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wombles

Hi all,

I have only just started reading all the wonderful, hope-giving posts on this forum. I have been on Effexor for 20+ years and while I had ups and downs it did seem to do the job mostly, although in saying that I would have fatigue which I would put down to the depression - but who knows??

 

Anyway a couple of years ago I got very fatigued and was diagnosed with Ceoliac Disease, so went  GF and started to feel really good, then after about 10 months the fatigue set in again,  my Dr felt I should increase the Effexor. Now in the past I am aware that Effexor raises my BP and ( it can also cause lactation in non pregnant women as after seeing a psychiatrist years ago who said "these are safe, some people take up to 10 a day with no effects! " so dutifully me took 5 as instructed of (I think either 75mg or 150mg memory shot sorry!) then started to lactate!!

 

Anyhoo had my meds increased again this time which led me to a hypertensive crises! So after seeing several doctors and finding that the cause was the Effexor (which I tried to tell them!) I was taken off that and looking back now even though I did wean off over several months I probably didn't go slow enough on the last 37.5mg. I was sick with flu at the time so I felt crap anyway!

 

After 6 weeks I had suicidal thoughts so another doc tried Valdoxan which sent me to sleep within 20 mins of having it - not good when you do shift work! So next to try was Zoloft which did nothing, then went on Brintellix and was assured it would lift the brain fog - unfortunetly it made me even more scatterbrained. Not to mention while having all these meds especially after the raised BP I was having new symptoms and still debilitating fatigue.

 

Whenever I increased the meds I would get short of breath or rather air hunger, this may be due to adrenal fatigue? The last 18 months have been a roller coaster ride for sure but it still fascinates me that after going GF  I am more sensitive to the meds. Perhaps as the gut healed I absorb more? I have had recent tests with my new integrative GP which shows my endocrine glands are exhausted and I have low levels of all my minerals.

 

So I am now on 8mg of Brintellix which I have to roughly guess by cutting the tabs ( I notice with these ones whether I am becoming more suspicious but the tabs are an oval shape with no middle score so is it manufacturers way of making more money as it is harder to halve them?? )I am so cynical with the world and angry and irritated a lot of the time. Thankfully I have a wonderful supportive husband! Sorry for long waffle!

Edited by KarenB
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scallywag

wombles -- Welcome to Surviving Antidepressants (SA)

 

I'm glad you've figured out what's going on for you and have been able to work with doctors to get medication adjustments aligned with your experience. 

 

It will help us point you to the most useful information if we understand your medication (start, increases, decreases, stops, switches) history. Tell us your path to 8 mg Brintellix from your starting dose.  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.
  • Link to Account Settings – Create or Edit a signature.

To taper we suggest reducing dose by no more than 10% once per month. You can read more about that in these 2 topics:

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

Why taper by 10% of my dosage?.

 

What method have you used to create non-standard doses -- dry cutting, weighing, or a do-it-yourself liquid? Information about those tactics:

Using a digital scale to measure doses.

Making a liquid from a tablet or capsules . -- vortioxetine isn't soluble in water so you'd have a liquid with suspended particles not a homogeneous solution.

 

Here's our discussion topic on vortioxetine (Brintellix).

 

This is YOUR introduction topic -- the place for you to ask questions, record symptoms, share your progress, and connect with other members of the SA community.

 

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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wombles

Thanks Scallywag for all the great info. Sorry to be dense but I thought I had done a signiature? My Brintellix journey started at 5mg for 2 weeks, increase to 10mg for 3 weeks no result, then up to 20 mg for 2 weeks, very bad SOB and fatigue so reduced down to 15mg and add Lamictal for good measure! stopped lamictal after  a week due to side effect and after 7 weeks on 15mg went to see a new DR and as meds weren't helping dropped to 10mg and stayed on this for a month and have just cut tip off tablet to approximate 8mg? Been on this for 4 days, the first couple I felt terrible but then had a day of feeling 'wired' and today a mixed bag!

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scallywag

Perhaps because you were succinct, I didn't register actually seeing your signature.  The hurrier I go the behinder I get. <sigh>

 

By the end of July, the timelines you posted -- 2 months, 4 months -- will require clarification to interpret the correct meaning. Would you update your signature to indicate the

  • actual years you were on effexor,
  • date you started Zoloft, the dose you took, and the date you stopped Zoloft
  • date you started Brintellix, the dose you started with, and the dates and doses of any changes?

If you can't recall the actual date, an approximate date (mid-June, Late October) is fine.

Spell out months, e.g. "October" or "Oct."; 9/1/2016 can be interpreted as Jan. 9, 2016 or Sept. 1, 2016.

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wombles

I have been having a hard time on Brintellix, when I increase it I get strong side effects and when I decrease it the sads come back, I feel like I am in a catch 22 situation and not sure what to do. I wondered whether as I was on Effexor for so long (20+ years) whether part of this is still a withdrawal from that. should I perhaps go back to Effexor and withdraw again properly from that. I didn't seem to have the bad effects on Effexor as I do with Brintellix. I have been on brintellix for near 6 months so assume it wouldn't be wise to swap again but even when I try to taper very slowly I have immediate effects from this (not good ones either!) I seem super sensitive to any change on Brintellix.

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scallywag

wombles, please write more about how you have been decreasing the Brintellix dose:

  • What is your current dose?
  • What decreased dose(s) have you tried?

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wombles

I have been cutting the tip off a 10mg tablet, at first I cut too much off and reduced the amount I cut off, its not the most accurate and I am getting a scale to make it better.to make it harder the tabs are egg shaped so not uniform to cut!  it probably is why I am up and down. I am just so surprised as when I was on Effexor I didn't have such a rollercoaster ride even when I was withdrawing off it. It wasn't until 6 weeks later which I now realise was withdrawl symptoms that I got suicidal. so of course felt I needed anti d's and got put on Brintellix. Effexor gave me hypertension to such an extent I had a hypertensive crises! so couldn't use that again. Funny how Drs look at the body and not the pill for causing so many problems!! I have been to an integrative Dr recently and found my vitamin and mineral levels are way down and wondered whether this was another side effect of anti D's? Has there been any research or evidence of this I wonder?

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scallywag

You're right about doctors looking at the body and not the pill. Dr. Peter Breggin has called this the "spell-binding" effect of psychiatric medications -- on patients, doctors and societies where the drugs are prescribed.

 

We encourage people to adopt methods that allow greater precision in creating the taper doses, especially when someone reports being very sensitive to dose changes.  Have a look at these topics and come back here to post your questions:

Using a digital scale to measure doses.

Making a liquid from a tablet or capsules

** NOTES ABOUT LIQUID **

  • Brintellix is not soluble at all in water, so using a water titration you'll have a suspension not a consistent or "homeogenous" solution. 
  • It is highly soluble in a substance called DMSO, as are many psycho-neuro-active prescription medications. You can get oral or medical grade DMSO from many sources. If you want to use this and have questions about it, feel free to post them here.

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wombles

Hi again,

I am still having a hard time with Brintellix and wondered if it was worth reinstating Effexor which I was on for 20+ years but haven't had any since September last year, while I had physical side effects my mental state seemed to be better or more stable but with Brintellix its all over the place even when I am staying on the same dose. I just seem to be so much more sensitive to Brintellix. I also have the SOB, physical aches and pains, leg cramps/restless legs but that has improved with magnesium powder. I have now been on brintellix for 7 months and it has not helped me at all, quite the opposite! Any thoughts appreciated!

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Altostrata

Hi, wombles. It's possible that going on and off drugs has made your nervous system sensitive to all psychiatric drugs, at least in conventional dosages, and you are more susceptible to adverse reactions now.

 

Quote

 

Whenever I increased the meds I would get short of breath or rather air hunger


 

^This is an adverse efffect. It indicates the dosage is too high for you.

 

Quote

 

  I have now been on brintellix for 7 months and it has not helped me at all, quite the opposite! Any thoughts appreciated!


 

 

If it's not doing you any good, you might want to edge off it, with a 10% reduction per month calculated on the last dosage (the amount of reduction keeps getting smaller).

 

Because you are sensitive, please take special care to measure your dose and keep it consistent. Liquids are easier to measure. You might consider taking a 5mg tablet with 3mg in liquid form to total 8mg a day, and to gradually taper down. Here's some general information about tapering vortioxetine http://survivingantidepressants.org/index.php?/topic/10246-tips-for-tapering-vortioxetine-trintellix-brintellix/

 

You might also be able to take more magnesium for the leg symptoms. Have you tried fish oil? See

 

King of supplements: Omega-3 fatty acids (fish oil)

Magnesium, nature's calcium channel blocker

 

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wombles

I wonder if it is going GF that has made me sensitive as this all started when I did that. My theory is that my gut healed and reduced inflammation making me more sensitive/ able to absorb more? I am on a good amount of magnesium which is why my leg symptoms have reduced. Put that in in case others may find it helpful. I did take Mg tablets but find the powder works best. I have been trying to taper the Brintellix and doing so in very small doses as I know it isn't right for me but once you start tapering it down has been really hard, taking the tip off and have been doing that for over a month but still having windows and waves. I didn't have this on the Effexor before and as I was on it so long am I still having wd effects of that? Just a thought. So more thinking of adding a tiny bit of Effexor to offset the Brintellix and make life a bit more comfortable while tapering of Brintellix?

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wombles

sorry forgot to add yes am of fish oil supplements and o host of others for mineral/vitamin deficiencies :)

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