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Hello everyone, 

I've been on effexor for the past 3.5 years. My highest dose was 150 mg. I was feeling fairly well throughout most of this time and decided to give getting off the med a shot. I started reducing in September and took my final pill (half of 37.5mg) on the last day of December. I began to be plagued with all the typical physical withdrawal symptoms (nausea, headaches, brain zaps, vertigo, etc.). The week after that (second week of January) the physical symptoms subsided quite a bit but the depression and anxiety came very, very strongly! I started also having quite strong panic attacks and had a hard time functioning (eating, sleeping, going to work). It was hell on earth. 

I decided that perhaps this was not the right time for me to be coming off the meds and decided to reinstate. I started with 37.5mg,but the awful mood continued. I then did two weeks on 75mg, and then the month on 150mg but I still could not stop the crying, the lack of appetite, and depressed/anxious mood. I went to my GP and she advised that we go up to 225mg. I have been on the last dose for about 3 weeks now but still no change in mood (except that I at times have moments where I feel very numb or just strong feelings of dysthymia). 

I wanted to ask if any of you have any suggestions on what to do next?

Should I try another med? Should I keep on waiting? Is it normal for it to take this long to get back to my normal self after withdrawing and reinstating?

Thank you all. 

 

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Hi Natalie and welcome to the Forums!  Its nice to meet you!

I hope you will get a lot of helpful responses to your post regarding the Effexor.  Since I have no personal experience with that particular medication, I cannot really offer anything helpful.   I am so sorry that all this is happening to you.  It is really heartbreaking.  Hopefully you will find some relief very very soon!!!  - epictetus

 

Edited by Epictetus
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Perhaps you should speak to a psychiatrist--someone who can prescribe and who is maybe more familiar with how these meds work, than your GP.

When I started seeing a psychiatrist (p-doc for short), I learned more about the meds--stuff my GP never told me, or didn't know to tell me.

I have a family member on venlafaxine 150 mg/day, but he also takes a small dose of sertraline twice a day. This has been his protocol for only a few months, but he's stable right now. It seems to be working for him.

I wish you all the best as you search for answers. Things will get better for you!

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It can take 4-6 weeks to see a full effect and 150mg is a smaller dose. You still still have not maxed out so an increase is possible. Don't give up yet though. They may be able to augment it with another drug as well, but starting over from square one is difficult. I made this mistake with Cymbalta and it was awful. I was recently given the same increase and I am still in transiton too.

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  • 10 months later...

In my experience, trying to go back to an AD that worked in the past doesn't seem to be effective the second time around. I lost Zoloft years ago by doing this. I tried going off of Lexapro a few months ago to see if I could cope and now anxiety back full force. I am struggling so bad and want to go back on Lexapro to get relief but not sure it will help again. Have you found anything to help since you last posted?

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  • 2 months later...
On 4/12/2018 at 3:06 AM, Natalie1608 said:

Hello everyone, 

I've been on effexor for the past 3.5 years. My highest dose was 150 mg. I was feeling fairly well throughout most of this time and decided to give getting off the med a shot. I started reducing in September and took my final pill (half of 37.5mg) on the last day of December. I began to be plagued with all the typical physical withdrawal symptoms (nausea, headaches, brain zaps, vertigo, etc.). The week after that (second week of January) the physical symptoms subsided quite a bit but the depression and anxiety came very, very strongly! I started also having quite strong panic attacks and had a hard time functioning (eating, sleeping, going to work). It was hell on earth. 

I decided that perhaps this was not the right time for me to be coming off the meds and decided to reinstate. I started with 37.5mg,but the awful mood continued. I then did two weeks on 75mg, and then the month on 150mg but I still could not stop the crying, the lack of appetite, and depressed/anxious mood. I went to my GP and she advised that we go up to 225mg. I have been on the last dose for about 3 weeks now but still no change in mood (except that I at times have moments where I feel very numb or just strong feelings of dysthymia). 

I wanted to ask if any of you have any suggestions on what to do next?

Should I try another med? Should I keep on waiting? Is it normal for it to take this long to get back to my normal self after withdrawing and reinstating?

Thank you all. 

 

Hi stormyweather! I'm pleased to meet you!

I do have quite a lot of experience with this particular drug, because it's the only SNRI about which I can speak positively, and I can speak very positively about the antidepressant properties. (It's the only one that didn't make me violently ill, too, so that's positive.)

I agree that when this drug is going well, it goes really well. However, when it's bad, it's terrible, and that is where the withdrawal comes in. Usually, with SNRIs, I have nothing but misery and then a terrible withdrawal. This one is hard in a different way, because you come out of feeling better to a terrible withdrawal, and then it doesn't work when you go back on. (I've had this problem too.)

An increase in depression and anxiety for some time after stopping is very normal, and happened for me. (I've been on it then had to wean off twice, and while I felt it was worth it for the sake of the treatment period, I know that the ensuing months were very difficult, and not everybody would feel it was worth it.) It's possible that you need to be completely off it and back to standard functioning now before you can reinstate it successfully. Antidepressants are slippery little things, with often unpredictable effects, and I would really advise you get help from a professional to give you the best chance of getting off them or getting back on them; whichever works best for you.

What I usually think about is: I consider what parts of the medication were most helpful, and if I can't get it out of that medication for some reason, I try to work out, with my doctor, how we can replicate it. In my case, I have successfully stopped this medication and started it in the future, but it was with the help of a highly qualified professional.

I can't tell you what the best route is, because I am not qualified and I am not living your experience, but I hope this reply can give you something to mull over while you consider your next decision. I hope you find success!

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  • 1 year later...
On 4/11/2018 at 6:06 PM, Natalie1608 said:

Hello everyone, 

I've been on effexor for the past 3.5 years. My highest dose was 150 mg. I was feeling fairly well throughout most of this time and decided to give getting off the med a shot. I started reducing in September and took my final pill (half of 37.5mg) on the last day of December. I began to be plagued with all the typical physical withdrawal symptoms (nausea, headaches, brain zaps, vertigo, etc.). The week after that (second week of January) the physical symptoms subsided quite a bit but the depression and anxiety came very, very strongly! I started also having quite strong panic attacks and had a hard time functioning (eating, sleeping, going to work). It was hell on earth. 

I decided that perhaps this was not the right time for me to be coming off the meds and decided to reinstate. I started with 37.5mg,but the awful mood continued. I then did two weeks on 75mg, and then the month on 150mg but I still could not stop the crying, the lack of appetite, and depressed/anxious mood. I went to my GP and she advised that we go up to 225mg. I have been on the last dose for about 3 weeks now but still no change in mood (except that I at times have moments where I feel very numb or just strong feelings of dysthymia). 

I wanted to ask if any of you have any suggestions on what to do next?

Should I try another med? Should I keep on waiting? Is it normal for it to take this long to get back to my normal self after withdrawing and reinstating?

Thank you all. 

 

I have had experience with mental health medication, i withdrawal for 9 months but the symptoms came back. I stuck to the same medication and i am currently taking a lower dosage. Its hard to say how long it takes for it to work as everyone is different. The body needs to get used to the medication. If nothing happens for 4 weeks then you need to evaluate what your taking. 

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On 4/11/2018 at 6:06 PM, Natalie1608 said:

Hello everyone, 

I've been on effexor for the past 3.5 years. My highest dose was 150 mg. I was feeling fairly well throughout most of this time and decided to give getting off the med a shot. I started reducing in September and took my final pill (half of 37.5mg) on the last day of December. I began to be plagued with all the typical physical withdrawal symptoms (nausea, headaches, brain zaps, vertigo, etc.). The week after that (second week of January) the physical symptoms subsided quite a bit but the depression and anxiety came very, very strongly! I started also having quite strong panic attacks and had a hard time functioning (eating, sleeping, going to work). It was hell on earth. 

I decided that perhaps this was not the right time for me to be coming off the meds and decided to reinstate. I started with 37.5mg,but the awful mood continued. I then did two weeks on 75mg, and then the month on 150mg but I still could not stop the crying, the lack of appetite, and depressed/anxious mood. I went to my GP and she advised that we go up to 225mg. I have been on the last dose for about 3 weeks now but still no change in mood (except that I at times have moments where I feel very numb or just strong feelings of dysthymia). 

I wanted to ask if any of you have any suggestions on what to do next?

Should I try another med? Should I keep on waiting? Is it normal for it to take this long to get back to my normal self after withdrawing and reinstating?

Thank you all. 

 

Withdrawing and then reinstating the drug has side effects to it. I think you should try a lower dosage and then over time work your way off it. 

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