Effects, side effects, and withdrawals from Effexor.

by El Kabong 2 Replies latest watchtower medical

  • El Kabong
    El Kabong

    Several years ago, my Doctor prescribed effexor to help combat mild depression. They started me on a small dose and gradually increased it to 150mg per day.

    I'm not sure I can honestly say that the drug helped me in any way shape or form. What I do know is if I ever was late with a dose, my body had no problems telling me it was time to take the drug. I would get "brain zaps", a sick to my stomach feeling, headache and a feeling of restlessness which woould only go away when I took the next dose. I would think that those feelings were a sign of depression and only the drug would help me feel that way.

    While on the drug, my motivation for almost doing anything was gone. It sometimes felt like I was wearing cement shoes (on land...not in the water..LOL). Just felt like it was hard to move. My sex drive was decreasing, which I thought it was just a sign of middle age. In short, I felt like a Zombie.

    After doing some research, I find that the feelings I would get when being late or missing a dose is NOT uncommon in many people. In short, I started to feel like a drug addict. So, I was faced with the decision if I should continue taking this drug or not.

    First thing I did, was, of course, talk to my Doctor. My Doctor advised me to decrease the dose for a few days and then stop. Actually, the drug manufacturer recommends this as well. But, after researching the withdrawal symptoms of this drug, this is not the best method for most people.

    I decreased my dosage as My Doctor recommended, and within the first day, the Brain Zaps started. I would get several brain zaps per minute. What is a brain zap? It's kind of hard to describe. It's like a jolt of electricity shooting from one side of your brain to another. During a brain zap, it feels like you are losing your verigo as well and your vision kind of stutters. However, these feelings just firmed up my resolve to get off of this drug.

    I then started opening up the 75mg capsules and dumping out several of the crystal beads inside of the capsules, decreasing the amount each day for about two weeks. 10 days ago I took my last capsule.

    Even after 2 weeks of tapering, the withdrawal symptoms were awful. For the first couple of days after completely stopping this drug, I was a mess. Constant brain zaps, stomach aches, joint aches, one day my wrist would ache, the next, my arm, the next my knees. I then developed flu like symptoms. I am so glad I did my research because all of these symptoms are typical of those who taper off and get off of this drug. Just knowing that helped me get through the withdrawal symptoms knowing that there is the proverbial light at the end of the tunnel.

    Today is 10 days, and the light is getting brighter (where have I heard that one before...ha!!). The brain zaps are not a frequent or intense as it was. The flu like symptoms, body aches are gone. What I GOT in return was more energy, more motivation to do things again. Not saying I am at 100%, but I am getting there. The past 10 days have been an emotional roller coaster. In addition to the side effects I mentioned above, I was very quick to anger, more quicker that I should. Quick to bite someone's head off at just a stupid remark. Also, I would occasionally get crying spells. Now, I'm a grown man at 46 years old, I'm a Husband, Father, and now Grandfather of a very handsome 3 Month Old Grandson..(of course I have to slip that in there!!), and I'm having crying spells, for no reason? I was up early one morning, (oh yeah, insomnia is also a symptom), and was on You Tube, watching and listening to some Strauss Walzes by Andre Rieu, and found myself so moved by the music, I started blubbering like a baby. I feel it's because so many of my emotions were so supressed, they are trying to rush out all at once. (if that makes any sense).

    Please note that I am NOT knocking this drug. I'm sure that this drug has helped many people. However, I do feel that this drug was overperscribed to too many people who really don't need a drug as powerful as this. The intent of this post is NOT TO TELL ANYBODY TO STOP TAKING THIS DRUG. Only your Doctor can tell you that.

    There is a lot of useful information available just by googling Effexor Withdrawal Symptoms in case anybody is thinking of getting off this drug.

    I know this was kind of long, Thanks for listening.

  • imconfused


    I know this was posted a bit back, but just saw it. ive just stopped taking this (my brand was called venlafaxine but had effexor on the box too) & swapped to a new med.

    I had the brain zaps, no sex drive, crying all the time, zombie, crawling skin, head aches, panic attacks, not able to breath properly, suicidal thoughts (altho these were already there they cam back a bit worrse) & lots more.

    Also if I missed a dose I was in bed for the day as was unable to stand due to everything spinning (even laying down things spun), throwing up etc

    I'm on my fourth different anti derpessant now & hoping this one will be the one (tried prozac, citalopram, effexor) on top of that I get counselling to.

    But yes that effexor to me was evil & when you read up on the side effects they are very very scary. I was on the 150mg to, went down to 75mg, then 37.5 and staight onto my new one - when i had to go to the 75mg I did it slowly tho as the 1st day it made me ill, so I just tooe the small beads out bit by bit until it got to the 75mg.

    How are you doing now?

  • ohiocowboy

    Effexor was horrible for me. The scariest side effect was not knowing whether I was asleep or awake. My dreams were so real that while I was sleeping, I thought I was awake, and would even tell myself in my dreams that I was awake. Then when I was actually awake, I could not be convinced that I was really awake, and thought I was really asleep. I stopped taking it, but the zaps weren't too bad as I hadn't been on it too long to where the medicine was built up too much in my system.

    Everyone that I know that has been on Effexor has regretted it. There are websites devoted to problems with it as well as the horrible effects people have from taking it. With all the new medications available, I can't believe it is still on the market.

    I am now on Lexapro, and have been for a little over 3 years now, and it has helped me tremendously! My friends and family notice how much better I am, and I too can see a change in myself.

    I hope that things are getting back to normal for you after stopping taking it. I see this thread is from a month ago, sorry you didn't have any replies until today. If I would have seen it earlier, I would have said something, because I know how much it sux to not have any responses, especially when it relates to how we are feeling!

    Take care!!!


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