Jump to content

Kay: Wanting to Get Off Effexor


Recommended Posts

hello, I am 54 and have been on antidepressants for a bit longer than 10 years. I have been on 75mg of Venlafaxine XR (Effexor XR same thing) for most of those years. I am currently taking some supplements (recommended on a commercial site/program) in preparation for starting a taper of the Venlafaxine.

 

Seven years ago, I also began to develop a neck condition, an involuntary spasm on the right side of my neck. This has been diagnosed as Spastic Torticollis, also called Cervical Dystonia. I've had this for seven years now, and recently, doing google searches for the illness and the drug, have found a few connections between the two. So I'm even more anxious to finally get off the Effexor if I can.

 

I started reducing the Effexor last year, dividing manually myself the granules in the capsules and counting them. My sleep got worse, and then I had another physical reaction, so I went back up to 75mg and have continued on that dosage since. My sleep continues to be a problem, and I'm taking the supplements (Day 19 today on the supplements) in hope it will improve and stabilize. We'll see! 

 

My main health problems are the neck condition, and the problem with sleep.

Aug.22.2019 20mg | July.4.2019 20.5mg | May.16.2019 22mg | Mar.28.2019 23.5mg | Feb.7.2019 25mg | Dec.20.2018 26.5mg | Nov.1.2018 28.5mg | Sept.13.2018 30.5mg | July.26.2018 32mg | June.7.2018 33.5mg | Apr.19.2018 35.14mg | Mar.1.2018 37mg | Jan.11.2018 39mg | Nov.2.2017 41mg. | Sept.21.2017 stepping down to 43mg. Aug.10.17 45mg. | June 1.17 47mg.| Apr.20.17 50mg | Feb.12.17 53mg  | Jan.1.17 56mg | Nov.9.16 59mg | Sept.1.16 62mg | June 16 .16 65mg.  May 21 2016 Stepped down to Venlafaxine 70mg. 

April 22 2016 switched from Venlafaxine XR 75mg to: different brand, Venlafaxine non-extended release 75mg. Been taking Effexor XR 75mg. many years. Tried reducing last year, began having bad side effects. 

Link to comment
  • Moderator Emeritus

Hi Kay, and welcome to SA.

 

It's really great that you have found this site.  The members are very supportive and encouraging and there is a wealth of information.  To search the site it is best to use a search engine and type in survivingantidepressants.org + topic.

 

You do need to be careful when taking supplements during withdrawal as some of them can be activating.  If you do want to try things it is best to do so one at a time so you can tell what is causing an issue if there is a problem.  It is also a good idea to stop drinking coffee and cola drinks and alcohol.  Is Effexor the only drug you are currently taking?  If you are taking others, please include them in your signature.  Include drugs, dates, doses how you decreased/increased.  Thanks.  It is also a good idea to update your signature each time you change your dosage so that your drug history remains current.

 

SA recommends a 10% taper of the previous dose followed by a 4-6 week holding period to stabilise.  This allows the brain to adapt to not getting as much of the drug.

 

Introduction to AD Withdrawal Syndrome

Why taper by 10% of my dosage?

 

Tips for tapering off Effexor (venlafaxine)

 

Sleep Problems

 

Magnesium
 

Omega-3 Fish Oil

 

You might also find these things help you to understand why a slow taper is recommended:

 

Brain Remodelling


Video:  Healing From Antidepressants - Patterns of Recovery

 

Please use your Intro/Update to ask questions about your own situation and as a journal of your progress.

Please DO NOT TAG me - thank you

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

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

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

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

 VIDEO:   Antidepressant Withdrawal Syndrome and its Management

Link to comment
  • Moderator Emeritus

Hello Kay,

 

I see you've had some experience with tapering effexor already - it's not easy is it?  I'm tapering effexor also. 

 

For how long have you been back on the 75mg?  Do you feel you've stabilised at that level?

 

When you are good and stable again, you could start tapering more gently by 10% of your dosage each month.  Though if you are concerned that may be too much, you could try 5% drops.  Listening to your body is the key - you can go as slowly as you need to. 

 

Welcome to s/a,

Karen

 

Edit: I wrote this before, had to go out, then came back and pressed 'post' without seeing CC's post, so it doubles up a bit.

Edited by KarenB

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
  • Moderator Emeritus

Hi Kay, 

 

What kind of reduction were you doing before when you counted the beads?

 

I know my sleep was never great while on Effexor, 12 years for me.

 

As for supplements, have you made any observations since starting them, good or bad?  What exactly are they?  A lot of folks find B vitamins to be too activating, certainly not helping with sleep.  The two main supplements that folks on this site find helpful are magnesium and fish oil.  Magnesium can help with anxiety and sleep issues.

 

You have lots of company coming off Effexor!  I have been reducing very slowly after a miserable failure to come off, putting me into 10 months of protracted withdrawal before ending up back on.  I reinstated at 37.5 mg and am down to 25.5 mg, and doing well with the taper.  This AD in particular needs to be handled with kid gloves, and if you have been on it any number of years, it seems to require a very slow taper, 10% or less per month.  As KarenB mentioned, the best thing is to listen to your body, meaning that if any withdrawal symptoms come up, you would certainly not want to make another cut while symptomatic.  It is important to keep physical notes of symptom patterns, dates of cuts and by how much, etc, so that you can see when wd arise after a cut, how long they hang around, and then give yourself a good couple of weeks of stability before making another reduction.  If symptoms are severe and disruptive, then you'd want to back off the amount of the cut.  Some have a good result doing a 5% reduction every two weeks.  The idea is to keep yourself comfortable through the wd process so that you can continue to function, to live your life.

 

Welcome to SA!

SG

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

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

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

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

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

 

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

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

Link to comment
  • Moderator Emeritus

Please DO NOT TAG me - thank you

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

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

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

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

 VIDEO:   Antidepressant Withdrawal Syndrome and its Management

Link to comment
  • Moderator Emeritus

Hi Kay , welcome to the site.

It sounds like you went off too fast last year , and the result was the "physical reaction".

 

"I started reducing the Effexor last year, dividing manually myself the granules in the capsules and counting them. My sleep got worse, and then

I had another physical reaction, so I went back up to 75mg and have continued on that dosage since."

 

Please could you give details of how you tapered , dates / dosages , what you got down to , when you went back up.

 

If you click FOLLOW at the to 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

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