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juliox

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

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juliox

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At July 2015, after doing my first international trip I decided I was "cured" and started to withdrawn the medication.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

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juliox

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

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scallywag

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.

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nz11

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
 

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juliox

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. ;)

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scallywag

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.

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juliox

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!

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juliox

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!!!

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scallywag

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

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juliox

Tks. I will keep my post updated!

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juliox

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. :)

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scallywag

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

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juliox

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!  

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Gridley
28 minutes ago, juliox said:

I´ve made it!

That's great, Juliox.  Congratulations!

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Erell

Congratulations !!!! ❤️❤️❤️ 

 

Look forward to read your success story ;)

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