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tiggertoo: 13+ years on Effexor XR. One dose left...


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Hi all...


I have been taking Effexor XR (or venlafaxine, hallelujah for generics) for at least 13 years after unsuccessfully taking celexa and then wellbutrin.


I've been considering tapering off for several months but due to some stresses I currently have going on, had decided to wait.  I saw my provider Monday to get a new prescription, as my current one has no refills.  There was some confusion...I left thinking she submitted the 'script to the pharmacy electronically.  When it wasn't there Wednesday, I left a message for her assistant.  They ask to allow 48 hours for all calls.  Silly me, I forgot neither my provider or her assistant work Fridays.  I called the practice this morning and was told there isn't a prescription in my file and I'll need to wait to speak to the assistant Monday.


I have one regular dose of venlafaxine in my possession... three 75mg capsules...225mg total.


I don't know whether to go to urgent care and see if they will write me a 'script, take my regular dose tonight and fight through to Monday evening, or take 75 mg tonight and then Sat night and then Sun night.  And if I fight through, should I go ahead and begin taper even though I had decided to delay?

I'm not looking forward to the next three days and I'm thinking I need a new provider.  Any survival tips or good vibes are very much appreciaed.

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I would call them back and say you would be okay with just enough medicine until you can next call the dr. Maybe go to the office in person. If that doesn't work, call dr. On call at 5, asking for just enough for the weekend. Then, urgent care if nec. Effexor might be the very last AD you would like to wait out. Good luck!

1st round Prozac 1989/90, clear depression symptoms. 2nd round Prozac started 1999 when admitted to dr. I was tired. Prozac pooped out, switch to Cymbalta 3/2006. Diagnosed with bipolar disorder due to mania 6/2006--then I was taken abruptly off Cymbalta and didn't know I had SSRI withdrawal. Lots of meds for my intractable "bipolar" symptoms.

Zyprexa started about 9/06, mostly 5mg. Tapered 4/12 through12/29/12

Wellbutrin. XL 300 mg started 1/07, tapered 1/18/13 through 7/8/13

Oxazepam mostly continuously since 6/06, 30mg since 12/12, tapered 1.17.14 through 8.26.15

11/06 Lithium 600mg twice daily, 2.2.14 400mg TID DIY liquid, 2.12.14 1150mg, 3.2.14 1100mg, 3.18.14 1075mg, 4/14 updose to 1100mg, 6.1.14 900 mg capsules 7.8.14 810mg, 8.17.14 725mg, 8.24.24 700mg...10.22.14 487.5mg, 3.9.15 475mg, 4.1.15 462.5mg 4.21.15 450mg 8.11.15 375mg, 11.28.15 362.5mg, back to 375mg four days later, 3.4.16 updose to 475 (too much going on to risk trouble)

9/4/13 Toprol-XL 25mg daily for sudden hypertension, tapered 11.12.13 through 5.3.14, last 10 days or so switched to atenolol

7.4.14 Started Walsh Protocol

56 years old

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Hi Tiggertoo, I agree with Meime, it would be best if you can manage to get hold of enough to tide

you over till you can collect the prescription, venlafaxine is one drug you do NOT want to be without! 

The withdrawal symptoms can range from hypomania to horrendous brain zaps! There is a chance

that you could be ok until you get your script but I personally don't remember anyone ever being ok

cold turkey! 


When you do get your new prescription, it is recommended to taper no more than 10% every 4-6 weeks .

It is slow but means you can taper without too much discomfort. 


Here is the topic for tapering venlafaxine 



Welcome to SA, I'm glad you found us before starting your taper, most of us ended here after tapering too fast!

**I am not a medical professional, if in doubt please consult a doctor with withdrawal knowledge.



Different drugs occasionally (mostly benzos) 1976 - 1981 (no problem)

1993 - 2002 in and out of hospital. every type of drug + ECT. Staring with seroxat

2002  effexor. 

Tapered  March 2012 to March 2013, ending with 5 beads.

Withdrawal April 2013 . Reinstated 5 beads reduced to 4 beads May 2013

Restarted taper  Nov 2013  

OFF EFFEXOR Feb 2015    :D 

Tapered atenolol and omeprazole Dec 2013 - May 2014


Tapering tramadol, Feb 2015 100mg , March 2015 50mg  

 July 2017 30mg.  May 15 2018 25mg

Taking fish oil, magnesium, B12, folic acid, bilberry eyebright for eye pressure. 


My story http://survivingantidepressants.org/index.php?/topic/4199-hello-mammap-checking-in/page-33


Lesson learned, slow down taper at lower doses. Taper no more than 10% of CURRENT dose if possible



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Phone the office and ask them to put you through to the doctor right away.


If this doesn't work, go to urgent care for a temp prescription.

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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Last year I was on vacation upon my return I forgot my effexor. My mother called dr office and got through the answering service. She adamantly asked for dr on call and told him that it was an emergency we needed a prescription faxed to the pharmacy. She let him know all the WDs I was having.

CALL the doctor or ask for dr on call. Don't wait til Monday. It's so unnecessary for you to have to suffer later on.

Started Effexor August 2012 Sept'12-150mg=extreme anxiety Oct'12 cut half-75mg severe wds

Feb 2013 68.5mg. Mar'13- 65mg. Apr'13-59mg. May'13-57mg. June '13-52mg Aug'13 49.75mg.

Sep'13-48.75. Nov'13-47mg Dec'13-45..5mg

May 2014 42mg. Jun'14 40mg (depressive mood started). Aug'14 -40mg/ started brintellix 2.5mg

Oct '14 -39 Nov'14 36.89 Dec'14 34.45

Jan 2015- 31 Feb'15 29mg. Mar'15 26.72. Apr'15 24.48. May'15 22.31mg. Jun'15 20.30mg

Aug'15-18.89. Oct'15 16.96. Nov/16- 16.10. Dec/15- 15mg

Jan 2016-14.22. May'16 11.45. Aug'16-9.60. Sep/16- 8.88mg. Oct/16- 8.39mg. Nov/16- 8.13. Dec/16- 7.89

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I apologize...I typed a response earlier on my iPad and then couldn't get it to post.  Thank you, everyone, for the comments.


My one friend that knows I take ADs had some 37.5 mg capsules to spare.  So, I'm under-dosed but I feel pretty good.  Nothing compared to when I've accidentally been without meds before.  Sleeping a lot, but that's typical (sleep disorder), dreams a little strange, and feeling a little disconnected or medicine-head-y but definitely tolerable.  Fortunately, I have only one thing I have to do tonight and I'm free for the weekend so a little disonnection and sleeping won't be a huge issue and actually not really unusual.


I didn't mention earlier I did tell the person I spoke to at my provider's that I take venlafaxine/Effexor XR, I told her I would have withdrawals, and she said there wasn't a 'script in my chart so she must have at least looked at my online visit notes, which would mention depression.  I did not demand a 'script but perhaps I should have.  I'm disappointed she didn't seem to take the situation more seriously.


I failed to mention in my original post I took Elavil for a short time many years ago (probably 20 years, and I remember being surprised when I looked at the paperwork when I picked it up at the pharmacy because the doctor hadn't mentioned it was an AD) and I took Effexor XR and Abilify together for about 18 months about 3 years ago.  The Abilify was super expensive even with my insurance, I knew it would be years before going generic, and I couldn't really tell it was helping so I tapered off about a year ago.  In the sleep issues area I've taken Sonata and Ambien in the past, Trazadone earlier this year, and now the occasional Zaleplon.  It's been recommended I take melatonin but reading experiences on a board for Delayed Sleep Phase Syndrome/Non-24 (very similar to this one) has made me hesitant.


Anyway, so far I'm looking forward to a low-key weekend, putting together a Rx history, making it to Monday, finding a new provider, and getting serious about getting off this horrible stuff.  I am so grateful to be able to read everyone's stories, experiences, and suggestions.  The conditions that cause us to be treated with these medications are so isolating and I know telling my coworkers or supervisors I was choosing to quit a medication like ven. voluntarily would be extremely damaging to my maintaining employment.  It's really wonderful to know there are others in similar situations although, honestly, I'm angry that any of us are in this situation at all.

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