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backtoreality: Tapering off Effexor and Xanax


backtoreality

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backtoreality

So glad to have found this forum! I'm 56 (F) and I've been on 150 mg of Effexor XR for the last 17 years.  I have begun counting the beads and initially started by eliminating 25 of the 150 per day.  It's been four days now without any ill effects and I'm really looking forward to this journey.

Backtoreality here. I take 120mgs. of Effexor XR. Plan: Week 1: 50mgs. in the morning and 50mgs. at night. Week 2: 50 mgs. morning and 25mgs. at night. Week 3: 25mgs. A.M. and 25mgs.P.M. Week 4: 25mgs to 17.5.

I plan to augment with grains from the capsules as needed and slow down when needed. Time is no object; as long as it takes.

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Welcome to the forum!

Dec 1, 2016. 10 mg zyprexa for 1.5 month. Started taper mid-Jan. 2017. Cut 1.25 mg every 2 weeks; smaller cuts 2.5 mg down. Stopped at .6 mg. May 7, 2017: zyprexa free. 
Zoloft: Dec1, 2016, 200 mg. Started taper: Jun12, 2017: 197.5 mg; Jun19,:195 mg; July 2:185mg; July 9,:180 mg; July16,: 175; July 23: 170; July 30: 165; Aug6: 160; Aug13: 155; Aug. 20: 150; Aug.27: 146 mg; Sept3: 145 mg; Sept10:143 mg; Sept17:140 mg....Nov5: 122 mg...Dec3:112.5 mg; Jan14, 2018: 95 mg...Jan28: 90 mg; Feb21:80 mg; Mar11: 75 mg; May2:70 mg; May15: 68 mg; May28: 65 mg; Jun9: 62 mg;Jun25: 60 mg:July22: 55 mg; Aug25: 45 mg. Aug28: 50 mg...Oct 28: 38 mg; Dec.4: 30 mg; Jan8,2019: 25mg; Feb6: 23.5 mg; Apr1:17.5mg; May1:1 mg; May 5: 18;  May 18:15mg; June 16:12.5mg; Sept 10:11 mg; Sept.16:10 mg; Oct. 1: 9mg; Nov. 27: 8mg; Dec.5: 7mg; Jan.1,2020, 6 mg; Feb1: 5 mg; May 1: 2.5 mg; Jn 1: 2 mg; Jy 1: 1.5 mg
Spreadsheet: https://docs.google.com/spreadsheets/d/1pw4tjImAJ92OIVyRvZoZYjqxiKMk7wvp-ljiIi1olRo/edit#gid=0

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Welcome to the forum! You've come to the right place for weaning support. I'm new to weaning also. Just started 17 days ago. Best wishes for you in your journey.

April 26th - 36.5>32.8mg Z.

Feb 4th - 40.5>36.5mg Zoloft.

Jan 5th - 45>40.5mg Zoloft.

Dec 6th - 50>45mg Zoloft.

Nov 1st - 53>50.0mg Zoloft. Sep 22/17 - 50.0>53.0mg Zoloft. Sep 18/17 - 59.0>50.0mg Zoloft.

Aug 7/17 - 65.6>59.0mg  July 18/17 - 72.9>65.6mg. June 18/17 - 81>72.9mg 

May 28/17 - 90>81mg.  May 8/17:  Started my taper. 100>90mg

1995 to May 8/17:  100mg Zoloft/day.  Working well but suspecting some signs of Tolerance this past year.

4/5/17:  Started Testosterone Replacement Therapy via T pellet insertion.  Diagnosed with Secondary Hypogonadism.

Supplements:  1000mg fish oil, 10,000iu Vit D3 with K2, 400mg Magnesium.

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  • Moderator Emeritus

Hi and welcome to SA. I am happy that you found us.  I took Effexor for 15 years in total and tapered far too fast, I hadn't found SA and thought a year was a very slow taper!  I went into withdrawal after being off for a month, found SA and reinstated when I realised it had been too fast. Who would ever imagine that it could take so long?

 

I am so glad that you have found us, congratulations on making the first step to being Effexor free.  :)

 

Here is our topic on tapering Effexor.

 

http://survivingantidepressants.org/index.php?/topic/272-tapering-off-effexor-venlafaxine/

 

The 3 KIS 

http://survivingantidepressants.org/index.php?/topic/6632-the-rule-of-3kis-keep-it-simple-keep-it-slow-keep-it-stable/

 

We recommend tapering no more than 10% of the CURRENT dose, with at least 3-4 weeks between drops. 

http://survivingantidepressants.org/index.php?/topic/1024-why-taper-by-10-of-my-dosage/

 

Effexor is notorious for withdrawal between cuts, and if I had known I would have opted for the micro taper. It doesn't take much longer but cuts are smaller and more often. 

http://survivingantidepressants.org/index.php?/topic/2878-micro-taper-instead-of-10-or-5-decreases/

 

Have a good look around, there is a lot of info here that you won't find anywhere else under one 'roof'.

This is your topic to add to as you taper. 

 

It will help us if you can put your drug and tapering history in your signature strip, you can find instructions here.. 

 

http://survivingantidepressants.org/index.php?/topic/12364-please-put-your-withdrawal-history-in-your-signature/

**I am not a medical professional, if in doubt please consult a doctor with withdrawal knowledge.

 

 

Different drugs occasionally (mostly benzos) 1976 - 1981 (no problem)

1993 - 2002 in and out of hospital. every type of drug + ECT. Staring with seroxat

2002  effexor. 

Tapered  March 2012 to March 2013, ending with 5 beads.

Withdrawal April 2013 . Reinstated 5 beads reduced to 4 beads May 2013

Restarted taper  Nov 2013  

OFF EFFEXOR Feb 2015    :D 

Tapered atenolol and omeprazole Dec 2013 - May 2014

 

Tapering tramadol, Feb 2015 100mg , March 2015 50mg  

 July 2017 30mg.  May 15 2018 25mg

Taking fish oil, magnesium, B12, folic acid, bilberry eyebright for eye pressure. 

 

My story http://survivingantidepressants.org/index.php?/topic/4199-hello-mammap-checking-in/page-33

 

Lesson learned, slow down taper at lower doses. Taper no more than 10% of CURRENT dose if possible

 

 

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  • 3 weeks later...
backtoreality

Hi everyone, and I'm so glad this forum exists! 

 

I'm a 57 year old professional female.

 

I've been on Effexor XR 150mgs for the last seven years and was on 300mgs. prior to that for another 10 years. I halved the dose on my own after 10 years and it wasn't hard.

 

 Four years ago I began taking Xanax at 3 mgs per day for anxiety.  So it's been 17 years on antidepressants and four on benzos.  I want to be finished with both.

 

     Antidepressants worked for a long time, under normal conditions, but if I was going through a stressful period they just shut down.  It wasn't until I made a conscious decision to learn and practice different coping skills that I even wanted to get off of them.

 

But here are some of the reasons:

1.  They completely killed my sex drive.

2.  They keep me in this state that feels like purgatory on earth; I'm not happy, not sad, just sort of...here.

3.  They make me feel horrible the few times I've run out or forgotten to take them.

4.  They allow me to go for days without eating hardly anything and with no hunger (which could be good, but really isn't)

5.  My psychiatrist quit to join a boutique practice.

6.  I'm  scared about what might happen to healthcare when I retire soon (and am nowhere close to Medicare age) and I don't want to be on any medication "for life" if I can help it.

7.  I feel like I'm becoming agoraphobic; I used to love going out and now I'm a homebody hermit.

 

     The Xanax helped me handle a problem with insomnia but I kept falling down; bicycle accidents, walking into pillars and posts, wrenching my knee on a swimming pool ladder.  I also had a blow-out verbal argument with my sisters who had been my closest friends up to that point.  I decided I needed to ratchet down the Xanax.  I managed to do that on my own over a one year period and as of now I am on 1 mg of Xanax at night to sleep.  They don't work well for that purpose but I still find myself looking forward to one after a hard day's work.

 

    I started tapering off Effexor  in 4/ 2017

I did it by opening up the 150 mg. Effexor and taking out one bead at a time, one per day, until the brain zaps and hot flashes got too bad.  Whenever that would happen I would take one to five granules to stabilize.

 

Right now (6/15/17) I am at 120mgs of Effexor daily and 1mg. of Xanax at night. 

 

Yesterday I saw my family doctor to enlist his help and he was eager and understanding.

He wrote me a script for 100mgs of Effexor and said to split the pills and take half in the morning and half at night for the first week.

Then I'm to take 75mgs. daily for the next week.

Next is 50 mgs. for a week, and so on. 

After that (in a month) we have another appointment to see how things are going.

 

As for the Xanax, he said not to stop taking it yet or even try.  He said that my brain is going to need time to reach equilibrium and to supplement my dose with extra grains of Effexor or a quarter of an Effexor pill  if symptoms jam me up.

 

I'm really looking forward to being free of antidepressants and I'm getting a lot of good suggestions to help me through the looping thoughts and weird messages my mind is giving me. 

 

I try to imagine the "I'm a piece of ****" thoughts that are here now as railroad cars riding over a track and just try to watch them as they come and go instead of believing them.  I got that advice here, I think, and it does help.  Here's to going back to reality! Wish me luck.

Backtoreality here. I take 120mgs. of Effexor XR. Plan: Week 1: 50mgs. in the morning and 50mgs. at night. Week 2: 50 mgs. morning and 25mgs. at night. Week 3: 25mgs. A.M. and 25mgs.P.M. Week 4: 25mgs to 17.5.

I plan to augment with grains from the capsules as needed and slow down when needed. Time is no object; as long as it takes.

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  • scallywag changed the title to backtoreality: Tapering off Effexor and Xanax
  • Moderator Emeritus

backtoreality -- Welcome to Surviving Antidepressants (SA)

 

Thanks for posting such a complete account of your history with Effexor.  I strongly urge you to slow down your taper and NOT to follow your doctor's suggestions about skipping days of taking the medication. That way trouble comes.

 

We suggest that people taper by decreasing dose by 10% no more often than once per month. This allows your brain and the rest of your CNS (central nervous system) to adjust to the dose decrease.  The issue isn't just about about the presence of the drug itself but the combination of decreasing dose and the changes your CNS made while you were on the drug. Please read:

Before you begin tapering -- what you need to know.

Why taper by 10% of my dosage?

 

The content at these links provide helpful explanations and analogies for what happens in your CNS when on the medications and when coming off them:

What is withdrawal syndrome.

How your brain responds to psychiatric drugs - aka "Brain remodeling".

Youtube video, 4 minutes: Healing from antidepressants.

 

Decreasing by 10% each month requires non-standard doses -- amounts that don't come in conveniently capsulized from the manufacturer and your pharmacy.  With Effexor there are a few options, including bead counting.  For more information, please read

Tips for tapering off Effexor (venlafaxine).

Counting beads in a capsule versus weighing.

 

Would you take a moment to summarize your doses of Effexor over the last 12 months in a signature? 

  • 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.
  • Link to Account Settings – Create or Edit a signature.

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

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backtoreality

Thanks so much for your informative replies.

I suspected my doctor might be speeding along too quickly by taking me from 100mgs. of effexor to zero in 5 weeks time, but he says to take notes on what's happening day by day and adjust by adding granules as needed.

 

Backtoreality here. I take 120mgs. of Effexor XR. Plan: Week 1: 50mgs. in the morning and 50mgs. at night. Week 2: 50 mgs. morning and 25mgs. at night. Week 3: 25mgs. A.M. and 25mgs.P.M. Week 4: 25mgs to 17.5.

I plan to augment with grains from the capsules as needed and slow down when needed. Time is no object; as long as it takes.

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hi backtoreality welcome to this great site .2 years ago my doctor said going from 75mg Effexor to 37.5mg wouldn't be a problem and I had no idea what I was in for ,absolute nightmare ,I wasn't aware of this site back then ,please give yourself time to navigate the site and follow what the moderators say ,its much better to be safe than sorry with tapering .when I first wanted to taper the thoughts of a year tapering filled me with dread. Now Id take   5 years if I could be stable and get my mind  back ,its brought me to hell .

good  luck with your taper .

PB

Alcohol free since February 2015 

1MG diazepam

4.5MG PROZAC.

 

 

 

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backtoreality

I'm doing OK going from 120mgs of Effexor to 100.  It's been a week now and the effects are as follows:  Week 1: 50mgs a.m & 50mgs. p.m

Day 1- .Sleep was restless/ lots of hot flashes/ loss of appetite/ good mood through the day & productive at work

Day 2- Slight brain zaps/ anxious so took 1mg Xanax at 3 and 1mg at 6;  Sleep problems (up & down 6 times)

Day 3- Difficulty concentrating and remembering things. I felt ravenous for food and ate both a Big Mac and a chicken salad (bought for tomorrow) at one sitting.  This is really out of character for me and caused a rear-end explosion of fun between 10 and 11 right before bed.

Day 4- More slight brain zaps, no appetite but again, my mood is really improving. 

Tomorrow is day 5 of 100mgs down from 120 (for about 2 months)

 

On ‎5‎/‎26‎/‎2017 at 0:18 PM, mammaP said:

We recommend tapering no more than 10% of the CURRENT dose, with at least 3-4 weeks between drops. 

http://survivingantidepressants.org/index.php?/topic/1024-why-taper-by-10-of-my-dosage/

 

Yeah, I'm taking my time despite what the doctor said about dropping from 100mgs of Effexor to 75mgs after just a week's time. 

 

I'm not on a speedy timeline and I've been on this stuff for 17 years so I plan on taking 50mgs in the morning along with a 25mgs (quarter of a pill) in the late afternoon and 24 granules the first day, 23 the second day, etc. but I'll stop to stabilize as soon as any bad side effects start to kick in.  To me, bad equals nausea, brain zaps, dizziness, insomnia and negative looping thought patterns

 

I'm feeling better, psychologically, than I have in years.  I've gotten so used to the negative loops of information in my brain undercutting everything I do, but in the last month since starting this process they're largely gone.  That might have to do with the fact that I was also trying to cut my Xanax consumption from 2mgs daily to 1mg. while trying to get off Effexor.  Now I'm back to 2mgs Xanax a day but I'm not complaining.  Trying to do both was really hard and there'll be time enough to wean off benzos. Just not right now.

Backtoreality here. I take 120mgs. of Effexor XR. Plan: Week 1: 50mgs. in the morning and 50mgs. at night. Week 2: 50 mgs. morning and 25mgs. at night. Week 3: 25mgs. A.M. and 25mgs.P.M. Week 4: 25mgs to 17.5.

I plan to augment with grains from the capsules as needed and slow down when needed. Time is no object; as long as it takes.

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  • Moderator Emeritus

You are going too fast! You are having withdrawal and should hold the dose you are at now for a few weeks, until you have had no symptoms for at least 4 weeks. Increasing the amount you remove every day is not the best way to go down unless you are having long holds at intervals.  You are right that it is not good to reduce 2 drugs at once, it is better to taper the AD first. Effexor is a nasty little drug and needs to be sneaked away so slowly that your brain will not notice, you need to hold BEFORE .any symptoms appear. Please take care and slow down, I would hate to see you in the mess I was in after tapering too fast, it took months to stabilise after reinstating and can easily be avoided.

**I am not a medical professional, if in doubt please consult a doctor with withdrawal knowledge.

 

 

Different drugs occasionally (mostly benzos) 1976 - 1981 (no problem)

1993 - 2002 in and out of hospital. every type of drug + ECT. Staring with seroxat

2002  effexor. 

Tapered  March 2012 to March 2013, ending with 5 beads.

Withdrawal April 2013 . Reinstated 5 beads reduced to 4 beads May 2013

Restarted taper  Nov 2013  

OFF EFFEXOR Feb 2015    :D 

Tapered atenolol and omeprazole Dec 2013 - May 2014

 

Tapering tramadol, Feb 2015 100mg , March 2015 50mg  

 July 2017 30mg.  May 15 2018 25mg

Taking fish oil, magnesium, B12, folic acid, bilberry eyebright for eye pressure. 

 

My story http://survivingantidepressants.org/index.php?/topic/4199-hello-mammap-checking-in/page-33

 

Lesson learned, slow down taper at lower doses. Taper no more than 10% of CURRENT dose if possible

 

 

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backtoreality

After  careful reflection I'm committed to the 10 Percent Taper.

Backtoreality here. I take 120mgs. of Effexor XR. Plan: Week 1: 50mgs. in the morning and 50mgs. at night. Week 2: 50 mgs. morning and 25mgs. at night. Week 3: 25mgs. A.M. and 25mgs.P.M. Week 4: 25mgs to 17.5.

I plan to augment with grains from the capsules as needed and slow down when needed. Time is no object; as long as it takes.

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  • ChessieCat changed the title to backtoreality: Tapering off Effexor and Xanax
  • Moderator Emeritus

Hi backtoreality, Welcome to the site, glad you found it before running into trouble.  I'm tapering Effexor as well and just wanted to warn you that it is a very difficult drug to withdrawal from.  Most doctors have no idea how powerful these drugs are, and know little about safely withdrawing people from these drugs, especially when a person has been on them long-term.  

Like you, I wanted to feel my emotions again and be more engaged in my life.  In my haste to get this drug out of my system, I tapered a little too quickly and ran into a lot of trouble.  My advice to you would be to take as much time as you need to get this drug out of your system as slowly as possible, as even in small amounts, this drug can cause very difficult withdrawal symptoms, scary withdrawal.  I started tapering in September of 2016 and am now at almost at 50% of my original dose and feel 1000% better, but I've have a few rough patches over this time which could have been avoided had I heeded the moderator's advice and slowed it down a bit.  

We learn as we go along what our system can tolerate as we really are very different and these drugs affect us all differently, but if I can offer you any useful information, it would be to stick to 10% or less per month (or longer), to keep an eye on not just physical withdrawal but your emotional state before you make another reduction.  Every taper has a cumulative effect on the CNS and if you go too fast, you can run into trouble pretty quickly and it's a lot harder to bounce back from once you fall over that edge.  

Now that I'm down to almost 50% of my original dose, I have decided to go even slower as it gets more difficult the lower you get.  There is a lot of very useful and informative information on this site to help guide you through and if you listen to the moderator's advice you'll be in good hands.  

Best of luck to freedom from anti-depressants and hope you have an uneventful journey :D

Current Prescription Drugs for Hypothyroidism:  Synthroid 100mcg / Cytomel 5mcg (15 years Pristiq/Effexor)

Tapering Schedule
September 15, 2016 - switched from Pristiq 50mg to Effexor XR 75mg; November 10, 2016 - reduced to 67.5 Effexor XR
December 9, 2016 - reduced 60.75
January 5, 2017 - reduced 54.67
January 30, 2017 - reduced to 49.0
February 20, 2017 - reduced to 44.0 
May 20, 2017 - reduced to 40.25 (holding for additional month due to late onset of withdrawal symptoms after this taper)
July 17, 2017 - reduced to 38.24
August 15, 2017 - reduced to 37.5 (50% of my original dose)

October 15, 2017 - reduced to 35.6

November 12, 2017 - reduced to 33.8
December 15, 2017 - up-dose to 35.6
December 28, 2017 - up-dose to 37.5

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backtoreality

Hi everyone, and especially baroque for the advice.  Slow is the way to go, for me.  I don't want to get to a place where it's impossible to function by getting off the Effexor too fast. 

 

I've been really lucky to get from 150mgs to 95mgs in what seemed like a slow taper (before I found this site in April '17) over a four month period but with minor brain zaps, an almost non-existent appetite, hot and cold flashes at bedtime and a strange feeling in my gut, it's time to go even slower.

 

I'm taking 95mgs a day now:

50mgs (half a tablet) in the morning

25mgs (quarter of a tablet) and 20 grains at night.

This is the third week of that and I'll keep it here until things smooth out, physically.

 

The doctor laid out a plan to take me from 100mgs to 37mgs in a one month period, but that's not going to be happening.  My body can't take it. 

 

I've been trying to get in touch with him through his medical portal app but it isn't working and my appointment isn't until July 21st.  I'm really hoping he understands and doesn't try to force this, time-wise, so I'll try taking advice I've seen here to tell him I'm re-thinking my decision to quit Effexor completely, but only if I get push-back from him about doing it ever-so-gradually.

 

Mood-wise, I'm feeling more alive than I have in years.  I actually reached out for a social situation for the first time in years and my sleep is returning (but I'm back to 2mgs of Xanax nightly) and I feel more happy and hopeful than in a long time.

Backtoreality here. I take 120mgs. of Effexor XR. Plan: Week 1: 50mgs. in the morning and 50mgs. at night. Week 2: 50 mgs. morning and 25mgs. at night. Week 3: 25mgs. A.M. and 25mgs.P.M. Week 4: 25mgs to 17.5.

I plan to augment with grains from the capsules as needed and slow down when needed. Time is no object; as long as it takes.

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I am on a similar amount of Effexor to yourself, btr - 112.5mg after tapering from 225mg a year ago.

Due another 10% reduction this week but have decided to hold as am feeling a bit low and fatigued.

We have sold our house and are moving to a smaller one nearer family at other side of this small town.

Also, it has been dull and raining for countless days this month.

Your Ike got fed up with the UK's climate in June 1944 when D -Day was being planned.

"It's June for christ's sake! - Doesn't it ever stop raining in this goddamned country?"

Always brings a smile when I recall that - guilty as charged!

 

Good luck and best wishes.

Born 1945. 

1999 - First Effexor/Venlafaxine

2016 Withdrawal research. Effexor.  13Jul - 212.5mg;  6Aug - 200.0mg;  24Aug - 187.5mg;  13Sep - 175.0mg;  3Oct - 162.5mg;  26Oct - 150mg 

2017  9Jan - 150.00mg;  23Mar - 137.50mg;  24Apr - 125.00mg;  31May - 112.50mg holding;  3Sep - 100.00mg;  20Sep - 93.75mg;  20Oct - 87.5mg;  12Nov - 81.25mg;  13 Dec - 75.00mg

2018  18Jan - 69.1mg; 16Feb - 62.5mg; 16March - 57.5mg (-8%); 22Apr - 56.3mg(-2%); CRASHED - Updose 29May - 62.5mg; Updose - 1Jul - 75.0mg. Updose - 2Aug - 87.5mg. Updose - 27Aug - 100.0mg. Updose - 11Oct 112.5mg. Updose - 6Nov 125.00mg

2019 Updoses 19 Jan - 150.0mg. 1April - 162.5mg. 24 April - Feeling better - doing tasks, getting outside.  7 May - usual depression questionnaire gives "probably no depression" result.

Supps/Vits  Omega 3;  Chelated Magnesium;  Prebiotics/Probiotics, Vit D3. 

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  • 1 month later...
backtoreality

Hi Everyone,

I wanted to drop in and leave a file of my update.  I also want to let anyone who may be starting this process that you are in good hands (and hearts) with this forum.

 

It is saving my life and keeping me from suffering in ways no sentient being should have to suffer.  Emotions are coming back now, after 17 years, and it feels amazing to be able to simply feel anything again!

 

It's 5 months now on a slow taper from Effexor and following these tapering directions have kept me sane and well enough to work.  Playing still comes a little harder, but progress is happening every single day. 

My Tapering Story from Effexor.docx

Backtoreality here. I take 120mgs. of Effexor XR. Plan: Week 1: 50mgs. in the morning and 50mgs. at night. Week 2: 50 mgs. morning and 25mgs. at night. Week 3: 25mgs. A.M. and 25mgs.P.M. Week 4: 25mgs to 17.5.

I plan to augment with grains from the capsules as needed and slow down when needed. Time is no object; as long as it takes.

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  • Moderator Emeritus

Great news BTR!  Thanks for coming back to let 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

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  • 3 months later...
backtoreality

Hi, everyone

 

I'm down to 19 mgs of Effexor from 150 mgs. eight months ago.  Slowly tapering by counting beads and holding for a couple of weeks when the brain zaps/anger/sleep issues reappear.  It's been a long slog but life is getting better, then not so great, then better, etc.  

 

Foot pain is not a problem but mud butt (every morning no matter what I've eaten before) is a side-effect as is a big aversion to most food.  My weight has held steady so when I do eat, it seems to help, even if I don't have an appetite.

 

Now is not the time to be impatient.  I've been really lucky to find this forum and extra lucky to have a doctor who "gets it"  Slow is the only way to go, for me.

 

Hang in there and remember there is a light at the end of the tunnel. You are worth it!

Backtoreality here. I take 120mgs. of Effexor XR. Plan: Week 1: 50mgs. in the morning and 50mgs. at night. Week 2: 50 mgs. morning and 25mgs. at night. Week 3: 25mgs. A.M. and 25mgs.P.M. Week 4: 25mgs to 17.5.

I plan to augment with grains from the capsules as needed and slow down when needed. Time is no object; as long as it takes.

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  • 1 month later...
backtoreality

Hi Forum,

 

First, thank you for existing. A year ago when I started I was on 150mg of Effexor and never thought I could wean myself off this insidious medicine.  My mood was borderline suicidal and the thought of missing a dose would ratchet up my anxiety because I'd gone through it during a hurricane once and it crushed me to be in that kind of withdrawal agony.

 

After finding this site, really digesting the advice and making a decision, I decided to take the plunge.  It's been a hell of a year in a delightful way. Namely, I've tapered off from 150mgs to 12mgs since March 2017 (it is now the last day of 2017)

 

I did it by opening the Effexor capsules and taking out one bead every 6 or 7 days after initially dropping from 150mgs to 120mgs with no bad effects.  From then on, I just took out a capsule bead and held for as long as needed.

 

There have been side-effects (brain zaps, anger problems, vertigo, and my favorite, hot flashes every single night at bedtime) despite also taking 2mgs of Xanax nightly (which is my next hurdle to cross.)

 

My doctor was not very understanding.  He put me on a drastic cut-down but I convinced him to prescribe a 90 day supply of the 150mg. capsules and I've been using them, counting those beads and not rushing things.  He's amazed it's taken this long but my body and soul knew a slow taper was the only way to go and you reaffirmed that for me when I felt impatient with my own progress.

 

Right around the point when I hit 19mgs. I started to hit a wall, depression-wise.  I held the dose for about a month and read Dr. Burn's book, Feeling Good: The New Mood Therapy, about cognitive behavioral therapy and started doing the exercises.  They are quite a slog and a lot of work, but I'm gradually seeing a huge improvement across a lot of important areas of my life. 

 

I still don't enjoy food much and have to force myself to eat most days.  I am kind of a hermit except at work where I have to interact with the public and co-workers, but I'm handling it.  None of my family or friends are really onboard with my plan due to a lack of awareness mostly, and I don't bring up the topic or talk with them about it much except to crow and remind myself (and them) that I'm getting better.

 

Barring any unforeseen circumstances, I hope I'll be free of these drugs before the summer of 2018.  It is possible!  But I've had to be very gentle on myself and I give myself a lot of solitude and moderate exercise every day, which helps. 

 

Backtoreality here. I take 120mgs. of Effexor XR. Plan: Week 1: 50mgs. in the morning and 50mgs. at night. Week 2: 50 mgs. morning and 25mgs. at night. Week 3: 25mgs. A.M. and 25mgs.P.M. Week 4: 25mgs to 17.5.

I plan to augment with grains from the capsules as needed and slow down when needed. Time is no object; as long as it takes.

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Downbutnotout

Maybe I’ll get that book.  I heard about it many years ago when I was getting a degree in counseling. Congratulations to you for having the patience to take a slow taper.

 

I got off 75 mg in 3 weeks because of a ignorant doctor and a clueless patient. . I am on 5 beads of effexor/ I’m not sure how long that is supposed to last or if it’s even going to work to stabilize me. I can’t tell. . I haven’t been able to eat for the last 6 months without forcing myself. . I don’t know if I’ll make it but I’m trying to psych myself up. I’m pretty old, 67. I’m also on 50 mg of trazadone. No wonder I’m such a mess. I’m following the directives of this website. I wish I would’ve been smarter. Not to mention all the other garbage I’ve been on in the last 6 months. At least I was smart enough to cancel my psychiatrist appointment. 

 

2001 Remeron , Celexa, prozac a week on lithium. 

2014 went off effexor and trazadone in 3 weeks. 

2014 zoloft (hyper reaction) put on effexor 75 mg. Was stable until 2017 

2017  Trazadone 50 mg (June) Effexor to 113 mg (2 weeks) Effexor 150 mg for a month . Took 75 mg until November. . Lithium 10 days, Lamactil 10 day  aug-nov15 ativan

October : Prozac bridge to get off 75 mg of effexor Used 10 mg of prozac. Stopped prozac 3 wk 

Dec 6, 7 Upped trazadone from 50 to 100 mg Did it for 3 days Stopped it

Dec 7 , Dec 8 Took prozac again 0.1 , 0.1, 0.6 stopped it

Dec 11 and Dec 12 upped it to 100 again

Dec 15 , 16,17 went back to 50 mg of trazadone

December 18 Began 3 beads of effexor  Dec 25 began 5 beads of effexor take 10 mg of omneprazole daily

 

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backtoreality

There is no moderator welcome here so I can only assume you have started a new intro thread.

This is a general reminder that its only one intro thread per person.

 

Could you do the mods a favour and put in some start dates in the drug sig. You say 'a year ago' but then appear to talk of past taper attempts?....so how long have you been on this drug or drugs. a year or years?

 

Your drug sig seems to imply that you will take random extra amounts if you have wdl symptoms. It is far better to keep things stable and not jump around in dose.

Check out the KISS thread. 

At a first glance it appears you may be tapering too fast. 

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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  • 1 month later...
On ‎29‎/‎12‎/‎2017 at 9:36 PM, backtoreality said:

Hi Forum,

 

First, thank you for existing. A year ago when I started I was on 150mg of Effexor and never thought I could wean myself off this insidious medicine.  My mood was borderline suicidal and the thought of missing a dose would ratchet up my anxiety because I'd gone through it during a hurricane once and it crushed me to be in that kind of withdrawal agony.

 

After finding this site, really digesting the advice and making a decision, I decided to take the plunge.  It's been a hell of a year in a delightful way. Namely, I've tapered off from 150mgs to 12mgs since March 2017 (it is now the last day of 2017)

 

I did it by opening the Effexor capsules and taking out one bead every 6 or 7 days after initially dropping from 150mgs to 120mgs with no bad effects.  From then on, I just took out a capsule bead and held for as long as needed.

 

There have been side-effects (brain zaps, anger problems, vertigo, and my favorite, hot flashes every single night at bedtime) despite also taking 2mgs of Xanax nightly (which is my next hurdle to cross.)

 

My doctor was not very understanding.  He put me on a drastic cut-down but I convinced him to prescribe a 90 day supply of the 150mg. capsules and I've been using them, counting those beads and not rushing things.  He's amazed it's taken this long but my body and soul knew a slow taper was the only way to go and you reaffirmed that for me when I felt impatient with my own progress.

 

Right around the point when I hit 19mgs. I started to hit a wall, depression-wise.  I held the dose for about a month and read Dr. Burn's book, Feeling Good: The New Mood Therapy, about cognitive behavioral therapy and started doing the exercises.  They are quite a slog and a lot of work, but I'm gradually seeing a huge improvement across a lot of important areas of my life. 

 

I still don't enjoy food much and have to force myself to eat most days.  I am kind of a hermit except at work where I have to interact with the public and co-workers, but I'm handling it.  None of my family or friends are really onboard with my plan due to a lack of awareness mostly, and I don't bring up the topic or talk with them about it much except to crow and remind myself (and them) that I'm getting better.

 

Barring any unforeseen circumstances, I hope I'll be free of these drugs before the summer of 2018.  It is possible!  But I've had to be very gentle on myself and I give myself a lot of solitude and moderate exercise every day, which helps. 

 

Hi BTR ,you are doing great with your taper ,good on ye ,I'm reading this post and to be honest I am jealous :),I am having an excruciating time trying to taper and I'm trying to work out why it is for me ,I just noticed you take Xanax but its not in your drug sig ,this is a big thing to me because I'm trying to figure out why I seem to be struggling so bad    and others are ok

If you could correct this it would be great ,of course I'm not a mod ,but its misleading when we read a post and the drug sig don't match up .

Total respect and continue healing to you .

Alcohol free since February 2015 

1MG diazepam

4.5MG PROZAC.

 

 

 

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