Jump to content

nikik: Now 6 months after quitting venlafaxine - how I got here


Recommended Posts

Hi!

 

I (28f) quit venlafaxine 6 months ago and I’m still suffering from withdrawal symptoms. I will give some context.

 

Around 2018 I took escitalopram for a year for depression. It had no effect on me (with the exception of sexual dysfunction). I quit cold turkey and had no WD.

 

In September 2022 I started venlafaxine for anxiety. I steadily increased the dose up to 225mg in steps of 37,5 each time experiencing various symptoms that would subside after a couple of weeks at which point I would increase the dose again. This continued until January when I reached 225mg, stayed on that for 6 weeks and decided to start coming off it since it wasn’t helping me. I reduced the dose in steps of 37,5mg until I was at 75mg in May. I had withdrawal symptoms after every step with nausea and motion sickness. The step down to 75mg was scary enough that I decided to stay at that dose for a while. The WD from that last step did get better after a couple of weeks and I returned back to normal.
 

In June I broke up with my partner and was experiencing some really intense emotional pain. The next day the same symptoms returned. For the next few months the symptoms would come and go without any pattern that I could tell. On the good days I felt completely normal, on the bad days the symptoms varied in severity. My main symptoms were dizziness, motion sickness,  headaches, a strange sensation in my hands, drowsiness, weakness, no concentration, brain fog, difficulty breathing, sensitivity to light and sound, chills, anxiety, confusion. The symptoms were always worse around midday/afternoon. 
 

In September I tried taking 20mg of Fluoxetine for 10 days as suggested by my psychiatrist. I didn’t see any difference. I thought I might as well get on with it and reduced my venlafaxine down to 37,5mg. The next 2 weeks were really bad. I had the symptoms I mentioned above at a pretty extreme intensity and lasted the whole day. I could barely eat and I couldn’t get out of bed and was not really present mentally. I was sleeping more than usual (10 hours). After the 2 weeks the situation was starting to improve, so I quit completely (this was in October). I was in bed for the next 3 weeks and then there was a gradual improvement for a few more weeks. 
 

I thought that would be the end of it. I felt pretty much normal for like 2 months. I did however have very stressful things happening in December and January. At some point in January my symptoms came back in full and I’m still dealing with them. There was an exception in March when I had a cold and had no symptoms for 2 weeks. One interesting pattern that I’ve noticed consistently, is that if I don’t get enough sleep (not more than 6 hours), I have no symptoms. I feel very sleep deprived but otherwise normal.

 

So this is my experience with venlafaxine. I’ve never taken any other psychiatric meds other that what I mentioned here. I’ve suffered with extremely low energy and insulin resistance all of my adult life. I struggled with depression and anxiety since I was a child.

2018 - took escitalopram for a year

 

Sept 2022 - started venlafaxine at 37,5mg and increased every 2-3 weeks by 37,5mg

Jan 2023 - 225mg and stayed on it for 6 weeks

Feb 2023 - started decreasing dose every 2-3 weeks by 37,5mg

May 2023 - on 75mg

Sept 2023 - fluoxetine 20mg for 10 days, after that reduced venlafaxine to 37,5mg

Oct 2023 - stopped venlafaxine

 

currently - no meds or supplements

Link to comment
  • nikik changed the title to nikik: Now 6 months after quitting venlafaxine - how I got here
  • Moderator

Hello, and welcome to Surviving Antidepressants. We are a peer support forum to assist in tapering off psychiatric drugs safely, or recovering from psychiatric drug withdrawal.

 

Your first task is to create a drug signature, with the following:

 

  • All current medication you take, the dose you take, when you started the drug, and when you made dose changes
  • All current supplements you take
  • An accurate history of recent drugs, taken in the last 12-24 months
  • Dates for recent should be written as 7 Oct 2023, or Oct 7 2023, or early Oct 2023, or mid Oct 2023
  • A history of drugs taken 24 months ago and beyond - if applicable
  • Dates for historical drugs can simply be listed as start and stop years
  • Please do not use 07/10/23 // 10/07/23 as this is intepreted differently around the world

 

  • Please leave out symptoms and diagnoses. See my signature for example of clear and concise information.

 

 

 

This topic is for anything relating to you, and any questions you have. Please do not start another topic.

 

All the answers you are looking for regarding tapering and antidepressant withdrawal are on this site. Please search around and continue to read as much as you can manage. Use the site search function to search for specific words or phrases, such as drugs or symptoms.

 

Here are a few of the most useful links:

 

Important topics in the Tapering forum and FAQ

 

We only recommend two supplements. Omega 3 Fish Oil and Magnesium. Both should be introduced separately and increased slowly.

 

Regards

Erimus

Active Monday-Friday UK time

 

MEDICATION:

1) Sertraline:

50mg - Oct 2020, 100mg - Dec 2020, 50mg - April 2021, 75mg - May 2021, 50mg - Sep 2021; 55mg - 23 Feb 2024; 60mg - 20 March 2024; Start tapering - 24 April 2024

Current dose: 57.93mg  (15 May 2024)

2) Mirtazapine:

15mg - Nov 2020

SUPPLEMENTS:

Cod liver oil, Magnesium, Vitamin C

Link to comment
  • Moderator
Posted (edited)

You're currently experiencing The Windows and Waves Pattern of Stabilization . Symptoms will wax and wane in severity and intensity, with your baseline gradually improving over the coming months. Nobody can tell you how long it will last, all we know is it will resolve with time and patience. Steer clear of any other psychotropic medication and substances, including alcohol.

 

Read the guides in the Symptoms and self care forum to learn how you can manage and aid your symptoms.

 

Any questions, let me know.

 

Regards Erimus.

Edited by Erimus

Active Monday-Friday UK time

 

MEDICATION:

1) Sertraline:

50mg - Oct 2020, 100mg - Dec 2020, 50mg - April 2021, 75mg - May 2021, 50mg - Sep 2021; 55mg - 23 Feb 2024; 60mg - 20 March 2024; Start tapering - 24 April 2024

Current dose: 57.93mg  (15 May 2024)

2) Mirtazapine:

15mg - Nov 2020

SUPPLEMENTS:

Cod liver oil, Magnesium, Vitamin C

Link to comment
  • 3 weeks later...

Thank you for your response. I have been looking around the site. 
 

There has been a gradual shift in my symptoms, not sure since when exactly. At the moment the most present are weakness/fatigue (it’s difficult to stand and walk even for 10 mins and it raises my heart rate), shortness of breath, brain fog and anxiety. The weakness and shortness of breath are worse than before. Also my appetite and ability to feel full after a meal are different that normal.

 

I had an appointment with my psychiatrist and she wants me to see a rheumatologist in case the symptoms are caused by an autoimmune disease. This doesn’t necessarily make sense to me given the

timeline of when the symptoms appeared but I agreed that it’s worth looking into.

2018 - took escitalopram for a year

 

Sept 2022 - started venlafaxine at 37,5mg and increased every 2-3 weeks by 37,5mg

Jan 2023 - 225mg and stayed on it for 6 weeks

Feb 2023 - started decreasing dose every 2-3 weeks by 37,5mg

May 2023 - on 75mg

Sept 2023 - fluoxetine 20mg for 10 days, after that reduced venlafaxine to 37,5mg

Oct 2023 - stopped venlafaxine

 

currently - no meds or supplements

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