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Hello All

As this is my first post here, I do apologise if I'm in the wrong place.  I am overwhelmed (in a good way) with information and can finally feel like there is a "place" for me... even though I don't know exactly which "club" I belong to.

A little history - I am on Efexor XR for probably the last year - was on Paxil (Seroxat actually) for a year before that and pretty much nearly tossed myself over the nearest bridge coming off of it.  I'm terrified now that I will never be able to come off Efexor, especially after all I've read about it.

I went on a/d's because I pretty much had a nervous breakdown caused by my own inability to keep up with my personality disorder (my own dx).  I've been in therapy (not at the moment though) and things are going much better than before.

During the last two + years I had been binge drinking/eating on top of my severe depression (I lost my job, my relationship and pretty much all my friends due to several factors including bad behaviour - drugs, drink, messing around).

Anyway, to keep a long story short the latest of all my problems is PAIN.  Back in December my knee starting hurting for no reason, in January I fell on a patch of ice and it's pretty much been chronic since then.  I hate my doctor, but I finally went to see her 3 weeks ago with my list of stuff I wanted to talk about and I didn't even make it to that point on the list.  I am also having terrible problems with my stomach - CONSTANT heartburn/reflux, pain under my ribcage.  I'm trying to eat better (I am now overweight - thought that was part of my problem, could it be???), slower and be more conscious of what I'm eating w/out being obsessive about it.  I have also learned a few tricks (like I now take a lot of warm milk in my coffee instead of loads of black espresso) that help but I have to have a supply of Rennie with me at all times (our version of Tums).

One other thing - my skin is an absolute wreck, but mostly only on the right side (same as my knee - not related I'm sure).  While my thumbs are from my own doing, I seem to get eczema type blisters on my hands, arms, feet and legs and I can seriously scratch until blood.  I know the scratching is one thing, but what starts the itching in the first place?  No cremes help, nothing and at the end I'm just left with scars, deep purply-red scars.  I tried to talk to my doctor, she said it was "normal", but I do not feel it's normal (I have some pics if you are interested in seeing them).

I AM going to see my doctor again, or find another one, but I just wonder if there could be any REASON or explanation for these things - I would really love to hear ffrom others who may have gone through something similar.

So... that's my first, albeit long-winded post.  Again sorry if I'm not in the right place... I'm just looking for help!

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Hi Hon,

Welcome aboard the crazy train! 

Sorry to hear you are experiencing so much pain.  Good luck with the doc.

I just dropped down from 187.5 mg to 75 mg of Effexor, much quicker than recommended, over about 2 weeks.  So far I haven't had any brain zaps, had one crying fit, but since I have been rapid cycling and experiencing mixed states, I figured fuck it I may as well drop it fast.  Everyone is different and you will mainly hear the horror stories.


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A little history - I am on Efexor XR for probably the last year - was on Paxil (Seroxat actually) for a year before that and pretty much nearly tossed myself over the nearest bridge coming off of it.  I'm terrified now that I will never be able to come off Efexor, especially after all I've read about it.

I went off Effexor after 5 years, very slowly. From 225 to 37.5. When I got to 37.5 I started titrating back on Prozac. I felt non of the Effexor WD that I had previously felt and is hellacious when I would miss doses.

Segue: I'm now on Cymbalta, another SSNRI, which is doing wonders for my major depressive disorder as well as my neuropathic pain from a back disability.

I don't have much to offer on the skin problems.

On the behavior issues, usually, I think, once we get our MI treated properly, our behaviors tend to settle down (the bad ones).



P.S. Yes, Welcome!

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you can belong to more than one "club" here (that is, post on which ever board you feel the question goes in, if a mod thinks you question will get more responses in another board, one of us will move it. )

i was on effexor for several years and got off it.  it can be done.  just... taper down slow, and there is a technique called "prozac bridging" that helps a lot of people.  going off it cold-turkey can be a nightmare, but you can get off it if you do it slowly and with your doctor.  don't worry about that.  if it's helping, take it.

as for pain, skin, etc...

stomach... diet can help a lot, but if you've had bad reflux, you could have done some damage.  you may want to ask you doctor for an rx med.  i take a proton pump inhibitor called aciphex.  but there are lots of them...

is your pain just in your knee?  knees are delicate things.  not um, designed too well.  it's really easy to injure them.  if it hurts, and your doc is dismissive, can you see a diff doc?  possibly a specalist (orthopedist?)... i have a few friends who had knee issues from sports and they got surgery (minimial invasive surgery) and they're all happy campers now.  (not that i'm saying you need surgery, of course, just that knees should be looked at if they hurt is all.)

and skin... well "normal" is a large term.  doctors can be dismissive... can you see a dermatologist?  i can't tell from what you describe what is up, and it may be normal... but a dermo is a good thing anyway.  supposedly you're suppoed to go yearly for a mole check anyway (or so they said on TV)....

hope to see you around


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Thanks Dee, S9 and Penny for your responses.

Let me clarify just a little bit ;)   At the moment I'm not interested in going off my Efexor, but as I seem to like to worry about just about everything under the sun, I am worried about it in the future.  In fact, I am actually wondering if I should take MORE.  I have been on 75mg for a year and lately, well, I seem to be going through the same thing I went through when I was on Seroxat (Paxil) - after a while I didn't feel "better" anymore, I felt like I was slipping backwards.  I have no pdoc at the moment either.  I moved about 85 miles away so I had to stop seeing him.

I live in the Netherlands and you have to have a referral for everything.  So, I haven't been to a physio, nor have I been to a dermo, nor have I been to any specialist of any kind.  My doctor is new for me - I've seen her twice and both times I've ended up in tears (the 2nd time was me storming out).  I hate going to the doctor anyway and now I'm overwhelmed with the thought that either I go back to her or I find someone else.

My knee situation is just weird ...  it just starting bugging/hurting in December and has never stopped.  Sometimes it's worse than others.  Sometimes it's visibly swollen and warmer than the other.  It's always more painful after driving (doesn't help that I drive an older Mini, but I love my car - something positive!), it's painful if sitting for long periods, painful when I get up in the morning... you get the picture :)   Sometimes it extends to my hip.  I was thinking maybe I'm out of alignment and I just need to see a chiro.

I would love to just go in to see someone specifically about my stomach and my skin, but again, that referral thing gets in the way.  I was treated years ago for h. pylori and hadn't had issues with my stomach for at least 2 years, now all of a sudden, it's BAD bad bad.  My skin... I have also had sensitivity issues, since I was born basically and this to ME is not normal, but I couldn't get the woman to listen to me long enough.

Sorry if I'm rambling.  I swear I sound more an more like my mother (the Hypochondriac) these days...

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hi there, welcome to the crazy joint.

um, as my husband and i say, knees have to be the worst design on the planet.  backs come in second.  they injure easily & take forever to heal, because there is not a good blood supply to the cartilage and tendons.  i hurt my knee ice skating in my twenties, and it took over 9 months to heal.

i also have acid reflux & can tell you that being overweight does make it worse, because the extra fat squeezes your stomach.  have you tried:  cutting back on greasy/fatty food, sleeping with your head elevated, not eating before bedtime, eating small meals frequently and making sure your waistbands on your pants are not too tight?  if certain foods make you worse, you may need to cut back on them....i've learned not to eat spaghetti unless i take some zantac.

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75 mgs isn't that high of a dose... you really need to have a pdoc.  moving sucks, finding new docs sucks, but you need one.

for your knee, have you tried an NSAID (is naproxen over the counter there?) it should help with the inflamation... but yeah, get a better doctor.  i know fighiting for referals is a nightmare, but you don't want it to get worse.

do you think your skin could be an allergy?


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Hi Ncc, thanks for responding!

1.  Do you need a ref for physio?  that's unclear.  Here, you only need a ref if you want it covered by insurance.  If you can pay, it's a self-ref.  If you can get physio, it's a great place to start, b/c they will *actually put their hands on you* and work out where to go next.

Good question.  Also unclear for me.  In fact our whole insurance setup changed as of the 1st of Jan so it's something I don't know yet.  Everyone seems to have a different answer to this question.  I have thought about going to a physio - when I injured my ankle years ago, I had an awesome physio.  I injured it again a year and a half ago, but never got referred for further treatment (dare I add that my ankle is also a problem but not as bad as it was...?).  Sometimes I wonder if I overcompensated my knee due to my ankle and that's why it's "injured" now.

2.  Ask about a rheumatology consult.

I will check into this.  First I have to find out what the word for rheumatology is in Dutch!!  My boyfriend should be able to help ;)

None of my itchy/painful spots are on the joints, except occasionally on my wrists.  I have eczema and psoriasis on my scalp but not extreme.

3.  You're right, stay away from antiinflammatories until you know what's up with the stomach. 

Thought so.  Thanks to confirm.

4.  Consider asking for a gastroscopy or barium swallow (whichever is easier to get in your community) and say you're wondering about ulcers.  With severe gastric reflux symptoms and past HP infection, this is a possibility.  I would be thinking more about simply severe reflux, but saying the U word (ulcer) might help get the test.

eek! do these procedures hurt?  I was curious myself about ulcers because I knew from a while back that once you have h pylori you have to watch out for ulcers later.

My boyfriend thinks all this stuff is related to my stress levels.  Wouldn't you know it...  I slept on my neck funny and now I have pain shooting through my neck and shoulders... Jeezus it never ends...

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