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Alenka: Wanting to quit Effexor


alenka9

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Hi Everyone,

 

My first post here. I was planning to use the Prozac bridge to come off Effexor but I see that some of you have been on Prozac and switched to Effexor!

 

I'm very glad I've found this place. I've only been around for an hour but I can already tell what a great resource you have built here!! 

 

Looking forward to learning from you and sharing the knowledge with others.

 

Alenka

Edited by scallywag
tags added

On venlafaxine since 2001. Three cold turkey WD attempts unsuccessful.

In 2012 I slowly tapered from 75mg. Less than a year after taking the last grain I developed extreme anxiety and pseudo dementia.

After all clear neuro tests in 2013 I was put on Effexor 150mg. Instant improvement. 

In 2014 I tested positive for chronic mercury poisoning. I'm chelating using Andy Cutler's protocol, www.noamalgam.com.

Tapering Venlafaxine Actavis 150mg: Mar 10%, May 10%, Jun (eyeballing) 3 quarters of capsule, Sep slighlty over half of capsule. End Oct exactly half capsule. Feeling great when chelating and being very hopeful that this time I will succeed!

My intro & updates

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  • Moderator
brassmonkey

Hi Alenka-- Welcome to the group.  I started a new thread for you in the introduction forum.  Now your posts won't get lost in other peoples threads.  This will be your journal for keeping records and asking questions.

 

I am so glad you found us before you started to taper, we have a lot of information you will find helpful.

 

The Prozac switch or "bridging" with Prozac

 

Tips for tapering off Effexor (venlafaxine)

 

Why taper by 10% of my dosage?

 

That will get you started.  Read those and come back with a lot of questions.

 

If you would please add a signature block with details of your rug use it would be very helpful for us to see what is going on with you.

 

Please put your withdrawal history in your signature

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.

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

Hi Alenka,

 

Welcome.

 

I've only been around for an hour but I can already tell what a great resource you have built here!!

 

You are not wrong!!! :)  You have found a great place with very supportive members and volunteer staff.

 

Check out these.  They helped me understand why a slow taper is recommended:

 

Video: Healing from Antidepressants: Patterns of Recovery

 

Brain Remodelling

NEW!!!     INTERVIEW with Altostrata, SA's founder    NEW!!! 

 

Plodding along inch by inch:  12" = 1',  3' =  36 " or 1 yard,  1760 yards  = 63,360" or 1 mile

Current from 17 Apr 2021:  Pristiq 0.2665mg  now holding each dose for 3 weeks

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 Oct 2015 

My 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.

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  • Moderator Emeritus
SquirrellyGirl

Hi Alenka9!

 

As another Effexor user I wanted to welcome you.  You are so lucky to embark on coming off Effexor full of knowledge!  This will guarantee your success!

 

I blundered off Effexor over a year ago after being on it for 12 years and finally being fed up with not being able to enjoy or desire sex, among other reasons.  I came off much too fast, and went through 10 months of protracted withdrawal hell before finally reinstating.  I never realized I was in withdrawal because unlike most, it seems, my WD symptoms took 2-3 months to come on gradually, culminating in such severe emotional distress, unlike anything I had ever experienced in my life, that I thought I just had a depressed, unbalanced brain that had to be on meds for the rest of my life.  Well, the first dose back on "fixed" me within an hour, a true sign of dependency!  It was only after that that I learned about withdrawal from psych meds.  I am now on 26.25 mg and doing great!

 

I have the extended release generic version with little beads in the capsules, so I use bead counting PLUS weighing with the Gemini20 jeweler's milligram scale so that I can be as accurate as possible. I am actually micro-tapering this one since I am also coming off mirtazapine, which I was put on before reinstating Effexor.

 

It take effort to be so exacting but I think you will find that it is totally worth it, to ensure that your taper goes as smoothly and uneventfully as possible!

 

I'm glad you found SA!

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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I don't know if you're taking the XR capsule (beads) or solid pill (regular Effexor).

The big problem with the beads is that when you get down to one bead you may still be

at too large a dose to step off-a bead being about a 1/4 mg.. 

 

If you can switch to the solid regular Effexor -you can reduce down to as small a dose as you'd like.

 

In the end I was taking 6 grains of finely ground powder. So small I had to use a lighted magnifying glass.

 

Much of the taper can be done with measuring calipers and just sort of erasing the pill against a piece of sandpaper

each dose-it's only when the piece got too small to measure accurately that I had to resort to the crushing into powder and  

measuring by eye -separating the amount on colored typing paper with a single edged razor blade.

 

It took me 4 years this way, but I've been off for a year and 3 months and feel absolutely normal again for a long time now.

 

You could use a scale but they're not accurate under 1 mg-so what good is that?

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!

Link to post

Brass, Chessie, SG, Hudgens. You have made me feel very welcome, thank you! Thank you for the links which I have studied carefully. Thanks also for sharing your experience with me. I really hope we can help each other on this journey to a successful AD-free life.

 

I'm trying to understand why I developed anxiety and pseudo-dementia after I successfully (?) tapered from Effexor 75mg. Where did I go wrong? I tapered slowly over one year. I was under no stress. I lead a healthy life, no problems in relationships. I was going for weekly psychotherapy. The symptoms started to appear 6 months post taper. And a year post taper I was no longer able to function and was re-instated on Effexor, this time on 150mg. Were those still withdrawal symptoms? Or is there something wrong with my brain?

 

My neurologist says that my depression hasn't properly healed because my dose was too low. My pscychiatrist says that I will probably never be able to be without AD because of the length of time I had spent on them (12 years). 

 

My latest theory is that I am mercury poisoned. I had 12 amalgams for 30 years. I also sent mercury to my brain by unknowlingly taking alpha-lipoic acid in a supplement. I removed the amalgams last year and I'm chelating. It is a process which takes time and effort but I'm already feeling the difference.

 

My plan is to do the Prozac bridge and to slowly taper of Prozac.

 

Any thoughts, suggestions, questions are welcome.

 

Alenka

On venlafaxine since 2001. Three cold turkey WD attempts unsuccessful.

In 2012 I slowly tapered from 75mg. Less than a year after taking the last grain I developed extreme anxiety and pseudo dementia.

After all clear neuro tests in 2013 I was put on Effexor 150mg. Instant improvement. 

In 2014 I tested positive for chronic mercury poisoning. I'm chelating using Andy Cutler's protocol, www.noamalgam.com.

Tapering Venlafaxine Actavis 150mg: Mar 10%, May 10%, Jun (eyeballing) 3 quarters of capsule, Sep slighlty over half of capsule. End Oct exactly half capsule. Feeling great when chelating and being very hopeful that this time I will succeed!

My intro & updates

Link to post
  • Moderator Emeritus
SquirrellyGirl

Hi Alenka8,

 

I guess in part it depends on how you did the taper.  Had you done a 10% taper off the previous month's dosage as recommended here and elsewhere, you'd still be on 21.4 mg at 12 months out.  If you look at the graphs in the following research paper, you will see that for Effexor, at the minimum effective dose of 37.5 mg your receptors are still blocked at 80%!  It is below this level that I believe we must really slow down the taper (through those successively smaller cuts) because as you go below that MED, occupancy drops off precipitously with small cuts!

 

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

 

It may be that your cuts were relatively too large before you jumped off and once you were off the cumulative cuts caught up with your CNS and you had withdrawal symptoms come up despite your "slow" taper.

 

I definitely had memory loss and cognitive issues months out, and the anxiety didn't begin until over four months out. 

 

Also, recovery occurs in a windows and waves pattern, and though I can't recall feel "great" somewhere in my withdrawal after things went bad, I wasn't feeling bad the whole time.

 

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

 

As for depression healing and dosage, well, you've probably read by now that the imbalance theory of depression has never been proven, despite tons of effort by the Big Pharma - so, it's a myth that they still manage to you is an obtuse way to get doctors to push that myth for patient compliance to take the meds.  

 

The paper above shows that for Effexor, 37.5 mg produces 80% receptor occupancy, but no matter how high you go, you never get better than 90-95%, so 15% is not that big a change relative to big dosage increases.  What that paper doesn't show is what the effect of ever higher dosages is on receptor and neurotransmitter down-regulation over time.  My guess is that those higher dosages cause extreme down-regulation which means much farther to go to heal.

 

All that said, I have resigned myself to the fact that I will have to take my Effexor taper especially slow.  Having been on it for 12 years, my CNS is sluggish to adapt back to life without the drug, so I have to gently remind nudge it back into working for itself through micro-tapering.  I am hopeful that some day I'll be free of it, but it will take longer than I'd like and lots of effort along the way to get those small dosage changes.  As I said, 26.25 mg and feeling great!

 

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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Finding all sorts of "causes" of symptoms is so common with withdrawal-

It's natural to look for these causes-

Difficult to keep in mind that the obvious factor in your life was the

stopping of an antidepressant.

Whether mercury fillings do anything bad to us is very controversial.

I worried about it for a while-and about 100 other things along the way-

a kind of hypochondria is part of anti-depressant withdrawal.

I've had a mouth full of silver fillings since 7 years old-I'm 58 now-I've completely recovered from

all of my antidepressant withdrawal symptoms-

You think you tapered slowly-but probably didn't-

If I'd stopped after one year it would've been the equivalent of a cold turkey-no exaggeration here.

The claim by psychiatrists that withdrawal symptoms are a relapse and that you'll have to stay on  

drug for the rest of your life is common.

I suspect that many of them-especially when they see over and over that they can never successfully

taper someone from a drug -suspect that they have not really helped their patients by addicting them to

a drug close to impossible to ever get off of-and so make themselves feel better with the "relapse/have to take lifelong"  

story. Some are slowly beginning to wise up. Not just handing out the antidepressants for every little thing anymore.

I don't think anyone should be prescribed these drugs unless they aren't getting out of bed anymore, not even to use the bathroom.

They can't be used casually-it can become almost impossible to get off one in a matter of days.

What you had was not relapse-it was withdrawal-not caused by the 100 things you'll find on the internet to worry about-but by getting off your antidepressant-probably too fast.

Good news is -you can get off the drug and regain your pre-antidepressant normalcy.

But it requires finding a way to make fairly accurate dose  measurements and a very very very slow taper.

Not easy-but once you've figured these two things out (plus the fact that you have to go progressively slower as you get towards the end)

you can succeed.  Not easy, but at least simple.

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!

Link to post

Dear SG, Hudgens

 

Thank you very much for your comments. I really appreciate it.

 

Having read other posts here, I agree with you that I didn't taper slowly enough. I had no idea about the serotonin transporter occupancy curve. In fact, the fewer the beads the faster I wanted to come off. 

 

I still don't know if my symptoms were a result of the withdrawal or a relapse. If it had been withdrawal, surely the symptoms would have got fewer as the months went by. But I seem to remember that the symptoms I experienced when I decreased the dose faded away within a few days, that I had a period of about six months when I was completely off medication and felt relatively good, and then I started to notice new symptoms which were getting ever more intense until I became completely disfunctional and had to reinstate the AD. 

 

 

SG: "It may be that your cuts were relatively too large before you jumped off and once you were off the cumulative cuts caught up with your CNS and you had withdrawal symptoms come up despite your "slow" taper."

 

Hudgens: "If I'd stopped after one year it would've been the equivalent of a cold turkey-no exaggeration here."

 

I understand that our CNS needs to adapt to the AD-free environment and that the length of taper depends on our AD history. But how do I know how slow to taper if months go by without symptoms? If this happens again, I guess I should not wait for symptoms to increase but go straight back on the AD, using only a few beads and increasing the number of beads until I feel better.

 

And how can I be sure that my CNS can adapt to the AD-free environment? Should I accept a possibility that my CNS may be permanently damaged and that I will forever need some sort of an aid to help with the neurotransmitter production, be it in form of AD, supplements, healthy lifestyle, mindfulness etc?

 

Chronic mercury toxicity is real despite the fact that (luckily) not everyone with amalgams suffers from it. I'm sure that the mainstream medicine will come to recognise it, the same way they are now slowly recognising the problem with AD. I'm 100% convinced that removing mercury from my brain will help me with my AD withdrawal. 

 

Even with AD, I am not symptom free. My motivation is low and I find no pleasure in life. I think that this is another indicator that not all is well with my CNS. I have started supplementing L-Dopa and it helps. 

 

My action plan is as follows (not necessarily in the order of priorities):

  1. learn more about the Prozac bridge: what dose to start on, what symptoms to expect
  2. find out what other AD I can use if the Prozac bridge fails
  3. learn about dealing with anxiety (which I'm sure will be my biggest withdrawal symptom)
  4. prepare for micro tapering
  5. get friends on this forum and in the real life to help me through this process

Alenka

On venlafaxine since 2001. Three cold turkey WD attempts unsuccessful.

In 2012 I slowly tapered from 75mg. Less than a year after taking the last grain I developed extreme anxiety and pseudo dementia.

After all clear neuro tests in 2013 I was put on Effexor 150mg. Instant improvement. 

In 2014 I tested positive for chronic mercury poisoning. I'm chelating using Andy Cutler's protocol, www.noamalgam.com.

Tapering Venlafaxine Actavis 150mg: Mar 10%, May 10%, Jun (eyeballing) 3 quarters of capsule, Sep slighlty over half of capsule. End Oct exactly half capsule. Feeling great when chelating and being very hopeful that this time I will succeed!

My intro & updates

Link to post
  • Moderator Emeritus

Hi Alenka,

 

Even with AD, I am not symptom free. My motivation is low and I find no pleasure in life.

 

This can be a side effect of the AD.

NEW!!!     INTERVIEW with Altostrata, SA's founder    NEW!!! 

 

Plodding along inch by inch:  12" = 1',  3' =  36 " or 1 yard,  1760 yards  = 63,360" or 1 mile

Current from 17 Apr 2021:  Pristiq 0.2665mg  now holding each dose for 3 weeks

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 Oct 2015 

My 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.

Link to post

If what you went on the antidepressant for originally are the symptoms you're feeling now-

then it could be relapse.

 

The symptoms I felt -months after stopping and feeling great the whole time-were not at all like what  I'd gone on an antidepressant for in the first place. Even the anxiety had a very different quality to it-

 

And when I tapered properly, They didn't happen again post taper.

 

I think that's a good way to distinguish between relapse and withdrawal-remembering that withdrawal can suddenly happen  

7, 9, even 10 months later.

 

Once I was off after counting beads for 3 months- I felt better than I ever have until 2 months to the day of stopping- I suddenly felt as though a wall had fallen on me.

 

I also stopped once cold turkey after only taking Imipramine for 4 months-I felt great for 9-10 months when I suddenly just fell apart.

 

 

I think many times that the delayed withdrawal just becomes a convenient excuse for drs to keep you on

the drug permanently- they never have to face the facts that they're mostly hurting people with these drugs-

that they just don't understand.

 

One of the toughest things to learn in life is that many experts have no idea what they're talking about.

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!

Link to post
  • Moderator Emeritus
SquirrellyGirl

Agreed, Hudgens

 

From what I've read, some people start off with feeling great, almost a manic phase, a withdrawal symptom in and of itself.  Windows and waves, too.  Feel good and then feel horrible.  And I've read of people having waves later on that were worse than ones up front!  There's just no rhyme or reason to withdrawal.  For sure the delayed onset throws everyone into thinking relapse.  Fooled me.  But as you said, Hudgens, the quality of the symptoms was way different than anything I had experienced before or during drugs.  I'd never had panic attacks or agoraphobia before.  I never had insomnia with racing, terrifying thoughts before.  I never had DP/DR before.  I'd never had such a sense of doom and fear.  The apathy was 1000 fold what I'd ever had before.  Extremes, and this was all 9-10 months out.

 

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 post
  • Moderator Emeritus

Hello Alenka,

 

Just wanting to say hello as I am tapering effexor also - at a very slow rate - so I am always interested in other effexor stories.

 

I think you have a sound plan in your last post.  The only thing I'd say is if the bridge fails don't try other a/ds.  It'll be too much change and stress on your CNS.  Stick with effexor, in that case. 

 

Welcome to s/a :),

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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primekittycat

Another Effexor taperer here :) I have had a failed attempt as well, but it was pretty much a cold turkey situation, per a psychiatrist I took half of my dose for a week and then went off. The symptoms were absolutely horrible. I went back on in August 2014 and started tapering per this site's guidelines in July 2015. Just got down to 37.5mg (half of my original dose). For me, a 10% drop at once was too much. I started doing 5% cuts every 2 weeks and now that I've hit 37.5mg I'm having withdrawal symptoms again, haven't in months. Dealing with it though and going to hold here for quite some time. Good luck to you in your taper!

Began suffering from panic attacks when my father passed away in 2005. Been on and off SSRIs (Celexa, Lexapro, Effexor XR), and therapy since then.

2009 - Started Effexor XR 75mg. Consistent therapy starting Oct 2013

Feb 2014 - Therapist and I felt I was ready to come off Effexor - went to half dose (37.5mg) for a week and then off completely by advice of psychiatrist - bad w/d for a week then gone

May 2014 - bad protracted w/d came out of nowhere.. constant dizziness, agoraphobia(never had before), intense headaches, fatigue for 3 months, all tests (brain MRI, inner ear tests, blood tests, etc.) normal. could not drive, grocery shop, or live life.

Aug 2014 - back on Effexor XR 75mg as neurologist thought these symptoms were my anxiety coming back, all w/d symptoms disappear within 2 weeks. I should have went back on at a lower dose, but I hadn't discovered this site yet.

 

Tapering Effexor XR.. let's do this! Slow & steady:

Started tapering from 75mg in July 2015. 5% cuts every 3 weeks. From July 2015 - March 2016, reduced to 37.5mg (half dose). In March 2017, down to 18.3mg (quarter dose). April 2020 -  0.38mg. Finally med free as of Oct 31, 2020.

 

Supplements: meditation, daily exercise, clean diet, working from home (more sleep!)

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Dear Chessie, Hudgens, SG, Karen, primekittycat

 

Thank you for your posts which have cheered me up a bit. I'm feeling a bit down. I was hoping to come off AD soon but now I have come to realise that it will take years. At least I will have nice companions on the journey!

 

 

This can be a side effect of the AD.

 

Chessie, you may be right. I guess I'll find that out one day when I'm AD free and stable.  

 

 

I think that's a good way to distinguish between relapse and withdrawal-remembering that withdrawal can suddenly happen  

7, 9, even 10 months later.

 

 

the quality of the symptoms was way different than anything I had experienced before or during drugs.  

 

Hudgens, SG, if I understand correctly your withdrawal symptoms came unexpected and were different from the original problem. The symptoms which I experienced crept up slowly on me and they were similar to the original problem. So this indicates a relapse. Does this mean that I actually need an AD? Or have I tapered too fast for my CNS to get used to producing the required NT? I guess I will need to micro taper and if this doesn't work out I'll have to accept that my CNS is permanently damaged and needs to be supported by AD. 

 

 

 The only thing I'd say is if the bridge fails don't try other a/ds.  It'll be too much change and stress on your CNS.  Stick with effexor, in that case. 

 

 
Karen, thank you for your warm welcome. If the bridge fails, I'll certainly go back to effexor. But I may try a bridge with another AD once I'm stable again. I'm never 100% old me on effexor, more like 75% old me and if I need to stay on an AD, at least I want to find one that makes me as close to my old me as possible. 

 

I started doing 5% cuts every 2 weeks and now that I've hit 37.5mg I'm having withdrawal symptoms again, haven't in months. Dealing with it though and going to hold here for quite some time. Good luck to you in your taper!

 

Hi primekittycat. Sorry to hear about your CT experience. I see you're taking some supplements. I do too and they help. I'll post in the supplements section about it. 

 

My revised action plan is as follows: 

  • 24 March: ask psychiatrist for a prescription of 20mg dispersible prozac and 75mg effexor
  • 25 March: start a week of 10mg prozac and 75mg effexor
  • 1 April: drop effexor and stay on 10mg prozac
  • if necessary: increase prozac to 20mg or reinstate effexor 75mg
  • inform my family about this plan and ask them for support

I'm a bit worried how will I know whether to increase prozac or reinstate effexor. I'll do some more reading on this forum.

 

All the best,

 

Alenka

On venlafaxine since 2001. Three cold turkey WD attempts unsuccessful.

In 2012 I slowly tapered from 75mg. Less than a year after taking the last grain I developed extreme anxiety and pseudo dementia.

After all clear neuro tests in 2013 I was put on Effexor 150mg. Instant improvement. 

In 2014 I tested positive for chronic mercury poisoning. I'm chelating using Andy Cutler's protocol, www.noamalgam.com.

Tapering Venlafaxine Actavis 150mg: Mar 10%, May 10%, Jun (eyeballing) 3 quarters of capsule, Sep slighlty over half of capsule. End Oct exactly half capsule. Feeling great when chelating and being very hopeful that this time I will succeed!

My intro & updates

Link to post

I should've looked at your signature first, before implying that your worry aborting amalgams was just withdrawal.

Another thing you might think about, if it turns out you've relapsed, is just going the therapy route, expensive, but no drug problems.

I wish I'd done this, therapy, especially cognitive behavioral and mindfulness techniques work probably even better than long term antidepressant taking which may cause unintended problems down the road. 

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!

Link to post

No worries Hudgens. :) The connection between depression/anxiety and mercury is quite new. I'll check how much it is talked about on this forum. I certainly have a wealth of experience that I can share.

 

And yes, I fully agree about therapy. I have done a year of therapy, after the relapse, and it was the best investment I could have made. I would recommend therapy to everyone, with or without issues.  I'm also a big fan of MBCT. 

On venlafaxine since 2001. Three cold turkey WD attempts unsuccessful.

In 2012 I slowly tapered from 75mg. Less than a year after taking the last grain I developed extreme anxiety and pseudo dementia.

After all clear neuro tests in 2013 I was put on Effexor 150mg. Instant improvement. 

In 2014 I tested positive for chronic mercury poisoning. I'm chelating using Andy Cutler's protocol, www.noamalgam.com.

Tapering Venlafaxine Actavis 150mg: Mar 10%, May 10%, Jun (eyeballing) 3 quarters of capsule, Sep slighlty over half of capsule. End Oct exactly half capsule. Feeling great when chelating and being very hopeful that this time I will succeed!

My intro & updates

Link to post

Welcome Alenka

I'm a bit confused are you currently on 150mg of effexor or 75mg?

I'm assuming its 150mg.

Your action plan looks interesting you have clearly been putting some thought into it.

 

Here's the action plan option that i like..put aside several years to taper the effexor at the 10% rate.

 

imo the anxiety and other stuff in 2012 was delayed wdl symptoms from your fast taper off effexor (thats right im saying one yr is fast).

 

Where are you getting this so called connection between depression/anxiety and mercury (fillings ?) from?

GSK?

Are you inferring all your mercury poisoning is from fillings or do you think it has originated from elsewhere.....like say from  swallowing thermometers? Or have you been using a painted kettle say?

 

nz11

Ive got a mouthful of fillings!?!

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 Emeritus
SquirrellyGirl

Of course there are all kinds of proposed causes of depression to consider these days!  If the depression is a "state" that seems not based on any thought processes, then it also bears considering gluten and milk product intolerances, and gut flora issues.  There's a lot of interesting stuff on Kelly Brogan's website about such things.

 

When I was in protracted withdrawal, yes, I was experiencing extreme states that were beyond anything I had known before, but the old issues were also evident.  I'd always had low self-esteem, perfectionism, procrastination, all accompanied by negative thinking, and this all continued while I was on Effexor as well as in withdrawal.  I finally started working on myself with EBT, meditation/mindfulness, and taking in the teachings of Eckhart Tolle, the latter which might have done the most good!

 

Alenka, when you say you may be relapsing, this is while ON Effexor, before doing any cutting, correct?  I'd call that poop-out of the drug.  And what does your original depression look like?  Is it about thoughts or is it just a general physiological depression?  Have you had your blood work done, thyroid checked, blood levels of D3 and B vitamins looked at?

 

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 post

Welcome Alenka

I'm a bit confused are you currently on 150mg of effexor or 75mg?

I'm assuming its 150mg.

Your action plan looks interesting you have clearly been putting some thought into it.

 

Here's the action plan option that i like..put aside several years to taper the effexor at the 10% rate.

 

imo the anxiety and other stuff in 2012 was delayed wdl symptoms from your fast taper off effexor (thats right im saying one yr is fast).

 

Where are you getting this so called connection between depression/anxiety and mercury (fillings ?) from?

GSK?

Are you inferring all your mercury poisoning is from fillings or do you think it has originated from elsewhere.....like say from  swallowing thermometers? Or have you been using a painted kettle say?

 

nz11

Ive got a mouthful of fillings!?!

 

Hi NZ!

 

I'm on effexor 150 but in the week when I cross taper with prozac, I will reduce it to 75. To be honest, I only give it a 50% chance that the bridge will work. But this is the only way to get more sick leave which I currently need because I'm recovering from mercury toxicity - something that the national health insurance here does not yet recognise. 

 

Bernard Windham's 2002 report cites over 500 studies about the role amalgam fillings play in development of conditions such as depression, schizophrenia, bipolar disorder, memory problems, and more serious neurological diseases such as MS, ALS, Parkinson’s, and Alzheimer’s. 

 

 
In 2014, Neuroendocrinology Letters published a review of evidence supporting a link between dental amalgams and chronic illness, fatigue, depression, anxiety, and suicide.
 
IAOMT - a trusted academy of allied professionals, providing scientific resources to support new levels of integrity and safety in healthcare, holds an up-to-date collection of articles on amalgam debate. 
 
I believe my key source of mercury were my amalgam fillings. I had 12 for over 30 years. But I also unknowingly helped mercury get into my brain by taking a supplement which contained ALA - Alpha Lipoic Acid, which binds heavy metals and easily crosses the brain blood barrier. It is also possible to get mercury poisoning in utero from the mother's own heavy metal load, and from vaccines. 

 

I strongly suggest to anyone with a chronic medical condition to examine the possibility of a chronic mercury poisoning. 

On venlafaxine since 2001. Three cold turkey WD attempts unsuccessful.

In 2012 I slowly tapered from 75mg. Less than a year after taking the last grain I developed extreme anxiety and pseudo dementia.

After all clear neuro tests in 2013 I was put on Effexor 150mg. Instant improvement. 

In 2014 I tested positive for chronic mercury poisoning. I'm chelating using Andy Cutler's protocol, www.noamalgam.com.

Tapering Venlafaxine Actavis 150mg: Mar 10%, May 10%, Jun (eyeballing) 3 quarters of capsule, Sep slighlty over half of capsule. End Oct exactly half capsule. Feeling great when chelating and being very hopeful that this time I will succeed!

My intro & updates

Link to post

I guess this is a possibilty for everyone here. However, it is most likely withdrawal.

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
.
         

Link to post

Wow thats a 78 page report.

 

 I only give it a 50% chance that the bridge will work.

In that case do you really want to walk across it.

 

But this is the only way to get more sick leave which I currently need because I'm recovering from mercury toxicity - something that the national health insurance here does not yet recognise.

Wow you get sick leave in your country to do the prozac bridge?

 

nz11

Its gonna cost me a fortune to change my fillings!!!

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

 

 

Link to post

Of course there are all kinds of proposed causes of depression to consider these days!  If the depression is a "state" that seems not based on any thought processes, then it also bears considering gluten and milk product intolerances, and gut flora issues.  There's a lot of interesting stuff on Kelly Brogan's website about such things.

 

When I was in protracted withdrawal, yes, I was experiencing extreme states that were beyond anything I had known before, but the old issues were also evident.  I'd always had low self-esteem, perfectionism, procrastination, all accompanied by negative thinking, and this all continued while I was on Effexor as well as in withdrawal.  I finally started working on myself with EBT, meditation/mindfulness, and taking in the teachings of Eckhart Tolle, the latter which might have done the most good!

 

Alenka, when you say you may be relapsing, this is while ON Effexor, before doing any cutting, correct?  I'd call that poop-out of the drug.  And what does your original depression look like?  Is it about thoughts or is it just a general physiological depression?  Have you had your blood work done, thyroid checked, blood levels of D3 and B vitamins looked at?

 

SG

 

Hi SG,

 

When I eat gluten I get brain fog and depression about 24 hours later. Gluten and other food sensibilities may be caused by the leaky gut. And the reason behind a leaky gut may be - mercury. No, I don't have OCD.

 

But I have Hashimoto's thyroiditis (AITD), an autoimmune disease in which the thyroid gland is attacked by a variety of immune processes, causing hypothyroidism. Which is linked to depression. And - guess what:

 

Chris Kresser: The molecular structure of gliadin, the protein portion of gluten, closely resembles that of the thyroid gland. When gliadin breaches the protective barrier of the gut, and enters the bloodstream, the immune system tags it for destruction. These antibodies to gliadin also cause the body to attack thyroid tissue. This means if you have AITD and you eat foods containing gluten, your immune system will attack your thyroid. 

 

Which brings us back to mercury...

 

I can't remember much what my original depression looked like. This was 16 years ago and it was a result of a traumatic event: my 17 year-old step son committed suicide and I felt responsible for his death. It started with nausea, problems with eye focusing, feeling that something was wrong with me. Then I started crying for every small thing. Then I was unable to make a decision. I started to live in a fog: unable to focus, blurry vision. All this scared me but the really scary thing was a panic attack which I experienced with the first tablet of Cipramil! Edronax gave me psychotic experience. Effexor stabilised me but I never felt my old self again.

 

I'm not relapsing on Effexor. But I have ups and downs, depending on hormones, weather, food, kids etc. But my predominant feeling is that of: "I don't care about anything". I hope that Prozac may change this.

 

To help with depression I'm currently taking: omega 3, l-dopa and adrenal support (vit C, B100, magnesium, milk thistle, adaptogens, zinc, biotin, B5). I'm following this advice: 

 

http://www.livingnetwork.co.za/chelationnetwork/depression/and 

http://www.livingnetwork.co.za/lifestylefunctional-medicine/hormones/adrenal-fatigue/adrenal-restoration-programme/

 

I'm constantly trying new supplements and checking how they affect me. No, I don't have OCD! I just want to be healthy again!! :)

 

Alenka

On venlafaxine since 2001. Three cold turkey WD attempts unsuccessful.

In 2012 I slowly tapered from 75mg. Less than a year after taking the last grain I developed extreme anxiety and pseudo dementia.

After all clear neuro tests in 2013 I was put on Effexor 150mg. Instant improvement. 

In 2014 I tested positive for chronic mercury poisoning. I'm chelating using Andy Cutler's protocol, www.noamalgam.com.

Tapering Venlafaxine Actavis 150mg: Mar 10%, May 10%, Jun (eyeballing) 3 quarters of capsule, Sep slighlty over half of capsule. End Oct exactly half capsule. Feeling great when chelating and being very hopeful that this time I will succeed!

My intro & updates

Link to post

I guess this is a possibilty for everyone here. However, it is most likely withdrawal.

 

AliG,

 

I decided no longer to think about whether it was a relapse or withdrawal. The fact is - my brain was unable to handle it. So the next time I taper, I will go much much much slower, giving the brain enough time to get used to the new environment.

On venlafaxine since 2001. Three cold turkey WD attempts unsuccessful.

In 2012 I slowly tapered from 75mg. Less than a year after taking the last grain I developed extreme anxiety and pseudo dementia.

After all clear neuro tests in 2013 I was put on Effexor 150mg. Instant improvement. 

In 2014 I tested positive for chronic mercury poisoning. I'm chelating using Andy Cutler's protocol, www.noamalgam.com.

Tapering Venlafaxine Actavis 150mg: Mar 10%, May 10%, Jun (eyeballing) 3 quarters of capsule, Sep slighlty over half of capsule. End Oct exactly half capsule. Feeling great when chelating and being very hopeful that this time I will succeed!

My intro & updates

Link to post

Wow thats a 78 page report.

 

 I only give it a 50% chance that the bridge will work.

In that case do you really want to walk across it.

 

But this is the only way to get more sick leave which I currently need because I'm recovering from mercury toxicity - something that the national health insurance here does not yet recognise.

Wow you get sick leave in your country to do the prozac bridge?

 

nz11

Its gonna cost me a fortune to change my fillings!!!

 

Risk it for the biscquit! Also, I know I can go back to Effexor if it doesn't work. 

 

I will get sick leave (hopefully) because I will ask my psychiatrist to change my AD which after 12 years is no longer effective.

 

Make sure you find a bio dentist who uses a safe protocol. Otherwise you will incur more damage by exposure to mercury during the removal! Also, expect a temporary worsening of your symptoms 6 months after the removal of the last amalgam. 

On venlafaxine since 2001. Three cold turkey WD attempts unsuccessful.

In 2012 I slowly tapered from 75mg. Less than a year after taking the last grain I developed extreme anxiety and pseudo dementia.

After all clear neuro tests in 2013 I was put on Effexor 150mg. Instant improvement. 

In 2014 I tested positive for chronic mercury poisoning. I'm chelating using Andy Cutler's protocol, www.noamalgam.com.

Tapering Venlafaxine Actavis 150mg: Mar 10%, May 10%, Jun (eyeballing) 3 quarters of capsule, Sep slighlty over half of capsule. End Oct exactly half capsule. Feeling great when chelating and being very hopeful that this time I will succeed!

My intro & updates

Link to post

 Also, I know I can go back to Effexor if it doesn't work.

I dont know so much..

 

I will get sick leave (hopefully) because I will ask my psychiatrist to change my AD which after 12 years is no longer effective.

wow you can get sick leave to do that !

 

Make sure you find a bio dentist who uses a safe protocol. Otherwise you will incur more damage by exposure to mercury during the removal! Also, expect a temporary worsening of your symptoms 6 months after the removal of the last amalgam.

PAWS=post amalgam withdrawal syndrome..sounds a bit too much to cope with at the moment. I'm familiar with PAWS and i dont like it.

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

 

 

Link to post
  • Moderator Emeritus

It isn't so reliable that you'd be able to switch back to effexor without problems.  Each time we change drugs, or doses, we become further sensitised to them.  So the bridge off effexor will increase your sensitivity, and then a switch back would do so again - it's all cumulative. 

 

Keeping things simple is your best bet:  Keep it Simple; Keep it Slow; Keep it Stable

 

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.

Link to post

 Also, I know I can go back to Effexor if it doesn't work.

I dont know so much..

 

I will get sick leave (hopefully) because I will ask my psychiatrist to change my AD which after 12 years is no longer effective.

wow you can get sick leave to do that !

 

Make sure you find a bio dentist who uses a safe protocol. Otherwise you will incur more damage by exposure to mercury during the removal! Also, expect a temporary worsening of your symptoms 6 months after the removal of the last amalgam.

PAWS=post amalgam withdrawal syndrome..sounds a bit too much to cope with at the moment. I'm familiar with PAWS and i dont like it.

 

I have successfully went back on Effexor after a year long break - felt better within a few days. Also, Effexor and I are not a perfect match - if I need to have an AD then at least let me have something that also supports my dopamine production.

 

Sick leave - our health system is luckily quite generous. If necessary, I'll look more desperate then I really am. I'll just think of all the years I have struggled with health and what I could have achieved if this stupid system hadn't put amalgam in my mouth and vaccinated me with toxins. Why should I just be healthy enough to work and then come home and collapse? I want to claim paid time to recover and I have no bad feelings about it.

 

PAWS is called the dump phase on planet Mercury. It's the time when body, finally ridden of the constant inflow, starts dumping mercury from the organs. It's hard! Most of the time I'm just resting, figuring out how to support my adrenals. It peaks for about 3 months and then slowly subsides. I think I'm through the worst.

 

Alenka

On venlafaxine since 2001. Three cold turkey WD attempts unsuccessful.

In 2012 I slowly tapered from 75mg. Less than a year after taking the last grain I developed extreme anxiety and pseudo dementia.

After all clear neuro tests in 2013 I was put on Effexor 150mg. Instant improvement. 

In 2014 I tested positive for chronic mercury poisoning. I'm chelating using Andy Cutler's protocol, www.noamalgam.com.

Tapering Venlafaxine Actavis 150mg: Mar 10%, May 10%, Jun (eyeballing) 3 quarters of capsule, Sep slighlty over half of capsule. End Oct exactly half capsule. Feeling great when chelating and being very hopeful that this time I will succeed!

My intro & updates

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It isn't so reliable that you'd be able to switch back to effexor without problems.  Each time we change drugs, or doses, we become further sensitised to them.  So the bridge off effexor will increase your sensitivity, and then a switch back would do so again - it's all cumulative. 

 

Keeping things simple is your best bet:  Keep it Simple; Keep it Slow; Keep it Stable

 

Karen

 

Thanks for your concern Karen! You're absolutely right. If the switch to Prozac doesn't work, I'll go back to Effexor and will not try another switch. But the attempt to switch will give me good grounds to ask for continued sick leave, perhaps I could even qualify to work part time and claim disability retirement. 

 

Thanks also for the 3 KIS. It's really written well and I use it when experimenting with new supplements.

 

Alenka

On venlafaxine since 2001. Three cold turkey WD attempts unsuccessful.

In 2012 I slowly tapered from 75mg. Less than a year after taking the last grain I developed extreme anxiety and pseudo dementia.

After all clear neuro tests in 2013 I was put on Effexor 150mg. Instant improvement. 

In 2014 I tested positive for chronic mercury poisoning. I'm chelating using Andy Cutler's protocol, www.noamalgam.com.

Tapering Venlafaxine Actavis 150mg: Mar 10%, May 10%, Jun (eyeballing) 3 quarters of capsule, Sep slighlty over half of capsule. End Oct exactly half capsule. Feeling great when chelating and being very hopeful that this time I will succeed!

My intro & updates

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  • 2 weeks later...

I've finally made the decision not to play more games with my poor CNS. No switches with Prozac, tianeptine or anything else. But a real slow, proper taper. Thanks to everyone who has helped me come to this decision. Particularly to SG and Brass who saved me from my recent enchantment with tianeptine. 

 

Yes, it would be really nice to be able to withdraw from Effexor quickly and in a painless way by using tianeptine or fluoxetine. But nice things don't usually come without effort and I have now accepted the fact that there are no shortcuts to becoming AD free. It was a nice dream but you guys have most likely saved me from a nightmare that would most certainly follow!

 

Bless you!

 

Alenka

On venlafaxine since 2001. Three cold turkey WD attempts unsuccessful.

In 2012 I slowly tapered from 75mg. Less than a year after taking the last grain I developed extreme anxiety and pseudo dementia.

After all clear neuro tests in 2013 I was put on Effexor 150mg. Instant improvement. 

In 2014 I tested positive for chronic mercury poisoning. I'm chelating using Andy Cutler's protocol, www.noamalgam.com.

Tapering Venlafaxine Actavis 150mg: Mar 10%, May 10%, Jun (eyeballing) 3 quarters of capsule, Sep slighlty over half of capsule. End Oct exactly half capsule. Feeling great when chelating and being very hopeful that this time I will succeed!

My intro & updates

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  • Moderator Emeritus

Hi Alenka,

 

"I've finally made the decision not to play more games with my poor CNS."

 

That's really good to hear.  It can take a bit of time and effort reading and understanding something that seems completely at odds with what we are hearing from mainstream medicine.  But you have the information now and have made an informed decision.  It's a decision I don't think you will regret making.

 

Now you need to exercise patience This is not a race, although we sometimes feel like we should be hurrying because we want to get off the drug.  The idea is to get off the drug with as few withdrawal symptoms as possible.  I tried dropping by 10% and found that it was a bit too much so I am doing a moderate taper (some are doing micro tapers dropping 5% or less).

 

It's a good idea to keep notes on paper of your doses and symptoms to get an idea of your own tapering experience.  If an issue arises with your tapering it is also good to be able to give the staff the exact details of doses and symptoms so that they will have the facts and be able to offer their best suggestions.  At the moment, I find that if I drop too much I end up with ear pain and pressure.  I realise that this may change in the future but that is what is happening for me at the moment.

 

I found that once I got a bit lower on my dose I am starting to feel much better in myself (I am enjoying life more and can laugh again) and tapering has faded into background.

 

And of course you can also keep journalling your progress (negative & positive) here and we will be able to encourage and cheer you on.  Good luck.  CC

NEW!!!     INTERVIEW with Altostrata, SA's founder    NEW!!! 

 

Plodding along inch by inch:  12" = 1',  3' =  36 " or 1 yard,  1760 yards  = 63,360" or 1 mile

Current from 17 Apr 2021:  Pristiq 0.2665mg  now holding each dose for 3 weeks

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 Oct 2015 

My 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.

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There are 485 beads in 150mg of Venlafaxine Actavis XR. 

 

But for the following 4 weeks, that is until 22 April my venlafaxine capsule will contain (let me take the calculator) 437 beads. Unless, of course, I start to behave funnily, in which case I will up the dose. 

 

How exciting!

 

Thank you very much Chessie for your words of wisdom. I will stick to them 100%.

 

If an issue arises with your tapering it is also good to be able to give the staff the exact details of doses and symptoms so that they will have the facts and be able to offer their best suggestions.

 

Is there a particular topic where I can post my issue when it arises, which I am sure it will. I would be keen to hear from as many SA members as possible and I don't expect everyone to read any new post that I publish. I guess that in terms of getting people's attention Facebook has some advantage over the Forum system. But I may be wrong - I have not yet been on the Forum for long.

 

But long enough to make new friends which is an unexpected withdrawal effect and one that is actually positive!!

 

One day I may actually be very grateful to have been put on SSRI!!!

 

Much love to all

 

A

On venlafaxine since 2001. Three cold turkey WD attempts unsuccessful.

In 2012 I slowly tapered from 75mg. Less than a year after taking the last grain I developed extreme anxiety and pseudo dementia.

After all clear neuro tests in 2013 I was put on Effexor 150mg. Instant improvement. 

In 2014 I tested positive for chronic mercury poisoning. I'm chelating using Andy Cutler's protocol, www.noamalgam.com.

Tapering Venlafaxine Actavis 150mg: Mar 10%, May 10%, Jun (eyeballing) 3 quarters of capsule, Sep slighlty over half of capsule. End Oct exactly half capsule. Feeling great when chelating and being very hopeful that this time I will succeed!

My intro & updates

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  • Moderator
brassmonkey

Hi Alenka-- I so glad you've come up with a good plan for your taper, and wish you the best now that you're starting your journey.  Right here in your intro thread is the best place to ask questions and raise concerns.  That way you will have all the information together in one spot for your reference and we will have all your information available to help formulate an answer.  Once anyone posts on a persons thread they automatically get flagged every time there's a new post on it so every mod who has ever posted here will be keeping an eye on your progress.  Not quite Big Brother, but your concerns won't go unanswered for long.  As you're finding out, even though it's a large group, it's very close knit and we are always watching out for one another.

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.

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

Hi Alenka,

 

It's exciting and a bit scary all in one!  Just try and relax.  You do your bit by reducing the drug and try and stay as calm and stress free as possible so your brain can do what it needs to do.

 

It's a good idea to update your signature as you taper, with the date and dose, so your history stays current and can be seen at a glance without having to sift through your posts.  Also, I suggest you add the year to your 25 March so people can see exactly when you started.  Thanks.

NEW!!!     INTERVIEW with Altostrata, SA's founder    NEW!!! 

 

Plodding along inch by inch:  12" = 1',  3' =  36 " or 1 yard,  1760 yards  = 63,360" or 1 mile

Current from 17 Apr 2021:  Pristiq 0.2665mg  now holding each dose for 3 weeks

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 Oct 2015 

My 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.

Link to post

A little update.

 

I've not been a very happy bunny this past week. I feel tiiiired all the time because of the effect mercury chelation has on my adrenals. Also, I feel quite depressed. So, I'm spending most of my days in bed.

 

The depressed mood became stronger with my 10% AD drop. Immediate symptoms weren't too bad - a few strange things in my head - and they lasted only a day. But the depressed mood remains. I will certainly reduce by 5% next time. I think that's the best thing because chelation makes funny things too my brain to so I need to be extra careful.

 

I found some new friends on SA and would love to chat to them. I always have a problem making the first step. 

 

I guess it's time I return to bed.

 

Love my new photo though. It's me jumping over hurdles. I can do it!

 

My love to you all

 

A

On venlafaxine since 2001. Three cold turkey WD attempts unsuccessful.

In 2012 I slowly tapered from 75mg. Less than a year after taking the last grain I developed extreme anxiety and pseudo dementia.

After all clear neuro tests in 2013 I was put on Effexor 150mg. Instant improvement. 

In 2014 I tested positive for chronic mercury poisoning. I'm chelating using Andy Cutler's protocol, www.noamalgam.com.

Tapering Venlafaxine Actavis 150mg: Mar 10%, May 10%, Jun (eyeballing) 3 quarters of capsule, Sep slighlty over half of capsule. End Oct exactly half capsule. Feeling great when chelating and being very hopeful that this time I will succeed!

My intro & updates

Link to post

Alenka.    I'm sorry that you've been a bit down , as a result of your drop but your positive attitude is coming through strongly .  This will be very important to you , in the coming months , with your taper. It can make all the difference. Positivity , is the way to go , in this process .

 

I love your new photo , too !   :)  

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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