This is a video I did when I first attempted to quit Effexor.. it is real and not fake... pretty scary!
My Horrible Nightmares - Recorded Live - Effexor Medication Withdrawal & Brain Zaps
Info on not taking Venafaxine and the possible adverse side effects
Venlafaxine is a widely used serotonin- and norepinephrine-reuptake inhibitor-type antidepressant that causes serious adverse effects in at least 5% of cases. Serious withdrawal symptoms may occur within hours of cessation or reduction of the usual dosage and may affect motor and coordination skills to such a degree that patients should be explicitly urged either to adhere to a strict medication routine or not to drive a car. Recent clinical evidence about withdrawal symptoms is presented that may indicate incidents in noradrenergic activity irrespective of dosage.
Serotonin, Noradrenaline Withdrawal
Venlafaxine hydrochloride (Effexor, Dobupal) is a phenylethylamine-derivative antidepressant and anxiolytic agent that acts as a serotonin- and noradrenaline-reuptake inhibitor (SNRI). It is used primarily in major depressive disorder, with labeled uses including generalized anxiety disorder and social phobia. Nonlabeled uses include depressive symptom remission, obsessive-compulsive disorder, and chronic pain syndromes.
Most selective serotonin-reuptake inhibitors (SSRI) and SSNRIs are reported to cause serious adverse effects in approximately 5% of patients, according to its manufacturer. Venlafaxine is no exception. Among the adverse effects are a number of withdrawal symptoms that form "discontinuance syndromes," sometimes mistakenly identified with what Sternbach in 1991 proposed as the "serotonin syndrome". Venlafaxine's half-life is only 4 hours. Its primary metabolite, O-desmethylvenlafaxine, has a half-life of 10 hours. In the past 10 years, a number of clinical reports of severe venlafaxine withdrawal symptoms have been published, and for the most part these effects are duly reflected in generally available information. Widely consulted drug information services, such as Medscape DrugInfo, American Hospital Formulary Service Drug Information, and First DataBank, list the following withdrawal symptoms as "serious": agitation, anorexia, anxiety, confusion, impaired coordination, diarrhea, dizziness, dry mouth, dysphoric mood, fasciculation, fatigue, headaches, hypomania, insomnia, nausea, nervousness, nightmares, sensory disturbances (including shock-like electrical sensations), somnolence, sweating, tremor, vertigo, and vomiting.
Recent Case Histories: Withdrawal Effects Are Not Dose-Dependent
Case 1: Standard Dose. Female, white, age 35, no other pathologies, diagnosed for major depressive disorder with anger attacks. Treated with extended-release venlafaxine 150 mg for 4 months with concurrent psychotherapy, with positive results: Beck's Depression Inventory score reduced from 38 to 14; functionality restored.
The patient ran out of medication on a Thursday and could not get in touch with her doctor until the next Monday. On Friday, only 12 hours after the usual time of taking the medication, she felt a noticeable change in mood, dizziness, and nausea. She experienced a sensation in her head as if electrical discharges "popped" and could not concentrate to the extent that she was unable to drive her car back from where she had gone. By Friday evening (18 hours after cessation), the "popping" in her head had become worse and she vomited after dinner. Depression symptoms reappeared acutely, and she could not stop crying. At first, she did not equate these symptoms to the missed dose of venlafaxine, but thought she might have contracted the flu. However, the symptoms continued and intensified over the weekend and only reduced when, on Monday, she started again on venlafaxine. She was inadvertently given the lower dose of 75 mg, which did not quite restore her mood to the previous level, although the "electrical popping" sensation in her head stopped and the nausea was reduced.
Case 2: High Dose. (Provided by J. Garcia Campayo, MD, PhD, Dept of Psychiatry, Miguel Servet Hospital, University of Zaragoza, Spain)
Female, white, age 43, first diagnosis of major depressive disorder of moderate intensity; maternal history of depressive disorder. Successfully treated with 225 mg of venlafaxine (75-75-75) for 12 months with no adverse effects. The patient decided she could do without the medication and stopped taking it abruptly. Withdrawal effects appeared within a day and included headaches, dizziness, and instability, with a sense of losing balance (although she did not actually fall down), sense of sparks and electrical discharges in her head, and intense anxiety. When treatment at the original level was reinstated and progressively reduced over a period of 2 weeks, the symptoms disappeared.
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