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Dorgor

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I'm going through Effexor withdrawal and it is killing me.  Strung out more days than not, terrible tinnitus.   As soon as one withdrawal symptom diminishes, another pops up.  No more diarrhea but now my ears ring all the time.  I'm more agitated and irritable than I was a week ago, and I've been completely office Effexor since beginning of October.  Two experienced people whose opinions I greatly value have tried to reassure me that this is WITHDRAWAL, not a recurrence of depression.  When I'm feeling okay, I buy it, but when I'm feeling bad and lash out and say crazy stuff, I'm not so sure.  HELP!  I've registered on this so when I'm a little less strung out I can ask someone coherent questions.  Right now all I feel up to is lurking.

 

Please please please tell me that this will pass and the collateral damage from going through withdrawal will not set me back to where I was when I first starting taking these evil drugs.

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Welcome Dorgor,

I'm sorry to hear about what you are going through, and lurking is fine, but if you could write a little more about your drug history, we may actually be able to help you, and the sooner you are able, the more chance there is of you being able to do something.

 

How long were you taking Effexor?

What dose?

How did you stop and when?

Are you taking any other medications?

 

If you have recently stopped taking Effexor, either cold turkey or a fast taper, and are having symptoms different from anything you previously experienced before going on the drug, then its most likely withdrawal. See:

 

What is withdrawal syndrome?

 

Also see:

 

About reinstating and stabilizing to reduce withdrawal symptoms

 

Why Taper By 10% of My Dosage?

 

Tips for tapering off Effexor (venlafaxine)

 

If you stopped at the beginning of October, then its most likely withdrawal and you could possibly stop or reduce your symptoms by reinstating a small amount, waiting to stabilize and then starting a proper, slow taper. Effexor is a difficult drug to come off of and should be tapered very carefully.

 

When we have a few more details, we will be in a better position to offer support and suggestions.

 

Petunia.

I'm not a doctor.  My comments are not medical advise. These are my opinions based on my own experience and what I've learned. Please discuss your situation with a medical practitioner who has knowledge of tapering and withdrawal...if you are lucky enough to find one.

My Introduction Thread

Full Drug and Withdrawal History

Brief Summary

Several SSRIs for 13 years starting 1997 (for mild to moderate partly situational anxiety) Xanax PRN ~ Various other drugs over the years for side effects

2 month 'taper' off Lexapro 2010

Short acute withdrawal, followed by 2 -3 months of improvement then delayed protracted withdrawal

DX ADHD followed by several years of stimulants and other drugs trying to manage increasing symptoms

Failed reinstatement of Lexapro and trial of Prozac (became suicidal)

May 2013 Found SA, learned about withdrawal, stopped taking drugs...healing begins.

Protracted withdrawal, with a very sensitized nervous system, slowly recovering as time passes

Supplements which have helped: Vitamin C, Magnesium, Taurine

Bad reactions: Many supplements but mostly fish oil and Vitamin D

June 2016 - Started daily juicing, mostly vegetables and lots of greens.

Aug 2016 - Oct 2016 Best window ever, felt almost completely recovered

Oct 2016 -Symptoms returned - bad days and less bad days.

April 2018 - No windows, but significant improvement, it feels like permanent full recovery is close.

VIDEO: Where did the chemical imbalance theory come from?



VIDEO: How are psychiatric diagnoses made?



VIDEO: Why do psychiatric drugs have withdrawal syndromes?



VIDEO: Can psychiatric drugs cause long-lasting negative effects?

VIDEO: Dr. Claire Weekes

 

 

 

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(simultaneous post with Petunia . . . sorry if the questions are duplicated)

 

Hi Dorgor , welcome to the site.

From what you've said seems it IS withdrawal . . . a month out from  stopping effexor is typical for the symptoms

you describe.

Can you tell us what dose you took , for how long , and how you tapered?   This is all relevant to what advice might

suit you best.  

You could try taking a few beads of effexor to see if it takes the edge off your symptoms . . . see

this thread http://survivingantidepressants.org/index.php?/topic/7562-about-reinstating-and-stabilizing-to-reduce-withdrawal-symptoms/

 

Please could you have a go at filling in your signature.

Ask away when you feel ready.

 

Best wishes ,   Fresh

1987-1997 pertofran , prothiaden , Prozac 1997-2002 Zoloft 2002-2004 effexor 2004-2010 Lexapro 40mg

2010-2012Cymbalta 120mg

Sept. 2012 -decreased 90mg in 6months. Care taken over by Dr Lucire in March 2013 , decreased last 30mg at 2mg per week over 3 months. July 21 , 2013- last dose of Cymbalta

Protracted withdrawal syndrome kicked in badly Jan.2014 Unrelenting akathisia until May 2014. Voluntary hosp. admission. Cocktail of Seroquel, Ativan and mirtazapine and I was well enough to go home after 14 days. Stopped all hosp. meds in next few months.

July 2014 felt v.depressed - couldn't stop crying. Started pristiq 50mg. Felt improvement within days and continued to improve, so stayed on 50mg for 8 months.

Began taper 28 Feb. 2015. Pristiq 50mg down to 45mg. Had one month of w/d symptoms. Started CES therapy in March. No w/d symptoms down to 30mg.

October 2015 , taking 25mg Pristiq. Capsules compounded with slow-release additive.

March 2016 , 21mg

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Added signature info.  Whoops.  When I originally signed up I thought that info showed up in the signature.

 

No physical symptoms today but I seem incapable of monitoring any thought that comes through my head.  I've said a lot of stupid, stupid, angry things.  I almost want to avoid everybody for fear of saying things I shouldn't.  My moodiness is very hard on my 16 year old daughter who is having her own struggles, though for different reasons.

 

I will absolutely not ingest any more Effexor.  I had no idea it was going to be this bad.  My doc initially thought it wouldn't be so bad since I hadn't had that much trouble with Paxil.

 

FYI  I am taking 10 mg Prozac as needed.  Last three days I've needed it.

 

Any insight is appreciated.

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I will absolutely not ingest any more Effexor.  I had no idea it was going to be this bad.

 

Hi Dorgor,

 

I'm new here too, going through withdrawal after dropping from 100 mg to 50 mg of my ADs (and not thinking I was doing okay).

 

When I first joined I found it overwhelming trying to make sense of the information here.

 

I've revisited the site over the last week and checked out different topics.  I have gained some very good advice from members and started to understand the information.

 

I now realise that when we reduce our dose and get horrible symptoms it means we have reduced too quickly and that we should reinstate and drop down more slowly so as to give our brain and nervous system time to adapt.

 

This might help:  Icarus Project

 

Good luck and take care.

CC

 

 

 

Please DO NOT TAG me - thank you

PLEASE NOTE:  I am not a medical professional.  I provide information and make suggestions. 

  MISSION ACCOMPLISHED:    (6 year taper)      0mg Pristiq      on 13th November 2021

ADs since ~1992:  25+ years - 1 unknown, Prozac (muscle weakness), Zoloft; citalopram (pooped out) CTed (very sick for 2.5 wks a few months after); Pristiq:  50mg 2012, 100mg beg 2013 (Serotonin Toxicity)  Tapering from Oct 2015 - 13 Nov 2021   LAST DOSE 0.0025mg

Post 0 updates start here    My tapering program     My Intro (goes to tapering graph)

 VIDEO:   Antidepressant Withdrawal Syndrome and its Management

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Hello Dorgor, and welcome to s/a,

 

I'm another Effexor taperer, so wanted to say I know something of how hard it is for you right now.  I understand you not wanting to reinstate any Effexor - it feels like a poison huh?  The reason the others suggest it is because reinstating by a very small amount can help you to stabilise and then you would be able to taper in such a gentle way later on.  One of those things that can feel totally wrong, and yet can help things work out better in the long run.

 

But there is so much for you to take on board right now, so lurking and letting yourself take everything in is probably a good idea. 

 

The raging emotions you mention are familiar to me also - a very common sign of Effexor withdrawal.  SSRIs actually cause us to have much stronger and different emotions than we'd normally have - have a read about neuro-emotions.  You might feel a bit less crazy...

 

All the best,

KarenB

2010  Fluoxetine 20mg.  2011  Escitalopram 20mg.  2013 Tapered badly and destabilised CNS.  Effexor 150mg. 

2015 Begin using info at SurvivingAntidepressants.  Cut 10% - bad w/d 2 months, held 1 month. 

Micro-tapering: four weekly 0.4% cuts, hold 4 weeks (struggling with symptoms).

8 month hold.

2017 Micro-tapering: four weekly 1% cuts, hold 4 weeks (symptoms almost non-existent).

2020 Still micro-tapering. Just over 2/3 of the way off effexor. Minimal symptoms, - and sleeping well.
Supplements: Fish oil, vitamin C, iron, oat-straw tea, nettle tea.

My story of healing:ContinuedHealing

***I am not a doctor; please do your own research and be able to take responsibility for decisions you make.*** 

           'The possibility of renewal exists so long as life exists.'  Dr Gabor Mate.

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Thanks for the kind words and encouragement, KarenB and ChessieCat.

 

I had a good conversation with my psychiatrist yesterday.  I feel very fortunate that I have one that talks to me as an equal.  He asks lots of questions, and not always the obvious ones, so I feel like he is being very thorough with me.

 

Here's my plan for the next week:  20mg Prozac daily, 5-HTP, and P5P active B-6. 

 

I took 20mg Prozac this morning, 50 mg 5-HTP w/no stomach upset, but no P5P because they didn't have it at my local store.  Gonna try another store today.  I had been on 10mg Prozac so we bumped it up a little.  I'll touch base w/my doctor in a week and if I'm still feel bad, I'm gonna step back and go back on a low dose of Effexor.

 

So far today I'm feeling pretty good.  I'm actually able to focus on self-care, somebody that has been difficult over the last few weeks.

 

One thing I did this morning was eliminate all the sugar in my house, i.e. candy, ice cream, baked goods, etc  I think my heightened awareness of how what I ingest can affect my mood has given me the strength to do this.  Sugar has been a crutch for me a long time.   

 

One observation:  my tolerance for caffeine has decreased very much.  I didn't drink gallons and gallons but I always had a large cup every morning and maybe more during the day.  Now the thought of drinking coffee makes me queasy.  Is this just because I'm already felling queasy or is it a common withdrawal side effect?

 

Thanks.

 

Rachel

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I had been on 10mg Prozac so we bumped it up a little.'

Well going from 10mg to 20mg of prozac is not a little bump up, imo, that's a 'double the dose'.

 

it seems to me its simply been a merry go round of drugs to cover withdrawal of the previous one, and this is continuing.

New psychiatrist new drug.

 

"I will absolutely not ingest any more Effexor"....3 days later ...."I'll touch base w/my doctor in a week and if I'm still feel bad, I'm gonna step back and go back on a low dose of Effexor."

 

Wow thats a turnaround.

I am so sorry that this has happened to you.

And  i am sorry that prozac has now been introduced as well. Whats the bet that when this turns nasty they will introduce zyprexa or seroquel?

 

 

Later....should your doctor push you back on effexor as well as (you say low dose but if a little bump is double the dose i guess a low dose from the doc might be 150mg ...) you might like to consider the drugs interaction checker to see what might be triggered:

 

Interactions between your selected drugs

Major
fluoxetine venlafaxine

Applies to: Prozac (fluoxetine), Effexor (venlafaxine)

 

Using FLUoxetine together with venlafaxine can increase the risk of a rare but serious condition called the serotonin syndrome, which may include symptoms such as confusion, hallucination, seizure, extreme changes in blood pressure, increased heart rate, fever, excessive sweating, shivering or shaking, blurred vision, muscle spasm or stiffness, tremor, incoordination, stomach cramp, nausea, vomiting, and diarrhea. Severe cases may result in coma and even death. You should seek immediate medical attention if you experience these symptoms while taking the medications. Talk to your doctor if you have any questions or concerns. Your doctor may already be aware of the risks, but has determined that this is the best course of treatment for you and has taken appropriate precautions and is monitoring you closely for any potential complications. It is important to tell your doctor about all other medications you use, including vitamins and herbs. Do not stop using any medications without first talking to your doctor.

Other drugs that your selected drugs interact with

    Effexor (venlafaxine) interacts with more than 500 other drugs.
    Prozac (fluoxetine) interacts with more than 500 other drugs.

 

Antidepressants

Therapeutic duplication

The recommended maximum number of medicines in the 'antidepressants' category to be taken concurrently is usually one. Your list includes two medicines belonging to the 'antidepressants' category:

    venlafaxine (active ingredient in Effexor)
    fluoxetine (active ingredient in Prozac)

 

Note: The benefits of taking this combination of medicines may outweigh any risks associated with therapeutic duplication. This information does not take the place of talking to your doctor. Always check with your healthcare provider to determine if any adjustments to your medications are needed.

Thought for the day: Lets stand up, and let’s speak out , together. G Olsen

We have until the 14th. Feb 2018. 

URGENT REQUEST Please consider submitting  for the petition on Prescribed Drug Dependence and Withdrawal currently awaiting its third consideration at the Scottish Parliament. You don't even have to be from Scotland. By clicking on the link below you can read some of the previous submissions but be warned many of them are quite harrowing.

http://www.parliament.scot/GettingInvolved/Petitions/PE01651   

Please tell them about your problems taking and withdrawing from antidepressants and/or benzos.

Send by email to petitions@parliament.scot and quote PE01651 in the subject heading. Keep to a maximum of 3 sides of A4 and you can't name for legal reasons any doctor you have consulted. Tell them if you wish to remain anonymous. We need the numbers to help convince the committee members we are not isolated cases. You have until mid February. Thank you

Recovering paxil addict

None of the published articles shed light on what ssri's ... actually do or what their hazards might be. Healy 2013. 

This is so true, with anything you get on these drugs, dependance, tapering, withdrawal symptoms, side effects, just silent. And if there is something mentioned then their is a serious disconnect between what is said and reality! 

  "Every time I read of a multi-person shooting, I always presume that person had just started a SSRI or had just stopped."  Dr Mosher. Me too! 

Over two decades later, the number of antidepressant prescriptions a year is slightly more than the number of people in the Western world. Most (nine out of 10) prescriptions are for patients who faced difficulties on stopping, equating to about a tenth of the population. These patients are often advised to continue treatment because their difficulties indicate they need ongoing treatment, just as a person with diabetes needs insulin. Healy 2015

I believe the ssri era will soon stand as one of the most shameful in the history of medicine. Healy 2015

Let people help people ... in a natural, kind, non-addictive (and non-big pharma) way. J Broadley 2017

 

 

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Hi dorger ,  it's lovely that your psychiatrist makes you feel listened to , but he's not doing you any

favours being so heavy-handed with advice about increasing meds.

 

As nz11 pointed out , 10mg to 20mg is not "bump(ing) it up a little" . . . it's doubling your dose.

 

On top of that , it takes 4 consecutive days for a med. to reach a steady-state in your blood-stream.

November 2 , you said you've taken 10mg the past 3 days.  

So that will only be beginning to register since yesterday.   You cannot know yet how that dose will

affect you , which makes it more illogical to increase it at all yet.

 

Look in the Symptoms section , many people find 5htp stimulating , and it's not recommended here.

 

It's also silly to be trying more than one new thing at a time.   If you get new symptoms , you won't

know which new drug is causing it. 

 

I understand you're anxious , and want to do everything you can to get better as quickly as possible.

The decisions you make now are going to inform your recovery for a long time to come.

 

You may want to slow down and reconsider the 20mg Prozac.  

I'd give the 10mg at least another week , then reassess.   If you still want to bump it up a little at that

time , you can go up by 1 or 2 mg increments.

1987-1997 pertofran , prothiaden , Prozac 1997-2002 Zoloft 2002-2004 effexor 2004-2010 Lexapro 40mg

2010-2012Cymbalta 120mg

Sept. 2012 -decreased 90mg in 6months. Care taken over by Dr Lucire in March 2013 , decreased last 30mg at 2mg per week over 3 months. July 21 , 2013- last dose of Cymbalta

Protracted withdrawal syndrome kicked in badly Jan.2014 Unrelenting akathisia until May 2014. Voluntary hosp. admission. Cocktail of Seroquel, Ativan and mirtazapine and I was well enough to go home after 14 days. Stopped all hosp. meds in next few months.

July 2014 felt v.depressed - couldn't stop crying. Started pristiq 50mg. Felt improvement within days and continued to improve, so stayed on 50mg for 8 months.

Began taper 28 Feb. 2015. Pristiq 50mg down to 45mg. Had one month of w/d symptoms. Started CES therapy in March. No w/d symptoms down to 30mg.

October 2015 , taking 25mg Pristiq. Capsules compounded with slow-release additive.

March 2016 , 21mg

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  • Moderator Emeritus

Hi Rachel, I'm glad you are finding more capacity for self-care - that will make a real difference.  

 

Many people find they can't tolerate coffee while in withdrawal - it's just way too activating.  I only used to have one cup per day, but I've had to stop completely and now I can't bear the thought of it.  Your withdrawal symptoms should feel a little better with coffee out of your system.  Sugar too.  I always think I'm gonna be one healthy mama thanks to all this in my life!

 

Regarding the Prozac - taking it intermittently might have actually caused worse withdrawal symptoms due to the nervous-system's need for stability.  That fact together with what NZ11 pointed out about Effexor and Prozac being incompatible, points to Prozac being an extra complication for you.  The basic rule is the more drugs you add in, and the more times you increase or decrease doses, the more sensitised you become - making eventual tapering even more difficult.  You could have a read of http://survivingantidepressants.org/index.php?/topic/6632-the-rule-of-3kis-keep-it-simple-keep-it-slow-keep-it-stable/  And adding Effexor back in will just add further complications.

 

I think what I would do (and I'm no expert) is rely more on your self-care and other non- drug techniques (see http://survivingantidepressants.org/index.php?/topic/1112-non-drug-techniques-to-cope-with-emotional-symptoms/)

to cope with the withdrawal you are already in, and (since you've already had 3 days Prozac) stay on the lower dose of Prozac until your whole system is feeling more settled and robust.  From my own experience tapering Effexor and from what I've read on this site, bodies tend to need more time to stabilise than we want to give them.  Give your body the time it is asking for, then you could look at gentle tapering.  Go for the most stable options you can - it makes everything easier in the long run.  

 

I hope you're feeling okay - I know it's not easy when you're in the thick of it.   

Hugs,

KarenB

2010  Fluoxetine 20mg.  2011  Escitalopram 20mg.  2013 Tapered badly and destabilised CNS.  Effexor 150mg. 

2015 Begin using info at SurvivingAntidepressants.  Cut 10% - bad w/d 2 months, held 1 month. 

Micro-tapering: four weekly 0.4% cuts, hold 4 weeks (struggling with symptoms).

8 month hold.

2017 Micro-tapering: four weekly 1% cuts, hold 4 weeks (symptoms almost non-existent).

2020 Still micro-tapering. Just over 2/3 of the way off effexor. Minimal symptoms, - and sleeping well.
Supplements: Fish oil, vitamin C, iron, oat-straw tea, nettle tea.

My story of healing:ContinuedHealing

***I am not a doctor; please do your own research and be able to take responsibility for decisions you make.*** 

           'The possibility of renewal exists so long as life exists.'  Dr Gabor Mate.

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Once again, KarenB, that you for your kind words.  Fresh and NZ11, not so much.  You don't sound very kind, just judgmental.   And when someone uses acronyms such as "IMO" it sends up a warning flag for me.  

 

I'm outta here.

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Dorgor,

i am sorry.

I didnt mean to be judgemental, it wasnt meant to be personal,  i am just angry at what i see your doc. doing.

It seems odd to me to start a new addictive or as you say 'evil' drug. You were suffering symptoms of abstinence from effexor not prozac.

 

i feel for your situation.

 

Wishing you strength.

Please continue to stay ...i wont comment again.

Thought for the day: Lets stand up, and let’s speak out , together. G Olsen

We have until the 14th. Feb 2018. 

URGENT REQUEST Please consider submitting  for the petition on Prescribed Drug Dependence and Withdrawal currently awaiting its third consideration at the Scottish Parliament. You don't even have to be from Scotland. By clicking on the link below you can read some of the previous submissions but be warned many of them are quite harrowing.

http://www.parliament.scot/GettingInvolved/Petitions/PE01651   

Please tell them about your problems taking and withdrawing from antidepressants and/or benzos.

Send by email to petitions@parliament.scot and quote PE01651 in the subject heading. Keep to a maximum of 3 sides of A4 and you can't name for legal reasons any doctor you have consulted. Tell them if you wish to remain anonymous. We need the numbers to help convince the committee members we are not isolated cases. You have until mid February. Thank you

Recovering paxil addict

None of the published articles shed light on what ssri's ... actually do or what their hazards might be. Healy 2013. 

This is so true, with anything you get on these drugs, dependance, tapering, withdrawal symptoms, side effects, just silent. And if there is something mentioned then their is a serious disconnect between what is said and reality! 

  "Every time I read of a multi-person shooting, I always presume that person had just started a SSRI or had just stopped."  Dr Mosher. Me too! 

Over two decades later, the number of antidepressant prescriptions a year is slightly more than the number of people in the Western world. Most (nine out of 10) prescriptions are for patients who faced difficulties on stopping, equating to about a tenth of the population. These patients are often advised to continue treatment because their difficulties indicate they need ongoing treatment, just as a person with diabetes needs insulin. Healy 2015

I believe the ssri era will soon stand as one of the most shameful in the history of medicine. Healy 2015

Let people help people ... in a natural, kind, non-addictive (and non-big pharma) way. J Broadley 2017

 

 

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