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  1. InChristAlone

    InChristAlone

    I was in Lexapro 10 and 20mg (mostly 10) for 15 years. I was put on it when I was 19 after going through a breakup with my high school girlfriend. Also , I have dealt with minor anxiety issues most of my life and have a family history of anxiety and depression. Everything was going ok until I herniated a disc in Jan 2018. What felt like a nervous breakdown ensued. My GP stopped Lexapro cold turkey and started me on Luvox and this made things worse. I cold turkey quit everything for a couple months and things continued to get worse. My GP then put me on Effexor 150mg and Klonopin 1mg twice daily. Things improved for a while. After 6 months, I decided to taper Klonopin because I had found this site and benzobuddies. I am down to 0.25 mg of Klonopin daily and still on Effexor. I am living a life of waves and windows now. I am a middle school teacher and coach. Thankfully, God has strengthened me enough to continue to work through this WD process.
  2. Pleasehelpme4

    Pleasehelpme4: New Here

    Hi everyone! Im really thankful I came across this support group. Although I wish I came across it sooner :/. Anyway here is a brief history: 150mg fluvoxamine for 5 yearsDoctor had me taper off in 1 monthExperienced WD and reinstated Fluvoxamine after 6 weeksTried to slowly taper over 7 months and ended up switching to Effexor 75mg xr. Now I am on 37.5mg xr of Effexor for 1 month with still experiencing severe Emotional numbness, anhedonia, and pain/pressure, and low sex drive. Please help... Idk if I should increase dosage/ switch medication until the WD symptoms go away and then slowly taper? What have yall found to be the best tactic? The WD symptoms that Im experiencing right now did not go away when I reinstated Fluvoxamine and got a little better when I switched to Effexor 75mg. I love you guys, keep up the great work!
  3. Hi I am new on this site. Firstly this site is very helpful and thank you all. Now I am in really bad situation and I need advice. This is my drug history: January 2012-April 2019 on Effexor 225 mg April-August 2019 I tapered Effexor to 150 mg August 2019 I did bridge with 20 mg Prozac and quit Effexor. Oct 15 2019 I tapered Prozac to 10 mg. Now I am on 10 mg Prozac. My bad symptoms started when I quit Effexor and did bridge with 20 mg Prozac. But I could manage symptoms for a while. I think Prozac worked because I could function. But 3 months after I quit Effexor, I tapered Prozac to 10 mg. Symptoms got worse then. I am crying every day and anxiety is horrible. I am taking Omega 3. This helps with headache. But I can't manage emotional symptoms. What should I do? Should I updose Prozac?
  4. hello i was on prozac for 6.5 years with addition of effexor, welbutrin and geodon for breif times. i am 2.5 years off and still in withdrawal. i was prescribed the meds for physical illness after getting epstein bar virus. the prozac, effexor and welbutrin were used for stimulant effects. the geodon was used to combat the side effects of the other meds.( like taking a downer to take edge oof of the uppers).i did not have mental illness before this i now dont know how much of the way i feel is from epsten bar virus? or if i recovered from the virus? is what i am feeling from med withdrawals. the only thing i do know is i have extreme anxiety, insomnia and akathesia now and i NEVER had this problem before the meds. i just dont know how much of my flu like symptoms/ feeling like i have a hang over is from the med withdrawal? anyone with expierence please let me know? i also get a lot of joint cracking and popping sounds. anyone else get this? does anyone feel flu like symptoms get worse after exercise. thanks for any info
  5. Greetings to all! It took 5 years for my brain and nervous system to rebalance and heal after taking Effexor for 14 years. Nasty stuff. One of the hardest to discontinue. But it is possible! I tried to d/c it a few times over those 14 years but had to keep going back on it because I couldn't function. I didn't understand enough about withdrawal and how all this works. But as we all know we reach a point where our souls know we do not need this drug and will do whatever it takes to get off it and stay off it. It's a ride through hell that's for sure but you can do it!! As we all know, it's a lot worse at the beginning of withdrawal. I only had about 3 days of windows over the years. But I could feel symptoms slowly getting better over the last year till it starts being noticeable that the crud may still be there but it's more manageable. And the last 6 months it kept improving until I couldn't believe that the buzzing in my head was gone and the fear and anxiety were gone. The brain fog and fatigue also slowly start improving. There may always be a little residual fatigue and brain fog but I'm also 66 yrs old - ha! We have no idea how brave we are to go through this to live an authentic life drug free. It finally happened this year around May. And as you know it was many years of a nightmare I could not have imagined. But it will happen!! I am here as proof. I have my life back and am finally able to travel to see my family out of town and live a normal life again. Acceptance, perseverance, surrender, humor, love - it's all part of living each day well. Just continue to take care of yourself the best you can. Walking in nature is SO HEALING. That is what saved me. And taking every stress out that you possibly can. And lots and lots of prayer. My heart goes out to you - Hang in there - you will make it. 🙏😘
  6. I was starting my third effexor taper 7/2015 -6/2016 and down to 3 mg untill nerve conditions of numbness, buzzing, tingling, burning and buzzing sensations in limbs started. I didn't know what was happening and neither did my doctors and thought I had some other illness such as MS, fibromyalgia etc. Did numerous tests with no diagnosis. Anxiety and insomnia was at an all time high so Doctor reinstated full 37.5 mg dose on 6/30 and up to 75 mg in 1 week. Because the nerve conditions also were not allowing me to sleep the doc gave me clonazepam. Later I was then given lyrica to help with the nerve conditions. but After a one week trail of lyrica in August I discontinued immediately due to some paradoxical effects of jerks and muscle fasciculations and also decided the clonazepam might also be a culprit and started a 4 week taper with the help of mirtazapine for sleep. While this was going on only through the course of my own research did I come to the conclusion that the nerve conditions I was suffering were initially from SNRI withdrawal symptoms. September faired better as the initial withdrawal symptoms seemed like they were being resolved after a few months back on effexor so then I figured the effexor was helping with that...Great! but.... As soon as I was done with the clonazepam some of the initial nerve symptoms I experienced in June have returned. Not sure if the clonazepam was masking it. So now my issue is that I'm at a higher dose of the effexor than when I started and the withdrawal symptoms has not been entirely reversed and don't know what to do at this point? Taper off effexor? I'm still using mirtazapine for sleep because because the nerve condition of either a jerk, adrenaline surge, numbness etc will keep me up. Please help me I'm desperate!!!
  7. I'm new here, but have been following this forum off and on for over a decade. I think I'm finally stable enough to try tapering off my current meds. I've been on some form of ssri for about 25 years. I've been working with a naturopath for about 5 years to address some other health concerns that have really been supportive to my healing. I'm entrenched in a wellness program that is also very supportive. I tried earlier this year to taper off with help of a dr and thought it would work (silly me). His suggestions for tapering were far too large and quick. I've read a lot of what has been written here and have prepared myself to go much much slower and realize it could take years. For this next attempt, the dr proposed a prozac bridge and I went along with it, as I've done something similar before and it worked pretty well. (Again, silly me). Prozac makes me very very tired and I do not want to continue it, plus I don't think I need it for the taper, given what I've read here. I'm in the process of tapering off the Prozac and went from 20mg to 10mg with no problem whatsoever. However, my jump from 10mg to 5mg was quite disasterous. I now realize I must go much much slower going forward. I'm at 10mg Prozac now and will start going down on that next week. I will eventually attempt tapering off my 75mg effexor, but that will be after prozac taper. I'm trying to get everything in place for this. I've printed out symptom logs to keep track of everything daily and will look into the jeweler's scale for my effexor. Here I go! 🙂
  8. 36year old man. Married, no kids. I've been on SSRIs for 15 years now. I've been tapering off them for 5 years. Effexor was what I took for depression, anxiety. From 2004-2014 I gradually took more and more until I got to a point where I couldn't be prescribed a higher dose (can't remember specific, will ask doctor). The plan was to get onto a different ssri, but I had to taper down to a lower dose before I could bridge with prozac. The withdrawal was awful and the more I learned about psychotropic drugs the more I wanted off completely. I have strong feelings of worthlessness and shame. I'm embarrassed to look anyone in the eye. I've exercised, meditated, changed my diet, take supplements, see a therapist, i've established a support network, cbt, affirmations, rigid self care program. Still hate myself. Still get suicidal thoughts. I want to try life with no antidepressants. Maybe that's it. I think it's actually the drugs that are keeping my depression from lifting. I hope. I've been aware of the forum for years and finally decided to post. I feel alone in this withdrawal from time to time. I haven't been to a support group in months. My phone never rings and I like it that way. I want to hide from everyone. I don't know anyone else quitting their meds. Feels like I'm losing my identity and I just don't care enough to build it back.
  9. 2-17-16 I was taking Effexor for 13 years (since I was 19y/o) up until a year ago then was weaned off with Prozac till September 2015. I experienced everything that everyone has talked about. October and November seemed to be going well and then December developed SEVERE stomach pain and burning with GERD/GI issues. I went to the doctor and have since been on Prilosec 2x a day which isn't doing sh*t for me. I am completely terrified. They ran the basic tests of ultrasounds and blood work and came back normal. I am terrified of having the scope although that is what's next when I go for a follow up in a few weeks. I know that's what's needed to get a better look but I've never been put under and it sounds terrifying. Not sure if these are delayed withdrawals??? I was tapered with Prozac till 5 months ago and now this horrible stomach pain and acid. Has anyone experienced this? Is it permanent? I lost 20lbs from being scared to eat normally and only drinking water. I just want to know I'm not alone in these symptoms. December to now can't be normal to have pain this long, right?
  10. Hello. I have been on Effexor for 16 years of my life, 6 of those at 300mg and the rest at 37.5mg (I was able to taper off of it for a few months but started it back up) recently, After a horrible and stressful marriage coming to an end last November I began having problems with being tired. I assumed it was my depression tearing it's ugly head as it had before so my psychiatrist increased my Effexor from 37mg to 75mg, as I had done in the past with success. However, I did not note any improvement. She then, in the same week, increased it up to 112.5mg. I became overly emotional and unable to work. I cried all the time and could not function, not to mention I was suicidal! I immediately lowered the dose back down to 75mg then to 112.5mg over the course of a few days. I immediately began to feel better once it got out of my system after a few days. However, the fatigue crept back up. After trying to just stay on the 37.5mg i was still struggling daily. My pdoc decided to try Lexapro. After A month of hell and anxiety she then switched me to Zoloft. After being dizzy for a week I had to discontinue that as well. I was left with no guidance (my pdoc was on vacation) so I decided to just not take anything. I almost immediately went into horrible withdrawal. I'm not sure what exactly from but my symptoms tamed from insomnia to lethargy, with brain zaps and mental fogginess. I restarted taking 18.7g of Effexor after continuing to have worsening symptoms. That was 10 days ago. I felt normal at first, brain zaps are gone but in general I just don't feel right. My brain is foggy, anxious, red face in the afternoons. I don't feel good. Today I've been having some crazy suicidal thoughts too as I've been struggling for 6 months now. What should I do? Hang in there, increase Effexor, decrease it? I'm stuck in limbo feeling awful and cannot get back to feeling like a normal human being.
  11. On day 5 only of using 10mg of Prozac with 75mg of Effexor for first week, then 20mg of Prozac and 37.5mg of Effexor for week 2, then no more Effexor. Could it work? Who the hell knows? Been on antidepressants for 20 years and have had enough of withdrawal/activation syndromes/poop out. These are powerful analgesic drugs that should never be prescribed. Psychosocial support(cbt, exposure/desensitization therapy works and is much safer).
  12. Can anyone share if while coming down off of Effexor XR and bridging and going to Prozac they had horrible panic and anxiety symptoms with numbness, tingling and weakness? I feel like I'm coming out of my skin and have a terrible dread, panic waking up. My feet feel cold at night, then on fire in the morning. I can't get any relief. Any help will be appreciated. Thanks.
  13. LSS, I have been on some form of antidepressant/anti-anxiety med for 20 years. I was in a massive car accident with severe head trauma back then, and have had inexplicable panic attacks since. Without meds, I tend to randomly pass out 4-5x/week from a classic hyperventilation/anxiety attack. Only difference is that mine tends to come out of nowhere, without any trigger. They are super hard and fast, so I don't even see it coming sometimes. That's resulted in an additional 6 diagnosed concussions... For the last 15 years, I have been on Effexor XR, 150mg (name brand only). For the last 2 years, they added Celexa (generic), 20mg. The Effexor is killing me... I can't sleep. No more than 4 hours/night, interrupted, in the last few weeks. I literally have to pee at least every hour if not more often. I have had night sweats for 8 years. And my lymph nodes in my neck are so incredibly large (roughly 2 golf balls in size), that I've had some surgically removed. (obv. not cancerous). So, I've contacted my doctor, asking to ween off using Prozac as a bridge based on what I've read. I'd be happy to quit the Celexa too, I don't get withdrawal symptoms much from the Celexa, nor does it seem to help much. However, instead of doing that, she increased Celexa to 30mg/day, and cut the Effexor in half to 75mg for 2 weeks.... continuing to cut in half every two weeks until complete. I really don't see Celexa proven to be a good bridge. Experiences? Thoughts?? The withdrawal is pure hell, as I'm sure anyone reading this knows. I will, of course, try this... I just worry so much about the withdrawal.
  14. I have been on antidepressants 3 times in the last 14 years. Usually would take them for 6-8 months and then taper off with no problems. The last time I took them (2011), I needed the maximum dose of sertraline (200mg) to get an effect. After a year on it, I felt it was time to stop. The nurse insisted I had to keep taking or risked relapsing into severe depression. I tried several times to bring up the topic to no avail. After about 1.5 years on it, I cut the dose on my own to 150mg and felt ok for 2 weeks. But after I started having a dull headache that lasted hours, dizziness, serious cognitive difficulties and severe fatigue. I could not function and needed excessive sleep (12-14 hours/day). Tried increasing it again and the more severe symptoms got better, but the headache and flu-like malaise persisted for at least a week. I consulted with a psychiatrist. We tried effexor and cut on zoloft. Had no withdrawal symptoms, as I was cross-tapering. I was completely off the zoloft. Only took Effexor for about a month on a low dose (never past 150 mg) because it never helped with the symptoms of Atypical Depression I had. When I started tapering down the effexor, I got the dizziness and extreme fatigue again. When I would fall asleep, I found it extremely hard to get up. Literally felt pinned to the bed. Woke up more tired than I went to bed, even after 12 hours of sleep. Woke up dizzy and with a headache. I increased dose again and we're doing a slower taper over 21 days. The starting dose is 37.5mg. I experience dull headache that lasts hours, flu-like malaise, muscle tension, fatigue every day (with the occassional good day of no symptoms and the occassional day of much worse symptoms). I have learned to cope the best I can with these symptoms, but the fatigue gets unbearable at times. I sleep 12 hours at night and still feel tired and even drowsy during the day. I'm in grad school and it's hard and often impossible to study or even make it to class. I was supposed to decrease dose to 25 mg after 10 days on 37.5mg, but since I still have symptoms, I'll ask dr if I can postpone the decreasing... Im also concerned that the increasing apathy Ive had over the last 7 years might be due to antidepressant use. It could also be depression, but if it is SSRI use, its a very scary symptom that is not going away (has not gone away for more than 3 months in over 14 years since I started having depression/taking SSRIs). The only reason I can semi-function today is because I take nuvigil (a stimulant) 3 or 4 times/week. Without that, I can't do homework or clean or shower. Im extremely dysfunctional. I don't rely only on the stimulant though. I use it to give me energy and motivation and alertness that I use to do positive things, which improve my mood and further help with apathy.
  15. Hi All, I've been reading up on the forum for the last few months and decided i might put a post in as would be keen to hear your thoughts and also share my experience. I've been on Effexor XR for around 10 years in total. Original condition was OCD - obsessive thoughts about food poisoning and my food being drugged - didn't help that i would feel strange after eating food & then become anxious / paranoid about it. This resulted in depression along with inability to function in social settings and a downward spiral. Originally was on Paxil in the beginning which didn't really work and then was transferred to Effexor XR 150mg. Have been on 75mg for the last few years though. In all honesty the effexor worked great and it helped me pull myself together and make a good life for myself. Education, job, family etc. Then about 2 years ago i thought that my life was going really well, so i didn't need the effexor any more. Attempted to stop it without tapering which didn't last long due to the brain zaps. Then tried a second time by a slow tapering process over 6 months from 75mg to nothing. Got off it without too many side effects (brain zaps and irritability, brain fog mainly). The brain fog was a bit of an issue and i just didn't cope well with stress any more. An incident last year at work got me back on to the effexor and i started to feel better. Until.... About 3 months into starting the effexor again i started getting strange physical symptoms including numbness and tingling, nausea and the OCD returned - would only get the symptoms around 2-3 hours a night after eating and taking my effexor. Now i did change brands of effexor (generic) during that period and to be honest i cant remember if i took generic effexor or the branded one for the previous 9 years. I honestly don't know if these symptoms were caused by the effexor though or by something else. With the strange physical symptoms and resurgence of OCD i decided i would quickly taper off the effexor. I went down 60mg to nothing (erratically cutting dose amounts as quick as i could) in about 4 weeks. Its now been 2 months and i have had plenty of strange symptoms including hives, numbness / tingling in limbs, memory loss / confusion, headaches & constant pressure in forehead, some nausea, tightness in chest, strange physical sensations and stabbing pains, feeling like ive had allergic reactions. The WORST symptom i have experienced is derealization - I've been in a state where everything i see seems surreal and often wondered if i was actually in a coma. This seems to have gotten a little better over the last week so i hope to god that its not a permanent thing. The brain fog is quite annoying and affecting my ability to do my job - i work in IT so not being able to concentrate is a real problem. From what i have read on the forum i wouldn't class my experience anywhere near as bad as what some other people have been through. I would say the symptoms have ranged from mild to moderate, but i guess without knowing how long this is going to go on for its a bit depressing. I've been using fish oil and magnesium / b vitamins which seems to have helped - fish oil got rid of most of the brain zaps. I do have some questions for other people who might have gone through similar experiences. Has anyone tried using st johns wort during the withdrawal phase to counter effect the effexor withdrawal? Is a small re-instatement of effexor likely to result in a bad medication reaction after 2 months of not having it? Has anyone had the derealization symptom during withdrawal? Is this likely to improve? I had a cholesterol level test whilst i was on effexor which returned a high result. After coming off the effexor i had a second test done and my cholesterol was back to normal - no diet change or new medications etc. I read somewhere that effexor can increase cholesterol levels? I guess im at an impasse at the moment. Ive got a bit to loose if i cant 'pull' myself together. Getting off medications all together would be great, but if it means i need to battle this for a long time and possibly loose my job and have it affect my home life i may need to consider re-instatement of at-least a small dose or some other alternative. Im reluctant to try other drugs as effexor is the devil i know. I also know that if i restart the effexor and the symptoms go away and everything returns to normal im likely to stay on it for the rest of my life as i wont want to gamble with coming off it again. Anyways thanks for reading & if you have any thoughts or similar experiences feel free to share =)
  16. Hey everyone, This has been the most informative and useful website I have found thus far, so I was inclined to register. Kudos to the site Administrator and moderators for their hard work and time spent helping others while we collectively try to get through this nightmare. I have been on 150mg of Effexor XR for about 7 years now, for anxiety. I am 28 years old and I would like to be fully weaned off by the time I am 30. I want children in a few years, and I refuse to have this poison in my body during pregnancy. This is the only anti-depressant I have ever been on, originally on a 75mg dose but that stopped working after a month and my dose was increased to the 150mg. I really don't feel like he drug has done anything to help me since then. It's been a series of ups and downs which I'm sure many can relate. I began my taper just over a week ago. It's been a bit of a rough start, due to my own tardiness and ignorance, moving from Canada to the US. When I had my prescription filled here in the US for the first time, they gave me the generic brand Teva Venlafaxine. I did not foresee any issues, but it caused me panic attacks almost immediately. A permanent dizziness, headache, and heartburn, plus I was very irritable. After a week of that, and realizing the side effects weren't getting any better, I had my pharmacy order the brand name Effexor XR for me and they did so without hesitation or a Dr's note. I want to make a suggestion to those who do not have insurance. You can get a free discount card from the manufacturer (Pfizer) and get it for $30/month at participating pharmacies. I was very nervous they wouldn't accept the card. It seemed to good to be true but I can confirm, it worked for me and I purchased my months prescription for just $30 instead of the $350+ full price. You can get your discount card here: https://www.effexorxr.com/choice-card Anyways, I made a silly mistake when I received my first generic prescription. I was ready to start my taper and take some of the beads out. There were exactly 150 beads in each capsule, I started by removing 5. There were no withdrawal symptoms other than drowsiness, but the side effects I described above meant I couldn't stay on the generic brand. Since moving back to the brand name stuff, I notice there are way more beads, I stopped counting at 200 when I realized I wasn't even half way through them. Plus the beads are all different sizes. I got a really good jewelers scale from Amazon.com for just $20 which I would like to use for the remainder of my taper. I calculated 3.3% was the reduction I made by taking 5 beads out of the generic capsule. An unfortunate number to work with, since I am no good with math and neither is my partner. But I would like to maintain that 3.3% for at least a week and then bump it up to either 5 or 10% and stabilize there for a month as Admin suggests. My only concern stems from the fact that the brand name pill has an inconsistent weight, and number of beads. The number of beads don't really matter to me since I am doing it by weight anyways... but the weights vary slightly. Should I do my % calculation based on the average pill weight? Or should I be removing the beads based on the weight of each individual capsule? This is pretty much the only area where I am stumped right now. Last night I based it on that pills weight... and I don't know what to do tonight. From what I've read here it looks like I should just go by the average weight? http://survivingantidepressants.org/index.php?/topic/272-tips-for-tapering-off-effexor-and-effexor-xr-venlafaxine/ Any suggestions or advice is appreciated. I've no major withdrawal as of right now... just drowsiness. A bit of heartburn on and off and Tums do help with that. But when I focus too much on the heartburn, I begin to think I'm having a heart-attack and this causes me to (almost) panic! And frightens me when I am trying to sleep. Has this medication/withdrawal been known to cause any major heart problems? Or am I just being silly by worrying about a little bit of heartburn. Thank you in advance and I am very happy to be here.
  17. Hello, Thank you so much for this site. It is really a lifesaver. I am trying to taper off of Effexor XR (Venlafaxine) after 17 years of use. In the past I unsuccessfully tried to get off of Effexor XR. My doctor attempted to taper me off in only one month. The withdrawal symptoms were so horrible that I went I back on the drug and the symptoms immediately stopped. I finally got up the courage to try to taper again. This time I tapered 4 times as slow as before, but clearly not slow enough. I was desperate to find relief from the severe anxiety attacks and insomnia side effect that I got when my Effexor was increased above 150 mg. The anxiety and insomnia immediately improved after each reduction. However, I still experience some anxiety attacks from the drug withdrawal. I am currently holding steady at 112.5 mg. of Effexor XR. I tapered from 187.5 mg. Effexor XR plus 10 mg. Viibryd, 300 Gabapentin and 25 mg. Amitriptyline (Elavil) down to 112.5 mg. Effexor XR. over the course of approximately 7 months. Gabapentin and Elavil were relatively easy for me to get off of. Probably because I was only on them for a year or two. The withdrawal only lasted 1 week after each dose reduction. The antidepressants however, were a different story. They have been hell to get of! Especially the Effexor. I reduced the antidepressant every 3 to 5 weeks by reducing by the lowest dosage pill. In June I had Transcranial Magnetic Stimulation (TMS). This treatment helped me immensely. In fact I believe that it saved me. Before the treatment my depression was severe. The TMS decreased it to mild. It also helped with the anxiety a lot. It also helped some with sleep, fatigue and sexual dysfunction. If it was not for the drug withdrawal I really think that the depression would be in remission. I am happy that I am making forward progress, but I am frustrated that I continue to suffer withdrawal symptoms and it has been 6 months since I last reduced the Effexor. I am positive that I have PAWS. I am not sure but I suspect that I may have Post SSRI Sexual Dysfunction. The withdrawal symptoms are no longer severe like they were but they are still significant. I read your post on up-dosing and reinstating. Thank you! for the advice! I would have not known better and tried to up dose way too much had I not read this. Based on the recommendation I decided to be cautious and up-dose at the lowest dose possible (1 beadlet or 0.4 mg.) It has been 1 week since up-dosing. The first night that I up-dosed I noticed that my heart raced when I drank a glass of wine and I had insomnia. I don't really know if these things had anything to do with the up-dose or if it was an effect from the alcohol. Other then this I did not notice any difference at all until today. Today I had more intense head zaps. It might be too soon to jump to any conclusions just yet. I am thinking at holding steady for 1 more week and then assessing. What do you think? Also, how would you recommend storing the beadlets? Do you think they need to be kept out of light? P.S. I hope my signature is not too confusing. Did I put it in the right place? I am very glad that I found this site and I hope that I can help others as well. Signature: 2002-2005- Effexor XR. 150 mg. 2006- (Jan.- June) increased to 225 mg. Effexor XR, July 2006? decreased to 150 mg. 2007- 2018- Effexor XR.- 150 mg. 2018- increased to 225 mg. Effexor XR, added Gabapentin 900 mg., added Amitriptyline (Elavil25 mg. 2018- (Sept.) Decreased Effexor XR to 187.5mg, added Zoloft 10 mg., (Nov.) tapered off Elavil, (Dec.) tapered off Gabapentin 2019- (Jan.) switched Zoloft to 10 mg. Viibryd., (Feb.) decreased Effexor to 150 mg., (March) tapered off Viibryd, (April) switched 37.5 mg. Effexor to 10 mg. Prozac then tapered off of Prozac.
  18. Hi. My i came off effexor pretty quickly in 2017. I must say i.m doing a LOT better than then. Alto even decided i.m in recovery mode now, i sure think i am. Might anyone know if after coming off far too quickly it may.ve caused my n.s to not be able to properly control my blood pressure? I notice it when i get up from sitting or from bending over at times. You know, the dizziness? Sometimes it.s strong, others not so strong and sometimes not at all. This only started after I came off Effexor. Another thing, i did have those awful muscle feelings that i imagine almost everyone has. I really think i still have them to less a degree in my right butt muscle and hamstrings. Does this sound possible? Any wisdom would be greatly appreciated and please don.t be in a super rush to reply as i know there will be many here in more need of help than me. Gus.
  19. Until July 2017 I was an active, healthy female (58). I'd been extremely fortunate in that, the only health problem I'd ever encountered had been anxiety/low grade depression. At least that's what the doctors diagnosed 20 years ago. I was put on Effexor 75mg and then, some years later, reduced the dosage to 37.5mg. In January 2017 I started tapering off my medication and by July was off Effexor. I did experience the odd brain zap but could easily go about my daily business. Suddenly at the end of July, I started having what I thought to be panic attacks (but which were, in actual fact, heart arrhythmias) and my then psychiatrist put me back on Effexor albeit 150mg/day. At 2am on August 12th, I had a sudden cardiac arrest. Thankfully one of our dogs wakened my husband and he and my daughter performed CPR until the ambulance arrived. My guardian angel was watching over me and after a week in the hospital, where I was fitted with an ICD and was put on 30mg Cymbalta, I returned home. Fast forward to three weeks later. My ICD fired. Off to hospital. In for observation for a week but no arrhythmias could be detected Returned home and 24 hours later the ICD fired again! In hospital for another 10 days, had a catheter ablation but no structural heart damage was found. What they did find was that one of the ICD leads had moved and pushed itself through one of the heart walls which could have explained the shocks. So another intervention to replace the lead. I was still on Cymbalta and an anti-arrhythmic drug. Just when I was beginning to think I was on the road to recovery, my ICD fired on the 12th of November. Off to hospital. In for ten days where I met a fascinating psychiatrist who thought that my SCA could have been induced by going back on Effexor as it's known to have a potential influence on cardiac rhythms. And since Cymbalta is also a SNRI, it would be advisable to stop taking it. Well since November 17th I'm Cymbalta-free and yes, I went cold turkey which I normally would not have done under other circumstances. Initially I experienced, brain zaps, anxiety and irritability. However, the symptoms were bearable. I’ve been taking vitamin D3, magnesium and Omega 3 supplements and trying to eat all the right foods. I walk my dogs every day so am getting exercise and fresh air on a regular basis and I go for acupressure treatments (suggested by my new psychiatrist). I was progressing quite well until March 2018 when I started experiencing severe anxiety, dizziness, muscle tension and headaches.The situation has improved every so slightly since then. Am I experiencing what is known as protracted withdrawal?
  20. Hello, I am a 50 year old woman with a history of depression. Here is my story and it is a long one, be warned - if you aren't in the mood for a long history, skip this now LOL! I'm one of those people whose family relations have also had histories of depression, and depression became an issue for me from maybe 10 years old and up, though no one really recognized it. I became bulimic at 16 and remained so for much of my adult life until about eight years ago. My adult-hood has been one of perfectionism, low self-esteem and under-performing, with all the self-hatred that that generates. My first experience with medication came after a rough relationship where I ended up feeling suicidal. I was put on Prozac. I think back to that being the beginning of the rest of my adulthood with virtually no libido. A major move after marriage led me to more depression, and at that time Wellbutrin was being marketed heavily, so I asked my GP to put me on it. No tapering of the Prozac, if I recall. Wellbutrin didn't work, but now I realize it was probably in part because I was having withdrawal from the Prozac - not sure and I don't have a lot of memories about that period one way or another. I forget if I continued the Wellbutrin up to the next change, but I had gotten the flu which turned into pneumonia for a month, and when I went to the doctor after that long of not getting better, he said "you are depressed." Well, yes, I said, I am depressed because of being sick this long! And he said, No, you are clearly a generally depressed person and you should see a p-doc. So, I did, and that doc put me on Effexor. This was somewhere back around 11 years ago. I upped the dose as they directed. I never felt like my depression was well-controlled because none of the therapy I had over the years was CBT - talk therapy would make me feel better for the moment but no change took place, so the low self-esteem and negative thinking remained. I guess the Effexor somehow made my life more tolerable, but I never felt happy or satisfied with myself. Somewhere along the line I began to taper down on the Effexor, and I have very few memories of when, how or why, other than that I hated needing ADs, and my libido sucked. A move and the loss of an old dog sent me into another bad depression, but this well could have coincided with stepping down the Effexor. Three years ago, I lost my job, and then my husband lost his, but then he got a new one which required relocating to a very hot climate where we were able to afford a home with acreage, the first time we were ever able to own, but it was very rural and the isolation quickly got to me, with anxiety increasing for various reasons. Again, I don't remember the stepping down process, but two years ago a new GP refilled my Effexor but prescribed the non-extended release version. Since these tablets were able to be broken, I began taking just half (37.5 mg). Last summer I had a bought of shingles and became very depressed and stressed again from the pain. I also was clearly in menopause and having severe hot flashes. My whole adult life had been marred by low libido since going on Prozac way back when, and the shingles were actually on my private parts (tested positive for zoster, not herpes) and I became very concerned that I didn't want the rest of my life to be joyless where sex was concerned, so I decided to go off BCPs and Effexor. In hind sight, that was madness! I stepped down the Effexor, going to every other day with the 37.5 mg. I wasn't aware of any severe symptoms, and this was last summer. Well, meanwhile, I was going through some stresses regarding a health crisis with one of my dogs. I found myself totally scatter-brained, forgetful, unable to concentrate, and also I had trouble articulating myself, unable to complete thoughts when talking with people, words hard to reach. A friend told me he always thought I was ADD, and indeed at this time I was losing things, forgetting what I was doing halfway through doing it, easily distracted, etc. I'm also a total clutter-bug who can't face doing the dishes or cleaning the house, though I've been that way for years. I had started taking Sam-e and tryptophan as a way to up serotonin. I was having a terrible time with insomnia. So, I went to get tested for ADD. I tested negative, but the psychologist doing the testing said I didn't have ADD, but that I did have OCD, depression, and GAD. He said, the good news is that there are medications that can make you "normal!" I bit, and went to a p-doc on a list he gave me. She put me on Viibryd. I stopped the serotonergic supplements. The first week at 10 mg was ok, but when I went up to 20 mg as instructed, all hell broke loose! My insomnia worsened, with the most severe anxiety I think I had ever experienced! All night I was thrashing around with racing, troubling thoughts. During the day, I would have squirts of adrenalin for no reason. I had days where I was so distressed and troubled, I couldn't stand to exist. I had global anxiety about climate change, getting old, my parents getting old losing them some day, the drought and how horrible life was! I have never experienced anxiety like that in my life! I stepped the Viibryd back down to 10 mg for about a week and then stopped it, and went back on the supplements. This time I was trying to follow the supplement plan laid out in the Mood Cure, adding GABA and some other stuff. I'd do ok for awhile, but the insomnia was still bad, and the general feeling of being ill-at-ease was so disturbing, I just couldn't stand it. So, I stopped the supplements and started taking 37.5 mg of Effexor again. After three days, I was in serotonin syndrome almost to the point of having to go to the ER! I stopped the Effexor and got an appointment with another p-doc who is a DO and actually not into psych meds. He said I'd been through about 3 years' worth of med changes in a very short period of time and that my nerves were very sensitive and that I needed consistency. He went through the meds and supplements I had a history with, and told me which supplements were safe to take (non-serotonergic). Since I had not been able to eat and lost weight, and the insomnia was so bad, he put me on Remeron, saying it was a very gentle med that worked on a different part of the serotonin pathway, and that it would help with sleep and appetite. He started me on 7.5 mg and said I could step it up as needed, that it was safe up to 60 mg. Well, I felt much better and it was nice to sleep all through the night without anxiety again. Yeah! But after a week, I was feeling down again so started upping the dose. Two weeks later I was at 37.5 mg, feeling totally apathetic and on the couch, unable to do anything I had previously enjoyed in life. I couldn't understand why the med wasn't working anymore! I was in a desperate way and called this p-doc's assistant, the fastest way to get to him, he said. I left four messages and never heard back! I suffered through to my next scheduled appointment with him two weeks later, and suffering it was! My family members were greatly concerned. The only thing that kept me going through this spell was the fact that a therapist I had recently seen told me about Emotional Brain Training, which I joined. It was developed by Laurel Mellin at UCSF and is based on neuroplasticity and rewiring the brain. It was perfect for me because I lived in the country, was isolated, and the city is 40 minutes away, so I was able to get support from home with weekly phone-in meetings with a coach and group members, daily work online, and daily phone-connections with group members. I am not hawking this, but if you want to learn more about it, go to www.ebt.org. Anyway, EBT kept me from going down the tubes through all of this. When I saw my p-doc, he said "let's add Effexor back to the remeron since you tolerated it well in the past." I started on 37.5 mg. The day I took it, I was having a non-functional couch day, and I would say within an hour of taking it, my mood lifted, like a light switch had been flipped! It was miraculous! Now, everyone knows that ADs are supposed to take weeks to start working. I now realize that the reason it worked so fast was because I was in withdrawal and it was like a junkie getting a hit of the drug they are withdrawing from - instant fix! Ok, I know my story is long but the final chapter is here: I added the Effexor back about 12 days ago. I actually had one day, about a week into it, where I was on the couch again. The next day, I saw a third p-doc my therapist said I should see since I had such a bad experience with the last guy's non-responsiveness when I left those messages. So, I saw this new guy on Wednesday. I didn't yet realize that all of the craziness I had endured since last fall was because of the withdrawal. I was convinced that genetically, I just had to be on ADs, that I had relapsed in a big way. I did think that the Viibryd had damaged me, since I had never experienced anxiety to that degree before, nor had I had depression this debilitating. This new guy said, "let's stick with this for now, since you haven't been on the Effexor long enough to see how it will work for you, but I want to up it to 75 mg (thanks to that couch day). We may end up changing you to other meds, but let's see how this goes for now." So, I began taking 75 mg Effexor ER on Thursday. It just so happens that one of my EBT connection buddies is going through withdrawal from ADs that she was put on for post-partum depression 8 years ago. She told me about this, and referred me to a neat video about neuroplasticity on beyondmeds.com. Her point in doing so was to point out about how EBT is so dead-on about retraining the brain, but in fact I had locked on to concept of withdrawal, and I began to realize that this was so much of what I had and am still going through, and this is why the Effexor worked immediately! So, I am faced with the fact that I am now back on the drug that I was hooked on. For now, I need to be consistent and not change anything, though I am going back to 37.5 mg Effexor since I'd only been on the higher dose for a couple of days. I will ride this out until my next appointment with the p-doc in five weeks. I am worried that he will be one to poo-poo withdrawal. I feel like, for the first time in my life, I am getting the cognitive help I need to eliminate the poor self-esteem and my negative black and white thinking that has ruined my life and got me started on ADs to begin with. I feel this will be critical to getting off these drugs some day. I feel so grateful to the universe for bringing me together with my connection buddy who brought this all to light for me. And beyondmeds.com brought me here.
  21. Mainly writing to say thank you to Surviving Antidepressants and the one person who posted having successfully gotten off Zyprexa. I was nearly there, had gotten off, then had delayed withdrawal symptoms, akathisia, and while really struggling and nearly ready to give up, I tried to see whether anyone had successfully gotten of this drug and found one person here. I also found the invaluable information here regarding how to do it (pill crusher, weigh scale) and IT WORKED! I have been off Zyprexa since July 2018, got myself off valproic acid last February and off Effexor last September. So just looking for information regarding some legacy effects and hoping to provide someone looking for answers with hope. Psych med history: Benzodiazepine 2002 - 2005 Paxil/Effexor 2000 - September 2019 Zyprexa 10 mg 2002 - July 2017 Valproic acid 500 mg January 2010 - February 2019
  22. mod note: Gussy's introduction topic: Gussy: 9 weeks off effexor, wondering if it will ever end? I never thought I would be asked to write a story of recovery in the group I think of as the premier withdrawal group. The knowledge you guys have here is just out of this world. I don't know if it can be rivaled anywhere. When Alto asked me to write a story of recovery here one day I felt honoured and obligated to write something. I hope someone can gain something from this. It was at the start of 2017 after a failing journey i requested a blood test. The result of this showed me i could no longer trust what drs and specialists were telling me about the harmless effects of effexor and i knew i had to be off it. So before i joined here i did some research and decided on a taper slower than most drs but much faster than the 10% or less method. I really thought the real life experiences i was reading were people looking for sympathy and thought i.d be fine. Wow, how wrong i was!!! I realise a mod has to approve this so i want to tell you that i can.t write this story in one sitting. It.ll prob take many to do it with many edits along the way. I will add to it soon and then add to it again. I.ll submit this for now but save it on my phone too just incase you can.t approve it. Know that this can be done though. Gus.
  23. Hi all I'm on day 3 of tapering off venlafaxine XL 37.5, only 2 beads out at a time,I will get a scales soon because It will only get harder the more I have to count out the beads .I am going to take it extremely slowly this time.I did a taper in march 2016 and it lasted till the june and i didn't go beyond 5 beads out each day before going back to 37,5. Its been a very tough time , I have extreme anxiety,extreme iratibillaty ,intrusive thoughts,. to name a few. What I have learned since that time is to have compassion for ones self and b very patient when doing the taper . My advice to everyone is don't ever believe u cant get through it .our nervous system and soul take time to heal Over the last 3 years I have learned and practice mindfulness ,it is amazing. It has helped me to calm down during a couple of flights to the UK when starting to panic. Today I had a bad anxiety attack but I was able to snap out of the attack fairly quickly because I have been practicing it and I recommend always getting out for a walk in the sun if u can and clear your mind. Please always keep your mind open to new ways to heal.We all now its hard but don't ever let anyone break your spirit. Total respect to everyone .
  24. I have had an account here for a long time. I do not believe I ever did an introduction. I was just speaking with someone who recommended I come here. I am suffering in so many ways and I feel so alone. I am becoming more hopeless every day and am afraid I am going to end up in a hospital. I have little time to even write now because there is way too much going on in my life. I need help. There is no where to go for help. 1- I was started on high doses of xanax in 1997 and continued until they switched me to 4mg klonopin in 2013 during a hospitalization. CT off xanax for a few days which I thought I was going to die. Then Klonopin, which has wreaked havoc in my life and mind and body. 2- Besides these two benzos, doctors have tried their "cocktails" on me. I do not remember every drugs, but these I remember: First, the xanax and the klonopin. Plus they have pulled me off, put me on, rearranged etc over and over the following drugs: remeron, cymbalta, zyprexa, celexa, serzone, brintellix (I think they renamed trintellix), lexapro, effexor, prozac, trazadone, abilify, wellbutrin, ritalin, seroquel, latuda, pristiq, melatonin, ambien, paxil, zoloft, vistaril, vyvanse, lamictal, cogentin, rexulti, and more. I cannot remember all. Life is a blur for these past almost 25 years of polydrugging. Now I am on here for my son as well - we both need help 3- Recent trauma: 2014 youngest son starts becoming delusional and episodes of psychosis. 2015: my father is euthanized in front of me and my family because of other family member's decisions for him - even though he was not dying, was completely alert and had his mind. He was not in hospice. It is a long story and traumatic. 2015: son's psychosis getting worse with son and he moves to another state to live with his brother. 1-4-2016: my son (youngest of four) parked a car and sliced his throat open with a knife- cutting through his trachea. Somehow lived. Got out of car, ran up 7 flights of a construction zone to jump. Construction workers stop him. I get call from hospital and fly to that state the next day. Son had to have 4 hour surgery to put his throat back together. He was in medical for 40 days with trach and feeding tubes. Then in psych. Then they sent him home with me. The rest of 2016 was complete chaos of hospitalizations for him - did not realize it was the drugs they were forcing on him. I was stupid. They messed him up so badly - 30 days of overdrugging in a "stabilization" unit. (he was the MOST unstable here!) Upon D/C, they discontinued his meds and gave him an injection of Abilify Maintena. Severe reaction to this. No sleep, severe akathathsia, pacing the floors night and day, hardly eating -- exactly 2 weeks later - he was arrested. In jail 14 months where they tried multiple drugs on him. Finally putting him on Clozapine and Effexor. Then he was court ordered to a residential treatment center. The doctor there increased the Clozapine from 300mg to 500mg. 225mg effexor. He was getting through the court ordered program for 10 months. Then they ran out of his Clozapine. I really do not know all details because I have learned how corrupt they are. He was forced hospitalized. Day 1: forcibly injected with Haldol X2, Ativan X3, Versed X2, Geodon X1. While he was suffering withdraws from the abrupt CT cessation of 500mg of Clozapine and now the cessation of 225mg of Effexor - both forced upon him by the "professionals". Day 2: Forced injection of Haldol and ativan. I informed the hospital that he cannot tolerate haldol. But they continued to drug him up. Day three: Forced injections of Haldol X 3 and ativan X 3 and then they started giving him Benztropine. By the time I saw my son at visitation, he was almost dead and it was a gruesome sight. I will not give details but I know I suffer post traumatic stress from it all -- I had to argue with nurse to get help for him. He finally was rushed to CV-ICU. He had DX of respiratory failure, acute kidney failure with rhabdomylosis, dehydration, clozapine withdraws. The ICU doctor noted that they had to work on my son for 48 minutes to "stop vital organ system failure and stop further life-threatening deterioration of patient's condition". After ICU, it was awful - he was soon thrown back into psych. All visitation and phone rights denied him. He was kept in restraints, completely naked, hours on end. Med techs would hold him on the floor while other techs kicked and beat him in the head. They continued to forcibly drug him with thorazine, restoril, ativan, even adding depakote and eventually starting the clozapine again. I had to fight for him for three months. He still has health problems today. I am his caretaker but I need help. He currently is taking: 500mg Clozapine, 150mg effexor. 4- Me- I cannot even remember when I started to taper my meds. Everything is a blur. I started realizing how bad they are for me. Knew very little. I cut the lexapro dose in half - I think this was early 2017. And I cut the klonopin dose by 1/4. Still, since then, a few different meds were started but I would stop them CT. Then I started learning more. I read parts of the Ashton Manual. I have been on FB groups. I have actually received a lot of harsh treatment from some people in the FB groups, so I rarely go on any of those groups anymore. I have a scale now. I shave off my klonopin. I tried lowering the lexapro but ended up going back up to 10mg and holding. Want to get off klonopin. But I am not doing well at all. I am exhausted. cannot write anymore. I have waited years to even get this put in here. I hope it makes sense. I have tried liquid titration with klonopin - disaster for me. I hardly have time to even care for myself - son is urgent. I am just barely functioning. So that's that. Not how I would have liked to write it. but mind is jumbled I think. I feel misunderstood. Hope I am not misunderstood here. I feel very much alone. NIghtmares- terrible. depression like I have never experienced. extreme fatigue, but high demands on me. I have to function. No one cares or understands about my son or about me. My son needs to taper but I think he needs to wait until off probation - maybe April or May this year. Everything I read and see about Clozapine and the horrible labels they have assigned to him - it seems hopeless. I feel hopeless of ever getting off klonopin and lexapro. This is no way to live. I am making no sense. Not even painting the right picture...for people to understand. How does anyone successfully get off these drugs and get out of the control of the system? We live in FL and they are "Baker Act" crazy here. Baker Act is forced hospitalization. They even have police come handcuff and take children right out of schools to a psych facility. It is only getting worse. I do not know what to do. I want to be free of these drugs. Also, my son wants to be free of the drugs. We both want to be free from the control of this holocaust type system call psychiatry. I know a moderator has to approve. Maybe this was not written correctly. Just let me know what I did wrong. This took a lot of effort. Even reading takes a lot of effort and I even forget. So maybe i am not supposed to put all this in here. Just let me know.
  25. Hi everyone! I'll update my signature later but basically my long story made short for now...is that in the beginning of 2010 Effexor began to poop out after 5 years of slowly increasing dosages. I was having intense anxiety and derealization and the only explanation my Dr had was that it was the effexor and it was time to come off. He tapered me from 262.mg over 3 months while adding a small dose of Celexa a bit at a time. A month after being done Effexor and being on 40mg of Celexa, I had a significant, sudden, awful experience. Massive anxiety, derealization and suicidal awful confused and dark thoughts. Akathesia so bad i could not sit still and had to walk fast, or keep pacing in the house. I cut my dose in half that night and immediately felt relief from the suicidal thoughts and terror. The anxiety and chills, unreality or derealization disconnect, nausea, diarrhea and shakes, lasted for another 7 months with no relief, even while we attempted Ciprolex and eventually Paxil. I lost 30 pounds during that 7 months and truly thought my life and self as I had known it, were over. I finally began to stabilize and then decided it was time to get off all SSRI's. I was originally given meds to combat post partum depression and by now I figured that was in the past and my Dr agreed, it was time to get off everything. I am now tapering my paxil very slowly, and am down from 20mg to 10mg. In the meantime i still get these waves of intense anxiety, akathesia, chills, shakes, diarrhea and nausea, and a sense of profound unreality that come over me. these spells last about 2 months, and then fade and I'm left feeling pretty good, with the exception of dulled emotions and no motivation. I figure that might be from the Paxil, while the stronger waves of symptoms are still from coming off effexor too fast 21 months ago. I haven't had one of these intense waves since July, but since then have had milder versions of them, that are shorter. Considering that I'm 21 months out, maybe it's time the waves are going to get milder and easier to handle now, I'm hopeful for that! I find when I taper my paxil i do have symptoms but they aren't as strong as these other waves I get, and have had since coming off the effexor (even prior to tapering paxil). maybe this will make more sense when I create a signature,lol ...Either way, i feel SO much better now than i did even last year. I have full faith that I will eventually recover 100% and also finish this paxil taper and get back to my life. This has been a very long and frightening 3 years, and i am so looking forward to being me again! If I could change anything I would say I should have reinstated my original medication when w/d hit, and then come off much slower. However, we had no idea what the issue was, so we tried different meds instead, and that was not the answer. But here's to a new year and a new journey, with healing every step of the way.
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