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yolo: Stomach and immune system problems (2,5 years post Effexor)


yolo

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Hey everyone.

I'm new here so I'll write a little bit about myself first. I started on Sertralin in the end of 2010 but 

switched to Effexor after half a year. I took 37,5 mg of Effexor until dec 2012 but decided to stop since the side effects where 

getting unbearable. I tapered in 3 weeks by skipping doses and hell broke loose 

some month after that. I had most of the common withdrawal symptoms: ranging from brain zaps and nausea to epileptic seizures and tremors, severe weight loss, memory loss, aggression, depression, panic attacks and anxiety, hallucinations, brain fog, night sweats/nightmares/insomnia etc etc etc... I think most of these problem are maybe 75% healed or something and I'm working with my mental health by seeing a psychotherapist. I'm in a good place in life right now so I think I will be able to handle most of the lingering stuff. But now for my questions:

 

About a 1,5 years ago I noticed a BIG change in my immune system. I was always very sickly as a child and teenager (I'm now 25) but on meds, and since removing my tonsils, I felt much better. The past 1,5 years though I have been sick more often than not it feels! It's mostly colds (and the flu in the wintertime) but they are extremely severe, like I have fever for a lot of days and most of the time have to stay in bed for a week or so!! And this happens maybe once a month!!!

Apart from being sick I also feel extremely tired a lot of the time... I used to work out at the gym, but almost instantly after a training session I can feel my body protest, starting to get a sore throat etc. I feel very weak and get tired and/or sleepy very easily. Some days I just lie on the sofa, almost can't move. I had an iron deficiancy it turned out and also one of the tests for hypothyroidism was  high, but apparently not high enough for a diagnosis (?). Do you think this could be the meds? Have you heard of anyone who felt like this? Or could this be something else?

I'm also wondering about you people with stomach problems. I've always had a sensitive stomach, but this is far worse than before, I can't eat a lot of stuff because my stomach simply can't handle it. Could that be a side effect from withdrawing as well, this far out? And what have you guys done to try to fix yours? 

Im sorry if this is a little long and complicated. I really appreciate any advice since all the doctors I've been to say that all my health problems are stress-related. I've been to lots of doctors and tried research but I feel I need to talk to people with real experiences of this! Tired of not being listened to and sent home with "just take some painkillers and relax". Thank you thank you!

Started on Sertraline in the end of 2010.

Switched to Effexor after half a year. 37,5 mg of Effexor until dec 2012. Decided to stop since the side effects where 

getting unbearable.

I tapered in 3 weeks by skipping doses and hell broke loose some month after that. 

Now healed in some ways but suspects lingering problems??

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Welcome to the group and I think you may be feeling the lingering effects of 'withdrawal syndrome' that was probably triggered by going switching and going off the meds too fast for your body to adjust. I am coming up on 3 years off a CT from 3 drugs, one at very high doses (I did not plan this) and I notice that even though I feel mostly well, I still find things are changing.

 

It is possible that you push yourself too hard when you exercise and you may want to reduce how strenuously you do everything in your live for the next few years and give your body a better chance to make the changes it needs to. It has apparently only been 2 years off meds for you and that is a really short time for 'recovery' as many of us here will attest.

 

A mod may want to move this post to the introductions forum where you can use it as an ongoing topic to continue to tell us about your particular journey off meds. The symptoms forum is for more general topics that can apply to anyone. You can continue to add to this topic in the meantime.

What happened and how I arrived here: http://survivingantidepressants.org/index.php?/topic/4243-cymbaltawithdrawal5600-introduction/#entry50878

 

July 2016 I have decided to leave my story here at SA unfinished. I have left my contact information in my profile for anyone who wishes to talk to me. I have a posting history spanning nearly 4 years and 3000+ posts all over the site.

 

Thank you to all who participated in my recovery. I'll miss talking to you but know that I'll be cheering you on from the sidelines, suffering and rejoicing with you in spirit, as you go on in your journey.

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Welcome, yolo.

 

Discussions about taking care of yourself are in our Symptoms and Self-care forum -- see it for suggestions about how to cope with your symptoms http://tinyurl.com/3hq949z

 

You might want to start with the topics listed in Important topics about tests, supplements, treatments, diet

 

There are many people with digestive problems. A non-irritating diet might help, such as SCD/GAPS/Paleo Diets

This is not medical advice. Discuss any decisions about your medical care with a knowledgeable medical practitioner.

"It has become appallingly obvious that our technology has surpassed our humanity." -- Albert Einstein

All postings © copyrighted.

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Flu-like symptoms are common with antidepressant withdrawal. When I had them I spent a lot of time lying down waiting for them to pass. Stomach problems are also common.

 

All of your withdrawal problems are probably from your half year on the first drug, maybe the half dose of Effexor wasn't enough to make up for that. It doesn't take long for these drugs to make big changes in your nervous system, (some go into withdrawal after only taking one or two doses) after which it takes a very long time for things to go back to normal after you stop abruptly. If, as with heroine for example, withdrawal only lasted for a few months, we probably wouldn't even need this site. But you are slowly moving in the right direction and will be OK again eventually.    

Sept 12th 1992-began taking Imipramine (50mgs) for panic attacks.

Stopped Imipramine after 4 months (cold turkey).

7 months later experienced "mysterious" bad flu-like symptoms, although, without upper respiratory problems or fever. Because of this and a day of panic attacks, was put on Prozac (20mgs?) for 2 months and then, when that didn't work-was put back on  Imipramine,  plus Xanax 1 mg (4Xdaily)-October 1993.

March 1999-switched from Imipramine (50mgs) to Celexa.

2008-switched to Pristiq for 3 months, then back to Effexor XR (after bad reaction to the Pristiq).

Sept 1st 2010-Switched from Effexor XR (75mgs) to Effexor Generic (solid form) in preparation for taper.

Nov 15th 2010-Began tapering from 75mgs Effexor Generic.

January 13th 2014-.06mgs

April 17th 2014-      .03mgs

May 11th 2014-       .02mgs

Ended taper October 31st 2014

Oct 4th 2015-11 months post taper and completely back to normal!

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Thanks for all your answers!
I think you might be right, cymbalta, in that I shouldn't do stuff to strenuously. I just find myself growing very impatient. Feels as if this 

withdrawal has been the boss in my life for such a long time while I've been passively waiting...hoping... And before that it was the ssri/snri that made me unable to do things. I'm trying to find a more positive way to look at this whole journey but at the moment I'm just not there. 
I feel robbed of my life, the past 5 years to be exact, and I'm only 25 so it feels as if I've lost a huge chunk of my youth. I just want to go out in the world and do stuff but I feel I don't have the energy or the mind for it right now...
I know you all probably know this feeling far too well. It's comforting to know that it will even out in the end though.

Hudgens, do you really think it might be from the sertraline? That is such long long time ago! (Btw the way, I was wrong, I was on 75 mg of Effexor for one year and then lowered the dose to 37,5)

 

Thanks Altostrata for the reading tips!

Started on Sertraline in the end of 2010.

Switched to Effexor after half a year. 37,5 mg of Effexor until dec 2012. Decided to stop since the side effects where 

getting unbearable.

I tapered in 3 weeks by skipping doses and hell broke loose some month after that. 

Now healed in some ways but suspects lingering problems??

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Hey, I recently joined this forum. I'm about 2,5 years post quitting effexor abruptly after 3 years of using SSRIs. I've had ups and downs since then but i think that overall im healing. Im 25 years old.

 

Today is a bad day though. My immune system has been somewhat of a joke these last years, im sick at least once a month. This month is no different and im laying on the sofa with no energy to do anything except watch Netflix, watching the hours go by. I dont know if this is because of withdrawal or something else?! Im just very tired of always being sick like this. Im currently studying to be what i always wanted to be but i havent even been able to attend class this week! The first week after summer vacation... I feel very negative today and also anxious. Its my second year and also my second year in a new city where my physical and emotional status withheld me from meeting new friends and doing things i want to do. I have a partner but except for that i feel so so so lonely!! And if im sick all the time i will never have the ability to find friends...

 

Sorry for the rant but things are not good at the moment.

Started on Sertraline in the end of 2010.

Switched to Effexor after half a year. 37,5 mg of Effexor until dec 2012. Decided to stop since the side effects where 

getting unbearable.

I tapered in 3 weeks by skipping doses and hell broke loose some month after that. 

Now healed in some ways but suspects lingering problems??

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  • Member

Yolo,

 

Your initial post and its replies are located here. A mod will need to join all of these posts into one Introductory topic for you. We have only one topic per member in the Intro forum and you may use it as a journal of your recovery, a place to ask questions about your particular situation and receive help and advice. For right now, until things get sorted, you can keep posting in this topic (and not the other one).

 

Alto gave you some interesting topic to read in this post.

What happened and how I arrived here: http://survivingantidepressants.org/index.php?/topic/4243-cymbaltawithdrawal5600-introduction/#entry50878

 

July 2016 I have decided to leave my story here at SA unfinished. I have left my contact information in my profile for anyone who wishes to talk to me. I have a posting history spanning nearly 4 years and 3000+ posts all over the site.

 

Thank you to all who participated in my recovery. I'll miss talking to you but know that I'll be cheering you on from the sidelines, suffering and rejoicing with you in spirit, as you go on in your journey.

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  • Moderator Emeritus

Thanks CW! Posts merged.

 

Have you looked into some ways to give your immune system a boost by eating greens and fruit for instance? Maybe a check up at your GP?

 

Sometimes we focus solely on how the drugs affected us that we forget treating issues the way we would if the drugs haven't been in the picture.

 

Also, I've just read what our member Pugknows wrote to another member and it reminded me of your situation:  Did you try to address whatever led you to start taking the drugs in the first plan in any other way except through medication?

 

You suffered from depression before the SSRI, which is why you went on (the drug) in the first place. (...) (The drug) did not cure your depression. Most medication doesn't. The best one can expect of an SSRI is a numbing blunting effect. The depression is still there, you just don't give a sh*t.
 

Current: 9/2022 Xanax 0.08, Lexapro 2

2020 Xanax 0.26 (down from 2 mg in 2013), Lexapro 2.85 mg (down from 5 mg 2013)

Amitriptyline (tricyclic AD) and clonazepam for 3 months to treat headache in 1996 
1999. - present Xanax prn up to 3 mg.
2000-2005 Prozac CT twice, 2005-2010 Zoloft CT 3 times, 2010-2013 Escitalopram 10 mg
went from 2.5 to zero on 7 Aug 2013, bad crash 40 days after
reinstated to 5 mg Escitalopram 4Oct 2013 and holding liquid Xanax every 5 hours
28 Jan 2014 Xanax 1.9, 18 Apr  2015 1 mg,  25 June 2015 Lex 4.8, 6 Aug Lexapro 4.6, 1 Jan 2016 0.64  Xanax     9 month hold

24 Sept 2016 4.5 Lex, 17 Oct 4.4 Lex (Nov 0.63 Xanax, Dec 0.625 Xanax), 1 Jan 2017 4.3 Lex, 24 Jan 4.2, 5 Feb 4.1, 24 Mar 4 mg, 10 Apr 3.9 mg, May 3.85, June 3.8, July 3.75, 22 July 3.7, 15 Aug 3.65, 17 Sept 3.6, 1 Jan 2018 3.55, 19 Jan 3.5, 16 Mar 3.4, 14 Apr 3.3, 23 May 3.2, 16 June 3.15, 15 Jul 3.1, 31 Jul 3, 21 Aug 2.9 26 Sept 2.85, 14 Nov Xan 0.61, 1 Dec 0.59, 19 Dec 0.58, 4 Jan 0.565, 6 Feb 0.55, 20 Feb 0.535, 1 Mar 0.505, 10 Mar 0.475, 14 Mar 0.45, 4 Apr 0.415, 13 Apr 0.37, 21 Apr 0.33, 29 Apr 0.29, 10 May 0.27, 17 May 0.25, 28 May 0.22, 19 June 0.22, 21 Jun updose to 0.24, 24 Jun updose to 0.26

Supplements: Omega 3 + Vit E, Vit C, D, magnesium, Taurine, probiotic 

I'm not a medical professional. Any advice I give is based on my own experience and reading. 

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I do everything i can to heal myself and adress every possible issue. I meet with a therapist every week, i eat vegetarian food with loads of greens and i try to find a balance between being active (excercise, do creative stuff that makes me Happy etc) and rest. But it doesnt really seem to help the things i mentioned :(

Started on Sertraline in the end of 2010.

Switched to Effexor after half a year. 37,5 mg of Effexor until dec 2012. Decided to stop since the side effects where 

getting unbearable.

I tapered in 3 weeks by skipping doses and hell broke loose some month after that. 

Now healed in some ways but suspects lingering problems??

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