Jump to content

turbidblue: tapering Effexor, want to get pregnant soon


turbidblue

Recommended Posts

Hi everyone -

 

I'm so glad to have found this community.  I've been working with a psychiatrist but the quick taper became a nightmare and I'm looking for support from people who are actually going through this.

 

I'm a 37 year-old female, and about 6 months ago I realized that if I have any hope of starting a family, I'd better get moving.  Of course, I had no idea that getting off antidepressants would be such a long haul and I'm still coming to terms with that disappointment.

 

I did okay up until the Effexor XR 37.5mg every other day recommendation, which of course, was a complete disaster.  Luckily I only put up with it for a week before I decided it was ridiculous and that I couldn't live like that.  I had excessive fatigue and generally felt drunk and out of it.  I couldn't even follow the plot of a TV show without my boyfriend having to explain it to me.  I was taking 4 hour naps in the middle of the day.  I couldn't work at all.  I was extremely irritable.

 

I went back up to Effexor XR 37.5mg daily and thought I was back to stable three weeks later.  The psychiatrist switched me to Effexor IR 25mg.  Another psychiatrist friend suggested splitting the dose, which made a ton of sense, and made me even more wary of my original psychiatrist for not having advised that in the first place.

 

Since Feb 1, I've been on Effexor IR 25mg, which I split into morning and afternoon doses.  I'm definitely experiencing withdrawal symptoms, but at least I don't feel like I'm dying at this point.  The biggest one is probably brain fog, but it isn't nearly as bad as before.  The headaches and fatigue are definitely a component, but again, not as severe as before.  A new symptom is this weird leg tingling/numbness, mostly in my quads.  I can tolerate these symptoms but not if they get any worse. 

 

I'm hoping for some advice on where to go from here.  Should I stay at the 25mg and hold here until the symptoms are completely gone and continue to taper from there?  Or should I go back up to the 37.5mg?  Or some combination of XR and IR?  Either way, I intend to taper once I stabilize, and obviously go much slower from that point on.  What is the general consensus about IR vs XR tapering?

 

Also, if anyone can provide advice about pregnancy, I would really appreciate it.  Once I'm off these stupid meds, how long should I wait before trying to get pregnant?  I realize that I need to be as emotionally stable as possible, but there is remarkably little information out there about specifically how long one should be off Effexor, etc.

 

Any cheer-leading would also be appreciated.  Like I said earlier, I've taken quite a hit after finding out this is going to be a protracted process. : (  I will need some real encouragement to continue on in a slow and steady fashion.  But I desperately want to be successful so I will do what is necessary!

 

Thank you for listening!

-turbidblue

Chronic depression since puberty.  Finally got into therapy about 10 years ago.  Still going weekly.  2008-2012: 5-10mg Lexapro • 2012: switched from 10mg Lexapro to 37.5mg Effexor XR • 2012-2014: gradually increased to 150mg Effexor XR • 2015: 150mg Effexor XR for about 8 months

 

October-December 2015: 150 to 75 to 37.5mg Effexor XR - only mild symptoms at second drop: headaches, tired, head a bit fuzzy for about a week

January 2016: 37.5mg Effexor XR every other day for a week, severe withdrawal symptoms, back to 37.5mg for 3 weeks

February 2016: 25mg Effexor IR (split dose) - headaches, fatigue, leg tingling/numbness, fuzzy head

March 8, 2016: 25mg Effexor IR (split dose) + 10mg Prozac  - fairly stable on the 25mg Effexor IR, only a little parathesia and fatigue left

March 16, 2016: 10mg Prozac  - a little lightheaded, some fatigue

April 4, 2016: Stopped Prozac completely.  Medication free!!!!

April 11, 2016: felt surprisingly good last week, - lightheaded, fatigue

April 18, 2016: last week was terrible - lightheaded, intense fatigue, extremely irritable, crying

April 22, 2016: so much better this week - some fatigue, tiny bit of lightheadedness, a little emotional but in a general PMS kind of way : )

Link to comment
  • Moderator Emeritus

Hi turbidblue , welcome to the site.  

You've landed in exactly the right place - we have tonnes of information and you'll get lots of input from people who've been through / are going through this process.

 

Good instincts on reverting to a regular daily dose.  The point now is to get you back to stable as soon as possible , and to

hold there for a bit before starting a slow 10% taper (see   Why taper by 10% of my dosage? here).

 

Please read the thread on "Tips for Tapering Effexor"  here  Tips for tapering off Effexor and Effexor XR (venlafaxine)

After reading it , you may feel either the instant release or the slow release is a better choice.

At 10 days out , you could go straight back to the 37.5XR.

 

bw ,  Fresh

 

p.s. the tingling and numbnness is called paresthesia , it's not permanent , and will come and go.  

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

Link to comment
  • Moderator Emeritus

Welcome turbidblue,

I'm glad you found us, Fresh gave you some good advice and the relevant links, so please do take a look at them.

 

 

I'm hoping for some advice on where to go from here.  Should I stay at the 25mg and hold here until the symptoms are completely gone and continue to taper from there?  Or should I go back up to the 37.5mg? 

 

Since you have been on 25mg, would you say your symptoms are getting better, worse or staying about the same? If you are not getting worse, if I were you, I'd stick with the 25mg for now if you can, that way you have less to taper from. Monitor your symptoms, keep notes on paper and after a while you will probably notice a pattern and then you will be able to tell if you are improving. Stabilization could take a month or two, but it you notice you are slowing improving, its probably best to hold where you are for a while. Have a look at this topic also: The Windows and Waves Pattern of Stabilization

 

You have come down from 150mg very fast, much faster than the 10% per month that we recommend, so once you stabilize, it would probably be a good idea to give yourself another month or two before continuing to taper at the new slow rate.

 

Your symptoms don't sound too bad at the moment, so you will probably be fine quite quickly. Have a look in our symptoms and self care section for good ideas for supporting recovery and taking care of yourself.

 

Please stay in touch and let us know what you decide.

 

Petunia.

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

My Introduction Thread

Full Drug and Withdrawal History

Brief Summary

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

2 month 'taper' off Lexapro 2010

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

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

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

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

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

Supplements which have helped: Vitamin C, Magnesium, Taurine

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

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

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

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

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

VIDEO: Where did the chemical imbalance theory come from?



VIDEO: How are psychiatric diagnoses made?



VIDEO: Why do psychiatric drugs have withdrawal syndromes?



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

VIDEO: Dr. Claire Weekes

 

 

 

Link to comment
  • Mentor

Go CT, get pregnant,   and all will be fine  (my experience)............ but damn watch out, and be prepared at 3 months post partum................ the AD withdrawals will hit then,  be prepared, have backup, and all will be well,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,, 

1992 Dothiepin 375mg 8 weeks, exhaustion/depression.  Serotonin syndrome, oh yes!  seizures . Fell pregnant, 3rd baby, Nitrous Oxide, 3 weeks mental hospital pp psychosis. zoloft tegretol.

Feb 1996 ct tegretol, tapered Zoloft 8 weeks. as (unexpectedly)  pregnant. Steven died after 3 days.(Zolft HLHS baby).  98 had run in with Paxil, 2 tablets, 3 weeks taper, survived.
2005..menopause? exhausted again. Zyprexa, mad in three days, fallout....  Seroquel, Effexor, tegretol,   and 8 years of self destruction. Failed taper.
Damn 1/4 valium... nuts again! .fallout, zoloft 100mg  seroquol 400mg mirtazapine 45 mg  tegretol 400mg.  Mid 14 3 month taper. Nov 14 CRASH.
Mid 15 ....   75mg  seroquel,  3 x 1800mg SJW  2 week window end of December followed by 6 week wave
5/2 68mg seroquel, 2.5 x 1800mg SJW::::20/2 61mg seroquel, 2.5 x  SJW::: 26/2 54mg seroquel, 2 x SJW::::21/3 43mg seroquel, 1 x 2700SJW :::: 23/4 36mg seroquel 1 x 1800 SJW
15/5 33mg seroquel, 1 x SJW::::   28/5 30mg seroquel, 1 x SJW::::;  18/6 25mg seroquel 1/2 SJW::::, 11/7 21mg seroquel 1/2 SJW::, 26/7 18mg seroquel 1/2 SJW:::, 9/8 12mg seroquel :::, 16/8 6mg seroquel ;;;;, 12/9 0 jump.

23/9  3mg.....,  27/9 0mg.  Reinstated, 6mg, then 12mg.............  LIGHTBULB MOMENT,  I have  MTHFR 2x mutations.  CFS and issues with MOULD in my home. So I left home, and working 150km away during week, loving it.

Oh was hard, panic attacks first week, gone now, along with the mould issues.

Link to comment
  • Mentor

Your happy pregnancy hormones will kick in during pregnancy...............................GO FOR IT!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!   NOW OR NEVER!      Contact me personally for support.................. I been there, done that.

1992 Dothiepin 375mg 8 weeks, exhaustion/depression.  Serotonin syndrome, oh yes!  seizures . Fell pregnant, 3rd baby, Nitrous Oxide, 3 weeks mental hospital pp psychosis. zoloft tegretol.

Feb 1996 ct tegretol, tapered Zoloft 8 weeks. as (unexpectedly)  pregnant. Steven died after 3 days.(Zolft HLHS baby).  98 had run in with Paxil, 2 tablets, 3 weeks taper, survived.
2005..menopause? exhausted again. Zyprexa, mad in three days, fallout....  Seroquel, Effexor, tegretol,   and 8 years of self destruction. Failed taper.
Damn 1/4 valium... nuts again! .fallout, zoloft 100mg  seroquol 400mg mirtazapine 45 mg  tegretol 400mg.  Mid 14 3 month taper. Nov 14 CRASH.
Mid 15 ....   75mg  seroquel,  3 x 1800mg SJW  2 week window end of December followed by 6 week wave
5/2 68mg seroquel, 2.5 x 1800mg SJW::::20/2 61mg seroquel, 2.5 x  SJW::: 26/2 54mg seroquel, 2 x SJW::::21/3 43mg seroquel, 1 x 2700SJW :::: 23/4 36mg seroquel 1 x 1800 SJW
15/5 33mg seroquel, 1 x SJW::::   28/5 30mg seroquel, 1 x SJW::::;  18/6 25mg seroquel 1/2 SJW::::, 11/7 21mg seroquel 1/2 SJW::, 26/7 18mg seroquel 1/2 SJW:::, 9/8 12mg seroquel :::, 16/8 6mg seroquel ;;;;, 12/9 0 jump.

23/9  3mg.....,  27/9 0mg.  Reinstated, 6mg, then 12mg.............  LIGHTBULB MOMENT,  I have  MTHFR 2x mutations.  CFS and issues with MOULD in my home. So I left home, and working 150km away during week, loving it.

Oh was hard, panic attacks first week, gone now, along with the mould issues.

Link to comment
  • Administrator

Welcome, turbidblue.

 

How are you doing now?

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.

Link to comment

Hi all -

 

Thank you so much for your replies.  I'm slowly stabilizing on the 25mg, so I'm going to stay here for awhile, at least until the end of the month.

 

What to do next, I have no idea.  The 10% taper is a great idea and I would do it if it didn't take so long.  Even if I did it at the most aggressive schedule possible (4 weeks 2x, 3 weeks 2x, 2 weeks 2x, and 1 week to the end), it would take well over a year and I'd be closing in on my 39th birthday before even attempting to get pregnant.  In terms of fertility and having a safe pregnancy, I'm going to have to get off faster than that.  I realize I'm going to have to carefully balance the risks and benefits and I wish there were a clear path forward, but there isn't.

 

I talked to my psychiatrist friend yesterday, and she is recommending a Prozac bridge as an alternative.  I will see my regular psychiatrist in two weeks, and we will go over all the options.  I'm not terribly confident in her knowledge or experience, but I feel a bit stuck.  Another complication is that she informed me that the group that she's in doesn't prescribe psychiatric medication during pregnancy.  I'm assuming this is for liability reasons, and I suppose that makes sense, but what if I'm in need of psychiatric care?  The whole thing is way more complicated than I expected it would be.

 

So my options are (I think): 1. cold turkey (I really don't like this idea); 2. an aggressive 20 - 25% taper of off Effexor; 3. a Prozac bridge off of the Effexor, followed by an aggressive Prozac taper.

 

I'm going to investigate getting into the major hospital psychiatric clinic close-by to see if they have anyone else who's more experienced, but based on what I've read here, I'm not optimistic.  I'm sure there will be a waiting list as well.  Sigh. 

 

In the meantime, I'm reading, reading, and reading some more, to try and get as much information as I can into this slightly foggy head of mine, lol!  Well that, and trying to keep my house clean, food on the table, and work in the pipeline! ; )

 

Thank you all for your support and guidance.  It's such a relief knowing there are people out there going through the same kinds of things.

 

-turbidblue

Chronic depression since puberty.  Finally got into therapy about 10 years ago.  Still going weekly.  2008-2012: 5-10mg Lexapro • 2012: switched from 10mg Lexapro to 37.5mg Effexor XR • 2012-2014: gradually increased to 150mg Effexor XR • 2015: 150mg Effexor XR for about 8 months

 

October-December 2015: 150 to 75 to 37.5mg Effexor XR - only mild symptoms at second drop: headaches, tired, head a bit fuzzy for about a week

January 2016: 37.5mg Effexor XR every other day for a week, severe withdrawal symptoms, back to 37.5mg for 3 weeks

February 2016: 25mg Effexor IR (split dose) - headaches, fatigue, leg tingling/numbness, fuzzy head

March 8, 2016: 25mg Effexor IR (split dose) + 10mg Prozac  - fairly stable on the 25mg Effexor IR, only a little parathesia and fatigue left

March 16, 2016: 10mg Prozac  - a little lightheaded, some fatigue

April 4, 2016: Stopped Prozac completely.  Medication free!!!!

April 11, 2016: felt surprisingly good last week, - lightheaded, fatigue

April 18, 2016: last week was terrible - lightheaded, intense fatigue, extremely irritable, crying

April 22, 2016: so much better this week - some fatigue, tiny bit of lightheadedness, a little emotional but in a general PMS kind of way : )

Link to comment
  • Mentor

Hi Turbidblue,          this is my opinion only, having been on these drugs and falling pregnant a few times  :)          Is having a baby your dream?  It was what I wanted, very much so.

 

Are you on the pill........                  or just another form of birth control used, that will not have any lasting effect on chances of falling pregnant quickly?

 

Do a rapid taper.  Try and fall pregnant asap. If there are no drugs in your system, they are not going to affect your baby while he/she develops.     Pregnancy testing now, is so early and accurate, if you fall pregnant, just stop your drugs CT.

 

I do not think you should touch any ADs or drugs, during the first 18 weeks of pregnancy.  After that, you may not feel you need them.    I didnt need them :)    If you are suffering at that stage, ADs can be reintroduced if really necessary.

 

Hugs...........

 

ang          

1992 Dothiepin 375mg 8 weeks, exhaustion/depression.  Serotonin syndrome, oh yes!  seizures . Fell pregnant, 3rd baby, Nitrous Oxide, 3 weeks mental hospital pp psychosis. zoloft tegretol.

Feb 1996 ct tegretol, tapered Zoloft 8 weeks. as (unexpectedly)  pregnant. Steven died after 3 days.(Zolft HLHS baby).  98 had run in with Paxil, 2 tablets, 3 weeks taper, survived.
2005..menopause? exhausted again. Zyprexa, mad in three days, fallout....  Seroquel, Effexor, tegretol,   and 8 years of self destruction. Failed taper.
Damn 1/4 valium... nuts again! .fallout, zoloft 100mg  seroquol 400mg mirtazapine 45 mg  tegretol 400mg.  Mid 14 3 month taper. Nov 14 CRASH.
Mid 15 ....   75mg  seroquel,  3 x 1800mg SJW  2 week window end of December followed by 6 week wave
5/2 68mg seroquel, 2.5 x 1800mg SJW::::20/2 61mg seroquel, 2.5 x  SJW::: 26/2 54mg seroquel, 2 x SJW::::21/3 43mg seroquel, 1 x 2700SJW :::: 23/4 36mg seroquel 1 x 1800 SJW
15/5 33mg seroquel, 1 x SJW::::   28/5 30mg seroquel, 1 x SJW::::;  18/6 25mg seroquel 1/2 SJW::::, 11/7 21mg seroquel 1/2 SJW::, 26/7 18mg seroquel 1/2 SJW:::, 9/8 12mg seroquel :::, 16/8 6mg seroquel ;;;;, 12/9 0 jump.

23/9  3mg.....,  27/9 0mg.  Reinstated, 6mg, then 12mg.............  LIGHTBULB MOMENT,  I have  MTHFR 2x mutations.  CFS and issues with MOULD in my home. So I left home, and working 150km away during week, loving it.

Oh was hard, panic attacks first week, gone now, along with the mould issues.

Link to comment

Please sign in to comment

You will be able to leave a comment after signing in



Sign In Now
×
×
  • Create New...

Important Information

Terms of Use Privacy Policy