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OH MY!!! SO SICK, Effexor withdrawal, please help
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OH MY!!! SO SICK, Effexor withdrawal, please help

My Dr. put me on Venaflaxine to help Gabapentin with pain. I am between Blue Cross and Cobra insurance(long story) and won't have coverage for another week.

I am so sick from withdrawals! I didn't know it was like this or would never had taken in the first place! Dizzy, nauesous, diarreah (diarrhea), cold sweats, and body temp dropped to 94.8. Can't get off couch and moving this week and start new job Wednesday!

sENT HUSBAND TO PHARMAcy to get 5 more for $17!!! How do you get through this and how do you get off them? Anyone here ever do this?

Colin
9 Comments Post a Comment
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Avatar_f_tn
you have to wean off gradually and your doc should help you with that, if you are going cold turkey, its not good for you
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1232907_tn?1367475337
can you get samples from your doc.? I would call and ask them.
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3986919_tn?1352129583
Oh my gosh!! You CANNOT go cold Turkey on either one of them!!

How long have you been taking them??

I have been on Effexor for 7 years now. The doctor tried to take me off Effexor and put me on another antidepressent a couple of years ago. I literally thought I was going to die!! I couldn't open my eyes or even lift my head up. ect.. Worst withdrawal I EVER experienced. I stopped the new med and went back on Effexor after 2 days.

I also took Neurontin many years ago for quite some time. I SLOWLY weaned my self off of it over time. I really would like to take it again for all my pain, but I don't want to go through the withdrawals again! Please be careful!

Prayers, Laurie :)
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Avatar_f_tn
thanks for the update on Neurontin, Laurie, I would come off of it if there were something equally effective, I so tired of looking/acting like a drunk when on my full dose!  Am starting to wake up with night spasms again, unfortunately am already on 600mg at night, so guess I gotta work on getting better with those other 2 times in the day that I'm supposed to increase.

I agree with Laurie, I had to come off of welbutrin, effexor, lyrica and xanax and like the idiot I am, I went cold turkey.  I should know better but it took me over 3 months and I hear I wasn't the nicest person to be around!  I do remember I was in bed for almost 3 weeks before I could function without them.
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3079363_tn?1363277315
Now I know what an addict feels like! I got my "fix" and feel perfectly fine now.

I didn't really understand how the Cobra insurance worked. My last day of work was Feb. 14. which made the last day of my insurance the 28th. My employer did not notify the insurance co. so they did not mail me Cobra info until I called and asked them a question on the 27th(that's when they found out I was not working and told me my insurance was through the end of the month, the next day).

I still did not understand though. I thought since I was signing up, my coverage would continue as always. My husband went to fill 3 prescriptions around the 1st or 2nd and they told him I had no coverage!

After 2 days without Effexor I was getting sick and bought 5 pills to get me through(I thought). I finally recieved the Cobra info on Saturday(7th?) and mailed it back with payment on Monday thinking that when they recieve it the pharmacy can call and verify and fill all my scripts. But no. They recieve it and it goes somewhere else for approval and said it will be another 7-10 days!

I bought another weeks worth of Gabapentin and Ambien to get me through. I decided that I didn't want Effexor if it's addictive, and really, how bad could it be? A few days and I would be fine. WRONG!

I started reading about it last night online and it was saying quitting cold turkey can be dangerous AND when you do it that way you can have withdrawal symptoms stay or reappear for months or years! Crazy!

It makes me really angry at my doctor and this stupid disease! A year ago I was on no medications and now I'm on nine and and I still hurt AND my hair is falling out! I've actually ordered a wig!

Sorry to vent on you guys! I'm a little stressed-packing to move but still waiting on the approval of the appartment, so I think i know where we will live, but not for certain!

If that's the place we get, it's not available till the 22nd. I have to start work on the 20th so I have to stay at a hotel and pray we get into the apartment the 22nd!

We are running low on money since I haven't worked for a month, paid for Cobra insurance, buying meds out of pocket, the expenses of moving, rents, deposits, $400 pet deposit! (I've never lived in an apartment before).

So, as I've rambled on and on...With the help of my doc that got me on all this junk, I want him to help me get off it! I'd like to just take a dmd and maybe my vit D. Explore natural ways to feel better, etc.

Thank you all for your concern and responses!

Blessings,
Colin
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Avatar_f_tn
Brutal! I'm so sorry about all that you're dealing with!

My neuro tried to take me off Lexapro (after 7 years) and move me onto Cymbalta in November. I thought I weaned off the Lexapro okay enough, but the Cymbalta practically made me suicidal. I was balled up in the closet, crying hysterically off and on for two weeks. I was also quite physically ill.

When I called his office, crying like a crazy woman, begging them to help me, they didn't call me back for 24 hours! When they did call back, they said to just stop taking the Cymbalta, as in cold turkey. Yeah right! It had already been 5 weeks by this point.

I weaned myself off the Cymbalta and put myself back on the Lexapro (I had refills left.)

I'm glad you have your husband with you. I know I (literally) may not have survived without mine!

I hate hate hate having to be on meds...yet I don't know how things like MS can be done without them. I'm sorry you have had such a rough go of it. I hope and pray things ease up for you soon!

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755322_tn?1330272714
Effexor/venlafaxine is a bear to wean off, but its not impossible. I was on a low dose for pain which it did help but in 6 months gained 25 lbs without doing anything different eatingwise or exercise wise. I have tablets which make it convenient to cut up and parcel out.

I started by cutting my dose by 1/4 pill in evening for week, then cutting 1/4 pill out in the morning the second week. Third week I cut another 1/4 pill at night 4th week another 1/4 pill in morning. So it took 4 weeks to cut my dose in half. I stuck there until the buzzing and zappys wore of the cut another 1/4 pill at night and then two weeks later cut another 1/4 pill in the morning. I am stuck at this level now for a month.

As soon as my stressful situation is over, I will cut the evening dose out and see how it goes, When I am stable on that I will take the final quarter pill every other day and if all goes well, but it out after another 2 weeks.

Just have to go slow and let the brain restore itself, building new seratonin/norepinephren receptors or whatever and take over for itself instead of relying on the drug.

Make yourself a plan, the slower the better and try to follow it.

If you are on an extended release you might ask to switch to a twice a day tablet dosing and then starting cutting them up.... If you are on a high dose you might have to get a new script for lower dose tablets when you get down to quarter of what you start with because trying to cut a tablet into 1/8's is nearly impossible.

It might be possible to add some tryptophan or 5 HTP to help restore the seratonin receptors and encourage the body to make more of your own.

Its worked for me very well but as we are all well aware, each person is different.

Hang in there and try to relax about it. Taking control of the taper is empowering and helps overcome the withdrawal.

I really haven't had it too bad but I will be glad to be off the drug, even though it did make me not car a whit about the awful pain i am constantly in.

I take Gabapentin and it is a godsend for nerve pain. I am keeping that one as I get a 6 month supply each time I refill my script. Its written for me to ramp up to twice what I take so  its really inexpensive. Come out to be $10 month. Since its an anti seizure drug you would have to wean off it slowly too.

I would do one drug at a time... Bless your heart. I feel your pain on the withdrawals.

Cheers,
JJ (Khiba)
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Avatar_f_tn
I was on a low dose of Seroquel for sleep, low enough so that I shouldn't have had any trouble getting off of it, but I did anyway. Just a quirk for me, I suppose, but I was having 'surprise' vomiting quite often.

My doctor ordered a compounding pharmacy to make me tablets (or probably capsules, can't remember) at a lower strength than the lowest available for Seroquel, and I used them to wean off successfully.

This is not likely to help Colin, but others here might find it useful for future reference. We are all individuals, and one size does not fit all.

ess
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3079363_tn?1363277315
Thanks all!

I too have gained 25 pounds in the past year- I now weigh more than I did 9 months pregnant!. I hate it. I have been a size 6 for all my adult life-but no more. I refuse to buy bigger jeans so I squish my butt into size 6 Levi's! LOL

Does Gabapentin also make you gain? I first started gaing with the steroid treatments.

The Dr started me on 75mg of Effexor then after a month, 150mg. It is extended release. I will definitely get that changed!

We are moving today so I probably won't be back on for a couple of days! I start my new job tomorrow. Please pray for a sharp mind, good memory, and more than enough energy to do my job and unpack at home.

Blessings,
Colin
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