Jump to content

Kris108 - Effexor/Venlafaxine IR, XR, conversions and related stuff


Kris108

Recommended Posts

Hello dear friends!

 

Let me introduce myself by saying I've been to hell and back a few times already due to inability to live with permanent post-surgical back pain and the resulting depression with more than a pinch of insomnia... 

 

I have a question about Venlafaxine/Effexor.

Does anyone know if it is possible to turn XR (extended release) capsules of Venlafaxine into an instant release version of the drug? By dissolving it in warm water, for example? Where I live, the only available version is XR, and it would be much easier to manage if I could first  begin to reduce my evening dosage, which would among other things improve my sleep. I don't want to add Mirtazapine/Seroquel/Amitr. into the mix because of their side effects, and Pregabalin that I also take is not strong enough to counter the insomnia of Venlafaxine (or earlier Duloxetine/Cymbalta)...

I hope this hasn't been too incoherent.

 

Thanks for any input

Been on Tramadol, Duloxetine, Mirtazepine, Amitryptiline, Bupropion, Sulpiride, etc for chronic back pain, depression, insomnia, chronic fatigue...

Venlafaxine is the current drug of choice.

Link to comment

Welcome Kris

You might like to have a read of this thread

Tips for tapering off Effexor (venlafaxine)

 

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 comment
  • Moderator Emeritus

Hello Kris,

 

Effexor is a nasty drug isn't it?  Sorry you're having trouble with sleep.  I'm tapering Effexor, and I have trouble with sleep sometimes too (which is why I'm typing now at 4am NZ time).

 

NZ gave you a really good link to start with.  When you say that you'd like to start by reducing your evening dose, does that mean you take Effexor in two doses per day?  If so, it's important that they are each the same amount, otherwise you can destabilise your Central Nervous System.  

 

We don't recommend that you start any other drugs - this site is to support people who are getting off drugs.  Two supplements that can help during withdrawal are magnesium and fish-oil.  Magnesium is good before bed to help with sleep. 

 

I'm unsure about changing extended-release into regular.  If you want more control over doses, and to be able to reduce by smaller amounts, the usual way is to get micro-scales and weigh out the beads inside the capsules.  We recommend tapering by no more than 10% monthly

 

I hope that gives you some useful info.  Please feel free to come back to this thread, which can be your tapering journal, and ask any more questions. 

 

Welcome to s/a

Karen

2010  Fluoxetine 20mg.  2011  Escitalopram 20mg.  2013 Tapered badly and destabilised CNS.  Effexor 150mg. 

2015 Begin using info at SurvivingAntidepressants.  Cut 10% - bad w/d 2 months, held 1 month. 

Micro-tapering: four weekly 0.4% cuts, hold 4 weeks (struggling with symptoms).

8 month hold.

2017 Micro-tapering: four weekly 1% cuts, hold 4 weeks (symptoms almost non-existent).

2020 Still micro-tapering. Just over 2/3 of the way off effexor. Minimal symptoms, - and sleeping well.
Supplements: Fish oil, vitamin C, iron, oat-straw tea, nettle tea.

My story of healing:ContinuedHealing

***I am not a doctor; please do your own research and be able to take responsibility for decisions you make.*** 

           'The possibility of renewal exists so long as life exists.'  Dr Gabor Mate.

Link to comment
  • Administrator

Hi, Kris. 

 

Like Karen said, it's best not to add additional meds for sleep. Sometimes these meds turn paradoxical and you may not realize this until dependency has set in. I've experienced this and it's brutal to be trapped on a drug that's working against you. 

 

This is a really good thread with information about many non-drug ways of getting sleep during withdrawal:

 

http://survivingantidepressants.org/index.php?/topic/555-tips-to-help-sleep-so-many-of-us-have-withdrawal-insomnia/

 

There's tons of information and links, so you may wish to book mark it to read as you feel up to it. 

 

Welcome to the forum. You'll find a lot of information and support here. 

 

Drug free May 22, 2015 after 30 years of neuroleptics, benzos, z-drugs, so-called "anti"-depressants, and amphetamines 

 

My Success Story:  Shep's Success: "Leaving Plato's Cave"

 

And what is good, Phaedrus, and what is not good — need we ask anyone to tell us these things? ~ Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance


I am not a medical professional and this is not medical advice, but simply information based on my own experience, as well as other members who have survived these drugs.

 

Link to comment

Hi Kris .   Effexor  X R   can not be made into a liquid , but as you get lower you could switch to regular Effexor in liquid form .

 

What is your dose , and also when do you take it  ?   Do you split the dose ?  it sounds like you do .  I t would be helpful if you could put a little more information , in your drug history signature.   That way everyone can see  what is going on , and offer more help . You are in  the right place for that support.

 

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
.
         

Link to comment
  • Moderator Emeritus

Hi Kris , welcome to the site.

 

Ditto to AliG's post. When we have more information we can make some suggestions.

 

If you click FOLLOW at the top right , you'll receive an email each time someone posts here.

 

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

Link to comment

Thank you.

I was in fact referring to a part of that thread, nz11, especially this part:

 

 

Convert from venlafaxine XL or Effexor XR to regular tablets

Especially in the last leg of your taper, when you might be down to a few beads of Effexor XR, you may wish to switch from an extended-release version to regular Effexor so you can make a liquid from it to make very small reductions.

 

Because of its short half-life, taking regular Effexor as a tablet or liquid necessitates taking the tablets every 12 hours.

 

If you are taking brand-name Effexor XR, use the bead-counting method until you get down to 37.5mg, then convert to regular Effexor and make a liquid from it to finish the taper, taking doses at least twice a day.

Been on Tramadol, Duloxetine, Mirtazepine, Amitryptiline, Bupropion, Sulpiride, etc for chronic back pain, depression, insomnia, chronic fatigue...

Venlafaxine is the current drug of choice.

Link to comment
  • Moderator Emeritus

1987-1997 pertofran , prothiaden , Prozac 1997-2002 Zoloft 2002-2004 effexor 2004-2010 Lexapro 40mg

2010-2012Cymbalta 120mg

Sept. 2012 -decreased 90mg in 6months. Care taken over by Dr Lucire in March 2013 , decreased last 30mg at 2mg per week over 3 months. July 21 , 2013- last dose of Cymbalta

Protracted withdrawal syndrome kicked in badly Jan.2014 Unrelenting akathisia until May 2014. Voluntary hosp. admission. Cocktail of Seroquel, Ativan and mirtazapine and I was well enough to go home after 14 days. Stopped all hosp. meds in next few months.

July 2014 felt v.depressed - couldn't stop crying. Started pristiq 50mg. Felt improvement within days and continued to improve, so stayed on 50mg for 8 months.

Began taper 28 Feb. 2015. Pristiq 50mg down to 45mg. Had one month of w/d symptoms. Started CES therapy in March. No w/d symptoms down to 30mg.

October 2015 , taking 25mg Pristiq. Capsules compounded with slow-release additive.

March 2016 , 21mg

Link to comment
  • Moderator Emeritus

 

I have a question about Venlafaxine/Effexor.

Does anyone know if it is possible to turn XR (extended release) capsules of Venlafaxine into an instant release version of the drug? By dissolving it in warm water, for example? Where I live, the only available version is XR, and it would be much easier to manage if I could first  begin to reduce my evening dosage, which would among other things improve my sleep. 

 

Welcome Kris, 

 

Everyone else has answered the question about the XR, but I am curious if you are taking the XR twice a day.  My understanding of the XR version is that it allows once a day dosing, where with the immediate release, the half life is so short as to need 2 x day dosing.  Since Effexor is activating, and messes up sleep, it is best to take the XR in the morning.  Did your doctor set you up to take it in the PM?

 

SG

Started ADs back around 1995 after bad break-up, starting with Prozac.  Switched to Wellbutrin, and then to Effexor in 2002
Effexor XR 2002-2014 up to 225 mg at one point, down to 37.5 mg towards end but back up to 75 mg in 2014; now realize I had W/D as I dropped down, memory very poor about history.  Extreme emotions, poor concentration as I stepped back down, didn't connect the dots!
Summer 2014 reduced to 0 very quickly, was sick of anhedonia/sexual dysfunction due to meds, depression never controlled if not worse. Didn't recognize WD since symptoms built slowly (thought I had ADD! and menopausal on top of it), starting with severe sweats, very bad cog-fog and memory issues, culminating in weight loss, severe anxiety and depression, panic, severe apathy and insomnia by eight months off.  Saw p-doc who put me on Remeron, increased from 7.5 mg/day to 37.5 mg by May 22, 2015; still doing very badly though able to sleep.

June 1. 2015 Reinstated Effexor XR 37.5 mg, Remeron dropped to 30 mg PM. Immediate relief of symptoms, like nothing had ever happened!  Joined SA and began on advice of friend who recognized it was WD all along! Began tapering in July 2015.

Been tapering both meds ever since, focusing on one more than the other or doing no more than 5% of each per month.

12 mg Effexor and 5.8 mg Remeron (mirtazapine SolTabs to make a solution with OraPlus) as of 5/4/2017 

Update 3/14/18: 2.9 mg Remeron and 6 mg Effexor; 6/10/18:  2.6 mg Remeron and 4.9 mg Effexor

 

My intro: http://survivingantidepressants.org/index.php?/topic/9313-squirrellygirl-effexor-withdrawal-etc/page-2#entry196679

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

Link to comment

No, just once a day in the morning, but I could reduce the dosage and improve my sleep at the same time, if I could take a quarter of the instant release dose in the morning, and a quarter in the afternoon (and then nothing at night). Quitting altogether is not a realistic option for me as my depression isn't entirely curable since I live with incurable post-surgical back pain (6 years ago) that worsens if I don't take any drug that increases norepinephrine and at least a little bit of serotonin (bupropion made me feel angry)... 

 

I apologize for not being very clear.

 

Another option that I could explore would be a higher dosage of St-John's wort since permanently trying to buy prescription medication from abroad (IR of Venlafaxine) isn't a realistic option...

Been on Tramadol, Duloxetine, Mirtazepine, Amitryptiline, Bupropion, Sulpiride, etc for chronic back pain, depression, insomnia, chronic fatigue...

Venlafaxine is the current drug of choice.

Link to comment

Thanks, Fresh. Is the pharmacy you linked to - meds-easy - reliable? And is the stated generic Effexor an instant release version? I usually check for dosing info (3-times a day vs once) to know, but can't find the info in that website...

Been on Tramadol, Duloxetine, Mirtazepine, Amitryptiline, Bupropion, Sulpiride, etc for chronic back pain, depression, insomnia, chronic fatigue...

Venlafaxine is the current drug of choice.

Link to comment
  • Moderator Emeritus

I'm in Australia Kris and I don't use a Slovenian pharmacy ... it was a suggestion you may wish to investigate.

I googled "slovenia effexor buy online"

1987-1997 pertofran , prothiaden , Prozac 1997-2002 Zoloft 2002-2004 effexor 2004-2010 Lexapro 40mg

2010-2012Cymbalta 120mg

Sept. 2012 -decreased 90mg in 6months. Care taken over by Dr Lucire in March 2013 , decreased last 30mg at 2mg per week over 3 months. July 21 , 2013- last dose of Cymbalta

Protracted withdrawal syndrome kicked in badly Jan.2014 Unrelenting akathisia until May 2014. Voluntary hosp. admission. Cocktail of Seroquel, Ativan and mirtazapine and I was well enough to go home after 14 days. Stopped all hosp. meds in next few months.

July 2014 felt v.depressed - couldn't stop crying. Started pristiq 50mg. Felt improvement within days and continued to improve, so stayed on 50mg for 8 months.

Began taper 28 Feb. 2015. Pristiq 50mg down to 45mg. Had one month of w/d symptoms. Started CES therapy in March. No w/d symptoms down to 30mg.

October 2015 , taking 25mg Pristiq. Capsules compounded with slow-release additive.

March 2016 , 21mg

Link to comment

Another option that I could explore would be a higher dosage of St-John's wort

Are you implying that you are currently taking Ven and SJW together. and now you are going to up the SJW further?

 

Its recommended that you dont take these together. It could possibly lead to a rare but serious condition called serotonin syndrome.

 

If all you currently have available is XR ven. I assume they are the beads right?  Then in the meantime you could taper by counting the beads. Many people are tapering by removing beads.

 

No, just once a day in the morning, but I could reduce the dosage and improve my sleep at the same time, if I could take a quarter of the instant release dose in the morning, and a quarter in the afternoon (and then nothing at night).

That sounds like a 50% reduction and that is not recommended here. sa rec a 10% per month of previous dose reduction.

 

Quitting altogether is not a realistic option for me as my depression isn't entirely curable since I live with incurable post-surgical back pain (6 years ago) that worsens if I don't take any drug that increases norepinephrine and at least a little bit of serotonin (bupropion made me feel angry)...

I am sorry you have to live with pain.

Did you know that long term use of these drugs actually can cause depression. You may think that your depression is incurable when in fact you have simply confused withdrawal from a too fast taper or CT with depression (drug induced wdl depression is one of many  classic wdl symptoms and it can go on for many many months) and then tried to relieve it with yet another drug.

Are there other relief options for pain you could consider other than psychotropic drugs?

If making 50 % cuts has been the norm in the past then no wonder you have had trouble withdrawing from these drugs.

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 comment

No - St.John's Wort as a substitute for pharmaceutical antidepressants, not as an add-on.

 

No, I have never made 50 percent cuts overnight, the idea was to get there gradually (not 10 percent monthly, though,more like 20 percent - sorry, but some of us don'tneed it that slow, at least in this case when it's mostly related to pain)

 

I did explore more than 15 options of pain management and possible cure during the first 4 years after the surgery, but I had a slightly botched surgery and my pain is the result of too much cutting (to put it simply) and now not a single therapist admits a possibility of much improvement.

I exercise daily - especially strengthening the muscles that support the spine - and that reduces the depression by a tiny bit as well, but I'm always going to need drugs, it's just a matter of which and how much. You see, I have joint AND muscle pain from morning to night 365 days a year, and any worsening of mood makes the pain feel worse, which then further worsens the mood etc... Some people DO need antidepressants their whole lives. Not many, but there are cases such as mine, and it's important to say it, because you get morons all over the internet, who say that no one should use them.

 

As a note - I've never in my life abused any drugs, and the strongest substance I was addicted to before the back pain was milk tea. I had tried a life without painkillers and ADs for sometime after the surgery, but was not able to work as a result (not a taper - I'm talking more than one year of complete abstinence).

Been on Tramadol, Duloxetine, Mirtazepine, Amitryptiline, Bupropion, Sulpiride, etc for chronic back pain, depression, insomnia, chronic fatigue...

Venlafaxine is the current drug of choice.

Link to comment

Thanks for the clarification

 

.. the idea was to get there gradually (not 10 percent monthly, though,more like 20 percent - sorry, but some of us don't need it that slow, at least in this case when it's mostly related to pain)

 

Kris i would like to push back on this viewpoint. I totally understand how and why one would think this; its being used off-label so i dont need to worry about the withdrawal effects.

 

I would like to tell you that SSRI/SNRIs are no respecter off reasons for prescribing, and after what appears to be  6 yrs? of cumulative psychotropic drug use you will need to taper slowly and i would guess at the 10% rate. Especially if the aim of the game is to keep your mood stable. Believe me you do not want to trigger full blown withdrawal symptoms.

 

I believe that with longer term use and switchings it slowly becomes more difficult to get off these drugs. So what i am saying is because you may have got off easily in the past the game can now subsequently change.

i might have missed it but i cant seem to see what dose you are on? 37.5mg?

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 comment
  • Moderator Emeritus

If you plan to stay on a small dose of effexor , than you don't need the instant release.

Why not just taper down on the extended release and go as low as you feel comfortable with.

 

"No, just once a day in the morning, but I could reduce the dosage and improve my sleep at the same time, if I could take a quarter of the instant release dose in the morning, and a quarter in the afternoon (and then nothing at night). "

It shouldn't make a difference Kris.

You might try melatonin if you need help with sleep , or explore some non-drug methods of intervention.

See our sleep threads here

http://survivingantidepressants.org/index.php?/topic/555-tips-to-help-sleep-so-many-of-us-have-withdrawal-insomnia/

http://survivingantidepressants.org/index.php?/topic/53-sleep-problems-that-awful-withdrawal-insomnia/

http://survivingantidepressants.org/index.php?/topic/6122-guided-meditations-calming-videos-sleep-hypnosis/

 

bw , 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

Link to comment

Please sign in to comment

You will be able to leave a comment after signing in



Sign In Now
×
×
  • Create New...

Important Information

Terms of Use Privacy Policy