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PenguinTeacup: Please Help


PenguinTeacup

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Hi, I'm really hoping someone can help me as I'm incredibly desperate.

Basically I had been reducing venlafaxine over several years and while at first I had no problems once I got under 37.5mg I started to feel horrendous, and it never really stabilised despite leaving at least a month between reductions. I was feeling awful constantly and the reason I wanted off the venlafaxine was to start a family and so I didn't want to slow or stop the withdrawal as it would take years to come off and I don't have years of time left to get pregnant. So I stopped altogether on 2nd Jan 2016 after being on 7.5mg. (I know you'll say too fast etc but I was desperate) i took nothing for 17 days but as well as head zaps, exhaustion, feeling breathless and unable to stand for long, my heart was pounding and irregular to such a degree that I was getting very little or no sleep. It was as if I got to the verge of sleep and then instantly my heart sped up. So I reinstated 1mg a day on 19th Jan. This didn't do much so I upped to 4.5mg a day on 8th Feb which seemed to work. I felt much better and was able to sleep every night for two weeks. Then the irregular/pounding heart came back and I had another week of insomnia, followed by a week of sleeping normally. But now it has been 10 days of desperate insomnia again. I have been given zopiclone, which I've only used twice and not consecutively as the last thing I want is another addictive med!

A few days ago I upped my venlafaxine further by a small amount (from 4.5mg to 4.75mg) and my heart was pounding much worse last night but oddly I was able to sleep eventually and slept most of the night. This leaves me confused - should I be increasing the venlafaxine to help or is increasing it making it worse?!

 

I've had loads of blood tests, a 24hr ECG and a heart echo which all have come back normal.

I really am in despair, I already have been suffering from unexplained severe fatigue for 4 years and insomnia on top of that is excruciating. I have been signed off work. I am supposed to be getting married in a month's time but I'm not sure if the wedding will go ahead now :(

Please help if you can, no doctors know anything about withdrawal and look at me like i'm crazy when I tell them how low a dose i'm on.

2009 - Started Venlafaxine/Effexor. Highest does of Venlafaxine was 225mg.
Started reducing venlafaxine sometime 2013 - reduced by 37.5 several times no probs

May/June 2014 - Was alternating 75mg Venlafaxine and 37.5mg every other day (as per dr advice!)

Aug 2014 - Went to 37.5mg every other day and ended up in A&E with severe heart palpitations/shakes

Nov 2014 - Dec 2015 - down from 37.5mg gradual monthly decreases to 7.5mg

2 Jan 2016 - 0mg venlafaxine

19 Jan 2016 - 1mg venlafaxine

8 Feb 2016 - 4.5mg venlafaxine

22 Mar 2016 - 6.25mg venlafaxine
 

 

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  • Mentor

Hello and welcome................. you have done very well to reduce to where you have,   venlaxafine is the nastiest of the lot.    Might sound crazy,  but my advice is to get off the stuff, asap, and fall pregnant.          That tactic worked for me getting off zoloft, twice............                  happy hormones kicked in,   so was only a bumpy ride for a couple of months.

 

Anyhow others will be along shortly, with more advice on tapering that me...................          I was on 225mg effexor also, I think,   I thought I put it in my signature, but didnt put the dosage.     Effexor is the toughest, so well done so far!

 

I wish I could help more, but oh,,,, I so, so hope the wedding is able to go ahead?    Hugs                                                  and no you are not crazy,   We are the sane ones!  

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

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

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

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

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Hello Penguin,

 

You found a great forum with alot of support great members that will help you through your situation, sit tight and one of the mods will be by soon to help you out with great advice to get you back on track, hold on the dose you are currently at, until one of the mods responds with further direction. Your not alone and you will get through this. ALI.

10 years citalopram 30mg- tapered down in December 15/2015- Jan 15/2016 to 20mg for two weeks, ten for one week and five for another week, then stopped, less then two weeks later, sheer hell broke lose with debilitating withdrawal symptoms.

 

Update-- reinstated 5mg of celexa on feb 5-- within hours noticed immediate difference in WD symptoms-- Holding holding and more holding.

 

Updose- March 23/16 too 10mg- relieved the harsher head symptoms- current symptoms headaches, dizzy, numbness and tingling in my head.

 

Benzos- 2015-Ativan on and off for 6 months 2mg- switched to clonazepam nov 2015- 2mg till Jan 2016 Zopiclone 7.5mg nov-dec 2015- was tapered off over 4weeks- Currently in protracted withdrawal. ????????????????????????????????

 

Update- ended up in the hospital April 18/16 major suicidal ( never had that before) was admitted/ been there ever since, put me back to full dose celexa 30mg no drugs added, IAM FINALLY STABLE AFTER 3 months of tortuous hell. Got a great physiatrist that new all about WD, he will help me taper properly in a couple of months at 5% deductions holding 8 weeks. I never want to relive that hell again.

 

Udate- stable and holding, doing things slowly is key.

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About reinstating and stabilizing to reduce withdrawal symptoms

10 years citalopram 30mg- tapered down in December 15/2015- Jan 15/2016 to 20mg for two weeks, ten for one week and five for another week, then stopped, less then two weeks later, sheer hell broke lose with debilitating withdrawal symptoms.

 

Update-- reinstated 5mg of celexa on feb 5-- within hours noticed immediate difference in WD symptoms-- Holding holding and more holding.

 

Updose- March 23/16 too 10mg- relieved the harsher head symptoms- current symptoms headaches, dizzy, numbness and tingling in my head.

 

Benzos- 2015-Ativan on and off for 6 months 2mg- switched to clonazepam nov 2015- 2mg till Jan 2016 Zopiclone 7.5mg nov-dec 2015- was tapered off over 4weeks- Currently in protracted withdrawal. ????????????????????????????????

 

Update- ended up in the hospital April 18/16 major suicidal ( never had that before) was admitted/ been there ever since, put me back to full dose celexa 30mg no drugs added, IAM FINALLY STABLE AFTER 3 months of tortuous hell. Got a great physiatrist that new all about WD, he will help me taper properly in a couple of months at 5% deductions holding 8 weeks. I never want to relive that hell again.

 

Udate- stable and holding, doing things slowly is key.

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Sorry that didn't copy correct, have a read through symptoms and self care about reinstating and stabilizing, it will help you too understand what is going on.

10 years citalopram 30mg- tapered down in December 15/2015- Jan 15/2016 to 20mg for two weeks, ten for one week and five for another week, then stopped, less then two weeks later, sheer hell broke lose with debilitating withdrawal symptoms.

 

Update-- reinstated 5mg of celexa on feb 5-- within hours noticed immediate difference in WD symptoms-- Holding holding and more holding.

 

Updose- March 23/16 too 10mg- relieved the harsher head symptoms- current symptoms headaches, dizzy, numbness and tingling in my head.

 

Benzos- 2015-Ativan on and off for 6 months 2mg- switched to clonazepam nov 2015- 2mg till Jan 2016 Zopiclone 7.5mg nov-dec 2015- was tapered off over 4weeks- Currently in protracted withdrawal. ????????????????????????????????

 

Update- ended up in the hospital April 18/16 major suicidal ( never had that before) was admitted/ been there ever since, put me back to full dose celexa 30mg no drugs added, IAM FINALLY STABLE AFTER 3 months of tortuous hell. Got a great physiatrist that new all about WD, he will help me taper properly in a couple of months at 5% deductions holding 8 weeks. I never want to relive that hell again.

 

Udate- stable and holding, doing things slowly is key.

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  • Moderator Emeritus

Hi Penguin,

 

Here is the Reinstating link plus a few others:

 

Reinstating and Stabilising to Reduce Withdrawal Symptoms

 

Brain Remodelling

 

Video:  Healing from Antidepressants - Patterns of Recovery (4 minutes)

 

Why Taper My Dose by 10%?

Please DO NOT TAG me - thank you

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

  MISSION ACCOMPLISHED:    (6 year taper)      0mg Pristiq      on 13th November 2021

ADs since ~1992:  25+ years - 1 unknown, Prozac (muscle weakness), Zoloft; citalopram (pooped out) CTed (very sick for 2.5 wks a few months after); Pristiq:  50mg 2012, 100mg beg 2013 (Serotonin Toxicity)  Tapering from Oct 2015 - 13 Nov 2021   LAST DOSE 0.0025mg

Post 0 updates start here    My tapering program     My Intro (goes to tapering graph)

 VIDEO:   Antidepressant Withdrawal Syndrome and its Management

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  • Moderator Emeritus

Hello Penguin from me too.

 

Very sorry that you have found yourself in this situation but glad you found us. The links Chessie so kindly provided for you will explain a lot to you.

 

I wouldn't updose any more given your heart issues. Stabilisation after reinstatement isn't linear. It comes in windows when symptoms dissipate followed by waves when they emerge again. It is important to be aware of the nature of that process so that you don't panic amd cause more destabilisation by changing the dose.

 

I'm so sorry to hear about your wedding. These horrible pills mess up with so many of our life's plans...I believe you will stabilise soon and I really hope you will be able to enjoy your wedding.

 

I also sympathise a lot about starting family. I will turn 39 soon and kind people here keep reassuring me that women give birth in their 40s nowadays :)

 

Let us know how you are doing.

 

Best,

Bubble

Current: 9/2022 Xanax 0.08, Lexapro 2

2020 Xanax 0.26 (down from 2 mg in 2013), Lexapro 2.85 mg (down from 5 mg 2013)

Amitriptyline (tricyclic AD) and clonazepam for 3 months to treat headache in 1996 
1999. - present Xanax prn up to 3 mg.
2000-2005 Prozac CT twice, 2005-2010 Zoloft CT 3 times, 2010-2013 Escitalopram 10 mg
went from 2.5 to zero on 7 Aug 2013, bad crash 40 days after
reinstated to 5 mg Escitalopram 4Oct 2013 and holding liquid Xanax every 5 hours
28 Jan 2014 Xanax 1.9, 18 Apr  2015 1 mg,  25 June 2015 Lex 4.8, 6 Aug Lexapro 4.6, 1 Jan 2016 0.64  Xanax     9 month hold

24 Sept 2016 4.5 Lex, 17 Oct 4.4 Lex (Nov 0.63 Xanax, Dec 0.625 Xanax), 1 Jan 2017 4.3 Lex, 24 Jan 4.2, 5 Feb 4.1, 24 Mar 4 mg, 10 Apr 3.9 mg, May 3.85, June 3.8, July 3.75, 22 July 3.7, 15 Aug 3.65, 17 Sept 3.6, 1 Jan 2018 3.55, 19 Jan 3.5, 16 Mar 3.4, 14 Apr 3.3, 23 May 3.2, 16 June 3.15, 15 Jul 3.1, 31 Jul 3, 21 Aug 2.9 26 Sept 2.85, 14 Nov Xan 0.61, 1 Dec 0.59, 19 Dec 0.58, 4 Jan 0.565, 6 Feb 0.55, 20 Feb 0.535, 1 Mar 0.505, 10 Mar 0.475, 14 Mar 0.45, 4 Apr 0.415, 13 Apr 0.37, 21 Apr 0.33, 29 Apr 0.29, 10 May 0.27, 17 May 0.25, 28 May 0.22, 19 June 0.22, 21 Jun updose to 0.24, 24 Jun updose to 0.26

Supplements: Omega 3 + Vit E, Vit C, D, magnesium, Taurine, probiotic 

I'm not a medical professional. Any advice I give is based on my own experience and reading. 

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I have read the topics on reinstatement but I still don't understand what to do in my case where reinstatement has made it better then much worse? Does this mean reinstatement has failed?? I can't stay at the same dose because this is torture and it's not getting better and I'm suicidal. Please help, I can't go on

2009 - Started Venlafaxine/Effexor. Highest does of Venlafaxine was 225mg.
Started reducing venlafaxine sometime 2013 - reduced by 37.5 several times no probs

May/June 2014 - Was alternating 75mg Venlafaxine and 37.5mg every other day (as per dr advice!)

Aug 2014 - Went to 37.5mg every other day and ended up in A&E with severe heart palpitations/shakes

Nov 2014 - Dec 2015 - down from 37.5mg gradual monthly decreases to 7.5mg

2 Jan 2016 - 0mg venlafaxine

19 Jan 2016 - 1mg venlafaxine

8 Feb 2016 - 4.5mg venlafaxine

22 Mar 2016 - 6.25mg venlafaxine
 

 

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  • Moderator Emeritus

First of all, and I haven't even read this entire thread, are you safe? 

 

PLEASE STAY SAFE. 

 

Please search this forum for a list of crisis lines, etc. or reach out to family, etc. This medicine is messing with your 

brain… a lot of us can confirm that from firsthand experience. PLEASE STAY SAFE AND let us know you are safe. 

 

2020: After 18+ years (entire adult life) on Paxil, a dangerous doctor-led "taper" in 2015, and four years tapering off the last 1 mg thanks to SA and the Brassmonkey slide, 

I AM COMPLETELY FREE OF PAXIL! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! Forever.

 

2021: Began conservative, proper, CNS-respecting taper of Zoloft, led by the only expert on me -- me. Making own liquid. 5-10% plus holds.

2022: Holding on Zoloft for now. Current dose 47 mg. Hanging in, hanging on. Severe protracted PAWS, windows and waves. While I may not be doing "a lot" by outside standards, things are graaaaadually getting better

 

Yoga (gentle to medium); walks; daily breath practice; nutrition, fruits/veg; nature; water; EastEnders (lol); practicing self-compassion, self-care; boundaries; connection; allowing feelings; t r u s t ing that I, too, will heal. (--> may need to be reminded of this.)

"You are not alone, and this is not the end of your story." - Baylissa

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Have you reinstated? If so how much? How long?

10 years citalopram 30mg- tapered down in December 15/2015- Jan 15/2016 to 20mg for two weeks, ten for one week and five for another week, then stopped, less then two weeks later, sheer hell broke lose with debilitating withdrawal symptoms.

 

Update-- reinstated 5mg of celexa on feb 5-- within hours noticed immediate difference in WD symptoms-- Holding holding and more holding.

 

Updose- March 23/16 too 10mg- relieved the harsher head symptoms- current symptoms headaches, dizzy, numbness and tingling in my head.

 

Benzos- 2015-Ativan on and off for 6 months 2mg- switched to clonazepam nov 2015- 2mg till Jan 2016 Zopiclone 7.5mg nov-dec 2015- was tapered off over 4weeks- Currently in protracted withdrawal. ????????????????????????????????

 

Update- ended up in the hospital April 18/16 major suicidal ( never had that before) was admitted/ been there ever since, put me back to full dose celexa 30mg no drugs added, IAM FINALLY STABLE AFTER 3 months of tortuous hell. Got a great physiatrist that new all about WD, he will help me taper properly in a couple of months at 5% deductions holding 8 weeks. I never want to relive that hell again.

 

Udate- stable and holding, doing things slowly is key.

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Have you reinstated? If so how much? How long?

 

I first reinstated 1mg a day on 19th Jan after a couple of weeks on zero. This didn't do much so I upped to 4.5mg a day on 8th Feb which seemed to work and I was able to sleep fine for two weeks. Now i've been barely able to sleep for 11 nights :(

2009 - Started Venlafaxine/Effexor. Highest does of Venlafaxine was 225mg.
Started reducing venlafaxine sometime 2013 - reduced by 37.5 several times no probs

May/June 2014 - Was alternating 75mg Venlafaxine and 37.5mg every other day (as per dr advice!)

Aug 2014 - Went to 37.5mg every other day and ended up in A&E with severe heart palpitations/shakes

Nov 2014 - Dec 2015 - down from 37.5mg gradual monthly decreases to 7.5mg

2 Jan 2016 - 0mg venlafaxine

19 Jan 2016 - 1mg venlafaxine

8 Feb 2016 - 4.5mg venlafaxine

22 Mar 2016 - 6.25mg venlafaxine
 

 

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I'm sorry to hear that, it just takes time, you need to stay on a regular dose, for now I would stay at your current dose and let your body stabilize, I know it's hard, I'm in the same boat right now, but we will get though it and we will get better, stay positive and if you ever need to talk or vent, I'm here for you. Ali.

10 years citalopram 30mg- tapered down in December 15/2015- Jan 15/2016 to 20mg for two weeks, ten for one week and five for another week, then stopped, less then two weeks later, sheer hell broke lose with debilitating withdrawal symptoms.

 

Update-- reinstated 5mg of celexa on feb 5-- within hours noticed immediate difference in WD symptoms-- Holding holding and more holding.

 

Updose- March 23/16 too 10mg- relieved the harsher head symptoms- current symptoms headaches, dizzy, numbness and tingling in my head.

 

Benzos- 2015-Ativan on and off for 6 months 2mg- switched to clonazepam nov 2015- 2mg till Jan 2016 Zopiclone 7.5mg nov-dec 2015- was tapered off over 4weeks- Currently in protracted withdrawal. ????????????????????????????????

 

Update- ended up in the hospital April 18/16 major suicidal ( never had that before) was admitted/ been there ever since, put me back to full dose celexa 30mg no drugs added, IAM FINALLY STABLE AFTER 3 months of tortuous hell. Got a great physiatrist that new all about WD, he will help me taper properly in a couple of months at 5% deductions holding 8 weeks. I never want to relive that hell again.

 

Udate- stable and holding, doing things slowly is key.

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Thanks for replying. I just don't understand why it has been over a month on reinstated dose and it is getting worse not better :(

2009 - Started Venlafaxine/Effexor. Highest does of Venlafaxine was 225mg.
Started reducing venlafaxine sometime 2013 - reduced by 37.5 several times no probs

May/June 2014 - Was alternating 75mg Venlafaxine and 37.5mg every other day (as per dr advice!)

Aug 2014 - Went to 37.5mg every other day and ended up in A&E with severe heart palpitations/shakes

Nov 2014 - Dec 2015 - down from 37.5mg gradual monthly decreases to 7.5mg

2 Jan 2016 - 0mg venlafaxine

19 Jan 2016 - 1mg venlafaxine

8 Feb 2016 - 4.5mg venlafaxine

22 Mar 2016 - 6.25mg venlafaxine
 

 

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I would stay as you are. Try to stabilize.  Chopping & changing, now will only de- stabilize  your CNS further. What are your symptoms?   Is it just the lack of sleep ?

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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  • Moderator Emeritus

As Skyblue said, please get a number of a local help line and talk to a close friend or family member. The most important thing at the moment is that you stay safe. And that you have somebody nearby to turn to if you feel things are getting too much. We'll do our best to help you with the rest.

 

As AliG wrote hearing more about your symptoms would help us with that. What does your insomnia look like? How do you feel throughout the day? Especially in relation to when you take the drug.

 

Try to keep a log of your symptoms.

 

A possible reason why you feel worse might be because of the way you tapered. Symptoms tell us that we are cutting too much too soon even if it is 10% every 30 days. There is also something called lag time:not all symptoms manifest immediately but sort of build up over time. Our brains put up a lot of fight before they collapse.

 

I'm still hope this is a temporary wave and that you will again feel better. But give us more detail about your symptoms and we will try to see what to do next.

 

Hang in there. We know how horrible this can be but it passes.

Current: 9/2022 Xanax 0.08, Lexapro 2

2020 Xanax 0.26 (down from 2 mg in 2013), Lexapro 2.85 mg (down from 5 mg 2013)

Amitriptyline (tricyclic AD) and clonazepam for 3 months to treat headache in 1996 
1999. - present Xanax prn up to 3 mg.
2000-2005 Prozac CT twice, 2005-2010 Zoloft CT 3 times, 2010-2013 Escitalopram 10 mg
went from 2.5 to zero on 7 Aug 2013, bad crash 40 days after
reinstated to 5 mg Escitalopram 4Oct 2013 and holding liquid Xanax every 5 hours
28 Jan 2014 Xanax 1.9, 18 Apr  2015 1 mg,  25 June 2015 Lex 4.8, 6 Aug Lexapro 4.6, 1 Jan 2016 0.64  Xanax     9 month hold

24 Sept 2016 4.5 Lex, 17 Oct 4.4 Lex (Nov 0.63 Xanax, Dec 0.625 Xanax), 1 Jan 2017 4.3 Lex, 24 Jan 4.2, 5 Feb 4.1, 24 Mar 4 mg, 10 Apr 3.9 mg, May 3.85, June 3.8, July 3.75, 22 July 3.7, 15 Aug 3.65, 17 Sept 3.6, 1 Jan 2018 3.55, 19 Jan 3.5, 16 Mar 3.4, 14 Apr 3.3, 23 May 3.2, 16 June 3.15, 15 Jul 3.1, 31 Jul 3, 21 Aug 2.9 26 Sept 2.85, 14 Nov Xan 0.61, 1 Dec 0.59, 19 Dec 0.58, 4 Jan 0.565, 6 Feb 0.55, 20 Feb 0.535, 1 Mar 0.505, 10 Mar 0.475, 14 Mar 0.45, 4 Apr 0.415, 13 Apr 0.37, 21 Apr 0.33, 29 Apr 0.29, 10 May 0.27, 17 May 0.25, 28 May 0.22, 19 June 0.22, 21 Jun updose to 0.24, 24 Jun updose to 0.26

Supplements: Omega 3 + Vit E, Vit C, D, magnesium, Taurine, probiotic 

I'm not a medical professional. Any advice I give is based on my own experience and reading. 

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  • Moderator Emeritus

Hi Penguin,

 

As people said above, it will be helpful if you can describe your symptoms in more detail.  By posting these here, the staff will be better able to assist you.

 

Are you taking any other drugs, supplements, drinking coffee or cola drinks, or alcohol?

 

This is a link to Helplines in the UK:  http://www.getselfhelp.co.uk/helplines.htm

 

If you get to the stage where you have to go to hospital or see a doctor, they will most probably want to give you more drugs.  Adding more drugs will probably make things worse.  I think it best not to take anything else and suggest you stay as calm as possible and try very hard to refuse them. (This is an opinion - I am not a medical professional.)

 

Please keep posting here so that we know you are safe.

 

Here is a list of withdrawal symptoms that might help you describe your own symptoms:

PSYCHIATRIC SYMPTOMS
That Mimic Depression
1. Crying spells
2. Worsened mood
3. Low energy (fatigue,lethargy, malaise)
4. Trouble concentrating
5. Insomnia or trouble sleeping
6. Change in appetite
7. Suicidal thoughts
8. Suicide attempts

That Mimic Anxiety Disorders
9. Anxious, nervous, tense
10. Panic attacks (racing heart, breathless)
11. Chest pain
12. Trembling, jittery, or shaking

Irritability and Aggression
13. Irritability
14. Agitation (restlessness, hyperactivity)
15. Impulsive
16. Aggressiveness
17. Self-harm
18. Homicidal thoughts or urges

Confusion and Memory Problems
19. Confusion or cognitive difficulties
20. Memory problems or forgetfulness

Mood Swings
21. Elevated mood (feeling high)
22. Mood swings
23. Manic-like reactions

Hallucinations
24. Auditory hallucinations
25. Visual hallucinations

Dissociation
26. Feeling detached or unreal

Other
27. Excessive or intense dreaming
28. Nightmares

MEDICAL SYMPTOMS
That Mimic the Flu
29. Flu -like aches and pains
30. Fever
31. Sweats
32. Chills
33. Runny nose
34. Sore eyes

That Mimic Gastroenteritis
35. Nausea
36. Vomiting
37. Diarrhea
38. Abdominal pain or cramps
39. Stomach bloating

Dizziness
40. Disequilibrium
41. Spinning, swaying, lightheaded
42. Hung over or waterlogged feeling
43. Unsteady gait, poor coordination
44. Motion sickness

Headache
45. Headache

Tremor
46. Tremor

Sensory Abnormalities
47. Numbness, burning,or tingling
48. Electric zap-like sensations in the brain
49. Electric shock-like sensations in the body
50. Abnormal visual sensations
51. Ringing or other noises in the ears
52. Abnormal smells or tastes

Other
53. Drooling or excessive saliva
54. Slurred speech
55. Blurred vision
56. Muscle cramps, stiffness, twitches
57. Feeling of restless legs
58. Uncontrollable twitching of mouth

Please DO NOT TAG me - thank you

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

  MISSION ACCOMPLISHED:    (6 year taper)      0mg Pristiq      on 13th November 2021

ADs since ~1992:  25+ years - 1 unknown, Prozac (muscle weakness), Zoloft; citalopram (pooped out) CTed (very sick for 2.5 wks a few months after); Pristiq:  50mg 2012, 100mg beg 2013 (Serotonin Toxicity)  Tapering from Oct 2015 - 13 Nov 2021   LAST DOSE 0.0025mg

Post 0 updates start here    My tapering program     My Intro (goes to tapering graph)

 VIDEO:   Antidepressant Withdrawal Syndrome and its Management

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  • Moderator Emeritus

Hi PenguinTeacup ,  

" my heart was pounding much worse last night but oddly I was able to sleep eventually "

Was this after taking zopicline?

 

It sounds like the initial reinstatement provided some relief , then the updose provided relief.  

" I upped to 4.5mg a day on 8th Feb which seemed to work. I felt much better and was able to sleep every night for two weeks. "

 

If it were me , I'd continue to updose very gradually until the symptom relief sticks.  It's common after this many years on ad's

and tapering off too fast , for the withdrawal to continue to develop for months.

 

The idea with reinstating is to stabilize on the lowest dose possible.  If you're not significantly better in another week or two , you may need to think about if the wedding should be held off for the moment , until you're better.

 

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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  • Administrator

Welcome, PT.

 

What time of day do you take Effexor? How are you taking it? How are you measuring it?

 

What is your daily symptom pattern? Do the palpitations, etc. start at a certain time or are they constant?

 

Please keep notes on paper to track your daily symptom pattern and when you take your drugs, etc.?

 

Are you taking any other drugs?

This is not medical advice. Discuss any decisions about your medical care with a knowledgeable medical practitioner.

"It has become appallingly obvious that our technology has surpassed our humanity." -- Albert Einstein

All postings © copyrighted.

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Hi

 

When I was reducing the dose and after I stopped completely I had symptoms of nausea, breathlessness, brain zaps, exhaustion, generally feeling hungover, some episodes of convulsive shaking and then the heart palpitations preventing me from sleeping. The inability to sleep was the worst so I reinstated.

 

Since reinstating the other symptoms have gone so I just have the heart racing that prevents sleep. But this is torture, I'm so tired. It's been 12 nights now.

 

I take 2.25mg in the morning and the same in evening. They are immediate release and I cut them with a pill splitter and weigh with digital milligram scales.

 

Sometimes my heart feels fast or pounding during the day and when I measure it with my pulse oximeter it is sometimes over 100 sometimes as low as mid 70s. But it's when I lie down and try to sleep that it is most pounding and then as soon as I feel even slightly sleepy it feels like it either speeds up or misses a beat and this prevents me from sleeping. This happens over and over until I am so uncomfortable I have to get up.

 

I have been keeping a record of my symptoms for many months now. I take magnesium at night and vitamin d (blood test showed deficiency recently).

 

I took zopiclone last night and still got zero sleep. It's just not getting better :( I don't want to go to a crisis team as they will just give more drugs that I won't be able to come off

2009 - Started Venlafaxine/Effexor. Highest does of Venlafaxine was 225mg.
Started reducing venlafaxine sometime 2013 - reduced by 37.5 several times no probs

May/June 2014 - Was alternating 75mg Venlafaxine and 37.5mg every other day (as per dr advice!)

Aug 2014 - Went to 37.5mg every other day and ended up in A&E with severe heart palpitations/shakes

Nov 2014 - Dec 2015 - down from 37.5mg gradual monthly decreases to 7.5mg

2 Jan 2016 - 0mg venlafaxine

19 Jan 2016 - 1mg venlafaxine

8 Feb 2016 - 4.5mg venlafaxine

22 Mar 2016 - 6.25mg venlafaxine
 

 

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Oh also if I do sleep when I wake up my heart always feels very fast and I feel almost panicky for no reason but when I measure heart it is normal (70s)

2009 - Started Venlafaxine/Effexor. Highest does of Venlafaxine was 225mg.
Started reducing venlafaxine sometime 2013 - reduced by 37.5 several times no probs

May/June 2014 - Was alternating 75mg Venlafaxine and 37.5mg every other day (as per dr advice!)

Aug 2014 - Went to 37.5mg every other day and ended up in A&E with severe heart palpitations/shakes

Nov 2014 - Dec 2015 - down from 37.5mg gradual monthly decreases to 7.5mg

2 Jan 2016 - 0mg venlafaxine

19 Jan 2016 - 1mg venlafaxine

8 Feb 2016 - 4.5mg venlafaxine

22 Mar 2016 - 6.25mg venlafaxine
 

 

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  • Moderator Emeritus

Hi Penguin Teacup,

 

Very glad that you have dropped by in and posted describing your symptoms.  Can you give some idea of how much sleep you are getting?

 

One of the staff should drop in and discuss what issues you are having.

 

Take care.  CC

Please DO NOT TAG me - thank you

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

  MISSION ACCOMPLISHED:    (6 year taper)      0mg Pristiq      on 13th November 2021

ADs since ~1992:  25+ years - 1 unknown, Prozac (muscle weakness), Zoloft; citalopram (pooped out) CTed (very sick for 2.5 wks a few months after); Pristiq:  50mg 2012, 100mg beg 2013 (Serotonin Toxicity)  Tapering from Oct 2015 - 13 Nov 2021   LAST DOSE 0.0025mg

Post 0 updates start here    My tapering program     My Intro (goes to tapering graph)

 VIDEO:   Antidepressant Withdrawal Syndrome and its Management

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It varies. Frequently none at all, sometimes 2 hrs. The first 2 times I took zopiclone I got 8 hrs but now zopiclone has ceased to be effective

2009 - Started Venlafaxine/Effexor. Highest does of Venlafaxine was 225mg.
Started reducing venlafaxine sometime 2013 - reduced by 37.5 several times no probs

May/June 2014 - Was alternating 75mg Venlafaxine and 37.5mg every other day (as per dr advice!)

Aug 2014 - Went to 37.5mg every other day and ended up in A&E with severe heart palpitations/shakes

Nov 2014 - Dec 2015 - down from 37.5mg gradual monthly decreases to 7.5mg

2 Jan 2016 - 0mg venlafaxine

19 Jan 2016 - 1mg venlafaxine

8 Feb 2016 - 4.5mg venlafaxine

22 Mar 2016 - 6.25mg venlafaxine
 

 

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  • Administrator

PT, does the heart pounding increase, decrease, or stay the same after you take your Effexor doses?

 

What time do you take the morning dose? The evening dose might be contributing to your wakefulness. Can you move it earlier, to 5 p.m. perhaps?

 

You might take vitamin D in the morning, vitamin D is a daytime hormone.

This is not medical advice. Discuss any decisions about your medical care with a knowledgeable medical practitioner.

"It has become appallingly obvious that our technology has surpassed our humanity." -- Albert Einstein

All postings © copyrighted.

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Thanks for replying altostrata. The heart pounding does not seem to affect me unless I am lying down trying to sleep (which at the moment is all times of the day and night as I am desperate for sleep) it doesn't seem to be affected by when I take the effexor.

 

I take the morning dose at 10am and the evening dose at 8.15pm. I have been taking them at these times for years without problems previously but I'm willing to try anything!

2009 - Started Venlafaxine/Effexor. Highest does of Venlafaxine was 225mg.
Started reducing venlafaxine sometime 2013 - reduced by 37.5 several times no probs

May/June 2014 - Was alternating 75mg Venlafaxine and 37.5mg every other day (as per dr advice!)

Aug 2014 - Went to 37.5mg every other day and ended up in A&E with severe heart palpitations/shakes

Nov 2014 - Dec 2015 - down from 37.5mg gradual monthly decreases to 7.5mg

2 Jan 2016 - 0mg venlafaxine

19 Jan 2016 - 1mg venlafaxine

8 Feb 2016 - 4.5mg venlafaxine

22 Mar 2016 - 6.25mg venlafaxine
 

 

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Hi

It's now been 16 nights with little or no sleep and it's not getting any better. I feel so full of adrenaline like I can't relax and even when I do get sleepy it's like a massive effort to drop off and if I do I mostly wake up a spit second later. I know people have said to leave it to stabilise but I've been on the reinstated dose of 4.5mg for nearly 6 weeks now so surely I should have stabilised by now?? 

 

I'm supposed to be getting married in less than 4 weeks but I am unable to function like this, I'm so very very tired, i'm like a zombie, I can't work, I'm gonna have to get signed off for another 2 weeks :(
 

I don't know what to do :(

2009 - Started Venlafaxine/Effexor. Highest does of Venlafaxine was 225mg.
Started reducing venlafaxine sometime 2013 - reduced by 37.5 several times no probs

May/June 2014 - Was alternating 75mg Venlafaxine and 37.5mg every other day (as per dr advice!)

Aug 2014 - Went to 37.5mg every other day and ended up in A&E with severe heart palpitations/shakes

Nov 2014 - Dec 2015 - down from 37.5mg gradual monthly decreases to 7.5mg

2 Jan 2016 - 0mg venlafaxine

19 Jan 2016 - 1mg venlafaxine

8 Feb 2016 - 4.5mg venlafaxine

22 Mar 2016 - 6.25mg venlafaxine
 

 

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P.T.     As one who sleeps very little , I can totally empathize with your situation. 

 

I can see that you have had this ( heart  palpitations)  before , in August 2014 . You were on alternating doses of 37 .5mg.  How did you go when you were decreasing  monthly , from November 2014 - December  2015?

Did you have this  " heart pounding " during that time ?  If not , when did it start up again ?  Can you see any pattern , to this ?

After 16 nights , I would try sleeping upright , on pillows or a sofa  ,  given that lying down is the problem , until you can get this sorted .

Sorry for what you are going through. 

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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I started having problems around 2014 when I was reducing where I would drop off momentarily then immediately be jolted awake and that happened every night and as I reduced more and more I started to be unable to fall asleep some nights at all but it has never gone on as long as this :(

 

I have tried sleeping upright but no joy

 

I just don't understand whether this is happening because the dose is too high or too low??

2009 - Started Venlafaxine/Effexor. Highest does of Venlafaxine was 225mg.
Started reducing venlafaxine sometime 2013 - reduced by 37.5 several times no probs

May/June 2014 - Was alternating 75mg Venlafaxine and 37.5mg every other day (as per dr advice!)

Aug 2014 - Went to 37.5mg every other day and ended up in A&E with severe heart palpitations/shakes

Nov 2014 - Dec 2015 - down from 37.5mg gradual monthly decreases to 7.5mg

2 Jan 2016 - 0mg venlafaxine

19 Jan 2016 - 1mg venlafaxine

8 Feb 2016 - 4.5mg venlafaxine

22 Mar 2016 - 6.25mg venlafaxine
 

 

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  • Moderator

Hi PT--  I'm sorry to read that you're having so much trouble.  Insomnia is one of those symptoms we all get and no one has figured out what to do about.  The best thing is to not add panic and anxiety to the mix, it will just make things worse.  Accepting the symptoms and going on as best as one can is the best thing.

 

I'm sorry to say it but six weeks is a pretty short time to wait for a reinstatement to work, some times it can take several months to start to settle in.  This is a frustratingly slow process, but time is the only real cure.  Hang in there as best as you can, you have hidden strengths you don't recognize yet. 

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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Hi PT

Been reading your last couple of posts, I'm so sorry you are going through this horrible insomnia.

I'm am also a fellow effexor taperer. You mention you are having heart palpitations, I can relate to that.

I checked me heart rate the other day with a blood pressure monitor and it read 142!! Waited a few seconds to try to calm myself and second time read 121. I reluctantly took a fourth of a .25mg Xanax. It seemed to help a little.

Regarding the insomnia have you tried Epsom salt baths? The magnesium in the salt beads helps for relaxation. I use the Epsom salt baths for body pain(shoulders, hips, knees, etc) it may help you if you take your bath before retiring to sleep.

I also take a small amount of medical cannabis brownie which helps me have a deeper sleep. I usually wake up several times a night however when I take the brownie I wake up less than half the time.

Started Effexor August 2012 Sept'12-150mg=extreme anxiety Oct'12 cut half-75mg severe wds

Feb 2013 68.5mg. Mar'13- 65mg. Apr'13-59mg. May'13-57mg. June '13-52mg Aug'13 49.75mg.

Sep'13-48.75. Nov'13-47mg Dec'13-45..5mg

May 2014 42mg. Jun'14 40mg (depressive mood started). Aug'14 -40mg/ started brintellix 2.5mg

Oct '14 -39 Nov'14 36.89 Dec'14 34.45

Jan 2015- 31 Feb'15 29mg. Mar'15 26.72. Apr'15 24.48. May'15 22.31mg. Jun'15 20.30mg

Aug'15-18.89. Oct'15 16.96. Nov/16- 16.10. Dec/15- 15mg

Jan 2016-14.22. May'16 11.45. Aug'16-9.60. Sep/16- 8.88mg. Oct/16- 8.39mg. Nov/16- 8.13. Dec/16- 7.89

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Hi, sorry to keep bothering people. I know that the general consensus seems to be to stay on the same dose but would increasing it bring relief do you think? I don't care about getting off the drug anymore, I just want to sleep and not be suicidal and to not have to cancel the wedding as that seems so unfair for my fiance :(

2009 - Started Venlafaxine/Effexor. Highest does of Venlafaxine was 225mg.
Started reducing venlafaxine sometime 2013 - reduced by 37.5 several times no probs

May/June 2014 - Was alternating 75mg Venlafaxine and 37.5mg every other day (as per dr advice!)

Aug 2014 - Went to 37.5mg every other day and ended up in A&E with severe heart palpitations/shakes

Nov 2014 - Dec 2015 - down from 37.5mg gradual monthly decreases to 7.5mg

2 Jan 2016 - 0mg venlafaxine

19 Jan 2016 - 1mg venlafaxine

8 Feb 2016 - 4.5mg venlafaxine

22 Mar 2016 - 6.25mg venlafaxine
 

 

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  • Administrator

The heart pounding and sleeplessness are very common in withdrawal syndrome.

 

Effexor is a noradrenergic and potentially stimulating. While you might be told by a doctor all antidepressants are calming, that is not always true, they can have side effects that are the opposite of calming.

 

One way to find out if the evening dose is interfering with your sleep is to take it earlier in the day, at 5 p.m., for example. You will need to do this for at least 4 days for the change to take full effect.

 

If your sleep improves (which I hope it does), it might be a good idea to gradually decrease the evening dose.

 

Are you taking immediate-release Effexor or Effexor XR?

 

Please let us know how you're doing, and keep notes on paper about your daily symptom pattern.

This is not medical advice. Discuss any decisions about your medical care with a knowledgeable medical practitioner.

"It has become appallingly obvious that our technology has surpassed our humanity." -- Albert Einstein

All postings © copyrighted.

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But I try to sleep at various times of the day and it is always the same so I don't think that it would make a difference when I took the drug.

 

I take immediate release effexor.

 

I was in so much discomfort with my chest last night, it aches from all the pounding of my heart. I took a beta blocker and eventually got about an hour's sleep before waking again

 

I just want to die

2009 - Started Venlafaxine/Effexor. Highest does of Venlafaxine was 225mg.
Started reducing venlafaxine sometime 2013 - reduced by 37.5 several times no probs

May/June 2014 - Was alternating 75mg Venlafaxine and 37.5mg every other day (as per dr advice!)

Aug 2014 - Went to 37.5mg every other day and ended up in A&E with severe heart palpitations/shakes

Nov 2014 - Dec 2015 - down from 37.5mg gradual monthly decreases to 7.5mg

2 Jan 2016 - 0mg venlafaxine

19 Jan 2016 - 1mg venlafaxine

8 Feb 2016 - 4.5mg venlafaxine

22 Mar 2016 - 6.25mg venlafaxine
 

 

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  • Moderator Emeritus

PT ,  i know you're not following the logic at this time , but Alto's suggestion may prove very helpful.

 

"One way to find out if the evening dose is interfering with your sleep is to take it earlier in the day, at 5 p.m., for example. You will need to do this for at least 4 days for the change to take full effect.

If your sleep improves (which I hope it does), it might be a good idea to gradually decrease the evening dose"

 

Humour us , will you try taking the dose earlier and see if there's any improvement?

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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I can try taking my meds later but I don't hold out much hope and I don't know if I can last another 4 days and nights like this, it is torture.

 

Could going on prozac help as it is an SSRI not an SSNI??

2009 - Started Venlafaxine/Effexor. Highest does of Venlafaxine was 225mg.
Started reducing venlafaxine sometime 2013 - reduced by 37.5 several times no probs

May/June 2014 - Was alternating 75mg Venlafaxine and 37.5mg every other day (as per dr advice!)

Aug 2014 - Went to 37.5mg every other day and ended up in A&E with severe heart palpitations/shakes

Nov 2014 - Dec 2015 - down from 37.5mg gradual monthly decreases to 7.5mg

2 Jan 2016 - 0mg venlafaxine

19 Jan 2016 - 1mg venlafaxine

8 Feb 2016 - 4.5mg venlafaxine

22 Mar 2016 - 6.25mg venlafaxine
 

 

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  • Moderator Emeritus

Penguin , 

 

" take it earlier in the day, at 5 p.m.,"

 

Earlier , not later.

 

To be honest I think the incredible pressure you're under to be ready for the wedding is making stabilizing more difficult.

If you and fiance make the decision to hold things off , you'll be able to relax a bit and focus on healing in a healthy way.

 

You haven't exhausted the option of reinstating with venlafaxine yet.  It's a bit of a guess if switching to prozac would help

or not.  Hard to guess what dose you might start on , because you're not stable on any dose yet.

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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I meant earlier sorry

 

I just can't go on like this though, I have chronic fatigue and I am exhausted.

2009 - Started Venlafaxine/Effexor. Highest does of Venlafaxine was 225mg.
Started reducing venlafaxine sometime 2013 - reduced by 37.5 several times no probs

May/June 2014 - Was alternating 75mg Venlafaxine and 37.5mg every other day (as per dr advice!)

Aug 2014 - Went to 37.5mg every other day and ended up in A&E with severe heart palpitations/shakes

Nov 2014 - Dec 2015 - down from 37.5mg gradual monthly decreases to 7.5mg

2 Jan 2016 - 0mg venlafaxine

19 Jan 2016 - 1mg venlafaxine

8 Feb 2016 - 4.5mg venlafaxine

22 Mar 2016 - 6.25mg venlafaxine
 

 

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