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Can effexor cause blindness? Please help.


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Hello everyone..

 

I am 5.5 months into withdrawal from effexor and my eye/visual symptoms have only gotten worse by every month/week and I'm getting really worried. Is it possible to completely lose my vision in withdrawal? Has anyone become blind because of this medicine or can I rest my mind in that it will get better when the other symptoms disappear?
 
My symtoms are very much similar to what another member described in this forum:
 
it is the sensation that my eyes cannot accept the input of the objects presented before them: a strained type of feeling upon visual stimulation. pushing a child on a swing will cause great strain on my eyes as my eyes struggles to maintain proper focus on the moving object. Also, everything looks very sharp and it feels like my eyes can not really "cover the whole picture."
 
Wierdly enough, my vision was back to 100% after the last pill and it lasted for something like 2 weeks before it got worse again..

 

 
Please, I'm desperate, if you know anything then let me know. I have googled on the internet but have not found any information about someone who have lost their vision due to effexor or other ssri's.
 
 

I started Effexor/venlafaxin august 2014: 1st year 75 mg 2nd year 37.5 mg.

Taper: first try 37.5 to 0 in one month. Second try: 18.75 to 0 in two months.

Completely off effexor since 26-11-2016 with severe withdrawals such as blurred/constrained vision, brain fog and vertigo.

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Afraid I can't be much help... other than to suggest reinstatement and smaller reductions. The suffering just isn't worth it.

 

Do you get headaches when you lose your vision?

Effexor XR:

July 2008: 150mg | June 24 2015: 145mg | July 28 2015: 130.5mg | Sept 4 2015: 117mg

Nov 10 2015: 105mg | Jan 24 2016: 94.5mg | Feb 28 2016: 85mg | Mar 27 2016: 76.5mg

Apr 28 2016: 69mg | Aug 14 2016: 62mg | Jan 19 2017: 56mg | Feb 21 2017: 50mg

Mar 30 2017: 36mg | Apr 2 2017: 45mg | Sep 1 2019: 27.5mg | April 9 2020: 25.2mg

Oct 30 2021 | 16.875mg

 

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Here is an SA topic discussions issues with vision:  vision-symptoms-floaters-snow-blurred-or-dimmed-vision-etc

Please DO NOT TAG me - thank you

PLEASE NOTE:  I am not a medical professional.  I provide information and make suggestions. 

  MISSION ACCOMPLISHED:    (6 year taper)      0mg Pristiq      on 13th November 2021

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Afraid I can't be much help... other than to suggest reinstatement and smaller reductions. The suffering just isn't worth it.

 

Do you get headaches when you lose your vision?

 

Hi buggedout, I will stronlgy reconsider that option.

 

I do not lose my vision, it is more like it is constanty blurred/constrained/limited. And yea, I do get headaches from time to time.

I started Effexor/venlafaxin august 2014: 1st year 75 mg 2nd year 37.5 mg.

Taper: first try 37.5 to 0 in one month. Second try: 18.75 to 0 in two months.

Completely off effexor since 26-11-2016 with severe withdrawals such as blurred/constrained vision, brain fog and vertigo.

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Here is an SA topic discussions issues with vision:  vision-symptoms-floaters-snow-blurred-or-dimmed-vision-etc

Thank you Chessie, I know that topic from before!

I started Effexor/venlafaxin august 2014: 1st year 75 mg 2nd year 37.5 mg.

Taper: first try 37.5 to 0 in one month. Second try: 18.75 to 0 in two months.

Completely off effexor since 26-11-2016 with severe withdrawals such as blurred/constrained vision, brain fog and vertigo.

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I had very altered sensory perceptions come and go in both benzo and later paxil withdrawal. I have never taken psychedelic drugs but based on things I've read and psychedelic art I've seen, and descriptions by friends who did use psychedelic drugs, my altered sensory perceptions in w/d (which are gone now) are very much like drug experiences, which are temporary neuro bio-chemical alterations as I understand it.

 

It's been a long time since my various medication withdrawals, and in no case did I know to taper slowly in the way this group recommends. I had visual and also various other sensory alterations that varied in type and intensity (and included hearing, touch - all senses).

 

Like you, I felt fine (better than normal) in many ways for about two weeks after each withdrawal. I have a theory that with some of us the "shock" to our system of going off the meds at a faster rate than our bodies can adapt to at the time (the healing comes later and there is no way to predict how long recovery will take after a cold-turkey or too-fast withdrawal), causes a "flood" of beneficial-feeling natural biochemicals to be released by our bodies in their attempt to cope with the chemical "shock" of w/d. I have absolutely no proof of this, just theory based on multiple too-fast or cold turkey w/d's on my part at various times in my life. My theory is that after that stage our body is doing many other biochemical processes trying to cope with a situation is "puzzled" by and working to heal from. This in some of our cases can caused very much altered perceptions.

 

For example, fairly early in my benzo w/d (before I was put on paxil in a later attempt to address my protracted benzo w/d), when someone took me to the market to get food etc. (I was unable to get their on my own at that point), I remember we happened to walk through the aisle of laundry detergents, and the bright colors on the boxes (reds, blues, etc.) intensified and got so bright, I had to shield my eyes with my hand and have the relative assisting me guide me by the hand as we walked through the aisle. (The fluorescent lights also looked blinding to me.) I had many other altered visual perceptions at many times during my recovery, but they all went away completely as I recovered.

 

btw, many years later when largely but not completely recovered from paxil w/d, I mentioned to an ophthalmologist during a routine eye exam (I have multiple vision problems that needed to be examined regularly since I was young) that darkness looked very different - darker! - than it used to, and explained briefly my paxil w/d. The ophthalmologist had found no night vision problems during the very thorough exam she'd given me (and she was a very good ophthalmologist). But she either was familiar with w/d or took me seriously about it, because she seemed to believe me that darkness and night looked physically much darker than ever before; she said it was probably "perceptual" due to my still being in protracted w/d.

 

P.S. I do want to add that although I'm here only rarely now, I was a very active participant in w/d groups - this one and the one that preceded it where I "met" Altostrata - for many, many years, and I have never heard of anyone going blind from w/d. I hope that reassures you!

Edited by Brandy

I was "TryingToGetWell" (aka TTGW) on paxilprogress. I also was one of the original members here on Surviving Antidepressants

 

I had horrific and protracted withdrawal from paxil, but now am back to enjoying life with enthusiasm to the max, some residual physical symptoms continued but largely improve. The horror, severe derealization, anhedonia, akathisia, and so much more, are long over.

 

My signature is a temporary scribble from year 2013. I'll rewrite it when I can.

 

If you want to read it, click on http://survivingantidepressants.org/index.php?/topic/209-brandy-anyone/?p=110343

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T

 

I had very altered sensory perceptions come and go in both benzo and later paxil withdrawal. I have never taken psychedelic drugs but based on things I've read and psychedelic art I've seen, and descriptions by friends who did use psychedelic drugs, my altered sensory perceptions in w/d (which are gone now) are very much like drug experiences, which are temporary neuro bio-chemical alterations as I understand it.

 

It's been a long time since my various medication withdrawals, and in no case did I know to taper slowly in the way this group recommends. I had visual and also various other sensory alterations that varied in type and intensity (and included hearing, touch - all senses).

 

Like you, I felt fine (better than normal) in many ways for about two weeks after each withdrawal. I have a theory that with some of us the "shock" to our system of going off the meds at a faster rate than our bodies can adapt to at the time (the healing comes later and there is no way to predict how long recovery will take after a cold-turkey or too-fast withdrawal), causes a "flood" of beneficial-feeling natural biochemicals to be released by our bodies in their attempt to cope with the chemical "shock" of w/d. I have absolutely no proof of this, just theory based on multiple too-fast or cold turkey w/d's on my part at various times in my life. My theory is that after that stage our body is doing many other biochemical processes trying to cope with a situation is "puzzled" by and working to heal from. This in some of our cases can caused very much altered perceptions.

 

For example, fairly early in my benzo w/d (before I was put on paxil in a later attempt to address my protracted benzo w/d), when someone took me to the market to get food etc. (I was unable to get their on my own at that point), I remember we happened to walk through the aisle of laundry detergents, and the bright colors on the boxes (reds, blues, etc.) intensified and got so bright, I had to shield my eyes with my hand and have the relative assisting me guide me by the hand as we walked through the aisle. (The fluorescent lights also looked blinding to me.) I had many other altered visual perceptions at many times during my recovery, but they all went away completely as I recovered.

 

btw, many years later when largely but not completely recovered from paxil w/d, I mentioned to an ophthalmologist during a routine eye exam (I have multiple vision problems that needed to be examined regularly since I was young) that darkness looked very different - darker! - than it used to, and explained briefly my paxil w/d. The ophthalmologist had found no night vision problems during the very thorough exam she'd given me (and she was a very good ophthalmologist). But she either was familiar with w/d or took me seriously about it, because she seemed to believe me that darkness and night looked physically much darker than ever before; she said it was probably "perceptual" due to my still being in protracted w/d.

 

P.S. I do want to add that although I'm here only rarely now, I was a very active participant in w/d groups - this one and the one that preceded it where I "met" Altostrata - for many, many years, and I have never heard of anyone going blind from w/d. I hope that reassures you!

 

Thank you so much Brandy.

 

I so much appreciate that you took your time to share your story with me! I am also glad to hear that you are better now, and thave you have recovered!

 

I will read your post whenever I feel too despaired and try to remember that people actually do recover!

 

Have a great day, and take care.

 

Regards // Imad

I started Effexor/venlafaxin august 2014: 1st year 75 mg 2nd year 37.5 mg.

Taper: first try 37.5 to 0 in one month. Second try: 18.75 to 0 in two months.

Completely off effexor since 26-11-2016 with severe withdrawals such as blurred/constrained vision, brain fog and vertigo.

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  • 2 weeks later...

I thought i was going nuts myself. The only symptom i seem to be having from getting completely off Effexor XR is .. the only way I know how to describe it is that I have perfect vision as far as clarity goes but like someone turned the gamma way down. I've installed more light fixtures.. and still I cannot see that well. It's a bit terrifying. I'm not even 40.

Began tapering on 9/22/16 from 150mg EffexorXR

Freedom on 05/10/17
I'm finding life again after YEARS of meds that made me out of it and gaming addiction that took me from real life.

Remember, slow and steady wins the race! 

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  • 1 month later...
On 12.5.2017 at 4:17 PM, ImadB said:

Hello everyone..

 

I am 5.5 months into withdrawal from effexor and my eye/visual symptoms have only gotten worse by every month/week and I'm getting really worried. Is it possible to completely lose my vision in withdrawal? Has anyone become blind because of this medicine or can I rest my mind in that it will get better when the other symptoms disappear?
 
My symtoms are very much similar to what another member described in this forum:
 
it is the sensation that my eyes cannot accept the input of the objects presented before them: a strained type of feeling upon visual stimulation. pushing a child on a swing will cause great strain on my eyes as my eyes struggles to maintain proper focus on the moving object. Also, everything looks very sharp and it feels like my eyes can not really "cover the whole picture."
 
Wierdly enough, my vision was back to 100% after the last pill and it lasted for something like 2 weeks before it got worse again..

 

 
Please, I'm desperate, if you know anything then let me know. I have googled on the internet but have not found any information about someone who have lost their vision due to effexor or other ssri's.
 
 

Hello ImadB,

 

I also expierience vision problems since weeks now. I'm off Effexor since 1 year now and got one symtom after the other. I'm also scared, that this will not vanish anymore. Moving pictures are a problem for my eyes. Also watching TV is not normal. As if my eyes can't focus correctly. While reading, i noticed, that i can only focus on one word or a part of a word. Long words are a problem. When i look on something white, it looks as if it moves or as if i look into smoke. When i close my eyes, they move alot. I hope tis will dissapear togeter with all the other symptoms. 

Taken Effexor/ Venlafaxine from 2007 - 2016

Came off with 37,5 mg in July 2016 by the advice of 2 psychiatrist, that this is save

Protracted withdrawal began in october with loss of hunger and apetite,

closed psychiatry August - Septembre 2017

Duloxetin 2 week, Sertraline then 5 weeks, quit on my own at home at 25mg, during the whole time was given Lorazepam 8quit in hospital too fast, dunno the dosages of the other meds, 

 

Symptoms: dizziness, balance issues, loss of hunger and apetite, pressure in head, tinitus, swayinglike feeling in the brain, tingleing and buzzering, nausea, feeling of a sore stomach and gut,  cognitive issues, can't talk much nor listen, very sensitive to noises and movements, agitation, fast constipation, tunnellike vision ( can't get the whole picture for example by reading, i can only see one word, pictures in tv are to fast), weakness in legs and arms, feeling my nerves with tingleing and a weird feeling in my thighs til my feet, low bp: around 100/ 60, high heartrate: in rest around 100, like 150 - 160 when I get up, pulse gets already up when I just turn around in bed, can hear the pulse in my left ear, can't leave the house, symptoms got worse with every month

 

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