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Old 03-21-2004, 12:15 AM   #1
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misanthrope HB User
Effexor XR Withdrawal

What are some of the withdrawal side effects that you guys have had with this drug? I think I might have experienced a few when I recently skipped two doses.

I felt absolutely HORRIBLE. I felt dizzy all the time and as if I was almost on the verge of fainting. My eyesight would go blurry at times too. Then came the worst part. In the evening, while I started eating dinner, I felt like I was going to vomit. I hadn't even touched my dinner yet. Then I developed a headache too. Today, I had diarrhea.

Do these seem like withdrawal symptoms?

 
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Old 03-21-2004, 07:44 PM   #2
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Talking Re: Effexor XR Withdrawal

Coming off of Effexor does not cause withdrawal symptoms, since it is not an addictive substance.
Some of the things you may notice while coming off of it are flu-like symptoms, and I have heard something about feeling that 'electric jolts' are going through one's head.
Did you come off the medicine in accordance with your Psychiatrist's instructions? Or did you stop taking the medicine all at once, on your own?? It is my experience that the latter is the chief cause of problems when coming off a medicine.
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Old 03-22-2004, 02:36 PM   #3
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Re: Effexor XR Withdrawal

The symptoms you described are from skipping the two doses.

I have occasionally forgotten my pills when going out of town, and I experienced those same symptoms. I was only on 75 mg. at the time.

 
Old 03-22-2004, 05:18 PM   #4
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Re: Effexor XR Withdrawal

[QUOTE=potchrazebie]Coming off of Effexor does not cause withdrawal symptoms, since it is not an addictive substance.


Coming off Effexor DOES cause withdrawal symptoms. I am in the process of going off of it now and have had to wean off very slowly. The fact that you say it is not addictive is totally absurd, and having withdrawals is completely understandable. This is an addictive substance; I have been on it for 5 years and can not just stop taking it because my body is addicted to it.

 
Old 03-22-2004, 06:36 PM   #5
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Talking Re: Effexor XR Withdrawal

Actually you are not suffering from addiction.
The fact is that weaning oneself of psych meds can cause problems.
In medical terminology, 3 things are required for an addiction:
1) Physical dependence on the substance: having physical symptoms when reducing a psych med dose does not imply physical dependence in and of itself. Basically you are wagging the dog by the tail, by saying that these problems 'mean' you were addicted. Unless it is xanax or another benzodiazapine, which are in fact addictive.
2) Psychological dependence: this is in general a reference to a 'high' like that obtained by narcotics, etc. Antidepressants do not make people high.
Also please see number one above: having psych. problems when coming off them does not 'mean' you were addicted.
3) Development of a tolerance: this is the real kicker, which even in an uneducated layman's mind should spell out the difference: drugs such as heroine, cocaine etc. cause the user to need a higher and higher dose to get the same 'high'. I have been taking effexor xr since 1998. I have been taking 450 mg for the last 4 years. If I had developed a tolerance, why am I not now taking ten pounds of effexor per day????

You are welcome to ask a psychiatrist or review the medical literature on these issues - don't take my word for it! And no, it's not a 'word game'.

Maybe the best way for you to understand the issue, is to realize that antidepressants are used to treat a medical condition, not to get people high. Try to let that soak in, then reread the above.

Last edited by potchrazebie; 03-22-2004 at 06:50 PM.

 
Old 03-22-2004, 06:48 PM   #6
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Talking Re: Effexor XR Withdrawal

oops
zxzxzxzxzx

Last edited by potchrazebie; 03-22-2004 at 06:49 PM. Reason: oops

 
Old 03-24-2004, 11:19 PM   #7
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Re: Effexor XR Withdrawal

Dear potchrazebie:

True, withdrawal syndrome is one of 3 criteria in some definitions of addiction, but you can suffer withdrawal from medications without having been addicted to them. Withdrawal simply means stopping use of a medication. Many nonaddictive drugs cause bad reactions when discontinued or reduced too rapidly.

My own story: I titrated Effexor up to 900 - 950 mg/day, then went back off of it because although feeling no pain at that level, I was "flat" - no depth of affect, indiscriminate. It didn't feel real.

I had two kinds of untoward effects with Effexor. One was a sudden bad reaction during dose reduction: I hit the same 70 mg wall that folks often talk about. Relatively OK getting down to then, but when I reduced below 70 mg, I had an episode of depression with severe agitation. I paced around the house, telling my wife I didn't want to be institutionalized. Unprecedented for me. I leveled off at 70 mg for a few days, then very slowly went below that, and got down to zero without further incident.

The second effect developed when I got about to 300 mg, where I stayed for a year or so before titrating up to 950. Some people report "vertigo", but that wasn't exactly it. For example, it didn't interfere with balance, even with step aerobics with a lot of turning. After observing it carefully I concluded my "vertigo" was triggered by eye motion, not head motion, and identified it as lateral gaze nystagmus. It's occasionally mildly distracting but doesn't interfere with anything I do. What bothers me is that it appears to be permanent: it began with Effexor and has remained long after I went off of Effexor (9 months and counting).

Doug

---------------------------------------------------
Quote:
Originally Posted by potchrazebie
Coming off of Effexor does not cause withdrawal symptoms, since it is not an addictive substance.
Some of the things you may notice while coming off of it are flu-like symptoms, and I have heard something about feeling that 'electric jolts' are going through one's head.
---------------------------------------------------
"I can't read the instructions that came with my medicine - my vision's too blurry from stopping the medicine all at once!!"
--Marvin Googleplex

 
Old 03-25-2004, 02:16 AM   #8
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EVERYDAY SUNDAY HB User
Re: Effexor XR Withdrawal

Quote:
Originally Posted by misanthrope
What are some of the withdrawal side effects that you guys have had with this drug? I think I might have experienced a few when I recently skipped two doses.

I felt absolutely HORRIBLE. I felt dizzy all the time and as if I was almost on the verge of fainting. My eyesight would go blurry at times too. Then came the worst part. In the evening, while I started eating dinner, I felt like I was going to vomit. I hadn't even touched my dinner yet. Then I developed a headache too. Today, I had diarrhea.

Do these seem like withdrawal symptoms?


I took effexor before and i must say that the withdrawal symptoms are horrific! i get 'brain zaps' everytime i turn my head and my vision blurs. i got real dizzy. BUT wait! there's hope. It goes away after a month hehehehe

 
Old 03-25-2004, 10:18 AM   #9
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Re: Effexor XR Withdrawal

If you quit cold turkey, the withdrawal lasts a long time. If you taper off like you're supposed to, it usually only lasts a week.

Whether it's "addictive" or not depends on your definition. Antidepressants can be be physically addicting in some people. About 60% of people on Paxil go through withdrawal, and that is the highest percentage of any AD.

But they do not cause addiction behavior: When you are going through withdrawal, you do not go around thinking "I've gotta vet more Effexor!" or whatever. If it were addictive in the way alcahol, street drugs, or painkillers are, you wouldn't be able to have the ADs in the house without taking them - but you can. You can have a bottle of the stuff right in front of you and not feel any impulse to take it, even when you are in the middle of withdrawal. (There's a word for this but I forgot it.)
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Old 03-25-2004, 12:31 PM   #10
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Re: Effexor XR Withdrawal

Quote:
Originally Posted by Crossbow
If you quit cold turkey, the withdrawal lasts a long time. If you taper off like you're supposed to, it usually only lasts a week.

Whether it's "addictive" or not depends on your definition. Antidepressants can be be physically addicting in some people. About 60% of people on Paxil go through withdrawal, and that is the highest percentage of any AD.

But they do not cause addiction behavior: When you are going through withdrawal, you do not go around thinking "I've gotta vet more Effexor!" or whatever. If it were addictive in the way alcahol, street drugs, or painkillers are, you wouldn't be able to have the ADs in the house without taking them - but you can. You can have a bottle of the stuff right in front of you and not feel any impulse to take it, even when you are in the middle of withdrawal. (There's a word for this but I forgot it.)

I totally agree with you and Doug.

Here's an example: I take 50 mg of Trazadone at night to sleep. When I don't take it, I can't sleep to save my life. I lie awake tossing and turning and my mind races. I told my doctor half jokingly that "I'm addicted to that stuff" and she said that it isn't an addictive drug by nature, but your body has become dependent and addicted to it.

I would say my 'withdrawl' from Effexor (150mg) has been minimal. A couple of days I did have the flu like symptoms, but now I seem to be doing okay. I am sweating a lot though... waiting to talk to my doctor about that one.

Everyone is different, so you just won't know what to expect until you go through it.

Tell you what, if I had to do it all over again, I still would have taken the Effexor XR to help me.

Good luck,
Trooper

 
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