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Old 03-28-2006, 11:09 AM   #1
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AD withdrawal and "brain zaps"

Does anyone know what causes the "brain zaps" that occur when withdrawing from an AD? I've been off the AD I was taking (zoloft) for 3 days now and am beginning to experience some awful brain zaps. (I've gone off my AD because I've finished my prescription and can't afford to buy any more until the 30th of this month.)

Best,

Dave_81

Last edited by dave_81; 03-28-2006 at 11:10 AM.

 
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Old 03-28-2006, 11:52 AM   #2
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Re: AD withdrawal and "brain zaps"

Quote:
Originally Posted by dave_81
Does anyone know what causes the "brain zaps" that occur when withdrawing from an AD? I've been off the AD I was taking (zoloft) for 3 days now and am beginning to experience some awful brain zaps. (I've gone off my AD because I've finished my prescription and can't afford to buy any more until the 30th of this month.)

Best,

Dave_81
You are getting them because you stopped cold turkey and that is so very, very bad for your body. You are likely to get sicker before it gets better. You should find a way to get your prescription before the 30th.

 
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Old 03-28-2006, 01:10 PM   #3
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Re: AD withdrawal and "brain zaps"

I took my last dose of effexor 150mg last Thursday after I had been taking it for 7-8 weeks. I figured I could stop ct since I hadn't been on them that long. I was fine until yesterday. I'm not experiencing brain zaps, just the "whooshing" off and on quite frequently. What can be done to aleviate it and how long will it last? I quit zoloft ct and didn't have a problem, but I guess we are experiencing about the same thing, dave81. I find this to be pretty frightening.

 
Old 03-28-2006, 01:35 PM   #4
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Re: AD withdrawal and "brain zaps"

My doctor had told me, when I was on antidepressants, that you need to ween off, you can't quit cold turkey because you can have irreversable damage, ie. hallucinations, etc.

 
Old 03-28-2006, 04:35 PM   #5
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Re: AD withdrawal and "brain zaps"

Dave 81, brain zaps are considered "sensory disturbances" by the drug companies. We used to have long discussion about them on other SSRI withdrawal sites. I've called the manufacturers of some SSRIs and none of have information about the problem or just won't share it. They also don't have a single word of advice on how to alleviate them.

You shouldn't have quit taking Zoloft cold turkey. Your doctor should have warned you about it when he first prescribed it. It would have enabled you to plan better, if you had known. Can't you call him and tell him what's going on? Surely, he must have samples that he can share. One hit of Zoloft will stop the zaps, but you need to keep taking it and, if you ever want to get off the stuff, you need to wean off very slowly. Still, you can experience zaps even during a slow weaning process, but they shouldn't be as bad.

These types of "disturbances" and others, cause one to wonder just what SSRIs are doing to our brains. Do some searches on withdrawal sites. There are a couple of good Paxil ones.

Someone said that they thought being on Effexor for 7 or 8 weeks, wouldn't mean that she'd suffere withdrawal if she quit taking it. I was on Paxil just FIVE days and suffered incredibly through a horrific withdrawal for nearly 2 weeks. These drugs are powerful and there is no such thing as a small dose or a short time of use.

There are a LOT of stories like yours on the internet. You'll find them if you look.

Last edited by Spin444; 03-28-2006 at 04:57 PM.

 
Old 03-28-2006, 10:45 PM   #6
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Re: AD withdrawal and "brain zaps"

Dave

Just talk to you Dr, maybe he can give you some samples to wean off.

 
Old 03-28-2006, 11:26 PM   #7
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Re: AD withdrawal and "brain zaps"

Oh Dave, that's gotta suck!!! Ooooops!! I'll second the poster above me--if you can get just a sample, or maybe the pharmacy will let you get it early due to circumstances....? I don't envy you right now, and I wish I knew something else to tell you besides get even a small dose of Zoloft to tide you over. I'm sorry you're going through this.

p.s.--I've seen sooooooooooooooooooooo many (moms, online) who have doctors who never mentioned a word about stopping, or following up for that matter. No time for meds education or something. Anyway, you're nowhere near the first one who has done this accidentally or completely unknowingly. Let us know if you get any relief before the 30th. 31st?

Last edited by macadamiaNUT; 03-29-2006 at 01:13 AM.

 
Old 03-29-2006, 12:46 AM   #8
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Re: AD withdrawal and "brain zaps"

Hi,

I'm sure you shouldn't have stopped the AD so abruptly. My Dr. explained to me how I could withdraw, with his help, when it was time. To be honest, I knew better just from reading and researching. It's a big no no.

My cousin was on paxil for three years and asked her Dr. if she could try getting by without it. He agreed and she was weaned from it slowly and didn't have one single problem. All people are different. Maybe the ones that can't withdraw after only five days NEED the meds. Have to feel sorry for them. Please take care and get back on your meds until you can go through a slow withdrawal with your Drs. help. Take Care.......Connie

 
Old 03-29-2006, 06:07 AM   #9
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Re: AD withdrawal and "brain zaps"

I personally think the zaps are adrenal surges creating short, momentary, spikes in blood pressure.

 
Old 03-29-2006, 06:30 AM   #10
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Re: AD withdrawal and "brain zaps"

Thanks for all the replies guys. I definitely know a lot more about what these brain zaps ("sensory disturbances" -- thanks, spin444) are now.

spin444 -- Thanks for the informative reply.

C.L Navarro -- I know I shouldn't have stopped taking my ADs so abruptly but I didn't have any choice, as I couldn't afford to renew my prescription. I can afford to buy some more on 30th March -- and am going to make sure I never get into this kind of situation again.

macadamiaNUT -- Thanks a lot for the reply. There's no way I can get hold of anymore ADs until the 30th. I really wish I could get hold of some sooner 'cause these zaps are driving me crazy! Bloody hell, I sound like some sort of junkie!

Again, thanks for all the replies.

Best,

Dave_81

Last edited by dave_81; 03-29-2006 at 06:34 AM.

 
Old 03-29-2006, 01:33 PM   #11
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Re: AD withdrawal and "brain zaps"

Navarro, difficulty in withdrawing from a drug, has nothing to do with a person's original diagnosis. It's a good thing that others are warned about the problem through our experiences. No need to feel sorry for me. I've learned a great lesson from my drug experience and that's to not trust them because they are neither safe or effective for most users.

 
Old 03-29-2006, 03:04 PM   #12
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Re: AD withdrawal and "brain zaps"

spin, I can see that what you post is based on your experience, and I appreciate that you've had a terrible time yourself (and with family) with meds. Have you thought about or taken legal action?

I wouldn't presume to pressure you into taking meds, and I don't think you'd be pressed anyway. I will say that without meds, I personally, WOULD be dead. And possibly, my dd coulda been dragged along with me, BY me. Remember Andrea Yates? Could. have. been. me. Very seriously, it could have been me, except I was fortunate enough to have a psychiatrist who listened and followed up and followed through. She did not. There but by the grace of God.....

I suspect we won't see eye to eye on this subject maybe ever, but that doesn't mean either of us should change our views, ay? We can continue to politely offer up our views and experiences together, as has happened thus far.


(back to the regularly programmed thread...)

w/ peace,

 
Old 03-29-2006, 03:41 PM   #13
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Re: AD withdrawal and "brain zaps"

Quote:
Originally Posted by sgt207
I personally think the zaps are adrenal surges creating short, momentary, spikes in blood pressure.
This is not adrenalin surges or blood pressure...I have suffered through those "zaps" coming off several different AD's. What I have researched on the subject, that the seretonin in your brain, makes pathways from each neutron along with other chemicals in the brain. When depressed you don't have enough seretonin and this is what the AD replaces. When you abruptly stop taking the drug or even sometimes when weening off of it you will get these "zaps" because the connection is lost and the brain is reacting to it by this kind of withdrawl symptom. They are VERY uncomfortable and make it hard to concentrate.
I would go with the suggestion of if your doctor has any samples to help you out so you can ween off of it slowly. Paxil was the hardest for me. Took me 3 months to get off of them.
Good luck!

 
Old 03-29-2006, 03:52 PM   #14
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Re: AD withdrawal and "brain zaps"

Hi everyone I am new to this forum

I am glad I have found this I am having brain Zaps with stopping effexor which I have done slowly over 4 months.

I am really having trouble dealing with this and am really annoyed that no-one has ever told me of this nasty withdrawal side effect.


 
Old 03-29-2006, 04:04 PM   #15
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Re: AD withdrawal and "brain zaps"

Quote:
Originally Posted by Spin444
...difficulty in withdrawing from a drug, has nothing to do with a person's original diagnosis.

I agree. Withdrawal is a physical effect -- having nothing to do with whether someone is depressed or not.

 
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