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    Old 05-04-2004, 08:29 AM   #1
    Sandalla
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    Exclamation Effexor Nightmare - Please Read


    My personal experience with Effexor (and to a lesser degree Zoloft and Celexa) has been nothing less that HORRIFIC!

    I feel I have a moral obligation to speak up – something which, very sadly, both the drug companies and the Government bodies are failing to do!

    Let me begin by saying that one man’s meat is another man’s poison. This drug has literally POISONED my brain and my body. (I can supply a list of all the awful side effects to anyone who wants them). THE WITHDRAWAL has been EXCRUCIATING, to the point where suicide has sometimes seemed the only way out.

    PLEASE, PLEASE, PLEASE – BE WARNED. Do not take this lightly.

    I would encourage everyone to read up, do your own research, and make a very educated decision as to whether or not you want to play Russian Roulette with SSRIs. I have had to become my own doctor, and take back responsibility for my own life. Otherwise I would have had my dose increased, drugs added, exchanged, supplemented, and G-d knows what else! I shudder to think what may have become of me.

    VERY IMPORTANT: Apparently, they have discovered that 10% of the population is either missing a certain liver enzyme or has a deficiency of this enzyme. It appears that these are the people most prone to having to endure this nightmare. I believe it is not easy to get this tested, but it CAN be done. Why this test is not mandatory before exposing people to this sheer HELL, I do not know.

    I started tapering from 300mg over 3 mths ago. I have been at 37.5mg for the last 2 mths and am still suffering! Just when I feel I may be stabilizing, I get side-swiped again and feel I’m back to square one. How, when or if I’m ever going to be able to take the next step down, literally PETRIFIES me. It is not out of the question that I may have to consider hospitalization to avoid harming myself or anyone else.

    If I can save just ONE person from going through what I and many hundreds of thousands of others have gone through – then I will have done my job.

    These drugs CAN, DO AND WILL CONTINUE TO CAUSE MORE SUICIDES AND HOMICIDES.

    I beg you to not under-estimate the severity, the sincerity and the passion in my message.

    Last edited by Sandalla; 05-04-2004 at 09:48 AM.

     
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    Old 05-04-2004, 09:06 AM   #2
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    Re: Effexor Nightmare - Please Read

    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Sandalla
    VERY IMPORTANT: Apparently, they have discovered that 10% of the population is either missing a certain liver enzyme or has a deficiency of this enzyme. It appears that these are the people most prone to having to endure this nightmare. I believe it is not easy to get this tested, but it CAN be done. Why this test is not mandatory before exposing people to this sheer HELL, I do not know.
    This is VERY good information. Thanks for sharing! I've been studying up on antidepressants for 16 years now, and I had no idea about this enzyme thing. I will definitely look for more information on it. If you have any idea what the tests are or the name of the enzyme, please post it.
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    Old 05-04-2004, 09:24 AM   #3
    Sandalla
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    Re: Effexor Nightmare - Please Read

    "The missing enzyme is called P450 CYP2D and it plays the key role in breaking down many kinds of medications. People who lack the enzyme are called 'poor metabolizers' because their body does not adequately destroy the drug. Indeed, people missing this enzyme have only one-ninth the ability of other people to degrade these drugs and eliminate them from the body. As a result, a routine dose of Prozac or almost any antidepressant can cause a very severe and even potentially fatal reaction."

    Above quote from "The Anti-Depressant Fact Book" by Peter R. Breggin, MD. This information is now well documented and published in many medical journals.

    An extra note. Even for people who do not have this problem to begin with, these drugs may actually work negatively on this enzyme, thus causing it to become inefficient.

    This is VERY serious stuff. Too many people suffering, too many damaged lives. IT MUST STOP!!!

     
    Old 05-04-2004, 09:32 AM   #4
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    Re: Effexor Nightmare - Please Read

    Fascinating.

    But I also want to add that some people have the opposite problem - they break the drugs down too quickly, so they don't have any effect. My sister has that problem. She has to use some kind of patch so the meds go directly into her bloodstream, because if they go through her liver first, they don't do anything.
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    Old 05-04-2004, 11:19 AM   #5
    Portia26
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    Angry Re: Effexor Nightmare - Please Read

    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Sandalla

    My personal experience with Effexor (and to a lesser degree Zoloft and Celexa) has been nothing less that HORRIFIC!

    I feel I have a moral obligation to speak up – something which, very sadly, both the drug companies and the Government bodies are failing to do!

    Let me begin by saying that one man’s meat is another man’s poison. This drug has literally POISONED my brain and my body. (I can supply a list of all the awful side effects to anyone who wants them). THE WITHDRAWAL has been EXCRUCIATING, to the point where suicide has sometimes seemed the only way out.

    PLEASE, PLEASE, PLEASE – BE WARNED. Do not take this lightly.

    I would encourage everyone to read up, do your own research, and make a very educated decision as to whether or not you want to play Russian Roulette with SSRIs. I have had to become my own doctor, and take back responsibility for my own life. Otherwise I would have had my dose increased, drugs added, exchanged, supplemented, and G-d knows what else! I shudder to think what may have become of me.

    VERY IMPORTANT: Apparently, they have discovered that 10% of the population is either missing a certain liver enzyme or has a deficiency of this enzyme. It appears that these are the people most prone to having to endure this nightmare. I believe it is not easy to get this tested, but it CAN be done. Why this test is not mandatory before exposing people to this sheer HELL, I do not know.

    I started tapering from 300mg over 3 mths ago. I have been at 37.5mg for the last 2 mths and am still suffering! Just when I feel I may be stabilizing, I get side-swiped again and feel I’m back to square one. How, when or if I’m ever going to be able to take the next step down, literally PETRIFIES me. It is not out of the question that I may have to consider hospitalization to avoid harming myself or anyone else.

    If I can save just ONE person from going through what I and many hundreds of thousands of others have gone through – then I will have done my job.

    These drugs CAN, DO AND WILL CONTINUE TO CAUSE MORE SUICIDES AND HOMICIDES.

    I beg you to not under-estimate the severity, the sincerity and the passion in my message.
    I am so SICK of the fear mongering that goes on online. I agree that our society is overmedicated, and I think these drugs should NOT be used on those who don't absolutely need it. However... these drugs have done wonders for millions of people in the world, myself included. I think I would be dead WITHOUT them, effexor in particular. I don't think any of us reading this board is stupid enough not to know about any risks for side effects, etc. But to say these drugs CAUSE suicide and homicide is just not something I can agree with. PEOPLE cause suicide and homicide, not DRUGS. People who commit these suicides/crimes are SEVERELY depressed to begin with, psychotic, etc.. and have problems that the drugs just aren't helping, unfortunately. I am so sick of people implying that an SSRI can cause murder is someone who was not otherwise going to do it. That is ridiculous. These drugs do not change who you are. Depression and psychosis does.

     
    Old 05-04-2004, 12:41 PM   #6
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    Re: Effexor Nightmare - Please Read

    I'm sick of the fear mongering too, but this enzyme thing bears looking into. I'm going to see if there's anything to it. It makes sense to me that if some people can over-metabolize drugs, others can probably under-metabolize them.
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    Old 05-04-2004, 12:41 PM   #7
    Sandalla
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    Re: Effexor Nightmare - Please Read

    Response to Portia:

    If you re-read my message, you will see I wrote, “Let me begin by saying that one man’s meat is another man’s poison”. What this means is that each individual will naturally have their own personal experience. I am not for a moment disputing that these drugs may indeed work well for some people. Lord knows, the drug companies do a wonderful job in getting this message across to all those people, like you, who are benefiting from these drugs.

    I am sending this message to those people who, UNLIKE you, MAY POSSIBLY have some EXCRUCIATINGLY difficult side-effects, PARTICULARLY WITH WITHDRAWAL. This message, obviously and fortunately for you, does not apply to you.

    You are certainly entitled to your own opinion, but I do take great offence to your comment “I don't think any of us reading this board is stupid enough not to know about any risks for side effects, etc.” With all due respect, there are MANY HUNDREDS OF THOUSANDS of us who have been “stupid” enough NOT to know in advance, and have NOT been warned by our doctors, who themselves have been STUPID enough not to have even had any prior knowledge of some of these g-d awful side effects.

    Where, in any drug company literature, are we told that SSRIs are HABIT FORMING AND ADDICTIVE?!!!

    With regard to your thoughts on suicide and homicide – again, you’re more than entitled to your thoughts. I, however, am not here to enter into philosophical speculations. These drugs are handed out like candy. They are used across the board for PMS symptoms to sleep disorders to those trying to quit smoking - you name it. The horrors of the side effects of these drugs cause these people to commit suicide and homicide.

    Take care, and I am sincerely glad that you are one of the lucky ones. My only goal here is to alert people to try and not become one of the "UNLUCKY" ones.

     
    Old 05-04-2004, 12:49 PM   #8
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    Re: Effexor Nightmare - Please Read

    i was on effexor xr 150 mgs and had a bad experience when weaning off i missed my every other day dose and went into pure panic and just felt crazy but then as my taper went down i was fine and am now completly off of it i agree sandalla before they hand out these meds they should give an enzyme test it must be such an awful experience and something else i cannot believe they had you on 300 mgs drs usually will not go over 150 i'm surprised you also did'nt suffer serotonin syndrome is there anything they can do to help you through this or are you stuck suffering for the rest of your life? does it say anywhere that this could happen to some one i'm on lexapro and it's doing wonders but i really feel for your situation luv kelleigh

    Last edited by no patience; 06-06-2004 at 01:10 PM.

     
    Old 05-04-2004, 12:59 PM   #9
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    Re: Effexor Nightmare - Please Read

    OK, here is an abstract of a study on this particular enzyme, P450 CYP2D, which I found on energycitations. The full text is not available. I hope you all remember enough from biochemisrty class to understand it.


    Deficient hydroxylation of debrisoquine is an autosomal recessive trait that affects [approx]7% of the Caucasian population.^These individuals (poor metabolizers) carry deficient:CYP2D6 gene variants and have an impaired metabolism of several commonly used drugs.^The opposite phenomenon also exists, and certain individuals metabolize the drugs very rapidly, resulting in subtherapeutic plasma concentrations at normal doses.^In the present study, the authors have investigated the molecular genetic basis for ultrarapid metabolism of debrisoquine.^Restriction fragment length polymorphism analysis of the CYP2D locus in two families with very rapid metabolism of debrisoquine [metabolic ratio (MR) for debrisoquine = 0.01-0.1] revealed the variant CYP2D6 gene CYP2D6L.^EcoRI RFLP and Xba I pulsed-field gel electrophoresis analyses showed that this gene had been amplified 12-fold in three members (father and his two children) of one of the families, and two copies were present among members of the other family.^The CYP2D6L gene had an open reading frame and carried two mutations causing amino acid substitutions: one in exon 6, yielding an Arg-296[yields]Cys exchange and one in exon 9 causing Ser-486[yields]Thr.^The MR of subjects carrying one copy of the CYP2D6L gene did not significantly differ from that of those with the wild-type gene, indicating that the structural alterations were not of importance for the catalytic properties of the gene product.^Examination of the MR among subjects carrying wild-type CYP2D6, CYP2D6L, or deficient alleles revealed a relationship between the number of active genes and MR.^The data show the principle of inherited amplification of an active gene.^Furthermore, the finding of a specific haplotype with two or more active CYP2D6 genes allows genotyping for ultrarapid drug metabolizers.^This genotyping could be of predictive value for individualized and more efficient drug therapy.
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    Old 05-04-2004, 01:10 PM   #10
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    Lightbulb Re: Effexor Nightmare - Please Read

    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Crossbow
    This genotyping could be of predictive value for individualized and more efficient drug therapy.
    Thank you, Crossbow.
    Who can disagree that surely this test alone could maybe, just possibly save a lot of unnecessary pain?!!!

     
    Old 05-04-2004, 01:20 PM   #11
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    Re: Effexor Nightmare - Please Read

    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Sandalla
    Thank you, Crossbow.
    Who can disagree that surely this test alone could maybe, just possibly save a lot of unnecessary pain?!!!

    Well, I definitely agree with that. But I still stand by what I said in my last post. I just don't want people to be more scared than they should, or think that by being on these meds they could somehow transform into suicidal or homicidal monsters. This is scary, not true and unfair. However, any test that could detect potential for side effects would of course be helpful! And I mean physiological side effects... I do not mean the side effect of turning into a suicidal or homicidal maniac. There are just too many issues at play in suicide/homicide to blame it all on meds. Do you at least agree with that??

     
    Old 05-04-2004, 02:01 PM   #12
    Sandalla
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    Re: Effexor Nightmare - Please Read

    Portia, please believe me, I understand your side too. Although we are on different sides of the fence, we both speak with a lot of passion, which is obviously driven by very unpleasant personal experiences.

    For you, you feel that Effexor has most likely SAVED your life. How can you not be passionately grateful for that, and wanting to share this with others in your position?!

    I speak with the passion of someone who has suffered and continues to suffer on a daily basis. And who is SIMPLY UNABLE to just stop taking these drugs due to the side effects.

    Let me clarify and EMPHASIZE my warning regarding suicide and homicide. And no doubt, you are aware that this has now – some 10 or more years later - come out of the closet and is RECOGNIZED to cause suicides, hence they have now been banned for under 18’s. So what I am saying should not be anything new.

    I wish it were that simple that we could just focus on the physiological side effects. Unfortunately, it is the nature and the SHEER INTENSITY of the havoc that it plays on one “MENTALLY”, that indeed can cause otherwise very good-natured, non-suicidal and non-aggressive people to feel the compulsion to go to extreme lengths to “get rid of the mental anguish”, and to be driven to commit very serious aggressive and hostile acts.

    I SPEAK FROM PERSONAL EXPERIENCE! The intensity of these feelings are point blank INTOLERABLE and can cause one to become totally desperate, irrational and out of control.

    If that's what you call "suicidal and homicidal monsters or maniacs" ... so let it be! I see it quite differently.

    Again, my only goal here is to be of help. I only wish I had the answer!!!

     
    Old 05-04-2004, 02:02 PM   #13
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    Re: Effexor Nightmare - Please Read

    Thank you Sandalla:

    I completely agree with you. I also went through hell. Mine went on for about a year, although I have so much memory loss, I can't be sure. I went to a regular doctor because I had lack of energy. Yes, I was going through a difficult time because my husband had been injured and could not work. I worked for ambulance as a paramedic driver, but we have 4 kids and bills were piling up. I also asked for help to quit smoking. He put started me on one (cannot remember the name) I had an allergic reaction, then I went to zoloft, then paxil. I felt great!!! The world was all better. No more problems, well at least as far as I was concerned. Sure everything began to fall apart around me, but it didn't affect me as much. My husband began to take up all the slack on his own, so he began to be depressed as I had been. I totally recommended paxil to him. Meanwhile, my kids began getting depressed, so I had the two youngest seek help and they were also put on the drugs. My husband, a couple of months down the road was taken by ambulance to hospital and then put in the psyche ward for attempted suicide. My youngest son was put in children's hospital for separation anxiety, and hallucinations, etc... My daughter was put in our local psyche ward for suicidal thoughts and depression. I was staying at Easter Seal House while my son was in childrens hospital. My mother was tending to my daughter 1000 miles from me. My husband was in psyche ward 2 months when he joined me, but was taking 3 times the dosage of three different drugs he was put on. I was finally talked into going off the drugs by different family members, who by the way saw all of this crap happening over the year. They tried to tell me that things were falling apart, but I could not see it. I went through hell, running into traffic screaming and fighting with my husband and making things worse for my kids. My other daughter at home was having panic attack because of everything. After getting back home, I decided that it would be best to "Do myself in" and take my youngest with me because he could not be away from me. I made plans, but finally I began to realize that I was not like this before the pills. So I sent two of my children into respite, and the other two to my mothers. My husband and I stayed at home and dried out. It was hell, but we got through it. It has been about 4 years, and we are doing GREAT!!!
    Sometimes you have every reason in the world to be depressed, and need to deal with things. If you mask your problems, they will all come crashing down on you ten fold.
    I know that I was not suicidal before the pills.
    I do not recommend the pills to anyone unless they have had a psychological evaluation. If it is simple depression, find another way.
    Portia, don't take these posts too personally. Do some homework. If the drugs are working and continue to work for you, great.

     
    Old 05-04-2004, 02:50 PM   #14
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    Re: Effexor Nightmare - Please Read

    I don't think Portia's objecting to the actual information, I think it's the "panicky" tone of the original post. But we get that a lot from people who have had really bad experiences with meds.
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    Last edited by Crossbow; 05-04-2004 at 02:53 PM.

     
    Old 05-04-2004, 03:00 PM   #15
    Portia26
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    Re: Effexor Nightmare - Please Read

    I am so sorry these drugs have reeked so much havoc in your lives. Perhaps since I have not experienced it myself, I do not understand. I'll give you that. I think Tanis tells a perfect story of overmedication. I firmly believe that those who do not ABSOLUTELY need these meds should NOT take them. Lack of energy and a desire to quit smoking is not a good enough reason. They are SO overprescribed. Tanis's story tends to make me think there there must be some genetic component to these intense side effects... they happened to her whole family. I just get really frightened, as I imagine others who are doing well on these drugs do, when people throw around words like suicide and homicide. I suppose if we are not experiencing the mental anguish you describe then we have nothing to worry about. A side note about myself: I have OCD, in the form of unwanted obsessions. Mine are unwanted obsessions of harming others. So whenever people talk about the SSRI's causing violence, it strikes a major chord in me and I feel the need to speak up. These posts increase the anxiety of people like me, with OCD obsessions, to increase so much. I'm not really trying to get you to take back anything you are saying, but I'm here to give a balanced perspective for those of us reading who worry about violence, and are on SSRI's. I can't imagine going through what you both describe. Sounds like the hell I was in BEFORE I went on meds, oddly enough. Isn't that ironic... such a strange drug that can literally make people have opposite responses. I really believe though that this happens when the drug is prescribed unnecessarily, which unfortunately happens all to often. Just curious Sandalla, what was it that made you go on Effexor in the first place?

    Last edited by Portia26; 05-04-2004 at 03:02 PM.

     
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