I was wondering about this, as my PDoc didn't seem too concerned with it.
I was on 300mg Effexor XR for about 5 years, over the last year I've gone from 300mg to 75mg or so mostly successfully, but lately I've been dragging along. I can easily sleep 12 hours a day, I'm still managing to get to work, but I'm exhausted beyond belief and only have windows of feelings myself.
I was wondering if withdrawals to drugs like these can last for months, or even years? Especially having been on them for so long....
So Effexor XR is the best medication I've taken for my problems which combined anxiety disorders, panic disorder, and obsessions. It has also helped with depression that inevitably follows these...
So I know the SSRIs/SNRIs are notorious for this side effect, I was just wondering how other users deal with this problem as this can be difficult to talk about with peers and even doctors? I don't even like posting this here, I just don't know what to do. I was on Effexor XR for about 5 years at 300mg, last year I came down to 150mg, and currently I'm on 75mg. Luckily I've felt pretty stable and been maintaining well.
However, my libido has been transient and pretty much nonexistent at times. I've tried several things, from abstaining for weeks at a time to OTC libido boosters....Oddly enough I felt my libido was actually higher on high dosages of the Effexor. Possibly to do with the Norepinephrine/Dopamine push?
Anyways I asked my Pdoc about it finally and he said he script me Viagra or Wellbutrin. Neither of which I'm very fond of doing. I have a bottle of Wellbutrin sitting on my dresser right now that I haven't started yet because I've heard it can make anxiety issues worse and the fact I could be adding another side effect (truthfully I don't want to start another medication and go through that again) The Wellbutrin is a last resort right now....I don't feel like I should be having these issues at 34 and it has been very distressing as you can imagine...
So I'm asking people out there how they dealt with sexual side effects on Effexor, post-effexor, or on other SSRIs if you've had experience with the Sexual side effects? Is the only option to stop Effexor to remove this side effect?
I am posting my experience due to the fact that Fetzima is so new and many are changing from either Effexor/Pristiq so I thought I would share.
(I apologize ahead for my poor memory, concept of time and any specifics I did not include)
Diagnosis: MDD, GAD, Bipolar II, Dsythymia, ADHD, Insomnia
Stamped as "Med-Resistant"
Well the last 4ish months or so have been quite interesting to say the least, and still going.....
I had been on Effexor XR 375mg for around 4 years and it did well in comparison to everything else I have tried (ill post below) but because of being med resistant tweaking here and there was always being done but Effexor was never touched, about 4 months ago I started to feel very down for longer periods of time and much deeper in "the hole" So I suggested to my doc whether or not switching up Effexor might help, she then mentioned Fetzima and how it was new and told me the mini background about it etc..But she wanted to give Effexor one last try so she decided to bump me up to 450mg, she said she had other patients on this dose and it helped. I know that many think its insane to be put on such a high dose, agreed.. but I trust my doctor. So I jumped up to 450mg, no side effects noticed but around 2 weeks in, severe depression, a lot of crying (where as before it was difficult for me to cry), rapid mood swings.So I got worse.
Back to the doc I go but she was on vacation so I had to see her NP instead, we then decide that we are coming off Effexor (at this point I know that I am to expect hell because I had been hearing of how hard it is to get off Effexor) so we map it out.. we essentially drop 150mg for 3 days then drop 150mg again and at the same time introducing Fetzima starting at 40mg for 3 days then 80mg and maintaining at that dose. Confusing I know.. essentially after we drew it all out she was taking me off 450mg of Effexor in 2 weeks while at the same time titrating Fetzima up to 80mg. Yeah.. I was not looking forward to this but I put on my game face and here we go.. first week, felt no symptoms.. week two.. nausea, little brain zaps, I was already emotionally unstable but there was much more crying and some anxiety and now suicidal thoughts which is rare for me. . I reached my last day of having to take Effexor like at champ or as well as I could heh, I was now down to 75mg, did that for 3 days then came off completely. ..
Then thats when "shit got real" the next 7 days were hell of course, extreme nausea, dry heaving, sweating, dizziness, crazy brain zaps. Emotionally a wreck of course, mood swings but that week the physical symptoms are what were driving me crazy. After about a week of that then they started to subside and I was doing better, the nausea stuck around for about 2 weeks
.Bad move on the NP on weaning me off so quickly from such a high dose, I then found out that there are much smoother ways of coming off including using Prozac (i think) for the serotonin withdraw symptoms and plus the 37.5mg dose too. It was also partially my fault as well, I should have gone with my gut that this was too fast and called them to tell them about the hell I was going through but I just wanted it over with. Cool.. Effexor done. Fetzima fully driving.
So about a week or so after all that, its like a fog was lifted and I woke up one morning angry as hell and clear headed, I was angry for god knows what but I got up and started functioning again, getting stuff done.(not hypomania style) I was very irritable and had very little patience with ANYTHING/ONE, and then the extreme anxiety began, it would happen about 5hrs after taking my dose in the morning, id have really bad anxiety but I had never experienced it like this before, its a tightness in your chest and you feel on the verge of tears for no reason at all..I would try to ride it out but some days I could not do it and would take a 1mg Xanax.
My anger became worse, I became unsympathetic, cold, always on the verge to snap and then the anxiety and on top of that trying to control myself the whole time, it was nuts. So called up the doc and she bumped me up to 120mg, everything stayed the same but 4 weeks into it, I became worse, I would avoid people because I didn't have the energy to control myself from snapping at them or just crying for no reason, when I went up thats when the extreme sadness that I haven't felt in years showed up, indescribable despair, devastation. I am sure some of you understand what I mean.. My moods were insane, I felt like different people throughout the day, start off okay, raging lunatic at lunch, anxious mess then suicidal at night, suicidal thoughts were on a biweekly type thing now. Which is rare for me. Called doc and she put me back down to 80mg and added Abilify 1mg. That was approx.. 6 weeks ago, afternoon anxiety subsided for 3 days then it was back, rapid mood cycling, the overwhelming sadness etc.. I had had enough, last friday I went in and saw my doc and said okay, gave Fetzima a try and nope, I want off NOW. So new plan, got off Abilify and off Fetzima cold turkey and started Pristiq 50mg and today I am on day 3. Afternoon anxiety hasn't happened in the last 2 days so thats cool, still very down, same ol, I expect that though,
As most of us know Effexor and Pristiq are like twin sisters etc, so I'm aware of that stuff. I just hope to not be how I am right now, still extremely depressed, irritable, rapid cycling and just the worst I have been in a looong time, at least 10 years. In retrospect I shouldn't have gotten off Effexor, do I think Pristiq will work wonders and be better than Effexor? Nah not really, but anything is better than this. But I do sometimes wonder where the point of "this is as good as it gets" is and if I have reached it before but decided to gamble again. Well that's a whole other topic though.
Good Luck to those trying Fetzima please be careful, and I hope it works for you.
To my fellow "Got off Effexor" warriors, I give you props haha.
And to the Pristiq old/new crowd, please let me know what your experience was/is when starting out.
Also has anyone been on Effexor and then Pristiq? How did that go?
- I am a noob and have not figured out the signature thing yet but for the sake of this post I will post what I am taking now: Pristiq 50mg, Lamictal 400mg, Seroquel 50mg(for sleep but about to change), Dalmane (Not working for insomnia so going to change), Xanax 1mg (as needed) Adderall - 45mg twice a day
Meds I have tried: Abilify - Latuda - Risperdal - Seroquel - Lexapro - Paxil - Zoloft - Cymbalta - Effexor XR - Xanax - Clonazapam - Flurazepam - Lorazapam - Remeron - Elavil - Prozac - Fluxeetine - Wellbutrin - Zyprexa - Ritalin -Vyvanse - Deplin - Fetzima - Pristiq
As of lately, I've been experiencing some fairly concerning side effects, and would appreciate any feedback/insight that anyone may have. I'll try to be as concise as possible, as to avoid confusion (as though mental health isn't a freaking never ending puzzle with a piece missing).
I currently take Effexor XR 75mg, usually around lunch time. In addition, the only medications I take are birth control (Tri-Sprintec), and the occasional GummyVite. I never miss my medication, nor screw them up. I've been on the birth control forevr, and on Effexor for about two months, since switching to it from Celexa.
For the first month and a half, I was living the good life, completely symptom free. Then, out of nowhere, I started getting these head rushes roughly every 2 minutes, for periods of hours at a time. The best way I can describe them is comparable to that slightly scary feeling you get when sitting upright too hastily after sleeping. It feels like a sudden rush of blood to my head, which almost propels me forward, and makes me hyper aware of my head for that second. This happens every few minutes..for a few hours..yeah, its quite the disturbance. With this, I also feel extremely dizzy.
In addition, I sometimes feel an intense jolt of anger for absolutely no reason. I tend to have fairly decent self-awareness, and try not to supress anything. I have never experienced anything like this prior to now. I will literally be having a wonderful day, and one second, I will become spontaneously raging, usually directed toward someone, like a co-worker, or boyfriend. Needless to say, this isn't exactly good for the whole "being a normal person" bit. Now, these little fits of rage last for roughly an hour, and dissipate with my efforts to think of positive things, or otherwise occupy myself.
Has anyone else ever experienced these types of symptoms? Perhaps on other medications?
Help! I'm going crazy here (hehe, see what I did there?)
I'm not going to take medical advice from you, I know, I'm just looking for a heads-up:)
I have recently had my medication changed, came off zyprexa and increased effexor to maximum dose...but since then my moods have been up and down like crazy and really extreme (on the downside really) which seems to be varifying the suspected diagnosis of bipolar II...anyway, my shrink is gone on holiday, leaving me on a little effexor and Seroquel xr. I'm going to talk to him in a week or so when he comes back and I'm just wondering is this it? Is this the new prescription or is it likely I will be going on lithium now? Will my moods settle with Seroquel?
...answer quick coz I'm probably going down again soon haha8/
[Edit] so basically I'm asking you guys with bipolar II if seroquel and effexor is likely to cut it?