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Katam: Effexor withdrawal


Katam

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Hi everyone, I'm new here. I was on Effexor for just over 3 months, 37.5mg a day. A tiny dose...or so I thought! I started to get severe tingling and leg pain/spasms so I went to GP and he told me it was the Effexor and we agreed I could come off it and he advised me to stop taking it as there is no lower dose. 3 days later I was back with the GP as I had now developed very bad burning sensations in my legs and feet and it hurt to put my feet in shoes. I also developed other symptoms like dizziness (when I moved my head), nausea, diarrhoea, twitches, general flu like feelings. Some days my body felt like it had been battered.

I'm now off the Effexor 3 weeks and 5 days and some things have improved however the most distressing thing for me is the tingling and burning in my legs and feet and this is still going on. I have been to my GP a total of 3 times since I stopped taking the Effexor and he has told me it can take 3 to 4 weeks for the withdrawal to ease off. I do see some improvement so I do think it's getting better and the leg spasms are not as severe but the tingling and burning hasn't let up yet.

I'm wondering if anybody else experienced this and how long it took to go away? It's hard to feel positive with these sensations and I start to think it'll never stop. GP prescribed Gabapentin which I'm not taking. I do take Cod Liver Oil and Multi Vitamin that has B complex in it. I'm also doing foot soaks with Epsom salts and going for a walk every day. Any feedback appreciated. Thanks x

Effexor 37.5mg end of September 2017 to 7th January 2018. Cold turkey.

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  • ChessieCat changed the title to Katam: Effexor withdrawal
  • Moderator

Hello, Katam, and welcome to SA.

 

To start, in order to give members the best information, we ask them to summarize their medication history in a signature -- drugs, doses, dates, and discontinuations & reinstatements, in the last 12-24 months particularly?
  • Any drugs prior to 24 months ago can just be listed with start and stop years. 
  • Please use actual dates or approximate dates (mid-June, Late October) rather than relative time frames (last week, 3 months ago) 
  • Spell out months, e.g. "October" or "Oct."; 9/1/2016 can be interpreted as Jan. 9, 2016 or Sept. 1, 2016. 
  • Please leave out symptoms and diagnoses. 
  • A list is easier to understand than one or multiple paragraphs. 
  • Link to Account Settings – Create or Edit a signature.

Please indicate in your signature whether you tapered off the Effexor or stopped it cold-turkey.

 

Your symptoms, including the tingling and burning (called paresthesia), are known and acknowledged as common in withdrawal from SSRI medications and other neuro-psycho-active substances. Please read:
 
When we take medications, the CNS (central nervous system) responds by making changes over the months and years we take the drug(s). When the medication is discontinued, the CNS has to undo all the changes it made. Rebuilding the neurotransmitter production and reactivating the receptor and transporter cells takes time -- during that rebuilding process symptoms occur.  Some people have found the information and explanations at these links helpful:
 
The fact that you are experiencing improvement is very encouraging.  As far as how long these symptoms may persist, no one can tell you.  It could be four weeks or it could be longer.  Everyone reacts differently to these powerful drugs.  You were on a low dose and for a short time, and this is to your advantage.
 
Many members have found the techniques in the following link to be helpful.  
Non-drug techniques to cope with emotional symptoms 
 
We don't recommend a lot of supplements on SA, as many members report being sensitive to them due to our over-reactive nervous systems, but two supplements that we do recommend are magnesium and omega 3 (fish oil). Many people find these to be calming to the nervous system. 

 

Please research all supplements first and only add in one at a time and at a low dose in case you do experience problems.  We don't recommend B-vitamins, as they can be too activating to those in withdrawal.
 
 

 

Gridley Introduction

 

Lexapro 20 mg since 2004.  Begin Brassmonkey Slide Taper Jan. 2017.   

End 2017 year 1 of taper at 9.25mg 

End 2018 year 2 of taper at 4.1mg

End 2019 year 3 of taper at 1.0mg  

Oct. 30, 2020  Jump to zero from 0.025mg.  Current dose: 0.000mg

3 year, 10 month taper is 100% complete.

 

Ativan 1 mg to 1.875mg 1986-2020, two CT's and reinstatements

Nov. 2020, 7-week Ativan-Valium crossover to 18.75mg Valium

Feb. 2021, begin 10%/4 week taper.   

March 22, 2022: hold at 4.8mg and shift to Imipramine taper

Aug. 5, 2022: shift back to Valium taper.  

Current dose as of Dec. 2, 2022: 2.6mg

Taper is 86% complete.

 

Imipramine 75 mg daily since 1986.  Jan-Sept 2016 tapered to 16mg.  

Held until Aug 2021, tapered for 4 weeks to 14.4mg

March 22, 2022: Begin 10%/4 week taper.  Current dose as of Aug. 5: 9.5mg 

Aug. 5, 2022: hold at 9.5 and shift to Valium taper

Taper is 87% complete.  

  

Supplements: omega-3, vitamins C, E and D3, magnesium glycinate, probiotic, zinc, melatonin .3mg


I am not a medical professional and this is not medical advice but simply information based on my own experience, as well as other members who have survived these drugs.

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On 2/2/2018 at 5:03 AM, Katam said:

3 days later I was back with the GP as I had now developed very bad burning sensations in my legs and feet and it hurt to put my feet in shoes. I also developed other symptoms like dizziness (when I moved my head), nausea, diarrhoea, twitches, general flu like feelings. Some days my body felt like it had been battered.

I'm now off the Effexor 3 weeks and 5 days and some things have improved however the most distressing thing for me is the tingling and burning in my legs and feet and this is still going on.

Hi Katam,

I’m so sorry you are experiencing this! I remember my feet burning and being so sensitive I could feel every fiber of my socks against my feet when I took a step. The soles of my feet would burn even when I had them up and nothing was touching them and I was very uncomfortable walking for any amount of time!

It has improved over the last 2 months. Now, I either notice no pain or just a little numbness. I can’t say I don’t worry about it but I can tell that it’s getting better and have hope that will continue. 

Hang on! 

 

Dalalea's Introduction

Off All SSRI Medications: Effexor 2010 one month
Sertraline 50 mg. but only took 25 mg. daily because of dizziness. 2010 to July 2017

Tapered over 2 months beginning the 1st of June 2017 -- Off Sertraline by July 30, 2017

Current Medication: Losartan (blood pressure), Albuterol (for asthma- only as needed)
Current Symptoms: tinnitus, hearing loss in one ear, allergies

My Plan: Prayer, Scripture, Walk, Yoga, Encourage Others, Healthy Eating
Generic SSRI Withdrawal Symptom and Plan Checklists and Graph.xlsx

Current Supplements: Magnesium Threonate, Fish Oil, probiotic, B-12, C, D-3

Current Essential Oils: Frankincense, Bergamot, Orange, Lemon, Lavender, Peppermint, Clove
Current Essential Oil Blends: Brain Power, Clarity, Stress Away

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  • 4 weeks later...
On 2/3/2018 at 5:13 PM, Dalalea said:

Hi Katam,

I’m so sorry you are experiencing this! I remember my feet burning and being so sensitive I could feel every fiber of my socks against my feet when I took a step. The soles of my feet would burn even when I had them up and nothing was touching them and I was very uncomfortable walking for any amount of time!

It has improved over the last 2 months. Now, I either notice no pain or just a little numbness. I can’t say I don’t worry about it but I can tell that it’s getting better and have hope that will continue. 

Hang on! 

 

Hi Dalalea, sorry for my late reply to you. Thanks for your feedback. I am now 7 weeks off Effexor and I still have the burning and tingling in the lower extremities. Some days are worse than others with it which leads me to believe it's related to the Effexor.  I also have alot of anxiety back again especially around the pains in my legs...I keep reading stories on the internet of people never getting better.  I do think that the anxiety might be hindering the healing process so I am going to start CBT in the next couple of weeks and hopefully that will help. I've had anxiety all my life but I've never felt as bad as what I do now. I hope that you are feeling better x

Effexor 37.5mg end of September 2017 to 7th January 2018. Cold turkey.

Link to comment
On 2/2/2018 at 10:19 PM, Gridley said:

Hello, Katam, and welcome to SA.

 

To start, in order to give members the best information, we ask them to summarize their medication history in a signature -- drugs, doses, dates, and discontinuations & reinstatements, in the last 12-24 months particularly?
  • Any drugs prior to 24 months ago can just be listed with start and stop years. 
  • Please use actual dates or approximate dates (mid-June, Late October) rather than relative time frames (last week, 3 months ago) 
  • Spell out months, e.g. "October" or "Oct."; 9/1/2016 can be interpreted as Jan. 9, 2016 or Sept. 1, 2016. 
  • Please leave out symptoms and diagnoses. 
  • A list is easier to understand than one or multiple paragraphs. 
  • Link to Account Settings – Create or Edit a signature.

Please indicate in your signature whether you tapered off the Effexor or stopped it cold-turkey.

 

Your symptoms, including the tingling and burning (called paresthesia), are known and acknowledged as common in withdrawal from SSRI medications and other neuro-psycho-active substances. Please read:
 
When we take medications, the CNS (central nervous system) responds by making changes over the months and years we take the drug(s). When the medication is discontinued, the CNS has to undo all the changes it made. Rebuilding the neurotransmitter production and reactivating the receptor and transporter cells takes time -- during that rebuilding process symptoms occur.  Some people have found the information and explanations at these links helpful:
 
The fact that you are experiencing improvement is very encouraging.  As far as how long these symptoms may persist, no one can tell you.  It could be four weeks or it could be longer.  Everyone reacts differently to these powerful drugs.  You were on a low dose and for a short time, and this is to your advantage.
 
Many members have found the techniques in the following link to be helpful.  
Non-drug techniques to cope with emotional symptoms 
 
We don't recommend a lot of supplements on SA, as many members report being sensitive to them due to our over-reactive nervous systems, but two supplements that we do recommend are magnesium and omega 3 (fish oil). Many people find these to be calming to the nervous system. 

 

Please research all supplements first and only add in one at a time and at a low dose in case you do experience problems.  We don't recommend B-vitamins, as they can be too activating to those in withdrawal.
 
 

 

Thanks Gridley, I have read over the information you provided. It's definitely good to know that others also experience the same symptoms. And yes you're right, the low dose for a short period of time will hopefully be to my advantage :)

Effexor 37.5mg end of September 2017 to 7th January 2018. Cold turkey.

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