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 Schizophrenia: Medications
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 Is There A Severe Effexor Withdrawal Syndrome?
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Administrator
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Posted - 05/30/2005 :  14:14:21  Show Profile  Visit Administrator's Homepage  Reply with Quote  Reply to Topic
Dear Members,

BIZARRE NEUROLOGICAL WITHDRAWAL SYMPTOMS

My patients are reporting experiencing very upsetting neurological withdrawal symptoms when rapidly coming off venlafaxine (Effexor). These vague, but very upsetting, neurological symptoms are hard for my patients to describe. One patient said "it was like my brain was going off and on". One thing was certain, my patients had never experienced anything like this when coming off previous antidepressant medications.

MY PATIENT THIS MORNING

This morning I saw one such patient. Two years previously, she had an excellent response to venlafaxine (Effexor). After a year on venlafaxine, we slowly phased it out over 3 months without any withdrawal symptoms whatsoever. Unfortunately, this year she had a severe relapse, and her depression didn't improve with my restarting her venlafaxine. Thus, after 3 months on venlafaxine, I decided to gradually phase out her venlafaxine over 10 days in preparation for starting a new antidepressant. That proved to be a medical disaster.

I have never seen this patient as severely depressed and suicidal as she was this weekend. In addition, she had these very unusual neurological withdrawal symptoms ("like my brain going off and on"). Yesterday, we restarted her venlafaxine (quickly back to 75 mg twice a day). Within 4 hours of restarting venlafaxine, she was dramatically improved. Today, she was free of the severe suicidal ideation that was so intense yesterday. She was smiling and dramatically less depressed (all in less than 24 hours after restarting venlafaxine).

IS THERE A SEVERE VENLAFAXINE (EFFEXOR) WITHDRAWAL SYNDROME?

The fact that this patient became so suicidally depressed on phasing out venlafaxine, and dramatically (in 4 hours) improved once back on venlafaxine strongly suggests that venlafaxine causes a severe withdrawal syndrome (unlike anything I have every witnessed in 30 years using other antidepressants).

The manufacturer of venlafaxine has not alerted physicians to the possibility of it having a severe withdrawal syndrome. I had never witnessed this severe withdrawal syndrome previously, since I had always taken 2 months to slowly wean my recovered patients off venlafaxine. Thus, I would conclude that this severe withdrawal syndrome only occurs if venlafaxine is rapidly withdrawn (over 7 days or less).

I have apologized to my patient for accidentally putting her through such a severe withdrawal syndrome. I think it is now time for the manufacturer of venlafaxine to apologize for not alerting the mental health community as to the existence of this severe withdrawal syndrome for venlafaxine.

Except for this severe withdrawal syndrome (on sudden discontinuation), I have found venlafaxine otherwise to be a very safe and effective antidepressant.

COULD I ASK FOR YOUR HELP PLEASE

I would like to ask our community members if they have had any difficulty when coming off venlafaxine. Thank you for your assistance.

Phil Long M.D.
Administrator
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Ferengi (inactive)
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Posted - 06/02/2005 :  14:39:33  Show Profile  Reply with Quote  Reply to Topic
I came off 75 mg of Effexor in about two weeks with no symptoms. I have however seen a lot of complaints on the Internet about how hard it is to get off Efffexor. Most people don't seem to get suicidal. They get electric shocks and nausea and strange complaints.

Ferengi
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Unidralus
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Posted - 06/22/2005 :  12:22:46  Show Profile  Reply with Quote  Reply to Topic
I have been on Effexor for about 3 years, and I have attempted to get off this drug a few times because I think that it does contribute to my current sexual dysfunction. Also, I think I now have the coping skills to deal with my depression in other ways. When I tried to wean myself from effexor, I gradually went down to the 37.5 mg dose, and then I stopped completely. I tried this one weekend, but I decided to continue taking it after 2 days because I could not function well. I was constantly feeling naseous, and I had this constant feeling that I was hungry. I would eat, but this would not help. I also felt a static electricity feeling in my feet when I walked, and I would also have an odd feeling in my head. I would describe it as a "whoosh" through my brain--it's hard to explain, but it had something to do with my dizziness as well. I would never have taken effexor if I had known the withdrawal was so terrible.

Heather
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Jacqs81
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Posted - 07/05/2005 :  15:50:55  Show Profile  Reply with Quote  Reply to Topic
I've been on effexor since October 2004 and my highest dose was 225mg which started in January 2005.

Since taking the drug, I have found NO improvement, if anything, I feel worse. I've had several suicide attempts on the drug, something I never had before starting.

After the most recent suicide attempt (almost two weeks ago), my parents and I (mostly my parents) decided that I should try and get off this drug.

So I went to see some psychiatrists and they were all so excited to get me on some "new" drugs that people were having really great responses to! Yeah right...

Anyway, I discussed the issue with my therapist, who I actully respect, trust and generally adore, and she said I had to get off effexor.

Of course my mom and I asked if I could get off anti-depressants altogether, but she said it would be too dangerous. Although the effexor isn't doing it's job, it's a serious medication and she's afraid even more side effects might come out if I'm "clean".

So I started to "detox".

Today is day 7. I started weening myself down from 225 to 175mg. Now I'm at 135 or something. I don't even know.

My brain seems to have stopped fully functioning.

My dreams are intense and scary. I sometimes found this with effexor, but now everytime I close my eyes I have horrible visions that I can't seem to shake for hours.

The nausea is overwhelming. I can't stop throwing up and having diarrhea. Those withdrawal symptoms just started yesterday actually. I thought I had gotten lucky and managed to avoid that part of withdrawal, but apparently not.

I'm weak, I'm sweaty, I'm dizzy, every single part of my body aches and all I want to do is cry. Or die.

This is the first anti-depressant I went on, and they put me on it for my anxiety and panic attacks. It actually helped those (or was it the ativin/lorazepam they gave me??) but completely changed my entire personality and way of thinking.


Next, they're saying Paxi. Or Zoloft. Apparently there's hundreds that I can try! Oh goody!!! The horrible psychiatrists (no offense, but I hate psychiatrists. They're so impersonal. i tried to kill myself with 45 advil's and they talk to me like i'm describing a flu or something to them. "ooh what about celexa?" one shouts. "no no!! i've got it!! REMERON!" the other psychiatrists nod in respect and i feel like jumping over the table and strangling them all) thought I should be thrilled that I can try 200 drugs before finding the right one.


Anyway, I'm sure Effexor must work for some people otherwise I'm pretty damn scared as to why they're giving it to so many people.

But for all of you who are on this and are considering going off it. The fact that you're considering it probably means you should. That's likely the only semi-clear thought you've had since being on it...

And be prepared for the withdrawal. It's horrible. But just remember, IT'S NOT YOU!!!

This is not who you are. Your brain really doesn't function this way! I've also been sleeping A LOT with this withdrawal and I can't tell you how great that is.

The dreams, yes they're horrible. But sleeping away 15 hours of my day is saving me from noticing the rest of the symptoms. And within a few hours of waking up, I've pretty much forgotten the dreams.

Plus, it's almost kind of neat that my brain is so powerful. Who knew that kind of stuff was floating around in my head?!?!?!


(sorry, trying to stay as positive as possible)

Thanks for letting me vent on here. No one seems to understand and my boyfriend thought bringing me home a giant bottle of booze would cheer me up. (I'm also an alcoholic)



Sigh...


Good luck everyone!


Love Jacqueline
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jessica
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Posted - 07/07/2005 :  08:21:50  Show Profile  Reply with Quote  Reply to Topic
hay guys,
I can fully relate to all the withdrawal symptoms that have been stated here. I also have difficulty in finding people (including doctors, psycologists etc) who understand or empathise with my complaints. its like 'what does she know, im the doctor, shes all depressed and muddled up, what would she now'. yes i have problems.... but im also very intelligent and i know my body. its attitudes like these that have put people like me in the place thinking that i must be mistaken about these apparent 'withdrawals' and basically put me back in my corner every time i speak up. 'oh no, you just need to raise your dosage', 'no, there are no withdrawal symptoms', 'would you like to try another brand'. yes im sure you have all heard it before.

the reason i have come onto the forum is to ask for advice/support about finally getting off effexor. i have been taking this on and off for three years now. im not denying whether it helped in the beginning as it all seems a bit of a blur, but i do know that they are addictive and produce horrific side effects if not administered. i have been told you should not feel any ill effects for a couple of days if you miss a pill. well that is total crap - and furthermore i would like to hear from anyone who agrees or has experiences.

i am only taking 150 mgs at the moment, even though i have been prescribed 300mg. as much as i have tried to keep a routine with taking the medication, days tend to blur into one and my memory is not as sharp as it once was. Over a period of a couple of months i noticed a pattern beginning to form. those days where i would go to bed vomiting, dizzy and with a general feeling of ill health, were the days i had forgotten to take a pill.

sorry this is so long but i've realised how much i really want to vent!! anyway i have tried numerous times (by way of weaning) to get off this pill of death and i find that the easier to get off, the easier to get right back on. i have also sought help from countless professionals and cannot get the information/support i am after. So i am proposing to get off this cold turkey (gasp!) hay i figure i have wrecked my body quite a bit already and might as well use it for a good cause... my own sanity. i would like to document this (videocamera) to see just how potent these drugs really are when they are stripped away from you. i realise this is extreme, but firstly there are people throughout the world who have suddenly not had access to their meds and i would like to be able to show my family and friends how my body reacted when i was unable to access effexor. i also believe it may help them when comtemplating taking any kind of drugs in the future. yes this is a concentrated form of coming off, but the symptoms are still the same.

wow congratulations to making it to the end of this!! sorry for the speel but i wanted to get my point across... which i hope i have achieved. if anyone has thoughts about my proposition, please post a reply.

thanks, jessica
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Amanda Mercurio
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Posted - 07/07/2005 :  13:51:49  Show Profile  Reply with Quote  Reply to Topic
Effexor withdrawal is very, very difficult if not done properly. Even when done properly, it seems like withdrawal effects are inevitable.

I have been taking 75mg of the drug 1x per day for a while now. (maybe a year?). Because of an insurance switch and not knowing the severe withdrawal symptoms....I stopped taking the drug for 4 days. For the first couple of days I seemed to feel fine...just very, very tired due to heavy dreams and the inability to sleep well at all. Once the 3rd and 4th day hit....it has been awful. I am moody, I feel light-headed, my head feels 'clogged', as though I have 'medicine head', I am very nausous and emotional. My heart feels like it is going to pound through my chest. I feel so, so icky. It seems like I think of death and other dark things...and am deeply agitated by these subjects. It is downright nasty.

My pharmacy gave me a 2 37.5 mg doses of the drug to get my through the next couple of days until my insurance is figured out. I just took it....hopefully it will take the edge off.

As awful as these syptoms are....I am ready to wean myself because this drug simply cannot be healthy. I hate that my body is dependant on a synthetic chemical and goes completely nuts when it doesn't have it. That is why I only asked for 37.5 mg. I'm not sure what I am up against with a dramatic dosage cut....maybe I will take 37.5 1 day, and 75 every other day to give my body a break...I'm not sure. I just can't wait to feel alive and not struggle. I have three sons who need their mommy to feel good, not to be so exhausted and not be so up and down. :(

Through my experience, my strongest and only advice is to withdrawal slowly and steadily. Expect withdrawal sypmtoms no matter what the dose, but don't try and be a hero.

My heart goes out to all of you who are going through the same thing. It is hard....but you are not alone. Use this opportunity to know the importance of educating yourself in the medicines you take. Do your own research...don't just rely on your MD. MD's are not God....they simply do not know everything....it's not possible with so many drugs out there.

Amanda
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sea
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Posted - 07/10/2005 :  18:19:46  Show Profile  Reply with Quote  Reply to Topic
I went off Effexor cold turkey July 5th. I had been taking Effexor XR 75mg 1 x per day for about 2 years for depression. Was ready to come off of it as I have learned many great coping skills and am no longer under a psych's care. I had read that there would be side effects, and had pretty much seen that tapering really just seemed to delay the inevitable so here I am in day six off the medication.

I thankfully have not had the problems with nightmares (yet) nor with any suicidal tendencies or depressive thoughts. I have also not had the feelings of rage that I have read about elsewhere. This may be because my mental state is pretty healthy over all at this point in my life.
Here though are some of the symptoms I have experienced the past few days:

Day One and Two off medication: Brain zaps (you could swear you hear your eyeballs moving!),very dry mouth, a bit hyper (more talkative than usual), more sensitive to heat
Days Three and Four: Brain zaps still there but not quite as intense,mild headache, face feeling flushed, sweating more than usual (during exercise),general flu like symptoms (muscle aches, sore throat)
Days Five and Six: Still having brain zaps, mild headache, itchy, clogged head feeling, slight dizziness,just general yucky feeling.

Things I have been doing: Exercising daily - gardening, mowing the lawn, walking, yoga. Eating lots of fresh fruit and veggies. Taking Omega 3,6,9 and a multi vitamin. Also taking 2 Tylenol PM at night two hours before bed time.

Hope this helps a bit! Hugs to everyone going through the withdrawal process. We will get through it!
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Talullah
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Posted - 08/15/2005 :  21:17:44  Show Profile  Reply with Quote  Reply to Topic
I stopped taking Effexor 11 days ago. The first day after taking the last & lowest dose, I started feeling nauseous and dizzy. Each day seemed to get worse. Then a couple of days after that, I started having mild panic attacks. I get sweaty, my heart beats faster, my breathing is short, and I want to cry. Now I am so depressed. I feel just like I felt before I took antidepressants. No one can tell me how long it will last. I'm so afraid these symptoms will never go away. I got off the medicine because I felt stronger and happy. I am about to start a new school year & was about to move in with my boyfriend. Now I'm so afraid I won't make it through another school year & I am waiting to move. My suggestion to anyone is stay away from effexor. If you are already taking it and want to get off of it, don't stop cold turkey, pick a time when you have a couple of weeks not to worry about major decisions in your life, go to counseling, and let your family and friends know so they can help & support you. I have to constantly be reminded that I am having withdrawal symptoms and one day they will end.
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qt_boop
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Posted - 08/16/2005 :  18:10:45  Show Profile  Reply with Quote  Reply to Topic
I have been taking 75 mg of Effexor XR for a little over a year. Last week I went to see my doctor and discussed with her the weight gain that I have been concerned about since going on the effexor. We agreed to switch me over to welbutrin which is suppose to have a low side effect of weight gain. She told me I shouldn't have to step myself off the effexor and that I could just start taking the new antidepressant. So, when it was time for a new dose of my meds I took the welbutrin which she subscribed instead of the effexor. I had an extremely hard time sleeping that night and woke up Saturday morning feeling like I had the flu.

I spent all day at work feeling nauseous feverish, etc. Finally at about 3:30 pm, after having two anxiety attacks which I had never experienced before, a friend to me to the emergency room. I learned while in the ER that I should have been stepped of the meds, not taken off cold turkey. The ER doctor gave me some ativan for the panic attacks, told me to see my doctor on Monday and sent me home.

Sunday morning I woke up ate something and took the ativan as prescribed by the ER doctor. Not long after I started vomiting. I spent the next day and a half feeling nauseous and vomiting every time I ate or drank something. Again, Monday after noon I was taken to the emergency room. The doctor there could find nothing wrong with me. They did blood work, urinalysis etc. The doctor suggested he may have to put me back on the effexor to stop the withdrawals, which I told him I was strongly opposed to doing. I told him I figured I must be almost over the withdrawals and that I would rather continue to do without the meds. I was given fluids for dehydration and some meds for the nausea. The ER doctor said he called the tox place to check on withdrawals from effexor and the vomiting should not be associated with the medication change. So, again I was sent home, this time with some suppositories for nausea

Today is Tuesday, I did not go to work today because I still feel very sick. I could not sleep last night without having very bizarre dreams. I have never felt this awful in my entire life. I started taking effexor to get me over a bad spot in my life. I never knew that the medication would actually make me more miserable. I am at the point now where I do not want to take any more antidepressants no matter how low they say the risk of side effects are. I was generally a happy person before my doctor prescribed effexor and now, well as I said before I feel so sick, depressed and miserable. I really don't know how much longer I can stand feeling like this, but I refuse to take another one of those pills. I have never been one to respond to a forum, but after reading the info on here and learning that I am not alone...I felt as though letting others know how I am feeling might help in some small way.






Bev
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moonbeams
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Posted - 08/29/2005 :  15:50:55  Show Profile  Reply with Quote  Reply to Topic
I've had tons of problems on Effexor. I am someone who has never ever had depression before in her life, never been on any medication outside of an OTC for headache or cold or a rare antibiotic for a sinus infection.

My story is long, and I won't post it here. But in all honesty I was put on Effexor for all the wrong reasons. And coming off has been a struggle. I'm currently on my third try and I think it will work this time. Before I did some cutting back as per instructions by most doctors, and that was awful.

Any time I've missed a dose I've had the same problems. What you mention about your patient just absolutely fine less than 24 hours after a dose is exactly what I've had happen. I've missed a dose by accident, and for whatever reason its 6-8 hours later, and although the instructions say to not take that dose, to wait, if I were to wait I'd probably come close to killing myself. Don't forget this is out of the mouth of someone who has never had a depression problem in her life.

At these times, when I've taken my missed Effexor, I can lay down in bed and actually feel that stuff hitting my veins, its like a rush. Maybe like a street drug effect? I don't know I've never done street drugs. I guess I could liken it to alcohol hitting your body, when you feel that first surge. But the effexor hits my body and all the "bad" stuff goes away. Its very weird. Its also very scary to me that any medication has that power over me.

I am currently one week into my third try of coming off. This time without my doctor, or anyone else. I know that is not standard practice but if I were to do it the right way, I'd be in trouble and right back on my full 225mg dose. I am literally taking a few extra beads out of a capsule each day. Sounds crazy but its the only thing that is working. I've also added a very good multivitamin with high B levels and fish oils to my diet, as I know for me personally good food and good vitamins help.

If you'd like to read my progress I'm blogging this experience in hopes to help others
http://www.effexorsucks.blogspot.com/

As far as the symptoms you are talking about, these are mine when experiencing the withdrawal:

- sick stomach
- dizzy/vertigo
- can't concentrate or form clear thoughts
- speech comes out wrong due to the lack of clear thoughts
- hyper periods
- heavy head
- extremely emotional, go from sad to angry very fast with really no reasons
- brain shocks, these are the worst along with being dizzy, its like an electric spark runs up my spine and bursts right at the top of my neck when it hits the brain
- hearing things, can't really explain what I hear, almost like I can hear inside my head? Not voices, just noises, like hearing the blood go through the veins.
- extremely tired
- crazy dreams from violent to sexual to just plain odd and doesn't make sense
- can't stay still, something on my body always moving, hands, feet, fingers, anything

I don't think this drug should be banned or anything, I just know its a bad drug for me. I will never ever take it again.
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Joy55
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Posted - 09/14/2005 :  05:28:47  Show Profile  Reply with Quote  Reply to Topic
Good Morning Everyone, And today it is a good morning!
I am new to this board. I joined for one reason...to share my Effexor withdrawal story.
I have been taking 150mg of Effexor for about 3 years. I attempted to stop the medication myself a couple of times but the withdrawal symptoms are so crippling that I could not do it. I have read several other posts on tons of other sites to educate myself and make this process a little easier.
I now have the answer to safe withdrawal (for me).
I call it the "anti-depressant diet *****tail". My plan was to
get off the Effexor and not move on to any other medication. Usually it is recommended that as you taper off one SSRI med you ease onto another type. No thanks! I feel that my support groups of family and friends and my therapist are all I need at this time in my life.
Here's the recipe:
100mg of 5-HTP daily
B complex 150mg per day
Niacin 500 mg per day
Be careful what you eat. No processed or high fat foods.
Watch out for high in carbs foods.
The first couple days I was on the BRAT diet and now I have
moved to a little more variety.
Lots of greens (high in folic acid)
Dairy...such as cottage cheese, yogurt, cheese
Meats: mostly turkey (not deli turkey!)
Oatmeal for breakfast
NO ALCOHOL
This may not work for everyone, but it absolutely works for me.
Most of the symptoms were gone within 3 days.
I am a new person! Life is good!



Joyce
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greenlass
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Posted - 10/04/2005 :  06:55:56  Show Profile  Visit greenlass's Homepage  Reply with Quote  Reply to Topic
Yes, I can confirm that these side-effects occur. I have experienced them each time I've tried to come off the medication. Some people call it dizziness, but it's more as if there are mini-second gaps occuring in the brain, and it's very unsettling.

I have stopped trying to come off it until i get advice from a psychiatrist, and am taking a does that varies between 150 -225 daily, as I need some insulation from the bad depression I am currently experiencing, though I would have to say that the relief is not tremendous.

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gloryadt
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Posted - 01/08/2006 :  23:30:19  Show Profile  Reply with Quote  Reply to Topic
I am so glad to find this site concerning Effexor withdrawal. My story is somewhat similar to a couple of others who have responded.

I have done some research and found that Wellbutrin is the only antidepressant that doesn't exacerbate the Restless Leg Syndrome and can help it. Also, that it doesn't cause weight gain and since it is available in generic, is cheaper than Effexor. So after being on Effexor with good results for a couple of years I asked my doctor about switching. He was agreeable and didn't think I would need to taper off the Effexor since I was only on a 75 mg dose.

My first experience was due to the fact that about l/2 bottle of Effexor literally disappeared from where I keep my meds and my husband and I searched high and low again and again and could not find it. My doctor and his nurse were out the day this happened, so got in touch with the nurse the second day and she got the on call doctor to prescribe 4 pills to last me until my next appointment. The day after the first missed dose, I got sick riding in the back seat of a van and presumed it to be motion sickness, but when I had two episodes of vomiting the next day, I decided it must be a virus. So I took the 4 pills over the next four days and started feeling better. Then I switched to the Wellbutrin after my appointment on a Monday.

I'm not sure when the wihdrawal symptoms started again, but by Thursday morning I was feeling very dizzy and light headed and started severe vomiting on Friday AM until I started throwing up yellow foamy stuff and was crying so hard I could barely talk on the phone. I called the doctor and he prescribed a few more effexor and some suppositories for nausea and this has helped considerably. I am amazed at the info on the net on Effexor withdrawal...even a petition to Wyeth. It seems that they need to get more accurate info out to the medical personnel about this drug. I have been telling everyone I know about this 'syndrome' in hopes that it will save someone from having to go through what I have been through and don't know what I will be going through before I get off of it.




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joanie
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Posted - 01/11/2006 :  14:54:04  Show Profile  Reply with Quote  Reply to Topic
I have been on a number of anti-depressants over the last several years. It seems none of them make me feel better only worse. The weight gain, lethargy, neurological symptoms are the same with all of them. I have recently been on Effexor XR. Dosage began at 75mg and within several months was increased to 300mg. I have been sweating profusely for months, recently have been looking very ill. I have black circles under my eyes, I havent slept well for months.
I decided to lower the dose myself so I cut it in half, and most recently my doctor perscribed me 10mg prozac to be taken every day and the effexor every other day for the next two weeks. Today I am having horrible dizzy spells, vibratory sensation in all limbs and mental confusion. The vibration in my head is the worst. I feel like Im going to fall down, its as if Im a spinning top and have no sense of direction when Im standing. My blood pressure is going haywire too. Its scaring the hell out of me...At what point should I go to the hospital if these syptoms continue.
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gloryadt
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Posted - 01/23/2006 :  06:09:31  Show Profile  Reply with Quote  Reply to Topic
Joanie, call your doctor right away!

I've been going through this off and on for three weeks. Have had three really bad episodes after missing a dose or trying to go off of Effexor, the last one after tapering down to 18.75 mg for a week. Yesterday I was so dizzy and had weird feelings in my head, like, sometimes I feel like it's in a vise or a thick rubber band, pressure I guess is the best way to describe it and the nausea and crying spells. I should be feeling better by now... I haven't felt this bad all of the time, but haven't really been symptom free. Yesterday I couldn't even talk to anyone on the phone without crying.

After I got sick the second time (stopped Effexor/started Wellbutrin) we decided I did need to taper off the Effexor and I have gone from 75 mg per day to 37.5 mg per day for a week to l/2 of a 37.5 or 18.75 a day for about a week, then every other day and this is my third day without any of it and I got almost as sick yesterday as I did the first time. I had a suppository leftover that he had given me for nausea during my worst episode and was able to sleep awhile after I used it.

What I have read on the net is terrible although I know you have to take some of it with a grain of salt, I know what has happened to me.Both times I have gotten so sick, within a few hours after starting the meds again, I am better. Apparently Wyeth has really downplayed the severe withdrawal symptoms to the medical community and they are learning about if trom guinea pigs like us. I will send you a couple of sites in case you are interested in reading more about it., but I'll warn you they are scary.

and from:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/EffexorSevere discontinuation syndrome

Venlafaxine is notorious for its potentially severe withdrawal symptoms upon
sudden discontinuation (the recommended discontinuation is a drop of 37.5 mg per
week; sudden stops are usually advised only in emergencies). These have a
tendency to be significantly stronger than the withdrawal effects of other
antidepressants including the tricyclic antidepressants, but are similar in
nature to those of SSRIs such as Paroxetine (Paxil® or Seroxat®).

These effects may include irritablility, hostility, headache, nausea, fatigue,
dysphoria and the fairly-unique "brain shivers". Rarer withdrawal symptoms
include shaking legs, tremor, vertigo, dizziness and paresthesia. Other
non-specific mental symptoms may include; impaired concentration, bizarre
dreams, agitation and suicidal thoughts.

The "brain shivers" have been described as electric-like shocks in the brain
causing pounding headaches and disorientation, increasing over time before
abating. Although "brain shivers" are not painful per se, they are disturbing,
and could become severe enough to be disabling.

Antidepressant withdrawal effects do not indicate addiction, but are rather the
results of the brain attempting to reach neurochemical stability after an abrupt
change. These can be minimalized or avoided by tapering off of the medication
over a period of weeks.

Studies by Wyeth-Ayerst and others have reported occasional cases of withdrawal
symptoms severe enough to require permanent use. In some of these cases,
successful discontinuation was eventually achieved by the addition of
fluoxetine, which was later discontinued itself without difficulty.There is an effexor petition on this site when you feel like looking at it, get everyone to sign it. It's take it off the market, just begging the mfg to stop downplaying the severe withdrawal syndrome that some of us have. Here's some other sites I have been sharing with friends.

http://www.socialaudit.org.uk/9425vfx.htm

http://www.thedoctorslounge.net/psychiatry/forums/backup/topic-1013.html

http://counsellingresource.com/medications/drug-pages/venlafaxine.html

Did I give you the petition site?

http://www.petitiononline.com/effexor/petition.html

I give up trying to proof this post as I cannot think clearly. I would like to hear from some of those who posted in 2005 as to where you are now!
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lisa12
Starting Member

1 Posts

Posted - 03/02/2006 :  12:06:31  Show Profile  Reply with Quote  Reply to Topic
Hi my name is Lisa and i just come from the hosptial say almost 2 week ago. I stop taking Effexor not knowing i shouldn't but only for 3 days. I was going to work that night and took one. For those days off bad headache sick stomach, dizzy, vertigo. Not long after being at work i felt really dizzy...odd. I asked my partner to take my blood pressure and it was 77/40 very low. to make this very short it got worse and we took it again and it went sky high. next thing i'm having seizure's. I couldn't talk pulse was 170 and my heart stop for a second on the monitor before going to hospital. I get to the hosptial and seen by the neurologist our only one. this two week period i could not walk hardly....i ran or fell to the left but didn't know it. could not follow directions, did not no the year. Brain zaps..ha ha let me tell you. I was in the hospital bed telling this nurse i feel like my head is shaking back and forth as fast as it can and electic pulse or zaps in my brain....can you even imagine what she though. i know i thought i was nuts. I was seeing and hearing things.....this was not normal for me at all. Very cold at times, sick stomach and soo dizy i could not move my eyes. My vision is very blurry still, sweats, talking none stop at times. I had 150 or so seizure. Now listen to this....yes i went off for 3 days and i found this is why it started this...but my neurologist stop the effexor cold turkey and i had no idea what was happening to me.....she then said this was all brought on by stress and i had no testing, exam, nothing. she labled me and the nurses thought because of lack of understanding that i was faking...so my care suffered awful. I went to a big hospital and the second i said what happend she knew what happend to me and is getting me into to clinic to wean me off seizure meds i dont need to be on. I thank all you people for your story..because when my husband was so scared and i was thinking i was nuts. you wrote your letters we then knew and i finally felt better that it was this effexor. I have just now got my words back and typing good...i have a walker still and lost my driver permit so far......i'm now out of school i only had clinical left 1 week. and i have 3 kids....not allowed to be left alone because i'm not safe. thank you for listening and the letters. I still have a lot of work to go but i'm getting there. makes me sad cause i work in heath care and to be treated so bad its not right, thanks
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