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My story is one that spans many years. I now look back and feel like a fool, but I own all the decisions. Started 20+ years ago when I had some stomach problems and went to a doctor. We went through Prilosac and an assortment of stomach drugs to no avail. Then he said try this, at that time it was Effexor in the shield style tablet. It was a miracle drug for my stomach condition, I guess I was worrying too much and causing an almost ulcerous condition and this stopped it. Well we can now fast forward a number of years and the drug was continuously refilled as I guess doctors are afraid to stop drugs like this and just avoid the subject...FYI I also stopped the pills numerous times over the years to see what would happen and I got through what I thought were the "withdrawals" slight dizziness etc. but I always started to get real anxious etc. so I just started them again and all was well. OK fast forward to a year ago where I had the great idea that maybe there was a better drug out there and asked my GP what he would recommend, he said Lexapro because he had the least amount of complaints about that one... I did not like it as I got all the anxiety and stuff that I had when I quit Effexor. I now understand it was likely Effexor withdrawal showing through. Anyhow I decided I needed a more professional opinion so I went to a psychiatrist and we talked and she changed me to Welbutrin and Rexulti. I tried that combo for a couple months while tripping around EU on vacation and it also seemed to let through the fear and doubt. So I went back and we then went on straight rexulti .5mg and that worked well for a couple months until I lost all interest and ability to worry about anything. This was 6 weeks ago and I quit Rexulti cold turkey and had no real effects until a bit of a anxiety started coming back, but not as bad I think as previous times. I also had calf cramps at night for 4 weeks which finally started subsiding. I was beginning to feel a bit normal but still quite negative about stuff, but I had definite glimpses of what I think are my real feeling come through (like 5 minutes at a pop) and I really liked that. but I was still not liking the anxiety I had etc. so I went out the the internet for help and came across this site, turned my world upside down. I am a pretty smart individual with a good profession and now I feel like a...let's just say I am sad and humiliated. I really never considered all the things I have now read about, I am a bit scared... Then with all my wisdom I decided to try to reintroduce the Effexor 75 (I have a stockpile of all meds) and see if I could then do the taper I have just been informed I need to do, or should have done. I did 5 bb's out of a TEVA 75mb Venlafaxine capsule that contained about 70. first day was great, all signs of dread were gone and I have confidence like I hadn't felt in weeks. Then day two I took another 5 beads (maybe 3 hours earlier in the day) and I felt like I had just lit all my rockets, I was off to the races, couldn't sit down, chest was tight etc...this went on all the way till bedtime and I didn't sleep much. so day 3 I decided I better not take any more of that and stopped that. I was pretty ill most of day 3, still golfed etc. but got chills and did not feel good at all. By the end of that day I was feeling a bit better, slept solidly for half the night. now I am on day 4, little nauseous this morning and decided to write this letter to all of you and bare my soul. I am unsure what to do - try the effexor for 4 days like things here say, did I take too many bb's? try going back on the Rexulti? I truly want off of all of this mess. I am fearing (lot's of reason for my bad sleep last night) that I am screwed and have no where to turn but to go through the heavy withdrawals. I have a life like I am sure all of you do and cannot or wish to not be bedridden etc. I like I said below am a bit worried about what the future has in store for me.
Hi all, I came across this site about a month ago while struggling to find answers. And first, thank you for sharing all of your stories. It has helped immensely with trying to understand what has been going on. I don't know if it'll help the end result, but at the very least it has provided insight and some hope towards a solution. Which I've sorely needed. Now I guess... I should tell my story before rambling too much. My fiance has been struggling with depression her entire life (Her: 35F, Me: 32M). We've been together for over 8 years now (living together for ~7). A little over a year ago, her depression really started to hit rock bottom. Not knowing any better, I encouraged her to see a doctor to get some help. She first went to her GP who immediately prescribed an AD (forgive me, I don't remember what they were) which caused horrible panic attacks and insomnia. She couldn't sleep at all, and the immediate side effects were truly awful. The GP went through a few other ADs with similar effects and eventually threw up his hands and told her she needed to see a psychiatrist. Encouraging her all the way, I pushed her to make an appointment with a psych and therapist. She was in a really dark dark place at the time, and oh how I thought it'd help. And I guess it did to some extent. She went to see a psych who diagnosed her with major depressive disorder. He then went through a few AD options with her and finally settled with Lexapro (20mg) and Rexulti (1mg) after a few months of trial/error. She had actually been on Lexapro over a decade ago (before we had met) for about a year and it had worked at the time. This earlier stint with Lexapro was well and over before we met. The medication did help her depression no doubt. It helped bring her back to having mostly 5/10 days which was a significant improvement. At first, I was really excited that she was actually starting to feel better. But, as she was starting to feel better, I was beginning to notice that her plans rarely involved us. For the most part, the only way we'd spend quality time together during this period was if I coordinated everything. She was also slowly becoming more and more distant, cold. Honestly, I don't think she even realized it at this point. The relationship was slowly working its way into a fairly one-sided situation. Our relationship continued to spiral down-wards. Our sex life was non-existent (libido absolutely destroyed by the meds), she had become less empathetic, and the relationship was slowly drifting further and further apart. During this period, she had begun some minor contact with a previous ex from over a decade ago. She also began to get much closer to a male friend of hers. It got to the point where he did try to steal her away. She swears up and down that she didn't have any feelings for him and nothing had happened. I don't think I ever truly believed her... but I also don't think there had been any physical cheating. There weren't any overt signs and the medication had completely killed her libido. So more likely, it was an emotional affair if anything. This situation put a lot of stress on the relationship at the time. We'd never had any faithfulness issues previously in our relationship. Communication has never been our strong point. During this time, rather than communicating how I was feeling neglected and hurt by what had gone on, I started to withdraw from the relationship as well. This was about 3-4 months ago. Fast forward to about 3 weeks ago, and she broke down crying telling me that she couldn't do this anymore. At this point, I had stumbled upon some information leading me to think that some of these issues could be related to the medication. So we talked, and I convinced her to talk to her psych about the emotional blunting and getting off Lexapro. Of course, her psych and therapist didn't agree that the relationship issues were being caused by the medication. But, the psych was willing to help her get off Lexapro. So he started to have her taper by 5mg every 5 days. Incredibly fast taper from what I've read here, but she actually did it cold turkey during her last stint over a decade ago and didn't have any terrible side effects. I thought things were potentially heading down the right direction at this point. But, nothing is ever simple in life. Two weeks ago she broke down again and this time told me that she didn't love me anymore and that she was done. Before this last year, I don't think there had ever been a thought in either one of our minds that we wouldn't be spending the rest of our life together. I was devastated. I thought that the medication had a major role with her feelings. She on the other hand, was convinced that she felt this way because we had been heading down different paths and had just drifted apart. Which we have to some extent. She's been developing her relationship with God and has been wanting to move towards going on mission trips overseas. These changes have happened while medicated, but aren't necessarily out of character. I on the other hand am not part of this portion of her life (agnostic atheist). It never has been an issue before in our relationship though. We both have respected each other's beliefs. After talking (or more like pleading... i was absolutely shook to my core), she reluctantly agreed to see a relationship counselor (for me as she said) for a month to see if it'd help. So far, we've had one session and another tomorrow. No progress yet really, but we're still spending time together and there's some affection (albeit forced). Her Lexapro taper does finish tomorrow (she's been experiencing serious fatigue, but that's the only symptom I've noticed so far). But, her psych is planning to put her on another AD here in a few weeks. Honestly, I'm just lost as to where to go and what to do. It seems a month is nowhere near the time needed to potentially heal from the damage done by the medication and WD effects. Let alone if another AD is introduced. I just feel like I'm helpless watching the love of my life slip through my hands... Thank you for reading. I'm not the best with words and sorry for such a long post. But, just working it out and writing down some of the situation has helped. Any help, advice, thoughts, would be really appreciated.