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ColdTurkeyinBoston: Effexor


ColdTurkeyinBoston

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NOTE: this was written 5 days ago and sent to an apparently dead forum.

I just found SA via a web search, and will update my situation at the bottom

 

Effexor XR withdrawal questions

 

I've been on Effexor for over two months, and 225 mg for four plus weeks.

 

To the best of my knowledge, there have been no positive effects.

 

Probably around the time of going to 225 I started having trouble falling asleep, sometimes lying in bed for up to 8 hours before I got any real sleep.  This led to not getting up until after noon, and sometimes getting up, having coffee and breakfast, and then deciding I wanted to sleep some more.  Which in turn led to the same experience the next night.

 

Outside of the insomnia and general lack of energy, I have had no side effects that I'm aware of.  Since there has been no positive impact, I've decided that I'm going to take myself off it - on my own.  I'm unhappy that the psychiatric nurse who suggested it didn't admit that my sleep issues were related to the drug.  Instead, she suggested Benadryl, which helped for two nights before being useless.  When I told her this, she wrote "Any sedating properties of the diphenhydramine are side effects and you adapted quickly to the medication so the sedation wore off quickly." 

Huh?  So why did she suggest it as a sleep aid?

 

I've decided to withdraw from Effexor on my own largely because I feel that I can no longer trust her.

 

The questions:

 

- I'm thinking of skipping one day to see how I react to that

 

- Since Effexor has had no positive impact and minimal negative, I'd like to think that "may" mean I can withdraw without the hellish experience others have reported.  A few years ago I stopped taking wellbutrin (also no benefit) cold turkey with no problems.

 

- I've seen the recommendations that cutting back by the pill dosages is too sudden, but am feeling that I want out of here now, so am considering a week each of 150, 75 and 37.5.  I think I will try not taking any tomorrow and see what effect that has - if any.

 

/=/=/=/=/=/=/=/

 

At the time I wrote the above I also did a lot of web searching, and found myself in the camp of those who feel Effexor is a poison.

 

The next morning I didn't take any, and when there were no symptoms within 24 hours decided to stay off, not wanting to ingest any more of it.

 

Three days after my last dose I had some strange experiences.  I had several small bowel movements that day and had a strong feeling of excising my body of this junk.  I started having a very strong sense of elation and clarity.  I had a stronger sensation of libido than I've had in years; however, I'm 68 so did not get my youthful erection capabilities back.  I had the insomnia that night, and got up several times for an hour or two - in the hopes of being sleepy when I returned to bed.

 

One thing I'm curious if anyone has experience in.  I've generally consumed 2-4 beers a day for decades, and stopped roughly when I started the Effexor - although only partially for that reason.  My PCP is very reluctant to prescribe a sleeping pill, and an hour ago I teased/threatened her by suggesting perhaps I should just start drinking a lot of beer again, as it has consistently been an effective sleep-inducing aid ;-)

==>>  Have any of those with Effexor insomnia tried alcohol - with any success?

 

On one forum I saw a suggestion that DSM helped avoid side effects while in withdrawal, but that it was expensive.  Another person said it was now available in $ $tores.  Any experience here?

 

I'm interested in how long folks here experienced insomnia after coming off Effexor, and what - if anything - helped?

 

One thing I'm toying with is just forgetting about normal sleep routines for the time being - as that's effectively the situation anyway.  Just stay up for as long as I can (easier than it was a week ago!), then sleep for as long as I can, etc.  Instead of trying to force a pattern, just going with the flow - anyone done this?

 

On a related note, just today (well - Monday) I had an intake interview at a mental health place and I'm very excited and optimistic about it.  I'm impressed that they actually did this to help determine the best person for me to see - which was not the case at Harvard Vanguard.  BTW - H-V is shutting down their talk therapy operation at the end of the year, which is why my person there (of only a few months) suggested I seek an alternative - while saying that there were very few places that take Medicare patients.

 

I still don't really feel ready for sleep, but keyboarding is getting more tiring.

 

Related to the Registration process - why would someone ask that we "confidentially" enter our history there?  If it is truly confidential, it's just a lot of pointless and wasted typing.  It would seem to make a lot more sense for people to provide it - at least as it relates to this forum, in the first post - as I have. 

 

Anyone know anything?  Moderators - any valid reason for this?

 

===>>>  I see "Please start a topic in the Introductions forum"    

 

HOWEVER - What I don't see is an actual Introductions forum !!!  

 

CTiB

CTiB

 

All of the AD's I've tried have been uniformly ineffective, and I took none longer than ~2 months, so I don't feel listing them would contribute anything - not to mention that I don't have records.

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I can't edit the above post, which supports my suspicion that it was put here by a moderator - OR - there is some mechanism that automatically places a post here by any member who has not yet themselves posted on this forum.

 

I was going to edit it to say that I have since found the Intro Forum (obviously ;-), but for whatever reason it was not on the forum list when I first looked for it - only a forum containing "Please start a topic in the Introductions forum"  as part of the forum name.

 

EDIT:  Now I'm confused - I had seen this (my original post) in the Intro forum, but apparently it's just a link, as I was surprised when I saw this later message in the Seattle - Effexor - Insomnia topic.  I thought I was adding my later (explanatory) comment to a copy of the initial post that I noticed in the Intro forum, but just saw that message here, so they're obviously one and the same.  Nasty trick to pull on sleepy people - who can't get to sleep, even if not in Seattle.

CTiB

 

All of the AD's I've tried have been uniformly ineffective, and I took none longer than ~2 months, so I don't feel listing them would contribute anything - not to mention that I don't have records.

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I'm curious about something.  I've just read thru (I keep thinking that should be an official alternate spelling  ;-) this whole topic and it seems almost all of the situations here are people developing the insomnia after quitting Effexor - frequently about two months later.  Many hours ago I did a general web search (which eventually got me here) on Effexor + insomnia and found many cases of people developing the insomnia while on the Effexor, even with a basic 37.5 dosage.

 

Mine started very close to when I went from 150 (for a month) to 225, and I may not have attributed it correctly initially.  I've always experienced very sporadic insomnia when my mind was excited, but those episodes rarely lasted longer than a few hours.  I think for the first week or so I didn't pay that much attention to it, and just accepted it.  Then it got to be tiresome (so to speak  ;-)

CTiB

 

All of the AD's I've tried have been uniformly ineffective, and I took none longer than ~2 months, so I don't feel listing them would contribute anything - not to mention that I don't have records.

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  • Moderator Emeritus

Welcome CTinB,

You seemed to be having problems starting your own intro topic, so I split your posts from another member's thread and made your own here. If you bookmark, or follow it, you will be able to find it easily again.

 

It would be helpful if you would provide a few more details of your drug and withdrawal history. I see that you have filled in your signature, but we ask that you put the details of your drug history here so they appear at the bottom of each of your posts and help people to understand your situation when reading your comments.

 

Please put your withdrawal history in your signature       

 

Please don't skip doses to come off your medication. We suggest reducing by no more than 10% of the current dose every 4 weeks, this reduces the risk of withdrawal symptoms arising. Please read through this which will explain why:

  

Why taper by 10% of my dosage?  (The general philosophy of gradual tapering)

 

Tips for tapering off Effexor (venlafaxine)

 

Obviously, 225mg was a much too high a dose, causing insomnia. Perhaps you might consider reinstating at a much lower dose and then tapering properly from there.

 

Also see:  Important topics about symptoms, including sleep problems    you need to scroll down a bit to get to the sleep section.

 

Petunia.

 

edited.

Edited by 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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Have you tried Melatonin ColdTurkeyinBoston...? You're at the age where that might be beneficial. :)

Have been on psyc drugs for years, too many to include in this signature.

 

Currently on 475 mg lyrica, 37.5 mg venlafaxine 50mg seroquel, 2mg melatonin.

 

1-2.5 litres chamomile, only thing that seems to help with all of this.

 

Multivitamin and vitamin D prescribed by doctor for not going out in the sun enough. 

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Hi Petunia -

 

It wasn't so much that I was "having problems starting your own intro topic", but:

1)  I initially couldn't find an Intro forum

2)  When I later found it, it appeared that someone had copied in my first topic post

3)  I later realized that it was in fact a link

4)  It seemed that someone was taking care of the intro for me, OR there was some automation process at work that I didn't understand - and no one explained

 

> I see that you have filled in your signature

 

Since you read my signature, you will have seen that I have no records of past AD experiences, so cannot fill in any details.  As I indicated, I do not feel they are relevant anyway, as none of them produced any positive impact, and I had no WD symptoms stopping them, until my current insomnia.

 

> Please don't skip doses to come off your medication.

 

I did what I felt I had to do, which I have always done, and will continue to do so.

I feel that my methods are largely what has allowed me to cleanly and quickly start and stop the varied medications that have been suggested to me.

Just as it is well documented that each of us responds differently to each AD medication, so to do we each handle withdrawals differently.

If I had followed your suggestion, I would have been on this evil drug for more than another year, and would have suffered prolonged misery, and likely many more complications than I'm dealing with now.

 

You're certainly welcome to your methods and opinions, but please don't presume to preach to me.  As you say, you are not a doctor.

 

If this is the sort of unfriendly welcome that I should expect here, then I will leave.

CTiB

 

All of the AD's I've tried have been uniformly ineffective, and I took none longer than ~2 months, so I don't feel listing them would contribute anything - not to mention that I don't have records.

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Have you tried Melatonin ColdTurkeyinBoston...? You're at the age where that might be beneficial. :)

 

Hi Martin - thanks for the suggestion.  I know nothing of Melatonin, but when I did a search just now I found this:

"However, it can cause some side effects including headache, short-term feelings of depression, daytime sleepiness, dizziness, stomach cramps, and irritability."

 

You mention it being age related.  Could you possibly give me a link to a site that addresses this aspect?

 

My current thought is to do nothing for a week.  If the insomnia hasn't improved by then, I will ask my PCP for a short term sleep aid.  OR, I might try my idea of just "going with the flow", and sleep when I can and at other times do activities, paying no attention to the "solar" clock.  At this point I am not even close to being concerned enough to start a relationship with another medication - especially when there are known possible side effects.

CTiB

 

All of the AD's I've tried have been uniformly ineffective, and I took none longer than ~2 months, so I don't feel listing them would contribute anything - not to mention that I don't have records.

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I just did some more searching on Melatonin, with interesting results.

 

An article on WebMD, reporting a Harvard study, starts with this:

"Nov. 5, 1999 (Washington) -- The popular notion that the quality of sleep naturally declines with age because the body produces less of the hormone melatonin has many people, particularly the elderly, swallowing pills, sucking on lozenges, and even brewing special tea. But Harvard researchers now say money spent on melatonin supplements may be money thrown away."

 

I realize that this was written a relatively long time ago in terms of medical research, and don't know if Harvard's findings of "A study in this month's American Journal of Medicine shows that healthy older men and women had melatonin levels that were similar to those found in young men." is still credible.

 

A 2001 article in the Journal of Sleep reports:  "Conclusions: Older people with age-related sleep maintenance problems do not have lower melatonin levels than older people reporting normal sleep."

 

This is also a relatively old study, and I don't know if newer research contradicts these findings, but it sounds to me that there is no great need to worry about melotonin levels.

CTiB

 

All of the AD's I've tried have been uniformly ineffective, and I took none longer than ~2 months, so I don't feel listing them would contribute anything - not to mention that I don't have records.

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Hey Boston. Buffalo here. How many days since you've taken Effexor 225mg? That's a very high dose to just stop cold turkey: you won't feel the real withdrawal until about a week in. I went cold turkey from 75 mg in 2008 and I didn't feel it until about a week in, and the brain zaps and seizure like feelings came on hard at ten days and did t go away for a couple months

 

I wouldn't compare this to Wellbutrin. This is a very different drug (Effexor) I'm sorry your going through this, it sounds like your having the 'pink cloud 'effect or elation, you'll get that a few days in, then the depression and anxiety comes. I would wean down as low as you can go. These medications aren't meant to be messed with: they cause real damage. For some of us, the side effects don't go away. I would air on the side of caution based on others experiences on this forum.

Weaned off Effexor XR 75mg after one year of use

 

I'm experiencing the most debilitating symptoms ever imaginable

-pssd

-Emotional Numbness

 

Last dose was in august '15 after  weaning off for 6 months

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I was just looking at the site Rules and Guidelines, and noticed:  This site does not provide medical advice.

 

And, "- A posted message expresses the views of the author of the message, not necessarily the views of this site."

 

Plus, "This is a site for going off drugs. It is not a site for finding out what drug to take next, comparing drug cocktails, or recommending what drug to add. This could be dangerous. People could be hurt by your advice."

 

Lastly, "If you decide to go off your drugs, you must take the responsibility of coping with any distressing symptoms that may arise, including those patterns of thinking the drugs were intended to remedy."  I strongly feel that I have done this.  Others are welcome to choose their own paths, just as I have chosen mine.

CTiB

 

All of the AD's I've tried have been uniformly ineffective, and I took none longer than ~2 months, so I don't feel listing them would contribute anything - not to mention that I don't have records.

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Thanks for the warning Buffalo.  This morning I was wandering through the forum, and did indeed find many stories of people only having WD effects some time after reducing their dosage.  If this happens to me, I will decide to deal with it at the time.  I took the last ones just a little less than a week ago, so I should know over the next few days.

 

Part of my "logic" is that I never had any positive results from the Effexor.  I'm well aware that the chemicals did enter my body and brain, but I'm theorizing that in some aspect they never made a solid "connection", and that will ease my withdrawal - abrupt as it was.  I'm certainly not advocating this approach for anyone else.

 

There's another reason that I decided to do it this way.  That is all the histories I've read of people ramping down slowly, and often starting to take something else - supposedly to ease the process.  It strikes me that before long you end up on a lifelong merry-go-round, periodically changing horses or the size of various horses, perhaps  straddling two horses at once, or in extreme cases getting pulled off into never never land by a 4-horse carriage.  Earlier I was recommended to wean myself off using a year + process.  No thanks.  I prefer to avoid the devil I know - or rather many others know - and take my chances with the unknown.  What might be called the Frank Sinatra approach.

CTiB

 

All of the AD's I've tried have been uniformly ineffective, and I took none longer than ~2 months, so I don't feel listing them would contribute anything - not to mention that I don't have records.

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You sound very courageous. But your playing with fire. A different kind of fire. There's still a lot to learn: you sound like you have a lot of wisdom, but your playing with fire Boston. I wish I could help you understand the pain that Effexor can cause someone if they don't respect the medication.

 

I went on Effexor with emotions, able to cry, get excited, feel love, happiness. I went on it for 8 months. I weaned off 6 months ago.

 

I have permanent life changing side effects from effexor.

 

I can no longer cry

Feel love

Feel sad

Feel anything

I'm 27 and I have permanent sexual dysfunction

I can't sleep. Ever

I developed that symptom while I built tollerance

 

It's been 6 months and I don't sleep more than 3 hours a night

 

I didn't respect ssri's before this. I know about life and it's challenges, but they all Pale in comparison to permanent emotional blunting from ssri's.

 

This is the dark side that doctors don't talk about because they don't care to know about it.

 

It's your brain. I'm just trying to help prevent another case of pssd or emotional blunting. Your brain is very fragile.

Weaned off Effexor XR 75mg after one year of use

 

I'm experiencing the most debilitating symptoms ever imaginable

-pssd

-Emotional Numbness

 

Last dose was in august '15 after  weaning off for 6 months

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Are you sure you were on Effexor - it's actually a SNRI.

 

I can't think of a better reason for trying cold turkey than what it sounds like you've been through - I do hope you find a way to recover what you've lost.

 

I don't know how it's going to work out, but felt I had to try it.

 

It's exactly due to all of the horror stories I've read that I decided I wasn't going to put any more of this evil junk in my body, so you could say I stopped as I did because I was scared, and it had nothing to do with courage.  If something is bad, you don't make it less bad by continuing to eat it every day - you just extend your enslavement to it.

 

I do think the fact that I was only on it for two months is in my favor - I should know in a few days.

 

Regarding PSSD, for the last three days I've actually had a stronger libido than I've had in years.  It seems ironic that I only started getting benefit from Effexor after I stopped taking it.  There have been other benefits - overall I feel much better than I did before I started the Effexor.

CTiB

 

All of the AD's I've tried have been uniformly ineffective, and I took none longer than ~2 months, so I don't feel listing them would contribute anything - not to mention that I don't have records.

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Well, when I came off it, my libido came back for about three weeks. And then when the medication was out of my system, the libido disappeared. Emotionally I was flat.

 

And from my perspective, anyone that willing to quit Effexor 225 cold turkey has courage, unless you don't know what your messing with. And in your case, it seems like you have no idea what your up against.

 

You'll know what I'm talking about in the next few days. I understand you feel manic right now, your brains chemicals are all over the place. You will fall back down to earth and then some: I'm only trying to give some insight Boston. I've gone down this road a couple times before. It's always wise to listen to others that have gone down this road. It's obvious your new to this. Two months is a long time. Don't downplay it. You have a lot of venlafaxine in your body. The half life will start to wear off soon and your blood levels will drop dramatically. I hope you have a doctor on call when things start to get bad

Weaned off Effexor XR 75mg after one year of use

 

I'm experiencing the most debilitating symptoms ever imaginable

-pssd

-Emotional Numbness

 

Last dose was in august '15 after  weaning off for 6 months

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  • Moderator

CTinB-- Let's get off on the right foot here.  This forum is owned and run by one of the for most authorities on AD tapering in the world, who is constant contact with the other top people.  The rest of the moderation staff have many years experience helping thousands of people get off of these drugs as safely and comfortably as possible, and all of us have been or are going through the process ourselves.  The information we give is time tested and works otherwise we wouldn't give it.  We do not demand contrition but we do ask for a little respect.

 

Now let's ignore the first thirteen posts of this thread and start over again, shall we..

 

Hi CTinB--  Welcome to the group.

20 years on Paxil starting at 20mg and working up to 40mg. Sept 2011 started 10% every 6 weeks taper (2.5% every week for 4 weeks then hold for 2 additional weeks), currently at 7.9mg. Oct 2011 CTed 15oz vodka a night, to only drinking 2 beers most nights, totally sober Feb 2013.

Since I wrote this I have continued to decrease my dose by 10% every 6 weeks (2.5% every week for 4 weeks and then hold for an additional 2 weeks). I added in an extra 6 week hold when I hit 10mg to let things settle out even more. When I hit 3mgpw it became hard to split the drop into 4 parts so I switched to dropping 1mgpw (pill weight) every week for 3 weeks and then holding for another 3 weeks.  The 3 + 3 schedule turned out to be too harsh so I cut back to dropping 1mgpw every 4 weeks which is working better.

Final Dose 0.016mg.     Current dose 0.000mg 04-15-2017

 

"It's also important not to become angry, no matter how difficult life is, because you can loose all hope if you can't laugh at yourself and at life in general."  Stephen Hawking

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CTinB-- Let's get off on the right foot here.  This forum is owned and run by one of the for most authorities on AD tapering in the world, who is constant contact with the other top people.  The rest of the moderation staff have many years experience helping thousands of people get off of these drugs as safely and comfortably as possible, and all of us have been or are going through the process ourselves.  The information we give is time tested and works otherwise we wouldn't give it.  We do not demand contrition but we do ask for a little respect.

 

Now let's ignore the first thirteen posts of this thread and start over again, shall we..

 

Hi CTinB--  Welcome to the group.

 

Hi brassmonkey.

 

I'm quite happy to respect those who respect me.

 

I do not consider being preached to as respectful.

 

I also provided some quotes from the forum rules that seem relevant.

 

I'd be happy to discuss this with you off-line should you wish.

 

If you're talking about my general decision to go CT, then I don't understand your notion of respect.

 

If you're saying I need to buy into the company policy of tapering to be here, then I'll go.

CTiB

 

All of the AD's I've tried have been uniformly ineffective, and I took none longer than ~2 months, so I don't feel listing them would contribute anything - not to mention that I don't have records.

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  • Administrator

Welcome. CTinB.
 
This site offer peer support in going off psychiatric drugs. The staff are all quite knowledgeable peers. I am flattered and a little embarrassed that brassmonkey called me a foremost expert in the field but that is in fact the case, as there is a vacuum of knowledge in medicine about going off psychiatric drugs.
 
People come from all over the world to find out how to get off their drugs without incurring withdrawal syndrome. In conjunction with other sites touching upon withdrawal, we advocate a very slow reduction of 10% per month, based on the current dose of the drug. As psychiatric drugs all incur physiological dependency, this allows the nervous system to adjust to the changes in drug dosage.
 
We have many topics explaining all of this in depth, Petunia gave you links to some to get you started.
 
Anyone who has taken a psychiatric drug regularly for a month or more is at risk for withdrawal syndrome when they go off. Cold turkey is a very high-risk way to go off. If you look around the Introductions forum (where your own Intro topic now resides), you will see that cold turkey and fast withdrawal can cause very severe withdrawal syndrome that can last months or years.
 
Sleeplessness is a very common adverse effect of Effexor. You experienced this when your dosage was increased to a level that probably was too high for you.
 
Sleeplessness is a very common withdrawal symptom. You experienced this when you cold-turkeyed Effexor.
 
Benedryl pooped out on you because quite frequently, it goes paradoxical (having the reverse effect) after nightly use.
 
One of the dangers of going off a psychiatric drug too fast is sensitization of the nervous system. This will cause odd, unpleasant, reactions to, for example, over-the-counter drugs such as Benedryl, alcohol, sleep drugs, and even other psychiatric drugs. The nervous system does not react normally to even familiar substances such as beer or coffee that have a neuroactive effect.
 
You have withdrawal insomnia. As withdrawal symptoms can take some time to develop (contrary to what you may read about withdrawal syndrome), I hope you do not get other symptoms as well. See What is withdrawal syndrome?
 
The best way to reduce withdrawal syndrome is to reinstate a small amount of the original drug as soon as possible. If you were taking Effexor XR, you could open a capsule and take, for example, 20 beads or perhaps 37.5mg. This might be enough to calm your nervous system down. See About reinstating and stabilizing to reduce withdrawal symptoms

You would stabilize on that low dosage for a while and then taper off very slowly. It might take some time to stabilize, see The Windows and Waves Pattern of Stabilization

 

Unfortunately, the longer you wait to reinstate, the less likely it is to work. There is no way to estimate your window of opportunity for reinstatement.

 

If you want to wait and see what happens, that's your choice. If symptoms get worse, please consider reinstating. In the meantime, see our Symptoms and Self-care forum  http://survivingantidepressants.org/index.php?/forum/8-symptoms-and-self-care/for suggestions about how to cope with symptoms.

 

We don't know of any supplements or other substances that might fix withdrawal syndrome. If we did, I'd just put up a page and tell people to take it. There wouldn't be any reason to have a forum site full of discussion and an Introductions forum for case histories.

 

Withdrawal insomnia alone is a difficult beast. Melatonin can help; see the topic about it in the Symptoms and Self-care forum  http://survivingantidepressants.org/index.php?/forum/8-symptoms-and-self-care/

This is not medical advice. Discuss any decisions about your medical care with a knowledgeable medical practitioner.

"It has become appallingly obvious that our technology has surpassed our humanity." -- Albert Einstein

All postings © copyrighted.

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Hello Altostrata -

 

I still don't know how brassmonkey thought I was being disrespectful, as he didn't specify.  I feel I do respect the forum, and in one of my posts I mention recommending it to others.

 

> You have withdrawal insomnia.

 

Are you suggesting this only because I have stopped taking Effexor?  Frankly, I can't distinguish it from the insomnia that I had for a month while I was taking Effexor.  I certainly don't mean to question your knowledge or experience, but I am interpreting it as a continuation of the one major effect that Effexor had on me.

 

An hour ago I looked at maybe a dozen cases of people who had quit Effexor cold turkey.  Sadly, it seemed many of them did it because they ran out of money, or no prescriptions were left and their doctor was out of town, etc.  However, I was struck by all of them indicating that they encountered WD symptoms within the first 1-3 days of not taking Effexor.  Based on what I read, the onset of WD symptoms is much faster with a CT withdrawal.  I may or not experience symptoms - I just don't know.  There seemed to be some common agreement that the best was to approach it was to take a week off work, and plan to spend a lot of it in bed.  A number of people commented that it was not dissimilar to the flu, although I'm sure there are others who have a much rougher time.

 

I'm well aware that the focus here is tapering, and have gotten the feeling that those who do not buy into that may be "rocking the boat".  I have tried to be clear from the beginning that I was not advocating this route for anyone else, but it was the decision that I made for myself.

CTiB

 

All of the AD's I've tried have been uniformly ineffective, and I took none longer than ~2 months, so I don't feel listing them would contribute anything - not to mention that I don't have records.

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225 mg is a high dose. With a 5 hour half life, after taking for two months, do the math. You won't be in real withdrawal until probably tomorrow night maybe Thursday. I think you might need a month off of work.

 

It's physically impossible for you to just not go through withdrawal. I hope you have a good support system, and I hope your doctor is communicating with you about the risks. I understand your not in a good state of mind to make rational decisions, I've been through it. Effexor makes you feel like nothing can hurt you. It sounds like your probably 3-4 days off.

 

When your mouth starts to taste like metal, and your eyes start to get heavy, and your ears start to get tight, well then that's a pretty good sign your about to do some damage. Your about to put your brain through a ton of stress.

 

I know how much you hate Effexor and how it's poison I completely agree. But it's not the kind of of substance you can just stop without damaging yourself.

 

Just remember that when your eyes and ears start to hurt and make you dizzy then your getting to that point where you can do some serious permanent damage. Please be careful. Your not in the withdrawal yet. Trust me. Cold turkey off that high of a dose you will not feel until day 4 or 5. Just be careful guy

Weaned off Effexor XR 75mg after one year of use

 

I'm experiencing the most debilitating symptoms ever imaginable

-pssd

-Emotional Numbness

 

Last dose was in august '15 after  weaning off for 6 months

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  • Moderator Emeritus

Hi CTinB,

 

I still don't know how brassmonkey thought I was being disrespectful, as he didn't specify...

 

 

I think it was your response to me that could possibly be interpreted as disrespectful. 

 

> I see that you have filled in your signature

 

Since you read my signature, you will have seen that I have no records of past AD experiences, so cannot fill in any details.  As I indicated, I do not feel they are relevant anyway, as none of them produced any positive impact, and I had no WD symptoms stopping them, until my current insomnia.

 

> Please don't skip doses to come off your medication.

 

I did what I felt I had to do, which I have always done, and will continue to do so...


...If I had followed your suggestion, I would have been on this evil drug for more than another year, and would have suffered prolonged misery, and likely many more complications than I'm dealing with now.

 

You're certainly welcome to your methods and opinions, but please don't presume to preach to me.  As you say, you are not a doctor.

 

If this is the sort of unfriendly welcome that I should expect here, then I will leave.

 

 

I personally don't feel disrespected, more like, unappreciated for making the effort to move your posts from where they were being ignored, asking you to reconsider your decision to go CT and for directing you to some posts I thought may be helpful in informing your decisions.

 

I also sent you a personal message, letting you know what I had done and sending you the link to your new introduction topic, to which there was no response.

 

I could have easily just ignored where you were posting incorrectly and being overlooked. But I noticed and tried to help. Usually, people get thanked for going out of their way to try and help someone who seems to need it.

 

Of course you are free to make your own decisions. But you came here, I assumed for information, support and advice and so I did the best I could to get you started in the right forum and to fill in what I saw were gaps in your current understanding, in hopes of saving you from what I and many other people here are going through for often months and years.

 

I'm sorry that you took my efforts to help you as preaching and unfriendly, it wasn't intended that way.

 

Seeing as you have been reading through the rules and guidelines of the site, you may find this one useful too, if you decide to stay:

What will get you warned or banned

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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When your mouth starts to taste like metal, and your eyes start to get heavy, and your ears start to get tight, well then that's a pretty good sign your about to do some damage. Your about to put your brain through a ton of stress.

 

Just remember that when your eyes and ears start to hurt and make you dizzy then your getting to that point where you can do some serious permanent damage. Please be careful. Your not in the withdrawal yet. Trust me. Cold turkey off that high of a dose you will not feel until day 4 or 5. Just be careful guy

 

Yeah - you're probably right and I should have taken your route - you seem real happy with your outcome!

 

BTW - tomorrow is day 7

CTiB

 

All of the AD's I've tried have been uniformly ineffective, and I took none longer than ~2 months, so I don't feel listing them would contribute anything - not to mention that I don't have records.

Link to comment

 

Seeing as you have been reading through the rules and guidelines of the site, you may find this one useful too, if you decide to stay:

What will get you warned or banned

Petunia.

 

No thanks - I'm out of here.

 

You missed your calling - you would have fit right in with the Third Reich.

CTiB

 

All of the AD's I've tried have been uniformly ineffective, and I took none longer than ~2 months, so I don't feel listing them would contribute anything - not to mention that I don't have records.

Link to comment

It seems to me like your going through withdrawal. If you take say 37.5 every other day for a week or two you might suffer a lot less. I can tell your in withdrawal . Your overreacting and taking people wrong. People just were trying to help. I'm not a doctor just someone who's been there

Weaned off Effexor XR 75mg after one year of use

 

I'm experiencing the most debilitating symptoms ever imaginable

-pssd

-Emotional Numbness

 

Last dose was in august '15 after  weaning off for 6 months

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  • Moderator Emeritus

CTinB, I'm sorry you feel that way, I hope things settle down for you soon and you come back and let us know how you are doing.

 

Ruth, I have answered your post in your own introduction topic, the link is here:  http://survivingantidepressants.org/index.php?/topic/10480-ruth/

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

 

 

 

Link to comment

Please dont go CTiB.

Its a privilege to have you join us.

 

Everyone has your best interests at heart.

 

From my own experience i have found that the second time around on these chemicals things change. You have already been exposed to wellbutin. A cold turkey again may be a very different animal.

 

If you want to CT then that is an option and your choice is respected.  That choice is yours but people here just want you to be completely informed. We have all been hoodwinked regarding the nature of these potent drugs.

 

 

These drugs cause chemical changes to the brain and as a result quitting them cold turkey or rapidly is equivalent to causing 'blunt force trauma' to the brain. That is the best analogy i know of.

 

Withdrawal symptoms can be delayed for months.

 

Healy has found that  a  CT after only 2 weeks use can cause withdrawal problems for months in healthy volunteers.

 

I totally understand the need and want to get off this drug. But its also good to be able to function as well.

 

Good luck, i hope you are one of the lucky ones who can get off quickly.

Please stay and keep us updated.

 

This place is a little like your home town Boston....there are many here running a marathon but the difference being here there is no time keeper!

Everyone looks  'Boston Bruins' until they hit the ice and when that happens it ain't 'Jay Leno' time.

 

We will miss you if you don't come back.

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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  • Moderator Emeritus

 

No thanks - I'm out of here.

 

You missed your calling - you would have fit right in with the Third Reich.

 

 

Completely inappropriate and uncalled for.  We are perfectly happy to do what we can to help anyone dealing with AD withdrawal, but it would be nice if posters would recall that nobody gets paid for this service and people devote their time to try to help others and "pay it forward".  References such as this are hurtful to someone like Petu who has worked so hard to help so many.

 

Very disappointing that someone would come here and take that attitude.  Sick or otherwise.

 

Andy

Sertraline 50mg and Clonazapam .375mg from 2000 -- symptoms of dizziness Spring 2012

increased to .5 Clonazapam and 100mg Sertraline -- no improvement

Benzo microtaper from November 2012 to November 2014 (followed benzo sites "taper benzo first")

Started Sertraline taper in December 2014 cut by 25mg to 75mg; 62.5mg 1/1/15 and 50mg on 2/1/15

Held at 50mg through April 5 to use liquid 
Reduced dosage in 10% or less drops from 50mg to 25mg -- at single tablet of 25mg on 10/5/15

Transitioned to all liquid for accuracy while tapering -- Horrible insomnia -- back to 25mg liquid and held until October 1, 2016

10/16 -- 11/18 tapered very slowly to 10.6mg.  No real improvement and never really stable so updosed to 12.5mg (1/2 a pill) for convenience and long hold.

After 8+ months of holding with no noticeable improvement decided to add .4ml of liquid Prozac (about 1.5mg) to see if that improves the situation

Supplements, Magnesium, D3, Omega 3, curcumin, Valerian, 81mg Aspirin, L-Theanine, Vit. C,

 

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 I totally agree.  Petunia is a " saint", who only tries to help .  Everyone here , is helpful, positive and caring .  Maybe , it's you C.T.I.B, who is indeed , in the " wrong place" !!    :wacko:

Many SSRI's and SSNRI's over 20 years. Zoloft for 7 years followed by Effexor, Lexapro, Prozac, Cymbalta, Celexa, Pristiq, Valdoxan, Mianserin and more - on and off. No tapering. Cold turkey off Valdoxan - end of May 2014

 

                                                  Psych Drug - free since May 2014
.
         

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  • Moderator Emeritus
 

Very disappointing that someone would come here and take that attitude.  Sick or otherwise.

 

Andy

 

 

I agree with Andy and AliG.. you are an angry person, possibly made worse by withdrawal.. but I'm sure you were angry before. This kind of personal attack is appalling. Petu is a gentle soul who puts in long hours here, expecting little more than common courtesy in return.  You are a bully, and the behavior you just indulged in will not be tolerated.

As always, LISTEN TO YOUR BODY! A proud supporter of the 10% (or slower) rule.

 

Requip - 3/16 ZERO  Total time on 25 years.

 

Lyrica: 8/15 ZERO Total time on 7 or 8 yrs.

BENZO FREE 10/13 (started tapering 7/10)  Total time on 25 years.

 

Read my intro thread here, and check the about me section.  "No matter how cynical you get, it's almost impossible to keep up." Lily Tomlin

 

 

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I think it is right for everyone to warn him what could come. I CT'd off of 75mg of Effexor (thanks to psychiatrist) and felt withdrawal effects for a week, only for them to go away for 3 months (thinking I was in the clear) and then hit HARD, to the point where I could not drive to work, go grocery shopping, or basically function. The community was just trying to warn him and give advice. Best wishes to him.

History: Began suffering from panic attacks when my father passed away in 2005. Been on and off SSRIs (Celexa, Lexapro, Effexor XR), and therapy since then.

2009 - Started Effexor XR 75mg. Consistent therapy starting Oct 2013

Feb 2014 - Therapist and I felt I was ready to come off Effexor - went to half dose (37.5mg) for a week and then off completely by advice of psychiatrist - bad w/d for a week then gone

May 2014 - bad protracted w/d came out of nowhere.. constant dizziness, agoraphobia(never had before), intense headaches, fatigue for 3 months, all tests (brain MRI, inner ear tests, blood tests, etc.) normal. could not drive, grocery shop, or live life.

Aug 2014 - back on Effexor XR 75mg as neurologist thought these symptoms were my anxiety coming back, all w/d symptoms disappear within 2 weeks. I should have went back on at a lower dose, but I hadn't discovered this site yet. I finally did discover this site, and gave myself a year to stabilize.

July 2015 - Started tapering from 75mg. 5% cuts every 3 weeks. From July 2015 - March 2016, reduced to 37.5mg (half dose). In March 2017, down to 18.3mg (quarter dose). April 2020 - down to 0.38mg.

 

Now: Finally med free as of Oct 31, 2020 after 5.5 years of tapering. Still med and withdrawal free, October 2021. ☀️

Supplements during tapering and now: Meditation, daily exercise, fish oil, clean diet, working from home (more sleep!)

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Well - 10 days free of Effexor and still zero WD symptoms; the insomnia was gone in 8 days.  For those mentioning possible WD effects later on, since I have not experienced any WD indications whatsoever, I consider the possibility of that quite remote, as those who experience PAWS always seem to have initial problems on cessation.

 

I'm sorry to disappoint Offeverything - who seemed so giddily certain of what horrors I was about to experience, and the rest of the doom and gloom chorus.

 

No doubt Petunia is a fine person, but she seemed overly eager to tell me what I had to do, and then made a blatant threat - which strikes me as abuse of power, prompting my subsequent comment.  Not that the action threatened carried any weight, but it was her attitude of "I'm a moderator, and I can do this to you any time I want".

 

This site appears intended only for those who are willing to follow the company line of a stepped approach to withdrawal.  Independent thinkers do not seem to be welcome.

 

I certainly am not advocating my approach to anyone else.  If you read my original post, I joined the site only to ask about approaches to insomnia - but immediately everyone tried to convince me to change my decision / course of action; I couldn't be happier that I ignored those calls, or I would have been on this junk for another year - needlessly.

 

I accept that mine is an unusual (unheard of?) outcome for these circumstances, but I must have had some confidence in this happening, or wouldn't have felt so free to pull the plug.  This also makes me wonder if the will can play a role in these matters.

 

I thank those who offered support, in spite of my plain speaking.

 

Warning:  DO NOT try this at home.

CTiB

 

All of the AD's I've tried have been uniformly ineffective, and I took none longer than ~2 months, so I don't feel listing them would contribute anything - not to mention that I don't have records.

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  • Moderator Emeritus

How's the insomnia and fatigue? Have they resolved now?

 

Dalsaan

Please note - I am not a medical practitioner and I do not give medical advice. I offer an opinion based on my own experiences, reading and discussion with others.On Effexor for 2 months at the start of 2005. Had extreme insomnia as an adverse reaction. Changed to mirtazapine. Have been trying to get off since mid 2008 with numerous failures including CTs and slow (but not slow enough tapers)Have slow tapered at 10 per cent or less for years. I have liquid mirtazapine made at a compounding chemist.

Was on 1.6 ml as at 19 March 2014.

Dropped to 1.5 ml 7 June 2014. Dropped to 1.4 in about September.

Dropped to 1.3 on 20 December 2014. Dropped to 1.2 in mid Jan 2015.

Dropped to 1 ml in late Feb 2015. I think my old medication had run out of puff so I tried 1ml when I got the new stuff and it seems to be going ok. Sleep has been good over the last week (as of 13/3/15).

Dropped to 1/2 ml 14/11/15 Fatigue still there as are memory and cognition problems. Sleep is patchy but liveable compared to what it has been in the past.

 

DRUG FREE - as at 1st May 2017

 

>My intro post is here - http://survivingantidepressants.org/index.php?/topic/2250-dalsaan

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