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Nicki1722: Effexor withdrawal


Nicki1722

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Hello. I have been on Effexor for 16 years of my life, 6 of those at 300mg and the rest at 37.5mg (I was able to taper off of it for a few months but started it back up) recently, After a horrible and stressful marriage coming to an end last November I began having problems with being tired. I assumed it was my depression tearing it's ugly head as it had before so my psychiatrist increased my Effexor from 37mg to 75mg, as I had done in the past with success. However, I did not note any improvement.

 

She then, in the same week, increased it up to 112.5mg. I became overly emotional and unable to work. I cried all the time and could not function, not to mention I was suicidal! I immediately lowered the dose back down to 75mg then to 112.5mg over the course of a few days. I immediately began to feel better once it got out of my system after a few days. However, the fatigue crept back up.

 

After trying to just stay on the 37.5mg i was still struggling daily. My pdoc decided to try Lexapro. After A month of hell and anxiety she then switched me to Zoloft. After being dizzy for a week I had to discontinue that as well.

 

I was left with no guidance (my pdoc was on vacation) so I decided to just not take anything. I almost immediately went into horrible withdrawal. I'm not sure what exactly from but my symptoms tamed from insomnia to lethargy, with brain zaps and mental fogginess. I restarted taking 18.7g of Effexor after continuing to have worsening symptoms. That was 10 days ago. I felt normal at first, brain zaps are gone but in general I just don't feel right.

 

My brain is foggy, anxious, red face in the afternoons. I don't feel good. Today I've been having some crazy suicidal thoughts too as I've been struggling for 6 months now. What should I do? Hang in there, increase Effexor, decrease it? I'm stuck in limbo feeling awful and cannot get back to feeling like a normal human being.

Edited by scallywag
paragraph breaks for clarity

Quick rundown of med changes. Originally put on Effexor in High School. Probably 2002? Got up to 300mg. In 2009 was able to successfully taper off Effexor with no real problems. Went back on 4 months later after a very bad depressive episode. 2010 Started back on 37.5mg Effexor and did wonderfully. Until 2016.

2/9/16 Effexor 75mg 2/12/16 Effexor 112.5mg 3/3Effexor 75mg 3/12 effexor 37.5mg3/22/16 Lexapro 5mg 3/29/16 10mg lexapro4/10/16 started 50mg Zoloft 4/17/16 stopped Zoloft 4/30/16-5/5/16 Prozac 5/7/16 restarted 18.75mg (20 beads) Effexor. 6/6 to 6/13 attempted Prozac bridge again. 6/16 Effexor 12 beads 7/10 13 beads 7/19 20 beads 7/30 14 beads 10/17 started 1mg celexa in addition to 14 beads Effexor 10/18 2mg celexa 14 beads 10/20 5mg celexa, 14 beads

11/4 stopped Effexor, stopped celexa, started 50mg zoloft

2/2 dropped Zoloft 10% to 45mg 2/20 back to 50mg 3/3 75 mg Zoloft 3/23 reinstated effexor 37.5mg Zoloft to 50mg and tapering zoloft

4/5 75mg Effexor, no Zoloft 

4/10 150mg Effexor

 

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I forgot to add that I also began working with a naturopathic doctor that has instructed me to take Deproloft HF, probiotic pills, vitamin d, and fish oil daily. She truly believes that she will get me through this because right now I feel like a strung out drug addict trying to recover, which in actuality I am!

Quick rundown of med changes. Originally put on Effexor in High School. Probably 2002? Got up to 300mg. In 2009 was able to successfully taper off Effexor with no real problems. Went back on 4 months later after a very bad depressive episode. 2010 Started back on 37.5mg Effexor and did wonderfully. Until 2016.

2/9/16 Effexor 75mg 2/12/16 Effexor 112.5mg 3/3Effexor 75mg 3/12 effexor 37.5mg3/22/16 Lexapro 5mg 3/29/16 10mg lexapro4/10/16 started 50mg Zoloft 4/17/16 stopped Zoloft 4/30/16-5/5/16 Prozac 5/7/16 restarted 18.75mg (20 beads) Effexor. 6/6 to 6/13 attempted Prozac bridge again. 6/16 Effexor 12 beads 7/10 13 beads 7/19 20 beads 7/30 14 beads 10/17 started 1mg celexa in addition to 14 beads Effexor 10/18 2mg celexa 14 beads 10/20 5mg celexa, 14 beads

11/4 stopped Effexor, stopped celexa, started 50mg zoloft

2/2 dropped Zoloft 10% to 45mg 2/20 back to 50mg 3/3 75 mg Zoloft 3/23 reinstated effexor 37.5mg Zoloft to 50mg and tapering zoloft

4/5 75mg Effexor, no Zoloft 

4/10 150mg Effexor

 

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  • Moderator Emeritus
SquirrellyGirl

Hello Nicki - welcome to SA!

 

It sounds like you are indeed in withdrawal from Effexor.  You have a complicated history, with upping the dose and then switching to wo other meds before doing a cold turkey quit.  What would help us is if you could fill out your signature block.  This allows everyone who visits your thread to see your history at a glance, rather than reading through all the posts.  Instructions for how to do that are here:

 

Please put your Withdrawal History in Signature

 

You can bookmark your Intro to find it more easily, and click Follow above to be notified when someone comments on your thread.

 

I am putting your case to the mods to figure out the next best step for you since your situation is a little complicated.  Likely we will recommend reinstating a very small dose of Effexor to ease withdrawal symptoms.  This would be a much smaller dose than you have ever taken, with the goal of easing symptoms without triggering side effects or adverse reactions.  It sounds like Effexor pooped out on you after many years of use, and you only discovered that when put under the stress of your divorce.   When poop-out occurs, we become sensitized to the drug and changes can go paradoxical, which may be why you felt so much worse when you increased to 112.5 mg.  I know that it may make no sense to you why you should take a drug that wasn't working anymore, but even though that was the case, you are still in withdrawal from it and the best fix in that case is the drug you're withdrawing from.

 

How long were you on 75 mg, when you didn't feel any difference?  How long have you been off all the drugs?  Are you taking any other prescription drugs at this time?

 

I am providing you with some links to information that will help explain what withdrawal is, what has happened to your nervous system after years of taking Effexor and more.   This is your thread to document your journey so once you have read these links, please come back and answer those questions and ask any you may have.

 

Introduction to AD Withdrawal Syndrome

About reinstating and stabilizing to reduce withdrawal symptoms
Why taper by 10% of my dosage?

Brain Remodelling (Rhi's Description of Brain Healing)

 

It is good that you are taking fish oil; in addition to fish oil, the only other supplement we recommend is Magnesium

 

These links will be helpful in understanding the emotional fall-out you are experiencing:

 

Neuro Emotions
Non-drug techniques to cope with emotional symptoms

 

Hang tight and we'll see you back here!

SG

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

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

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

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

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

 

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

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

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SquirrellyGirl

I wanted to ask, when you began feeling tired after the divorce, was that the ONLY symptom you were having before increasing the dose of Effexor?  How was your nighttime sleep?  How did the tiredness manifest itself?

 

Thanks!

SG

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

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

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

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

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

 

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

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

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Ok so right now i am currently taking 18.75mg of Effexor. I reinstated 10 days ago and am not back to where I was before. I don't have brain zaps but I feel constantly strung out, on edge and overall just outright weird.

 

When I decided to mess with the Effexor in the first place the tiredness was more like lethargy. I felt like I had weights on my arms and walking seemed like a task. Along with my divorce I also made some big yet positive changes in my life. I really slowed down on drinking alcohol (I definitely was borderline alcoholic if not complete) and I began working out. So when I began having problems I was so confused because I was making positive changes in my life!

 

I tried 75mg for maybe a week before my doctor increased it up to 112.5mg. I started to really think she did not know what she was doing. In the past I had asked her how I would stop my low dose of 37.5mg Effexor and she told me I would simply stop taking it. I've read that you can go from Effexor to another ssri (as i tried and failed at) but I really think my nervous system is so screwed up from that initial drop in Effexor that the side effects with everything else were awful! So in the beginning of this nightmare I just wanted to feel good again but now I'm stuck feeling horrible on and off of Effexor, so I don't know what to do but hope something gives.

Edited by JanCarol
white space for clarity

Quick rundown of med changes. Originally put on Effexor in High School. Probably 2002? Got up to 300mg. In 2009 was able to successfully taper off Effexor with no real problems. Went back on 4 months later after a very bad depressive episode. 2010 Started back on 37.5mg Effexor and did wonderfully. Until 2016.

2/9/16 Effexor 75mg 2/12/16 Effexor 112.5mg 3/3Effexor 75mg 3/12 effexor 37.5mg3/22/16 Lexapro 5mg 3/29/16 10mg lexapro4/10/16 started 50mg Zoloft 4/17/16 stopped Zoloft 4/30/16-5/5/16 Prozac 5/7/16 restarted 18.75mg (20 beads) Effexor. 6/6 to 6/13 attempted Prozac bridge again. 6/16 Effexor 12 beads 7/10 13 beads 7/19 20 beads 7/30 14 beads 10/17 started 1mg celexa in addition to 14 beads Effexor 10/18 2mg celexa 14 beads 10/20 5mg celexa, 14 beads

11/4 stopped Effexor, stopped celexa, started 50mg zoloft

2/2 dropped Zoloft 10% to 45mg 2/20 back to 50mg 3/3 75 mg Zoloft 3/23 reinstated effexor 37.5mg Zoloft to 50mg and tapering zoloft

4/5 75mg Effexor, no Zoloft 

4/10 150mg Effexor

 

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SquirrellyGirl

I somehow missed that you had already reinstated.  May have been too high of a reinstatement dose.  Will see what the others have to say...

 

SG

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

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

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

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

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

 

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

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

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Great thank you so so much. I was wondering if it was too high of a dose.

Quick rundown of med changes. Originally put on Effexor in High School. Probably 2002? Got up to 300mg. In 2009 was able to successfully taper off Effexor with no real problems. Went back on 4 months later after a very bad depressive episode. 2010 Started back on 37.5mg Effexor and did wonderfully. Until 2016.

2/9/16 Effexor 75mg 2/12/16 Effexor 112.5mg 3/3Effexor 75mg 3/12 effexor 37.5mg3/22/16 Lexapro 5mg 3/29/16 10mg lexapro4/10/16 started 50mg Zoloft 4/17/16 stopped Zoloft 4/30/16-5/5/16 Prozac 5/7/16 restarted 18.75mg (20 beads) Effexor. 6/6 to 6/13 attempted Prozac bridge again. 6/16 Effexor 12 beads 7/10 13 beads 7/19 20 beads 7/30 14 beads 10/17 started 1mg celexa in addition to 14 beads Effexor 10/18 2mg celexa 14 beads 10/20 5mg celexa, 14 beads

11/4 stopped Effexor, stopped celexa, started 50mg zoloft

2/2 dropped Zoloft 10% to 45mg 2/20 back to 50mg 3/3 75 mg Zoloft 3/23 reinstated effexor 37.5mg Zoloft to 50mg and tapering zoloft

4/5 75mg Effexor, no Zoloft 

4/10 150mg Effexor

 

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  • Administrator

I forgot to add that I also began working with a naturopathic doctor that has instructed me to take Deproloft HF, probiotic pills, vitamin d, and fish oil daily. She truly believes that she will get me through this because right now I feel like a strung out drug addict trying to recover, which in actuality I am!

 

Hi, Nicki. Welcome to the forum from me, too.

 

Deproloft HF contains 5 HTP - https://www.thorne.com/products/neurological-support/dp/deproloft-hf

 

Here is some info off the forum on 5 HTP stating it's not recommended to combine a SSRI with 5 HTP http://survivingantidepressants.org/index.php?/topic/9933-5-htp-5-hydroxytryptophan-and-l-tryptophan/

 

 

This is the report off the drug interaction checker - 

 

Major Interaction:   venlafaxine  5-hydroxytryptophan

Applies to: Effexor (venlafaxine), 5-HTP (5-hydroxytryptophan)

Using 5-hydroxytryptophan together with venlafaxine is generally not recommended. Combining these medications can increase the risk of a rare but serious condition called the serotonin syndrome, which may include symptoms such as confusion, hallucination, seizure, extreme changes in blood pressure, increased heart rate, fever, excessive sweating, shivering or shaking, blurred vision, muscle spasm or stiffness, tremor, incoordination, stomach cramp, nausea, vomiting, and diarrhea. Severe cases may result in coma and even death. You should contact your doctor immediately if you experience these symptoms while taking the medications. It is important to tell your doctor about all other medications you use, including vitamins and herbs. Do not stop using any medications without first talking to your doctor.  http://www.drugs.com/interactions-check.php?drug_list=1-10727,2296-1524

 

This may be ramping up your symptoms. When did you start taking this? 

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.

 

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I started this last Thursday.

Quick rundown of med changes. Originally put on Effexor in High School. Probably 2002? Got up to 300mg. In 2009 was able to successfully taper off Effexor with no real problems. Went back on 4 months later after a very bad depressive episode. 2010 Started back on 37.5mg Effexor and did wonderfully. Until 2016.

2/9/16 Effexor 75mg 2/12/16 Effexor 112.5mg 3/3Effexor 75mg 3/12 effexor 37.5mg3/22/16 Lexapro 5mg 3/29/16 10mg lexapro4/10/16 started 50mg Zoloft 4/17/16 stopped Zoloft 4/30/16-5/5/16 Prozac 5/7/16 restarted 18.75mg (20 beads) Effexor. 6/6 to 6/13 attempted Prozac bridge again. 6/16 Effexor 12 beads 7/10 13 beads 7/19 20 beads 7/30 14 beads 10/17 started 1mg celexa in addition to 14 beads Effexor 10/18 2mg celexa 14 beads 10/20 5mg celexa, 14 beads

11/4 stopped Effexor, stopped celexa, started 50mg zoloft

2/2 dropped Zoloft 10% to 45mg 2/20 back to 50mg 3/3 75 mg Zoloft 3/23 reinstated effexor 37.5mg Zoloft to 50mg and tapering zoloft

4/5 75mg Effexor, no Zoloft 

4/10 150mg Effexor

 

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  • Administrator

If it were me, I would stop taking the Deproloft HF, since it's only been six days, and see if some of your symptoms subside. Once the CNS has been compromised by psychiatric drugs, a lot of people become really sensitive to any type of supplement. And this particular supplement involves serotonin, so it's best to be extremely cautious. 

 

Please keep us updated. 

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.

 

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I have to say I felt just as bad without taking the Deproloft. I had been taking the 18.75 mg reinstated dose of Effexor for 4 days before starting Deproloft. Maybe I reinstated too much Effexor? Heck if I know.

Quick rundown of med changes. Originally put on Effexor in High School. Probably 2002? Got up to 300mg. In 2009 was able to successfully taper off Effexor with no real problems. Went back on 4 months later after a very bad depressive episode. 2010 Started back on 37.5mg Effexor and did wonderfully. Until 2016.

2/9/16 Effexor 75mg 2/12/16 Effexor 112.5mg 3/3Effexor 75mg 3/12 effexor 37.5mg3/22/16 Lexapro 5mg 3/29/16 10mg lexapro4/10/16 started 50mg Zoloft 4/17/16 stopped Zoloft 4/30/16-5/5/16 Prozac 5/7/16 restarted 18.75mg (20 beads) Effexor. 6/6 to 6/13 attempted Prozac bridge again. 6/16 Effexor 12 beads 7/10 13 beads 7/19 20 beads 7/30 14 beads 10/17 started 1mg celexa in addition to 14 beads Effexor 10/18 2mg celexa 14 beads 10/20 5mg celexa, 14 beads

11/4 stopped Effexor, stopped celexa, started 50mg zoloft

2/2 dropped Zoloft 10% to 45mg 2/20 back to 50mg 3/3 75 mg Zoloft 3/23 reinstated effexor 37.5mg Zoloft to 50mg and tapering zoloft

4/5 75mg Effexor, no Zoloft 

4/10 150mg Effexor

 

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  • Administrator

Maybe, it's really hard to say. Some other mods will stop by and other members who are also tapering Effexor and offer support and information. 

 

For now, perhaps stop the Deproloft HF and give your CNS some time to settle and then re-evaluate to see if you should decrease the Effexor a bit more.

 

If you did reinstate too much Effexor, then you definitely will want to get off the Deproloft, since it's increasing your serotonin even more. 

 

You may want to spend some time with this section of the forum - lots of great ways of handling symptoms without meds which will help calm your CNS: 

 

Non-drug techniques to cope with emotional symptoms

 

 

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.

 

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Thank you so much! I definitely will read into this section. Another question I have off the top of my head is that if Effexor withdrawal has to do with the brain attempting to reshape itself without the med blocking the serotonin receptors, then wouldn't the 5-HTP help (if not on an SSRI)? I was thinking it would possibly help the withdrawing because it would assist with the serotonin production that my brain was lacking. But I can definitely understand if the Effexor AND 5-HTP are working then serotonin syndrome could occur.

Quick rundown of med changes. Originally put on Effexor in High School. Probably 2002? Got up to 300mg. In 2009 was able to successfully taper off Effexor with no real problems. Went back on 4 months later after a very bad depressive episode. 2010 Started back on 37.5mg Effexor and did wonderfully. Until 2016.

2/9/16 Effexor 75mg 2/12/16 Effexor 112.5mg 3/3Effexor 75mg 3/12 effexor 37.5mg3/22/16 Lexapro 5mg 3/29/16 10mg lexapro4/10/16 started 50mg Zoloft 4/17/16 stopped Zoloft 4/30/16-5/5/16 Prozac 5/7/16 restarted 18.75mg (20 beads) Effexor. 6/6 to 6/13 attempted Prozac bridge again. 6/16 Effexor 12 beads 7/10 13 beads 7/19 20 beads 7/30 14 beads 10/17 started 1mg celexa in addition to 14 beads Effexor 10/18 2mg celexa 14 beads 10/20 5mg celexa, 14 beads

11/4 stopped Effexor, stopped celexa, started 50mg zoloft

2/2 dropped Zoloft 10% to 45mg 2/20 back to 50mg 3/3 75 mg Zoloft 3/23 reinstated effexor 37.5mg Zoloft to 50mg and tapering zoloft

4/5 75mg Effexor, no Zoloft 

4/10 150mg Effexor

 

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  • Moderator Emeritus

Hello Nicki,

 

I'm tapering efexor too, so wanted to welcome you to SA.  Sometimes it can take a while to sort through a person's history and figure what will best help them, but we will get there in the end.  Thanks for the added detail in your signature - it really helps. 

 

I've just been reading through your notes, and as SG and yourself have said, your Central Nervous System has definitely been destabilised. 

 

You did well to reinstate.  You said the zaps have stopped, and that is a good sign.  I would be inclined hold for a bit longer at 18.75 and give things a chance to settle further.  If you are sleeping okay, that is also good. 

 

Karen

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

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

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

8 month hold.

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

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

My story of healing:ContinuedHealing

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

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

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You did well to reinstate.  You said the zaps have stopped, and that is a good sign.  I would be inclined hold for a bit longer at 18.75 and give things a chance to settle further.  If you are sleeping okay, that is also good. 

 

Karen

These were my thoughts also.

 

Welcome Nicki.

Well done on finding SA.

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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So this morning I had a sudden depressive episode then it lifted and I felt better. Is this normal? It kind of reminded me when my pdoc increased my Effexor and I was feeling sad and could cry at the drop of a dime.

Quick rundown of med changes. Originally put on Effexor in High School. Probably 2002? Got up to 300mg. In 2009 was able to successfully taper off Effexor with no real problems. Went back on 4 months later after a very bad depressive episode. 2010 Started back on 37.5mg Effexor and did wonderfully. Until 2016.

2/9/16 Effexor 75mg 2/12/16 Effexor 112.5mg 3/3Effexor 75mg 3/12 effexor 37.5mg3/22/16 Lexapro 5mg 3/29/16 10mg lexapro4/10/16 started 50mg Zoloft 4/17/16 stopped Zoloft 4/30/16-5/5/16 Prozac 5/7/16 restarted 18.75mg (20 beads) Effexor. 6/6 to 6/13 attempted Prozac bridge again. 6/16 Effexor 12 beads 7/10 13 beads 7/19 20 beads 7/30 14 beads 10/17 started 1mg celexa in addition to 14 beads Effexor 10/18 2mg celexa 14 beads 10/20 5mg celexa, 14 beads

11/4 stopped Effexor, stopped celexa, started 50mg zoloft

2/2 dropped Zoloft 10% to 45mg 2/20 back to 50mg 3/3 75 mg Zoloft 3/23 reinstated effexor 37.5mg Zoloft to 50mg and tapering zoloft

4/5 75mg Effexor, no Zoloft 

4/10 150mg Effexor

 

Link to post

Nikki.    It's all part of the healing process and the windows and waves pattern. Psych drugs create peturbations in neurotransmitter functions, and this is just your brain trying to reach homeostasis again after a period of instability. The brain goes through a series of compensatory adaptations. As your system settles, this symptom should , as well. It can take a while though, and in my case , at least , even after you think it's disappeared , it can just as suddenly reappear . 

Try not to worry. It's the healing in action.

Many SSRI's and SSNRI's over 20 years. Zoloft for 7 years followed by Effexor, Lexapro, Prozac, Cymbalta, Celexa, Pristiq, Valdoxan, Mianserin and more - on and off. No tapering. Cold turkey off Valdoxan - end of May 2014

 

                                                  Psych Drug - free since May 2014
.
         

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You all are so wonderful for replying to my post. I've been trudging along just trying to stay distracted and get through all of this.

Quick rundown of med changes. Originally put on Effexor in High School. Probably 2002? Got up to 300mg. In 2009 was able to successfully taper off Effexor with no real problems. Went back on 4 months later after a very bad depressive episode. 2010 Started back on 37.5mg Effexor and did wonderfully. Until 2016.

2/9/16 Effexor 75mg 2/12/16 Effexor 112.5mg 3/3Effexor 75mg 3/12 effexor 37.5mg3/22/16 Lexapro 5mg 3/29/16 10mg lexapro4/10/16 started 50mg Zoloft 4/17/16 stopped Zoloft 4/30/16-5/5/16 Prozac 5/7/16 restarted 18.75mg (20 beads) Effexor. 6/6 to 6/13 attempted Prozac bridge again. 6/16 Effexor 12 beads 7/10 13 beads 7/19 20 beads 7/30 14 beads 10/17 started 1mg celexa in addition to 14 beads Effexor 10/18 2mg celexa 14 beads 10/20 5mg celexa, 14 beads

11/4 stopped Effexor, stopped celexa, started 50mg zoloft

2/2 dropped Zoloft 10% to 45mg 2/20 back to 50mg 3/3 75 mg Zoloft 3/23 reinstated effexor 37.5mg Zoloft to 50mg and tapering zoloft

4/5 75mg Effexor, no Zoloft 

4/10 150mg Effexor

 

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  • Administrator
Altostrata

Welcome, Nikki.

 

Please keep notes on paper of your daily symptom pattern, when you take your drugs, and their dosages.

 

This helps determine if a drug is helping or hurting. It may take some weeks before you stabilize.

 

While you are so shaky, it's best not to add psychoactive supplements or herbs, it confuses the situation.

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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  • Moderator Emeritus
SquirrellyGirl

You all are so wonderful for replying to my post. I've been trudging along just trying to stay distracted and get through all of this.

 

That is very good - those who focus and fret over their symptoms tend to stay stuck in waves longer, it seems.  Self-care and Acceptance are the best approach, and distraction is right in there :-)

 

I think we mods are all in agreement that it would be best to sit with this reinstatement a good while, You will want to give it a good couple of months to allow your system to get stabilized with the reinstatement before starting to taper, but of course let us know how you are doing and as Alto said, keep daily notes of your symptom pattern so that you can see if you are moving towards stabilization or need more or less.

 

The serotonergic meds may be lovely for someone who isn't in withdrawal, but I can say from my own experience that taking 5-htp or tryptophan and Sam-E were NOT helpful in my protracted withdrawal and likely caused me to have mild serotonin syndrome when I quit them one day and reinstated a small amount of Effexor the next day....I was using them thinking that I was "replacing" the Effexor, but they did not stop the tidal wave!

 

SG

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

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

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

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

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

 

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

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

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  • Administrator

So this morning I had a sudden depressive episode then it lifted and I felt better. Is this normal? It kind of reminded me when my pdoc increased my Effexor and I was feeling sad and could cry at the drop of a dime.

 

 

Oh yes, that pattern is very common during withdrawal and recovery. Alto wrote this post in a thread about early morning anxiety (and other symptoms) - http://survivingantidepressants.org/index.php?/topic/33-waking-with-panic-or-anxiety-managing-cortisol-spikes/?p=1595

 

She mentions blocking out light in your bedroom and / or using a sleep mask. I found using a sleep mask really helps. 

 

Also, if you can eat a healthy breakfast soon after waking up, that may help with drops in blood sugar. Your comment about "distraction" is also a good way of handling it. 

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.

 

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I am eight months off Effexor, I tapered off  over 18 months from an initial dose of 375mg and I have been off it completely for 8 months, I am now in the horrors bad for the first time, I have had a few stressors in my life. But I haven't felt this bad since I was in the middle of tapering. Just wondering has anyone had a similar experience.

I am off all meds 16 months I had been on olanzapine, Effexor zanex and assorted sleeping meds for approx 2 years.

Weaned off 375 mg effexor over two years, I had previously come off xanax, rivotrill and olazapine. Reinstated 75mg of effexor on the 22/12/16

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Unfortunately I never eat breakfast and I am always waking up before the sun is out. But possibly

If I get up earlier I can run and/or eat breakfast to control that cortisol spike. Also, I seem to have had a good morning ALL morning. Very refreshing. I would like to think I'm starting to stabilize a little bit. I still am having some anxiety but it's more due to the fact that I'm worrying about how I've felt the past few months. It's so weird that after you experience something (as in the debilitating anxiety I had with being on Lexapro) I feel like I worry about feeling that again. I need to do some CB therapy and not think that way! But honestly I feel it opens up a door I wish was never opened. But I guess I can have more empathy for those with anxiety now! I never understood anxiety before, only depression.

Quick rundown of med changes. Originally put on Effexor in High School. Probably 2002? Got up to 300mg. In 2009 was able to successfully taper off Effexor with no real problems. Went back on 4 months later after a very bad depressive episode. 2010 Started back on 37.5mg Effexor and did wonderfully. Until 2016.

2/9/16 Effexor 75mg 2/12/16 Effexor 112.5mg 3/3Effexor 75mg 3/12 effexor 37.5mg3/22/16 Lexapro 5mg 3/29/16 10mg lexapro4/10/16 started 50mg Zoloft 4/17/16 stopped Zoloft 4/30/16-5/5/16 Prozac 5/7/16 restarted 18.75mg (20 beads) Effexor. 6/6 to 6/13 attempted Prozac bridge again. 6/16 Effexor 12 beads 7/10 13 beads 7/19 20 beads 7/30 14 beads 10/17 started 1mg celexa in addition to 14 beads Effexor 10/18 2mg celexa 14 beads 10/20 5mg celexa, 14 beads

11/4 stopped Effexor, stopped celexa, started 50mg zoloft

2/2 dropped Zoloft 10% to 45mg 2/20 back to 50mg 3/3 75 mg Zoloft 3/23 reinstated effexor 37.5mg Zoloft to 50mg and tapering zoloft

4/5 75mg Effexor, no Zoloft 

4/10 150mg Effexor

 

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  • Moderator

Thank you so much! I definitely will read into this section. Another question I have off the top of my head is that if Effexor withdrawal has to do with the brain attempting to reshape itself without the med blocking the serotonin receptors, then wouldn't the 5-HTP help (if not on an SSRI)? I was thinking it would possibly help the withdrawing because it would assist with the serotonin production that my brain was lacking. But I can definitely understand if the Effexor AND 5-HTP are working then serotonin syndrome could occur.

 

Imagine that your effexor was a warm bath for your nerve endings.  Maybe a warm jello bath, that helped hold your neurons up, and had a certain flavour that they came to expect.

 

As the bath went away, the neurons got exposed to the cold air, and are hypersensitive.  Additionally, with all the drug changes, your homeostasis doesn't quite know whether it is coming or going - so doesn't know whether to up-regulate or down-regulate or both.  Very confusing.  It's best to Keep It Simple Slow and Stable:  3 KIS's Keep It Simple, Slow, Stable

 

Putting ANYthing on them in that state can be irritating, whether it is warm or cold, sweet or sour - or even the same warm jello that was there before.

(does that make sense? This is imagery, not science! but it is my hope that it helps you understand about sensitivity)

 

This sensitivity might include running.  Usually gentle exercise is recommended in withdrawal, especially SSRI / SNRI withdrawal.  Like yoga, tai chi, chi gung, walking.  Sometimes the sunlight is too much.  I would also question your vitamin D which can be overstimulating in withdrawal.  I'm a HUGE fan of vitamin D for mood and health, but in withdrawal, sometimes, it's just too much.  See how others have reacted to D here:  http://survivingantidepressants.org/index.php?/topic/39-vitamin-d3-cholecalciferol-or-calcitriol/

 

Cortisol spikes can  wake people up around 3:30 - 5:30 am.  Before the sun is up.  But some p

eople get a spike again at the first crack of dawn.

 

Also, it might help you to read how others experience and cope with the Waves and Windows pattern of recovery:  Waves and Windows

 

Here is a little video to explain how it works:

Healing from Antidepressants: Patterns of Recovery (Toxic Antidepressants)

 

and some cartoons to help you put words to your experience:

Withdrawal Dialogues - cartoons to encourage you

 

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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Thank you! I'll continue trudging on.

Quick rundown of med changes. Originally put on Effexor in High School. Probably 2002? Got up to 300mg. In 2009 was able to successfully taper off Effexor with no real problems. Went back on 4 months later after a very bad depressive episode. 2010 Started back on 37.5mg Effexor and did wonderfully. Until 2016.

2/9/16 Effexor 75mg 2/12/16 Effexor 112.5mg 3/3Effexor 75mg 3/12 effexor 37.5mg3/22/16 Lexapro 5mg 3/29/16 10mg lexapro4/10/16 started 50mg Zoloft 4/17/16 stopped Zoloft 4/30/16-5/5/16 Prozac 5/7/16 restarted 18.75mg (20 beads) Effexor. 6/6 to 6/13 attempted Prozac bridge again. 6/16 Effexor 12 beads 7/10 13 beads 7/19 20 beads 7/30 14 beads 10/17 started 1mg celexa in addition to 14 beads Effexor 10/18 2mg celexa 14 beads 10/20 5mg celexa, 14 beads

11/4 stopped Effexor, stopped celexa, started 50mg zoloft

2/2 dropped Zoloft 10% to 45mg 2/20 back to 50mg 3/3 75 mg Zoloft 3/23 reinstated effexor 37.5mg Zoloft to 50mg and tapering zoloft

4/5 75mg Effexor, no Zoloft 

4/10 150mg Effexor

 

Link to post

So even if I stayed on my dose of 18.75mg of Effexor for awhile am I ever going to feel better? I feel so hopeless right now. I can't see the light at the end of the tunnel. I don't even care at this point if I have to stay on something.

Quick rundown of med changes. Originally put on Effexor in High School. Probably 2002? Got up to 300mg. In 2009 was able to successfully taper off Effexor with no real problems. Went back on 4 months later after a very bad depressive episode. 2010 Started back on 37.5mg Effexor and did wonderfully. Until 2016.

2/9/16 Effexor 75mg 2/12/16 Effexor 112.5mg 3/3Effexor 75mg 3/12 effexor 37.5mg3/22/16 Lexapro 5mg 3/29/16 10mg lexapro4/10/16 started 50mg Zoloft 4/17/16 stopped Zoloft 4/30/16-5/5/16 Prozac 5/7/16 restarted 18.75mg (20 beads) Effexor. 6/6 to 6/13 attempted Prozac bridge again. 6/16 Effexor 12 beads 7/10 13 beads 7/19 20 beads 7/30 14 beads 10/17 started 1mg celexa in addition to 14 beads Effexor 10/18 2mg celexa 14 beads 10/20 5mg celexa, 14 beads

11/4 stopped Effexor, stopped celexa, started 50mg zoloft

2/2 dropped Zoloft 10% to 45mg 2/20 back to 50mg 3/3 75 mg Zoloft 3/23 reinstated effexor 37.5mg Zoloft to 50mg and tapering zoloft

4/5 75mg Effexor, no Zoloft 

4/10 150mg Effexor

 

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  • Moderator Emeritus

Nicki, I'm sorry that today is so difficult for you.  Not seeing any "light at the end of the tunnel" is discouraging. 

 

I was on Effexor for two periods of 2 years or more. The first time I was taking 37.5 mg twice a day of the original immediate release tablet.  I unfortunately don't remember how I came off it and how I felt, but I did come off it and felt well.  A few years later, after an extended period of stressful work and family situations, I went back to my GP and got a prescription for Effexor XR.  It helped for a while and then I decided to stop it.  I did a fast taper and had frequent inexplicable intense crying sessions.  They too passed and with time (less than a year) I felt well again. 

 

Why am I here then? Well another s**t-storm of stressful and tragic situations occurred in a very short period of time. Each on its own would be upsetting and potentially destabilizing. The cascade left me very much off my normal ability to cope. It was recommended that I take an anti-depressant  --Cymbalta this time -- and for better or worse I did so. I am hopeful that I will get of this now too.

 

I'm tapering off and relatively symptom free, I'm building routines that nourish and support my well-being.  I hope you'll have windows when you can do that.

 

Many people have gone off Effexor and recovered.  You will too.  (((hugs)))

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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I think that's half the reason I'm so fed up. I've come off of 300mg of Effexor around 2010 (?) and did fine for about 4 months then had a very depressive episode while in school. So I guess I'm trying to figure out why I'm having such problems this go around. I guess I did go through a few meds in a short time span and ultimately quit cold turkey in the end. I just have a hard time not feeling well for 6 months! Makes me think it'll never end.

Quick rundown of med changes. Originally put on Effexor in High School. Probably 2002? Got up to 300mg. In 2009 was able to successfully taper off Effexor with no real problems. Went back on 4 months later after a very bad depressive episode. 2010 Started back on 37.5mg Effexor and did wonderfully. Until 2016.

2/9/16 Effexor 75mg 2/12/16 Effexor 112.5mg 3/3Effexor 75mg 3/12 effexor 37.5mg3/22/16 Lexapro 5mg 3/29/16 10mg lexapro4/10/16 started 50mg Zoloft 4/17/16 stopped Zoloft 4/30/16-5/5/16 Prozac 5/7/16 restarted 18.75mg (20 beads) Effexor. 6/6 to 6/13 attempted Prozac bridge again. 6/16 Effexor 12 beads 7/10 13 beads 7/19 20 beads 7/30 14 beads 10/17 started 1mg celexa in addition to 14 beads Effexor 10/18 2mg celexa 14 beads 10/20 5mg celexa, 14 beads

11/4 stopped Effexor, stopped celexa, started 50mg zoloft

2/2 dropped Zoloft 10% to 45mg 2/20 back to 50mg 3/3 75 mg Zoloft 3/23 reinstated effexor 37.5mg Zoloft to 50mg and tapering zoloft

4/5 75mg Effexor, no Zoloft 

4/10 150mg Effexor

 

Link to post

Hi Nicki......I hope that you are having some relief from the WD.

I more or less cold turkeyed from Effexor and it has been a tough time. 

However I am beginning to have some better days......We do all recover though sometimes it is very slow. 

 

Cheering you on and and all Best Wishes 

 

Bruin

Anti Depressants for  25 years. Valium between 2006 to 7 tapered off over a month without too bad withdrawals.

For last 15 years 150 mg of Effexor and 30 mg of Mirtazapine. Occasional short term benzo use without habituation.

March 2015 stopped Effexor after rapid taper. 6 weeks. 

One month fluoxetine June 2015...stopped CT July 2015.

October 2013 to December 2015 Zopiclone 15 mg at night,

Dec 2015 to Early March 2016 Lyrica 75 mg at night. 

Stopped too quickly as  adverse side effects.

January to May 2016 tapered Zopiclone to 7.5mg 

Crossed over to Valium and now ..March 28th 2017 Benzo Free.

Also on 30 mg Mirtazapine and holding until have finished Benzo taper.

IN protracted WD from Effexor.

 

Link to post

After speaking with my mother (bad day, call mom) a lot of my problems actually really flared up when my local pharmacy changed the manufacturer of venlafaxine without notifying me when I first had the increase to 75mg (there were two times). After I determined that the manufacturer was different (could tell within a week) I then went back to 37.5mg. Could that have something to do with how unstable I became? I guess I'm just fishing for answers but it doesn't really matter at this point. I want to further add that my naturopath requested I stop my birth control so that may have some play into how emotionally distraught I was today. Dispite that I am going to reinstate a little more Effexor because I was having horrid thoughts all day.

Quick rundown of med changes. Originally put on Effexor in High School. Probably 2002? Got up to 300mg. In 2009 was able to successfully taper off Effexor with no real problems. Went back on 4 months later after a very bad depressive episode. 2010 Started back on 37.5mg Effexor and did wonderfully. Until 2016.

2/9/16 Effexor 75mg 2/12/16 Effexor 112.5mg 3/3Effexor 75mg 3/12 effexor 37.5mg3/22/16 Lexapro 5mg 3/29/16 10mg lexapro4/10/16 started 50mg Zoloft 4/17/16 stopped Zoloft 4/30/16-5/5/16 Prozac 5/7/16 restarted 18.75mg (20 beads) Effexor. 6/6 to 6/13 attempted Prozac bridge again. 6/16 Effexor 12 beads 7/10 13 beads 7/19 20 beads 7/30 14 beads 10/17 started 1mg celexa in addition to 14 beads Effexor 10/18 2mg celexa 14 beads 10/20 5mg celexa, 14 beads

11/4 stopped Effexor, stopped celexa, started 50mg zoloft

2/2 dropped Zoloft 10% to 45mg 2/20 back to 50mg 3/3 75 mg Zoloft 3/23 reinstated effexor 37.5mg Zoloft to 50mg and tapering zoloft

4/5 75mg Effexor, no Zoloft 

4/10 150mg Effexor

 

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  • Moderator Emeritus

That certainly could be it.  Other members here have had problems when switched from one generic manufacturer to another. I wish I could remember who posted about this; s/he said that s/he asked that the pharmacy put the requirement for one specific generic manufacturer of the drug on file and that s/he reminds the pharmacy every prescription.

 

Going on or off hormonal birth control affects more than just the ovaries and has probably had an effect on you as well.

 

When did you switch (unbeknownst to you) drug manufacturers?

Were you using oral contraceptives, implants, IUD or injections?  When did you stop?

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

Link to post

So the manufacturer was switched right when I attempted to do an increase from 37.5mg to 75mg back in November. This is around the time when I began to unravel. I wonder if that pushed me just enough off balance that it's affected me ever since then. After reading about Windows and waves I think I was having those after I came back down to my original dose of 37.5mg after increasing to 112.5mg. I would have a few good days. Then a couple bad days. Then a good one and so forth. Maybe my brain was just trying to recover from all my mental stress and medication increases.

Quick rundown of med changes. Originally put on Effexor in High School. Probably 2002? Got up to 300mg. In 2009 was able to successfully taper off Effexor with no real problems. Went back on 4 months later after a very bad depressive episode. 2010 Started back on 37.5mg Effexor and did wonderfully. Until 2016.

2/9/16 Effexor 75mg 2/12/16 Effexor 112.5mg 3/3Effexor 75mg 3/12 effexor 37.5mg3/22/16 Lexapro 5mg 3/29/16 10mg lexapro4/10/16 started 50mg Zoloft 4/17/16 stopped Zoloft 4/30/16-5/5/16 Prozac 5/7/16 restarted 18.75mg (20 beads) Effexor. 6/6 to 6/13 attempted Prozac bridge again. 6/16 Effexor 12 beads 7/10 13 beads 7/19 20 beads 7/30 14 beads 10/17 started 1mg celexa in addition to 14 beads Effexor 10/18 2mg celexa 14 beads 10/20 5mg celexa, 14 beads

11/4 stopped Effexor, stopped celexa, started 50mg zoloft

2/2 dropped Zoloft 10% to 45mg 2/20 back to 50mg 3/3 75 mg Zoloft 3/23 reinstated effexor 37.5mg Zoloft to 50mg and tapering zoloft

4/5 75mg Effexor, no Zoloft 

4/10 150mg Effexor

 

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  • Moderator Emeritus

Hello Nikki,

 

it seems you are beginning to connect the dots. One other thing that is important to realise when our CNS is destabilised is that more is not necessarily better. Quite the contrary, increasing the dose often makes symptoms worse because we are suffering from destabilisation primarily nad not so much from lack of a certain dose.

 

Reinstating doesn't take all the symptoms away immediately. Actually nothing can but if it produces a relief as it seemed to do in your case by making zaps go away that's  avery good sign. It shows you are on teh right track and should just continue. It's important not to react to symptoms by changing the dose because that just increases destabilisation.

 

I'm glad to see that you found the concept of windows and waves useful. Try to look at your symptoms in those terms and just give yourself time. If you reinstated on May 7 and experienced a relief there will is more healing happening. It just takes time because it is a bit like healing a bone and not taking antibiotics...

 

Whenever you are tempted to change a dose, give it some time. I bet you will see that the symptoms will decrease after a while (but unfortunately come back again but every time weaker and shorter).

 

Let us know how you are doing.

 

Best,

Bubble

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

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

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

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

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

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Thank you Bubble. I'm also reacting because I had a very, very bad day yesterday. I was having thoughts like I can not go on like this for much longer. It scares me when thoughts like that pop up. But I know they are irrational and I have to push them to the side.

Quick rundown of med changes. Originally put on Effexor in High School. Probably 2002? Got up to 300mg. In 2009 was able to successfully taper off Effexor with no real problems. Went back on 4 months later after a very bad depressive episode. 2010 Started back on 37.5mg Effexor and did wonderfully. Until 2016.

2/9/16 Effexor 75mg 2/12/16 Effexor 112.5mg 3/3Effexor 75mg 3/12 effexor 37.5mg3/22/16 Lexapro 5mg 3/29/16 10mg lexapro4/10/16 started 50mg Zoloft 4/17/16 stopped Zoloft 4/30/16-5/5/16 Prozac 5/7/16 restarted 18.75mg (20 beads) Effexor. 6/6 to 6/13 attempted Prozac bridge again. 6/16 Effexor 12 beads 7/10 13 beads 7/19 20 beads 7/30 14 beads 10/17 started 1mg celexa in addition to 14 beads Effexor 10/18 2mg celexa 14 beads 10/20 5mg celexa, 14 beads

11/4 stopped Effexor, stopped celexa, started 50mg zoloft

2/2 dropped Zoloft 10% to 45mg 2/20 back to 50mg 3/3 75 mg Zoloft 3/23 reinstated effexor 37.5mg Zoloft to 50mg and tapering zoloft

4/5 75mg Effexor, no Zoloft 

4/10 150mg Effexor

 

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  • Moderator Emeritus

We have to learn an amazing lot about calming ourselves and surviving more horror than we ever thought would be possible.

 

But there is that miracle point which happens when you all of a sudden feel better WITHOUT having done anything to your drug. It is so liberating and empowering. I hope you experience that soon!

 

I also find it helpful to identify the source of increase in my symptoms. It makes them more manageable and less scarry. And recognising your thoughts as yet another withdrawal symptom that you need to accept and then just move on is a very important step as well. These are all extermely powerful coping strategies all of us have to adopt for a successful clash with the drugs... And you are doing it!  

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

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

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

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

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

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  • Moderator Emeritus
SquirrellyGirl

Thank you Bubble. I'm also reacting because I had a very, very bad day yesterday. I was having thoughts like I can not go on like this for much longer. It scares me when thoughts like that pop up. But I know they are irrational and I have to push them to the side.

 

Good job Nicki - I know it is hard but wow, such self-nurturing is wonderful to see!  I am glad that you have that self-awareness.  Many don't and get caught up in the secondary fear.  

 

SG

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

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

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

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

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

 

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

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

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  • ChessieCat changed the title to Nicki1722: Effexor withdrawal

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