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How To Get Off Of Effexor?

Effexor (aka Venlafaxine) is an antidepressant and nerve pain medication.

It’s prescribed to treat conditions such as:

  • Depression
  • Generalized Anxiety Disorder 
  • Panic Disorder
  • Social Anxiety Disorder

It’s part of a class of antidepressants called serotonin norepinephrine reuptake inhibitors (SNRI)s. They increase the level of serotonin and norepinephrine in the brain by blocking or delaying their reuptake by nerves.

As far back as the year 2000 I was prescribed Effexor. During this time I was diagnosed with ADHD and Obsessive Compulsive Disorder. 

At the time there were tangible benefits including reduced anxiety and less depression. However, my symptoms keep recurring and my doctor increased the dosage and the symptoms subsided. This was an endless cycle that kept occurring until the dosage was maxed out at 300 mg. By this time I started having problems.

Over time there were fewer tangible benefits to being on Effexor; anxiety and depression began to worsen and I started experiencing worsening mood swings. 

I wanted to get off this medication, but due to severe withdrawal symptoms I gave up and continued taking it for a number of years. 

Why Is Effexor So Hard To Withdraw From?

Trying to get off of Effexor is easier said than done. This is due to very unpleasant withdrawal symptoms, which vary in severity depending on how much the dose is reduced. Also, these symptoms occur even when you miss one dose.

Withdrawal Symptoms Include:

  • Irritability
  • Nausea
  • Feeling Dizzy
  • Vomiting
  • Nightmares
  • Headaches
  • Brain Zaps (mini seizures)
  • Body and Muscle Aches
  • Sleep Problems
  • Recurring Anxiety and Depression

My Motivations For Getting Off Of Effexor?

Reasons Include:

  • New Diagnosis: After changing therapists in 2017 it was determined that I didn’t need to be on Effexor. It turned out that I had high functioning bipolar disorder instead of ADHD and the medication was making my symptoms worse.
  • Class Action Lawsuit: Due to some really nasty side effects such as severe withdrawal symptoms and numerous birth defects there have been numerous class action lawsuits against the makers of Effexor.
  • Side Effects: Over time the benefits of being on Effexor were outweighed by the side effects. These include long term problems with sleep problems, weight gain, worsened anxiety and depression, mania, memory issues, brain fog, confusion, inability to focus and high blood pressure.
  • Psychological and Physical Addiction: Effexor is not considered an addictive drug, but some users can become psychologically and physically addicted to it. This means you can have a mental and emotional attachment to a substance.

How To Get Off Of Effexor Successfully?

Starting in 2017 I worked with a new therapist to start slowly tapering off of effexor. It’s not recommended that you quit taking cold turkey.

Here are some tips for minimizing the severity of the withdrawal symptoms:

  • Taking Benedryl: Benedryl is an over the counter allergy medication that has been reported to minimize effexor withdrawal symptoms. Be careful to not take too much.
  • Stay Active: When you’re tapering off effexor it can be difficult to stay motivated, so it’s important to start slow with a 20 minute walk a couple days a week.
  • Stick To A Schedule: It’s important to stick to the schedule layed out for you, because it makes withdrawal more painful if you jump ahead of schedule.
  • Taking CBD Oil: There’s a lot of promising research into CBD oil and it’s usage for treating withdrawal symptoms, especially when you’re feeling anxious and nauseous. 
  • Eating Nutrient Dense Foods: What you eat affects your mood. A lot of processed foods that contain white flour and sugar can make withdrawal anxiety worse. The foods that are recommended are anti-anxiety superfoods such as blueberries, dark chocolate, pumpkin seeds, avocados and turkey, which are nutrient dense.

Please click on the button below to read about blueberries being a superfood:

  • Supplements: It’s important to include supplements when you’re having withdrawal symptoms. These include Omega-3 Fatty Acids, B Vitamins and lots of Vitamin C.

Getting off of Effexor was the hardest thing I’ve ever done.

Benefits To Getting Off Effexor Include:

  • Lost 50 pounds
  • Lower Blood Pressure
  • Reduced Anxiety
  • Better Sleep
  • Clearer Mind
  • Improved Memory

Have you ever had a hard time withdrawing from a medication?

Please Like and Comment!

Sources:

https://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/depression/in-depth/antidepressants/art-20044970

https://www.verywellmind.com/brain-shivers-as-effexor-withdrawal-symptom-1065516

https://www.peoplespharmacy.com/articles/getting-off-venlafaxine-can-be-incredibly-challenging

https://www.terrybryant.com/houston-drug-injury-lawyer/effexor-lawsuit

https://www.verywellmind.com/tips-to-reduce-antidepressant-withdrawal-symptoms-1066835#:~:text=If%20you%20were%20on%20a,it%20has%20a%20sedating%20effect.

https://www.yahoo.com/entertainment/12-ways-to-soothe-antidepressant-withdrawal-1362312753700918.html

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Curious About CBD Oil?

What is CBD oil?

What is CBD oil? CBD or cannabidiol is one of many chemical compounds found in cannabis sativa or (industrial hemp) called cannabinoids. 

It is found along with 113 other cannabinoids including THC. Cannabinoids act on receptors found in the endocannabinoid system.

What is the Endocannabinoid System?

The endocannabinoid system or ECS is a system of cell receptors that bond with cannabinoids to regulate homeostasis or the balancing of your body’s physiology. 

The endocannabinoid system is described as being a lock and key mechanism. The receptors are the lock and the cannabinoids are the key. This triggers a reaction that affects the brain and body.

The ECS consists of two types of cell receptors:

Cannabinoid Receptor Type 1(CB1): Expressed in the peripheral nervous system and central nervous system which includes the brain. 

Cannabinoid Receptor Type 2(CB2): Expressed in the immune system along with the digestive system and many of the body’s organs. Mainly found in white blood cells, in the tonsils and the spleen. CB2 is very important in the regulation of the release of cytokine. What is cytokine? Signaling molecules that mediate and regulate immunity and inflammation.

What are the Benefits of CBD oil?

Benefits include:

  • Manage Stress and Anxiety: CBD oil has been shown to reduce the symptoms of stress and anxiety including reducing rapid heart rates.
  • Improve Sleep: Since CBD oil reduces anxiety that interferes with sleep and helps you get more restful sleep.
  • Reduce Pain and Inflammation: CBD oil has anti-pain and anti-inflammatory effects that help with pain management.
  • Could Benefit Heart Health: The anti-inflammatory and anti oxidative properties of CBD oil may be able to reduce the risk of factors that can lead to heart disease.
  • May Reduce Acne: Using CBD oil may help reduce acne by reducing the amount of sebum the body creates.
  • Can Alleviate Cancer Symptoms: Research has suggested that CBD oil along with other cannabinoids may ease neuropathic pain, nausea and poor appetite due to cancer and cancer treatment.
  • Heal Without Habit: CBD oil and other cannabinoids may be a viable alternative to narcotic pain killers.

How is CBD Oil Applied?

There are three ways CBD oil can enter the body: 

  • Inhalation
  • Ingestion
  • Absorption

Inhalation

Inhalation occurs when you apply CBD oil though the lungs either by vaping or smoking.

What is Vaping?

Vaping is a popular way to apply CBD oil. It is fast acting and the effects can last up to three hours. It is a popular way to relieve stress and anxiety, chronic pain and it helps those who want to quit smoking cigarettes.

There are two options for vaping CBD oil vape juice or vape pen. The use of a CBD vape pen is the easiest way to vape CBD oil due to the easy to use out of box solution that required little or no set up. However the solution  found in CBD pens have to be replaced over time and that can get costly. The use of CBD vape juice is preferred when you want to mix CBD oil with a favorite flavor of vape juice. However the vaping device has to be purchased separately. 

Vaping CBD oil is fast acting due to it going directly to your lungs. When this happens the CBD diffuses directly into your bloodstream. Other methods of applying CBD oil take longer to take effect because it has to pass through your liver and gut.

There is a risk for lung irritation or damage from vaping. Over the long term inhaling hot CBD oil has the potential to damage your lungs. There are chemicals in many vape pens that contain thinning agents like propylene glycol and polyethylene glycol that are known carcinogens.   

Ingestion

Ingestion occurs when you apply CBD oil through your mouth. It can be by consuming an edible or applying a tincture.

What is an Edible?

A CBD edible is a tasty way of getting a daily dose of CBD. They can provide long lasting relief for the condition you’re trying to treat. However they take 30 minutes to 2 hours to fully go into effect. The results last longer than inhalation.

There are active compounds in CBD extract added to CBD edibles  that can be added to cooked or baked goods to add additional health benefits like boosting antioxidants. An example would be using cannabutter and CBD crystals when cookies or brownies are being baked.

It’s easier to get the correct dosage of CBD eating edibles than vaping. However, when CBD oil is inhaled by vaping it is harder to determine how much dosage you are getting.

What is a Tincture?

A tincture is a concentrated liquid form of one or more herbs, such as cannabis.

CBD oil tinctures are applied under your tongue. Wait between 50 and 90 seconds for it to go into effect.

Tinctures are not only popular they are effective. They deliver CBD to the body quicker than edibles and the body can break them down quicker also.  If a user cannot vape CBD oil due to health restriction tinctures are a great alternative.


Absorption

Absorption occurs when CBD oil is absorbed through the skin when it is applied topically as an ointment, salve or lotion.

Topical CBD oil is excellent for providing relief from pain in the muscles, joints, nerves and neck and back. Research shows that its possible it can be use as an effective treatment for bacterial infections such as MRSA.

Topical CBD oil is considered the most versatile among CBD products. It’s not only used to treat anxiety and depression, but it has many other functions.

 I discovered another use for CBD oil started when I started using it to relieve pain caused by a fractured finger. I rubbed it on topically and it dulled the pain as effectively as taking ibuprofen. According to a study done by the Journal of Bone and Mineral Research CBD oil strengthens bones and accelerates the healing of fractures.

The answer to this is yes. CBD oil is federally legal as long as the amount of THC doesn’t exceed 0.3%.

THC (Tetrahydrocannabidiol) like CBD is one of 113 cannabinoids identified in cannabis. However, unlike CBD THC is a psychoactive compound that can cause someone to become “high” and it is still considered a schedule 1 controlled substance by the DEA (Drug Enforcement Agency).

The Hemp Farming Act of 2018 was a proposed law that would’ve removed industrial hemp from schedule 1 controlled substance and would’ve made it an ordinary agricultural commodity. The provisions were incorporated into the 2018 United States Farm Bill that became law on December 20, 2018.

Sources:

https://www.healthline.com/nutrition/cbd-oil-benefits

https://www.webmd.com/pain-management/news/20180507/cbd-oil-all-the-rage-but-is-it-safe-effective#1

https://www.fb.org/market-intel/2018-farm-bill-provides-a-path-forward-for-industrial-hemp

Have You Ever Been Curious About CBD Oil?

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