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Seeker53 - coped with tapering. 2 months off fell in a heap. Back on!


Seeker53

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Hi all! I'm proof that the tapering method is possible by keeping it slow, simple and stable. I took 9 months to get off 75mg Effexor. I'm not sure if this was too quick, but I managed to avoid most of the awful brain zaps and other effects of withdrawal, only having to go to previous levels once or twice. I went well and felt really good. And so proud of my seat finally getting off the drug after 9 years.

Then, a little over 2 months drug free I was hit by the biggest anxiety attacks my doctor has ever heard of, lasting for days at a time instead of the usual 10 to 20 minutes! At first the doc treated the symptoms only - with heart medication (serious stuff) and Valium. When this wasn't doing much after a few weeks of me being unable to function and unable to eat it got to the point where the only other option was to be put back on 75mg Effexor. This made life more bearable but wasn't fixing the problem. So I got put on 150mg Effexor and off all other drugs. Worked like a charm!

So my problem is worse now than before tapering off the 75mg dose!

Did I taper too fast off the 75mg? Did that cause the severe aniexty attacks?

Is it true that these ad drugs cause a gene to turn on, and mine didn't turn back off after the drug had left my system?

What should I have done differently?

I'd really like to reduce down to 75mg again but I am so frightened of the severe anxiety.

Do supplements help or are companies cashing in on our weakness?

Has anyone else had this happen to them?

I feel so alone and trapped on a medication that seems to have done something permanent to my brain.

Any suggestions would be very welcome.

Thanks in advance ????

8 years on venlafaxine (generic name Altven). Various doses then 3 years on 75mg. Tapered off too quickly with very bad withdrawals. Put back on at higher dose of 150mg to stabilise. Been at 150mg for a year. Stable and ready to taper slowly.

Dosage 150mg. Average beads in each capsule 543

January 2016. Start tapering. Also taking fish oil, vit e daily and magnesium as required.

08/01 started with 5% taper, held for 2 weeks the. Another 5% and held for a month.

3rd March another 10% cut, now taking out 102 beads. Hold for a month then assess.

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  • Moderator Emeritus

Hi Seeker

 

Welcome to SA.  Just wanted to let you know that your post has been received as I can see you are still online.  I'll reply with a bit more in a minute.

 

CC

 MISSION ACCOMPLISHED:    13 November 2021 -  0mg Pristiq      

Woohoo!!!  Finally off Pristiq   

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

My full tapering program     My Intro (goes to my tapering graph)    My website

PLEASE NOTE:  I am not a medical professional.  I provide information and make suggestions.  I do not provide tapering advice via PM.  Please post questions in your Introduction topic.  Please do not tag me for any reason.  I am an unpaid volunteer and assist members if I am able to and when I have the time.  Thank you for your understanding.

Mid Nov 2021 changed to low carb diet due to diabetes & cholesterol.  Lost 1/16 body weight, BP has reduced a lot. 

Links to my exercises and weights.  I also do 3 x 5.5 min with HIIT on exercise bike with 20 secs/min as fast as I can cycle.

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  • Moderator Emeritus

Hi again,

 

Just did a quick check on your length of taper and even though it is much slower than what most doctors would suggest, if any, it is still a faster taper than what is recommended on this site.  A 10% taper of the previous dose followed by a 4-6 weeks holding period to stabilise and allow the brain to adapt is what is suggested.  What you experienced after 2 months was most probably withdrawal symptoms.  This is not uncommon.  Quite often people feel good for a while and then it catches up with them because the brain hasn't had a chance to adapt to receiving less of the medication.  Unfortunately the doctor putting you back on and also increasing your dose is what most doctors seem to do.  This is a list of withdrawal symptoms.

 

If you could answer some questions it will help the mods be able to make suggestions.  Are you talking anything additional to the Effexor?  What was your tapering method?  Did you alternate doses at all?  How are you feeling on 150mg and what symptoms are you having now?

 

This analogy helps to explain what is going on with your brain Brain Remodelling.  Or this video

 

You've come to the right place and will receive excellent advice.  There is plenty of information on this site and the members are very supportive and will provide encouragement.  You can use this Topic to ask questions and as a journal for your progress.

 

One of the mods should be along soon (they are volunteers but they come online regularly) to give you some suggestions.  If you read the links I've given it will help you understand what is happening and why they make the suggestion/s they do.

 

CC

 MISSION ACCOMPLISHED:    13 November 2021 -  0mg Pristiq      

Woohoo!!!  Finally off Pristiq   

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

My full tapering program     My Intro (goes to my tapering graph)    My website

PLEASE NOTE:  I am not a medical professional.  I provide information and make suggestions.  I do not provide tapering advice via PM.  Please post questions in your Introduction topic.  Please do not tag me for any reason.  I am an unpaid volunteer and assist members if I am able to and when I have the time.  Thank you for your understanding.

Mid Nov 2021 changed to low carb diet due to diabetes & cholesterol.  Lost 1/16 body weight, BP has reduced a lot. 

Links to my exercises and weights.  I also do 3 x 5.5 min with HIIT on exercise bike with 20 secs/min as fast as I can cycle.

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  • Moderator Emeritus

Hello Seeker,

 

Welcome to s/a.  You do indeed have a very typical story to tell, and it is totally understandable that you are concerned about what may happen if you taper again.  Hopefully what you read on this site will encourage you that with the right info you will be okay.  Also - you either are already a very patient person, or you are about to become one ;)

 

CC was right - your slow taper was actually still a bit fast for your brain to keep up with.  But you've been settled on 150mg for a year now which will have allowed you to stabilise well.  This site recommends a 10% taper each 4-6 weeks, as CC said, and it's worth remembering that you are totally in control of that process.  If you want to you could even start with a 5% decrease and see how that goes.  It is far better to start low and work your way up than the other way round.  (I'm tapering Effexor from 150mg too, and some of us have to go even slower).   

 

To your other questions:

I've never heard of a gene being turned off by SSRIs.  The understanding here is that SSRIs do affect how your brain works, but that brains are very capable of healing over time. 

 

Most supplements are unhelpful during w/d.  Many are too activating and make you feel worse - you can read details here:  http://survivingantidepressants.org/index.php?/topic/606-important-topics-about-tests-supplements-treatments-diet/  Two things you can take that many of us find useful are fish oil and magnesium

 

You might also find Tips for tapering Effexor helpful.

 

When you have read these and the links CC gave you, feel free to come back to this topic and ask any more questions you may have.  This will be your journal to record your tapering and healing progress. 

 

It's good to have you here,

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 CC and KarenB. I'll read up on the links you have provided. I'm actually glad that you think it was a withdrawal reaction because now I know if I go slower and far more carefully, I should avoid this reaction in the future.

I'll post again when I have questions and also log how I am going. I plan to taper after the new year so life is more stable.

Thanks for welcoming me

8 years on venlafaxine (generic name Altven). Various doses then 3 years on 75mg. Tapered off too quickly with very bad withdrawals. Put back on at higher dose of 150mg to stabilise. Been at 150mg for a year. Stable and ready to taper slowly.

Dosage 150mg. Average beads in each capsule 543

January 2016. Start tapering. Also taking fish oil, vit e daily and magnesium as required.

08/01 started with 5% taper, held for 2 weeks the. Another 5% and held for a month.

3rd March another 10% cut, now taking out 102 beads. Hold for a month then assess.

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Welcome thrice

Yep it was withdrawal alright, no doubt about it.

I too did a clueless approx 9 month taper ... found online support the day i went drug free and 'hell' visited.

Not sure how i survived.

Anyway just wanted to say if you follow the taper plan here you can taper off while having a life and incurring minimal symptoms. (Look at moderator Brassmonkeys taper).

And as Karen says you can go slower if you want.

 

Brisbane is one of my favorite cities.

nz11

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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I have started reading the thread on anxiety on wakening. My goodness! That is exactly what I was experiencing - high levels of cortisol. Wow. Pity my doctor didn't know about it! But it makes me feel heaps better and explains so much. Thank you CC for mentioning the link. I have so much to learn about it but at least I've started the journey.

 

When I reduced before, I used the bead counting method, but looking back over my decrease, I never actually stayed on a new dose for longer than a week or two and although I did well avoiding the wd symptoms, obviously once I stopped coming off, my poor brain went into overload. My cortisol levels were waking me about 4.30/5.00 every morning so out of control that I kept wishing I would stop waking up permanently! It was horrible. But I now understand why, and a bit about avoiding it in the future.

 

Yes, it will be a long weaning process but I am a patient person and it will be worth it - eventually.

 

I'm not on any other prescribed medication but I do take fish oil capsules and vitamin e capsules each day. And sometimes, if I remember, vitamin d too. That's it.

I didn't do the alternate dosing method. Just took out the little beads. But never knew I should have rested for 4 to 6 weeks at each new level to allow my brain to rebalance at the new level. I basically just kept taking out a bead or two every day or so. Way too fast, I now know.

 

So on 150mg Effexor xr, I'm feeling like I'm in control and pretty stable. I can recognise when I'm beginning to get stressed over anything and take steps to relax. And I usually wake up feeling pretty good and no anxiety. I have also started yoga which I love and I have many things in my life that bring me instant joy. For example, my granddaughters. So, feeling that I'm in a pretty good place, I feel ready to start tapering. But to be fair to myself, after the new year would be better. Last new year, my youngest son's fiancé died suddenly from a heart aneurism. It was awful and she was only 24. My son ended up with PTSD although he's doing better, it will be a long recovery. So I want to get through this first new year as easily as possible and then start.

 

Hope this makes sense. I have a lot of reading in front of me on this journey, but at least I feel like being part of this forum, I am supported and understood. Thanks heaps!

8 years on venlafaxine (generic name Altven). Various doses then 3 years on 75mg. Tapered off too quickly with very bad withdrawals. Put back on at higher dose of 150mg to stabilise. Been at 150mg for a year. Stable and ready to taper slowly.

Dosage 150mg. Average beads in each capsule 543

January 2016. Start tapering. Also taking fish oil, vit e daily and magnesium as required.

08/01 started with 5% taper, held for 2 weeks the. Another 5% and held for a month.

3rd March another 10% cut, now taking out 102 beads. Hold for a month then assess.

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Welcome thrice

Yep it was withdrawal alright, no doubt about it.

I too did a clueless approx 9 month taper ... found online support the day i went drug free and 'hell' visited.

Not sure how i survived.

Anyway just wanted to say if you follow the taper plan here you can taper off while having a life and incurring minimal symptoms. (Look at moderator Brassmonkeys taper).

And as Karen says you can go slower if you want.

 

Brisbane is one of my favorite cities.

nz11

Thanks Silver Star for the thrice welcome and sharing. I honestly don't know how I survived either. Glad I did tho! And so glad I have this forum to help. There is just so much info here as well as so many people going through similar experiences all supporting each other. It's great. And wonderful that I can use this post as a journal too.

 

Just wondering, how long should a taper of 10% off 150mg actually take? ( I know I will also have to factor in personal "resting" time, if my brain needs to readjust and that's fine with me) maybe I'll find the answer as I read more in the forums.

8 years on venlafaxine (generic name Altven). Various doses then 3 years on 75mg. Tapered off too quickly with very bad withdrawals. Put back on at higher dose of 150mg to stabilise. Been at 150mg for a year. Stable and ready to taper slowly.

Dosage 150mg. Average beads in each capsule 543

January 2016. Start tapering. Also taking fish oil, vit e daily and magnesium as required.

08/01 started with 5% taper, held for 2 weeks the. Another 5% and held for a month.

3rd March another 10% cut, now taking out 102 beads. Hold for a month then assess.

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  • Moderator Emeritus

Hi Seeker,

 

It's great to hear that you are understanding what has and is going on.  As my sig says:  Knowledge is power.  And it takes away a lot of the fear.  Sorry to hear about your son's fiance.  I agree it is a good idea to wait to start your tapering.

 

"Silver Star" is actually NZ11.  You aren't the only one who has addressed a post to Silver Star so don't feel silly.

 

As members has said on other posts - throw out the calendar.  There is no calendar during tapering.  You need to listen to your body.  It's not resting time it's brain remodelling time so you cannot even put an estimate on it.  Some people's brains adapt quicker than others and then there are also outside influences that come into play.  Some holds may be short ones, whilst others longer, and even if you are stable, if there is something coming up that might cause an issue around the time you would taper it is best to wait until after that time.  Many here are waiting until after Christmas or New Year to taper because it can cause extra stress.

 

You will find out exactly how much patience you have on this journey.  It's a long one, so buckle in and try to live you life with tapering in the background.

 

I too was extremely relieved to find this support group and also thankful for a couple of the members helping to keep me on track.

 

Take care, CC

 MISSION ACCOMPLISHED:    13 November 2021 -  0mg Pristiq      

Woohoo!!!  Finally off Pristiq   

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

My full tapering program     My Intro (goes to my tapering graph)    My website

PLEASE NOTE:  I am not a medical professional.  I provide information and make suggestions.  I do not provide tapering advice via PM.  Please post questions in your Introduction topic.  Please do not tag me for any reason.  I am an unpaid volunteer and assist members if I am able to and when I have the time.  Thank you for your understanding.

Mid Nov 2021 changed to low carb diet due to diabetes & cholesterol.  Lost 1/16 body weight, BP has reduced a lot. 

Links to my exercises and weights.  I also do 3 x 5.5 min with HIIT on exercise bike with 20 secs/min as fast as I can cycle.

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  • Moderator Emeritus

ChessieCat, how are you able to see that people are online? LOL!

 

Welcome Seeker53, 

 

I'm so sorry to hear of your harrowing experience with withdrawal from Effexor!   Effexor is particularly brutal.  I came off of it last year after 12 years on, and tapered much too fast.  It took several months for the nightmare to unfold, but I also experienced the horrific depression, anxiety and insomnia, and didn't know that it was withdrawal so was extremely distraught.  I also ended up back on at 37.5 mg, after being put on Remeron, which failed other than to help me sleep.  So, now I'm on two of the most brutal ones to come off!  You are not alone!

 

I have read that even people who do a very slow taper can still have the delayed whammo WD, but at least knowing what it is will be of some comfort.  I am tapering Remeron to a point, and then focusing on the Effexor, though I have nudged the Effexor down a bit along the way. 

 

Since I have experienced a terrible withdrawal and then reinstatement, I realize my system is particularly sensitized now, and so I, too, must throw out the calendar.   Had I not learned about protracted withdrawal, I would have remained with the belief that I just had to be on this drug for the rest of my life.  When you put it that way, a couple of years of micro-tapering is the lesser of two evils.  

 

I found this topic very helpful in understanding why it can get tougher the lower the dosage, particularly the last bit.

 

http://survivingantidepressants.org/index.php?/topic/6036-why-taper-paper-demonstrates-importance-of-gradual-change-in-plasma-concentration/

 

The graph says it all.  Receptor occupancy drops off precipitously as we get to those lowest doses, so it is even  more important to slow the taper down and even hold for longer periods. 

 

If you were changing your dose every week or two, I can see that your brain was probably scrambling trying to keep up with the changes and just got overtaken.  

 

There is also often a "honeymoon" right after jumping off, where people say they feel great, but in fact that may be a type of manic period, which is also a withdrawal symptom!

 

Another useful topic is the windows and waves pattern of withdrawal:

 

http://survivingantidepressants.org/index.php?/topic/82-the-windows-and-waves-pattern-of-stabilization/

 

And also understanding neuro- emotions:

 

http://survivingantidepressants.org/index.php?/topic/9809-neuro-emotions/

 

You have found your way to the best place on the web to get information and support on your journey.  Keep us updated on how you are doing!

 

SG

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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Apologies to nz11. I now realise that you have earned a silver star, not that you are that star lol. Please excuse my newness!

 

Thanks Chessiecat. It will be a long journey but I would much rather take the time than end up where I did last time. I don't think I would actually survive another severe reaction like that. But you are right, knowledge is power and also by tapering we are putting that knowledge into practise. And there is just soooo much knowledge in this forum. It's great.

 

Squirrelly girl thanks for the links. I will have a good read of them.

 

You are all so nice and supportive here. I honestly really feel more equipped to deal with the much slower taper approach starting after the festive season. Thankyou to all of you.

8 years on venlafaxine (generic name Altven). Various doses then 3 years on 75mg. Tapered off too quickly with very bad withdrawals. Put back on at higher dose of 150mg to stabilise. Been at 150mg for a year. Stable and ready to taper slowly.

Dosage 150mg. Average beads in each capsule 543

January 2016. Start tapering. Also taking fish oil, vit e daily and magnesium as required.

08/01 started with 5% taper, held for 2 weeks the. Another 5% and held for a month.

3rd March another 10% cut, now taking out 102 beads. Hold for a month then assess.

Link to comment
  • Moderator Emeritus

Hi Seeker,

 

Apologies to nz11. I now realise that you have earned a silver star, not that you are that star lol. Please excuse my newness!

 

....

I honestly really feel more equipped to deal with the much slower taper approach starting after the festive season.

 

I'm sure nz doesn't mind being called a star :P  Some of his comments on other posts are definitely brilliant  :lol: so maybe he's catching the light from them.

 

That's what we like to hear.  There were a couple of members who let me know how relieved they were that I had "got it".  It's a good feeling when you know what you need to do.  And it is great to have the support of people who understand.

 

You can't fight an enemy if you don't know its tactics.  However, as with all battles, listening and patience are absolutely necessary.

 

CC

 MISSION ACCOMPLISHED:    13 November 2021 -  0mg Pristiq      

Woohoo!!!  Finally off Pristiq   

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

My full tapering program     My Intro (goes to my tapering graph)    My website

PLEASE NOTE:  I am not a medical professional.  I provide information and make suggestions.  I do not provide tapering advice via PM.  Please post questions in your Introduction topic.  Please do not tag me for any reason.  I am an unpaid volunteer and assist members if I am able to and when I have the time.  Thank you for your understanding.

Mid Nov 2021 changed to low carb diet due to diabetes & cholesterol.  Lost 1/16 body weight, BP has reduced a lot. 

Links to my exercises and weights.  I also do 3 x 5.5 min with HIIT on exercise bike with 20 secs/min as fast as I can cycle.

Link to comment

 

That's what we like to hear.  There were a couple of members who let me know how relieved they were that I had "got it".  It's a good feeling when you know what you need to do.  And it is great to have the support of people who understand.

 

You can't fight an enemy if you don't know its tactics.  However, as with all battles, listening and patience are absolutely necessary.

 

CC

....and there is so much to learn. One question I have is about the waves and windows. I honestly don't remember going through that pattern when I was tapering last time, until the major tsunami at the end! So, if you taper slowly enough for your own brain and allow 4-6 weeks at stable dosage each taper - or what ever feels right for you, do you necessarily still get the waves and windows while decreasing? I'm a bit confused. I kinda thought that if you got the tapering correct you could avoid side effects because your brain would have time to regrow/repair in between dose changes. Is this not the case?

 

I really want to understand this enemies tactics. The tsunami I had last time had me totally unable to fight it which is why I want to take soooo much longer to taper this time. I might have lost that battle, but I will win this war :)

8 years on venlafaxine (generic name Altven). Various doses then 3 years on 75mg. Tapered off too quickly with very bad withdrawals. Put back on at higher dose of 150mg to stabilise. Been at 150mg for a year. Stable and ready to taper slowly.

Dosage 150mg. Average beads in each capsule 543

January 2016. Start tapering. Also taking fish oil, vit e daily and magnesium as required.

08/01 started with 5% taper, held for 2 weeks the. Another 5% and held for a month.

3rd March another 10% cut, now taking out 102 beads. Hold for a month then assess.

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  • Moderator Emeritus

Hi Seeker,

 

From what I understand, tapering is to reduce the side effects so that you can continue on with living whilst getting off the drug.  Some people find doing a micro taper is best for them.  Many members here write about their waves and windows so I think it is unrealistic to expect it to be smooth sailing all the way.  Being aware and prepared for the waves means that you hopefully won''t have the fear component because you will understand what is happening.  And enjoy the windows whilst you have them.

 

As someone said to me, if you feel okay within the first 4 or so days after you taper your dose, don't doubt your decision later on if you start to feel worse.  Did you watch the video with the Rubik's cube?  The brain has a lot of work it needs to do stabilising each time.  Just keep reminding yourself that your brain is healing.  Be aware of neuro emotions.  I'm not trying to scare you, but to inform you.

 

Also it is a good idea to get some CBT or similar training done when you are feeling okay so that you will have the skills needed to get through.  It will also be helpful once you are off the drug.  Seeing a therapist might be helpful if there are any issues you feel might need to be dealt with because ADs numb us to our problems but they may still be there if we haven't addressed them correctly.  It isn't necessary to tell them you are tapering.  In fact IMO it might be better if you didn't since it may take their focus off the real issue and "colour" their assessment of you.  The support of this forum will also help.

 

CC

 MISSION ACCOMPLISHED:    13 November 2021 -  0mg Pristiq      

Woohoo!!!  Finally off Pristiq   

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

My full tapering program     My Intro (goes to my tapering graph)    My website

PLEASE NOTE:  I am not a medical professional.  I provide information and make suggestions.  I do not provide tapering advice via PM.  Please post questions in your Introduction topic.  Please do not tag me for any reason.  I am an unpaid volunteer and assist members if I am able to and when I have the time.  Thank you for your understanding.

Mid Nov 2021 changed to low carb diet due to diabetes & cholesterol.  Lost 1/16 body weight, BP has reduced a lot. 

Links to my exercises and weights.  I also do 3 x 5.5 min with HIIT on exercise bike with 20 secs/min as fast as I can cycle.

Link to comment

...arrrgh!...puts light saber down...slumps into chair exhausted from battling dark Empires in foreign threads and says ..."hey did someone ask how long it takes to do their taper...".

Springs into action with a new lease off energy faster than a  parsec .

 

 

Just wondering, how long should a taper of 10% off 150mg actually take? ( I know I will also have to factor in personal "resting" time, if my brain needs to readjust and that's fine with me) maybe I'll find the answer as I read more in the forums.

 

 

I might have trouble figuring out whos following who and whos online but i  can certainly answer that question ....no worries assuming you are dropping monthly then its 49 months. 4 years 1 month. (to get from 150mg to 1mg)

 

If you should decide to travel at 5% then it takes 99 months ie 8 years and 3 months. (150mg to 1mg)

 

Here's the thing start slow and see how you go.    

 

Remember: One gets off the mountain in small steps you dont jump off a cliff and expect to walk away from the mountain but if you climb down in small steps slowly you can do it.

 

nz11

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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Nz11 thanks. It gives me a good estimate. The analogy to getting off the mountain made sense too. Hope you don't wear out your light saber.

 

CC thanks too. I know you aren't trying to scare me. I do have so much to learn and being forewarned is forearmed so to speak. I will watch the video with the Rubik's cube. I do need to understand what my brain needs to do. I guess I was just lucky to avoid the windows and waves last time - until it was too late. But I know looking at the graph that my final month or so of tapering was far too quick in terms of % tapers. Maybe that was why it hit so hard. My cortisol levels must have been through the roof - not just affecting me mentally, but physically too. Every morning waking very early with severe anxiety and chronic dihorea (what happened to my spell check when I needed it) and unable to eat for days at a time.

 

This is gonna be a long journey that's for sure!

8 years on venlafaxine (generic name Altven). Various doses then 3 years on 75mg. Tapered off too quickly with very bad withdrawals. Put back on at higher dose of 150mg to stabilise. Been at 150mg for a year. Stable and ready to taper slowly.

Dosage 150mg. Average beads in each capsule 543

January 2016. Start tapering. Also taking fish oil, vit e daily and magnesium as required.

08/01 started with 5% taper, held for 2 weeks the. Another 5% and held for a month.

3rd March another 10% cut, now taking out 102 beads. Hold for a month then assess.

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  • Moderator Emeritus

Yes, I agree it's going to be long, but that is why it is so great to have such a supportive community here to help us get through it, otherwise I think it would be very tough.  And the idea of doing it slowly is to do it the best way with and hopeful with limited withdrawal symptoms.  Here's an Excel spreadsheet (from the Mueller Withdrawal Symptoms) you can use to keep check of you symptoms over a month.  Also remember to Keep It S S S

 

You really will be testing your patience but remember it will be worth it.

 

CC

 MISSION ACCOMPLISHED:    13 November 2021 -  0mg Pristiq      

Woohoo!!!  Finally off Pristiq   

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

My full tapering program     My Intro (goes to my tapering graph)    My website

PLEASE NOTE:  I am not a medical professional.  I provide information and make suggestions.  I do not provide tapering advice via PM.  Please post questions in your Introduction topic.  Please do not tag me for any reason.  I am an unpaid volunteer and assist members if I am able to and when I have the time.  Thank you for your understanding.

Mid Nov 2021 changed to low carb diet due to diabetes & cholesterol.  Lost 1/16 body weight, BP has reduced a lot. 

Links to my exercises and weights.  I also do 3 x 5.5 min with HIIT on exercise bike with 20 secs/min as fast as I can cycle.

Link to comment

Thanks CC again. I have just watched the video with the Rubik's cube. I am only beginning to understand that my brain needs to heal and literally regrow! Wow. Aren't our bodies amazing really. I think too, most of the time I was tapering last time, I was in a really great environment - out bush in central qld for six months so that could also help explain maybe why I didn't suffer too much angst. There was no stress! Then when I did experience a stressful situation, my poor brain didn't know what to do because it hadn't had the chance to repair, let alone cope.

Thanks for the spreadsheet link. It will be good to use to monitor the month after a taper.

8 years on venlafaxine (generic name Altven). Various doses then 3 years on 75mg. Tapered off too quickly with very bad withdrawals. Put back on at higher dose of 150mg to stabilise. Been at 150mg for a year. Stable and ready to taper slowly.

Dosage 150mg. Average beads in each capsule 543

January 2016. Start tapering. Also taking fish oil, vit e daily and magnesium as required.

08/01 started with 5% taper, held for 2 weeks the. Another 5% and held for a month.

3rd March another 10% cut, now taking out 102 beads. Hold for a month then assess.

Link to comment

Hi Seeker,

I don't know much about tapering off Effexor, I was on it briefly, but didn't like it, so went back to old school tryicyclics (more sedating). But I have to say, after all that you have been through, that you have a really good attitude about this. At least you are stable now for the holidays.  I have learned so much just in the few days I've looked over this site. I'm sure you will ultimately prevail with the attitude that you have!

Sarah

1975--first signs of depression

1981--started on imipramine (Tofranil) for IBS and depression

1983-1986--severe depression, rotated through several drugs, on MAOI for one year, eventually back to tricyclics

1986-1994--chronic low grade depression, on tricyclics

1994-96--severe depression, rotated through several drugs inc. Prozax, Effexor, etc..

1996-2013--chronic low grade depression, SAD, on amitryptiline usual dose 12.5-25mg

     flurazepam (Dalmane) as needed for insomnia

2013--developed temazepam (Restoril) dependance for 2 months, tapered off over 1 month

   started bio-identical progesterone 5 mg., depression has lifted completely to this day

March 2016--forced to c/t both amitryptiline and flurazepam, zolpidem not helpful

reinstated small dose (.5 mg) amitryptiline due to stomach issues and tapering w/titration

June 19th--jumped from amitryptiline--drug free!

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  • Moderator Emeritus

Hello seeker,

 

Any taper will always be different to the last time we tried it because of the cumulative effects on our CNS.  A person with no tapering history is in a much more stable position than someone with a previous CT or fast taper.  But you have info now, and can make good plans.  If the 10% is too much for you, try lower.  I'm now on cuts of less than 1%, but I'm very functional - yay :P.  At the moment, this is the right way for me.  

 

A blessing of w/d is that you come to understand yourself so closely.  Enjoy that :).

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.

Link to comment

Hi Seeker,

I don't know much about tapering off Effexor, I was on it briefly, but didn't like it, so went back to old school tryicyclics (more sedating). But I have to say, after all that you have been through, that you have a really good attitude about this. At least you are stable now for the holidays.  I have learned so much just in the few days I've looked over this site. I'm sure you will ultimately prevail with the attitude that you have!

Sarah

Thank Sarah. I try hard to stay positive. I guess it's gonna be a long journey tapering this time and doing it properly! I don't want to become anxious before I start because, for me, it will not help. It's a journey I really want to make and now I know my brain needs the time to readjust slowly, I will take that time, no matter how long it takes. I do so times get angry about being in this situation, but the anger doesn't help so I let it go and just accept here is where I am today. It's what I do from here that I wish to focus on.

Good luck on your journey. I'm sure you will find so much help on this site and we are all basically in the same boat and the people here are so supportive.

8 years on venlafaxine (generic name Altven). Various doses then 3 years on 75mg. Tapered off too quickly with very bad withdrawals. Put back on at higher dose of 150mg to stabilise. Been at 150mg for a year. Stable and ready to taper slowly.

Dosage 150mg. Average beads in each capsule 543

January 2016. Start tapering. Also taking fish oil, vit e daily and magnesium as required.

08/01 started with 5% taper, held for 2 weeks the. Another 5% and held for a month.

3rd March another 10% cut, now taking out 102 beads. Hold for a month then assess.

Link to comment

Hello seeker,

 

Any taper will always be different to the last time we tried it because of the cumulative effects on our CNS.  A person with no tapering history is in a much more stable position than someone with a previous CT or fast taper.  But you have info now, and can make good plans.  If the 10% is too much for you, try lower.  I'm now on cuts of less than 1%, but I'm very functional - yay :P.  At the moment, this is the right way for me.  

 

A blessing of w/d is that you come to understand yourself so closely.  Enjoy that :).

Thanks Karen. Wise words again. I have actually wondered how I will cope this time. I now understand the damage I have done to my CNS. I'll do the first taper at 10% and then hold for at least a month. I would prefer to really stabilise at each step so that I then feel fine with proceeding. And, like you I want to be able to function!

It's a huge learning curve and I am feeling my way. All I can do is take each minute at a time and check in with myself often to see how I'm coping physically and mentally. And reassess to make sure any decision I make to taper is the best one at the time.

 

I'm apprehensive but positive. Baby steps......

8 years on venlafaxine (generic name Altven). Various doses then 3 years on 75mg. Tapered off too quickly with very bad withdrawals. Put back on at higher dose of 150mg to stabilise. Been at 150mg for a year. Stable and ready to taper slowly.

Dosage 150mg. Average beads in each capsule 543

January 2016. Start tapering. Also taking fish oil, vit e daily and magnesium as required.

08/01 started with 5% taper, held for 2 weeks the. Another 5% and held for a month.

3rd March another 10% cut, now taking out 102 beads. Hold for a month then assess.

Link to comment
  • Moderator Emeritus

Hi Seeker,

 

You are learning very quickly which is really fantastic.  Because you won't be starting your taper until the new year, I'd like to suggest something that might take some pressure off.

 

Work out the period that you will definitely not be tapering, and select the date after that time when you will RECONSIDER commencing the taper (which you did mention in your last post so we are thinking along the same lines ;).  You might find that on that date you realise that your are not in the right place to start or that other outside issues have come up in which case repeat the previous step.  The reason I have made this suggestion is that hopefully it will help you to be patience and accepting during the waiting time and be less anxious about what will happen when you do start to taper.  Taking as much pressure off as we can allows our brains a better chance of healing.

 

CC

 MISSION ACCOMPLISHED:    13 November 2021 -  0mg Pristiq      

Woohoo!!!  Finally off Pristiq   

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

My full tapering program     My Intro (goes to my tapering graph)    My website

PLEASE NOTE:  I am not a medical professional.  I provide information and make suggestions.  I do not provide tapering advice via PM.  Please post questions in your Introduction topic.  Please do not tag me for any reason.  I am an unpaid volunteer and assist members if I am able to and when I have the time.  Thank you for your understanding.

Mid Nov 2021 changed to low carb diet due to diabetes & cholesterol.  Lost 1/16 body weight, BP has reduced a lot. 

Links to my exercises and weights.  I also do 3 x 5.5 min with HIIT on exercise bike with 20 secs/min as fast as I can cycle.

Link to comment

Thanks CC.

Once I get through new year I will set a date to start the first taper. In the meantime, I will look after myself and try not to over-think which just results in anxiety for me. And yes, even setting a date does not mean I have to start that day. I guess this time, my CNS and brain will be dictating the pace anyway so taking the time to assess where I'm at is important. And it really doesn't matter at all how long each step takes. Staying well is the key thing for me, not the speed! One good thing about going through a fast taper that ended badly, at least I know what I wish to avoid!

8 years on venlafaxine (generic name Altven). Various doses then 3 years on 75mg. Tapered off too quickly with very bad withdrawals. Put back on at higher dose of 150mg to stabilise. Been at 150mg for a year. Stable and ready to taper slowly.

Dosage 150mg. Average beads in each capsule 543

January 2016. Start tapering. Also taking fish oil, vit e daily and magnesium as required.

08/01 started with 5% taper, held for 2 weeks the. Another 5% and held for a month.

3rd March another 10% cut, now taking out 102 beads. Hold for a month then assess.

Link to comment
  • Moderator Emeritus

Yes, the over-thinking part is a bit harder to stop doing.  It is through others' experiences that people like me can learn.  Take care.  CC

 MISSION ACCOMPLISHED:    13 November 2021 -  0mg Pristiq      

Woohoo!!!  Finally off Pristiq   

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

My full tapering program     My Intro (goes to my tapering graph)    My website

PLEASE NOTE:  I am not a medical professional.  I provide information and make suggestions.  I do not provide tapering advice via PM.  Please post questions in your Introduction topic.  Please do not tag me for any reason.  I am an unpaid volunteer and assist members if I am able to and when I have the time.  Thank you for your understanding.

Mid Nov 2021 changed to low carb diet due to diabetes & cholesterol.  Lost 1/16 body weight, BP has reduced a lot. 

Links to my exercises and weights.  I also do 3 x 5.5 min with HIIT on exercise bike with 20 secs/min as fast as I can cycle.

Link to comment
  • 2 weeks later...

So...... We are into the new year. This is my year. For me. After such a sh*tty year last year, this really now feels like a new beginning.

 

I'm going to start my taper tomorrow. Today I will be counting all the beads in 3 or 4 of my altven Effexor xr 150mg capsules. This will give me an average number of beads per capsule. Then I'm going to take out 5% and hold for a week, then 5% more (so it's a 10% overall) and then hold for at least 4 weeks. Then I will review what I do next. I may want to hold for longer but my body and brain will be my guide.

 

And that's my plan so far! I don't want to do the full 10% straight away because I want to gain confidence in my tapering. And I'm not sure just how much I wrecked my CNS when I came off too fast last time. Does this sound ok? Last time I tapered, I had almost no symptoms along the way. But obviously, the last few months of the taper should have taken a couple of years. Hindsight is wonderful! And this time I have to factor in the damage already done because of last time. So is will be a whole new experience. And I'm fine with that.

 

I shall come back on when I have worked out my bead numbers so I document it all.

8 years on venlafaxine (generic name Altven). Various doses then 3 years on 75mg. Tapered off too quickly with very bad withdrawals. Put back on at higher dose of 150mg to stabilise. Been at 150mg for a year. Stable and ready to taper slowly.

Dosage 150mg. Average beads in each capsule 543

January 2016. Start tapering. Also taking fish oil, vit e daily and magnesium as required.

08/01 started with 5% taper, held for 2 weeks the. Another 5% and held for a month.

3rd March another 10% cut, now taking out 102 beads. Hold for a month then assess.

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  • Moderator Emeritus

Hi Seeker,

 

Hope you don't sneeze (or cough) whilst you are counting those beads :o  I've read on this site that they can be sneaky little so and sos.  Oh yes, and don't lose count and have to start again :wacko:

 

Would you please update your signature as it is difficult to see at a glance dates and doses.  Please also include your taper, date and dosage.  Thanks.  :)

 

I can understand your caution and wanting to start with 5%.  I tried to go down by 7.5mg (10% of my Pristiq) and got really bad symptoms on day 3.  I had to updose 2.5mg (and I have stabilised well) but now I don't want to go the full 10% next time.

 

Good luck.  Keep us posted on how you go.  CC

 MISSION ACCOMPLISHED:    13 November 2021 -  0mg Pristiq      

Woohoo!!!  Finally off Pristiq   

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

My full tapering program     My Intro (goes to my tapering graph)    My website

PLEASE NOTE:  I am not a medical professional.  I provide information and make suggestions.  I do not provide tapering advice via PM.  Please post questions in your Introduction topic.  Please do not tag me for any reason.  I am an unpaid volunteer and assist members if I am able to and when I have the time.  Thank you for your understanding.

Mid Nov 2021 changed to low carb diet due to diabetes & cholesterol.  Lost 1/16 body weight, BP has reduced a lot. 

Links to my exercises and weights.  I also do 3 x 5.5 min with HIIT on exercise bike with 20 secs/min as fast as I can cycle.

Link to comment
  • Moderator Emeritus

Hi Seeker 53, I think you have a wonderful attitude for going forward!  By my calculations of 10%, you should have been around 29 mg at the end of 9 months of tapering.  If you haven't seen the article with the graphs on occupancy rates of receptors for various of these drugs, it's rather eye opening.  Even at 29 mg one would still have around 75% occupancy!  Occupancy falls off precipitously from there with small dosage changes!

 

http://ils.unc.edu/bmh/neoref/this.dir.unneeded/schizophrenia/review/tmp/352.pdf

 

That graph may well help explain why things caught up with you in the end!

 

I'm at 29 mg of ven myself, so it will be a long haul for me as well after a failed attempt to come off last year!

 

Since you are so sensitized, you might want to give it a good couple of weeks at the first 5% cut.  The reason I say that is that it gives plenty of time to determine when and if symptoms crop up, followed by settling out and being stable again before the next cut.  A week may not be enough time to determine that.  And of course, jot it all down!

 

For me, I have had symptoms crop up around five days after a cut.

 

I'm a little more comfortable with counting AND weighing.  I try to pick the fattest beads and then add a smaller one to bring the mgs to what I'm aiming for.  And I tare and calibrate my scale often!  But that's just me LOL!

 

Good luck with your first cut.  This is going to be a better year for all of us!

 

SG

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.

Link to comment

Hi Seeker,

 

Hope you don't sneeze (or cough) whilst you are counting those beads :o  I've read on this site that they can be sneaky little so and sos.  Oh yes, and don't lose count and have to start again :wacko:

 

Would you please update your signature as it is difficult to see at a glance dates and doses.  Please also include your taper, date and dosage.  Thanks.  :)

 

I can understand your caution and wanting to start with 5%.  I tried to go down by 7.5mg (10% of my Pristiq) and got really bad symptoms on day 3.  I had to updose 2.5mg (and I have stabilised well) but now I don't want to go the full 10% next time.

 

Good luck.  Keep us posted on how you go.  CC

Counting those beads is nerve-wracking! Bouncy things they are! Had to start again when I dropped half! But all done now!

 

I've updated my signature. Is that enough info?

 

I have got a pill box and will do a week at a time. That way I won't get lost as to where I'm at. Also saving all the beads in a dark pill bottle in case I need them down the track. Wrote a label with the exp date and drug name. All organised lol

 

Also yoga and meditation, being happy and patient

8 years on venlafaxine (generic name Altven). Various doses then 3 years on 75mg. Tapered off too quickly with very bad withdrawals. Put back on at higher dose of 150mg to stabilise. Been at 150mg for a year. Stable and ready to taper slowly.

Dosage 150mg. Average beads in each capsule 543

January 2016. Start tapering. Also taking fish oil, vit e daily and magnesium as required.

08/01 started with 5% taper, held for 2 weeks the. Another 5% and held for a month.

3rd March another 10% cut, now taking out 102 beads. Hold for a month then assess.

Link to comment

 

That graph may well help explain why things caught up with you in the end!

 

I'm at 29 mg of ven myself, so it will be a long haul for me as well after a failed attempt to come off last year!

 

Since you are so sensitized, you might want to give it a good couple of weeks at the first 5% cut.  The reason I say that is that it gives plenty of time to determine when and if symptoms crop up, followed by settling out and being stable again before the next cut.  A week may not be enough time to determine that.  And of course, jot it all down!

 

For me, I have had symptoms crop up around five days after a cut.

 

I'm a little more comfortable with counting AND weighing.  I try to pick the fattest beads and then add a smaller one to bring the mgs to what I'm aiming for.  And I tare and calibrate my scale often!  But that's just me LOL!

 

Good luck with your first cut.  This is going to be a better year for all of us!

 

SG

Thanks SG. Yes it was far to big a jump and I hadn't found this great forum with all its knowledge. But we live and learn and at least I am now aware of what I want to avoid! So it will be slow.

I'm doing a 5% cut, then hold for two weeks. Assess. Then hopefully another 5% and hold for 4-6weeks. But if I don't feel ready, I'll hold at the original 5% for a month or so and only decrease by 5% each time. I guess I'm hoping that the first part of tapering will be fine at the 10% rate, but have split it into 2 cuts. Time will tell. And I have a note book that I'm using to document it all so I don't need to rely on my memory!

 

Where did you get your scales from and how much? It may be easier than counting! Although I did manage last time. I used it as a kind of peaceful therapy as I figured if I let the little beads get the better of me, it wouldn't help

8 years on venlafaxine (generic name Altven). Various doses then 3 years on 75mg. Tapered off too quickly with very bad withdrawals. Put back on at higher dose of 150mg to stabilise. Been at 150mg for a year. Stable and ready to taper slowly.

Dosage 150mg. Average beads in each capsule 543

January 2016. Start tapering. Also taking fish oil, vit e daily and magnesium as required.

08/01 started with 5% taper, held for 2 weeks the. Another 5% and held for a month.

3rd March another 10% cut, now taking out 102 beads. Hold for a month then assess.

Link to comment
  • Moderator Emeritus

Hi Seeker,

 

Sorry, but I did have a laugh when you said you had spilled half of them.  The signature looks lovely and clear but I am still uncertain as to how long you have been taking the 150mg this time.  Would you be able to put an approximate date next to the Dosage 150 mg?  It will be good for anyone reading your posts down the track to clearly see your history and not have to read the starting posts.  Thanks.  I know it sounds a bit pernickity, but it is very helpful.

 

Also, found Scales Shop website when I was looking.  They are in Perth, Australia.  Shipping is about $10.  I have not dealt with them other than an email asking where they were located.  This one looks like the one on Amazon that is mentioned somewhere on SA.

A301_5__36546.1378098048.140.100.jpg?c=2

from $39.99 MDS20 Mini Digital Scales

Mini Digital Scales offering 20g x 0.001g weighing in a compact scales design.   Pocket scales supplied with carry pouch, tweezers & scale calibration weight. Capable of weighing in multiple units including gram,...

 

Sounds like you have a plan.  That's a great start.  Wishing you all the best.  CC

 MISSION ACCOMPLISHED:    13 November 2021 -  0mg Pristiq      

Woohoo!!!  Finally off Pristiq   

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

My full tapering program     My Intro (goes to my tapering graph)    My website

PLEASE NOTE:  I am not a medical professional.  I provide information and make suggestions.  I do not provide tapering advice via PM.  Please post questions in your Introduction topic.  Please do not tag me for any reason.  I am an unpaid volunteer and assist members if I am able to and when I have the time.  Thank you for your understanding.

Mid Nov 2021 changed to low carb diet due to diabetes & cholesterol.  Lost 1/16 body weight, BP has reduced a lot. 

Links to my exercises and weights.  I also do 3 x 5.5 min with HIIT on exercise bike with 20 secs/min as fast as I can cycle.

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Hi Seeker,

 

Sorry, but I did have a laugh when you said you had spilled half of them CC

Yes. It's funny now, but I wasn't laughing at the time.........all those little beads........over 500 in each capsule.........the joy! At least I have the average now so won't have to ever count the whole lot again. Woohoo.

 

Thanks for the links to the scales. I'll look into them. Mind you, I did snigger when you said they come with tweezers........all those little beads.......pinging all over the place when I try to get them with the tweezers! They bounce too!

 

I'll let you know how I go with the first taper. As long as I don't have nightmares about all those little beads, I should remain in a happy place to start tomorrow

 

.

8 years on venlafaxine (generic name Altven). Various doses then 3 years on 75mg. Tapered off too quickly with very bad withdrawals. Put back on at higher dose of 150mg to stabilise. Been at 150mg for a year. Stable and ready to taper slowly.

Dosage 150mg. Average beads in each capsule 543

January 2016. Start tapering. Also taking fish oil, vit e daily and magnesium as required.

08/01 started with 5% taper, held for 2 weeks the. Another 5% and held for a month.

3rd March another 10% cut, now taking out 102 beads. Hold for a month then assess.

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  • Moderator Emeritus

Hi Seeker , welcome to the site.

 

You asked about supplements to assist recovery , and the ones we recommend to start with

are fish oil and magnesium. Our cells and brain need these to perform a bunch of functions , including

regrowing. See http://survivingantidepressants.org/index.php?/topic/1300-magnesium-natures-calcium-channel-blocker/and http://survivingantidepressants.org/index.php?/topic/36-king-of-supplements-omega-3-fatty-acids-fish-oil/

 

I bought my scales on ebay , search for "digital jewellers' scales" with 3 digits after the decimal

point (if you decide to go that way).

 

There are a few Queenslanders' and Aussies here. Come say hi in the Australia room , it's in the Relationships section.

 

Best wishes , Fresh

 

Sqirrellygirl , if you hold the little hand over a screen-name , it tells you if someone is online , and when they were on last ;)

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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Thanks Fresh.

I take fish oil already but may need to up the dose. I take about 3000mg a day and also vitamin e - actually taking 1000mg daily but have nearly run out, so will decrease the dose shortly to 400mg.

Also use magnesium "oil" and take a natural supplement of magnesium as required for restless legs. Will probably have to up this dose now. Thanks for the links. There is so much info here! Thank goodness. Knowledge is handy!

 

I'll look in to the Aussie group. Thanks for that.

Hope your own journey is going well.

Kind thoughts, S

8 years on venlafaxine (generic name Altven). Various doses then 3 years on 75mg. Tapered off too quickly with very bad withdrawals. Put back on at higher dose of 150mg to stabilise. Been at 150mg for a year. Stable and ready to taper slowly.

Dosage 150mg. Average beads in each capsule 543

January 2016. Start tapering. Also taking fish oil, vit e daily and magnesium as required.

08/01 started with 5% taper, held for 2 weeks the. Another 5% and held for a month.

3rd March another 10% cut, now taking out 102 beads. Hold for a month then assess.

Link to comment

So..... Day 2 on the 5% taper. Still feeling good. No symptoms - but I know I didn't feel any from the previous attempt (until going way too fast and a big jump off) as long as I keep my taper slow and steady. Will reassess how I'm feeling in a few days. It feels good to have started my taper. No anxiety. Just a wait and see attitude. It's a long term thing. I ain't rushin' nothin' this time!

8 years on venlafaxine (generic name Altven). Various doses then 3 years on 75mg. Tapered off too quickly with very bad withdrawals. Put back on at higher dose of 150mg to stabilise. Been at 150mg for a year. Stable and ready to taper slowly.

Dosage 150mg. Average beads in each capsule 543

January 2016. Start tapering. Also taking fish oil, vit e daily and magnesium as required.

08/01 started with 5% taper, held for 2 weeks the. Another 5% and held for a month.

3rd March another 10% cut, now taking out 102 beads. Hold for a month then assess.

Link to comment
  • Moderator Emeritus

Hi Seeker,

 

I hope you're starting to feel more settled on your new dose.  And definitely no rushing.  After reading so many Intro topics, I know it's just not worth it.

 

I saw your post in the Australia thread about changing the order of posts so they show up from newest to oldest.  I've checked out the site and I don't think it can be done.  However, if you go to the View New Content (top right) after logging in there are options on the left hand side, for example Content I Have Not Read.  I discovered accidentally (just a short whole ago) that if you hover between the Topic Name on the Left and the Replies/Avatar/Last Poster on the Right, an arrow shows up which you can click on.  You then get the option of going to the Last Unread Post, or if you want the very last post, click on the last link just above the condensed version of the last post.  I actually Right Click Open in New Tab so I don't have to keep remember not to close the window when I have finished.

 

Then F5 key to refresh the window.

 

I hope that helps.  I've found that it makes it much easier.  And I only came across because I saw the arrow come up one day and clicked on it out of curiousity, which didn't kill this cat!!!  CC

 MISSION ACCOMPLISHED:    13 November 2021 -  0mg Pristiq      

Woohoo!!!  Finally off Pristiq   

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

My full tapering program     My Intro (goes to my tapering graph)    My website

PLEASE NOTE:  I am not a medical professional.  I provide information and make suggestions.  I do not provide tapering advice via PM.  Please post questions in your Introduction topic.  Please do not tag me for any reason.  I am an unpaid volunteer and assist members if I am able to and when I have the time.  Thank you for your understanding.

Mid Nov 2021 changed to low carb diet due to diabetes & cholesterol.  Lost 1/16 body weight, BP has reduced a lot. 

Links to my exercises and weights.  I also do 3 x 5.5 min with HIIT on exercise bike with 20 secs/min as fast as I can cycle.

Link to comment

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