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Tricia

Tricia: New here with my Effexor story

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Tricia

I was put on Prozac when my youngest child was about 2 the year 2005.I think I had unresolved post par tum depression. I did not do very well on the Prozac so I eventually got switched to Effexor. I started off at 75mg of the Effexor. I then was told to double the dose. I was taking 75mg in the morning and 75mg in the evening. This seemed to work best for me.

 

In 2008 my primary doc left Kaiser and I was assigned a new one. When she was going through my meds she asked why I was taking the Effexor morning and night. I told her I found that it worked best for me to do it that way. She said that was ridiculous since the Effexor was extended release. She said not to do that anymore. So I started taking both in the am. Sometime in the next year Kaiser pharmacy contacted me and said they were going to stop giving me the 75mg tablets and start giving me the 150. This is when they switched me to the generic,up until then I was taking the time released capsules. So I started the tablets which were XR as well.

 

Around this time is when I started having more issues. I went to my doc and told her that I was having PMS issues,more depression,insomnia,ectt.. She doubled my Effexor dose which put me at 300mg. She also said the majority of my issues were due to me being overweight. I told her that it seemed that no matter what I tried I had such a hard time losing weight. According to her if I lost the weight all my issues would be resolved. We were also having a hard time finding the right dosage of thyroid medication. I was diagnosed with hypothyroid well before my Effexor use. But, I was right on the edge of “to medicate or not” and I pushed for the medication thinking it would help me lose the weight. A few years into my Effexor use and my thyroid tests were showing that my thyroid was still very low in spite of the meds.

 

Over my years of taking the Effexor I had several health issues that I could not resolve. There seemed to be no answer for them except being fat per my doc. This was really starting to piss me off! I was tired of every issue being blamed on my being fat. Here are some of the issues I was having. Serious sinus issues: I had NEVER had sinus problems in the past but all of the sudden I had extreme pressure in my ears. I had to go to the ER it was so bad. This was my first time ever having an earache. I was told that I had a lot of fluid build up in my ears and this was the cause of my pain. I was given steroids and pain meds. My doc put me on Flonase,Zyrtec, and a few other things. I was a complete mess and had to rely on a strong decongestant to be able to function. I had sleep issues as well. Seems that I could not go to sleep until about 3am most nights. PMS was at an all time high. While going through it I felt like I may murder someone! My symptoms were horrible. I was also finding that EVERY evening I felt like complete crap! My sinus issues doubled,as well as my mood issues and sometimes I felt like the flu was coming on EVERY EVENING.

 

Fast forward to January 2010. My father was diagnosed with glioblastoma multiforme which is the very worst kind of brain cancer. He passed away August 14 that same year.

 

My father was well aware of the health issues that I was experiencing. He begged me to go to the doc and get things straightened out. I was very reluctant to do so because I was tired of being told that my being fat was the cause of all of my issues. My father had constant sinus and asthma issues and was on antibiotics and steroids constantly. I really feel that this contributed to his cancer so I vowed to find a better way for myself. I found a web site called Cure Zone and began trying to find my way naturally. I am so glad that I found the forum “natural healing and solutions with Unyquity”. Unyquity is a wonderful woman who has dedicated herself to helping others find their way in natural healing. She had been on Prozac for about 15 years and got off and uses St. John’s Wort. I wanted to follow in her footsteps. But first I was reading all that I could on cleansing the body and healing naturally. I figured that the Effexor was something I would eventually tackle. For the past 5 years I have been blaming all of my little weird health issues on a Candida overgrowth. I really do feel that I have a Candida issue but it wasn't until I was in a severe crisis that I discovered that Effexor was the bad guy in my health issues.

 

I had started doing coffee enemas to aid in cleansing my liver. Part of doing this was to inspect what was coming out of me..I know it sounds gross but it must be done to see what is going on. Well my first coffee enema I found some parasites and a strange looking tablet like thing. Next day the same tablet was there. I took it and soaked it so see what it was. It was my Effexor tablet. I immediately cut my dose in half. I figured that out of my two tablets it was obvious that one of them was not even being assimilated by my body so why bother taking it?

 

After a few weeks I was STILL seeing the tablet. So I though “why take this at all?” and I stopped cold turkey. Bad mistake! I was a mess! But that mess led me to more investigation thanks to Unyquity. She talked me through my crisis and gave me a lot of information. She suggested that I start back on at least one of the 150mg tablets to stabilize so I did. Once I felt better I started reading all of the information she had posted for me and I was AMAZED!! All of this time........years....I was blaming Candida and thyroid when I should have been blaming my Effexor use. When I read all of the various side effects I could not believe my eyes. It all made perfect sense! No wonder I felt like crap almost every evening! Effexor has a very short half life! The doc was not even aware of this since she told me how stupid I was to take the tablets morning and evening. Now that I was armed with this information I knew what I had to do! I was going to get myself stabilized at the 150mg dose and then I would start tapering. I really had no idea how to taper. I just listened to my body. Once I felt OK and got through the initial with drawl from the cut I would make another cut. My cuts would be anywhere from 2-4 weeks apart. I started with the 150mg tablet once a day and went to cutting that in quarters and taking 75mg twice per day. Once I was feeling well on that I went down to 75mg cut in half taken twice per day. I worked my way down to 37.5 once a day and stayed there until 8 days ago. My kids got out of school on June 22nd and that is the day I completely stopped. I did not want to have to drive them to and from school while dealing with with drawl.

 

I have been prepared for the absolute worst but I have to say that what I have been going through has not been nearly as bad as I thought it would be. On another message board called TpoixI read in a forum about Effexor and someone had posted about hot to get off of Effexor symptom free. I knew it sounded to good to be true but I read it anyways. He recommended high doses of 5HTP for about a week. The first day being about 900mg and decreasing by 100mg every day and then by about 200. I have not stuck to a strict schedule with the 5HTP. I am trying to just listen to my body and take it when I feel that I need it. Yesterday I took two doses of 200mg each and that helped. Today I have taken 200mg so far and will see how I do. Am I symptom free......no! But I feel that I am managing the symptoms the best I can. I am definitely seeing an improvement. Up until night before last I was not able to go to sleep until about 5am. I had to wait until I was completely exhausted otherwise I would not fall asleep. I never knew what a panic or anxiety attack was until stopping the Effexor. I have had 2-3 per day up until yesterday. So I am definitely seeing an improvement. I am just so very happy that I am freeing myself of this nasty drug that has had me in chains for YEARS! I am taking my life back one day at a time!

 

Once I am through this with drawl I will go back to cleansing and healing my body once day at a time as well.

Edited by Altostrata
added poster's name to Intro topic heading, paragraphs

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Altostrata

Hello, Tricia. Good to see you here.

 

So you stopped taking Effexor June 22?

 

How are you feeling now? What are your withdrawal symptoms?

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Tricia

Yes I stopped on June 22nd. I took 5HTP for the first 1.5 weeks to help with the w/d symptoms. I really think if it wasn't for this I would have been much worse. I am doing ok. Curently my symptoms are insomnia,fatigue,headache, and I want to eat everything. I also have some nausea.

 

I have been told that I tapered way too quickly. When I started tapering I had no idea how to do it. Hopefully I will push through!

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Altostrata

Well, you jumped off 37.5mg Effexor after what looks like a moderate taper down from 150mg. If withdrawal symptoms get too bad from here, you might be able to take half the 37.5mg, stabilize, and add a couple more tapering steps.

 

But you'd have to reinstate fairly soon, while your brain is still shaped around the Effexor. After a while, you'll enter a different phase of withdrawal, and reinstatement is less likely to help.

 

Any way you go, we support you in your decision to get off Effexor and live drug-free.

 

Are you still doing the liver cleansing, etc.?

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Tricia

I am still doing coffee enemas three times a week. I am also taking milk thistle and ashwaganda. I don't want to push the cleansing too hard because killing off parasites and removing toxins is rough on the body so I want to get through this first.

 

I think I am going to ride this out. I am feeling ok. The worst symptom is I can't seem to get to bed before 3am. I am fatigues more than usual and I have an underlying nausea but it doesn't affect my appetite (I wish it would). Don't get me wrong I am not disregarding what you are saying and what other have said,I think I may be ok. If not it will be hell in the future but I am going to take my chances.

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Altostrata

You may want to reduce the enemas. You're right, the cleansing puts stress on your entire body, too -- best to direct your energy to healing your nervous system.

 

Are you doing anything to restore the good bacteria in your intestines? You need them for digestion.

 

Did you have tests to identify the parasites? Is it possible they're gone after a year of cleansing?

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Tricia

You may want to reduce the enemas. You're right, the cleansing puts stress on your entire body, too -- best to direct your energy to healing your nervous system.

 

Are you doing anything to restore the good bacteria in your intestines? You need them for digestion.

 

Yes I am.

 

Did you have tests to identify the parasites? Is it possible they're gone after a year of cleansing?

 

No I didn't do tests but they were simple to identify. Liver flukes are pretty easy to identify once you see pics of them.

 

I like doing the coffee enemas. I feel a big difference after doing them. Yes they are hard on the adrenals and such so I have cut back.

 

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Altostrata

The caffeine you are absorbing may be adding to your insomnia. Caffeine has a very long half-life. Any coffee you ingest today might affect your sleep 2 days from now.

 

If I were you, I'd get an allopathic diagnosis on the parasites. If you've been trying to get rid of them with enemas for a year, it seems maybe the enemas aren't working for this.

 

Also, as you say, it puts additional stress on your adrenals -- exactly what you DO NOT want to do if you are withdrawing. Plus, there's the caffeine.

 

Just my $.02. It's all up to you, of course.

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Tricia

I only started the coffee enemas about 4 months ago.

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Altostrata

Still, 4 months is a lot of flushing.

 

If I were you, I'd get tests and stop the coffee enemas. Again, it's up to you.

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Tricia

Yeah I am going to stop. I think putting my body through as least stress as possible should be my goal for now.

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