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rockymarene

rockymarene

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rockymarene

Hello everyone.

I am looking for help in tapering and w/d from Effexor XR. I have been on it for a little over a year for Major Depression Disorder at a dose of 225mg. My Dr. decided to switch me to Wellbutrin XL at 150mg while tapering me off the Effexor in 3 weeks. By week 2 at 75mg I was feeling w/d symptoms and decided to just go cold turkey. I lasted 3 days and after feeling like death decided to go back on the Effexor and taper more slowly this time. Took 150mg today. Still feel like crap. My question is: Was 150mg too little/too much? How long till I start to stabilize?

Any help is greatly appreciated.

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Shep

Hi, rockymarene.

 

Welcome to Surviving Antidepressants (SA).  

 

Here are some links to get you started:

 

Before you begin tapering -- what you need to know

 

Tips for tapering off Effexor (venlafaxine)

 

Why taper by 10% of my dosage?

 

What is withdrawal syndrome? 

 
The Windows and Waves Pattern of Stabilization

 

 
 

I'm a bit uncertain about the timeline of your drugs. Two questions:

 

1.  Have you already started the crossover to Wellbutrin XL? If so, how much Wellbutrin are you taking? 

 

2.  Please verify:  You went from 225 mg Effexor down to 75 mg in two weeks, and then went cold turkey. Waited 3 days, and then went back on at 150 mg today. Is this correct? 

 

Please list your drugs in your signature. This thread will show you how:

 

Please put your withdrawal history in your signature

 

Please let us know how you're doing. Once we know more about which drug(s) you are currently taking, we can give you more information. 

 

This is your thread to list your symptoms and ask plenty of questions. 

 

 

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rockymarene

Yes, I started the crossover to Wellbutrin the same time I started tapering my Effexor. I am taking 150mg of the Wellbutrin XL.

Yes, I was on 225mg of the Effexor, dropped to 150mg for one week, then I was supposed to take 75mg for one week. After the first day on 75mg I was feeling w/d symptoms and decided to go cold turkey. After three days of feeling awful I did some research and discoved that wasn't the smartest thing to do. I decided to go back on the Effexor and taper at the recommended 10%. I took a dosage of 150mg today to start back on. I still do not feel good. Wondering how long it will take to stabilize and if 150mg is a good dosage to stabilize at. Not really wanting to go all the way back up to 225.

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Shep

Thanks for the additional information.

 

Two questions:

 

1.   This is a site for coming off antidepressants, but I'm not clear if this is your goal - are you wanting to come off the Wellbutrin, too? 

 

2.    If your goal is to get off all antidepressants, then you'll want to get off the Wellbutrin quickly before you develop dependency, since you've only been on it for 11 days. 

 

If you are thinking about continuing on with antidepressants, please read up on the long term effects. You've only been on them a year, so you're in a really good position to do a careful taper off the Effexor and find non-drug ways for handling your depression and / or anxiety.

 

Ten Myths about Depression and Psycho-Pharmacology

 

Non-drug techniques to cope with emotional symptoms

 

Important topics about symptoms, including sleep problems

 

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rockymarene

I am not sure if I want to get of of them all together. I am just sure that I want to get off of the Effexor. I am 33 and have been on many antidepressants over the years since I was 16. The signature page said you could list your most recent drug if you couldn't remember past ones, but I will add that I have a history of use.

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Shep

I'm going to give you some resources to check out because with your lengthy history of AD's, it's important you have this information.

 

The problem with staying on AD's is they can chronify depression:

 

Now Antidepressant-Induced Chronic Depression Has a Name: Tardive Dysphoria

 

Robert Whitaker is a Pulitzer Prize nominated journalist who has written extensively about psychiatric drugs. This is a short video:

 

Robert Whitaker, author Anatomy of an Epidemic - VIDEO

 

And this is his book, which is really worth the read, especially before you decide if you want to stay on these drugs.

 

Anatomy of an Epidemic

 

Although you have a long history of AD's, you're still only dealing with one class of drugs. Many long-term AD users end up polydrugged, and getting someone off of multiple drugs gets trickier and trickier. 

 

Please let us know if you have any questions about any of this. It's a lot to take in, but again, you're in a better position than many of our members who are on entire cocktails of drugs. 

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rockymarene

Okay so I read everything and see that I should come off the Wellbutrin also. I have been on that before and did not have to taper. In fact I have had no w/d symptoms from any of my other numerous ADs. I still feel aweful this morning and am wondering if I should take another 150mg of the Effexor today.

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Shep

Two things may be at play here.  First, there can be a delay in withdrawal, sometimes two months or even longer before withdrawal symptoms hit. This is known as "delayed withdrawal". Most of the time, this is mistaken as a re-emergence of the original depression or anxiety, which most doctors misdiagnose and instead of dealing with it as a withdrawal syndrome, they prescribe either the same or another antidepressant. This is way many of us end up going from one drug to the next drug. 

 

Second, there's something called Limbic Kindling -- Hardwiring the brain for hypersensitivity. This means that the central nervous system (CNS) becomes more and more destabilized with every change in dose and / or type of drug. 

 

So this is why we urge people not to go by their prior history, but instead, to approach this carefully and cautiously. Please don't assume because you had prior success with doing a rapid taper or cold turkey, that the same will hold true for your current drug.  We want you to be as safe and as functional as possible throughout your journey off these drugs. 

 

After only 11 days on Wellbutrin, you may be able to come off it quickly, but I'm going to ask the other moderators. I also want them to weigh in on your question about what dose Effexor to recommend for your reinstatement, especially since you're having a lot of symptoms. 

 

In the meantime, please:

 

1. read through this thread on reinstating:  About reinstating and stabilizing to reduce withdrawal symptoms 

 

2.  list your symptoms according to this post: Keep notes on paper about your drug dosages and daily symptom pattern.  Doing this will help guide your taper rate and speed. 

 

I'm so glad you read through the information here and are deciding to find alternatives for your depression and anxiety. If you read through the Success stories: Recovery from withdrawal, you'll see there are lots of reasons for coming off and giving your mind and body time to heal. 

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rockymarene

Thank you. I have already read the thread on reinstating, plus the two threads it lists. I will start keeping notes on my symptoms and dosages today.

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Altostrata

Welcome, rocky.

 

When did you go cold turkey? What is your sleep pattern? When you added Wellbutrin, did you feel any different?

 

Please keep daily notes on paper about your symptoms, when you take your drugs, and their dosages.

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rockymarene

I went ct off the Effexor Wednesday. I took 150mg of Effexor Saturday after feeling like death. I also took another 150mg today. I have felt no change since starting the Wellbutrin. I have awful sleep. I either toss and turn all night or sleep but wake without feeling refreshed. I have been sleeping while going through w/d but I think that is because I started taking Melatonin the same time I started the Wellbutrin. I did not take any melatonin last night and all I did was toss and turn. I am feeling better today, but can't seem to fully shake the headache I have had that seems to focus on left side.

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Altostrata

You added Wellbutrin a week ago Saturday as well?

 

If so, if I were you, I would stop Wellbutrin. Wellbutrin alone can upset sleep and cause anxiety. I would stick with 150mg Effexor for at least a week and see how it goes. Could be Wellbutrin has upset the apple cart.

 

Please take your drugs at the same time each day, keep daily notes on paper of your symptoms, when you take your drugs, and their dosages. Let us know how you are doing.

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rockymarene

I added the Wellbutrin the first day I started tapering from 225 to 150. That was the 24th of Oct. So I have been on it for 14 days. I will stop taking it tomorrow and keep track of my symptoms.

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JanCarol

Hey rockymarene - welcome!

 

I know you've got a long history for updating your signature, but it would help so much if you could put different details in your signature.

 

How about this:  

Started (name of first drug ever) in (year).

2016:  Month/Year you started Effexor at 225 mg.

Approximate date you went to 150 mg

Approximate date you went to 75 mg

Approximate date you started Wellbutrin 150 mg

Approximate date you Cold Turkey'd Effexor

Approximate date you reinstated.

 

Changing, tapering, adding, removing, - any changes to antidepressants take time.  This site is called "Surviving Antidepressants" for a reason:  we have developed strategies for our survival, and withdrawal effects can be very serious.  Our strategies involve taking a lot of time, of sneaking the drugs v-e-r-y s-l-o-w-l-y out of the brain, so as to remain stable while you do.

 

This is called Harm Reduction.

 

Because of the long times involved, it is important for us to have as accurate as possible information about the dates you made changes to your drugs.

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Shep

I added the Wellbutrin the first day I started tapering from 225 to 150. That was the 24th of Oct. So I have been on it for 14 days. I will stop taking it tomorrow and keep track of my symptoms.

 

Hi, rockymarene.

 

How are you doing now? Did you have any symptom changes after you stopped the Wellbutrin? 

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rockymarene

Sorry I wasn't able to get on the last two days. I don't know if it's cause I stopped the Wellbutrin or because the Effexor is in my system but yesterday was the first day I felt close to normal. Only a slight headache and no other symptoms.

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Shep

That's good to hear, rockymarene. I hope this trend continues for you. 

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jmncrr

Hi rocky marene,

 

I've read your thread, and would like to know what symptoms you've had?

 

Thanks and good luck

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