Citation: Anonymous. "Got My Sense of Humor Back, But Doesn't Combine Well: An Experience with Venlafaxine (Effexor), Doxycycline, Caffeine & Cannabis (exp67450)". Erowid.org. Apr 6, 2012. erowid.org/exp/67450
||Pharms - Venlafaxine
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||Pharms - Doxycycline
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Just over two months to the experience I came down with Lyme disease. I had an IV, which I infused with 100ml Rocephin daily for four weeks. After the four weeks, I was put on Doxycycline - 200mg once a day for two weeks (which began slightly before the experience). Throughout my illness I did not drink any alcohol or caffeine nor smoke any weed. Before I would drink/smoke maybe once every two or three weeks (usually drinking to the point of vomiting, about 8 or 9 drinks), and would drink energy drinks 1 or 2 times per week. As usual, the night before the experience I took my medication.
I was also put on Effexor XR 75mg (Venlafaxine) a few weeks prior for anxiety and depression, caused by the Lyme but also a host of other factors. I began feeling very depressed nine months before being put on the medication, but did not muster up the courage to ask for help until recently. Within 1-2 days I felt the effects of the Effexor. I started feeling less anxious, my sense of humor came back (which had been largely absent in my months of depression), and I found it easier to interact with people. The only side affects I experienced in the first 4-6 days were excessive and hearty yawning followed by extreme tiredness. I was taking the Effexor at about 6pm with dinner and would end up passing out around 9:30pm, and I would wake up about an hour or two before my 6:15am alarm and would not be able to get back to sleep. This did not really concern me, however, as I was feeling happier and more 'me' than I had in months.
However, around day 3 I began experiencing vertigo, but only while laying down. I felt incredibly out-of-body, as if a shadow of my body were floating above my own. It slightly unsettled me, but I was not worried as I was otherwise feeling great. I was also experiencing extremely vivid dreams, which was uncommon for me prior to Effexor. I had also never had any trouble sleeping before taking it, even through the Lyme.
On day 7, I went on a weekend vacation and forgot all of my medication (Doxycycline and Effexor), and did not realize this until at the very end of a 4 hour drive. I decided that I could stick out the weekend and would just take the Doxycycline for three extra days (At that point, I had two weeks left on it).
The first day of no medication I felt fine, rather just as I had the previous day. That night, however, I barely slept and was tossing and turning the entire night. The next day I felt fine up until about 2-3pm. I admit that I maybe ate a little too much chocolate, perhaps 500 calories worth, and within half an hour I felt incredibly sick. Around 5pm I forced myself to vomit, and did so successfully about 5 or 7 times. I felt significantly better afterwards, and was able to eat dinner normally and felt generally okay (but not great) for the rest of the evening. That night I also experienced extreme difficulty sleeping, and felt as if I would fall asleep for 10 minutes then wake up for 20, repeated over and over.
The following morning I woke up at 8am, incredibly tired, but could not fall asleep as my brain was quite active and my thoughts would not settle. Until about 1pm I attempted to sleep but was still not able, so I read a book and drank a lot of water (probably about 50 oz). I ate a sandwich for lunch around 12, and felt fine in the half-hour following. At about 1pm it was time to begin homeward, and I was fortunate to be with another person so I did not have to drive. There was a short drive of about 20 minutes followed by a stop of about half an hour, which I stayed in the car for.
During that stop I felt as if I was seasick/had motion sickness while completely still. I wanted to throw up but didn't. I also became incredibly irritable and short-tempered with my companion. I had no sense of humor whatsoever and was completely miserable. The car ride home was awful. I attempted to sleep in the back seat, but again experienced nausea and the on-and-off sleeping. I felt as if I didn't sleep at all.
When I arrived home I ate a few slices of pizza and took the Effexor and Doxycycline. Within an hour I had to induce vomiting, and was doing such for about half an hour afterwards. I still felt nauseated after the aforesaid, but slightly better. I became incredibly tired around 7pm, but again couldn't sleep. I took two Tylenol PM and was knocked out by 8:30pm.
The following morning I woke up to my alarm and did not feel drowsy. When I tried to sleep that night, I again found my mind to be racing. My body was tired, by my brain was not getting the queue and my thoughts simply would not settle. I, however, did not take the Tylenol PM that night. I was continuing to feel the vertigo throughout this. For the next three days, I ended up taking the Tylenol PM in order to sleep.
One day following a T-PM induced sleep I went online to research whether other people had sleep disturbances while on Effexor. What I found horrified me (insomnia, tales of brutal withdrawals after missing 1 or 2 days' doses), and caused a panic attack. I cried hysterically for about two hours in the early evening and could not decide what I should do about the situation. I called my doctor and scheduled an appointment for the next available time, which was five days off. I couldn't fathom taking the Effexor that night, and actually slept semi-okay without taking any sleep aid.
The next day I woke up at 5:30am to go for a run. I took the Effexor around 7 am, felt happier within half an hour, but was tired. I was able to nap for about an hour and a half in the morning. I had to work that night, and was not able to take the Doxycycline until about midnight. I did not go to bed afterwards but instead continued to research Effexor, and was wide awake until about 4 am.
The following morning, which was the day of the experience, I woke around 8am but did not get out of bed until about 11 am, at which time I ate breakfast (pumpkin seeds, a banana, green tea and a big glass of water) and took my Effexor. I did not eat anything else for the rest of the day, except for a few pretzels around 5pm.
I had plans to go to a local benefit rock/punk/ska concert that night, and I was feeling good but a little bit tired so on my way to pick up my friends, at about 4pm, I started to drink a 250ml can of Red Bull. I drank this can until about 5:30, whereupon I bought a 500ml can of Red Bull, which lasted me until about 7pm.
The concert was in a VFW-like hall, and was incredibly loud with a many people smoking cigarettes, most within close proximity (about 100+ people in attendance). I at this point I was feeling incredibly hyper, was talking quickly, and felt almost 'drunk' off of the caffeine. I was very uninhibited and talked to dozens upon dozens of friends/people I knew in the crowd without feeling any social anxiety at all, which has not ever happened in recent years. I continued to lust for more caffeine but was not able to procure any RB. I settled for the next best alternative, a 10oz can of Mountain Dew. It took me about half an hour to drink this.
At about 9pm I took one hit of marijuana mixed with tobacco from a joint, which did not make me feel high but still very hyper and chatty. I coughed after inhaling, which I blamed on not having smoked in a few months, and was fine within 10 minutes. I felt even more 'drunk' from the caffeine. About 20 minutes later I took two or three generous sips of beer, which caused me to become even less inhibited and chatty. I gave the beer away, however, as I realized that it warned against such on the Effexor and Doxycycline bottles. I started to feel a little bit out of it, but was still in a fairly normal state. I drank another can of MD.
Around 9:30pm I took about three hits of weed again, except from a piece. I got a bit of the ash, and was coughing quite a bit. I decided to drink some water at step outside for a bit (30 degrees Fahrenheit, mind you). I continued to cough while sitting outside and felt slightly nauseated, but not to the point of throwing up. I was outside for about ten or so minutes, and went back inside to get more water.
About 10 minutes later, I began to tweak out. My vision became distorted, and it felt as if I was zooming in and out of where I was standing. I started to stumble and questioned where I was. When I am high, I usually get a sort of out-of-body visual experience, but never this extreme before. I later deduced that this intensified effect was due to the normal high mixed with the vertigo.
I realized that this was not right, and forced myself to drink countless bottles of water, as I was not only thirsty but had the worst cottonmouth I have ever experienced. I experienced the in-and-out feeling for about two hours later. I was also stumbling tremendously, and would jump at the slightest movement. My thighs felt warm and I couldn't keep my fingers still. I felt as if I was wander/stumbling around for quite some time. The music was still incredibly loud and I started to dance a lot, but would have to leave the circle in about 1-2 minutes due to feeling incredibly disoriented and thirsty.
I began to feel very nervous, so I sat down in a chair. I became incredibly disoriented and I mentally was in and out of my location every 2 seconds. I would not know where I was for a few seconds, then would suddenly zoom back in on my location. I became incredibly nervous. I tried to reassure and calm myself by repeating to myself 'I'm alright, I'm at the concert', moving my lips but not able to hear any sound. My friends began to take notice of this, and became concerned. I walked around saying this for at least five minutes, until I finally said it loud enough for someone to hear, which would under normal noise conditions be a yell.
About 10 minutes or so after, I had stopped talking to myself and had resumed dancing and once again stumbled out, but this time felt as if my heart was racing. I had one of my friends take my heart rate while I sat down in a chair in comparison to another, substance-free friend, and she determined that my heart rate was incredibly high. I sat in the chair for some minutes afterwards, and believe I told my friend my name, address, phone number and social security number. I continued to drink water, go to the bathroom every what seemed like 5 minutes, and attempt to calm myself.
I became more and more out of it as time went on, and my friends became increasingly concerned about me. I had driven to the concert with two close friends, who decided amongst themselves that I was not to drive and that one of them would drive my car for the ride home. Neither of them had consumed any substances and I readily agreed. I continued to dance on and off, experience the extreme in-and-out vertigo, cottonmouth, and hypersensitivity to movement.
Around 11:20pm I found myself fixated on the plate-glass door that served as the main entrance to the hall. A young man, 20s, was pressing his face against the glass with a look of 'uh-oh'. People noticed and began to chatter about what was happening. We quickly found out that the police had arrived. I was still incredibly out of it at this point. As a police officer entered the building with a flashlight, my friends pulled me to the side and we managed to slip away, and were able to leave the premises without personal incident.
I did not begin to stop tweaking out until about 11:45. My friends were actively trying to calm me down, and I was drinking water and attempting to also calm myself down. I was attempting to speak in a quiet, calm voice, but apparently was snapping at people. I did not truly begin to come down until 12:15 or so, when I was more or less to a premeds/Lyme-normal light to moderate high (no disorientation, slight cottonmouth).
Upon getting home around 12:30am, I was still slightly out of it, but very very very much improved, and went online to research how Effexor might interact with the substances I had taken that night. That night is actually tonight, and it is now 3am. I have not gone to sleep yet as I want to come completely down before retiring to bed. At this point, however, I feel as if I have come about 98% down.
I share this story as this has been an incredibly scary night for me, probably the scariest party-related one of my entire life. At points I legitimately did not know where or who I was, and thought that there was a very real possibility I could die. I had no idea what the effects of these substances would be combined, and walked into the situation blindly. It is incredibly important that others who are taking the same/similar medications be aware of this experience and these effects. It has been simply too traumatizing an experience not to be shared.
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