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06/04/2011 05:25 PM

effexor not working anymore- cymbalta an option?

daisy64
daisy64  
Posts: 14
New Member

Hi there

I am new to this forum so please forgive me if this topic has been covered somewhere else.

I have been on effexor for 8 years and I think it has stopped working. I have had the worst depression in my life over the last 18months.

The doc increased my dose from 225mg to 375mg but it hasn't helped. Then he added mirtazapine - starting v low dose, now on twice the maximum dose. Still not feeling better. I realised that every time I increased the mirtazapine, I got a few days of feeling better, then I'd crash again.

So now he has added Seroquel to the mix. Two weeks after starting it, I don't feel any better.

It seems I am on two drugs that don't work or just have pooped out of my system but he won't take me off them because withdrawal is so tough.

My main question is, is there any point in switching from effexor to cymbalta in the hope that it will kick my system into touch again? Or is it too similar?

Has anyone else had this 'poop out' and gone on to find a better drug? I am a 47yr old female and am 6stone overweight which the doc thinks is the reason I can tolerate such high doses.

I wouldn't care how high they were if any of them worked!!

Daisy

Post edited by: daisy64, at: 06/16/2011 01:43 PM

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06/04/2011 10:12 PM
redphoenix
redphoenix  
Posts: 1192
VIP Member

You can see what my latest med cocktail is below on my signature. My pdoc has me on three antidepressants... Prozac, Wellbutrin, and mirtazapine. All of these are targeted to different chemicals in the brain, but I'm not sure I could tell any difference each time I added one. Now that I'm on the highest dose of Wellbutrin (450 mg), Vyvanse (70 mg), and Seroquel (800 mg)...I also usually make it up to the highest dose before pdoc determines it doesn't work (maybe it has something to do with my weight too... I need to lose about 60 lbs), we're to the point now where we are going to start Depakote if I don't get enough relief from all that I'm on now. It's very frustrating when you try a new med and it works for two or three days... just enough to get your hopes up... then it's gone.

I'm not sure what you're diagnosed with... I'm Bipolar 2. I've tried SO many drugs. Most of them have failed. It's been a really rough road. I'm still just cautiously optimistic that I'm finally almost onto something that might actually give me some relief. I can't say for sure. What I can say is that for the first time in the past couple of years, I've had some good days lately. I don't know how long that will last, but I'm taking them as they come. Unfortunately with treatment resistant depression, it's really hard to find something that works, but with the help of a really good pdoc, and through trial and error (and a lot of patience), you will eventually come up with something that will actually work.


06/05/2011 02:00 AM
mem4809

Welcome to the group.

Effexor completely stopped working for me and then Cymbalta and Welbutrin with a mix of other things helped me as then I was (after 20 years) diagnosed with BP2 as well. But once Effexor stopped working I had to get off of it. It was disappointing but worthwhile. I am surprised your pdoc hasn't caught on to that yet.


06/05/2011 04:27 AM
daisy64
daisy64  
Posts: 14
New Member

Thank you both for your input - it's encouraging to hear that some things do actually work if you persevere.

I am not bipolar - just MDD with anxiety being the worst symptom.

All of my family have had it, right back to my grandmother and including all my cousins so I realise the tendency will always be there. Normally I have managed to exist on a maintenance dose of antidepressants but every 6 or 7 years I have had extreme symptoms and have had to change meds. I assume it's the same thing each time - medication just 'pooping out'.

I hope and wish and pray for a breakthrough in the treatment of depression for all of us.

We deserve better Smile

I have a lovely partner and our lives together are on hold while I try to find some balance and 'normality' again.

Candjdog, I'm interested to hear your doc changed you from effexor to cymbalta because mine didn't want to - he said they were too similar and if one didn't work that the other one probably wouldn't.

Do you think it's worth bringing up to him again?

Hugs to both of you,

Daisy

Post edited by: daisy64, at: 06/05/2011 04:32 AM


06/05/2011 04:30 AM
daisy64
daisy64  
Posts: 14
New Member

Sorry - should have clarified meds -

I'm on 375mg Effexor, 120mg mirtazapine (I know, huge dose, entirely unsupported by doc) and 150mg Seroquel.

Post edited by: daisy64, at: 06/05/2011 04:34 AM


06/05/2011 05:35 AM
RickEJ
RickEJ  
Posts: 7381
Group Leader
I'm an Advocate

Welcome to the forum daisy64,

I've had most of the antidepressants poop out on me. We have tried so many meds that we had to go back and recycle in different combinations.

Unfortunately I have severe reactions to SSRIs and SNRIs as well as the old school ones. So I can't take any antidepressants. The longest I was stable is 2 years out of seven since my diagnosis. I have BPII, GAD, and treatment resistant depression. I'm currently on Lamictal 300mg. and Valium, so far I have been stable almost two months. I have alot of hope for this combo.

I think its common for meds to just stop working and I don't understand why you pdoc does not titrate you off the ones that don't work. Yes withdrawal can be hell but so can taking a bunch of meds that don't work.

Hang in there, I'm sure theres something out there that will work.


06/05/2011 06:05 AM
mem4809

I would bring up the Cymbalta again--every drug is different.

06/05/2011 06:09 AM
daisy64
daisy64  
Posts: 14
New Member

Gosh, what a struggle you have had too, Rick. Poor guy. I think you are right about titrating/ swapping out effexor but my shrink knows that I have been so acutely ill that he didn't want to make things worse for me in the short term and figured that if they weren't doing any harm, I should stay on them till I had the strength to come off them.

I have heard that you can taper/titrate effexor with cymbalta because they are so similar so I guess I'm hoping that they are worth trying.

Hugs, Daisy


06/06/2011 04:06 AM
RickEJ
RickEJ  
Posts: 7381
Group Leader
I'm an Advocate

I wish you good luck with that. I hear there are a lot of meds you can use to take the place of others so you can get off the ones that don't work. Hope you feel better soon.

06/16/2011 01:36 PM
daisy64
daisy64  
Posts: 14
New Member

Well, here we go...Am tapering off the effexor now, down from 375mg to 225mg for the next week. So far (third day on new regime) no nasty effects apart from mild nausea. Wish me luck Smile
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