Depression affects millions of Americans every year. Many antidepressants are in vogue, of which the SSNRIs or Selective Serotonin and Norepinephrine Reuptake Inhibitors are some of the most popular ones. Effexor, an antidepressant among the clan of SSNRIs, is used for treatment of various kinds of depression problems, bipolar disorders, anxiety and mood disorders. Though not every antidepressant works with every other individual, Effexor is quite compatible with a lot of people. The drug works by controlling the natural chemicals in the brain which help improve certain mood problems.
Effexor withdrawal: Antidepressants are known for their pact with the patient. They benefit you as long as you take them. They cause dramatic, positive changes in your life. But, they do start hurting you when you move away from them. They can swing you from the brink of suicide to the brim of ecstasy, but they never forgive you when you withdraw from them, that is, stop taking them. Like every other antidepressant, Effexor has its own set of withdrawal symptoms. Though Paxil, another antidepressant, is supposed to cause the utmost withdrawal symptoms, Effexor is no less competent. The drug can cause serious withdrawal symptoms in a long term user. Here are a few truths about Effexor withdrawal:
1. Irrespective of dosage: Some people tend to think that withdrawal symptoms are proportional to dosage of antidepressants. No, this is not true. You can experience severe withdrawal symptoms even if you are on low dosage. Since withdrawal from the drug matters a lot, dosage is not an issue with regard to withdrawal symptoms.
2. Period of withdrawal: Withdrawal periods vary from individual to individual. The minimum period for withdrawal is 2 months. But with regard to Effexor, withdrawal symptoms can last more than 2 months, even a year. Patients who have been using the drug for a long term will have to undergo withdrawal symptoms.
3. Short half-life: Effexor is a drug which has a short half life of five hours. This means the body takes only 5 hours to metabolize half dose of the drug. This is a very short span of time and hence, this can cause serious side effects or withdrawal symptoms even if you miss one or two doses.
4. Brain shivers: This is common with a few antidepressants. Patients withdrawing from the drug experience brain zapping sensations all through the day. These sensations are sudden and unexpected that the patient experiences almost a standstill moment of consciousness. Dubbed as brain shivers, these are often accompanied by headaches.
5. Common withdrawal symptoms: FDA medical products report lists the following withdrawal symptoms in Effexor users: agitation, anorexia, dizziness, cotton mouth, confused or dazed state of mind, diarrhea, suicidal thoughts, insomnia, nausea, nightmares, somnolence, sweating, tremor, vertigo and vomiting.
6. Vision problems: Though this is not mentioned by many, a few do experience long term vision problems.
7. Granule reduction: Some try to avoid side effects by reducing the number the granules (inside the capsule) of Effexor they take everyday. This does not work effectively as not all Effexor capsules contain the same number of granules. Also, missing one or two granules can also result in withdrawal symptoms.
Since withdrawal symptoms are unavoidable, all you can do is work with your doctor and chart out an effective plan for withdrawal. And remember to have a plan B if your plan A flunks.
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