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Effexor Withdrawal

bite_size

Greenlighter
Joined
Sep 9, 2007
Messages
4
Hi I'm new and wanted some opinions on Effexor withdrawal.

I've been on Effexor for about 6 years possibly more I can't even remember :eek:

I've suffered 2 major bereavements - both were partners.

I still suffer low moods but no where near as much as I used and I generally feel more stable. Mu current dose is 150 mg of Extended Release capsules.

I lack motivation and energy and wondered if it could be the effects of being on Effexor for so damn long. My doc always says there isnt a problem but I'm not sure I agree.

I've withdrawn from Seroxat before so I know I'm going to have to taper off slowly and under the care of my GP. I also need to switch to tablets at 75mg cause you cant taper from Extended Release capsules.

Anyone got any advice?

Thanks

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college_dropout

Bluelighter
Joined
Dec 31, 2005
Messages
2,170
Effexor withdrawal is shit. It's really distgusting. I had to stock up on GHB and just had a massive juice binge for a week because it was that bad. But even then I still felt nauseous the entire time.
 

theanine

Bluelighter
Joined
Aug 12, 2007
Messages
114
I second that, not from personal experience though. Had a friend who could beat any addiction except his Effexor. GHB is a great tool for withdrawals period.
 

theworks

Bluelighter
Joined
Oct 17, 2005
Messages
595
i was on effexor for 5 years at the same dosage man. What my doc did was start me on lexapro at the same time then gradually taper down effexor while increasing lexapro. Then once completely off Effexor, I tappered down from lexapro. Took about 2-3 months, but i had to do it that way because there's no way i could function withdrawing from effexor.

If i had to do it again, i would have switched to wellbutrin instead of lexapro because lexapro is almost as bad as effexor withdrawal...It's a lot more drawn out and much more mentally confusing.

In the end though, after an incendent that i'm not really comfortable talking about, i realize that i'm one of those people who really needs to be on anti-depressant meds and in all honesty, effexor worked better than 95% of them for me. In fact right now i'm debating (with my doctor) on lowering my dosage of wellbutrin and combining it with a lower than usual dose of effexor (75mg). There just isn't hardly any information at all on combining different anti-depressant medications specially not two as unique as effexor (an snri) and wellbutrin (which primarily acts on dopamine levels if i'm correct)...i guess i should ask about that in Advanced drug discussion
 

Thou

Bluelighter
Joined
Mar 10, 2007
Messages
10,851
Location
One of the Americas.
I was on a regiment of 600mg daily, an absurdly stupid and criminally negligent dose to force on a [then] 16 year old kid.

By and large the worst and most excruciating withdrawel symptoms I'd ever experienced. The plus side is that the taper was relatively conveniant, nursed me onto lexapro and then i cut that one out as well. I tapered down from Effexor XR with no ill effects. Whatever bullshit your doctor is feeding you is just that, utter bullshit.

My heart goes out to you and anyone else who's had the misfortune of being tricked into an [and still at this point] experimental antidepressant, especially considering the potential for a permanant change brain chemistry. I still experience problems with my sex drive (nothing concrete or serious, just bothersome at times), and I'm 3 years free of any and all SSRI/SNRI's.
 

theworks

Bluelighter
Joined
Oct 17, 2005
Messages
595
oh and yes you can taper from extended release capsules...they make them in dosages as low as 37.5mg and you can start even start increasing the intervals in which you take them...like take them in 12 hour intervals (the standard) then 14 and so on. See for me if i was more than 2 hours off the 12 hour mark, i would start feeling electric shocks and stuff...if i went 18hours+ i would be vomiting and shaking and having electric shocks all over my body so bad i could barely move/turn my head. It was really bad
 

Thou

Bluelighter
Joined
Mar 10, 2007
Messages
10,851
Location
One of the Americas.
On a side note:

Eventually I got started on Lexapro as a last resort to deal with horrible depression I was going through at the time (about a year after I was off the Effexor), with no health insurance, so I was being forced to pay around 175 for 30 fucking pills monthly, just so I wouuldn't get "sick". I somehow figured out that a dose of dxm will alleviate SSRI withdrawel symptoms for a few days, then they'll come back to a lesser degree. Since I was broke and had very few options at my disposal, I ended up dosing once every 3 days (or whenever I would wake up with brain shivers and all of those other horrendous side effects), until eventually they stopped.

I was intrigued by this and looked into it further, found an unpublished article on erowid stating DXM is a light SSRI, so it seems as though that was did the trick.
 

theworks

Bluelighter
Joined
Oct 17, 2005
Messages
595
2c-buoyant said:
Whatever bullshit your doctor is feeding you is just that, utter bullshit.

My heart goes out to you and anyone else who's had the misfortune of being tricked into an [and still at this point] experimental antidepressant, especially considering the potential for a permanant change brain chemistry. I still experience problems with my sex drive (nothing concrete or serious, just bothersome at times), and I'm 3 years free of any and all SSRI/SNRI's.
They are not by any means "experimental antidepressants" it has been around for 14 years now and there are 17.1 million patients prescribed on effexor. I appreciate your more holistic approach, but know your facts. The action of snri's/ssri's are well known on the brain albeit the long-term (40+ yrs) side-effects are, at this point, theoretical.

You lack in sex drive most likely has nothing whatsoever to do with being off of ssri's or snri's. It's most likely a purely psychological thing, and no, i'm not inferring that it's bullshit, i believe it happens, but not for the reason that you attribute it to. It's most likely due to other drugs you use, because sex drive, on a neurotransmitter level is predominately associated with dopamine, something that remains untouched by the two anti-depressant medications you mention.

And yes, there are certainly people who have real deficiencies in neurotransmitter levels. Although this is something that i believe is more linked to genetics than anything. Most people who truly need ssri's (snri's, what have you) exhibit self-destructive behavior patterns from early childhood on. It's not like people just magically start having deficiency in neurotransmitter levels, without hormonal changes, drug abuse, or a few other exceptions.
 

theworks

Bluelighter
Joined
Oct 17, 2005
Messages
595
2c-buoyant said:
I was intrigued by this and looked into it further, found an unpublished article on erowid stating DXM is a light SSRI, so it seems as though that was did the trick.
well because they are metabolized primarily by the same enzyme, CYP 2D6, you can cause a build up of the ssri in the system and effectively increase the severity of the dosage...if my understanding is correct. Still not the best idea tho IMO, especially at the beginning of tapering...perhaps towards the very end and in a dire situation such as you mentioned, that would be a somewhat reasonable decision.
 

ColdSoreSuperstar

Bluelighter
Joined
Jul 12, 2006
Messages
101
Location
SF Bay Area. CA
Jeez louise. Like everyone here said, the WD on Effexor is shite. It's a rough ride.

I was tapered and transitioned into Paxil, and I think it helped. Still, GHB - really? I never did the home remedies for psych med changing. Little dangerous sounding for me.
 

GenericMind

Bluelighter
Joined
Nov 30, 2005
Messages
39,963
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Western New York
I just finished going through cold-turker Effexor withdrawals last week. My only advice is to taper no matter what. Cold-turker withdrawals are beyond ridiculous.
 

paranoid android

Bluelight Crew
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Talamh an Éisc
My god effexor withdrawals are fucking awful. Id never take the shit again. Ive been through cold turkey oxycodone and morphine withdrawals. Also i tried going off alcohol cold turkey until i finally got the sense to get some benzos.

Opiate withdrawal and alcohol withdrawal where both easy compared to effexor withdrawal its thats bad. I rolled around on my bed and on the floor in agony about a month or so ago coming off morphine and id rather go through that any goddamn day then effexor withdrawals.

The worst part of the effexor withdrawal is the brain shocks and nausea. I threw up a few times i think. I came off cold turkey though so that was maybe why it was so goddamn bad. I didnt actually know they where addictive because my asshole doctor didnt tell me.

You might want to try a prozac taper ive heard that it works.
 

MrMoss

Bluelighter
Joined
Jan 17, 2006
Messages
4,376
theworks said:
They are not by any means "experimental antidepressants" it has been around for 14 years now and there are 17.1 million patients prescribed on effexor. I appreciate your more holistic approach, but know your facts. The action of snri's/ssri's are well known on the brain albeit the long-term (40+ yrs) side-effects are, at this point, theoretical.
It really doesn't matter when a drug was developed nor it's current approved usage nor the number of Doctors willing to prescribe on a whim the fact remains they are "experimental" or "the jury is still out" until ALL the data has been collated. The long term effects are unknown at this stage therefore it remains AFAIC experimental.
 

theworks

Bluelighter
Joined
Oct 17, 2005
Messages
595
MrMoss said:
It really doesn't matter when a drug was developed nor it's current approved usage nor the number of Doctors willing to prescribe on a whim the fact remains they are "experimental" or "the jury is still out" until ALL the data has been collated. The long term effects are unknown at this stage therefore it remains AFAIC experimental.
okay, so something is 'experimental' until all the data is collated. Where do we draw the line of how much data can be collected on a certain thing? How can we ascertain that all aspects are known about a particular compound? Using your banal and cretinous logic and faulty nomenclature, every single pharmaceutical compound is experimental. Unfortunately, the entire scientific and medical community disagrees and sees your choice of words as a misnomer.
 

xxanxxtwo

Bluelighter
Joined
Oct 19, 2005
Messages
1,254
GenericMind said:
I just finished going through cold-turker Effexor withdrawals last week. My only advice is to taper no matter what. Cold-turker withdrawals are beyond ridiculous.
How do the withdrawls compare to opiate/opiod withdrawls?
 

GenericMind

Bluelighter
Joined
Nov 30, 2005
Messages
39,963
Location
Western New York
^I've never experienced withdrawals from the stronger Opioids like Heroin, etc., but it's worse than Hydrocodone withdrawal IMO. I'd get so dizzy from the "brain zaps" if I wasn't laying down that I'd throw up from sheer dizziness. The only way I could sleep was with high doses of Benzodiazepines, and it gave me severe migraines and muscle cramps.
 

marquee

Bluelighter
Joined
Jun 8, 2007
Messages
299
I've never withdrawn from a serious IV heroin habit, but compared to oxycodone effexor withdrawals are a lot worse.
 

MrMoss

Bluelighter
Joined
Jan 17, 2006
Messages
4,376
theworks said:
okay, so something is 'experimental' until all the data is collated. Where do we draw the line of how much data can be collected on a certain thing? How can we ascertain that all aspects are known about a particular compound? Using your banal and cretinous logic and faulty nomenclature, every single pharmaceutical compound is experimental. Unfortunately, the entire scientific and medical community disagrees and sees your choice of words as a misnomer.
That's for science and the scientific community to decide I would assume. I see your point though it may take many years to deem a compound truly safe. If "doing more good than bad" is the established agreement you speak of then clearly it still remains a virtual unknown. We're not discussing something that prevents gastric distress, or an anti-biotic which clearly demonstrates efficiency nor a whole host of lesser pharmaceuticals. We are in fact discussing compounds which have been tweaked, trialled on rats then humans over a very short duration working directly on brain chemistry which we [they] have only just begun to understand.

I'd really like a citation on this "Unfortunately, the entire scientific and medical community disagrees and sees your choice of words as a misnomer"

Clearly medical professionals and scientist are not united on this front and disagreements exist ranging from insignificant to full blown debates. We are being sold "Happy Pills" and if you're from the US then you'll know the extent marketing permeates and suckers latch on to the newest consumer pharmaceutical items. I understand that'll we'll not agree .. Why? because personally I don't believe or trust big pharma and certainly not with this form of experimental chemical.

All this said yes AD's work for some and that's great but it doesn't prevent my concern that what is today's great conquest may be tomorrows big sorrow.

I rest my case :p
 

xxanxxtwo

Bluelighter
Joined
Oct 19, 2005
Messages
1,254
GenericMind said:
^I've never experienced withdrawals from the stronger Opioids like Heroin, etc., but it's worse than Hydrocodone withdrawal IMO. I'd get so dizzy from the "brain zaps" if I wasn't laying down that I'd throw up from sheer dizziness. The only way I could sleep was with high doses of Benzodiazepines, and it gave me severe migraines and muscle cramps.
I see, sounds absolutely horrible.
 

rashandreflex

Bluelighter
Joined
May 15, 2006
Messages
1,966
college_dropout said:
Effexor withdrawal is shit. It's really distgusting. I had to stock up on GHB and just had a massive juice binge for a week because it was that bad. But even then I still felt nauseous the entire time.
did you taper down or did you stop cold turkey?

to the OP, effexor has a pretty short half life, which is what makes its WD more shitty. my advice is taper, taper, taper.....and taper slowly.
 
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