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Juliox: almost there on venlafaxin and clonazepam. Need some help =)


juliox

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Hello everyone! 

 

I have PDA (Panic Disorder with Agoraphobia) since 15 and  I´m in drugs since there (now I´m 31). I tried different medications, but I think I´m with venlafaxin and clonazepam for about ten years (clonazepam since the begining of the treatment). 

 

I have always responded well to medical treatments overall. Sometimes I was great, sometimes I was ok, but never in that big hole of being trapped in you own home again. Never had major colateral effects. 

 

My life became almost normal, thanks god. I married, had a good job and socialize. I just avoided some situations, like being all bymyself in a distant place, for example (mild agorafobia)

 

At July 2015, after doing my first international trip I decided I was "cured" and started to withdrawn the medication. My start point was 75mg of venlafaxin and 1,0 mg of clonazepam (It wasn´t my higher dose, but the one I stabilized)

 

I didn´t knew the 10% rule, but somehow I instinctly followed it . I made it really slow and without any visible sympton. In the beginning I discontinued it a little bit faster.

 

In january 2016 (six months later) I was taking half of the medication without any sympton (37,5mg/0,5mg)

 

I continued tappering slowly. From january 2016 to december 2016 I cutted another half (37,5 day yes, day no/0,25)

 

The problem was that with that dose I started to have some panic attacks. My main symptons are: shortness of breath, derealization (which I never had in this way) and weakness overall.  :wacko:

 

Six months ago I was playing soccer for two hours, now I´m having trouble walking for 10 minutes.  :angry:

 

So, resuming:

 

                           Venlafaxin   Clonazepam

 

July 2015             75mg           1mg         (feeling great)  :D

January 2016       37,5mg        0,5mg      (feeling great)  :D

January 2017       18mg           0,25 mg   (having panic attacks)  :unsure:

 

 

Until now I´m dealing with my attacks and learning some CBT tools to fight against. I have some questions and count on your help! 

 

1. Is there any problem taking the venflaxin day yes/day no or is better to dissolve it and start to take it 18mg/day? 

 

2. It´s ok to tapper the two meds at once? If not, which one would be the best to start?

 

3. I think that my symptons are not from tappering fast, I think it´s really my anxiety/panic condition that was covered by the meds, what is your experience? What do you think?

 

4. If I return to my safe point (37,5/0,5) is there any garantee that I will fell better again or there is a high risk of returning to a higher dose and continue feeling bad? I could tapper it even slowly in next time with more help (now I know this site and I´m reading it a lot)

 

5. If there´s a high chance to return feeling good taking this dose, in how many time can I expect the effects of the reintroduction of the meds? Obs.: I have a major important admission exam in less than 2 months and that´s my real thing. If wasn´t for it, I would hold up hands down. But my fear is that it mess up my studying and my performance.

 

6. Anything you want to comment will help. 

 

*Congratulations for all the comunity, I hope I can add some experience with the meds, the tappering and the disease itself.

**I started do read some material, but it´s a lot of thing, so, I´m sorry if I ask something that is already written.

***Hope you compreend my english, I´m not practicing it for a while.

Edited by scallywag
add explanation of acronym + tags

                 Venlafaxin      Clonazepam

2015 jul       75mg               1,0mg

2016 jan      37,5mg            0,5mg    

2016 dec     18,75mg          0,3mg

2017 jan      18,75mg          0,5mg (one step back :excl:)

 

Now stabilizing these doses before new reductions

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Last question: in your opinion, which of these 2 drugs are worse to withdrawl? I think I have more difficult with venlafaxin.

                 Venlafaxin      Clonazepam

2015 jul       75mg               1,0mg

2016 jan      37,5mg            0,5mg    

2016 dec     18,75mg          0,3mg

2017 jan      18,75mg          0,5mg (one step back :excl:)

 

Now stabilizing these doses before new reductions

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  • Moderator Emeritus

Juliox -- Welcome to Surviving Antidepressants (SA)

 

Quick question for you, you wrote "18.75 mg day yes, day no"

 

Do you mean that you take it on alternate days? For example, using today as a starting day

  • January 23 take venlaxine
  • January 24 don't take venlafaxine
  • January 25 take venlafaxine
  • January 26 don't take venlafaxine

If you are alternating days, this is almost certainly the cause of your symptoms. Because of one characteristic of how your body uses venlafaxine, you should take the same dose EVERY day at the same time.

 

Please post your answer to this question.  Once we hear from you about this, we'll give you more information.

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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welcome Juliox

I have never heard of PDA before so i looked it up and did some reading.

 

Pathological demand avoidance (PDA), or Newson's Syndrome, is a subtype of autism characterized by an avoidance of the ordinary demands of life. It is identified as a syndrome through the clinical work of UK child psychologist Elizabeth Newson.

 

I assume you are referring to pathological demand avoidance. I just cant understand why a doctor would give a person venlafaxine and clonzepam for that. 

 

 

3. I think that my symptons are not from tappering fast, I think it´s really my anxiety/panic condition that was covered by the meds, what is your experience? What do you think?
Stop for a moment and just think and i know it was a long time back 10 years but prior to these drugs did you ever have such anxiety /panic.
Its not you its the drug. You arent the first to be confused by this. The tragic thing is the medical profession are completely clueless about withdrawal of these drugs.
 
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

 

 

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Juliox -- Welcome to Surviving Antidepressants (SA)

 

Quick question for you, you wrote "18.75 mg day yes, day no"

 

Do you mean that you take it on alternate days? For example, using today as a starting day

  • January 23 take venlaxine
  • January 24 don't take venlafaxine
  • January 25 take venlafaxine
  • January 26 don't take venlafaxine

If you are alternating days, this is almost certainly the cause of your symptoms. Because of one characteristic of how your body uses venlafaxine, you should take the same dose EVERY day at the same time.

 

Please post your answer to this question.  Once we hear from you about this, we'll give you more information.

 

Tks for the quick answer!

 

Yes, I meant exactly that: taking 37,5mg on alternative days

  • January 23 take venlaxine 37,5
  • January 24 don't take venlafaxine 0
  • January 25 take venlafaxine 37,5
  • January 26 don't take venlafaxine 0

Here in brasil we have this expression: "day yes, day no" that translates literally. I´ll try to divide the capsules, what´s the best method? I looked out in youtube and most of the videos are with pills, not capsules. Can I dissolve it? 

 

 

welcome Juliox

I have never heard of PDA before so i looked it up and did some reading.

 

Pathological demand avoidance (PDA), or Newson's Syndrome, is a subtype of autism characterized by an avoidance of the ordinary demands of life. It is identified as a syndrome through the clinical work of UK child psychologist Elizabeth Newson.

 

I assume you are referring to pathological demand avoidance. I just cant understand why a doctor would give a person venlafaxine and clonzepam for that. 

 

 

3. I think that my symptons are not from tappering fast, I think it´s really my anxiety/panic condition that was covered by the meds, what is your experience? What do you think?
Stop for a moment and just think and i know it was a long time back 10 years but prior to these drugs did you ever have such anxiety /panic.
Its not you its the drug. You arent the first to be confused by this. The tragic thing is the medical profession are completely clueless about withdrawal of these drugs.
 
nz11

 

 

 

Hello, tks for the answer! 

 

PDA = Panic disorder with agorafobia. I think you were familiar with this abreviation. I will edit the post. ;)

                 Venlafaxin      Clonazepam

2015 jul       75mg               1,0mg

2016 jan      37,5mg            0,5mg    

2016 dec     18,75mg          0,3mg

2017 jan      18,75mg          0,5mg (one step back :excl:)

 

Now stabilizing these doses before new reductions

Link to comment
  • Moderator Emeritus

Thanks for explaining "day yes, day no." It makes sense but I wanted to confirm. I have added the full name for PDA to your first post. You can edit for 60 minutes after you first submit a post.

A request: Would you summarize your history in a signature -- drugs, doses, dates, and discontinuations & reinstatements, in the last 12-24 months particularly?

  • Any drugs prior to 24 months ago can just be listed with start and stop years.
  • Please use actual dates or approximate dates (mid-June, Late October) rather than relative time frames (last week, 3 months ago)
  • Spell out months, e.g. "October" or "Oct."; 9/1/2016 can be interpreted as Jan. 9, 2016 or Sept. 1, 2016.
  • Please leave out symptoms and diagnoses.
  • A list is easier to understand than one or multiple paragraphs.
  • You can find instructions in this topic: Please put your withdrawal history in signature
  • If you are using a phone or mobile device, you need to switch to the "full" or desktop version of the site. Instructions are in Post 9 and Post 10

We strongly suggest that people only taper one medication at a time. In the situation where someone is taking an antidepressant (venlafaxine) and a benzodiazepine (clonazepam), we usually suggest that the antidepresant be tapered to zero first.Please read this topic for more about how to continue
Taking multiple drugs? Which to taper first.

Venlafaxine capsules usually contain many small granules or "beads", as do Cymbalta capsules -- the medication I am taking and tapering. People usually decrease dose by either weighing or counting the beads.
Tips for tapering off Effexor (venlafaxine)
Counting beads in a capsule versus weighing.
Using a digital scale to measure doses.

If you're taking venlafaxine once a day, please be sure to take it very close to the same time every day. Venlafaxine has a short half-life of 4 hours. That means that every 4 hours the amount of the drug is decreased by half. 4 hours after the dose is absorbed, 50% remains; 8 hours after, 25% remains, 12 hours after, 12.5% remains.

The short half-life is true of the XR version, XR = extended release. All the XR means is that the medication releases more slowly so that you don't get all the dose at one time. You're continually getting a "new" bit of the dose as your digestive system removes the XR aspect and each new portion of the dose goes through the same cycle of elimination.

Typically it takes 4 days or so of daily medication for it to reach a steady state in your body. It will take at least another 4-7 days for your CNS (central nervous system) to stop creating the symptoms. It's hard to know how long it will take for it will take for YOU.

To inform yourself about tapering clonazepam, a benzodiazepine or "benzo", you may want to read topics in the Members-only benzo forum At the top of the forum list are pinned reference topics that remain at the top. These may be especially helpful/informative.


 
Please remain at your current doses until your symptoms have either stopped or settled down. After 3-4 weeks of stable or no symptoms, then it's could be time to decrease dose. We suggest that people decrease by no more than 10% of current dose once per month.  You calculate the decrease from the current dose; this means that the decrease in mg gets smaller each time. So from 18.75 mg you'd decrease by 1.9 mg to 16.85 mg, then from 16.85 mg you'd decrease by 1.7 to 15.15, etc.
Why taper by 10% of my dosage?.

While you're holding steady at a dose, that's a good time to learn non-drug techniques to deal with symptoms and to practice them. Some topics we have about dealing with anxiety and other emotional symptoms:
Non-drug techniques to cope with emotional symptoms.
The Dr. Claire Weekes Method of Recovering from a Sensitized Nervous System

 

I hope you'll find the information in the SA forums helpful for your situation. I'm sorry that you are in the position that you need the information, but am glad that you found us.

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

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


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

Link to comment

I hope you'll find the information in the SA forums helpful for your situation. I'm sorry that you are in the position that you need the information, but am glad that you found us.

 

I´m so thankful finding you! You just  helped me a lot making these "summary" . I understanded every part of it. I didn´t knew where to start. 

 

I really aprecciate your work and hope I can reciprocate it. 

 

I´ll edit my signature.

 

Tks again!

                 Venlafaxin      Clonazepam

2015 jul       75mg               1,0mg

2016 jan      37,5mg            0,5mg    

2016 dec     18,75mg          0,3mg

2017 jan      18,75mg          0,5mg (one step back :excl:)

 

Now stabilizing these doses before new reductions

Link to comment

Is there any problem changing my alternate dose (37,5|0|37,5|0...) to half the dose a day (18,75|18,75|18,75...)???

 

I understand that is the best way, but may I somehow be adapted to this alternate esqueme and feel the change?

 

Tks again!!!

                 Venlafaxin      Clonazepam

2015 jul       75mg               1,0mg

2016 jan      37,5mg            0,5mg    

2016 dec     18,75mg          0,3mg

2017 jan      18,75mg          0,5mg (one step back :excl:)

 

Now stabilizing these doses before new reductions

Link to comment
  • Moderator Emeritus

You may feel the change and have some reaction for a while. Overall, everday dosing is MUCH better for you.

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

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


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

Link to comment

Tks. I will keep my post updated!

                 Venlafaxin      Clonazepam

2015 jul       75mg               1,0mg

2016 jan      37,5mg            0,5mg    

2016 dec     18,75mg          0,3mg

2017 jan      18,75mg          0,5mg (one step back :excl:)

 

Now stabilizing these doses before new reductions

Link to comment

Have to say: Less than a week later and I already feel much better. I think it will be easier to continue tappering this way. :)

                 Venlafaxin      Clonazepam

2015 jul       75mg               1,0mg

2016 jan      37,5mg            0,5mg    

2016 dec     18,75mg          0,3mg

2017 jan      18,75mg          0,5mg (one step back :excl:)

 

Now stabilizing these doses before new reductions

Link to comment
  • Moderator Emeritus

Feeling better, fewer lighter symptoms -- that's good news. Thanks for letting us know!

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

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


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

Link to comment
  • 2 years later...

I´ve made it! It has been three weeks that I´m totally free from any drug. It was a long way till here, but it´s really possible. And my biggest advice is: do it slow, with patience and self respect and keep the consistency. 

 

It´s really a bless to live again without any drug (I´ve bee taking them for 20 years). 

 

I´m much better from PDA, I almost don´t have major crisis, just some anxiety episodes, but I can handle it. 

 

I thank this community for helping me out with good tips of how to tapper, it really helpped me a lot. 

 

A good psychologist and a healthy and improved  life style were both fundamental to the process. If I would guess, I wold say that those are the pillars for recovery: a good professional, an improved healthy lifestyle (lot of excercises, positivity, meditation, good sleep, real natural food), support of some friends or parents (can be just one, that´s not a problem), and a lot of patience, resilience and willpower to get there.

 

Hope you all achieve the same. Thanks!  

                 Venlafaxin      Clonazepam

2015 jul       75mg               1,0mg

2016 jan      37,5mg            0,5mg    

2016 dec     18,75mg          0,3mg

2017 jan      18,75mg          0,5mg (one step back :excl:)

 

Now stabilizing these doses before new reductions

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  • Moderator
28 minutes ago, juliox said:

I´ve made it!

That's great, Juliox.  Congratulations!

Gridley Introduction

 

Lexapro 20 mg since 2004.  Begin Brassmonkey Slide Taper Jan. 2017.   

End 2017 year 1 of taper at 9.25mg 

End 2018 year 2 of taper at 4.1mg

End 2019 year 3 of taper at 1.0mg  

Oct. 30, 2020  Jump to zero from 0.025mg.  Current dose: 0.000mg

3 year, 10 month taper is 100% complete.

 

Ativan 1 mg to 1.875mg 1986-2020, two CT's and reinstatements

Nov. 2020, 7-week Ativan-Valium crossover to 18.75mg Valium

Feb. 2021, begin 10%/4 week taper.   

March 22, 2022: hold at 4.8mg and shift to Imipramine taper

Aug. 5, 2022: shift back to Valium taper.  

Current dose as of Jan. 6, 2023: 2.5mg

Taper is 86% complete.

 

Imipramine 75 mg daily since 1986.  Jan-Sept 2016 tapered to 16mg.  

Held until Aug 2021, tapered for 4 weeks to 14.4mg

March 22, 2022: Begin 10%/4 week taper.  Current dose as of Aug. 5: 9.5mg 

Aug. 5, 2022: hold at 9.5 and shift to Valium taper

Taper is 87% complete.  

  

Supplements: omega-3, vitamins C, E and D3, magnesium glycinate, probiotic, zinc, melatonin .3mg


I am not a medical professional and this is not medical advice but simply information based on my own experience, as well as other members who have survived these drugs.

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  • Moderator

Congratulations !!!! ❤️❤️❤️ 

 

Look forward to read your success story ;)

2006 : 20mg Paxil+Bromazepam. 2008 : cold turkey of both. 2010 : Reinstatement 20mg Paxil + Bromazepam.

2014-June2017 : Switch from Bromazepam to Prazepam, slow taper to 0mg.

2018 to August 2019 : Paxil 20mg taper (3% every 15 days). 22 Aug 2019 updose to 10mg (was at 8.4mg).

25th Sept 2019 To April 2020 : found SA, holding at 10mg Paxil. 

April 2020 : Paxil 10mg to Prozac 7mg bridge. Details topic/21457

 

Current Supplements : magnesium citrate + fish oil

Current medication :

* 7pm Diazepam  : 0.85mg (15 Aug 2022) / 0.95 mg (24 April 2022) / 1mg Diazepam (since 29 Aug 2020)

* 8am Prozac : 6.16mg (25 oct 2022, feel awful, slight updose) / 6.08 mg (9 oct 2022) / 6.24mg (11 July 22) / 6.44mg (22 May 22) / 6.64mg (4 Nov 21) / 6.72mg (8 oct 21) / 6.8 mg (15 Sept 21)6.88mg (14 Aug 21)/ 6.92mg (23 Jun 21)

 

I am not a professional, I don't give medical advice. Discuss any decisions about your medical care with a knowledgeable medical practitioner.

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