11 posts in this topic
Hi. I'm sorry this is long. My question is at the end...
I just switched from Strattera (non-stimulant ADHD medication) & 175 mg Effexor XR to 100 mg Pristiq.
(Why? My new psychiatrist thought that Pristiq would reduce the Effexor side-effects (reduced libido, weight gain) and improve my mood. Effexor had initially improved my mood. After 5 months, I didn't think that the Strattera was doing anything for me; psychiatrist plans to add new ADHD medication in April after the transition from Effexor to Pristine.)
I'd experienced Effexor withdrawal effects in the past, after 1-2 missed doses, but the doctor didn't think that the Effexor withdrawal would be a big deal now because Pristiq is so similar.
As prescribed, the first week I went down to 75 mg Effexor XR and started 50 mg Pristiq.
The first few days were ok (no brain zaps). Mild headache. Relief that I didn't feel worse.
Day 4 I noticed that I was extremely anxious, scatter-brained, impulsive, and emotional. I don't know how much was a horrible PTA meeting i attended, and how much my symptoms made the meeting worse (I mean, SOMEONE had to tell the school principal that she was way out of line, or at least, I did...). I also had PMS; and I'm 45. That's a bad combo.
Day 5 I was terribly down.
Day 6 I had a unprecedented severe headache. Shut the curtains and stayed under the covers with ice. The headache became milder that evening.
I've continued to have headaches ever since, ranging from mild to painful.
Day 8 I stopped taking any Effexor and increased the Pristiq to 100 mg as prescribed.
This is day 11. I spent half the day in bed due to bad headache. Mood very low -- tearful. I took 2 Sudafed in case the headache was sinus-related. Did nothing. (Same amount of acetaminophen as 2 extra-strength tylenol.) This afternoon I ate breakfast and then had a coffee -- my headache suddenly settled with the coffee, but now my heart is pounding. Tired of my own negativity and symptoms. Tired of accomplishing nothing and feeling bad about it.
The headache has been very sensitive to light. Mostly stronger on one side than the other. Typically strongest behind one eye and running behind one ear. Sometimes in back at the base of my skull.
My questions are:
Is ongoing headache likely related to stopping Effexor (and Strattera), in which case it will hopefully eventually stop? Or is this a side-effect of the Pristiq? (Or maybe coincidence, but I don't know that I've ever had a headache for at least 6 days before. Maybe.)
Would one have Effexor withdrawal symptoms despite replacing it with Pristiq?
For those with Pristiq headache side-effect, has it gone away?
Do people experience Straterra withdrawal symptoms?
(PS I take 7 mg zopiclone for sleep each night.)
After at least 10 good years on venlafaxine XR, it is definitely not working for me anymore.
My psychopharmacologist seems to think that Brintellix is the next option for me, after trials on six different add-on medications. Even with that, he expresses some doubt that Brintellix will work for me. I asked why he's not looking at another SNRI (like Cymbalta) for me, but he said it doesn't make sense to go to a drug in the same class as venlafaxine.
I'm so confused. I mean, my history as well as some genetic testing shows that SSRIs won't be particularly helpful for me. Brintellix is basically just a jazzed up SSRI, right? Even though venlafaxine and Cymbalta are in the same class, my body could react differently to them, just like some people respond to some SSRIs and not to others.
Any thoughts on how I can make my case to my doctor?
Hi all !!
So I've been tapering off Quetiapine for a good while now, as my only bout of severe depression has been in remission since 2011, and am now on 87.5mg.
Four weeks ago, I believe I suffered a concussion/mild brain trauma from boxing, my cognitive functions have suffered significantly and I've had bad anxiety/depressive thoughts too - my pdoc is viweing this is a flare up of my past depression which needs resovling ASAP. So I was offered Paroxetine, then Venlafaxine, I really wanted Wellbutrin because it has the least reported sexual dysfunction issues and may help with mental sharpness. Pdoc wasn't sure, so in the end I've been prescribed Trazodone 150mg at night - along with the existing Quetiapine dose!
I woke up at 4am feeling like I was drowning / suffocating inside my own body and my mind was actually racing for a while before I zonked out back to sleep. I eventually came to around 8am feeling really groggy and struggled dizzily to the bathroom mirror - my eyes were a mess, I looked as if I had been on a huge night out on the town. I've not been able to think properly all day, there was no way I would have been able to function in work and in light of the fact that I believe I am already suffering cognitive impairment from the concussion, over sedation is the absolute last thing I need.
At one point I had a really bad migraine type headache, which I never get, so I managed to speak to Pdoc, who eventually suggested cutting the pills in half, then review the over-sedation issue Friday. My gut feel is Quetiapine combined with Trazodone is heavy duty.
If its still an issue, it looks Venlafaxine at 75mg/d, though he conceded to looking into the possibility of Wellbutrin too (largely subject to establishing any contra-indications with Quetiapine). All I know is I cant take any more Trazodone tonight and will start 75mg tomorrow evening to see how I get on - if I return to a state of non-complis mentis on Thursday, they are going in the bin. This basically leaves the pdocs preferred choice of Venlafaxine, or possibly the Wellbutrin;
Does anyone have any experience with Trazodone and Quetiapine combined? How about any opinions on Venlafaxine and sexual dysfunction? What experience do people have with Wellbutrin in terms of its anti-depressant / anxiety efficacy or mental lucidity and whether it impacted sleep?
I'm being treated for anxiety and borderline personality disorder.
I switched from Escitalopram to Effexor last October. I also take Lamotrigine and Seroquel (as a sleep aid).
Since I started Effexor I have had a significant increase in the overall quality of my mood. I felt happiness more often. My depression didn't get as dark. I felt suicidal less often. However, since starting Effexor I have had side-effects that I cannot stand and are getting worse. I have acne for the first time in my life, at 27. I gained 15 lbs and I cannot reduce it. I retain water like crazy, my hands and feet are always swollen. My anxiety has gotten worse and I am nervous about things I have never worried about before. I feel edgy and tense all the time. I feel very depersonalized and unable to relate to people. I don't feel the real desire to do things. I feel very flat, hollow, and apathetic about many things.
The worst side-effects are memory loss and an inability to concentrate. I constantly drop words, forget names, forget why I am at certain places, and so on. I used to have a very good memory, but now I cannot recall many experiences, or else I cannot get the dates straight, or the people. I cannot work or get anything done at all in just one day because I have no attention span. I cannot concentrate on one thing. I do activities during my day in spurts of about 20 minutes. Most things don't get done and eventually get forgotten. I am useless for anything productive.
~ ~ ~
I will be having a medication evaluation with a psychiatrist this week.
I will be talking to them about the mystery of why I am still on Lamotrigine when no one knows who put me on it or why, but I also want to stop Effexor and try something else.
The problem is that I have heard of Effexor being a very difficult drug to stop. I have only been on it for 8 months. However, I am also enrolled in mental health programs aimed to help me with my problems, which will require me to be stable enough to handle, as well as able to get out the door.
Is it worth it to stop Effexor and try something else, or should I try to stick it out longer until my programs are done?
I'm brand new and researching certain drugs in relation to a personal tragedy and checked out a few threads on this forum about adverse reactions and interactions. I am not a "troll" and not interested in drug wars. I am in search of answers, understanding, and knowledge in the event of a lawsuit. I hope you will carefully consider my (probably too lengthy) story for a forum seriously, especially if you are experiencing similar effects.
Actually, if I start with the backstory I'll end up tangenting too much to get the point out so let's get that out of the way first.
My former husband and son's father was an Iraq war vet who served 6 years with assorted combat medals and a pretty secure position. Prior to military, while a genuinely good guy with a wry wit and higher than usual intelligence, was still plagued with the most exasperating, homicidal rage inducing (for everyone else dealing with it) financial irresponsibility and poor impulse control. We had a child together long before we married because I couldn't respect anyone who can't grow up and take care of their responsibilities. Aside from our issues trying to corral his immaturity to be a proper parent, we never fought, argued or had any negative, abusive, dysfunctional relationship. We were close friends who saw the world the same way. My beef with him was his penchant for escapism and blowing money instead of focusing on security for his child's welfare.
Partly why he joined the military. We married after his enlistment and for the duration, life went well. No issues. He returned, his Army stint over with, but he returned more of a shell of who he was when he went in. Nothing problematic. In fact, he seemed more calm and soldier-esque, disciplined. And we had no further financial issues...until he reunited with his civilian buddies welcoming him back. I began to see him drinking a little more but never anything over the top.
Within a year of his return, however, we had an amicable separation that resulted in him having no "supervision" anymore - military or myself and left to his own devices, literally blew through our joint savings to overdrafting hundreds of dollars that continued for weeks until I finally convinced our bank to lock it down. He went AWOL in civilian life and later claimed he'd suddenly felt abandoned and alone, some was fear, some was anger, some was devastation, and some was spite.
We officially divorced and he was on the hook for support. I won by default, though we'd been in contact and were otherwise amicable again in spite of it. He knew he screwed up and copped to it. He relocated to the PNW and began or continued treatment at [edited specific locations] VAs. He seemed to be getting better, at least as far as employment goes. Got a killer job making a nice salary but couldn't manage his money and was constantly dropping the ball with financial support for his child. It resulted in us losing everything - literally, to homelessness. He was constantly gambling and robbing Peter AND Paul to pay child support.
Eventually I couldn't take it anymore, realized he'll always be irresponsible and can't be bothered to support his child or even participate in his life, in spite of his continued claims otherwise. So I opted to disconnect entirely and drop contact. Life was calm and pleasant for nearly a year.
In late April '14, I guess I felt sentimental and ended up calling him to check in, see how he was doing and the call seemed to resurrect things. He was doing better, claimed he was in treatment for PTSD, depression, talked to his shrink about us, our relationship, Iraq, and that he wasn't happy with the meds...they made him feel dull, indifferent, didn't feel anything at all. I suggested he stop taking them and he said it'd be better if he weened off and would probably speak to his doctors to lower the dosage since they weren't working. If he stopped cold turkey it could make things worse. He didn't want to shoot up a school. In the end, we'd opened dialogue about my son and I moving to where he was, trying a co-parenting arrangement, and potentially remarrying. Not out of romance (we weren't really there but were still close friends). We began making plans for the relocation and since he'd left us destitute being a "loser" he agreed to send more money to either get us there or to fly to us and we drive to the PNW together.
These plans were open from the end of April through the end of June.
Then he began dodging me and I figured something happened. He sent an email at the end of June finally admitting he went gambling and blew 2 grand trying to double it so we could get there sooner and have money for our son's birthday in August. When he lost it all he was ashamed and figured I'd be livid so he steered clear til he felt he could face me. I was and responded that it'll never stop...and if he just admits he really doesn't care for his child and doesn't want to be a parent, acknowledge it for real (instead of sabotage, escapism and absenteesim) then I'll let him off the hook, close the door and we'll go our separate ways. He refused and agreed to work it out...but wanted me to understand he was "just fucked up" and was trying to get it worked out.
In early August, our son turned 16. He never even called to wish him Happy Birthday, never sent him a gift, never did anything at all after getting him excited about moving up there. All along though, which I chalked up to too much Forensic Files, I had the worst uneasy vibe that Oregon is full of death, that we might end up victims of a murder suicide or something and inwardly was kind of relieved he screwed it up and we weren't going.
In late August, I learned he was dead.
As information began trickling in, I learned he'd taken his own life and as far as I was concerned, good riddance. He'd rather choose death than be a father, than choose his child - I had no sympathy and vowed to delete him entirely from my reality. This was the most selfish, unconscionable thing he's ever done. My son was disappointed and pissed, feeling that his father was broken and weak...it fit, really. I did file several of the standard claims on behalf of our son though and a little SSA payment began to arrive a few months later.
As angry as I was at him, I could not shake the reality that this was out of the blue. He's never been suicidal a day in his life, nor for as long as I knew him. And he didn't sound suicidal when we spoke or made plans. Even our son winced and said, "It doesn't seem like him to do that..." it wasn't him. I had to accept that PTSD played a role and I have no real idea what he'd experienced during and post military so it could be that he was and I just wasn't as close anymore and missed it.
Eventually I received the ME report and read over it...initially finding that he'd apparently tried to attempt it several times through 2014. First in mid April which was surprising because he'd been released April 22 within days of my contacting him and while he acknowledged "treatment" (though he'd been in treatment since 2011 at other VAMCs) he never mentioned attempted suicide.
After reading his several failed attempts and because the person I always knew was not suicidal "for real" I couldn't help wonder if it was a spinal tap of attempts to maybe show the VA he needed a higher disability rating or something and the last time, it actually worked. In a tragic comical way, he was pretending to be suicidal and then it actually accidentally worked. Or maybe he pissed someone off - someone in his life I had no knowledge of - and they drugged him and faked a suicide. It was so out of character I even wondered if a relative of his got fed up with being owed a ton of money due to his gambling debts they just put him out of their misery.
He just wasn't suicidal.
Yet the ME report described a very undeniably clear course of thought out behavior to end his life...and if he chose this option over us, his child, so be it. We were done.
We tried to move on best we could and it was more recently that I sat down and actually read the ME report more thoroughly and it suddenly illuminated the truth.
The ME report and description included details about the events of 2014 beginning with the first incident. He'd been feeling suicidal and voluntarily admitted himself in the VA for help. The VA let him stay until he "sobered up" basically, prescribed antidepressants and sent him home. On his way home he pulled over, ingested a bunch of prescription meds and endured a failed attempt. When he came to, he called 911 and later requested transport to the VA where he'd been treated for PTSD. This time he was admitted to the psych ward, detoxed, prescribed more drugs, diagnosed with alcohol induced mood disorder, told to stop drinking and sent on his way.
The next failed attempt was early August, 2 days after our son's birthday. [edited out by mod because details specific suicide details]. He drove himself back to the VA and admitted himself. He requested in patient treatment and it was denied. Instead, the VA prescribed new antidepressants, sent him to group therapy, and released him when he was no longer an immediate threat.
Within 4 days of his release, he drove to a rest stop and took his life[edited by mod due to specific means].
The thing I did not catch initially was that though he'd been prescribed sertraline (Zoloft) and told to continue it, they also added Zoloft (sertraline), Desyrel (trazodone), Vistaril (hydroxyzine), Lunesta (eszopiclone), and Baclofen, that he'd been taking for awhile, the only drug found in his system aside from [other thing used to die] had been Venlafaxine. There was nothing else but that.
After researching all of these medications, their combined interactions proved to ultimately lead an otherwise sound and clear minded person seeking help for PTSD down the road to suicide. Though he'd been financially irresponsible and escapist since we met, he was never *suicidal* until he began being treated by both [edited out names] VA med centers. They pumped him so full of antidepressants, several of which have clear warnings against being administered to anyone with a history of suicide thoughts or attempts that his entire ability for clear thinking and rational judgment was impaired. The side effects of feeling dull, indifferent, dead, no edge, confused, anxious, unable to sleep...were all things he described feeling.
He repeatedly told them these meds were not working. Instead of monitoring his intake, under supervision, they upped his dosage and added more to the list. The last one, venlafaxine has the FDA warning of intensifying and aggravating suicidal behavior.
I realized that he did not just opt out to be a selfish loser, same old same old.
He was a victim. The [mod edited out specific hospitals] VAMCs in Oregon killed him. Another casualty of incompetence, negligence, lies, and ineptitude and an overloading of drugs that should not only never have been combined but prescribed to begin with - all of them clearly carrying warnings they should not be given to those with suicidal depression.
He didn't OD.
He did not mix anything with beer.
He did not take uncharacteristic dosage.
PTSD didn't even play a part one way or another.
It was all venlafaxine. A fatal suicide success story courtesy of [edited] VAMC.
He took what was prescribed and it fatally impaired his entire ability to behave rationally.
He was NEVER suicidal until [VAMC] began drugging him.
If you have been prescribed any combination of these (and add Prozac, he was on that too for awhile), and particularly if you are being treated by the VA for PTSD or anything else, please, please be mindful that if you weren't suicidal before being a patient there, then you are being slowly murdered. They are not helping you, they are killing you.
The next VA asswipe who thanks me for his service is getting throat punched. They killed my child's father. He repeatedly tried to get help. He wanted more significant treatment, in patient and was refused. He voluntarily admitted himself, called 911, drove himself to get help...which is a glaring factual reality that wen he sobered up, he was not suicidal at all - just as the reality that he was quite sober from the end of April through June - and while planning for our trip to where he was there's conspicuously no further attempts after April until he screwed up in late June. He did NOT want to die. He WANTED help and he was too wrecked to realize he'd sought help from the very people who were slowly killing him all along.
I can appreciate sentiments being sorry for our loss, and thanks for that but I'm here to spread a very real warning.
These drugs to not help you.
They will be your downfall.
Best of luck.