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LadyAg: Trying to get off Effexor XR after 20 years


LadyAg

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Hi everyone!

 

I am a new member, but a very long time Effexor XR user.  I have been tapering for a year and when I got down to 37.5 mg dosage, then started reducing 1 bead a week.  I am now down to just 10 XR beads per day.  I am just now starting to notice more significant withdrawal symptoms.  From reading other posts, I know I am going to have to slow down the tapering process (VERY disappointing!)

 

I had really hoped after working so hard at this for a year that I would be Effexor free in another 10 weeks!  Silly me!  Ugh, this is so miserable!

 

Last week was mildly rough- low level anxiety, general weak feeling and this week it's gotten worse- a bit stronger anxiety with very weak physical feeling, plus feeling like I don't have the physical strength to survive this.

 

I also have chronic fatigue syndrome, which of course is the reason for a lot of the exhaustion.  But it has gotten significantly worse over the last few weeks.

 

Has anyone who has taken this awful drug for so long gotten completely off of it?  I saw a link to tapering to zero, but it doesn't seem to be working.  

 

Oh and for your laugh of the day, I saw a psychiatrist a couple of weeks ago to help in the final reduction and she laughed and said once you got down to 37.5 mg, you should just stop taking it!  Needless to say, I knew the folly and misery that would cause!

 

Anyway, ANY hints, tips or other help in surviving the next next stage would be greatly appreciated!

 

Thanks!!   :unsure:

Started Effexor in 1994 when it was thought it could help with chronic fatigue syndrome.  Increased 20 years ago to 150mg XR ever since.  Started slow tapering a year ago.  For the last 6 months, I have been removing one bead a week from a 37.5 mg venlafaxine XR capusule (contains an average of 39 beads).

02/15/16 Down to 10 beads per day, but starting to have withdrawal issues- mild anxiety, feel like I'm so weak I won't physically survive this, hard to hold my head up, extreme exhaustion.

02/20/16- Increased back to 12 beads per day, started feeling better the first day.  Will slow down taper considerably from this point.

 

Supplements:  Normal vitamin, extra B complex, fish oil.

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Hi Lady Ag.   Welcome.

At least you are aware of the problems withdrawing  . Thank you for adding your signature. As you know , that is a high dose. We advise tapering  , by 10 % .

http://survivingantidepressants.org/index.php?/topic/1024-why-taper-by-10-of-my-dosage/

 

As you have gathered ,the doctors are clueless. Yes , people have withdrawn. 

This is your thread to ask questions and track progress. Please come back with any questions or concerns. You are in a good place , for this.

Ali.

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

 

                                                  Psych Drug - free since May 2014
.
         

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Thanks Ali!

 

Did you mean the 150 mg was a high dose, or the 10mg is still a high dose to reduce down from?  It seems from reading some of the other posts that it only gets harder from this point on.

 

Sherry

:blush:

Started Effexor in 1994 when it was thought it could help with chronic fatigue syndrome.  Increased 20 years ago to 150mg XR ever since.  Started slow tapering a year ago.  For the last 6 months, I have been removing one bead a week from a 37.5 mg venlafaxine XR capusule (contains an average of 39 beads).

02/15/16 Down to 10 beads per day, but starting to have withdrawal issues- mild anxiety, feel like I'm so weak I won't physically survive this, hard to hold my head up, extreme exhaustion.

02/20/16- Increased back to 12 beads per day, started feeling better the first day.  Will slow down taper considerably from this point.

 

Supplements:  Normal vitamin, extra B complex, fish oil.

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  • Moderator Emeritus

Hi LadyAg ,   welcome to the site , and a hearty congratulations on your success,

 

Your signature says you've been decreasing weekly , which is too fast.  

We recommend a hold for at least 4 weeks at each level , as it's during the holds that the cns

stabilizes.

 

I'd be inclined to hold for a month or two , and see how much better you can be , before starting

the last leg.

As you'll have seen in the thread AliG posted ,  from here on you should plan on a decrease of one

bead every 4-6 weeks - no faster.

 

If you read through the following threads , you'll probably find some members at around the same

place in their taper as you:

Micro-taper instead of 10% or 5% decreases

Tips for tapering off Effexor and Effexor XR (venlafaxine)

 

Best wishes ,  Fresh

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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Yes please go very slow. Especially with that timeframe. You do not want to rush this at all. Trust me. Go read my story, pretty much cold turkeyed. I would say 20 years of use atleast 1.5-2 years of weaning.

 

Best of luck. Great place of support here

2007-2012started Effexor xr 225mg -150mg- Varied2months of Taper,(March 22/2012 Off Med/in W/D)Currently No medicationMarch 22/2012- August 16/2012 - Totally Off Effexor( Rough Rough time) Reinstatement for a week(didn't work)****** New Doctor******* Very nice/helpful and in touch.Tried Zoloft- No successAUGUST 17/2012- STARTED 37.5 EFFEXOR FOR ONE WEEK - NOT GOOD < STOPPED.Started Buspar Oct 11th 2012----10 mg for the first 7 days and then 15mg a day---- Taking a new route----Racing thoughts - Gone.Oct 9th ( Done Zoloft,wellbutrin week project trial to feel better) - OFFICIALLY OFF ANTI DEPRESSANT !Oct 26 - Raised Buspar to 20mg a day- Tolerating wellJan 2nd 2013-

Reduce Buspar until full off march 20th 2015 Off all medication !

Tried natural supplements to no avail

Gluten/sugar free since december 2013

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Welcome LadyAg

 

I have been removing one bead a week

I know they do everything big in Texas but as Fresh says this is too fast you are not giving your cns  and the rest of your body a chance to adapt to the new drug levels.

 

That link from Alig is worth reading on tapering 10%. of previous dose a month.

 

If you are on 10 beads and go down one bead a week then that is a huge (Texan) drop of 40 % in one month.

Even one bead a month will soon be more than a 10% per month drop.

 

Removing beads from effexor XR could be problematic at lower dosages as it is an imprecise method of measurement.

 

One option to consider is changing to the regular effexor.

This can give you more options:

then you can get a pharmacy to provide a liquid or you can make your own liquid,  giving more precision in tapering.

 

Either ways you need to go slow cos you dont want to trigger withdrawal symptoms.

 

There aint nothin in Texas as big, scary or as ugly as ssri/snri protracted withdrawal !

 

The past 6 months you have been tapering too fast...in the last month alone it appears you have gone from 14 beads to 10 ( a 28% drop) 

Withdrawal symptoms can be delayed.  

 

You may  like to consider taking a hold at this point in time for several months at current levels to allow the cns to take a breather and current symptoms to recede.

 

Every dose is a high dose when you are dropping too fast.

 

" If you make small changes, then you will have small consequences. " Petu –ism

 

 

nz11

I sat next to a chap from Texas in a plane once ....he told me his Ranch was so big it took him 2 hours to drive from the house to the letterbox!

I replied ......"yeah, I've gotta a car a bit like that too" !

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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Oh god.. Doctors should really read up on the drugs they keep giving out like candy

2011~ lexapro 40-60 mg (mom,why didn't you stop me I was 15..)

2013~ prozac 40mg ,seroquel 25mg (here we go poop-out and merry-go-round!

2014~ paxil 40mg, seroquel 100mg (thanks psych ward for the benzo trial and WD too)

2015~ (worst year of my life):

- basically CT'd from paxil (40 to 20mg in one day,then 10 then 0 in one month total)

and seroquel (cold turkey) in May, horrible withdrawals with every decrease. I said " well Imma ride this out", yeah right.. Two weeks off I couldn't take it anymore.

- Drs. Lab rat( they tried prozac,lexapro,also for a few days cymbalta,venlafaxine,and for anxiety olanzapine and different doses seroquel)

- started wellbutrin (which "cured" my by then 1/2 year withdrawal in a few days,what?)

2016~zoloft 100mg,wellbutrin 300mg,seroquel 50mg

I hope to be med-free one day,I started at such a young age so, Who am I? No idea. :)

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Thank you everyone for such a warm and helpful welcome!  It is so discouraging to take so long to come off the Effexor.  I thought I was going SO slowly, but I guess I've been really lucky not to have developed problems before I got this far.

 

After feeling so bad this week and reading these and other posts, I am going to drastically slow down the taper to the 10% every 4 weeks.  I didn't plan on taking another year to taper once I got down to 10 mg, but BAMM!  this week convinced me to do the turtle instead of the hare.  Eventually, I will still get where I want to be (in theory, at least).

 

Thanks again!

Sherry

Started Effexor in 1994 when it was thought it could help with chronic fatigue syndrome.  Increased 20 years ago to 150mg XR ever since.  Started slow tapering a year ago.  For the last 6 months, I have been removing one bead a week from a 37.5 mg venlafaxine XR capusule (contains an average of 39 beads).

02/15/16 Down to 10 beads per day, but starting to have withdrawal issues- mild anxiety, feel like I'm so weak I won't physically survive this, hard to hold my head up, extreme exhaustion.

02/20/16- Increased back to 12 beads per day, started feeling better the first day.  Will slow down taper considerably from this point.

 

Supplements:  Normal vitamin, extra B complex, fish oil.

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Hey NZ,

 

We do everything big in Texas because we just don't know any other way!  We've tried for years to get the other 49 states to come to our party, but they just can't keep up!  I've got a feeling you folks in NZ could run with our herd just fine, though!   :P

 

And thanks for all the good info.  I have learned a lot from just looking at this website for one day!  Even though misery loves company, and I wouldn't wish Effexor withdrawal on even a YANKEE, it IS nice to find a site with others who have been though this and come out the other side!

Started Effexor in 1994 when it was thought it could help with chronic fatigue syndrome.  Increased 20 years ago to 150mg XR ever since.  Started slow tapering a year ago.  For the last 6 months, I have been removing one bead a week from a 37.5 mg venlafaxine XR capusule (contains an average of 39 beads).

02/15/16 Down to 10 beads per day, but starting to have withdrawal issues- mild anxiety, feel like I'm so weak I won't physically survive this, hard to hold my head up, extreme exhaustion.

02/20/16- Increased back to 12 beads per day, started feeling better the first day.  Will slow down taper considerably from this point.

 

Supplements:  Normal vitamin, extra B complex, fish oil.

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Thanks, Fresh, for the links and the advice!  I am soaking both up like a sponge.  The level of information here greatly exceeds anything else I've found on the internet.

 

Thanks again!   :unsure:

Started Effexor in 1994 when it was thought it could help with chronic fatigue syndrome.  Increased 20 years ago to 150mg XR ever since.  Started slow tapering a year ago.  For the last 6 months, I have been removing one bead a week from a 37.5 mg venlafaxine XR capusule (contains an average of 39 beads).

02/15/16 Down to 10 beads per day, but starting to have withdrawal issues- mild anxiety, feel like I'm so weak I won't physically survive this, hard to hold my head up, extreme exhaustion.

02/20/16- Increased back to 12 beads per day, started feeling better the first day.  Will slow down taper considerably from this point.

 

Supplements:  Normal vitamin, extra B complex, fish oil.

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Welcome, Lady Ag. I agree with everyone else--go slow, and you will do just fine! At least you knew to not go cold turkey! I did not. The only reason I tapered at all was because I knew I got irritable if I missed a few days. I had no clue about withdrawal! My 6-week "taper" might as well have been cold turkey, though. Definitely don't recommend rushing it!!

Zoloft 100 mg. daily for Chronic Fatigue Syndrome since Oct. 1994 / Synthroid 88 mcg. daily / Supplements: Neptune Krill Oil-1,000 mg. twice daily/Astaxanthin 10 mg. twice daily/Ubiquinol 100 mg. twice daily (These 3 have allowed me to discontinue (approved by doctor) bp meds I was on. Calcium Citrate 500 mg. daily/Vitamin D3 2,400 iu daily/K2 (MK7) 100 mcg daily (osteopenia and fam. hist. of severe osteoporosis). Stress B Complex (1/2 dose)/Quercetin (for allergies/asthma)/Magnesium (400 mg. oral glycinate and about 50 mg. magnesium chloride spray oil a day, divided throughout day).

Tapered Zoloft about 6 wks. Totally off since the end of July (25-29, 2014). 3 wks. vertigo at end of taper, then 3-4 wks. OK, followed by withdrawal symptoms increasing in severity (nausea, gastric disturbances, loss of appetite, insomnia, restlessness, jitters, anxiety, agitation--jumping out of my skin--possible akathisia?) Seem to have paradoxical reactions to everything new, even Vitamin C. Severity of akathisia comes and goes, but is constant to some degree. Hard to leave house, and cannot be home alone. (Retired)

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  • Moderator Emeritus

Hello LadyAg from another effexor taperer,

 

One question for you:  Did you start your Vitamin B after or before tapering?  If after, it may be too activating for you.  Multivitamins are also often too activating for those in w/d. 

 

The main supplements we recomend are magnesium and fish oil.

 

I'm glad you are finding helpful info here,

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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I only knew not to go cold-turkey, because I had accidently done it previously.  A lack of communication between my doctor and pharmacist meant I ran out of Effexor for a weekend.  48 hours of that cured me of any ideas of just trying to "muscle" through!

 

I was already on Vitamin B complex, so I don't think that was an aggravating factor in my latest "bump".  But I hadn't read about it possibly making tapering harder.  That I don't need!

 

Thanks for all the help and support!   :)

Started Effexor in 1994 when it was thought it could help with chronic fatigue syndrome.  Increased 20 years ago to 150mg XR ever since.  Started slow tapering a year ago.  For the last 6 months, I have been removing one bead a week from a 37.5 mg venlafaxine XR capusule (contains an average of 39 beads).

02/15/16 Down to 10 beads per day, but starting to have withdrawal issues- mild anxiety, feel like I'm so weak I won't physically survive this, hard to hold my head up, extreme exhaustion.

02/20/16- Increased back to 12 beads per day, started feeling better the first day.  Will slow down taper considerably from this point.

 

Supplements:  Normal vitamin, extra B complex, fish oil.

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I tapered for 3yrs and 11months.

I stopped having any withdrawal symptoms at about

7mnths posttaper and the wd for those seven months wasn't bad at all.

I'm 100% back to normal for awhile now and I'm almost a ur and a half posttaper.

I was on antidepressants for 22yrs and Effexor xr for about ten.

So it's possible to get off and return to normal, but ya gotta go slow.

I got down to half dose in one year and, like you, wanted the other half to go quickly.

tried to speed things up and ended up in the worst wd of the whole process. But you have to slow down taper as you go lower. Gets harder , not easier.

The other thing is to step off at the lowest dose possible.

That's a problem with beads because one is about a quarter mg, which would've been way to high for me. in fact it took one year to reduce my last quarter mg.

I switched to solid pill regular Effexor before starting taper. In the end of taper I was taking about 5-6 finest ground grains of powderized Effexor. Almost nothing, but I still felt it when I stopped. This stuff is the most powerful drug man has ever put into his body-one of the scariest things to get used to is that the drs have no idea what tey're talking about with this stuff-and not knowing-they end by making the most retarded recommendations-don't know why this is-but you do a lot better once you get this -onceyou can fully accept this awful truth.

I also didn't reduce by a calendar date, but by how I felt, always giving wd symptoms plenty of time to show up. I never dropped a dose before one and a half months. the whole thing takes yrs, but it worked.

Sept 12th 1992-began taking Imipramine (50mgs) for panic attacks.

Stopped Imipramine after 4 months (cold turkey).

7 months later experienced "mysterious" bad flu-like symptoms, although, without upper respiratory problems or fever. Because of this and a day of panic attacks, was put on Prozac (20mgs?) for 2 months and then, when that didn't work-was put back on  Imipramine,  plus Xanax 1 mg (4Xdaily)-October 1993.

March 1999-switched from Imipramine (50mgs) to Celexa.

2008-switched to Pristiq for 3 months, then back to Effexor XR (after bad reaction to the Pristiq).

Sept 1st 2010-Switched from Effexor XR (75mgs) to Effexor Generic (solid form) in preparation for taper.

Nov 15th 2010-Began tapering from 75mgs Effexor Generic.

January 13th 2014-.06mgs

April 17th 2014-      .03mgs

May 11th 2014-       .02mgs

Ended taper October 31st 2014

Oct 4th 2015-11 months post taper and completely back to normal!

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I tapered for 3yrs and 11months.

I stopped having any withdrawal symptoms at about

7mnths posttaper and the wd for those seven months wasn't bad at all.

I'm 100% back to normal for awhile now and I'm almost a ur and a half posttaper.

I was on antidepressants for 22yrs and Effexor xr for about ten.

So it's possible to get off and return to normal, but ya gotta go slow.

I got down to half dose in one year and, like you, wanted the other half to go quickly.

tried to speed things up and ended up in the worst wd of the whole process. But you have to slow down taper as you go lower. Gets harder , not easier.

The other thing is to step off at the lowest dose possible.

That's a problem with beads because one is about a quarter mg, which would've been way to high for me. in fact it took one year to reduce my last quarter mg.

I switched to solid pill regular Effexor before starting taper. In the end of taper I was taking about 5-6 finest ground grains of powderized Effexor. Almost nothing, but I still felt it when I stopped. This stuff is the most powerful drug man has ever put into his body-one of the scariest things to get used to is that the drs have no idea what tey're talking about with this stuff-and not knowing-they end by making the most retarded recommendations-don't know why this is-but you do a lot better once you get this -onceyou can fully accept this awful truth.

I also didn't reduce by a calendar date, but by how I felt, always giving wd symptoms plenty of time to show up. I never dropped a dose before one and a half months. the whole thing takes yrs, but it worked.

Wow this is an amazing insightful testimony.

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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Hudgens,

 

Thank you so much for all the information you provided.  I know it takes time to formulate and then type out such a response, and you are doing it for a total stranger (thank you,as well, to the many other posters on this site)!  It is VERY encouraging to hear from a fellow sufferer that has completely gotten off and stayed off and is back to normal.  You are what gives the rest of us hope to keep working at this!  And your specific tips are invaluable, as well, and I will be saving them for the final push!

 

I must admit, I thought I had it all planned out and was giving the process plenty of time... but like you say, I've learned I can't set an arbitrary schedule and expect my body to meekly follow it.  I must slow down and let my body adjust- however long it takes.  (Gee, I absolutely HATE admitting that!)  

 

I was really feeling bad about the sudden, awful w/d symptoms and the drastic slow down in total time getting off completely, but then I got on this website and Fresh was congratulating me on my "success" which was right after I had posted about my new w/d symptoms.  That got me thinking and I realized that going from 150 mg per day for 20+ years down to 10 mg (now back to 12) per day IS definitely a success- not the final one, but a success nevertheless.

 

I have just purchased a milligram scale to weigh either the beads or powder, when I get down further so I can do a longer, slower taper.  I do have visions of a swat team busting down my door due to my drug equipment, but I think that vision is probably just my warped sense of humor/paranoia and not a withdrawal symptom (lol).

 

Thanks again to everyone!  I have more optimism about doing this than I have in a long time.   :)

Started Effexor in 1994 when it was thought it could help with chronic fatigue syndrome.  Increased 20 years ago to 150mg XR ever since.  Started slow tapering a year ago.  For the last 6 months, I have been removing one bead a week from a 37.5 mg venlafaxine XR capusule (contains an average of 39 beads).

02/15/16 Down to 10 beads per day, but starting to have withdrawal issues- mild anxiety, feel like I'm so weak I won't physically survive this, hard to hold my head up, extreme exhaustion.

02/20/16- Increased back to 12 beads per day, started feeling better the first day.  Will slow down taper considerably from this point.

 

Supplements:  Normal vitamin, extra B complex, fish oil.

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Hello fellow taperers!

 

I am going into a two month hold since I was having w/d issues, but I am trying to educate myself for a slower than originally planned tapering process so that when I do start back up I will not cut too much too soon again.  I now realize physically weighing the Effexor dose, rather than counting beads, will give me more control over the tapering process.  That is if I can figure out how to do this...

 

I have a digital scale that weights in milligrams, so I think that should work.  However, I don't seem to see any correlation between the 37.5 mg capsule and the weight of the beads.  Here are the results of several weighs of just the beads from a 37.5mg capsule:

 

0.106g

0.097g

0.098g

0.099g

 

Why am I not seeing anything remotely like 37.5 mg ?  (I searched the forums for "measurement" but didn't see this, so I apologize if I missed the answer).  Is this a weight vs. volume measurement issue?

 

Thanks in advance for any help!   :blush:

Started Effexor in 1994 when it was thought it could help with chronic fatigue syndrome.  Increased 20 years ago to 150mg XR ever since.  Started slow tapering a year ago.  For the last 6 months, I have been removing one bead a week from a 37.5 mg venlafaxine XR capusule (contains an average of 39 beads).

02/15/16 Down to 10 beads per day, but starting to have withdrawal issues- mild anxiety, feel like I'm so weak I won't physically survive this, hard to hold my head up, extreme exhaustion.

02/20/16- Increased back to 12 beads per day, started feeling better the first day.  Will slow down taper considerably from this point.

 

Supplements:  Normal vitamin, extra B complex, fish oil.

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  • Moderator

Hi LadyAg--  The difference is filler.  The 37.5mg is  the weight of the active ingredient in the beads and the rest is made up of various fillers to make things easier to handle.  For me, my paxil tablets contain 40mg of active ingredient but they weigh 500mg each.  So 460mg of each tablet is filler.

 

To do the calculations you want to do it is best to find the average weight of a large number of pills.  I used 10, some people use 30.  Then base your reductions off of that weight.  Average weight X 0.9 = weight of a dose that is 10% smaller.

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

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

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

 

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

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  • Moderator Emeritus

Hello LadyAg,

 

I merged your new topic with your original intro as it's one per member.  Whenever you want to ask new questions or discuss your situation just reply to this thread.  (I know it's tricky finding your way around here at first).

 

Thanks,

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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Thanks brassmonkey!

 

I couldn't figure out why my measurements were so far off, but fillers makes perfect sense!

 

Thank you again!

Started Effexor in 1994 when it was thought it could help with chronic fatigue syndrome.  Increased 20 years ago to 150mg XR ever since.  Started slow tapering a year ago.  For the last 6 months, I have been removing one bead a week from a 37.5 mg venlafaxine XR capusule (contains an average of 39 beads).

02/15/16 Down to 10 beads per day, but starting to have withdrawal issues- mild anxiety, feel like I'm so weak I won't physically survive this, hard to hold my head up, extreme exhaustion.

02/20/16- Increased back to 12 beads per day, started feeling better the first day.  Will slow down taper considerably from this point.

 

Supplements:  Normal vitamin, extra B complex, fish oil.

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Sorry for the wrong post, KarenB!

 

I am confused, though.  Why do I see so many postings on different topics if members can only post on one thread in Introductions?  Can only moderators/staff create topics in other sections such as taperings, relationships, etc?

 

As you can tell, I haven't quite got a fix on how the postings work yet.   :wacko:

Started Effexor in 1994 when it was thought it could help with chronic fatigue syndrome.  Increased 20 years ago to 150mg XR ever since.  Started slow tapering a year ago.  For the last 6 months, I have been removing one bead a week from a 37.5 mg venlafaxine XR capusule (contains an average of 39 beads).

02/15/16 Down to 10 beads per day, but starting to have withdrawal issues- mild anxiety, feel like I'm so weak I won't physically survive this, hard to hold my head up, extreme exhaustion.

02/20/16- Increased back to 12 beads per day, started feeling better the first day.  Will slow down taper considerably from this point.

 

Supplements:  Normal vitamin, extra B complex, fish oil.

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Good question LadyAg.

Im not exactly sure myself but as other voices could be having a lunch break i'll give you my 2 cents worth.

 

Anything that pertains to you or your situation needs to go into your intro. Such as the above weight issue above.

It allows people to follow your recovery journey and all the small pieces add up to your 'hisher-story' 

Then in the future you and others can look back and follow progress ups and downs the good the bad and the ugly and healing recovery and sunny days as you make it to the other side ...and it will all be in one spot.

Ingenious idea hey!

 

We can comment in other threads iro the opening post.

Thought for the day: Lets stand up, and let’s speak out , together. G Olsen

We have until the 14th. Feb 2018. 

URGENT REQUEST Please consider submitting  for the petition on Prescribed Drug Dependence and Withdrawal currently awaiting its third consideration at the Scottish Parliament. You don't even have to be from Scotland. By clicking on the link below you can read some of the previous submissions but be warned many of them are quite harrowing.

http://www.parliament.scot/GettingInvolved/Petitions/PE01651   

Please tell them about your problems taking and withdrawing from antidepressants and/or benzos.

Send by email to petitions@parliament.scot and quote PE01651 in the subject heading. Keep to a maximum of 3 sides of A4 and you can't name for legal reasons any doctor you have consulted. Tell them if you wish to remain anonymous. We need the numbers to help convince the committee members we are not isolated cases. You have until mid February. Thank you

Recovering paxil addict

None of the published articles shed light on what ssri's ... actually do or what their hazards might be. Healy 2013. 

This is so true, with anything you get on these drugs, dependance, tapering, withdrawal symptoms, side effects, just silent. And if there is something mentioned then their is a serious disconnect between what is said and reality! 

  "Every time I read of a multi-person shooting, I always presume that person had just started a SSRI or had just stopped."  Dr Mosher. Me too! 

Over two decades later, the number of antidepressant prescriptions a year is slightly more than the number of people in the Western world. Most (nine out of 10) prescriptions are for patients who faced difficulties on stopping, equating to about a tenth of the population. These patients are often advised to continue treatment because their difficulties indicate they need ongoing treatment, just as a person with diabetes needs insulin. Healy 2015

I believe the ssri era will soon stand as one of the most shameful in the history of medicine. Healy 2015

Let people help people ... in a natural, kind, non-addictive (and non-big pharma) way. J Broadley 2017

 

 

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  • Moderator

And a good lunch it was too. 

 

Like Karen and NZ pointed out each person is given their own personal thread in the introduction forum.  This thread is used as a  journal to  keep notes on each individuals progress, record things they wish to remember, interact with other members, ask individually specific questions, rant, rave and complain.  It's the overall record of your journey. There are also topic specific threads for supplying general information on various topics: the virtues of AAF, how to microtaper, the affects of supplements and the like.  We try to keep the two types of thread separate to avoid clutter.  That way people can go to the "how to microtaper"  thread and find instructions on how to do it  with out having to wade through page after page of "should I microtaper in my case" type of questions.  While the answers to "should I microtaper in my case" are all contained in the OPs thread where they can refer back to them with ease.

 

Anyone can start a thread in almost any forum.  But it is a good idea to do a search first to see if there is already a related thread that might do just a well.

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

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

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

 

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

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Thanks NZ and Brass Monkey,

 

Now the posting locations make sense to me.  I kept wondering if you could only post in Introductions how there could be any other categories.  (Sorry- brain slowdown in process!)

 

^_^ 

Started Effexor in 1994 when it was thought it could help with chronic fatigue syndrome.  Increased 20 years ago to 150mg XR ever since.  Started slow tapering a year ago.  For the last 6 months, I have been removing one bead a week from a 37.5 mg venlafaxine XR capusule (contains an average of 39 beads).

02/15/16 Down to 10 beads per day, but starting to have withdrawal issues- mild anxiety, feel like I'm so weak I won't physically survive this, hard to hold my head up, extreme exhaustion.

02/20/16- Increased back to 12 beads per day, started feeling better the first day.  Will slow down taper considerably from this point.

 

Supplements:  Normal vitamin, extra B complex, fish oil.

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Your psychiatrist is a ***ing ****** ** *****. 

 

This is such a common story, and makes me so angry. My doctor had a similar attitude to Effexor, and as a result even though I was only on it for a year or so I ended up with permanent damage that I will never recover from. 15 years later and I still have broken smell and chemobrain.

 

http://survivingantidepressants.org/index.php?/topic/11090-15-years-post-venlaflaxine/

 

You also should never have been on Effexor for 20 years. That in itself risks breaking you permanently.

 

https://www.psychologytoday.com/blog/mad-in-america/201106/now-antidepressant-induced-chronic-depression-has-name-tardive-dysphoria

 

I wouldn't be at all surprised if in years to come anti depressants are banned and retrospectively become one of the big scandals of our time.

 

But anyway, on a more positive note, I completely agree with all of the good advice here.

2001-2002 Venlafaxine 300mg (2 x 150mg double strength Efexor XL). Instructed by GP to reduce dosage by alternating between 300mg one day and 0mg the next, with predictable results. Managed that for approx 2 weeks, then to avoid suicide went full cold turkey.

2009-2015 Successful non-drug treatments - CBT for anxiety, light therapy for seasonal affective disorder.

2001-2015 ongoing withdrawal symptoms. Primarily apocalyptic nightmares that take a full day to recover from, also loss of smell and memory.

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New question... I have been reading lots of posts in the Tapering section, including tips about Effexor.  I plan to switch in the near future from Effexor XR to standard release Effexor so that I can control the tapering better.  I am currently down to 12 mg per day.

 

1.  Since the XR stays in your system longer, should I adjust my dosage other than going from 1 XR per day to 2 doses of the standard (each 1/2 of XR).  If I understand correctly, it looks like most people just (for example) break up a 37.5 mg XR to 2 18.75 mg standard doses?  I don't want to throw my system off when I change from XR to regular release.

 

2.  I see the posts on crushing the standard release Effexor into a powder, making a liquid solution, and the using a syringe to extract the proper dose.  Is there a reason why you couldn't use a spice grinder on the tablets, weigh the dry powder, and then put the correct weight into an empty gelatin capsule?  I haven't tried either, but I realize other people probably have and hope for your advice!

 

Thanks for all the help!   ^_^

Started Effexor in 1994 when it was thought it could help with chronic fatigue syndrome.  Increased 20 years ago to 150mg XR ever since.  Started slow tapering a year ago.  For the last 6 months, I have been removing one bead a week from a 37.5 mg venlafaxine XR capusule (contains an average of 39 beads).

02/15/16 Down to 10 beads per day, but starting to have withdrawal issues- mild anxiety, feel like I'm so weak I won't physically survive this, hard to hold my head up, extreme exhaustion.

02/20/16- Increased back to 12 beads per day, started feeling better the first day.  Will slow down taper considerably from this point.

 

Supplements:  Normal vitamin, extra B complex, fish oil.

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  • Moderator

Hi LadyAg--  It's good to see that you're doing a lot of research.

 

Breaking the regular release into two daily doses would be fine, especially if you take them at different times of the day.  Now, this will count as a dose change event even though you're not changing dose.  So you need to allow several weeks for things to settle out. Usually a change like this is smooth but it has been known to cause some people problems for a few days.

 

There is no problem with crushing the tablets, weighting them and using gel caps.  That's how I've been doing my paxil for many years, and I frequently recommend it.  I would not use a spice grinder because there would be a lot of waste.  The tablets crush quite easily between two spoons, with a small mortar and passel, or with a pill crusher you can get at the drug store.  People make their own liquid because is easier to measure very small doses when doing microtapers.  

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

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

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

 

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

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Thanks brassmonkey!

 

I think I've got it, but I did want to verify one thing, if possible. Since the XR results in a higher concentration of drug in your bloodstream than the standard dose, would I need to change the amount of mg I take when I switch to the non-XR form?  For example, I am taking 12 mg of Effexor XR right now.  When I make the switch to non-XR, would I take 6 mg of non-XR twice a day?

 

And I know, none of this is medical advice!

 

Thanks so much for your help!  I was truly stumbling through the dark before I found this website!

Started Effexor in 1994 when it was thought it could help with chronic fatigue syndrome.  Increased 20 years ago to 150mg XR ever since.  Started slow tapering a year ago.  For the last 6 months, I have been removing one bead a week from a 37.5 mg venlafaxine XR capusule (contains an average of 39 beads).

02/15/16 Down to 10 beads per day, but starting to have withdrawal issues- mild anxiety, feel like I'm so weak I won't physically survive this, hard to hold my head up, extreme exhaustion.

02/20/16- Increased back to 12 beads per day, started feeling better the first day.  Will slow down taper considerably from this point.

 

Supplements:  Normal vitamin, extra B complex, fish oil.

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