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Hi, thank you for providing this site which has already assisted me with my withdrawal process.  i first started Aropax 20mg in 1997 after my child was diagnosed with leukaemia and I developed severe panic attacks/anxiety. I tried to come off this drug several times over the years only to feel anxiety and was advised to continue. in 2009 I had my first real crack and withdrawing off over 3 months. Got discontinuation syndrome and stabilised back on Aropax at 10mg. attempted to withdraw again Jan 2010 over 5 months and had no major problems until about 10 days after final dose when I developed all the horrific symptoms of severe withdrawal. Dr decided it was best to start a new antidepressant Lexapro, and also took Seroquel up to 100mg  but I couldn't stabilise on it and after nearly 3 months of ups and downs, I saw a psychiatrist for the first time and he put me on Avanza 30mg and withdrew the Lexapro. Symptoms didn't abate so increased Avanza eventually up to 90mg. Was still waking with anxiety and taking valium. Psych added Effexor 75mg to my cocktail. after a couple of weeks I was stable on all these meds. 10/5/12  I started to reduce everything starting with Seroquel, which was fine, then Avanza down to 30mg, then Effexor down to 37.5. Then I weaned off  Avanza on 22/10/16. Started reducing Effexor Feb 2017, extremely slowly, counting beads. Have now been on 7mg since May 18 but the symptoms are not stabilising and i'm using valium to get through the rough spots. Mostly feel nausea, insomnia, fear and sadness. Have tried everything, my GP is very good as she does nutritional medicine and is supportive. Am trying low dose Melatonin for insomnia. And low dose Lamictal for overall stability - but feel like these are all just stabs in the dark. also wondering if there are any support groups in Australia or any Psychiatrists who would be supportive.


1997 - 2010 - Aropax - 5 month taper off Aropax

2010 - 2010 - Lexapro -on for 3 months

2010 - 2012 - Seroquel tapered off 16/11/12

2010 - 2016 - Avanza tapered off 22/10/16

2011 - Effexor 37.5mg started tapering 2/17,   25mg 4/10/17,   7mg 15/5/18.

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Hi Ida, welcome to SA. Effexor is notorious for terrible withdrawal symptoms and is very difficult to get off unless it is by tapering very slowly. I was taking it for 12 years and tapered for 3 years before I was finally off.  How did you get to 7mg from 25?  Here at SA we recommend tapering no ore than 10% of the current  dose with at least 4 weeks between cuts. There is no doubt that you are suffering withdrawal. You could updose very slightly to 7.5 and see if that helps. If it helps you can take that dose until you have been stable for a few months then start to taper again. It could take some time to stabilise after updosing but you will get there. If you decide to stay at 7mg and address the valium you will still stabilise but could take longer. 


 Can you tell us how you are taking valium?  Valium is highly addictive very quickly and you could be experiencing interdose withdrawal. This happens when you take it sporadically, you get some relief than get withdrawal, take some more not realising it is withdrawal, then get relief, and on it goes.  If you have been taking it for more than a month you might be better to take it regularly. Please can you add it to your signature, thank you for filling it in, it is very helpful.

Many people find that fish oil and magnesium are helpful in withdrawal, I wouldn't be without it and they are the only supplements that we recommend to everyone. If you try them start low and one at a time. 


Here are some topic that might help you to understand what is happening now. 

What is withdrawal syndrome


About reinstating or updosing to stabilise


Tips for tapering effexor




Fish oil







**I am not a medical professional, if in doubt please consult a doctor with withdrawal knowledge.



Different drugs occasionally (mostly benzos) 1976 - 1981 (no problem)

1993 - 2002 in and out of hospital. every type of drug + ECT. Staring with seroxat

2002  effexor. 

Tapered  March 2012 to March 2013, ending with 5 beads.

Withdrawal April 2013 . Reinstated 5 beads reduced to 4 beads May 2013

Restarted taper  Nov 2013  

OFF EFFEXOR Feb 2015    :D 

Tapered atenolol and omeprazole Dec 2013 - May 2014


Tapering tramadol, Feb 2015 100mg , March 2015 50mg  

 July 2017 30mg.  May 15 2018 25mg

Taking fish oil, magnesium, B12, folic acid, bilberry eyebright for eye pressure. 


My story http://survivingantidepressants.org/index.php?/topic/4199-hello-mammap-checking-in/page-33


Lesson learned, slow down taper at lower doses. Taper no more than 10% of CURRENT dose if possible



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thank you for your reply MammaP.  I have been taking low doses (1/2 or 1/4 of a 2.5mg tablet)  Lorazepam sporadically. but at least once a day for the last month or so and take Temaze at night sometimes, more frequently lately. I have taken Valium previous to this - again not regularly. I think I will try taking the Lorazepam regularly at the lowest dose and see if that helps. I am terrified of becoming addicted to another drug.

My reduction from Effexor 37.5mg started 5/2/17 has been less than 10% in a month by counting beads and with holds to stabilise. When I got to 40 beads 18/12/17 (approx 13.3mg) I reduced 5 beads. This is when morning anxiety increased but I didn't recognise it as a withdrawal so continued, 10/2/18 reduced 3 beads, 25/2/18 reduced 2 beads, 4/3/18 reduced 3 beads, 38/3/18 reduced 2 beads, 4/4/18 reduced 2 beads, 18/4/18 reduced 3 beads to 20 beads (approx 6.66mg). have had range of symptoms from feeling really good, to very bad, I have lost weight as the nausea is so constant at the moment. I am taking fish oil, magnesium, and a range of nutritional medicine from my nutritional GP. I guess I have been impatient and probably reduced more than 10% at times when I should have reduced far less than 10% for my brain. I just hope that this stabilises soon so I can put on some weight before I tackle any more reductions.


1997 - 2010 - Aropax - 5 month taper off Aropax - major crash

2010 - 2010 - Lexapro -on for 3 months

2010 - 2012 - Seroquel tapered off 16/11/12

2010 - 2016 - Avanza tapered off 22/10/16

2011 - Effexor 37.5mg started tapering 2/17,   25mg 4/10/17,   7mg 15/5/18.

2018 - Lorazepam 2.5mg, 1/4 - 1/2 tablet  and Temaze at night.

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