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Thelma1: major panic and anxiety after Effexor cold turkey

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Thelma1

I was tood by my doctor to stop my Effexor cold turkey as my side effects were bad and she said that as i was obly on it for 8 months it shouldn't be an issue. I was on citalopram for 8 years before that. That was on 2dec, i was ok very irritated argumentative and bad brain zaps but mentally i was fine. Then Christmas came and some bad news brought me down and I couldn't grt out of my bed for three days then rhe panic came stronger than i have ever felt. I am so frightened and dont know how to cope. I started taking the Effexor 75 again 4 days ago but im still struggling and dont know what to do. Please help


Cold turkey of 112.5 mg Effexor. Few side effects but major panic now started retaking 75mg Effexor and i also take 80mg propananol

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ChessieCat

Hi Thelma and welcome to SA.

 

Unfortunately what you are going through is not uncommon (many people on this site can attest to that) when a doctor says it's okay to go off the drug CT or rapid taper.  Your symptoms are from withdrawal.  This is because the drug has changed your brain and the drug needs to be reduced slowly to allow your brain to adjust to not having as much of the drug.  This site recommends a 10% taper (some people taper less) of the current dose for this reason.

 

From your post is would appear that you CTed Effexor 112.5mg on 2 December and then reinstated 75mg on about 31 Dec or 1 Jan.  Could you please update your signature to give a proper overview of your recent drug history.  This will help the mods be able to make suggestions when they can see the whole picture at a glance.  Thank you.

 

It takes 4 days for the drug to start taking full effect in the blood stream.  How are you feeling now compared to 1) when you were still taking 112.5mg & 2) when you were off the drug?  Answering these questions will help the mods know whether the reinstating of the lesser dose of 75mg (if I have understood correctly) is working okay.

 

Someone should be here soon who is better able to offer suggestions.  You've joined a great site with lots of helpful information and very supportive members.  Please use your Intro topic to ask any questions you have and as a journal of your tapering progress.  You can follow your topic (top right).

 

CC


REMINDER TO SELF:

I don't need the drug now, but my still brain does.

ADs:  25 years - 1 unknown, Prozac (caused muscle weakness), Zoloft/sertraline; citalopram (pooped out) CTed (very sick for 2.5 wks a few months after)

Pristiq:  50mg 2012, 100mg beg 2013 (mild Serotonin Toxicity)

Began tapering Oct 2015  Current from 17 Oct 2020:  Pristiq 0.56 mg (compounded + liquid)

My tapering program

My Intro (goes to my tapering graph)

My website - includes my brief history + links to videos & information on the web

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

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KarenB

Hello Thelma and welcome to s/a.

 

I'm glad you've found us - it will be much easier for you to get through this with a bit of support.  I'm tapering Effexor myself, and it does need careful handling.  Panic seems fairly standard when somebody has c/t'd.  Often, just knowing that this is 'normal' and knowing there is a way out can relieve that a bit. 

 

You will be okay - you've already headed in the right direction by reinstating to 75mg.  Now you just need to wait a little longer for it to settle down again.  It takes at least 4 days for dose changes to register.  It's a good idea to note down your symptoms and perhaps rate their severity so you can see if things are improving or not (sometimes our brains aren't very reliable at these times, so writing it down is best).  Here's our thread on Reinstatement and Stabilising to Reduce Withdrawal Symptoms

 

Once you have been stabilised for a good while (maybe a month or two) then you can plan a gentle taper, reducing 10% each 4-6 weeks.  Here is the thread for Tapering off Effexor.

 

Meantime:  are you having caffeine, alcohol, lots of sugar, or doing lots of exercise?  These can all make you feel worse during w/d. 

 

Two things which can help you cope at this time are fish-oil and magnesium (esp good for anxiety - you can sip it throughout the day dissolved in water).

 

Have a read of those and then come back to this thread to ask questions.  This will be your place to record your tapering and healing progress, and to get support.  It's going to be okay - we've all come through this difficult beginning.

 

Hugs,

Karen


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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Thelma1

Than you. Im avoiding alcohol and caffeine at the moment. Im still off work for the holidays. I feel a bit better fir taking the 75 but can feel thr panic still there in my chest and stomach waiting to come up and im frightened if every noise and action i have to do. I had a few episodes like this on Effexor but not as bad. I also take 80mg propananol too.


Cold turkey of 112.5 mg Effexor. Few side effects but major panic now started retaking 75mg Effexor and i also take 80mg propananol

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KarenB

Okay, if you're feeling a bit better, just hold steady at this dose a few more days.  If you notice anything worsen, it is a sign to lower the dose. 

 

That panic isn't easy for you, and also you don't want to make a panicky decision out of that place.  How about trying some guided meditations on you-tube?  Get it before it gets you? ;)

 

We've all been in that place Thelma, and we've come through it.  You will too.  You aren't alone in this.  Keep reading those links, and ask more questions if you want.  You'll get there.

 

Sending bigger hugs this time,

Karen


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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Thelma1

Thank you. Was reading the withdrawl symptoms and i thonk i have all but coupd deal with most of them but this panic was unbearable and i havent eaten properly in 6 days can just about manage a slice of toast.


Cold turkey of 112.5 mg Effexor. Few side effects but major panic now started retaking 75mg Effexor and i also take 80mg propananol

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nick1990

Hey Thelma.

 

Sorry to hear your going through a difficult time.

 

I had HORRENDOUS panic and anxiety for a couple of months after tapering Citalopram too fast. It will pass! 

 

Im SOOO much better now than i was a few months ago. Its a slow game but if you just sit still and hold your current dose you will come right. 

 

I remember what it felt like at the time - like it will never end. But it does. It gets better . Nourish your body with healthy foods, drink PLENTY of water and do things that make you feel "Soothed". Hot bath's, a blanket on the couch with a mug of Chamomile, deep breathing. 


Started Citalopram in 2005 (aged 15) for apparent "OCD" - 60mg 

July 2015 attempted 2 x 10% + cuts 4 weeks apart. WD symptoms intense at times. Need to slow down.

 

November 2016 - Resumed taper. 1.25 - 1.5% decrease weekly approx.

44.5mg November 2016. Jan 2017 42.5 mg. March 2017 40 mg. June 2017 37mg. September 2018 22mg. Nov 2018 Holding at 22mg to stabilise from moderate wave. January 2020 - Holding, mostly feeling fine, but still having some waves at times. 

 

February 2020 - Resumed taper , 1.5% reduction weekly/every two weeks. 

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Thelma1

Went back to docs a d he is keeping me on 75mg but might increase it but wants to see me again next week. He gave me 2mg diazepam if i need it as he said its more a first aid thing at the moment and wants to give the other tablet another week to see if i settle down


Cold turkey of 112.5 mg Effexor. Few side effects but major panic now started retaking 75mg Effexor and i also take 80mg propananol

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Christian

Thelma,

I've recently reinstated (9 days). I feel a little less panic but an ongoing anxiety that won't leave. Enough to keep my from being able to concentrate on TV shows. I did however, sleep a full night last night but not the prior two weeks. Just curious if you are improving.


Lexapro: started in 2002 at 10 mgs.

Ambien: started as a as needed sleep aid in 2010.

Quit Lexapro cold turkey in June 20015 due to contributing to low sodium issues.

Restarted Lexapro in late November for a week (only 5 mgs) but quit due to dizziness side effects. Side effects worsened for 3 weeks until

12/24/15: Protracted WD hit, experienced extreme anxiety, insomnia lack of full concentration and social challenges.

Reinstated Lexapro on 1/1/16 at 5 mgs. Increased per Dr to 7.5 MG. Tapered off Lexapro in March 2016.

Started 50MG of Seroquel in late January 2016 for bedtime to help in eliminate Ambien. Tapered off both Seroquel and Ambien in March 2016.

2/14/16: Prescribed both Remeron (15 MG) and Temazapam (15 MG) for sleep. Also use Klonopin and Ambien again in place of Temazapam to avoid addiction. However I did take Temazapam 60 straight days

6/15/16: Stopped use of all benzo's and now use Belsomra 1-2 times a week. Still on 15 MG of Remeron

10/11/16: Off all psych medications

 

After kindling, trying to regain my strength suffering from severe mental and physical fatigue.

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downtongirl

Hello Thelma...I have come off of effexor three times.  It is not fun...you are not experiencing anything that is not normal for withdrawal.  I just reinstated a very low dose of prozac to stabilize.  Be careful with the diazepam/valium...it is a bento and they can be very addicting very quickly.  Hugs!


1995 - 2015 antidepressants and antianxiety medicine
Multiple failed attempts to quit/taper anti d/anti anxiety meds since 2008

June 17, 2016 began prozac bridge to get off of effexor xr, stopped effexor xr on June 24, 2016, could not tolerate prozac due to severe side effects so I had to stop it  Currently...300 mg ER of lithium, 1 mg of estradiol, 60 mg propranolol ER, Fish oil 2 x a day, Magnesium Glycinate,  zinc, vitamin c, vitamin d, NAC

 

 

 

 

 

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SquirrellyGirl

Welcome from another Effexor traveller!

 

I had a horrible protracted withdrawal from Effexor after coming off too quickly the summer of 2014, but I didn't know what was happening to me until after finally reinstating 37.5 mg at 10 months out!  At least you have the benefit of knowing what is happening now, and that gives strength!  As others have said, you are not alone and what you are experiencing is not unusual, though I know that doesn't make it feel any better!  Hopefully the reinstatement will give you relief in due time as it did me, and allow you the ability to really control your taper based on what you have learned here. 

 

I am now down to 29  mg and doing fine!  I am also on Remeron, which was Rx'd before going back on Effexor, but it ultimately didn't work which is why my doc suggested I try Effexor since i had tolerated it in the past.  The ol' hair of the dog that bit me!  But now I have two drugs I must taper which really irks me!  

 

A lot of people who don't understand that they are in withdrawal all those months out think they have relapsed and that they won't ever be able to be free of the drugs.  We know better!  I will be free some day, but it will take some time; far better than the alternative of just staying on the rest of my life!

 

For now, as Nick1990 said, it's time to nurture yourself, be kind and use some self help methods to calm your frazzled nerves  :D

 

There's lots of good tips and links for guided meditations and the like here:  Symptoms and Self-Care

 

You'll find a lot of humor on this site, because laughter is the best medicine, and if we don't laugh, we'll be crying!

 

I'm glad you made it here, Thelma!

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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Thelma1

I am feeling so much better being back on the tablets the difference is unbelievable. The fear has gone and im even out driving. My plan is to stabilise for a while then taper slowly during the summer


Cold turkey of 112.5 mg Effexor. Few side effects but major panic now started retaking 75mg Effexor and i also take 80mg propananol

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NewMe

Glad to know you have been stabilizing. 


I'M A WEANER!  :D 
atavan PRN ,Paxil approx 20 yrs ago for major depression
Switched to Klonopin PRN through to current
Paxil wore out
Changed to Effexor 
Depakote added
enormous weight gain - flat affect - led to depression - dropped depakote
Dropped Effexor, changed to Paxil 
PDoc added mixed salts amphetamines for ADHD - took for 2 yrs - was ok at first but had to cut as symptoms too intense -  then the crash was too much. STOPPED
Vyvanse started in 2013 (APRIL) - more smooth than IR amphetamine tabs---Have not used vyvanse daily in full amt since May 2013 

Paxil CT withdrawal 10/2012  :wacko:  Klonopin CT WD

Switched Klonopin to Xanax prn  - too strong

WD CT from XANAX after taking for a while - it was awful but can be done if you hold on!

Back to Klonopin PRN - working very hard to avoid taking it at all. 

Effexor 37.5 started 02/2013, 75mg by 03/2013, 150mg by 05/2012 (approx)  :blush:

Effexor 150mg 3/10/2014 Microtaper -3beads  :unsure:

3/11/2014-4beads ,3/12/14 - 5, 3/13/14 -6, 3/15/14 - 7, 3/18 - 8, 3/22 - 10, 3/24 - 12, 4/6 - 13, 4/7 - 14, 4/11 - 16 - on 4/19 ran out of brand took generic. Bad move. Back on brand on 4/20 and updosed 2 beads. 5/1 - 15, 5/6 - 16, 5/9 -17, 55/10 -17, 5/15 -18, 5/21 -19, 5/24 -20, 6/3 - 21, 6/6 -23, 6/13 -24,6/19- 25, 6/21 -26, 6/25 -27

6/28 -28, 6/29 -30, 7/3 -34, 7/8 -35, 7/17 -36, 7/30 -41,7/31 -42, 8/2 -43, 8/3 -44, 8/5 -45, 8/14 -48, 8/26-50, 9/24 -53, 10/24 -55, 12/1 -57, (lost the tally sheet, thus taper info for some of it), 4/19-63, 4/26-64, 4/30-65 Switched to wt reduction - now @ -.068, 7/14 -.070, August 2015 -.074, between Sept & October 10 -.077, Nov. -.078(feeling great), -.090 as of 1/10/16, down to  -.101 since January 2016 (it is now 6/24/16), -.105 as of 8/13/16
 
 

Ladies, please don't underestimate the possibility of perimenopause. The symptoms can be similar to, may intensify & in some cases mimic protracted w/d from ssri's & benzo's. 

 

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Seeker53

Hi Thelma,

Glad to hear that you are feeling more stable. It sounds like you have a plan to taper during your summer. Do make sure you read the information here about the safe rate of taper. It will take a long time but will hopefully allow you to finally get off the drug without debilitating withdrawal.

keep enjoying life,

 

Seeker


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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Christian

Great news Thelma!


Lexapro: started in 2002 at 10 mgs.

Ambien: started as a as needed sleep aid in 2010.

Quit Lexapro cold turkey in June 20015 due to contributing to low sodium issues.

Restarted Lexapro in late November for a week (only 5 mgs) but quit due to dizziness side effects. Side effects worsened for 3 weeks until

12/24/15: Protracted WD hit, experienced extreme anxiety, insomnia lack of full concentration and social challenges.

Reinstated Lexapro on 1/1/16 at 5 mgs. Increased per Dr to 7.5 MG. Tapered off Lexapro in March 2016.

Started 50MG of Seroquel in late January 2016 for bedtime to help in eliminate Ambien. Tapered off both Seroquel and Ambien in March 2016.

2/14/16: Prescribed both Remeron (15 MG) and Temazapam (15 MG) for sleep. Also use Klonopin and Ambien again in place of Temazapam to avoid addiction. However I did take Temazapam 60 straight days

6/15/16: Stopped use of all benzo's and now use Belsomra 1-2 times a week. Still on 15 MG of Remeron

10/11/16: Off all psych medications

 

After kindling, trying to regain my strength suffering from severe mental and physical fatigue.

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Thelma1

Hi all. Havent been on here in a long time. I found this group when I was in a bery darkplace and didnt know what was going on with me. I had been on effexor and my doctor had taken me off it abruptly and My body just went into shock. After a few months they put me back on and I did a slow taper over the period of a year. I found a fabulous group on fbook on effexor withdrawal and it helped so much along with suppleysuch as omega 3. 
I went through a rough patch after the taper and my anxiety heightened so bad again but I realised that I was frightened all the time as my cold turkey was so bad. 
I didn’t want to go on medication again but I decided to and ended up on sertraline 50mg. I know a lot of people have problems with thia medication but it has truly helped me, I am on one of the lowest doses and dont plan to increase it at all. 
maybe sometime down the line i will do a very slow taper off this too but for the moment I am happy. I have bought a house got married and have a good career. So dont plan to change things now. 


Cold turkey of 112.5 mg Effexor. Few side effects but major panic now started retaking 75mg Effexor and i also take 80mg propananol

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Altostrata

Thanks for coming back to let us know how you're doing, @Thelma1. Good to hear you're feeling well.

 

How long did it take for you to feel better after reinstating venlafaxine?

 

Would you please update your signature, including citalopram and month and year for the events? Did you get withdrawal from going off citalopram?


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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