has been very good lately) - mindfulness based cognitive techniques Where do I go from here? Are these really withdrawal symptoms? I really don't want to get back on Effexor, but if it makes me happier.. I have to consider it.
  25. I am Charlene from Utah USA, I am withdrawing (w/d) from Lamictal, and would like some help with it. Shortish summary of most recent mental health drug history: 150 mg/day lamictal, 50 mg/night trazadone (as needed for sleep), are current medications. I have already sucessfully w/d from 300 mg/day effexor, prior to that abilify (prior med was respiradal). I have script for wellbutrim that I have not started on, though I have taken it previously without (w/o) serious side effects, but wondered if it was "working" for less depression. I was recently diagnosed with anxiety, due to great trouble at work, I started using proprananol, but have not continued taking it as I think the growing job anxiety was due to w/d from effexor, not "me". Diagnosis I have been tagged with in the last few years include: major depression, severe, recurring; bi-polar I, generalized anxiety, and the wonderful one, borderline personality disorder. I was hospitalized by consent in 2011 for 2 weeks (huge work related difficulties were a driver), which is when I got the BPD diagnosis, possibly due to continuing having suicidal ideations and conflicts in relationships there (and in usual life); which have continued most of these 2 years. But, I think some things like "getting along with others" is getting better, possibly due to w/d from effexor? I have been prescribed many tri-cyclic and SSRI and SNRI anti-depressants; my summary at this point on anti-depressant use for me is that at best some of them have "raised the bottom" of my low moods - which at times of stress has been crucial I suppose. None of them however are something that I want or intend on staying on the rest of my life, which I believe is the pro-pharma medical establishments recommendation for me up to this point. Augmentation with resperidal for irritability, then abilify later, depakote (more than a couple years ago) and now lamictal (taken previous periods too, w/d due to memory/concentration/focus Extreme problems in 2004 and 2010 - why do "they" keep putting me on it? I was on double the dosage back then than I was this time however. Other medical/physical diagnosis (most likely from taking the above!) include hypertension, pre-diabetes, high cholesterol, irritable bowel syndrome. I am currently interested in continuing Lamictal w/d and trying not to go back on any anti-depressants. I am a bit concerned that continuing w/d may exasperate my tendency to disorganization and sometimes fluctuating mood and more irritability......things I have noticed over the previous 2 months or so. I am trying to stay very motivated to deal with low moods by actions such as hiking, biking, possibly getting back to running trails, staying involved in community by tutoring and organizing hikes, try to get back to daily meditation and other ways to deal with repetitive thoughts and low and not useful thoughts/actions. I currently work part-time at a lower stress job, have financial difficulties due to being on private disability for 2 years, which payments have stopped now. How do I go about slow w/d from lamictal? So far have decreased to 150 mg/day from 200 mg/day, by cutting the blue tablets in quarters. I went down to 100 mg/day, but felt rising anxiety from the turmoil and lack of patience and such that I was feeling, so went back up to 150 mg/day and have been back there for more than a week now.
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