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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I started Effexor last Friday. Ever since then, I have had a pounding heart, blurred vision and dizziness. I thought the pounding heart was coffee, but I stopped drinking it with caffeine and it didn't help. Yesterday and today I feel like I am starting a panic attack. My chest feels heavy, it feels like I can't breathe and I am shaky. I have had panic attacks before and this feels like a mild one. I have a call in to my doctor. Has anyone else experienced a worsening of their symptoms with this medication? I stopped taking it today (since I have only been on the 37.5 mg. dose for a few days) but I still feel the same.
 

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Hi Dlt,I'll have you know, I just registered to reply. I am surprised this board did not know who I am, as I am one of the old timers over at the Graves' disease board. Same MediBoard , same Jeff. Go figure ?I was just here poking around, and noticed a lack of many folks familiar with Effexor. Then you posted. Since it is common to have this problem, while still in the very first part of the break in period... it is a pretty good guess you could end up scared to death and no help.The third day of this medication is the most common day it hits the worst. Unfortunately stopping the med, then causes additional problems, as the brain has to undo what it was working on.You SHOULD have been told these things before the first dose. That would have made things at least less frightening. Have you go to the Effexor site yet ?Their site helped me a great deal those first weeks. I'm going to post now, quickly and hope you are still there, before continuing ... OK ?Hang in there. The med works great for me, and what you are experiencing is a normal part of the wash out period.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Thank you for your reply. Unfortunately, I wasn't told anything about the side effects. How long does it take before these go away? I will try going to the Effexor site. The pounding heart is the worst feeling. I tried to exercise over the weekend and had to stop because I was afraid I'd have a heart attack. I am also experiencing a muscle twitch in my eyelid that I have had non stop for 4 days. I know that can be caused by stress. Thanks again.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
My doctor just called and said what I am experiencing are normal side effects during the first week or so of treatment. She is going to give me a prescription of clonopin to take with the Effexor for about 10 days until the initial period is over. She said the muscle twitch in my eye is definitely nerves. Anxiety runs in my family unfortunately. Mine was exercerbated when my ex-husband left several years ago. It seems like now it doesn't take much to completely stress me out. I don't even have much to worry about. I am newly remarried to a wonderful guy and am very happy. I just can't kick this anxiety, though. Hopefully the Effexor will help so I can get back to having that "go with the flow" attitude my husband loves so much.
 

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Ahh...Bless your heart. :love: I am very familiar with anxiety and all that goes with in. I have fought anxiety and depression my whole life.I had an unfortunately traumatic childhood, but kept on ticking. I believed "them", when they said, " Oh, everybody gets depressed sometimes". " It's all a matter of mind over matter", they said.Well, things life hands us, can sometimes become too much for even the most intelligent, tough, never give up type of person. I ended up finally being diagnosed with Graves' disease. That is when we get an autoimmune disease that causes our thyroid to over work.This causes too much adrenalin 24 hours a day, with no break. Talk about anxiety !So, come to find out, I have been subclinical hyper most of my life. My anxiety and depression were NOT the same as all those other people told me was normal. The thyroid hormones, when they are too low or too high, cause a chemical imbalance in the brain.So now I finally understand the difference. Some of us do truly benefit from medications such as this. It changes those brain chemicals, and brings us back to how those other people assume everybody feels.We are not weak, and looking for an easy way out, or a crutch. We only want an even playing field. We want to know what it feels like to be normal.If you should ever have anyone say cruel things to you, because of using an antidepressant, simply think to yourself, how lucky they are, that they do not understand... and probably never will.I am so happy I noticed your question here. I see there have been no other replies.When I registered, I set the button to allow private messages... so if you ever need me, please feel free to write directly to me that way.These first two months are not easy.But then, slowly and when your not aware, things start to change. Somewhere around three months, you will start to wonder how in the world you managed so well before. Pat yourself on the back for a job well done, under very tough circumstances.When I first started the Effexor XR, the third day was the biggie. It was like some bizarre acid trip. At least from what the movies portray an acid trip as being.At about 7 days, I began being very tired. This continued, in varying degrees, with much of that time spend feeling like I was in a drug induced stupor.But I had to trust my doctor this one time, and the Effexor site.I stuck it out, with the hope that things would change.At two months, it all did change. So do consider staying the course, and not jumping off the trial too soon. Anything before at least three months, is really not how things are going to be.Also be aware, this drug takes a long time to wean off of. So if that is a consideration, than a different drug may be more appropriate. It all depends on the individual.I was in a very serious depression at the time I started this drug, and knew ahead of time, that if I should choose to stop the drug, it would probably take several months of weaning, and there would be some side effects. I chose to save my life now, and accept the future of weaning, when and if the time should come.I believe as long as we know ahead of time, and have the power in our own hands to take this 'risk'... then when the time comes to quite, it will be so much easier. The people I have seen have terrible withdrawals, were dropped down to fast, and had no idea what was going to happen.Much like your panic this morning . Not knowing is terrifying, and that alone causes the panic to escalate, to a point that causes us to doubt our own sanity. When all along , learning these things ahead of time, is the only thing we need.Then as a "spell"
comes along, we can focus on safe thoughts and wait while it passes. Knowing it is "normal", is the one thing we must know.Oh... Stay home and don't drive during this. Crowds, malls, confined spaces can cause a spell to come on, and be much more difficult to control.Have projects you have been wanting to find time to work on ? This is a perfect opportunity. And you have a medical excuse.
It IS going to be OK... better than OK.
 

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PS...If you miss a dose.. take it as soon as you remember.This may result in a new and different time of day to take your pill... but that has been what works best for me.I tried waiting till the next dose... and I tried taking them too close together... neither of those were good ideas.Always have a spare pill stashed in the car, and one in your pocket book. Finding yourself with no pill, and far away from one is not good either, when it is time to take your daily dose.I tend to forget from time to time, because I have done this for so long, and unless I miss a pill, there are no side effects at all. That is why I completely forget once in awhile. I get too busy and involved in what I'm doing.Hang in there.This is a very tough time. I know that very well.But it will be over....
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
Thank you for your kind words. When you mentioned thyroid, that made me think of another thing. I had a partial thyroidectomy last August. My thyroid levels have been within normal range. I have always tended to have some anxiety or worry, but ever since the surgery, it seems to have gotten much worse. Maybe there is a connection there.
 

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Hi there..I couldn't help but notice this thread, and wanted to let you know I've been on Effexor XR for eight months now. I take .75 mg., and it works perfect for my IBS spasms. I've been on many different types of antidepressants in the past, but this is the right med for myself. Some people say they get lazy on it, but exercise will cure that. I also take .5 mg. at bedtime of Klonopin, and the two work wonderful together.
 

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Hi Dlt...Like Rowe, I've been on Effexor XR for quite a while as well.I also have found this to be the best anti-depressant for me.I say, for me, because everyone is different...I remember trying Remeron before the Effexor...it was horrible...I became totally anxious & miserable (not fun to live with I tell you...)and to boot, I put on a lot of weight really fast.I guess I'd kind of forgotten the side effects that occur when you first start taking any anti-depressant, because after the Remeron experience I felt like the Effexor was a piece of cake.Yes...I do now recall the blurry vision & the dizziness as well as the odd time feeling my heart pounding.Like Almost said...these side effects only last a short while & are much worse at first. It's just the body adjusting to the medication.The side effects become much less intense quickly & I think after about 3 weeks there was no residual of them at all.Hang in there...as Dlt said it could make it worse just to 'quit'...plus there is so much relief once the drug kicks in & you start to feel 'normal' again.I mean normal as in the depression being lifted & the anxiety becoming a non-issue. At least that's how it went for me.Wishing you all the best...Lynda
 

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Just want to add something about your lid spasms. I work for an opthalmologist and have also had the same (lid spasms) myself. They are caused by stress and sometimes lack of sleep. If you notice that your eye feels dry you can use some OTC tears for comfort. Don't just stop taking any antidepressant cold, you need to taper the dose slowly or you can get hit with rebound symptoms. Wish I could help with the rest
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
Thanks everyone for your input. I am going to stick it out and see how it goes. The hope that this will help the anxiety and make me feel like me again keeps me going on it. I took the klonopin this morning with my Effexor (as the dr. recommended) so hopefully this will help for the next week until I get past this initial phase. The doctor did say the eyelid spasms were stress related. They started last week just before I had a job interview and have not stopped. My current job is very stressful. I work for a very "dysfunctional" criminal defense lawyer who has major anxiety problems himself (and whose personal life is falling apart). He has the luxury of being able to stay home and hide from his problems when they get bad which results in me having to pick up his slack also. Hopefully I won't fall asleep at my desk today from the klonopin! My boss takes it too so maybe he'll be more understanding. What is with all this stress, though? I mean, I am very happily married, have three great kids, a nice home, my ex-husband has finally stopped bothering me and other than work, like in general is great. Unfortunately, the anxiety has increased. I don't know if it is caused by thyroid (had partial thyroidectomy last year), pre-menopause or what. My mother when through anxiety problems during menopause. Hopefully the medication will work and it won't even be an issue any more.
 

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Good Morning,Had to come over and see how your doing.I'm afraid your question would require an entire book... so let's start with a couple basics.What was the diagnosis that led to a partial thyroidectomy?What date was it done, and what percentage removed?What do you current thyroid labs say?What I mean by that is you must get paper copies of all thyroid lab results. This is a normal request, and your legal right.If they ask why... because it takes them time to do this, and they are hoping to do less work ... say " For my records".What sort of thyroid tests were done before your surgery ? That you can tell me without the lab results, and my brain can set it on the back burner.
What, if any thyroid meds were you on before the surgery, and after ?What did they tell you about your parathyroids during the surgery ? Any damage ? Were you kept hospitalized until calcium levels checked out ? Or was so little thyroid removed, it was not an issue ?How many times have you had thyroid labs drawn since the surgery ?________________________________Since this is within the first three weeks of Effexor XR, we can keep this basic, because you have enough on your plate right now, but if you can get just one thing... the last lab results... we can start to think. This must be a paper copy. This will list the exact type of tests, and the normal ranges for that lab.You can call and have them fax this to you.Eventually, you do want all of the lab results... but this is enough to start with.IF you feel up to it, go ahead and have them send all of them though.Each one must be a complete copy. As one doctor may send a blood sample to different labs on different days of the week. These labs may use different methods, with a result of different normal ranges.With any luck ... you may even have a thyroid lab result for before there were any medical problems, and you felt good. This will be the most important one, as we each have our own unique " Set Point". Finding it is the problem, with no old records to go on. _________________________Now... Remember !!!The Effexor XR makers recommend no driving during this break in period. Please use extreme caution , and double check everything you do, as mistakes can happen._________________________The great news is you now understand so much more about this medication. That all by itself gives us a sense of regaining power over our own lives. That is the best medicine of all.The other great news, in my view, is now with this thyroid story out of the closet *lol*... we can get you started learning , and you can them regain much more power over your own life.I do not believe your thyroid levels are normal for you. So we can fix that. Get to the root of all the symptoms and diagnosis.Please don't stress over this though. I am an old hand at this stuff, and once we get a bit more facts gathered here, and you are getting more stable, I can guide you to the correct information. There are a lot of horrifically bad sites on thyroid information, so please don't go doing a bunch of computer searching, and believe much of anything you read. You could give yourself a "spell" , *lol* over nothing.
Good luck today !
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
Wow, thank you for all that information. I did get the lab reports (don't have them with me now, though). About 10 years ago I have a small amount of thyroid removed and was monitored since that time. No medication was prescribed since my levels were within normal range. Last year I developed another mass which the biopsy came back inconclusive so the doctor decided to remove that half of my thyroid. It came back negative for cancer and I have continued to have my levels monitored through my GP. I am schedule to have another test tomorrow. I was kept in the hospital for two days for monitoring. They said the parathyroid was fine. The surgery was done in August, 2003, and I have my levels checked every three to four months. When the doctors see my levels are within normal range, they say there is no problem. I have learned not to go searching on the internet. I did that last week when I had a small lump in my armpit. I did a search on swollen lymph node and was convinced I had breast cancer, lymphoma or something. Turns out I was sensitive to the new deordorant I was using! I am using caution while driving. Especially today because I started the klonopin. I am sitting here at my desk at work like a zombie -- but at least my anxiety is better!
 

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I am going to have to make this extremely short, as I'm running out of the door...You said:" I am schedule to have another test tomorrow."What sort of test please?Thyroid blood levels ?I will check when I get home.This is very important, and an absolute miracle that we have met right now !Hugs....
 

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OK... Great.Wanted to make sure is is not a scan.When you call for the appointment, it would be smart to ask exactly what tests they are going to run.If you would like to write down exactly what they tell you, I may be able to help you, if it turns out they are the older, outdated ones, that give incorrect results, compared to what we have now.It is unfortunately pretty common for doctors to still order the old tests, and then the thyroid patients are told we are just fine, when in fact we are not.It's a bit more complicated that that... but for right now, this is close enough.Hope today is going better for you.
 

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You may be interested in thyroid symptoms.________________________________________EXTENDED SYMPTOMS LIST � FULL VERSIONIf you want to compare this to the short lists that most doctors rely on you can see them at www.mayoclinic.com or at the Johns Hopkins website. This list was put together in the g_s group with the input of many graves patients. EXTENDED SYMPTOMS LIST � FULL VERSION**************HYPER SYMPTOMS**************Anxiety Bladder problems - increased urination or polyuria Blotchy itchy patches without rash - Pretibial myxedema, hives Brisk reflexes Congestive heart failure, atrial fibrillation, cardiac arrhythmiasDepressionDifficulty breathing, rapid shallow breathing, shortness of breathDizziness Emotional disturbances, emotional lability Eye changes, proptosisGoiterGraying hair, premature grayingHair and nail changes, increased growthHair loss Headaches Heartburn Heat IntoleranceHigh systolic blood pressureHyper brain, trouble concentrating or comprehendingHyperdefecation - up to 8 movements a day, steatorrhea (increased stool fat due to malabsorption)Hyper immune system and less of a susceptibility to other diseases, <except for other autoimmune diseases, which if thyroid disease is of autoimmune nature does make us susceptible to get other autoimmune diseases.>Hyper pigmentation of skin Inappropriate feelings of rageIncreased heart rate, palpitations Increased perspirationIncreased digestive motilityInfertility, impaired fertilityIncreased appetite Increased bone resorption, bone lossIncreased drug metabolism Insomnia, sleep disturbancesIrritability and Agitation Irritable leg syndrome due to nutrient deficiencies � patient may describe �bouncy legs�.Loss of muscle massLow cholesterol level which rises with treatmentLowered stamina, weaknessMenstrual Cycle Changes - Absence of flow when normally expected is called Amenorrhea. Scanty flow is known as OligomenorrheaMood swingsMuscle weakness and fatigueNail margins uneven, nails split, nails weak, cracking Nausea, vomiting Nutrient deficienciesOnycholysis (separation of nail from it�s bed)Overactive libido is more common in hyper, change in libidoPanic Restlessness Skin tags <though not supported in medical literature, many of us have these, though may be more of a symptom of autoimmune disease than directly related to thyroid disease>Tremors, increased movement (hyperkinesis)Tremors of hands, lips, tongueVitiligo (patchy loss of pigmentation in skin) Weakness in muscles of shoulder girdle and large muscles of the thighs Weight loss or gain (rapid) <10% of people are reported to have weight gain, usually younger people>******************HYPO SYMPTOMS ONLY******************Abdominal pain and distention Anemia Aversion to cold (Cold intolerance) Brain Function problems which include:Confusion, Disorientation, Mental fog, Memory loss - Brain fog Carpal tunnel syndrome Constipation � the more hypo we become, the more severe this becomes** OR D, depends on the individual and severity of thyroid levelsDecreased body temperature Depression which worse if patient moves into myxedema coma Dry coarse skin and hair Edema Emotional lability <unable to control one�s emotions>Enlarged muscle fibers with muscle weakness (Hoffman's syndrome) Eyebrows stop growing, <outer 1/3 of eyebrows stop growing or have limited growth> Fatigue Feeling of being overwhelmedGoiterHeadache Hearing loss, deafness Heavy menses & cramping High cholesterol and lipid levelsHoarse voice Impaired blood clottingImpaired digestion Impaired skeletal growthIncreased capillary fragility (bruising) Increased creatine phosphokinase (CPK) levelIncreased diastolic blood pressureIncreased fertility problemsIncreased menstrual cycleIrregular heart rate (bradycardia) Joint pain Lack of motivation Loss of initiative Muscle painMyxedema (waterlogged appearance of skin) puffy eyes, face, hands, feet Nails changes, nails split, break, get thickened Nasal stuffiness, dry throat Nocturnal paresthesia (hands or legs falling asleep) Nutrient deficienciesPalpitations Severe hair loss Severe weight gain even when not eating much Sinus problems and or infectionsSleep apnea Sleepiness, lethargy, insomnia, interrupted sleep Slow speech Thickened, dry tongue,( dry mouth)EYE SYMPTOMSEYE DISEASE SYMPTOMSBad night vision <malabsorption of vitamin A, causing orange tinted palms, poor night vision> Blurring of vision Bulging eyesDouble vision Dry eyes Eyestrain Inability to close eyes to sleep (Eye lids don�t close fully or remain fully closed through he night?) Lid lag Sensitive to light, even indoors StaringSwelling of eyesTearing Ulceration
 
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