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1072787 tn?1255728071

Are there other options to help me get over Effexor XR withdrawls.

I have just finished 4 years in the military and while serving I was diagnosed with depression, anxiety, and PTSD. I was first given Celexa for depression; when no effect came they took me off that and put me on Zoloft, which I started to feel more depressed on. A different doctor took me off that and put me on Effexor XR 225 mg/day. I was on that for the last year. I did not want to have to rely on medication for the rest of my life so I decided to wean myself off; certain aspects of my life have changed and I have learned how to get though and deal with things in my past.  I just tapered myself off of Effexor XR 2 days ago. I started about two weeks ago. Mon the 28th of SEP I lowered my dose to 150 mg/day for a week. A week later on Mon OCT 5th I lowered it again down to 75 mg/day. Now as of Mon OCT 12th I have been off of them. Now I am experiencing server dizziness, brain shocks, nauseous, and sometimes throwing up. I am so uncomfortable which makes me cry uncontrollably. I was wondering if I could take anything to help with the dizzy sick feeling, as I am in college now and it is making it hard to concentrate or even stay in classes. I did hear something about motion sickness pills but figured I would ask before trying. I also was told about Serotonin Syndrome and I don’t know what kind of differences there are between the withdrawal symptoms and the serotonin symptoms. Please help me, I have already went to great lengths to get help but I can’t get in anywhere for another two weeks. I have even thought of going to the hospital because it’s only been 2 days and I can’t stand it.
17 Responses
326352 tn?1310997895
Try a little SAM-e to see if that will help your symptoms.  When I stopped Effexor, I took Sam-e to help my symptoms.  You should have dropped to the 37.5 before stopping cold, though.  

Good luck to you.  Those withdrawals can be nasty.
Avatar universal
Hi there,

First thing I'd say is do not take any othe depression med, including Sam E in an attempt to avoid the side effects. Doesn't help and may hinder.

Those side effects are unavoidable for many and it's a matter of just going through it. What you describe shouldn't last more than about 2 weeks so there is little point making any long term appointments to deal with the side effects, withdrawal that is.

Best way to deal with it is to do as little as possible, sleep as much as possible and drink a lot of water. Don't eat too much, just basic food.

If you're trying to do college work you're in trouble as you won't learn a thing feeling like this.

Why did you not see the doc and organise an appropriate time to come off? I guess, like so many, you made the decision and didn't tell the doc, thus making yourself the expert on meds. Right? Now you see the results and it ain't pretty. In future, work with your doc, not against them.

As for now, I'd ask for time off and explain why. It is fairly common, depression and meds problems, these days and it can't hurt your reputation amongst the tutors or whatever their title is. Don't wait, do it. That way theycan specify what needs to be caught upt for you and you can be confident they are not just thinking you can't do the work while you are suffering. Understand? Be upfront.

As to why you decided to go off Effexor, why? You were on 225 mgs for a year. Effexor, for your collection of problems, should be prescribed much higher to get a decent effect for you. Psychiatrists are able to prescribe up to about 600 mgs if necessary and they know you well enough med wise. Basic docs can only do 225 so seeing such a doc on FX is a waste of time.

What will you do next? Will you actually trust your doc and cooperate or will you just make whatever decision whenever it seems right to you?

I can tell you hospitals will not be very sympathetic to withdrawal symptoms especially if your doc doesn't know a thing. They do not like self inflicted problems.

Your real problem, as this one will pass, is what you do long term about your illness. You must find a psychiatrist you can work with and after a period of meds to raise your mood, therapy. Talk therapy. Meds don't cure anything, they just hide the symptoms for a while. Talk is the way out.
Avatar universal
Hot Baths and Xanax helped me. Didn't eliminate it, but it helped.
1072787 tn?1255728071
First off i can't afford to be on this medication and two i cant even afford to vist a doctor. But i have talked to the college counceler and have disscused all my options. I dont want to rely on Medication for the rest of my life, I want to be normal. Plus whenever I would run out of the medication, due to not being able to afford a doctors appointment, I go through the withdrawl symtoms anyhow. I just dont want to deal with that anymore. I have already been through 5 different doctors because I have had to move around due to the military. I have also been through extencive therapy already and I am ready to move on.
165308 tn?1323190145
I commend you for trying so hard to live without medication....It would have been better to do it under a doctor's care, but we do what we have to do.

I think that whodunnit came down really hard on you.  It just wasn't necessary at all.  I am not an expert, but the withdrawals will last for a while.  I am just hoping that the symptoms you had before medication will also have subsided.  

A friend of mine has taken SAM-e and felt it helped her a bit.  However you cannot go by one person's opinion.

In a perfect world we could eat healthy, sleep as much as possible and do as little as possible, and take a leave of absence...I guess that is where Whodunnit lives...but for us in the real world, you will have to try your best to get through your schoolwork  to reach the place you want to be.  Take it easy on yourself....cry if you have to, feel what you need to feel.....I wish you the best.
1072787 tn?1255728071
To Suzi-q: Thank you for that. Its nice to see some people have REALISTIC options for me.

TO Whodunnit: I maybe still young but im not stupid. I have delt with medication and doctors long enough to know whats gonna happen to me and how to come off medication, but I didnt say I was an expert on meds! I also can not take time off, it takes too long to catch up and im in school for Veterinary Medicine (very competative). Plus im in 1 of 7 work colleges in the US so I also cant take time off of work. It would be impossible to make up the hours.

What happened to me happened when I was 5 years old and I had held it inside me till I was 18 years old. I have delt with doctors and meds for the last 4 years and Im ready to move on its not worth being on meds for the rest of my life. Now at 22 years old, nobody can do anything about what happened long ago because to much time has passed and it wasnt my falt so its time for me to move on.

Thanks again suzi-q
1070971 tn?1299617710
I commend you for wanting to get off the depression meds. It is hard. I am going through Welbutrin withdrawals right now. I am on 9 days right now of vertigo, insomnia, anger, irritable, nausea...etc. I was told that withdrawals from most of this stuff can take 2-4 weeks. I just try to stay positive and hope that the next day I wake up is the day the vertigo goes away. Hang in there. It is hard but we can do this together! :0)
Avatar universal
I have been on Effexor for about 4 years now, and I was also interested in getting off of the meds...to see if I could be normal. Even if I don't take my dose by a certain time in the morning, I get the shock sensations and a severe headache. My doctor had deicded to lower me to the 37.5 and put me on Xanax, but to no avail. I was worse off. I decided to go back to the 75 mg and just stay on it, because I cannot deal with the anxiety I feel and the shock sensations. I hope whatever you try works for you!
Avatar universal
Hi again,

Sorry you can't afford the right treatment. That's something that your country is fighting about right now isn't it? Health care for all or just those with money. That is a terrible situation to be in and I feel for you.

You might have told the full story the first time Jess as the way you put it was you just made a decision, not that you could not afford to continue. That puts a whole new slant on things and you, Susie, should be ashamed to attack me for responding directly to what was written. You've offered no advice, just warm fuzzies which help no one. Sam E? give me a break. Waste of money.

So what are you going to do Jess? I too suffered from very young and I'm now 58, I've had it for 48 years and have been through a thing or two so I do know what I'm saying.

If you can just stop meds and decide to "move on" then you'll be the first to just decide not to suffer any more. You do need a plan mate, to deal with the dreadful list of problems you mentioned.

How are you going to deal with it? I'd suggest reading is your most likely avenue of help in liue of docs and meds. Cognitive therapy Behaviour self help books are the best but do take a long time to get through especially if you don't have a therapist.

Jess, nobody said you were stupid. Nobody is ready for the withdrawal effects of FX and it is unlike any other med. It's a horror show for some and you could not have been ready for it as no one is.

My point was that if you are seeing a doc and taking meds you need to coordinate any changes in plans with that doctor. Except you didn't mention you wouldn't be seeing one again. Just left us to guess, right?

Those of you who commend Jess on getting off meds make a mistake. As you now see he didn't have a choice, he had to. Would you commend someone with other life long diseases on stopping their meds too?

Nobody on depression meds wants to take them, they are quite horrible often and help little. But the alternative for many is suicide. I'm one such and I choose meds and life.

By all means try and stop meds, I do regularly but can't survive. See how you go before you commend doing it to someone whose country owes him much more than he's getting right now.

Apologies for any offence Jess, lack of information does make a huge difference to how a post is analysed you know. Best of luck for the future and try not to be too bitter, although you could be wholly justified in doing so.

165308 tn?1323190145
YOU should be ashamed of yourself....you are very negative and critical.  I did not just offer warm fuzzies...I told Jess that being under a doctor's care was the ideal circumstance, however, since we do not live in a "utopia" on this side of the ocean, that she has to do what she needs to do.  It will be hard for her, but she can do it and seems determined to do so.  You do offer some sound advice, but it is so lost in your condescending attitude that it will be lost.

Also, on another note, there are many faults in our health care system, however, compared to every other country on our planet Earth, we still have the best health care system in the world.  That is why everyone who can afford it, comes to America to get the best healthcare that there is.
Avatar universal
Oh dear Suzi,

A Republican! Sorry but it's actually one of the worst health systems in the world. By far. We have universal cover here and it's paid for with a 1.75% tax on income. Had it for decades now. Watch the movie "Sicko". Oh, you can't!! Moore's a leftie, right?

Yours covers only the rich. It covers many for a while then drops them.

Open your eyes and look around Suz, you're not seeing properly. But keep watching Fox.

No Suz, you told Jess that Sam E was an option as someone told it it was fine. Forgot that have you?

As for being negative. Are you aware this is a depression forum by any chance? Negativity seeps from every post, including yours. I tell people the truth and do not mince words. You think that's negative, that's your problem. Most do not see it that way.

Bye now.
326352 tn?1310997895
I personally think that we have one of the BEST health care systems.  I am not in the "rich" classification, my parents were military so I grew up going to military bases for my health care, which I will agree is better than it was in the 70s, but I was SO GLAD when my mom got BC/BS through her work place.  I have spoken with other women in other countries and my cancer plan and treatment is by FAR more accessible than theirs.  I have choices, they (in most cases) do not.

I'm an advocate of sam-e because it DID help me get off the Effexor.  Dare I say that I now take 5HTP and Black Cohosh to do the job of Effexor because this time effexor took my blood pressure through the roof?  Happens to be doc approved since I tend to see one about every 3 months still, but there are some cases where these OTCs can be useful.  Were it not for someone else on MedHelp mentioning sam-e for Effexor withdrawals I would never have found that assistance.  Effexor is a nasty drug and although it can help some, it helped me WAY too much.

The purpose of these forums is to post advice that has helped.  Not all advice given works for everyone, but everyone should be able to state what has helped them in the past without getting lambasted by others.  You don't like their advice, then by all means you don't have to take it, but don't publically shun someone's advice just because you don't like it.

And to Jess, seriously, good luck to you.  College is hard enough without the rest of life's **** getting in the way.  I hope you get better from the withdrawals and can find some help in whatever form that may take.
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