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Westy

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Hello all, 

 

I am new to the SA and found myself here as a result of my own bad decisions/organisation in relation to my venlafaxine. I have not had my 37.5mg dose since the morning of Friday 22nd sept. Although I have been reducing my dose for the last 6 months, I had accidentally failed to obtain my prescription on Friday resulting in my worst dose of side effects experienced to date since reducing from my highest dose of 225mg (6 months ago). 

 

I have been been managing my own reduction as I have yet to find a doctor that has any 'real' idea other than what they have read in a text book. (Just my personal experience).

 

Anyway I have had my eyes opened as to how difficult getting off this medication is going to be. I have not benefited from taking the medication from day one and now nearly three yrs down the line I believe I have persevered enough to know that my body will 100% benefit without the drug if I can get to that point. The side effects have never fully subsided.

 

I fully realise i have have made a mistake by not having medication available 'just in case' however I mentioned to my better half exactly what my situation was and she believed that now would be a good a time as ever to have a go at ending the venlafaxine.

On Friday this seemed at the time to be a great idea....ha ha not now. I have gone from the occassional head zap/buzz to now getting them every time I move, anxiety has gone through the roof as I can not function properly, I certainly wouldn't drive, not sure about what I'm going to do about work tomorrow, I don't want to leave the house, speak to anyone and my levels of energy are non existent. To cry is a short term release until the next wave of what ever comes across. Reading other people's experiences has not been of any reassurance. 

 

I can can pick up my prescription tomorrow first thing in the morning of which I will be doing without hesitation and hopefully it will not take long for the medication to get back into my system. I'm not sure how this works..

 

What an experience.  My partner has no comprehension/understanding of my situation which is really hard for me as I can only imagine how things are seen through somebody else's perception. I can't fix it myself so nobody else can help. 

 

I am fit, adventurous, active, a good dad and within 2 days of no meds to have my world turned upside down because of my medication is scary.

 

The rest of my day will be hiding somewhere where I will have the least interaction with people. Difficult with a 5yr old and friends who have no idea lol.  

 

Anyway as most will know, when low points hit you don't always know if you are making sense, but any words of wisdom or guidance from others is always appreciated.

 

Moral of the story. NEVER run out of medication.

 

Westy 😣

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

2005-2006 citalopram 20mg

2006-2008 fluoxetine 40mg

2008-2010 sertraline 100mg

2010-2014 free from prescription drugs

2015-2017 venlafaxine upto 225mg by Oct 2016

Sept 2017 re-starting to taper after a set back. Currently 37.5mg twice a day.

9th October is my new start date for reduction. 

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  • Moderator Emeritus

Hi Westy and welcome to SA,

 

If I ever forgot my dose of Pristiq I would get brain zaps.  Even laying down and with my eyes if I moved my eyes I would get a strange sensation.  The drugs change our brain and when we reduce too quickly or stop altogether we sometimes experience withdrawal symptoms immediately.  When I cold turkeyed Citalopram years ago I felt great for about 2 months and then got very sick.  That is when I ended up on Pristiq, being told by my psychologist that I needed the drug like a diabetic needs insulin.  I have since learn from this site that it is called the chemical imbalance myth.

 

I will to tell you of my own experience because it might help you to understand what these drugs do to the brain.

 

I reduced my Pristiq 100mg to 50mg and had very bad cog fog for 3 weeks.  At the end of the 3 weeks I was unable to type.  Because I am a professional typist of 40+ years I new something was very wrong.  Fortunately I had joined SA a few days before this happened and they had suggested that I increase my dose.  I did this and after about 4 hours I was able to type again.  I have since been tapering with only mild withdrawal symptoms and am now down to 19mg.

 

 A request: Would you summarize your history in a signature - ALL drugs, doses, dates, and discontinuations & reinstatements, in the last 12-24 months particularly?

  • Please leave out symptoms and diagnoses.
  • A list is easier to understand than one or multiple paragraphs. 
  • 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.
  • Link to Account Settings – Create or Edit a signature.

 

I'll give you some links to check out.

 

Why taper by 10% of my dosage?


Dr Joseph Glenmullen's WD Symptoms Checklist

 

Windows and Waves Pattern of Stabilization

 

Tips for tapering off Effexor (venlafaxine)

 

These helped me to understand SA's recommended 10% (or less) taper of the previous dose followed by a hold of about 4 weeks to allow the brain to adapt to not getting as much of the drug.

 

Brain Remodelling


Video:  Healing From Antidepressants - Patterns of Recovery

 

Once we have the details about how you have tapered we will be able to suggest when you might be able to commence tapering again.  Because you have missed a few doses it will better to hold for at least 4 weeks, maybe even 6 to 8, and it is a good idea to keep a diary of your symptoms Keep Notes on Paper and Rate Symptoms Daily to Check Patterns and Progress.  Doing this can help you to see improvement which you might not feel.  We need to throw out the calendar and listen to our bodies.  It is better to reduce cautiously than to go too quickly and then have to updose.

 

Clicking on the drug tags underneath this topic's title will list other members with the same drug tag.  This is your own Introduction topic where you can ask questions and journal your progress.

 

 

NEW!!!     INTERVIEW with Altostrata, SA's founder    NEW!!! 

 

Plodding along inch by inch:  12" = 1',  3' =  36 " or 1 yard,  1760 yards  = 63,360" or 1 mile

Current from 17 Apr 2021:  Pristiq 0.2665mg  now holding each dose for 3 weeks

ADs since ~1992:  25+ years - 1 unknown, Prozac (muscle weakness), Zoloft; citalopram (pooped out) CTed (very sick for 2.5 wks a few months after); Pristiq:  50mg 2012, 100mg beg 2013 (Serotonin Toxicity)  Tapering Oct 2015 

My tapering program   My Intro (goes to my tapering graph)  My website

PLEASE NOTE:  I am not a medical professional.  I provide information and make suggestions.

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  • Moderator Emeritus

You might find these topics helpful:

 

How do you talk to a doctor about tapering and withdrawal?


What should I expect from my doctor about withdrawal symptoms?

 

 It will be very much appreciated by all the mods if you simplify your signature and follow the instructions below so that your signature is a SUMMARY of your drug history which we can see at a glance without having to read through to get the information about drug/s, doses and dates.  Thank you.  If you wish to keep what you currently have in your signature, I suggest you copy and paste it into a post.  You could then create a link in your signature which goes to that post.  To get the link right click over the share icon at the top right of the post and copy link location.

 

3 hours ago, ChessieCat said:

 A request: Would you summarize your history in a signature - ALL drugs, doses, dates, and discontinuations & reinstatements, in the last 12-24 months particularly?

  • Please leave out symptoms and diagnoses.
  • A list is easier to understand than one or multiple paragraphs. 
  • 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.
  • Link to Account Settings – Create or Edit a signature.

 

NEW!!!     INTERVIEW with Altostrata, SA's founder    NEW!!! 

 

Plodding along inch by inch:  12" = 1',  3' =  36 " or 1 yard,  1760 yards  = 63,360" or 1 mile

Current from 17 Apr 2021:  Pristiq 0.2665mg  now holding each dose for 3 weeks

ADs since ~1992:  25+ years - 1 unknown, Prozac (muscle weakness), Zoloft; citalopram (pooped out) CTed (very sick for 2.5 wks a few months after); Pristiq:  50mg 2012, 100mg beg 2013 (Serotonin Toxicity)  Tapering Oct 2015 

My tapering program   My Intro (goes to my tapering graph)  My website

PLEASE NOTE:  I am not a medical professional.  I provide information and make suggestions.

Link to post

Thank you for your guidance.

Im planning on getting organised.

I have collected my prescription and taken my 37.5mg Venlafaxine.  

I am expecting a call from the doc where I intend to discuss my next steps and recent experiences.

I will obtain my medical history and do a legible signature.

I have taken the day off as I feel rough as.... all the WD's with the intense reinstatement of the meds is setting in. Hmm as I type this so I need a chill for a bit!

2005-2006 citalopram 20mg

2006-2008 fluoxetine 40mg

2008-2010 sertraline 100mg

2010-2014 free from prescription drugs

2015-2017 venlafaxine upto 225mg by Oct 2016

Sept 2017 re-starting to taper after a set back. Currently 37.5mg twice a day.

9th October is my new start date for reduction. 

Link to post

G'day Chessiecat,  please may I ask your thoughts with regards to my earlier phone call appointment with the Doctor and the suggestions he gave:

 

I was advised to: 1) go back up to 37.5mg morning and evening for 2 weeks from today

                               2) on the 3rd week to reduce to 37.5mg per day for 1 week

                               3) on the forth week to take 37.5mg every other day.

at this point I suggested that the doctor may not quite understand the serverity of my withdrawals however, it was quickly highlighted that they were aware of other patients coming straight off 300mg without any difficulty.  I felt zero empathy (but used to such responses now)

 

I advised that due to my situation and understanding of the problem that I would feel more comfortable taking the meds every day instead of every other. I asked if an appropriate way to reduce the dose could be done by splitting the tablets again and getting 18.2mg to which he agreed would be a better idea. 

 

Basically i think i could have said anything I wanted and I'd have got the green light. I was told that after getting down to an 18.2mg dose that it was highly unlikely I'd notice the difference. I know I feel every amendment so I know this will not be true. I find it quite disheartening that my doctors have very little acknowledgement about this and why I feel like I'm wasting my breath every time and why I don't want to go back. 

 

I am in the process of trying to give my partner some insight into a few of the challenges I face As I'm sure she thinks half of its in my head. "It can't be that bad or they wouldn't prescribe it" was my initial response but we've got past that. I just need someone to bounce stuff off that has some understanding. 

 

Anyway any thoughts would be appreciated.

Thanks for your time.

Westy 

2005-2006 citalopram 20mg

2006-2008 fluoxetine 40mg

2008-2010 sertraline 100mg

2010-2014 free from prescription drugs

2015-2017 venlafaxine upto 225mg by Oct 2016

Sept 2017 re-starting to taper after a set back. Currently 37.5mg twice a day.

9th October is my new start date for reduction. 

Link to post
  • Moderator Emeritus

I am not at all surprised by your doctor.

 

When talking about your dose in posts please make it clear that your are splitting your dose and taking 37.5mg x 2 daily.  I had thought that you were on 37.5mg.  You are in fact taking 75mg (split x2) so that would be a better way of mentioning it in posts.

 

6 hours ago, Westy said:

I was advised to: 1) go back up to 37.5mg morning and evening for 2 weeks from today

                               2) on the 3rd week to reduce to 37.5mg per day for 1 week

                               3) on the forth week to take 37.5mg every other day.

 

It would be best to stay on 75mg for at least 4 weeks.  It is recommended to keep notes on paper Keep Notes on Paper and Rate Symptoms Daily to Check Patterns and Progress.  This will help you to see improvements which you may not feel.

 

Windows and Waves Pattern of Stabilization

 

Stabilising - What Does That Mean?

Withdrawal Normal Description

 

It will depend on how things go whether you might need to hold for longer.  Listen to your body, not the calendar.  It is better to hold for longer than to reduce too quickly and then have to updose.

 

SA recommends tapering by no more than 10% of the previous dose followed by a hold of about 4 weeks to allow the brain to adapt to not getting as much of the drug.  Once you are stabilised my suggestion would be to reduce you total dose by no more than 10% of the previous dose.  For you this would be 67.5mg (33.75mg x2).  It may be easier to round the number.  Always round up, not down.

 

7 hours ago, Westy said:

I would feel more comfortable taking the meds every day instead of every other

 

You are correct with this.  Skipping Days vs Every Day Dosing Graph

 

There is a withdrawal dialogue for family and carers:  withdrawal-dialogues

 

 

 

 

 

NEW!!!     INTERVIEW with Altostrata, SA's founder    NEW!!! 

 

Plodding along inch by inch:  12" = 1',  3' =  36 " or 1 yard,  1760 yards  = 63,360" or 1 mile

Current from 17 Apr 2021:  Pristiq 0.2665mg  now holding each dose for 3 weeks

ADs since ~1992:  25+ years - 1 unknown, Prozac (muscle weakness), Zoloft; citalopram (pooped out) CTed (very sick for 2.5 wks a few months after); Pristiq:  50mg 2012, 100mg beg 2013 (Serotonin Toxicity)  Tapering Oct 2015 

My tapering program   My Intro (goes to my tapering graph)  My website

PLEASE NOTE:  I am not a medical professional.  I provide information and make suggestions.

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