Effexor Chat 2
I have been on effexor XR, 375 mg, for maybe 8 months and have never felt like it helped much with my seemingly never-ending depression. and i was chronically exhausted. so about 6 weeks ago my psychiatrist agreed to lower the dose to see if that alleviated the tiredness. i am now at 150 mg and for the past two weeks have felt so overwelmed by life that i feel i am drowning. and a few days ago crying set in and i can hardly stop. i have my husband so worried and my two early 20′s kids so worried and upset . . . i have no idea what to do with myself. is this something anyone else has experienced? i am wondering if it is withdrawal or if the effexor really was helping to at least stabalize me emotionally even if i was exhausted and not very functional. Effexor withdrawal really sucks.
It’s withdrawal–anything that happens within the first 90 days is withdrawal. Effexor is known for causing fatigue. Many people describe themselves as having to lay on the couch all day long.
Dear God, please STOP taking Effexor as soon and safely as possible!!! Even if you do feel a difference now, at some point you will have to increase it…and increase it. Medical doctors have NO CLUE what this drug really puts you through; it’s a band-aid fix! I have been on this horrible drug for 8 yrs and at 300mgs, it slowly stopped helping with my depression and anxiety. It has taken months to step down and the withdraw symptoms have destroyed my life! I took the last pill one week ago today and while the tremors have stopped, the extreme fatigue, irritation, dizziness, muscle and joint pain, irregular heart beats, headaches, and serve brain fog are still keeping me in bed all day!! PLEASE it is not worth it!!! I am going to a Chiropractor and using natural supplements, and counseling. There are more natural ways to help the mind/body to heal!
Please save yourself long suffering and refuse this type of medication!!
Yes, keep taking it. I didn’t feel good until about a month. I know everyone is different. Just beware of the withdrawl symptoms. Good Luck.
When I took it, it took me a good month to feel anything. But if I knew the way I was going to feel when I stopped taking, I would have thought twice about it. Hang in there, it does take a little longer then a week to get in your system. :0
You should keep taking the Effexor for at least a month, possibly at a higher dose level than 75mg per day if you aren’t feeling helped. Trust your doctor more than the internet, however:)
Since this is a forum on Effexor withdrawal, naturally there are going to be more people complaining about the drug than praising it. I’m personally quite grateful for Effexor, as it was the first drug that really helped me and has been the core part of my therapy (along with Wellbutrin) for years. I am now going to try something different, so I have been withdrawing from my meds.
I thought my withdrawal symptoms were really bad: moderate nausea and headache, irritability, muscle stiffness and discomfort all over my body, the “brain zaps,” ringing in the ears, casually wishing I were dead, etc., etc. Sounds like a lot of people have gone through much worse, though. The past few days were some of the worst of my life, but today is my 6th day without Effexor and I feel a lot better- still worse than normal, but it’s heaven compared to the misery I had been expecting.
Since I live in California, which is a medical marijuana state, I was very seriously considering trying to use some to cope with the withdrawal symptoms, which seem like the sort of problems that pot can help. I am resisting doing this because I already know I have a weakness for recreational marijuana, but it seems like it might help some people. Does anyone know anything about this? Preferably someone who is NOT A POTHEAD just interested in smoking weed for it’s own sake?
Before making the decision to use the “healing powers” of the green, even though legal, you truly need to talk to a psych physician first. I have been told that “smoking” , even though making you feel better while you are high, actually increases depression over all and prohibits antidepressants from being effective. So rather than basically putting a double whammy on your depression, you may want to consider an alternate solution such as a med change, counseling, natural products, or maybe all the above! Best of luck to you!
Jon, I would definitely see your doctor about changing to something else. Effexor XR is the hardest anti depressant to get off. There has to be something else your doctor can recommend without putting you on this highly addictive drug.
My recommendation to anyone who has not started Effexor would be to refuse Effexor and ask your doctor to prescribe a different medication for you. I took Effexor/Venlafaxine for more than 15 years, 300 mg. per day for quite a few years. It worked beautifully in the early years, but the past few it simply stopped working. I lost my job in March 2010 and for about a year I took only 150 mg a day because I couldn’t afford the full dosage, but I was becoming more and more suicidal and self-sabatoging without a proper antidepressant.
For the past few years, if I missed even one dose of Effexor I could not sleep (really… for as much as 36 hours), I had bouts when I couldn’t stop crying, and I also cut myself for the first time in my life, among other withdrawal symptoms. I now have a job (thank the Lord) and five days ago saw a NP who has switched me to Pristiq. I am on day four and am having the same vicious headaches everyone else describes, can’t sleep at night, and have had over-the-top crying jags and feelings of pure hopelessness. Last night all I could think about was that I just don’t want to live anymore. And this is switching from Effexor to another antidepressant without missing a single dose in between.
I believe that Effexor saved my life in the mid-1990s. However, I also believe that getting off of it could cost me my life, and I can’t help but feel 100 percent certain that there are people no longer with us who left this Earth because of the ill effects of coming off of this drug. It is very dangerous. There are far better alternatives. Don’t get caught up with this drug.
Jon…regardless of any benefit you may or may not experience from this medication, it is not worth having to suffer the horrible side effects and inevitable withdrawal symptoms. I have been taking this medication for about 11 years and although it has benefited me for the purpose in which I began taking it, it has also destroyed me in so many ways. I have tried to discontinue treatment at least 25 times, and just can’t do it. The withdrawal symptoms are too strong. I wouldn’t wish it on my worst enemy. The reason I am out here on this site is because I would like to try discontinuing treatment again and was hoping that someone has found a way to do it successfully. So far it doesn’t seem so. I have to hope that there will be a solution one day, but until then I will keep searching. Stop now before you’re brain latches on.
Joe, I do think that taking vitamin D and also 1400 mg of fish oil twice a day, along with 50 mg Pristiq (which my NP said simply does not have these withdrawal issues) has relieved some of the symptoms I previously had when weaning down. That said, I still can’t sleep, sob uncontrollably and think about suicide… but I don’t believe I would actually do it at this point.
Omg Jon, ask your doctor for something else. I wish 6 years ago I had never been put on effexor. I have spent the past 5 years either totally zombie or trying to get off the effexor. I am now on day 6 of not taking any effexor and I feel like there is enough electricity in my brain and body to power the entire state of California. The pain and awful zapping feeling is totally getting the best of me but I have to do this so I can be human again. My kids took Zoloft for a year and it worked for them and their only withdrawals were two days of on and off headaches. I have done some research in the past few years of trying to get off this shit and pretty much what I found is Zoloft works just as good as effexor but doesn’t cause these horrible seemingly never ending withdrawals. Please before you take this med research the side effects and withdrawals. I can tell you from experience I am ready to do almost anything to make this feeling stop.
I am having the same withdrawal symptoms and it is maddening. I glad to find I am not alone and not losing my mind and that there is a logical explanation for what I am feeling. I plan on just forcing myself to plug through it. I timed it so the majority of it would occur during my holiday break from work, so after today I have 11 days off to veg out at home. I find that if I am still (ie laying in bed or on the couch watching tv I feel fine) but as soon as I move I am awash with vertigo, nausea and a sensation that I am going to pass out. I too did not know this when I started. I was on Lexapro for years in the past and that worked just as well as Effexor for my depression. I changed meds due to some odd symptoms of unknow origin, so I revamped my entire medication regime. Wish I hadn’t. There were no withdrawal symptoms from Lexapro. Now as far as whether or not someone should take Effexor, or any other specific medication, you have to understand that every medication affects everyone differently. Your doctor should start you off on a low dose of a relatively mild, least toxic medication and work up to more potent medications only if the other meds do not work. I would not suggest Effexor being your first line of choice. Celexa, Lexapro, Zoloft are usually tried first. However, don’t just write Effexor off your list completely becuase of how it affects other people. You have to see how it effects you. It can take a month or more to fully see the benefits, or lack thereof. For some people Effexor is the only thing that works. Also, as far as not being able to tell if your medication is working anymore, going off of it is a sure way to find out. I’ve stopped my antidepressant medications may times in the past to see if I still need them and sure as rain, every time I stop I become hopeless, depressed, irritable and suicidal: ergo the meds were still helping even though I couldn’t really tell anymore. The reason they make you feel so good at the begining and just okay later on is the same reason as why we are so excited by a new car at first, but then it too becomes old hat; we acclamate and become somewhat desensitized. Although the car still performs it’s primary functions such as getting up from point A to point B, the bells and whistles may no longer work, and we are no longer excited with our purchase of three years prior. In the same way, antidepressants might keep you from feeling completely hopeless, despondent and suicidal, even though you are no longer on cloud nine. In my opinion, it’s better to avoid the former than strive for the latter, if you must choose. Overall, meds are very individual and although these forums can help us feel not alone and recognize common symptoms, I agree, do NOT use them to make decisions on your health or medication. Consult your doctor. BTW, I am a clinical psychologist.
Potentially good news! I consulted with a pharmacist today and was advised to try Dramamine (or other motion sickness otc meds). It has taken the debilitating bite off (though some mild nausea still exists and the electrical type pulses). The pharmacist also said to stay very hydrated as even the slightest dehydration can cause the vertigo to “sky rocket.” Regarding smoking, I smoke too and nicotine is a diuretic and dehydrates people and thus smoking can in fact worsen the vertigo symptoms. Hope this helps!
If you feel icky after quitting your meds, are you sure it wasn’t during the withdrawal period rather than it being a definite ‘sign’ that you need those meds? We’re talking being off of them for atleast 90 days….
I have been on Effexor for approx. 2 years, most of that time at 150mg daily. About two months ago I had my doctor reduce my dosage to 75 mg, because I want to be drug free. My life circumstances have improved soo much during the past two years, that I don’t believe the reasons for initially starting antidepressants even exist for me anymore – Except when I try to stop. I didn’t take them for 3 days this week, and I nearly broke my husband with fits of crying and anger outbursts. I took one the other day because I just couldn’t handle it, but I am determined to get off of these. I have just an awful headache right now, and last night was filled with crazy nightmarish dreams. I’m so thankful to have found this site as hearing others’ stories similar to mine is giving me back my hope. I will fight this, we will fight this together, and we will see victory.
You poor thing! I feel your pain. I was not prepared for my first taper. I thought, “Oh, it’s just 75 mg! How bad can it be??” Oh man, it was BAAAD. I went back to 225mg and ordered the 37.5mg capsules! It was much easier that way.
I have been on Effexor for over 12 YEARS.. I was taking 150 mg. which does NOT have a half-life. It stays in your system 24/7.
I lost my job and have no insurance, I had no choice but to stop taking it. I contacted my doctor, he gave me samples of Pristique to help wing myself off the effexor.
It is working, however, it has been 5 weeks and I am still having w/d symptoms. I am down to 1/4th a pill of the Pristique.
But if I were to have gone cold turkey with the effexor, I truly believe it would have killed me, cardiac arrest.
My symptoms are and were, chest tightening, electric shocks through entire body, increased body hotness (severe hot flash, but without the sweating). All I can do is wait and deal with the symptoms for now. Hopefully it wont be much longer. I took the last of the Pristique today.
I’m on 225 mg but yesterday (Christmas Eve) on our way from MD to NJ I realized that I hadn’t packed my Effexor. I didn’t say anything because it was too late to turn back and I didn’t want to worry my wife. We’ll be away for about ten days. I was hoping I could wait until Monday and try to get a prescription called in. It’s 6PM on Christmas Day now and so far I’m okay but after reading these comments I’m worried that I’m suddenly going to vomit all over my in-laws’ house, have a panic attack, yell at everyone, faint at breakfast or all of the above. I still haven’t told my wife my meds are back in MD.
When I go without for more than a day or so I just get really tired… and it’s fine in about an hour or so after I take a pill. Ten days is just asking for punishment… hope you got a prescription called in or found a way to get your meds.
I was also on 225 but am slowly taking myself off due to loss of insurance. On day 3 of 75mgs and it’s been hell but gotta be strong.