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FitGirl8: Seeking advise about reinstating Effexor to manage protracted WD


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Hello All, I just joined this group and wish I have found it earlier.  I have always been very fit, happy and healthy.

 

My saga started when my OBGYN prescribed Venlafaxine (37.4 mg) for hormonal hot flashes/Menopause onset.

I took it for 3.5 years, moved States and weaned off it with Naturapathic Doctor. I realize now that taper was too fast (over 3+ months), although I did not have any wd symptoms.

 

About 6+ months after I had an unexpected and very stressful life event, and I stopped sleeping, developed anxieties, crying spells, restlessness (I never had any of these symptoms in my life). Then I developed tingling in lower legs/forearms (on and off), and tinitus. Being in a new location, I frantically found a doctor (very reputable by "conventional" norms), I asked him about potential link to venlafaxine and he said because it happened 6 mo after, this is not related. Prescribed 7.5  mg mitrazapine. I never felt good on it. Side effect included malaise, increased anxiety etc. Doctor suggested to cold turkey. At this point I did not trust him and started taper using compounding pharmacy. So, a year after discontinuation of venlafaxine, I still have physical and emotional symptoms + I am weaning off Mitrazapine (currently at 2.75 mg). I met with several doctors and each of them suggests a variety of drugs to add to the mix. From gabapentin, to zoloft to lexapto to Pristique. I only take Mitrazapine and tapering, and dealing with wd symptoms. It has been very challenging.  My questions to those with life experience: could it help if I reinstate a micro dose of Venlafaxine to help with wd and then taper hyperbolically?

 

I really appreciate expertise and suggestions from this group. I got to get my life back.  Thank you.

No prior history of mental or emotional issues. High-functioning, upbeat, very active and fit.

2019-2022 (3.5 years) Venlafaxine 37.4 mg prescribed by OBGYN for hit flashes/menopause-perimenopause

Weaned off fall 2022, no wd side effects.  Late May 2023: stopped sleeping after series of life events, crashed emotionally, within a month developed mild hyper thyroid (no autoimmune).

Sept 8, 2023: started taking 7.5 mg mitrazapine, side effects, Dr recommended to continue.

Jan 2023: started tapering off mitrazapine using compounding pharmacy: 7.5 - 6-5-4-3-2.75 mg over 5 months.

Holding at 2.75 mg since May 2024. Side effects: histamine issues, severe morning anxiety, fatigue.

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  • LotusRising changed the title to FitGirl8: Seeking advise about reinstating Effexor to manage protracted WD
  • Moderator

Hi @FitGirl8

 

Welcome to SA,

 

1 hour ago, FitGirl8 said:

My saga started when my OBGYN prescribed Venlafaxine (37.4 mg) for hormonal hot flashes/Menopause onset.

I can't tell you how many times of heard this. It's really unfortunate.  

 

1 hour ago, FitGirl8 said:

About 6+ months after I had an unexpected and very stressful life event, and I stopped sleeping, developed anxieties, crying spells, restlessness (I never had any of these symptoms in my life). Then I developed tingling in lower legs/forearms (on and off), and tinitus.

And yes, you are correct, these symptoms you were experiencing could absolutely be tied to the venlafaxine discontinuation. 

 

We don't typically suggest reinstatement after such a long period of time. What symptoms are you still experiencing? Have you read our topic on reinstatement? Reinstating and Stabilizing

 

1 hour ago, FitGirl8 said:

Doctor suggested to cold turkey. At this point I did not trust him and started taper using compounding pharmacy.

How long have you been on mirtazapine?

 

1 hour ago, FitGirl8 said:

I met with several doctors and each of them suggests a variety of drugs to add to the mix. From gabapentin, to zoloft to lexapto to Pristique.

Additional drugs will likely not improve your symptoms. 

 

Do you take any other supplements or medications?

 

Could you help us out by creating a signature How to Create a Signature. This will help us to help you better.

 

Again, welcome 

 

LotusRising

 

2003-2009 on and off various SSRI's for short periods, Ativan prn

2010-2011 Ativan, up to 1.5mg/day - tapered off without issue

2013-2021 ativan 1-1.5mg 10-12x/month, daily starting Oct 21 to help with buspar WD

2016 - Effexor 75mg, short-term

2021 Mar -Jun Buspar ADR at high dose, tapered 3 months

2021 Aug Wellbutrin 150mg for 5 days (ADR), then MIrtazapine 7.5mg for 7 days (ADR)

Oct 22/21 - Direct switch ativan to clonazepam (don't do this)

Tapered clonaz Oct/21 - Apr/23  - 0mg!

 

Supplements: omega-3, mag-glycinate

 

"Believe that your tragedies, your losses, your sorrows, your hurt, happened for you, not to you. And I bless the thing that broke you down and cracked you open, because the world needs you open" - Rebecca Campbell

 

*** Disclaimer: Please note, my suggestions/comments are based on my own personal experiences. Please consult a knowledgeable practitioner to discuss decisions regarding your medical care *** 

 

                                                             *** Please do not send me PM's ***

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  • 2 weeks later...

@LotusRising

 

thank you for welcoming me to the group. I updated my signature to include med history. I am at 2.75 mg mitrazapine after tapering from 7.5 mg for 6 months+.

I have been on mirt for 4 months.  From my intro: I also took effexor XR for 3.5 years for hot flashes. I have severe morning anxiety and few other symptoms as I taper from Mirt.  Doctor recommended to start lexapro to help with WD.

I always been a fit, high-functioning and now I am at loss of what to do. I asked doc to prescribe Effexor so that I can micro-dose (ex., 10 beads) and see if I can stabilize but she is reluctant. She will do it but warned me of very challenging WD symptoms.

I really appreciate your expertise and advise: take lexapro or zoloft? Ask for Effexor and micro-dose? . Thank you!

No prior history of mental or emotional issues. High-functioning, upbeat, very active and fit.

2019-2022 (3.5 years) Venlafaxine 37.4 mg prescribed by OBGYN for hit flashes/menopause-perimenopause

Weaned off fall 2022, no wd side effects.  Late May 2023: stopped sleeping after series of life events, crashed emotionally, within a month developed mild hyper thyroid (no autoimmune).

Sept 8, 2023: started taking 7.5 mg mitrazapine, side effects, Dr recommended to continue.

Jan 2023: started tapering off mitrazapine using compounding pharmacy: 7.5 - 6-5-4-3-2.75 mg over 5 months.

Holding at 2.75 mg since May 2024. Side effects: histamine issues, severe morning anxiety, fatigue.

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Hi Inna,

 

Sorry you are having such a hard time. I agree with RL that what you experienced 6 months after your 3 month taper off of a 3.5 year-long -treatment of Effexor is likely protracted withdrawal. 


During prolonged treatment with psychiatric drugs, the brain undergoes adaptations to the presence of the drug in order to preserve homeostasis. Tapering at a rate which exceeds the brains ability to reverse these adaptations leads to a withdrawal syndrome.  It is possible for these withdrawal effects to be delayed, for reasons not well understood. Perhaps the  brain is struggling to maintain homeostasis for some time after and a stressful event pushes the nervous system over the edge. 
 

I also agree with RL that further drugs are not likely help and would add that they may make the situation worse. What is needed is lots time with no drug changes for the nervous system to stabilize.  You already brought mirtazapine on board, and it didn’t seem to help.
 

The body and brain can start to become dependent on an antidepressant in as short a period as a month. A typically safe taper rate is 10% of the most recent dosage with a hold of at least a month between dosage reductions.  
 

You have tapered mirtazapine in 5 months at a rate which far exceeds this, likely incurring compounded mirtazapine withdrawal in addition to the underlying protracted withdrawal injury:

 

Month 1 7.5 - 6 20%

Month 2 6-5 16.7%

Month 3 5-4 20%

Month 4 4-3 25%

Month 3-2.75 8.3%

 

Ok so what’s the solution? Well, if I were in your shoes this is what I’d do:

 

If my current state was bearable, I would hold off tapering mirtazapine and wait to stabilize (possibly many months) before resuming a more gradual reduction schedule.  
 

If it wasn’t bearable then the safest option for me would be to slightly updose mirtazapine; if it helped then I might hold it there or increase a little more. Going back to the last dosage at which one felt stable is a good rule of thumb. 
 

For me personally, 1 year off is too long to consider a reinstatement of venlafaxine. The brain will have adapted to some extent to the absence of the drug, and re-introducing it could confuse it and have unpredictable results. The nervous system becomes sensitized by withdrawal and doesn’t respond normally to supplements, let alone “therapeutic doses” of powerful psychiatric drugs. 
 

Thus if I was going to reinstate I would choose the lowest possible dose to guard  against the risk of an adverse reaction. I would ask my doctor for 37.5mg of “Effexor XR”, open the capsule and plan to take 3 beads (~0.9mg) per day. I would then allow a period of time to observe the effect. If it made me much worse I’d immediately discontinue it. If it helped me some I may consider another small updose: maybe to 5 beads.  I would follow that pattern until I saw no further benefit and hold there for an extended period of time. Then I would follow the exponential method of tapering by a maximum of 10% (probably even less) of the most recent dosage - per month as described above. 


I know this is a lot to consider. I’m sure the mods on here can guide you along as you make progress. Please don’t panic and end up taking whatever the doctor throws in your lap because he promises it will cure you overnight. 
 

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 0mg! Nicotine 7.5mg/day

 

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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  • Moderator

@FitGirl8

 

I agree 100% with @FindPeace.

 

You've been off effexor much too long to reliably have a good outcome with reinstatement. And your doctor is right, it is one of the more difficult ones to taper from, so it's no surprise that you're still experiencing symptoms from the original taper. Adding new drugs is not likely to fix your WD symptoms. 

 

And you are tapering much too fast. 

 

If it were me, I wouldn't take anything. But if symptoms are unbearable, then Findpeace has given you some good ideas. 

 

I'm sorry, I know there isn't really a good answer here. 

 

We're here to support whatever decision you make.

 

 

2003-2009 on and off various SSRI's for short periods, Ativan prn

2010-2011 Ativan, up to 1.5mg/day - tapered off without issue

2013-2021 ativan 1-1.5mg 10-12x/month, daily starting Oct 21 to help with buspar WD

2016 - Effexor 75mg, short-term

2021 Mar -Jun Buspar ADR at high dose, tapered 3 months

2021 Aug Wellbutrin 150mg for 5 days (ADR), then MIrtazapine 7.5mg for 7 days (ADR)

Oct 22/21 - Direct switch ativan to clonazepam (don't do this)

Tapered clonaz Oct/21 - Apr/23  - 0mg!

 

Supplements: omega-3, mag-glycinate

 

"Believe that your tragedies, your losses, your sorrows, your hurt, happened for you, not to you. And I bless the thing that broke you down and cracked you open, because the world needs you open" - Rebecca Campbell

 

*** Disclaimer: Please note, my suggestions/comments are based on my own personal experiences. Please consult a knowledgeable practitioner to discuss decisions regarding your medical care *** 

 

                                                             *** Please do not send me PM's ***

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  • 2 weeks later...

@LotusRising I continue to struggle with symptoms. Plus new life stressors. I tried small dose of Lex for a few days. Stopped as I had 1 am anxiety surges. Considering FindPeace recommendation reinstating small dose of ven. Dr also recommends zoloft small dose. I got to stabilize.  Morning nausea, sleep issues, chemical anxiety esp am are most disturbing symptoms. And increased fatigue. I was in top shape until last summer. Are there any supplements besides Mag, Omega, Theanine you recommend? Any other suggestions? 

No prior history of mental or emotional issues. High-functioning, upbeat, very active and fit.

2019-2022 (3.5 years) Venlafaxine 37.4 mg prescribed by OBGYN for hit flashes/menopause-perimenopause

Weaned off fall 2022, no wd side effects.  Late May 2023: stopped sleeping after series of life events, crashed emotionally, within a month developed mild hyper thyroid (no autoimmune).

Sept 8, 2023: started taking 7.5 mg mitrazapine, side effects, Dr recommended to continue.

Jan 2023: started tapering off mitrazapine using compounding pharmacy: 7.5 - 6-5-4-3-2.75 mg over 5 months.

Holding at 2.75 mg since May 2024. Side effects: histamine issues, severe morning anxiety, fatigue.

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  • Moderator

@FitGirl8

 

2 hours ago, FitGirl8 said:

Morning nausea, sleep issues, chemical anxiety esp am are most disturbing symptoms.

Did you have all of these same symptoms prior to starting mirtazapine? Would and updose of mirtazapine help?

2003-2009 on and off various SSRI's for short periods, Ativan prn

2010-2011 Ativan, up to 1.5mg/day - tapered off without issue

2013-2021 ativan 1-1.5mg 10-12x/month, daily starting Oct 21 to help with buspar WD

2016 - Effexor 75mg, short-term

2021 Mar -Jun Buspar ADR at high dose, tapered 3 months

2021 Aug Wellbutrin 150mg for 5 days (ADR), then MIrtazapine 7.5mg for 7 days (ADR)

Oct 22/21 - Direct switch ativan to clonazepam (don't do this)

Tapered clonaz Oct/21 - Apr/23  - 0mg!

 

Supplements: omega-3, mag-glycinate

 

"Believe that your tragedies, your losses, your sorrows, your hurt, happened for you, not to you. And I bless the thing that broke you down and cracked you open, because the world needs you open" - Rebecca Campbell

 

*** Disclaimer: Please note, my suggestions/comments are based on my own personal experiences. Please consult a knowledgeable practitioner to discuss decisions regarding your medical care *** 

 

                                                             *** Please do not send me PM's ***

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I had insomnia and anxiety prior to starting mirt after traumatic life event. Just a week before that happened I was on business travel, giving presentations etc.  Right after I crashed. Started with insomnia then anxiety (never had either before). Mirt did not sit well with me right away. Significant increase in anxiety and only helped sleep some…I did not have morning nausea until few months ago as life stress continued…

No prior history of mental or emotional issues. High-functioning, upbeat, very active and fit.

2019-2022 (3.5 years) Venlafaxine 37.4 mg prescribed by OBGYN for hit flashes/menopause-perimenopause

Weaned off fall 2022, no wd side effects.  Late May 2023: stopped sleeping after series of life events, crashed emotionally, within a month developed mild hyper thyroid (no autoimmune).

Sept 8, 2023: started taking 7.5 mg mitrazapine, side effects, Dr recommended to continue.

Jan 2023: started tapering off mitrazapine using compounding pharmacy: 7.5 - 6-5-4-3-2.75 mg over 5 months.

Holding at 2.75 mg since May 2024. Side effects: histamine issues, severe morning anxiety, fatigue.

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2 hours ago, FitGirl8 said:

@LotusRising I continue to struggle with symptoms. Plus new life stressors. I tried small dose of Lex for a few days. Stopped as I had 1 am anxiety surges. Considering FindPeace recommendation reinstating small dose of ven. Dr also recommends zoloft small dose. I got to stabilize.  Morning nausea, sleep issues, chemical anxiety esp am are most disturbing symptoms. And increased fatigue. I was in top shape until last summer. Are there any supplements besides Mag, Omega, Theanine you recommend? Any other suggestions? 

Maybe I'll sound alarmist but...

 

Any drug that you try to see if it helps can lead to further destabilization.

I'd avoid adding any more drugs to the mix.

 

You tapered mitrazapine quite fast. If you feel like things are worse right now, it could be it. Holding for a while might be a good idea.

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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Thank you Tweed9674, it's been a challenging journey... Thankful for this community.

No prior history of mental or emotional issues. High-functioning, upbeat, very active and fit.

2019-2022 (3.5 years) Venlafaxine 37.4 mg prescribed by OBGYN for hit flashes/menopause-perimenopause

Weaned off fall 2022, no wd side effects.  Late May 2023: stopped sleeping after series of life events, crashed emotionally, within a month developed mild hyper thyroid (no autoimmune).

Sept 8, 2023: started taking 7.5 mg mitrazapine, side effects, Dr recommended to continue.

Jan 2023: started tapering off mitrazapine using compounding pharmacy: 7.5 - 6-5-4-3-2.75 mg over 5 months.

Holding at 2.75 mg since May 2024. Side effects: histamine issues, severe morning anxiety, fatigue.

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Hi @FitGirl8


So sorry you are still in the thick of it. 

On 6/27/2024 at 5:45 PM, FindPeace said:

For me personally, 1 year off is too long to consider a reinstatement of venlafaxine.


I didn’t recommend a reinstatement of Effexor. I try not recommend anything as I’m not a medical practitioner and this is peer support and only share what I would do based on my own experience and general knowledge of tapering and withdrawal. In general holding has worked best for me.
 

If I were to suggest anything it would be to read my reply above again:

 

In summary:

 

1) hold mirtazapine taper and wait for things to stabilize 

 

2) updose mirtazapine slightly if tapering was to fast 

 

3) absolute last resort: try small reinstatement of Effexor 

 

No where did I suggest to trial new psych medications. This is not because I am anti-medication, but because as Tweed mentioned…I believe it to be possibly further destabilizing. I have learned that as unstable as things are, they can certainly be made more unstable (by trialing and rapidly discontinuing new medications for example) 
 

I think you should consider whether you want to trust your doctors expertise or that of the lay withdrawal community. They are often at odds because many doctors are in the dark when it comes to psychiatric drug withdrawal and safe tapering practices. You won’t find much info here on which drugs may give you relief, as that is your doctors area of interest and most members here focus on safe tapering. 
 

I really do hope you find a safe way out of your current predicament and apologize if any of this sounds harsh. It is not my intention. Sending you  positive vibes. 
 

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 0mg! Nicotine 7.5mg/day

 

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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@LotusRising @Tweed9674

Since I am new to this, another question for moderators. My Clarity Gen test showed I am a poor metabolizer of Effexor (CYP2D6 gene).

When I was taking 34.7 mg for hot flashes, does this mean I had higher toxicity and exposure due to higher concentration of Effexor? (hence, my actual dose was much higher?)

 

This may also explain why I did not have WD symptoms with original fast taper.  Just trying to understand what happened and chemistry.

Thank you for your patience and insights.

No prior history of mental or emotional issues. High-functioning, upbeat, very active and fit.

2019-2022 (3.5 years) Venlafaxine 37.4 mg prescribed by OBGYN for hit flashes/menopause-perimenopause

Weaned off fall 2022, no wd side effects.  Late May 2023: stopped sleeping after series of life events, crashed emotionally, within a month developed mild hyper thyroid (no autoimmune).

Sept 8, 2023: started taking 7.5 mg mitrazapine, side effects, Dr recommended to continue.

Jan 2023: started tapering off mitrazapine using compounding pharmacy: 7.5 - 6-5-4-3-2.75 mg over 5 months.

Holding at 2.75 mg since May 2024. Side effects: histamine issues, severe morning anxiety, fatigue.

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  • Moderator

Your actual dose would remain the same, but the way your body uses that dose would be slower than normal. This would keep your blood serum concentrations higher for a longer time (increased half-life) which would help buffer the WD symptoms. Your body would be using the drug more efficiently making it easier to taper off of it. Usually, Effexor is one of the hardest drugs to get off of, but this has made it a whole lot easier.

 

It looks like there is a typo in your signature, did you start the Mirtazapine taper in 2023 or 2024. Your follow-on comment says it was 2024.

 

Going from 7.5 to 2.5 in five months is a little too fast. Which would be responsible for the reactions you are having now. A nice long hold will sort things out.

20 years on Paxil starting at 20mg and working up to 40mg. Sept 2011 started 10% every 6 weeks taper (2.5% every week for 4 weeks then hold for 2 additional weeks), currently at 7.9mg. Oct 2011 CTed 15oz vodka a night, to only drinking 2 beers most nights, totally sober Feb 2013.

Since I wrote this I have continued to decrease my dose by 10% every 6 weeks (2.5% every week for 4 weeks and then hold for an additional 2 weeks). I added in an extra 6 week hold when I hit 10mg to let things settle out even more. When I hit 3mgpw it became hard to split the drop into 4 parts so I switched to dropping 1mgpw (pill weight) every week for 3 weeks and then holding for another 3 weeks.  The 3 + 3 schedule turned out to be too harsh so I cut back to dropping 1mgpw every 4 weeks which is working better.

Final Dose 0.016mg.     Current dose 0.000mg 04-15-2017

 

"It's also important not to become angry, no matter how difficult life is, because you can loose all hope if you can't laugh at yourself and at life in general."  Stephen Hawking

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Hi @FitGirl8!

 

I can't offer advice, I'm not a moderator, but I did successfully taper off of Effexor after taking it for many years.  I'm sorry to hear that you're having to go through all this.  For whatever its worth I really admire your tenacity and the thoroughness of your approach to tapering off meds.  It sounds like you're asking all the right questions.  Please post often and let us know how you're doing!

I am not a doctor and do not offer any medical advice, only my own experience.  Consult your physician.

2011-2015 tapered off 300MG of Effexor.  Back in the Paxil Progress days.  No rebound.   

2005-2021:  450 mg Bupropion XL Daily

2021 Buporopion May 450mg/June 400mg/July 375mg/Aug 10th 360mg/

2021 Dec - 150mg IR, 3x day = 450mg Bup, Heritage manufacturer-yellow color pill. 

2022 May 3 - 3 x 150mg IR Bup, Avet brand(pharmacist said they merged with Heritage-orange color) -migraines

REINSTATED-BACK TO MY LAST STABLE DOSE/TIME RELEASE

2022 June 5 - switched back to 3 x 150mg XL one time per day= 450 mg total Bup-Apotex brand

CURRENT TAPER 2022 Aug 31 - 450MG to 412MG IR Bup//Sep. 28, 2022: 412mg to 375mg//Oct 26, 2022: 375mg to 365 mg//Nov 21, 2022: 365mg to 327mg//Dec 27, 2022: 327 mg to 290 mg//Dec 31, 2022:  290mg to 262mg//Jan 28, 2023:  262mg to 190mg//Feb. 19, 2023:  190mg to 140mg//Mar. 18, '23:  140mg to 100mg//can't remember the rest but jumped to zero Sept 5, 2023

 

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Thank you All for insights and suggestions. @moderators: you are saving lives!

No prior history of mental or emotional issues. High-functioning, upbeat, very active and fit.

2019-2022 (3.5 years) Venlafaxine 37.4 mg prescribed by OBGYN for hit flashes/menopause-perimenopause

Weaned off fall 2022, no wd side effects.  Late May 2023: stopped sleeping after series of life events, crashed emotionally, within a month developed mild hyper thyroid (no autoimmune).

Sept 8, 2023: started taking 7.5 mg mitrazapine, side effects, Dr recommended to continue.

Jan 2023: started tapering off mitrazapine using compounding pharmacy: 7.5 - 6-5-4-3-2.75 mg over 5 months.

Holding at 2.75 mg since May 2024. Side effects: histamine issues, severe morning anxiety, fatigue.

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@brassmonkey Could one get "addicted" to Effexor after 3 days? trying to decide if I  reinstate or discontinue and hold to stabilize. I tried reinstating and felt good first 2 days and today have tingling, fatigue and other symptoms. Concerned  to further destabilize my nervous system. Thank you!

No prior history of mental or emotional issues. High-functioning, upbeat, very active and fit.

2019-2022 (3.5 years) Venlafaxine 37.4 mg prescribed by OBGYN for hit flashes/menopause-perimenopause

Weaned off fall 2022, no wd side effects.  Late May 2023: stopped sleeping after series of life events, crashed emotionally, within a month developed mild hyper thyroid (no autoimmune).

Sept 8, 2023: started taking 7.5 mg mitrazapine, side effects, Dr recommended to continue.

Jan 2023: started tapering off mitrazapine using compounding pharmacy: 7.5 - 6-5-4-3-2.75 mg over 5 months.

Holding at 2.75 mg since May 2024. Side effects: histamine issues, severe morning anxiety, fatigue.

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  • Moderator

Reinstating Effexor after having been off of it for an extended time is an unpredictable idea. Any reinstatement after an extended period off of the medication is a total crap shoot as to how it will react. From what I've seen it usually goes quite badly. Yes, just three days can cause problems. I would just stop taking it and have a long hold to restabilize.

20 years on Paxil starting at 20mg and working up to 40mg. Sept 2011 started 10% every 6 weeks taper (2.5% every week for 4 weeks then hold for 2 additional weeks), currently at 7.9mg. Oct 2011 CTed 15oz vodka a night, to only drinking 2 beers most nights, totally sober Feb 2013.

Since I wrote this I have continued to decrease my dose by 10% every 6 weeks (2.5% every week for 4 weeks and then hold for an additional 2 weeks). I added in an extra 6 week hold when I hit 10mg to let things settle out even more. When I hit 3mgpw it became hard to split the drop into 4 parts so I switched to dropping 1mgpw (pill weight) every week for 3 weeks and then holding for another 3 weeks.  The 3 + 3 schedule turned out to be too harsh so I cut back to dropping 1mgpw every 4 weeks which is working better.

Final Dose 0.016mg.     Current dose 0.000mg 04-15-2017

 

"It's also important not to become angry, no matter how difficult life is, because you can loose all hope if you can't laugh at yourself and at life in general."  Stephen Hawking

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