Jump to content

twinedenter256: On a combination of things; beginning taper off Effexor


twinedenter256

Recommended Posts

twinedenter256

I have been on antidepressants for 20 years (since my mid-twenties), but recently--over the past five years or so--was put on an "aggressive" cocktail of drugs. After trials of zoloft, wellbutrin, effexor, serzone and abilify my psychiatrist settled on a combination of serzone, effexor and abilify. I was also taking adderall for general fatigue and inability to concentrate through all of the anxiety and depression, as well as ambien to allow me to sleep.

 

At the time that I began this cocktail, I had a high stress job and I was finding it more and more difficult to cope with the pressure each year. My work involved mostly research and teaching and I was no longer at all interested in the subject matter, but there was always tremendous pressure to be producing and publishing papers. And social anxiety made the teaching excruciating. I had always been a high achiever and I was terrified of "failure". I thought that the only thing I could do was to keep pushing myself. But my brain and body were telling me I couldn't do it anymore. Desperate, I put myself in my psychiatrist's hands. But as I have discovered since then--and as so many of the people writing in this forum know--the discipline of psychiatry today has very little idea about what the drugs they prescribe are actually doing to our brains, bodies and spirits. As I began adding the drugs mentioned above, there would sometimes seem to be some positive effect for a few days here and there. But very soon any positive effect would wear off. Adderall was by far the most effective of all the drugs when I first began taking it. But that effect plateaued as well over time. And the Ambien has been consistently effective in helping me sleep--though I don't know what the cost has been to my mental health.

 

This past Spring, I had a severe episode of sustained anxiety and depression despite (or because of?) the drug cocktail. It may initially have been the result of serotonin syndrome, as I was at the time on a high dose of both serzone and effexor. Whatever the cause, the episode got bad enough that my psychiatrist was recommending that I check into a hospital. I decided not to do that, and struggled through to the end of the semester. It was then that I began doing research of my own on the effects of antidepressants and discovered Peter Breggin and David Healy's work. All that they said seemed to mirror my experience exactly. I decided that it was time to try to get off the meds.

 

Unfortunately, I am so submerged in the sea of anxiety and depression right now that I don't think there is any way I can go through the healing process without leaving my job. Things are bad enough now, and I know that withdrawal from Effexor, Adderall and Ambien can be brutal. (I was able to get off of the Serzone and Abilify completely over the past several months.) So, I'm going to resign my position, ending a career that I spent an enormous amount of time and effort to build. It's extremely painful for me to do this, but my brain and body just won't let me go on. 

 

About three weeks ago I began tapering off of Effexor. I had been taking 150mg (75mg 2x per day) and cut back to 75mg. I didn't notice any change in the first two weeks, but this past week has been rough. I've experienced a significant spike in anxiety--bad enough that I have barely been able to concentrate on anything. My only relief is sleep, when I can manage it. And this is only step one...

Edited by scallywag
add tags

1996 (age 25) put on Serzone for major depressive episode (don't remember dose). Continued for about 3 years.

~2000 put on Zoloft (don't remember dose). On and off for about 13 years.

~2013-2016 put on "aggressive" cocktail: Effexor (225mg at peak); Serzone (450mg at peak); Abilify (2.5 mg every other day); Adderall (40 mg); Ambien (10mg)

Spring 2016: Experienced serotonin-syndrome-like symptoms; began taper off of Serzone by 100 mg every two weeks; discontinued without symptoms

Next: Discontinued use of Abilify "cold turkey"; experienced no withdrawal symptoms

Next: Decreased Adderall by 5mg per week; got to 10mg per day; held there for about three weeks; serious attention and energy problems; went back up to 30 mg/week

Next: Began taper of Effexor: I had dropped from 225 to 150 in May with no significant symptoms; then in early July dropped from 150 to 75, and about two weeks later began to have a significant and sustained spike in anxiety.

Also addicted to smokeless tobacco for ~3 years

Mid-July 2016: Effexor (75mg); Adderall (30mg); Ambien (10mg)

July 28, 2016: Effexor (67mg); Adderall (30mg); Ambien (10mg)

August 11, 2016: Effexor (60mg); Adderall (30mg); Ambien (10mg)

September 9, 2016: Effexor (54mg); Adderall (30mg); Ambien (10mg)

Link to post
  • Moderator Emeritus
SquirrellyGirl

Hello twinedenter, 

 

I'm sorry you are in a bad way with the Effexor taper you have done.  I'm glad you made it here.

 

A bit of housekeeping.  It would help us all tremendously if you could fill out your signature block with your med history and current med profile.  Include dates to the best of your ability.  Please put your withdrawal history in your signature

 

If you could include the times that you take each med, that would help.  Please put all your meds in the drug interaction checker and copy/paste the results here in your Intro thread:  Drug Interactions Checker.  This helps us determine what the best tapering strategy would be for you.  It would also be a good idea for you to journal daily your symptom pattern, from how you slept to what symptoms come up when throughout the day.  This may help:  Dr Joseph Glenmullen's Symptoms Checklist

 

Your 50% cut of Effexor was much  more extreme than we advocate here on SA.  Why taper by 10% of my dosage?

 

You have already encounter withdrawal syndrome, and it will help to read this link on it:  Introduction to AD Withdrawal Syndrome

 

These other links will be helpful to you:

 

About reinstating and stabilizing to reduce withdrawal symptoms

Brain Remodelling (Rhi's Description of Brain Healing)

What is Happening in Your Brain

 

When trying to heal the brain recovering from psych meds, we recommend two supplements:  Magnesium and Omega-3 Fish Oil.  Other supplements can be too activating or otherwise cause worsening symptoms.

 

This is your place to ask questions, document your journey and give updates.  It is helpful to bookmark this page so you can find it more easily.  By clicking "Follow this thread" above, you will be notified when someone responds to your thread.

 

Polydrugging is a complicated business, but we have wonderful mods who are very experienced with this, so they will be sure to pop in and help.

 

Come back with questions once you have read the above materials!

SG

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

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

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

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

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

 

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

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

Link to post

Welcome twinedenter,

So sorry you are in this difficult place and now having to give up your job.

 

As Breggin would say your drugs have been your problem.

Healy and Breggin are rock stars alright and there are a few others out there as well.

 

SG has given you great links and as mentioned it would be helpful to put all the drugs you are taking through the drugs interaction checker.

 

How did you taper off the serzone and abilify?

You say you were on a high dose of serzone . It would be great to advise dosages and timeframes.

Have you had your liver checked out. Serzone was discontinued in some countries due to causing  liver damage.

In fact i cant understand why you doctor has prescribed this drug when in 2004 it appears the company discontinued selling the drug in the US. Although i note the FDA tightened warnings but it appears did not require the drug to be withdrawn from the market.

 

After being on drugs for so long it appears you may have struck poop out and the doctor for the past 5 yrs has simply thrown an ever changing and escalating drug cocktail at it.

 

You have come to the right place.

 

nz11

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

 

 

Link to post
twinedenter256

Thank you so much, nz11 and squirrellygirl, for your responses. One of the worst things about this whole process has been feeling ashamed and alone with it, and it helps a lot to hear from others who have gone through/are going through it too.

 

Regarding your questions... The choice to begin the taper in big steps was based on a combination of advice from my psychiatrist and personal ignorance. Whenever I'd discussed making Effexor dosage changes with my psych we'd always talked about 75mg or 37.5mg increments--simply because the capsules were not available in smaller sizes. So when I initially went down from 225 to 150 it was on his advice. Going from 150 to 75 was my choice--I'd completely lost faith in my psychiatrist, and in psychiatry in general at that point--and I made the choice before having encountered this site and Breggin and Healy's work. Also, I wanted to get off the drugs as quickly as possible--though I now understand that a gradual approach is the quickest way to do it if one takes into account the duration of WD symptoms. I think that I am going to try to stabilize at 75mg and then start the 10% strategy. I will also start on Magnesium and Fish Oil right away.

 

The taper off of Serzone and Abilify went surprisingly smoothly. With Abilify, I was on such a low dose (2.5mg every other day) and really never noticed any effect of the drug to begin with. So I just stopped taking it one day and never had any noticeable symptoms. With the Serzone it was more difficult to tell. I began tapering off of it because of an acute episode of anxiety I had in March (2016). I had just increased my dose to 450mg at my psychiatrist's advice (and I was also on 225mg Effexor, 40mg Adderall, 2.5 mg of Abilify every other day, and 10mg Ambien at the time), and shortly thereafter the anxiety hell began. Based on my symptoms at the time, I believe I was experiencing serotonin syndrome, but my psychiatrist would neither confirm nor deny this. We decided to begin tapering off of the Serzone (it was never clear that it was doing anything anyway) and reduced at first by 50mg per week and eventually (I think) 100 mg per week. My life was pure hell at this point, but so many things were going on that it's hard to say whether any of it was due to withdrawal. I was barely able to function for several weeks--this was the period during which my psych advised a hospital stay--so it's possible that WD was in the mix. As for the initial decision to put me on Serzone despite the liver risks, my psych told me that the risk was minimal and that he had had good results with Serzone in the past. I did have a couple of tests for liver functioning--one while I was on Serzone, which came back normal, and one after I'd discontinued use which showed some problems. I had a follow-up test after the troubling result and it came back normal. Based on this, I think the Serzone was damaging my liver, but it seems that discontinuing it has allowed things to return to normal.

 

I completely agree with nz11's assessment--that I reached the poop out stage with these drugs and my doctor just kept throwing things at it. Our sessions were a joke. I would describe my symptoms and he would read to me from various manuals that supposedly indicated precisely what the effects of various possible drugs were supposed to be. His attitude seemed to be that we understood precisely what these drugs could do, and that we could fine tune my mental state by using the right mix. 

 

Thanks again for your responses. I'll post more as I continue the taper. Until then, good luck to all of you as you try to get yourself free of these poisons!!!

 

(Here are the interaction reports for the drugs I'm still on:

 

Adderall & Effexor: Talk to your doctor before using venlafaxine together with amphetamine. Venlafaxine may increase the effects of amphetamine, and side effects such as jitteriness, nervousness, anxiety, restlessness, and racing thoughts have been reported. Combining these medications can also 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.

 

Ambien & Effexor: Using zolpidem together with venlafaxine may increase side effects such as dizziness, drowsiness, confusion, and difficulty concentrating. Some people, especially the elderly, may also experience impairment in thinking, judgment, and motor coordination. You should avoid or limit the use of alcohol while being treated with these medications. Also avoid activities requiring mental alertness such as driving or operating hazardous machinery until you know how the medications affect you. Talk to your doctor if you have any questions or concerns. 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.

1996 (age 25) put on Serzone for major depressive episode (don't remember dose). Continued for about 3 years.

~2000 put on Zoloft (don't remember dose). On and off for about 13 years.

~2013-2016 put on "aggressive" cocktail: Effexor (225mg at peak); Serzone (450mg at peak); Abilify (2.5 mg every other day); Adderall (40 mg); Ambien (10mg)

Spring 2016: Experienced serotonin-syndrome-like symptoms; began taper off of Serzone by 100 mg every two weeks; discontinued without symptoms

Next: Discontinued use of Abilify "cold turkey"; experienced no withdrawal symptoms

Next: Decreased Adderall by 5mg per week; got to 10mg per day; held there for about three weeks; serious attention and energy problems; went back up to 30 mg/week

Next: Began taper of Effexor: I had dropped from 225 to 150 in May with no significant symptoms; then in early July dropped from 150 to 75, and about two weeks later began to have a significant and sustained spike in anxiety.

Also addicted to smokeless tobacco for ~3 years

Mid-July 2016: Effexor (75mg); Adderall (30mg); Ambien (10mg)

July 28, 2016: Effexor (67mg); Adderall (30mg); Ambien (10mg)

August 11, 2016: Effexor (60mg); Adderall (30mg); Ambien (10mg)

September 9, 2016: Effexor (54mg); Adderall (30mg); Ambien (10mg)

Link to post
twinedenter256

I have been reading lots of posts over the past few days, and have learned so much. It's heartbreaking to hear what people have gone through, and are still going through, because of these horrible drugs. I wanted to share a bit more about my experience, in hopes that it may be helpful to others in some way, or just to start a conversation.

 

At the start of this year I was on Effexor, Serzone, Abilify, Adderall and Ambien (my pdoc had also prescribed Propranolol and Klonopin for use as needed). Since then, I have gotten completely off of the Serzone and Abilify and have recently begun tapering off of Effexor. (There are more details about dosages in my introductory post.) My overriding emotion right now is fear. I am afraid of so many things. First and foremost I am afraid that these awful drugs have changed me forever--that they've destroyed the person I used to be. I have struggled with depression since my mid-twenties (I am now 45), and was on and off SSRIs through my late 30s. During this time, I was always only on one medication--Serzone in my mid-twenties, and then Zoloft starting when I was 30. It wasn't until my early forties that the multi-drug cocktails started. Adderall and Ambien were introduced first, and then experimentation with different SSRI/SNRIs began. It was around the same time (early forties) that I began to feel like I was losing myself. The clearest indication was that I could no longer connect with music and literature. These had always been things that made me feel connected to something. I'd always had an aversion to social interactions--though my friends would have been surprised to hear that. I was always able to fake my way through social interactions well. Most people who knew me would have described me as friendly, funny and sociable. But I always found social interactions draining. People were just energy suckers. Music and literature were my refuge. I played guitar regularly, and began writing fiction in my late 20s, eventually completing a novel. And these things gave me hope and made me feel good. In my early forties, however, all of that just drained out of me. I didn't want to listen to music anymore, I couldn't concentrate well enough to immerse myself in fiction, and I was completely unable to write. I felt severely depersonalized. At one point during this time, I had arranged to go on a writer's retreat at an arts center in Virginia. I had been there once before and had had a wonderful experience. But this time, it was a nightmare. I couldn't feel myself at all. I had no connection to myself. My attempts to reconnect to that part of me that had always felt authentic and true--the part that connected with music and literature--only revealed that that part of me was now gone. I panicked and came home three weeks earlier than planned. After talking to my pdoc, we decided that the feelings might be an effect of the Effexor and we reduced the dosage from 225mg to 150mg, which seemed to help a little. But I stayed on the horrible cocktail of Effexor, Adderall, Serzone, Abilify and Ambien for another couple of years after that because I needed to be able to function at work and believed my pdoc that the drugs were keeping me from being in an even worse situation.

 

So now, as I have begun to learn about all the harm these drugs do, and as I look back through my experience and realize that they have hollowed me out to the point where I no longer recognize myself, I am terrified. I am terrified that I will never be able to get myself back, though I am now committed at least to trying.

 

And this brings me to the second major fear: that the drugs have wrecked so much in my life, and that the difficulties of getting off them are going to finish the job. I am currently an assistant professor at a university. But over the past year I have barely been clinging to my job. This past semester I very nearly had to abandon my classes mid-way through. I have realized that my brain is no longer functioning at the level necessary to do the job. I have already committed to teaching in the Fall--which is going to be hellish--but have decided that this will be my final semester. I am very fortunate in having a wonderful partner who has been incredibly supportive and understanding through all of this. I am going to move in with her, and try to get work as a tutor. I am hoping that having a less stressful and less time consuming job will allow me to get back to writing--and maybe to be able to reconnect with myself through that. This is what I have told myself, in order to feel like I am still striving toward something, like it is still possible for me to have a life beyond just trying to get through the pain of every day. But I am so afraid that the drugs have stolen the part of me that used to be able to feel connected through writing. I know that getting off the drugs is the right choice. But I have to admit that I am so scared of the years I have ahead of me, crawling toward the surface again. I don't know if that process will just consist of surviving, or whether there can also be some living there, too. I love my partner and want to be able to bring joy into her life, to be the partner she deserves. Will I be able to do that? Or will I be a shell for years to come? I don't know. 

 

On top of all this is the terrible feeling of shame. I did this to myself. I took the drugs. It could have been otherwise if I had made different choices. I can't help thinking about the many people I know who have also struggled to some extent with depression but who did not drown themselves in the way I did. I will never get those years back. And I may never get another chance to be "me" again. 

 

These are just some thoughts I wanted to share. Have any of you had similar feelings? How have you coped?

 

Thanks for listening,

twinedenter

1996 (age 25) put on Serzone for major depressive episode (don't remember dose). Continued for about 3 years.

~2000 put on Zoloft (don't remember dose). On and off for about 13 years.

~2013-2016 put on "aggressive" cocktail: Effexor (225mg at peak); Serzone (450mg at peak); Abilify (2.5 mg every other day); Adderall (40 mg); Ambien (10mg)

Spring 2016: Experienced serotonin-syndrome-like symptoms; began taper off of Serzone by 100 mg every two weeks; discontinued without symptoms

Next: Discontinued use of Abilify "cold turkey"; experienced no withdrawal symptoms

Next: Decreased Adderall by 5mg per week; got to 10mg per day; held there for about three weeks; serious attention and energy problems; went back up to 30 mg/week

Next: Began taper of Effexor: I had dropped from 225 to 150 in May with no significant symptoms; then in early July dropped from 150 to 75, and about two weeks later began to have a significant and sustained spike in anxiety.

Also addicted to smokeless tobacco for ~3 years

Mid-July 2016: Effexor (75mg); Adderall (30mg); Ambien (10mg)

July 28, 2016: Effexor (67mg); Adderall (30mg); Ambien (10mg)

August 11, 2016: Effexor (60mg); Adderall (30mg); Ambien (10mg)

September 9, 2016: Effexor (54mg); Adderall (30mg); Ambien (10mg)

Link to post
  • Moderator Emeritus
SquirrellyGirl

 

On top of all this is the terrible feeling of shame. I did this to myself. I took the drugs. It could have been otherwise if I had made different choices. I can't help thinking about the many people I know who have also struggled to some extent with depression but who did not drown themselves in the way I did. I will never get those years back. And I may never get another chance to be "me" again. 

 

These are just some thoughts I wanted to share. Have any of you had similar feelings? How have you coped?

 

Thanks for listening,

twinedenter

 

Your post resonated with me deeply, twinedenter!  I think all of us here who were on the drugs for many years have suffered the shame you speak of here.  But the best thing you can do for yourself is let that go, because NONE of us knowingly did this to ourselves.  Peter Breggin calls it "spellbinding," where we simply don't see the forest for the trees where the drugs' effects are concerned.  It is only in hindsight that we see the trail of damage they left behind. 

 

I can't speak to all that your wrote before other than to say that slow tapering has left me able to cope with the "me" I am right now much more so than when I was in protracted withdrawal or when I was still on higher amounts of Effexor.   Awareness, consciousness have made my existence so much better.  I am still anesthetized to a large degree and lack motivation, but I am not wallowing and am able to function fairly well.  I get out and do things, though I may then crash with fatigue for awhile.  Then I'm back up and at it for the late afternoon/evening.  

 

I know the "me" I was before the drugs 20 years ago was not on solid ground.  I'm not sure who I will find when I am done with the tapering, but I'm fairly certain that I will be able to handle what life throws at me with greater ease for having been through this journey.  I already feel I am better than who I was over the last 20 years.  Maybe age has something to do with it.  Also, the awareness of how the meds actually held me back and kept me numb helps.  I have been able to keep from disintegrating while tapering, so I feel confident that this will continue to be the case.

 

Are you holding on 75 mg or did you up-dose at all?  We never got to discuss that.  I'd been away from the computer for a couple of days.

 

SG

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

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

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

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

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

 

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

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

Link to post

As SG says its not our fault...we must keep reminding ourselves of that.

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

 

 

Link to post
  • Moderator Emeritus

Welcome twinedenter from me too!

 

I hope you'll generate some compassion for yourself.  You trusted you doctor and the medical system; you should be able to trust them. Your doctor probably trusted manufacturers' reps and medical journals; s/he should be able to trust at least the journals. Unfortunately the profit focus of pharmaceutical manufacturers and the resulting actions and inaction have corrupted the system.  :angry::mad:

 

Please put the shame back where it belongs, with the pharma execs and their gangs of polished thugs, researchers who manipulate reports, marketing teams that hide data, and reps who swan from doctor's office to doctor's office offering rosy pictures of the drugs and tempting incentives to docs who prescribe.

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

 "I didn't want to listen to music anymore, I couldn't concentrate well enough to immerse myself in fiction, and I was completely unable to write."

 

I so know where you are coming from. I've always considered myself a writer. coming up with very involved story lines ever since I was a kid. I actually think this may have been one of the things that caused severe depression and anxiety for me to begin with - Denying my true self in order to get a "real job". Funny thing is now I don't have a job at all because the meds totally stripped me of my ability to function.

 

I knew something was terribly wrong when I lost my ability to finish a novel. I had been reading adult literature since I was about 10. Not being able to engage in an activity that had always brought me so much joy was one of the last straws. Not long after realizing how pathetic my life had become and that it wasn't going to get any better, I stumbled across the book Anatomy of an Epidemic by Robert Whitaker. Waking up to the knowledge that my meds were actually causing most of my problems catapulted me on the path to withdrawing from them.  

 

I just had to tell you about something really exciting that happened to me about a month and a half ago. I was able to read a WHOLE novel! Ever since then I've just been plowing through them! Interestingly enough, it seemed to coincide with my last Adderall dose.

 

I took this as a clear indication of my brain's ability to heal itself. Even though my steps have been imperfect and I am far from done, it's now clear to me that I AM getting better. Improvements ARE being made.

 

I believe that the same is true for anyone getting off these demon drugs. Just keep looking for the improvements, no matter how small they may seem, and use them to encourage yourself on toward the brighter days ahead.

 

Peace, love and healing.

PatriciaVP@AbleWriterSays My Intro

 

Zoloft 150-200 mg- on and off between 1998 and 2004.

 

Lexapro 40 mg - 2004-2013 30 mg 2013 - August 2015 20 mg August 2015- September 2015 15 mg September 2015 - October 2015 10 mg October 2015 -Nov. 1 2015. Nov. 2015 increased dose to 12.5 mg to stabilize. Dec. 28 2015 11.25 mg March 29, 2016 10 mg. August 1, 2016 9 mg. October 23, 2016 8.1 mg. Nov. 29, 2016 7.5 mg. Feb. 25, 2017 7 mg. April 9, 2017 6.5 mg. June 2017 6 mg. Aug. 2018 5.75 mg March 2019 5.5 mg Apr. 2019 5.25 mg. June 2019 5 mg Sept. 2019 4.75 mg Nov. 2019 4.5 mg Dec. 2019  4.25 April 7 2020 4mg 

 

Depakote 1000 mg 2008-2013  750 2013-Dec 2015 500 mg Dec 2015 to Feb 2, 2016. Sopped completely Feb 2 2016.

 

Adderall 40mg 2004-Feb 29, 2016. Feb 29,2016 - reduced Adderall to 20 mg based on pdoc's recommendations. March 29, 2016 - Reduced Adderall to 15 mg. April 30 reduced Adderall to 10 mgs. May 28, 2016 reduced Adderall to 5 mgs.June 8, 2016 stopped taking Adderall due to extreme agitation.

 

Amphetamine 20mg 2008 - 1/16. 1/16 - Stopped Amphetamine completely because pdoc did not renew script.

WWW.PSYCHFREE.NET 

Link to post
twinedenter256

Thank you SquirrellyGirl, nz11, scallywag and PatriciaVP for your kind replies. I know that the self-shaming is misplaced energy. It's just so hard when the dominant narrative denies that these drugs are harmful and that withdrawing from them is debilitating. It is so helpful to hear your voices reminding me that this dominant narrative is untrue. As I read more and more about the way the drug companies, the FDA, the NIMH and the media hid the truth for profit it enrages me. I sincerely hope that they will pay some day. They have stolen so many years from us.

 

SG, I'm so glad to hear that you've been able to recover some sense of yourself. It is really heartening to know that it is possible. You should be proud of yourself for having the strength to make it through the horrors of WD! As for me, I've decided to stay at 75mg of Effexor for now. I am still suffering through increased levels of anxiety and irritability (which also make it very difficult to concentrate) but I just can't increase the dosage. I want off of these drugs so badly. I'm hoping that I will get to a more stable place soon and will be able to continue the taper--but more slowly this time.

 

PatriciaVP, thank you so much for sharing your experience with Adderall and writing. It resonated with me deeply, and gave me hope. I've been really worried about how I'm going to be able to function without the Adderall. I was put on 30 mg initially, about three years ago, when I was trying to finish an academic book. At the time, my depression and anxiety were making it impossible for me to work. The Adderall initially was like a wonder drug. I was able to plow through all of the reading I had to do, and had enough concentration and focus to write. What I didn't realize at the time was that all this was coming at the expense of my creativity. The book I was writing at the time required more precision than creativity, so the Adderall-focus was sufficient. I eventually started developing tolerance and my pdoc increased the dosage to 40 (at my prompting). I ultimately realized that the Adderall (and Effexor and Ambien) had completely hollowed me out. I'm finally starting the process of getting off of everything, starting with the Effexor. But I'm really dreading the Adderall taper. A couple of months ago, I decided to try to get off of it. Over the course of a couple of weeks I went down from 40mg to 10mg. I was able to get through the days, but it was impossible for me to work. My brain was so foggy. I couldn't concentrate, was super low-energy and had absolutely no motivation. At the time I was still thinking I wanted to try to keep my job (as an assistant professor), and decided that I couldn't do it in that state. So I went back up to 30mg, which is where I am now. Could you tell me a little bit more about how the tapering process went for you? Did you experience concentration/cognition problems and lack of motivation? How long did it take for these to begin to subside? Any information would be very much appreciated. I'm so happy for you that you have been able to read novels again! I would love to be able to do so, too. 

 

I hope all of you are doing well, or at least hanging in there. My thoughts are with you!

 

twinedenter

1996 (age 25) put on Serzone for major depressive episode (don't remember dose). Continued for about 3 years.

~2000 put on Zoloft (don't remember dose). On and off for about 13 years.

~2013-2016 put on "aggressive" cocktail: Effexor (225mg at peak); Serzone (450mg at peak); Abilify (2.5 mg every other day); Adderall (40 mg); Ambien (10mg)

Spring 2016: Experienced serotonin-syndrome-like symptoms; began taper off of Serzone by 100 mg every two weeks; discontinued without symptoms

Next: Discontinued use of Abilify "cold turkey"; experienced no withdrawal symptoms

Next: Decreased Adderall by 5mg per week; got to 10mg per day; held there for about three weeks; serious attention and energy problems; went back up to 30 mg/week

Next: Began taper of Effexor: I had dropped from 225 to 150 in May with no significant symptoms; then in early July dropped from 150 to 75, and about two weeks later began to have a significant and sustained spike in anxiety.

Also addicted to smokeless tobacco for ~3 years

Mid-July 2016: Effexor (75mg); Adderall (30mg); Ambien (10mg)

July 28, 2016: Effexor (67mg); Adderall (30mg); Ambien (10mg)

August 11, 2016: Effexor (60mg); Adderall (30mg); Ambien (10mg)

September 9, 2016: Effexor (54mg); Adderall (30mg); Ambien (10mg)

Link to post

"Could you tell me a little bit more about how the tapering process went for you? Did you experience concentration/cognition problems and lack of motivation? How long did it take for these to begin to subside?"

 

When I was at my highest doses of all my meds, I was taking 40 mg Lexapro, 1000 mg Depakote, 60 mg Adderall plus 10 mg of fast acting amphetamine. I drank 2 cups of coffee in the morning, usually a caffeinated soda or two in the afternoon and I went to one of these fitness "boot camps" for an hour 4 days a week. Yet I could STILL SLEEP most of the day away. I should have been bouncing off the damn walls with all that coursing through my veins! Um....yeah.....think there might be a problem here?

 

Turns out the problem was the Lexapro, and to a lesser extent, the Depakote. Like you, I didn't even want to come off the Adderall. I mean, how was I supposed to do anything at all without it? Even on the highest dose I was barely functioning! When I first approached my doctor about getting off the drugs, he thought getting off the Lexapro was OK, but I should really think about getting off the Adderall too. In fact, he was fine with me going cold turkey of BOTH of them AT THE SAME TIME! And I'm the crazy one. The only thing I couldn't get off according to him was the Depakote because I needed it for my "bipolar disorder" like "a diabetic needs insulin". I kid you not. He actually said that. Little did he know, I was actually working my way off of it already and a month later, I stopped it altogether.

 

I did follow some of his advice in that I cut back on some of the Adderall first. I took it down to 40 mg and then began tapering the Lexapro. I got the Lexapro down to 10 mg in January 2016. Then all hell broke loose. Every time I took the Adderall, I would have heart palpitations and shortness of breath. If it wasn't for the fact that I had just taken the Adderall about twenty minutes before, I would have assumed I was going into cardiac arrest! After all that I still didn't want to give up the Adderrall. I raised my Lexapro dosage back up 12.75 mg and that seemed to even things out.

 

When I went back to my doctor, he reminded me that Lexapro was not only an antidepressant, but it was also an anti-anxiety medication. Getting so low on the Lexapro was causing anxiety attacks every time I took the Adderall. This just drove home to me how messed up this whole psychiatric drug thing is. Why was I on any of this sh*** to begin with?

 

But I digress. After that, I decided to get off the Adderall before tapering anymore on the Lexapro. I got down to 5 mg, but hit a wall when I tried going to zero. I was unable to function at all without having any of it in my system. I went back up to 5 mg and switched back to continuing my Lexapro taper. I got down to 10 mg on the Lexapro and started having problems again. No heart palpitations this time (thank God!), but everytime I took the Adderall, I'd get extremely agitated.

 

So off the Adderall I went. For the first 3 or 4 days all I wanted to do was sleep, but that went away surprisingly quickly and wasn't nearly as debilitating as it was the first time I went to zero. I'm wondering if that had something to do with more time having passed since my original steep drop off the Lexapro. I also think time had something to do with my novel reading capabilities returning.

 

So now I've been off Adderall completely for about a month and a half. The weird thing is I suddenly can't have any caffeine either. Just a couple of sips of coffee in the morning and I'm agitated and irritable for hours. So, no amphetamines, no Adderall, no caffeine. I stayed awake all day, and I wrote this whole thing to you. What the heck is going on?

 

I hope I answered some of your questions in spite of my rambling. I doubt my story is typical, but I'm always happy to share my experiences even if they don't completely make sense even to me.

 

Peace, love and healing.

PatriciaVP@AbleWriterSays My Intro

 

Zoloft 150-200 mg- on and off between 1998 and 2004.

 

Lexapro 40 mg - 2004-2013 30 mg 2013 - August 2015 20 mg August 2015- September 2015 15 mg September 2015 - October 2015 10 mg October 2015 -Nov. 1 2015. Nov. 2015 increased dose to 12.5 mg to stabilize. Dec. 28 2015 11.25 mg March 29, 2016 10 mg. August 1, 2016 9 mg. October 23, 2016 8.1 mg. Nov. 29, 2016 7.5 mg. Feb. 25, 2017 7 mg. April 9, 2017 6.5 mg. June 2017 6 mg. Aug. 2018 5.75 mg March 2019 5.5 mg Apr. 2019 5.25 mg. June 2019 5 mg Sept. 2019 4.75 mg Nov. 2019 4.5 mg Dec. 2019  4.25 April 7 2020 4mg 

 

Depakote 1000 mg 2008-2013  750 2013-Dec 2015 500 mg Dec 2015 to Feb 2, 2016. Sopped completely Feb 2 2016.

 

Adderall 40mg 2004-Feb 29, 2016. Feb 29,2016 - reduced Adderall to 20 mg based on pdoc's recommendations. March 29, 2016 - Reduced Adderall to 15 mg. April 30 reduced Adderall to 10 mgs. May 28, 2016 reduced Adderall to 5 mgs.June 8, 2016 stopped taking Adderall due to extreme agitation.

 

Amphetamine 20mg 2008 - 1/16. 1/16 - Stopped Amphetamine completely because pdoc did not renew script.

WWW.PSYCHFREE.NET 

Link to post
twinedenter256

Thanks, PatriciaVP, for sharing your experience with me. So much of it resonated with me. Being on a multi-drug combination makes it so difficult to know where the various symptoms are coming from.

 

When I was at my highest doses of all my meds, I was taking 40 mg Lexapro, 1000 mg Depakote, 60 mg Adderall plus 10 mg of fast acting amphetamine. I drank 2 cups of coffee in the morning, usually a caffeinated soda or two in the afternoon and I went to one of these fitness "boot camps" for an hour 4 days a week. Yet I could STILL SLEEP most of the day away.

 

I can especially relate to that! I feel like I could sleep for 20 hours a day. No matter how much I do to increase my energy with exercise, good diet, good sleep habits, etc. I am always tired. It feels like I'm covered with an extremely heavy tarp all the time, and if I try really hard I can sometimes lift it a few inches and have thirty minutes or so of feeling energized--like after having done a hard workout, for example. But it never lasts more than a half hour, and I feel incredibly discouraged that that is the payoff from working so hard. Sometimes I think that the low energy is the worst thing of all, because it makes everything else harder. It makes contemplating any kind of work almost impossible. And this is especially bad right now, as I am in the process of leaving my current job and am faced with the prospect of having to find something else I can do to pay the bills. 

 

I am encouraged--and very happy for you--to hear that you have been able to make it through the difficulties of getting off the meds and that you are noticing improvement. I hope to be able to report the same at some point. Thank you, again, for sharing your experience with me. I really appreciate it. I'd be interested to hear about how things go for you as you continue to get through the withdrawal. I'll be rooting for you!!

 

twinedenter

1996 (age 25) put on Serzone for major depressive episode (don't remember dose). Continued for about 3 years.

~2000 put on Zoloft (don't remember dose). On and off for about 13 years.

~2013-2016 put on "aggressive" cocktail: Effexor (225mg at peak); Serzone (450mg at peak); Abilify (2.5 mg every other day); Adderall (40 mg); Ambien (10mg)

Spring 2016: Experienced serotonin-syndrome-like symptoms; began taper off of Serzone by 100 mg every two weeks; discontinued without symptoms

Next: Discontinued use of Abilify "cold turkey"; experienced no withdrawal symptoms

Next: Decreased Adderall by 5mg per week; got to 10mg per day; held there for about three weeks; serious attention and energy problems; went back up to 30 mg/week

Next: Began taper of Effexor: I had dropped from 225 to 150 in May with no significant symptoms; then in early July dropped from 150 to 75, and about two weeks later began to have a significant and sustained spike in anxiety.

Also addicted to smokeless tobacco for ~3 years

Mid-July 2016: Effexor (75mg); Adderall (30mg); Ambien (10mg)

July 28, 2016: Effexor (67mg); Adderall (30mg); Ambien (10mg)

August 11, 2016: Effexor (60mg); Adderall (30mg); Ambien (10mg)

September 9, 2016: Effexor (54mg); Adderall (30mg); Ambien (10mg)

Link to post

"I am encouraged--and very happy for you--to hear that you have been able to make it through the difficulties of getting off the meds and that you are noticing improvement. I hope to be able to report the same at some point. Thank you, again, for sharing your experience with me. I really appreciate it. I'd be interested to hear about how things go for you as you continue to get through the withdrawal. I'll be rooting for you!!"

 

Thanks, Twinedenter. Same here.

PatriciaVP@AbleWriterSays My Intro

 

Zoloft 150-200 mg- on and off between 1998 and 2004.

 

Lexapro 40 mg - 2004-2013 30 mg 2013 - August 2015 20 mg August 2015- September 2015 15 mg September 2015 - October 2015 10 mg October 2015 -Nov. 1 2015. Nov. 2015 increased dose to 12.5 mg to stabilize. Dec. 28 2015 11.25 mg March 29, 2016 10 mg. August 1, 2016 9 mg. October 23, 2016 8.1 mg. Nov. 29, 2016 7.5 mg. Feb. 25, 2017 7 mg. April 9, 2017 6.5 mg. June 2017 6 mg. Aug. 2018 5.75 mg March 2019 5.5 mg Apr. 2019 5.25 mg. June 2019 5 mg Sept. 2019 4.75 mg Nov. 2019 4.5 mg Dec. 2019  4.25 April 7 2020 4mg 

 

Depakote 1000 mg 2008-2013  750 2013-Dec 2015 500 mg Dec 2015 to Feb 2, 2016. Sopped completely Feb 2 2016.

 

Adderall 40mg 2004-Feb 29, 2016. Feb 29,2016 - reduced Adderall to 20 mg based on pdoc's recommendations. March 29, 2016 - Reduced Adderall to 15 mg. April 30 reduced Adderall to 10 mgs. May 28, 2016 reduced Adderall to 5 mgs.June 8, 2016 stopped taking Adderall due to extreme agitation.

 

Amphetamine 20mg 2008 - 1/16. 1/16 - Stopped Amphetamine completely because pdoc did not renew script.

WWW.PSYCHFREE.NET 

Link to post
  • 4 weeks later...
twinedenter256

In the third month of my taper off of Effexor, and have been having noticeable symptoms.

 

The most persistent and troubling one is severe fatigue. I'm still taking 10mg of Ambien each night, which knocks me out reliably, but the sleep is TOTALLY unrefreshing. I wake up each morning more tired than when I went to sleep. Most days I have to lie down for hours just to get through the day. I usually feel a little more awake in the evenings, at least for a little while. But the fatigue makes it nearly impossible to get anything done during the day. And this is despite the fact that I am still on 30mg per day of Adderall. (One taper at a time...)

 

I've also noticed that two or three days after I decrease my Effexor dose (I've been bead-counting to go down by 10% every 2 weeks) I have a day or two of feeling completely dazed, like I can't do anything but stare off into space. Sometimes this is combined with a feeling of severe irritability, like I can't handle doing anything or having any interaction at all with other people. All I want to do on these days is sit alone in a dark room. The dazed feeling and irritability usually subside a bit after a couple of days. But the severe fatigue is really tough.

 

If anyone else out there is experiencing any of this, I'd love to hear about it--how you're doing, how you've been coping with it, etc. 

 

Thanks for reading. Sending everyone good thoughts.

1996 (age 25) put on Serzone for major depressive episode (don't remember dose). Continued for about 3 years.

~2000 put on Zoloft (don't remember dose). On and off for about 13 years.

~2013-2016 put on "aggressive" cocktail: Effexor (225mg at peak); Serzone (450mg at peak); Abilify (2.5 mg every other day); Adderall (40 mg); Ambien (10mg)

Spring 2016: Experienced serotonin-syndrome-like symptoms; began taper off of Serzone by 100 mg every two weeks; discontinued without symptoms

Next: Discontinued use of Abilify "cold turkey"; experienced no withdrawal symptoms

Next: Decreased Adderall by 5mg per week; got to 10mg per day; held there for about three weeks; serious attention and energy problems; went back up to 30 mg/week

Next: Began taper of Effexor: I had dropped from 225 to 150 in May with no significant symptoms; then in early July dropped from 150 to 75, and about two weeks later began to have a significant and sustained spike in anxiety.

Also addicted to smokeless tobacco for ~3 years

Mid-July 2016: Effexor (75mg); Adderall (30mg); Ambien (10mg)

July 28, 2016: Effexor (67mg); Adderall (30mg); Ambien (10mg)

August 11, 2016: Effexor (60mg); Adderall (30mg); Ambien (10mg)

September 9, 2016: Effexor (54mg); Adderall (30mg); Ambien (10mg)

Link to post
  • Moderator Emeritus
SquirrellyGirl

 

I've also noticed that two or three days after I decrease my Effexor dose (I've been bead-counting to go down by 10% every 2 weeks) I have a day or two of feeling completely dazed, like I can't do anything but stare off into space. Sometimes this is combined with a feeling of severe irritability, like I can't handle doing anything or having any interaction at all with other people. All I want to do on these days is sit alone in a dark room. The dazed feeling and irritability usually subside a bit after a couple of days. But the severe fatigue is really tough.

 

I am currently experiencing the fatigue/fog on waking, difficult to contemplate doing anything - motivation is low and energy just not there to take on tasks.  You are not alone.  I am also on Remeron, which is very sedating, so wondering if the Remeron's sedation is exceeding the activation of the Effexor.  Maybe the same thing for the Ambien?

 

I wanted to point out that you are tapering at 20% per month, and perhaps that is part of the problem. A hold may be in order.  I guess I should tell myself that, too!

 

SG

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

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

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

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

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

 

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

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

Link to post

twinedenter,

 

Your story resonates highly with me.  I was on a combination of SSRI and Adderall for several years and have gone through a very similar experience to yours.  The hollowed out feeling is devastating, hence my moniker "IHadPassion."  I am participating in a documentary that is just beginning filming about the long term effects of psychotropic drugs and poly-drugging.  If you would be interested in sharing your story as it is unfolding, please let me know an I can put you in touch with the director.

Year 0:      Social anxiety, obsessive thoughts, NO depression, NO suicidal ideations

Years 1-2: Ativan (benzo) <1mg as needed, not abused but developed physical dependence

Years 2-3: Paxil (20mg) augmented with Adderall XR (10-20mg) due to withdrawal from Ativan

Years 3-Present: Severe depression, headaches, psychiatric hospitalization, lost job, etc.

 

Link to post
twinedenter256

Thank you SquirrellyGirl and IHadPassion for your replies! I am so sorry that you have been experiencing these symptoms, too. You may be right, SquirrellyGirl, that I may be going a little too fast. I want to get these poisons out of my system so badly, but I know that rushing it is dangerous. Maybe I will start doing 10% per month rather than every two weeks. I've read that both SSRI/SNRIs and Ambien alter our sleep cycles--I think, if I remember correctly, that they both decrease REM phases--and I'm wondering how much of an effect this is having. Guess I won't know until I'm totally off both of them (and the Adderall).

 

IHadPassion--I can completely relate to your moniker. Music used to be one of the most important things in my life, and now I feel nothing when I listen or play. And I used to write fiction, but now can't even read a novel let alone write one. I am curious to hear more about your experience, and about the documentary. Would you mind if I sent you a personal message?

 

Wishing you both all the best.

1996 (age 25) put on Serzone for major depressive episode (don't remember dose). Continued for about 3 years.

~2000 put on Zoloft (don't remember dose). On and off for about 13 years.

~2013-2016 put on "aggressive" cocktail: Effexor (225mg at peak); Serzone (450mg at peak); Abilify (2.5 mg every other day); Adderall (40 mg); Ambien (10mg)

Spring 2016: Experienced serotonin-syndrome-like symptoms; began taper off of Serzone by 100 mg every two weeks; discontinued without symptoms

Next: Discontinued use of Abilify "cold turkey"; experienced no withdrawal symptoms

Next: Decreased Adderall by 5mg per week; got to 10mg per day; held there for about three weeks; serious attention and energy problems; went back up to 30 mg/week

Next: Began taper of Effexor: I had dropped from 225 to 150 in May with no significant symptoms; then in early July dropped from 150 to 75, and about two weeks later began to have a significant and sustained spike in anxiety.

Also addicted to smokeless tobacco for ~3 years

Mid-July 2016: Effexor (75mg); Adderall (30mg); Ambien (10mg)

July 28, 2016: Effexor (67mg); Adderall (30mg); Ambien (10mg)

August 11, 2016: Effexor (60mg); Adderall (30mg); Ambien (10mg)

September 9, 2016: Effexor (54mg); Adderall (30mg); Ambien (10mg)

Link to post

Of course.

Year 0:      Social anxiety, obsessive thoughts, NO depression, NO suicidal ideations

Years 1-2: Ativan (benzo) <1mg as needed, not abused but developed physical dependence

Years 2-3: Paxil (20mg) augmented with Adderall XR (10-20mg) due to withdrawal from Ativan

Years 3-Present: Severe depression, headaches, psychiatric hospitalization, lost job, etc.

 

Link to post

Holding is SO HARD. Funny thing is, the more pain I'm in, the faster I want to go. Like I'm being driven to get these poisons out of my body. When I had to stop the Adderall so abruptly, I decided to hold for two months. It was torture. It doesn't help that I'm a terribly impatient person anyway.

 

I do think the hold did me good, however. My last 10% Lexapro drop was not nearly as disruptive.

PatriciaVP@AbleWriterSays My Intro

 

Zoloft 150-200 mg- on and off between 1998 and 2004.

 

Lexapro 40 mg - 2004-2013 30 mg 2013 - August 2015 20 mg August 2015- September 2015 15 mg September 2015 - October 2015 10 mg October 2015 -Nov. 1 2015. Nov. 2015 increased dose to 12.5 mg to stabilize. Dec. 28 2015 11.25 mg March 29, 2016 10 mg. August 1, 2016 9 mg. October 23, 2016 8.1 mg. Nov. 29, 2016 7.5 mg. Feb. 25, 2017 7 mg. April 9, 2017 6.5 mg. June 2017 6 mg. Aug. 2018 5.75 mg March 2019 5.5 mg Apr. 2019 5.25 mg. June 2019 5 mg Sept. 2019 4.75 mg Nov. 2019 4.5 mg Dec. 2019  4.25 April 7 2020 4mg 

 

Depakote 1000 mg 2008-2013  750 2013-Dec 2015 500 mg Dec 2015 to Feb 2, 2016. Sopped completely Feb 2 2016.

 

Adderall 40mg 2004-Feb 29, 2016. Feb 29,2016 - reduced Adderall to 20 mg based on pdoc's recommendations. March 29, 2016 - Reduced Adderall to 15 mg. April 30 reduced Adderall to 10 mgs. May 28, 2016 reduced Adderall to 5 mgs.June 8, 2016 stopped taking Adderall due to extreme agitation.

 

Amphetamine 20mg 2008 - 1/16. 1/16 - Stopped Amphetamine completely because pdoc did not renew script.

WWW.PSYCHFREE.NET 

Link to post
  • Administrator

In the third month of my taper off of Effexor, and have been having noticeable symptoms.

 

The most persistent and troubling one is severe fatigue. I'm still taking 10mg of Ambien each night, which knocks me out reliably, but the sleep is TOTALLY unrefreshing. I wake up each morning more tired than when I went to sleep. Most days I have to lie down for hours just to get through the day. I usually feel a little more awake in the evenings, at least for a little while. But the fatigue makes it nearly impossible to get anything done during the day. And this is despite the fact that I am still on 30mg per day of Adderall. (One taper at a time...)

 

I've also noticed that two or three days after I decrease my Effexor dose (I've been bead-counting to go down by 10% every 2 weeks) I have a day or two of feeling completely dazed, like I can't do anything but stare off into space. Sometimes this is combined with a feeling of severe irritability, like I can't handle doing anything or having any interaction at all with other people. All I want to do on these days is sit alone in a dark room. The dazed feeling and irritability usually subside a bit after a couple of days. But the severe fatigue is really tough.

 

If anyone else out there is experiencing any of this, I'd love to hear about it--how you're doing, how you've been coping with it, etc. 

 

Thanks for reading. Sending everyone good thoughts.

 

Hello, twined. Did Ambien always affect you like that or is this something recent? When do you take Adderall?

 

The Adderall could be keeping you from sleeping well.

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.

Link to post
  • Moderator Emeritus

twinedenter - Just a note about neuroactive drugs and sleep: Sleep cycle changes are not only an adverse effect while taking them, they also occur when you discontinue them including tapering too fast. ;)

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
twinedenter256

Thanks PatriciaVP, Altostrata and scallywag for your replies!

 

PatriciaVP, thanks for the advice about holding. I am going to stick with my current dose for 4 weeks this time before dropping down again. I hate that this means more time on the drug, but I guess it's the best way to go.

 

Altostrata, I'm not totally sure whether the unrefreshing sleep is a new effect or a longstanding one, but I think it's a new one. When I first went on Ambien I'd been struggling for months with really bad insomnia, and the Ambien did seem initially to help a lot -- of course, this was relative to the insomniac phase. In the few years I've been on Ambien it's ALWAYS put me quickly to sleep and kept me asleep for at least 7 or 8 hours, so I always assumed that whatever low-energy or fatigue problems I was having couldn't be because of lack of sleep. I've always been relatively low energy, and there were definitely times over the past few years when I felt very tired during the days but I never really kept track. The recent problems, however, seem to be worse. This suggests to me that maybe the problem is related more to withdrawal than to Ambien--since the totally unrefreshing sleep problem seems to have cropping up more often since I started coming off the meds. Incidentally, the last few days have been a little better. Regarding Adderall, I take it twice a day--15mg when I wake up and 15mg at about 4pm. I usually go to sleep at around 10:30 or 11. 

 

Scallywag, thanks for the comment about sleep effects of fast tapering. I will definitely keep that in mind. And I'm going to try to keep better track of exactly when the bad days occur, to figure out what might be causing them. Maybe tapering more slowly will help!

 

Thanks again for the replies. Wishing you all well!

1996 (age 25) put on Serzone for major depressive episode (don't remember dose). Continued for about 3 years.

~2000 put on Zoloft (don't remember dose). On and off for about 13 years.

~2013-2016 put on "aggressive" cocktail: Effexor (225mg at peak); Serzone (450mg at peak); Abilify (2.5 mg every other day); Adderall (40 mg); Ambien (10mg)

Spring 2016: Experienced serotonin-syndrome-like symptoms; began taper off of Serzone by 100 mg every two weeks; discontinued without symptoms

Next: Discontinued use of Abilify "cold turkey"; experienced no withdrawal symptoms

Next: Decreased Adderall by 5mg per week; got to 10mg per day; held there for about three weeks; serious attention and energy problems; went back up to 30 mg/week

Next: Began taper of Effexor: I had dropped from 225 to 150 in May with no significant symptoms; then in early July dropped from 150 to 75, and about two weeks later began to have a significant and sustained spike in anxiety.

Also addicted to smokeless tobacco for ~3 years

Mid-July 2016: Effexor (75mg); Adderall (30mg); Ambien (10mg)

July 28, 2016: Effexor (67mg); Adderall (30mg); Ambien (10mg)

August 11, 2016: Effexor (60mg); Adderall (30mg); Ambien (10mg)

September 9, 2016: Effexor (54mg); Adderall (30mg); Ambien (10mg)

Link to post
  • Moderator Emeritus

"I hate that this means more time on the drug, but I guess it's the best way to go."

 

And you are not the only one here that feels this way.  If you try and rush it and it goes bad, it may end up taking longer than if you had gone slowly and steadily.

NEW!!!     INTERVIEW with Altostrata, SA's founder    NEW!!! 

 

Plodding along inch by inch:  12" = 1',  3' =  36 " or 1 yard,  1760 yards  = 63,360" or 1 mile

Current from 17 Apr 2021:  Pristiq 0.2665mg  now holding each dose for 3 weeks

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

My tapering program   My Intro (goes to my tapering graph)  My website

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

Link to post
twinedenter256

I hear you ChessieCat. Thanks for the reply!

1996 (age 25) put on Serzone for major depressive episode (don't remember dose). Continued for about 3 years.

~2000 put on Zoloft (don't remember dose). On and off for about 13 years.

~2013-2016 put on "aggressive" cocktail: Effexor (225mg at peak); Serzone (450mg at peak); Abilify (2.5 mg every other day); Adderall (40 mg); Ambien (10mg)

Spring 2016: Experienced serotonin-syndrome-like symptoms; began taper off of Serzone by 100 mg every two weeks; discontinued without symptoms

Next: Discontinued use of Abilify "cold turkey"; experienced no withdrawal symptoms

Next: Decreased Adderall by 5mg per week; got to 10mg per day; held there for about three weeks; serious attention and energy problems; went back up to 30 mg/week

Next: Began taper of Effexor: I had dropped from 225 to 150 in May with no significant symptoms; then in early July dropped from 150 to 75, and about two weeks later began to have a significant and sustained spike in anxiety.

Also addicted to smokeless tobacco for ~3 years

Mid-July 2016: Effexor (75mg); Adderall (30mg); Ambien (10mg)

July 28, 2016: Effexor (67mg); Adderall (30mg); Ambien (10mg)

August 11, 2016: Effexor (60mg); Adderall (30mg); Ambien (10mg)

September 9, 2016: Effexor (54mg); Adderall (30mg); Ambien (10mg)

Link to post
  • 3 weeks later...
twinedenter256

It has been a little while since I've posted, and I wanted to give a quick update.

 

I'm now about 5 months into my general taper from a combination of drugs (Venlafaxine, Nefazodone, Aripiprazole, Adderall, Ambien). For the past two months I've been doing a slow taper of Venlafaxine ER--10% at a time. Initially I had tried to go down by 10% every two weeks, but that was too fast so now I'm on a 10% every 4 weeks schedule. My most recent reduction was three days ago--down from 60mg per day to 54.

 

Prior to this reduction I had stabilized a bit. When I decreased from 67mg to 60 I was having a lot of trouble with anxiety and VERY low energy. Holding for 4 weeks helped a bit, and I eventually was feeling a bit more stable. Since my reduction to 54mg three days ago, the low energy problems have returned. I really struggle to maintain concentration and motivation for more than about an hour at a time. I've also been having weird heart things going on. It's hard to describe--not like a racing heartbeat, but just more of an unstable-feeling one. It feels like my heart is thumping and kind of fluttering at the same time. I've been exercising regularly (just light exercise) to try to combat the low energy and unstable-feeling heartbeat but it doesn't seem to be working. Do others have similar heart things going on?

 

I'm hoping that holding at this dosage for four weeks will help me to stabilize a bit. It's just so demoralizing to have this happen every time I decrease. But I'm committed to getting off these drugs!

 

On the somewhat positive side, I do think that I'm doing considerably better than I was in April, when I was on my max dosages of all the drugs. At that time I was experiencing intense, debilitating anxiety almost all the time. But over the past month or so I've actually been able to be a little bit productive--in small bursts of work here and there. I'm a teacher, and the semester has just begun, which means that I'm back in front of a classroom a couple of times a week. I find that these are the hardest times for me. The anxiety gets pretty intense any time I have to interact with colleagues or students. 

 

Sending good thoughts and support to you all!

1996 (age 25) put on Serzone for major depressive episode (don't remember dose). Continued for about 3 years.

~2000 put on Zoloft (don't remember dose). On and off for about 13 years.

~2013-2016 put on "aggressive" cocktail: Effexor (225mg at peak); Serzone (450mg at peak); Abilify (2.5 mg every other day); Adderall (40 mg); Ambien (10mg)

Spring 2016: Experienced serotonin-syndrome-like symptoms; began taper off of Serzone by 100 mg every two weeks; discontinued without symptoms

Next: Discontinued use of Abilify "cold turkey"; experienced no withdrawal symptoms

Next: Decreased Adderall by 5mg per week; got to 10mg per day; held there for about three weeks; serious attention and energy problems; went back up to 30 mg/week

Next: Began taper of Effexor: I had dropped from 225 to 150 in May with no significant symptoms; then in early July dropped from 150 to 75, and about two weeks later began to have a significant and sustained spike in anxiety.

Also addicted to smokeless tobacco for ~3 years

Mid-July 2016: Effexor (75mg); Adderall (30mg); Ambien (10mg)

July 28, 2016: Effexor (67mg); Adderall (30mg); Ambien (10mg)

August 11, 2016: Effexor (60mg); Adderall (30mg); Ambien (10mg)

September 9, 2016: Effexor (54mg); Adderall (30mg); Ambien (10mg)

Link to post

You are doing well - teaching too.  Wish I was down to 54mg Effexor!  I go down to 175mg tomorrow.

Best wishes

Born 1945. 

1999 - First Effexor/Venlafaxine

2016 Withdrawal research. Effexor.  13Jul - 212.5mg;  6Aug - 200.0mg;  24Aug - 187.5mg;  13Sep - 175.0mg;  3Oct - 162.5mg;  26Oct - 150mg 

2017  9Jan - 150.00mg;  23Mar - 137.50mg;  24Apr - 125.00mg;  31May - 112.50mg holding;  3Sep - 100.00mg;  20Sep - 93.75mg;  20Oct - 87.5mg;  12Nov - 81.25mg;  13 Dec - 75.00mg

2018  18Jan - 69.1mg; 16Feb - 62.5mg; 16March - 57.5mg (-8%); 22Apr - 56.3mg(-2%); CRASHED - Updose 29May - 62.5mg; Updose - 1Jul - 75.0mg. Updose - 2Aug - 87.5mg. Updose - 27Aug - 100.0mg. Updose - 11Oct 112.5mg. Updose - 6Nov 125.00mg

2019 Updoses 19 Jan - 150.0mg. 1April - 162.5mg. 24 April - Feeling better - doing tasks, getting outside.  7 May - usual depression questionnaire gives "probably no depression" result.

Supps/Vits  Omega 3;  Chelated Magnesium;  Prebiotics/Probiotics, Vit D3. 

Link to post
  • Moderator Emeritus

twinedenter - have you considered smaller dose reductions than 10%? 

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

#keep going you are doing well, I am also struggling but I just try to keep going and doing my best. I will send positive vibes to you.

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

Link to post
  • Administrator

You might consider holding longer than 4 weeks, to give your nervous system time to settle down.

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.

Link to post
twinedenter256

Thanks peng, dowdaller, scallywag and Altostrata for your replies! I know that I should be considering a slower taper...it's just so difficult to do that. A voice in my head says, "you're suffering anyway, why not suffer a little more and get it over with more quickly?" I guess that's the balance we all have to strike. I think I'm going to try this one more time--holding for just four weeks and going down again by 10%. If it's just as rough next time, I'll consider decreasing the drop or lengthening the hold. 

 

peng and dowdaller, I'm sending you good thoughts as you keep pushing through. One thing I can say is that, even though things have been rough lately, I am definitely better overall than I was in April when I was on the high doses of all the drugs. 

 

I'm going to see my primary care physician on Friday to talk with him about my withdrawal experience, and to see if he will give me a referral to a cardiologist to do some testing on my heart. I've been a bit alarmed at what I've been reading about the effects of ADs on the heart, and I know that I've been experiencing some weird heart behavior since I was put on the polydrug combination. I'll let everyone know how that all turns out.

1996 (age 25) put on Serzone for major depressive episode (don't remember dose). Continued for about 3 years.

~2000 put on Zoloft (don't remember dose). On and off for about 13 years.

~2013-2016 put on "aggressive" cocktail: Effexor (225mg at peak); Serzone (450mg at peak); Abilify (2.5 mg every other day); Adderall (40 mg); Ambien (10mg)

Spring 2016: Experienced serotonin-syndrome-like symptoms; began taper off of Serzone by 100 mg every two weeks; discontinued without symptoms

Next: Discontinued use of Abilify "cold turkey"; experienced no withdrawal symptoms

Next: Decreased Adderall by 5mg per week; got to 10mg per day; held there for about three weeks; serious attention and energy problems; went back up to 30 mg/week

Next: Began taper of Effexor: I had dropped from 225 to 150 in May with no significant symptoms; then in early July dropped from 150 to 75, and about two weeks later began to have a significant and sustained spike in anxiety.

Also addicted to smokeless tobacco for ~3 years

Mid-July 2016: Effexor (75mg); Adderall (30mg); Ambien (10mg)

July 28, 2016: Effexor (67mg); Adderall (30mg); Ambien (10mg)

August 11, 2016: Effexor (60mg); Adderall (30mg); Ambien (10mg)

September 9, 2016: Effexor (54mg); Adderall (30mg); Ambien (10mg)

Link to post
  • 4 weeks later...

Wow, Twinedenter! Teaching? Interacting with all those people? Pretty impressive!

 

I go to the gym for an hour four days a week and that is about all the getting out I do. I don't think the exercise tires me out nearly as much as the personal interactions. I couldn't imagine having to teach!

 

I've been holding my taper for over 2 months now, waiting to feel good enough to continue. Thought I almost had it last week after I gave up some allergy medicine that I had noticed was holding me back. Giving it up gave me a big boost. I actually wanted to get out and DO things. It's since worn off, however, and I'm back to wanting to hide.

 

Oh well. Windows and waves. Windows and waves. It'll come. In the meantime I think I'll hold a little longer. The hold is definitely helping.

PatriciaVP@AbleWriterSays My Intro

 

Zoloft 150-200 mg- on and off between 1998 and 2004.

 

Lexapro 40 mg - 2004-2013 30 mg 2013 - August 2015 20 mg August 2015- September 2015 15 mg September 2015 - October 2015 10 mg October 2015 -Nov. 1 2015. Nov. 2015 increased dose to 12.5 mg to stabilize. Dec. 28 2015 11.25 mg March 29, 2016 10 mg. August 1, 2016 9 mg. October 23, 2016 8.1 mg. Nov. 29, 2016 7.5 mg. Feb. 25, 2017 7 mg. April 9, 2017 6.5 mg. June 2017 6 mg. Aug. 2018 5.75 mg March 2019 5.5 mg Apr. 2019 5.25 mg. June 2019 5 mg Sept. 2019 4.75 mg Nov. 2019 4.5 mg Dec. 2019  4.25 April 7 2020 4mg 

 

Depakote 1000 mg 2008-2013  750 2013-Dec 2015 500 mg Dec 2015 to Feb 2, 2016. Sopped completely Feb 2 2016.

 

Adderall 40mg 2004-Feb 29, 2016. Feb 29,2016 - reduced Adderall to 20 mg based on pdoc's recommendations. March 29, 2016 - Reduced Adderall to 15 mg. April 30 reduced Adderall to 10 mgs. May 28, 2016 reduced Adderall to 5 mgs.June 8, 2016 stopped taking Adderall due to extreme agitation.

 

Amphetamine 20mg 2008 - 1/16. 1/16 - Stopped Amphetamine completely because pdoc did not renew script.

WWW.PSYCHFREE.NET 

Link to post
twinedenter256

Thanks for your post and words of encouragement PatriciaVP! I'm so sorry to hear that you're "back to wanting to hide". I know the feeling all too well. But I am glad to hear that you had some good days after getting off the allergy treatment. And it's great that you are able to exercise every week. I'm guessing that that is helping out, even if it may not always feel like it.

 

I had about an hour of feeling OK this morning, and am very grateful for it. It was eventually swamped by the anxiety creeping back in, heart thumping and fluttering and draining all my energy away. But at least I got an hour's reprieve. It's so maddening to be so at the mercy of this chemical war going on in my body. Senseless carnage every day. I want to believe that my brain and body are already trying to heal, already healing. But with each day that passes without any evidence of this I lose more and more hope. Nothing to do but keep moving forward, though, hope or no hope.

 

I wish you lots more windows, PatriciaVP!! Take good care.

1996 (age 25) put on Serzone for major depressive episode (don't remember dose). Continued for about 3 years.

~2000 put on Zoloft (don't remember dose). On and off for about 13 years.

~2013-2016 put on "aggressive" cocktail: Effexor (225mg at peak); Serzone (450mg at peak); Abilify (2.5 mg every other day); Adderall (40 mg); Ambien (10mg)

Spring 2016: Experienced serotonin-syndrome-like symptoms; began taper off of Serzone by 100 mg every two weeks; discontinued without symptoms

Next: Discontinued use of Abilify "cold turkey"; experienced no withdrawal symptoms

Next: Decreased Adderall by 5mg per week; got to 10mg per day; held there for about three weeks; serious attention and energy problems; went back up to 30 mg/week

Next: Began taper of Effexor: I had dropped from 225 to 150 in May with no significant symptoms; then in early July dropped from 150 to 75, and about two weeks later began to have a significant and sustained spike in anxiety.

Also addicted to smokeless tobacco for ~3 years

Mid-July 2016: Effexor (75mg); Adderall (30mg); Ambien (10mg)

July 28, 2016: Effexor (67mg); Adderall (30mg); Ambien (10mg)

August 11, 2016: Effexor (60mg); Adderall (30mg); Ambien (10mg)

September 9, 2016: Effexor (54mg); Adderall (30mg); Ambien (10mg)

Link to post
  • 2 weeks later...
twinedenter256

Last week I had three relatively good days. I noticed that the extreme, constant anxiety I had been feeling for months abated somewhat. During those three days I was on a bit of an emotional roller coaster, but at least the extreme anxiety was at bay.

 

Unfortunately, since those three days I've taken a nose dive. The main reason I'm posting right now is that on two occasions over the past few days I've experienced something like catatonia. I felt unable to move for about an hour each time. It didn't feel like actual paralysis, but more like a kind of hopelessness and lack of will to live pushed to its absolute limits. I have never experienced this before. Has anyone else?

1996 (age 25) put on Serzone for major depressive episode (don't remember dose). Continued for about 3 years.

~2000 put on Zoloft (don't remember dose). On and off for about 13 years.

~2013-2016 put on "aggressive" cocktail: Effexor (225mg at peak); Serzone (450mg at peak); Abilify (2.5 mg every other day); Adderall (40 mg); Ambien (10mg)

Spring 2016: Experienced serotonin-syndrome-like symptoms; began taper off of Serzone by 100 mg every two weeks; discontinued without symptoms

Next: Discontinued use of Abilify "cold turkey"; experienced no withdrawal symptoms

Next: Decreased Adderall by 5mg per week; got to 10mg per day; held there for about three weeks; serious attention and energy problems; went back up to 30 mg/week

Next: Began taper of Effexor: I had dropped from 225 to 150 in May with no significant symptoms; then in early July dropped from 150 to 75, and about two weeks later began to have a significant and sustained spike in anxiety.

Also addicted to smokeless tobacco for ~3 years

Mid-July 2016: Effexor (75mg); Adderall (30mg); Ambien (10mg)

July 28, 2016: Effexor (67mg); Adderall (30mg); Ambien (10mg)

August 11, 2016: Effexor (60mg); Adderall (30mg); Ambien (10mg)

September 9, 2016: Effexor (54mg); Adderall (30mg); Ambien (10mg)

Link to post

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now
×
×
  • Create New...

Important Information

Terms of Use Privacy Policy