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Progressing Addiction to Effexor, And Withdrawal Symptoms (Page 1)

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I've been taking various antidepressants for almost 2 years now, and now i'm on effexor and a mood stabilizer. I've been becoming more and more dependant on them, and now I go through severe withdrawal symptoms within 12 hours to an hour after missing a dose. I'm on a very high dosage of this medication, and i've tried to explain to my father and psychiatrist that i'm addicted, but they don't believe me.

Last night I was out at a dance and it was 20 minutes to an hour after I usually take my medication, and I started having the same withrdawal symptoms. I was rocking back and forth sick to my stomach, staring into space, curled up in a ball and clawing and biting at my poor boyfriend. He had to calm me down three or four times before we got me home. I admit I need help. I just don't know what to do, since my dad and psychiatrist wont help.
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replied September 17th, 2005
Experienced User
Stuff the psychiatrist, go to a doctor.
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replied February 4th, 2008
same problems
i also have the same problem. when i am even an hour late for taking my medicine i freak out. my boyfriend is very supportive of me, and i feel horrible about the way i treat him during the time which my medicine is not in my system. like last night. i told him i need to be by my self, and when he refused to leave i hit him. uncontrolibly. i feel horrible now and after i hit him i must have cryed for 4 hours because i could not control what i was doing.
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replied February 19th, 2008
Addicted to Effexor
Hi, I'm new to the forum & have found some interesting & helpful info on depression.

I've been diagnosed with 'major depression' (is there any other kind??), since I had a motorbike accident in 2005. Since the accident I've also been in & out of surgery, recovery, pain meds & have been taking Effexor for over 2 years now.

I'm sure that Effexor is addictive, although I take it in the morning. I don't think I get withdrawals but I do get the shakes badly & feel out of control of my emotions. Could this be from the Effexor or the pain meds?? Does anyone know?? Oh, my whole pill popping routine consists of - Effexor, Seroquel, Lyrica, Mersyndol Forte, Losec (sorry don't know if these are known by any other name). These are the names known in Australia.

I battle daily with debilitating pain, inability to be mobile, feeling of worthlessness, anger, tearfulness & all my Psychiatrist does is continue to increase the Effexor, until my body gets used to it & increases it again.

The few friends I have are all fed up of my moodiness & have stopped calling. I'm sure that they are avoiding me. I feel guilty in burdening them. I feel guilty & selfish for dumping my feelings on them.

Sorry I've rambled on...... just needed to get some questions out there & here from people going through the same thing.....

Thanks
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replied February 19th, 2008
Addicted to Effexor
Hi, I'm new to the forum & have found some interesting & helpful info on depression.

I've been diagnosed with 'major depression' (is there any other kind??), since I had a motorbike accident in 2005. Since the accident I've also been in & out of surgery, recovery, pain meds & have been taking Effexor for over 2 years now.

I'm sure that Effexor is addictive, although I take it in the morning. I don't think I get withdrawals but I do get the shakes badly & feel out of control of my emotions. Could this be from the Effexor or the pain meds?? Does anyone know?? Oh, my whole pill popping routine consists of - Effexor, Seroquel, Lyrica, Mersyndol Forte, Losec (sorry don't know if these are known by any other name). These are the names known in Australia.

I battle daily with debilitating pain, inability to be mobile, feeling of worthlessness, anger, tearfulness & all my Psychiatrist does is continue to increase the Effexor, until my body gets used to it & increases it again.

The few friends I have are all fed up of my moodiness & have stopped calling. I'm sure that they are avoiding me. I feel guilty in burdening them. I feel guilty & selfish for dumping my feelings on them.

Sorry I've rambled on...... just needed to get some questions out there & here from people going through the same thing.....

Thanks
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replied February 22nd, 2008
Hey, I was on effexor for a long time and I happen to know that it is a terrible drug to try to get off of due to it's addictive qualities. Check out what other people have to say about it at this forum

*edit-link removed. please do not post links to other forums*
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replied February 22nd, 2008
Supporter
I was on Effexor for a year. I did notice that if I missed a dose, I felt really weird, but I, personally, wouldn't describe it as addictive. I didn't immediately want to take the Effexor... my body just didn't feel right.
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replied June 17th, 2013
My reaction to Effexor is the same. If I miss a dose or two I feel very strange. But never have the symptoms happened when I am regularly taking meds
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replied February 28th, 2008
addicted effexor xr
i've been taken effexor on and off for 7 years i'm on 150+37.5and it seems it doesn't work as well when you go on and off or is that just me thinking it wont work for me again,i'm always afraid of that,does depression make you worry about being depressed or how your felling or thinking or is that axiety,sometimes i dont fell like doing anything when everyone else does, and sometimes i do is that normal or depression i'm not extremly happy all the time sometimes i fell blah but the next day i'll fell ok WHAT IS NORMAL & WHAT IS DEPRESSION!!
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replied February 28th, 2008
Experienced User
Shares patsys gripe...
I had my psych take me off of Effexor because it was really not good for me at all. I think Effexor is a VERY NASTY anti-dep. It only works properly for 10%-20% of patients and those that it doesn't work for...lets just say I have had my share of bad experiences with Effexor.

Patsys...

I can fully understand your frustration...I cycle through emotions several times a day...sometimes even experience ALL at Once...also, I can tell you that:

1. It's advisable to not interrupt ANY form of anti-depression medication. It messes around your brain-chem.
2. The major defining symptoms of depression is in fact...mood swings, lack of interest in activities you usually enjoy, irrational/extreme emotional reaction that is not suited to the situation.

As of late, I REALLY don't know what is "Normal" any more...If you know my history, you will know what I mean ;o). Every singel medical professional I see currently finds SOMETHING that I always accepted as "Normal" but which is really TOTALLY out of wack...
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replied March 11th, 2008
Re: Progressing Addiction to Effexor, And Withdrawal Symptoms
Lemons wrote:
I've been taking various antidepressants for almost 2 years now, and now i'm on effexor and a mood stabilizer. I've been becoming more and more dependant on them, and now I go through severe withdrawal symptoms within 12 hours to an hour after missing a dose. I'm on a very high dosage of this medication, and i've tried to explain to my father and psychiatrist that i'm addicted, but they don't believe me.

Last night I was out at a dance and it was 20 minutes to an hour after I usually take my medication, and I started having the same withrdawal symptoms. I was rocking back and forth sick to my stomach, staring into space, curled up in a ball and clawing and biting at my poor boyfriend. He had to calm me down three or four times before we got me home. I admit I need help. I just don't know what to do, since my dad and psychiatrist wont help.



I have tried a lot of antidepressants when i was first diagnosed with depression which runs in my family was about ten years ago, i had trouble accepting the diagnoses and kept going off and on antidepressants, at points i was homeless, I had no employment, and when one is chronically depressed and has many stressors beyond the norm it is difficult for a depressed person , i was on paxil, zolof , celexa, and other last year i was placed on effexor. The point i am making is this, generally no one wants to admit they have a "mental Illness" as they will be labeled but it is far better to have control over your life , having a home and working and being happy rather than having a attitude of " who cares" and feeling alone n the world, yes i have tried to stop the medication with bad consequences every time, but when i looked back there was bad consequences before the meds. So there is another spin on this , I have been on then try to do without, sometimes lasts great for months then stressors break me, I wish they would put in more research into depression it would change the world!.. HUGZ TIGERESS
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replied October 8th, 2008
Experienced User
I've been prescribed effexor before, and it made me feel out of control with my emotions too. I noticed my mood would change more dramatically, and if I got mad....I got really really mad, if I got sad, I got really really sad. If I was happy, I was really really giddy and happy and thats out of character for me. It kind of made me feel like a puppet. Paxil did horrible things to me. I tried to commit suicide on paxil. Horrible mood swings on Paxil.
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replied October 8th, 2008
Advanced Support Team
Effexor prevents your brain from re-absorbing certain neurotransmitters (seratonin and neroprenephrine) which are used to pass specific types of signals within the brain. If you don't take your medication, the only thing that will happen on a physical level is that your capacity to process certain emotions will decrease.

In other words what you are describing cannot be a symptom of Effexor withdrawal.
The things that you are describing could only be possible if you are withdrawing from something like an opiate. If you are not simultaneously taking opiates, then this is all in your head.

This is a behavior that you have developed in order to get attention from people around you. It is probably not the first time that you have acted this way, and I'm sure that it's quite effective at attracting pity from others.

You may want to ask yourself if that is the way you want to get attention, or whether you want to be recognized for your accomplishment instead.

You control your actions, not the pills.
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replied October 8th, 2008
Experienced User
danielv wrote:
Effexor prevents your brain from re-absorbing certain neurotransmitters (seratonin and neroprenephrine) which are used to pass specific types of signals within the brain. If you don't take your medication, the only thing that will happen on a physical level is that your capacity to process certain emotions will decrease.

In other words what you are describing cannot be a symptom of Effexor withdrawal.
The things that you are describing could only be possible if you are withdrawing from something like an opiate. If you are not simultaneously taking opiates, then this is all in your head.

This is a behavior that you have developed in order to get attention from people around you. It is probably not the first time that you have acted this way, and I'm sure that it's quite effective at attracting pity from others.

You may want to ask yourself if that is the way you want to get attention, or whether you want to be recognized for your accomplishment instead.

You control your actions, not the pills.


Hey Daniel, do you have emotional problems? before you go and say all that...have you read up on these pills? Have you taken them before? I haven't had withdrawal symptoms because I didn't take effexor long enough. I took it for maybe 6 months. As for the attention thing, no one knew about my suicide, except my parents. I know many do it for attention. But I'm the opposite. NO one knew except my parents. I went out of my way to hide and lie to make sure no one, not even closest friends found out. I think I actually said I had mono. You say "It is probably not the first time that you have acted this way, and I'm sure that it's quite effective at attracting pity from others." I recieved NO pity. I hate it when people pity me. Your making me sound like i'm starving for attention. Good guess but i'm not.
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replied October 8th, 2008
Advanced Support Team
Hi meloncholydaye,

How are you?

I apoligize for the confusion - I was talking to Lemons (who started the topic). Should have addressed the response to her.

Sorry to hear about your difficult experiences, and yes, I have been on most of this stuff, and have done extensive research about the chemical mechanisms of depression and anti-depressants.


Also, about your question, yes, of course I have problems. I think that everyone has emotional problems - it's a natural part of life. However, when we stop dwelling on our own problems and start looking at ways we can help others, then something happens that eases the most difficult of our own problems.

I'm sure everyone here has experienced this, perhaps even on this forum. When you think of another, you forget yourself. Smile

Cheers
-Daniel
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replied October 8th, 2008
Experienced User
oh my i'm so sorry. if you read some of my past posts...you know why but....i get a little hostile with guys now. so sorry. i have a lot of problems that i'm sort of trying to get through.
Cheers!
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replied October 8th, 2008
Advanced Support Team
@melancholydaye: no worries! have a good one (:
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replied April 25th, 2010
Effexor, Antidepressant withdrawal
hi. I think danielV is mistaken in saying "If you don''t take your medication, the only thing that will happen on a physical level is that your capacity to process certain emotions will decrease." - that is really not true at all. Emotional lability and iritability are listed as withdrawal effect of escitalopram (an SSRI)-I can''t remember if this is in the leaflet that comes with the tablets or in various medical textbooks (I am a research biologist- so I have read a lot about these drugs). Logically, since Effexor is an SNRI (affects both noradernaline (=norepinephrine) and serotonin, if esctialopram can give iritability and mood problems, by just affecting serotonin levels, then effexor (=venlafaxine) can do the same by affecting both compounds.

Having said that, it is up to you how you deal with your feelings (hitting people or shouting at them is not the only way to deal with rage- try just visualizing zapping them with fireballs- for example- sounds ridiculous, I know- there are some hypnosis techniques you can try that might help deal with mood swings, too) My personal experience has been that people vary enormously in their responses to specific drugs. I have friends who have had problems with various antidepressants that I have found fine and vice versa. Meditation really helped me and continues to help me- there are lots of kinds- including totally non-religious types. It''s harmless so might be worth a try.

Effexor is much less widely prescribed in the UK now than it was maybe 5 years ago because of problems with it- not addiction so much as side effects, but my impression (from taking it and reading about it) was that it was not a very nice drug. I have heard of some very weird withdrawal effects and addiction effects from other antidepressants, too, so I am not hugely surprised by several of the things people have said here. Personally, my experience has been that withdrawal effects seem to depend largely on how quickly you reduce the dose. The medical literature advises slower withdrawal from effexor especially after long use, if you get withdrawal effects (electric shock sensations). I gave up on that and just stopped completely - for about 3 days I felt really weird- I recorded 200 shock senstaions in 1 minute at the worst point ( I am a scientist- I record things...!!) but it eventually decreased and stopped. I wouldn''t advise the cold turkey approach, but you can do it if you need to.
Hope some of this helps,
Good luck,
MJones
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replied April 25th, 2010
sorry- just to clarify- I meant to say- I am absolutely not suggesting giving up effexor suddenly- especially not without talking to a doctor- I really just mentioned that I did it to make the point that the horrible withdrawal effects do go away after a few days.... of course then you may well go back to being depressed and need/benefit from other meds to treat that- but effexor "addiction"/withdrawal is unpleasant but survivable! If you reduce the dose slowly enough, you can avoid those effects. The second time I was on effexor, I did that. If you have the slow release capsules, the doctor usually just gives you lower dose capsules to help you reduce the dose- but another way to do it is to pull appart the capsules one at a time in a saucer. Each capsule is full of white "balls" of effexor- of various sizes. You can just reduce the number of balls you put back in the capsule before you take it- say 3/4 of them for the first week or two, then 2/3 for a few weeks, then 1/2 etc.
Good luck whatever you decide to do,
MJones
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replied January 13th, 2011
I am addicted to Effexor!!
I am an addict and alcoholic in recovery now (sober.) I am prescribed 150 mg. of Effexor once a day. With my addiction background, I have a bad habit of taking any kind of pill - even non-addictive ones - more than I should. So the Effexor is making me feel energetic, happy, am able to multi-task, etc. So I decide on my own instead of taking 150 mg, up the dose myself to 250-300 mg. I must say, I am getting a "high" from this for sure!! I chew them and it goes into my system and bam, I am wide awake..I get this fuzzy feeling with warm chills, so being the pill junkie and self-proclaimed drug expert as me, I definitely have to tell ppl. if you are an addict, BEWARE..I don't care what anyone says, this stuff is addictive!!!
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replied May 6th, 2011
I don't know if Effexor is addictive in a traditional sense, although - I'm bipolar, and sort of tricked a doctor into prescribing it alone. I was depressed, and at that time - I was still very into manipulating meds all by myself. And I knew very well - effexor is one of the - worst - anti-D's for inducing mania.

The awesomeness was just that, just what I wanted. A stretch of hypomania with a hint of true manic - and generally snapped out of being so depressed. Shortly after, we went to combining it with Lamotrigine, which works for me. Stability, or my version of that.

When Effexor XR went generic, I tried the time-release venfalaxine. And pretty well lost it.

I was a wreck two days in. Uncontrollable anxiety, crying jags, a pretty remarkable inability to concentrate or express myself. I had the twitchy electrics somewhat, but what really freaked me - was the pure lack of control of emotional status.

Whatever the case, it felt a lot like withdrawal. I switched back after a week, and almost immediately stabilized.
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I still think it's awesome. I've been on stuff that caused me way worse problems and side-effects. But I think it should be - taken with care, and it's risky for sure. If its not really indicated or sort of a - must try everything that could work, it seems way off base.

Plus - a big part of taking meds is whether you feel comfortable, so if addictive stuff is a concern, not sure why to try something? (I'm not as concerned about those issues, I'm just happy to have a meds situation that makes my life work well.)
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