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Allergic Reaction to Effexor XR?


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I was just wondering what the chances are of Effexor XR causing me to have an allergic response in the form of hives.

My doctor prescribed Effexor for me (depression) about three weeks ago when it appeared that the Lexapro was not working.

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Oh my. You poor thing! I will first let you know that I have not a clue what might be causing your awful situation. I read your post and just had to reply with some sympathy, maybe some chicken noodle soup? I was actually shivering at the thought of being as horridly sick as you have been and needed to write and let you know that I am terribly sorry that you have to be going through this and that I hope your doctors find out what it is ASAP and get you fixed up.

Here's to hoping you figure it out and start feeling better,

Starr

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A simple google search will tell you that indeed effexor can cause hives and severe allergic reactions. Of course they are rare but it is nothing to take lightly. If you have taken Pennicillan before with no problems (IM deathly allergic to it) then I would be afraid that it was/is the effexor.

I think if you take the last dose tomorrow and then call your Doc first thing Monday am before you are having withdrawals she would be able to call you something else in, perhaps averting too much discomfort.

I am sorry you have to deal with this. That sucks!

Let us know what happens and be very cautious.

CC~

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Thanks  to both of you for replying and for the words of comfort-I need them for sure.  My hives were nearly gone today until about an hour after I took the Effexor, then it was back to scratching like a dog with fleas.  However, they still are not nearly as bad as they were.  I am assuming that this lump-like feeling in my throat is also the Effexor. 

Well, I did kind of know that Effexor could cause hives, I just wasn't sure how likely it was.  I guess I really, really don't want it to be the Effexor that is causing this because I know it means more delays in finding relief for my depression.  I was hoping someone would say, "Nope, it isn't likely that it is the Effexor."

I am starting to worry that we will never find something that will work for my depression.  Zoloft and Prosac pooped out on me, Wellbutrin made me feel really angry and jumpy all the time and the Lexapro just didn't seem to do much of anything.  At the time that my doc gave me the Effexor (which she was hoping would help with my energy level) she had also suggested we try either a higher doseage of Lexapro or some Lexapro with a low dose of Wellbutrin.  We went with the Effexor because I was worried that the Wellbutrin would make me nuts again and that just raising the dose of Lexapro wouldn't work.  One thing for sure, depression sucks a big one and I am tired of wasting my life feeling this way.

I really do like the idea of calling my doctor and getting something different before my last dose.  I still have some of my Lexapro left.  Maybe I should just start with it?

Anyway, thanks for your advice and concern-I really do appreciate it.

P.S.  Please excuse my spelling errors-my brain is fuzzier than a ducklings bottom right now.

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I am so sorry for your misery.  I started a beta blocker last year.  It was the only one that I had ever taken that didn't have the side effects that I hated.  Well, wouldn't you know, I broke out in hives and what you're going through now with the hives is almost identical to what I went through.  After I stopped the medication (they said it would take about 2 weeks to a month before it was all the way out of my system), I had trouble off and on for about a month.

While I know how frustrating this is, I am confident you'll find something to treat your depression.  Call you doc first thing on Monday and take care of yourself!

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Nicole what dose of lex were you on?  There are quite a few people on these boards that move up to twenty with good success.

You do not want anymore effexor in your system, hives mean your body is stressed and having an immunilogical reaction to it. Not good.

Again call your Doc first thing in the morning. Maybe you can move up the lex dose and not have to worry about going backwards at all.

I had the same anger issues from wellbutrin. Sure I had way more energy but I wanted to rip everyones heads off and pull out my own hair too.  Personally I would try upping lex first and seeing if that made me stable and then much later worry about more energy if it is still a big problem.

Hang in there.

CC~

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After researching Effexor and hives, I have read that many people who have had an allergic reaction to the Effexor commonly take about a month or much more to completely stop breaking out.  Some don't even begin breaking out until some time after they have been taking it.  I thought that was pretty weird.  Anyway, I am much better today, hive-wise, but man oh man those Effexor side effects have been everything everyone says they are!

I went to the doc this afternoon and she wants try the Zoloft again since it worked really well last time I took it (at least it did for a while and then it quite working-I was at 100 mg. then).  I really don't understand why she didn't want to try the Lexapro in a higher dose since I was only up to 10 mg.  I am thinking she plans to move me up past 100 mg on the Zoloft, but right now I take 50 for a week and then 100 for a week and then I have to go back to see her.  I hope this works because I am tired of set backs and experimenting.  I have been taking antidepressants for years now, but about a year ago my Zoloft just didn't seem to be working anymore which led to the Wellbutrin which led to the Lexapro which led to the Effexor. 

I took the Lexapro at 10 mg from about January 2005 until October 2005 and it seemed to help a little bit, but after my grandma passed away this last July, I just got really depressed and have been since.  You know, the I want to stay zoned out on the couch all day and everyone leave me the heck alone because life sucks and I hate myself and it will never be better than this so what is the point- depressed.  I have gained 12 pounds since my grandma's funeral, which does not help my self-esteem which worsens the depression.

All I know is that I am tired of wasting my life away like this.  I want to enjoy my family and be capable of doing my job well.  I hate failure and I feel like my picture is under failure in the dictionary.  I know this is the depression speaking, so I keep telling myself to hang in there, it will get sorted out. 

Next week I also go to see an allergist for testing since this is the third time this year that I have broke out in response to something.  I really do think it was the Effexor this time, but who knows about the other two times.

Anyway, thanks again for your responses and empathy-it helps so much to hear from others and to get advice from you all.  Thanks and I will try to keep you updated in case your interested and so it might help others who might encounter this in the future.  Thanks again!!!

Btw, do you think that going back on the Zoloft can work considering it stopped working about a year ago at 100?

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Nicole I hope the Zoloft does well for you again. This is my second time on paxil and it is working fine. It could be you were very situationaly depressed after the passing of your Grandmother and could have used an increase back then to help pull you out of it. Meds cannot stop a loss or heal a broken heart.

It could also be that you need some grief counseling or a support group to finally deal with this and move past it so that you can get more benefit out of a med.

If you think you have done that work all the better for a good reaction to the Zoloft to pull you back out of the pit again.

I will have faith for you.  ;)

Keep posting.

CC~

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Thanks CC, I appreciate that.  At first I am sure that I did have to work through my loss and grief because my maternal grandmother has always been a big part of my life and, well, had always just been around.  It wasn't easy knowing that the time for appreciating her and being able to ask her things only she would know was lost to me for the rest of my lifetime.  It still doesn't seem possible somedays and I do still miss her, obviously, but I think what I am feeling manifested into something more than just grief.  I just feel so apathetic sometimes, like nothing I do matters because things will never be better.  I will never feel better.  I just survive day after day despite having a great life to look forward to.  A lot of days, lately, I feel like I am just enduring life.

There doesn't seem to be any reason for my feelings, they just are.  I am aware of alot of very wonderful things going on in my life, but I am not enjoying them because I feel so...depressed, beat down, defeated, whipped, stuck, conquered etc.  I have no energy whatsoever and walk around feeling dazed and overwhelmed.  A simple thing can just completely overwhelm me and I hate that feeling.  When I get like this, it is like my mind knows my feelings are completely unreasonable and unfounded but I can't do anything to change how I feel.

Anyway, I am hoping that the Zoloft will help.  It has already helped tremendously with the Effexor withdrawals, thank the Lord.  I felt pretty good today and a far cry from this time last week.  Yea!  Thanks again, and I think just posting here helps some.  Most people in my actual life just don't understand at all and it is nice to hear from people who do.

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Oh good for you Nicole.

Yes it does sound like it was the depression talking. It really sucks you under doesn't it?

I bet in a few weeks you will be much improved and have more hope for continued success.

I *heart* my paxil. 

Here is to the zoloft allowing you to enjoy your life again!

CC~

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  • 2 weeks later...

This is just an update.  I have moved up to my first week of Zoloft 100mg. I don't feel any better yet, but it hasn't been a month. I am still breaking out and I went to an allergist on Tuesday who took a bunch of blood tests.  I go back on Dec. 6 for the results of that.  Until then, he put me on 180mg. of the generic form of Allegra.  I take that twice a day, but it barely keeps those rotten hives under control and my fingers continue to be swollen every morning getting somewhat better through the day. 

The biggest thing is I dread going back to work next week.  I lucked out that this all happened right at Thanksgiving and I have had the whole week off, but no more on Monday.  Oh well, Christmas vacation is coming soon and maybe these things will be resolved by January!

Thanks for your continued support, CC.

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first- I hope you are feeling bettter- sounds like things ahve been pretty miserable.

I just thought I'd mention one other allergy possibility. My friend changed doses of something and the pills were a different color-blue or purple or something- it turned out this is how she found out she was allergic to a particular type of red dye in food/drugs.

turned out she could continue the med. but needed to combine other dose pills that were not the fateful color.  You may want to ask the allergist about this possibility.

Hope you're feeling bettter.

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  • 5 months later...

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