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    Effexor XR Withdrawal Symptoms
    blackieskid5 posted:
    Has anyone had withdrawal symptoms from Effexor XR? I went from 75 mg per day to 37.5. At that point I began to get slight headaches and nausea. After a week, I stopped taking it altogether, the headaches were the same, but the nausea increased.
    bluethunder8 replied to effexorsucks's response:
    I had been on Effexor XR for about 10 yrs. First it was Paxil,then the EVIL EVIL Effexor XR. I needed something for awhile after my husband died. For years I would tell my Doctor that I thought I didn't need this anymore,he would say lets increase the dosage....I switched doctors and found they wanted to increase as well,at one time I was on 600 mg!!!!!!! Insane!!! I switched drs again and this time they lowered my dosage,but I was still being given 225 mg!!! I started lowering the dose myself and then I had got down to 75mg. I believe that it was a blessing in disguise when my part D meds told me I was in the "donut hole" and I couldn't afford the EVIL MESS anymore. I called my MD to get some samples and he didn't have any,gave me some Pristique (sp?) the crying began when I tried to take the Pris. and it was more than likely the lack of Effexor. This happened the end of October 2009 and boy did I ever CRASH.... non-stop crying over nothing,getting mad over everything and I have a 15 yr old child that had to go through all of this...I truely regret that. I am still going through some crying and it's like the grieving process of my husband's death,his mother,my mother,a good friend and a friend I had had since 1st grade all of their deaths,has began the grieving all over again. I really don't feel depressed just not right. I do feel that at least 7-8 years of my life are missing,it's like the EVIL Effexor XR has taken those years from me:-( I can't get them back. All I did all those years was try to be the best mom I could be and just concentrate on raising my child. My friend who lives in Ms. would be trying to help,long distance,we talk on the phone constantly, and tell me something was not right with me,but the ones that seen me everyday said I needed to get out and quit being despondent and would ask what was wrong,I didn't have an answer for them. Now that I am coming around I got rid of one person who had been using me and my child and my belongings for about 7 yrs and my house as a doormat,I didn't realize it at the time. I am remembering things I had forgot,my town I have lived in since birth has changed alot,I didn't even notice the changes as they were happening. It's a whole NEW world for me!!! When I started feeling better,after the BIG CRASH,I called a "friend" to tell her what I had been going thru and how much better I was feeling,mind you we have stayed in contact and been like family for about 30 something yrs. well here she shows up at my house saying she thought I had been addicted to pain pills all this time,I do have rhuematoid arthritis and fibromyalgia,but yes she thought the pain pills was the problem and also she was worried that my daughter was gonna get pregnant...AAAAAGGGGGGG!!!!! that really made me mad and I waited a week or two and yes had to tell her off too. So I am coming back to life right or wrong...bitchy and all. I am soooooo happy to find this link and I just got my internet back,so maybe I can find more help.
    I feel that I do need more help,but I refuse to get on anymore mind altering drugs!!! I will work my way thru this without the EVIL Effexor XR! I am taking valium for anxiety as needed,which is not everyday! Thank God! Well,I wish the best to everyone and I was so relieved to know I'm not crazy going thru all of these side effects! Thanks for letting me vent!
    gradstudent234 replied to JerricaLee's response:
    yes I definitely had withdrawal symptoms. I was on 150mg/day and he had me completely off of it in a week. Not a good idea! Wish I would have had a better-informed doctor. I'm not too fond of the night sweats, nightmares, light headed, dizzy, and super high/irregular heart rate.

    hope things get better for you!
    GettingOffEffexorXR replied to gradstudent234's response:
    I was put on 150 mg of Effexor XR 5 years ago to combat my menopausal symptoms from chemo induced menopause. In January I decided I wanted to wean off of it so I talked to my doctor. I hate being dependent on a medicine especially if I go out of town and "forget" to bring it with me. NOT GOOD as you all know. The first time years ago I forgot to fill my prescription I just thought I was sick...and very sick. I couldn't get out of bed. Then I found out what cause my illness. Withdrawals. Also, I've gained 30 pounds over the years and have no libido whatsoever. My doctor has put me on the following regime: 1 month of 75 mg per day. I completed that without any problems other than a headache. This month I'm taking 75 mg one day and 37.5 mg. the next day and rotating my dosages. Hot flashes are horrible and I toss and turn all night and just can't sleep. The next month I'm supposed to take 37.5 mg each day, however, my doctor told me that if I have bad side effects continue to rotate with the 75 mg. Once I can do the 37.5 each day the following month I'll do 37.5 mg every other day. She said that hopefully with this regime I'll be able to stop but not all people can. She said Prozac may help at that point, which is easier to get off than Effexor XR. She reiterated that it's the hardest to get off of but for what I needed it for it was the best. I think I number of people replying in this chain need better doctors. You should not have to suffer. It's bad enough stopping the correct way much less stopping cold turkey. I'm determined to be successful!

    And the writer who mentioned withdrawing from oxycodeine was nothing compared to Effexor...obviously needs to research what an addict of oxi goes through. Talking meds after surgery does not make you addict.
    lilspeedyandconnorsmommy replied to GettingOffEffexorXR's response:
    I was prescribed Effexor XR 7 months ago and I have to tell you it changed the way I actually think and that totally upset me. I have a Panic Disorder (I am not depressed) that unfortunately runs in my family. It started for me at puberty so I have been dealing with panic attacks for years. It got much worse after I had my children. So I have been on a mission to find a medication that will help with the panic without turning me into a drug addict. I like the way my brain works and only wish to get rid of the panic attacks. Effexor changed the way I think and didn't do anything for the Panic so I am also on Xanex XR. The Xanex XR is what has done the job so why am I taking the Effexor??

    I am on day 3 of cold turkey as I would rather get through the withdrawl faster and go through 2 weeks of hell then 2 months of hell with the weaning process. So far I am getting the brain zaps, I am dizzy almost feels like I am drunk. The Xanex XR is still keeping the panic at bay and helping me sleep. I have not had any other physical side effects. It only feels like it's in my head. I think that is because of the Xanex XR.

    I am not happy that I still need a benzodiazepine as they are addictive. I had been on regular Xanex for 7 years. I maintained a low doseage but after I went on the Effexor (in an effort to not have to stay on Xanex) I found I still needed the Xanex. So I started to research and found the Xanex XR has a lower addiction rate because it is time released and lasts 12 hours. It doesn't hit you like a ton of bricks and leave your system like a ton of bricks like the standard Xanex(hence addiction). It slowly enters your system and slowly leaves. So that is what I think I will stick with. I think Effexor is evil and so does my husband at this point... I know it helps other people but doctors really should be very careful who they give it to and explain to the patient what the withdrawl is like before they start taking it.

    I hope you are all better soon...
    ryliesmimi replied to eridana's response:
    I just got off of the phone with my dr.'s nurse after I left a msg earlier that I would like for them to call me in the 37.5 so that I can wean down from the 75 mg. Instead, she calls me back and tells me that they have called me in the generic zoloft and to call after 3-4 weeks to let them know how I'm feeling! Our insurance went to a huge deductible this year so I just can't afford it. I've tried coming off this devil drug before... nausea, diarrhea, hot/cold sweats, muscle twitches, body aches, feeling that even my skin hurt, ringing sound in my head, yucky metallic taste in my mouth and my brain didn't seem to be working, ex., I would eat then get sick, kinda like my brain was telling me that I was very hungry when I knew my stomach was full which ending up in gorging. Weird huh? After 3 days of that and lying in the bed I gave in and got back on it.
    I don't believe that any doctors other than mental health specialists should even be able to prescribe this drug since they have NO clue how to take their patients off of it.
    It does seem to make sense to switch over and wean with the generic that is not time released and comes in smaller doses. I guess I will be taking a trip to the dr tomorrow and pitch your doctors theory to him. After 7 years of this, it would be great to be effexor free but who has time to lay in bed and feel like death for weeks?
    I'm actually surprised that there have not been lawsuits due to these types of withdrawals and the fact that dr.'s don't tell you anything about the dangers of stopping the drug before you start the drug. Although I'm thankful for these types of forums, it's a sad fact that people have to depend on the internet to help them with such a horrible medical situation.
    lilspeedyandconnorsmommy replied to ryliesmimi's response:
    Day four. I am feeling worse but maintaining. Now my emotions are all over the place. Like I have Terminal PMS. This is no fun and I have to agree with ryliesmimi. I am really think the doctors are giving out these medications and not even considering the withdrawl.

    I have tried everything. Therapy to help retrain my brain. Didn't work. I have tried 5 different ani-depressants. They didn't work. This is the most horrible thing I have ever endured and that includes the birth of both my children.
    robinbird1a responded:
    I went cold turkey 10 days ago and I can tell you, it's not a good idea. I went from having a nice calming feeling on the effexor xr when I started last June, to feeling non-functional over the month leading up to my quitting. I was exhausted all the time, putting on weight and disoriented. When I stopped taking the med I became shaky, confused, fuzzy minded, paranoid, sad and very angry. All this on top of having intense bouts of vertigo. I can not think that a drug that has these kind of side effects could ever have been good for me in the first place and I found that no one in the medical profession wants to believe that side effects can start later into the course of medication. Let me tell you, they can!

    I am now having body aches, like the flu. From experience, when, if ever, will I feel normal again?
    singdesertgirl replied to Scrapmom38's response:
    Hi Scrapmon38,

    You can got to any health food store and purchase empty gelatin capsules... you can open your Effexor caps and fill the new empty capsules with the amount you choose. Try cutting your 75mg into halfs for a couple of weeks, then 3rds and so on... gradually until your body is weaned without the terrible shock to the system.... God bless you and all the others who are suffering from the medical sytem's desire to turn us all into zombies for profit.... we trust in our doctors, and they in turn get perks from the pharmacutual companies to push their drugs legally... sure there are some benefits... but the side effects are usually not worth it.... God bless you all who are in this forum and I pray for wellness for all of you... Jesus loves you do I!!! Don't give up hope!
    singdesertgirl replied to woodfam726's response:
    Hi, I hope you are doing much better now... I just found this site and I know that you wrote this 2 months ago.... God bless you and keep you in His comfort and care. I hope you are much better....
    singdesertgirl replied to lksjfkj's response:
    Hi you poor soul... I understand.....this helped me....

    You can got to any health food store and purchase empty gelatin capsules... you can open your Effexor caps and fill the new empty capsules with the amount you choose. Try cutting your 37.5mg into halfs for a couple of weeks, then 3rds and so on... gradually until your body is weaned without the terrible shock to the system.... God bless you and all the others who are suffering from the medical sytem's desire to turn us all into zombies for profit.... we trust in our doctors, and they in turn get perks from the pharmacutual companies to push their drugs legally... sure there are some benefits... but the side effects are usually not worth it.... God bless you all who are in this forum and I pray for wellness for all of you... Jesus loves you do I!!! Don't give up hope!
    singdesertgirl replied to An_190005's response:
    I just wanted to say how sorry I am for the hard things you have had to experience. Most of us in this forum have just had to deal with our physical or emotion problems.... You have had to deal with the knowledge that someone died. Please do not secretly blame yourself... I believe that that poor soul is with God now... and that God will help you every day and with the love of your husband you will get past these very hard and sad days.... I hope that you are feeling much better today if you read this and you have been a hope to the rest of us who have read your story.... God be with you and give you peace and healing now and forever.... with love, a friend
    singdesertgirl replied to An_190006's response:
    You are brave and you can do it.... the doctor's amaze me... didn't they take an oath to help their patients? I know you will be ok.... day by day.. one day at a time... God bless you and keep you in His loving care.... I am trying to be well each day.... this forum is a comfort that we are not alone.... I think we will learn compassion from this very hard experience... wishing you many blessings from God and peace and wellness.. love from a friend.
    Cjae130 replied to singdesertgirl's response:
    Thank you.... I can report that I have never taken one more pill, and never would again. The last day I took the stuff was Feb 12, I believe. I went thu pure hell... but can happily report that IT GETS BETTER.. its not a "oh I feel great today", but a very gradual today is not as bad as yesterday approach. Even as I write this there are still not so much "Days" that I feel terrible rather a few hours at a time. Some days I go all day and its good, some hours or minutes are more the negative that whole days or weeks. I still have the emotional break downs when talking about certain things, but nothing like in the beginning of coming off this stuff.
    One other good news is that the weight is starting to come off and that is soooo much a thrill.
    I at time also get very hmmmm "critial" or snap at my husband for no reason, I dont mean to be that way it just seems to come out quicker than I can filter it. So for all those people out there that were on this crap.... and want to come off, it can be done with patients and understanding that it will get better. You do need a network of people in your court that are willing to be there for you no matter what.
    Thanks for sending your blessings, I wish it all right back at you, and hope you also will combat this demon drug.
    ptsdmomof5 replied to robinbird1a's response:
    I as well went cold turkey after being on 300 mg for 6 months. The Effexor XR made me sleep for hours on end and I felt nothing like myself. It has been 10 days and I am still feeling horrible. I have had vomiting, loose bowels, headache, dizziness, major irritability, muscle spasms, sweats, chills, bad heartburn, disoriented, extreme fatigue and an all-over achey feeling that will not go away.

    Thje only blessing I have is that my DR did tell me to expect "flu-like" symptoms and offered for me to gradually decrease the dose. We chose to just get it over with as I was gonna go through "withdrawl's no matter which way I went.

    Dramamine has helped the nausea. I was put on Celexa which I had taken before so I dont have the crying or depression issues. As for the anxiety, I was put on Lorazapram before starting this horrible experience.

    I would never reccomend Effexor to anyone. It has been an uneffective anti-depressant and the side effects from taking as well as quitting far outway any benefits. My only warning to anyone is that do not just quit taking an anti-depressant without an alternative plan. Talk to your DR about going onto a non addictive AD instead. Celexa had no side effects when we switched and I am glad to be on a safe alternative again compared to the Effexor nightmare drug.
    allgood_1972 replied to ptsdmomof5's response:

    As an Effexor XR user of many years (300 mg for 9 yrs), I have had several episodes where I tried to get off the drug "the wrong way", and several separate situations when I just planned badly and endured 3-4 days w/o. Dizziness and headaches, night sweats, etc are the potential precursor to something worse like a seizure. If you're getting off the drug, first of all good for you, and 2ndly do it with very gradual dose decreases over the course of 2-3 months and with doctor supervision!

    Question: has anyone that's been on Effexor for a long period of time experienced any gradual but pronounced memory loss? It could be simply the aging process, but over the last several years I've gone from having a pretty good memory to forgetting fairly simple and obvious recent events. I'm only 37. Like everyone, I'm concerned about the long-term unknown effects of this medicine. Although the drug works like a dream for me in terms of eliminating my depression and qwelling my anxiety to an acceptable level, my ultimate goal is to get off this drug. It has put me into something of an "emotional daze" for the past 9 years and it's frustrating for me and my family that I don't experience life events with the proper amount of emotion. I realize this "daze" is also a result of why the drug works so well in treating depression, but of course one needs to continuously weigh the cost/benefit of the drug. If I find out the drug is the cause of my memory issues, that would absolutely prompt my decision to get off it. Has anyone had memory issues?

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