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  1. Hello to all! I was tapered, over a period of two months w/doctor's help, off of venlafaxine xr, buspirone, trazadone, and abilify. I had taken venlafaxine xr and abilify for 7 years and the other two for 14 years. Prior to the venlafaxine and abilify, I was on lexapro for 7 years. Considering the multiple meds and number of years of having taken them, I believe that my doctor tapered me down much too quickly. What is a real kicker is that when I contacted her to tell her I was having terrible symptoms, she diagnosed me over the phone with allergies and told me to go see my GP for further help. I did that, and he said they were all withdrawal symptoms. He assured me that time will heal me. He advised me to drink a lot of water, get exercise, and a lot of sleep. It's been over 5 months now, and I'm still symptomatic although they have reduced in minute degrees of intensity. I go from always being sick to feeling sicker and then back to being sick. My symptoms include burning, stinging, tingling skin on my arms; hot flashes (did those years ago with menopause); insomnia; lack of energy and motivation; icy-cold feeling hands, lower legs, and feet; brain-freeze feeling in the right backside of my head; and sensations of being stabbed throughout my body. The skin sensations are constant. The only thing I take now is fish oil--nothing else. When I first went off the drugs I also had terrible, intense, insatiable itching. The more I scratched, the more I itched. That has subsided, thank goodness. Has anyone experienced any similar symptoms? If so, did they eventually disappear? Did you ever experience a window? So far, I don't think I've had one. I would appreciate any help.
  2. Hey guys, I have been on venlafaxine xr since 2011. When I started, I was at a terrible place in my life. I was 22 years old and living with crippling GAD (mainly health anxiety), social anxiety and suffering from daily panic attacks. After years of not doing anything about it/not getting any help - I finally went to the doctor to explain to him what I had been feeling (mostly at the request of worried family members). I left my appointment that day with a prescription for venlafaxine and valium, the latter of which I refused to touch/take. Slowly but surely things started to improve. My panic attacks stopped altogether and with the help of CBT I was able to pull myself out of the hole that I had landed. 5 years down the line I felt like I no longer needed venlafaxine but every attempt to stop it resulted in massive withdrawal symptoms and it never felt like the right time to deal with the effects of stopping. So basically, I continued to take venlafaxine even I felt like it was no longer serving a purpose in my life. I had periods where I felt more anxious again but I never felt like it helped me the way it did during the initial few years. In any case, fast forward to August 2020. I had just given my 4 weeks notice to leave my job and was preparing to move to a new country with my long time boyfriend. I made a plan with my doctor to finally start tapering and push through it no matter what. I felt like I was in a good place in my life and I wanted to be finally of this drug, especially because we are planning on having a baby a year or two down the line. My doctor did not have a lot of experience with venlafaxine or withdrawals. His taper plan was too fast (he expected me to be completely off within one month of tapering) and made me feel extremely unwell so I took it upon myself to taper even more slowly and to stay on various doses for much longer in order for my body to adjust. Two weeks before my planned move, a close family member was diagnosed with cancer. I couldn't bring myself to leave and postponed my move in order to care for said family member. They passed away in December 2020 and my anxiety skyrocketed. The panic attacks returned. My doctor tried to convince me to increase my meds again to help my symptoms but I really did not want to do that after struggling so much to get down to 37.5 mg. I refused and started therapy again instead. I stayed on 37.5 mg for quite some months. In May I started tapering again. My capsules have 3 tiny pills inside of them so I decided to remove one pill every 4-5 weeks. I had withdrawal symptoms during this time but they were light and manageable and always subsided after about 2 weeks. 12 days ago I took my last pill. 12.5 mg, the lowest I could go without crushing the medication. My withdrawals have no been fun. They include: debilitating brain fog (seriously it has been so bad - i can't think. Does anyone else suffer terribly from this?), sweating, shivering, brain zaps, fatigue, heavy eyes, feeling irritable, feeling weepy, nightmares, nausea, dizzyness parasthesia. I thought that with time I would just start to feel better with each passing day but instead I have a day where I feel better followed by a cluster of days where I feel terrible again. The brain fog is the worst though. I was told that my slow taper was probably not slow enough and that I should reinstate and start crushing my medication. I feel extremely reluctant to do this because of how much of a task it was to stop. I never want to go on this medication again. But at the same time I am fearful that I am going to be stuck like this forever and am considering reinstating (while also hating that fact that I need to now entertain the idea)
  3. Hi, I am so glad I found this site but I wish I found it before I quit my 150 mg Effexor XR prescription (83 days since I quit). I had brain zaps and nausea at first. Then really vivid dreams and a hyper sensitive sense of smell. Now I have insomnia and bad anxiety. Sometimes I can sleep 6-7 hours but mostly I wake up after a few hours with anxiety and dread and the realization that I'm still trapped in my WD which just makes it worse. I'm kicking myself for not tapering more slowly - I had heard that you have to taper off ADs (which I tried to do by alternating one 75-mg pill with two 75-mg pills each day for a week or so before I quit) but now I realize how much more slowly I should have gone. I hate my psychiatrist which is part of the reason I just quit - he was like a drug dealer with an office - 15 minute consultation every six weeks to ascertain how my mood was and then he'd write a script for some venlafaxine. Last time, he forgot to call my prescription in and I couldn't reach him so I figured I'd try my hand at quitting. Bad mistake. I'm realizing that the anxiety that I feel now, I've felt off-and-on for a long time, since I was ~15 (I'm 48 now). My stomach hurts all the time and I have loose stools. I throw up a lot too. I've started walking for 30 minutes a day (when my achy feet permit it). I'm also trying meditating and got some Mag supplements (spray and pills - I will be careful to not ingest too much). I'm shaky all the time and feel like my heart might pound out of my chest. Although the rational side of me knows this will most likely diminish/end, I'm terrified that I'll be trapped in anxiety for the rest of my miserable life. I alternate between feeling hopeless and remembering that there are meditation techniques, supplements and psychotherapy that could help. At this moment though, I feel like I'm drowning. Thanks you so much for this site. I feel like so many people would be lost without it.
  4. My name is jeanette im on 100mgs of venafaxaline extended release.can i taper extended release suffering badly from benzo been off benzo for almost 4 yrs and still suffering i need off of this ad please help
  5. Hi everyone. I just wanted to say firstly that I only discovered this site 2 days ago and you have all been an absolute god send! I was in the throes of horrific withdrawal and after seeing how screwed up my doctor's advice has been I have reinstated some of my dose today and I feel like a different person already.... A bit about my history with antidepressants: I'm 32 years old and was put on nortriptyline originally in March 2018 for migraines. The migraines weren't affected in any way by these drugs (different story but in the last 4 months I have found my trigger and have gone from daily to once monthly migraines so that's a win!) I had to switch through 3 different antidepressants (amitriptyline and mirtazapine included) before I could settle on Venlafaxine at 150mg. Nothing else would allow me to sleep through the night. That was around August of 2018. Everything was going OK, and it turned out I had both anxiety and depression which I didn't realise until these started to ease with the Venlafaxine. In May 2020 the first lockdown in England really got to me, I felt like nothing was helping so I requested to up my dose to 225mg of Venlafaxine. This went fine and I've been fine ever since, however during all of this time I've been working really hard on mindfullness and knowing how to combat my anxiety and depression head one and I truly felt like I was just taking this drug to stop any withdrawal symptoms instead of taking it because I needed it. Cue the absolute nightmarish hell of Jan 2021..... On the 4th I was instructed by my doctor that it would be fine and dandy to come off, and that I could reduce by 75mg a week, or 2 weeks if that felt too fast..... I wasn't warned of anything except I 'might get a bit dizzy and tired' .... Well week one passes dropping from 225mg to 150mg and I feel a bit off but OK. So week 2 I drop down to 75mg and yeah sure I'm a bit dizzy and I have a properly dodgy stomach but eveywhere seems to say that'll only last a week or 2 and then I'll be drug free so I can take it! ...... Week 3 I drop from 75mg to 0 and my god. I have never in my life, even in the worst throes of depression, had anxiety, panic, derealisation or depersonalisation like it. I was truly for the first time in my life terrified that I was going to either die, or accidently injure myself and die as I had no control. It was so horrific that 3 days in I couldn't get out of bed, and I gave in and started taking 75mg again. I felt better in the next 2 days but in that time I had a subsequent call with my doctor who said 'oh....well you can take a 37.5mg tablet instead. Do that for a week and then come off' ...... So before I even had chance to stabilise on 75 again I was back down to 37.5 for a week. Still dizzy, still panicking away but not as badly. 3 days ago I then thought I cannot drop right off this, I'll take out 1 little tablet inside the capsule and make the dose 25mg. 3 days later there I was having another horrific panic attack, convinced I was never going to be OK and would definitely die of something and so dizzy I couldn't see straight. That is how I ended up desperately looking around online for help (I had been anyway but looking in all the wrong places like....the NHS website....) and I found this site. I have never felt so relieved to see what now is obviously logic! I'm still in the process of reading through the site but I've already reinstated to 37.5mg and today I felt like a different person! A bit of panicking tonight but very manageable and hopefully it will pass over the week. I am also now committed to staying at this dose for at least a month (assuming it helps and I don't need to updose higher?) and then I will be tapering at 10%. I even bought a pill cutter today in preparation! I literally cannot thank you enough for this websites existence. I am so incredibly angry at my doctor for essentially throwing my brain off a cliff for the whole of January and I really hope that reinsating will even me out - it's already stopped every single symptom except the night time anxiety/jitters (which to be honest was so bad that I'm probably bringing it on more by worrying it will happen, than it actually being a symptom. It's also an echo of what it has been like since jumping from 75mg-0....) So that's me! Hello if you got this far, and I hope to join everyone on a successful and much slower journey to being antidepressant free! A quick edit just to say I was also advised to take that 37.5mg tablet one day on, one day off. Something I have told my friend off for doing with his antidepressant for literally years, something that has never made any sense to me, and something I was so vindicated to see is actively discouraged here!
  6. Hi friends! I am a 24 year old male. I had been using Venlafaxine XR 225mg capsules for around a year and a half ( July 2017- April 2019). I'd started Venlafaxine for my chronic fatigue which was thought to be depression (it most probably was). Other drugs I used: -Pre Workouts(PW): Mix of Caffeine, PEAs, and a variety of nootropics. I used these almost daily to try to stay awake. They helped me enormously with school and social life; to the point that I got psychologically addicted. -Modafinil(rarely): Best antidepressant I've ever felt in my life when it was combined with the Venlafaxine. Not stimulating like the PWs, just made me feel completely normal. - 4 LSD trips over 1 year In March of this year I had decided that the Venlafaxine had not been having any major positive effects and that I was better off stopping it. Together with my psychiatrist we decided to taper off of it. At the time I didn't know about the importance of proper tapering and neither does my psyhiatrist. Her plan consisted of reducing to 150mg for 2 weeks and then 75mg for another two, after which I went down to 0. I had the classical 1-2 weeks of acute withdrawal with the brain zaps, nausea, depersonalisation, derealisation, extreme depression and anxiety etc. Followed by this I went through about 2 weeks of what I would consider complete normality and I thought I was out of the woods. Following those 2 weeks it got really bad. I got severe parestethias, numbness, extreme fatigue, anxiety, lack of concentration. Over a period of 1 month I failed 3 exams in med school. I was trying to keep myself focused and alert with the PWs and Modafinil but I seemed to be hyper-reactive to them. Sometimes they worked really well but sometimes they gave me this intense head pressure where I could theoretically see but it was more like a brain and "eye" fog. Before the withdrawal, and before every taking Venlafaxine, my tiredness, or low mood, or anxiety could be temporarily fixed by taking PW. I was not getting any of the functional use anymore. Since then, I've been getting waves of this sort of state, with waves of feeling "better", but I haven't felt close to how I used to feel on Venlafaxine since, or even before starting Venlafaxine. In other words I'm doing worse now than before starting the VF. In the worst parts of the wave I can't even take caffeine anymore without getting head pressure and a sense of overstimulation. Before all this it was like I didn't even have a threshold for how high I could go with stimulants without adverse effects, but now I take 1/4-1/8 of what I used to, and even that's risky. I'm not looking for the "rush" again, I'm just trying to be as transparent as possible with how my body reacts. For my last exam in July, I had a 3 week period where I took Wellbutrin IR 150mg so I wouldn't fail again. It seemed to help bring me a bit closer to stability, but again nothing like before. On Jul 5th I quit Wellbutrin cold turkey. As far as I can tell I've had no withdrawal symptoms at all. Nowadays I try maintaining stability by Meditating, taking Mg Glycinate( 400 - 800 mg ) and Fish Oil. I've also had another 2 LSD trips and one Mushroom trip. All of these have helped me with accepting my symptoms and powering through the day. I'm still taking low doses of PW to get any sort of semblance of energy and focus through the day. However, I'd ideally like to reinstate VF so I can taper properly and be stable. These symptoms are very disruptive and I'd love to go back to any semblance of my old stable self. Would it still make sense for me to try reinstating something like 37.5mg or 75mg Venlafaxine now and starting tapering? Is my only other option waiting it out? Sorry for the long block of text. Any advice is appreciated.
  7. Hi, I am 37 male (not a native english speaker so please excuse my english). I read a lot from this forum many other sources on the internet. I have been taking venlafaxine XR 150 mg several years, then switched to XR 75mg without big issues, after another year I tried taking only about half capsule. Couple of weeks later taking even less than half capsule daily I decied to go cold turkey. Bad idea! After horrible withdrawal, I gave up the fourth day and reinstated. I developed tinnitus since that, but I get used to it. Now I would like to taper slowely and get off this medicine. I have Velaxine from Egis (Hungarian pharma company) which come in small pellets (each about 0.30mg). Pellets have different sizes- they are obviously coated for extended release. Strangely they have also two colors- white and yellow (there are much more yellow than white pellets). Could it be that white pellets are with immediate release and yellow are with extended release? Also, I wonder if amount of venlafaxine is the same in each pellet and only the coat mass differs. Tried asking manufacturer and pharmacy, but they were reluctant to share any information:( I am glad to be here, always good to know we are no different and share our troubles.
  8. Hello, I have recently learned that my body is experiencing a toxicity of sorts from taking venlafaxine ER. I started taking the brand name, Effexor ER, back in 2002 at about 37.5 mg for panic attacks. I tried to come off of it after a few years and experienced extreme panic attacks and was told by my doctor that I might have to take it forever like a diabetic does insulin. I resigned myself to this. Throughout the years as my depression and anxiety increased, the doctor increased my doses and eventually I ended up at 300 mg in 2017. The doctor assured me that although that was the max dose, they could go up a little bit more if I needed. I was actually hospitalized in March 2018 for pneumonia but the reason they wanted to keep me at the hospital was because my heart rate was 160. The ER doctor said it is common for tachycardia when someone has pneumonia and so I was kept for observation. After I recovered fully, I was sent to a cardiologist. After all the testing imaginable, they could find no reason for my heart rate to be so high. They also reported that I now also had high blood pressure when I never had it before. Life at this time was hard, I could not sleep because my heart was pounding and I felt constantly buzzed. I also started suffering from constantly cold feet, so much so that I had to use a heating pad at night and put toe warmers in my shoes during the day. The cardiologist tested everything and had me wear a monitor, but gave me no answers. He actually mailed me a letter that said he could not find what was wrong but that he included a list of disorders that might explain my symptoms. I suspected the medication and took myself down from 300mg to 150 mg. I experienced a mild depression but nothing really noticeable when I did this. I started to search for a doctor that would do more than send me lists. I eventually found one early this year who listened as I described symptoms (tachycardia, high blood pressure, sweating, tiredness, extremely cold feet, low body temp, headache, eye pain, ringing in ears, restlessness, restless legs, memory loss) and then asked my medications. When I told him the drug name, he said he thought it was a terrible drug and that nobody should be on it. He said he believed all of my symptoms were related to a toxicity from this drug and we needed to get me off ASAP. He described my cold feet as being vasoconstriction from the drug. He believed the sweating and fatigue is from my heart rate. He put me on a medication to lower my blood pressure and heart rate and is keeping me on the 150 mg dose until I return from a trip overseas. When back, he plans to taper me very slowly although I cannot remember the taper he mentioned. At this point I feel angry that I ever listened to the doctor who said I need to be on it forever. Fernweh Venlafaxine ER 300mg straight down to 150mg Metoprolol
  9. Hi I am currently on Venlafaxine XR ( 150 mg ) and have decided to reduce my dose as feel in a stable place to try. Me and my doctor decided to taper down using 37.5 mg XL tablets as this is the smallest dose they do. Anyway I had very bad withdrawl symptoms which began after about 1.5 days after dropping the dos by 37.5 mg After about 9 weeks and still suffering from withdrawls I went back up to my normal 150 mg XL dose which helped. My question is how do I withdraw any less that 37.5 mg as this is the smallest tablet and I believe you are not able to cut the XR version of venlafaxine XR. Thanks
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