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Old 06-18-2013, 04:06 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Effexor for benzo w/d?

Hi there. I have been on 2-3 mg Xanax daily for 2 years. I was trying to come off CT but just couldn't. My dr prescribed Effexor and said that he'd taper my Xanax after 6 weeks on Effexor. Today when I went to fill them the pharmacy refused my Xanax refill. I even explained I'd been to the dr, and this was the start to a taper regimen. They still have to hear it from his mouth I guess?
A couple questions.... Will the Effexor actually help with the w/d? And also - if my dr tells the pharmacy to fill the script - will they? I don't understand why they refused. I have NOT been a drug seeker or filled early repeatedly etc...
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Old 06-25-2013, 11:53 PM   #2 (permalink)
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Did you say "drug seeker" ?? Got to love psych-pharma industry , selling people drugs that cause dependence and withdrawal reactions then calling there need to treat the withdrawal reaction sickness "drug seeking".

Blame the victim at its best.


Are you the type to kill the messenger ?

Anti depressants just made my body feel more taxed, gave it more to deal with during benzo withdrawal.

I was on the max of 8mg xanax for a long time.

Now the good news , benzo withdrawal ends even though when your in the hell of it it feels like and almost makes people believe its a 100% permanent condition that's never ever going to end but it did for me in a few weeks.

The taper took a bit , its the tail end that was real rough, it does end.
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Old 06-28-2013, 07:01 AM   #3 (permalink)
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I dunno about Effexor helping with benzo w/d, but I'll tell you that getting OFF Effexor is very difficult. I tapered very, very slowly and still had the 'brain zaps', dizziness, etc. My brother was on it and was impatient to get off it, so tapered very little. He had zaps and other side-effects for months. There's a good reason that a lot of folks who've been on it call it Side-Effexor.

Best of luck - I recently got off opiates. Withdrawal can be grueling. Exercise helped immensely - with the anxiety, agitation, etc. and, I believe, helped get the natural endorphins and healthy hormones pumping again, much more quickly.

I also pumped up my diet with a lot of 'nutrient density' for nutritional support. Green smoothies, steamed veggies, salads, whole grains. It seems common to me that these two elements are under-valued as aids in withdrawal/recovery, but focusing on them helped/are helping me a great deal.
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Old 06-28-2013, 07:48 AM   #4 (permalink)
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Thanks for the info. I too have been on Effexor, about ten years ago, and it was awful to come off of. I shared that with my doctor but she feels that the anxiety minimizing benefits will assist in the Xanax withdrawal and then we'll worry about coming off Effexor when needed. I notice a small difference in mood so far, and I'm in the lowest dose. I do experience extreme weight loss on it which right now is fine but 10 lbs more and ill be too thin.
It's just a cycle after cycle.,,
I too have been working on nutrition and have been juicing and doing yoga. Can't say it's helped my anxiety yet but I plan to continue.
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Old 06-28-2013, 06:44 PM   #5 (permalink)
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I hear you on having to prioritize what you take now. I had to go (back) on Cymbalta (similar w/d as Effexor, unfortunately) to get off the opiates and am on the lowest therapeutic dose. I credit that, and strenuous exercise, for avoiding much of the panic/anxiety I had once before when I tried to quit opiates.

Hang in there - you can do it!
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Old 07-03-2013, 01:09 AM   #6 (permalink)
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Originally Posted by Katt1825 View Post
Thanks for the info. I too have been on Effexor, about ten years ago, and it was awful to come off of. I shared that with my doctor but she feels that the anxiety minimizing benefits will assist in the Xanax withdrawal and then we'll worry about coming off Effexor when needed. I notice a small difference in mood so far, and I'm in the lowest dose. I do experience extreme weight loss on it which right now is fine but 10 lbs more and ill be too thin.
It's just a cycle after cycle.,,
I too have been working on nutrition and have been juicing and doing yoga. Can't say it's helped my anxiety yet but I plan to continue.
For me, coming off Effexor was more difficult than coming off Xanax. Sometimes it seems you can't win!

Going to the gym a lot and "juicing" (unless you mean actual fruit juice) definitely relieved a lot of the tension and stopped weight loss associated with coming off Xanax.
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Old 07-07-2013, 06:24 PM   #7 (permalink)
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I hear you on having to prioritize what you take now. I had to go (back) on Cymbalta (similar w/d as Effexor, unfortunately) to get off the opiates and am on the lowest therapeutic dose. I credit that, and strenuous exercise, for avoiding much of the panic/anxiety I had once before when I tried to quit opiates.

Hang in there - you can do it!
Dylan, I am glad to hear someone else was on a similar plan. How was the beginning of your tapers? Did the cymbalta help you through the worst of it? 29 days til taper and I can't wait to have this lifted off of my shoulders.
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Old 07-13-2013, 04:07 PM   #8 (permalink)
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Hi Katt - sorry for the delay in responding. I don't visit as much as I used to.

The tapering went fine, but the final jump was scary. I increased my exercise by nearly half again what I was doing, hung out on the boards more, and went to almost back-to-back meetings for a few days. I talked a LOT about it, to friends, AA/NA folks, my counselor, and it helped a lot. It felt a lot like how I dealt with PTSD trauma, actually. It's very much about staying IN my experience of the moment and NOT making up a story about it ("Oh god I need something or I'll go crazy", etc.). Just staying IN THE MOMENT with what was going on was paramount.

Strenuous exercise, EBT/CBT, Cymbalta, Triletpal (which slows the electrical impulses of the brain) and Seroquel (helped with nightmares and insomnia and agitation) all helped a great deal.

I don't know if this is true for you, but even the thought of experiencing withdrawal again was frightening; the above things (for me), helped de-fang the tiger and I got through it. If that's your experience, too, I'd say to be careful of the weird anti-struggle letdown after the fact - that kind of took me by surprise.

I keep saying this, but I'll say it again: support, support, support. And service - that's starting to really make sense to me. Feeling useful makes me feel strong, less a victim, less fearful, less prone to using. And it doesn't have to be just in a 12-step program. If I make it sort of a mind-set each day, putting others first, it just makes me more receptive to my "higher self", my "strong self" - my AUTHENTIC self, my BEST self.

HTH (and makes sense!).
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Old 07-13-2013, 11:26 PM   #9 (permalink)
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I was in the same boat. I was on 2 to 3 mg's xanax for 5 years, mostly taken at night to sleep. I was drinking as well. Stopeed cold turkey, now 4 weks later Im through the really bad bits. It ws shocking, I thought I would die or fit. Electric shocks running through me, involuntary movements/jerking I couldn't control. I never ever want to go through that again. I started on Effexor too, 3 weeks before I stopped Xanax and stopped because it was making me even more anxious. I am still struggling with dreadful insomnia and teeth clenching and now pain through my jaw. I wear a mouthguard to bed to try and help relieve the pain.Im still a wreck with hot and cold fevers but %1000 better than the first two weeks so hang in there and believe you can do it. Stay positive and visualise yourself chemical free and happy. I have now given up alcohol too and will face a new lot of demons Keep going?
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Old 07-13-2013, 11:42 PM   #10 (permalink)
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Effexor may help your depression but I don't think it will do anything for benzo withdrawal.
I was (sadly) on benzos for thirty five years and this included many long tapers.
The usual for tapering tabs are valium or rivotril as they have long half lives.

Benzo w/drawl can be very unpleasant and tapers reduce some of this.
Hang on in there;getting that stuff out of your system is well worth it in the long run.
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Old 07-14-2013, 07:36 AM   #11 (permalink)
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I was in the same boat. I was on 2 to 3 mg's xanax for 5 years, mostly taken at night to sleep. I was drinking as well. Stopeed cold turkey, now 4 weks later Im through the really bad bits. It ws shocking, I thought I would die or fit. Electric shocks running through me, involuntary movements/jerking I couldn't control. I never ever want to go through that again. I started on Effexor too, 3 weeks before I stopped Xanax and stopped because it was making me even more anxious. I am still struggling with dreadful insomnia and teeth clenching and now pain through my jaw. I wear a mouthguard to bed to try and help relieve the pain.Im still a wreck with hot and cold fevers but %1000 better than the first two weeks so hang in there and believe you can do it. Stay positive and visualise yourself chemical free and happy. I have now given up alcohol too and will face a new lot of demons Keep going?
Wow that is one serious victory to have made it a month going CT off that much! Keep it up, it's very inspiring.
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Old 07-14-2013, 07:37 AM   #12 (permalink)
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I'm thinking it must be the Effexor keeping me somewhat stable. I have to say I'm proud of myself, last pill was 3 am Thursday morning and I am OKAY. I am making it.
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Old 07-18-2013, 06:26 AM   #13 (permalink)
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Any of the SSRI/SNRI drugs can block anxeity and make benzos easier to get off of .

I had a long history of anxeity ,read a bunch and you Dr. is on target -imo
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Old 07-18-2013, 08:09 AM   #14 (permalink)
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Thanks Karate. I am 7 days off and I am feeling ok so I think that it is working. I don't think that the doctor took the right avenue in making me go off the benzo c/t but I'm past that point now.
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Old 08-10-2013, 02:35 PM   #15 (permalink)
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I was on Effexor for several years and if I had known then what I know about it now I would NEVER have gone it. The withdrawal is horrendous it is also horrendous if you miss a dose or take a dose later than normal. One of the possible side effects of Effexor is increase in alcohol consumption. I never craved alcohol and rarely drank until I took it.

I would never ever recommend it to anyone.
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