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Neve: Tapered off but dizzy all the time


Neve

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I really could use some advice I am not sure if what I am experiencing is from Effexor withdrawal or not. I was on 150mg for a few years I have been slowly tapering down for several months now (weighing beads on a micro scale for accuracy) on Friday 22nd I took my last dose which was 0.124g of beads (so very little actual drug).
 

For months now I've had severe dizziness and nausea, and diarrhea too. Enough to keep me in bed a lot. Plus a strange sensation on the tip of my tongue. Now it's pretty much just dizziness but it's so bad. Previously when I was down to 0.5g of weighed beads I decided to take it back to 1.5g to see if my symptoms eased and go a little slower. I think things improved a little but I've not been symptom-free. I'm out of the drug completely now.  I took 2-3 weeks to taper back down from that to zero. Slower than the first time. I thought my symptoms had actually improved because I bought a whole lot of natural remedies for giardia and tried them all and had relief within a day, but now I don't even remember if that's also when I took my dosage back up. I'm just not sure what's wrong with me. The doctors did a bunch of tests and gave me no answers. My family doctor told me to go off birth control and take naproxen every day. Well I'm doing half that... I'm not risking pregnancy just because SHE thinks I should have a baby. Yikes.

 

It's been over a week since I stopped, still so dizzy I am wondering if I should go back on (I'd have to go refill the script) and if I do, what dosage? I would try the 10% taper every 3-4 weeks but I don't want to be doing this much longer. I hate taking it. And honestly I'm not totally sure if this is even the cause of my dizziness. I had no headaches or brain zaps or the other sensations I had when I missed a dose. But sometimes I am hearing sounds and I'm not sure if it's my head or the sounds are really there.

 

I just don't want this diziness to go on forever and I feel like it's going to. But I also don't want to go back on Effexor if that's not even the reason I'm dizzy!

Edited by scallywag
tags added

Tapered from 150mg Effexor XR down to zero over several months, dropping by less than 10% each time, weighing beads.

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  • Moderator

Hi Neve and welcome to SA,

 

I'm pleased that you have found this site.  It has lots of excellent information about withdrawal and tapering.

 

Your signature says that you tapered from 150 mg Effexor over several months.  If this is correct, here at SA that is classed as a fast taper.  Again, if this is right, it would seem that the withdrawal symptoms have caught up with you.

 

It would be helpful if you could add further details in your signature to include ALL drugs, dates and doses for at least the last year (including how you reduced your doses, for instance did you skip days) with a summary of anything prior to then.  This will assist us to offer suggestions based on your individual situation and also help decide on what dose to reinstate if you choose that option.  If you do decide to reinstate I suggest you post that decision here so that we can suggest a dose.

 

Please have a read of the following links and then post any questions you have back here on your Intro/Update topic.  I realise that it may seem overwhelming being given all of these links in one go, but checking these out may answer some of your questions as well as raise new questions.

 

Introduction to AD Withdrawal Syndrome

 

Dr Joseph Glenmullen's Symptoms Checklist


About reinstating and stabilizing to reduce withdrawal symptoms

 

Why taper by 10% of my dosage?

 

Brain Remodelling (Rhi's Description of Brain Healing)

 

Video:  Healing From Antidepressants - Patterns of Recovery

 

The Brain Remodelling helped me to understand why SA recommends a 10% taper with a 4-6 week holding period to allow your brain to adapt because it isn't getting enough of the drug.

 

You can use your topic as a journal of your progress.  You can click "Follow" at top right and receive and email whenever someone responds.  So that your history remains current and can be seen at a glance, please update your signature each time you make a change.

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

 

ADs:  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  Current from 14 Nov 2020:  Pristiq 0.50 mg

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

My website - includes my brief history + links to videos & information on the web

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

REMINDER TO SELF:  I don't need the drug now, but my still brain does.

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I don't remember my doses, I didn't write them down. I was going little by little, for example I'd weigh out .15 for a few days, then .14 for a few days, then .13 for a few days, etc. down to zero. That was the last three weeks or so. I didn't skip any days and I avoided big jumps. I didn't find out about the holding for 3-4 weeks until after.

I thought I was tapering slow. But now I'm off I am wondering if the dizziness will pass if I stick it out?

Sorry my signature has all the info I can provide, it's just a blur. I don't remember dates and events well. I don't even know how long I was taking it. Definitely more than a year, perhaps two years, I really have no idea. I was taking Celexa before (don't know what dose).

Tapered from 150mg Effexor XR down to zero over several months, dropping by less than 10% each time, weighing beads.

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  • Moderator

Hi Neve,

 

So that we can see your drug reduction information at a glance it would be helpful to change your signature to the following (you could copy and paste what I have provided but please correct any errors before doing so).  You can also add to it if you recall further details at a later date.  The last year is the most important.  Also if you are taking or have taken any other drugs/supplements (non-antidepressants).

___________________

 

Effexor XR 150 mg:  2-3 years.  Previous:  Celexa

Reduced over several months by weighing out 0.15 for a few days, 0.14 for a few days, 0.13 for a few days, etc. down to zero.

I didn't skip any days and I avoided big jumps

Last dose taken 22nd July 2016 - 0.124g of beads

___________________

 

Please remember to update your signature if/when you make any changes with date and dose so the information remains current and can be seen at a glance.

 

Have you had a chance to read the links I provided?  Nobody is able to say how long the dizziness with last for.  The brain is trying to adapt to not getting the drug.  And unfortunately you may even develop new and possibly worse symptoms as the brain is making its adjustments.

 

I made my decision about reinstating/updosing by asking the question "can I live with the withdrawal symptom/s I have"?

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

 

ADs:  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  Current from 14 Nov 2020:  Pristiq 0.50 mg

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

My website - includes my brief history + links to videos & information on the web

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

REMINDER TO SELF:  I don't need the drug now, but my still brain does.

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I'll fix that... starting weight was 4.2 g that's a full capsule of beads, but I just know I was dropping by 10% or so at a time. I wasn't writing it down at all. I was just doing what I'd read in other forums.

I can live with it IF it's going away soon... that's the issue I just have no idea when it's going to stop. I don't want to go back on if I would have been fine in two more days! But also I'm concerned about long-term effects.

Tapered from 150mg Effexor XR down to zero over several months, dropping by less than 10% each time, weighing beads.

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Hi Neve -

 

I'm happy for you that you knew about slow tapering. It seems though that you are having a classic Effexor wd symptom - dizziness.

 

I did a too-fast Effexor taper (much faster than yours) and still have residual dizziness among other problems. You are not too far out from your stop date so I would consider going back in a tiny dose and tapering a bit more slowly. I tried to ""white knuckle" it as well, thinking that all symptoms would pass, so I understand very well your desire to try that approach...but that approach backfired for me...just my 2 cents. Good luck!!

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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  • Moderator Emeritus

I can live with it [dizziness] IF it's going away soon... that's the issue I just have no idea when it's going to stop. I don't want to go back on if I would have been fine in two more days! But also I'm concerned about long-term effects.

 

Neve, unfortunately nobody can tell you when the dizziness will stop. We can tell you that dizziness is a very common symptom of anti-depressant withdrawal. I can tell you that is extremely unlikely that your symptoms will resolve within a week.

 

I took Effexor XR 13-15 years ago, as you can see in my signature.  I still have the spreadsheet I used to calculate my taper and see that I went from 18.75 mg to 0 over 5 months, removing 5 beads every 2-3 weeks. Towards the lowest doses and for quite a while after that (I can't recall the length of time) I was miserable -- crying jags for no reason, brain zaps, exhaustion.  I wish the idea of reinstating a bit of Effexor had occurred to me. I might have suffered much less, if at all.

 

Almost everyone who comes here has fears about going back on the drug that they just discontinued. Most people who do reinstate

 

You are very fortunate that you found this information only a week after your last dose when reinstating is most likely to be effective and cause few if any problems. As more time passes after your last dose, the risk of destabilization from a reinstatement increases and the likelihood of reinstatement working decreases.

 

What are your concerns about reinstating?  Feel free to brain dump here in your intro -- all the thoughts and reasons regardless of whether you think they're good, bad, a little bit crazy, "I could never say that out loud," etc.

This is not medical advice. Discuss any decisions about your medical care with a knowledgeable medical practitioner.
1997-1999 Effexor; 2002-2005 Effexor XR 37.5 mg linear taper, dropping same #beads/week with bad results

Cymbalta 60 mg 2012 - 2015; 2016: 20 mg to 7 mg exact doses and dates in this post; 2017: 6.3 mg to  0.0 mg  Aug. 12; details here


scallywag's Introduction
Online spreadsheet for dose taper calculations and nz11's THE WORKS spreadsheet

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  • Moderator

Hey Neve - you're ahead of the game.  

 

That last jump from 0 - well - you never know if it is a 2' drop, or a 20' drop, until you make it (every body's different).

 

While you were making small reductions (good) I reckon you were tapering tapering, with no breaks.  In here, we listen to symptoms, and hold when there are symptoms.

 

If you are having symptoms (you are) then it was too fast, regardless of any chart.

 

Rhis's Start Small Listen to Body Taper Plan

 

http://survivingantidepressants.org/index.php?/topic/11051-when-to-end-the-taper-and-jump-to-zero/

 

Thank you for filling out your signature - it would help us immensely if you gave us dates - like when did you start tapering, and when was your last dose (and how big was it)?  I know you say in your intro, but please put it into your sig, too, so that wherever you post, we know your story quickly and easily, without having to read your whole thread.  Please put dates and doses, as best you can, in your signature line.

 

When we know that, we can suggest a reinstatement.  It will probably just be a few beads at most - so it's not like you have to "start all over again."  Those few beads can be powerful, and can ease your symptoms without the awful side effects of a higher dose.

 

For future reference, we taper 10% of PREVIOUS DOSE, not of total dose.  You've done well so far, and I think you are really close.  If you reinstate, you can get your life under control while you work out some other strategies for dealing with how to get off that last little bit.

 

Welcome to SA!

"Easy, easy - just go easy and you'll finish." - Hawaiian Kapuna

 

Holding is hard work, holding is a blessing. Give your brain time to heal before you try again.

 

My suggestions are not medical advice, you are in charge of your own medical choices.

 

A lifetime of being prescribed antidepressants that caused problems (30 years in total). At age 35 flipped to "bipolar," but was not diagnosed for 5 years. Started my journey in Midwest United States. Crossed the Pacific for love and hope; currently living in Australia.   CT Seroquel 25 mg some time in 2013.   Tapered Reboxetine 4 mg Oct 2013 to Sept 2014 = GONE (3 years on Reboxetine).     Tapered Lithium 900 to 475 MG (alternating with the SNRI) Jan 2014 - Nov 2014, tapered Lithium 475 mg Jan 2015 -  Feb 2016 = GONE (10 years  on Lithium).  Many mistakes in dry cutting dosages were made.


The tedious thread (my intro):  JanCarol ☼ Reboxetine first, then Lithium

The happy thread (my success story):  JanCarol - Undiagnosed  Off all bipolar drugs

My own blog:  https://shamanexplorations.com/shamans-blog/

 

 

I have been psych drug FREE since 1 Feb 2016!

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