Jump to content

cosima: I caved and feel hopeless


cosima

Recommended Posts

I have been on Venlafaxine for so many years, I actually don't remember when I started it. I decided to try and transition to another antidepressant after I read an article on how withdrawal from Venlafaxine was compared to withdrawal from heroin. It scared me and it took a year for me to make the decision to move forward.  I visited with my doctor and he suggested I transition to Wellbutrin. His directive was to take both Venlafaxine and Wellbutrin together for a week and then stop the Venlafaxine altogether. The day after my last Venlafaxine brought about the most painful and worst week of my life. I've never done heroin but I've seen withdrawal acted out in movies and if those are true to form then yes, for me personally withdrawing from Venlafaxine was like coming off heroin. I documented via cell phone video some timeframes over the next several days of my symptoms during withdrawal. It was truly a horrifying experience and within a week I was so desperate for relief from feeling sick and in pain, I caved and started back on Venlafaxine again. I don't want to be on a drug that is this difficult to stop taking! I feel hopeless and terrified to try again.

Edited by Shep
added new username to title

Venlafaxine HCL ER 37.5 mg (Effexor) - don't remember when I started. It was so many years ago.

Bupropion HCL XL (Wellbutrin) 150 mg in addition to Venlafaxine HCL ER 37.5 - 07/16/20 Dr. prescribed taking both for 1 week, then dropping the Venlafaxine

Bupropion only - 7/27/20

Stopped Bupropion and got back on Venlafaxine HCL ER 37.5 - 08/01/20

Link to comment

I have been on Venlafaxine for so many years, I actually don't remember when I started it. I decided to try and transition to another antidepressant after I read an article on how withdrawal from Venlafaxine was compared to withdrawal from heroin. It scared me and it took a year for me to make the decision to move forward.  I visited with my doctor and he suggested I transition to Wellbutrin. His directive was to take both Venlafaxine and Wellbutrin together for a week and then stop the Venlafaxine altogether. The day after my last Venlafaxine brought about the most painful and worst week of my life. I've never done heroin but I've seen withdrawal acted out in movies and if those are true to form then yes, for me personally withdrawing from Venlafaxine was like coming off heroin. I documented via cell phone video some timeframes over the next several days of my symptoms during withdrawal. It was truly a horrifying experience and within a week I was so desperate for relief from feeling sick and in pain, I caved and started back on Venlafaxine again. I don't want to be on a drug that is this difficult to stop taking! I feel hopeless and terrified to try again.

 

Edited by ChessieCat
removed name

Venlafaxine HCL ER 37.5 mg (Effexor) - don't remember when I started. It was so many years ago.

Bupropion HCL XL (Wellbutrin) 150 mg in addition to Venlafaxine HCL ER 37.5 - 07/16/20 Dr. prescribed taking both for 1 week, then dropping the Venlafaxine

Bupropion only - 7/27/20

Stopped Bupropion and got back on Venlafaxine HCL ER 37.5 - 08/01/20

Link to comment
  • Moderator Emeritus

Welcome to SA, cosima.

 

To give members the best information, we ask them to summarize their medication history in a signature -- drugs, doses, dates, and discontinuations & reinstatements, in the last 12-24 months particularly.  If you don't remembers when you started Venlafaxine, that's fine, but we do need to know the dosage you're taking, the date you tried the crossover to Wellbutrin, the date you went back on Venlafaxine and the form of Venlafaxine that you're taking--immediate release (IR) or extended release (XR).

 

Account Settings – Create or Edit a signature.

 

I know you're discouraged, but there is no need to feel hopeless.  We have a number of members who've tapered off Venlafaxine and we are happy to help you to do it, whenever you're ready and when you've stabilized from the recent crossover attempt.   If you want some encouragement, Google SurvivingAntidepressants.org Effexor success stories.  We recommend tapering no more than 10% of your current dose every four weeks.  Some have to go more slowly.

 

Why taper by 10% of my dosage?

 

The following link is specifically about tapering Venlafaxine, including how to get the nonstandard doses you'll need for your 10% taper.  The link explains tapering from both IR and XR Venlafaxine.


Tips for tapering off venlafaxine (Effexor)

 

How are you feeling now?  What were the symptoms you experienced when you stopped the Venlafaxine and have they improved?   What you experienced when you did the crossover was withdrawal from Venlafaxine.  

 

What is withdrawal syndrome.

 

Daily Checklist of Antidepressant Withdrawal Symptoms (PDF) 

 

When we take psychiatric medications, the CNS (central nervous system) responds by making changes over the months and years we take the drug(s). When the medication is discontinued, the CNS has to undo all the changes it made. Rebuilding the neurotransmitter production and reactivating the receptor and transporter cells takes time -- during that rebuilding process symptoms occur.

 

We don't recommend a lot of supplements on SA, as many members report being sensitive to them due to our over-reactive nervous systems, but two supplements that we do recommend are magnesium and omega 3 (fish oil). Many people find these to be calming to the nervous system. 

 

Magnesium, nature's calcium channel blocker 

 

Omega-3 fatty acids (fish oil) 

 

Add in one at a time and at a low dose in case you do experience problems.

 

This is your Introduction topic, where you can complete your drug signature, ask questions and connect with other members.  We're glad you found your way here.

 

 

 

 

 

Edited by Gridley

Gridley Introduction

 

Lexapro 20 mg since 2004.  Begin Brassmonkey Slide Taper Jan. 2017.   

End 2017 year 1 of taper at 9.25mg 

End 2018 year 2 of taper at 4.1mg

End 2019 year 3 of taper at 1.0mg  

Oct. 30, 2020  Jump to zero from 0.025mg.  Current dose: 0.000mg

3 year, 10 month taper is 100% complete.

 

Ativan 1 mg to 1.875mg 1986-2020, two CT's and reinstatements

Nov. 2020, 7-week Ativan-Valium crossover to 18.75mg Valium

Feb. 2021, begin 10%/4 week taper of 18.75mg Valium 

End 2021  year 1 of Valium taper at 6mg

End 2022 year 2 of Valium taper at 2.75mg 

End 2023 year 3 of Valium taper at 1mg

Jan. 24, 2024: Hold at 1mg and shift to Imipramine taper.

Taper is 95% complete.

 

Imipramine 75 mg daily since 1986.  Jan.-Sept. 2016 tapered to 14.4mg  

March 22, 2022: Begin 10%/4 week taper

Aug. 5, 2022: hold at 9.5mg and shift to Valium taper

Jan. 24, 2024: Resume Imipramine taper.  Current dose as of May 2: 6.1mg

Taper is 92% complete.  

  

Supplements: multiple, quercetin, omega-3, vitamins C, E and D3, magnesium glycinate, probiotic, zinc, melatonin .3mg, iron, serrapeptase, nattokinase


I am not a medical professional and this is not medical advice but simply information based on my own experience, as well as other members who have survived these drugs.

Link to comment
  • ChessieCat changed the title to AWAITING ADVICE ON NAME: I caved and feel hopeless

Physically I'm feeling better after getting back on venlafaxine. The days of withdrawal were more intense than I could have ever imagined. My entire body ached, I couldn't keep still but at the same time my body felt so numb and heavy. I would get hot and sweat profusely and then get really cold. I was sick to my stomach and experiencing this terrible pain right below my chest in the rib area. I couldn't eat anything. My head felt like it was in a bubble and would go through these sickening waves of dizziness along with headache. I wasn't getting much sleep and when I did, I had bizarre dreams and horrific nightmares. I cried uncontrollably through most of the entire experience. It was overwhelming. I was so exhausted physically and mentally after several days, I literally couldn't take it anymore so I caved and picked up my prescription for venlafaxine. The day after taking it again, I felt somewhat better but disappointed in myself for not making it through. I'm actually terrified to try the transition to a different antidepressant again but I don't want to be on venlafaxine anymore either. The fact that it has such an impact on my body and brain is scary.

Venlafaxine HCL ER 37.5 mg (Effexor) - don't remember when I started. It was so many years ago.

Bupropion HCL XL (Wellbutrin) 150 mg in addition to Venlafaxine HCL ER 37.5 - 07/16/20 Dr. prescribed taking both for 1 week, then dropping the Venlafaxine

Bupropion only - 7/27/20

Stopped Bupropion and got back on Venlafaxine HCL ER 37.5 - 08/01/20

Link to comment
  • Moderator Emeritus
23 minutes ago, cosima said:

I'm actually terrified to try the transition to a different antidepressant again but I don't want to be on venlafaxine anymore either.

If you wish, and whenever you're ready, we're happy to help you slowly taper the Venlafaxine.  Regarding feeling disappointed in yourself, these drugs are very strong and it's not a matter of will power or failure.  I'm glad you're feeling better.

Gridley Introduction

 

Lexapro 20 mg since 2004.  Begin Brassmonkey Slide Taper Jan. 2017.   

End 2017 year 1 of taper at 9.25mg 

End 2018 year 2 of taper at 4.1mg

End 2019 year 3 of taper at 1.0mg  

Oct. 30, 2020  Jump to zero from 0.025mg.  Current dose: 0.000mg

3 year, 10 month taper is 100% complete.

 

Ativan 1 mg to 1.875mg 1986-2020, two CT's and reinstatements

Nov. 2020, 7-week Ativan-Valium crossover to 18.75mg Valium

Feb. 2021, begin 10%/4 week taper of 18.75mg Valium 

End 2021  year 1 of Valium taper at 6mg

End 2022 year 2 of Valium taper at 2.75mg 

End 2023 year 3 of Valium taper at 1mg

Jan. 24, 2024: Hold at 1mg and shift to Imipramine taper.

Taper is 95% complete.

 

Imipramine 75 mg daily since 1986.  Jan.-Sept. 2016 tapered to 14.4mg  

March 22, 2022: Begin 10%/4 week taper

Aug. 5, 2022: hold at 9.5mg and shift to Valium taper

Jan. 24, 2024: Resume Imipramine taper.  Current dose as of May 2: 6.1mg

Taper is 92% complete.  

  

Supplements: multiple, quercetin, omega-3, vitamins C, E and D3, magnesium glycinate, probiotic, zinc, melatonin .3mg, iron, serrapeptase, nattokinase


I am not a medical professional and this is not medical advice but simply information based on my own experience, as well as other members who have survived these drugs.

Link to comment

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now
×
×
  • Create New...

Important Information

Terms of Use Privacy Policy