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Introducing ChickPea71


ChickPea71

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Hi,

 

I’ve been on Venlafaxine for 12 years. After trying unsuccessfully Prozac and Seroxat, Venlafaxine (Effexor) was very effective. 5 years ago I managed to come off this totally from 225 mg, which was a slow process (over 18-24 months). After some months my depression returned and I started to take 75mg (slow release) again. I had been on that for 2-3 years yet my depression was returning on a cycle. A psychiatrist on the NHS said I should increase the dose but was reluctant to due to hair loss, and the increased insomnia that comes from the higher dose. I had remained on 75mg for another 18 months.

 

Currently I’m trying to replace Venlafaxine with Lofepramine under the guidance of a private psychiatrist. I came down to 37.5 from 75mg Venlafaxine for 2 weeks, then stopped it for a couple of days, but had to take it again for 3 weeks due to increased depression. By the 5th November I was up to 140mg Lofepramine so took my last Venlafaxine tablet. But after 3 weeks I was still having horrendous withdrawal symptoms, nausea, brain zaps, dizziness, shivers, tremors, I even had 2 episodes where I lost control of my entire body for a few hours, I couldn’t walk, like my body became like a rag doll, all floppy. My psychiatrist suggested I go back on it, but I’m now (using a pill chopper) taking 3/4 of a 37.5mg tablet which I intend to take for 3 weeks, then reduce to 1/2 for 3 weeks, then 1/4 for 3 weeks, and then try to come off completely.

 

How long has it taken others to come off Venlafaxine? How long do the side effects go on for?

 

Also, has anyone had hair loss with Venlafaxne, and had it regrow after coming off this med?

I’ve been on Venlafaxine for 12 years. After trying unsuccessfully Prozac and Seroxat, Venlafaxine (Effexor) was very effective. 5 years ago I managed to come off this totally from 225 mg, which was a slow process (over 18-24 months). After some months my depression returned and I started to take 75mg (slow release) again. I had been on that for 2-3 years yet my depression was returning on a cycle. A psychiatrist on the NHS said I should increase the dose but was reluctant to due to hair loss, and the increased insomnia that comes from the higher dose. I had remained on 75mg for another 18 months.

 

Currently I’m trying to replace Venlafaxine with Lofepramine under the guidance of a private psychiatrist. I came down to 37.5 from 75mg Venlafaxine for 2 weeks, then stopped it for a couple of days, but had to take it again for 3 weeks due to increased depression. By the 5th November I was up to 140mg Lofepramine so took my last Venlafaxine tablet. But after 3 weeks I was still having horrendous withdrawal symptoms, nausea, brain zaps, dizziness, shivers, tremors, I even had 2 episodes where I lost control of my entire body for a few hours, I couldn’t walk, like my body became like a rag doll, all floppy. My psychiatrist suggested I go back on it, but I’m now (using a pill chopper) taking 3/4 of a 37.5mg tablet which I intend to take for 3 weeks, then reduce to 1/2 for 3 weeks, then 1/4 for 3 weeks, and then try to come off completely.

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Welcome, ChickPea!

 

Did you have any of these symptoms when you quit the venlafaxine 5 years ago? Perhaps you'd need to taper as slow as you did last time.

 

Is it possible any of the symptoms are due to the lofepramine? I'm not familiar with tricyclics.

'94-'08 On/off ADs. Mostly Zoloft & Wellbutrin, but also Prozac, Celexa, Effexor, etc.
6/08 quit Z & W after tapering, awful anxiety 3 mos. later, reinstated.
11/10 CTed. Severe anxiety 3 mos. later & @ 8 mos. much worse (set off by metronidazole). Anxiety, depression, anhedonia, DP, DR, dizziness, severe insomnia, high serum AM cortisol, flu-like feelings, muscle discomfort.
9/11-9/12 Waves and windows of recovery.
10/12 Awful relapse, DP/DR. Hydrocortisone?
11/12 Improved fairly quickly even though relapse was one of worst waves ever.

1/13 Best I've ever felt.

3/13 A bit of a relapse... then faster and shorter waves and windows.

4/14 Have to watch out for triggers, but feel completely normal about 80% of the time.

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I had some but nothing like I have been having now. Last time I reduced from the 75md slow release capsules. Counted the beads. Although I mentioned this to my current psychiatrist, and she felt that was not a good idea. Although I think sometimes we know our bodies needs and reactions better than a text book.

 

I had also had problems with the sleeping pills zopiclone, which only worked for 3 nights, so then added antihistamines. This was possibly too much for my body to deal with so I stopped taking all sleeping pills, which meant I didn't sleep (or eat) for 3 weeks.

I’ve been on Venlafaxine for 12 years. After trying unsuccessfully Prozac and Seroxat, Venlafaxine (Effexor) was very effective. 5 years ago I managed to come off this totally from 225 mg, which was a slow process (over 18-24 months). After some months my depression returned and I started to take 75mg (slow release) again. I had been on that for 2-3 years yet my depression was returning on a cycle. A psychiatrist on the NHS said I should increase the dose but was reluctant to due to hair loss, and the increased insomnia that comes from the higher dose. I had remained on 75mg for another 18 months.

 

Currently I’m trying to replace Venlafaxine with Lofepramine under the guidance of a private psychiatrist. I came down to 37.5 from 75mg Venlafaxine for 2 weeks, then stopped it for a couple of days, but had to take it again for 3 weeks due to increased depression. By the 5th November I was up to 140mg Lofepramine so took my last Venlafaxine tablet. But after 3 weeks I was still having horrendous withdrawal symptoms, nausea, brain zaps, dizziness, shivers, tremors, I even had 2 episodes where I lost control of my entire body for a few hours, I couldn’t walk, like my body became like a rag doll, all floppy. My psychiatrist suggested I go back on it, but I’m now (using a pill chopper) taking 3/4 of a 37.5mg tablet which I intend to take for 3 weeks, then reduce to 1/2 for 3 weeks, then 1/4 for 3 weeks, and then try to come off completely.

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Hi Chickpea. Welcome to the group. I haven't used Effexor so I can't help you with advice there. I'm currently tapering off Paxil. Right now I'm switching to Prozac to hopefully make the withdrawal easier. All I can say is that most people have better success with fewer withdrawal symptoms by going very slowly on the taper. Best of luck to you.

Taper from Cymbalta, Paxil, Prozac & Antipsychotics finished June 2012.

Xanax 5% Taper - (8/12 - .5 mg) - (9/12 - .45) - (10/12 - .43) - (11/12 - .41) - (12/12 - .38)

My Paxil Website

My Intro

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  • Administrator

Hello, ChickPea.

 

Effexor is well-known for being one of the worst antidepressants for withdrawal. It has a vicious withdrawal syndrome that can last a very long time, far longer than a few weeks. It sounds like you are experiencing this.

 

Some people have had to taper very slowly from Effexor, over many months and even years, to avoid withdrawal.

 

Sometimes, when one has developed withdrawal symptoms, reinstating some Effexor will reduce the symptoms. But then you still have the issues of Effexor side effects, possible interactions with lofepramine, and tapering off the Effexor.

 

All psychiatric drugs are hormonal disruptors, which probably is the cause of your hair loss. I have heard of others having hair loss, but I don't know what the recovery arc is like.

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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  • Administrator

Hi Chickpea

 

I'm new here, too and I am also tapering off of Effexor. It is possible that you are suffering withdrawal symptoms even though you are trying to cross over to Lofepramine. I've read that unless the antidepressant acts on the system the same way that Effexor does that you will experience the same withdrawal symptoms from reducing the dosage of Effexor regardless of the drug you are crossing over. Some people have had success with crossing over to Prozac.

 

I had gotten down to 25 mg of immediate release Effexor and started having depression. I exascerbated the problem by dropping 100 mg of a Gabapentin dose in the midst of my Effexor withdrawal symptoms (I didn't realize I was slowly descending into withdrawal and thought I could easily drop the other drug - a review of my symptom logs showed the problem). I went back up on the Gabapentin the very next day, but the damage was done. I ended up with anxiety, dread, and irrational thoughts. I went back up to 37.5 mg Effexor and started to feel some relief, but still had the anxiety and irrational thoughts. I went back up another 6.25 mg and everything has settled quite nicely - read: I feel normal without anxiety or depression and am functioning quite well.

 

My current plan is to remain stable and hold until after the holidays, then begin my slow taper again at 3.125 mg (per a suggestion from Alto) every 2-3 weeks.

 

Regarding hair loss, I agree with Alto. I've found that adrenal fatigue and low thyroid function can both result in hair loss. I also know people who have recovered adrenal function and optimized thyroid treatment and stopped losing hair. You can have low thyroid function even if your TSH lab value is in the published normal range.

 

Hope something here is helpful to you.

 

Karma

2007 @ 375 mg Effexor - 11/29/2011 - 43.75 mg Effexor (regular) & .625 mg Xanax

200 mg Gabapentin 2/27/21 - 194.5 mg
Xanax taper: 3/11/12 - 0.9375 mg, 3/25/12 - 0.875 mg, 4/6/12 - 0.8125 mg, 4/18/12 - 0.75 mg; 1/16 0.6875 mg;
Effexor taper: 1/29/12 - 40.625 mg, 4/29/12 - 39.875 mg, 5/11/12 - Switched to liquid Effexor, 5/25/12 - 38 mg, 7/6/12 - 35 mg, 8/17/12 - 32 mg, 9/14/12 - 30 mg, 10/19/12 - 28 mg, 11/9/12 - 26 mg, 11/30/12 - 24 mg, 01/14/13 - 22 mg. 02/25/13 - 20.8 mg, 03/18/13 - 19.2 mg, 4/15/13 - 17.6 mg, 8/10/13 - 16.4 mg, 9/7/13 - 15.2 mg, 10/19/13 - 14 mg, 1/15/14 - 13.2 mg, 3/1/2014 - 12.6 mg, 5/4/14 - 12 mg, 8/1/14 - 11.4 mg, 8/29/14 - 10.8 mg; 10/14/14 - 10.2 mg; 12/15/14 - 10 mg, 1/11/15 - 9.5 mg, 2/8/15 - 9 mg, 3/21/15 - 8.5 mg, 5/1/15 - 8 mg, 6/9/15 - 7.5 mg, 7/8/15 - 7 mg, 8/22/15 - 6.5 mg, 10/4/15 - 6 mg; 1/1/16 - 5.6 mg; 2/6/16 - 5.2 mg; 4/9 - 4.8 mg; 7/7 4.5 mg; 10/7 4.25 mg; 11/4 4.0 mg; 11/25 3.8 mg; 4/24 3.6 mg; 5/27 3.4 mg; 7/8 3.2 mg ... 10/18 2.8 mg; 1/18 2.6 mg; 4/7 2.4 mg; 5/26 2.15mg; 8/18 1.85 mg; 10/7 1.7 mg; 12/1 1.45 mg; 3/2 1.2 mg; 5/4 0.90 mg; 6/1 0.80 mg; 6/22 0.65 mg; 08/03 0.50 mg, 08/10 0.45 mg, 10/05 0.325 mg, 11/23 0.2 mg, 12/14 0.15 mg, 12/21 0.125 mg, 02/28 0.03125 mg, 2/15 0.015625 mg, 2/29/20 0.00 mg - OFF Effexor

I am not a medical professional - this is not medical advice. My suggestions are based on personal experience, reading, observation and anecdotal information posted by other sufferers

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  • Administrator

Chickpea, are you using lofepramine to get off Effexor or are you trying to switch from Effexor to lofepramine?

 

If your intention is to get off Effexor and not take an antidepressant any more, switching to Prozac probably would be more helpful (though there are no guarantees with these things) as it is generally easier to taper off Prozac once the switch has been made.

 

Do not take Effexor, lofepramine, and Prozac together. That may lead to too much serotonergic stimulation, and make you very sick.

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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