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BobbyN: Venlafaxine


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I am writing for my husband Bobby (age 75).  He has depression for 20 years, and has been on and off antidepressants three times.  He has recently reinstated venlafaxine 75mg (on 10th March) after a fast taper in January from 225mg.  Now waiting to stabilise.


The doctor gave us a script for Sodium Valproate (epilim ec200).  We are not sure if Bobby should take it or not.  He gets anxiety, but is seeing a counselor to work with this.  He is taking Lorazepam on a daily basis, and when he feels the need (not very often).


He gets a lot of hopeless thoughts, and has a lot of lack of interest.  


Today was a better day, which may be a good sign.   


We are now trying to work out whether or not to use the Sodium Valproate.  Any suggestions you can give us would be very welcome.  





(Note:  KarenB is working with us as we live in the same town).  

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Just popping by to say 'hi' - we live in Akld - lucky you two living in Raglan, and close to KarenB for good measure :) We're planning to visit again this weekend - hope the weather's better than here today!


Very best of luck discovering the next best steps for Bobby, you've definitely come to the right place. 





Drug history

  • 20mg paxil in 2001 - 4 months use  
  • 20mg paxil in 2003 - 2 months use 
  • 20mg paxil in 2008 - 8 years continuous

Withdrawal history:

  • March 2014 - disastrous alternate day taper
  • Jan 2015 - 15mg to 10mg. Disaster
  • Sept 2015 -  10mg to 5mg. Disaster. Reinstated to 6mg. Relief
  • Oct 2015 - started slow 10% taper 
  • Oct 2016 - at 4mg- stop taking paxil (not recommended)


I'm not a medical professional. Seek advice from a knowledgeable medical practitioner.

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  • Moderator Emeritus

Hi Mary and welcome to SA,


The first thing we request all member to do is to please create a drug signature Create Your Signature.  Please include details for the last 12-18 months of  all drugs, dates, doses and discontinuations & reinstatements.  If you can't remember dates, please write it as "early March" or "mid-August".  Please provide a summary of any drugs prior to that which can just be listed with start and stop years. Please include all prescription, non-prescription drugs and supplements he is currently taking. Phone Instructions:  Withdrawal History Signature. Please also remember to update it with date and dose whenever make a change so that it remains current. Thank you.


Please put all drugs (including Sodium Valproate - Epilim didn't come up as a drug when I tried it) into the Drug Interactions Checker.  Please copy and paste it into a post in this topic.


Once we have the additional information we will be better able to offer suggestions.


This is your Intro topic for you and your husband where you can ask questions and journal his progress.


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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