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clofty: titrating venlaxafine 37.5XR or fluoxetine bridge?


clofty

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Hi all, I have been having side effects on my 37.5 dosage (which I have been on for about 1 year) since I started taking multivitamins and only just realised that the brain fog and fleeting memory loss at work last week was probably due to this stupid med and some interactions with the vitamins or selenium.

 

On Wednesday I quit cold turkey as I don't have time or patience to take out beads.

 

Since I felt side effects last Monday it's also possible that the capsule/dosage is not quite the same as I started a new blister, (this has happened before on generic). Nobody believes me (doctors or pharmacists) about the side effects being due to pharmacokinetics with a new box and/or generic.

 

Anyway I have an urgent doctors visit Saturday am and will be going to work on Monday and Wednesday of next week and need to be 'on the ball' and need my wits and have it all together by then.

 

Should I ask the GP to prescribe Effexor tabs and cut them up or switch to fluoxetine 10mg as a bridge?

 

PS. I currently have severe dizziness and severe nausea and have taken Travelcalm and am eating every couple of hours.

Edited by clofty

pnd diagnosed after birth of 2nd child 1998. Can't remember what meds

Various on and off meds including Wellbutrin until Effexor in ?2008

went up to 300mg became a zombie and an alcoholic

titrated down to 75 in 2010

titrated down to 37.5 in 2011

16/3 37.5 minus 5 beads continuing for 4 weeks

18/3 37.5 minus 5 beads changed to pm dosing

3/4/2013 back to 37.5mg pm dosing

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  • Moderator Emeritus

Thanks for the prompt reply I will go with the tabs and cut them up and or make a solution.

pnd diagnosed after birth of 2nd child 1998. Can't remember what meds

Various on and off meds including Wellbutrin until Effexor in ?2008

went up to 300mg became a zombie and an alcoholic

titrated down to 75 in 2010

titrated down to 37.5 in 2011

16/3 37.5 minus 5 beads continuing for 4 weeks

18/3 37.5 minus 5 beads changed to pm dosing

3/4/2013 back to 37.5mg pm dosing

Link to comment
  • Administrator

Welcome, clofty! Please let us know how you do.

 

Thanks, tezza, for that quick and excellent suggestion.

This is not medical advice. Discuss any decisions about your medical care with a knowledgeable medical practitioner.

"It has become appallingly obvious that our technology has surpassed our humanity." -- Albert Einstein

All postings © copyrighted.

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  • Moderator Emeritus

I don't know if Effexor is available in a liquid form or in tablets in Australia, so you may be stuck with counting or weighing beads, but believe me that's far less of an inconvenience than being near-totally disabled from antidepressant withdrawal. I'm speaking as someone who's been through a too-fast taper of Lexapro that was a horror and that has lasted for over a year. (I'm much better now, but the first nine months or so were indescribably bad and I would not have been able to work had I not retired prior to this).

 

Welcome to the forum. There's a lot of good information here, so please take some time to browse, and take advantage of the friendly support you'll find here. Please especially read some Introductions by people who have gone off Effexor cold turkey.

 

I'm very glad that you're amenable to tapering off Effexor. There would be no advantage whatever to switching to Prozac and it might actually cause more problems.

Psychotropic drug history: Pristiq 50 mg. (mid-September 2010 through February 2011), Remeron (mid-September 2010 through January 2011), Lexapro 10 mg. (mid-February 2011 through mid-December 2011), Lorazepam (Ativan) 1 mg. as needed mid-September 2010 through early March 2012

"Never attribute to malice that which is adequately explained by stupidity." -Hanlon's Razor


Introduction: http://survivingantidepressants.org/index.php?/topic/1588-introducing-jemima/

 

Success Story: http://survivingantidepressants.org/index.php?/topic/6263-success-jemima-survives-lexapro-and-dr-dickhead-too/

Please note that I am not a medical professional and my advice is based on personal experience, reading, and anecdotal information posted by other sufferers.

 

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  • Moderator Emeritus

Hi Clofty and welcome,

 

I am another Ozzie venalafaxine taperer... We can't get the tabs here unfortunately!. I take the brand name Effexor - i didn't want to risk inconsistency with the generic. I was counting beads - this is my fifth or sixth attempt and i kind of feel like i HAVE to have the patience because the other ways didn't work. I found the number in the capsules inconsistent and with a recent major bump in the road i have gotten some scales. I remember years ago when we could get tablets here that i went over to 25mg tablets and was able to reduce to 6.25 mg twice a day, but that was as far as i was able to taper. I was able to get off then and didn't have too many symptoms until hit by anxiety 5 months later.

 

I also haven't been game to try the prozac bridge - i am too scared to upset any apple cart!!!! I have a very low tolerance for anxiety which is my biggest withdrawal symptom.

 

Looking forward to hearing how you go with the bridge.

Started in 2000 - On 150mg most of the time, (but up to 225mg at highest dose for 6 months in the beginning)
Reduced off easily first time - but got depressed (not too much anxiety) 6 months later
Back on effexor for another 9 months.
Reduced off again with no immediate w/d - suddenly got depressed and anxious ++ again 3 or 4 months later.
Back on effexor - this time for 3 years
Reduced off over a month - 6 weeks later terrible anxiety - back on.
Rinse and repeat 4 more times - each time the period before the anxiety comes back got shorter and shorter
Jan - July 2012 75mg down to 37.5mg;, 8/3/12 - 35mg. 8/25/12 - 32mg. 9/11- 28mg, 10/2 - 25mg, 10/29 - 22mg, 11/19 - 19.8mg; 12/11 - 17m,
1/1- 15.5mg; 1/22 -14mg, 2/7 14.9mg, 2/18 - 17.8mg - crashed big time: back to 75mg where i sat for 2 years....

4th  March 2015 - 67.5mg;   31st March - 60mg;  24th April - 53mg; 13th May - 48mg; 26th May - 45mg;  9th June - 41mg; 1 July- 37.5mg; 20 July - 34mg; 11 August - 31mg; 1st Sept - 28mg;  1st Dec - 25.8mg;  28th Dec - 23.2mg; 23rd Jan-21.9mg; Feb 7th- 21mg; March 1st - 20.1mg, March 30th - 18mg

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Yeah, I just realised that the only dosage form is the capsule here. I tried the generic once when I moved back to Australia after living in the US for 10 years and it was a disaster. I ended up getting let go at work because I didn't figure out until too late my confusion and mistakes were made by generic drug but that wasn't the whole story, just couldn't work with the people as well.

 

So my self esteem has been eroded by this drug and I can't afford to lose this job which I really like due to this stupid drug. The effects are so inconsistent with me these days and I need a clear head. Last wednesday was the first day I felt normal at least for first day when I didn't take it.

 

I found the beads just now to be so different in size. I just took about approx 15 beads out and chugged the capsule just now.

 

I will keep you posted on how things progress.

pnd diagnosed after birth of 2nd child 1998. Can't remember what meds

Various on and off meds including Wellbutrin until Effexor in ?2008

went up to 300mg became a zombie and an alcoholic

titrated down to 75 in 2010

titrated down to 37.5 in 2011

16/3 37.5 minus 5 beads continuing for 4 weeks

18/3 37.5 minus 5 beads changed to pm dosing

3/4/2013 back to 37.5mg pm dosing

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  • Moderator Emeritus

clofty,

 

I'm sorry to hear you can't get tablets there. Peggy will be able to give you really good advice on tapering the beads. I'm glad you went ahead and took some of the capsule.

 

Hopefully you will nip those symptoms in the bud before they get too unmanageable.

 

Love,

Tezza

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  • Moderator Emeritus

Hi Clofty,

Yes, the beads are different sizes -very frustrating - as i got down lower in my dose the fluctuations really mucked me up - i have been trying to restabilise for the last 5 weeks. I recently bought a scale on ebay for $45 - they all weigh the same which is a relief.

Started in 2000 - On 150mg most of the time, (but up to 225mg at highest dose for 6 months in the beginning)
Reduced off easily first time - but got depressed (not too much anxiety) 6 months later
Back on effexor for another 9 months.
Reduced off again with no immediate w/d - suddenly got depressed and anxious ++ again 3 or 4 months later.
Back on effexor - this time for 3 years
Reduced off over a month - 6 weeks later terrible anxiety - back on.
Rinse and repeat 4 more times - each time the period before the anxiety comes back got shorter and shorter
Jan - July 2012 75mg down to 37.5mg;, 8/3/12 - 35mg. 8/25/12 - 32mg. 9/11- 28mg, 10/2 - 25mg, 10/29 - 22mg, 11/19 - 19.8mg; 12/11 - 17m,
1/1- 15.5mg; 1/22 -14mg, 2/7 14.9mg, 2/18 - 17.8mg - crashed big time: back to 75mg where i sat for 2 years....

4th  March 2015 - 67.5mg;   31st March - 60mg;  24th April - 53mg; 13th May - 48mg; 26th May - 45mg;  9th June - 41mg; 1 July- 37.5mg; 20 July - 34mg; 11 August - 31mg; 1st Sept - 28mg;  1st Dec - 25.8mg;  28th Dec - 23.2mg; 23rd Jan-21.9mg; Feb 7th- 21mg; March 1st - 20.1mg, March 30th - 18mg

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Hi Clofty,

Yes, the beads are different sizes -very frustrating - as i got down lower in my dose the fluctuations really mucked me up - i have been trying to restabilise for the last 5 weeks. I recently bought a scale on ebay for $45 - they all weigh the same which is a relief.

 

Peggy is you the scale you bought working out? If so which one did you get?

C/T Celexa and Trazadone on Jan.29th 2014
Prescribed 1mg of Klonopin every 6 hours on Jan.29th
Began tapering Klonopin April 18th..stretching time between doses...at first one hour for 2 weeks then a half hour for app.10 days then another half hour 10days later.
Presently at .25 three times a day..6 2 and 10pm. Trying to stabilize.
Also still taking gabapentin 300mgs 2xs a day..

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  • Administrator

Taking out one more bead every xx days might be another way to taper, rather than risk those large variations in dosage due to bead size.

This is not medical advice. Discuss any decisions about your medical care with a knowledgeable medical practitioner.

"It has become appallingly obvious that our technology has surpassed our humanity." -- Albert Einstein

All postings © copyrighted.

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I think taking a bead or two every 5 days might be worth a try. Better than bridging and better for my patience!

 

thanks for all the advice, it so very much appreciated. Feel much better today, thanks again.

pnd diagnosed after birth of 2nd child 1998. Can't remember what meds

Various on and off meds including Wellbutrin until Effexor in ?2008

went up to 300mg became a zombie and an alcoholic

titrated down to 75 in 2010

titrated down to 37.5 in 2011

16/3 37.5 minus 5 beads continuing for 4 weeks

18/3 37.5 minus 5 beads changed to pm dosing

3/4/2013 back to 37.5mg pm dosing

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  • Administrator

You mean reducing by one or two beads at a time? Be sure to keep notes!

This is not medical advice. Discuss any decisions about your medical care with a knowledgeable medical practitioner.

"It has become appallingly obvious that our technology has surpassed our humanity." -- Albert Einstein

All postings © copyrighted.

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Hi everyone,

 

I have been taking 5 beads out every day and haven't noticed too many problems, a little bit of confusion but this could be age and learning a new job and just getting my brain retrained.

 

Does it matter what time of day you take the 37.5XR capsule (minus 5 beads), I switched to taking it at 5pm. Over the last few days I started taking it later and later as I was taking it in the morning.

pnd diagnosed after birth of 2nd child 1998. Can't remember what meds

Various on and off meds including Wellbutrin until Effexor in ?2008

went up to 300mg became a zombie and an alcoholic

titrated down to 75 in 2010

titrated down to 37.5 in 2011

16/3 37.5 minus 5 beads continuing for 4 weeks

18/3 37.5 minus 5 beads changed to pm dosing

3/4/2013 back to 37.5mg pm dosing

Link to comment
  • Administrator

clofty, do you mean you are taking 5 beads out per day or increasing by 5 beads every day?

 

If Effexor helps you sleep, I suppose taking it at night is what you want to do. Most people find it keeps them awake, though.

 

Please try to be consistent in the times you take it.

This is not medical advice. Discuss any decisions about your medical care with a knowledgeable medical practitioner.

"It has become appallingly obvious that our technology has surpassed our humanity." -- Albert Einstein

All postings © copyrighted.

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I am taking 5 beads out every day I think this is about 5% out every day. It doesn't keep me awake so far, so I will keep taking it at night for now and see how I go further down the track when titrating down next in one month's time.

 

Thanks for all your help, I really appreciate it.

pnd diagnosed after birth of 2nd child 1998. Can't remember what meds

Various on and off meds including Wellbutrin until Effexor in ?2008

went up to 300mg became a zombie and an alcoholic

titrated down to 75 in 2010

titrated down to 37.5 in 2011

16/3 37.5 minus 5 beads continuing for 4 weeks

18/3 37.5 minus 5 beads changed to pm dosing

3/4/2013 back to 37.5mg pm dosing

Link to comment

No I'm reducing 5 beads only for one month, then I will reduce by 10 beads for one month.

pnd diagnosed after birth of 2nd child 1998. Can't remember what meds

Various on and off meds including Wellbutrin until Effexor in ?2008

went up to 300mg became a zombie and an alcoholic

titrated down to 75 in 2010

titrated down to 37.5 in 2011

16/3 37.5 minus 5 beads continuing for 4 weeks

18/3 37.5 minus 5 beads changed to pm dosing

3/4/2013 back to 37.5mg pm dosing

Link to comment
  • Administrator

If it works, it works. Have you counted the number of beads in a few of your capsules? This will give you an idea of when you need to reduce by fewer beads -- eventually, 5 beads per month will be too much of a reduction, proportionate to the dosage you've become used to.

This is not medical advice. Discuss any decisions about your medical care with a knowledgeable medical practitioner.

"It has become appallingly obvious that our technology has surpassed our humanity." -- Albert Einstein

All postings © copyrighted.

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  • 3 weeks later...

Last wednesday I became spacey at work.

 

Got a bit anxious about that and that made the anxiousness worse, wondering if it is going to happen again. I can't afford to make mistakes at work due to 'spaceyness'. Put it down to taking magnesium and selenium.

 

But then it hit me the severe flatness and depression, then to top that off I drank a few wines to 'cheer me up' with friends last night and ended up with a migraine.

 

So now I'm back to not taking out beads since Wednesday.

 

Mmm was supposed to work tomorrow but was asked to work Tuesday instead. Big week coming up with my son's 18th birthday. Not sure what to do. Will be eating healthy and exercising firstly. Last weekend was great, did 3 x 5 km runs and felt great.

pnd diagnosed after birth of 2nd child 1998. Can't remember what meds

Various on and off meds including Wellbutrin until Effexor in ?2008

went up to 300mg became a zombie and an alcoholic

titrated down to 75 in 2010

titrated down to 37.5 in 2011

16/3 37.5 minus 5 beads continuing for 4 weeks

18/3 37.5 minus 5 beads changed to pm dosing

3/4/2013 back to 37.5mg pm dosing

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  • Administrator

Those symptoms sound like a good reason to hold on your taper. Your nervous system is feeling the dosage reduction.

 

You may want to taper by smaller amounts in the future.

This is not medical advice. Discuss any decisions about your medical care with a knowledgeable medical practitioner.

"It has become appallingly obvious that our technology has surpassed our humanity." -- Albert Einstein

All postings © copyrighted.

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Yes, It's going to be a slow reduction process and I also have to be careful about the pharmacokinetics of the drug in association with supplements and abstain from alcohol.

I had no idea it was going to be so hard to discontinue.

pnd diagnosed after birth of 2nd child 1998. Can't remember what meds

Various on and off meds including Wellbutrin until Effexor in ?2008

went up to 300mg became a zombie and an alcoholic

titrated down to 75 in 2010

titrated down to 37.5 in 2011

16/3 37.5 minus 5 beads continuing for 4 weeks

18/3 37.5 minus 5 beads changed to pm dosing

3/4/2013 back to 37.5mg pm dosing

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