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  1. Hi, I'm new to this forum, but I have been reading a lot of the posts about tapering off of Effexor XR and counting beads, etc. I ordered a digital scale to weigh out the contents of the extended release. Each 75mg capsule's contents weigh 190mg. I confirmed this by weighing multiple capsules. This is because the actual medicine is in a time-released coating which adds to the weight of the beads. I decided to do a 5mg reduction per week, which is equal to approximately 12.66mg by weight of Effexor granules (emptied from the capsule). Counting beads is useless because the individual beads vary in weight, therefore some 75mg capsules may contain more, some less, but they will all weigh 190mg. Here's what my taper will look like: Current prescribed dose x 18 years - Effexor XR 75mg daily Week 1: 70mg Effexor XR daily for 7 days (70 milliequivalents of Effexor XR = 178mg by weight on my scale) Week 2: 65mg Effexor XR daily for 7 days (65 milliequivalents of Effexor XR = 165mg by weight) Week 3: 60mg Effexor XR dialy for 7 days (60 milliequivalents of Effexor XR = 153mg by weight) Week 4: 55mg Effexor XR daily for 7 days (55 milliequivalents of Effexor XR = 140mg by weight) Week 5: 50mg Effexor XR daily for 7 days (50 milliequivalents of Effexor XR = 128mg by weight) Week 6: 45mg Effexor XR daily for 7 days (45 milliequivalents of Effexor XR = 115mg by weight) Week 7: 40mg Effexor XR daily for 7 days (40 milliequivalents of Effexor XR = 103mg by weight) Week 8: 35mg Effexor XR daily for 7 days (35 milliequivalents of Effexor XR = 90mg by weight) Week 9: 30mg Effexor XR daily for 7 days (30 milliequivalents of Effexor XR = 78mg by weight) Week 10: 25mg Effexor XR daily for 7 days (25 milliequivalents of Effexor XR = 65mg by weight) Week 11: 20mg Effexor XR daily for 7 days (20 milliequivalents of Effexor XR = 53mg by weight) Week 12: 15mg Effexor XR daily for 7 days (15 milliequivalents of Effexor XR = 40mg by weight) Week 13: 10mg Effexor XR daily for 7 days (10 milliequivalents of Effexor XR = 28mg by weight) Week 14: 5mg Effexor XR daily for 7 days (5 milliequivalents of Effexor XR = 15mg by weight) Note: There is some rounding error because 5mg of Effexor XR beads weigh approx 12.66mg I know some have done it faster, and some slower. I have tried unsuccessfully to get off of this medication several times and could not endure the terrible withdrawal symptoms, even with a Prozac bridge. I've proposed this taper to my physician so we can be onboard with this together. I will update with how it goes!
  2. Hi fellow victims, I have now been off Effexor (and all antidepressants) for 10 months, although I do OCCASIONALLY take Ativan to relieve me of my sheer panic and anxiety. Let me tell you my story: I have been taking antidepressants on and off for 21 years (since age 18). I went on it for debilitating depression and self hatred. The meds worked. I definitely felt better. However, over the years, each antidepressant would lose its effectiveness, sending me to the doctor to get a new one to try. The one I went on that worked the best was Effexor. I started at the lowest dose, 37.5 mg after suffering severe post partum depression. The Effexor was a life saver, or so I thought. I did not have the dark cloud handing over me, was not as anxious, and enjoyed life for a while. Fast forward five years. Now I felt withdrawn from my family, an outsider. I had extreme irritation, couldn't stand my kids touching me or sounds. I blew my lid around my family when the stress level got too high. It is at this point that I decided to eliminate antidepressants from my life. I tried and was off them for a couple months and could NOT deal with life. Back on again. Only this time, I started to do research, learning about withdrawal from Effexor from people who have experienced it, not doctors who prescribed it. I read some heart wrenching blogs and realized that this would be a commitment of at least a year. I armed myself with amino acids and vitamins, ate serotonin boosting foods, eliminated my beloved coffee, and got more exercise. I did EVERYTHING I could possibly do to succeed in withdrawal this time. Well it's been 10 months. Let me recap what it has been like. The physical withdrawal symptoms, although they seemed bad, were nothing compared to the emotional. I got the dizziness and uncontrollable crying for a few months. Then, I started realizing what the waves and windows were. Waves-bad times, windows, not so bad. My research told me that eventually the waves would be shorter, less intense, and less frequent. And so it seemed. I tracked my waves on a calendar and at one time they were coming every few days ( 4-5 days of wave, then two days of window), then they were every couple of weeks. I thought I had turned a corner. It was around month 5 off meds that I felt that maybe I could conquer this. However, I DID have a few angry moments when I totally scared my three children and felt like I went off the deep end during this time. Then January hit, the SADD months. I got my next "phase" of withdrawal: intrusive thoughts. Dark, awful, debilitating thoughts that made me want to crawl into a hole and die. I ALMOST went back on meds, but persevered thinking I only needed to get through the SADD months. During this time I also developed severe social anxiety, and I no longer hang out in groups and rarely hang out with anyone except my husband and children even now. Now I am in a new "phase" of extreme agitation, super low self esteem, and self hatred. I have begun cutting myself and punching myself when I am angry at myself for "losing it" with my family. My stomach currently looks like a bruised mess of red hash tags. My self esteem is zilch and I am paranoid that everyone hates me and/or is talking about me. I feel I keep encountering new phases of this debilitating withdrawal. I don't know if this will ever end. I am at the point where I sometimes think suicidal thoughts because it is too tough to live like this. I cry all the time and analyze every feeling I have. When I get mad at my kids and my blood is boiling, I retreat to the bathroom to self harm. My husband is supportive but even HE doesn't know what to do anymore. I DO NOT want to go back on medication. I truly feel it was the meds that made me this way in the first place. If anyone could offer some advice, some hope, I'd appreciate it. Thank you all for reading.
  3. Hello everyone, I need your help regarding issues of reinstatement. In the following text I will do my best to introduce myself to you and to summarize my story as good as possible. I am a 26 year master student from Sweden who was on effexor for almost 2 years. During the first year I was on 75 mg, the second year 37,5 mg. After realizing that Effexor only made me feel worse I decided to stop taking it. I spoke to my physician about it and she suggested that I taper down for 2-3 weeks. I ended up tapering for 4 weeks and I was actually feeling better during the whole taper. The good feeling lasted for something like two weeks and then the withdrawals hit me. Brain fog, blurred vision, tiredness, etc.. I managed to hold out for one month and then I decided to reinstate 12,5 mg, which was the dose I was on before stopping completely. The withdrawals were still there but they were much milder so I decided to slowly taper down for 2 months to 4,5 mg. Once again I was feeling relatively OK at the lowest dose but once I stopped the withdrawals hit me really bad again. After one month with bad withdrawals they almost suddenly stopped. I woke up one day and I was feeling relatively OK, the withdrawals were still there but much much more mangaeable. I was still feeling a bit depressed (one of the main withdrawal symtoms) so in new years I decided that I could blunt my emotions with 1-2 glasses of champagne (I was at a big party with a lot of friends). I was still feeling ok for something like 2 weeks, and then the withdrawals slowly started to come back. It is has now been 4,5 months since the last dose of effexor and ever since the withdrawals came back the second time, I have only gotten worse every month. My vision is severly impaired/blurred and I suffer a monumental brain fog - together these symtoms has made it impossible for me to work or go outside. I almost feel disabled and I am on the sick list since 3 months now. I now turn to you for advice on how I should proceed. I have seriously considered to reinstate a low dose to stabilize again. I strongly believe that the glasses of champagne I had in New Year made things worse for me - I have heard similar things from other people in a FB group that I am member of. You who have similar experience with effexor/SSRI, what do you think I should to? Should I wait a little bit longer to see if things turn around by itself or should I reinstate? I know that I will have to make the final decision but I want to know what you think, from what I told you? Thank you so much in advance, big hug from Sweden // Imad
  4. 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.
  5. Greetings everyone. My heart goes out to all of you suffering with this stuff. I'm a 37 year old American man living in Northern Germany and have been taking Effexor XR 225mg for about 10 years. I married a German girl who passed away from Cancer a year ago leaving me and our 2.5 year old son. In my early twenties, I spent 4 years serving in the Marine Corps and started noticing I had mood swings that effected my ability to do the job on a daily basis. I remember having this horrible feeling in my chest like I was on the verge of having a heart attack. I felt really out of balance and could barely perform my job. I was crying alot and had all the typical symptoms of depression. I saw a psychiatrist who prescribed Zoloft but I quickly rejected (less than a week) it after feeling how nasty it made me feel and the immediate dampening of my libido. So I finished my service contract feeling generally unbalanced and anxious. I was eventually prescribed Effexor XR 225mg. At the time, I had no idea what I was getting into. It did actually rid me of anxiety but at the cost of my precious libido, emotional dulling, personality changing, etc. I could not, and still cannot feel romantic gratification as normal. I tried many times (4 or 5) early on to withdraw ( always way too fast ) and it always ended with severe symptoms and full reinstatement. I have lost ten good years to this damn drug. So now, I am 1.5 years into a taper and have managed to reduce to 50% of the original dosage (112.5mg). I take a 75mg generic form capsule each with 6 pellets inside. I split the pellets into four pieces and reduce by one of these 1/4th pieces (~3mg Venlafaxine). At the beginning of the taper, I was reducing by 3mg every week. I would feel brain fog and a bit of nausea for a couple of days and then return to "normal." I would halt the reductions when life required some stability. This seemed to work well enough for a long time. Then there came a point last year when the symptoms ramped up and it was clear they weren't going away. In retrospect, I think this may have been the catch up point of all the reductions. Out of desperation, I went to a local drug store and got some St. John's Wort. Here in Germany, they sell pharma grade St. Johns Wort in every corner drug store. I popped two (600mg) and in less than an hour felt that warm rush up the back of my head and my brain was once again online. I felt so good with the addition of the SJW and thought it may produce a "Prozac Bridge" type effect. I was too optimistic and tried doubling and even quadrupling the reduction amounts. This led to symptoms straight away. Then I hit a new low a month ago which led me to take another 300mg of SJW (total 900mg now) and an up dosing from 94mg to 112.5mg Effexor. To up dose, I simply added (1.5) 12mg pellets. This was too much of an increase and I felt agitation, restlessness and anxiety for a few days. Instead of holding and waiting to stabilize, I decided to reduce and or eliminate the SJW (big mistake). I endured 5 days in a mentally shut down zombie state before reinstating the SJW (900mg) which almost instantly returned my mood to "normal." Then today, I took the entire 900mg SJW together with the 112mg of Effexor first thing in the morning and it upset my stomach and my mood crashed while walking with my son early this afternoon. I had to call my in laws to immediately pick up my son and I went home and took a 300mg SJW which again provided relief. I think I need to space out the SJW and once I stabilize continue the reducing at a slower 3mg every two or three weeks instead of every week......
  6. Moved from Wishes19's topic: I stopped with Venlafaxine 8 months ago and I read your story as it was mine. I'm also desperate how to come of my brain zaps and dizziness.
  7. Hi everyone, Need some advice and support please. See medication history below: Citalopram 20mg approx 2008-2014 Diagnosed cancer April 2014 Swapped to venlafaxine June 2014 severe depression and anxiety Increased dosage up to 300mg extended release venlafaxine All clear cancer Jan 2015 Started withdrawing Feb 2015 did 37.5mg drops and was going well down to 37.5mg June 2016- went cold turkey from 37.5mg on GP recommendation Severe withdrawal Re instated after a week- got impatient, upped to 75mg Stabilised at 75mg after 2 weeks with some lingering head pressure, mild headaches, fatigue October 2016- reduced to 62.5mg. 6 weeks later in November hit by withdrawal symptoms. Re instated back to 75mg. Withdrawal eased within 2 weeks just mild lingering symptoms. January 2017- swapped from 75mg extended release capsules to standard release liquid 37.5mg twice a day. Got shaking, headaches, anxiety,. Psychiatrist said liquid didn't suit me so after 1.5 weeks switched back to 75mg capsules extended release once a day. Back on capsules now for 2 and a half weeks (Feb 2017). Still having awful symptoms. Massive pressure in head, ears, nose, eyes, shaky, crying, brain zaps. Feeling off balance. I'm confused as to why 2 and a half weeks after changing back to my extended release capsules I'm still feeling down and physically awful... am I going to get better? I'm so scared I won't re stabilise, I'm crying as I write this! Hope someone can help. X
  8. Hi everyone, I came across this site and felt like it might be a good place to find support in my battle with depression and antidepressant 'addiction'. I have had a long, complicated and troublesome history with antidepressants ever since I first started using them about 17 years ago, at the age of 16. I'm 33 now, and I today I am celebrating 9 months medication free! This is probably my 10th attempt at trying to come off medication and I am pretty certain this is the longest I have ever been off since I first started on them. I tried repeatedly over many years but would always last a few months, maybe six, and then realise I couldn't take the suffering any longer and end up going back on them. Then once I was back on them, I would realise I still didn't feel like they were helping me and so would begin tapering off them again. This process has been going on for about 16-17 years, until now. I have been seeing a counsellor for the past 18 months who has been invaluable in supporting my decision to come off antidepressants, but am still finding life very difficult at times. Even though it has been 9 months, when times get tough, I contemplate whether I should return to medication again. But I am determined to continue on hoping that things will eventually get better, which I think they, but only very slowly. I can relate to a lot of the withdrawals mentioned I have read on this site. I am familiar with headaches, night sweats, panic/anxiety attacks, chronic and generalised anxiety, hot flushes and many more. I really hope that this attempt and trying to live a life without antidepressants is the right thing to do, even though it feels extremely painful pretty much every day, and always feel like giving up. Any support would be much appreciated. I hope I can contribute to this forum.
  9. Was on effexor since October 2007. Finally had enough and after much research (I quit Paxil cold turkey when I was a teenager and remember vividly the suffering) I bought a case of fish oil and began tapering as slow as possible. I was up to 150mg so I started removing 5 beads out per pill ( these had 150 in them) until I got down to 75 mg. Not one withdrawal symptom occurred so once I got down to 75 I only stayed on that for a week before continuing to drop at the same rate. Once I got to 37.5 I kept going but about three days later I had a complete crying meltdown and went back up to 37.5 for two weeks to rest. The 37.5 pills had about 60 beads in them but I still only took out 5 more each day. No issues, no symptoms. Last night was my first night without taking any and today I have the familiar dizziness I'd get if I forgot to take my pill the night before. I did just get diagnosed with pneumonia which may be making it worse but because I'm in such rough medical shape right now I'm wondering how long might the acute dizziness last?
  10. Hi there, I'm so glad I found this forum and would appreciate any advice on tapering off zyprexa. I've been on this medication for about 4 months. I'm also taking Effexor. I had a serve depression coupled with anxiety and I was given zyprexa for insomnia. My psychiatrist told me that unlike benzodiazepine that it was non addictive. Although, recently he has been has been tapering me off the zyprexa. I was taking 10mgs at one point and then reduced to 7.5mgs, after a few weeks to 5mgs, then 2.5, with no significant withdrawal symptoms. After being on 2.5 for a couple of weeks I was again reduced to 1.25. I was taking that dose and not noticing symptoms for a few days. Then I went to my psychologist, who said it was such a small dose and as I could sleep at night, I could probably stop. I did, because the zyprexa made me drowsy in the morning and I keep on having rosacea flare ups while on it. I felt great for 2 days, just like my old self. Then suddenly on the third day I felt like I was getting the flu. Lots of feeling hot, sweaty and clammy with headaches. The next day I had intense anxiety. I figured it must be something to do with the sudden stopping of zyprexa. I phoned the hospital (I had been an inpatient for 2 and half weeks while meds were adjusted) and they told me to take 2.5 again (which I've been doing for 5 days) and make an appointment with my psychiatrist. I will see him in a few days. His plan was to have me on 1.25 for 1-2 months and then he said I could come off and wouldn't notice anything. Since I've started on the 2.5 dose, I wake up drowsy, feeling depressed and have anxiety and a general nervousness through out the day. I hope this will improve. I don't like zyprexa. It is very drying for my skin and aggravates my rosacea. I've experienced tinnitus and I feel zombie like when I wake up. It takes the best part of the morning to feel awake. I'm able to sleep on the low doses and even when I wasn't taking it for a few days. So the initial reason for taking it is no longer valid. But I'm stuck with a dependency. After taking zyprexa and Effexor I have no interest with the things I used to enjoy. I don't feel the sense of being happy to be alive, I just struggle through each day. My psychiatrist will probably say to cut the zyprexa and stay on the 1.25 for a month or two. But wondering if this will work after reading other posts. 1.25 to nothing might still give me those awful withdrawal symptoms. Has anyone any advice? Btw I'm on 225mgs of Effexor, which I take in the morning. I understand that's a really tough one to come off too. My psyc said I would be on it for another year and reducing the dose during that time. Thanks in advance. LucyG
  11. I am really scared and confused; because I don´t know what to believe,am I in protracted withdrawal or relapse? Besides my aprehensivness, my phyisical symptoms are: ANXIETY,opression in my solar plexus, tiredness, diharrea, lack of apetite, due to anxiety, disrupted sleep, flu-like sensation, powerfull emotions, (neuro-emotions?) I think I´m producing a lot of cortisol, is it because temporary brain damage? Phosphatydilserine can help? I don´t have an exact record, but my last dose of Effexor was around July 26th, August and Sptember were awful, October was quite good, and this month bad again; maybe, maybe nuero sensations had lessen also anxiety but I´m getting disrupted sleep, worse. Profesionals tell me to start with ssri again; I feel trapped, in a dead end, very very scared. Please help me, tell I´m not going crazy. I´m also under a lot of pressure due to money problems; is this a triggering issue? I´m in dispair.
  12. Hello everyone! I'm finally taking the time to write my introduction after procrastinating for a few months. I really don't know how much detail I should put into this intro, there's been so much going on in my personal life the last few years that inevitably has affected my well-being in some way, but I will try to stick to the most significant events that I believe are interesting to the users of this forum. I am almost 30 years old today and I have suffered from depression and panic attacks since around the age of 17. I was in college between 20 and 24 going for a Bsc in Computer Science. During this time my depression never really improved nor did it get much worse. I didn't exactly perform well in school(except in programming courses) but somehow I managed to push through and get my first job as a software engineering consultant. Being a decent programmer(as it was also my hobby) I never really thought that work would be the challenge it turned out to be. When finally being put to the test in a real-life job situation I quickly realized that I was severely lacking in confidence. When receiving instructions for some problem to solve I would often just obsess about messing up and ended up getting nowhere. Also, in the more leisured situations I couldn't keep up at all with my quick-witted colleagues, so I quickly became the company recluse. This situation kept on for about 3 quarters of a year and pushed me into a deep depression. Earlier in life I had been offered anti-depressants multiple times and turned them down, but now I felt as if I had no other option, so I agreed to try Venlafaxine(Effexor) (and yes, the psychiatrist endorsed them as a new, effective, safe AD). I quit my job for one at a smaller company and pretty soon I felt the meds starting to work. Around this time I started turning into a completely different person - partially someone that I wanted to become. Things went fairly well during this time. Work was ok. I was much more active in my social life(I also drank too much, though). I had much more projects going on in my personal life. On the down-side, however, I also became more reckless and about a year after starting Effexor I ended up getting a girl pregnant who I barely knew at the time. Fun-time was over. The next few months revolved almost completely around worrying, arguing, fighting and loosing sleep over the whole pregnancy situation. She wanted to keep the child and I didn't. Fast-forward to August 2013 and my son is born. Against all odds we decided to stick together and give parenting together a shot. Soon after he is born I start getting worried about my perceived lack of affection towards my son. I knew that I loved him, I just couldn't really feel it. I had noticed this regarding feelings for other people or things during my time on Effexor earlier, but it didn't really bother me then. I had also noticed that my memory was getting worse. Returning at work after the weekend I could look at work that I knew that I had done the week before and not recognize it at all, or see notes in my handwriting on the computer screen that I couldn't remember writing. Doing a few searches on google on “Effexor” and “Memory” was convincing enough to consider quitting. Other than that, I just wasn't feeling well. I felt like Effexor was adding to my stress and causing heart intense palpitations even when I was sleeping. In March 2014 I took my last dose of Effexor. I didn't really go cold-turkey but the taper was very steep. If I remember correctly I might have dropped down from 150mg to 75mg and stayed there for a week or two before taking 75mg every other day for a week at most. This wasn't exactly as prescribed by my doctor, but not far from it. I think I was supposed to carry on with the every-other-day dose a couple of weeks more, but that's it. Now, the immediate time after quitting was so turbulent with fighting at home and stress at work that I really don't know which feelings to attribute to what, but I wouldn't say that I suffered from acute w/d from Effexor given the severity of other peoples accounts that I have read. What happened instead was that I slowly got worse and each new symptom that showed up was weirder than anything I had felt before. Within a year I had started to experience a lot of symptoms, and just to name a few: Pressure and strange sensations in head, and over my face My vision was off. In particular, focusing on objects far away felt strenuous and weird Panic attacks that where different from any I've had before Extreme tiredness and fatigue Insomnia / shallow sleep Severe derealization/depersonalization Cognitive issues(lack of concentration and poor memory) Intense feelings of confusion that are hard to explain and unlike anything I've ever had before Zero stress-tolerance I assumed at the time that all of this was the result of poor sleep and the sometimes very stressful situation at home. I had repressed a lot of anger during this time. I tried my very best to keep up at work, but just over a year after quitting Effexor I had to stop working. I live in Sweden, so I could get paid sick leave for depression. (This is something I know I shouldn't take for granted, and how some people out there have managed to pull through this while still working is a mystery to me. You guys are amazing). Just starting sick leave I thought I would do myself a favor and quit my nicotine habit (I used snus which is a smokeless yet very strong nicotine habit). I had quit before, many years earlier, only to pick it up again (yes, while on Effexor). My previous quit was pretty typical - very tough but completely doable with some discipline and intense exorcise. This time would be nothing like that. Aside from the first few weeks of nicotine craving misery, this was nothing like my previous quit. A few weeks into my quit, I was in the worst mental agony I had been in my entire life, by far. Forget not being able to work, every second of the day was so painful I couldn't focus on anything else but enduring the situation. At this time I had still not heard about protracted w/d from antidepressants but I strongly suspected that this condition was somehow related to my previous AD use. I started thinking that maybe my nicotine use had reduced the severity of coming off Effexor, and that it all came at once now. I still suffer from these feelings, 7 months later, but it is SO much better. A few months after this I also quit coffee. Once again I get a severe reaction to something I had done earlier in my life with only a few days of manageable discomfort. I started having panic attacks, my body started to feel like lead and of course my depression worsened again. One good thing did come out of it though – I was finally able to sleep. I fall asleep pretty much the instant my head lands on my pillow now. So here I am, almost 2 years since I took my last Effexor. I recently became aware of protracted w/d after googling my symptoms and I instantly felt that more or less everything that had been going on with me the last few years got an explanation. I have some of my worst days in recent memory but I also think that quitting nicotine and coffee finally put me on the right course for proper healing. Today I'm not in that much pain, I just feel very sensitive to everything. Also my mind feels dull and shallow in some way and I can't really engage in problem solving or programming as I used to. I hope that at least some of the cognitive difficulties are still from nicotine w/d though. I should wrap this up. I'm so glad I found this site, without it and without the acknowledgement of protracted w/d around the web I'm 100% certain that I would still be in the dark, probably heading even deeper into careless medication. I hope to find people in situations similar to mine who are heading towards recovery and in particular I hope to find people who have been on Effexor. Finding success-stories for recovering from this drug seems hard in particular especially when it comes to regaining cognitive abilities. I wish you all full recovery!
  13. I am new here and very grateful for the person that created this forum and the volunteers that manage it!! After being on Effexor XR (Venlafaxine, actually)150 mg over 10+ years, I have gotten myself down to 37.5mg XR a day and now it seems I'm going to have trouble getting past that drop! Brain Zaps, agitation, rage, malaise, you all know the story. I tried to do the 'counting the beads' thing to continue but I had a lot of trouble (beads, velvet, knife).......maybe my MS just is not letting me be very coordinated. Anyway, if anyone here has been able to find an easier way of tapering, i.e. suspension, applesauce, PLEASE share with this old woman!! I have put myself on Omega-3 Fish Oil (1000 mg) a day and it has helped but I suspect you all have better ideas. I don't feel I can get much info from my Internist as he told me he's never had ANYONE have a withdrawal problem from Effexor. So, I'm turning to you, the people who either lived through this or are going through this at present. Any 37.5mg XR taper advice to share? Thank you all, in advance. Ree
  14. Hello all, I decided to create an account after finding this site through google. I've filled my signature with my withdrawal history, but i'll expand a bit more: Roughly 10 years ago ran into problematic anxiety to the point of being unable to function normally, was diagnosed with GAD, was resisting taking meds for a very long time, but eventually gave in and started on Effexor 37.5mg and quickly up to 75mg. This helped me to function normally and work on my problems through various kinds of therapy. Due to the persistent side-effects that i experienced, i had a continued wish to come off the meds, especially since i was feeling better. Tried this once under the bad advice of a GP, 1st month 37.5 and then next month quit. Turns out, stopping this fast is an amazing way to experience the worse anxiety i ever experienced. I didn't know better and upon advice of my doc, started taking the meds again, and soon enough, i felt better and could function normally again. Eventually upping the dosage to 150mg because i was was going through a bad time. Fast forward to 2016, my life was in order, bought a house, had a happy relationship and there was still this nagging feeling of quitting these medications. So i spoke to my psychiatrist and said i wanted to taper down. She was very understanding, said she had seen several other successfully taper off using custom tapering strips supplied by a Dutch pharmacy. I chose the slowest option and during this tapering process of 4 - 6 months i was doing well. I finally finished the last tapering strip in november 2016 and was still doing good. Come end of December 2016, and a lot of stress had been piling up and i found myself waking up to uncontrollable shaking in the middle of the night. Over the course of the last weeks several more symptoms showed their face, mostly insomnia, restlessness and anxiety/panic. I had two weeks of doing a lot better again and the past few days I've been feeling like i'm getting a lot worse. Now, these symptoms are clearly those of a overstimulated nervous system, but the question i came here to ask, is: How likely is it these are from delayed withdrawal from the Effexor or actually from my GAD. I'm more than open to any tips and further questions. Martin.
  15. Snake

    Snake: Effexor

    So hello everyone. This is my first post here and i really need some help. First off all excuse me if i have poor english, its not my native language. So yeah, i've been experiencing serious obsessive thoughts after quitting effexor after using one and a half year. I really really need some help, as its turns my life into living hell. Dont get me wrong, i had those obsessive thoughts before using any drugs but it WAS managable, to a degree at least. After some serious personal issues with family plus girlfriend problems, went to a doctor and started to use this drug. For a year and half, life literally changed for me, i wasnt caring bad things that much, there were no thoughts that blocking me from living, from being at the moment. Look, i have different parts of my life, and i act different in those parts. I act different ( serious as hell) to my girlfriend, act different (even more serious) to family, act different (bit loose, more relaxed) in school or to friends. Its like i am a different person in those aspects of my life but the problem is, my obsessive thoughts are usually towards people. I want to see myself as respectable, i want people to pay attention to their words when talking to me if we are not that chummy. I wasn't that much nervous when i was using the pill but now, i feel insecure, it's like my self confidence has melted away. I was confident much more before using it. I feel threatened when some guy stares at me longer than usual, i keep thinking about it, fighting thoughts crosses my mind, if the person seems to be stronger than me, i tend to think more and more. Then i'm filled with self reproach for not making things i am supposed to do. Asking myself the questions; " Why didn't i said something back, Why cant i do this? Am i coward? " Or if a person crosses the line even by asking how am i, but in a derisive way, like we are that close to each other, i obsess it again.I just answer it like nothing happened but i obsess it later. " Who is he to talk to me like that? Does he see me like im nothing? " I feel derided when that happens. ( Happened once but still ) I can't enjoy my time because of these thoughts, when having a dinner it crosses my mind and bam. Dinner over, starting to think, starting to rationalize to feel better. I keep saying to myself all of these thoughts are actually way worse than already is. Yet i feel it doesn't suit me. ." I'm the guy they respect, if they say or do something to me they should know something is coming at them, if hostile " This is me. Not the coward after quiting effexor. I know IT WILL sound silly to most to you. I definitely dont want to fight anyone, not verbally not physically. I dont have the energy for it, and i dont want to deal with it. Although i show respect to everyone, weigh my words before i speak to any person out there, i dont see the same effort towards me, i feel upset. And the worst part is, i look really confident in my girlfriend's eyes, i act confident yet when i do something contradicts who am i to what she knows, i really feel bad. She'd be really surprised if she'd know these things. Nevertheles she doesnt, to her eyes, i'm the man no one can acts however they want to him. If they would, they will get their answer. However the reality is little bit away from that. Is my personality going down? I really dont want to go back to using that drug again. That first week after i quit was really hell on earth. I hope i will feel the same as i was using the drug. Those thoughts must go away. And oh, little minor thing. I think much more about suiciding. To sum it up: -Melting self confidence -Anxiety like problems -More depressive attitude -Being obsessive about people's behaviours -Self judging a lot -Suicide thoughts -Feeling insecurity
  16. If you or a loved one had a child with a birth defect after taking antidepressants during pregnancy and you are willing to be interviewed about your experience, PM me and we'll talk. I am a free-lance writer specializing in medical harm.
  17. Sami


    Hello, I am new on here. I have been off of 2 drugs, Lexapro and Venlafaxine. I tell you it's been a crappy January. Just to give you a brief history, I started weaning off of Lexapro last summer and was having bad withdrawal effects, severe dizziness, vomiting, etc. At the time I was on 5 mgs. I am seeing a nurse practitioner at a psychiatrists office, never saw the doctor. She had me on a roller coaster ride, going on and coming back off cold turkey and the intention October she took me off of Lexapro and put me on Venlafaxine 37.5 mg to get me off of Lexapro. We again tried the weaning process, experienced the withdrawal same. I was told that I am the only person she has treated who is having this much hard time! I have been off of the Venlafaxine since January 3. It's been 25 days so far, I am taking it moment by moment. While I was on Venlafaxine, I lost about 3 to 4 lbs. When I got off, I gained it back, but my appetite has soared and I am craving junk food. I am not used to eating alot of food, but I feel worse when I am hungry and I think my blood sugar levels drop. I start feeling dizzy and sick. I tend to feel more dizzy late afternoon. So my question is, does anyone have this side effect from the withdrawal process?
  18. So... Hi all... Where to start?! I guess first, I'd just like to say I'm glad I found this web site. You guys are all so supportive and fantastic. Although I know it on an intellectual level, it's always nice to have confirmation that I'm not totally gone in the head! For years, I was under the misapprehension that antidepressants were supposed to make me happier, so I changed meds and went on higher and higher doses in pursuit of that elusive happiness (fully enabled by doctors who probably didn't know much more than I did about the meds). I've never had much emotional resilience, even as a child and teen, before ADs screwed with my brain. In 2002(ish) I found out my birth mother (I was adopted as an infant) had paranoid schizophrenia, bipolar disorder, and lived in institutions or group homes for most of her adult life. So, yeah... yay for good genes, right? Below is a slightly longer/more explanatory version of my AD history than is found in my signature. I don't remember all the dates and dosages at this point, but you'll get the general idea. I was prescribed my first AD somewhere between 1990-1992. I just felt like I wasn't as happy a person as I "should" be, and was "down in the dumps" more than my friends were. I was in my early 20s. Wellbutrin was prescribed by a doc who didn't seem to wholeheartedly "believe in" depression. He also said it would help me quit smoking. (It didn't.) No improvement after about 6 months. I don't recall tapering, but don't recall any WD either. Disenchanted, so no subsequent ADs for a few years. Boy, don't I wish I'd just stopped there and lived with my disenchantment! 1996(ish) -- Tried Zoloft. No improvement after about 6 months. As with Wellbutrin, I don't remember tapering, but don't remember any WD either\1997/98(ish) -- Started Effexor. Started low (37.5mg?), and progressively moved higher since little or no improvement in symptoms. Topped out at the max of 150mg and stayed there for many, many years. This would prove to be the most effective AD I was on. Since it's an SNRI, I rather thought that my original issue might have been a norepinephrine problem. I don't know if that's relevant information for me today or not.... 2004 -- I had to quit Effexor cold turkey because I'd gotten divorced, lost my husband's health insurance (was a stay-at-home mom), my Rx ran out, and I had no money to visit doc for a new Rx. Wow, those 3 months after quitting were the WORST of my life. (I eventually contacted the drug company and confirmed for them that I was low-income so they could start sending me meds!) 2010 or 2011, I decided that I still wasn't "happy" enough and asked for a med switch. Started on Celexa (Citalopram). Stayed on it for a few years (mostly because I didn't feel like switching again), but it really didn't do much. I didn't shoot anybody, but I wasn't happy either. October 2014, went back to Zoloft on advice of a new doc who said it could work this time. In addition to being ineffective (still!), it also made me queasy and light-headed. Yuck. September 2015 -- Completely fed up with unhappiness (compounded by several negative life events and severe cash flow problems) and the uselessness of Zoloft. I decided I would switch back to Effexor since my mood was always best on that one, but I never got there... Instead, I looked into AD alternatives like meditation, supplements, support groups. Decided I'd wean myself off ADs using my final refill of Zoloft (not knowing about the 10% tapering "rule" at that point). I figured if I was gonna feel like crap anyway, I'd at least stop paying extra for it every month. September/October 2015 -- used my last 3 weeks' worth of Zoloft pills to wean off it. No idea what dosage the pills were, but... for one week I took 2/3 of a pill. The next week(ish), I took a 1/2 pill. The following week(ish) I took 1/3 pill. The final week(ish) I took 1/4 of a pill. After a few days Rx-free... BANG! Withdrawal symptoms from hell. (Although I didn't know it was withdrawal at the time. I thought it was just regular f***ed up me coming back.) Mood swings, crying, LOW LOW LOW frustration tolerance, sporadic severe irritability, anxiety, light-headedness, queasiness, headache, and the attention span of a gnat. I have since discovered that if I'm not being emotionally challenged in any way, I'm pretty stable -- not happy, but at least on an even keel. But as soon as something goes wrong (e.g. a bill coing due that I can't afford to pay, attitude from one of my teenage daughters, my dogs barking for 10 minutes straight because a neighbor walked by outside, even stubbing my toe), my temper flares like David Banner becoming the Hulk, and/or I just start bawling. Just that one stubbed toe or spilled cup of coffee (decaf!) that I can't handle sends me into a sh*tty mood for HOURS. So... aside from occasional light-headedness and nausea, if I could live in a vacuum, I'd probably be fine.... Anyway, after my final dose of Zoloft, I began taking a few supplements (Yes, I now know I shouldn't have started a bunch at the same time, but at least none of them are conglomerations of a bunch of things all in one pill!). Omega 3, magnesium citrate, chromium GTF, multivitamin, calcium w/ vitamin D3, SAM-e (which I subsequently stopped taking). I also started meditating, which I really think I like, especially using mindfulness to help shut down my racing brain as I try to fall asleep at night. [At the request of one of the moderators, what follows is a reposting of part of a post I made in a different forum here...] beginning of repost [[[...Anyone have thoughts on the book The Chemistry of Joy? If there's a thread on this already, just point me in the right direction. I like some of what it has to say, but it doesn't really address AD withdrawal symptoms or chronic depression brought on by long-term AD .use, so I'm not really sure how valid it is for someone like me whose brain is already screwed up from decades of AD use. I've also started meditating in an effort to calm my brain down. I think I might like it. =) I have read in many places that meditation can actually rewire your brain to behave more healthfully. I guess no matter what I try though (or consider trying), I always come back to the same conundrum.... My brain isn't normal anymore. So... meditation has been shown to have xyz beneficial effects on a normal brain... what about an AD-abused brain? And certain supplements have been shown to have xyz beneficial effects on a normal brain... what about an AD-abused brain? Is any of the advice and treatment ever going to be valid or viable for my altered brain? You can quit smoking, but your lungs are still black. You can quit drinking, but your liver's still shot. You can quit drugs/antidepressants, but your brain's still messed up. Does the brain recover? Should I consider going back on a low dose of Effexor (the most effective AD I was on over the years) just to help balance my moods, keep me on an even keel? (Or should it be Zoloft, since that was the one I was on most recently, even though it didn't do me any good?) ADs never made me a happier person per se, but they kept me from overreacting to everything in my life and wanting to choke everyone who annoyed me! For a LOT of years, I was on the max dose of 150 mg of Effexor. Might I benefit from a very small dose (37.5 mg or something like that)? I have NEVER had a doctor (for mental OR physical health) that I had 100% faith in, and I just don't have the money to go chasing the really highly respected mental health folks out there, whom I might actually HAVE a little faith in. I've always felt I had to do my own research, then take it to the doctor with me, since they are rarely up to date on the latest brain science, even the mental health providers. This turned into much more of a self-pitying rant than I had intended. If anyone can tease out the things I need answers to in all the angsty prose, I'd appreciate feedback. =) I hope some of it made sense. I know we're all in the same boat -- or at least on the same river -- but I still feel bad for vomitting all that on everyone's backseat. (Sorry for the mixed metaphor. LOL)]]] end of repost Aaaaannnnd... my brain's just full now. I'll wrap up this lengthy introduction. If any of you have managed to remain awake for the whole show, I welcome any insight, inspiration, or even commisseration. Be well all! =) Laurie
  19. Hello, to begin with I would like to apologise for my English - it's not my native lanuage. I found this site looking for some answers (on Polish sites you can't find anything sensible). I would be grateful for your advice and opinions. My story: One day in 1999 I started to feel panic (nothing happened that would cause this condition). I was 24/7 very anxious/panic for 6-7 months from that moment. I really don't know how I managed to survive this ( I was to affraid to commit suicide - I thought that there is no warranty that I won't feel panic after I'm dead - strange, I know). After few internists ( find a hobby, etc they said) I came to a neurologist, who did all lab tests (they were ok), prescribed xanax and sent to a psychiatrist. Psychiatrist gave me paroxetine - 20 mg. So I took it for 6-7 months without any improvement and after this time disease began to wane. I discontinuated the drug by myself and nothing happend for few months. The disease came back again and I was back on paroxetine, but this episode lasted for about 2-3 weeks. This time I stayed on paroxetine. From 2000 to 2010 (I think) I was on paroxetine 20 mg and episodes repeated about 5 times (every time for 2-3 weeks). I was taking paroxetine 40 mg than and after some months from episode I was coming back to 20 mg. About 2010/11 ( I don't remember when exactly) I was switched to venlafaxine XR 75 mg. I had no episode but psychiatrist thought it might help me with my libido problems. From 2010/11 I had some weeks with anxiety. 2014 - I had horrible episode that lasted about 2-3 months after my partner broke up with me. I was put on 150 mg of venlafaxine and 50-150 mg trazodone. 2014-2016 - I reduced the venlafaxine to 75 mg and stopped taking trazodone. And at the end on December I had another episode which lasts for now. I'm taking 150 mg venlafaxine and 100 mg trazodone. And there's my problem: I'v read about long term ssri use and I'm scared that my brain is damaged. I started to feel better lately but every time I think about tardive dysphoria and trd - anxiety and desperation come back. My psychiatrist told me that I hurt myself reading about it and it's not true. But I've seen surveys... Could you give me some advice? 1. I'm so scared right now that I think about tapering ssri. But I'm still during my episode - what's your advice? 2. Can I recover from almost 17 years ssri usage? Is my brain damaged? 3. Should I start CBT, supplementation, exercises now or when I'll start tapering. Or after tapering. What would be the best for my brain (I'm affraid that if I start now, there won't be anything left to do after my discontinuation. I will be grateful for any advice.
  20. Trisha

    Trisha: New here

    Hello everyone, I figured I'd introduce myself. I have been on effexor for quite awhile. I am going to slowly start to wean off of it starting next month. I have read so much bad about this medication. It doesn't help me, it just makes me not to feel emotions.
  21. I've never joined a forum before but I am not sure where else to turn. I am 26 years old and feel like I have dementia. I can barely remember things, skills that I have possessed for years seem foreign to me, I can barely concentrate at work and I can't read a book / retain information to save my life. I wasn't always like this but it seems like whenever I build up a tolerance to whatever meds I am on or try to get off of them completely this is what happens to my brain. I was once off of antidepressants for 9 months about 2 years ago and experienced the same thing. Eventually I couldn't take it anymore and got back on. This time I have been off for 5 months and am struggling deeply. I am wondering if my brain is irreversibly damaged by these drugs and if I'll ever be the same. I wish I had never started down this path. The first 3 years of being on meds were great and then I built up a tolerance. Since then it's been a good year here, 2 bad years there, that kind of pattern until now. I have vowed never to go back to antidepressants that clearly have altered the chemistry of my brain. I don't know how to function without them. I get headaches regularly from stress and can barely function at work. I am not living with my parents anymore so taking too much time off work isn't really an option. I am wondering if anyone else has experienced similar symptoms and more so recovery from these symptoms post antidepressants. Maybe it takes over a year, maybe longer? Is there more I can be doing? Engaging in activities that I enjoy and exercising helps my mood but not these strange dementia symptoms. I have an appointment with a Neurologist in about 2 1/2 months. Not really sure what else I can be doing until then. Not sure if there is more that could be done to speed up this healing process or give me the ability to focus better. Any feedback would be much appreciated.
  22. I have been on a few medications, but never tapered off any before (or not any that took this long). I have quit and that was that. This time I am tapering off Effexor XR, and while I wouldn't call it hell, it has at times been quite uncomfortable. I have a very good and patient psychiatrist in my corner, and she has put the brake on a few times, when I wanted to "get on with it". I have been on Effexor XR 375 mg since October 2009, with a diagnosis of Chronic Major Depression. Currently I Am also on Lithicarb 250 x 2, Valproate 500 mg x5, Dothep 100 mg, Aleoam 30 mg PRN, Stilnox 10 mg PRN - also various pain killers. I started tapering down about 7 months ago and I am down to 37.5. This last jump was probably a bit premature, but I want to get it over with. The plan is to get me on Valdoxin (a Melatonin derivate), to see if it will make me sleep long term. And I cannot wait, so I am pushing as much as I dare, but I have also read a lot about how hard it can be to take the last step. My most uncomfortable withdrawal symptom I'll call "the shakes" - it is an involuntary body shake, almost like a wet dog shaking itself, it comes in a series of about 5-7, and I often end up, unwittingly, moaning as well, because it presses the air out of the lungs. It scares the living daylight out of my dog, and is very uncomfortable. The shakes starts about 2 weeks into the new, lowered dosis and continues for a couple of weeks. Alepam seems to help, but nothing else, and I have made sure, not to lower the dosis, until they are well out of the way. I am not keen on the Alepam as support, as that will be another drug to get off. I have had vertigo, with light sensitivity and the feeling something was crawling on me. I have had serious mood dips, but not as bad as I expected, given my history with depression. Suicidal thoughts have been under control, something I had feared. The Dothep seems to be doing a great job. I am short of breath, and sweating (but it is also summer here). My other symptoms cannot clearly be associated with the reduction of Effexor, as I suffer from them regularly : Diarrhoea, Insomnia, Fatigue, Lack of motivation For 2017 : I am going to try the fish oil suggested on this site, and I am going to see a naturopath, to find out if some of my stomach problems are food related. And I going to get off Effexor !
  23. Hi.. I found this forum quite a while ago (the "Referred by" in my profile says I came across it while googling the word "enthusiastic", and noticed a topic on brain zaps, which were all too familiar, and got drawn in from there), and am finally returning for my very first intro post. A little background; the family doctor put me on Ritalin when I was about 8 years old, and then switched me to Paxil when I was 18. I suppose with Paxil being in the anti-depressant class, at the time I assumed it should have been helping with my depression - but it wasn't. I remember talking to a co-worker when I was about 22 who just started on Effexor and gave it praise, so I mentioned it to my doc and she made the switch. It didn't seem to help my depression, but it did really help to alleviate any cares or concerns for pretty much anything else.. I dubbed it the "I don't care" drug. Within another couple years we ended up adding Wellbutrin and Clonazepam to the mix - the former of which I didn't stay on too long, and the latter I ended up abusing. In the months leading to my 27th birthday my life had spiralled out of control, and I truly hit my own rock bottom. I won't go into all the gory details here, but one thing I knew above all else was that I absolutely needed to get off all the medication I was on and become someone I could be okay with, or I was going to end up dead. I had been tapering the Effexor for about two years (wish I could tell you the doses I was on, but that time of my life was a bit of a blur.. I thought I got up to 300mg, but from what I read online it looks like the max dose is 225?). It seemed like every time I finally got as low as I could go (37.5), I got to experience killer brain zaps from hell, and all the other wonderful withdrawal effects Effexor offers. And then I would go back up a bit, and try to come back down. It was hell. At one point, sometime around x-mas time in 2008, a friend suggested I try this lemonade-maple syrup-cayenne pepper cleanse with him (aka the "Master Cleanse"). This is also the time I stopped taking Effexor, cold turkey.... forgive me for not remembering details or reasons leading up to this decision, again that was a blurry period. I remember reading that Effexor metabolizes in the liver, and that this cleanse was supposed to help flush the liver, so I put the two together and decided this was it. I'm not going to say it was easy, and certainly not going to pretend it was smart, or condone it for others in any way. It was necessary - for me - at the time. I'm prepared to catch flack for going cold turkey as I did, as I have seen multiple warning on this forum to taper slowly. I can say that the normally brutal brain zaps were drastically less noticeable (I'm talking WAY better than when I was just trying to taper) I think maybe due to the cleanse, and so i kept on. And on.. and It's been nearly 8 years since I stopped taking Effexor. I come here today to seek collective experience and knowledge on the topic of long term after effects of Effexor. In the last couple years I feel I've been experiencing an impairment in my cognitive function, most noticeably my memory - short-term; long-term; conversations I had a week ago, and who I might have had them with; needing to do something and forgetting what that thing was minutes later; forgetting words, not normal tip-of-the-tongue forgetting, and as often as multiple times in a single conversation, I could go on.. And other things, where before I could pick up on new things almost instantly (sit me in front of the computer and I could learn a new program in hours), now I really struggle and find myself re-reading instructions dozens of times. Admittedly, even typing this, I'm really struggling with spelling words properly and going back many times to correct what my fingers couldn't properly pronounce. Talking to people is hard, personality expression and decision making is also really challenging. I've been unemployed for the last year (the economy in my city is really struggling and there are thousands of people being laid-off work all around me, making it even harder to find work), and all of the above is really impacting any confidence in myself to get back out there. At first I began to fear I was coming down with some abnormally crazy young form of Alzheimer's, of course everyone I confide in tells me that's absurd and not to worry. And then somehow the thought came to me that maybe Effexor somehow left a permanent mark on me, maybe even a degenerative one if I don't take action and do something about it. A few years ago a bike accident landed me on my left forehead, so there's that too.. I'm mostly trying to rule everything out and figure out what is wrong with me, and how I could possibly fix it. I started researching online and have found quite a bit of info regarding a co-relation between Effexor and memory loss BUT that seems to be a symptom for those who are currently taking it - I can't find much info from anyone who has stopped taking it for 5 or 10+ years and is experiencing prefrontal cortex dysfunction. Tonight I came across a topic on this forum where someone asked "Do you think I need to go back on Venlafaxine and taper down slowly to prevent lasting damage to my brain?" and am really curious about this. What kind of lasting brain damage is possible when someone doesn't taper off properly? And is there any way to reverse it? Thank you for reading, I appreciate any input you could offer. And please forgive the length of this post, I tried to keep it brief but have a tendency to ramble a bit..
  24. Hi! So glad I've found this forum, thank you! I started taking venfaxalin 37.5 just over a week ago, the idea was to help ease the hot flushes which have been waking me up non stop for three years. I'm completely exhausted - having ME doesn't help - and wanted to avoid hrt. The venfaxalin has not helped at all with the hot flushes, in fact last night it made them so bad it raised my blood pressure to a scary figure, plus I've been waking up with a headache every day, so no pluses from these pills at all. My question is how to best stop taking them? I counted 150 mini beads in one of the capsules and took 100 this morning and I've been ok so far. How quickly can I reduce the number of beads? I have read everywhere to go slowly and I do not want to experience those awful side effects. Any advice will be gratefully appreciated. Thanks!
  25. neverending13


    Hi all! I've been lurking for two years following a slow measured taper and really excelling until February '16 when I assumed my tapers had caught up with me and I was hit with anxiety and panic accompanied with nice muscle twitches, tremors and spasms. I'd awaken early with cortisol mornings, sweats and the other lovely physical symptoms of anxiety and panic. I, like many others, have never experienced these and mistook the panic attacks for anything I could find. Being a 48 year old female doctors and friends all want to blame this on menopause, but I know better and so do you. =) One endocrinologist thought sudden onset thryoiditis and I was hopeful of that because I'd tapered by the book. Sigh. Anyway in March I updosed by 15mg and got some some relief but not enough. After six weeks I added 5mg on April 15 and that seemed to do the trick until yesterday, back to panic and anxiety. The twitching and tremors did die down and dissipate over this time but I have also been visiting an acupuncturist and have been happy with my time there. The week before this second wave of anxiety set in, the twitching ramped up, my mood noticeably fell. I'm at 58.5 mg down from my original 150 mg and really felt great until panic hit me yesterday and I caved with an emergency benzo which I avoid at all costs. My question- updose again? 10mg? Or bring my dose to 75 to where approximately the occupancy rate for Effexor kicks in? I work in an elementary school and am due back next week and cannot be fighting panic and anxiety at the start of a new school year!
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