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☼ BreatheFirst: Discontinued Venlafaxine


BreatheFirst

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Hi Everyone,

 

This is my first post; however, I've been reading posts and discussions for a couple of years now. You'll see from my signature that I stopped venlafaxine a little over three months ago after tapering for about a year. I didn't follow the 10% guideline too closely, but my symptoms weren't too horrific. This is my third time attempting to rid myself of ADs. I've been on ADs for about 20 years. Overall, it's going much better than the first two times. But at this point it's still rough.

 

The physical symptoms have mostly gone away. Although I have to be very careful about how much caffeine and sugar I can ingest. I can have very little before the negative effects kick in (nervousness, trouble sleeping, depression). Alcohol is a real no-no for me as well. Also my sleep is still not great. Although I feel like I can't complain too much since most nights I get about 5-6 hours a night.

 

The worst part that remains is the emotional symptoms: depression, anxiety, fear, and generally having no idea who I am anymore. I feel like I woke up from a dream and someone else - a drugged version of me - chose this life that now I am totally unfamiliar with. Everyone seems like a stranger. I feel like I'm learning everything again. Although I've been able to keep up with work, socializing is extremely difficult and I fear I'll be losing a lot of friends during this process. Usually now my favorite thing to do is be by myself and watch TV. Prior to stopping meds I was a fairly social person.

 

And there's a horrible sense of isolation, which is why I'm writing today. It feels like no one understands what I'm going through. There are a couple of friends I've shared my experience with, and while they're understanding they haven't been through it. There's nothing like talking to someone who knows what the withdrawal process is like. Well, actually, I don't know what that's like because I've never spoken to anyone who has gone through this. But it is wonderful to read the discussions on this forum. I am continually amazed at people's bravery, eloquence, and even humor expressed while going through the nightmare of withdrawal.

 

Thanks for "listening."

 

BF

Edited by scallywag
tags
2001-2016: Effexor XR/venlafaxine ER, varying doses 37.5 mg to 225 mg. 

3/2016: Started 10% taper method every four weeks with some variation in the schedule

9/26/16: Discontinued venlafaxine 14mg

4/2018: Most withdrawal symptoms ceased; posted success story
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HI BF

 

It is really nice to have you here but I am sorry you are feeling bad after coming off your drugs.You are familiar with SA so you will know you are amongst friends who understand just what you are going through. The support and knowledge we gain from here is wonderful.

 

I think you have done well to keep working through this. 

 

I am sure the moderators will be stopping by to welcome you too.

 

Best Wishes

 

Flowers xxx

15 yrs on 20 to 30 mgs CITALOPRAM.  MAY 2014 Increased to 40 mgs per day.SEPT/NOV 2014 tapered in 6 weeks down to 10 mgs as per Dr instructions due to violent nightmares/palpitations.Given Noctamid (lormetazepam) to help with anxiety. On average took 2mg per day for 8 weeks.No taper was advised.DEC 2014 WD severe. Nervous tic in eyes and limbs, muscle pain,fluct  temp, weakness, dep and anxiety, nausea, giddy, unstable when walking. Different Dr suggested taking 20mgs CIT. BROMAZEPAM 3mgs up to 3 x daily for anxiety.DEC 9 2014 Updose CIT to 30mgs. Only taking BROMAZEPAM in emergency.DEC 31 2014 Settling at 30mg CIT - helping with depression. No Brom for 2wks.Found SA.APR 2015 Trying to stabilise on 30mgs CIT.  JAN 2016 Started Cit Taper reducing by 5% per month.  28.5 mgs 
FEB  Taper held bereavement. APR Taper resumed 27mgs . MAY 25.50 mgs .  JUNE 24 mgs .  JULY I stupidly mixed up my BP meds with CIT. Consequently took no CIT for 3 days and doubled my BP meds. Waiting for the fallout....Holding for a while until any chance of repercussions have abated. SEPT taper resumed to  22.5 mgs . OCT 21 mgs .NOV 19.95 mgs DEC crashed. 2017: FEB 3rd updose to 20.5 mgs to try to stabilise.FEB.switched over to 75mgs of Venlafaxine XR for 3 weeks.Too stimulating so switching back to Cit. 12 March 37.5 Ven and 20 Cit. 21 March 18mg Ven 20mg Cit. 4 April 9mg Ven 20mg Cit. Xanax .50mg when needed.  13 April 0 mgs Ven, 20mg Citalopram. Xanax .50 mg per day. 5 May reinstated a small amount of Ven to stabilize  1 mg twice a day. 20 mg Citalopram at night. Xanax .25 mg twice per day.Other Meds: Losartan (BP)Started 1993 at  50 mgs at night.  Seretide (Asthma) Started 1996 at 1 puff twice a day. Jan 2019 Antibiotic Ceclor 500mgs twice a day for bronchitis and  Atrovent 2ml capsules twice a day for asthma. Finished the course of both Jan 17. 

XANAX  Jan 27  - Feb 3 2019 Failed Valium Crossover.   Feb 14 2019  Updosed Xanax by .0625  Feb 17 2019 Decreased Xanax by .0625. Back to .50mg daily.  Update Xanax 28.2.20 tapered to .1250 mg 8am .25 mg midnight. Update Xanax 11.8.21 tapered to .25 mg at night. 

Current Meds 28.2.19: CITALOPRAM  20mg  taken at midnight. VENLAFAXINE  .9 mg twice a day at 8am and 10pm.  XANAX .50 mg split into 4 doses per day. 10am .0625mg / 2pm .1250mg/ 6pm .0625mg / midnight .25mg.Update 10.8.22 .25 mg at night.  LOSARTAN 50 mgs taken at midnight.  SERETIDE 1 puff taken at 8am and 10pm.   7.7.19 VENLAFAXINE UPDATE: Started tapering 10% every 4 weeks. Currently .4 mg twice a day at 8am and 10 pm.  2.9.19 .36 mg x 2. 1.10.19  .32 mg x 2. 26.11.19 .29 mg x2. 26.12.19 .26 mg  x 2. 23.1.20  .23 mg x 2.  20.2.20 .21 mg x2.20.3.20  .19 mg x 2. 21.4.20 .17 mg x 2. 19.5.20 .13 mg x 2.  18.6.20 .11mg  x 2 .18.7.20.10 mg x 2.1.9.20.09 mg x 2. 30.9. 20 .08 mg x 2. 1.11.20 .07 mg x 2.  2.12.20 .06 mg x 2.  8.1.21 .05 mg x 2.  4.2.21 .04 mg x 2. 9.3.21 .03 mgx2.  7.4.21  .02 mg x 2.  9.5.21 .01 mg x 2.  21.6.21 .01 mg x 1.  11.8.21 ZERO!

 

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  • Moderator Emeritus

Hi BF and welcome to SA.

 

Thank you for completing your drug signature and finally joining our "little" community.  We do wish that our community did not need to exist or be minuscule but it's good that we have it and we can get the information and support we need whilst on this "not so pleasant" journey through tapering and withdrawal.

 

Your history states 14mg venlafaxine on 2 Sept 2016 and that you stopped on 26 Sept 2016.  Did you jump off at 14mg?  Could you please include the dose in your signature so that jumping off dose is clear.  For example:  "9/26/16: Discontinued venlafaxine 14mg. Symptoms described above continue."    This way it can be seen at a glance.  Thank you.

 

Many members find that as their dose gets lower they need to go slower and this link gives what is possibly the reason why Why taper paper: dose-occupancy curves.  Was there a reason that you jumped off at such a high dose?

 

Not knowing what you have already seen I'll give you a list of links to check out:

 

  1. Acceptance
  2. Acceptance and Mindfulness
  3. Acupuncture - Posts #6 & #8 (not detox or stimulation)
  4. Claire Weekes' Method of Recovering from a Sensitized Nervous System
  5. "Change the channel" -- dealing with cognitive symptoms
  6. Change cognitive framing - Redirect - Another Way
  7. Cognitive Behavior Therapy (CBT) for anxiety, depression
  8. Cognitive Behavior Therapy lessons
  9. Guided Meditations, Calming Videos, Sleep Hypnosis
  10. Journalling - Therapeutic Writing & Health Benefits
  11. Non-drug techniques to cope with emotional symptoms
  12. Yoga for calming (very simple poses can help greatly)

 

The only supplements that SA recommends are:  Magnesium and Omega-3 Fish Oil.  Try just a little, one at a time.  Members often find vitamins (especially some B vitamins) activating and if you take them as a complex you will not be able to work out which one is the culprit.

 

You might find these topic helpful too:


Neuro Emotions


Windows and Waves Pattern of Stabilization

 

Brain Remodelling
 

Video:  Healing From Antidepressants - Patterns of Recovery

 

You can ask questions here in your Intro/Update topic and journal your progress.

Please DO NOT TAG me - thank you

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

  MISSION ACCOMPLISHED:    (6 year taper)      0mg Pristiq      on 13th November 2021

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 from Oct 2015 - 13 Nov 2021   LAST DOSE 0.0025mg

Post 0 updates start here    My tapering program     My Intro (goes to tapering graph)

 VIDEO:   Antidepressant Withdrawal Syndrome and its Management

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HI BF

 

It is really nice to have you here but I am sorry you are feeling bad after coming off your drugs.You are familiar with SA so you will know you are amongst friends who understand just what you are going through. The support and knowledge we gain from here is wonderful.

 

I think you have done well to keep working through this. 

 

I am sure the moderators will be stopping by to welcome you too.

 

Best Wishes

 

Flowers xxx

Thank you for the warm welcome Flowers. :) Good luck with your tapering. I hope you're doing well.

2001-2016: Effexor XR/venlafaxine ER, varying doses 37.5 mg to 225 mg. 

3/2016: Started 10% taper method every four weeks with some variation in the schedule

9/26/16: Discontinued venlafaxine 14mg

4/2018: Most withdrawal symptoms ceased; posted success story
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Thank you ChessieCat, for the welcome and the information. I have read a lot on this site, but I think I've barely scratched the surface. So it's nice to have all the resources you've gathered together in one place!

 

I made the change to my signature that you suggested. I jumped off from 14 mg. because I felt like being at such a low dose was making me sicker somehow. And my symptoms have gotten a bit better since that time. Of course, I realize I could have been totally wrong and I could be doing better now if I tapered slower. But who knows? At this point I think reinstatement is not an option due to the length of time I've been off the meds and I don't know that my symptoms are bad enough that I need to consider reinstating.

 

I've really just been trying to take things day by day. I never know how I'm going to feel one day to the next.

2001-2016: Effexor XR/venlafaxine ER, varying doses 37.5 mg to 225 mg. 

3/2016: Started 10% taper method every four weeks with some variation in the schedule

9/26/16: Discontinued venlafaxine 14mg

4/2018: Most withdrawal symptoms ceased; posted success story
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Today I generally feel pretty dreadful...having a lot of anxiety about my future. Everything I have to do in life seems overwhelming. Symptoms could be worse today because I had 2 non-alcoholic beers last night. Although they're "non-alcoholic" they do have a bit of alcohol in them. I'm hoping meditation will help. It has been helpful during this journey (thus my profile name).

2001-2016: Effexor XR/venlafaxine ER, varying doses 37.5 mg to 225 mg. 

3/2016: Started 10% taper method every four weeks with some variation in the schedule

9/26/16: Discontinued venlafaxine 14mg

4/2018: Most withdrawal symptoms ceased; posted success story
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  • 1 year later...
  • Administrator

I am happy to report BreatheFirst has posted a success story here

 

As is our custom, I will close this topic. Please post your congratulations to BreatheFirst in his success story topic.

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

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