Update on Effexor Withdrawal symptoms

Discussion in 'Fibromyalgia Main Forum' started by pastorwife, Feb 14, 2006.

  1. pastorwife

    pastorwife Member

    For all of you who read/responded to my post in January: "Need help/advice - Effexor withdrawal symptoms?" here's the latest update.

    I made it through the week of decreasing from 150mg to 75mg with extreme nausea, diahrea, headaches, dizziness.

    The next week on 37.5 each day was the same.

    Then last week was 37.5 every other day. Again, as with 150mg the days I didn't take it made me throw up and increased the other symptoms. I then tried taking out about 1/2 the granules and taking it everyday. That didn't work.

    I finally called the doc on Sat. (2/11) and she was familiar with nausea being a withdrawal symptom. But, she thinks the diahrea might be that my lithium is at toxic levels even though I'm not even on the maximum dose of it. I am scheduled for bloodwork on Thurs. (2/16) for lithium levels, CBC, and electrolytes.

    I am also back on 37.5 daily. And, as suggested by someone in my original post, I am taking Benadryl daily. It has really helped with the nausea. Thanks for that suggestion.

    On 2/11 during the phone call, the doc originally wanted me to increase to 150 everyday. I was so close to tears. She called back about 1 hour later with some lab results and she changed her mind to do the 37.5 daily. I'll be *%#^* if I'm going to go through 4 weeks of symptoms and then go back to square one. I was glad when she told me the change in plans as it was what I planned on trying anyways.

    One more venting if you'll bear with me. I haven't been in church for over a month because of this and NO ONE (except for fellow choir members) has noticed or asked my husband where I am....AND he's the pastor!! I hear so many complaints that my husband doesn't visit people enough and yet none of them bothered to ask if I was away or sick or whatever. When I'm there, sit up front with the choir facing everyone.

    Thank you for all of the support you have provided me during this time. Maybe I'll be able to be away from a bathroom long enough to enjoy a walk outside soon.
  2. bettydroop

    bettydroop New Member

    So are you on 37.5 mgs right now?? Can you decrease any slower than you have been going? I dont know if you have a paticular reason why you need to go off soon, does your dr want you to go at this pace? Im not saying it extremely fast, I just think if you have the time... then go slower than this. If she doesnt want you to- its not her thats going thru what you are oging thru. The lit that they git will say that the patient "might" have some slight discomfort while tapering down blah blah blah.... so they have NO clue! There STILL the belief out there that anti d's DONT EVEN have withdrawl effects!! HUH?? Well we all know diff now dont we!!

    You should be very proud of yourself, making it for the month and if my Dr wanted me to go back up and I didnt want to? I wouldnt. Work so hard to get there and then its all wasted.

    About the church thing? It is so SAD to thing that no one cares, and they didnt ask how you were? Even if you pastor husband couldnt get to see all the people that were not doing so well, even if true, then waht does that matter. Is this a contest or since you didnt -then I wouldnt thing? This probably isnt the way you would want your church friends / community to be.

    We CARE!! We are always here, type down your feelings and there will be someone to help and care for you .
    You have friends here.

  3. TXFMmom

    TXFMmom New Member

    I am going to attempt to switch to Cymbalta from Effexor and I know it is not going to be a picnic.

    I have been on the XR, and to get off, I plan to go to the non timed release stuff, and to gradually come up on the Cymbalta at the same time.
  4. Roseblossom

    Roseblossom Member

    I am amazed you are still on your feet going from 150mg to 75mg... then after only a week on 75mg you went down even further? Whew! You're made of tougher stuff than me! :)

    It took me at least a month to feel close to normal when I went from 150mg to 75mg - it felt like a month of the worst Chronic Fatigue Syndrome flare ever. After that ordeal I have to rest a bit before I attempt to go down further.

    I salute you for your courage & stamina - and thanks for the update.

    I'm sorry to hear about the silence on the part of your fellow churchgoers - but remember that sometimes people don't voice their concerns even though they are thinking of you; and also lots of folks don't want to seem nosy.

    I'll bet they surely have noticed your absence, and are wishing you the best.

    As we are!


  5. dancingstar

    dancingstar New Member

    Hi Pastorwife,

    I know exactly how you feel! You could be me, honest! First, let me tell you that I had diarrhea for 16 months. It went away when I took the FFC's supplement for stomach issues. I thought I had colitis. IT IS FROM THE WITHDRAWAL.

    Second, I think you need a more compassionate doctor, but that's just my personal opinion. I'm not even sure that the things that one takes lithium for are compatible with the things that one takes Effexor for. For example, you are not supposed to take Effexor if you are bipolar, but I know that some people that are bipolar are taking lithium. But that's another issue entirely.

    Third, I remember feeling exactly like you do now about my friends and family...or lack thereof. My heart goes out to you. The depression that kicks in as you are trying to quit taking that crap is so huge that you can barely cope. At week three -- albeit I quit from 150 mg cold turkey -- I was so sick and in so much pain I thought I was surely going to die. I even had to give up what I thought was one of my very best friends on earth. You really learn who you can count on through this ordeal.

    You will make it, hon, I promise! Your body is telling you to go more slowly than you are, though, and it would be easier if you could cut back a little more gradually. Don't take more...just go slow. I'm okay now, and you will be, too. I promise. It is a hard road, this quitting thing, maybe the hardest thing you will ever do. For some reason some of us have a difficult time with this drug, and I wish that they were more honest about the fact that this could happen before handing it out like candy, but what's done is done. Now we need to get you well.

    Try to remember that the people around you really do love you. Don't lash out too much. Think before you act. You don't know it, but it's the lack of balance in your body that is causing you to feel so strongly. Tell your husband that you love him beyond all reason and that you are feeling horrible and don't understand what is going on with your body and to not take you too seriously no matter what you say or do over the next several months; to remember that you love him dearly; that you don't mean one single mean or horrid thing you say and that you will make it all up to him next year. Do it, please, promise me. :)


  6. pastorwife

    pastorwife Member

    I greatly appreciate your responses. They are encouraging and helpful.

    Dancingstar: you said if someone is bipolar, then they shouldn't take Effexor. Well, guess why I'm on lithium - Bipolar type II! The doc who put me on Effexor is no longer my doc (my choice back in Jan).

    I'm figuring the tests will come back normal, as they usually do. I believe it's just the withdrawal but I'll wait and see what they show.

    I was feeling more like myself this morning. Good enough to mop the kitchen floor which I haven't done in years! I took it easy and now the house smells so nice!

    I started to get nauseous and dizzy later on so I took a Benadryl and feel so much better. That seems to be keeping the nausea within a reasonable level.

    I don't plan on decreasing the dose again until all these symptoms are gone. I was thinking that would be a week or 2, but I will accept the challenge for as long as it takes (months, year?). I keep reminding myself that I'm down from 150 and I'm able to eat what I want without getting sicker. The list of foods I want to eat is very short, but at least it's more in line with real meals than just liquids.

    Thanks for your support.
  7. Roseblossom

    Roseblossom Member

    I'm glad you're feeling better today. Getting a clean & nicely-scented environment feels so good, doesn't it - well done!

    Enjoy the relief of feeling better.


  8. mahx

    mahx New Member

    ....is extremely hard. I posted in your original post about Benadryl..glad to know it helped some. Was wondering if it would...as it was suggested to me ...after the fact. Since you have had to miss church..i bet your feeling out of sorts anyways, plus the withdrawal symtoms...
    So sorry you are going thru a rough spell...just remember things will get better. You are in my prayers.

    If you feel like it, the chat room has a bunch of great people. Has been a tremendous support system for me.....esp when those around me have not. It seems they are either flooding me with the "how are you's".....or ignoring me altogether. Take Care HON!

  9. Jeanne-in-Canada

    Jeanne-in-Canada New Member

    Not sure why you were going so fast. maybe the drug's side effects were worse? That could be the only reason to warrant putting yourself thru that.

    I'm weaning off Wellbutrin, and I have to go way slow. I can only lower 50 mgs at a time, just because it only comes in 2 doses and the leap is a wallop every time. My only real symptom is fatigue though. Needing to rest and sleep in and hard to stay alert type fatigue for a hardcore few weeks until my body adjusts, but I give myself at least a good mth or more between.

  10. fivesue

    fivesue New Member

    Boy, I'm not looking forward to this! I know what decreasing this medication does to a person. I went from 300 a day to 150 and thought I'd die. Went back to 300, but this April, I'm going to try to go off WITH my doctor's help.

    I've been reading about withdrawal and it seems like you went off very quickly. I'm going to do it far more slowly.

    However, I was reading somewhere on this subject and the article suggested that when you get down to 37.5 and want to get off completely, adding a small dose of Prozac will help. I know that I did well on Prozac so I'm going to mention this to the doc....Maybe this might help you.

    I know what you mean about churches;yours is an unbelievable example. The place where you have your closest friends...you think until something breaks up your life. Been through all of this. Glad God didn't ask us to trust people...only He is completely trustworthy.

    Hope you are better soon!

  11. lilaclover30

    lilaclover30 New Member

    I am still on effexor and don/t plan to go off if I can help it.

    As far as the church, I found out that no one in the choir cares one way or another. Last wed. i was about sick at my stomach with pain all over, especially my back. there was no way to sit in those dumb chairs. I know how you feel. Thesse are the people that you expect to care for youi but--------

    Many don't like to face others with illness, especially if they can't visually see it in any way. I limp in pain buit------

    jGentle Hugs to you

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