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Alfred1977: I quit Venlafaxine too fast and by skipping doses and now I feel awful


Alfred1977

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  • Mentor
Posted (edited)

I got light brain zaps again and don't understand why. They came over night and stayed until now (morning). I fell several times deeply and calmly asleep and woke up with brain zaps during the night (reminded me of the time when I was completely off Venla and slept well). I had something similar like this 1,2 nights before but it was so mild that I wasn't sure. Now it is very noticeable and they come when moving my eyeballs as usual, so I am sure now.

 

Yesterday I had quiet a change in my diet. I forgot magnesium, took vit D,K and zinc and ate stuff from a different grocery (I know this is a lot and does not help to understand what's happening).

 

I am baffled and this is new to me. Brain zaps always used to be clearly associated with dose reductions in my case. Now they seem to have come out of nowhere. F**k!  

Edited by Alfred1977

Earlier drug history:

Paroxetine  2001 until 2003, quit cold turkey, don't remember dose; Venlafaxine 2005 until Dez. 2023, mostly 75mg xr per day, for about 4 years 37.5mg xr; quite a lot of Antihistamines because of allergy; there were other drugs that I don't remember all, but nothing what I consistently took over a longer period of time, for example Lorazepam 0.5mg prn.

Recent developments:

Dez 2023 - 03/13/2024 quitting Venlafaxine 75mg (skipping doses); 04/07/2024 reinstating Venlafaxine 12,5mg; 04/17/2024 Venlafaxine 25mg; 4/29/24 until 5/4/24 Trimipramine, 5mg going down to zero over 5 days

Drugs right now:

Venlafaxine 25mg; supplements: 500mg magnesium, 100mg aspirin and melatonin spray

 

I am no medical expert. I am dependent on Venlafaxine, trying to find and give peer support in this community and simply giving my opinion. Double check any information before you take action, for example with your doctor.

 

First they sell addictive drugs as harmless and then they leave you alone dosing fractions of a mg correctly or plunging into the abyss.

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Hey @Alfred1977

 

I feel you...

 

Even before I attempted to quit effexor back in the days... I had random brain zaps quite frequently. It always got much worse when I got sick.

 

It continued on escitalopram... But it was less frequent.

 

Nowaday I often get them when I wake up at night.

 

It is sooo weird...

Supplements: Vit D3, Fish oil, Magnesium bisglycenate 200mg (when needed), Melatonin 1.25mg (when needed), Camomile tea (1 cup before bed), THC oil (0.03ml once a week, don't do this to yourself), Vit C 500mg a day
Started effexor in 2011.

Stopped effexor in 2012 (fast tamper).

Got back on effexor in 2012.

Tried stopping effexor again in 2014 (I'm not sure?), fast tamper again.

Started effexor again in 2014.

Switched to Escitalopram in 2016 I believe

Stopped Escitalopram 10mg cold turkey on January 3 2024.

Reinstated Escitalopram 5mg on april 2 2024.

Down to 1mg on april 3 2024, 1.25mg on april 11 2024

 

 

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  • Mentor
11 minutes ago, Tweed9674 said:

I had random brain zaps quite frequently.

 

Can they be really random?? I wanna make myself believe that this is either part of the healing process or got something to do with my diet. They were entirely gone for about 8 weeks...

Earlier drug history:

Paroxetine  2001 until 2003, quit cold turkey, don't remember dose; Venlafaxine 2005 until Dez. 2023, mostly 75mg xr per day, for about 4 years 37.5mg xr; quite a lot of Antihistamines because of allergy; there were other drugs that I don't remember all, but nothing what I consistently took over a longer period of time, for example Lorazepam 0.5mg prn.

Recent developments:

Dez 2023 - 03/13/2024 quitting Venlafaxine 75mg (skipping doses); 04/07/2024 reinstating Venlafaxine 12,5mg; 04/17/2024 Venlafaxine 25mg; 4/29/24 until 5/4/24 Trimipramine, 5mg going down to zero over 5 days

Drugs right now:

Venlafaxine 25mg; supplements: 500mg magnesium, 100mg aspirin and melatonin spray

 

I am no medical expert. I am dependent on Venlafaxine, trying to find and give peer support in this community and simply giving my opinion. Double check any information before you take action, for example with your doctor.

 

First they sell addictive drugs as harmless and then they leave you alone dosing fractions of a mg correctly or plunging into the abyss.

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2 hours ago, Alfred1977 said:

 

Can they be really random?? I wanna make myself believe that this is either part of the healing process or got something to do with my diet. They were entirely gone for about 8 weeks...

 

Yes it could totally be diet. Maybe it's because you missed the magnesium. It's super hard to tell when we are in the state we're in.

I hope they will go away quickly for you!!

Supplements: Vit D3, Fish oil, Magnesium bisglycenate 200mg (when needed), Melatonin 1.25mg (when needed), Camomile tea (1 cup before bed), THC oil (0.03ml once a week, don't do this to yourself), Vit C 500mg a day
Started effexor in 2011.

Stopped effexor in 2012 (fast tamper).

Got back on effexor in 2012.

Tried stopping effexor again in 2014 (I'm not sure?), fast tamper again.

Started effexor again in 2014.

Switched to Escitalopram in 2016 I believe

Stopped Escitalopram 10mg cold turkey on January 3 2024.

Reinstated Escitalopram 5mg on april 2 2024.

Down to 1mg on april 3 2024, 1.25mg on april 11 2024

 

 

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8 hours ago, Alfred1977 said:

I got light brain zaps again and don't understand why. They came over night and stayed until now (morning). I fell several times deeply and calmly asleep and woke up with brain zaps during the night

 

Hi @Alfred1977

 

There's some evidence of correlation between brain zaps and lateral eye movements. So things like REM sleep and reading could trigger them. 

Interestingly, I have a family member who has never touched a psych drug in her life and regularly experiences brain zaps when reading in bed at night! 

 

You might be interested in this study:

https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/35144325/

 

Very much in line with what you yourself have noticed:

 

8 hours ago, Alfred1977 said:

Now it is very noticeable and they come when moving my eyeballs as usual, so I am sure now.

 

Brain zaps may be disconcerting and uncomfortable, but I've yet to come across anything suggesting they're pernicious. 

 

My takeaway from your post is, "I fell several times deeply and calmly asleep," which is a MAJOR WIN, and such a wonderful sign of healing! 

Your system is able to fall asleep, your system is able to achieve deep sleep -- that's fantastic!

Healing is happening <3

1996-2018 - misc. polypharmacy, incl. SSRIs, SNRIs, neuroleptics, lithium, benzos, stimulants, antihistamines, etc. (approx. 30+ drugs)

2012-2018 - 10mg lexapro/escitalopram (20mg?)    Jan. 2018 - 10mg -> 5mg, then from 5mg -> 2.5mg, then 0mg  -->  July 2018 - 0mg

2017(?)-2020 - vyvanse/lisdexamfetamine 60-70mg    2020-2021 - 70mg down to 0mg  -->  July 2021 - 0mg

March-April 2021 - vortioxetine 5-10mg (approx. 7 weeks total; CT)  -->  April 28th, 2021 - 0mg

August 2021 - 2mg melatonin   August 1, 2022 - 1mg melatonin   March 31, 2023 - 0mg melatonin

2024 supplements update: electrolyte blend in water sipped throughout the day; 1 tsp cod liver oil blend (incl. vit. A+D+E) w/ breakfast; calcium; vitamin C+zinc

 

Courage is fear that has said its prayers.  - Karle Wilson Baker

love and justice are not two. without inner change, there can be no outer change; without collective change, no change matters.  - Rev. angel Kyodo williams

Holding multiple truths. Knowing that everyone has their own accurate view of the way things are.  - text on homemade banner at Afiya house

 

I am not a medical professional; this is not medical advice. 

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  • Mentor

Hey @Ariel,

 

thank you for your encouragement and the article. I ve read it and it is interesting how other people describe this symptom. "21 people were prescribed benzos by their doctors after reporting the brain zaps"...wtf!?! Had to laugh when I read this, although it is sad.

1 hour ago, Ariel said:

There's some evidence of correlation between brain zaps and lateral eye movements. So things like REM sleep and reading could trigger them. 

In my case I can trigger them voluntarily by moving my eyes during the time I have them. On some days those times are short and intermittent, on really bad days those times are constant. Also the intensity varies. The zaps can be very mild and sometimes they are heavy. Up to now frequency and intensity of the zaps always correlated with the intensity of the drug reduction.

 

I don't think I could cope with heavy frequent zaps for a longer period of time (and luckily I never had to). I don't think this will happen to me because so far they always seemed to get better with time. Also this time...right now they are gone. I just wanna say that I think that constant heavy zaps could possibly drive someone insane, although they are not painful. It is impossible to not move your eyes, even when they are shut.

Earlier drug history:

Paroxetine  2001 until 2003, quit cold turkey, don't remember dose; Venlafaxine 2005 until Dez. 2023, mostly 75mg xr per day, for about 4 years 37.5mg xr; quite a lot of Antihistamines because of allergy; there were other drugs that I don't remember all, but nothing what I consistently took over a longer period of time, for example Lorazepam 0.5mg prn.

Recent developments:

Dez 2023 - 03/13/2024 quitting Venlafaxine 75mg (skipping doses); 04/07/2024 reinstating Venlafaxine 12,5mg; 04/17/2024 Venlafaxine 25mg; 4/29/24 until 5/4/24 Trimipramine, 5mg going down to zero over 5 days

Drugs right now:

Venlafaxine 25mg; supplements: 500mg magnesium, 100mg aspirin and melatonin spray

 

I am no medical expert. I am dependent on Venlafaxine, trying to find and give peer support in this community and simply giving my opinion. Double check any information before you take action, for example with your doctor.

 

First they sell addictive drugs as harmless and then they leave you alone dosing fractions of a mg correctly or plunging into the abyss.

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On 5/20/2024 at 11:18 AM, Catwoman73 said:

Hi @Alfred1977- I had to chuckle at your comment about getting high off of those chewy candies lol.  It's not just the sugar, it's the texture... when I'm going through a rough time, there's just something about chewy stuff that is incredibly comforting!  But I pay the price BIG TIME if I take in too much sugar- sweating, insomnia, tremors.  Caffeine has been the devil for me as well, sadly.  I ADORE coffee lol.  But right now, it's all about herbal tea with a touch of honey (I'm vegan, and I know I shouldn't have honey, but it gives me that hint of sweet, and some nutrition as well, so I'm giving myself that grace).  I have been dealing with long covid for a couple of years now, and there are so many similarities to withdrawal... I have really found that a super clean diet has been literally the only thing that has eased the severity of my symptoms.  It's not a cure, but it helps.  Just go easy if you decide to get yourself off the caffeine and sugar- they both have their own withdrawal effects. 

 

Anyway, I'm sorry for your struggles.  Allow yourself to FEEL- it's ok to feel anxious and depressed!  It's a normal part of life.  Just go with the flow.  Whether it's withdrawal or life circumstances- personally, I don't think it matters.  What matters is how you manage it.  Be kind and gentle with yourself!  You can do this! 

Hi! I saw this while searching if I should try some herbal tea or not.  I also have long covid and am going through extreme withdrawal on top of it.  Can't even go down by .2mg.  My long covid started in September 2021 and it's mostly neurological.  I actually started Zoloft to see if it would help the symptoms. What are your symptoms?

Long covid September 2021 have central sensitization for that started Zoloft February 2023 12.5 to 25 to 50 to 75 75mg to 50mg April 2023, 50mg to 25 may 2023, 25mg to 12.5 April 2023 (failed) 12.5mg to 25 April 2023

tried multiple times to cut pill of 25 and failed... 25mg to 20 liquid Zoloft switch 20mg to 18mg July 2023

18 to 16 July 2023 

16mg to 12.5 August 2023 

12.5mg to 10 September 23   9mg oct3 8.5mg oct 17          8mg oct 29

7.6 nov 14          7.4 dec 1

7.2 January 4th       7 January 20th

6.8 march 10th.       6.6 march 25

 

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Hey @Alfred1977,

 

I don’t know if this is helpful to you, but when I was taking Venlafaxine (tablet form) I dropped from 37.5mg to 28mg, the withdrawal from that lasted 6 weeks roughly. I understand how difficult it is.
 

I realise everyone is different though, but I thought it might be helpful to know that, unfortunately, it can take quite some time, but it does eventually settle down.

 

Hope you’re ok.

  • 2002 Trazadone.
  • 2002 Fluoxetine 20mg.
  • 2017 Sertraline.
  • 2018 Venlafaxine 75mg.
  • 2018 Venlafaxine 37.5mg.
  • 2019 Venlafaxine 18.75mg. Too fast.
  • 2019 Venlafaxine 37.5mg.
  • 2020 October 28mg.
  • 2022 Prozac Bridge Start: 5 November Venlafaxine 28mg + Fluoxetine 5mg.
  • 2022 11 November Fluoxetine 5mg, gradual increase to 10mg 4 January.
  • 2023 Fluoxetine taper started 6 February at 10mg, ended 12 May 0mg. 33% reduction per month (roughly)
  • 2024 Fluoxetine 1mg, 4 June 2024 - reinstatement.
  • 2024 Fluoxetine 0mg, 12 June 2024.

 

 

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Hi @Alfred1977, I was directed to your thread by member Ariel. Our stories have many similarities in that I’ve also been on Effexor for a long time (21y) and experienced some of the same symptoms (anxiety, insomnia, restlessness) when updosing to my previous dosage. 
 

I should mention though, that I never went off completely but crashed at 25mg and so reinstated to 75mg. 
 

IMO Venlafaxine is a very activating drug. I’ve been holding for 2 years and the symptoms have gotten a lot better. My hope is that yours will as well as you continue to hold. 
 

One thing which has help me fall asleep is a progressive muscle relaxation on YouTube. I’ve listened to it so many times I can run through it unguided. Maybe it can help you shift willfully shift into relaxation when you feel the need. 
 

 

I am also am part of the camp who believes that bead size in Effexor XR should be factored into tapering, and would be happy to discuss it at length. I am also interest in liquid tapering. I sense you have a keen mind so if you’re ever up for it feel free to shoot me a msg.

 

Wishing you continued improvement at your current dose. 
 

FP 🙏

 

 

 

History of alcoholism, used benzo’s on and off in the past (acute benzo withdrawal in 2012; no PAWS)

 

21 years on Effexor @ doses between 75mg and 150mg. 2021 Effexor 75mg: 3/8/21 -> 67.5mg; 3/22/21 -> 56.7mg ; 5/12/21 -> 48.6mg; 6/8/21 -> 42.3mg; 7/1/22 -> 37.5mg; 7/15/21 -> 33.5mg; 8/20/21 -> 27.5mg; 1/5/22 -> 25mg; 1/13/22 holding - aggravating factors lead to delayed W/D /destabilization 3/4/22 -> anxiety, panic, dry-retching, diarrhea, weight loss; 3/8/22 1mg Ativan added 3/22/22 self-admit to hospital; updosed to 37.5mg E - switched to clonazapam 3/25/22 updose to 75mg3/30/22; fast taper C after 24 days of intermittent use. [2 years pass] Currently still at 75mg

 

[current supplements/drugs: caffeine, nicotine]

 

I am not a medical professional and information I provide is not medical advice but simply information based on my own experience. 

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  • Mentor
On 6/7/2024 at 10:56 AM, Paul71 said:

Hey @Alfred1977,

 

I don’t know if this is helpful to you, but when I was taking Venlafaxine (tablet form) I dropped from 37.5mg to 28mg, the withdrawal from that lasted 6 weeks roughly. I understand how difficult it is.
 

I realise everyone is different though, but I thought it might be helpful to know that, unfortunately, it can take quite some time, but it does eventually settle down.

 

Hope you’re ok.

Hi Paul,

thanks for reaching out to me and your encouragement. Unfortunately I am still struggling about 2 months after reinstatement. I took 37.5 around the end of Feb. and then went down too 0 within 2 weeks staying at 0 for about 4 weeks. It's been pretty rough and I foolishly thought I could fight through it. When I realized I couldn't, I was already in a pretty bad condition.

Take care.

Earlier drug history:

Paroxetine  2001 until 2003, quit cold turkey, don't remember dose; Venlafaxine 2005 until Dez. 2023, mostly 75mg xr per day, for about 4 years 37.5mg xr; quite a lot of Antihistamines because of allergy; there were other drugs that I don't remember all, but nothing what I consistently took over a longer period of time, for example Lorazepam 0.5mg prn.

Recent developments:

Dez 2023 - 03/13/2024 quitting Venlafaxine 75mg (skipping doses); 04/07/2024 reinstating Venlafaxine 12,5mg; 04/17/2024 Venlafaxine 25mg; 4/29/24 until 5/4/24 Trimipramine, 5mg going down to zero over 5 days

Drugs right now:

Venlafaxine 25mg; supplements: 500mg magnesium, 100mg aspirin and melatonin spray

 

I am no medical expert. I am dependent on Venlafaxine, trying to find and give peer support in this community and simply giving my opinion. Double check any information before you take action, for example with your doctor.

 

First they sell addictive drugs as harmless and then they leave you alone dosing fractions of a mg correctly or plunging into the abyss.

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  • Mentor
Posted (edited)

Hey @FindPeace,

nice to meet you and thank you for visiting my thread. I agree, our experiences are similar. I also drank too much over the last years. Insomnia and tension got better so far. But anxiety and depression seems to be still quite a problem.

Thank you @Ariel for bringing us together.

 

What are your plans going forward?

Edited by Alfred1977

Earlier drug history:

Paroxetine  2001 until 2003, quit cold turkey, don't remember dose; Venlafaxine 2005 until Dez. 2023, mostly 75mg xr per day, for about 4 years 37.5mg xr; quite a lot of Antihistamines because of allergy; there were other drugs that I don't remember all, but nothing what I consistently took over a longer period of time, for example Lorazepam 0.5mg prn.

Recent developments:

Dez 2023 - 03/13/2024 quitting Venlafaxine 75mg (skipping doses); 04/07/2024 reinstating Venlafaxine 12,5mg; 04/17/2024 Venlafaxine 25mg; 4/29/24 until 5/4/24 Trimipramine, 5mg going down to zero over 5 days

Drugs right now:

Venlafaxine 25mg; supplements: 500mg magnesium, 100mg aspirin and melatonin spray

 

I am no medical expert. I am dependent on Venlafaxine, trying to find and give peer support in this community and simply giving my opinion. Double check any information before you take action, for example with your doctor.

 

First they sell addictive drugs as harmless and then they leave you alone dosing fractions of a mg correctly or plunging into the abyss.

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1 hour ago, Alfred1977 said:

Hi Paul,

thanks for reaching out to me and your encouragement. Unfortunately I am still struggling about 2 months after reinstatement. I took 37.5 around the end of Feb. and then went down too 0 within 2 weeks staying at 0 for about 4 weeks. It's been pretty rough and I foolishly thought I could fight through it. When I realized I couldn't, I was already in a pretty bad condition.

Take care.

 

Hi Alfred,

 

I'm sorry you're still struggling with this. I reduced from 37.5mg to 28mg. You dropped to 0mg and then reinstated up to 25mg, so I guess there's a difference in what we did. Again - not a doctor - but you're reduction was more dramatic than mine and you reinstated at a lower dose - 25mg. So this may have thrown you system out more, which might explain why it's taking longer to settle down.

 

I know when I was in the middle of the withdrawal it felt like it was never going to end, and I think everyone tells themselves that it won't. Then, one evening, roughly week 5 or 6 of the withdrawal, I noticed that the brain and body zaps had started to reduce, and I realised at that point things might be improving - finally.

 

Take care, I know how hard it is.

  • 2002 Trazadone.
  • 2002 Fluoxetine 20mg.
  • 2017 Sertraline.
  • 2018 Venlafaxine 75mg.
  • 2018 Venlafaxine 37.5mg.
  • 2019 Venlafaxine 18.75mg. Too fast.
  • 2019 Venlafaxine 37.5mg.
  • 2020 October 28mg.
  • 2022 Prozac Bridge Start: 5 November Venlafaxine 28mg + Fluoxetine 5mg.
  • 2022 11 November Fluoxetine 5mg, gradual increase to 10mg 4 January.
  • 2023 Fluoxetine taper started 6 February at 10mg, ended 12 May 0mg. 33% reduction per month (roughly)
  • 2024 Fluoxetine 1mg, 4 June 2024 - reinstatement.
  • 2024 Fluoxetine 0mg, 12 June 2024.

 

 

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@Alfred1977 I’m glad to hear that insomnia and tension have got better for you. So I take it reinstatement helped in some regards? Anxiety and depression are tough to deal with. I’ve had worse anxiety ever since my crash and depression on and off. 
 

My plan right now is to decide wether to use the services of an informed NP to get liquid and support in a very slow taper of 75mg. It’s quite expensive and I struggle with costing it out. Maybe you could help me apply a geometric formula haha!

 

Another avenue of my thought is using the beads in Effexor XR to taper to 37.5mg and then convert to liquid. However, I am really unsure of dosing accuracy and stable blood plasma concentration when altering the original capsule by removing beads. 

 

History of alcoholism, used benzo’s on and off in the past (acute benzo withdrawal in 2012; no PAWS)

 

21 years on Effexor @ doses between 75mg and 150mg. 2021 Effexor 75mg: 3/8/21 -> 67.5mg; 3/22/21 -> 56.7mg ; 5/12/21 -> 48.6mg; 6/8/21 -> 42.3mg; 7/1/22 -> 37.5mg; 7/15/21 -> 33.5mg; 8/20/21 -> 27.5mg; 1/5/22 -> 25mg; 1/13/22 holding - aggravating factors lead to delayed W/D /destabilization 3/4/22 -> anxiety, panic, dry-retching, diarrhea, weight loss; 3/8/22 1mg Ativan added 3/22/22 self-admit to hospital; updosed to 37.5mg E - switched to clonazapam 3/25/22 updose to 75mg3/30/22; fast taper C after 24 days of intermittent use. [2 years pass] Currently still at 75mg

 

[current supplements/drugs: caffeine, nicotine]

 

I am not a medical professional and information I provide is not medical advice but simply information based on my own experience. 

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  • Mentor
8 hours ago, FindPeace said:

Maybe you could help me apply a geometric formula haha!

Sure! We can try to figure this out or talk about alternatives.

 

8 hours ago, FindPeace said:

However, I am really unsure of dosing accuracy and stable blood plasma concentration when altering the original capsule by removing beads. 

I assume this relates to the subject of bead size, which you already mentioned. @FindRest tries to replicate the bead size ratio when counting beads and knows quite a lot about this. But she also thinks that most people bead counting don't care about this size ratio (...and I guess are still fine). It makes sense to me that not all of the drug shall be released at the same time and bead sizes are probably a way to handle this. However, I guess I will try to ignore this as long as possible.

 

At the moment I plan to use a combination of generic xr capsules containing 12.5mg tablets and the original brand xr microbeads for my own taper. This seems to be the most convenient way and also affordable. But since I am still pretty struggling and waiting for stabilization, I have no practical experience with this so far. I guess tapering involves a lot of try, error and adjust.

 

Are you taking the original brand xr capsules right now? We don't have a liquid in Germany...is your liquid immediate release? If that is the case, changing to a liquid will probably also slightly change the evolution of blood plasma concentration throughout the day. Do you feel stable right now? My hope is that if I am stable enough and do only small steps, then I will be able to cope with minor variations in blood plasma concentration. A liquid is probably the alternative with which you can maximize precision if you use graduated cylinders or something like that. Tapering strips are probably also an alternative but less flexible and I guess also expensive. 

Earlier drug history:

Paroxetine  2001 until 2003, quit cold turkey, don't remember dose; Venlafaxine 2005 until Dez. 2023, mostly 75mg xr per day, for about 4 years 37.5mg xr; quite a lot of Antihistamines because of allergy; there were other drugs that I don't remember all, but nothing what I consistently took over a longer period of time, for example Lorazepam 0.5mg prn.

Recent developments:

Dez 2023 - 03/13/2024 quitting Venlafaxine 75mg (skipping doses); 04/07/2024 reinstating Venlafaxine 12,5mg; 04/17/2024 Venlafaxine 25mg; 4/29/24 until 5/4/24 Trimipramine, 5mg going down to zero over 5 days

Drugs right now:

Venlafaxine 25mg; supplements: 500mg magnesium, 100mg aspirin and melatonin spray

 

I am no medical expert. I am dependent on Venlafaxine, trying to find and give peer support in this community and simply giving my opinion. Double check any information before you take action, for example with your doctor.

 

First they sell addictive drugs as harmless and then they leave you alone dosing fractions of a mg correctly or plunging into the abyss.

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@Alfred1977 I really like your plan of combining the generic XR mini tablet with Effexor XR pellets. In my mind I think that would eliminate some doubts about timing of drug absorption and dosing accuracy. 
 

It’s a fair warning about the change from XR dosage forms to IR i.e. liquid. The patient information leaflet contains this information on key differences: 

 

“When equal daily doses of venlafaxine were administered as either an immediate-release tablet or the extended-release capsule, the exposure to both venlafaxine and ODV was similar for the two treatments, and the fluctuation in plasma concentrations was slightly lower with the Effexor XR capsule.

 

Also, nausea and dizziness was found to be worse with IR. The trade off: greater dosage precision later on when it really counts. Maybe a gradual change over to IR can help with changes above. 
 

I take Effexor XR 75mg and I consider myself stable; that is, I always feel consistently awful since my crash. I’m stalling because  my main problem with the Effexor XR capsules is I can’t figure out which provides a more accurate dosage, counting or weighing. It can be an either/or situation obviously.
 

If each bead contains the same amount of API then counting is the answer, and weighing is inaccurate because one is measuring the random weight differences in the XR coating.   
 

If larger beads contain more API then weighing is the answer, and haphazard counting with disregard to size is a problem. 
 

FWIW the patent and FDI submission describe a manufacturing process which describes core spheroids with venlafaxine which are subsequently coated but the info is not definitive. 
 

6 hours ago, Alfred1977 said:

My hope is that if I am stable enough and do only small steps, then I will be able to cope with minor variations in blood plasma concentration.

 

This is my hope too. I also am coming around to the idea that the metabolite ODV, which is also biologically active and has a greater half-life of 10 hours or so, can smooth things over. 
 

I know what you are going through must be really tough because I went through it too. I really do believe as time passes you will feel better and better and find yourself in a position to start reducing. 
 

🙏

 

History of alcoholism, used benzo’s on and off in the past (acute benzo withdrawal in 2012; no PAWS)

 

21 years on Effexor @ doses between 75mg and 150mg. 2021 Effexor 75mg: 3/8/21 -> 67.5mg; 3/22/21 -> 56.7mg ; 5/12/21 -> 48.6mg; 6/8/21 -> 42.3mg; 7/1/22 -> 37.5mg; 7/15/21 -> 33.5mg; 8/20/21 -> 27.5mg; 1/5/22 -> 25mg; 1/13/22 holding - aggravating factors lead to delayed W/D /destabilization 3/4/22 -> anxiety, panic, dry-retching, diarrhea, weight loss; 3/8/22 1mg Ativan added 3/22/22 self-admit to hospital; updosed to 37.5mg E - switched to clonazapam 3/25/22 updose to 75mg3/30/22; fast taper C after 24 days of intermittent use. [2 years pass] Currently still at 75mg

 

[current supplements/drugs: caffeine, nicotine]

 

I am not a medical professional and information I provide is not medical advice but simply information based on my own experience. 

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  • Mentor
3 hours ago, FindPeace said:

I take Effexor XR 75mg and I consider myself stable; that is, I always feel consistently awful since my crash.

I am sorry...but the way you said this made me smile.

 

3 hours ago, FindPeace said:

I take Effexor XR 75mg and I consider myself stable; that is, I always feel consistently awful since my crash. I’m stalling because  my main problem with the Effexor XR capsules is I can’t figure out which provides a more accurate dosage, counting or weighing. It can be an either/or situation obviously.
 

If each bead contains the same amount of API then counting is the answer, and weighing is inaccurate because one is measuring the random weight differences in the XR coating.   
 

If larger beads contain more API then weighing is the answer, and haphazard counting with disregard to size is a problem. 

 

I don't know too much about this question. FindRest sounded very convinced that all beads contain (roughly?) the same amount of active ingredient and that differences in size are only due to the xr coating. I think I came across 1 or 2 other sources where people also said all beads are equally effective. If that was not the case, we didn't even know if the amount of active ingredient per bead correlates with bead size. Some smaller beads could contain more ai than larger ones and some smaller beads could contain less. And each capsule could be different. 

 

I think that weighing microbeads is basically always bad at lower doses unless you got a very very expensive and accurate scale. As far as I know the quotient (microbeads weight)/(active ingredient weight) is pretty low for Venlafaxine. If this quotient is high, the active ingredient is distributed somewhat evenly and your scale is somewhat accurate, weighing can be an option even at lower doses of a drug. This is discussed for example here   https://www.survivingantidepressants.org/forums/topic/30972-musiclover-would-really-like-to-find-my-way-off-meds-but-hard-to-imagine-it/#comment-687140

 

So unless microbeads happen to be much heavier than I think, I rule out weighing for me. Weighing might be an option for IR tablets though, since I have no idea how much they weigh. But since Venlafaxine is supposed to be soluble in water, you could also make your own liquid out of IR tablets. Don't know what would be more convenient. Weighing can be done ahead of time but is probably also pretty tedious.

 

Since getting custom doses from a pharmacy is pretty expensive and we don't have commercially available liquids in Germany, this leaves me with 1) counting beads, 2) solving IR tablets in water and possibly 3) weighing IR tablets.

 

Switching the method during the taper is not desirable...but I guess in the end there is no other way than to pick one method, try it and switch if necessary.

Earlier drug history:

Paroxetine  2001 until 2003, quit cold turkey, don't remember dose; Venlafaxine 2005 until Dez. 2023, mostly 75mg xr per day, for about 4 years 37.5mg xr; quite a lot of Antihistamines because of allergy; there were other drugs that I don't remember all, but nothing what I consistently took over a longer period of time, for example Lorazepam 0.5mg prn.

Recent developments:

Dez 2023 - 03/13/2024 quitting Venlafaxine 75mg (skipping doses); 04/07/2024 reinstating Venlafaxine 12,5mg; 04/17/2024 Venlafaxine 25mg; 4/29/24 until 5/4/24 Trimipramine, 5mg going down to zero over 5 days

Drugs right now:

Venlafaxine 25mg; supplements: 500mg magnesium, 100mg aspirin and melatonin spray

 

I am no medical expert. I am dependent on Venlafaxine, trying to find and give peer support in this community and simply giving my opinion. Double check any information before you take action, for example with your doctor.

 

First they sell addictive drugs as harmless and then they leave you alone dosing fractions of a mg correctly or plunging into the abyss.

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21 hours ago, Alfred1977 said:

I am sorry...but the way you said this made me smile.

 

Bahaha you like that? I guess it is kind of ‘tongue in cheek’ - but I assure you it’s true. What is this enigma of “withdrawal normal”? Seems to me once someone starts shifting dosages on these drugs and precipitates withdrawal - there is no going back, the only way out is through, and off. 

 

21 hours ago, Alfred1977 said:

Some smaller beads could contain more ai than larger ones and some smaller beads could contain less. And each capsule could be different.

- Never even occurred to me! I sense a keen mind. 

 

21 hours ago, Alfred1977 said:

I will check out this link 😁

 

21 hours ago, Alfred1977 said:

Since getting custom doses from a pharmacy is pretty expensive and we don't have commercially available liquids in Germany, this leaves me with 1) counting beads, 2) solving IR tablets in water and possibly 3) weighing IR tablets.

Hmm, I think if it were me I’d pick taking the 12.5mg XR mini tab with all its splendid integrity and lack of mysteries, and chip off the XR mups capsule by counting. I guess you came to that conclusion already! Then there would obviously be a phase II when there are no more stupid pellets to count.

 

21 hours ago, Alfred1977 said:

but I guess in the end there is no other way than to pick one method, try it and switch if necessary.


Now you have returned the favor and put a smile on my face! You are a realist, I should learn from you. Too much thinking on these matters has turned me into a neurotic mess and I can’t see the forest for the trees. 

If it’s alright, I will PM you to discuss some off the formulation stuff. If you feel up to it of course. I know when in the thick of it - it can be hard to think about venlafaxine at all. I really wish you the best and I’d like to leave your thread just for support. 
 

Be well Alfred, a stable foothold is just around the corner 🙏

 

 

 

 

History of alcoholism, used benzo’s on and off in the past (acute benzo withdrawal in 2012; no PAWS)

 

21 years on Effexor @ doses between 75mg and 150mg. 2021 Effexor 75mg: 3/8/21 -> 67.5mg; 3/22/21 -> 56.7mg ; 5/12/21 -> 48.6mg; 6/8/21 -> 42.3mg; 7/1/22 -> 37.5mg; 7/15/21 -> 33.5mg; 8/20/21 -> 27.5mg; 1/5/22 -> 25mg; 1/13/22 holding - aggravating factors lead to delayed W/D /destabilization 3/4/22 -> anxiety, panic, dry-retching, diarrhea, weight loss; 3/8/22 1mg Ativan added 3/22/22 self-admit to hospital; updosed to 37.5mg E - switched to clonazapam 3/25/22 updose to 75mg3/30/22; fast taper C after 24 days of intermittent use. [2 years pass] Currently still at 75mg

 

[current supplements/drugs: caffeine, nicotine]

 

I am not a medical professional and information I provide is not medical advice but simply information based on my own experience. 

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  • Mentor
1 hour ago, FindPeace said:

Seems to me once someone starts shifting dosages on these drugs and precipitates withdrawal - there is no going back, the only way out is through, and off. 

I hope this is not true.

 

1 hour ago, FindPeace said:

I sense a keen mind. 

 

Well, thank you. Maybe a little and I guess I somehow tried to live on that during my early years...but lately I became increasingly aware that you can have a keen mind and still act tremendously "stupid"

 

2 hours ago, FindPeace said:

You are a realist, I should learn from you. Too much thinking on these matters has turned me into a neurotic mess and I can’t see the forest for the trees. 

🙂 I am really the same. Always overthinking.

 

2 hours ago, FindPeace said:

If it’s alright, I will PM you to discuss some off the formulation stuff. If you feel up to it of course. I know when in the thick of it - it can be hard to think about venlafaxine at all. I really wish you the best and I’d like to leave your thread just for support. 
 

Be well Alfred, a stable foothold is just around the corner 🙏

 

PM me anytime. Looking forward to it. All the best!

 

Earlier drug history:

Paroxetine  2001 until 2003, quit cold turkey, don't remember dose; Venlafaxine 2005 until Dez. 2023, mostly 75mg xr per day, for about 4 years 37.5mg xr; quite a lot of Antihistamines because of allergy; there were other drugs that I don't remember all, but nothing what I consistently took over a longer period of time, for example Lorazepam 0.5mg prn.

Recent developments:

Dez 2023 - 03/13/2024 quitting Venlafaxine 75mg (skipping doses); 04/07/2024 reinstating Venlafaxine 12,5mg; 04/17/2024 Venlafaxine 25mg; 4/29/24 until 5/4/24 Trimipramine, 5mg going down to zero over 5 days

Drugs right now:

Venlafaxine 25mg; supplements: 500mg magnesium, 100mg aspirin and melatonin spray

 

I am no medical expert. I am dependent on Venlafaxine, trying to find and give peer support in this community and simply giving my opinion. Double check any information before you take action, for example with your doctor.

 

First they sell addictive drugs as harmless and then they leave you alone dosing fractions of a mg correctly or plunging into the abyss.

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  • Mentor
Posted (edited)

Alfred, I saw the following post you made on another thread earlier this week:

 

“It's about 8 weeks now that I am at 25mg. I'd say I am pretty irritable and sensitive. When something unexpected and negative happens I can't sleep. I am very passive and struggle a lot with getting things done. Last two nights I had brain zaps again.”

 

I believe the symptoms you describe above are common for 8 weeks after reinstatement … with the exception of the brain zaps. The only time I had them that late out or after was because my bead-size ratio was out of whack. Are you still taking one 12.5 mg mini-tab and then 12.5 mg worth of beads? What time of day do you take them? Have you decreased your dose recently?

I hate the lack of motivation I’ve felt ever since my CT. It still hasn’t gone away years after my reinstatement. But, I will say it has gotten much better. It’s definitely one of my most persistent WD symptoms. I’m praying it goes completely away after I get to zero (or before). 

 

Edited by FindRest

1988-1996  Various AD’s, all classifications.  1996-2019  Effexor XR 37.5mg to 150mg. Jan 2017 onward, 37.5 mg.

2019  Apr 11 - July 24: Trials of Latuda then Rexulti. CT'd off per dr.  Jul 24: CT Effexor (per dr)  Sep 9-19: Viibryd, CT (per dr).  Sep 23-27: Trintellix. CT (per dr).  Sep 28 - Oct 24:  Prozac 10mg.  Oct 24:  Stop Prozac, began Pristiq 25mg->50->25mg.

2020  Feb 1: CT Pristiq. Feb 1: Reinstated Effexor XR (10 large beads) gradually increasing to 22 beads (15L+7M) or 9.072mgai on Mar, 2020.

2021  Started Jan w 21 beads (13L+8M) or 8.47mgai ended Dec: 17 beads (7L+9M+1S) or 6.19mgai. Severe COVID + TIA.

2022  Ended yr w 14 beads (3L+5M+5S+1XS) or 4.5mgai. Major jaw injury during year + family tragedy.

2023  Jan: 13 beads (2L+5M+5S+1XS) or 4.2mgai; Feb: 12 beads (2L+4M+5S+1XS) or 3.9mgai; Mar: 11 beads (2L+4M+4S+1XS) or 3.6mgai, Apr: 10 beads (2L+3M+4S+1XS) or 3.3mgai; Jun: 9 beads (2L+3M+3S+1XS) or 3mgai,

 

Current: July, 2023: Effexor XR -  9 beads (2L+3M+3S+1XS) or 2.7 mgai

Other current meds: Ambien 10mg 3.935mg , clonazepam .125mg .107mg, omeprazoleSynthroid, Premarin.  Supplements: D3, C, probiotic, K2-MK7, Mg Glycinate

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  • Mentor

Hey @FindRest,

thank you for being so considerate and asking. I am always happy to talk with you.

 

I haven't touched my dose. I am still taking two 12.5mg xr tablets every morning around 7:30am. Maybe in a couple of months I will replace one of those tablets with 12.5mg of microbeads. Right now I am not ready to set off this journey. I think the most important lesson that I learned from the last months and Venlafaxine dependence is that real and fundamental change in life takes a long time and you gotta go about it in a way that you are able to sustain (and enjoy?) for years if necessary. So paradoxically, if you want to be at some distant other place, you somehow have to be able to like where you are right now. And this means I have some work to do and have to "clean up my house". I hope that thus some of my strength and motivation will return.

 

Although I haven't touched my dose and my diet and everything has been sober lately, something seems to be changing within my brain. I tend to get now and then brain zaps during the night. Never had those before in my life without changing the dose. The good thing about it is that the brain zaps seem to be associated with deep sleep. Considering those nights and the time I was completely off Venla a couple of weeks ago, I feel/think that I haven't slept deeply for years...without even noticing it. I had forgotten what deep sleep feels like.

 

How are you right now? What are your plans going forward?

Earlier drug history:

Paroxetine  2001 until 2003, quit cold turkey, don't remember dose; Venlafaxine 2005 until Dez. 2023, mostly 75mg xr per day, for about 4 years 37.5mg xr; quite a lot of Antihistamines because of allergy; there were other drugs that I don't remember all, but nothing what I consistently took over a longer period of time, for example Lorazepam 0.5mg prn.

Recent developments:

Dez 2023 - 03/13/2024 quitting Venlafaxine 75mg (skipping doses); 04/07/2024 reinstating Venlafaxine 12,5mg; 04/17/2024 Venlafaxine 25mg; 4/29/24 until 5/4/24 Trimipramine, 5mg going down to zero over 5 days

Drugs right now:

Venlafaxine 25mg; supplements: 500mg magnesium, 100mg aspirin and melatonin spray

 

I am no medical expert. I am dependent on Venlafaxine, trying to find and give peer support in this community and simply giving my opinion. Double check any information before you take action, for example with your doctor.

 

First they sell addictive drugs as harmless and then they leave you alone dosing fractions of a mg correctly or plunging into the abyss.

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  • Mentor
Posted (edited)

Are you taking your Effexor at the exact same time every day? Glad you are getting some deep sleep!!

 

I continue to taper my Ambien and omeprazole, while I wait for my life to quit throwing me curve balls before I taper Effexor again. Was hoping to get off by the end of this year. Obviously that won’t happen. Had a death in the family, then a few weeks later my husband was diagnosed with aggressive cancer, and now I need major surgery with recovery expected to take a year. Was supposed to be two weeks ago, but I got Covid and surgery got postponed to three weeks from now. I hope to be stable enough to taper Effexor at least one time this year (1 bead). Ugh. Every year something bad happens in my life that puts things on hold. My CNS still reacts to stress poorly, so there’s no way I can taper E and deal with my current life at the same time. But, I keep tapering something, even if it’s my omeprazole or ambien, 1 speck at a time.

Edited by FindRest

1988-1996  Various AD’s, all classifications.  1996-2019  Effexor XR 37.5mg to 150mg. Jan 2017 onward, 37.5 mg.

2019  Apr 11 - July 24: Trials of Latuda then Rexulti. CT'd off per dr.  Jul 24: CT Effexor (per dr)  Sep 9-19: Viibryd, CT (per dr).  Sep 23-27: Trintellix. CT (per dr).  Sep 28 - Oct 24:  Prozac 10mg.  Oct 24:  Stop Prozac, began Pristiq 25mg->50->25mg.

2020  Feb 1: CT Pristiq. Feb 1: Reinstated Effexor XR (10 large beads) gradually increasing to 22 beads (15L+7M) or 9.072mgai on Mar, 2020.

2021  Started Jan w 21 beads (13L+8M) or 8.47mgai ended Dec: 17 beads (7L+9M+1S) or 6.19mgai. Severe COVID + TIA.

2022  Ended yr w 14 beads (3L+5M+5S+1XS) or 4.5mgai. Major jaw injury during year + family tragedy.

2023  Jan: 13 beads (2L+5M+5S+1XS) or 4.2mgai; Feb: 12 beads (2L+4M+5S+1XS) or 3.9mgai; Mar: 11 beads (2L+4M+4S+1XS) or 3.6mgai, Apr: 10 beads (2L+3M+4S+1XS) or 3.3mgai; Jun: 9 beads (2L+3M+3S+1XS) or 3mgai,

 

Current: July, 2023: Effexor XR -  9 beads (2L+3M+3S+1XS) or 2.7 mgai

Other current meds: Ambien 10mg 3.935mg , clonazepam .125mg .107mg, omeprazoleSynthroid, Premarin.  Supplements: D3, C, probiotic, K2-MK7, Mg Glycinate

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  • Mentor
3 hours ago, FindRest said:

Had a death in the family, then a few weeks later my husband was diagnosed with aggressive cancer, and now I need major surgery with recovery expected to take a year. Was supposed to be two weeks ago, but I got Covid and surgery got postponed to three weeks from now.

I am sorry. I wish I could say something to make this easier for you.

 

3 hours ago, FindRest said:

I hope to be stable enough to taper Effexor at least one time this year (1 bead).

You have come a long way. Even if you had to stay at 9 beads for the rest of your life I would consider this to be a success. (The dose makes the poison as Paracelsus said). I think the right way to see it is that we all don't know how far we will get. 9 beads is better than 25mg and 25mg is better than 37.5mg...and so on.

 

3 hours ago, FindRest said:

Are you taking your Effexor at the exact same time every day?

No. So you think this might be causing the brain zaps?! This might actually be the case. I have to observe this.

Earlier drug history:

Paroxetine  2001 until 2003, quit cold turkey, don't remember dose; Venlafaxine 2005 until Dez. 2023, mostly 75mg xr per day, for about 4 years 37.5mg xr; quite a lot of Antihistamines because of allergy; there were other drugs that I don't remember all, but nothing what I consistently took over a longer period of time, for example Lorazepam 0.5mg prn.

Recent developments:

Dez 2023 - 03/13/2024 quitting Venlafaxine 75mg (skipping doses); 04/07/2024 reinstating Venlafaxine 12,5mg; 04/17/2024 Venlafaxine 25mg; 4/29/24 until 5/4/24 Trimipramine, 5mg going down to zero over 5 days

Drugs right now:

Venlafaxine 25mg; supplements: 500mg magnesium, 100mg aspirin and melatonin spray

 

I am no medical expert. I am dependent on Venlafaxine, trying to find and give peer support in this community and simply giving my opinion. Double check any information before you take action, for example with your doctor.

 

First they sell addictive drugs as harmless and then they leave you alone dosing fractions of a mg correctly or plunging into the abyss.

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  • Mentor
6 hours ago, Alfred1977 said:

I think the right way to see it is that we all don't know how far we will get. 9 beads is better than 25mg and 25mg is better than 37.5mg...and so on.


This is my belief as well. However, I plan to get to zero regardless of how long it takes. I’m in my sixties and I doubt that years from now if I end up in a nursing home that anyone would be sorting and counting my beads, lol. I plan to put it in my living will that no one is to give me psych drugs.

 

6 hours ago, Alfred1977 said:

No. So you think this might be causing the brain zaps?! This might actually be the case. I have to observe this.


Absolutely! Seen it many times with many different people tapering Effexor. Makes a big difference to take it at the same time every day (because of its short half-life). I set my alarm every day just to make sure I do this. 

1988-1996  Various AD’s, all classifications.  1996-2019  Effexor XR 37.5mg to 150mg. Jan 2017 onward, 37.5 mg.

2019  Apr 11 - July 24: Trials of Latuda then Rexulti. CT'd off per dr.  Jul 24: CT Effexor (per dr)  Sep 9-19: Viibryd, CT (per dr).  Sep 23-27: Trintellix. CT (per dr).  Sep 28 - Oct 24:  Prozac 10mg.  Oct 24:  Stop Prozac, began Pristiq 25mg->50->25mg.

2020  Feb 1: CT Pristiq. Feb 1: Reinstated Effexor XR (10 large beads) gradually increasing to 22 beads (15L+7M) or 9.072mgai on Mar, 2020.

2021  Started Jan w 21 beads (13L+8M) or 8.47mgai ended Dec: 17 beads (7L+9M+1S) or 6.19mgai. Severe COVID + TIA.

2022  Ended yr w 14 beads (3L+5M+5S+1XS) or 4.5mgai. Major jaw injury during year + family tragedy.

2023  Jan: 13 beads (2L+5M+5S+1XS) or 4.2mgai; Feb: 12 beads (2L+4M+5S+1XS) or 3.9mgai; Mar: 11 beads (2L+4M+4S+1XS) or 3.6mgai, Apr: 10 beads (2L+3M+4S+1XS) or 3.3mgai; Jun: 9 beads (2L+3M+3S+1XS) or 3mgai,

 

Current: July, 2023: Effexor XR -  9 beads (2L+3M+3S+1XS) or 2.7 mgai

Other current meds: Ambien 10mg 3.935mg , clonazepam .125mg .107mg, omeprazoleSynthroid, Premarin.  Supplements: D3, C, probiotic, K2-MK7, Mg Glycinate

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  • 3 weeks later...

Hey @Alfred1977

How are you doing?

Any notable changes? Still experiencing brain zap?

Supplements: Vit D3, Fish oil, Magnesium bisglycenate 200mg (when needed), Melatonin 1.25mg (when needed), Camomile tea (1 cup before bed), THC oil (0.03ml once a week, don't do this to yourself), Vit C 500mg a day
Started effexor in 2011.

Stopped effexor in 2012 (fast tamper).

Got back on effexor in 2012.

Tried stopping effexor again in 2014 (I'm not sure?), fast tamper again.

Started effexor again in 2014.

Switched to Escitalopram in 2016 I believe

Stopped Escitalopram 10mg cold turkey on January 3 2024.

Reinstated Escitalopram 5mg on april 2 2024.

Down to 1mg on april 3 2024, 1.25mg on april 11 2024

 

 

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  • Mentor
On 7/9/2024 at 8:54 PM, Tweed9674 said:

How are you doing?

Any notable changes? Still experiencing brain zap?

To be honest I am doing pretty badly. I still get mild brain zaps from time to time in the early morning. So withdrawal is probably still a problem...although it's been nearly 3 months now that I am constantly at 25mg. All in all my sleep seems to be deeper but the last days (weeks?) I wake up often around 4am with anxiety and worries again. I am confused and don't get myself together and very few things done. I know this is harming my psyche too since it multiplies the problems that I have. There are some problems that I need to sort out and don't know how. But there are also a lot of problems that I knew how to solve and somehow still can't do it. When I have a couple of good hours and get things done, I feel much better. My mornings are always really bad and this seems to ruin most of my days since I almost always end up distracting myself from the anxiety and psychological pain. Unfortunately I somehow cannot distract myself with simple work, which seems to hurt and terrify me.

 

My outer world is complicated but my inner world is a complete mess. It keeps me from building up healthy routines and moving step by step in the right direction. I will need time to sort this inner mess out and/or to heal from withdrawal and I am prepared to give it time (though this scares me to death)...but I also need to balance this out with time for "life going on" and "getting things done" and I don't seem to be able to do this. Probably I feel so tired and sore inwardly that I try to detach from this world and avoid anything.

But this scares me since I can't do this indefinitely.

 

Earlier drug history:

Paroxetine  2001 until 2003, quit cold turkey, don't remember dose; Venlafaxine 2005 until Dez. 2023, mostly 75mg xr per day, for about 4 years 37.5mg xr; quite a lot of Antihistamines because of allergy; there were other drugs that I don't remember all, but nothing what I consistently took over a longer period of time, for example Lorazepam 0.5mg prn.

Recent developments:

Dez 2023 - 03/13/2024 quitting Venlafaxine 75mg (skipping doses); 04/07/2024 reinstating Venlafaxine 12,5mg; 04/17/2024 Venlafaxine 25mg; 4/29/24 until 5/4/24 Trimipramine, 5mg going down to zero over 5 days

Drugs right now:

Venlafaxine 25mg; supplements: 500mg magnesium, 100mg aspirin and melatonin spray

 

I am no medical expert. I am dependent on Venlafaxine, trying to find and give peer support in this community and simply giving my opinion. Double check any information before you take action, for example with your doctor.

 

First they sell addictive drugs as harmless and then they leave you alone dosing fractions of a mg correctly or plunging into the abyss.

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9 minutes ago, Alfred1977 said:

To be honest I am doing pretty badly. I still get mild brain zaps from time to time in the early morning. So withdrawal is probably still a problem...although it's been nearly 3 months now that I am constantly at 25mg. All in all my sleep seems to be deeper but the last days (weeks?) I wake up often around 4am with anxiety and worries again. I am confused and don't get myself together and very few things done. I know this is harming my psyche too since it multiplies the problems that I have. There are some problems that I need to sort out and don't know how. But there are also a lot of problems that I knew how to solve and somehow still can't do it. When I have a couple of good hours and get things done, I feel much better. My mornings are always really bad and this seems to ruin most of my days since I almost always end up distracting myself from the anxiety and psychological pain. Unfortunately I somehow cannot distract myself with simple work, which seems to hurt and terrify me.

 

My outer world is complicated but my inner world is a complete mess. It keeps me from building up healthy routines and moving step by step in the right direction. I will need time to sort this inner mess out and/or to heal from withdrawal and I am prepared to give it time (though this scares me to death)...but I also need to balance this out with time for "life going on" and "getting things done" and I don't seem to be able to do this. Probably I feel so tired and sore inwardly that I try to detach from this world and avoid anything.

But this scares me since I can't do this indefinitely.

 

 

It's eerie how similar our experiences are. I'm a little over a month at my current dose and holding and waiting for stability. 

 

Life continues and tasks pile up, at the same time I'm in limbo waiting for my higher functions to go online. It's a very difficult situation not knowing when you'll turn the corner and return to a somewhat normal functioning.

 

What I'm learning is that I can't will myself out of WD, acceptance is a huge part of this condition. But it is painful nonetheless, acceptance is difficult when it feels like everything is falling apart. 

 

I haven't figured out if this is a WD symptom or a genuine reaction to the circumstances, probably a bit of both.

 

It's hard to hear you're struggling in the same way as me. Hopefully you'll turn the corner soon.

2010-2012 Zoloft, Wellbutrin, only tried these for a few weeks and then stopped them CT, can't remember the exact year.
2015 Mirtazapine for a short while, can't remember dosage
2016 Seroquel for a while, 25 mg at

night.

2019-2020 Concerta 27-36 mg, tapered off in 4 weeks

2013-2024 Effexor in varying doses, from 75 mg to 300 mg.

2023 April - 2024 January Tapered down from 150 mg to 25 mg and crashed. Tried increasing dose to 50, 75 and 150 mg without much success.
2024 March-April Tapering Effexor from 150 mg and introducing Trintellix 20 mg. Quit caffeine and nicotine, couldn't handle them anymore.

2024 May Venlafaxine reinstatement 1.5 mg-->16 mg, 5mg ramipril, 0,5 mg melatonin.

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Hi Alfred. Sorry to hear you're still feel bad from WD.

 

Quote

There are some problems that I need to sort out and don't know how.

Do you have access to any services such as counselling or CBT? As that might help you with things that you're having trouble sorting out. And it might help you contend with some of the issues WD is causing you.

 

Quote

But there are also a lot of problems that I knew how to solve and somehow still can't do it. When I have a couple of good hours and get things done, I feel much better.

Getting started on dealing with problems can be difficult when you feel drained of energy. You could try dealing with one problem at a time, or taking one problem and breaking it down into smaller parts. As you've already mentioned, once you get started it can often make you feel better as it makes it feel like you're moving forward in some way and that WD isn't completely in control of your life. In CBT terms I think this is called "Behavioral Activation".

 

You could start simply by making a list of the problems you need to fix, organize them according to importance and begin with that. If you Google something like "CBT problem solving" you'll most likely find more information. Even if you just do 20 - 30 minutes a day it might help you feel less overwhelmed.

 

I've assumed that you're not already doing any, or some, of these things, but if not, then I hope they help even if it's in a small way.

 

Quote

I wake up often around 4am with anxiety and worries again

I currently have this problem of waking up early also. I have a bad habit of just laying there ruminating and getting more anxious. I know shouldn't just lay there, but I seem to keep doing it 😕. One thing you could try is progressive muscle relaxation or deep breathing exercises - you can do both of those whilst laying in bed btw :). You might be able to find some guided examples online to get you started, but the German health care system may well have online resources.

  

  • 2002 Trazadone.
  • 2002 Fluoxetine 20mg.
  • 2017 Sertraline.
  • 2018 Venlafaxine 75mg.
  • 2018 Venlafaxine 37.5mg.
  • 2019 Venlafaxine 18.75mg. Too fast.
  • 2019 Venlafaxine 37.5mg.
  • 2020 October 28mg.
  • 2022 Prozac Bridge Start: 5 November Venlafaxine 28mg + Fluoxetine 5mg.
  • 2022 11 November Fluoxetine 5mg, gradual increase to 10mg 4 January.
  • 2023 Fluoxetine taper started 6 February at 10mg, ended 12 May 0mg. 33% reduction per month (roughly)
  • 2024 Fluoxetine 1mg, 4 June 2024 - reinstatement.
  • 2024 Fluoxetine 0mg, 12 June 2024.

 

 

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  • Mentor
2 hours ago, WillBeHereTomorrow said:

Hopefully you'll turn the corner soon.

I hope you too!

Earlier drug history:

Paroxetine  2001 until 2003, quit cold turkey, don't remember dose; Venlafaxine 2005 until Dez. 2023, mostly 75mg xr per day, for about 4 years 37.5mg xr; quite a lot of Antihistamines because of allergy; there were other drugs that I don't remember all, but nothing what I consistently took over a longer period of time, for example Lorazepam 0.5mg prn.

Recent developments:

Dez 2023 - 03/13/2024 quitting Venlafaxine 75mg (skipping doses); 04/07/2024 reinstating Venlafaxine 12,5mg; 04/17/2024 Venlafaxine 25mg; 4/29/24 until 5/4/24 Trimipramine, 5mg going down to zero over 5 days

Drugs right now:

Venlafaxine 25mg; supplements: 500mg magnesium, 100mg aspirin and melatonin spray

 

I am no medical expert. I am dependent on Venlafaxine, trying to find and give peer support in this community and simply giving my opinion. Double check any information before you take action, for example with your doctor.

 

First they sell addictive drugs as harmless and then they leave you alone dosing fractions of a mg correctly or plunging into the abyss.

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  • Mentor
1 hour ago, Paul71 said:

Do you have access to any services such as counselling or CBT? As that might help you with things that you're having trouble sorting out. And it might help you contend with some of the issues WD is causing you.

I am doing grouptherapy (don't know how you called in in the US/UK) around 3 times a month. Being around people with similar issues is comforting and somewhat helpful. However I don't feel that this will ultimately get me through. Even there I somehow feel disconnected and I somehow doubt that I am able to solve my issues with reason and thought...there simply seems to be too much down there. At least not with thought and reason in a reactive way. 

 

1 hour ago, Paul71 said:

You could start simply by making a list of the problems you need to fix, organize them according to importance and begin with that. If you Google something like "CBT problem solving" you'll most likely find more information. Even if you just do 20 - 30 minutes a day it might help you feel less overwhelmed.

I'll try, but only thinking about this most of the time tortures me unless I am having a good day. It is as if something in my subconsciousness/semiconsciousness starts burning when the slightest irritation happens.

Earlier drug history:

Paroxetine  2001 until 2003, quit cold turkey, don't remember dose; Venlafaxine 2005 until Dez. 2023, mostly 75mg xr per day, for about 4 years 37.5mg xr; quite a lot of Antihistamines because of allergy; there were other drugs that I don't remember all, but nothing what I consistently took over a longer period of time, for example Lorazepam 0.5mg prn.

Recent developments:

Dez 2023 - 03/13/2024 quitting Venlafaxine 75mg (skipping doses); 04/07/2024 reinstating Venlafaxine 12,5mg; 04/17/2024 Venlafaxine 25mg; 4/29/24 until 5/4/24 Trimipramine, 5mg going down to zero over 5 days

Drugs right now:

Venlafaxine 25mg; supplements: 500mg magnesium, 100mg aspirin and melatonin spray

 

I am no medical expert. I am dependent on Venlafaxine, trying to find and give peer support in this community and simply giving my opinion. Double check any information before you take action, for example with your doctor.

 

First they sell addictive drugs as harmless and then they leave you alone dosing fractions of a mg correctly or plunging into the abyss.

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8 hours ago, Alfred1977 said:

I am doing grouptherapy (don't know how you called in in the US/UK) around 3 times a month.

I think it's called the same in the UK. I've only ever done one to one CBT. It's good that you're doing something either way. If you can get one to one CBT at some point that might be useful as well, in the future perhaps. Once you've stabilized it might be worth looking into. And I'd suggest it particularly when you've got all of the drug out of your system and have stabilized. I know that might seem a long way off, but I wish I'd done that. Getting that crappy drug out of your system is the first step. Then try to fix the problem that caused you to take it in the first place.

 

Quote

Even there I somehow feel disconnected and I somehow doubt that I am able to solve my issues with reason and thought..... At least not with thought and reason in a reactive way

The feeling of disconnection might be WD. Same too with doubting you'll be able to fix your issues perhaps.

 

If you mean that you're trying to fix issues entirely by thinking about them in your mind? then that might be quite difficult, as it can be difficult to think clearly and process all the thoughts and feelings, especially if you're in withdrawal - everything gets jumbled up. Writing things down can help as you can see things more clearly. Again, CBT could help with that, as it allows you to deal with things in a more systematic way and look at things in a more rational light. 

  • 2002 Trazadone.
  • 2002 Fluoxetine 20mg.
  • 2017 Sertraline.
  • 2018 Venlafaxine 75mg.
  • 2018 Venlafaxine 37.5mg.
  • 2019 Venlafaxine 18.75mg. Too fast.
  • 2019 Venlafaxine 37.5mg.
  • 2020 October 28mg.
  • 2022 Prozac Bridge Start: 5 November Venlafaxine 28mg + Fluoxetine 5mg.
  • 2022 11 November Fluoxetine 5mg, gradual increase to 10mg 4 January.
  • 2023 Fluoxetine taper started 6 February at 10mg, ended 12 May 0mg. 33% reduction per month (roughly)
  • 2024 Fluoxetine 1mg, 4 June 2024 - reinstatement.
  • 2024 Fluoxetine 0mg, 12 June 2024.

 

 

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