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Queenie:Dealing with Effexor WD Symptoms


Queenie

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Hi - I found this group via a search for Effexor on Facebook.  I am a long time Effexor XR user who recently dropped down to the 37.5mg dosage.  After just the first day of the new dosage I started experiencing the brain zaps and other WD symptoms.  I was not going to accept my Dr's statement that perhaps I just needed to stay on the meds to deal with the symptoms.  So I started googling the side effects and how to deal with them.

 

I am on day 7 and stated stating Fish Oil the evening of day 6 and again this morning.  I am amazed at how much better I feel - very few zaps so far.  I plan on taking the fish oil, 2 tablets, 3x a day.  I will begin to taper via the bead method next month.  

 

I was taking the Effexor XR for GAD, which started years ago.  Those issues have long been resolved and I want to live my life "happy pill" free.  

 

That, in a nutshell, is my story.  Thanks for reading.

 

Q.

Queenie

Heavy is the head that wears the crown

History: Began in the mid-late 80s

- Zoloft for panic attacks - transitioned to...

- Xanax - keep handy; took one back in April 2014 

- Paxil for GAD - transitioned to...

- Effexor XR 75mg transitioned to...

- Effexor XR 37.5mg - experienced withdrawal but didn't know it at the time

- Effexor XR 75mg - July 2013 due to menopause mood swings

- Effexor XR 37.5mg - Aug. 4, 2014 - menopause under control; no panic attacks in years; GAD is no longer an issue

- Goal is to taper off Effexor permanently 

 

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  • Moderator Emeritus

Hello Quennie and welcome to SA.

 

What will help us to help you with advice and suggestions is to put your drug history in your signature, including how long you have been on Effexor, 3 years? (and possibly other drugs before that or along with Effexor). Also very importantly, what dose were you on before you reduced to 37.5?

 

It was obviously too much for your CNS but we will be able to say more when we get this information.

 

best,

 

 

bubble

Current: 9/2022 Xanax 0.08, Lexapro 2

2020 Xanax 0.26 (down from 2 mg in 2013), Lexapro 2.85 mg (down from 5 mg 2013)

Amitriptyline (tricyclic AD) and clonazepam for 3 months to treat headache in 1996 
1999. - present Xanax prn up to 3 mg.
2000-2005 Prozac CT twice, 2005-2010 Zoloft CT 3 times, 2010-2013 Escitalopram 10 mg
went from 2.5 to zero on 7 Aug 2013, bad crash 40 days after
reinstated to 5 mg Escitalopram 4Oct 2013 and holding liquid Xanax every 5 hours
28 Jan 2014 Xanax 1.9, 18 Apr  2015 1 mg,  25 June 2015 Lex 4.8, 6 Aug Lexapro 4.6, 1 Jan 2016 0.64  Xanax     9 month hold

24 Sept 2016 4.5 Lex, 17 Oct 4.4 Lex (Nov 0.63 Xanax, Dec 0.625 Xanax), 1 Jan 2017 4.3 Lex, 24 Jan 4.2, 5 Feb 4.1, 24 Mar 4 mg, 10 Apr 3.9 mg, May 3.85, June 3.8, July 3.75, 22 July 3.7, 15 Aug 3.65, 17 Sept 3.6, 1 Jan 2018 3.55, 19 Jan 3.5, 16 Mar 3.4, 14 Apr 3.3, 23 May 3.2, 16 June 3.15, 15 Jul 3.1, 31 Jul 3, 21 Aug 2.9 26 Sept 2.85, 14 Nov Xan 0.61, 1 Dec 0.59, 19 Dec 0.58, 4 Jan 0.565, 6 Feb 0.55, 20 Feb 0.535, 1 Mar 0.505, 10 Mar 0.475, 14 Mar 0.45, 4 Apr 0.415, 13 Apr 0.37, 21 Apr 0.33, 29 Apr 0.29, 10 May 0.27, 17 May 0.25, 28 May 0.22, 19 June 0.22, 21 Jun updose to 0.24, 24 Jun updose to 0.26

Supplements: Omega 3 + Vit E, Vit C, D, magnesium, Taurine, probiotic 

I'm not a medical professional. Any advice I give is based on my own experience and reading. 

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  • Moderator Emeritus

Hi Queenie

 

 

Welcome to the forum. This is how you fill out your signature

 

http://survivingantidepressants.org/index.php?/topic/893-please-put-your-withdrawal-history-in-your-signature/

 

Dalsaan

Please note - I am not a medical practitioner and I do not give medical advice. I offer an opinion based on my own experiences, reading and discussion with others.On Effexor for 2 months at the start of 2005. Had extreme insomnia as an adverse reaction. Changed to mirtazapine. Have been trying to get off since mid 2008 with numerous failures including CTs and slow (but not slow enough tapers)Have slow tapered at 10 per cent or less for years. I have liquid mirtazapine made at a compounding chemist.

Was on 1.6 ml as at 19 March 2014.

Dropped to 1.5 ml 7 June 2014. Dropped to 1.4 in about September.

Dropped to 1.3 on 20 December 2014. Dropped to 1.2 in mid Jan 2015.

Dropped to 1 ml in late Feb 2015. I think my old medication had run out of puff so I tried 1ml when I got the new stuff and it seems to be going ok. Sleep has been good over the last week (as of 13/3/15).

Dropped to 1/2 ml 14/11/15 Fatigue still there as are memory and cognition problems. Sleep is patchy but liveable compared to what it has been in the past.

 

DRUG FREE - as at 1st May 2017

 

>My intro post is here - http://survivingantidepressants.org/index.php?/topic/2250-dalsaan

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Thanks for the direction.  Hopefully, this helps....

 

Queenie

Heavy is the head that wears the crown

History: Began in the mid-late 80s

- Zoloft for panic attacks - transitioned to...

- Xanax - keep handy; took one back in April 2014 

- Paxil for GAD - transitioned to...

- Effexor XR 75mg transitioned to...

- Effexor XR 37.5mg - experienced withdrawal but didn't know it at the time

- Effexor XR 75mg - July 2013 due to menopause mood swings

- Effexor XR 37.5mg - Aug. 4, 2014 - menopause under control; no panic attacks in years; GAD is no longer an issue

- Goal is to taper off Effexor permanently 

 

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  • Moderator Emeritus

Hi Queenie

 

That's a very big drop from our perspective. We don't recommend dropping by more than 10 percent and you have done a 50 percent drop. Do you have any other symptoms at the moment (other than the brain zaps you talk about above?)

 

D

Please note - I am not a medical practitioner and I do not give medical advice. I offer an opinion based on my own experiences, reading and discussion with others.On Effexor for 2 months at the start of 2005. Had extreme insomnia as an adverse reaction. Changed to mirtazapine. Have been trying to get off since mid 2008 with numerous failures including CTs and slow (but not slow enough tapers)Have slow tapered at 10 per cent or less for years. I have liquid mirtazapine made at a compounding chemist.

Was on 1.6 ml as at 19 March 2014.

Dropped to 1.5 ml 7 June 2014. Dropped to 1.4 in about September.

Dropped to 1.3 on 20 December 2014. Dropped to 1.2 in mid Jan 2015.

Dropped to 1 ml in late Feb 2015. I think my old medication had run out of puff so I tried 1ml when I got the new stuff and it seems to be going ok. Sleep has been good over the last week (as of 13/3/15).

Dropped to 1/2 ml 14/11/15 Fatigue still there as are memory and cognition problems. Sleep is patchy but liveable compared to what it has been in the past.

 

DRUG FREE - as at 1st May 2017

 

>My intro post is here - http://survivingantidepressants.org/index.php?/topic/2250-dalsaan

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Headache - pretty much gone now though

Irritability - more so than every day normal stuff

Lack of concentration

Feeling "out of sorts"

Lots more energy, which I guess is a good thing

Manic like episodes - feelings of being able to take on the world

Some panic-like feelings but have been able to control and calm myself with keeping busy and not dwelling on the feeling

Sweats/chills

Feeling like I want to cry - not all the time but God help me if a Hallmark commercial comes on!

A feeling like my brain is physically shrinking - different from the zaps - more of a tingling sensation

Queenie

Heavy is the head that wears the crown

History: Began in the mid-late 80s

- Zoloft for panic attacks - transitioned to...

- Xanax - keep handy; took one back in April 2014 

- Paxil for GAD - transitioned to...

- Effexor XR 75mg transitioned to...

- Effexor XR 37.5mg - experienced withdrawal but didn't know it at the time

- Effexor XR 75mg - July 2013 due to menopause mood swings

- Effexor XR 37.5mg - Aug. 4, 2014 - menopause under control; no panic attacks in years; GAD is no longer an issue

- Goal is to taper off Effexor permanently 

 

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  • Moderator Emeritus

Hi Queenie,

As Dalsaan wrote, your cut from 75mg to 37.5mg was much bigger than the 10% we recommend and all the symptoms you are experiencing at the moment are indicative of withdrawal. 

 

Why taper by 10% of my dosage?

 

Please don't make any more cuts at the moment.  Its possible that you may stabilize at 37.5 if you hold long enough, then you could begin a proper taper from there.

 

Do you feel like your symptoms are improving or getting worse?

 

Here are our tips for safely tapering off Effexor:

 

http://survivingantidepressants.org/index.php?/topic/272-tips-for-tapering-off-effexor-and-effexor-xr-venlafaxine/

 

I'm confident you will be able to live your life free of 'happy pills', and tapering slowly is the best way to permanently achieve that.

 

Petu.

I'm not a doctor.  My comments are not medical advise. These are my opinions based on my own experience and what I've learned. Please discuss your situation with a medical practitioner who has knowledge of tapering and withdrawal...if you are lucky enough to find one.

My Introduction Thread

Full Drug and Withdrawal History

Brief Summary

Several SSRIs for 13 years starting 1997 (for mild to moderate partly situational anxiety) Xanax PRN ~ Various other drugs over the years for side effects

2 month 'taper' off Lexapro 2010

Short acute withdrawal, followed by 2 -3 months of improvement then delayed protracted withdrawal

DX ADHD followed by several years of stimulants and other drugs trying to manage increasing symptoms

Failed reinstatement of Lexapro and trial of Prozac (became suicidal)

May 2013 Found SA, learned about withdrawal, stopped taking drugs...healing begins.

Protracted withdrawal, with a very sensitized nervous system, slowly recovering as time passes

Supplements which have helped: Vitamin C, Magnesium, Taurine

Bad reactions: Many supplements but mostly fish oil and Vitamin D

June 2016 - Started daily juicing, mostly vegetables and lots of greens.

Aug 2016 - Oct 2016 Best window ever, felt almost completely recovered

Oct 2016 -Symptoms returned - bad days and less bad days.

April 2018 - No windows, but significant improvement, it feels like permanent full recovery is close.

VIDEO: Where did the chemical imbalance theory come from?



VIDEO: How are psychiatric diagnoses made?



VIDEO: Why do psychiatric drugs have withdrawal syndromes?



VIDEO: Can psychiatric drugs cause long-lasting negative effects?

VIDEO: Dr. Claire Weekes

 

 

 

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Yes, I have the information you provided on tapering, thank you. Since I am already into my 2nd week on 37.5' I plan to stay with it for 90 days since that is the amount I have on hand. When I refill it, I will begin to reduce beads, probably start with just 1-3 for the next 90 days and so on.

 

In terms of WD symptoms, I do feel better now that I am on the fish oil, Vit, E and B Complex. The zaps are basically gone, thank goodness. Still have a few side effects...lack of concentration, irritability, some sleep interruption, but all in all, am feeling pretty darn good...which could be a manic phase for all I know. As long as I don't act impulsively on anything, I feel confident that I am on the right track.

 

It took me 2.5 yrs to loose 50 pounds. I understand slow and steady and will not rush this process. I love myself too much to sabitoge my efforts.

Queenie

Heavy is the head that wears the crown

History: Began in the mid-late 80s

- Zoloft for panic attacks - transitioned to...

- Xanax - keep handy; took one back in April 2014 

- Paxil for GAD - transitioned to...

- Effexor XR 75mg transitioned to...

- Effexor XR 37.5mg - experienced withdrawal but didn't know it at the time

- Effexor XR 75mg - July 2013 due to menopause mood swings

- Effexor XR 37.5mg - Aug. 4, 2014 - menopause under control; no panic attacks in years; GAD is no longer an issue

- Goal is to taper off Effexor permanently 

 

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Hi Queenie

Georgia on my mind! Miss it!

 

Hope you are doing ok and wish you success on your rd to recovery 

I'M A WEANER!  :D 
atavan PRN ,Paxil approx 20 yrs ago for major depression
Switched to Klonopin PRN through to current
Paxil wore out
Changed to Effexor 
Depakote added
enormous weight gain - flat affect - led to depression - dropped depakote
Dropped Effexor, changed to Paxil 
PDoc added mixed salts amphetamines for ADHD - took for 2 yrs - was ok at first but had to cut as symptoms too intense -  then the crash was too much. STOPPED
Vyvanse started in 2013 (APRIL) - more smooth than IR amphetamine tabs---Have not used vyvanse daily in full amt since May 2013 

Paxil CT withdrawal 10/2012  :wacko:  Klonopin CT WD

Switched Klonopin to Xanax prn  - too strong

WD CT from XANAX after taking for a while - it was awful but can be done if you hold on!

Back to Klonopin PRN - working very hard to avoid taking it at all. 

Effexor 37.5 started 02/2013, 75mg by 03/2013, 150mg by 05/2012 (approx)  :blush:

Effexor 150mg 3/10/2014 Microtaper -3beads  :unsure:

3/11/2014-4beads ,3/12/14 - 5, 3/13/14 -6, 3/15/14 - 7, 3/18 - 8, 3/22 - 10, 3/24 - 12, 4/6 - 13, 4/7 - 14, 4/11 - 16 - on 4/19 ran out of brand took generic. Bad move. Back on brand on 4/20 and updosed 2 beads. 5/1 - 15, 5/6 - 16, 5/9 -17, 55/10 -17, 5/15 -18, 5/21 -19, 5/24 -20, 6/3 - 21, 6/6 -23, 6/13 -24,6/19- 25, 6/21 -26, 6/25 -27

6/28 -28, 6/29 -30, 7/3 -34, 7/8 -35, 7/17 -36, 7/30 -41,7/31 -42, 8/2 -43, 8/3 -44, 8/5 -45, 8/14 -48, 8/26-50, 9/24 -53, 10/24 -55, 12/1 -57, (lost the tally sheet, thus taper info for some of it), 4/19-63, 4/26-64, 4/30-65 Switched to wt reduction - now @ -.068, 7/14 -.070, August 2015 -.074, between Sept & October 10 -.077, Nov. -.078(feeling great), -.090 as of 1/10/16, down to  -.101 since January 2016 (it is now 6/24/16), -.105 as of 8/13/16
 
 

Ladies, please don't underestimate the possibility of perimenopause. The symptoms can be similar to, may intensify & in some cases mimic protracted w/d from ssri's & benzo's. 

 

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