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Effexor XR and Alcohol/Drug Abuse


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I posted a similar message in the Substance Abuse forum.  I apologize if this is a no-no.  I'll make this quick.  5 years ago, my pdoc prescribed 150mg of Effexor and a couple years ago upped it to 225mg.  Ever since I started taking this stuff, I've found myself "needing" to be altered...either with alcohol or pills (Vicodin/Percocet...up to 20/day).  Before the Effexor, I was a healthy drinker.  I could take it or leave it.  I could have a bottle of booze in my cupboard for 12 months and not touch it.  Now, I can't have any booze in the house or I drink it up.  I'm clean on the pills (for 16 days), but I still drink occassionally.  I've been limiting myself to beer only and no more than 1 an hour and a max of 3 per day.  I have been pretty good and frequently go weeks without any alcohol.

I'm now tapering off Effexor onto Lexapro (the primary reason for my pdoc is my blood pressure, which was sky high the whole time I was on it).  So far, I've been feeling pretty good.  Maybe a little wonky, but very bearable.

As I said in my previous post, I'm not trying to blame my substance abuse on Effexor, but the parallels are hard to ignore.  I can track it almost to the day...I started taking Effexor and I started drinking too much.  Has anyone else experience this?  crazymeds.us says this is one of the "freaky weird side-effects" and that really got me thinking.

By going to Lexapro am I jumping out of the frying pan and into the fire?  Effexor has been pretty effective for me as an antidepressant.  In fact, I resisted going off it for a long time despite my pdoc's urging because of high blood pressure.  I knew how I felt if I forgot a dose and I'd read about the horrific withdrawl some have experienced.

I guess I'm looking for kindred spirits and other battle stories.

Thanks everyone,

John

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they tried to switch me to lexapro (20mg) from 225mg effexorXR but i was allergic to it.  but i did manage to get from 225mg down to 75mg effexorXR with the help of 30mg of remeron.  i had a very paradoxical reaction where my blood pressure went UP on the lower effexor dose, but that is like extremely extremely rare. 

next week when i see the pdoc, im asking for 37.5mg effexorXR, on the trip down to zero very slowly.  with the lexapro, all the withdrawal symptoms are pretty much gone, because they both affect serotonin the same way.  but im going to have to just deal with those symptoms because i dont feel like i need an SSRI anymore, and i am loaded up on epilepsy medication for seizures, so additional sedation would be too much!  im happy with just the 30mg remeron, and because i respond paradoxically to most all meds, it seems like that one keeps me awake!!

I posted a similar message in the Substance Abuse forum.  I apologize if this is a no-no.  I'll make this quick.  5 years ago, my pdoc prescribed 150mg of Effexor and a couple years ago upped it to 225mg.  Ever since I started taking this stuff, I've found myself "needing" to be altered...either with alcohol or pills (Vicodin/Percocet...up to 20/day).  Before the Effexor, I was a healthy drinker.  I could take it or leave it.  I could have a bottle of booze in my cupboard for 12 months and not touch it.  Now, I can't have any booze in the house or I drink it up.  I'm clean on the pills (for 16 days), but I still drink occassionally.  I've been limiting myself to beer only and no more than 1 an hour and a max of 3 per day.  I have been pretty good and frequently go weeks without any alcohol.

I'm now tapering off Effexor onto Lexapro (the primary reason for my pdoc is my blood pressure, which was sky high the whole time I was on it).  So far, I've been feeling pretty good.  Maybe a little wonky, but very bearable.

As I said in my previous post, I'm not trying to blame my substance abuse on Effexor, but the parallels are hard to ignore.  I can track it almost to the day...I started taking Effexor and I started drinking too much.  Has anyone else experience this?  crazymeds.us says this is one of the "freaky weird side-effects" and that really got me thinking.

By going to Lexapro am I jumping out of the frying pan and into the fire?  Effexor has been pretty effective for me as an antidepressant.  In fact, I resisted going off it for a long time despite my pdoc's urging because of high blood pressure.  I knew how I felt if I forgot a dose and I'd read about the horrific withdrawl some have experienced.

I guess I'm looking for kindred spirits and other battle stories.

Thanks everyone,

John

<{POST_SNAPBACK}>

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YES you are correct, if you read the info about efx on the board just above this one (The non ssri's), you will find information and posts (older ones) about how it can cause a sudden craving for more and more alcohol.

My hubby struggles with it being on the efx also.  It sucks because besides that one issue it seems to reallyhelp, but it is a very big issue. He has to stay constantly busy to try to avoid looking for the beer.

Maybe we need an efx/alcohol support group!

CC~

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I was a light drinker and had started to drink moderately to try to self medicate (run away) from my growing problems, but once I started taking Effexor xr I turned into a raging boozer. I had to have it.  Now I'm dry and back on Effexor and affraid to death that the cravings will kick in. So far, in spite of it's weird side effects, Effexor is the only thing that helps my depression at all.

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