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g1108

g1108: Effexor XR for 14 years and want to get off of it

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g1108

Hello!

 

Writing from Colorado. I found this forum through Google. I've been considering and researching coming off Effexor for about a year. It's time. I have new health insurance and can no longer get brand name meds. I've tried generic before, but it doesn't work the same. Planning to taper onto generic and then hopefully, in time, come off of it altogether. Current doses in bio below.

 

I appreciate any and all advice and feel very lucky to have found this site.

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mammaP

Hi G, welcome to SA. I am glad that you have done some research befopre starting to taper effexor, it is one nasty litt;le drug if it isn't tapered carefully.  How long have you been alternating doses?  It will be better to be at a steady dose before starting to taper, you are risking interdose withdrawal and it will take a long time to stabilise. Doctors often recommend alternating doses to taper but it usually leads to disaster, especialy after such a long time on it.  Doing a cross taper is a good thing, switching manufacturers can cause problems. I recently had to cross taper my drug because of a brand change and I did it by reducing the dose of one while increasing the dose of the other. Thankfully I had enough to do this over a 4 week period so it wasn't too bad but there were still some minor symptoms. When you have switched to the generic you will need to take the same dose every day until you have stabilised, then you can begin your taper. I tapered effexor and went too fast, I thought a year tapering was long enough but it wasn't and I ended up very sick with withdrawal for months, even after reinstating it took some time to be stable enough to restart the taper.  It took 3 years in total, and if I had tapered properly would likely have taken just as long but I wouldn't have suffered so much through going too fast in the beginning. 

 

We usually recommend tapering no more than 10% of the CURRENT dose with 4 weeks between drops, but personally, because of my experience I would recommend the micro taper, which is smaller drops but more often. It is gentler and doesn't take any longer. I will get some information for you. 

 

Tapering effexor 

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

 

Tapering 10%

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

 

Micro taper

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

 

 

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g1108

Thank you so much for your thoughtful and compassionate response. Much appreciated.

 

Yes, I was thinking of doing the "cross taper" - going down off the Effexor brand name and then up on the generic until I've switched over completely. Then, I figure, i can see how I'm feeling and consider tapering off the generic altogether.

 

I did not realize that doing different doses each day could lead to problems. I appreciate that advice very much.

 

Reading some of the success and in progress stories has been great encouragement. However, I am shocked to learn just how long it takes to effectively taper well. and from what I've read, Effexor is a beast.

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mammaP

It does seem a long time but if not tapered carefully it will be needed for life just to avoid withdrawal. Eventually it 'poops out' and no longer helps but has terrible side effects. I was bedridden before I started to taper. It just means taking smaller and smaller doses that's all, and eventually you can take the very last dose. :) 

You will be amazed at the difference as you taper, things you didnt even realise. Like feelings coming back, I didn't realise just how much feeling I had lost until I started to feel again, just emotions, normal every day emotions.  Just today I had a mini meltdown when someone parked in my space, I am disabled and this guy is always taking my space. I hit the horn and he had to move. I was FURIOUS. I don't get angry and haven't for years so this was a shock to me but proof that I am now getting ALL feelings back and can get angry. My very first road rage at 66 :lol:. OK all I did was toot my horn but hey it's a new feeling!  

This is the start of a journey leading to a new life without drugs!

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