Back On Meds
I just went back on Effexor (the generic tablet form) yesterday, after almost a year without it. I began taking the XR form in March 2004, and after five or six months settled into a 112.5 mg./day dosage. After a little over 2 years, when I finished college and no longer had health insurance, my doctor helped me switch to the tablet form so that I wouldn't be shelling out over $100 bucks a month on the XR. I took one 100-mg tablet a day until late December 2008. For most of that time, I did just fine. It helped me overcome social anxiety disorder and depression.
It had minor/moderate side effects, including irregularity, sweating and delayed or abnormal ***********, but they didn't necessarily interfere with my day-to-day life. However, in the fall of 2008, I began having a problem with withdrawal setting in 3-4 hours before my next dose was due. I tried taking half a pill twice a day (as near to 12 hours apart as possible), but that caused 1-2 hours of withdrawal before each half-pill. I also developed a new side effect that fall...more sudden urges to urinate than what I would normally have, which was very inconvenient at work. So, from mid-December '08 to Feb. 1, 2009 I weaned myself off by slowly spacing my doses out to about 2 days, and then plunged ahead from there and went through about two weeks of tough withdrawal. It included a sloshy feeling in my head, with queasiness. I also had a few days of periodic chills that would last a couple minutes. It was miserable, but I had been feeling lousy during the last couple months before starting to wean off it anyway.
I got through that, and then had no issues whatsoever for over two months. From April through yesterday, I had a slow recurrence of a few depression symptoms: reverting back to taking an hour or more to fall asleep at night, deep tension in my face, neck and shoulders, and irritability that could get very intense. Oddly, I had no conscious feelings of depression the entire time. I had some anxiety, but even that was nowhere near what it had been before ever taking meds.
My doctor prescribed half of a 100-mg tablet twice daily to help avoid withdrawal. I took a half yesterday evening, and felt fuzzy or woozy, but after less than a day, my tension is fading and I don't feel edgy. I also feel more rested than I have in a long time.