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The Decision

Posted Jul 03 2008 1:14pm
There are certain drugs in the mental world that tend to bring up quick and fast reaction from those who have taken them. Effexor is one of those meds. This drug maybe the most common talked about subjects on various health boards around the world wide web and a lot of people do not like it. Of course people who do like this drug do not populate the boards for the simple reason they have nothing to complain about. Effexor is one of the stronger acting anti depressants on the market which also means its side effects can be a trip through hell for some people and this is not even including the process of getting off of the damn thing which is known as thediscontinuation syndrome.

Here is a list of warnings coming straight from Effexor's manufacture:

* People taking MAOIs should not take EFFEXOR XR.

* All patients taking antidepressants should be watched closely for signs that their condition is getting worse or that they are becoming suicidal, especially when they first start therapy, or when their dose is increased or decreased. Patients should also be watched for becoming agitated, irritable, hostile, aggressive, impulsive, or restless. Such symptoms should be reported to the patient's doctor right away.

* Before starting EFFEXOR XR, tell your doctor if you're taking or plan to take any prescription or over-the-counter drugs, including migraine headache medication, herbal preparations, and nutritional supplements, to avoid a potentially life-threatening condition.

* Taking EFFEXOR XR with aspirin, nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs, warfarin, or other drugs that affect coagulation may increase the risk of bleeding events.

* EFFEXOR XR may raise blood pressure in some patients. Your blood pressure should be controlled before starting treatment and should be monitored regularly.

* Mydriasis (prolonged dilation of the pupil of the eye) has been reported with EFFEXOR XR. You should notify your physician if you have a history of glaucoma or increased eye pressure.

* When people suddenly stop using or quickly lower their daily dose of EFFEXOR XR, discontinuation symptoms may occur. Talk to your doctor before discontinuing or reducing your dose of EFFEXOR XR.

* Pregnant or nursing women shouldn't take any antidepressant without consulting their doctor.

* Until you see how EFFEXOR XR affects you, be careful doing such activities as driving a car or operating machinery. Avoid drinking alcohol while taking EFFEXOR XR.

* In clinical studies, the most common side effects with EFFEXOR XR (reported in at least 10% of patients and at least twice as often as with placebo) were constipation, dizziness, dry mouth, insomnia, loss of appetite, nausea, nervousness, sexual side effects, sleepiness, sweating, and weakness. Ask your doctor if EFFEXOR XR is right for you.

Then of course is the black box warning that seems to be on the box of every antidepressant out there mind you Effexor and Paxil led the way on this one. The problem is there is a chance that your suicidal thinking may increase when starting one of these meds and unfortunately it led to a rather disturbing rise in suicides and suicides attempts hence the black box warning. My theory on this is when your in the middle of a major depressive period the thoughts are there but the energy is no where to be found so after a couple of days on a major antidepressant the damn thoughts are still there but now there is a little boost in energy to actually act on them. The first month of a new antidepressant requires some pretty careful monitoring.

So after that is said and done why would someone basically put themselves in harms way of a potential bad reaction? Simply it is the chance and hope that this may be the piece of the puzzle to pull someone out of the hole that is depression. It is with this last thought in mind that I asked to be put back on Effexor once again.

I took Effexor for close to a year the first time around and my depression towards the end was just getting worse and worse. The problem was along with Effexor I was also taking Wellbutrin, Remeron and Temazapam (Plus about five to six months Zyprexa tagged along til my weight exploded and it had to go) so instead of trying to figure out which med was not carrying its own weight the decision was made to stop all of them and try out a new class of antidepressant. There was also a bad cutting episode that put me into the hospital and then the decision was made regarding the drug therapy switch up.

Back to present time, currently Seroquel is helping with the urges and keeping my brain running at a decent speed but my depression is going the wrong way so I figured it was worth a shot to try Effexor again and the doctor agreed. Now I need to wait the four to six weeks for it to kick in and a couple of months on top of that before I reach a dosage that will hopefully prove to be therapeutic. All I really know is what I have been doing up to this point is not working and it is time for change. Take care.
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