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Effexor withdrawal?

I have Bipolar and have been recently taking Lithium Carbonate, Effexor XR, Geodon, and
Klonopin. My psychatrist has been lowering my Effexor dose over the last few months. And I have been having issues with some dizziness with each decrease in dose. A little over  two weeks ago, I took my last Effexor dose. Since then I've been having problems with severe vertigo, nausea, and "brain zaps." My psychiatrist says it can't be the Effexor, although the timing fits, since she says Effexor withdrawal doesn't generally result in dizziness.

I have had to go to the ER twice because of the inability to keep anything down. I've had a CAT scan, MRI, and blood work (esp. to check my lithium level), and all have come back normal. The ER docs suggested a neurologist appointment, but I can't get in to see one for over 2 more weeks. I am miserable, and not sure a neurologist can even help. If it is Effexor withdrawal, what could a neurologist do about it? And if the psychatrist is right, what else could it be?
4 Responses
Avatar universal
It does seem that withdrawing from Effexor could be related.  
Usually, side effects including increased depression and crying.  
Since your tests all came back normal , I think you can safely wait until the scheduled neurology visit.  Let your shrink know if your condition worsens.

I heard a joke;  That Effexor's real name should be "SIDE EFFECTS-or"
Avatar universal
Dear lord your psychiatrist should be put in prison.  Have you googled Effexor withdrawl? Joseph Glenmullen, a very respected Harvard psychiatrist, wrote a book called Prozac backlash.  It details the horrific withdrawals of anti-depressants and nothing is worse than Effexor.  How much were you taking?  Get back on on least 37.5 and you will get some immediate relief.  Then buy yourself two things.  One, shelled hemp seed (you can get on Amazon.com or your local health food store) and two, Nac, ( (N-Acetyl-Cysteine)  Don'[t suffer!!! Get back on a small dose now!! Get a new doctor if you can.  At this time for a Effexor withdrawal is so well known that it is criminal your doctor doesn't know about it.  You will need the above mentioned things to help you withdrawal.  So very sorry you are going though this hell.  So many have suffered at the mercy of Effexor.
Avatar universal
Oh boy! I just started Effexor on December 7, and after 7 days the Dr. wants me to raise it to 2 a day. I hope I dont go through what StupieLoves is going through! I have been there and done that and those brain zaps are nothing nice! I took hhtp-5 but you can not take this if your on any other depressants research it though and maybe you can mention it to your doctor. But they do have bands that you can buy at Walgreens that you can put on your wrist for the vertigo and motion sickness. They bands really worked for me with the vertigo and dizziness alone with the motion sickness. Oh you find them in the motion sickness section of the store hope this helps you!

Good Luck
Avatar universal
Hi there. Effexor withdrawal  can present with these symptoms like agitation, balance and coordination impairment, dizziness, fatigue, vertigo, nausea etc. sensory disturbances associated with withdrawal range from tinnitus to shock like electrical sensations called as brain zaps.
Consult your neurologist for advice regarding resumption of treatment with the previously prescribed  dose or following a more gradual decrease in the dosage. You may get some relief by addition of fluoxetine prescription by your doctor.
Take care.
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