Uncontrolled Crying Withdrawing from Effexor

“Two days after my last dose was hell.”

 

One issue not brought up yet in the Effexor stories is that because it is so fast-acting, it should be taken at the same time every day. If I had known this, I would have disqualified myself from this medication.

If I had known about the withdrawal, I also would have decided to go without “this time.” But there would have been a next time. Now there won’t be a next time.
My initial complaint was a “different sort of depressed” feeling. Not like the major depressions I’ve had in the past, but uncontrolled crying and irritability. My psychiatrist, now that she is leaving her group, tells me that she was not allowed to offer psychotherapy, only drugs. I was not told this when I saw her, but I admit I was open to more drugs. I thought I had responded well to Zoloft in the past, but didn’t like being anorgasmic. I had responded very badly to Serzone. She first put me on Buspar, as she felt I was more anxious than depressed. I gave it what I felt to be a decent try (about 3 months) but the dizziness never really went away, and although I drink less than one drink a week, I was going to Tuscany and felt it quite unfair that I couldn’t drink while there. So I took myself off in about 2 weeks and one step down.
A month or so after I returned from the vacation, I was put on Effexor because of extreme fatigue, lethargy and bothersome “fuzzy brain”(that I had also brought to my GP and she had been unable to diagnose). [Note that all of these effects are listed as withdrawal symptoms with the SSRIs. Dr. Tracy]

I spent the next 5 months increasing my dosage on Effexor because it didn’t appear to be making anything worse, but I was still not better. I had also been suffering from extreme constipation (concurrent with the removal of Buspar) which after many GI tests my GI doctor ruled as “mulitcausal” and washed his hands of me.

The constipation became significantly less bothersome after a major stress date in my life passed. But by then insomnia compounded by nightmares were added to my list of symptoms.

I talked to all 3 doctors about the increasing muscle spasms I had been noticing. “That’s normal”was the most response I got. I was referred to a neurologist, who could find nothing but lessened reflexes on one leg. I was intermittently experiencing buzzing in my brain that I was afraid to mention to anyone.
I felt urges to voluntarily spasm my neck muscles, and the longer I delayed doing so, the more it felt involuntary when I finally relented (voluntary tics??). I worried about myself!!

Since I hope to get pregnant soon, my husband and I decided that I needed to get off of the Effexor — definitely not enough benefit for that kind of risk. I weaned myself in what I thought was a slow manner — a minimum of a week between drops, some drops I stayed on for 2 1/2 weeks. 5 drops in all.

Two days after my last dose (yesterday) was hell — and I also received “Prozac Backlash”in the mail. Talk about reading about yourself! I now believe that many of the symptoms that kept me on the Effexor were really withdrawal symptoms!
I would sometimes take it at 10 in the morning, sometimes at 2 in the afternoon. If I’d forgotten, I would take it at night and then try to wait until the evening the next day, but then would be back to the morning.

Now I am very worried about how long I will be experiencing all the buzzing and dizziness (ironic, my left ear says “quack quack”to me a few times a minute), the urge to spasm, the crying and irritability (thank God my husband not only understands but is very relieved to finally have a reason for some of my complaints!).

And my psychiatrist? I saw her about two weeks ago and let her know how I had been coming off the Effexor. She never mentioned any side effects or to take it slower. I indicated that I would like: 1) a short-term sleeping aide to help get my sleep schedule back on track and 2) something to take when the stress builds up to too much and I “flip”. My preference is to sleep until I am better, and I didn’t want to keep raiding my medicine cabinet for whatever heavy-duty painkillers were still in there.

What did she prescribe? Neurontin. To take “as needed”for both purposes. No wonder there is such a movement towards “alternative”medicine. I don’t know if I’ll ever trust a drug prescription again.

I am so glad I am not exposing a growing fetus to this!

L G
Austin, TX

 

Years 2000 and Prior

This is Survivor Story number 49.
Total number of stories in current database is 96

433 total views, no views today

My Alcohol Craving on Prozac

“I am feeling so angry and deceived by the medical profession.”

 

I was shocked to read the report on alcohol.html (Alcohol Cravings Induced via Increased Serotonin) I was on Prozac for 8 miserable years. During that time I gained a lot of weight but more importantly I constantly craved alcohol, like daily. The psychiatrist and psychologist lectured me about drinking yet I continued, always feeling guilty and ashamed. I am not now, nor have I ever been an alcoholic!
Last November I weaned myself off Prozac, I was concerned that my weight dropped so rapidly but not feeling ill, I was pleased. More importantly, at the same time I lost all desire to drink alcohol. I am feeling so angry and deceived by the medical profession. I was never told that Prozac was the reason for my huge weight gain never mind the alcohol craving. This is shocking information and I thank you.

Ann K.

 

Years 2000 and Prior

This is Survivor Story number 48.
Total number of stories in current database is 96

426 total views, no views today

Hallucinations on Cozar

“If I waited 2 more weeks my mother would be dead.”

 

My Mom was put on the drug Cozar for high blood pressure after being on Lopressor successfully for year. Cozar sent her into hallucinations both hearing things and seeing things, and it also caused a rapid heartbeat and sent her into seizures. Now, she has to take Dilantin for it. It was only after asking Rite Aide drug store chain to send me all the adverse side effects on this drug that I found same case scenarios as to what happened to my Mother. I told her Doctor about what happened, and she said, “Well it sometimes takes a couple of weeks for the body to adjust.” If I had waited two more weeks my mother would be dead. Now needless to say, we fired her doctor and found an alternative medicine doctor. Please tell everyone–Cozar is very dangerous!

Thanks

Eric Bradway
elbradway@erols.com

Years 2000 and Prior

This is Survivor Story number 47.
Total number of stories in current database is 96

290 total views, no views today

Son Convicted of Murder while on Paxil

“I was frightened and bewildered. Nothing like that had ever happened before with any of our children.”

 

I’m writing regarding the radio show you were interviewed on in June of this year. I was very fortunate to catch this interview, normally I am not awake at this hour of the night. I was both delighted and disappointed. Delighted because you almost never hear the dangers of these “mind altering drugs.” Disappointed because nobody seems to care. I call these drugs “mind altering” because “anti-depressant” doesn’t fit the consequences it can make. I feel you are a ray of hope to people like me who have experienced the horrible effects these drugs have.

I have four children. My youngest child, Jarred was put on Paxil at 16. I took my son to the doctor because I was concerned about his abuse of alcohol. After a 15 minute evaluation, the doctor concluded Jarred was depressed. He gave us sample boxes of Paxil, a month supply. He gave us no instruction except to take one a day. There were no instructions with or on the sample packets. After the first day on this drug, my son complained of severe agitation, he said he felt “weird.” I called the doctor and asked if he had a smaller dosage. I told him I thought they were too strong for Jarred. The doctor told me there was not a smaller dosage than 20mg. He said I should cut them in half. A couple days later my son became combative with me and his father. The police had to be called. I was frightened and bewildered. Nothing like that had ever happened before with any of our children. I didn’t connect these drugs with this incident, I thought it was from alcohol use. Three days later, a family friend was murdered. Jarred was charged and convicted of first degree murder. He is in a California state prison serving life without parole. We were in shock, in total disbelief this happened.

The victim was someone we spent time with. Jarred would play games with her. He spent nights at her house with my other children. Jarred cared very much for this special lady. This was extremely out of character for Jarred. We couldn’t understand what happened. No one believed Jarred could do this. We didn’t connect the drug to what had happened until Jarred’s attorney asked us about the Paxil he was taking. He said he found cases where people have taken these drugs and committing horrible crimes. It puzzled Jarred’s lawyer because Jarred had never been in trouble or had never been violent.

This has been heavy on my heart for four years. We’re hearing of more and more cases of horrible crimes committed by people who are on these drugs. There is definitely a connection.

My question to you is what can I to help get the message across. I have been silent too long. I want to do something to help. I want to do anything I can to stop these tragedies from happening. I know they will continue to occur with some doctors handing these drugs out like aspirin.

I realize you are very busy. I greatly appreciate your work. I would love very much to hear from you.

Brenda Victor
RAWDUDE101@aol.com

 

Years 2000 and Prior

This is Survivor Story number 46.
Total number of stories in current database is 96

372 total views, no views today

Going Cold Turkey Off Paxil

“I decided it was time for a drastic change or I would end up dead.”

 

Since birth, and all my growing up years I was a victim of mental, verbal, and physical abuse at the hand of my mother. Many events left me deeply scarred, and I ended up going right into an abusive alcoholic marriage which lasted almost 20 years. I ended it in divorce. and immediately got into yet another situation the same year. I ended that one after a year and a half.

After only a year, I entered into another relationship with a recovering alcoholic, whom also suffered serious mental illness and I found myself living in a serious possible murder/suicide situation. Walking on egg shells. this relationship ended after 2 years when I found him hanging dead.

I guess it all caught up to me, and I ended up in a bad state, and was diagnosed with PTSD (post trauma stress disorder) and was hospitalized for 7 weeks, and was started on Paxil…20mg, Xanax, and Imovane.

I had a long history usage of Ativan for anxiety but always was cautious and used only as I needed it. The Paxil helped me for a while, I thought, as I came up out of the black pit of the secondary depression. Eventually the dosage was boosted until I was at 50mg per day. All the time I thought that I was never going to “get my life” back as I had no ambition, slept a lot, didn’t much care if I showered or got out of bed.

Normally a very tidy, clean person, this was very bothersome to me. Living alone, no one really noticed and I could bluff my way through life. I tried to work, but could not hold a job and spent the waking hours on the computer talking to my fellow PTSD sufferers.

After 2 years I met a good man, a very decent human, and got involved. He was taking note of my behavior, and brought certain things to my attention. I decided to wean myself off the Paxil, gradually reducing the dosage by 10 mg every 3-4 weeks. I started having a weird sensation of an electric current going through me every time I moved my eyes or my head. I was nauseated, dizzy, moody, and overly sensitive to light, and had horrid headaches. Having moved to a new city, I needed to find a new doctor and 3 out of 3 told me to up my Paxil dosage back to 40 mg/daily.

I followed their advice. but found myself back into the black hole of despair again. After my partner again brought it to my attention, I decided it was time for a drastic change or I would end up dead! I NEEDED to have control over my life so I went off the Paxil, cold turkey, perhaps a mistake. But I think not. I suffered diarrhea, vomiting, nausea, dizziness, fell down a flight of stairs due to the “electric shock” sensation, sleepless nights, nightmares, intense sweating and dehydration, mood swings, and flu type symptoms.

But despite the physical agony, I felt better emotionally than I had for a very long time so was determined to suffer it out. It has been 2 weeks now, and I am still having a lot of discomfort–the shock feeling, the headaches, and diarrhea and am afraid to drive anymore. I notice a lack of appetite (may loose some of those Paxil induced pounds) and have days better than others. I have found some of my old energy returning, and my sense of humor. I do not know how long this will go on. But I have been advising anyone I know to refuse Paxil if ever offered to them.
I pray that these symptoms will go away some day. Or is this to be a part of the rest of my life thanks to the horror drug Paxil?

Thank you for listening.

Yvonne Jameson

Years 2000 and Prior

This is Survivor Story number 45.
Total number of stories in current database is 96

386 total views, no views today

Antidepressants for Chronic Fatigue Syndrome

“It was truly the worst experience I’ve ever had and will never blindly take those drugs again…”

 

I just want people to know that there is a whole lot to this problem that no one is talking about. I have been put on several anti-depressants for CFIDS (Chronic Fatigue Syndrome) by one doctor, and put on another anti-depressant for pain. I was told these drugs are used to increase the amount of chemicals in your brain that buffer pain. I flat out told everyone loud and long that I was not depressed, but still they hand out anti-depressants like they are candy. I suffered terrible reactions to them. I would have such vivid nightmares that I could feel what it was like to stab someone, I could hear blade against bone. It was truly the worst experience I’ve ever had and will never blindly take those drugs again, although they are still trying to give them to me. My daughter is in college, and the largest number of people on this drug now I would guess would have to be college students. They hand them out like candy to these kids and they are really getting screwed up over this. Several of her friends have become suicidal. I don’t think anyone who isn’t a shrink, should not be allowed to prescribe these drugs. Please do a show on the miss-prescribing of this drug.

Thanks for your good work.

Bonny Jacobson

 

Years 2000 and Prior

This is Survivor Story number 44.
Total number of stories in current database is 96

490 total views, no views today

Suicide after One Month on Celexa and lorazipam

“I do wonder just how often suicide, attempted suicides and murders are committed by people who are taking SSRI drugs.”

 

My son, 31 years of age, was prescribed Celexa 20mg/day and lorazipam .5mg as needed, July 22, 1999, on first visit without any form of physical examination and with only a short interview by a case worker and psychiatrist. He was seen on August 4, at which time the doctor said he was better. On August 21, 1999, he committed suicide. I cannot scientifically prove Celexa was the cause. I only know what others and myself know about him and his behavior. We are convinced the medication definitely increased his symptoms of frequent mood swings, anxiety, fear, inability to sleep, panic, anger, inability to concentrate.

Because of my son’s death (suicide) while taking Celexa, I have become aware of the habit of doctors prescribing selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors TOO OFTEN, and in my opinion, WITHOUT SUFFICIENT REGARD TO THE DANGEROUS SIDE EFFECTS AND/OR OTHER HEALTH CONDITIONS WHICH COULD BE THE CAUSE OF THE DEPRESSION. I do wonder just how often suicide, attempted suicides and murders are committed by people who are taking SSRI drugs.

On 9-17-99, I phoned Adverse Drug Reactions Medical Inquiries and was transferred to New Jersey Drug Safety. I spoke with Christine Casilana (uncertain of correct spelling), of Forest Pharmaceuticals. She took all pertinent information and assured me the report would be sent to the FDA. I specifically asked about the statement in the package insert that reads, “frequent adverse events are those occurring on one or more occasions in at least 1/100 patients”. Under “Psychiatric Disorders” those listed as frequent among others noted are: “impaired concentration, depression, aggravated depression, suicide attempt”. Christine explained that frequent – the 1/100 figure – meant that AT LEAST ONE (but the actual number could be higher than just one) out of 100 made a suicide attempt on Celexa.

One is a large percent when indicating DEATH, especially if it is YOUR loved one. I don’t mean to sound angry, I just want someone to pay attention. It is hard to believe this drug is given out so readily. The selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors are prescribed far to freely and without sufficient supervision of the patient AND with some doctors, without adequate examination.

 

Years 2000 and Prior

This is Survivor Story number 43.
Total number of stories in current database is 96

287 total views, no views today

Cataracts from Prozac

“I have seen four eye doctors and they all are stumped as to why I got cataracts.”

 

I was on Prozac for about half a year and stopped taking it because I could no longer tolerate the side effects. Now four years later I have developed cataracts in both eyes (20/200) and had to have my natural lens replaced with “plastic”.
I’m only 38, never abused my self and have always been healthy. I am a pilot / flight instructor and have always worn ray ban sunglasses. I have seen four eye doctors and they all are stumped as to why I got cataracts. Do you think that the use of Prozac may have caused cataracts? And are there others out there going through this besides me? I’d really like to know.
Thanks.

If the doctors Glenn has seen were aware of the doubling of cortisol levels with only one single 30 mg dose of Prozac, they would not be stumped as to why he got cataracts. This type of steroid effect has long been linked to cataracts and many other serious physical effects. For any additional information on eye problems reported with SSRIs see Prozac: Panacea or Pandora? (800-280-0730)

Glenn
glennbarclay@yahoo.com

 

Years 2000 and Prior

This is Survivor Story number 42.
Total number of stories in current database is 96

638 total views, 2 views today

Dizzy and Nauseous Withdrawing from Generic Wellbutrin

“I am not going to go away! I want some answers!”

 

I am a 49 year old Wife and Mother of 4 who has been successfully taking Wellbutrin for depression since April of 1996. I take 450 milligrams a day. (2 pills 3x daily) Friday morning July 28, 2000 I woke up feeling dizzy and nauseous with horrible pains in my stomach. I had felt “funny” the night before so I went to bed early. I soon developed severe diarrhea. I thought I had contacted a bad case of the flu. My symptoms got worse as time went on. I was completely drained. I had no energy. I had to drag myself around the house and had to lay down every few minutes. The room was spinning and I constantly felt like I was going to vomit, but I never did.

At one point, late Friday evening, I considered going to the emergency room. A Doctor friend of mine came over to examine me and recommended that I get a colonoscopy. He thought it must be my colon. I had a colonoscopy and had my inner ear examined. I was told I probably had an inner ear infection and that I was experiencing vertigo. I have had vertigo before and it lasted for one, two, maybe 3 days at the most. I was going into my 3rd week and I was still dizzy and nauseous. In addition to all this, I experienced a kind of a strange vibration going on inside my head. It felt like something was shaking, similar to the machines that mix paint! Also, the right side of my face felt a pressure and I truly thought I must have a brain tumor! It was so horrible!

Friday, August 25, 2000, I happen to catch a 20/20 about the withdrawal symptoms after going off an antidepressant. The people they interviewed had the exact same reactions as myself. I could not believe it. Everything they had, I had, including the brain thing. They called it a feeling like an electric shock in the brain! I was curious as to why I was having all of these withdrawal symptoms because I had not stopped taking my antidepressant, Wellbutrin. I looked at my bottle and noted the day I had my last prescription filled was the day before I got so violently ill. I also noted that for the first time since 1996, I had been given the generic brand. I have been on Wellbutrin for a very long time without any symptoms until I had the generic. (Bupropion)
Something has to be done! People need to be warned of these complications. I do not want anyone to go through what I had to go through! I wrote the producer of 20/20 and told her what had happened to me. I want to know if anyone else has had a similar experience with the generic.

I am not going to go away! I want some answers!

Rosemary Durkin Snyder
4kids@compuserve.com

 

8/28/2000

This is Survivor Story number 13.
Total number of stories in current database is 96

491 total views, no views today

Weight Gains on Effexor ER

“In less than a year I have gone from 120lbs to more than 200lbs.”

 

After I had my daughter I became depressed and my family doctor put me on Zoloft and lorazipam. Around the same time my OBGYN put me on the Deproprevara shot for birth control. When I rapidly gained weight the doctor suspected the Deproprevara. I was taken off of it and my Zoloft script was increased. My family doctor said that this would help with weight loss as well as the depression. Why not kill two birds with one stone?

The weight came off but every 3 months or so I noticed that my depression, along with panic and anxiety attacks, would return and be worse, so the Zoloft and lorazipam scripts continued to be increased in dosage. When I approached my family doctor about my concerns on the increased dosage without relief she suggested that I change medications. I was immediately switched to Effexor XR.
I am still taking Effexor XR and since I switched, my weight gain has been tremendous. I am also sleeping most of the day, and I crave alcohol. I am a smoker but as of late, I have increased my habit from less than a pack a day to about 2 and 1/2 packs a day.

In less than a year I have gone from 120lbs to more than 200lbs (I am 5’6″, and 27yrs old). When I started these drugs I was a water aerobics instructor, and taught 6hrs of swimming lessons Fridays, Saturdays, and Sundays. Now I can barely get out of bed in the afternoon to clean the house. I need help. I know what it does to me body and brain when I simply miss a dosage, let alone quit it completely.

D.R.

 

8/17/2000

This is Survivor Story number 14.
Total number of stories in current database is 96

425 total views, no views today