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Melleli venlafaxine withdrawal


Melleli

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After six years on 75 mg of Venlafaxine xr for anxiety/depression I decided to taper off the med. On the advice of my GP I tapered off skipping days over a two week period. I now know how harmful this was. It has been 3 1/2 months since my last dose. I have experienced the "Windows and waves" of feeling great and then horrible. Two weeks ago I began having severe anxiety, depression, and crying constantly. It has been nonstop for two weeks. I can't eat, I can hardly function. Can this still be withdrawal since I stopped so suddenly? Should I reinstate at a very small dose and then try tapering once withdrawal is under control or is it too late for that?? I am desperate as I cannot go on feeling like this! Please help!

I was on 75 mg of venlafaxine xr starting about six years ago. It was upped to 150mg about 3 years ago and then decreased again to 75 mg about 1 1/2 years ago. I started to wean off in February 2016 and tapered per GP directions....I don't remember exactly, but something like take one, skip a day, take one, skip two days up to skipping three days and then stopping. This was done in about two weeks or a little less! I was able to endure the windows and waves for 3 1/2 months although it wasn't easy. Now, however, my symptoms are magnified and constant. Severe anxiety, nausea, shaking, inability to eat, basically unable to function for two weeks now. I am taking magnesium supplements and just started omega 3 two days ago. I was taking b complex but stopped a few days ago because I was worried it was making anxiety worse.

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Yes, Melleli, this is likely withdrawal. Hopefully a moderator will come along soon to tell you exactly what to do, but I imagine you will be advised to re-instate at a very low dose, enough to ease your withdrawal symptoms. Meanwhile, know that this WILL get better, and you are in exactly the right place. Hope and healing on its way!

 

Graces

amitriptyline from 1980-2002, along wi/ intermittent, infrequent use of benzos over 2 decades

2002-2010 Klonopin 1-2 mg., ambien 10--20, mg, remeron 4 mg. and  trileptal 300 mg

2011 Stopped ambien and crossed over to valium 17.5 mg. (updosing 2.5 mg. to cover ambien C/T ) tapered valium w/ long holds to 12.74 mg.

2015-present  tapered from 300 mg. trileptal to 103 mg.;  12.74 valium,  4 mg. remeron

 

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  • Moderator Emeritus

Hello Melleli, welcome to SA!

 

We always start with asking new members to please fill out their signature block with their med history, including taper schedule with dates as best you can recall.  This allows to reference your history with each of your posts so that we don't have to go digging for details. Update your signature as changes are made:  Please put your Withdrawal History in Signature.  Please include all meds, including OTC, that you are taking.

 

This is your thread to journal your experience and ask questions about your particular situation.  Bookmark your page so you can find it more easily.  By clicking "Follow" above, you will be notified when anyone responds to your thread.

 

I'm sorry that you are feeling so horrible right now.  Yes, what you are experiencing is a very classic withdrawal presentation.  We can start off ok right after coming off, perhaps have some physical symptoms, but then months out get hit with the worst depression and anxiety you've ever felt in your life!

 

Introduction to AD Withdrawal Syndrome

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

 

You are likely experiencing the Windows and Waves Pattern of Stabilization and Neuro Emotions.  I love this post explaining what is happening in the brain: What is happening in your brain?

 

It is written about benzos but really applies to all psych meds since all the neruotransmitter systems are interdependent; a change in one system leads to changes in others.

 

We usually do recommend reinstatement when a member has come off fairly recently.  You are on the cusp of when a reinstatement is generally encouraged.  The further out you get, the less likely it is to work, and we always recommend starting with a very small dose if you choose to try it, sort of a toe in the water to see if your nervous system has become sensitized.  If a reinstatement makes you feel worse right off the bat, do not continue.  

 

Please read the links I gave you and come back with questions!

 

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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Welcome Melleli.........Went through the same thing with Venlafaxine....Definitely WD.   

Great advice from SG.......You will get through this.     

 

All the Best 

 

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.

 

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Thank you all for your quick responses! The links were helpful. Is it possible to get some more specific advice taylored to me as far as how to reinstate? Thank you!

I was on 75 mg of venlafaxine xr starting about six years ago. It was upped to 150mg about 3 years ago and then decreased again to 75 mg about 1 1/2 years ago. I started to wean off in February 2016 and tapered per GP directions....I don't remember exactly, but something like take one, skip a day, take one, skip two days up to skipping three days and then stopping. This was done in about two weeks or a little less! I was able to endure the windows and waves for 3 1/2 months although it wasn't easy. Now, however, my symptoms are magnified and constant. Severe anxiety, nausea, shaking, inability to eat, basically unable to function for two weeks now. I am taking magnesium supplements and just started omega 3 two days ago. I was taking b complex but stopped a few days ago because I was worried it was making anxiety worse.

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I have seven 75mg Effexor xr capsules left over...

I was on 75 mg of venlafaxine xr starting about six years ago. It was upped to 150mg about 3 years ago and then decreased again to 75 mg about 1 1/2 years ago. I started to wean off in February 2016 and tapered per GP directions....I don't remember exactly, but something like take one, skip a day, take one, skip two days up to skipping three days and then stopping. This was done in about two weeks or a little less! I was able to endure the windows and waves for 3 1/2 months although it wasn't easy. Now, however, my symptoms are magnified and constant. Severe anxiety, nausea, shaking, inability to eat, basically unable to function for two weeks now. I am taking magnesium supplements and just started omega 3 two days ago. I was taking b complex but stopped a few days ago because I was worried it was making anxiety worse.

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  • Moderator Emeritus

Hello Melleli,

 

Thanks for adding your signature.  You've done well getting onto fish oil and mag, and stopping the B Vitamin. 

 

After 3 1/2 months we'd suggest reinstating at a small dose - something like 1-2mg.  It sounds very small, but it is often enough to do the trick.  Keep symptom notes on paper so it is easier to figure out if it helps or not (our brains/memories can be a bit unreliable at these times).

 

Give it at least four days and even up to a week or two to see how it goes.  

 

Do you have micro scales?  There are options for weighing or counting out beads here:   http://survivingantidepressants.org/index.php?/topic/1461-counting-beads-in-a-capsule-versus-weighing/#entry38940 and here: http://survivingantidepressants.org/index.php?/topic/1596-using-a-digital-scale-to-measure-doses/

 

I use a Gemini-20 to weigh out my effexor.

 

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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