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  1. #1
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    Side effect or not?

    Hi peoples,

    I was wondering if something is possible. Perhaps I am or could be totally mistaken, but thought I'd ask.

    So, I've been taking Effexor for 2 1/2 months now. 1 month at 75mg, 1 month at 150mg and 2 weeks at 225mg.

    In the last several days at least, I have been getting headaches a bit, but not so bad. But I can feel that they are not due to anxiety. All along, I actually haven't really gotten anxiety headaches, and when I have the pain is not in the same place as the headaches I've been getting, but are normally more in my eyes and at the front of my temples. The headaches I have been getting have been in my temples, but far back, like on the sides of my head and feels like the same kind of achey/pressure/buzzing thing which I had when I was taking the SSRIs for the first few days.

    Could this by any chance mean that the higher dose it starting to possibly do something?
    I did notice also, that asides from last week, as I was in a terrible state, since going up to 225mg, the only difference in me was my appetite in that asides from last week, it's the first time in 4 months that my stomach actually rumbled and I felt hungry to eat.
    So maybe it is starting to work gradually?
    But those are the only changes in 2 1/2 months, and even if we go on the last 2 weeks, like I say, it's just the appetite a few days was the total opposite of the last 4 months and the weird head pains (difficult to describe, but if you know what I mean, like when you first start on an SSRI and you get those types of expanding/buzzing/movement feeling in the sides of your head!).
    And I hope it shouldn't be something that should concern me!?

    Merci.

    BTW. I woke up with my determination this morning, as always, and was happy to not be fighting with much anxiety or depression this morning. I slept still bad, but OK, I'm used to that for now... but woke up feeling reasonably OK (asides from my rather swollen and red eyes from crying so much last night) and I took it for what it was (the feeling) and went with it the whole day and felt reasonably OK the whole day. Now 9pm, back from work and carrying on keeping calm and relaxed.
    I know, bad days will come no doubt, but neither cursing myself, neither am I taking this day for granted.

  2. #2
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    Re: Side effect or not?

    One thought: Headaches can be related to bruxism (TMJ). One of the first questions my dentist asked in regards to bruxism was if I have headaches.
    “Out beyond ideas of wrongdoing and rightdoing there is a field. I'll meet you there.” ~ Rumi

  3. #3
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    Re: Side effect or not?

    I know it's not in this case. For sure.

    The TMJ has been a little better and I know exactly where I get the pains with it.

    But thx for covering all areas there

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    Re: Side effect or not?

    Have you tried taking Tylenol?
    “Out beyond ideas of wrongdoing and rightdoing there is a field. I'll meet you there.” ~ Rumi

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    Re: Side effect or not?

    No, like I say, it's not really pain as much, and for how much pain there is, it's not bad enough to take pain killers. It's more that uncomfortable annoying feeling in the head which was like when I started the first several days on the SSRIs.
    Just don't know why it'd come back again now, unless it is possible due to the dosage increase. (And in the dosage increase whether it's maybe therefore doing something 'up there'!)

  6. #6
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    Re: Side effect or not?

    It could be a side effect of Effexor, yes, but it doesn't have any connection with whether or not "something is happening up there". It could also be due to anxiety and/or sleep deprivation.

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    Re: Side effect or not?

    Thx, but only after 2 1/2 months?
    If it's not due to anxiety or sleep deprivation (which at this point I can 90% rule out).... then if it is due to the Effexor, there's still nothing which is known as to why this could be happening only now after 2 1/2 months and the dosage increasing, etc? Or just a coincidence that could happen at any point and doesn't mean anything?

    Sorry, just thought I'd ask. Whatever people's opinions are, I'm more than happy to hear.
    Of course, I'd love for it to be a good positive sign of something but totally fine if not, because I am accepting and am prepared for anything as always!

  8. #8
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    Re: Side effect or not?

    If it's not due to anxiety or sleep deprivation (which at this point I can 90% rule out)....
    How can you rule those out? I would see one or both of those as the most likely culprits.

  9. #9
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    Re: Side effect or not?

    The headaches I have been getting have been in my temples, but far back, like on the sides of my head and feels like the same kind of achey/pressure/buzzing thing which I had when I was taking the SSRIs for the first few days.
    Adverse effects experienced while making changes to any medication should be reported to the prescribing physician, because sometimes there are strategies avaialble to deal with many SSRI/SNRI side effects, sometimes by using another medication intervention to temporarily relieve the primary side effect.

    That being said, the kind of buzzing headache you've described reminded me of the effect I experienced when my physician increased the dose of SSRI I was being prescribed at the time. After about a week when the brain and body chemistry became acclimated to the new dose, I found the buzzing headache went away.

    However if you find these effects to be preventing you from functioning in your usual daily routines, especially when it comes to getting a good night's sleep, it would be a valid cause to contact the doctor.

    Sometimes an SSRI/SNRI, depending on the particular individual, might stimulate adrenergic receptors to a greater degree than it might in someone else. This could affect your ability to sleep, and you might feel as though your mind throttle is running at high speed, with thoughts racing through your mind and when sleeping, one might experience bizarre and vivid dreams.

    If this occurs, it should be reported to the doctor who might modify the dose, or even switch to a different compound in the expectation of reducing adrenergic activity.

    You are doing the right things, by asking questions, seeking insights and of course reporting back to the doctor(s).

    The ingredients to, a hopefully successful outcome to your treatment.

  10. #10
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    Re: Side effect or not?

    How can you rule those out? I would see one or both of those as the most likely culprits.
    I'm not ruling them out entirely, but am going on the different factors and experiences which I have had over the last 3 months with medications and how I have been feeling for 4 months with not sleeping properly and having anxiety.

    That being said, the kind of buzzing headache you've described reminded me of the effect I experienced when my physician increased the dose of SSRI I was being prescribed at the time. After about a week when the brain and body chemistry became acclimated to the new dose, I found the buzzing headache went away.
    This is like what I had before and what I am having now. So again, I am not disregarding Dr Baxter's words, but it seems to me that this is the more likely cause.

    Sometimes an SSRI/SNRI, depending on the particular individual, might stimulate adrenergic receptors to a greater degree than it might in someone else. This could affect your ability to sleep, and you might feel as though your mind throttle is running at high speed, with thoughts racing through your mind and when sleeping, one might experience bizarre and vivid dreams.
    For the first week or so of taking especially the Effexor I had extremely vivid dreams, but those have since stopped.
    I however have still not been sleeping well for 4 months now. Bearing in mind that for the first month at least I wasn't on any medication and once on medication, my sleeping has stayed exactly the same as the first month when this began. Still the same - Not sleeping through the whole night, waking up a minimum of twice during the night every night, around 2-3am and 5am. As I've been feeling worse, the last couple of weeks I've been waking up several times, even though within the last week, I have a couple of times just woken up twice again.

    Anyway, I spoke with the psychiatrist about this last week and I said that it's a problem obviously and can't continue like this. She said that she wants to see anyway how I am for the next 2 weeks at 225mg of Effexor, then when I meet back with her in 2 weeks time from now, we will discuss both if the Effexor is helping at all with the anxiety and depression, and if turn, it is improving my sleep also. If not, then she said about going to 300mg and will then have to wait another month to see how that goes and then after that, possibly changing or adding medications depending on the situation.
    I really want to come off of these Benzos at some point! It's been nearly 3 months I guess that I have been taking them... But anyway, I need to wait for the Effexor/long term med to be working enough so that I can come off of the Lorazepam. In saying that, last week, I don't think the Lorazepam actually was helping me whatsoever, I was in such a state with the anxiety. But on we go... I do not want to start raising the Benzo at this point because we need to be able to see if the Effexor is working, plus, if I start to raise it, then, well, it's been 3 months already, I'd rather rely on a med that is prescribed for longer term than the Benzo.

    As for now, I had another pretty bad sleep and woke up three times, but did feel that the sleep I was getting was better and heavier I think. So that could be a good sign.
    I've woken up this morning in a very relaxed state and feeling again, like yesterday, pretty calm and OK. It's funny, I'd love to now analyze why I am feeling like this, but I never know or probably choose the right answer. There we are last session in therapy talking about me my thoughts of not being bothered to even live this life anymore because it's so difficult, come home and cry the whole night but feel such a good release after it all which leads on to me feeling like this for 2 days, but I'm still thinking the negative thoughts about life but am totally calm! OR, is it the medication!? HAHAAHA.... Don't even go there. I will take it for what it is and not even try to hazard a guess as to 'it's because of that'.

    Thanks for the advice and tips. Much appreciated.

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