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CallMeAl - 10 week withdrawal hell, reinstated but losing hope


CallMeAl

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Hi,

 

Reaching out for some hope and some help after talking with Betsy on another site.

 

Background:

Was once on Venlafaxine (Effexor) from end of 2000 to early 2009. Came off with emotional imbalance but no long-lasting physical withdrawal symptoms. I replaced the pills with a lot of exercise and good sleep.

 

Last year I was playing a minority sport at international level. Now I am nothing, unable to function.

 

Acute stress in early 2016 leading to colds, possibly a virus (may have been exhaustion), a calf tear and then extreme anxiety that I had a clot in it followed by tremors which I thought were a serious neurological illness. GPs said it was neither. Referred for an ultrasound (two months later came back negative).

 

Visited GP who prescribed Propanolol (3x10mg). Had side effects and had a panic attack in the night. Thought I was actually dying. He changed me to Atenolol (1x50mg) and Venlafaxine (Venlablue extended release) (2x37.5mg capsules).

 

Came off the beta blockers quite quickly (he advised to stop taking the Atenolol and use the Propanolol to taper down). In hindsight I think this was done too quickly. Stayed on the Venlafaxine. Suffered from tachycardia and high blood pressure which exacerbated the anxiety even more. Eventually these stabilised to an extent.

 

I decided I felt ok and didn’t want to be on any pills so I started to taper the Venlafaxine. I took one capsule once a day for a week then opened it up and took one of the three 12.5mg tabs out. So total taper was 7 days at 37.5mg and 2 days at 25mg, total days on the Venlafaxine 34 days.

 

Went through hell. Which then got worse. I now know this taper was too fast. Had a rebound of the tachycardia but that all settled down again. Had the electric shocks in the head, headaches, sense of not being here, indigestion leading to heartburn, muscle pains and twitches, waking up with a clenched jaw and shaky, all sorts of things.

 

At times it felt like the body was shutting down, everything was closing in. I identified this seem to happen after eating certain things. Specifically sugar, spinach, possibly broccoli and possibly wheat (I generally haven’t eat much gluten for years).

 

Supplemented with Omega 3,6,9 (I already took one a day, upped to 3), Magnesium and Calcium and a pretty thorough multi-vitamin (Wellman, which I already took). When the heartburn got bad I started taking apple cider vinegar before meals.

 

Struggled for weeks with pressure in the head, throbbing pulse in the belly and generally feeling horrific. Stool is not normal, looks undigested. Went for tests at the GP, bloods came back all ok. B12 ok, vitamin D ok, Thyroid (TSH and T4 only) ok, Glandular fever negative.

 

I’ve been for massage, been to the chiropractor (atlas was out and was adjusted) which seemed to stop in the internal vibrations I was getting at night.

 

After 10 weeks of this horrendous withdrawal and with the indigestion now turning into a complete loss of appetite (I have never not been hungry) and now weight loss I decided to reinstate at a low dose. I had been unsure of whether to do this as I kept believing there was something else wrong, another test needed.

 

I cut a 37.5mg instant release pill into quarters on Saturday night and within an hour I felt like myself for the first time in weeks or months (I don’t know anymore as I have completely lost track of time). The sensation of a blocked steam valve in my head was gone, I couldn’t believe it. Even the pulsing in the stomach stopped.

 

I was amazed.

 

I had been waking up in the wee hours of the morning for a few days prior to the reinstatement. I have continued on the 9.375mg dose twice a day since Saturday.

 

On Sunday morning I woke up at 3am unable to get back to sleep, eventually getting up. It happened again on Monday morning although I managed to get back to sleep for the first time and had the best day I’ve had in a long time (until the late afternoon which I think was brought on by eating something with sugar and gluten, only thing that fits the pattern). Then this morning (Tuesday) I awoke after 1am and did not sleep properly again.

 

Trying to sleep for that length of time this morning I became more aware of what was happening – as I was falling asleep (or perhaps the transition into REM sleep) there was a surge of something (adrenaline?) that would jolt me awake. It left me shaky (shaky all day) and jittery. I could feel it in my arms, as if it was an adrenal response to a fight situation. But I thought I was calm, possibly in a light sleep. It makes no sense to me.

 

I feel completely lost. I thought I was at my wits end and had found a solution. I had hope on Saturday through to Monday that maybe I could stabilise on this low dose for a few months then think about coming off once I have all-round health back. I often feel a bit better later on at night, around 7pm, sometimes later although it’s not uniform.

 

But now I am scared again. Terrified. The lack of appetite, undigested food and weight loss combined with the severe lack of sleep is only feeding anxiety that I am not going to live through this. I already had a fear of death. The body needs nutrients and needs sleep. You cannot survive without them.

 

Almost everything else in my life that had caused the stress has been resolved (job, living situation, car). I still have the calf tear but I am getting treatment for that. My girlfriend and I are about to finally move into a new place this month, I have every reason to be happy but I cannot function when I have these physical symptoms and I’m so scared I’m not going to make it to live this new happy life.

 

I’m sorry this is so long. I’ve tried to cover the medication in enough detail and the story of the symptoms.

 

I don’t know what to do or what options I have.

 

I am waiting on:

 

- Results of a lyme disease test, in the next week

- Results of a 24hr cortisol test, in the next week

- Results of a hair test analysis on 20th July

- A meeting with consultant at the hospital on 20th July (for the stomach and head problems)

 

Maybe the current symptoms are the side effects of started on Venlafaxine. I did have a damaged sleep cycle when I started but back then I thought this was some sort of illness or a side effect of the beta blockers. Maybe I should try to ride this out for a few weeks, or will the lack of sleep and messed up digestive system finally take its toll on me??

 

Maybe I should increase the Venlafaxine dose to 18.75 twice a day? I don’t want to be on this medication at all but I need to stabilise if I ever want to come off it. Maybe I actually need it for the anxiety? (Although I wouldn’t be anxious if I didn’t have symptoms!)

 

Any thoughts would be greatly appreciated. I feel so weak and utterly, utterly hopeless now.

2000-2009 Effexor instant release, 37.5mg, 75mg and at one point 150mg. Stopped in early 2009

 

17-Mar-2016: beta blockers (Propanolol then Atenolol then tapered with Propanalol, 15 days total)

 

21-Mar-2016: 75mg Venlablue extended release (2x37.5mg/day) for 25 days
Tapering:15-Apr-2016 1x37.5mg Venlablue extended release capsule in the morning for 7 days; 1x25mg capsule for 2 days

 

24-Apr-2016 zero for 10 weeks

 

03-Jul-2016: reinstated on a quarter pill (9.375mg) twice a day [tried one day lowering to 8mg but felt terrible so stayed on 2x9.375 since]

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  • Moderator Emeritus

Ok if you insist, I'll call you Al. :D
 
Al -- Welcome to Surviving Antidepressants (SA).
 
The length of your post is perfect. Thanks for splitting it up into many succinct paragraphs; it was easy to comprehend your history.
 
A request: 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. For detailed "how-to" check:
Please put your withdrawal history in signature
 
You reinstated twice daily doses of 9.4 mg on Saturday evening.  It takes about 4-5 days for the drug to reach steady peak concentration and then some time after that for your CNS  (central nervous system) to get the message and settle down after being rocked by a drug discontinuation. Keeping a record of your symptoms and when they occur will inform you about the reinstatement dose's effectiveness and help you make better choices about tapering.
 
Although the symptoms are barely bearable, can you tolerate another 4-5 days to see what happens?
 

A few topics relevant to your situation:

What is withdrawal syndrome

Tips for tapering off Effexor (venlafaxine)

About reinstating and stabilizing to reduce withdrawal symptoms

The Windows and Waves pattern of stabilization

 

You may way want to follow this topic so that you get notifications when someone posts in your thread.  Click the gray "Follow this topic" button. A dialog box appears:  select one of the notify options, then click follow this topic in the dialog box.

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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Hello CallmeAl....I am attempting to transition off of effexor myself but I am trying to transition off using the prozac bridge.  I am not sure it is working at this point....the jury is still out.  I am having the same thing that you are as far as being jolted while trying to go to sleep.  I also have this vibrating energy that seems to run through my body beginning in mid afternoon until morning then it eases off again until mid afternoon.  I am sorry you are having such a rough time...best wishes.

1995 - 2015 antidepressants and antianxiety medicine
Multiple failed attempts to quit/taper anti d/anti anxiety meds since 2008

June 17, 2016 began prozac bridge to get off of effexor xr, stopped effexor xr on June 24, 2016, could not tolerate prozac due to severe side effects so I had to stop it  Currently...300 mg ER of lithium, 1 mg of estradiol, 60 mg propranolol ER, Fish oil 2 x a day, Magnesium Glycinate,  zinc, vitamin c, vitamin d, NAC

 

 

 

 

 

Link to comment

Ok if you insist, I'll call you Al. :D

 

Al -- Welcome to Surviving Antidepressants (SA).

 

The length of your post is perfect. Thanks for splitting it up into many succinct paragraphs; it was easy to comprehend your history.

 

A request: 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. For detailed "how-to" check:

Please put your withdrawal history in signature

 

Many thanks for the feedback.  I had put in a signature before today but it seemed to go as haywire as my body when I posted the above from my mobile.  I think it's sorted now.

 

 

 

You reinstated twice daily doses of 9.4 mg on Saturday evening.  It takes about 4-5 days for the drug to reach steady peak concentration and then some time after that for your CNS  (central nervous system) to get the message and settle down after being rocked by a drug discontinuation. Keeping a record of your symptoms and when they occur will inform you about the reinstatement dose's effectiveness and help you make better choices about tapering.

 

Although the symptoms are barely bearable, can you tolerate another 4-5 days to see what happens?

I'm answering the toleration question at around 9pm in which case I can say, yes I will try.  Earlier on today I wouldn't have been able to say that.  Things seem to settle down for me around 7pm, sometimes a bit earlier, sometimes later.  Earlier in the day I feel horrendous and don't feel able to get through a day, convincing myself I won't see many more days. :(  I can feel my skin crawling again now, probably from having taken the quarter pill tonight.

 

This afternoon I spoke to an NLP practitioner about my anxiety and felt a bit better after speaking to him as from just a brief conversation, his explanation of my broken thinking pattern made a lot of sense to me.  Sadly I don't think that will stop the physical symptoms.

 

 

A few topics relevant to your situation:

 

What is withdrawal syndrome

 

Tips for tapering off Effexor (venlafaxine)

 

About reinstating and stabilizing to reduce withdrawal symptoms

 

The Windows and Waves pattern of stabilization

 

You may way want to follow this topic so that you get notifications when someone posts in your thread.  Click the gray "Follow this topic" button. A dialog box appears:  select one of the notify options, then click follow this topic in the dialog box.

Thanks for these too.  I'd been reading these over the past few months where I learned the mistakes I'd made coming off so quickly.

 

Having now been back on a low dose for the 4 days I see the line about reinstating on a low dose in another light.  I wasn't sure about the converting the tables into liquid method as it seemed to likely to be inaccurate.  However, I've found my pill cutter is not as accurate as I had anticipated and the liquid may have been a better option.

 

 

2000-2009 Effexor instant release, 37.5mg, 75mg and at one point 150mg. Stopped in early 2009

 

17-Mar-2016: beta blockers (Propanolol then Atenolol then tapered with Propanalol, 15 days total)

 

21-Mar-2016: 75mg Venlablue extended release (2x37.5mg/day) for 25 days
Tapering:15-Apr-2016 1x37.5mg Venlablue extended release capsule in the morning for 7 days; 1x25mg capsule for 2 days

 

24-Apr-2016 zero for 10 weeks

 

03-Jul-2016: reinstated on a quarter pill (9.375mg) twice a day [tried one day lowering to 8mg but felt terrible so stayed on 2x9.375 since]

Link to comment

Hello CallmeAl....I am attempting to transition off of effexor myself but I am trying to transition off using the prozac bridge.  I am not sure it is working at this point....the jury is still out.  I am having the same thing that you are as far as being jolted while trying to go to sleep.  I also have this vibrating energy that seems to run through my body beginning in mid afternoon until morning then it eases off again until mid afternoon.  I am sorry you are having such a rough time...best wishes.

 

Thanks for replying.  I had found some of the inner trembling to be caused by an atlas subluxation.  As I understand it it can affect the vagus nerve which can affect all sorts of things in your body including pulsing and tremor sensations.  I'm going back to the chiropractor tomorrow morning as the neck is feeling jammed up again.

 

Have you found anything that helps you with sleep?

2000-2009 Effexor instant release, 37.5mg, 75mg and at one point 150mg. Stopped in early 2009

 

17-Mar-2016: beta blockers (Propanolol then Atenolol then tapered with Propanalol, 15 days total)

 

21-Mar-2016: 75mg Venlablue extended release (2x37.5mg/day) for 25 days
Tapering:15-Apr-2016 1x37.5mg Venlablue extended release capsule in the morning for 7 days; 1x25mg capsule for 2 days

 

24-Apr-2016 zero for 10 weeks

 

03-Jul-2016: reinstated on a quarter pill (9.375mg) twice a day [tried one day lowering to 8mg but felt terrible so stayed on 2x9.375 since]

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Well....I do know magnesium glycinate has put me in a more relaxed mood at bed time, and I do believe in not watching tv, or using your computer in bed because I think it does disrupt my sleep....and other than medicines like hydroxyzine, elavil, or trazadone I haven't really tried anything....I used to take clonazapem about a year and a few months ago and it helped but I pray I don't have to go that route.....I have read some people get up out of bed after a half of an hour of not being able to fall asleep go into a mother room and do something different then go back to bed....I have also read where people find success wearing a sleeping mask.

Edited by scallywag
removed quotation of post immediately above

1995 - 2015 antidepressants and antianxiety medicine
Multiple failed attempts to quit/taper anti d/anti anxiety meds since 2008

June 17, 2016 began prozac bridge to get off of effexor xr, stopped effexor xr on June 24, 2016, could not tolerate prozac due to severe side effects so I had to stop it  Currently...300 mg ER of lithium, 1 mg of estradiol, 60 mg propranolol ER, Fish oil 2 x a day, Magnesium Glycinate,  zinc, vitamin c, vitamin d, NAC

 

 

 

 

 

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  • Moderator Emeritus

Hi Al, welcome from me too.    We would usually recommend a few beads from a capsule but you are taking the ones with tablets inside so that is not an option. You could make a liquid from instant release tablets by dissolving one in water to get a small dose, it is far more accurate than cutting and quite easy when you get the hang of it.  you can find how to do that here...

 

 http://survivingantidepressants.org/index.php?/topic/2693-how-to-make-a-liquid-from-tablets-or-capsules/

 

 

I reinstated effexor and had the similar symptoms, skin crawling, tingling lips and face, and terrible insomnia. Insomnia is a listed side effect of effexor. Alto (admin)

advised to lower the dose and that helped.  Smaller dose might be better for you, taken 3 times a day so you are not getting too much at once.  

See how you get on as Scally suggested, but if you don't improve it might be better to lower the dose rather than raise it. 

**I am not a medical professional, if in doubt please consult a doctor with withdrawal knowledge.

 

 

Different drugs occasionally (mostly benzos) 1976 - 1981 (no problem)

1993 - 2002 in and out of hospital. every type of drug + ECT. Staring with seroxat

2002  effexor. 

Tapered  March 2012 to March 2013, ending with 5 beads.

Withdrawal April 2013 . Reinstated 5 beads reduced to 4 beads May 2013

Restarted taper  Nov 2013  

OFF EFFEXOR Feb 2015    :D 

Tapered atenolol and omeprazole Dec 2013 - May 2014

 

Tapering tramadol, Feb 2015 100mg , March 2015 50mg  

 July 2017 30mg.  May 15 2018 25mg

Taking fish oil, magnesium, B12, folic acid, bilberry eyebright for eye pressure. 

 

My story http://survivingantidepressants.org/index.php?/topic/4199-hello-mammap-checking-in/page-33

 

Lesson learned, slow down taper at lower doses. Taper no more than 10% of CURRENT dose if possible

 

 

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Well....I do know magnesium glycinate has put me in a more relaxed mood at bed time, and I do believe in not watching tv, or using your computer in bed because I think it does disrupt my sleep....and other than medicines like hydroxyzine, elavil, or trazadone I haven't really tried anything....I used to take clonazapem about a year and a few months ago and it helped but I pray I don't have to go that route.....I have read some people get up out of bed after a half of an hour of not being able to fall asleep go into a mother room and do something different then go back to bed....I have also read where people find success wearing a sleeping mask.

 

Thanks.  I've been having epsom salts baths before bed but I think the heat was causing more problems than it was solving. Maybe it was too close to bedtime and I wasn't cooling down quickly enough. Reading had been helping until recently.  Will look at supplements but not keen on more meds.

 

I've gone and laid down in the living room a few times which has helped me drop off too,

 

Agree that screens are bad news.  This one's going off right now.

2000-2009 Effexor instant release, 37.5mg, 75mg and at one point 150mg. Stopped in early 2009

 

17-Mar-2016: beta blockers (Propanolol then Atenolol then tapered with Propanalol, 15 days total)

 

21-Mar-2016: 75mg Venlablue extended release (2x37.5mg/day) for 25 days
Tapering:15-Apr-2016 1x37.5mg Venlablue extended release capsule in the morning for 7 days; 1x25mg capsule for 2 days

 

24-Apr-2016 zero for 10 weeks

 

03-Jul-2016: reinstated on a quarter pill (9.375mg) twice a day [tried one day lowering to 8mg but felt terrible so stayed on 2x9.375 since]

Link to comment

Hi Al, welcome from me too.    We would usually recommend a few beads from a capsule but you are taking the ones with tablets inside so that is not an option. You could make a liquid from instant release tablets by dissolving one in water to get a small dose, it is far more accurate than cutting and quite easy when you get the hang of it.  you can find how to do that here...

 

 http://survivingantidepressants.org/index.php?/topic/2693-how-to-make-a-liquid-from-tablets-or-capsules/

 

I reinstated effexor and had the similar symptoms, skin crawling, tingling lips and face, and terrible insomnia. Insomnia is a listed side effect of effexor. Alto (admin)

advised to lower the dose and that helped.  Smaller dose might be better for you, taken 3 times a day so you are not getting too much at once.  

See how you get on as Scally suggested, but if you don't improve it might be better to lower the dose rather than raise it. 

Thanks for replying.  That's helpful to hear.  I read that page and it looked too difficult but I will give it another read.

 

I had thought of lowering the dose then worried that was going to bring back the withdrawal phase.  Will give that a try.

2000-2009 Effexor instant release, 37.5mg, 75mg and at one point 150mg. Stopped in early 2009

 

17-Mar-2016: beta blockers (Propanolol then Atenolol then tapered with Propanalol, 15 days total)

 

21-Mar-2016: 75mg Venlablue extended release (2x37.5mg/day) for 25 days
Tapering:15-Apr-2016 1x37.5mg Venlablue extended release capsule in the morning for 7 days; 1x25mg capsule for 2 days

 

24-Apr-2016 zero for 10 weeks

 

03-Jul-2016: reinstated on a quarter pill (9.375mg) twice a day [tried one day lowering to 8mg but felt terrible so stayed on 2x9.375 since]

Link to comment

Hi Al,  I am tapering off venlafaxine as well.  I have been on it for 16 years this year and I have been tapering for 2 years.  I currently taper by the bead method.  All of your symptoms are par for the course with that medication.  Although most of my symptoms have been getting better as I taper, I do still have a tremendous amount of problems with getting to sleep and waking up frequently.  I never feel I have gotten a good sleep.  Once you get stabilized on a dose, you will not feel so out of control with your body and then you can start to taper slowly and the right way that works for you.  The medication totally screwed up my head and ability to function while on the original dose I started at.  I finally find that I am beginning to be able to handle things again, although I have had to re-learn how to deal with my anxiety.  I understand your fear of dying as I felt my body and head were so screwed up that I had no idea what to do or what was wrong.  It does pass.  You are going to be all right.  This site is the place you need to be.  I don't know if I could have done it without it and the people here.  Knowing people understood exactly what I was feeling and how to help me gain back my control over the pill and taper it has been the greatest blessing, otherwise I would have been tapering like every doctor tells us to, which is too fast and suffering the horrendous withdrawals.  You will feel better in a few days.  Go to a dose where you feel like the symptoms are back under control and you are comfortable, then start your taper again slowly after you have been stabilized.  You will get through it. 

12-2001 -- Started Effexor XR - 150 mg dose  2005 -- Tried to cold turkey off it.  Lasted 3 days and then went back on 150 mg.  2009 -- Went on generic Effexor due to cost.  Have had a lot more side effects on it.  09-24-13 -- Started tapering by taking 2 beads out of 150 mg capsule.  10-17-13 thru 07-17-14 -- Took 2 more beads out of capsule each month.  08-2014 -- Dropped by 8 beads.  Went into a HUGE depression.  05-03-15 -- Now taking 22 beads out of capsule.  Went to micro-taper of 2 beads every other week.  11-10-15 -- Taking 96 beads (About 54 out of capsule.  Reversed the way I was taking them since the amount in the capsule varies).  Can now drop 8 beads a month, 4 every other week, with no problem.  After a while switched to dropping 2 beads every Monday as 4 at a time was starting to affect me.  Have no problem with dropping 2 beads every Monday.  07-07-16 -- Now taking 43 beads with no problems. 09-27-16 -- Now taking 2 beads out every other Monday.  Am at 33 beads now.  12-11-17 -- I AM NOW OFF EFFEXOR!!!!!  

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Hi Al,  I am tapering off venlafaxine as well.  I have been on it for 16 years this year and I have been tapering for 2 years.  I currently taper by the bead method.  All of your symptoms are par for the course with that medication.  Although most of my symptoms have been getting better as I taper, I do still have a tremendous amount of problems with getting to sleep and waking up frequently.  I never feel I have gotten a good sleep.  Once you get stabilized on a dose, you will not feel so out of control with your body and then you can start to taper slowly and the right way that works for you.  The medication totally screwed up my head and ability to function while on the original dose I started at.  I finally find that I am beginning to be able to handle things again, although I have had to re-learn how to deal with my anxiety.  I understand your fear of dying as I felt my body and head were so screwed up that I had no idea what to do or what was wrong.  It does pass.  You are going to be all right.  This site is the place you need to be.  I don't know if I could have done it without it and the people here.  Knowing people understood exactly what I was feeling and how to help me gain back my control over the pill and taper it has been the greatest blessing, otherwise I would have been tapering like every doctor tells us to, which is too fast and suffering the horrendous withdrawals.  You will feel better in a few days.  Go to a dose where you feel like the symptoms are back under control and you are comfortable, then start your taper again slowly after you have been stabilized.  You will get through it. 

Thanks bananas, that's incredibly helpful to hear.

 

I've gone over and over the past six months looking for some sort of explanation to what happened to me.  Even before I was on the pills all they could say was a virus and then anxiety.  I actually wonder whether it was all stress and anxiety.

 

I actually slept well last night for the first time in weeks.  I had stayed at my girlfriends and it makes me wonder how much of this insomnia (and maybe even all the stomach problems, of which there have been many) is being driven by anxiety about the pulsating in my stomach, increased pulse rate and blood pressure.  A bad cycle as anxiety will only exacerbate these things.

 

I tried putting the pills into water but I think the dose was too inaccurate as I had a couple of really bad days.  Have gone back to the pill-cutter and found a way to cut them (slowly) that means they don't get all broken up.  This should help in terms of stabilising.

 

I'm still very shaky (even when not actually anxious) and have a feeling of my skin crawling.  The pulse is higher than it should be too but I am hoping these are just side effects of having started back on the medication and doubly hopeful that they will pass in another week or so.

 

Hope you are doing well and your taper continues well and you manage to get some sleep.  I've been doing mindfulness body scan meditation which has helped at times but sadly not always.  Just mentioning it in case it might help you too.

2000-2009 Effexor instant release, 37.5mg, 75mg and at one point 150mg. Stopped in early 2009

 

17-Mar-2016: beta blockers (Propanolol then Atenolol then tapered with Propanalol, 15 days total)

 

21-Mar-2016: 75mg Venlablue extended release (2x37.5mg/day) for 25 days
Tapering:15-Apr-2016 1x37.5mg Venlablue extended release capsule in the morning for 7 days; 1x25mg capsule for 2 days

 

24-Apr-2016 zero for 10 weeks

 

03-Jul-2016: reinstated on a quarter pill (9.375mg) twice a day [tried one day lowering to 8mg but felt terrible so stayed on 2x9.375 since]

Link to comment
  • Moderator Emeritus

Glad you got a good night's sleep. It makes a HUGE difference.
 
If you want to try the liquid in the future, here's a few topics about getting accurate, precise doses:

Using an oral syringe and other tapering techniques]

Using a graduated cylinder to measure

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 comment

Glad you got a good night's sleep. It makes a HUGE difference.

 

If you want to try the liquid in the future, here's a few topics about getting accurate, precise doses:

 

Using an oral syringe and other tapering techniques]

 

Using a graduated cylinder to measure

Thanks.  The problem is that the venlafaxine tablets I have do not seem to be water-soluble.  They break up into tiny specs but float around.  Stirring/shaking does help to distribute it but it doesn't look very even to me.  I suppose I could use half the water and therefore double the potency of it which would require less in the syringe and leave less open space for stuff to swill around in.  Might experiment with this to see what it looks like, thanks.

 

Going back on has reduced the head pressure but the other symptoms that came during withdrawal are not easing.  Based on what I have observed and read it is possible I have low stomach acid and raised cortisol.  Still waiting on the test of the latter.  Not sure how/if the former can be tested.  My own testing with baking soda confirmed it but that's not something a doctor is going to accept unfortunately.

2000-2009 Effexor instant release, 37.5mg, 75mg and at one point 150mg. Stopped in early 2009

 

17-Mar-2016: beta blockers (Propanolol then Atenolol then tapered with Propanalol, 15 days total)

 

21-Mar-2016: 75mg Venlablue extended release (2x37.5mg/day) for 25 days
Tapering:15-Apr-2016 1x37.5mg Venlablue extended release capsule in the morning for 7 days; 1x25mg capsule for 2 days

 

24-Apr-2016 zero for 10 weeks

 

03-Jul-2016: reinstated on a quarter pill (9.375mg) twice a day [tried one day lowering to 8mg but felt terrible so stayed on 2x9.375 since]

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Hi Al,

 

I believe they actually make a liquid venlafaxine.  It has to come from a compounding pharmacy and may be more expensive.  I would suggest converting over to capsules with beads and weighing the beads to get the correct dose.  Someone has probably already put that link in here with the others on how to do that.  Your symptoms are very familiar.  I had horrible stomach and bowel problems, headaches, and my blood pressure was up a bit and I had palpitations as well.  I have always had palpitations occasionally, but whenever I would take the meds, my heart rate would increase.  I had no idea what was wrong with me.  It took me a while to realize it was the med I was on causing my symptoms.  That was when I knew I had to get off of it.  It wasn't until I started tapering that I could figure out what was the caused by the med and if there was something else wrong with me.  In my case, I turned out to also be low in vitamin D and since that has also been corrected, I have gotten even better.  My pressure is finally back to where it was and the heart rate does not increase as much now when I take the med.  The stomach and bowel issues are getting better as well.  They say on here that the last 37.5 mg is sometimes the hardest to taper, so be patient with yourself.  I am tapering rather fast right now because it has been working for me with no symptoms, but once I get past 40, I am going to start dropping the amount I taper and being very careful.  I am so glad you got some sleep!  I think being able to feel rested helps a lot.

12-2001 -- Started Effexor XR - 150 mg dose  2005 -- Tried to cold turkey off it.  Lasted 3 days and then went back on 150 mg.  2009 -- Went on generic Effexor due to cost.  Have had a lot more side effects on it.  09-24-13 -- Started tapering by taking 2 beads out of 150 mg capsule.  10-17-13 thru 07-17-14 -- Took 2 more beads out of capsule each month.  08-2014 -- Dropped by 8 beads.  Went into a HUGE depression.  05-03-15 -- Now taking 22 beads out of capsule.  Went to micro-taper of 2 beads every other week.  11-10-15 -- Taking 96 beads (About 54 out of capsule.  Reversed the way I was taking them since the amount in the capsule varies).  Can now drop 8 beads a month, 4 every other week, with no problem.  After a while switched to dropping 2 beads every Monday as 4 at a time was starting to affect me.  Have no problem with dropping 2 beads every Monday.  07-07-16 -- Now taking 43 beads with no problems. 09-27-16 -- Now taking 2 beads out every other Monday.  Am at 33 beads now.  12-11-17 -- I AM NOW OFF EFFEXOR!!!!!  

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  • Moderator Emeritus

There is a liquid available in the UK, speak to the pharmacist and ask them about it, they will find the manufacturer and give you the details so the doctor can write the prescription. That's what I did when I lived in Scotland. Sadly I had an allergic reaction to something in the liquid and had to go back to bead counting. 

I make a liquid from tramadol and the particles float around in that but I give it a good stir and withdraw with a syringe before it settles. I only use 5ml of liquid and put a drop of elderflower cordial in it, that thickens it a bit and tastes much better. It doesn't have all the additives that are in most cordials so doesn't affect it in any way.

Does the skin crawling sensation let up at all or is it all the time? 

**I am not a medical professional, if in doubt please consult a doctor with withdrawal knowledge.

 

 

Different drugs occasionally (mostly benzos) 1976 - 1981 (no problem)

1993 - 2002 in and out of hospital. every type of drug + ECT. Staring with seroxat

2002  effexor. 

Tapered  March 2012 to March 2013, ending with 5 beads.

Withdrawal April 2013 . Reinstated 5 beads reduced to 4 beads May 2013

Restarted taper  Nov 2013  

OFF EFFEXOR Feb 2015    :D 

Tapered atenolol and omeprazole Dec 2013 - May 2014

 

Tapering tramadol, Feb 2015 100mg , March 2015 50mg  

 July 2017 30mg.  May 15 2018 25mg

Taking fish oil, magnesium, B12, folic acid, bilberry eyebright for eye pressure. 

 

My story http://survivingantidepressants.org/index.php?/topic/4199-hello-mammap-checking-in/page-33

 

Lesson learned, slow down taper at lower doses. Taper no more than 10% of CURRENT dose if possible

 

 

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Hi CallmeAl,

 

 

So sorry you have been going through all this.  I've had many of the same symptoms as you after a too-fast Effexor withdrawal. 

Would you be willing to share the results of your 24 hour cortisol test?  Were you able to correlate any increases in cortisol level temporally with the feeling of adrenaline surges?

 

Best wishes and I hope you feel better soon.

 

 

 

I am waiting on:

- Results of a lyme disease test, in the next week
- Results of a 24hr cortisol test, in the next week
- Results of a hair test analysis on 20th July
- A meeting with consultant at the hospital on 20th July (for the stomach and head problems)



 

Started on Effexor 75 immediate release 1/2015. Took it once a day, which was the way the doctor prescribed it.  

Stopped Effexor after taking it for 4 months; fast taper over 3-4 weeks;  5/2015-6/2015

Daily "brain zaps" and other neurological symptoms  (vertigo, dizziness, headaches, ticking in left ear) without improvement since stopping Effexor, starting early 6/2015

Brain zaps and other neurological changes for about 16 months, then decided to go back on Effexor, 9/2016

Symptoms disappeared on Effexor 112.5 mg (I ramped up from 37.5 to see what would work)

Slow taper back down.  Brain zaps recurred especially below 75 mg.  

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Thank you all for the support and comments.

 

bananas – I attended an appointment with an NLP practitioner last week and it has blown me away.  It included some hypnosis and despite my healthy skepticism (perhaps the only part of me that is currently healthy) it had a massive impact to the point I am no longer making the leap from symptom to guaranteed death.

 

I wish I had done this back in February or March when all of this started.  I would never have been on the pills. :(

 

mammaP – I will look into this liquid you suggest.  I’m in Scotland too so hopefully that might be an option for me.

The skin crawling has lessened to the point I’ve not had it for a few days.  I’m in the middle of a house move just now so have had my mind occupied which has helped a bit.

 

 

   

Wishes19 – happy to share the cortisol results.  The results confirmed my experience of feeling a little better at night.

 

EDIT: tried to put an image in here but can't get it to work.  Here's the results:

 

Cortisol                                 result (nmol/L)             low range   high range  status

Sample 1 (post awakening)           37.61                       7.45          32.56          HIGH

Sample 2 (+4-5 hours)                  13.06                       2.76          11.31          HIGH

Sample 3 (+4-5 hours)                  8.86                         1.38          7.45            HIGH

Sample 4 (Prior to sleep)              1.41                         0.83           3.86           NORMAL

 

DHEA                        Result    Low range   high range    status 

DHEA: cortisol ratio     0.032      0.015         0.150           NORMAL

 

Secretory igA            Result      low range     high range    status

Reading                        663          102               471            HIGH

 

I don’t know if the cortisol is responsible for the headaches.  Each day is a little different and I would have to spend a lot of money on testing each day to correlate things completely.  However, waking up feeling ‘wired’ is concurrent with the high result of the morning test.  I should add, that morning one is an hour *after* waking.

 

The SIgA test reading inflammation marker that probably relates to the stomach/digestion problems I am having.  I suspect it is low stomach acid and as a result possibly some other form of infection.  I am unable to digest broccoli (in fact I feel horrific for hours if I eat any).  I have tried the baking soda test (google will explain) and have no burping or belching.  The stomach problems all started during withdrawal.

 

Also, Lyme disease came back negative.

2000-2009 Effexor instant release, 37.5mg, 75mg and at one point 150mg. Stopped in early 2009

 

17-Mar-2016: beta blockers (Propanolol then Atenolol then tapered with Propanalol, 15 days total)

 

21-Mar-2016: 75mg Venlablue extended release (2x37.5mg/day) for 25 days
Tapering:15-Apr-2016 1x37.5mg Venlablue extended release capsule in the morning for 7 days; 1x25mg capsule for 2 days

 

24-Apr-2016 zero for 10 weeks

 

03-Jul-2016: reinstated on a quarter pill (9.375mg) twice a day [tried one day lowering to 8mg but felt terrible so stayed on 2x9.375 since]

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HelloCalmeAl.....are you still getting the adrenalin surges that jolt you?

1995 - 2015 antidepressants and antianxiety medicine
Multiple failed attempts to quit/taper anti d/anti anxiety meds since 2008

June 17, 2016 began prozac bridge to get off of effexor xr, stopped effexor xr on June 24, 2016, could not tolerate prozac due to severe side effects so I had to stop it  Currently...300 mg ER of lithium, 1 mg of estradiol, 60 mg propranolol ER, Fish oil 2 x a day, Magnesium Glycinate,  zinc, vitamin c, vitamin d, NAC

 

 

 

 

 

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Hi Al,

 

I am so happy for you that NLP worked for you!  That is great!  It definitely is a good technique.  I recently had the counselor at my doctor's office talk to me about "mindful thinking."  He said that depression comes from dwelling on the past and anxiety from dwelling on the future.  He said most people only stay in the present moment 2% of the time and he talked to me about how to stay in the present moment.  Don't know that I totally agree with his statement, especially if you have clinical depression, but it definitely gave me something to think about and I do notice that I spend an awful lot of time thinking about the past and future and that my anxiety definitely kicks in when I am thinking about the future.  My son had talked to me about mindful thinking quite a while prior to the counselor mentioning it.  I asked him how is it not possible to think about the future when you have to take care of things coming up, and he said that you make a plan for those things and then you just institute the plan and focus on that.  If the plan needs to be changed, then you change the plan and institute the new plan.  I have to work on that.  I think I get caught up in the what ifs.  

12-2001 -- Started Effexor XR - 150 mg dose  2005 -- Tried to cold turkey off it.  Lasted 3 days and then went back on 150 mg.  2009 -- Went on generic Effexor due to cost.  Have had a lot more side effects on it.  09-24-13 -- Started tapering by taking 2 beads out of 150 mg capsule.  10-17-13 thru 07-17-14 -- Took 2 more beads out of capsule each month.  08-2014 -- Dropped by 8 beads.  Went into a HUGE depression.  05-03-15 -- Now taking 22 beads out of capsule.  Went to micro-taper of 2 beads every other week.  11-10-15 -- Taking 96 beads (About 54 out of capsule.  Reversed the way I was taking them since the amount in the capsule varies).  Can now drop 8 beads a month, 4 every other week, with no problem.  After a while switched to dropping 2 beads every Monday as 4 at a time was starting to affect me.  Have no problem with dropping 2 beads every Monday.  07-07-16 -- Now taking 43 beads with no problems. 09-27-16 -- Now taking 2 beads out every other Monday.  Am at 33 beads now.  12-11-17 -- I AM NOW OFF EFFEXOR!!!!!  

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downtongirl - No the jolts have subsided now, I would go so far as to say they've stopped.  So many things seem to come and go.  Today I've been awake since 4.30, unable to get back to sleep.  4.30 is actually a bit of an improvement for that first batch of sleep.

 

Yesterday I saw a consultant at the hospital and he was good in that he listened to everything but as he was suggesting screening for things he mentioned a particular disease which peaked my anxiety.  I then had a panic attack while the blood was being taken.  So embarrassed and angry at myself for this.  I thought I had knocked the anxiety on the head but evidently not.  The consultant did say he thinks my symptoms (stomach, headaches etc.) are anxiety though.  And the nurse said the screening was pretty routine.

 

Looking back I've been on this 18.75mg dose for two and a half weeks and the amount and severity of side effects have lessened.  Insomnia is the worst one just now.  The stomach issues started during withdrawal so I wasn't expecting a turnaround there.  My intention in reinstating was to balance things out a bit before starting a very slow taper.  Think I will give it another couple of weeks at least before I start that.

2000-2009 Effexor instant release, 37.5mg, 75mg and at one point 150mg. Stopped in early 2009

 

17-Mar-2016: beta blockers (Propanolol then Atenolol then tapered with Propanalol, 15 days total)

 

21-Mar-2016: 75mg Venlablue extended release (2x37.5mg/day) for 25 days
Tapering:15-Apr-2016 1x37.5mg Venlablue extended release capsule in the morning for 7 days; 1x25mg capsule for 2 days

 

24-Apr-2016 zero for 10 weeks

 

03-Jul-2016: reinstated on a quarter pill (9.375mg) twice a day [tried one day lowering to 8mg but felt terrible so stayed on 2x9.375 since]

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bananas - I have been trying to practice mindfulness for some time now.  There are some good body scan meditations on youtube.  I bought the Jon Kabat Zinn CDs too which are great.  

 

I also did this course: https://www.futurelearn.com/courses/mindfulness-wellbeing-performancewhich was free and very, very good.

2000-2009 Effexor instant release, 37.5mg, 75mg and at one point 150mg. Stopped in early 2009

 

17-Mar-2016: beta blockers (Propanolol then Atenolol then tapered with Propanalol, 15 days total)

 

21-Mar-2016: 75mg Venlablue extended release (2x37.5mg/day) for 25 days
Tapering:15-Apr-2016 1x37.5mg Venlablue extended release capsule in the morning for 7 days; 1x25mg capsule for 2 days

 

24-Apr-2016 zero for 10 weeks

 

03-Jul-2016: reinstated on a quarter pill (9.375mg) twice a day [tried one day lowering to 8mg but felt terrible so stayed on 2x9.375 since]

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Really struggling with each day.  The constant headache and feeling of not really being here - I've only had respite from that the night I reinstated and the two days that followed.  Since then it's been the same.  I feel terrible and have very little hope of getting better.

 

I tried decreasing the dose as someone had suggested.  Big mistake.  I'm now considering increasing it since the only thing that has helped was when I reinstated after 10 weeks off it.

 

I have been on 18.75mg for nearly a month now.  Other than the continuation of the withdrawal side effects, the side effects of reinstating (jolts, skin crawling) have all subsided.

 

Ultimately I don't want to be on these at all and it seems like another step in the wrong direction to increase the dose but I cannot go on like this.

Sorry for the vent, I just don't know what else to do.

2000-2009 Effexor instant release, 37.5mg, 75mg and at one point 150mg. Stopped in early 2009

 

17-Mar-2016: beta blockers (Propanolol then Atenolol then tapered with Propanalol, 15 days total)

 

21-Mar-2016: 75mg Venlablue extended release (2x37.5mg/day) for 25 days
Tapering:15-Apr-2016 1x37.5mg Venlablue extended release capsule in the morning for 7 days; 1x25mg capsule for 2 days

 

24-Apr-2016 zero for 10 weeks

 

03-Jul-2016: reinstated on a quarter pill (9.375mg) twice a day [tried one day lowering to 8mg but felt terrible so stayed on 2x9.375 since]

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Hi Al,

 

I personally would go back up to the dosage you felt comfortable at.  It seems that you have been suffering a lot.  I totally understand not wanting to go back up, but it would relieve the side effects and you will feel so much better.  I would hold there for a month or 2 to stabilize and then start a slow small taper and see how you handle it.  When I taper, I hold when I feel some type of effect from it.  I let my body guide my taper.  I hope you feel better soon.  Going through this stuff is just the pits.

12-2001 -- Started Effexor XR - 150 mg dose  2005 -- Tried to cold turkey off it.  Lasted 3 days and then went back on 150 mg.  2009 -- Went on generic Effexor due to cost.  Have had a lot more side effects on it.  09-24-13 -- Started tapering by taking 2 beads out of 150 mg capsule.  10-17-13 thru 07-17-14 -- Took 2 more beads out of capsule each month.  08-2014 -- Dropped by 8 beads.  Went into a HUGE depression.  05-03-15 -- Now taking 22 beads out of capsule.  Went to micro-taper of 2 beads every other week.  11-10-15 -- Taking 96 beads (About 54 out of capsule.  Reversed the way I was taking them since the amount in the capsule varies).  Can now drop 8 beads a month, 4 every other week, with no problem.  After a while switched to dropping 2 beads every Monday as 4 at a time was starting to affect me.  Have no problem with dropping 2 beads every Monday.  07-07-16 -- Now taking 43 beads with no problems. 09-27-16 -- Now taking 2 beads out every other Monday.  Am at 33 beads now.  12-11-17 -- I AM NOW OFF EFFEXOR!!!!!  

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  • Moderator Emeritus

It can be very hard to work out what to do.  One thing that doesn't help is changing doses to try to relieve symptoms - especially when you've already recently made some changes.  It is more likely that your body needs you to hold.  It's really unpleasant, I know.  But if there have been some improvements, then that is actually a very good indication that things will settle further. 

 

You mention you decreased at some point, but I can't see it in your sig, so I may not be getting the full picture of what is going on for you.  Could you fully update the sig? 

 

Thanks,

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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Ultimately, Al, you are going to have to make the call on this one.  I see it differently than Karen, and this is an example of how everyone's experience can be different.  If you hold, your body will eventually adjust.  If you go back up a bit to take the edge off your level of withdrawal and hold, your body will adjust.  Going up and down like a yo-yo wouldn't be good because it would be too hard for your body to adjust. You have to decide how bad the withdrawal symptoms are and make the decision accordingly.  Some people will muscle through with the discomfort.  Some people want to do it with the least amount of discomfort.  I think each person has to listen to their own body.

12-2001 -- Started Effexor XR - 150 mg dose  2005 -- Tried to cold turkey off it.  Lasted 3 days and then went back on 150 mg.  2009 -- Went on generic Effexor due to cost.  Have had a lot more side effects on it.  09-24-13 -- Started tapering by taking 2 beads out of 150 mg capsule.  10-17-13 thru 07-17-14 -- Took 2 more beads out of capsule each month.  08-2014 -- Dropped by 8 beads.  Went into a HUGE depression.  05-03-15 -- Now taking 22 beads out of capsule.  Went to micro-taper of 2 beads every other week.  11-10-15 -- Taking 96 beads (About 54 out of capsule.  Reversed the way I was taking them since the amount in the capsule varies).  Can now drop 8 beads a month, 4 every other week, with no problem.  After a while switched to dropping 2 beads every Monday as 4 at a time was starting to affect me.  Have no problem with dropping 2 beads every Monday.  07-07-16 -- Now taking 43 beads with no problems. 09-27-16 -- Now taking 2 beads out every other Monday.  Am at 33 beads now.  12-11-17 -- I AM NOW OFF EFFEXOR!!!!!  

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Thanks all for your feedback.

To clarify - someone had suggested lowering the dose slightly so one day I tried 8mg (also this was the liquid method) but I felt terrible so have remained on 9.375mg twice a day.  I'm so despondent about this.  I just want my life back and can't understand what has happened.

I have been to see a nutritionist and we have confirmed I have low stomach acid.  I have been taking Betaine HCL stomach acid tablets to deal with this since the 21st July.  You are supposed to add one to your dose until you feel a burning sensation.  That indicates one too many so you reduce the next time.  That level then generates a burning sensation and you drop again.  I am up to 10 pills now which I understand is irregular.  It seems like I have no stomach acid - this all started during the withdrawal.

I cannot determine whether the headaches are caused or linked to the stomach issues, caused by the elevated cortisol, a carry over of withdrawal or somehow a new side effect of being on this current dose.  Or something else entirely.

What makes no sense is why I had two days of relief when I reinstated then started to feel unwell again (sense of not being here, headaches).

I am also struggling with anxiety.  I have been attending NLP sessions which are helping a lot but I had an appointment with a consultant at the hospital who said they would do more tests including screening for HIV.  I freaked out.  When they took the blood tests I started to pass out but fought it, rolling around in the chair, unable to see, calling out "not good" repeatedly (my gf heard it all).  I had become ok with blood tests as I've had 3 previously this year but anxiety has really peaked again, even today I became fearful of the endoscopy I've to attend in August.

The headaches I wouldn't even describe as discomfort.  It's wholly and completely debilitating.  So severe it brings back the anxiety as this is so far from a normal headache that I just don't know what to do.

2000-2009 Effexor instant release, 37.5mg, 75mg and at one point 150mg. Stopped in early 2009

 

17-Mar-2016: beta blockers (Propanolol then Atenolol then tapered with Propanalol, 15 days total)

 

21-Mar-2016: 75mg Venlablue extended release (2x37.5mg/day) for 25 days
Tapering:15-Apr-2016 1x37.5mg Venlablue extended release capsule in the morning for 7 days; 1x25mg capsule for 2 days

 

24-Apr-2016 zero for 10 weeks

 

03-Jul-2016: reinstated on a quarter pill (9.375mg) twice a day [tried one day lowering to 8mg but felt terrible so stayed on 2x9.375 since]

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Hi Al,

 

Whatever you do, I would not lower the dose.  I have had headaches as well with the Effexor, however, they are few and far between now with the way I am tapering.  I do have a history of migraines, but the ones from the medication are different.  I know what you mean about having lost your life.  I feel the same way.  I haven't had any other tests other than the vitamin D and standard tests so can't speak about stomach acid, cortisol, etc.  I have stomach problems with reflux.  Also have had some bowel issues, which have gotten a bit better.  My heart goes out to you going through this.  I can tell you what I would do if it was me, but ultimately it is up to you and I am not a doctor.  Your headaches my be due to something else for all I know.  I just know the side effects from my own experience and what I need to do to lessen them.  This medication definitely screws up our bodies and how they function.  When I went off it cold turkey, I was a basket case by the 3rd day.  I was sobbing, had headaches, severe diarrhea, nausea, and just could not function at all.  Hang in there.  Keep us posted.

12-2001 -- Started Effexor XR - 150 mg dose  2005 -- Tried to cold turkey off it.  Lasted 3 days and then went back on 150 mg.  2009 -- Went on generic Effexor due to cost.  Have had a lot more side effects on it.  09-24-13 -- Started tapering by taking 2 beads out of 150 mg capsule.  10-17-13 thru 07-17-14 -- Took 2 more beads out of capsule each month.  08-2014 -- Dropped by 8 beads.  Went into a HUGE depression.  05-03-15 -- Now taking 22 beads out of capsule.  Went to micro-taper of 2 beads every other week.  11-10-15 -- Taking 96 beads (About 54 out of capsule.  Reversed the way I was taking them since the amount in the capsule varies).  Can now drop 8 beads a month, 4 every other week, with no problem.  After a while switched to dropping 2 beads every Monday as 4 at a time was starting to affect me.  Have no problem with dropping 2 beads every Monday.  07-07-16 -- Now taking 43 beads with no problems. 09-27-16 -- Now taking 2 beads out every other Monday.  Am at 33 beads now.  12-11-17 -- I AM NOW OFF EFFEXOR!!!!!  

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  • Moderator Emeritus

Al, some ideas that may help with head pressure/pain
 
Acupuncture can be helpful: Acupuncture thread in Symptoms and self-care forum

 

Non-drug techniques for dealing with physical pain

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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