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  1. HI to all of you who might read my story. My brain is so bad I find it hard to do this, so it has taken me a few days. Also, this is not my mother language, so I hope you forgive me for the mistakes I might make. I tapered very slowly the whole year of 2019 after using this SNRI for 1,5 years. I didn't have enough energy, had a few migraines and had a harder PMS period before my menstrual period. In general I was very fine and feeling confident. I just made mistake. I was tapering 1 mg per week from the weight of the beads, using a scale and didn't slow down when I was on 40 mg. I started to feel real bad on 25 mg of the beads, in May 2020. ( that was 11, .. mg of venlafaxine) June 12th I up-dosed to 60 beads , 15 mg of Venlafaxine and I split the dose. It helped immediately, but not enough to hold me for long. Second week I got worse and it freaked me out again. Physically I lost 15 pounds of weight. I was a wreck. After 2 weeks from my last change, I updosed to 17 mg , 66 beads. Terrified. My whole life crumbled in front of my eyes. It helped again and I got better. But I am not stabile. Now here i am. Still stuck on 66 beads. Still having waves. This week it will be October. It is going on too long... my relationship is ruined as he can't cope seeing me suffer like this. So I live with my parents who are old. I have nothing left then my cloths and taper friends. I don't know what to do anymore. I am on the fb group Effexor (Venlafaxine) should be illegal. The tell me to wait. And I am waiting. But how long do you wait? 6 months? a year? And wait for what? I need a plan.... this is insane and I don't know how to get out. I try to walk at least 30 minutes daily, but i hate winter is coming. I try to do coherent breathing, to help my access my prefrontal. I use essential oil which was recommended. I journal my day and symptoms since some time. I read and read some more to find answers, but mostly I need to hear how people got through this and how they healed. I just need to see where the end of the tunnel will be. I hope you can support my journey. I can't see it anymore
  2. Seven/eight years ago, due to a peculiar set of circumstances, I ended up closing down the successful business I had founded. The loss of my business and financial resources lead to various problems in my life. About six years ago I was diagnosed with depression and anxiety. My psychiatrist put me on: Citalopram 10 mg/day. Axal (Alpralozam) 0.5 mg The immediate effect was that the anxiety disappeared. The depression got better (or at least the symptoms did), however I never returned to life of extreme activity like I had lead previously. About two years ago my medications were changed. Citalopram 10 mg twice a day i.e. 20 mg Effexor Xr 75 mg/day Axal 0.5 mg day. In these years I have tried quitting cold at least 4 times. Each time I had to go back on medications. The only success story is that I gave up Axal, a benzo, cold. I had no WD effects from giving up Axal. Today I only take Citalopram 20 mg and Effexor 75 mg. I must add that I also have Epilepsy since I was 13 years old. For the past 37 years I have been taking anti-epileptic drugs. My current drugs for Epilepsy are: Tegral 400 mg. Lumark 750 mg. These I cannot get rid off for obvious reasons. My only wish is to get off Citalopram and Effexor XR. I totally believe these do not help me. My anxiety has gone away, but I have this permanent listlessness. I was once an over-ambitious person and today I am totally flat. I don’t feel much emotions, and the desire to achieve success is gone. Failures and losses don't bother me either. This is not what and who I was. I’ve read many of the subjects here, including the wonderfully detailed Taper section. I do need your advice as to how I should approach my taper. Should I quit Effexor XR first or Citalopram? Any other advice on muti-drug taper would be welcome. PS: My daughter gets married in 3 months. I am planning to start a very low 5-10% taper immediately. Any advice? Thanks again.
  3. Hello friends! My name is Mads, and I am currently on 225mg Effexor, 150mg Wellbutrin, and 20mg of Ritalin 3x/day. I have struggled with depression and anxiety since I was a teenager. After a suicide attempt at 15 I was diagnosed and put on Prozac in the hospital. It was a few months before I got settled with a therapist and a psychiatric nurse practitioner (who will be referred to as Susan from now on). Over a year or so, my dose was increased. When I (at the pushing of my mother) expressed concern over the weight gain I was experiencing that we attributed to the medication, Susan put me on Effexor and took me off Prozac (I don't remember this process - it might have been stopping Prozac CT and immediately starting Effexor). Over a couple years, my dose was increased eventually to the max: 225mg. At one point, Susan diagnosed me with Inattentive ADHD (aka ADD) and put me on Ritalin. This dose over time was increased to the max: 20mg 3x/day. This April, I slipped into a depressive state due to Covid (losing my job, withdrawing from college classes, isolation from friends and partner, etc). My mom suggested I talk to Susan about adjusting my medication. At this point I had also started DBT therapy. Susan put me on 150mg of Wellbutrin. Since starting the Effexor, I have struggled with sexual dysfunction. Because I started ADs at such a young age and initially while I wasn't sexually active, it didn't occur to me to express my concern over the issues I was having. I was very aware that they were likely caused by my medication, which I felt and still feel is doing its job otherwise, so I didn't want to mess with what I felt was working for me. As of starting the Wellbutrin, the sexual dysfunction has increased in severity and has become unbearable. It has caused issues in my relationship that we can no longer ignore. I expressed my concerns to Susan last week. She said that the Wellbutrin was not likely to be the cause of the side effects. She suggested that I skip my Friday and Saturday doses since I see my partner on Saturdays usually, and that might help curb these symptoms. She said that I would likely experience brain zaps as a result of these drug holidays. Friday I forgot to skip my dose, so I skipped it Saturday morning. By the afternoon I had a splitting headache, and by the evening had chills and aches like I was coming down with something. All night long I had nightmares. I would wake up from one just to fall asleep and into another. I woke up with a headache and feeling like I hadn't slept at all. That morning I took my regular dose because I could not drive myself to work in the state I was in. Experiencing the effects of this drug holiday, and realizing how much my relationship is hurting because of these side effects, I am itching to get off of the Effexor but in a way that won't cause such debilitating WD symptoms. I have an appointment with Susan tomorrow to talk about tapering the Effexor and if needed increasing the Wellbutrin (if I find my depressive symptoms returning). I am not one to dismiss the advice of a professional, but it makes me nervous that Susan would advise me to stop cold turkey for a couple days a week when I am on the highest dose allowed to be prescribed... it also makes me nervous that I am on the highest dose of both Ritalin and Effexor at all. I can't help but imagine she would tell me to taper way too quickly or even advise me against stopping the Effexor at all. My medications have definitely done what they were prescribed to do, so I am reluctant to make changes, but I just can't keep going on they way I have been. I am hoping that by joining this group, I will find some support and guidance in adjusting my medications, navigating the psychiatric healthcare world, and dealing with the fallout of such. Thank you for reading my very personal and in depth intro post, I hope no one fell asleep out of boredom 😊
  4. During a disastrous attempted benzo taper, I developed severe depression and anhedonia, different and more intense than ever before in life. I have history of anxiety and depression, but nothing ever of this scale. I also developed severe insomnia during benzo taper, which persists even after I've paused benzo tapering (currently on 20mg Valium). I rely on Clonidine to get a few hours of sleep every night. My timeline: 2006 Effexor for anxiety and mild depression 2010 change to Lexapro 2012 change to Pristiq 100mg Multiple unsuccessful attempts to taper (psychological symptoms only). These were all quick tapers, as advised by doctors, which I only now in hindsight realise were too fast. Psychiatrist diagnosed ADD in November 2017 started Modafanil 400mg. Functioned well on Modafanil, was also still on Pristiq. Modafanil expensive and wanted a cheaper alternative. Feb 2018 Psychiatrist started me on Ritalin LA 40mg. I reacted badly with this stimulant, too agitated and couldn't function so Psychiatrist added Temazepam 10mg. March 2018 ceased Modafanil. March 2018 switched from Temazepam to 20mg Diazepam. Diazepam increased up to 90mg over next few months. June 2018 switched from Ritalin to 70mg Vyvance. August 2018 switch from Diazepam to Clonazepam, kept needing increased dose, progressively went to 6mg Clonazepam, and also prescribed short acting Dexampthetamine. My life was spiralling out of control and I realised I needed to get off all the meds and not see this Psychiatrist again. I naively asked the Psychiatrist for tapering advice. Was advised to taper Pristiq first, then Vyvance and Dexamphetamine, and lastly Clonazepam. All the suggested tapers were, ofcourse, extremely fast. Tapers: Sept - November 2018 tapered off 100mg Pristiq (compounding) while still on Vyvance, Dexamphetamine and 6mg(!!!) Clonazepam. I don't really remember this taper. My family tell me I was bed bound during last few weeks. All psychological symptoms. Jan 2019 fast taper Vyvance and Dexamphetamine. Got very agitated towards the end and cold turkeyed the last bit of the dose as couldn't handle it anymore and wanted it out my system. Feb to March 2019: fast taper 6mg clonazepam to 1 mg, ended up in Psych hospital due to acute anxiety and insomnia, and had developed severe intensity depression and anhedonia, different and more intense than ever before in life. March 2019 hospital admission: Stopped tapering benzo. Commenced Seroquel for sleep but didn't help . commenced Chlorpromazine, slept well. Commenced Mirtazapine. Self discharged. Found Ashton Manual and converted to 20mg Valium, and planned to hold benzo taper to try to stabilise. The 'holding' did not ease depression. April 2019 GP converted me from Mirtazapine to Effexor XR (took Mirtazapine for 9 days, wasn't helping depression and was causing increased appetite). Started Effexor XR at 37.5mg for one week, 75mg for 2 weeks, and then 150mg for 4 weeks (total 7 weeks). May 2019: ceased Chlorpromazine, even though it helped with sleep, as didn't want to be on it. Effexor had not eased depression at all after 7 weeks so started tapering. Again, a fast doctor-led taper: 6th June 2019 reduced Effexor from 150mg to 75mg, held for one week. 13th June reduced from 75mg to 37.5mg, still holding this dose. Have not had any noticeable withdrawal from these reductions. I reluctantly agreed to try antidepressants as the depression is unbearable and I have no quality of life. But it hasn't helped so I want to get off the Effexor before I get more dependent on it, but I'm scared as I've since realised that doctor-advised tapers are too fast, compounded by the problem of my nervous system being so vulnerable during a recent too fast benzo reduction from an extremely high dose. Reluctantly started Trans Magnetic Stimulation (TMS) therapy 27th June. I've had 7 treatments so far without adverse effect. I hope the depression eases, even if only a minor improvement, I would be grateful. My GP is advising to continue Effexor taper during TMS but I'm scared, so I'm holding 37.5 dose. I'm using generic Effexor (6 mini tablets inside each 75mg capsule). I want to taper Effexor more gradually, but don't know how. Generic don't have the small beads which I've read about on this site. Can I change to brand name Effexor? I know now that gradual slow taper is best, but I don't have this luxury as I need to get off Effexor before I can re-start my benzo taper (taking 20mg valium currently). I am desperate to be benzo free to reclaim my life. I haven't been able to work for nearly 1 year, feel like I have no future. 2006 Commenced Effexor 2010 Converted to Lexapro 2012 Converted to Pristiq 2017 Commenced Modafanil 2018 Commenced Ritalin and Vyvance, with benzos added due to reaction to Ritalin September-November 2018 taper off 100mg Pristiq January 2019 Dexamphetamine and Vyvance taper February-March 2019 tapered from 6mg to 1mg Clonazepam April 2019 Commenced Effexor XR 6th June 2019 started tapering Effexor, from 150mg to 37.5mg currently.
  5. Brooke Hi everyone! I'm thrilled to finally be posting here. I've been lurking here and there since 2016, when I first found Surviving Antidepressants when I was considering getting off of the Effexor XR and Wellbutrin XL I'd been taking from age 15-30. Like so may of you, withdrawal was hell on Earth. I experienced everything from homicidal visions to extreme noise sensitivity to rage to a bizarre blood vessel disorder called nodular vasculitis. Combined with the tsunami of pain and trauma that came gushing out after I removed my antidepressant band aid, and I was a barely functioning, terrified mess with no psychiatric support. I was lucky, though, to have some resources outside the traditional mental health system that helped me work through my experience, and today I am proud to say that I consider myself cured of chronic depression haven't taken a prescription drug since 2016. It's taken me until now to actually participate in the forum because I needed to know that I was in a solid place. So much of the internet (I'm looking at you Twitter...) can be a triggering environment, and had to make sure that I could mentally handle it. But I trust in the work I've put in, and I'm ready! I say all this not to boast, but to wave from the distance and do my best to act as an example of success. I know that when I was in withdrawal and working through all the trauma, I would have done anything to know that there were people out there who were thriving after spending half their life on antidepressants. Instead, it felt like I was in uncharted waters. I wrote about this for the Washington Post earlier this year, and the flood of support and stories I got in response was overwhelming and heartbreaking. Anyway, happy to answer any questions, and much love to you all. Brooke
  6. I want to know how to detox from all the psychiatric drugs that I took in order to make possible for my body not to need to take them anymore and to eliminate all the side effects that the psych drugs gave me. This is all the drugs that I took from psychiatrists: when I was 16 years old I took first paxil and rivotril (clonazepam) for a year and then only epival er (valproate semisodium) for a year and Then when I got 21 I took paxil and rivotril for 6 months. I changed to a 2nd psychiatrist he gave me symbyax (olanzapine and fluoxetine) I was with him for 4 months, then I went with a 3rd shrink that gave me lamictal and abilify for 6 months so then I changed with a 4th doctor which was a "neurologist" who gave me strattera for ADD and told me to go with his partner who is another psychiatrist (5th doctor) who added me sertraline, topamax (topiramate), olanzapine, lamictal, and because of the tachycardia that were produce by this drugs he added inderalici for my tachycardia. So after 7 months with this doctor I went with a 6th doctor that gave me paxil, rivotril, lithium and for my ADD he gave me methylphenidate (commercial name is tradea LP which is similar to Concerta). After 6 months with this doctor I changed to a 7th doctor that gave me sertraline in a very high dose and with this I decided to stop taking that pill a was taking but in a one day span it caused me to have a psychosis that made my father send male nurses to kidnapped and locked into a clinic (like hospitalization), in which the skrink that trated me was the one that treated me when I was 16 and he injected me haldol and gave pills more haldol, biperiden, triazolam and risperdal. I LIVED HELL WITH THESE DRUGS. Then the shrink after he saw that I recover reality, I was super depressed so he gave me citalpram but it didn't work so he gave me paxil and lithium. Then I started coming off meds and now I just take one quarter of a lithium pill every day in the morning. My actual side effects that I want to eliminate are: anxiety, very strong heart palpitaions or beats/beating that cause bad breathing and chest pain, difficulty to take decisions, nausea, extreme itching in my face, head, chest and back, buzz in the ears, difficulty to focus or concentrate, bad short-term memory, and wanting to pee all the time. Thank you very much.
  7. Hi! I've been on Effexor XR for about 12 years and have been trying to get off of it for the past couple months. My doctor is not helpful at all and doesn't seem to know what she's doing. I started at 187.5mg and she had me alternating each day with the lower dose. So I would alternate 187.5mg, 150mg, 187.5mg, 150mg....until I felt comfortable enough to go down another step. I read on here that you're not supposed to do that, but that's what she's telling me. So I had really bad withdrawal symptoms this whole time. Now I'm on 37.5mg and I tried alternating with taking nothing every other day. But as you can imagine my body didn't like that. I happened to make it 5 days without the pill and felt like I was dying before a nice girl on a Facebook support group led me to this site. I'm so thankful she did because my symptoms are almost gone and I feel great. I've been breaking open my capsules and counting out the beads everyday and slowly going down from there. The problem is my doctor told me I'm not supposed to be breaking open the pills, so she called in the Effexor tablets so I can break them in half. I told her my symptoms are really bad and she said maybe I should just go back on the pill.... needless to say I have to figure this out myself. So I like the counting method with the beads but I'm running out of capsules and only have the tablets left. I'm not sure how to make a liquid out of them or what to do to get to 0. I just want this medicine out of my system!
  8. I've been on psych medications since I was 14, I'm almost 36. I've tried almost everything. I cant do it anymore. I hate the meds so much I don't want to be anywhere near them. I'm very tempted to cold turkey them. I hope that won't kill me, but I can't live this way.
  9. Hi, Been on Effexor 75 XR for almost 17 years. in May, 2018 I started tapering, but I think I have done it too quickly...by August I was on 37.5mg XR (after alternating 75 and 37.5) Prozac to "bridge"...December, 2018 I started taking 37.5mg every other day for 3 weeks and on Feb 8th, 2019 I went to ZERO (per dr. instructions). Memorial day weekend withdrawals hit me like a ton of bricks...high anxiety, some depression, nervousness and fatigue. I am now taking .05mg ATIVAN as needed. I take vitamin B Complex, D3, iron, probiotics, formula 303, cortisol Manager, Fish Oil, Magnesoim bisglycinate. I started taking 800 mg SAM-E last week and I have just started taking 800mg holy basil. I sleep fine at night, bust as soon as I open my eyes, I start feeling anxious. I am thinking about reinstating the 37.5mg XR tonight...is that too much? Any advice? PLEASE?????????????????????????
  10. I began using Effexor XR after a life crisis. I needed help at the time. I wanted to stop the drug several times over the last 16 years, but was told by one medical professional after another that this was a "good" drug for me. I survived a serious illness as a child and the Effexor was supposedly helping with symptoms. In May of 2012, I made up my mind, found this site and heeded the advice about the 10% drops. It was so difficult for me to count out the balls that I went the route of the compounding pharmacist. My first reductions were fine. I noticed after 3-4 days I would have a temper outbreak- just one and yell at the cat or traffic. That was it. I felt so much better- I was like a new person. My hearing got better, my taste sensations improved- weird things. I was more energetic and focused. Since I already had the 37.5 XR capsules, in November 2012, I decided to stay on that dose for 90 days. Everything was going so smoothly. At the end of January, I got the flu. I couldn't quite get over it and 3 weeks later got it again. Then the strep throat followed and and horrible fungal infection. If I had my thinking cap on, I would have waited to continue doing my declining steps- but no- I was on a mission. When it seemed I wasn't getting well, I went to the doctor. This was the end of June 2013. I was having nightmares, sweating at night profusely, shaking, riddled with anxiety and having gastro problems. I never connected it with the blasted Effexor. I'm currently back up to 15mgs. for 90 days with the intent of merging in the 7.5mgs. My nutritionist suggested I used NeuroScience Excita Plus to help with the side effects. (They diminished greatly after going back up but came back after 2-3 weeks). I'm not sure if this is helping- perhaps to some degree. I've been through so much stuff, physically. Honestly, this is the worst thing I have ever confronted, next to a broken leg that I had to live with for 6 months! Because of my condition, I also take clonazepam. At one point in the reductions, I had to cut it back because I couldn't stay awake during the day. That was a rough 6 weeks, making a minor adjustment with that. This site has encouraged me. Knowing I'm not the only one dealing with these problems is a huge help. My biggest worry is that it will take much longer than I expected to get off this cursed drug. I've heard of someone that is trying to get off another antidepressant and it's been taking them 2 years. Does anyone know why getting down the end is when all the stuff hits the fan? Any recommendations about merging in my 7.5 mgs. with the 15 mg. The doc said start with 1 a week and increase from there. Newtonsmom
  11. I fell pregnant and my doctor (GP, I was not under a psychiatrist anymore) all but forced me to come off Effexor XR as fast as possible. From memory it was 5 weeks in total. At the time I’d moved to a new city and had very little support in terms of this decision, I’d been in an emotionally strong place for a few years by then and I thought (hoped ha ha) I’d be OK, plus I felt I had little choice. This was now 4.5 years ago. Well, how do I even put this whole experience into words. ??? Basically im realising in hindsight that this was possibly the main reason for my total “falling apart” as a person, which I’m getting through gradually but am still pretty scared of life most of the time, to be honest. (Am now on Sertraline because I basically couldn’t function a few months after cessation.) I am hoping to hear if other people have had any similar experiences (I hope not for your sake!), especially relating to feeling as though your soul has dropped out of your body. I read one or two posts a few years back where, in one, a lady had come off Zoloft and completely lost her sense of self emotionally. She cared about nothing - literally could not feel emotions at all about anything - and she said she couldn’t even really care properly about the above happening to her. All she had was some vague, emotionless, floating thought that this was probably not a good thing and she should be more concerned about it. I relate to parts of this - does anyone else? Thankfully my sense of self has been coming back in chunks every few months, but only when I’m lucky enough to access the right kind of support. (I’ll also mention that along with all this I’ve had several HUGE life changes ie stressors happening at the same time. So it’s impossible perhaps to know how much is that, the withdrawal, and/or my tendencies toward depression etc. I guess logic would say a bit of all of these.) thank you for your site I am immensely grateful. Strength and calming vibes to everyone. Don’t lose hope. C
  12. Hey Guys, i am having a lot of trouble with the side effects of Effexor XR, after a failed withdrawal from the the drug last year after a fast taper, and consequent post acute withdrawal. I am down to the final 37.5 mg and just want to be done with it, i have had enough on these foul poisons, im prepared to come off any way possible following the 10% reduction a month rule. The problem is to this id have to import the immediate release version from overseas which is very costly, then start the slow process. I managed to see a psychiatrist, and had the advice to switch to Prozac, taking a 37.5 mg dosage of Effexor XR and halving a 20mg pill of Prozac for 2 weeks to adjust the nervous system, then do a complete swap to just Prozac, 20 mg. I have been on the Efexor for 3.5 years, prior to that Citalipram 8 years in total, and am worried about introducing a new drug into my system. I know Prozac has a long shelf, half life, thus easier to taper from then Efexor, but just feel insecure i guess. If i could have any help or information, guidance from others that have tried this approach, that would be hugely appreciated. I am here just like you, wanted to feel alive and happy again
  13. Hi everyone, awesome Forum and awesome people. So basically the issue I'm having is Effexor XR. I was placed on it after one month IP stay. It was a lifesaver 300mg Effexor XR for about 8 years. Well recently it began pooping out on me, bad moods started to show up, more anxiety, more depression. So after adjusting the medication up and down for 6 months or so PDoc and I decided to switch over to Cymbalta and give that a try. After trying Abilify unsuccessfully augmenting. The Medications I take currently are 50 mg Seroquel, 60 mg Cymbalta, and Ativan if I can't sleep sometimes... Well Since coming down and off Effexor over a year I haven't really had a good day. My mood is almost always dysphoric. I also feel really detached from life...I feel Like Effexor kept me grounded and now that I'm not on it my brain doesn't know how to adjust or it's trying but failing. I'm completely exhausted day in and day out, regardless of my exercise level or diet. I feel like Effexor gave me a bit of a high and now that it's gone I'm struggling with adapting to normality. Anyways, I was hoping ex-effexor users could share some tips on what they did to ease the withdrawals and how they coped....I was on a pretty hefty dosage. I've only been completely off of Effexor for about a month following the switch to Cymbalta. Before that I was on 150mg - 75 mg for about a year or so tapering. Ativan is the closest I come to feeling "normal" but going through that withdrawal is a whole other nightmare. Thanks in Advance.
  14. Quest

    Quest

    Moderator note: Link to Quest's benzo thread - Quest - benzo thread Guess I will start by saying hi and letting you all know that this site gives me some much needed hope. I have been fighting this effexor xr battle now for 11 years. Was put on 37.5 mgs of Effexor in May of 2006 and the 75 mgs 3 weeks later for extreme anxiety which they labeled GAD. A month later zoplicone 3.75 mgs to sleep. Never took drugs before other than an antibiotic, so man oh man this was rough on me. Took 4 months to function on them while trying to raise a 10, 8 and 3 year old. Over the years tried at least 4 or 5 times to wean off by typical drs. Orders which always resulted in a crash 2-3 months later. I have always exercised, eat healthy, acupuncture, various healing modalities viatimins- you name it trying to be strong enough to stay off these drugs. It wasn't until last year that I even heard about paws, it certainly is not something any of my drs. Believe exists. They continuously tell me to stop trying to come off, I have a chemical imbalance and I will be on some form of anti depressant for a lifetime! I can not accept this mentality. Yes in the beginning Effexor helped to calm my anxiety but it is no longer doing so and I just don't think adding another drug or two into the mix will help either. Zoplicone is another problem for me. Thank the Lord I never went past a 7.5 tablet. What a horrendous drug to come off. I just recently took 3.75 mgs to sleep again, ( how defeating after being off for 5 months!) but my drs. Other options were seroquel or remeron or elavil. I have tried every herb and tincture for sleep as well as cbd oil. They help for a short time and then tolerance sets in. I have been off of effexor xr for 2 months and then again crashed even after tapering 10% every two weeks which I now know was way too fast. I reinstated 5 mgs on July 28/17 and took a 3.75 Mg of Z on July 30/17 to sleep. I am hoping this time to do it right and would appreciate any help or words of wisdom. I suffer from wicked anxiety that never seems to shut off and I am not wanting to go on cipralex or cymbalta at this time as my dr. Suggests. So very scared at this time. Feeling very fragile ~
  15. I had been on Effexor XR for fifteen years before making the decision to get off this terrible drug. My concern is that I waited too long. I was tired of the feelings if I missed a dose, the sexual side effects and the general lack of emotions. Had I know how difficult and painful this journey was going to be I would have stayed on the poison just to avoid all of the difficulty. In the beginning of coming off the drug I had all the symptoms others have described. The crying, the brain zaps, the panic attacks at night all were just the tip of the iceberg with coming off. I unfortunately came off too fast. I did the standard weaning described by my doctor from 150, 75 to 37.5. What I should have done was to open the capsules and count the beads. I also should have lengthened the time between each drop in dose. I would say after 3 months in I had it beat, I felt litter but that was short lived. I then began my journey of trying to find other alternatives. I tried Accupunture, Counseling, LDA therapy, NAC, Inositol, heavy doses of vitamin D, magnesium, zinc, omega fish oil, restore, brain octane...... I then , after 9 months off Effexor, decided to try Prozac in order to cope with life. Everything has become insurmountable and my thoughts are all negative. I have never been so pessimist as I am right now. Now only to I judge myself against all others, I internally do the same with my children and their accomplishments. Nothing is ever good enough. I feel perhaps that Effexor has damaged me somehow. My once optimistic trial and error ways have turned to a pessimistic future. My next journey is to try CBD in the hopes that I can return to some normal aspect off life. I welcome all comments, ideas, stories or pep talks to get me through!
  16. Hello! Writing from Colorado. I found this forum through Google. I've been considering and researching coming off Effexor for about a year. It's time. I have new health insurance and can no longer get brand name meds. I've tried generic before, but it doesn't work the same. Planning to taper onto generic and then hopefully, in time, come off of it altogether. Current doses in bio below. I appreciate any and all advice and feel very lucky to have found this site.
  17. If you have a movement disorder (Tardive Dyskinesia , Dystonia, Akathisia, Myoclonus etc.), that you believe was caused by Effexor XR (or made worse by this drug), you are eligible to join a multi plaintiff lawsuit now forming. To join this lawsuit, please message me on this forum, or email me at effexortd@gmail.com. For US residents only. Posted by permission of Group Admin for informational purposes. Posting does not necessarily signify Group endorsement.
  18. I'm going to paste my intro here and come back to clarify later on a computer as it is nearly midnight and my head is pounding but wanted to start this before I forget. Took Wellbutrin for 2-3 years starting 2006, quit by halving dose and don't recall having trouble. More recently: started Zoloft in Sept 2016, switched to venlafaxine 75mg in October 2016, increased to 150mg by November. Also added buspirone, 10mg to start in October and increased to 20/day in January when I decided to stop taking venlafaxine. Mid Jan started a fast taper (10% every 5 days) and managed to get to 45mg by end of Feb, but stopped tapering when I found the Facebook group and couldn't deal with itchy hives. In desperation I added 10mg Prozac a few days prior to finding support group. Prozac is keeping dizziness and brain zaps away, and hives have cleared up after a week of holding at 45mg. I have AS and fibromyalgia, effexor caused serious side effects of night sweats, increased fatigue and muscle weakness, and cognitive problems. March 20, holding at 40mg venlafaxine, 20mg/day buspirone, Hydroxyzine as needed, and other medications related to my chronic illnesses that are not currently causing problems. Getting off venlafaxine ASAP is top priority, then Prozac, and eventually buspirone (though that seems to be helping more than hurting right now.) I am 35 and recently went back to school to get a degree in engineering to make something of my life (my fine art degree isn't really paying the bills in this economy.) I am already disabled and cannot deal with added fatigue and memory problems from effexor! But I can't get off it either! I'm mad at my doctor for putting me on a drug akin to heroine when I had enough problems already and was looking for help. I'm bitter and losing hope. I need all the support I can get.
  19. rockymarene

    rockymarene

    Hello everyone. I am looking for help in tapering and w/d from Effexor XR. I have been on it for a little over a year for Major Depression Disorder at a dose of 225mg. My Dr. decided to switch me to Wellbutrin XL at 150mg while tapering me off the Effexor in 3 weeks. By week 2 at 75mg I was feeling w/d symptoms and decided to just go cold turkey. I lasted 3 days and after feeling like death decided to go back on the Effexor and taper more slowly this time. Took 150mg today. Still feel like crap. My question is: Was 150mg too little/too much? How long till I start to stabilize? Any help is greatly appreciated.
  20. Hi all, I have been taking Effexor Xr 75mg for about 8 years now. During that time, the cause of my anxiety became known (ADHD-PI) and while Effexor was excellent at controlling my anxiety, I no longer feel I need it now that my ADHD is under control via other medication. Plus the sweat. God the sweat. I sweat if I tie my shoes, I sweat reaching up to brush off the sweat that came from tying my shoes. I am not unfit. I just sweat. All. the. time. It is ruining my life (and my sheets) I cant remember when the sweat started, but my mother is on it, same sweating issue. My aunt recently started it. Never had a sweat problem, now its uncontrollable. I am pretty sure its the Effexor. The problem is, I cant get off it. The manufacturers recommendation to doctors is, 75mg, 37.5mg, 75mg, 37.5mg etc etc for two weeks. Then two weeks of 37.5mg, then 37.5mg, nothing, 37.5mg, nothing etc for two weeks until off. This does not work. The brain zaps and vertigo make life impossible. I took a long break from work to do this and ended up having to go back to the full dose because I wouldnt have been able to go back to work at the end of my leave if I didnt. So. I had an idea to reduce the dose via removing beads, searched how many beads in a capsule and found this site. Hi. What I would love to know first off is... Did anyone else have this sweating problem? Did ending Effexor work to stop it? Has anyone else successfully stopped effexor after being on it as long as I have? Thanks all.
  21. Raeofsun227

    raeofsun227 saying Hi

    Hi, I'm a newbie here, started decreasing on Effexor XR 3 weeks ago and realized how debilitating and isolating weaning off AD can be/is. I will copy this post into my 'about me' page also. I am a 41 yo mother of 2 kids, both with ADHD and one with borderline Aspergers so it is much like having a child with special needs. In other words, I got my hands full! Thank God for my loving and supportive husband. Between my faith in God and my incredible husband, I am very blessed. So, what got me to this board? It's a culmination of several sudden and tragic events: 1) Sudden death of 47 yo father caused depression and PTSD at 22 years old 2) Date rape at 23 yo 3) Developed sudden debilitating and painful juvenile arthritis at 25 yo 4) At 31 yo, had coworker die same way father died and PTSD caused severe anxiety so I started on my anti-depressant journey... Cymbalta, Zoloft, Wellbutrin, Effexor XR, it's been 10 years of dulled emotions and anxiety-ridden moments with unreal side effects. On September 3, 2015, I mistakenly put the wrong pills in the wrong days. With only 4 pills, I needed a refill and accidentally didn't take any Effexor for 3 days straight and I found myself moments away from suicide. I tried to kill myself because I didn't take my AD for 3 days?! My husband's belt on the ground became a means of ending my life. A belt took on an entire new function and illuminated with an end to my misery, I had never even looked at a belt in that way until this moment! This was ridiculous and it had to stop. Get ready for a major 180 degree turn, and I do want to clarify that I have never taken any drug recreationally and am a very conservative person... On October 12, 2015, my journey with medical cannabis began. And my psychiatrist actually encouraged me to do it.... And it has saved my life in more ways than one. I hope I can post more about that here to help others but I don't want to impose or negatively influence anyone in anyway; we are so vulnerable to quick fixes when we are depressed and hurtng. God bless all of you on this journey to finding peace and joy. - A
  22. My husband was advised by his pdoc to discontinue Effexor XR at 37.5 mg approx 9 days ago. He is having severe side effects from this that don't seem to be letting up. My question is would it be advised at this point for him to start taking some amount of Effexor again?
  23. 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.
  24. Hey! I just wanted to introduce myself as briefly as possible. I began taking Effexor XR about 11 years ago. I had been battling major medical issues 5 years before taking anti-depressants. I didn't have anyone in my family or knew of anyone who took them. I began with 75 mg of Effexor XR and soon bumped up to 150 mg. I decided in December '13 to stop taking the medication. I believed that it wasn't really doing anything for me. I asked my doctor if he could prescribe me another type of medication and this is where the problems began. I wasn't given any information about tapering off the medication and quit cold turkey. I became ill with flu-like symptoms almost immediately. This went on for several days and ended whenever I figured out that it wasn't the flu. I couldn't get out of bed, eat, and I had severe nausea. Within hours of taking the medication my withdrawal symptoms vanished. I called my doctor and began my research immediately. My doctor's instructions were to wean myself off of the medication by taking it every other day and then every third day. I decided to go ahead and take the medication every other day. A little over 3 weeks ago I went to every third day and my last pill was July 4th. The withdrawal symptoms didn't start occuring until 4 days after my last dose & I am struggling. Not quite sure why my doctor chose this method of getting me off this medication because in all my research I haven't seen it as a recommended practice. Anyway, I just started taking an Omega 3 today and I am hoping to feel better soon!
  25. 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.
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