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Brain zaps (mild) not going away??!

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Quick backstory, I was on Effexor (75mg-150mg) for only 7-8 months, my pdoc tapered me off very slowly (using Prozac as a bridge) over a period of about 5 weeks. I've been completely off both meds now for 2 months. I did not have major withdrawal symptoms (except light fatigue/dizziness) and yet I am STILL getting these intermittent (mild) brain zaps sensations and brain fog - usually in the afternoons/evening.

I am very worried that they will never go away... I have been taking many supplements (including Fish Oils, NAC, etc) for many months, exercising, eating healthy. How can i make them disappear for good?!

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On 8/25/2018 at 6:16 AM, sbdivemaster said:

Don't know how to make them go away any quicker than time, but mine eventually went away.  Took about a year for the zaps to finally end and to feel "normal" again.  I did what you are doing - eat right, drink water, exercise, stay healthy.  Keep plugging, they should fade away.

A YEAR ??? Wholly crap!! Was it Effexor (what dose?) & how long were you on it?

I am becoming symptomatic with depression again, I'm afraid, and will probably have to go back on something. I'm considering Cymbalta due to the longer half-life (compared to Effexor)...Effexor seems to have the worst withdrawal syndromes :-( I am heartbroken, I was doing so well the last 2 months without it.

And A/Ds are definitely not an ideal fit (they make me flat, anhedonic, and completely asexual at the therapeutic dosage) and Lamictal alone is not cutting it!

Edited by Blahblah

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Sorry you are experiencing this.  It's a phenomenon with this medication.  The brain zaps started to reduce in frequency by the 6th month and gradually left me a year later.  It has wicked withdrawals. Not sure why there is not a black box warning for this. 

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Benzo's stop them cold for me, a big dose is not required. Some anticonvulsants, the ones that affect GABA may also stop them 

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12 hours ago, Dewey said:

Sorry you are experiencing this.  It's a phenomenon with this medication.  The brain zaps started to reduce in frequency by the 6th month and gradually left me a year later.  It has wicked withdrawals. Not sure why there is not a black box warning for this. 

I've heard that Effexor is notorious for having some of the worst withdrawals. but wow...brain zaps for a year (and only after being on low dose of the med for less than a year)  - pretty awful. Did you have brain zaps from other psych meds? I'm amazed after reading your dx (and all of your health issues) how few psych meds you are on. That is pretty amazing.

 

11 hours ago, sbdivemaster said:

Yep, Effexor.  I was on 75mg for close to a year.  The year of zaps was during and after a s-l--o---w taper of many months (self-prescribed, seeing as that quack told me to cut to 37.5 for 2 weeks, then stop...  yeah, after 2 days I knew that wasn't going to work).  Like I said, it's just a matter of time. Hang in there.  So far, I haven't heard of anyone with zaps that became permanent.

Depression sucks so bad, sorry you're starting to descend again. Lamotrigine saved me.  I did great on 300 for many years, but over the last 5 or so, creeping depression symptoms led to a couple of bumps. I see you are only on 100, have you discussed an increase with your quack?  SSRI's do some funky stuff.  Tried any TCA's?

Throughout this year, I have had increasing, and very distracting, ruminating, intrusive thoughts, and suicidal thoughts.  I finally told this quack at the beginning of the summer;  he won't go above 400 on lamotrigine, so he added gabapentin.  I'm still titrating up, it's kind of working, but it's kind of like 3 steps ahead 1 step back.  So, I'm not sure how it will end up.

Again, hang in there.

 

Thanks @sbdivemaster Yes, I will first increase the Lamictal before adding an antidepressant. I was having blurry vision with higher doses of Lamotrigine and my eye doctor was sure that my dry eyes were also caused by the Lamictal, so I try to stay at lowest possible dose. But it just doesn't boost my depression enough.

As far as TCAs, I've tried Nortryptaline and it didn't do much that i recall. Other TCAs are known to cause more sedation/lethargy, which I am trying to avoid....also any meds that cause weight gain or metabolic disorders. It is such a tough balance to find the right med that really works, and doesn't cause more health problems down the road!!!

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BlahBlah ~ I have taken myself off most of my psych meds.  The only thing I am on now is Klonopin.  Wanted to give my body a chance to dry out. However, tonight I started on Pamelor.  I will eventually add Abilify and Neurontin, but one at a time. 

Yes, it did take me a year to get over the brain zaps and occasionally I still get them, after all these years. 

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