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Effexor for Anxiety

Hello,  I am currently taking 150mg of effexor but ran out 5 days ago.

I really have a serious problem with doctors giving people effexor.   I have had anxiety attacks the past few years and was put on effexor for them.  I can honestly say that I would rather have anxiety attacks any day then have to go through the withdrawal symptoms associated with effexor.  I have been on many medications and have never ever had to do deal with such withdrawal symptoms as effexor.. I think it is discusting how doctors just put you on these medications without telling you what the withdrawal is like.  And then when you run out and make an appointment and they cant get you in for a week they wont even call you in 7 pills to get you through til your next appointment.  Doctors are so money hungry that they honestly do not care about our health!!!   I have been on effexor for a few years and got laid off and lost my insurance, I am on unemployment so cant get medicaid or hudson health and the cost of medical insurance is so high that I cannot afford it, so what is a person to do when they run out of pills and are so sick from the withdrawal that they cant even get off the couch and are outraged that no one wants to be near them.  I am a maid of honor in my friends wedding that is tomorrow, how am I going to fufill that role when I am so sick from not having effexor!?  It is a sad world that we live in, that a decent US citizen who has worked her entire life and always paid her bills cant even get any medical insurance because she doesnt have 15 kids and live in a **** hole!  I had cancer and couldnt get any help then either, but I know plenty of people who continue to have unwanted pregnancies and get medicaid or hudson health just because they are pregnant- Great world that we live in.
6 Responses
Avatar universal
Your withdrawal is so bad because you stopped taking it abruptly.  You need to slowly wean off these medications.  I have never had a problem getting my doctor to call in a few days worth until I could see him, because they know you cannot abruptly stop taking it. I guess they are all different in that respect.  I don't have an answer other than maybe a local clinic, but that takes time.  I understand exactly what you mean about fair treatment in our country.  The Welfare system is so corrupt, people making welfare a career, when it was developed for people like you. Oh, don't get me started on this.  I'm so sorry I have no answer for you, and though I understand what you are enduring, I don't know how to help you.  Maybe the best thing would be to see if a family member can help you with seeing the doctor and getting another script for your medication.  I know sometimes if they haven't seen you for awhile, they won't automatically refill your medication.  But this is obviously something you need, so see if you can get a relative or friend to help with the cost, and then look for a clinic.  Also, always ask your doctor if they have samples, they usually do, and this will save you some money.  I don't know what to tell you about the wedding.  So many of us are without insurance it scares me to think of what this world is coming to.  I'm so sorry.  Take care..
Avatar universal
Well thank you for responding to me, I know that I am feeling like this because I havent had my medication in a few days, and there is nothing I can do my doctor is a ******* and wont call me in enough to last me a few days.  I have seen many doctors and they all do the same thing, they have no idea what people like me go through when we arent on our medication and they do not care because all the want is our money.  I have no problem paying for my meds or for the appointment it is just that no one can get me in for over a week!  Also unfortunately where I live there are no clinics, I even tried to the emergency room, no one cares because no one knows what it is like.  No one can relate to me.  I would love to see these doctors try this medication for 3 months and then stop it for 3 days, I think then they would think differently about giving us enough medication to hold us over til our appointments, until then I am sitting here unable to function.  I am having brain zaps which is common with effexor you can actually google it, when I walk I feel like the earth is moving beneath me and I have to grab onto something. My lips and hands are tingling and I told this all to my doctor all 13 times that I called there today and they dont care.
Avatar universal
I think you need to find a new doctor!  I know of no doctor who will not give you enough medication to last until your next appt.  Also, it's always good to stay one step ahead by keeping an eye on your medication and make sure your appt. is before you run out of medication.  Doctors are very much aware of how bad withdrawal can be, and they do bare the responsibility of making sure if you are going to go off of it, they will tell you how to do it correctly so that you don't endure the bad withdrawal.  Psychiatrists are well aware of the ramifications of abruptly stopping these neds, and if they scheduled your appt, too far out then they can refer to your chart and see this and will call in enough pills to last until that day.  I apologize for suggesting you borrow money, I had the impression things were very tight for you.  Hopefully, somebody else will have some ideas as to what you can do.  But if I were you, I'd make darn sure you don't run out of meds again before you see the doctor, this should never happen.
Avatar universal
Hello Rebecca  I feel your pain.  I had terrible withdrawls from Effexor XR, even doing it a little at time. When I finally was med free, my SADD hit me like a ton of bricks. I can tell you that most doctors offices have samples galore of all the antidepressants. If you can get into your primary care doc or a walk in clinic, I would think they would give you some samples. Also, please be aware that the drug in Effexor-venlafaxine (sp?) is available as a generic so MUCH cheaper, probably could get it from Walmart's $5 for 90 days worth. The generic is NOT an extended release pill, so be sure not to run out if you go this route.  The XR stays in your system longer, so the withdrawl symptoms would probably be much worse with the generic form.  I was recently prescribed Lexipro, but at $70/month even with insurance, I have to switch to Celexa generic, which is a close version, and much cheaper.

Yes our healthcare system & our health insurance programs are meant for the rich or the indigent.  I am on an HMO, and have called no less than  10 therapists on my insurance network list, and none have even returned my calls.  I have had some pretty dark thoughts during this time, since the Lexipro either hasn't kicked in, or is just not working-it's a shame that professionals who are supposed to want to help others do not even return phone calls from new patients.

I hope you are able to get what you need. Talk to people here online, many are here to support you.
Avatar universal
Many psychiatrists still don't believe in withdrawal, but it's hard to believe your psychiatrist doesn't have an emergency line for this purpose or a prescription refill line.  If you've been refilling your prescription regularly at the same pharmacy sometimes they'll give you a few pills to tide you over if they can't contact your psychiatrist -- I've done that before.  If it's real bad, you can go to an ER and they'll probably give you some.  In our health care system, it's the ER where you go when you have no money, unfortunately, but if you have a health plan it should include ER care as long as you preapprove.  Good luck.
Avatar universal
The reason these people aren't calling back is probably because they don't actually take your health insurance anymore even though they're listed on your health plan website.  When it comes to mental health, most practitioners don't stay with health insurance of any kind very long; as soon as they can find their own clients they do so to avoid the restrictions health plans put on them and to earn more money.
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