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  1. Hello, I'm new to this forum and I'm working toward tapering off of 225 mg of venlafaxine. I am a 70 year old male, that has been very active and health conscious. My weakness has been depression. I previously had two periods of feeling depressed that involved obtaining an antidepressant from my general practice doctor. I would get to the point of feeling spacey and or lethargic, then do talk therapy to get back off of the drug. These where phase one antidepressants, and I would taper off slow over say 4 to 6 months without noticeable side effects. These events occurred between 2005 to 2008 per notes I still have. I retired from Highway Engineering March 1, 2014. Many emotional events piled upon me during the next five months. The stressors where; retiring and adjustment period, daughter coming home to live with us and get a divorce, a vicious son in law (being divorced), one or two other more minor stressors that I do not recall, and a huge spiritual crisis in which I felt I had not lived as graciously as God would have wanted me to. In July 2014 I became fixated on thinking about all these things. I sat in a stupor for days, lost 15 pounds, thought the devil was speaking and accusing me of my wrongs and tempted me to deny God and just die. My wife asked me If I had thought of suicide and I admitted that I had. She called 911 and got help. They took me to a hospital and put me on suicide watch till they could transfer me to a psych ward for treatment. I was confined for a week and given many medications. I also had a physical problem that they dealt with. I was released to an out-patient psychiatrist. The psychiatrist told me he would take me off all the previous medications except for increasing my dose of venlafaxine to 225 mg. I have been on venlafaxine for four (4) years. In May 2018 I stopped drinking all alcohol and also stopped experimenting with legalized cannabis. I quickly felt a bit more energy. I put this energy toward searching the internet for information about venlafaxine and antidepressants. I have learned much, but still want to keep learning. My Psychiatris agreed to allow me to get off Venlafaxine October 4, 2017, after telling him repeatedly about my desire to and why. He reduced my venlafaxine from 225 mg to 150 mg. The short of it is that I did not make it, and went back to the full dose. After learning more about how to decrease slowly, I am ready to try again. I have sought the help of my general practice doctor, who is supportive and has reduced me to 187.5 mg. Since I know that a 10% reduction is better, I cut open a 37.5 mg capsule, counted the beads, and took 40% of those beads, 15, and added them to the 187.5 mg, for a new total of 202.5 mg. I'm also taking daily notes of my physical and mental state, and dosage. I will see my general practice doctor monthly. I will be also talking to my Psychiatrist about my plans. I plan to start talk therapy also. Does anyone have any advise or comments?
  2. Hi all,[/size] My name is Lisa, I am a 30 year old female and I believe I've experienced protracted withdrawal. I plan on starting to taper off Effexor XR in July. Here is some of my history: [/size] Starting in 2005, I began taking Lexapro after my father got cancer and passed away 4 months later as I started having panic attacks. I am not sure when I went off Lexapro, but I know I was put on Celexa for a while as Lexapro stopped working and I have now been on Effexor XR for 6 years. In the past, when I go off an SSRI/SNRI, I end up going back on after some time because my panic attacks come back. After 6 months of therapy, I went off Effexor XR in March 2014 with a week of a half dose (37.5 mg) and then completely off, by the advice of a psychiatrist. Actually, the book she referred to recommended 2 days of a half dose and then completely off, but she extended it.[/size] Withdrawal was horrendous. Insomnia, nausea, diarrhea, dizzy, not able to concentrate, felt just SO out of it. Finally it was over in a week or so. But in late May 2015 (3 months later, thinking it was all out of my system and I was good), I had just gotten home from vacation and was about to get into the shower when BAM, I was suddenly so dizzy that I couldn't tell which way was up or down. This remained for 3 months day in and out and after a ton of tests (took meclizine (anti-dizziness pill) which did nothing, ENT looked at my sinuses/ears which were clear, inner ear tests which were normal, brain MRI which was normal), until I went back on Effexor XR in August 2014 by recommendation of a neurologist who said it was my anxiety coming back. During what I'm thinking was protracted withdrawal, I was dizzy constantly. I'd wake up from a deep sleep completely dizzy, it did not go away. I also had excruciating headaches at night and could barely sleep 2-3 hours a night because of this (I NEVER get headaches). I was also severely exhausted because of the dizziness - everything was harder, and the low amounts of sleep due to headaches. I did not understand because other than being upset of my state of being constantly dizzy, I really was not anxious. I was meditating, exercising (as much as I could - it was a feat with being dizzy), nothing significant going on in my life. I had also been going to therapy and made huge strides.. I still continue to go to therapy weekly and it's been about a year and a half now. I was so confused as to how this could be anxiety. Now I'm reading this site and I'm learning this was probably protracted withdrawal. After I started taking the Effexor XR again, within 2 weeks I felt totally better. Now that I have been back on Effexor XR since August 2014, and after learning what I've read on this site, I want to start a slow taper in July after my next vacation. My therapist believes I am ready and now I know I am after having a great suspicion that those symptoms were not due to my anxiety. I have read the advice boards and will be doing the 10% per month taper. I also will be going to the recommended doctor in Farmington, MI and have an appt with him at the end of this month.[/size] Has anyone else experienced the protracted withdrawal symptoms that I had? Any other advice or tips that you can share? I will be coming here often and hoping to make friends [/size] Thanks![/size]
  3. Hi, in march I decided to go to a shrink after dealing with depression/anhedonia for a couple months. I was put on paroxetine 30mg and olanzapine 2.5mg. During my last visit with my previous doctor I told her I still had anhedonia, to which she replied: "let's increase the olanzapine to 5mg, you'll sleep better". I told her: "I dont think blocking my dopamine receptor further will resolve my anhedonia". Anyways, I decided to find another doctor who told me I could just cold turkey the current 2.5mg because I don't need it. I also started venlafaxine 75mg to see if it alleviates my anhedonia. Any advice regarding the olanzapine? Thanks in advance for the replies, and sorry if my post is not very organized, I am not very good at writing.
  4. Help777

    Help777: journal

    Effexor x12 years. Added lithium in sept 2015. Added prozac in october to help bridge taper from effexor as i started having symptoms. Started withdrawing effexor in September 2014. Over last 4 months i went From 112.5 to 14mg as of last week.. Last week I seemed to all of a sudden hit a wall. Crying uncontrollably constantly. Shaking, nausea, extreme fear and overwhelming need to cry. Ive read your site. Ive reinstated to 20 mg of effexor for last 3 days but absolutely no improvement. Im so scared. I cant go to work like this. Continuing prozac 20 and lithium 300. Please help.
  5. Caspur

    Caspur: history

    I have been taking Venlafaxine at 75mg per day for about 6 years. The side effects were becoming too annoying to contiune - mainly flat, blunt unemotional mood, drowsineess during the day (i would fall asleep at my desk whilst working (at home)) and frequent urination, especially at night, which interrupted sleep too much. I have successfully tappered off venlafaxine once before after about 10 months treatment. I did it over 9 months without any issues. Buoyed by that success, i thought i could do it again and embarked on a taper using broken pills and liquid preparations prescribed by my doctor on the UK NHS. I only took 4 months this time which wasnt that sensible , as i now know. The taper ended 5 weeks ago today (24/11/17). Since then i have experienced many and varied discontinuation symptoms both physical and emotional: - physical - nausea, diarrhea, flatulence, dizziness and swimmy feeling in the head; mild visual disturbances; mild but constant headache; mild tingling sensation in the face - emotional - depression, anxiety like i've never experiened before for no aparent reason, irritability, poor concentration; mood swings over a very short time period for no apparent reason etc The semotional symptoms come and go. I will have one or two good days followed by 2-4 days of feeling depresed, anxious, etc On the up side i do feel like im experiencing real emotions like i havent felt for year I have mananegd to control some of the symptoms with supplements such as tryptophan. i also take fish oil, B vits, vitamin C and D I exercise a lot - run 5-6 km per day and try very hard to eat well; lots of fruit and vegetables etc Any suggestions for help would be gratefully received!
  6. Hi to all users, Its been 3 full months after my last dose of Venlafaxine. In 2018 I've been on 10mg of Escitalopram for five months then switched on Venlafaxine for another six months. I started Venlafaxin with 37mg and came up to 150mg per day XR. On January 2019 wanted to get rid of the drug since i feel that not needed anymore. Jumped from 150mg-0mg in one month (I know it was too fast, but those days i felt very good and confident, hence rapidly tapering the dosage). The first month of withdrawal, I had severe psychical symptoms, like tiredness, headache, heart racing, anxiety. After these symptoms somehow subside, starting from the month 2 till today (now I am at 3 full months after my last Venlafaxine dose) I have constant headache (don' know how to describe, its not a regular headache, but something like head/nervous system tension) and decent anxiety. My waves and windows are very recognizable, since I have periods when I feel very anxious, depressive, sensitive to sounds, feel nausea etc. and there are days when I feel better (not by much but noticeably more relaxed, with more emotions and not so severe headache/tension). Want to hear from other users who pass through these similar symptoms with constant headache and anxiety which persist of days and weeks now, if some supplements can make the situation more manageable. Hope the day when we heal will come soon... Thanks
  7. Hello everyone, I'm not quite sure which topic the following issue and question belongs to .. so please let me know if I should post this in another topic / category. As described in my signature, I completely stopped ingesting venlafaxine after about 3 months of tapering - I know, too fast, I was never informed about withdrawals or the need of a slower taper by my physician. One week after the last pill, various withdrawal symtoms such as brain fog, blurred/limited or "constrained" vision, OCD, tiredness and vertigo all appeared at once. Everything lasted for about 1 month and then, like all of a sudden, the withdrawals just stopped or became much milder. This period, which I like to refer to as my withdrawal "honeymoon," lasted for about 2 weeks. After this, the withdrawal symtoms started to come back, yet this time much more severe. I don't know if it has to do with the 2-3 glasses of champagne I had in New Years (I doubt so), but ever since they came back, they have slowly gotten worse. In the beginning I could still work, see friends and do other things people do in the leisure time but now I am on the sick list since three months, I can barely go or stay outside very long because all my symtoms (especially my visual symtoms) gets worse and my body and brain gets tired really fast. I am home most of the time. I try to exercise and to go out but my symptoms allow me to do very little things before it gets too hard for me. Now I ask you people who know this better than me - is it common for the symptoms to get worse over a period of time (for several weeks/months) before things hopefully turns around and you start feeling better again? I know that I may be a little messy in my explanation and I have certainly posted this in the wrong topic, but please know that I am suffering from a bad brain fog and that I am trying my best. I have already visited an ophthalmologist and I did get my brain scanned and they could find nothing. Still, I'm worried that there may be something else that causes my symptoms, which in turn was caused by effexor. PS -I have tried several supplements and have found that soy protein powder and magnesium tables relieves some of my symtoms. Thank you all in advance, and sorry for the messy text!
  8. Yogendra from India -- 24 years on various meds. Now on Desvenflaxine 50 mg Exteded Release I am from Delhi, India and was put on such drugs around 24 years back. Now I am 38 years. I have gone through worst experiences in my life. I had a brain stroke around 25 years ago that left my left half of body weakened and paralyzed. I some how recovered mostly from it later on. But have been on psych. drugs for last 24 years ON and OFF. Years back I was on around 10 tabs per day. And many times I stopped medicines cold turkey too but had to come back again when symptoms striked again with full force. I wish to come off from the meds. Currently for the last 6 months I have been on 50 mg desvenlaflaxine EXTENDED RELEASE tablet daily. I heard that extended release tablet should not be cut into pieces. I am in dire need of an advice how to wean off from medicines and live freely and calmly.
  9. Hello everyone! I have PDA (Panic Disorder with Agoraphobia) since 15 and I´m in drugs since there (now I´m 31). I tried different medications, but I think I´m with venlafaxin and clonazepam for about ten years (clonazepam since the begining of the treatment). I have always responded well to medical treatments overall. Sometimes I was great, sometimes I was ok, but never in that big hole of being trapped in you own home again. Never had major colateral effects. My life became almost normal, thanks god. I married, had a good job and socialize. I just avoided some situations, like being all bymyself in a distant place, for example (mild agorafobia) At July 2015, after doing my first international trip I decided I was "cured" and started to withdrawn the medication. My start point was 75mg of venlafaxin and 1,0 mg of clonazepam (It wasn´t my higher dose, but the one I stabilized) I didn´t knew the 10% rule, but somehow I instinctly followed it . I made it really slow and without any visible sympton. In the beginning I discontinued it a little bit faster. In january 2016 (six months later) I was taking half of the medication without any sympton (37,5mg/0,5mg) I continued tappering slowly. From january 2016 to december 2016 I cutted another half (37,5 day yes, day no/0,25) The problem was that with that dose I started to have some panic attacks. My main symptons are: shortness of breath, derealization (which I never had in this way) and weakness overall. Six months ago I was playing soccer for two hours, now I´m having trouble walking for 10 minutes. So, resuming: Venlafaxin Clonazepam July 2015 75mg 1mg (feeling great) January 2016 37,5mg 0,5mg (feeling great) January 2017 18mg 0,25 mg (having panic attacks) Until now I´m dealing with my attacks and learning some CBT tools to fight against. I have some questions and count on your help! 1. Is there any problem taking the venflaxin day yes/day no or is better to dissolve it and start to take it 18mg/day? 2. It´s ok to tapper the two meds at once? If not, which one would be the best to start? 3. I think that my symptons are not from tappering fast, I think it´s really my anxiety/panic condition that was covered by the meds, what is your experience? What do you think? 4. If I return to my safe point (37,5/0,5) is there any garantee that I will fell better again or there is a high risk of returning to a higher dose and continue feeling bad? I could tapper it even slowly in next time with more help (now I know this site and I´m reading it a lot) 5. If there´s a high chance to return feeling good taking this dose, in how many time can I expect the effects of the reintroduction of the meds? Obs.: I have a major important admission exam in less than 2 months and that´s my real thing. If wasn´t for it, I would hold up hands down. But my fear is that it mess up my studying and my performance. 6. Anything you want to comment will help. *Congratulations for all the comunity, I hope I can add some experience with the meds, the tappering and the disease itself. **I started do read some material, but it´s a lot of thing, so, I´m sorry if I ask something that is already written. ***Hope you compreend my english, I´m not practicing it for a while.
  10. Hello Surviving Antidepressant friends Around 18 months ago I posted this thread desperately seeking help for tapering gone wrong. I had been on a treatment dose of 300mg of Effexor, which I had reduced around 80%. I went to a psychiatrist to seek advice on tapering and bridging and he told me the amount I was on was almost nothing and there would be no issue if I tapered off over a couple of weeks. That caused the worst withdrawal I have ever had, including what felt like 48 hours of suicidal panic attacks and inability to sleep. My memory from that time is blurry. Anyway. After that I tapered back on to Effexor until the worst of the discontinuation syndrome subsided, which ended up being back up to 10mg, or 30 beads. I stayed that way for around 8 months before trying to go off again. I would take my dose every morning in the same place, around the same time, by pouring out the little beads onto my hand, counting them, taking them, then brushing my teeth. The next time I started going off I reduced by 1-3 beads every 3-4 days (more at the beginning, fewer at the end). I also conducted a little placebo conditioning experiment with myself, where I replaced the lost beads with white 100s and 1000s (I think Americans call them sprinkles?). I figured, after reading up on the classical conditioning mechanism in the placebo effect, that the eight months of "ritual" around taking the drug might be sufficient to allow the placebo sugar beads to have the same effect as the drug on my brain. Once there were no more drug beads I continued "taking" the 100s and 1000s each morning for a few weeks. I'm not going to recommend the placebo approach outright for obvious reasons (I am not a doctor or scientist; my understanding of the placebo effect is probably rudimentary). However, in my specific case, the experience of going from 30 beads to 0 beads, was a million times better the second time than the first. Other factors that likely helped: It was about 5 times slower than the first time; I had adjusted to the 30 bead dose before I started; I took even longer gaps between reductions of the last beads; I was not working as much as I went through this process. Now. While it was easier than the first time, it was still not easy. I felt churned up emotionally and was super irritable, I had rage flashes, my anxiety increased hugely, anhedonia returned, I had nausea, and my muscles, particularly in my legs, spasmed and twitched, often violently. I could, however, sleep for the most part, and none of these symptoms got too much in the way of life (granted I was not working very much and I work for myself anyway; it would have interfered if I worked for someone else). It helped to know that if I could just get through those few weeks then things would probably get better. These symptoms lasted around 2 weeks after the final drug dose, which was early April 2017. And things did get better. For me, most of the side effects of the drugs have now gone. Most significantly, my sense of self and my creativity have returned. It had felt like they were being numbed or muted by the drugs, and I couldn't access them. Off the drugs I now have access to them. Similarly, my ability to enjoy sex has improved, and I don't feel like that side of me is muted either. The above is really tremendous; feeling like yourself again instead of a weird muted robot alien is a big relief. However, while I consider the drug withdrawal to be 100% successful and 100% the right decision for me, I should caveat that with the following context: The drugs appeared to be muting extreme unresolved emotional distress, both from childhood stuff and from rape and sexual assault from a few years ago. The pain from this sort of exploded when the drugs went away. My primary diagnoses are anxiety and major depression, but it appears even those were symptoms of childhood stuff. When I came off the drugs it was the first time I had been drug free in around 13 years. I am highly sensitive and have a big emotional world, but I never learned how to regulate stimulation and emotion, and then had it muted by drugs. When I came off the drugs the emotions and stimulation were pretty extreme and often overwhelming. I took from that that I should learn skills of emotion regulation though, rather than that I should go back on the drugs. Even with only 3-4 months of practice, I am hugely improved and the emotions and stimulation overwhelm me much less frequently. (Now they inform my creative work and my service work, and are real positive assets for me, albeit ones that require sensitivity and management.) I have the great privilege of being able not to work for a while while I recover fully, which is lucky because I cannot currently work. I put that down to unresolved trauma that has now come to the fore rather than drug withdrawal. I am doing deep dive work with my psychologist that is helping more than any other talk therapy I've done, and I think that work will be sufficient to return me to work eventually. I see her weekly. That work is also subsidised by the government because it is about recovery from sexual trauma, meaning for now I do not pay anything for it (another enormous privilege). I have a partner who is extraordinarily supportive and gets what is happening for me. He judges fair contribution to the relationship by reference to each partner's capacity, and thinks that because he has more capacity right now it is fair that he do more housework, financial contribution etc than me. This has allowed me not to push myself beyond capacity, which has meant I have recovered more quickly. In conclusion, while I am currently not working and my capacity to do a lot of things is severely restricted, I could not be happier that I am off the drugs. I feel like I have real issues (childhood trauma and sexual trauma) that require serious work, but now I feel like I am actually properly addressing them, instead of having them be muted yet just as destructive. I also no longer have the drug side effects interfering with my ability to enjoy things, make music and comedy, have intimacy with my partner, meaning recovery feels more authentic and there is more joy in it. Things still hurt a lot, but my world feels real in a way it wasn't on the drugs. It's hard to explain to anyone who hasn't come off these drugs before. In simple terms: I have hope. I can experience joy and enjoyment. I am excited about what the rest of my life might bring. Even while I know that I am in the middle of pretty extreme emotional upheaval and trauma processing, life is better than it has ever been. I am finally able to be fully, authentically myself, in ways that the drugs (and the trauma and mental health issues) got in the way of. I am optimistic.
  11. Hi I am new to this forum and this is my first post . I am currently on 30mg mirtazapine and 200mg of pregablin , I have been on these mess for about 3 to 4 months . I have just cut my mirtazapine from 30mg to 15mg and in the space of 4 days I have have horrible side effects , anxiety through the roof , shaking , lack of appetite poor sleep crying spells and the general feeling of feeling crap . The reason I have started to withdraw from the mirtazapine is that after 3 months I feel no benefit only get awfull side effects . No help with my anxiety and depression if anything it's made me more depressed . I have gone through withdrawing from Effexor and that was really tough , however just the drop for a few days of the mirtazapine has left me crushed , my doctor told me that mirtazapine was a easy drug to withdraw from , but after 4 days it has left me house bound . Has anyone got any idea on how I get through this or any experience in mirtazapine withdrawals
  12. Hello everyone. My name is Christa. I am from the Netherlands Europe so please don't mind if my English isn't all that. For the past 25 years I was first on paroxetine and the most years on venlafaxine 150 and later 75 mg. For. Years this was fine by me. Until I started reading about tapering. A view more years went by and in the back of my mind there always was the feeling that I was done with those drugs. So finally I went to my doctor. Only to hear that my medication was to hard to stop. So some time more went by. But still I wanted to. So I went back to my doctor and I told her...... Listen. That depression for 25 years ago.... I think it's gone now don't you think so? The time I first got. The drugs was totally different from where I am today. I am in a stable situation. Steady job. Husband. Animals. No white picked fence tough. But still she told me it can't be done. Well........ I am the kind of person who does not take no for an answer. So I started counting beads. Until I was at 37.5 mg. And then there was a surprise. I got capsules from 37.5 mg and Inside each capsule there were 3 smaal tablets. So the first week I took out 1 tiny pill from my daily capsule. A small whitdrawel would come for a view days. About 3 days. So I waited until my body was used to the lower amount and as soon as I felt ready I decreased the dose again. I did this until I was at 10 somewhat mg. And there it got scary. Still from 10mg to 0 is still a 100% change. And from there the real withdrawal began. I could not do it. So I did read about the prosac bridge. Bridging the gapp between venlafaxine and no medication. Because prosaic has a long half life time it's very handy in this case. So I called my doctor again and told her I was willing to try a different kind and I wanted prosac. I never had the plan to switch to a new antidepressant but I did not tell her. For a week I took my 10mg venlafaxine and I took one tablet of 10mg of prosac. After that week I stopped the venlafaxine. For. 3 more days I took half a tablet of prosac. And then stopped completely. I can te you that's scary. I was waiting for some relaps or something bad to happen. But it didn't. Nothing. I slipped out of my antidepressants. But than....... Reality hit like a truck. All of a sudden I was back in the real world emotion came back. Crying laughing angry everything came back. So I took a view weeks of from work to adjust. People a. Careful with me now. They can't play me anymore. I am no longer the dosile Christa who was a bit weird and just happy to have work. The new Christa has her own ideas. Things she will do and things she won't. Christa is thinking again. I am strong and people notice. I am no longer ugly bettie who takes all the crappy jobs. I am building my future. It been 4 months now si ds I stopped my medication. My stomach is still upset. I am often not friendly and harsh. But people have admiration for that I am this strong. I have claimed my live and my territory and it works. It's been a hard Rollercoaster road. But it can be done and you can too Thanks
  13. 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.
  14. I have been on meds since I was around 18, I am now 33, I have been tapering off all my meds for the last year now, I have managed to get off venlafaxine xr 75mg which I tapered off for around 4 - 6 months, and quetiapine 50mg over the last 12 months, I was on 200mg at one point and also tapered off diazapam 10mg, and also propranolol 10mg, I have been off all meds now for nearly 3 months and have been fine, I have been at the gym most days and eating healthy, I was starting to look good again and becoming myself again, I have not been human while on meds for the last lots of years, I was finally starting to enjoy life and then the last few weeks my sleep has been getting very fractured and I have been waking up very early with extreme brain fog, it feels like my head is going to explode sometimes, now the last 2 nights I have not slept at all and feel like death, I even took 2 melatonin tablets and they did nothing, what on earth is going on? I am worried I have done some serious damage to my brain, I am too worried to go and get checked at the doctors as I could not handle news that I have some brain disease, I have read that meds can cause effects many months after, can anyone give any advice/peace of mind?
  15. Hello folks, Wow I came across this website and it definitely helped my outlook on this horrid process of withdrawling from Anti- Depressants. Here is my story. Life was good I was 23 years old, sitting in my University Class seminar, participating with my class, when out of nowhere all these feelings came rushing over me, people started to go sideways, couldn't really talk. Long story short I dropped out of University and went home to parents. I Went to an emerg clinic and was diagnosed with Generalized anxiety disorder(Gad). Immediately I was giving a prescription for Effexor xr 150mg, followed up with my doctor and was up at 225mg for awhile and 150mg for awhile over a 6 year period. I am now 29 years old, about 4 months ago the effexor pooped out, well it may have pooped out a year before that, but we all know how addicting it is. Went through the stigma , perceived personality changes, felt brilliant and ability to talk, got lots of good jobs, was able to be social, felt at times like it was a miracle drug, then slowly over time I lost my jobs, gf's , starting smoking marijuana heavily, took up smoking cigarettes and had anger and frustration issues, never had this before the medication. My doctor just refilled my prescriptions and never really questioned how I was doing on this medication. If I missed a dose one day I would have horrible symptoms. Long story short I feel effexor got me through the first initial espisode I had, but eventually ruined my social life, career life etc. It's been a tough trip. So after this medication pooped out 5 months ago I figured lets try to go off this and tapered off during a two months period.150mg to 75mg to 37.5 then half of 37.5 and then half of that,then off. I quit Effexor on March 22/2012 after being on it since 2005. Wow Lets just say after I came off it I felt so amazing, I saw everything in a fresh new light- like this is what life is like off this? Colors are brighter, Smell is better, everything changed for the positive after coming off it. Rose colored glasses you should say came off. I quit my 2 addictions of Cigs and pot immediately, was so proud of myself, fixed up debts that I wouldn't have touched on effexor. I felt like I had total control of my life, except for how to deal with these raw emotions , felt like a brand new person. Until... The 3 month mark being off Effexor, wow. Anxiety, Insomnia( not sleeping til 730am), not being able to look at somebody and talk to them in a normal light( was never a issue all my life). One week ago I tried Wellbutrin for 5 days and then withdrawled off it 150mg xl. It was just making me more anxious etc. Now the biggest problem I face is feeling like my memory/words have disapeared, can't make sentences or think of what to say and this was never a problem in my life and it's bothering me big time and I don't know what to do, as I feel like my brain has been messed up by 6 years of effexor highest dose 225mg but mostly 150mg. How do I get this back? I need some good responses here because I feel like a complete dummie as my mind has been erased. Thank you for reading this extremely long post, but I didn't want to leave anything important out, and I really want to move on with a life that I can accept and enjoy. Where has my memory gone? Will it comeback? How long if so? My words and ability to talk to people and come up with things to say? Very scared, What can I do? Use to be so smart I am Martin and that is my story, Glad to be a part of this group (29 years old) ^6 years on effexor , now 3months off 2005-2012 , March 22/2012 Off Effexor
  16. 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!!!
  17. Hello future friends, I'm based in Brussels, Belgium at the moment. I am here because I've been tapering venlafaxine since June 2018. Started at 225mg (see more info in my bio section). I am completely stalled at 75mg. I tried a micro taper taking out one tiny bead from my Effexor XR 75mg capsule. But it brought on terrible unbearable withdrawal symptoms. It seems I have become hyper sensitive to this drug. I think it might have to do with a kindling effect (tapering quickly before in the past when I didn't know better) and the fact I'm a Highly Sensitive Person perhaps. The drop I did from 82mg to 75mg completely floored me for 9 months. I was unable to work during that time and was bed-ridden 50% of the time. I had flu symptoms, depression, severe anxiety, severe insomnia, dizziness, IBS symptoms, lack of energy, no motivation, severe headaches. It was MUCH worse than any of my depression or anxiety symptoms before. In short, it was hell. And even a drop of one tiny bead sends me back to this hell. It's so unfair and I'm so mad. So angry to have ever been prescribed this drug in the first place. I'm sure many can relate to that. Especially as it's never even helped me. How absurd. In any case, I feel very stuck. I would like to come off completely because I would like to try for a baby. And ideally, I don't want to be on this stuff. I think the only option for me now is to try bridging to prozac? That's the only thing I can think of. I will see a psychiatrist soon to discuss with them. Any advice or insights welcome. I feel I am being kept hostage by this drug. I cannot afford (either financially or otherwise) any more time off my work and my life - I'm doing a PhD and I need to finish it by 2021. So, yeah. I'm feeling very trapped these days. Thanks so much for reading! Best wishes, Marie PS. How do I post in the venlafaxine/Effexor thread? I went to the thread but couldn't see how I could post there.
  18. Hello, I was started on Effexor 75 mg a year ago for anxiety and OCD. I tried cutting my dose in half 2-3 months ago to 37.5 mg not realizing about withdrawal symptoms. I have never struggled with depression but since changing the dose have been really depressed. 3 weeks ago my doctor added Prozac saying it would help but it doesn’t seem to. I am so frustrated and feel like Effexor has caused me more problems than good. Since I tapered so quickly I don’t know if I should go back up to 75 on Effexor or increase my Prozac or what to do. I feel like my doctors aren’t sure what I should do either as he told me it’s up to me to decide my taper on my own thanks for your time and help in advance
  19. Moderator note: link to uncomfortablynumb's Benzo Forum thread Hi Everyone, About 9 years ago I jumped on the psych med-i-go-round. It was my last year in university studying human kinetics - I was really stressed, not getting much sleep, not eating very well and consuming way too much caffeine. I pretty much crashed and burned with anxiety and depression over probably a 4 month period. It was possibly due to years of stress and not knowing exactly what I wanted to do after graduation (to continue studies or find work). I was rock bottom, not being able to focus on anything and the anxiety was so bad that I isolated myself. That is when I first saw my psych. I was prescribed Celexa and that did nothing. It was my first drug and I was desperate and only gave it probably 3-4 weeks. Then I was put on Effexor. It worked wonders in about 3 or 4 weeks at 75mg or 112mg. I was back to my old energetic self and focused. I came out of my shell and was socializing again. I finished my degree and decided to forgo post-grad and start up my own business as a fitness trainer. The next 3 years were going well as I was building up clientele. Outside of work I was involved in long term relationships. Effexor was working pretty consistently. When it lost effectiveness, I would up my dose and be fine pretty soon after. I forgot to mention I was taking a pre-workout supplement (NO-Xplode or another) while on Effexor (which is probably a no, no) to give me an extra energy boost. Perhaps the meds were losing their potency and I needed another boost because coffee was not helping. Effexor then started to poop out on me. I would relapse into depression/anxiety for longer periods and upping doses was useless (I believe I went up to 187.5mg). We then tried augmenting Abilify without success. Then I switched to Pristiq which also didn't work. Then it was onto Wellbutrin to no avail. I ended up reintroducing Effexor and it worked again with the break. Not as well, but I was functioning. I began abusing pre-workout supplements just to keep me my normal energetic, positive self. Again, Effexor pooped out after a couple years. Over the next few months, I tried Zoloft and nortriptyline and another med. At this point, I was sent to a specialist. He changed my diagnosis to bipolar II even though I exhibited signs of bipolarity until I was on medication. He suggested different cocktails with lithium or Latuda. I refused. I made the stupid decision with my original psych to try Effexor one more time. Surprisingly, another break from it and it worked again. Not as well, but still got me up and going. I stayed on it for a year and weaned off this April this year. I was fine med-free for a couple months, then anxiety/depression reared it ugly head in July. Another foolish mistake I made was to go back on the Effexor from mid-July until September. I had to keep increasing the dose until it was clear my "go-to" drug was no longer an option. I began weaning off rather quickly by decreasing 37.5mg each week. I went to half of 37.5mg, then nothing. I have been completely off Effexor for the last 10 days. This is one of the longest bouts of depression/anxiety for me. It has been 4months. I have had to stop working (as I usually do when I am in this state). My job requires energy, positivity, focus. It is also a social job and depression/anxiety kinda make that impossible. It really is depressing that I have had so many relapses that it screws up my career. I wonder if I didn't go on meds in the first place if I would have relapsed. I had to wean off the drug while severely depressed/anxious. I think this has made the experience worse. I am experiencing bad insomnia, and what I think might be depersonalization (my senses seem altered, hard to describe - dream-like). I am also feeling like my mind is blank. Usually I have a nice flow of thoughts and can start conversation but it seems impossible now. It is very uncomfortable and I have isolated myself from friends. I also cannot find pleasure in ANYTHING. My concentration and memory are not very sharp. When I have weaned off in the past I do not remember it being this extremely awful. I have a few questions: Can the brain recover and balance itself? Is there anything I can do to move things along faster? Or is it probably best to explore other medical options? Should I get extensive bloodwork or an MRI done? Sorry this was such a long intro. I applaud you for reading this because it is not the most exciting story.
  20. I was given amitriptyline for severe insomnia and fluoxetine for cognitive function 30 years ago, after 6 months bedridden with Epstein Barr/Chronic Fatigue. Both were very successful, and I was able to return to work and later retire. I stopped amitriptyline a few years ago, no longer needed. Kept taking fluoxetine, which may not have been needed anymore. Fluoxetine "pooped out" early this year and I became very apathetic and anhedonic. I was put on 75 mg Effexor mid-April, without any washout period for the fluoxetine - neither I nor, apparently, my doctor, knew any better. It was very good at mood and energy improvement, but I had fairly bad physical side effects, and asked for lower dose. 37.5 mg still caused bad side effects. Like a fool, I stopped cold turkey one month ago. I knew I should count beads and taper, but simply could not force myself to put one more mg of this stuff into my body. Now I am paying the piper, and paying a lot. I found this site a few weeks ago, and have been looking for others who have severe physical WD symptoms. I may be lucky in that I have no emotional or cognitive symptoms, or unlucky in that I seem to have all of the physical ones. First 3 days off, my feet and calves swelled up like water balloons, along with neck and shoulder pain 24/7, which is still ongoing, but better. Muscle spasms in thigh muscles that made me actually scream one night during first week off. Chest tightness (muscle spasm?) that almost sent me to the ER several times. Shortness of breath has not gotten better so far, and insomnia is very severe. I feel terrible in the morning and all day until around 5 PM, then I seem to have a surge of wakefulness that lasts until 1 or 2 AM. Fatigue will not let up. I can't reinstate Effexor, as the side effects while taking it were much the same as WD, only less severe.
  21. It has been years since I took medications, I was 16 when I took them in 2009, and went through a few different brands. I have copied some of my introduction story to make things easier for me. http://survivingantidepressants.org/index.php?/topic/5232-%E2%98%BC-hello-charliebrown-script-free/#entry67166 Starting with Fluoxetine 10mg for 1 month. Then Venlafaxine for 1 month at 75mg then, 3 months at 150mg. 1 month of Clonazepam 0.5mg as I was tapered off Venlafaxine and onto Sertraline 50mg. Then I took Sertraline 100mg for 4 months. Still experiencing panic attacks, agoraphobia and paranoia. I went to the hospital during a panic attack and was given Lorazepam 1mg for 1 week. This is when my psychiatrist added Risperidone on top of the Sertraline. Risperidone started at 0.25mg for 3 days, then 0.5mg for one week, raised to 1.0mg for one week. After two weeks I had a check-up I told the Dr. I wasn't feeling anything and I believe he may have misinterpreted that as "no effects" but when I said it I meant that I felt no emotions. My dose was raised to 1.5mg daily. After 3 days of 1.5mg I began experiencing Akathisia with no relief of anxiety. With no options in perceived sight I took all of the remaining Risperidone. Approx forty 0.5mg pills. My Parents caught me and called 911. At the hospital I was given charcoal and passed out, waking hours later. After being discharged I continued to take Sertraline as prescribed for 2 months. With no reduction in my anxiety and my emotions being basically non existant I decided to "take the good with the bad" and feel some kind of emotion. Over the next month and a half I slowly weaned myself off Sertraline. Popping open the capsule and throwing away 3-5 tiny XR beads a day. So that's my age, meds and taper strategy. How long it took to regain all my emotions and bodily functions is a hard one to answer. It took about 6 months before I felt much of anything. Then the bad emotions came back, sadness, anger. Slowly over the next two years I had many days that were blank and void of anything, days full of sadness, but also days where a light would shine and I would be happy. Feelings were coming back in waves and leaving again. I joined this website in late 2013 and at that point I had some emotional range, a libido but no sexual pleasure. So i guess it took about 3 years off medications to regain a good emotional range and my youthful lust. I'm finally writing this success story because in the past year the lack of sexual pleasure and anhedonia are not a problem for me anymore. The feelings slowly came back in waves, sometimes weak, but getting stronger and stronger. Now I feel great when I hug someone or see a friend smile. Sometimes the feelings can even be overwhelming. Like my heart is ready to burst. I don't know what else to add except, it's been almost 7 years since I took medications and I am a whole new person! Don't give up hope! Things are constantly changing, even if you don't notice. I didn't notice the change until it was right in my face!
  22. 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 .
  23. Hi, you can call me AprilShowers. I was put on Venlafaxine (Effexor) in the millenium due to a period of depression. Was on it two years and tapered off with no problem and gradually depression got managable and life went on. Then my mother died of cancer and my depression came back more suicidal and severe. I tried citalopram with horrible side effects and continuous suicidal feelings before being changed to venlafaxine which had worked for me before. And it worked again, more or less. I got stabilised and although it took a long time the suicidal thoughts receded and I just had bad depression. Last year after five years on venlafaxine I was having bad heart palpitations and my psychiatrist thought it might be beneficial to change medications as I thought it might be being caused by being on an SNRI. I switched to mirtazapine which I was on a couple of weeks and felt good at first before it made me very suicidal. Panicing and needing to not feel that way anymore I stopped taking it cold turkey. After I began to have withdrawal issues I tried to get onto prozac (fluoxetine) in the hope that it would help, it didn't, it exacerbated the symptoms. I was in full withdrawal syndrome, massive dumps of cortisol turned my body to acid, I was urinating blood, I couldn't eat or sleep and the shakes were exhausting. It was completely debilitating and I did little but lay on the sofa for five months trying to distract myself with TV shows. Life got a little better in increments and with the help of this site which I read without joining I was able to understand what was happening to me and try to support my body. I thought maybe I'd been lucky to have gotten through this and was hoping to build my life back to some semblance of normal. I managed to get back to the point I'd been on while I was on the antidepressants. Still depressed, still not coping well with life but able to function a bit. I had hoped to build on that. A couple of weeks ago I started getting mad anxiety, possibly triggered by the shock of the news of terrorist attacks in Paris although I guess if I'm honest I was feeling a bit overwhelmed before that. Whatever happened, I was having a hard time and took a couple of small doses of lorazepam two nights running to get some sleep and mellow the panicy feelings. Of course they got worse after that and now I have the full cortisol dumping into my system again and I'm back on the sofa wishing for a different life and a better body. I've been in touch with my care co-ordinator who isn't seeing me until next week and she says that without me being willing to take medication there's not much she can do. I'm seeing my doctor tomorrow to try to rule out any underlying medical reasons (I had an infection before all this happened and have recently become diabetic, have PCOS and have had previous anemias, heart palpitations and thyroid blips) but I'm not holding out much hope and unsure how to try an explain to the doc what is happening with cortisol dumping into my body. I know all they can offer for the symptoms is lorazepam or similar drugs and I think that would just make my problem worse. The early morning shuddering and feeling of waking in abject terror is the pits, the shudders are exhausting, like parkinsons and then taper off during the day but still with a low level of tremor and feeling of panic. I've got no saliva, I go hot and cold, my stomach is acid, I'm wetting myself with the level of fear hormones in my system and am having to wear pads and I'm constantly going to the bathroom, I'm not doing very well at all. The fact that this is happening for the second time is extremely disappointing, I've had thoughts of not wanting to live like this. I feel very alone, I live alone and I'm scared of losing all I've gained. I'm here to find hope. I need to give this awful life I'm forced into some value and give myself some value. After five years living on benefits, trying to overcome depression and not really coping with life I feel like I have nowhere to turn but here to find people who believe and understand what I'm going through. I am desperate to believe this is just a blip and won't last as long as before but it's been getting worse every day like the reverse of when it happened the first time when it was very bad and I gradually felt relief. I'm finding it hard to trust I will recover. I have nothing to do but hope I can again. Supplements I take omega 3 in a high dose which has helped me manage my depression. vitamin C magnesium with calcium. Occasional other supplements. Am thinking of just stopping all but the omega 3.
  24. reask

    reask

    High BP caused by abruptly stopping Effexor and also getting worse while tapering
  25. Grayskies

    Feels like waking up

    I have just read almost all of “Prozac backlash” and It kind of blew my mind. I am sure this is old news for most of you on this site, I just had no idea. I also had tried to go off Effexor pretty much cold turkey and basically was a ball of nerves, sobbing uncontrollably the whole time. I thought at the time, “my anxiety must really be this bad, i guess i really cannot function without my AD.” OMG. I had no idea this was such a universal experience for people to go through such difficulty when trying to get off them. And to try to do this without any coping skills too? That was entering a losing battle. I am now seeing a therapist and I feel empowered to do this for the first time in my life. Having this community is really great too, to know it’s hard to do for all of us. For the first time in my life I suddenly see that this has been a lie I have told myself for years, that I need these to function. I always assumed “some people need meds for mental health and some don’t.” Reading this book demonstrating the actual figures for people who manage their depression/anxiety without meds is truly uplifting for me. I have had a rough month trying to start the taper. Someone tried to attack me at my job (this has never happpened to me before) and I was quite affected by it, starting to feel my anxiety sky rocket even on my full dose. This event set off some really tough emotions for me as I already have a stressful job and have been working on ways to move to something less stressful for me. For financial reasons, I need to stick with it for another 1.5 years. I feel pretty angry and anxious the first few days after a taper, I have noticed and the lightening strike emotions are there. I think mindfulness and encouraging self-talk in preparation for this possibility is key for me. Like positive visulations, even practice (role play) like what will i say if XYZ happens. I am on 121.5 mg of my effexor right now which is the second taper I have done. Much of my focus has been on the bad sides of my withdrawal. I go to Zumba pretty religiously and yesterday in my class I felt something I haven’t felt for a very long time—- it was joy. I felt joyful as I moved, and used my body, and felt alive. I felt free. I realized that this feeling has been covered up for some time in addition to my demons I am now facing. I was sitting in the sunshine with my dog and drinking coffee, listening to the birds sing, and I thought.. this is truly a perfect moment. It has been so difficult for me to feel moved in any way for the last 7 years. And in the back of my head I can feel my anxiety telling me “this won’t last, you could still be in trouble, you could still be unsafe...” And I am letting myself just for now to feel alive, like I am waking up.
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