Long term effects AFTER withdrawing from Effexor

Posted by DissidentDaughter @dissidentdaughter, Aug 4, 2018

I am wondering if anyone has had any experience like this. I weaned off Effexor three years ago. After doing so I have gradually developed what is now becoming debilitating chronic pain. I am wondering if there is any way that being on Effexor for 15 years could have caused me to develop this pain now that I am not on it anymore. Thanks for your thoughts. I can’t seem to find any direct related research on this.

Hi, @dissidentdaughter — I'm really sorry to hear about the chronic pain you have developed. That must be very difficult. You are wise to consider all possibilities that might have led to this debilitating pain.

What I thought might be helpful would be to tag some members who have completed their taper off of venlafaxine (Effexor) and see what they have to say about any lingering side effects in their experiences, like @texasduchess @cathy615 @sadiesmom @aririkatotomoto @lalyfa. @gailb and @hopeful33250 may also have some thoughts.

@dissidentdaughter — have you had the chance to ask your doctor what he or she thinks about a potential link between the medication and your chronic pain?

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@lisalucier

Hi, @dissidentdaughter — I'm really sorry to hear about the chronic pain you have developed. That must be very difficult. You are wise to consider all possibilities that might have led to this debilitating pain.

What I thought might be helpful would be to tag some members who have completed their taper off of venlafaxine (Effexor) and see what they have to say about any lingering side effects in their experiences, like @texasduchess @cathy615 @sadiesmom @aririkatotomoto @lalyfa. @gailb and @hopeful33250 may also have some thoughts.

@dissidentdaughter — have you had the chance to ask your doctor what he or she thinks about a potential link between the medication and your chronic pain?

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Thank you for that suggestion. I haven’t used this resource in years so I wouldn’t have know who in the group would be good to reach out to here. I mentioned it to my doctor at my last physical and she was strangely silent regarding any of my comments related to chronic pain and depression. This is a new doctor and I was hopeful, due to her bio, that she was more open minded to alternative medicine and listening. However that was not my experience. I have moved A LOT in my adult life and so my medical care has been very inconsistent and poor. The only constant has been my therapist for the last 12 years. While I have done well since weaning off meds (and getting a divorce—one of the exacerbating factors for depression was the marriage), this pain is threatening to pull me down into depression again. Thank you for the recommendation and for reaching out to these other folks. I hope they might have some wisdom to share.

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@lisalucier

Hi, @dissidentdaughter — I'm really sorry to hear about the chronic pain you have developed. That must be very difficult. You are wise to consider all possibilities that might have led to this debilitating pain.

What I thought might be helpful would be to tag some members who have completed their taper off of venlafaxine (Effexor) and see what they have to say about any lingering side effects in their experiences, like @texasduchess @cathy615 @sadiesmom @aririkatotomoto @lalyfa. @gailb and @hopeful33250 may also have some thoughts.

@dissidentdaughter — have you had the chance to ask your doctor what he or she thinks about a potential link between the medication and your chronic pain?

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I personally am not experiencing pain, nor chronic pain. I was on Effexor for 18 years, but only weaned off this Spring (last minimal dose was 4/14/18). I will keep my eye out for others mentioning pain as I continue to read/research Effexor withdrawal and how to minimize symptoms of same.

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@lisalucier

Hi, @dissidentdaughter — I'm really sorry to hear about the chronic pain you have developed. That must be very difficult. You are wise to consider all possibilities that might have led to this debilitating pain.

What I thought might be helpful would be to tag some members who have completed their taper off of venlafaxine (Effexor) and see what they have to say about any lingering side effects in their experiences, like @texasduchess @cathy615 @sadiesmom @aririkatotomoto @lalyfa. @gailb and @hopeful33250 may also have some thoughts.

@dissidentdaughter — have you had the chance to ask your doctor what he or she thinks about a potential link between the medication and your chronic pain?

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I read that Cymbalta (another SNRI) can be prescribed for aches, pains, fibromyalgia, nerve pain and chronic lower back pain. This is kind of "out there"–perhaps, the Effexor was masking a pain/painful condition you had (or were developing) and now that the Effexor is gone, you have become aware of it. Also, some Effexor users complained that it dulled their senses and reactions to things–they mostly referred to emotional dullness, but some did speak of physical numbness.

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@dissidentdaughter
I know exactly what you are talking about with the pain reviving after Effexor. I was well aware that it may be a consequence of getting off the drug.
It, my pain, has reared its ugly head. I was on an extremely bad safari in Kenya and ruptured 3 discs in my neck and 3 in my lower back in 2006. My neck was repaired in 2007. My lower back has not been fixed.
.
AND I refuse to allow it to take over my life again. So what am I doing instead of suffering? As I sit here and think of my life and what is different now from when I was first put on Effexor I realize I have chosen to take control of my life.
You spoke of divorce. My husband died in 2011. He had been lost in his alcoholism for 5 or 6 years. To be fair, I had been lost in illness and multiple sclerosis myself since 2002. We chose to retire in Missouri, not realizing the difference in temperature from the Chicago area would take me out because of my MS. I was having so much difficulty related to the higher temperatures.
.
So what's different now????? ATTITUDE
.
I refuse to allow my physical pain to destroy my life I worked for 32 years to achieve.
Yes, I still have pain. And I keep putting one foot in front of the other. I have many mottos that keep me going. Keep going, keep going, keep going. That's one of my many mottos. I wrote them on 3 x 5 cards and posted them on my walls in my line of vision.
My therapist was great at writing simple sentences on a sheet of paper to send me home with. It was something I could hold in my hand to keep me focused on my next steps until I could be with her again.
Anyway, I hope this starts to help. You are not alone.
Come back and respond please. Smiling at you, Bright Wings
Together we can accomplish anything

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@lisalucier

Hi, @dissidentdaughter — I'm really sorry to hear about the chronic pain you have developed. That must be very difficult. You are wise to consider all possibilities that might have led to this debilitating pain.

What I thought might be helpful would be to tag some members who have completed their taper off of venlafaxine (Effexor) and see what they have to say about any lingering side effects in their experiences, like @texasduchess @cathy615 @sadiesmom @aririkatotomoto @lalyfa. @gailb and @hopeful33250 may also have some thoughts.

@dissidentdaughter — have you had the chance to ask your doctor what he or she thinks about a potential link between the medication and your chronic pain?

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@dissidentdaughter — wondering how you are doing?

I also wanted to mention that you might enjoy participating in our Chronic Pain group as well, if you'd like to check it out: https://connect.mayoclinic.org/group/pain/.

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@brightwings

@dissidentdaughter
I know exactly what you are talking about with the pain reviving after Effexor. I was well aware that it may be a consequence of getting off the drug.
It, my pain, has reared its ugly head. I was on an extremely bad safari in Kenya and ruptured 3 discs in my neck and 3 in my lower back in 2006. My neck was repaired in 2007. My lower back has not been fixed.
.
AND I refuse to allow it to take over my life again. So what am I doing instead of suffering? As I sit here and think of my life and what is different now from when I was first put on Effexor I realize I have chosen to take control of my life.
You spoke of divorce. My husband died in 2011. He had been lost in his alcoholism for 5 or 6 years. To be fair, I had been lost in illness and multiple sclerosis myself since 2002. We chose to retire in Missouri, not realizing the difference in temperature from the Chicago area would take me out because of my MS. I was having so much difficulty related to the higher temperatures.
.
So what's different now????? ATTITUDE
.
I refuse to allow my physical pain to destroy my life I worked for 32 years to achieve.
Yes, I still have pain. And I keep putting one foot in front of the other. I have many mottos that keep me going. Keep going, keep going, keep going. That's one of my many mottos. I wrote them on 3 x 5 cards and posted them on my walls in my line of vision.
My therapist was great at writing simple sentences on a sheet of paper to send me home with. It was something I could hold in my hand to keep me focused on my next steps until I could be with her again.
Anyway, I hope this starts to help. You are not alone.
Come back and respond please. Smiling at you, Bright Wings
Together we can accomplish anything

Jump to this post

@brightwings
I wanted to share my grandmother's motto which she had taped eye-level to a shelf in her clothes closet (which I didn't realize at the time was known as "visualizing" in the psych world): "Make to-day count" (complete with the old-fashioned spelling). I never noticed it until my mum and I were clearing her apartment after she died. She lived to be 96 years old.

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Anyone else have returning depression after withdrawal from Effexor? I've been off for 4.5 months and am having increasing depression, but also a new symptom for me….. severe anxiety. Any recommendations???

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@terri672

Anyone else have returning depression after withdrawal from Effexor? I've been off for 4.5 months and am having increasing depression, but also a new symptom for me….. severe anxiety. Any recommendations???

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Hi, @terri672 – I moved your post to this existing discussion on effects after tapering off venlafaxine (Effexor) so that you could connect with others discussing this subject. Click VIEW & REPLY in your email notification to get to your post.

Hoping that @sandij @ldwhite720 @texasduchess @brightwings @notaround @babydoll will chime in with any experiences they have with returning depression or anxiety after a taper off of venlafaxine (Effexor).

What symptoms are you noticing especially with the depression and anxiety, @terri672 (e.g., loss of interest in activities, restlessness, trouble concentrating)?

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@terri672

Anyone else have returning depression after withdrawal from Effexor? I've been off for 4.5 months and am having increasing depression, but also a new symptom for me….. severe anxiety. Any recommendations???

Jump to this post

@terri672
I was only on Effexor (25mg regular release) for hot flashes. I never had anxiety, insomnia, akathisia, irritability and rage UNTIL I tapered off (last dose was 4/14/18). Effexor increases/regulates the levels of two brain neurotransmitters–norepinephrine (noradrenaline) and serotonin. At low doses, it prevents serotonin reuptake (leaves more serotonin in the system). At higher doses, it inhibits both serotonin and noradrenaline reuptake. Serotonin helps control a number of processes within the brain–mood and emotions, anxiety and aggression, sleep, appetite, memory and perceptions. Norepinephrine is a stress hormone that affects parts of the brain that relate to attention and response and it underlies the fight-or-flight response. I realized pretty quickly that the overwhelming feelings, insomnia and akathisia were Effexor withdrawal symptoms. It's going to take some time for my brain to balance itself (I was on Effexor for 18 years); I found relief in taking supplements (click on my name to read past posts where I list them). If you were on Effexor for mental/emotional issues, you may need to go back on it, or try a different medication.

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@texasduchess

@terri672
I was only on Effexor (25mg regular release) for hot flashes. I never had anxiety, insomnia, akathisia, irritability and rage UNTIL I tapered off (last dose was 4/14/18). Effexor increases/regulates the levels of two brain neurotransmitters–norepinephrine (noradrenaline) and serotonin. At low doses, it prevents serotonin reuptake (leaves more serotonin in the system). At higher doses, it inhibits both serotonin and noradrenaline reuptake. Serotonin helps control a number of processes within the brain–mood and emotions, anxiety and aggression, sleep, appetite, memory and perceptions. Norepinephrine is a stress hormone that affects parts of the brain that relate to attention and response and it underlies the fight-or-flight response. I realized pretty quickly that the overwhelming feelings, insomnia and akathisia were Effexor withdrawal symptoms. It's going to take some time for my brain to balance itself (I was on Effexor for 18 years); I found relief in taking supplements (click on my name to read past posts where I list them). If you were on Effexor for mental/emotional issues, you may need to go back on it, or try a different medication.

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Thanks, Lisa… With ever increasing anxiety/panic and depression, yesterday I decided to go back on the effexor. I couldn't see my regular doctor for 2 weeks and as much as I hated to do it, I made the decision that it was better than living the way I've felt for the last few months. I saw a different doctor yesterday and she agreed. I have really mixed emotions about it, but I was getting worse rather than better. I've never had anxiety before getting off the effexor. It was absolutely horrible and I hope it's in the past…thanks for reaching out!

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@lisalucier

Hi, @terri672 – I moved your post to this existing discussion on effects after tapering off venlafaxine (Effexor) so that you could connect with others discussing this subject. Click VIEW & REPLY in your email notification to get to your post.

Hoping that @sandij @ldwhite720 @texasduchess @brightwings @notaround @babydoll will chime in with any experiences they have with returning depression or anxiety after a taper off of venlafaxine (Effexor).

What symptoms are you noticing especially with the depression and anxiety, @terri672 (e.g., loss of interest in activities, restlessness, trouble concentrating)?

Jump to this post

Thanks, Lisa… The worst symptoms have been trouble sleeping, anxiety, panic. Depression has been bad, feeling very sad, not able to cope, loss of joy, daily activities are just survival in addition to loss of appetite and my stomach is in knots. I did see a NP yesterday and I've returned to effexor, sad to say….

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@terri672

Thanks, Lisa… The worst symptoms have been trouble sleeping, anxiety, panic. Depression has been bad, feeling very sad, not able to cope, loss of joy, daily activities are just survival in addition to loss of appetite and my stomach is in knots. I did see a NP yesterday and I've returned to effexor, sad to say….

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Terri, I’m sorry you are experiencing symptoms again. Did you wean off or go off cold turkey? I don’t think it is unusual for symptoms to return. Mine didn’t return but I have started on Cymbalta in the last four months to help with pain that got progressively worse after coming off Effexor.

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@dissidentdaughter

Terri, I’m sorry you are experiencing symptoms again. Did you wean off or go off cold turkey? I don’t think it is unusual for symptoms to return. Mine didn’t return but I have started on Cymbalta in the last four months to help with pain that got progressively worse after coming off Effexor.

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I took 8.5 months to wean off and was off for 4.5 months before I went back on. Quality of life got worse and worse. It did increase my blood pressure and I suffered a lot of pain after I weaned off. I read that it did suppress pain, but I do have fibromyalgia. The anxiety was horrible and the depression kept increasing. My blood pressure also seems to be going down now that I am taking it again. I'm so disappointed that I wasn't able to stay off of it, but I feel 75% better after just 2 days… I'm thankful for answered prayers because I felt like I was losing it!

Liked by texasduchess

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Hi, @terri672 – wanted to check in with you and see how it's going being back on the venlafaxine (Effexor) again? Are the depression and anxiety getting better at all?

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