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MisterKarenB: Hot & itchy while on Effexor


MisterKarenB

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MisterKarenB

On the advice of my wife (KarenB) I've been tapering Effexor by 10% monthly since Nov 2015 (sometimes with a longer hold) and am on 105mg (70% of original 150mg).  . 

 

No w/d symptoms except very, very mild and occasional dizziness. I did become extremely tired at the start but started taking Cellgevity which dealt with that problem. (Cellgevity is sold via an appalling multilevel marketing system which is very offputting but in my case lives up to the hype).

 

I have been on Effexor for over 5 years and had mild itchiness since about year 2. It was restricted mostly to my arms and occasionally torso but about September 2015 I noticed that my calf muscles and behind my knees would get very itchy after going for a walk (basically when my legs got warm). A good scratch always brought  a very satisfying feeling of relief. The itchiness gradually moved to the inside of my elbow, between my eyes and the front of my neck, then, at the end of December when we had our first really hot week of summer (southern hemisphere) all hell broke loose. Whenever I got too hot the itchy areas would become extremely itchy and developed a burning sensation. I ended up scratching my arms raw for a bit.

 

Luckily we live in a very cool house and I gradually worked out a system of managing the problem - it involves spending all day and night in front of a fan and using glass jars of food from our freezer on the hot spots when they get too hot. Glass transfers the cold very quickly and there isn't much time for condensation to form which is important because any moisture on the skin increases the itchiness like crazy as it evaporates.

 

Over summer the itchy patches on my arms have spread up the arms to my shoulders and across the top of my chest. Lately the middle of my back gets hot and prickly if I lie on it for too long at night. I'm fairly certain the itchiness is not related to tapering but would like to know if there is something I can do other than manage the problem?

 

Also, my doctor noticed that the itchy areas on my forearm have a visible edge to them so we tried an anti-fungal cream but aside from it's soothing qualities there hasn't been any reduction in symptoms.

 

 

 

Extra Info:

 

Skin problems seems to be my body's main way of expressing itself, having had various mild skin problems over the years and especially psoriasis since my 20s. This itchiness is different to the psoriasis and doesn't respond to treatment the same.

 

I also developed asthma while on Effexor. Initially it was mild when I exercised or was cold but about May 2015 (our winter) it got a lot worse and I now use a Ventolin inhaler to cope.

 

The Psoriasis increase and the asthma are both expressions of stress which I assume have come about because the anti-depressants are suppressing most of my emotional symptoms.

 

I first used Prozac for 3 months in 2001, stopping C/T as soon as I felt better. I then used it again for maybe 6-9 months in 2002/3 after our first child was born but gave up on them when they didn't seem to be doing much.

 

 

2001 Fluoxetine 3 mths, cold Turkey.  2002 Fluoxetine 6-9 mths. Not working, cold Turkey.
2010 April - Sept: Citalopram 20mg, cold Turkey. Oct-Feb 2011 75mg Dothiapin. Mar 2011 Effexor 150mg. Occasional mild itching, became strong itching mid 2015
2015 Monthly reductions of 10% of original dose (15mg) in November, sometimes with longer holds. Very itchy with burning sensation over summer (southern hemisphere)

27 March 2016: 90mg.  Areas of hot/itchy skin slowly increasing. Glad summer is over.

mid August: 30mg. Change pill size from 75mg to 37.5mg. All hell breaks loose.

mid September: 15mg (a 50% cut) - all hell breaks loose again.

mid November: still hasn't calmed down, contemplating a reinstatement but summer is coming. Very worried.

late November:  reinstate to 20mg, very successful - within 10 days symptoms become very mild. 

Dec 2016-Feb 2017: missed 2-3 doses, symptoms get worse then better.  April:  Symptoms revert to very strong all the time.

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  • Moderator Emeritus

Hi MisterKarenB and welcome to SA,

 

It sounds like your taper is going well.  Your wife has advised you well.  ;)

 

It would be helpful if you could complete your signature, including ALL drugs, dates, doses and how you decreased/increased.  Instructions here:  Please put your Withdrawal History in Signature

 

I can imagine that your itchy skin is extremely frustrating.  I used to suffer from "winter itch" on my legs and I could have scratched the skin off so I can empathise with you.  Unfortunately I'm not able to offer any suggestions regarding your skin problems.  However, this is a very supportive community and I'm sure you'll receive advice from the members.  I suggest that when you try something that you only use a small amount and on a small area of your skin just in case you have a bad reaction.

 

You can use your Intro/Update topic to ask questions and to journal your progress.  I hope someone can provide a solution for you.

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

Hi MrKB , welcome to the site.

 

What if the exacerbation of skin irritation / itchiness , is related to ventolin?

From www.drugs.com , interactions between your drugs:

 

 

Moderate albuterol  venlafaxine

Applies to: Ventolin (albuterol), Effexor (venlafaxine)

Both venlafaxine and albuterol can increase blood pressure and heart rate, and combining them may enhance these effects.

 

You might try stopping the ventolin for a bit to see if there's a difference.

That's all I got tonight.  :)

Good to have you on board ,  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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MisterKarenB

Thanks ChessieCat and Fresh.

 

The use of ventilin did roughly coincide with the increase in itchiness but I haven't touched it for 3 months over summer and there hasn't been any positive change with the skin problem.

 

From my perspective I wonder if the ventilin triggered the increase in skin problems, or whether the increase in asthma and the increase in skin problems came together because my body is just getting increasingly overloaded and its affecting me across the board

2001 Fluoxetine 3 mths, cold Turkey.  2002 Fluoxetine 6-9 mths. Not working, cold Turkey.
2010 April - Sept: Citalopram 20mg, cold Turkey. Oct-Feb 2011 75mg Dothiapin. Mar 2011 Effexor 150mg. Occasional mild itching, became strong itching mid 2015
2015 Monthly reductions of 10% of original dose (15mg) in November, sometimes with longer holds. Very itchy with burning sensation over summer (southern hemisphere)

27 March 2016: 90mg.  Areas of hot/itchy skin slowly increasing. Glad summer is over.

mid August: 30mg. Change pill size from 75mg to 37.5mg. All hell breaks loose.

mid September: 15mg (a 50% cut) - all hell breaks loose again.

mid November: still hasn't calmed down, contemplating a reinstatement but summer is coming. Very worried.

late November:  reinstate to 20mg, very successful - within 10 days symptoms become very mild. 

Dec 2016-Feb 2017: missed 2-3 doses, symptoms get worse then better.  April:  Symptoms revert to very strong all the time.

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  • Moderator Emeritus

Once a histamine reaction has been triggered off , it can take months for it to settle , even if you

remove the antagonist.

 

This is the thread I thought may be helpful for you: Skin Issues , Hives , Dryness et.

http://survivingantidepressants.org/index.php?/topic/611-skin-issues-hives-acne-dryness-etc/

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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  • 7 months later...

Things have been getting lots worse since I last posted. I was reducing at 10% of my original (150mg) dose each month as I was terrified of still having symptoms when summer came.  I got to 20% of the original dose - during that time I had changed pill size to the 75mg pack and got away with it. So by date:

 

1 year ago (ish) take first cut from 0.500mg to 0.450mg (as measured on our scales)

 

3 months ago my measured weight was at 0.100mg. I had stopped using the Cellgevity which turned out to be a bit activating (while also being helpful) and had a few days of feeling very relaxed. Then...

 

Went to the doctor and thoughtlessly changed to the 37.5mg pill size which immediately caused a sudden increase in symptoms. Went back to the 75mg pill size after two days but the damage is done

 

2 months ago, symptoms have calmed down so I cut to 10% of the original size - 0.050mg. (in other words a 50% cut) Symptoms increase again and have stayed ever since. It's possible they are calming down but with the weather warming up I can't tell, sometimes I think things are getting better but then the symptoms come back strong again so I'm really just experiencing waves.

 

1 month ago: Tried to reduce histamine response with change in diet but not sure if this has made a difference or not

 

2 days ago: missed a pill for the second time this month, symptoms as bad as they ever were. currently taking 0.052mg (measured weight).

 

Other notes:

I seem to have something like excess adrenaline or cortisol (those are guesses, I really have no idea) in my body that means being still is very difficult. I feel much better doing physical work but have to do lots of desk work during the day. I must take light exercise breaks but won't be able to do that during the summer heat. (The agitated feeling is building up as I type these notes and I'll have to stop soon).

 

Currently sleeping with windows open and fan pointed at me, some nights I feel like I never actually get any sleep. I can't help scratching my legs at night and then the stinging of the raw skin keeps me awake as well. The Doc gave me something called Allersoothe (Promethazine hydrochloride) which is an antihistamine which will make me drowsy for bed but I'm too scared to use it in case I don't notice my body heating up and then when I finally wake up it will be absolute hell.

 

The raw skin takes a long time to clot because it's already inflamed from the pills and there is a lot of fluid under the surface.

 

Sometimes at night I get cramps in my leg that are like thick ropes running up the inside of my leg (Not the usual thing we get in our calf muscles). This might be because I'm always really tense trying from either resisting the burn/itch or because I keep myself too cold or because I need to be moving and I'm not).

 

I'm terrified of what will happen when Summer hits properly, we've bought an air conditioning unit, but it's very noisy and only puts out 17 degrees centigrade and I would have to spend all summer in the same room when I really need exercise and fresh air. I'm not sure I will actually be able to do this.

 

 

 

My wife (KarenB, a mod here) has suggested a small updose.  I would really value suggestions of other mods as to whether you agree I should updose, and if so, to what amount. 

 

I am feeling desparate, and scared I'll end up in A&E this summer - also wondering about extreme things like if serious medical pain killers will stop me feeling itchy.

2001 Fluoxetine 3 mths, cold Turkey.  2002 Fluoxetine 6-9 mths. Not working, cold Turkey.
2010 April - Sept: Citalopram 20mg, cold Turkey. Oct-Feb 2011 75mg Dothiapin. Mar 2011 Effexor 150mg. Occasional mild itching, became strong itching mid 2015
2015 Monthly reductions of 10% of original dose (15mg) in November, sometimes with longer holds. Very itchy with burning sensation over summer (southern hemisphere)

27 March 2016: 90mg.  Areas of hot/itchy skin slowly increasing. Glad summer is over.

mid August: 30mg. Change pill size from 75mg to 37.5mg. All hell breaks loose.

mid September: 15mg (a 50% cut) - all hell breaks loose again.

mid November: still hasn't calmed down, contemplating a reinstatement but summer is coming. Very worried.

late November:  reinstate to 20mg, very successful - within 10 days symptoms become very mild. 

Dec 2016-Feb 2017: missed 2-3 doses, symptoms get worse then better.  April:  Symptoms revert to very strong all the time.

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  • Moderator Emeritus

I'm having a hard time understanding what's happened with your dosage over the last few months so am re-writing just to clarify:

 

July 2016

dose was 0.100 g pill weight of Effexor, 1 tablet with 75 mg active ingredient weighs 0.500 g

 

August 2016:

37.5 mg Effexor tablet was prescribed instead of 75 mg tablet (mistakenly/obliviously) by doctor

Symptoms arose

After 2 days, you detected the issue of the 37.5 mg tablet, which gave you a 50% unintended reduction

Returned to using the 75 mg tablet as the base for your taper dose.

 

September 2016:

Symptoms eased so made another dose reduction

Reduced pill weight by 50%, from 0.100 g to 0.050 g pill weight

Symptoms arose/increased/intensified

 

October 2016: started low histamine eating; unsure of effect of this change

 

November 2016:

Symptoms remained relatively constant since intensifying in September after the 50% decrease;

Seasonal changes (spring to summer) may be covering possible improvements in symptoms

 

Given that your symptoms came back after that 50% dose reduction in September, an updose makes sense to me.

 

Also, I think I figured out what was confusing me.  You're reporting the weight reading off the scale "0.500", the weight of the entire Effexor tablet. This is 0.500 grams or 500 mg. Language, it's the only tool we have to communicate but sometimes it's a blunt one.

This is not medical advice. Discuss any decisions about your medical care with a knowledgeable medical practitioner.
1997-1999 Effexor; 2002-2005 Effexor XR 37.5 mg linear taper, dropping same #beads/week with bad results

Cymbalta 60 mg 2012 - 2015; 2016: 20 mg to 7 mg exact doses and dates in this post; 2017: 6.3 mg to  0.0 mg  Aug. 12; details here


scallywag's Introduction
Online spreadsheet for dose taper calculations and nz11's THE WORKS spreadsheet

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Hi Scallywag

 

You're correct for most of it except for a couple of bits at the start. In July the 75mg pill actually weighs 0.250g. There may be confusion because I said I was originally on the 150mg pill (which weighs 0.500g). I changed it to the 75mg pill around May when my measured requirements had been reduced as far as 0.250g. 

 

Also in August the drop in pill size to 37.5mg did not cut my intake by 50%. That pill has contents weighing about 0.125g and I was still weighing the material out to be 0.100g - so no reduction there. The pill was just somehow different and I reacted to the change. Karen had warned me this could happen but I didn't really take it on board - although I fully believe her now!

 

I've repasted in entirety below with the two corrections.

 

July 2016

dose was 0.100 g pill weight of Effexor, 1 tablet with 75 mg active ingredient weighs 0.250 g

 

August 2016:

37.5 mg Effexor tablet was prescribed instead of 75 mg tablet (mistakenly/obliviously) by doctor

Symptoms arose

After 2 days, returned to using the 75 mg tablet as the base for your taper dose.

 

September 2016:

Symptoms eased so made another dose reduction

Reduced pill weight by 50%, from 0.100 g to 0.050 g pill weight

Symptoms arose/increased/intensified

 

October 2016: started low histamine eating; unsure of effect of this change

 

November 2016:

Symptoms remained relatively constant since intensifying in September after the 50% decrease;

Seasonal changes (spring to summer) may be covering possible improvements in symptoms

 

 

For me now the question is how much to increase the dose.

2001 Fluoxetine 3 mths, cold Turkey.  2002 Fluoxetine 6-9 mths. Not working, cold Turkey.
2010 April - Sept: Citalopram 20mg, cold Turkey. Oct-Feb 2011 75mg Dothiapin. Mar 2011 Effexor 150mg. Occasional mild itching, became strong itching mid 2015
2015 Monthly reductions of 10% of original dose (15mg) in November, sometimes with longer holds. Very itchy with burning sensation over summer (southern hemisphere)

27 March 2016: 90mg.  Areas of hot/itchy skin slowly increasing. Glad summer is over.

mid August: 30mg. Change pill size from 75mg to 37.5mg. All hell breaks loose.

mid September: 15mg (a 50% cut) - all hell breaks loose again.

mid November: still hasn't calmed down, contemplating a reinstatement but summer is coming. Very worried.

late November:  reinstate to 20mg, very successful - within 10 days symptoms become very mild. 

Dec 2016-Feb 2017: missed 2-3 doses, symptoms get worse then better.  April:  Symptoms revert to very strong all the time.

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  • Administrator

Hello, MKB.

 

Giving your dosage in milligrams of Effexor rather than the weight of the tablet would be very helpful. By your calculations, how much Effexor, in milligrams, are you taking now?

 

Are you cutting the tablet? Is it immediate-release Effexor? If so, when did you switch from Effexor XR to immediate-release Effexor?

 

What times of day do you take your drugs?

 

By symptoms, do you mean the itching? Has the itching changed since you've lowered your dosage of Effexor? Do you have other symptoms?

 

Have you eliminated any cause of contact allergies, such as laundry soap, bar soap, etc.? Have you tried an elimination diet to identify possible food sensitivities?

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 Alto

 

 

Giving your dosage in milligrams of Effexor rather than the weight of the tablet would be very helpful. By your calculations, how much Effexor, in milligrams, are you taking now?

15 milligrams

 

 

Are you cutting the tablet? Is it immediate-release Effexor? If so, when did you switch from Effexor XR to immediate-release Effexor?

On the box it says Effexor-XR, modified release capsules, I've always been on these.

I open the capsules and weigh out the required amount.

 

 

What times of day do you take your drugs?

9pm usually

 

 

By symptoms, do you mean the itching? Has the itching changed since you've lowered your dosage of Effexor? Do you have other symptoms?

Symptoms are itching/pricklyness/burning, innability to stay still for long, cramping (which may be due to my muscles tensing against the other symptoms.

 

Before I started tapering I just had itchy areas behind my knee or on my arms but after the first cut I started developing areas of visibly inflamed skin which can itch, prickle or burn. These areas have increased over the year to cover most of my body.

 

Change to symptoms were minor to start with but became more dramatic as the cuts became a bigger percentage of the dose size. The most recent cut was very bad because I went straight from 30mg to 15mg. Itch/prickle/burn is much worse and the inability to sit still has increased massively.

 

The area of inflamed skin doesn't seem to increase with each drop (no change some months,big changes other months and not happening immediately after a cut). It's only by looking back over the year that I can see the relationship.

 

 

Have you eliminated any cause of contact allergies, such as laundry soap, bar soap, etc.? Have you tried an elimination diet to identify possible food sensitivities?

I try to avoid getting wet as much as possible right now so it won't be bar soap and there is a patch of itchy skin on my forehead so I don't think it's laundry soap. I tried a histamine elimination diet but it hasn't been possible to do a complete or thorough elimination. The changes I have made don't seem to make a difference - although I have a strong feeling that tomatos should be avoided.

 

Also my doctor gave me antihistamine pills to try but they made no difference.

 

Thanks

 

Aaron

2001 Fluoxetine 3 mths, cold Turkey.  2002 Fluoxetine 6-9 mths. Not working, cold Turkey.
2010 April - Sept: Citalopram 20mg, cold Turkey. Oct-Feb 2011 75mg Dothiapin. Mar 2011 Effexor 150mg. Occasional mild itching, became strong itching mid 2015
2015 Monthly reductions of 10% of original dose (15mg) in November, sometimes with longer holds. Very itchy with burning sensation over summer (southern hemisphere)

27 March 2016: 90mg.  Areas of hot/itchy skin slowly increasing. Glad summer is over.

mid August: 30mg. Change pill size from 75mg to 37.5mg. All hell breaks loose.

mid September: 15mg (a 50% cut) - all hell breaks loose again.

mid November: still hasn't calmed down, contemplating a reinstatement but summer is coming. Very worried.

late November:  reinstate to 20mg, very successful - within 10 days symptoms become very mild. 

Dec 2016-Feb 2017: missed 2-3 doses, symptoms get worse then better.  April:  Symptoms revert to very strong all the time.

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  • Administrator

There's a little bit of a clue: Avoid tomatoes and other nightshades, including potatoes.

 

One possibility is that you've been allergic to Effexor from the start, and dosage changes triggered more hypersensitivity. The big dosage drop exacerbated this.

 

However, I would expect the symptoms to change as you go down in dosage.

 

Another possibility is that you're reacting to something in your environment. The third is one of those eczema mysteries that nobody can figure out.

 

Not sure what to suggest. You need to calm your CNS. I would stop tapering for a while. How are you doing with meditation and visualization of calming your innards?

 

Do Epsom salts baths help or hurt? What's been your reaction to fish oil and magnesium supplements?

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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So at this point I think I need to reinstate my dosage but would like some advice from you about how much,

 

Then my plan is to hold the dosage for a few months to see if I can get the symptoms to calm down like they were 3 months ago.

 

I have to admit I haven't been doing much in the way of meditation or visualisation. Karen has had me on magnesium pills but there hasn't been a noticeable effect from them

 

Thanks.

2001 Fluoxetine 3 mths, cold Turkey.  2002 Fluoxetine 6-9 mths. Not working, cold Turkey.
2010 April - Sept: Citalopram 20mg, cold Turkey. Oct-Feb 2011 75mg Dothiapin. Mar 2011 Effexor 150mg. Occasional mild itching, became strong itching mid 2015
2015 Monthly reductions of 10% of original dose (15mg) in November, sometimes with longer holds. Very itchy with burning sensation over summer (southern hemisphere)

27 March 2016: 90mg.  Areas of hot/itchy skin slowly increasing. Glad summer is over.

mid August: 30mg. Change pill size from 75mg to 37.5mg. All hell breaks loose.

mid September: 15mg (a 50% cut) - all hell breaks loose again.

mid November: still hasn't calmed down, contemplating a reinstatement but summer is coming. Very worried.

late November:  reinstate to 20mg, very successful - within 10 days symptoms become very mild. 

Dec 2016-Feb 2017: missed 2-3 doses, symptoms get worse then better.  April:  Symptoms revert to very strong all the time.

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  • Administrator

You might go up to 20 milligrams and see if that helps.

 

I would visualize calm radiating from your core to your skin.

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 Alto - I'll try both those suggestions

2001 Fluoxetine 3 mths, cold Turkey.  2002 Fluoxetine 6-9 mths. Not working, cold Turkey.
2010 April - Sept: Citalopram 20mg, cold Turkey. Oct-Feb 2011 75mg Dothiapin. Mar 2011 Effexor 150mg. Occasional mild itching, became strong itching mid 2015
2015 Monthly reductions of 10% of original dose (15mg) in November, sometimes with longer holds. Very itchy with burning sensation over summer (southern hemisphere)

27 March 2016: 90mg.  Areas of hot/itchy skin slowly increasing. Glad summer is over.

mid August: 30mg. Change pill size from 75mg to 37.5mg. All hell breaks loose.

mid September: 15mg (a 50% cut) - all hell breaks loose again.

mid November: still hasn't calmed down, contemplating a reinstatement but summer is coming. Very worried.

late November:  reinstate to 20mg, very successful - within 10 days symptoms become very mild. 

Dec 2016-Feb 2017: missed 2-3 doses, symptoms get worse then better.  April:  Symptoms revert to very strong all the time.

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  • Administrator

Please let us know how you're doing. It will take about 4 days for the dosage increase to fully register in your system.

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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  • 2 weeks later...

Update time: The reinstatement has been a great success!

 

I Started noticing improvements after about 4 days but didn't want to get my hopes up - yesterday however things took a great leap forward and suddenly everything is much easier, The itching is lower, the patches of really hot skin have eased off and it's happened just in the nick of time because yesterday was the hottest day of the summer so far. I had seen the forecast a few days ahead and had been dreading it but in the end I was able to walk for 15 minutes in the midday sun and felt fine. Quite unbelievable!

 

There are still symptoms, still prickly skin at times but it's at a much more manageable level - so thanks to everyone for the advice, I'm no longer thinking I'll have to leave town for summer which is something the whole family is relieved about. :)

 

My plan is to just hold the dosage through summer and see if we can eradicate all the symptoms. Given that I was taking 150mg Effexor to start with and am now just taking 20mg I have high hopes.

 

Another piece of good news, my doctor gave me a prescription for Dermol which is a steroid cream (contains Clobetasol 17 and Propionate 0.025% w/w). This is also having an effect on the skin. I'm just experimenting with it in patches but it is definitely getting rid of the urticaria (itchy redish skin with fluid under the surface) . My intention is to use it in a few strategic places but not treat the entire body because I figure the body needs to express itself - and if I force it to stop it will probably come up with some new weird and wonderful symptom to plague me. (note that I have only used the cream since starting the reinstatement).

 

So thankyou everyone for your support - we are a much relieved household down here in New Zealand.

2001 Fluoxetine 3 mths, cold Turkey.  2002 Fluoxetine 6-9 mths. Not working, cold Turkey.
2010 April - Sept: Citalopram 20mg, cold Turkey. Oct-Feb 2011 75mg Dothiapin. Mar 2011 Effexor 150mg. Occasional mild itching, became strong itching mid 2015
2015 Monthly reductions of 10% of original dose (15mg) in November, sometimes with longer holds. Very itchy with burning sensation over summer (southern hemisphere)

27 March 2016: 90mg.  Areas of hot/itchy skin slowly increasing. Glad summer is over.

mid August: 30mg. Change pill size from 75mg to 37.5mg. All hell breaks loose.

mid September: 15mg (a 50% cut) - all hell breaks loose again.

mid November: still hasn't calmed down, contemplating a reinstatement but summer is coming. Very worried.

late November:  reinstate to 20mg, very successful - within 10 days symptoms become very mild. 

Dec 2016-Feb 2017: missed 2-3 doses, symptoms get worse then better.  April:  Symptoms revert to very strong all the time.

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  • Moderator Emeritus

That's really great news.  Pleased to hear it.  I assume you are sleeping better as a consequence?

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

Actually that is something that hasn't been resolved yet - but I have spent the last few nights on a horrible camp stretcher in an effort to get my body away from the warmth of a mattress. I've spent most of the night awake for the last few weeks but I'm going to try returning to a normal bed tonight (now that my symptoms have declined) and given how tired I feel now, I'm hoping to get a good nights rest (by my standards that would be 5 hours :-)

2001 Fluoxetine 3 mths, cold Turkey.  2002 Fluoxetine 6-9 mths. Not working, cold Turkey.
2010 April - Sept: Citalopram 20mg, cold Turkey. Oct-Feb 2011 75mg Dothiapin. Mar 2011 Effexor 150mg. Occasional mild itching, became strong itching mid 2015
2015 Monthly reductions of 10% of original dose (15mg) in November, sometimes with longer holds. Very itchy with burning sensation over summer (southern hemisphere)

27 March 2016: 90mg.  Areas of hot/itchy skin slowly increasing. Glad summer is over.

mid August: 30mg. Change pill size from 75mg to 37.5mg. All hell breaks loose.

mid September: 15mg (a 50% cut) - all hell breaks loose again.

mid November: still hasn't calmed down, contemplating a reinstatement but summer is coming. Very worried.

late November:  reinstate to 20mg, very successful - within 10 days symptoms become very mild. 

Dec 2016-Feb 2017: missed 2-3 doses, symptoms get worse then better.  April:  Symptoms revert to very strong all the time.

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  • Administrator

Very happy to hear that, MrKB. 

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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  • 5 weeks later...

MrKB how are you doing.

Can you give an update.

 

Happy New Year to you and the KB

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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MisterKarenB

Unfortunately I managed to forget to take my pill one night about a month ago so progress has been stalled since then. The good news is that my symptoms barely increased as a result but its taken a while to get back to having the pill at bedtime since I was adjusting the time I take the pill by one hour a day until I got it back to the evening time. I'm not sure if I stopped some good progress or whether I had made all the gains I was going to make anyway but the symptoms seemed to have plateaued again - albeit at a much lower level. It's easier to live with but is still kind of irritating.

 

Luckily, it's a very cold summer in our part of the country this summer so it's pretty easy to cope at the moment.

 

I'm planning to hold until summer is over and see if I get further improvements.

2001 Fluoxetine 3 mths, cold Turkey.  2002 Fluoxetine 6-9 mths. Not working, cold Turkey.
2010 April - Sept: Citalopram 20mg, cold Turkey. Oct-Feb 2011 75mg Dothiapin. Mar 2011 Effexor 150mg. Occasional mild itching, became strong itching mid 2015
2015 Monthly reductions of 10% of original dose (15mg) in November, sometimes with longer holds. Very itchy with burning sensation over summer (southern hemisphere)

27 March 2016: 90mg.  Areas of hot/itchy skin slowly increasing. Glad summer is over.

mid August: 30mg. Change pill size from 75mg to 37.5mg. All hell breaks loose.

mid September: 15mg (a 50% cut) - all hell breaks loose again.

mid November: still hasn't calmed down, contemplating a reinstatement but summer is coming. Very worried.

late November:  reinstate to 20mg, very successful - within 10 days symptoms become very mild. 

Dec 2016-Feb 2017: missed 2-3 doses, symptoms get worse then better.  April:  Symptoms revert to very strong all the time.

Link to post

Well thats a good sign symptoms are lessened

All the best for tapering in 2017

nz11

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
  • 1 month later...
  • Moderator Emeritus

I am behind on things. I am SO glad you found a way to lessen your symptoms! I am so pleased for you! I wish I had been able to provide some help as to the cause. I am so glad yo brought it here- more heads are better than just one, right?

 

So happy you are not stuck in front of a fan!

Skeeter

Current meds: Lexapro 20mg, Valium 6.25mg
Current status: September 2018 forced to go down to 10mg of Valium/Diazepam from around 15mg, with the plan to have me totally of in 2 more months. I was not given a chance to give input at tapering at this speed, please go much, much slower. Luckily I found a new doctor, but was thrown off course by my rapid taper, as of 2/19 am down to 6.25mg, and am stable. Will update with dates of taper ASAP.
Read my history here: http://survivingantidepressants.org/index.php?/topic/12819-skeeters-journey/

   
I am NOT a doctor. My opinions are just that- MY opinions, based on my personal experiences and research, but your experience and reactions may differ greatly, we are all different! I maintain that a doctor educated in withdrawal is the best place to get info or to get the "go ahead" before changing your medications in any way!

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  • 2 weeks later...
MisterKarenB

A few days ago I vomited in the night and am worried that I didn't get all of my Effexor dose  for the day. I vomited about 7 hours after taking my pill and assume not all of the pill had been absobed into my system because today (6 days later) I've had a sudden increase in symptom severity. I should mention that I have just had 4 hours sleep over the last two nights which won't have helped much.

 

I'm also wondering if I should have an extra lage dose that will account for the amount I lost after vomiting? I know that sounds a bit odd but I base it on my experience of days when I forget to take my pill altogether.

 

Unfortunately this has happened to me a few times where I miss having my daily capsule before I go to bed and end up having it the next morning. I had been using a recovery technique where I shifted my pill-taking time to that time in the morning and then adjusted that time by 1 hour every day until I finally got back to having it at 9pm. This usually involved having an increase in symptoms for about a month so last time I forgot to have a pill I had it the next morning and then stuck with my normal routine and had the next pill at 9pm the same day. Two pills in one day seems bad but I didn't have an increase in symptoms. I'm therefore wondering if it's more important to keep the cumulative amount of Effexor at a consistant level than worrying about the daily amount - for me.

 

Feeling agitated while I type this so I hope it makes sense

2001 Fluoxetine 3 mths, cold Turkey.  2002 Fluoxetine 6-9 mths. Not working, cold Turkey.
2010 April - Sept: Citalopram 20mg, cold Turkey. Oct-Feb 2011 75mg Dothiapin. Mar 2011 Effexor 150mg. Occasional mild itching, became strong itching mid 2015
2015 Monthly reductions of 10% of original dose (15mg) in November, sometimes with longer holds. Very itchy with burning sensation over summer (southern hemisphere)

27 March 2016: 90mg.  Areas of hot/itchy skin slowly increasing. Glad summer is over.

mid August: 30mg. Change pill size from 75mg to 37.5mg. All hell breaks loose.

mid September: 15mg (a 50% cut) - all hell breaks loose again.

mid November: still hasn't calmed down, contemplating a reinstatement but summer is coming. Very worried.

late November:  reinstate to 20mg, very successful - within 10 days symptoms become very mild. 

Dec 2016-Feb 2017: missed 2-3 doses, symptoms get worse then better.  April:  Symptoms revert to very strong all the time.

Link to post
  • Moderator Emeritus

It's very important to take the same dose at about the same time on a daily basis.

 

If you are forgetting to take it, set a reminder on your phone.

 

If it were me I would not be "making up" by adding extra.  I know that it might seem a logical thing to do, but not where these drugs are concerned.  You should be back to steady state in your blood after about 4 days.

 

And make sure it take it regularly!!!

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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MisterKarenB

Don't worry the phone reminder is already set.

 

I guess what I'm trying to understand is how much EFfexor is built up in my system - and also how much I might have missed out on because I vomited 7 hours after taking the medication - maybe it makes no difference?

2001 Fluoxetine 3 mths, cold Turkey.  2002 Fluoxetine 6-9 mths. Not working, cold Turkey.
2010 April - Sept: Citalopram 20mg, cold Turkey. Oct-Feb 2011 75mg Dothiapin. Mar 2011 Effexor 150mg. Occasional mild itching, became strong itching mid 2015
2015 Monthly reductions of 10% of original dose (15mg) in November, sometimes with longer holds. Very itchy with burning sensation over summer (southern hemisphere)

27 March 2016: 90mg.  Areas of hot/itchy skin slowly increasing. Glad summer is over.

mid August: 30mg. Change pill size from 75mg to 37.5mg. All hell breaks loose.

mid September: 15mg (a 50% cut) - all hell breaks loose again.

mid November: still hasn't calmed down, contemplating a reinstatement but summer is coming. Very worried.

late November:  reinstate to 20mg, very successful - within 10 days symptoms become very mild. 

Dec 2016-Feb 2017: missed 2-3 doses, symptoms get worse then better.  April:  Symptoms revert to very strong all the time.

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  • Moderator Emeritus

Unfortunately there is no way to know.  I imagine some of it may have been absorbed before the event.  And it's a past event now, so just go on taking your dose at the same time each day.

 

The only thing you may have done was soon after the vomiting take a small part of your normal dosage, maybe 1/4 of it, but hopefully it won't happen again so it's now history.  This is my personal opinion.

 

It is around about this length of time after a dose change that the drug should be getting to a steady state in the blood.

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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MisterKarenB

So I have another question about reinstatement in general. Further up the thread you'll see discussion about a successful attempt at reinstatement where I took my symptom levels (rated out of 10 for discomfort) from 7 or 8 down to 3. We increased the dose by a third and the response was very rapid but has then stayed at that 3 level ever since.

 

The problem is that the area of my skin that has problems continues to expand. This is complicated by a series of missed pills (followed by a wave each time) but I'm wondering if another reinstatement might offer some important improvements?

 

And to save reading all of the above thread I did spend all of 2016 doing 10% cuts every month when my body wasn't ready for it - I managed to get down to 20% before reinstating but in hindsight it may not  have been the best way - especially as I kept cutting at 10% of the original weight each time.

2001 Fluoxetine 3 mths, cold Turkey.  2002 Fluoxetine 6-9 mths. Not working, cold Turkey.
2010 April - Sept: Citalopram 20mg, cold Turkey. Oct-Feb 2011 75mg Dothiapin. Mar 2011 Effexor 150mg. Occasional mild itching, became strong itching mid 2015
2015 Monthly reductions of 10% of original dose (15mg) in November, sometimes with longer holds. Very itchy with burning sensation over summer (southern hemisphere)

27 March 2016: 90mg.  Areas of hot/itchy skin slowly increasing. Glad summer is over.

mid August: 30mg. Change pill size from 75mg to 37.5mg. All hell breaks loose.

mid September: 15mg (a 50% cut) - all hell breaks loose again.

mid November: still hasn't calmed down, contemplating a reinstatement but summer is coming. Very worried.

late November:  reinstate to 20mg, very successful - within 10 days symptoms become very mild. 

Dec 2016-Feb 2017: missed 2-3 doses, symptoms get worse then better.  April:  Symptoms revert to very strong all the time.

Link to post
  • Moderator Emeritus

Even though the drug will have got to steady state in the blood now, it does take a bit longer for it to register in the brain.  Whenever anyone makes a dose change, we suggest they keep daily notes and give it 2 weeks before considering making any changes.

 

I think the most important thing for you to do is to keep your dose regular.

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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  • 4 weeks later...
MisterKarenB

Thanks for your help back then ChessieCat.  I've done some more waiting, to allow settling.  Here's where I am now:

 

It is one month since I last had a 'hiccup' with a dose (when I vomited).  It did get better for a bit, but since then my symptoms have gotten worse.  Also the area of skin affected has continued to expand even when symptoms are mild (ie less itchy).  The affected skin (itchy, inflamed) is now covering most of my body.  Today feels like my worst day ever. 

 

It's possibly related to my quality of sleep, but I'm not sure.  If it is related to sleep, that's a new thing (I've never noticed it before).  I was getting on average 3 hours sleep a night, but now it's cooler I'm getting about 5 hours per night (although this doesn't seem to have helped my symptoms any).  I wake up scratching my legs, and need to get up and cool down. 

 

Other symptoms:  unable to stay still, cramps in legs, occasionally two toes go numb, skin cracking on hands and feet due to loss of condition, quite agitated.    The main thing that worries me is the spreading of the areas of affected skin - it's not slowing down at all. 

 

I reinstated 33% back in November, which initially helped, but after two or three missed doses (including vomiting as above) things have now settled into a bad pattern.

 

Should I reinstate more?  Any thoughts are very welcome.

Thanks,

Aaron

2001 Fluoxetine 3 mths, cold Turkey.  2002 Fluoxetine 6-9 mths. Not working, cold Turkey.
2010 April - Sept: Citalopram 20mg, cold Turkey. Oct-Feb 2011 75mg Dothiapin. Mar 2011 Effexor 150mg. Occasional mild itching, became strong itching mid 2015
2015 Monthly reductions of 10% of original dose (15mg) in November, sometimes with longer holds. Very itchy with burning sensation over summer (southern hemisphere)

27 March 2016: 90mg.  Areas of hot/itchy skin slowly increasing. Glad summer is over.

mid August: 30mg. Change pill size from 75mg to 37.5mg. All hell breaks loose.

mid September: 15mg (a 50% cut) - all hell breaks loose again.

mid November: still hasn't calmed down, contemplating a reinstatement but summer is coming. Very worried.

late November:  reinstate to 20mg, very successful - within 10 days symptoms become very mild. 

Dec 2016-Feb 2017: missed 2-3 doses, symptoms get worse then better.  April:  Symptoms revert to very strong all the time.

Link to post
  • Moderator Emeritus

Hi Aaron,

 

When were you taking Cellgevity?  Just wondering if it coincides with anything.

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
MisterKarenB

Cellgevity coincides with an increase in energy. I was worried it was also agravting the symptoms so I stopped - must be about 8 months ago. Its quite expensive which is another reason to stop

2001 Fluoxetine 3 mths, cold Turkey.  2002 Fluoxetine 6-9 mths. Not working, cold Turkey.
2010 April - Sept: Citalopram 20mg, cold Turkey. Oct-Feb 2011 75mg Dothiapin. Mar 2011 Effexor 150mg. Occasional mild itching, became strong itching mid 2015
2015 Monthly reductions of 10% of original dose (15mg) in November, sometimes with longer holds. Very itchy with burning sensation over summer (southern hemisphere)

27 March 2016: 90mg.  Areas of hot/itchy skin slowly increasing. Glad summer is over.

mid August: 30mg. Change pill size from 75mg to 37.5mg. All hell breaks loose.

mid September: 15mg (a 50% cut) - all hell breaks loose again.

mid November: still hasn't calmed down, contemplating a reinstatement but summer is coming. Very worried.

late November:  reinstate to 20mg, very successful - within 10 days symptoms become very mild. 

Dec 2016-Feb 2017: missed 2-3 doses, symptoms get worse then better.  April:  Symptoms revert to very strong all the time.

Link to post
  • Moderator

Hey MisterKB - 

 

This is so awful, that you have fear of missing a dose, of it making things so much worse!

 

I can't help but thinking that your body's default to "itching" might be a nutritional thing.  Do you get enough oils in your diet?  Have you tried slathering your skin in coconut oil (which is antibacterial, antiviral, and antifungal)?  

 

Another thing that struck me is the muscle cramps.  I know you said you tried Magnesium, but for how long?  Just because you don't feel relief doesn't mean it's not helping.  Also, fish oil is supposed to be helpful for inflammatory conditions, as well.  Carefully (as with all supplements) I would give them 6-8 weeks to start working.  Magnesium is the largest deficiency in America right now, and it really doesn't hurt - if you can tolerate it - to take it for life.  It helps with cardiovascular, brain function - over 300 cascades in the human body are dependant upon magnesium.  

 

And fish oil - well, it lubricates everything and keeps it going....

 

As for the skin thing - I don't know if you can get this in NZ.  Aussies swear by "paw paw ointment."  I haven't found the garden variety at the chemist's to be much help, but here is an extra strong natural one (60% paw paw juice - that's "papaya" for y'all up-over) that claims to help in psoriasis.  It is a fruit acid, so it tingles (and might sting) at first - but that could feel like "scratching the itch," if it settles afterwards.  Yes, it's expensive, but it's a clean, good product.

 

McArthur PawPaw http://mcarthurskincare.com/products/psoriasis-dermatitis-rashes-cream-75g/

 

Also, if you have had some form of psoriasis most of your adult life - I wonder if you have a psoriatic auto-immune condition.  Not that there is much treatment for it (apart from steroids to suppress immune response), but my husband tests positive for an auto-immune animal called "psoriatic arthritis."  It is an autoimmune disorder, and his has gone to joint pain (but like you, he's always had sensitive skin).  The auto-immune disorders are becoming epidemic, it seems like at least 1 of 3 people I know over the age of 40 have some sort of auto-immune condition.  It can be tested for with antibodies, but I'm not a doctor so I don't know what ones to test for.

 

In Auryvedic medicine, the things you describe are symptoms of excess pitta, which is internal fire.  Cooling foods, like cucumbers, yogurt (if you are dairy tolerant), salads, coconut oil, astringent foods like pickles, and sweet fruits.  Heavier foods, like breads, grains, meats, should be used sparingly.  Also - it is important to stay hydrated, drink plenty of water and get your electrolytes (I don't like sports drinks - too many chemicals and excess sugar - but I like Pink Himalayan or Aussie salt to get microminerals).

 

Also, when my Mum would have muscle spasm attacks, she would keep a jar of honey by the bedside, and take a teaspoon.  She swore it stopped her muscles cramping.  I know that natural, filtered, unheated, untreated honey has a lot of good enzymes.  It seems simple, but - at least it won't hurt, hey?

 

As far as the psychological / emotional contributors to itchy skin - are you "comfortable in your skin"?  Skin protects our individuality, and is our major organ of interface with the rest of the world, the largest sense organ.  Itching is about desires that go against the grain - something you desire that is unsatisfied, or something you are doing in your life which goes against who you want to be.  A restlessness, or feeling that you are in the wrong place at the wrong time.   Psoriasis in particular is about a fear of being hurt, a way to deaden the senses of yourself, a denial of feeling.   Affirmations for these are:  I feel safe to be me. I am at peace where I am.  I accept my good.  All my needs and desires will be fulfilled.  I am alive to the joys of living.  I deserve and accept the best in life.  My feelings are valid.  I love and approve of myself.

 

I'm just throwing out a bunch of suggestions, a bunch of different ways to look at it.  It seems so unfair, you are so careful, and one night of being sick has thrown you into a wave.

 

I'll read on....

"Easy, easy - just go easy and you'll finish." - Hawaiian Kapuna

 

Holding is hard work, holding is a blessing. Give your brain time to heal before you try again.

 

My suggestions are not medical advice, you are in charge of your own medical choices.

 

A lifetime of being prescribed antidepressants that caused problems (30 years in total). At age 35 flipped to "bipolar," but was not diagnosed for 5 years. Started my journey in Midwest United States. Crossed the Pacific for love and hope; currently living in Australia.   CT Seroquel 25 mg some time in 2013.   Tapered Reboxetine 4 mg Oct 2013 to Sept 2014 = GONE (3 years on Reboxetine).     Tapered Lithium 900 to 475 MG (alternating with the SNRI) Jan 2014 - Nov 2014, tapered Lithium 475 mg Jan 2015 -  Feb 2016 = GONE (10 years  on Lithium).  Many mistakes in dry cutting dosages were made.


The tedious thread (my intro):  JanCarol ☼ Reboxetine first, then Lithium

The happy thread (my success story):  JanCarol - Undiagnosed  Off all bipolar drugs

My own blog:  https://shamanexplorations.com/shamans-blog/

 

 

I have been psych drug FREE since 1 Feb 2016!

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MisterKarenB

Hi Jan

Thanks for all those thoughts, this one;

 

"Psoriasis in particular is about a fear of being hurt, a way to deaden the senses of yourself, a denial of feeling."

 

really hit the nail on the head for me, definitely something for me to follow up.

I'm feeling really itchy right now so can't type much but I really appreciate all the information you've put together for me.

2001 Fluoxetine 3 mths, cold Turkey.  2002 Fluoxetine 6-9 mths. Not working, cold Turkey.
2010 April - Sept: Citalopram 20mg, cold Turkey. Oct-Feb 2011 75mg Dothiapin. Mar 2011 Effexor 150mg. Occasional mild itching, became strong itching mid 2015
2015 Monthly reductions of 10% of original dose (15mg) in November, sometimes with longer holds. Very itchy with burning sensation over summer (southern hemisphere)

27 March 2016: 90mg.  Areas of hot/itchy skin slowly increasing. Glad summer is over.

mid August: 30mg. Change pill size from 75mg to 37.5mg. All hell breaks loose.

mid September: 15mg (a 50% cut) - all hell breaks loose again.

mid November: still hasn't calmed down, contemplating a reinstatement but summer is coming. Very worried.

late November:  reinstate to 20mg, very successful - within 10 days symptoms become very mild. 

Dec 2016-Feb 2017: missed 2-3 doses, symptoms get worse then better.  April:  Symptoms revert to very strong all the time.

Link to post
  • Moderator

But wait, there's more!

 

There was a bit of a mod discussion, trying to figure out what was going on with you, and whether or not you should updose - or other suggestions.

 

The conclusion of the mods is that you probably shouldn't updose, that you may be approaching tachyphylaxis.  That's a fancy word for having to keep increasing dose, or "poop out."  That the doses aren't working like they used to.  Updosing may lead to the need for further updosing, and that's a scary prospect.  So nearly all the mods said, "please hold," and "if it were me, I wouldn't updose." 

 

I talked about getting a Vitamin D profile, because the D-Doctor, Michael Holick, uses vitamin D to treat psoriasis.  He recommends topical mega dosing for psoriasis, but it would be a good idea to get a blood profile done before fiddling around with it.  He gives a talk about it, here:  Michael Holick - The D-lightful Vitamin D for Good Health  I can get an inexpensive Vit D oil from iHerb in America, and slather it on my rough spots.  It's very sticky, so there's not much doing while waiting for it to absorb.

 

Have you tried Aloe?  MammaP suggested aloe juice for soothing those itches and healing your skin.  

 

Your lovely wife mentioned some swollen ankles and feet, and BrassMonkey talked about getting your kidneys checked out.  He suggested salt / electrolyte intake (I am fond of pink salt and coconut water for my electrolytes), as well as lots of tomatoes (if you don't react to them) and dandelion root.  If you are concerned about your kidneys, I'm a big fan of Barley Water:  http://survivinganti...311#entry220311    I was told by my acupuncturist to use it to nourish my kidneys when I was having trouble - and - as always lots of good, clean water is good for them, too.

 

How do I know when my kidneys are acting up?  My urine is dark and smelly, my skin is less pliant, my mouth is dry, I need to urinate more often, these are all signs of dehydration.  

 

I hate to mention it but swollen ankles remind me of circulation, cardiovascular, and diabetes type issues, too.  Maybe some Legs Up on the Wall Yoga will help that?  Legs on the wall - switch off your nerves, calm and heal

 

So this is the summary of what moderators were talking about.  The conclusion was - we need to look for something besides an updose, and I'm sorry - but I think it may be quite a challenge to unlock the solution to your symptoms.  I wish I had a magic wand or a spell, that you could click your heels 3 times and say "I will itch no more!"

 

I hope you see the sun today!

"Easy, easy - just go easy and you'll finish." - Hawaiian Kapuna

 

Holding is hard work, holding is a blessing. Give your brain time to heal before you try again.

 

My suggestions are not medical advice, you are in charge of your own medical choices.

 

A lifetime of being prescribed antidepressants that caused problems (30 years in total). At age 35 flipped to "bipolar," but was not diagnosed for 5 years. Started my journey in Midwest United States. Crossed the Pacific for love and hope; currently living in Australia.   CT Seroquel 25 mg some time in 2013.   Tapered Reboxetine 4 mg Oct 2013 to Sept 2014 = GONE (3 years on Reboxetine).     Tapered Lithium 900 to 475 MG (alternating with the SNRI) Jan 2014 - Nov 2014, tapered Lithium 475 mg Jan 2015 -  Feb 2016 = GONE (10 years  on Lithium).  Many mistakes in dry cutting dosages were made.


The tedious thread (my intro):  JanCarol ☼ Reboxetine first, then Lithium

The happy thread (my success story):  JanCarol - Undiagnosed  Off all bipolar drugs

My own blog:  https://shamanexplorations.com/shamans-blog/

 

 

I have been psych drug FREE since 1 Feb 2016!

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  • 2 weeks later...
MisterKarenB

Thanks for all of that Jan - and to the other mods for giving their thoughts too.  I am going to continue to hold as you've suggested. 

 

I saw the doctor and got tests done for my kidneys, heart, liver, and sodium.  They all came back fine, which is good.  The doctor suggested that swelling can be a result of the skin itself being in such bad condition - the blood vessels are weakened and start to leak fluid.  He also looked up side-effects of effexor and saw 'severe skin irration.'  Whereas the last doctor I saw dismissed any possible connection.  I'm being referred to a dermatologist.    

 

Karen mentioned that very occasionally a person doesn't seem to stabilise and so they just have to start decreasing anyway.  She thinks give it a good few months before I consider myself at that point though.

 

So for now, I'm trying to keep everything stable as possible.  Somebody suggested drinking a mixture of citrus and baking soda to combat the itchiness.  I've tried that for 2 days now, and today was slightly more bearable ('bad' rather than 'hideous').  One intriguing thing is how when as soon as I sit in the sun (which lately I can do without over heating since it's now autumn) the itching and need to move around completely go away - it's a huge relief, and it kicks in immediately.  Perhaps this correlates with the vitamin D idea you mention above.  I'm seeing doctor again soon, so I could ask for a vitamin d test then.  Though the actual areas of affected skin haven't lessened with the sun, it's just the symptoms stop while the sun is on me. 

 

Thanks again for everyone's input - it's invaluable. 

2001 Fluoxetine 3 mths, cold Turkey.  2002 Fluoxetine 6-9 mths. Not working, cold Turkey.
2010 April - Sept: Citalopram 20mg, cold Turkey. Oct-Feb 2011 75mg Dothiapin. Mar 2011 Effexor 150mg. Occasional mild itching, became strong itching mid 2015
2015 Monthly reductions of 10% of original dose (15mg) in November, sometimes with longer holds. Very itchy with burning sensation over summer (southern hemisphere)

27 March 2016: 90mg.  Areas of hot/itchy skin slowly increasing. Glad summer is over.

mid August: 30mg. Change pill size from 75mg to 37.5mg. All hell breaks loose.

mid September: 15mg (a 50% cut) - all hell breaks loose again.

mid November: still hasn't calmed down, contemplating a reinstatement but summer is coming. Very worried.

late November:  reinstate to 20mg, very successful - within 10 days symptoms become very mild. 

Dec 2016-Feb 2017: missed 2-3 doses, symptoms get worse then better.  April:  Symptoms revert to very strong all the time.

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