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  1. Hi! I've been on Effexor XR for about 12 years and have been trying to get off of it for the past couple months. My doctor is not helpful at all and doesn't seem to know what she's doing. I started at 187.5mg and she had me alternating each day with the lower dose. So I would alternate 187.5mg, 150mg, 187.5mg, 150mg....until I felt comfortable enough to go down another step. I read on here that you're not supposed to do that, but that's what she's telling me. So I had really bad withdrawal symptoms this whole time. Now I'm on 37.5mg and I tried alternating with taking nothing every other day. But as you can imagine my body didn't like that. I happened to make it 5 days without the pill and felt like I was dying before a nice girl on a Facebook support group led me to this site. I'm so thankful she did because my symptoms are almost gone and I feel great. I've been breaking open my capsules and counting out the beads everyday and slowly going down from there. The problem is my doctor told me I'm not supposed to be breaking open the pills, so she called in the Effexor tablets so I can break them in half. I told her my symptoms are really bad and she said maybe I should just go back on the pill.... needless to say I have to figure this out myself. So I like the counting method with the beads but I'm running out of capsules and only have the tablets left. I'm not sure how to make a liquid out of them or what to do to get to 0. I just want this medicine out of my system!
  2. During a disastrous attempted benzo taper, I developed severe depression and anhedonia, different and more intense than ever before in life. I have history of anxiety and depression, but nothing ever of this scale. I also developed severe insomnia during benzo taper, which persists even after I've paused benzo tapering (currently on 20mg Valium). I rely on Clonidine to get a few hours of sleep every night. My timeline: 2006 Effexor for anxiety and mild depression 2010 change to Lexapro 2012 change to Pristiq 100mg Multiple unsuccessful attempts to taper (psychological symptoms only). These were all quick tapers, as advised by doctors, which I only now in hindsight realise were too fast. Psychiatrist diagnosed ADD in November 2017 started Modafanil 400mg. Functioned well on Modafanil, was also still on Pristiq. Modafanil expensive and wanted a cheaper alternative. Feb 2018 Psychiatrist started me on Ritalin LA 40mg. I reacted badly with this stimulant, too agitated and couldn't function so Psychiatrist added Temazepam 10mg. March 2018 ceased Modafanil. March 2018 switched from Temazepam to 20mg Diazepam. Diazepam increased up to 90mg over next few months. June 2018 switched from Ritalin to 70mg Vyvance. August 2018 switch from Diazepam to Clonazepam, kept needing increased dose, progressively went to 6mg Clonazepam, and also prescribed short acting Dexampthetamine. My life was spiralling out of control and I realised I needed to get off all the meds and not see this Psychiatrist again. I naively asked the Psychiatrist for tapering advice. Was advised to taper Pristiq first, then Vyvance and Dexamphetamine, and lastly Clonazepam. All the suggested tapers were, ofcourse, extremely fast. Tapers: Sept - November 2018 tapered off 100mg Pristiq (compounding) while still on Vyvance, Dexamphetamine and 6mg(!!!) Clonazepam. I don't really remember this taper. My family tell me I was bed bound during last few weeks. All psychological symptoms. Jan 2019 fast taper Vyvance and Dexamphetamine. Got very agitated towards the end and cold turkeyed the last bit of the dose as couldn't handle it anymore and wanted it out my system. Feb to March 2019: fast taper 6mg clonazepam to 1 mg, ended up in Psych hospital due to acute anxiety and insomnia, and had developed severe intensity depression and anhedonia, different and more intense than ever before in life. March 2019 hospital admission: Stopped tapering benzo. Commenced Seroquel for sleep but didn't help . commenced Chlorpromazine, slept well. Commenced Mirtazapine. Self discharged. Found Ashton Manual and converted to 20mg Valium, and planned to hold benzo taper to try to stabilise. The 'holding' did not ease depression. April 2019 GP converted me from Mirtazapine to Effexor XR (took Mirtazapine for 9 days, wasn't helping depression and was causing increased appetite). Started Effexor XR at 37.5mg for one week, 75mg for 2 weeks, and then 150mg for 4 weeks (total 7 weeks). May 2019: ceased Chlorpromazine, even though it helped with sleep, as didn't want to be on it. Effexor had not eased depression at all after 7 weeks so started tapering. Again, a fast doctor-led taper: 6th June 2019 reduced Effexor from 150mg to 75mg, held for one week. 13th June reduced from 75mg to 37.5mg, still holding this dose. Have not had any noticeable withdrawal from these reductions. I reluctantly agreed to try antidepressants as the depression is unbearable and I have no quality of life. But it hasn't helped so I want to get off the Effexor before I get more dependent on it, but I'm scared as I've since realised that doctor-advised tapers are too fast, compounded by the problem of my nervous system being so vulnerable during a recent too fast benzo reduction from an extremely high dose. Reluctantly started Trans Magnetic Stimulation (TMS) therapy 27th June. I've had 7 treatments so far without adverse effect. I hope the depression eases, even if only a minor improvement, I would be grateful. My GP is advising to continue Effexor taper during TMS but I'm scared, so I'm holding 37.5 dose. I'm using generic Effexor (6 mini tablets inside each 75mg capsule). I want to taper Effexor more gradually, but don't know how. Generic don't have the small beads which I've read about on this site. Can I change to brand name Effexor? I know now that gradual slow taper is best, but I don't have this luxury as I need to get off Effexor before I can re-start my benzo taper (taking 20mg valium currently). I am desperate to be benzo free to reclaim my life. I haven't been able to work for nearly 1 year, feel like I have no future. 2006 Commenced Effexor 2010 Converted to Lexapro 2012 Converted to Pristiq 2017 Commenced Modafanil 2018 Commenced Ritalin and Vyvance, with benzos added due to reaction to Ritalin September-November 2018 taper off 100mg Pristiq January 2019 Dexamphetamine and Vyvance taper February-March 2019 tapered from 6mg to 1mg Clonazepam April 2019 Commenced Effexor XR 6th June 2019 started tapering Effexor, from 150mg to 37.5mg currently.
  3. Hi, Been on Effexor 75 XR for almost 17 years. in May, 2018 I started tapering, but I think I have done it too quickly...by August I was on 37.5mg XR (after alternating 75 and 37.5) Prozac to "bridge"...December, 2018 I started taking 37.5mg every other day for 3 weeks and on Feb 8th, 2019 I went to ZERO (per dr. instructions). Memorial day weekend withdrawals hit me like a ton of bricks...high anxiety, some depression, nervousness and fatigue. I am now taking .05mg ATIVAN as needed. I take vitamin B Complex, D3, iron, probiotics, formula 303, cortisol Manager, Fish Oil, Magnesoim bisglycinate. I started taking 800 mg SAM-E last week and I have just started taking 800mg holy basil. I sleep fine at night, bust as soon as I open my eyes, I start feeling anxious. I am thinking about reinstating the 37.5mg XR tonight...is that too much? Any advice? PLEASE?????????????????????????
  4. I've been on psych medications since I was 14, I'm almost 36. I've tried almost everything. I cant do it anymore. I hate the meds so much I don't want to be anywhere near them. I'm very tempted to cold turkey them. I hope that won't kill me, but I can't live this way.
  5. Seven/eight years ago, due to a peculiar set of circumstances, I ended up closing down the successful business I had founded. The loss of my business and financial resources lead to various problems in my life. About six years ago I was diagnosed with depression and anxiety. My psychiatrist put me on: Citalopram 10 mg/day. Axal (Alpralozam) 0.5 mg The immediate effect was that the anxiety disappeared. The depression got better (or at least the symptoms did), however I never returned to life of extreme activity like I had lead previously. About two years ago my medications were changed. Citalopram 10 mg twice a day i.e. 20 mg Effexor Xr 75 mg/day Axal 0.5 mg day. In these years I have tried quitting cold at least 4 times. Each time I had to go back on medications. The only success story is that I gave up Axal, a benzo, cold. I had no WD effects from giving up Axal. Today I only take Citalopram 20 mg and Effexor 75 mg. I must add that I also have Epilepsy since I was 13 years old. For the past 37 years I have been taking anti-epileptic drugs. My current drugs for Epilepsy are: Tegral 400 mg. Lumark 750 mg. These I cannot get rid off for obvious reasons. My only wish is to get off Citalopram and Effexor XR. I totally believe these do not help me. My anxiety has gone away, but I have this permanent listlessness. I was once an over-ambitious person and today I am totally flat. I don’t feel much emotions, and the desire to achieve success is gone. Failures and losses don't bother me either. This is not what and who I was. I’ve read many of the subjects here, including the wonderfully detailed Taper section. I do need your advice as to how I should approach my taper. Should I quit Effexor XR first or Citalopram? Any other advice on muti-drug taper would be welcome. PS: My daughter gets married in 3 months. I am planning to start a very low 5-10% taper immediately. Any advice? Thanks again.
  6. I fell pregnant and my doctor (GP, I was not under a psychiatrist anymore) all but forced me to come off Effexor XR as fast as possible. From memory it was 5 weeks in total. At the time I’d moved to a new city and had very little support in terms of this decision, I’d been in an emotionally strong place for a few years by then and I thought (hoped ha ha) I’d be OK, plus I felt I had little choice. This was now 4.5 years ago. Well, how do I even put this whole experience into words. ??? Basically im realising in hindsight that this was possibly the main reason for my total “falling apart” as a person, which I’m getting through gradually but am still pretty scared of life most of the time, to be honest. (Am now on Sertraline because I basically couldn’t function a few months after cessation.) I am hoping to hear if other people have had any similar experiences (I hope not for your sake!), especially relating to feeling as though your soul has dropped out of your body. I read one or two posts a few years back where, in one, a lady had come off Zoloft and completely lost her sense of self emotionally. She cared about nothing - literally could not feel emotions at all about anything - and she said she couldn’t even really care properly about the above happening to her. All she had was some vague, emotionless, floating thought that this was probably not a good thing and she should be more concerned about it. I relate to parts of this - does anyone else? Thankfully my sense of self has been coming back in chunks every few months, but only when I’m lucky enough to access the right kind of support. (I’ll also mention that along with all this I’ve had several HUGE life changes ie stressors happening at the same time. So it’s impossible perhaps to know how much is that, the withdrawal, and/or my tendencies toward depression etc. I guess logic would say a bit of all of these.) thank you for your site I am immensely grateful. Strength and calming vibes to everyone. Don’t lose hope. C
  7. Hi everyone, awesome Forum and awesome people. So basically the issue I'm having is Effexor XR. I was placed on it after one month IP stay. It was a lifesaver 300mg Effexor XR for about 8 years. Well recently it began pooping out on me, bad moods started to show up, more anxiety, more depression. So after adjusting the medication up and down for 6 months or so PDoc and I decided to switch over to Cymbalta and give that a try. After trying Abilify unsuccessfully augmenting. The Medications I take currently are 50 mg Seroquel, 60 mg Cymbalta, and Ativan if I can't sleep sometimes... Well Since coming down and off Effexor over a year I haven't really had a good day. My mood is almost always dysphoric. I also feel really detached from life...I feel Like Effexor kept me grounded and now that I'm not on it my brain doesn't know how to adjust or it's trying but failing. I'm completely exhausted day in and day out, regardless of my exercise level or diet. I feel like Effexor gave me a bit of a high and now that it's gone I'm struggling with adapting to normality. Anyways, I was hoping ex-effexor users could share some tips on what they did to ease the withdrawals and how they coped....I was on a pretty hefty dosage. I've only been completely off of Effexor for about a month following the switch to Cymbalta. Before that I was on 150mg - 75 mg for about a year or so tapering. Ativan is the closest I come to feeling "normal" but going through that withdrawal is a whole other nightmare. Thanks in Advance.
  8. Hey Guys, i am having a lot of trouble with the side effects of Effexor XR, after a failed withdrawal from the the drug last year after a fast taper, and consequent post acute withdrawal. I am down to the final 37.5 mg and just want to be done with it, i have had enough on these foul poisons, im prepared to come off any way possible following the 10% reduction a month rule. The problem is to this id have to import the immediate release version from overseas which is very costly, then start the slow process. I managed to see a psychiatrist, and had the advice to switch to Prozac, taking a 37.5 mg dosage of Effexor XR and halving a 20mg pill of Prozac for 2 weeks to adjust the nervous system, then do a complete swap to just Prozac, 20 mg. I have been on the Efexor for 3.5 years, prior to that Citalipram 8 years in total, and am worried about introducing a new drug into my system. I know Prozac has a long shelf, half life, thus easier to taper from then Efexor, but just feel insecure i guess. If i could have any help or information, guidance from others that have tried this approach, that would be hugely appreciated. I am here just like you, wanted to feel alive and happy again
  9. Hello! Writing from Colorado. I found this forum through Google. I've been considering and researching coming off Effexor for about a year. It's time. I have new health insurance and can no longer get brand name meds. I've tried generic before, but it doesn't work the same. Planning to taper onto generic and then hopefully, in time, come off of it altogether. Current doses in bio below. I appreciate any and all advice and feel very lucky to have found this site.
  10. Quest


    Moderator note: Link to Quest's benzo thread - Quest - benzo thread Guess I will start by saying hi and letting you all know that this site gives me some much needed hope. I have been fighting this effexor xr battle now for 11 years. Was put on 37.5 mgs of Effexor in May of 2006 and the 75 mgs 3 weeks later for extreme anxiety which they labeled GAD. A month later zoplicone 3.75 mgs to sleep. Never took drugs before other than an antibiotic, so man oh man this was rough on me. Took 4 months to function on them while trying to raise a 10, 8 and 3 year old. Over the years tried at least 4 or 5 times to wean off by typical drs. Orders which always resulted in a crash 2-3 months later. I have always exercised, eat healthy, acupuncture, various healing modalities viatimins- you name it trying to be strong enough to stay off these drugs. It wasn't until last year that I even heard about paws, it certainly is not something any of my drs. Believe exists. They continuously tell me to stop trying to come off, I have a chemical imbalance and I will be on some form of anti depressant for a lifetime! I can not accept this mentality. Yes in the beginning Effexor helped to calm my anxiety but it is no longer doing so and I just don't think adding another drug or two into the mix will help either. Zoplicone is another problem for me. Thank the Lord I never went past a 7.5 tablet. What a horrendous drug to come off. I just recently took 3.75 mgs to sleep again, ( how defeating after being off for 5 months!) but my drs. Other options were seroquel or remeron or elavil. I have tried every herb and tincture for sleep as well as cbd oil. They help for a short time and then tolerance sets in. I have been off of effexor xr for 2 months and then again crashed even after tapering 10% every two weeks which I now know was way too fast. I reinstated 5 mgs on July 28/17 and took a 3.75 Mg of Z on July 30/17 to sleep. I am hoping this time to do it right and would appreciate any help or words of wisdom. I suffer from wicked anxiety that never seems to shut off and I am not wanting to go on cipralex or cymbalta at this time as my dr. Suggests. So very scared at this time. Feeling very fragile ~
  11. I want to know how to detox from all the psychiatric drugs that I took in order to make possible for my body not to need to take them anymore and to eliminate all the side effects that the psych drugs gave me. This is all the drugs that I took from psychiatrists: when I was 16 years old I took first paxil and rivotril (clonazepam) for a year and then only epival er (valproate semisodium) for a year and Then when I got 21 I took paxil and rivotril for 6 months. I changed to a 2nd psychiatrist he gave me symbyax (olanzapine and fluoxetine) I was with him for 4 months, then I went with a 3rd shrink that gave me lamictal and abilify for 6 months so then I changed with a 4th doctor which was a "neurologist" who gave me strattera for ADD and told me to go with his partner who is another psychiatrist (5th doctor) who added me sertraline, topamax (topiramate), olanzapine, lamictal, and because of the tachycardia that were produce by this drugs he added inderalici for my tachycardia. So after 7 months with this doctor I went with a 6th doctor that gave me paxil, rivotril, lithium and for my ADD he gave me methylphenidate (commercial name is tradea LP which is similar to Concerta). After 6 months with this doctor I changed to a 7th doctor that gave me sertraline in a very high dose and with this I decided to stop taking that pill a was taking but in a one day span it caused me to have a psychosis that made my father send male nurses to kidnapped and locked into a clinic (like hospitalization), in which the skrink that trated me was the one that treated me when I was 16 and he injected me haldol and gave pills more haldol, biperiden, triazolam and risperdal. I LIVED HELL WITH THESE DRUGS. Then the shrink after he saw that I recover reality, I was super depressed so he gave me citalpram but it didn't work so he gave me paxil and lithium. Then I started coming off meds and now I just take one quarter of a lithium pill every day in the morning. My actual side effects that I want to eliminate are: anxiety, very strong heart palpitaions or beats/beating that cause bad breathing and chest pain, difficulty to take decisions, nausea, extreme itching in my face, head, chest and back, buzz in the ears, difficulty to focus or concentrate, bad short-term memory, and wanting to pee all the time. Thank you very much.
  12. I'm going to paste my intro here and come back to clarify later on a computer as it is nearly midnight and my head is pounding but wanted to start this before I forget. Took Wellbutrin for 2-3 years starting 2006, quit by halving dose and don't recall having trouble. More recently: started Zoloft in Sept 2016, switched to venlafaxine 75mg in October 2016, increased to 150mg by November. Also added buspirone, 10mg to start in October and increased to 20/day in January when I decided to stop taking venlafaxine. Mid Jan started a fast taper (10% every 5 days) and managed to get to 45mg by end of Feb, but stopped tapering when I found the Facebook group and couldn't deal with itchy hives. In desperation I added 10mg Prozac a few days prior to finding support group. Prozac is keeping dizziness and brain zaps away, and hives have cleared up after a week of holding at 45mg. I have AS and fibromyalgia, effexor caused serious side effects of night sweats, increased fatigue and muscle weakness, and cognitive problems. March 20, holding at 40mg venlafaxine, 20mg/day buspirone, Hydroxyzine as needed, and other medications related to my chronic illnesses that are not currently causing problems. Getting off venlafaxine ASAP is top priority, then Prozac, and eventually buspirone (though that seems to be helping more than hurting right now.) I am 35 and recently went back to school to get a degree in engineering to make something of my life (my fine art degree isn't really paying the bills in this economy.) I am already disabled and cannot deal with added fatigue and memory problems from effexor! But I can't get off it either! I'm mad at my doctor for putting me on a drug akin to heroine when I had enough problems already and was looking for help. I'm bitter and losing hope. I need all the support I can get.
  13. I had been on Effexor XR for fifteen years before making the decision to get off this terrible drug. My concern is that I waited too long. I was tired of the feelings if I missed a dose, the sexual side effects and the general lack of emotions. Had I know how difficult and painful this journey was going to be I would have stayed on the poison just to avoid all of the difficulty. In the beginning of coming off the drug I had all the symptoms others have described. The crying, the brain zaps, the panic attacks at night all were just the tip of the iceberg with coming off. I unfortunately came off too fast. I did the standard weaning described by my doctor from 150, 75 to 37.5. What I should have done was to open the capsules and count the beads. I also should have lengthened the time between each drop in dose. I would say after 3 months in I had it beat, I felt litter but that was short lived. I then began my journey of trying to find other alternatives. I tried Accupunture, Counseling, LDA therapy, NAC, Inositol, heavy doses of vitamin D, magnesium, zinc, omega fish oil, restore, brain octane...... I then , after 9 months off Effexor, decided to try Prozac in order to cope with life. Everything has become insurmountable and my thoughts are all negative. I have never been so pessimist as I am right now. Now only to I judge myself against all others, I internally do the same with my children and their accomplishments. Nothing is ever good enough. I feel perhaps that Effexor has damaged me somehow. My once optimistic trial and error ways have turned to a pessimistic future. My next journey is to try CBD in the hopes that I can return to some normal aspect off life. I welcome all comments, ideas, stories or pep talks to get me through!
  14. rockymarene


    Hello everyone. I am looking for help in tapering and w/d from Effexor XR. I have been on it for a little over a year for Major Depression Disorder at a dose of 225mg. My Dr. decided to switch me to Wellbutrin XL at 150mg while tapering me off the Effexor in 3 weeks. By week 2 at 75mg I was feeling w/d symptoms and decided to just go cold turkey. I lasted 3 days and after feeling like death decided to go back on the Effexor and taper more slowly this time. Took 150mg today. Still feel like crap. My question is: Was 150mg too little/too much? How long till I start to stabilize? Any help is greatly appreciated.
  15. Hi all, I have been taking Effexor Xr 75mg for about 8 years now. During that time, the cause of my anxiety became known (ADHD-PI) and while Effexor was excellent at controlling my anxiety, I no longer feel I need it now that my ADHD is under control via other medication. Plus the sweat. God the sweat. I sweat if I tie my shoes, I sweat reaching up to brush off the sweat that came from tying my shoes. I am not unfit. I just sweat. All. the. time. It is ruining my life (and my sheets) I cant remember when the sweat started, but my mother is on it, same sweating issue. My aunt recently started it. Never had a sweat problem, now its uncontrollable. I am pretty sure its the Effexor. The problem is, I cant get off it. The manufacturers recommendation to doctors is, 75mg, 37.5mg, 75mg, 37.5mg etc etc for two weeks. Then two weeks of 37.5mg, then 37.5mg, nothing, 37.5mg, nothing etc for two weeks until off. This does not work. The brain zaps and vertigo make life impossible. I took a long break from work to do this and ended up having to go back to the full dose because I wouldnt have been able to go back to work at the end of my leave if I didnt. So. I had an idea to reduce the dose via removing beads, searched how many beads in a capsule and found this site. Hi. What I would love to know first off is... Did anyone else have this sweating problem? Did ending Effexor work to stop it? Has anyone else successfully stopped effexor after being on it as long as I have? Thanks all.
  16. If you have a movement disorder (Tardive Dyskinesia , Dystonia, Akathisia, Myoclonus etc.), that you believe was caused by Effexor XR (or made worse by this drug), you are eligible to join a multi plaintiff lawsuit now forming. To join this lawsuit, please message me on this forum, or email me at effexortd@gmail.com. For US residents only. Posted by permission of Group Admin for informational purposes. Posting does not necessarily signify Group endorsement.
  17. Raeofsun227

    raeofsun227 saying Hi

    Hi, I'm a newbie here, started decreasing on Effexor XR 3 weeks ago and realized how debilitating and isolating weaning off AD can be/is. I will copy this post into my 'about me' page also. I am a 41 yo mother of 2 kids, both with ADHD and one with borderline Aspergers so it is much like having a child with special needs. In other words, I got my hands full! Thank God for my loving and supportive husband. Between my faith in God and my incredible husband, I am very blessed. So, what got me to this board? It's a culmination of several sudden and tragic events: 1) Sudden death of 47 yo father caused depression and PTSD at 22 years old 2) Date rape at 23 yo 3) Developed sudden debilitating and painful juvenile arthritis at 25 yo 4) At 31 yo, had coworker die same way father died and PTSD caused severe anxiety so I started on my anti-depressant journey... Cymbalta, Zoloft, Wellbutrin, Effexor XR, it's been 10 years of dulled emotions and anxiety-ridden moments with unreal side effects. On September 3, 2015, I mistakenly put the wrong pills in the wrong days. With only 4 pills, I needed a refill and accidentally didn't take any Effexor for 3 days straight and I found myself moments away from suicide. I tried to kill myself because I didn't take my AD for 3 days?! My husband's belt on the ground became a means of ending my life. A belt took on an entire new function and illuminated with an end to my misery, I had never even looked at a belt in that way until this moment! This was ridiculous and it had to stop. Get ready for a major 180 degree turn, and I do want to clarify that I have never taken any drug recreationally and am a very conservative person... On October 12, 2015, my journey with medical cannabis began. And my psychiatrist actually encouraged me to do it.... And it has saved my life in more ways than one. I hope I can post more about that here to help others but I don't want to impose or negatively influence anyone in anyway; we are so vulnerable to quick fixes when we are depressed and hurtng. God bless all of you on this journey to finding peace and joy. - A
  18. My husband was advised by his pdoc to discontinue Effexor XR at 37.5 mg approx 9 days ago. He is having severe side effects from this that don't seem to be letting up. My question is would it be advised at this point for him to start taking some amount of Effexor again?
  19. I found this wonderful forum on accident. A wonderful accident... I have done A LOT of reading here before I got up the courage to register. I have been on Effexor XR 75mgs daily for about 10 years. In June this year I decided that I had had enough. The medicine was causing me more problems than it was helping. Typical symptoms of AD tachyphalaxis (poop-out) had made life very mediocre feeling. Not bad, not good. So I read as much as I could about tapering and microtapering. I began my taper off Effexor XR in June with the standard 10% reduction. I am using a digital scale to measure bead weight. Today I am at approximately 50% of my original 75mg dose and up to this past weekend it has gone pretty much uneventfully. But as of late I have been hit with some pretty severe anxiety. I am not at the point of going back to the full dose but I have though about it. I hope to interact with all of you as I continue a journey many people before myself have made. Thanks for listening.
  20. Hey! I just wanted to introduce myself as briefly as possible. I began taking Effexor XR about 11 years ago. I had been battling major medical issues 5 years before taking anti-depressants. I didn't have anyone in my family or knew of anyone who took them. I began with 75 mg of Effexor XR and soon bumped up to 150 mg. I decided in December '13 to stop taking the medication. I believed that it wasn't really doing anything for me. I asked my doctor if he could prescribe me another type of medication and this is where the problems began. I wasn't given any information about tapering off the medication and quit cold turkey. I became ill with flu-like symptoms almost immediately. This went on for several days and ended whenever I figured out that it wasn't the flu. I couldn't get out of bed, eat, and I had severe nausea. Within hours of taking the medication my withdrawal symptoms vanished. I called my doctor and began my research immediately. My doctor's instructions were to wean myself off of the medication by taking it every other day and then every third day. I decided to go ahead and take the medication every other day. A little over 3 weeks ago I went to every third day and my last pill was July 4th. The withdrawal symptoms didn't start occuring until 4 days after my last dose & I am struggling. Not quite sure why my doctor chose this method of getting me off this medication because in all my research I haven't seen it as a recommended practice. Anyway, I just started taking an Omega 3 today and I am hoping to feel better soon!
  21. Hello - sorry to attach this as a file; did not know I could not copy/paste [edited by Karma to paste contents into post] Hello I need some math help, I think. Just found/joined your forum. I have been taking Effexor XR for about 8 years [1 - 150mg/day], I really want to stop taking it for all sorts of reasons. My primary care doc supports me in this and we talked about it at my last appointment. He said one way was to start tapering by alternating doses; he gave me a script for 75 mg which I filled. For about five weeks I did the 150, 75, 150, etc dosage. Initially I had a few problems with sleeping, bad dreams, a little bit of anxiety but certainly not enough to be troublesome. The problems resolved in 2-3 weeks. My doc told me to keep stepping down when I felt comfortable with it; he said to let him know when I was ready for the final step down and he would give me a script for the 37.5 mg capsule. Last weekend I began the new regimen which was 150mg, 75mg, 75mg, 150mg, etc. It was way too much of a reduction--I had major symptoms compared to the earlier ones when I started the reduction with the 150, 75, etc. You have all had the symptoms probably so won't whine about them. I found your site and the info about the 10% taper and would like to start over -- or at least at the baseline where I was last week [assuming I do not have to completely start over]. I do understand that none of the capsules' contents should be mixed [e.g., I will keep the excess 150s with the 150s and the 75s with the 75s]. I am assuming that I acclimated to a 2 day intake of about 113mg/day [average]. Please tell me if this initial goal is not realistic. If it is realistic -- should I continue with a 10% reduction per pill and alternate that? Or should I just start over with a 10% on my base which is 150 mg which which would bring me down to 135 mg? Doing a drop on the alternating 2 pills would be 135 mg, 68.5 mg [or 203.5 mg total; average 101.75mg over the 2 days]; this latter number would be approximately 10% less than the 113 mg average/2 days I was taking, Thanks so much--I really appreciate your input! Pearl Effexor XR 150 mg - daily for about 8 years Effexor XR 150 mg, 75 mg, 150 mg, 75 mg [4 day regimen] adjusted to within about a week Effexor XR 150 mg, 75 mg, 75 mg, 150 mg [4 day regimen] - does not work! Pearl
  22. Hey guys! So every time I've tapered down a dose of Effexor xr (starting at 112.5), I notice for a day or so I get this feeling like i'm under water, or my ears have water in them. Or like they need to be popped-like i just drove up a mountain. Is this what is commonly known as the 'brain shivers' ? I hope I'm not the only one who this happens to. While it's annoying, it's tolerable. I get that, a migraine, a runny nose, and the feeling like i'm coming down with a cold at the end of the day. Physical symptoms actually don't bother me..i feel "lucky" that I haven't had any emotional side effects (yet cautiously optimistic) - I'm also on 20 mg of citalopram so that could be why too. Just seeing if the water in the ears thing sounds familiar to anyone or if this is a completely separate physical ailment. I just notice it's always within the first few days of my latest taper. Thanks in advance
  23. Hello Everyone Just introducing myself to you all. Im completely new to this kind of thing, so bear with my training wheels! Hope I've posted this in the right spot.... Hoping to find information, support, validation and shared experiences here. Have hit a seriously low point on my journey, and feeling (almost) ready to admit defeat. I would so appreciate any insights, experiences or information you can share. So far I have found the site very informative and a source of great comfort in a strange kind of way - it has certainly helped me feel a little less alone, and alot more validated. Here's a little about me and my Effexor XR/Seroquel NIGHTMARE. Cheers PoisonPills ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ Drugged with Prozac by mother/family doctor in 1984 aged 14 for being moody, emotional, angry and depressive. Never been the same. Decades of trialling on/off medications followed including Zoloft, Paxil, Lithium, Cipramil, Celexa, Lexapro, Seroquel and others to treat "anxiety/depression". None of which I tolerated. Significant memory loss from those years. Eventually lived medication free until events 9 years ago pushed me into severe anxiety/depression, and I returned to ADs. Big mistake. Have spent the last 8 years in the care (and I use that term loosely) of a psychiatrist who prescribed Effexor XR (doses ranging from 37.5mg to 300mg) with Seroquel (doses ranging from 25mg to 500mg) as a stabiliser. He routinely raised/lowered large dosages causing significant and incapacitating side effects - although often delayed - and therefore dismissed by psychiatrist as "imagination". I did have some improvement for a while. But as time progressed, I began to decline significantly; experience symptoms more intensely; and developed additional features/characteristics over the years including speech disruption (ie forgetting words/what Im saying literally mid-sentence); an electrical brain zap sensation; suicidal feelings; severe panic/anxiety/agorophobia/terror/dread; obsessiveness; light/sound sensitivity; skin flushing and staying red; difficulty regulating/controlling internal body temperature (sweats/shivers); complete inability to cope with stress/change/low resilience; spontaneous uncontrollable rage; paranoia; fantasising; excessive and spontaneous crying episodes; mood swings; tics/twitches; extreme fatigue; inability to function in daily life; food sensitivities; digestive/absorption problems; shocking sleep disturbance/nightmares and mania. It wasn't until I started researching and looking for my own answers that the "picture" of my collective symptoms and their causes began to emerge. The psychiatrist treating me later admitted he thought I was "faking" in order to get disability, and added that he thought I was too "open to suggestion" and being "influenced" by what I was reading/researching on the subject. He rubbished all the information I brought to him. When openly confronted with my extreme level of decline under his care, he nonchalantly replied, "I don't have all the answers". No longer being treated by said psychiatrist. To this day, I STILL have no clear diagnosis; or reason as to why I was drugged so extensively (or so long). When pressured, psychiatrist stated I had a vague "anxiety/depressive" illness with only some features of "personality disorder" and "bipolar disorder" due to mania/mood swings (which, incidentally, I never experienced prior to being drugged with SSRI's). My life has been utterly decimated by this experience. I remain unable to function in daily life, or maintain relationships, let alone work. I am literally staring down the barrel of homelessness at present. My medical team has utterly failed me, and I despair at the lack of local sources of support who will validate my experience. TAPERING HISTORY Began reducing Effexor from 225mg mid 2013. Got Effexor down to 75mg. Seroquel down to 25mg without much difficulty. Tapered in 75mg intervals over 4-8 weeks with a few uncomfortable but manageable side effects. Then reduced Effexor dosage to 37.5mg and held for 3 weeks, with problems emerging. Forced to "cold turkey" due to financial reasons. Hit with shocking (some instant/some delayed) discontinuation symptoms, and remain completely incapacitated. Its been 5 weeks since 11 February 2014. Symptoms include speech disruption; brain zap; suicidal feelings; panic/anxiety/agorophobia/terror/dread; obsessiveness; light/sound sensitivity; impaired ability to cope with stress/change; spontaneous uncontrollable rage; paranoia; fantasising; excessive and unexplainable crying episodes; mood swings; extreme fatigue; food sensitivities; digestive/absorption problems; shocking sleep disturbance/nightmares and mania. Seroquel now back up to between 100mg and 500mg a night due to anxiety and severe sleep disturbance. Recently commenced taking Organic Cold Pressed Flaxseed Oil; Magnesium (2000mg daily) and B Complex/Vitamin C but too early to tell if they are beneficial, although I have noticed significantly less muscle tension.
  24. Hi everyone -- I am so happy to have found this community! I had decided earlier in the week to go off my medications but thought that I could just space my doses out further & further apart.. ha. Well this afternoon my brain started zapping and I realized that I needed to do some serious research, and here I am. I started on antidepressants back in the mid 90s when I was a teenager because of severe anxiety and depression. First on Prozac for a few months, which I quit cold turkey because I was 16 and stupid, and then Paxil (40 mg) for about 4 years which I managed to ween myself off of. All I remember about the paxil is having intense brain zaps. I don't remember exactly how I managed to get off it, other than drinking lots of water. After going off the paxil I became housebound with agoraphobia. My doctor sent me free samples of Effexor XR to start taking and I recall it having an almost immidiate effect. It really did work well for a few years, but I had to keep increasing my dosage until I was taking 450mg/day. This is great if you enjoy sleeping and not having any emotions whatsoever. I began to taper down about 4 years ago, and am currently at 150mg/day. I did get to 75mg/day but tapered directly from 150mg to 75mg and ended up with severe withdrawal symptoms so I went back up to 150mg. This was in 2010. In 2011 my pharmacy switched me from the brand name Effexor XR to Nova-Valefexine, and then to Teva-Valefexie which did not work, at all. I ended up in severe withdrawal and was almost hospitalized after attempting suicide. I started back on brand name Effexor XR this past spring but have never been able to get back to where I was before. My anxiety and depression are so bad that I don't think it matters whether or not I'm on medication. I'm also taking 15mg/day of Buspar and am going to maintain that dosage while I taper off Effexor. I am under medical care, and am going to be starting with a new psychologist next Friday. I'm also going to try exercise/yoga/walking/meditation and Dialectical Behavioral Therapy instead of taking medication. The thought of getting of medication is actually raising my spirits, because I believe that a lot of my symptoms (apathy, nausea, hot flashes, headaches, vision problems) are caused from the medication. To start my taper today I took 50 pellets out of my 150mg Effexor capsule. I watched the video in which 109 pellets were taken out, but decided that I would rather so a slower taper. I will stay at this level for one full month. If my math is correct, this makes my current dosage 137.5 mg, down 13.5 mg (if each pellet = .275) I have brain fog today because I delayed my effexor by 3 hours, but hopefully after a few days of this dosage I will feel better. I will keep you informed and would appreciate any input or suggestions from the community! Thanks so much!
  25. I began using Effexor XR after a life crisis. I needed help at the time. I wanted to stop the drug several times over the last 16 years, but was told by one medical professional after another that this was a "good" drug for me. I survived a serious illness as a child and the Effexor was supposedly helping with symptoms. In May of 2012, I made up my mind, found this site and heeded the advice about the 10% drops. It was so difficult for me to count out the balls that I went the route of the compounding pharmacist. My first reductions were fine. I noticed after 3-4 days I would have a temper outbreak- just one and yell at the cat or traffic. That was it. I felt so much better- I was like a new person. My hearing got better, my taste sensations improved- weird things. I was more energetic and focused. Since I already had the 37.5 XR capsules, in November 2012, I decided to stay on that dose for 90 days. Everything was going so smoothly. At the end of January, I got the flu. I couldn't quite get over it and 3 weeks later got it again. Then the strep throat followed and and horrible fungal infection. If I had my thinking cap on, I would have waited to continue doing my declining steps- but no- I was on a mission. When it seemed I wasn't getting well, I went to the doctor. This was the end of June 2013. I was having nightmares, sweating at night profusely, shaking, riddled with anxiety and having gastro problems. I never connected it with the blasted Effexor. I'm currently back up to 15mgs. for 90 days with the intent of merging in the 7.5mgs. My nutritionist suggested I used NeuroScience Excita Plus to help with the side effects. (They diminished greatly after going back up but came back after 2-3 weeks). I'm not sure if this is helping- perhaps to some degree. I've been through so much stuff, physically. Honestly, this is the worst thing I have ever confronted, next to a broken leg that I had to live with for 6 months! Because of my condition, I also take clonazepam. At one point in the reductions, I had to cut it back because I couldn't stay awake during the day. That was a rough 6 weeks, making a minor adjustment with that. This site has encouraged me. Knowing I'm not the only one dealing with these problems is a huge help. My biggest worry is that it will take much longer than I expected to get off this cursed drug. I've heard of someone that is trying to get off another antidepressant and it's been taking them 2 years. Does anyone know why getting down the end is when all the stuff hits the fan? Any recommendations about merging in my 7.5 mgs. with the 15 mg. The doc said start with 1 a week and increase from there. Newtonsmom
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