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PacNWLove cold switch from 300mg venlafaxine


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I am planning to try divided doses of Mg citrate to help with extreme withdrawal symptoms (anxiety, panic, overall CNS dysregulatiom) as suggested by members on this site. Cognitively speaking, I am not in the condition to tell my entire story at this time, but in short, am in a terrible predicament and state.


Began AD treatment in 1999 at age 21, have been continuously on SSRI or SNRI monotherapy or combination of psychotropics (always with AD, most often Venlafaxine). Stopped Venlafaxine (300 mg) mid June with no taper and immediately changed to 40 mg Fetzima, per advice of a primary care physician while I was in between psychiatrists. Discontinued Fetzima mid Sept because I felt it was making me hypomanic to manic and have been considering treatment for bipolar. Found this forum and realized it is all from the extreme withdrawal, and frankly, feel even more hopeless about my disabling cognitive symptoms and anxiety/panic ever disappearing.


I am going to begin with small steps and do two things: 1)reinstate a very small amount of Venlafaxine if my psychiatrist is amenable 2)begin a small dose of Mg citrate for help with symptoms


As described considerably in the forums, my nervous system is in extreme shock, so any dosage of anything I try to take, prescription med or supplement, creates a strong reaction, even at very small doses. This has happened in the last several months with Lamictal and Celexa in low doses, and I could not tolerate B Vitamins either (was at high doses). I have reduced caffeine intake completely due to sensitivity.


So my question, considering the extreme sensitivity, what is a good divided dosage of Mg citrate to begin with? Should I stagger the dosages evenly throughout my waking hours, or how is this best done?


Thank you for any input. This forum has been extremely helpful and my heart also goes out to everyone here suffering from this. Unfortunately, while the information is extremely helpful, I am feeling more hopeless about my mind and mood and hope for recovery in the long term.

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  • Administrator

Welcome, PacNW.


At one time, I could tolerate only 25mg mag citrate at at time. You might want to start with that, or if you have anxiety surges, empty a capsule in a glass of cold water and sip it throughout the day.


I am moving this to the Introductions forum to start your Intro topic, as further discussion will take us far away from magnesium.

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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  • Administrator

You're welcome.


By the way, any doctor can prescribe venlafaxine, it doesn't have to be a psychiatrist. If you got the kind of Effexor XR that is a capsule filled with little beads, you could count beads to taper. A reinstatement of even 10 beads might reduce the withdrawal symptoms.


Do you have any venlafaxine left?

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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Alto, actually, last night, I picked up the prescription my psych had called in. She called in the 37.5 mg capsules. Of course, I am not surprised, but extremely angry (my usual emotion for the last six months) that she thinks I could take this much. I feel inept in doing any thing, but I feel there is no possible way I can take that dosage and not have terrible worsening of 'manic' symptoms and anxiety. I have never opened a capsule before and don't own a scale.


What would be your recommendation, to start? I am very aggravated, because I know I can always increase the dose, but if I get back on this med, due to withdrawal and my brain's state, I don't know if I will ever be able to decrease or stop again. That is why I want to be extremely conservative, and I don't think the entire 37.5 capsule is that. So, I can just open the capsule and swallow a certain number of beads with water?


As I said, I feel so inept at doing anything...and terrified. So, today I just stayed in bed all day and felt panic and dread. My Mom wants to call my psych and tell her how bad my anger is, so I am also terrified of ending up in the hospital if that happens on a terrible psychiatric cocktail of drugs that are much worse and much more life-changing than reinstating a small amount of Venlafazine. I just feel hopelessness because I am stuck between awful outcomes no matter where I look or turn. It is so disconcerting that only a handful of psychiatrists or any physicians in the US understand withdrawal syndromes, tapering, and the seriousness of all of this. When you do see them at an appointment, there is never enough time to convey the distress, so they think it is not so bad and don't follow up nearly often enough.


One thing I need to start soon to cope is to get back into psychotherapy, DBT based mindfulness meditation and more exercise. I have been frozen in terror lately, especially during the daytime hours.


If anyone knows of any psychotherapists and/or physicians in the Dallas/Fort Worth area that understand what we deal with, please let me know. I did look at the list on this site, and found one psychotherapist in the Austin area, but it is three hours away for me.


Thank you Alto, and all, for the support and information.

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  • Moderator Emeritus

Hello PacNWLove,


You can always count out the beads you need then put them back in the capsule, for easier swallowing.  That's what I do (I'm also on Effexor).  You can also keep the extra beads (labelled in a jar) and then you have extra in case you run into prescription difficulties later. 


And welcome to s/a - sorry you had to join this club :).



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.

2023 Now on 7 micro-beads of Effexor. Minimal symptoms but much more time needed between drops.

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

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  • Moderator Emeritus

Hi PacNWLove, 


You are lucky in that you know what is happening, so you have the info about reinstating with a smaller dose. I didn't know that I was in protracted WD from Effexor, and so my p-doc wanted to put me back on it because I had "tolerated it well" in the past, starting with  37.5 m g!  I came off too fast from 75 mg or 37.5 mg, simply can't remember what the heck I was doing last year when I came off!  I know I was breaking 75 mg immediate release tablets in half but for how long I can't remember.  And that was lame because those should be taken 2 x day due to interdose WD!  I was so unaware of what was happening, my memory is almost non-existent, and I blame chronic use of Effexor and other ADs prior, for that.


I have a lot of anger about ending up on not one but two ADs after the protracted WD debacle!  So, I am tapering mirtazapine primarily, but I am at 75% of the 37.5 mg Effexor at this time.   I open the XR capsules and count beads as well as weigh them.  Mine are the Teva brand, and there is inconsistency in size. So, use a pair of cheaters if needed to really look at them.  You might want to work with the larger beads initially, putting the itty bitty ones aside if there are any.  The smaller ones have less volume to surface area (coating), and that got me into trouble recently.


Eventually, you can get a little jeweler's mg scale off Amazon and be in more control of your taper.


Welcome to SA!


Started ADs back around 1995 after bad break-up, starting with Prozac.  Switched to Wellbutrin, and then to Effexor in 2002
Effexor XR 2002-2014 up to 225 mg at one point, down to 37.5 mg towards end but back up to 75 mg in 2014; now realize I had W/D as I dropped down, memory very poor about history.  Extreme emotions, poor concentration as I stepped back down, didn't connect the dots!
Summer 2014 reduced to 0 very quickly, was sick of anhedonia/sexual dysfunction due to meds, depression never controlled if not worse. Didn't recognize WD since symptoms built slowly (thought I had ADD! and menopausal on top of it), starting with severe sweats, very bad cog-fog and memory issues, culminating in weight loss, severe anxiety and depression, panic, severe apathy and insomnia by eight months off.  Saw p-doc who put me on Remeron, increased from 7.5 mg/day to 37.5 mg by May 22, 2015; still doing very badly though able to sleep.

June 1. 2015 Reinstated Effexor XR 37.5 mg, Remeron dropped to 30 mg PM. Immediate relief of symptoms, like nothing had ever happened!  Joined SA and began on advice of friend who recognized it was WD all along! Began tapering in July 2015.

Been tapering both meds ever since, focusing on one more than the other or doing no more than 5% of each per month.

12 mg Effexor and 5.8 mg Remeron (mirtazapine SolTabs to make a solution with OraPlus) as of 5/4/2017 

Update 3/14/18: 2.9 mg Remeron and 6 mg Effexor; 6/10/18:  2.6 mg Remeron and 4.9 mg Effexor


My intro: http://survivingantidepressants.org/index.php?/topic/9313-squirrellygirl-effexor-withdrawal-etc/page-2#entry196679

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

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