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kld090

Hi, I'm new to this forum, but I have been reading a lot of the posts about tapering off of Effexor XR and counting beads, etc.  I ordered a digital scale to weigh out the contents of the extended release.  Each 75mg capsule's contents weigh 190mg.  I confirmed this by weighing multiple capsules.  This is because the actual medicine is in a time-released coating which adds to the weight of the beads.  I decided to do a 5mg reduction per week, which is equal to approximately 12.66mg by weight of Effexor granules (emptied from the capsule).  Counting beads is useless because the individual beads vary in weight, therefore some 75mg capsules may contain more, some less, but they will all weigh 190mg.  Here's what my taper will look like:

 

Current prescribed dose x 18 years - Effexor XR 75mg daily

 

Week 1:  70mg Effexor XR daily for 7 days (70 milliequivalents of Effexor XR = 178mg by weight on my scale)

Week 2:  65mg Effexor XR daily for 7 days (65 milliequivalents of Effexor XR = 165mg by weight)

Week 3:  60mg Effexor XR dialy for 7 days (60 milliequivalents of Effexor XR = 153mg by weight)

Week 4:  55mg Effexor XR daily for 7 days (55 milliequivalents of Effexor XR = 140mg by weight)

Week 5:  50mg Effexor XR daily for 7 days (50 milliequivalents of Effexor XR = 128mg by weight)

Week 6:  45mg Effexor XR daily for 7 days (45 milliequivalents of Effexor XR = 115mg by weight)

Week 7:  40mg Effexor XR daily for 7 days (40 milliequivalents of Effexor XR = 103mg by weight)

Week 8:  35mg Effexor XR daily for 7 days (35 milliequivalents of Effexor XR = 90mg by weight)

Week 9:  30mg Effexor XR daily for 7 days (30 milliequivalents of Effexor XR = 78mg by weight)

Week 10: 25mg Effexor XR daily for 7 days (25 milliequivalents of Effexor XR = 65mg by weight)

Week 11: 20mg Effexor XR daily for 7 days (20 milliequivalents of Effexor XR = 53mg by weight)

Week 12: 15mg Effexor XR daily for 7 days (15 milliequivalents of Effexor XR = 40mg by weight)

Week 13: 10mg Effexor XR daily for 7 days (10 milliequivalents of Effexor XR = 28mg by weight)

Week 14:  5mg Effexor XR daily for 7 days (5 milliequivalents of Effexor XR = 15mg by weight)

 

Note:  There is some rounding error because 5mg of Effexor XR beads weigh approx 12.66mg

 

I know some have done it faster, and some slower.  I have tried unsuccessfully to get off of this medication several times and could not endure the terrible withdrawal symptoms, even with a Prozac bridge.  I've proposed this taper to my physician so we can be onboard with this together.  I will update with how it goes!


Currently on venlafaxine ER 75mg  daily x last 18 years.  I was initially on higher doses of Effexor (150mg) but couldn't tolerate the side effects.  I had no appetite, was anxious, had diarrhea, insomnia, jaw clenching, etc.  My MD switched me to Pristiq 50mg several months ago and the symptoms were worse, especially jaw clenching.  I understand that 50mg of Pristiq is not an equivalent dose of Effexor 75, it it a bit higher.  I requested several times to go back to Effexor as I have now cracked two teeth from clenching, and had to see an oral surgeon. So, my MD put me on 25mg of Pristiq, which improved the clenching but I felt worse than when I was on Effexor with the side effects described above.  I have gone back, on my own, to Effexor 75mg and want to do a SLOW taper so hopefully I can finally get off of this medicine once and for all.  My previous withdrawal symptoms from Effexor included mental fogginess, headache, lack of concentration, depersonalization, extreme anxiety, parasthesias, lack of appetite, diarrhea, orthostatic hypotension, and just feeling mentally "lost".  Several years ago, I attempted to discontinue Effexor with a Prozac bridge unsuccessfully.  I wish I had never started this drug.  While it did help with my depression, it has been a nightmare to discontinue.

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kld090

My name is kld090 and I have been on anti-depressants for most of my adult life.  I had some other mental health issues (eating disorder and addiction in my teens and early 20's), hence being started on the medications originally.  


 


My life has turned around since that time period (18 years ago) and I am now have a successful career and am finishing graduate school.  I have attempted multiple times in the past to discontinue my Effexor according to my prescribing MD's recs but had terrible withdrawal symptoms that I couldn't tolerate and continue my work, school and life commitments.  


 


I had worked up to 150mg but had intolerable side effects from the norepi and was decreased to 75mg.  I have been on that does FOREVER, except for the two times that I have attempted to taper under my physician's care.  


 


I was given two weeks worth of samples for 37.5mg and told to take them and then stop all medication.  Needless to say, this didn't last but a few days.  I had every withdrawal symptom in the book and felt like I couldn't get out of bed to even shower.  It was worse than the flu.  


 


She called in Prozac to bridge me but I honestly don't remember the details from that time as I was a mess.  I've since been on Effexor XR 75mg for the last few years and haven't wanted to discontinue because I have continuously been in school FT and working FT.  After my initial experience with the wonders of discontinuing Effexor, I felt like I should wait.  


 


More of my history is in the signature below.  Recently, under my MD's advice, I again tried to come off of the SNRI's and it was horrible.  I lasted one day.  I am in the process of finishing grad school (8 months) and then will be sitting for boards.  I feel like there will never be a "good" time to come off of these meds, so I want to do this as gently as possible.


 


I came up with a tapering schedule for myself, but upon further reading, I realize that may be too abrupt!  I would appreciate sharing of any experiences that others have had and recommendations for doing this as smoothly as possible!


 

Edited by Altostrata
added paragraph breaks

Currently on venlafaxine ER 75mg  daily x last 18 years.  I was initially on higher doses of Effexor (150mg) but couldn't tolerate the side effects.  I had no appetite, was anxious, had diarrhea, insomnia, jaw clenching, etc.  My MD switched me to Pristiq 50mg several months ago and the symptoms were worse, especially jaw clenching.  I understand that 50mg of Pristiq is not an equivalent dose of Effexor 75, it it a bit higher.  I requested several times to go back to Effexor as I have now cracked two teeth from clenching, and had to see an oral surgeon. So, my MD put me on 25mg of Pristiq, which improved the clenching but I felt worse than when I was on Effexor with the side effects described above.  I have gone back, on my own, to Effexor 75mg and want to do a SLOW taper so hopefully I can finally get off of this medicine once and for all.  My previous withdrawal symptoms from Effexor included mental fogginess, headache, lack of concentration, depersonalization, extreme anxiety, parasthesias, lack of appetite, diarrhea, orthostatic hypotension, and just feeling mentally "lost".  Several years ago, I attempted to discontinue Effexor with a Prozac bridge unsuccessfully.  I wish I had never started this drug.  While it did help with my depression, it has been a nightmare to discontinue.

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Altostrata

Welcome, kid.
 
You've probably seen 

Why taper by 10% of my dosage?

Tips for tapering off Effexor (venlafaxine)

 

When someone has had unsuccessful attempts at going off an antidepressant, or bad experiences switching drugs, that is a good indication that you need to take the more gradual exit route. Your nervous system is already in a vulnerable state from prior upsets.

 

It sounds like you had classic withdrawal symptoms and Pristiq did not agree with you.

 

How are you feeling now? How long have you been on 75mg Effexor this time around?


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

All postings © copyrighted.

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Altostrata

Hi, kid, I moved your earlier post to this topic as we'll probably want to discuss your tapering schedule here.

 

Our 10% reduction per MONTH is calculated on the last dosage -- the amount of decrease keeps getting smaller (but still in 10% proportion to the last dosage).

 

If you are taking 75mg and reducing by 5mg at a time, you'd be within the 10% (or less) reduction guideline until you get to below 50mg, or the sixth reduction.


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

All postings © copyrighted.

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kld090

Thank you for your reply.  I see what you are saying about the 10% taper.  I was actually surprised that my psychiatrist was onboard with me doing this, but she said to do whatever it takes.  I have been back on the Effexor XR 75mg for about a year now.  Day 1-3 with the 5mg drop still gave me withdrawal symptoms but I feel fine now (That was a week ago).  I will stay on this dosage for a bit longer to make sure that I have adjusted and then make another decrease.  Thank you for the information and the support :)


Currently on venlafaxine ER 75mg  daily x last 18 years.  I was initially on higher doses of Effexor (150mg) but couldn't tolerate the side effects.  I had no appetite, was anxious, had diarrhea, insomnia, jaw clenching, etc.  My MD switched me to Pristiq 50mg several months ago and the symptoms were worse, especially jaw clenching.  I understand that 50mg of Pristiq is not an equivalent dose of Effexor 75, it it a bit higher.  I requested several times to go back to Effexor as I have now cracked two teeth from clenching, and had to see an oral surgeon. So, my MD put me on 25mg of Pristiq, which improved the clenching but I felt worse than when I was on Effexor with the side effects described above.  I have gone back, on my own, to Effexor 75mg and want to do a SLOW taper so hopefully I can finally get off of this medicine once and for all.  My previous withdrawal symptoms from Effexor included mental fogginess, headache, lack of concentration, depersonalization, extreme anxiety, parasthesias, lack of appetite, diarrhea, orthostatic hypotension, and just feeling mentally "lost".  Several years ago, I attempted to discontinue Effexor with a Prozac bridge unsuccessfully.  I wish I had never started this drug.  While it did help with my depression, it has been a nightmare to discontinue.

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