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Dalmo1: Hi. Going through with my first proper taper! Effexor 75mg


Dalmo1

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Hi guys. My name is Jure and I'm about to start my very first proper taper after being on 75mg Effexor for 9 years. I didn't take the meds properly at the start so I was experiencing all sorts of symptoms, most notably brain zaps. I was 19 at the time.

I then took them seriously for a bit and then tried to taper off. The doctor advising me to take 37.5mg for a month and that's it. That sent me mad and I was back on the 75mg the next day. I think was about 23 at the time.

I have now been taking 75mg for a good 6 years. I've been feeling great, started exercising, getting really fit and strong and feeling very motivated. I noticed my really positive attitude so thought I'd try to taper.

 

Now the interesting bit! While taking my full dose I was experiencing ringing in ears, sore eyes at times & sensitivity to sounds but only when in quiet areas, for example I live at home alone and when the pilot on my heater clicks I get a small jolt in my head??? I don't get them while at work with loud banging going on etc. The ringing in my ears has been a symptom from before but the jolt I get from sounds in quiet places is new. Is this the sign of drug poop out or just a side effect??

 

I have since started the taper (using bead counting method) currently 10% less of 75mg, no brain zaps but I'm anxious. I started getting anxious even at the start of the taper. I believe it was because I didn't feel comfortable using the bead counting method for tapering. I have now since got in touch with a compounding pharmacist who will compound the dosages required and feel A LOT better about it!! I know I can make it!! I'm confident I can do it!

 

Any advice is appreciated and I'll be very greatful if anyone could give me some help as we all know the doctors are no good!!! Especially about the sensitivity to sounds in quiet places : )))

Edited by scallywag
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I just want to add that intrusive thoughts that were once an issue are not an issue anymore. I have since developed coping strategies that make them obsolete. Well they're not completely gone but I really don't notice them. It's like they're not there. I use an exposure prevention technique that's automatic when the thought comes in. I have noticed them more so now though as I've started the taper and I'm more vigilant of anxiety which has made me more anxious... As I stated above the bead counting method made me quiet nervous and since finding a compounding pharmacist that can make proper doseages has made me feel a lot better. I think together with my stress coping strategies I can make it!!!

 

Jure

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Hey Jure! I think it's awesome that two of us from Victoria joined on exactly the same day - what are the odds?

I think treating your anxious thoughts as an intrusive thought and using all your coping strategies is an excellent idea. Being vigilant about whether or not you're anxious is basically guaranteed to *create* anxiety, and that's the last thing you need! Do you do meditation or visualisation tapes too?

 

Best of luck!

J

2010-2011 - Tapered Clonazepam/Klonopin from 200mcg/day to ZERO

2012 March - Effexor XR from 300mg/day down to 150mg/day

2012 October-2013 February - Tapered Neurontin from 2400mg/day to 800mg/day

2013 March/April - Tapered Effexor XR from 150mg/day to 75mg/day

[Then took a break from reductions to deal with other things]

2016 June - Effexor XR 62.5mg and gradually down to

2016 July - Effexor XR to 50mg and pausing for a while

2016 October - Effexor to 37.5mg, paused for a few months then finally

2017 May - Effexor to 0! Did the last 37.5mg by counting beads for several months - very gentle

 

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Dalmo -- Welcome to Surviving Antidepressants!
 
I'm glad you found us as you start to reduce your Effexor dose, rather than after running into withdrawal -- sometimes it's like running into the ocean, other times like running into a wall!
 
It would be helpful for others in your area if you posted experience with the compounding pharmacy and their details in this topic:  Compounding Pharmacies
 
It looks as if you're up to speed on our recommended 10% taper. I'll post the link here anyway for your reference:

Why taper by 10% of my dosage?

Also relevant: Tips for tapering off Effexor (venlafaxine)

You might find some ideas to complement the exposure prevention technique in reducing anxiety in this topic: Non-drug techniques to cope with emotional symptoms

I recall a topic started in the last month about hypersensitivity to sounds in the Symptoms and self-care forum. Browsing the thread titles and/or searching the forum will locate that one and maybe others.

Although you're only on 1 antidepressant, would you summarize your history in a signature -- drugs, doses, dates, and discontinuations & reinstatements, in the last 12-18 months particularly? Any drugs prior to that can just be listed with start and stop years. Please put your withdrawal history in signature

It's also helpful to keep your signature updated after every time you cut the dose. Thanks in advance. :)

Keep us posted on how you're doing.

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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Hey J! That is pretty cool! I have only used the exposure prevention technique and it did the job beautifully. Are you tapering yourself?

 

Thanks for the info scallywag. I will post info on the compounding pharmacist once I get through a couple of months with them..

 

To be honest, when I'm busy I feel better as my mind is else where rather than thinking about withdrawal symptoms etc. Sunday's and Monday's aren't the best either.

 

I've done a little reading into the 10% taper. Is it to be expected to feel waves and Windows even when tapering this low?

 

All the best!

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  • Moderator Emeritus

The whole experience with anti-depressants has the potential for windows and waves -- getting used to them, and any form of withdrawal. It's unpredictable who will get waves of symptoms, when they'll occur and how long they'll last. Sometimes it's worse the lower you go because each cut represents a greater percentage of the dose.

 

For example at the end of an Effexor bead-counting taper, you'll take 1 bead from 10 for a 10% cut. At 5 beads, the lowest reduction you can make is 1 bead -- 20%. That's why some people choose to switch to "OG" Effexor/venlafaxine (immediate release) tablets and dose twice daily with homemade liquid.

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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  • Moderator Emeritus

Hello Dalmo,

 

I see you've already got plenty of info, but I wanted to say hi as I am also tapering effexor.  I'm still way up on 133mg though.  Glad you are onto the 10% rate. 

 

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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Hey J! That is pretty cool! I have only used the exposure prevention technique and it did the job beautifully. Are you tapering yourself?

 

Yup. I'm just under 75mg too, so we're in similar places with tapering.

2010-2011 - Tapered Clonazepam/Klonopin from 200mcg/day to ZERO

2012 March - Effexor XR from 300mg/day down to 150mg/day

2012 October-2013 February - Tapered Neurontin from 2400mg/day to 800mg/day

2013 March/April - Tapered Effexor XR from 150mg/day to 75mg/day

[Then took a break from reductions to deal with other things]

2016 June - Effexor XR 62.5mg and gradually down to

2016 July - Effexor XR to 50mg and pausing for a while

2016 October - Effexor to 37.5mg, paused for a few months then finally

2017 May - Effexor to 0! Did the last 37.5mg by counting beads for several months - very gentle

 

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