Effexor

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Effexor is a dual purpose antidepressant released by Wyeth-Ayerst Laboratories and approved by the FDA in October 1997. Effexor boosts serotonin levels in the synapse in similar fashion to other SSRI's. The main difference between Effexot and the SSRI drug class is that Effexor also has the ability to boost norepinephedrine levels similar to tricyclides. Official Effexor Website
If you or someone you know has had a problem with Effexor feel free to call the advertising section of FDA at (301) 827-2828. Also fill out the Medwatch form and also call FDA at 1-800-FDA 1088 press 0 or call (301) 443-1240.
Effexor Feedback and Side Effects

My wife of 2 1/2 years but we been together for 15 years has been on effexor xr for the past 4 to 5 years..She had problems with depression awhile back,her doctor in Philly wouldn't give her anything for it...would tell her to go running to workout and get out...but when she moved back home her best friend Scott who's a doctor here gave her Effexor xr....At first it worked will for her,then she felt that it wasn't strong enough the 150mg she was getting so she doubled it.It has been a nightmare,she's up late at night and have weird and bad dreams..Our sex life has ended and she's always concerned with her weight and how she looks and never happy with it..It has got to the point that I moved out because of the battles we have and her not wanting me around her..But yet she doesn't want me to go..for me to sleep on the floor downstairs..She talked of suicde and I'm scared out of my mind...she feels she needs the pills,but they are just destroying her and our family...She won't break away from it...I'm at my wits end that I'm seeing a therapist,to help me through this...I have 3 lovely girls and I miss them so much,and I miss my wife.....please be carful taking these pills,the side effects are true...And at first they don't show up but after awhile they will tear you down....Someone from the other side...

Posted by: kelly at April 8, 2005 5:13 PM

I have been taking Effexor for two months now, after a two year treatment with Lexapro. Lexapro began exhibiting the more serious side effects in me, and my physician, my family and I decided that the best switch would be to Effexor.

The side effects that I have noticed so far include but are not necessarily limited to:
-Appetite fluctuations - Generally mild, but unpredictable in either direction.
-Weight loss - This could also be due in part to my increased excersise schedule and consistent diet.
-Drowsiness - I quite often feel the need to nap during the day. See next side effect.
-Decreased nighttime sleep - While not full-blown insomnia, I have trouble getting to sleep immediately. This has also become slightly cyclic with my drowsiness.
-Slight boredom - I have a slightly decreased attention span and am occasionally rather listless. I hope this will go away soon, as research indicates it should.
-General dullness - This is also rather mild. I combat this with a relatively active excercise schedule, which has also helped my sleep.

Overall, I would recommend supplementing treatment with Effexor with regular excercise, a consistent and healthy diet, mental activity (reading, mechanical activity, etc), maintenance of sleep, and abstinence from alcohol, tobacco, and other drugs. So far, my treatment with Effexor has been quite positive. More updates to come.

Please see my post about Lexapro, found at http://www.depressionblog.com/archives/000058.shtml posted by ERK on April 9, 2005.

Posted by: at April 9, 2005 2:54 AM

i have early onset parkinson's disease; i was symptomatic at age 42 and diagnosed at age 44. i left the US for 6 months of work 6 months after i was diagnosed. i came home 3 years ago this month with extreme anxiety and major depression. i was started on celexa fairly promptly and also started interpersonal therapy. i did get better but quite slowly. i was not doing well at all for better than a year and a half. about a year ago i requested a change to effexor because of the norepinephrine effect (norepinephrine is deficient in parkinson's as well as dopamine). within two days i knew that i was experiencing rapid improvement. this continued for some time. ultimately i added strattera, also a norepinephrine re uptake inhibitor, and have gotten some additional benefit. i have essentially no side effects, and feel very close to my best historical self, minus a lot of anxiety. this medication has been immensely helpful to me, with essentially no down side.

Posted by: at April 10, 2005 6:53 PM

I loved Effexor, but have been off of it now for about 7 months. The side effects I experienced were pretty common and while annoying, very liveable. They were:

-sleepiness/dizziness not unlike that induced by OTC antihistamines during the ramping up phase of dosing. After I reached full dose, this disappeared.

-sleeplessness if I took my dose after 5 p.m. due to norepinephrine effect. Taking it in the morning corrected this.

-perspiration at the full dose, even in pretty moderate temperatures I was highly reactive at the full dose, mostly from my brow, head and neck. The higher the dose, the sweatier I was. The lower the dose, the less so.

-bizarre falling/electric shock sensation if I missed a dose or every time I ramped my dose down while coming off the drug. This lasted for months after stopping completely but continually diminished until it disappeared entirely

-some loss of appetite during the ramping up phase of dosing, but as a depression-induced binge eater, it was hard to tell whether the drug was suppressing my appetite or I was just not eating emotionally so much.

Effexor certainly isn't for everybody as some of the previous testimonies will attest, but it really saved my life at the time. Though I think it's important not to make any drug a lifelong crutch, I'm having some relapse and am considering revisiting Effexor.

Good med management with a competent and sensitive psychiatrist with whom your are completely honest about your use of and reactions to the drug is absolutely essential to using this or any antidepressant correctly. As is a good program of talk therapy. The drug WILL become a crutch if you're not actively seeking treatment and creating a plan for coping. The drug just allows you to get rational enough to do that kind of work on yourself in the same way insulin pills or injections allow the diabetic to get stable while he or she gets the diet and exercise thing in order to manage the disease on his or her own. The hope is to get off the drug eventually. Of course, like severe diabetics, some severely depressed people may never be able to leave the drug entirely. Still, self-care and therapy are required for healthy living.

Posted by: at April 25, 2005 4:38 AM

This is a followup to my post on April 9th.

It has now been about a month and two weeks since I went to the full (75mg) dosage of Effexor. To this poin, I am experiencing the following:

-Increased nighttime sleeplessness, more than in the April 9th post. I usually can't get to sleep until about 2am and feel the need to nap during the day.

-Nighttime sweats - Even with the A/C going full blast - anyone who has ever lived in a dorm knows that it's pretty easy to freeze out a dorm room - right next to my bed, I wake up sweating pretty often. Minor annoyance, I just have to get up and walk around and wash sheets more often.

-Weight loss - This actually seems to be healthy, as I have not lost any significant muscle mass.

-Increased appetite - This has become consistent and makes meals pretty enjoyable. I also have a consistent craving for oranges and eat at least two each night while studying.

Overall, my mood seems to be reduced to kind of a flatline with occasional bursts of mania. I'm not near as low and irascable any more. However, my mind constantly races and I feel the need to continuously organize things (events, daily plans, future plans) in my mind. This could be due to the high stress involved with final exams and simply being in school.

Please comment on this post or follow it up.

ERK

Posted by: ERK at April 27, 2005 10:40 AM

I wonder if I am in the minority. I was taking Prozac for Adult ADD. I moved from one state to another from a new doctor he suggested that maybe what I was experienceing was not ADD but a mild bi-polar condition. He started me on Effexor and Neurontin. Honestly, it changed my life. After many many years of dealing with daily anxiety, which I thought was a personality trait, I started to calm down and tthink more clearly about everything. the same person but I feel completely different.

I am a big fan of Effexor. Maybe I am just lucky. However, has virtually eliminated my sex drive. Oh, well...

HappyNurse

Posted by: HappyNurse at May 14, 2005 2:31 PM

Its always amazing to me how varied people's reactions are to the same drug. I've seen some positive feedback on effexor, but my experience with it 9 years ago was nothing short of hell. I took it for a month during a depressive bout, and I became, well, borderline psychotic, which has never happened before or since. Its reasonable for people to speculate that crises such as these are not always precipitated by the drug, but I know beyond any shadow of a doubt that this drug damaged me permanently. I function fairly well now, but I know I am not the same. I experienced severe depersonalization syndrome,( if anyone here is familiar with that term). I live with it today to a lesser extent. It makes me sad to think of what I've lost, because I listened to an incompetent doctor(Dr. Elvove, Ridgewood, NJ) instead of my own better judgement to stop the therapy. Always do your own research on a drug when you start it, and insist on a doctor that will value your input.

Posted by: jane at May 17, 2005 3:49 PM

I AM SO GLAD TO KNOW THAT SOMEONE ELSE KNOWS ABOUT THIS BIZZARE FALLING/ESS, WHICH I;VE TRIED
TO EXPLAIN TO SO MANY PEOPLE, AND CAN'T REALLY. IT HAPPENS WHEN I MOVE MY HEAD BACK AND FORTH. REALLY IT'S MY EYES I SHOULD SAY WHICH MOVE WITH YOUR HEAD. I'VE NOTICED IF I CLOSE MY EYES, AND MOVE THEM BACK AND FORTH IT'S REALLY BAD. I HATE THIS FEELING, AND I CAN'T IMAGINE IT LASTING FOR MONTHS, THANK GOD I'M GETTING MORE SOON, IT'S BEEN A COUPLE OF DAYS SINCE I'VE HAD ANY. WHO CARES ABOUT THE DEPRESED FEELINGS I OFTEN GET, MAKE THIS HEAD THING GO AWAY!!! I FEEL LIKE SOME CRAZY DRUG ADDICT, WHICH I GUESS I AM BECAUSE I REALLY FIEND FOR EFFEXOR. IN CASE YOUR'E WONDERING I HAVE NO MED. INS. RIGHT NOW, AND FINALLY RAN OUT. BUT I HAVE A FRIEND WHO IS BRINGING ME SOME THAT SHE HAS, BECAUSE STARTED IT AND DID'NT LIKE IT. SHE KNOWS SOMEONE ELSE WHO HAS ALOT OF IT, IN SAMPLES MOSTLY, HE USED TO TAKE IT ALSO, SO SHE'S GOING TO GET ME THOSE TOO. PRETTY SAD WHEN YOU'RE CHASING DOWN AN ANTIDPRESSANT, BUT IT IS REALLY FUNNY WHEN YOU THINK ABOUT IT.

Posted by: peabody at May 29, 2005 4:40 PM

My wife was on effexor xr for nearly six years. Initially, it did help to alleviate her symptoms of depressino, but over the last year - even with the dose being increased from 75mg's to 225mg - her depression worsened. Six weeks ago our doctor agreed to support my wife's decision to come off of the medication. The process appeared to be simple - decreasing the dosage every week until she was done. Although my wife has been off of effexor for nearly a week now, she has developed some disturbing side effects: polarized mood-swings, aggitation, tremors, nausea, headaches, heavy menstration, and even siezures. We are currently at a loss of what to do about the situation. Does anyone have some suggestions?

Posted by: joshua at June 2, 2005 2:02 AM

I have been taking Effexor for almost 3 years. My Dr. prescribed it as the latest in a long line of other drugs in an attempt to pull me out of a major depressive episode sparked by near simultaneous graduation from M.A. program, loss of job, loss of partner, loss of apartment, illness of mother, and death of friends on 9-11. My depression still lingers, but I think the drug has helped me to put my life back together to some extent. I want to get off the drug because, like so many people here have related, I am tired all the time. I can not work a full 8-hour day because I fall asleep in the late afternoon. I used to be a competitive athlete and since starting the drug I hardly have the energy to walk my dog. I have been to physicians and had all sorts of tests to rule out a medical problem, the only thing left is the drug's side effect. However, one of my depression symptoms is chronic fatigue and sleepiness. During the worst days of my MDE I would sleep 14+ hours/day. What I wouldn't give to get my energy back!

Posted by: Rosie at June 7, 2005 6:28 PM

I took this drug for 5 months, I got the worst jerks in my neck, the worst shakes do to just a little stress at work!? I have Imidiatly stopped this drug.
It felt like if was to go on, I would get some disorder of shakes and jerks permenent.

I have been off this drug for 7 months and I still get those simptoms.
What can I do about this ?

Posted by: Sash at June 9, 2005 11:48 AM

I was put on Effexor for symptoms of Fibromyalgia. After taking the Effexor for about 6 months I found out that my thyroid levels were low. I have been taking levoxil for my Throid as well. After almost two years of taking Effexor and my pain symptoms better I wanted to stop taking Effexor. I also felt that some of my symptoms of my Fibro were really my Thriod issues. I an now on my fifth day of not taking the medication and I feel terrible. I feel like my brain jumps, I have flu like symptoms, I am so sick to my stomach, I am hyper sensitive, edgy, sound and sight sensitive. How long will this last for????? I was taking the lowest dose of Effexor XL. I could not do every other day with out having alot of brain jumps. I did every 30 hours and then every 48 and then I went cold turkey Some of the other site about Effexor withdrawl scare me. I am hoping that this will get better for me and not worse. Any feed back??? Thank you Jenny

Posted by: Jennifer Daniels at June 12, 2005 11:27 PM

I started taking Effexor XR for about 7 months now and have increased my doseage 3 times because I have felt it loses it effectiveness in about 2 months of use. I have also been gaining weight even though I have been dieting and exercising almost obsessively. I'm am really uncontent with this drug and have known many people have much better results with Wellbutrin, I'm switching psychiatrists for a medication eval and to decide my fate.

Posted by: Kristina at June 15, 2005 10:09 AM

I was put on Effexor XR to treat a type of dementia caused by long time depression. I was started on 75mg a day, but the dose was increased over the next few months up to 375mg a day.

I started in June,2004. In October I started experiencing tremors that would usually begin in my knees when trying to step over something. I'd lose my ability to stay up and if there wasn't something to grab onto, I would fall over.

The symptoms increased, with the feelings of electric shocks running down my arms and "snapping" in my head. If I was holding something, I'd drop it. I would fall over if not in a familiar place where I could grab onto something.

When the shocks hit, I would forget what I was thinking about, talking about, or doing. The episodes would last from minutes to days, usually a few hours.

The tremors would wear me out as if I had been exercising the whole time.

The falling down was the worst part. I fell off a platform in a store, landing flat on my back on a carpeted concrete floor. I wrenched my neck, smacked the back of my head and injured my right elbow from that one. One time I fell in my driveway, headfirst into a crusty snowbank. Snow was packed into my mouth, nose, mouth, clothes and behind my glasses. I had no ability to stop these falls, as I would have little control over my arms.

My sleep became increasingly disturbed by vivid nightmares and I would thrash around in the bed, hitting the wall, my dog and my girlfriend. This happened often. She would wake me up, and I would return to the same nightmare.

In early May, 2005, I had a breakdown where I couldn't tell waking from dreaming. I would fall asleep at the table, and start babbling about whatever I was dreaming about...while continuing to eat.

When we figured out this was because of the Effexor, I stopped immediately.

I went through 3 weeks of hell during withdrawal. I would awake in a panic, thinking I was being suffocated. During any task, this panic would hit. I was able to drive short distances, but on the highway, the panic would force me to turn around and go home.

The shocks kept happening, but were getting less and less. I did see my doctor and my psychiatrist as soon as possible. On the 11th day, something passed, and the side effects faded away.

This damnable medication took away nearly a year of my life. While being treated for mental illness and the necessary of knee replacements, the drug sent me into a world of helplessness, panic, and nearly caused me serious injury on many occasions. I nearly fell out of our attic several times, and hit my head and face hard while falling. The melding of the dreaming and waking state was terrifying to me and those around me. I saw both my family doctor and the prescribing psychiatrist about the shaking and falling over and neither suspected the Effexor.

Now, since the withdrawal effects have all but disappeared (I still get the shocks, but they don't make me drop things) and the relief of the end of those terrible side effects are over, I'm left in the same shape I was in before taking that poison. I still have the pseudo-dementia, depression, and physical pain from my worn out knees and the pain from a cervical fusion.


My doctor and psychiatrist should not be prescribing or suggesting medication if they cannot recognize the side effects of that medication! I am very angry over this.

Posted by: Steve Dallman at June 20, 2005 3:17 PM

I was on Effexor for 6 years and loved it, but had to go off of it this winter due to lack of sleep, and mania. I was on 300mg a day, and my psychiatrist wanted me to go down to 75 mg. for fear of me going too manic. I told him that I might flip out, because we tried me going off of Effexor 5 years ago and the symptoms were horrible. I did flip out, went into a suicidal depression, and ended up in the hospital for 5 days. I am now on Wellbutrin and doing very well. It is a much better drug for bipolar people to be on with the other medications, and because the withdrawl is not severe if you have to go off of it temporarily to prevent mania. I loved what Effexor did for my depression, but never would I take it again. However, I had to go off of it cold turkey, and most people don't. A "normal" person could have had the same reaction that I had going off of 300 mg. of Effexor. My definition of "normal" is : Normal people are those people we don't know well.
I hope that I helped with my little tidbit on Effexor.

Posted by: Laura at June 22, 2005 1:50 PM

I was on Effexor 150XL for about 6 months, for depression and "early menopause symptoms". At first it did seem to help, but after a while I did notice all of the symptoms that I had read about on different blog sites. It was kind of scary at first but most of the bloggers were talking about withdrawl symptoms and I kind of thought "well why are they quitting?" Duh... I have pretty good insurance and only need to pay the copay of 11.00.

But, when I started needing to stop and take a nap on my way to work (I live about 50 miles from where I work, and it usually only takes me about 55 minutes to get there, if I don' stop and nap on the way) I decided to investigate this medication a little more. No, actually I decided to get off it. Bad move. I know what the Brain zaps are all
about and to make a very long story short I went back on it and weaned myself off according to my Drs. instructions. Didn't make any difference, the Zaps came back when I was almost off and the other really strange thing is that I am craving salt constantly. I eat jars of pickles and olives non stop and have gone through about 50 bags of sunflower seeds. I mainly just suck on them for the salt. Needless to say, I look like two ton Tilly. Really bloated. But the other thing is, when I was on the crap, I had night sweats, night-mares and was waking up on the hour. Now, I can sleep the whole night when I do go to bed and am not so tired in the morning.

I guess to get back to my original point, Is anyone else having the salt craving problem and weigh gain?
And another thing, even when you think the Zaps are gone, after a few weeks of totally no Effexor popping, the Zaps come back, mostly if I am really tired. Anybody else experience that? When does all of that S#$%^ quit. Can we get back to our normal old depresseive but happy to see the sun come up mode?
Thanks for any info,

Donita

Posted by: djm at June 25, 2005 8:05 PM

I was on Effexor for about 2and 1/2 years - (after being on Prozac for about 2 months with minimal results, they thought Effexor would be better. I was experiencing menopause depression - I was told- anyway - it helped after 2 weeks I felt the lights come on again. I felt life worth living. I have no insurance -- so no Doctor now. I was getting samples for the last year - I decided to wean off last October for more personal than financial reasons. I was feeling OK not great on the meds just OK some days good others eh... anyway from Oct - Dec 2004 I weaned off - now since January it is now 6/26/05 so about 6 months off. I feel like I'm not depressed but sort of out of sync with life. I started taking B12 250 a day and recently iron pills. I sleep Ok but too much, my job has become easier (I feel brain cells came back?!) and yet I feel bored but can't find interest in anything too much. It's getting a little better this past week or so, but the zap thing caught my interest. Last night I heard a POP close to my head but nothing was going on. The cat did not move. I think I have felt that before but ignored it - I have resolved that if I get through summer I'll be OK, but if not go back on in the fall. Now I am wondering if that is wise - one of the reasons I came off is because I was told I should not have to be on all my life and since I have not had a period in a full year, menopause is on its way out I hope. after reading other stories I do not want to go back on. I hope to get through on healthy living but know if I start the dark feelings of worthlessness I will have to go back on Effexor or something - does anyone have a good come back from depression??? did they lie to us ?? They said it was not addictive - not for life -- how come I can't find anyone willing to talk about being off except on web sites like this?? Is it because they just stay on them or change to another?? I don't want to be medicated unnecessarily so I keep faith and watch for worsening signs.

Posted by: Theresa at June 27, 2005 1:55 PM

I have been on Effexor XR for3 months, before that on Zoloft for over a year. The Zoloft didn't do much for me. I have never had depression, but had seizures 21 years ago. Those returned a year ago, and was put back on Depakote. right before that my first grandbaby was stillborn, then a miscarriage of another baby, and this year my mom dies unexpectedly. The worst part is I have a new boss at work and he is a holy terror most of the time. PLUS I am in menopause. My doctor said I am in the beginning stages of Depression so that is when she took me off the Zoloft. I take BP med at night, Xanax, 750 MG's of Depakote and cholesterol med, so sleeping is no problem, other than the Depakote causes me to dream weired dreams every single night. I take the Effexor Xr in the morning along with a 500 mg dose of Depakote and another dose of Depakote at noon. Since being on the Effexor, I am a lot better. My energy is starting to come back, where as before on my weekends all I did was sleep. Depakote causes weight gain also, so I am battling that with these 2 meds.

Posted by: Susan at June 29, 2005 12:32 AM

I have been taking Effexor XR in combination with Wellbutrin for approximately eight months now. Effexor was initially prescribed for panic attacks and social phobia, and seemed to alleviate this to a degree, and the Wellbutrin for depression. As with every anti-depressant that I've taken in the past, the effects seem to disperse over time, causing me to wonder if I require a higher dosage (are anti-depressants similar to other addictive drugs in this respect?) The only positive I can say is that the effects did last for awhile, without any sexual side effects.

The withdrawal side-effects for Effexor are seriously bad! Brain shocks, flu-like symptoms, dizzyness, and only after having missed a dose by a couple of hours. Weird, weird vivid dreams..Take at your own risk..

Posted by: Will at July 3, 2005 1:13 PM

ok i was taking xr effexor wellburtin,strattra,addreal,and some sleeping pill for about 5 or 4 years im only 15 years old and they had me on all those medications i have been going through sence i stoped taking all the medications i have gotton high blood pressure i had to go to the emergancy room i have been going into what it seems like electric shock um what else o yea i have been feeling tired and getting anxiety also i have had a panic attack it really sucks im probably going through all the withdralls who knows. i would just like to say that if you ever plan on stop taking it it sucks so you should never start

Posted by: cali at April 13, 2006 10:55 AM

ok i was taking xr effexor wellburtin,strattra,addreal,and some sleeping pill for about 5 or 4 years im only 15 years old and they had me on all those medications i have been going through sence i stoped taking all the medications i have gotton high blood pressure i had to go to the emergancy room i have been going into what it seems like electric shock um what else o yea i have been feeling tired and getting anxiety also i have had a panic attack it really sucks im probably going through all the withdralls who knows. i would just like to say that if you ever plan on stop taking it it sucks so you should never start

Posted by: cali at April 13, 2006 10:55 AM

I need help. I am withdrawling and am very sick. How can I get information?

Posted by: christy at April 19, 2006 12:06 AM

I have been taking Effexor 75mgs for approximately 8 months now and in that time have suffered 2 miscarriages back to back. Is it correlation or causation, I'm not sure. But up until this point in my life, I have had no trouble carrying a baby to term.

Posted by: Sandra at April 19, 2006 12:52 AM

I went 35 years without needing any intervention. Yet extreme stresses in my life seemed to induce an extreme mix of depression and anxiety. I went to a psychiatrist who worked with me on several medications before we tried Effexor. My mother, brother, and I have all ended up on Effexor despite having three different psychiatrists. After celexa, paxil, welbutrin, and remron, Effexor really helped me feel like a normal person again. The only side effect that has been persistent has been the inablility to sleep as deeply as I used to. I've been pleased with the medication, but since my depression has been stress induced I have not wanted to be taking it long term. I've been on it for 1+ years, 3 different times. The first time I went off it, I was just fine for 8-9 months. However a family crises hit and I had to go back on to deal with my depression/anxiety. A year later I tried to go off of it but I didn't do just fine. I found that the depression immediately took hold as soon as I started weaning off. So I went back on for another year, and I am currently trying to get off again. However discomforting the withdrawl symptoms are, my main worry is that this heightened depression is a permanent side effect. Has anyone heard of the depression worsening during the withdrawl period only to have it fade over the following weeks. I'm holding out hope that this is the case and I can stay off the medication altogether. Has anyone who has successfully weathered the withdrawl effect had this depressive phenomena eventually wear off? Is it a withdrawl symptom?

Posted by: Tom at April 20, 2006 1:12 PM

Have heard that effexor xl 75 can cause irregular heart beat is this true.

Posted by: tricia at April 22, 2006 4:08 PM

My depression started when my periods started, age 12. In 1995, after 30 sorrowful years, I finally found relief. Effexor was my miracle drug and I truly believed what my psychiatrist told me, that these new SSRIs and SNRIs were the safest antidepressants around. I've taken effexor for 11 years and during that time completely transformed my life for the better. When my new insurance refused to pay for it, I felt confident I could avoid sickness by reducing gradually and eventually live AD free. I was completely unprepared for how sick I have become. I began reducing Jan-Feb-Mar 2006 and got down to 37.5 before the nausea and dizziness hit me. I became so sick that I haven't been able to work for 3 weeks. I don't have paid medical leave or a family to help support me financially. I took my last fraction of a tablet, about 8 mgs, 5 days ago. I am stunned. I had no idea I would be this sick. Gradual withdrawal does not work. Wyeth is misleading us, hoping to put off the postpone for as long as possible, the inevitable banning of effexor. But back to my story. It's April and I'm sicker than I have ever been in my life. In addition to all the classic EDS symptoms, I had been bleeding uncontrollably (it's been 5 straight weeks now). I went to a gynecologist and he recommended abdominal surgery, hysterectomy with ovarian removal and biopsy. A second gynecologist agreed so I scheduled my surgery. Nausea, swelling, bleeding--I was afraid I had ovarian cancer. But something still didn't seem right, what about the dizziness? That's because I'm anemic from all the bleeding. Both doctors knew I was withdrawing from effexor, I made a point to tell them, but they dimissed it as irrelevant to my main symptom of uncontrollable bleeding. Thank god for the internet. Finally, just 3 days ago, I typed in "effexor withdraw" and Oh my God, there they were, all my weird debilitaing symptoms, the nausea, dizziness, vertigo, so severe as to be incapacitating, the brainzaps, watermelon head, etc etc etc--so many people suffering. I've spent hours reading their testimonials. Even those who reduce very gradually get very sick. I've only found one or two who say they made it off and are symptom free. There are people who have been trying for years to get below 37.5mg without symptoms with no success. What's going on here? People follow Wyeth's recommendation and still suffer. EDS, or "effexor discontinuation syndrome" is not a true "withdrawal" Wyeth says. I've come to believe Wyeth is telling the truth about that. I believe EDS is different, worse, much more serious than what we think of as withdrawal from heroin for example. With heroin, the addict knows that if sticks it out for a few horrible days, he will eventually be symptom free. Those of us suffering with EDS do not have that assurance. EDS is something different, which may be why the "gradual withdrawal" theory behind Wyeth's suggested treatment is not valid. Wyeth pushes responsibility for finding a treatment onto the doctors, but I am having trouble finding a doctor who has even heard of EDS, let alone developed a successful strategy for treating it. Gradual reduction? well how gradual is gradual? People taking single pellets from their time release capsules? This is unacceptable and it's time the FDA take wake up and start protecting the people they are supposed to protect, the people who are paying their salaries. Wyeth should be forced to channel a portion of the billions they make every year on effexor to fund independent reseach into EDS. Until they come up with an effective treatment for EDS, effexor should be banned from the market.

Posted by: NancyinDenver at May 3, 2006 3:18 AM

I started taking effexor 21/2 years ago for depression/stress. My husband started taking it about 8 months ago.
I have been having trouble sleeping for quite awhile, and my doc. said to take tylenol pm or benidryl, which worked for a while. I can usually "sleep" for and hour or so at night, and am up for the rest of the night. And when I do sleep, I have the most awful dreams you could ever imagine.
My husband had started having night sweats. He would soak a terry cloth bathrobe to the point you could wring it out!
He decided after having to stop on the way to work and take a small nap two mornings in a row that he needed to get off this drug, and he cold turkeyed it. He is having electric shocks in his legs, and a itchy feeling all over his body. He has gained a significant amount of weight in the last few months, seems to be "starved" all the time.
I am stepping down, from 150mg twice a day to 75mg once a day, and it isn't pretty.
I need to sleep, before I lose my mind.
I have been experiencing rages that scare me. I almost feel like there are two of me, a sane one and a psycho me. I am about half sick to my stomach most of the time, dry mouth, headache, tremors, and a "out of it" feeling. Muscle cramps and "electric shock" feelings in my legs, and my hair is falling out.
I spoke with my doc. and asked if he had heard of anyone having trouble getting off this medication, and he said that he had only heard great things about effexor! From who? The Drug Reps?
I am going to get off this stuff, and I'll handle a bit of depression and stress, it can't possibly be any worse than what I am going through now.

Posted by: bjkistner at May 5, 2006 12:36 AM

Been on Effexor XR for 14 months. Reduced from 75mg to 37.5 without too many problems. Now on 37.5 every 2 days. The last half day of the two day period brings on tiredness and nausea and grumpiness. My pharmacist says I can't seperate my 37.5 mg pills as they are time release capsules. I might try anyhow.

Posted by: Denis at May 5, 2006 1:28 AM

I was on Effexor for approximately 5 years. I started taking it when I was going through a divorce. I thought I could stop now. I'm in a better place in my life and don't want to have to meds for the rest of my life. It has been a little over a week now, and I have been sick everyday. I have nausea, vomiting, muscle cramps, blurred vision, dizziness, fatigue, and I feel like I'm living in a fog. I'm also very depressed and a little agitated. Please someone tell me what I can do or take to help me get through the withdrawl symptoms. I can't live like this. I can't even function. I have two beatiful girls who need me. I tapered down and everthing. PLEASE RESPOND!!!!!!

Posted by: Heather at May 7, 2006 12:54 AM

My daughter was on Effexor 300mg a day, for over a year.. was weaned off it this past february. She still has nausea and vomits occationally... Suffers from chronic headaches and brain fog. Its driving her crazy. It suprises me that the affects of coming off this drug can last SOooo long. I will be going with her BACK to her Physch. Dr. to see what can be done to help this. And NO, she wont be getting back on the Effexor!! I believe more research needs to be done on this Medication and its after affects.

Posted by: at May 11, 2006 11:17 AM

I had similar withdrawl experiences. Pretty brutal, but my pharmacologist put me on zoloft and all symptoms disappeared. I then took the zoloft for a couple of weeks before the Dr and I weened me off it with no problems whatsoever. Surprise this isn't recommended more often.

Posted by: John at May 12, 2006 9:28 PM

I stepped down from 75mg/day to 37.5 mg /day. After a week, I stopped all doses. I was prepared that it would be rough. I had missed doses before and the withdrawal symptoms were so severe I ended up having cataract surgery to try to fix the problem! Also was put on meclozine for the severe dizziness. I'm suffering through this mess and never intend to go back on it. However, for those planning to taper down, get a Rx of Prozac, low dose. It has been credited with easing the withdrawal symptoms from effexor. Hope this doesn't last much longer!!!

Posted by: Michelle HalfSpring at May 16, 2006 12:02 AM

I started Effexor with the hope that it would "make life easier" in early 2005. The drug did seem to have an impact on my startle response that was related to chronic/severe PTSD but that is/was the only benefit noted over 12 months.

I have, however, experienced enough negative sx to cause me to be in the process of dc'ing the medication as I type... Over the last year, I gained 50lbs, suffered from flashes of suicidal ideation (never before experienced), felt unmotivated to complete tasks, felt a total disconnect from the rest of my life, etc.

Today, I'm having difficult coordinating my movements. I'll reach for a glass but can't grab it. My hands are jerking as I type this post. I've slept non-stop for the last 7 days...literally over 20 hrs a day. I've not even tapered down to 37.5 mg yet... I'm scared.

As a graduate student in the field of mental health, I know that some people need medications to function. I convinced myself that I was one of those people. However, the truth is the sx I took the medication for were not at all helped by the drug... I know this isn't the case for everyone but for all the people like me, I'm angry!

I've decided to begin a support group for people in my community who are NOT on medications. The group will be designed for people considering meds BEFORE they begin taking anything...so that they may discuss issues, concerns, questions, etc... and go into the med-world more informed than just taking their doctor's word at face value.

I'll definitely be calling the FDA as well as writing a letter to the Wyeth Corporation. I should have NEVER began this medication. With my sx, this medication should have NEVER been prescribed to me. Mental health professionals, as well as the public, need to become more aware of how to perform the cost/benefit analyses associated with these drugs.

As a provider, I'll NEVER recommend Effexor XR to a patient. I don't think I could knowing what I'm going through and what I've been through...

Anyway, this is long. My body and my mind are both crumbling right now and I still have a week to go with the taper... If I could take back any decision in my life, it would be the one I made choosing to begin Effexor XR.

Any positive stories of quitting the drug without long term effects would be welcomed...

Thanks for listening.

Posted by: T at June 7, 2006 5:36 AM

I gradually reduced my 150mg dosage over a period of 4 months and I still got sick. I haven't been able to work for 2 months because of debilitating nausea, dizziness, flu-like aches. I can't move, even my eyeballs without intesifying the symptoms. Have I been permanently maimed by Wyeth-Ayerst? I have yet to find a doctor who has even heard of effexor discontinuation syndrome. If I had known this drug would make me sick for life, I never would have taken it.

Posted by: nancyindenver at June 12, 2006 2:51 PM

Well, I have good luck the first time I took Effexor 150mg, but got off because of weight gain. My Doc weaned me down, but during the weaning process put me on Wellbrutin at the same time. I was sick for about 3 days with nausea and tiredness. Did fine on the wellbutrin but it stopped working and I lost all motivation for life. So, the doc put me on Effexor XR 225 and I have been feeling really weird. I am having weird and violent thoughts and hear a knocking sound when I go to bed, which my husband does not hear. I also put on 10 lbs in 4 weeks, and have no sex drive. Oh! and loosing my hair like crazy....;( So, I don't want to go back on Wellbutrin, so I guess I will try the prozac or zoloft low dose. I was on Zoloft for about 5 years and it really worked except I always felt like I was in a fog, so that kinda sucked too. I think that we as sufferers should start a class action law suit against the makers of effexor. They know the side effects of coming off it and still continue to market it out of Greed! Anyway, wish me luck on my down hill slide getting off this stuff, and I hope you all find some relief very soon.

Sincerely on your side,

Casiam

Posted by: casiam at June 15, 2006 2:47 PM

I have been taking Effexor (150mg). I took it a few years ago and after a few months went cold turkey off it. [I did not realize/know at the time that this could have been dangerous and was definitely NOT the best approach to going off it.] I did suffer migraines at that time and other bad symptoms.

Although it is felt that Effexor has helped, my biological clock is ticking and I want to be drug-free in order to get pregnant. My OB/GYN suggested that I not wait although my psychiatrist (the one who prescribed the Effexor) thinks I have time, but I'd rather trust the OB/GYN in that department (birthing babies).

Does this schedule for going off make sense?

I split my extended release pills of 150 in half and counted out roughly half of each. I will take 75 mg for two weeks. Then 75mg every other day ... for two weeks. I should be done in a month?

I have heard anything from Sudafed, Ibuprofen to combat withdrawal symptoms. Anything else?

Posted by: Geminigrrl at June 15, 2006 6:45 PM

I took Effexor for appx. three years...did fine until the last fourteen months...then started having "dizzy" spells that increasingly got worse and more frequent...DR took me off them and changed to something else...The week of withdrawal from the Effexor, I stayed dizzy 24/7 and felt a bit weepy...I seemed to be getting more and more tired while taking them...they were great for the depression, but with side effect like the ones they cause...their not worth it!!!

Posted by: Lorrie at June 16, 2006 10:28 PM

The dizziness I prescribed in the previous paragraph wasn't a simple you can cope dizziness...it was awful...it made me sick to move my eyes, caused nausea, sweats...I couldn't stand to drive, get on the computer, watch t.v...when walking through the store I felt as though I would fall at any moment!!! It actually was painful to move my eyes...DR feels that the Effexor has caused it all (I am Blessed with a great DR) I say if it helps you...great...if not...get off of it!!!

Posted by: lorrie at June 16, 2006 10:39 PM

i am undergoing intense withdrawl effexor aswell as a drug called seroquel. i took both for years. i belive iwas improperly removed from both,and for 3 months i have had extreame addverse reactions with no end in sight. they include..pressure headakes,blured visson,muscle pain and spasems,confussion,brain zaps,memory loss,anxiety,chest pain,dizziness,virtigo,pule beats heavy throughout my body. is there anyone who is feeling the same?

Posted by: chris at June 24, 2006 2:21 AM

I have been taking effexor for 7 years it seems to be the best antidepressent for me. I am running out of effexor and have been having strong feelings to cut myself which I have not been doing for 2 months. I also am having some suicidal feelings, anxiety, insomnia, and depression. Is this from the Effexor withdrawl? I was on 300mg now I am on 75mg. Soon I will be out of it.

Posted by: Tami at June 28, 2006 5:01 AM

I have been on Effexor 150 XR for about 2 years, after I had my second child I came home from the hospital crying and depressed. At my six week check I metioned it to my Dr. which assured me I wasn't alone and that I should try Prozac. Well from there it only got worse I started having panic attacks and couldn't leave the house.
So my Dr. referred me else where, telling me this was out of his league. The new doc switched the prozac for paxil. Needless to say I even got worse. I had thoughts of hurting my self on top of the allready metioned symptoms, I went back to the new doc that suggested we switch to effexor.
It took a few months and a few dosage increases but, I was feeling better.:) Then I would accidently miss a dose and I became a raging BEAST. I get mean, hateful, emotional, and I really don't like it. It feels like I can't control my self. I was wondering if anyone else experiences these types of behaviors after just 1 or 2 missed doses?
Thanks

Posted by: Whats Wrong With Me? at July 5, 2006 3:52 PM

My MD is lowering my effexor from 300mg to 150mg. I take it for anxiety/panic disorder. Since starting the weening process, I am begining to have panic attacks and sleepless nights again. Is this effexor withdrawl I have heard of or my illness?

Posted by: Shelly at July 10, 2006 5:22 PM

I have been taking Effexor for anxiety and mild depression for about a year. I am trying to get off of it by breaking the capsules open and taking half of the beads, instead of the whole capsule, which is 75 mg. I heard if I take 1/2 then it is equivalent to 37.5 mg. I forgot to take it one day and decided to not take it again for a couple of days. It was difficult to get to sleep. Then the nightmares started and with a boom. Very wierd stuff! I took 1/2 dose last night, along with a sleep aid and I slept well last night. I would really like to get off this stuff. A lot of personal things in my life have settled down, so I don't feel I need it. But the nightmares are horrible. Does it get better if I stay off of Effextor?

Posted by: Cindy at July 12, 2006 11:11 AM

I went on effexor xl back in Nov 2005 after battling GAD (generalized anxiety disorder). This is the first time I have taken any kind meds for my illness (previously I just suffered and ended up losing everthing incl. job family friends etc..) I am feeling o.k. and now wish to stop taking the drug. my dosage is 75mg a day. after reading about horrible negative effects of withdrawl I am wondering what is the best way to go about this. I don't mind telling you that I am scared out of my mind!!! Can anyone tell me if they have successfuly weened with very little or no serious withdrawl effects. Please respond.

Posted by: Nads at July 24, 2006 6:35 PM

I took Celexa for four and half years. In the initial year I was also invoved in psychotherapy and group support for anxiety and depression. Last August, after having a relapse of severe anxiety my psychiatrist switched me to Effexor. I started off at 37.5 mg, and gradually increased to 225 mg. After almost a full year of coupling it with various other medications it became clear that the Effexor was not working. I began to taper off in May and have just completed a week of not taking it at all. My withdrawl symptoms have been at times incredibly intense and very painful. I think that doctors should make their patients more aware of a medications withdrawl side-effects before putting them on it. I had no idea how this medication was going to effect me coming off it.

Posted by: brian at July 27, 2006 11:41 PM

i have been on effector 150 mg bid and wellbutin 150 mg bid for 7 yrs.THEY WORK WELL BUT FOR THE NO INTEREST IN SEX DRIVE!!!!!!!!!!!! l\i can not get off meds without severe horrble night mares dreams.I MADE IT OFF THE EFFECTOR TWICE BUT DEPRESION CAME RIGHT BACK AND I HAD TO RESTARTTHE EFFECTOR .. DOC NOT HELPFUL ON THIS!HE IS BAORD CERT PSYCH MD.!!!! PLEASE SEND ME HELP on THIS!!!!! ineed it!!

Posted by: tony at August 6, 2006 11:24 PM

i have been on effector 150 mg bid and wellbutin 150 mg bid for 7 yrs.THEY WORK WELL BUT FOR THE NO INTEREST IN SEX DRIVE!!!!!!!!!!!! l\i can not get off meds without severe horrble night mares dreams.I MADE IT OFF THE EFFECTOR TWICE BUT DEPRESION CAME RIGHT BACK AND I HAD TO RESTARTTHE EFFECTOR .. DOC NOT HELPFUL ON THIS!HE IS BAORD CERT PSYCH MD.!!!! PLEASE SEND ME HELP on THIS!!!!! ineed it!!

Posted by: tony at August 6, 2006 11:42 PM

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Posted by: yewq zakthfjyg at August 8, 2006 12:02 AM

I went on Effexor 15 months ago for GAD...I had never been treated for the G.A.D. before, but at this point, life was stressing me out as I had a baby and decided to break it off with the father and raise her on my own. The stress of "how am I going to do this myself" and wondering how/if/when I was going to get child support and pay for daycare for an infant, along with raising my older child was enough to get the racing thoughts in motion big time and I wasn't able to concentrate on anything, much less my 2 kids. Effexor was GREAT! I took ONE pill and had to give a speech in a class the next day -- got up in front of class and was not even nervous! Wow! I noticed my short term memory got TERRIBLE, used to be sharp as a tack. Also, I would black out if I had more than 4 drinks (scary!). So, life is better now, I don't feel the need to be on this drug anymore.

I was only on 75mg the whole time, my doc gave me a 2 week supply of 37.5mg to taper with. I felt totally fine during the tapering process, so when I ran out of the 37.5mg I was done. This is my 7th day of NOT taking anything.

The first day was fine, (although for some reason I got an eye infection, which they treated me for pink eye) but the 2nd day I woke up and could barely get out of bed...felt like I got hit by a truck...felt like I had a BAD case of the FLU. I can't believe I made it thru 2 days of work feeling like that. I am not a crier but yet I cried 3 nights in a row cuz I felt depressed! Scary, cuz I was never a depressed person b/4! After 2 days I could get out of bed, but I keep having "zapping" in my head, arms, legs, hands. I feel totally disconnected, get extremely annoyed/agitated with people (even my kids)...everything seems to be going wrong and I am reacting to it very negatively.

My vision is really wierd...it's like I have a haze over my brain and I can't see right; when I see myself in the mirror I look like I'm on drugs/hazy...

My doc said this could last anywhere from a few days to a few weeks.

Does this get any better?

Posted by: Evie at August 8, 2006 10:52 AM

Well at least I know now that Im not imagining things. I was on Lexapro for 3 months but I could not stay awake. It was all I could do to get my daughter into bed at night before I collapsed. I would sleep 10 hours a day at a minimum. My Dr. switched me to Effexor 75 mg. I have been on that for 1 1/2 years. I have tried to get off of it so many times because I really dont need it anymore but I always go back to it because the withdrawl is so bad. The dizzy spells, the inability to focus my eyes, insomnia, the "zapping".... I even told my doctor about this and she was amazed...she claimed to have never heard of it before. I am switching doctors.

Posted by: rhammond at August 21, 2006 11:54 AM

I have been on Effexor for about a year,and I ran out and wasnt in a big hurry to go to the doctor to get more so went without them for a week,then started having night sweats,tingling in arms,panic
attacks and etc. The point is no one told me this drug was addictive when I started taking it,then I started checking online about it and found out what was happening to me was withdrawl symptoms from effexor,that you have to be weined off of it slowly.This is a bad drug to be on.

Posted by: Patricia Davis at August 27, 2006 12:19 AM

I was on Effexor for a little over two years at 75-150 MG. I've been taking various meds for ongoing depression since the late 80's and think I have just about run the gamut, starting out on tricyclics and then moving on to SSRI's when they came into vogue.

Some meds I had problems with right away. Others seemed to loose their effect after a period of years. The Efexor never really worked consistently for me. I still had lots of episodes of fairly major depression and fairly constant lack of motivation. My doctor switched me over to a newer drug, Cymbalta that seemed to work. Chemically, it is close to Effexor. In less than a year I gained 20 lbs and developed a pretty significant hypertension problem for the first time in my life. The weight was all in my stomach, a lot like what used to be called a "beer belly" even though I don't drink. Neither exercise nor medication had any effect on the hypertension. My doctor added a very small dose of Welbutrin (a split 75 mg tablet) to try to help with the weight gain and lack of energy I was starting to feel. I was down to the minimum dispensable dose of Cymbalta when my doctor tapered me off and had my try Luvox (usually used for OCD but is sometimes effective with depression). I probably won't be able to stay on it because of the gastrointestinal and some other effects that it's having. I have also been going through major episodes of what I usually hear described as Effexor withdrawal. The primary symptom of this are commonly called "brain zaps" along with some dizziness, disorientation, and shooting pains down my neck (which finally seem to be tapering off after two weeks). My main problem now is no longer depression but trying to tolerate the feeling that my entire neural system is rewiring itself. What is amazing is that most sources say that Effexor/Cymbalta only take a few days to flush out of your system.

Through some hours of research on the Web, I've found myself beginning to accept the idea that antidepressants (and the newer SSRI's like Effexor, Paxil, Cymbalta and others) make some fairly serious changes to your neurotransmitters over a period of time and it can be living hell to go back to some semblance of normal. Obviously, everybody's response is very different. I have a close friend who has been using Prozac since day one and she has always loved it). However, if I had any idea how hard it would be to discontinue the meds I've been taking, I would have thought more carefully about changing.

Disclaimer: I have absolutlely no medical or pharmacological training and my current state of mind is not exactly the best. I welcome feedback and comments via e-mail and urge all readers to discuss what they've read on the Web and in other resources with their health care professional. (I also suggest the obverse: gathering as broad of a base of information from other people as possible before deciding on a course of action with your doctor.) In my personal experience, it has been pretty much a crap-shoot, regardless. My heart is out to all of you who have searched out this help.

(sig: "Nobody can tell me not to be discouraged. If I had any choice, I would have never gotten discouraged in the first place. It's a downright lousy state of mind. The thing I have to work on is trying not to *stay* discouraged.")

Posted by: Ric at September 3, 2006 3:59 AM

I started effexor XR over 2 years ago for menopausal symptoms - hot flashes- and it worked great.
Now I want off. I am not a griper but this withdrawl crap is PURE HELL! I feel like my brain and body are not connected. I am not myself as in the person I was BEFORE effexor OR the person during. Im constanly dizzy and pretty much just feel like crap.

I have cut down from 75 mg every day to half of that Every day and then that does to every other day. My symptoms of withdrawl started at the every other day point.

I have CONSTANT diahrhea. I feel afraid to drive as I am not sure I am really safe to be handling a large vehicle on the road.

I am taking mass ammounts of fish oil and flax oil *just started that* and am hoping it helps.

IF I WOULD HAVE HAD ANY IDEA THAT WITHDRAWL WOULD BE LIKE THIS I WOULD HAVE NEVER TAKEN IT.

I am fortunate to have a loving supportive husband who has read all the withdrawl stuff and can keep an eye on me.

Oh one more thing. I am having VERY VIOLENT nightmares and wake up screaming.... Never done this in my life. I went for a walk tonight and my husband was VERY concerned when I was gone for over 30 mins cause he is not sure if I am actully safe for MYSELF.

While on the drug I gained 30 lbs without making any dietary changes. I have NEVER had a weight issue before the Effexor.

I HONESTLY THINK THERE SHOULD BE SOME CHANGES BEFORE PUTTING MORE PEOPLE ON THIS DRUG.

thanks for listening

Jan Fortier

Posted by: jan at September 4, 2006 1:18 AM

I started effexor XR over 2 years ago for menopausal symptoms - hot flashes- and it worked great.
Now I want off. I am not a griper but this withdrawl crap is PURE HELL! I feel like my brain and body are not connected. I am not myself as in the person I was BEFORE effexor OR the person during. Im constanly dizzy and pretty much just feel like crap.

I have cut down from 75 mg every day to half of that Every day and then that does to every other day. My symptoms of withdrawl started at the every other day point.

I have CONSTANT diahrhea. I feel afraid to drive as I am not sure I am really safe to be handling a large vehicle on the road.

I am taking mass ammounts of fish oil and flax oil *just started that* and am hoping it helps.

IF I WOULD HAVE HAD ANY IDEA THAT WITHDRAWL WOULD BE LIKE THIS I WOULD HAVE NEVER TAKEN IT.

I am fortunate to have a loving supportive husband who has read all the withdrawl stuff and can keep an eye on me.

Oh one more thing. I am having VERY VIOLENT nightmares and wake up screaming.... Never done this in my life. I went for a walk tonight and my husband was VERY concerned when I was gone for over 30 mins cause he is not sure if I am actully safe for MYSELF.

While on the drug I gained 30 lbs without making any dietary changes. I have NEVER had a weight issue before the Effexor.

I HONESTLY THINK THERE SHOULD BE SOME CHANGES BEFORE PUTTING MORE PEOPLE ON THIS DRUG.

thanks for listening

Jan Fortier

Posted by: jan at September 4, 2006 1:19 AM

I WANT TO STOP TAKING EFFEXOR150 XR TWO PILLS PERDAY AND WELLBUTON TWICE A DAY. I CAN NOT STOP NOR DECREASE THE EFFXOR WITHOUT VERY VIVD NITEMARES AND SLEEPING PROBLEMS ... PLLEASE HELP ME OUT OF THIS MESS ...DOCTOR SHRINK CERTIFIED PSYCHIATRIST THREE OF THEM HAVE BEEN NO HELP!!!!!!SO PLEASE HELP ME BY TELLING ME HOW TO SOLVE THIS. THANK YOU ALL!!!! tont

Posted by: tony at September 5, 2006 2:54 AM

Something is terribly wrong here. I was diagnosed as a Schizophrenic in Jan. of 2001 and I have been on so many drugs that I thought I had been given everything. I started seeing a new doctor eariler this year (Feb.2006) and he said I should try this new drug, Effector XR. I took it for about 6 months and felt more suicidal and panicy parinoid and fearfull when I was on the frist few months of the drug. I just saw my doctor after 5 months of not seeing him and I told him I felt I would be better off, off the drug then on it. I am still having a lot of issues but its been four days now that I have been comepletely off the drug and I cant hold food down. I sleep all hours of the day. I have a sickly sweet and dirty taste in my mouth, it wont go away. I cant focus with diabling dizzy spells and disoreantion. I dont even feel like im sleeping. I feel like i just turn off for a hour or so. Im not dreaming/moving or waking up rested. I have sever abdominal pain and I am afriad to go outside for fear of passing out. Dose anyone know where I can get answers about this hellish withdrawl and what I can do to lessen the effects of the withdrawl? I really just need some one to tell me what the *&@# is going on.

Posted by: Ginger Mari at September 11, 2006 4:14 AM

I am a nurse, and started having increasing problems with depression with each baby I had (3). After the third baby, I was so depressed, even suicidal which scared the hell out of me..(major move, change of job, loss of close friends)when a nurse friend suggested I "take something for it", so I did. I saw the Dr and got started on Paxil, which made a world of difference for about a year, then I started having wt gain, dry mouth, excessive yawning, and gritting my teeth down (so much the dentist accused me of being bulemic!! Yeah that really helped!) So, I was switched over to Celexa, and I was on that for a couple years until I swung into another deep depression. (I also had no sex drive with either of these meds...but I wasn't depressed.) My Dr had the nerve to tell me that everyone has stress..and I needed to get out and walk. That's all well and good if I could ever get my ass out of bed!! I was not only suicidal at that point, I was homicidal...I wanted to kill this man for belittling and ignoring my pleas for help. I had lost all hope to ever feel normal again. He finally set me up with counseling, which failed miserably! I changed Dr's (lucky for him!!) and saw a new Dr who started me on Effexor @ 150mg/day. It was the answer to my prayers. I was a new person, I felt alive! and wow...is that what a sex drive is supposed to be like?? I was good for a good 3 years, then a after another major move and a later change in the workplace I began having terrible anxiety. Really the only side effect I could notice was some wt gain (yeah the belly) and occassional night sweats, and if I missed a dose I would get the electric zaps and irregular heart beats. My dose was raised to 300mg a year ago when this last swing downwards started. Again a big change at work (seems to be when others are pulling my chains and I have no control over my own career, huh?) Well, it has finally stopped working for me, but I have been so afraid to change because it did help me so much for so long. But, I am an intelligent person, and knew this thinking was not logical. So I took the big dive (even humiliating to me)and saw my Dr and admitted to not being able to handle my stresses/problems. I could always sleep while on the Effexor...day night, even if I napped..it didn't matter. So, now I have been weaning off the Effexor..yeah I figured it would be bad, but the nightmares/dreams are just over the top!! I take Xanax which seems to help with other side effects such as the irritability and wanting to rip someones head off, crying, etc. I have never had nausea or vomiting. I am now taking Welbutrin, which I ramped up on as I dosed down on the Effexor. The Welbutrin has really pumped me back up. Wow, I wake up in the morning, can't even try to take a nap anymore. I still feel a lot of anxiety, but not as much, and I have been on the full dose now(300mg/day)for a week. I am not a complainer. I know there is bad that goes along with the good, and something I have learned in my 21 yrs of nursing, is that "it could always be worse!" Without these meds I could have been dead a long time ago! I am so thankful to have had them when I needed them. I am 43 and begining to see the light at the end of another dark tunnel in my life and it feels really good. My husband is a trooper to put up with me, and my 3 kids 16,14,12, are growing up, and acting like typical teenagers. I am sorry for all of you who have had worse SE then I have had...for that I am lucky I guess, but I have always been an optimist. I have a lot of life left to live, and hopefully the Welbutrin will work for me for a long time!

Posted by: Becky at September 12, 2006 2:00 AM

To quote my favorite movie-"the sleeper has awaken" I am done with Effexor, done with doctors(except the one who helped me escape the prison which was my mind) and done missing out on everything wonderful. I have been on some combination of Rx for 12+ years(most recently-Effexor and Wellbutrin in high doses). Doctors claiming to care became my dealers of deceit. They pushed every new pill and claimed it was the answer. I still do not know if it was the answer to truly wanting to help or just living in denial to rake in every dollar avail. I was a shell of my former self who was just about to give it all up. I couldn't stand the thought of hurting my mother by a selfish act. So I conjured up every last bit of lifeforce left inside and came to the conclusion that I didn't want to leave this mortal coil, the pills made me believe it was the way.
The mind is so powerful, but needs a health vessel to truly shine.
It took months and it was horrible (don't let anyone fool you, it will be your own private H.E. double hockeysticks) but I truly want my life to be something more than an animated corpse living in a world of misery of my own creation. you read correctly, "my own creation". A doctor never put put a gun to my head, but you do need to know who you can trust.
I offer no promises that my methods are the correct ones, but I am confident enough to know that it all started with this mind-set..."I can face this demon and I can beat this demon...mind over matter...mind over matter...mind over matter..."
PS It's not all bad, the looks in my frieds faces when I started sobbing for no good reason were timeless. Good luck explaining your emotional over-loads, but if they are true friends they will be there wax and wane.
Ciao, I am off to recapture lots more of what was once lost!

Posted by: Thom at September 26, 2006 4:14 AM

i dont know if this drug is for me. i visited a doctor for a nervous problem and he recommended eflezor. to tell you the truth i fell sick. my nerves have wosen i sweat all the time i have major headaches i am afraid to withdraw

Posted by: SOPHIA HERNANDEZ at October 18, 2006 3:04 PM

Hi, I've been taking Effexor for almost a year, started at 37.5 and gradually moved up to 102.5mg, at which point I experienced relief of the anxiety symptoms I was experiencing. However, the side effects, although minimal during use (sweating predominately, although have had trouble with being both hot and cold) are NOTHING compared to the side effects of coming off of it. I have already seen a lot of other peoples' comments on it, and I can't say I wasn't warned...My psychiatrist told me that I may be one of the unlucky ones (1 in 1000 or so) who experience "irritation of the central nervous system". Unfortunately, this constitutes severe nausea, the eye or "brain temors" that people have posted everywhere about, and severe mood shifts: rage, tears...after two days off,(after a careful and planned weaning period) I had to send my kids to my parents' place for fear I would permanently scar their little psyches. I wonder if there is anything that can help to offset these horrible side effects...even something like Klonopin...that will allow me to function enough to keep my kids with me. I'm just lucky that I'm not working right now, else I would be out of a job!! Please if anyone reads this who knows, email me! I'm chewing ginger and using essential oils to try to offset the nausea (nothing works so far, not even gravol), but I can't even read a novel or watch tv without bawling. And I've read that these side effects can last for months, even up to a year!! although my psychiatrist told me 7-10 days, maybe two weeks. Please, help.
Thanks

Posted by: Veronica at October 21, 2006 7:13 PM

Hey everyone..I am a 22 year old male and I've been taking Effexor for about 3 years i would say. I was taking it for Social Anxiety and other forms of anxiety I went from 37.5 to 75 to 150 for a long time. I have to say this drug has done wonders for me. It helped me extremely to get back on my feet and be myself and happy again. So i then went down to 75 which i stayed at for a while. And probably about a week ago I had to leave my job which in this case lost me my insurance. At this point I figured, I'm going to just stop and get off Cold Turkey because of the money but also because I felt like it was time anyway. And then the withdrawal symptoms came. I have read a ton of peaople having horrible withdrawal symptoms. It has been about a week now and I have been getting the brain shivers, the confusion, the terrible nightmares, being very very very tired all the time. But it hasn't been that bad for me so far...I think a lot of people who get these withdrawal symptoms tend to lose it. People don't realize that If your already in a bad frame of mind the symptoms will be that much worse. The best advice I can give to anyone that is having these withdrawal problems is , as much as it sucks, as much as your upset and tired and very out of it, you have to go about your daily life you normally. Best thing to do is excersice excersice a lot. This helps alot. As much as i dont want to excercise right now at all because of what im going through, I realize that it helps ALOT. Our bodies are going through a detox phase and working out causes you to sweat, the more you keep sweating the faster this drug will leave your body. Also drink ALOT and i mean alot of water. Keep sweating and keep urinating this awful drug out. It is working for me alot. So if your feeling depressed and just cant do anything, get off your butt and go for a run. Trust me you will be so happy you did. Water and working out.

Posted by: Brian Doyle at October 29, 2006 9:46 PM

Hello,

I have been on effexor for about six months and now I want off. So i'm stoping cold turkey, but do not do that if you can taper off. But someone told me a few things that really work. Trust me if you want your head to stop hurting get some Benadrly. When you feel the head pains take a sip. I know it sounds crazy but trust if you are like me you will try anything to stop the ringing. And take some Omeag 3 (fish oil) It gives you energy and make you want to get out of bed. And if you are nausea try some nausea. I hope this helps you.

Posted by: Vikki at November 2, 2006 2:33 AM

I came off Effexor XR by myself. I started by taking a capsule(70 mg)every second day, instead of daily. I did this for 2 weeks. I experienced occasional "brain rushes", which were not overly unpleasent. I didn't feel anxious or down during this. I did experience some nightmares almost every night. After 3 weeks I took the capsule every 3rd day for 2 more weeks. The nightmares continued as well as the brain rushes. I also had mild dizziness. No skin crawling, nausea, or headaches at all. Now Im off them and the withdrawl effects are pretty much gone. I am glad I can now sleep through the night. Im even happier about being able to pee without worrying about "dribbling". Overall I had minimal discomfort coming off Effexor. They really helped me for a time. I was on them for almost a year. Having no drug plan, my wallet is happier as well. They cost me about $70.00 Canadian per month.

Posted by: Rene R. at November 9, 2006 4:45 PM

how to weeen of effexor and does efexor cause insomnia?

Posted by: karen at November 13, 2006 9:01 AM

my wife was on effexor for only about 1 1/2 months, then we found out we were expecting a child so the doc said QUIT right away, has been three days and right now she is in the hospital from the withdrawls. We had to have her mother pick her up at 4 in the morning because i had to stay home with our other children. I was completely shocked when i started reading about all of the side effects associated with this awful drug. All i can tell anyone is that if your Dr. wants to prescribe this look into other meds before agreeing to it, just doesnt seem worth all of the problems that this poison causes.

Posted by: ryan at November 19, 2006 8:51 AM

Hello,
Today is day two of taking no effexor after being on the medication for 6 months. I have reduced the dose slowly from 375mg down to the lowest dose. I am experiencing the dizzy feelings & nausea. The reason I have had to stop taking this medication was due to dramatic sudden weight gain from the medication affecting my metabolism, nothing to do with increased eating or eating unhealthy. Besides the weight gain the medication worked really well.

How long do these symptoms last for approx with the feelings of dizzyness?

Also does anyone have any feedback on when you begin to stop gaining weight & start to lose weight after stopping this medication?

Anyfeedback would be greatly appreciated,

Bel

Posted by: Bel at January 2, 2007 10:22 AM

HI I HOPE THIS MESSAGE WILL HELP ANYONE WHO IS DECIDING TREATMENT WITH EFFEXOR XR. I'VE BEEN ON THIS DRUG FOR A YEAR. DURING THIS TIME I'VE BEEN READING SEVERAL PUBLIC CONCERNS AND I MEAN DESPERATE CRYS FOR HELP. I MYSELF AM A LEGAL PROFESSIONAL AND I UNDERSTAND THAT SEVERAL PEOPLE WANTED OR THOUGHT OF LAUNCHING A PUBLIC LAW SUIT OR ENQUIRY. MY OPINION GO FOR IT PLEASE. THIS DRUG ALMOST KILLED ME DURING WITHDRAWAL. I'VE BEEN OFF IT FOR TWO DAYS NOW AND IM AM VOMITING AND CRYING AND AM DIZZY AND SUFFER EXTREME NAUSIA. ALSO A CONCERN I NEVER REALLY READ ANYONE MENTIONED WAS WHETHER YOUR SERITONIN AND DOPIMINE COME BACK AFTER YOU BODY HAS BEEN SUPPORTED WITH ARTIFICIAL ALTERNATIVES FOR SO LONG. ALSO MY MEMORY IS TERRIBLE. I GOT AN E IN MY LAW EXAM. THAT IS VERY LOW FOR ME WHEN I USUALLY GET A'S. I DID NOT EXPECT TO END UP ON THIS WEBSITE WHEN I READ THESE SYMPTOMS A WHILE BACK. I DIDN'T THINK THEY WERE THAT SERIOUS. DOES ANYONE WANT TO GO TO THE MEDIA WITH THIS IF YES IM READY TO DEFEND YOU FREE, PROBONO IM READY! IM NOW TAKING GRAVEL WHICH IS HELPING ME WITH THE VERTIGO FEELING IM EXPERIENCING. I WAS ALMOST GOING TO TAKE MYSELF TO THE HOSPITAL TODAY THAT'S HOW BAD I FEEL. ANY CONCERNS PLEASE E-MAIL ME. JULIE

Posted by: JULIE COUSENS at January 29, 2007 11:18 PM

I have been taking Effexor for a bout a year. I take 37.5mm twice a day. The results have been good. The only down side is I tried to get off and I have the most bizzare nightmares I have ever experienced. So I continue to take it and I seem fine. I cannot imagine taking more than 75mm. a day.

Posted by: mick at February 25, 2007 6:44 PM

I am about to turn 27. Im a thinker and for most of my life have suffered from depression and anxiety for as long as i remember, even as a kid having had done something wrong and expecting to get punished, i remember feeling anxious, negativly overthinking, paniccing etc.

There has been quite a few points in my life where i have be so down that all I can think of is how useless i am, overcomparison to others and uncontrolable urgess to end my life.

The most serveer was last year, when after a series of events I finally decided to give in and try an anti d.

I decided to take efexor because other members of my family were and proclaimed that it really helps them.

Side effects, yes. sweating, dizzyness, elec shocks etc.

I did however get over that period of depression and I think the side effects did level out.

After taking it for about 6 months and feeling good, I went cold turkey and stopped taking it. Christmas was terrible, I was so aggitated, aggressive, moody and restless.

Its about 3 months now having gone cold turkey I dont feel any of that, only now im starting to feel depressed and anxious again.

IVE STARTED TAKING AMORYN FOR ABOUT 2 WEEKS NOW AS IM AFRAID TO TAKE EFEXOR AGAIN, DOES ANYONE HAVE ANY GOOD RESULTS FROM AMORYN BECAUSE I FEEL IT MIGHT BE MY LAST HOPE AT REGAINING WHAT MIGHT BE A NORMAL LEVEL OF EMOTION

PLEASE HELP, DOES ANYONE KNOW OF ANY SITES WHERE PEOPLE CHAT OR CONTACT OTHERS ON THE SUBJECT OF ANXIETY AND DEPRESSION WITH THE PURPOSE OF "BEING ABLE TO HELP EACH OTHER OUT", EVERYONE KNOWS THAT DEPRESSION IS PRETTY MUCH ONLY UNDERSTOOD BY THOSE WHO SUFFER FROM IT AND THEREFORE CAN MAKE IT VERY HARD FOR OTHERS TO UNDERSTAND.

If you have read this thank you for your time!

Posted by: Fran at March 7, 2007 11:58 AM

I have been taking Effexor for almost a year now and have experienced a 25 pound weight gain. I would like to get off of it soon but I don't see an end in sight right now. I haven't had any side effects from it so I suppose I am the lucky one on this board. Hopefully I wont experience the zaps.

Posted by: mam at March 7, 2007 11:09 PM

Have just started to cut down over the past 4 weeks from 75mg to 37.5mg. At the moment I am taking 37.5 mg every second day.Cannot believe the symptoms I am having. Very drowsy all day, feel I need to close my eyes and rest. Bright sunlight and bright lights are a no no.Going to bed earlier than I have ever gone and sleeping straight through until morning.But still wakening up as if i have not slept all night.My head just feels dizzy and sick all day and I have general flu like symtoms. Horrible feeling, wondering when this will subside. Reading other patients feedback looks like that will not be too soon.

Posted by: Kelly at March 10, 2007 10:08 AM

how can i successfully withdraw from Efexor xl, without the horrendous symptoms which I have experienced over the last four days @ I have been on this product for five years , given to me because I had a tight feeling around my ears, it was months after that i learned that it was an anti-depressant. Having weaned myself down to 75mg a day and doing this for a month, I thought that this time(my fourth) would be successful, but oh boy, was I in for a shock !!!!
Violent vomiting which went on for twenty four hours,shivering with unnatural cold , then sweating profusely , alternatively, awful electric type shots in my brain, and tremors in all parts of my body..My doctor came and gave me a jab for the puking, but couldnt identify what was wrong. I will never forget this ordeal, and on the fourth day , guess what ?, yes I had to go back on Efexor. Besides all this hardship, I have just had, the side effects have been dreadful too, the worst one is the tinnitus, it drives me mad, then dry mouth , over a stone in weight ,sleeping for ten hours every night,itching, balance, I could go on and on..This is a horrendous medication, given out lightly and then almost impossibe to get off. Can you please recommend something or someway of me getting off this awful stuff, before I end up in the mental home ,Maimie Chapman

Posted by: maimie chapman at March 22, 2007 6:41 PM

Any tips to help me get off effexor. After one day off I feel horrible and start again. I talked w/ my dr. and am going to taper off with a lower mg. i started taking omega 3 and a multi vitamin and have been exercising 4 times a week. Help I want to get off this med!!

Posted by: lsj at April 16, 2007 9:22 PM

I have taken Effexor XR for like a year and was forced off of it because of insurance reasons... Meaning I couldn't afford the meds anymore. The side effects ARE HORRIABLE! SOMETHING I WILL NEVER TAKE AGAIN!! I STILL HAVE TROUBLE WITH alot of things I feel stem from the withdrawls... Depression is WAY worse when you come off them.. NOT WORTH THE RISK>>>> DON"T TAKE THEM>>> Tammy

Posted by: Tammy at July 12, 2007 4:58 PM

Effexor has been excellent for me overall, though. I have been pretty severely depressed and virtually incapacitated by worry before it has helped me in a complete recovery for years. Thank God it exists. I started at around '97 so it's been 10 years now. The withdrawal is nothing compared to the suffering before it.

I have taken effexor 150 XR for many years now. Maybe twice over that time i've missed a couple days. This time I ran out and will go to a new doctor tomorrow for either more of it or something else.

There are withdrawal symptoms that can be very irritating. It's a nausea and dizziness at times. I can't wait to go to the doctor tomorrow. I've been off for 2.5 days now. I currently don't have any responsibility such as work to worry about, or a family to care for, so I can relax for now.

Posted by: Andy, WIsconsin at August 22, 2007 3:51 AM

Peroblems with Effexor, serious side effts. Really I am trying to diagnose a severe problem that I am having, and it may be caused by Effexor, and I need any input that may help me figure out what the problem really is. I did stop taking this medication abruptly, and later on down the road the nerves to the back of my eyes became swollen, and I lost partial eyesight. Please help with any ofrmation if you can. Thank you.

Posted by: Miko at January 7, 2008 8:48 PM

I'm still having the same HORRIBLE problem and it's getting worst!! I've been taking Effexor XR 150mg/day for 5 years now...Here's how my problem with caffeine happens : I drink let say 2 or 3 coffee at around 11AM and than maybe a diet soda or two in the afternoon, everything is fine, I can even take a good nap during the day with no problem whatsoever...But then comes the night, I go to sleep between 11PM and 1AM then all hell breaks loose!! I'm tired but I fall in a strange state, between sleep and being awake...It can last for hours...I try to get up and get completely awake again to try to go back to sleep later but it rarely works...And the worst is that it's not a state where I'm just unable to sleep, then I would say "well I'll do something till I'm tired", I'm kind of in between, even with my eyes open...And also my body feel numb and it slowly goes away but the part that stay numb the longer is my legs and feet and at the end it's only the feet, like if the caffeine was slowly leaving my body...It's a real strange and HORRIBLE feeling...And if I drink energy drinks or any other source of caffeine it does the same thing...I like caffeine, I'm use to this natural little boost and I hate stopping taking it, I become less productive, physically and mentally...I also tried to take the Effexor in the morning or at night and it didn't change anything...As for the Effexor I really want to stop it, the thing is that after 5 years being on it and reading all the hard time people have had getting off it, it scares me a little...

Man what I would give to wake up and be free of this medication!!!!

Even my psychiatrist and pharmacist didn't understand the problem...

Does anyone have been experiencing this strange problem ?

By the way excuse my English, I speak French.

Thanks for reading all this.

Posted by: Gino at March 31, 2008 10:55 AM

I have been taking effexor for almost a year now, I have experienced side effects such as needing at least 8 to 10 hours of sleep nightly. My attention span is very limited. Feeling lightheaded. Panic attacks when confronted with decisions. However the lack of sexual interest and inability to achieve an orgasm have been by far the worst side effects of taking effexor, I have resorted to checking the internet to see if there is anything on the market that would reverse or even help this side effect. I am happily married and a fairly young woman. If anyone has comments they would be greatly appreciated. Please email me.

Posted by: Nimel Haywood at April 3, 2008 8:57 PM

NO SEX DRIVE,AND I DONT CARE! AS LONG AS IM NOT DEPRESSED...I BROKE UP WITH MY BOYFRIEND SO I WOULD BE PRESSURED FOR SEX ALLLLL THE TIME. I WAS ON MANY THINGS B4 EFFEXOR AND NOTHING WORKED!!! THE 1ST DAY I FELT BETTER! BUT I STILL HATE IT. I THINK IF I HAD NO WAY TO GET EFFEXOR IF I WAS OUT OF IT I REALLY THINK I WOULD HURT SOMEONE AND MYSELF ITS VERY HARD 2 GET ANTIDEPRESSANTS THEY NEED 2 HAND IT OUT FREE 4 PEOPLE WHO NEED IT AND WILL TAKE THEIR MEDS I HAVE 2 JUMP THROUGH HOOPS 2 GET MY EFFEXOR WHEN I DONT HAVE INSURANCE OR MONEY 4 IT.

Posted by: NICKI at July 3, 2008 8:55 PM

Hi I took effexor for almost the last 10-16 months I sareted with 75 Mg for six months then I inreased the dose to 150 mg, then I added another 150 + 75 mg to 225 mg, I experienced a slow in responsiveness and I failed an exam so I decided to quit and stop medication.

what are the side effects I should worry about.. how long will take take before I feel back to normal? any side effects...

I felt that the 150 mg dose was fine, but I guess any antidepressent i take will make me slow or not fast in studying or my responsiveness...

Posted by: SRF at July 17, 2008 5:06 PM

Since starting twice as much Effector XR I have been unable to sleep until about three hours after going to bed, have to get up and stay until 1:00 or 2:00, could it be Effector?

Posted by: Dianne Hall at July 23, 2008 12:50 AM

So I stopped Effexor cold turkey. I had tried once before but only made it 48 hrs. This time I have made it three weeks. Not a drug I would recommend anyone to take.

Week 1 was about some pretty bad physical symptoms r.t withrawl. Dizziness, nausea, photosensitive, sweaty. I could not eat and drank lots of water. That seemed to help. It was prett ugly. Then of course there are those electrical shocks in your brain. Mine only occurred at night as I was going to sleep and I was waking up. After three weeks, they are less but still occurr......zzz.zzzz.zzzzzzz.....
Kind of like a bud zapper.

Week 2 brought the emotional side - tears. Like crying over a Discovery episode where an iceberg was melting. The electrical zaps in my head got fewer and deeper in my brain - oh nevermind. lol If you have had them, you know what I am talking about.

Week 3 is just me being a stark raving bitch. I am not very tolerable and am easily agitated. Of course, there are those concerned this is just my personality. :) It is better this week, though I still have dizziness and nausea in the mornings. I have lost 8# in three weeks!

I think Week 1 is the hardest. If you can make it past that, you are home free.

Posted by: Teresa at August 10, 2008 1:08 AM

can anyone tell me what the side effects of stopping taking the med? it is effexor xl, was taking 75 mg per day, for about 6months, just stopped 4 days ago. feeling kind of sick to my stomache, and basic lousiness. any help out there would be helpful.

Posted by: chris at August 22, 2008 6:21 PM

Gradual Effexor XR 75 mg/day withdrawl working.

I've been on Effexor XR 75mg for 6 months, treating menopause and depression. I missed a dose and experienced nausea, vomitting and dizziness. Also, everything I saw had an unreal, Alice-in-Wonderland quality. I had eye-aches. I heard "the music of the spheres", not the buzzing others describe, so thank God for that.

Dr.'s office said to alternate dose, one day on and one day off. This seemed nonsensical to me, as missing the dose caused the withdrawl symptoms. Cutting the dose gradually by opening the capsule and removing some of the pellets seemed more logical. Started with a 10% reduction over a week. I will gradually keep reducing the pellets by 5% until the dose is null. I'm drinking lots of water to flush this drug from my system.

Today is day 4 of reduced dose for me. Some headaches, sweating, irritability and mental fuzziness, though not nearly as bad as missing a whole dose. Certainly no audio or visual disturbances and no nausea/vomitting. I have noticed the "spaced out" or "brain zaps" as described by others.

Had I known about the withdrawls, I would not have taken this drug. I will contact the FDA.

Katja

Posted by: katja at December 26, 2008 9:55 PM

What is happening to my body? I have switched from prozac to effexor this past week and I hurt all over my body. I wake up stiff and in pain, my jaw, neck and every muscle, even under my feet is sore. Is it the withdrawal of Prozac maybe the dosage of effexor is too low as they gradually increase the amount of the effexor? I feel like so many years ago when I was diagnosed with fibromyalgia? I truly hope it has not returned. I also am taking the drug nystatin for intestinal candida. Any answers, explanation?

scm

Posted by: Sylvie at January 12, 2009 3:50 PM

I took Effexor for about 2 years for depression, social anxiety, and then bipolar and borderline personality disorder,...and then ADD, ADHD...and then disassociative disorder.

I finally found Self Awarness and was able to change my false core beliefs to no longer need medication after taking 17 different types for 15 years. My recovery story is at www.returningtohappiness.com

Posted by: Jacob Zagorac at May 3, 2009 1:02 AM

I was on Effexor for about a year related to a major depressive episode as a result of being diagnosed with cancer. It was a lifesaver for me. I am not a big believer in just taking a pill to make everything better and it was very difficult for me to come to terms with the fact that I really needed something to help me. I thought I was going to literally go insane before I started Effexor. Getting off it was extremely difficult. After trying several times to wean myself off by reducing the dosage as my doctor had recommended, I came up with my own method and it worked. I opened up a capsule and counted all the little pellets in it. I then reduced the number of pellets by one or two each day--eventually having to purchase empty gel caps to transfer pellets into at the end. It took a long time (several months) to get completely off, but it was worth it and it was completely easy, with none of the horrible side effects I had experienced and others describe. Please give it a try if you are really committed to getting off this medicine. Best wishes to all.

Posted by: Midwest Middle Aged at June 13, 2009 1:59 PM

I've been on effector 150 mg. for 9 months, wanted to ease off them and stopped taking them for 3 days and now I'm sweating and have had a headache for 2 days. Can I take them every other day???

Posted by: Betty Laurie at June 26, 2009 10:44 AM

JW: I was on effexor XR 300mg/day for over 7 years. I was put on it after a brutal end to 22 yrs of marriage. I was promised at the time that I would not be on it for the rest of my life. But here I am 7 years later still trying to get off it. I have been fortunate to finally find a doctor to work with me so that I can at least lower my dose. The issues that I was experiencing when I began taking are long since gone and in the past and I see no need to continue taking it and haven't for the last three years but I couldn't find a doctor who would manage my care while I attempted the step down process. I too was experiencing the dead emotion syndrom. I began to hate myself and feel I was a horrible person, because I could not and still cannot manage to stir up any emotion over anything. I just took another step down and am now taking 150mg/day. So far so good, I have not experienced any major withdrawal symptoms, just a few aches and pains in the joints. My question is once you are completely off does your emotion come back? Or are you still taking it? I'm not real clear on that pointbecause you stated it was hell on earth trying to get off? Thanks...

Posted by: Ann at August 12, 2009 10:52 PM


I cant beleive how hard it is to get of this crap.
Been on it for 10 years an everytime i try ween off it, its living hell an i just end up going back on it.

I wish i never started it an that my doc told me
how hard it would be to come off them.
Oh he will get it when i see him next after
reading all this.

Posted by: christos at May 25, 2010 5:08 PM

I have been on Effexor for about ten years, and have been weening off for the past 3 months. The highest I was at was 225mg, and I am currently at 37.5 mg. Withdrawal side effects have been interesting but tolerable up to this point. At this dose( been 6 days), I am experiencing every past symptom times ten. I am so dizzy...takes forever for head to catch up to my eyes- my head feels stuffy- I am nauseous- sweat like crazy, horrible nightmares and just feel crappy. Going from 50 mg- to 37.5 mg sucks! If i weren't so determined to get off this med, I would call it quits now. These symptoms are debilitating. I have a feeling i will be at this does for longer then the usual two week ween, and i am ok with that. I need to feel better in order to go to work...I will take as long as my body needs too, but I WILL GET OFF THIS MED.

Posted by: Lauren at June 19, 2010 8:01 PM

I took effexor for 18 months (ceased in 2009 sept) and found it beneficial in stabalising my moods. I foundwithdrawal from thismedication difficult but not unmanagable. I experienced migrant type headaches for a week, serious shakes but these subsided after 2 weeks. I convinced myself I didn't need any medication and have since started takes pristiq which has resulted in serious insomnia (short ish term- 3wks) and long term loss of appetite (8wks now). Less shakes

Posted by: E. Patterson at August 10, 2010 10:36 AM

I started effexor xr recently, at first it was a miracle drug and made me feel amazing, i was happy, had more energy (i have constant fatigue due to a heart condition and vit d and calcium deficiencies), and was just over all better. Then my living hell started. I turned on everyone around me, i was angry all the time, low frustration levels, violent, yelling. I felt like some kind of psycho, and of course at first i didnt notice myself acting this way i just thought it was everyone else around me, until my husband finally made a point that stuck to me, hard. I had become a terrible mother. I was being mean to my kids and yelling and treating them badly. I realized i had a problem. Since i had just starting new meds i instantly researched to see what the problem could be, i found i was not the only one out there feeling this way. There was many others. I immediately stopped the drug and now am working on making sure it is out of my system before i try going back to prozac. It at least helped somewhat without all the terrible side effects. I wouldnt recommend this drug to my worst enemy.

Posted by: wimom at October 23, 2010 4:34 PM

I have been taking effexor for almost three years now at the presciribed dose of 225mg due to severe PTSD I have gone through just about every side effect imaginable EFFEXOR XR is not for everyone and now that i look back i wish i never took it I suffer from severe shakes,audiotory hallucinations, severe morning headaches, binge drinking and eating i have almost no energy apon waking and usually fall back adleep only an hour after 8-10 hours of sleep im 31 5'6" 200lbs and in physically good condition but the side effects are abnormal my doctor and psych has told me to continue on these meds. They have introduced remeron 30mg for the sleepless nights but i believe the two may be interfereing with one another

Posted by: Rocky fletcher at October 26, 2010 4:04 PM

I HAVE HEARD FROM MANY PEOPLE EFFEXOR HELPS WITH MANY MENOPAUSE SYMPTOMS, I STOPPED TAKING ESTROGEN AND STILL NEED A LITTLE SOMETHING, ANY ONE HAVE ANY COMMENTS?

Posted by: diane at November 20, 2010 9:06 PM

I have been on effector 300 mg. for 18 months. The doctor has gradualy tapered me down to were I am now 37.5 mg. for 2 more weeks, then I will be off effector. I have gained weight since I started the tapering off the effector. Is that normal.

Posted by: sandra jones at May 16, 2012 5:52 AM

Hi All,

I was able to get off Effexor 37.5 after doctor prescribed it to me for hot flashes in my early 50's. I am now 65 years old this March 20th. I got off slowly by opening the capsules for about two weeks and took less and less of the balls. I bridged the drug with 10 milligrams of Prozac at the same time. I got this info from Wendy Neilson's blog about bridging the 2 drugs. I am finally off of both and feel fine it has been about 7 days a true miracle. I tried skipping two days of Effexor previously but the withdrawals were so unbearable. Happy to be chemical free. Just wanted to share my experience. Wish you all the best!

Posted by: Kathleen Jones at March 5, 2017 7:02 PM

Get Help

If you need help please visit www.hopeline.com or call 1-800-442-HOPE.

Demystifying Depression is a great article which helped me understand some of the ways depression was affecting me.

Start a Blog

Many people who are depressed simply lack the ability to channel their energies or express themselves. Sometimes just by writing things down it is easy to feel better about things that happen to you.

If you think expressing yourself or writing your thoughts down might help you then you may want to start a blog. Blogger is 100% free and easy to use.

Here is my friend Heather's Health Bee, which is about recovering from depression and other related illnesses.