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PatriciaM: Glad to get to know you


PatriciaM

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Hi!

My name is Patricia, I am 47 and I've been taking Effexor, Seroquel and lithium for 14 years after I've been diagnosed with bipolar.

I was told none of those meds were harmful but this is my fifth attempt to taper and I've been through hell each time. I've tried to quit cold turkey, to cut 25%, and then 10%, nothing works! I get dizzy, I have to crawl out of my bed, I was wetting my bed and I've lost vision for a few days.
I joined your group because withdrawal is a very lonely journey. Nor my partner or kids want to hear about this and they keep telling me how dangerous it could get and I should stick to the medication for the rest of my life. I am sure I will learn a lot from your stories. Thank you for having me.

B)

Effexor XR (262.5 mg), Seroquel (25 mg) and lithium (600 mg) since 2013. 

Tried twice to quit Effexor cold turkey then

tapered 10% in 2013. 

Too sensitive to cuts, ready to taper by 2.5% but need more info on weighing beads. 

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  • ChessieCat changed the title to PatriciaM: Glad to get to know you
  • Moderator

Hello, Patricia, and welcome to SA.  I'm glad you found your way here to us.  It's a great site with many very supportive members and moderators.

 

To give members the best information, we ask them to summarize their medication 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.
At Surviving Antidepressants, it is recommended that a person taper by no more than 10% of their current dose with at least a four week hold in-between decreases.  The 10% taper recommendation is a harm reduction approach to going off psychiatric drugs.  
 
 
Some people may have to taper at a more conservative rate as they are sensitive to even the smallest drops.  These are some options that are good for people who have very sensitive nervous systems:
 

 

 

 

Since you, like me, are polydrugged, this link explains which drug to taper first.  In summary, it's best to taper off the activating (stimulating) drugs first (most antidepressants) while leaving the sedating drugs as a buffer for you to taper later.

 

Taking multiple psych drugs? Which drug to taper first?

 

We recommend tapering only one drug at a time.  Here are tapering tips for Effexor, which is likely (unless another of your drug is causing problems) the drug you would want to taper first:

 

Tips for tapering off Effexor (venlafaxine)

 

To get you started, and familiarized with the protocols followed by SA, I am linking a few topics so that you have a better understanding of what is recommended here. 

 

 
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, as I said, I'm glad that you found us.
 
 

 

 

 

Gridley Introduction

 

Lexapro 20 mg since 2004.  Begin Brassmonkey Slide Taper Jan. 2017.   

End 2017 year 1 of taper at 9.25mg 

End 2018 year 2 of taper at 4.1mg

End 2019 year 3 of taper at 1.0mg  

Oct. 30, 2020  Jump to zero from 0.025mg.  Current dose: 0.000mg

3 year, 10 month taper is 100% complete.

 

Ativan 1 mg to 1.875mg 1986-2020, two CT's and reinstatements

Nov. 2020, 7-week Ativan-Valium crossover to 18.75mg Valium

Feb. 2021, begin 10%/4 week taper.   

March 22, 2022: hold at 4.8mg and shift to Imipramine taper

Aug. 5, 2022: shift back to Valium taper.  

Current dose as of Oct. 20, 2022: 3.2mg

Taper is 83% complete.

 

Imipramine 75 mg daily since 1986.  Jan-Sept 2016 tapered to 16mg.  

Held until Aug 2021, tapered for 4 weeks to 14.4mg

March 22, 2022: Begin 10%/4 week taper.  Current dose as of Aug. 5: 9.5mg 

Aug. 5, 2022: hold at 9.5 and shift to Valium taper

Taper is 87% complete.  

  

Supplements: omega-3, vitamins C, E and D3, magnesium glycinate, probiotic, zinc, melatonin .3mg


I am not a medical professional and this is not medical advice but simply information based on my own experience, as well as other members who have survived these drugs.

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Thank you for the add. I just updated my signature 😊

Effexor XR (262.5 mg), Seroquel (25 mg) and lithium (600 mg) since 2013. 

Tried twice to quit Effexor cold turkey then

tapered 10% in 2013. 

Too sensitive to cuts, ready to taper by 2.5% but need more info on weighing beads. 

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Hi. I am new here, slowly tapering at 2.5% (first week).

Are there REALLY any people who have successfully made it and are now 100% Effexor free and feeling good?

This is my 5th attempt and I am not sure if all this process if it is worth it or not. Maybe because I can't talk about this withdrawal with my doc, partner or my kids. Everybody is against this.

Any input would be welcome. :(

Effexor XR (262.5 mg), Seroquel (25 mg) and lithium (600 mg) since 2013. 

Tried twice to quit Effexor cold turkey then

tapered 10% in 2013. 

Too sensitive to cuts, ready to taper by 2.5% but need more info on weighing beads. 

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Hi PM ,you ask a valid question that everyone asks themselves .

I know for one thing ,you have to talk to someone and this is the best place to do it ,if I could do it again I wouldn't tell anyone and stick to this site ,because I'm personally in a very long protracted withdrawl and dealing with terrible emotional symptoms that keep me from being around people ,I avoid everyone because I'm painfully sensitive to comments or worse snap and explode into a rage .

there is countless variables to someone's recovery  but take this advice ,stop trying to convince the unconscious people in your life  ,take your time and form relationships on this site .my own partner recoils when I open my mouth now ,its caused resentment for me .  

Its pretty simple ,way up the pros and cons of the meds for you and gather all the facts to give yourself an informed decision .

I for one curse the day I was ever put on them ,days like today make me wonder what life I can ever have because of withdrawl but I'm stubborn so that will go along way .[I must add I didn't have the world at my feet before withdrawl]

Good luck with your taper 

Welcome

PB 

Alcohol free since February 2015 

1MG diazepam

4.5MG PROZAC.

 

 

 

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  • Moderator Emeritus

Hi Patricia,

 

I've merged your new topic with your original topic.  Each member has only 1 Intro topic where they can ask questions and journal their progress.

Please DO NOT TAG me - thank you

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

  MISSION ACCOMPLISHED:    (6 year taper)      0mg Pristiq      on 13th November 2021

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 from Oct 2015 - 13 Nov 2021   LAST DOSE 0.0025mg

Post 0 updates start here    My tapering program     My Intro (goes to tapering graph)

 VIDEO:   Antidepressant Withdrawal Syndrome and its Management

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  • Moderator Emeritus

Please DO NOT TAG me - thank you

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

  MISSION ACCOMPLISHED:    (6 year taper)      0mg Pristiq      on 13th November 2021

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 from Oct 2015 - 13 Nov 2021   LAST DOSE 0.0025mg

Post 0 updates start here    My tapering program     My Intro (goes to tapering graph)

 VIDEO:   Antidepressant Withdrawal Syndrome and its Management

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  • Moderator

PatriciaM,

 

Google "survivingantidepressants.org effexor success stories"

 

Yes, it is worth it.

 

You can taper as slowly as you like.

Gridley Introduction

 

Lexapro 20 mg since 2004.  Begin Brassmonkey Slide Taper Jan. 2017.   

End 2017 year 1 of taper at 9.25mg 

End 2018 year 2 of taper at 4.1mg

End 2019 year 3 of taper at 1.0mg  

Oct. 30, 2020  Jump to zero from 0.025mg.  Current dose: 0.000mg

3 year, 10 month taper is 100% complete.

 

Ativan 1 mg to 1.875mg 1986-2020, two CT's and reinstatements

Nov. 2020, 7-week Ativan-Valium crossover to 18.75mg Valium

Feb. 2021, begin 10%/4 week taper.   

March 22, 2022: hold at 4.8mg and shift to Imipramine taper

Aug. 5, 2022: shift back to Valium taper.  

Current dose as of Oct. 20, 2022: 3.2mg

Taper is 83% complete.

 

Imipramine 75 mg daily since 1986.  Jan-Sept 2016 tapered to 16mg.  

Held until Aug 2021, tapered for 4 weeks to 14.4mg

March 22, 2022: Begin 10%/4 week taper.  Current dose as of Aug. 5: 9.5mg 

Aug. 5, 2022: hold at 9.5 and shift to Valium taper

Taper is 87% complete.  

  

Supplements: omega-3, vitamins C, E and D3, magnesium glycinate, probiotic, zinc, melatonin .3mg


I am not a medical professional and this is not medical advice but simply information based on my own experience, as well as other members who have survived these drugs.

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Hi Patricia,

 

I just joined the site because of a third failed attempt at quitting Effexor. I know what you're going through and it's not pleasant.

 

The information I've found here is invaluable. I want to print out hundreds of pages and show it to any Psychiatrist who doubts I'm still suffering from withdrawals a month after stopping a drug, even with a "slow" taper?

 

How many of them have taken anti-depressants for 10+ years and tried to get off of them? Why don't they know more about the drugs they are prescribing?

Effexor: 2003 - 2018 (75-150 mgs) Off at times in 2015 and 2017. Tapered from 37.5 mgs in May of 2017 to 5? mgs at the end December of 2017 and jumped. Reinstated 5 beads on 1/16/18 after struggling with withdrawal symptoms. Upped to 37.5 mgs on 1/19/18. Feeling great as of 2/23/18.

 

Klonopin: 2003 - 2018 (1-3 mgs)

 

Supplements: Omega-3 Fish Oil (1000 mgs)

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I know for sure I don’t want to talk to my psychiatrist about it; for years she’s been saying she is very concerned with me taking Effexor for so long but yet, she doesn’t want to talk about getting off of it. 

 

Thank you all for your kind welcome. I might have found the support I can’t find anywhere else. 

Effexor XR (262.5 mg), Seroquel (25 mg) and lithium (600 mg) since 2013. 

Tried twice to quit Effexor cold turkey then

tapered 10% in 2013. 

Too sensitive to cuts, ready to taper by 2.5% but need more info on weighing beads. 

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Patricia,

 

Has she stated why she wants you off of Effexor? Did she work with you at all in your previous attempts to get off?

 

Thankfully this site exists because it's apparent that Psychiatrists just don't know how to help those of us who have been on the drug for so long.

Effexor: 2003 - 2018 (75-150 mgs) Off at times in 2015 and 2017. Tapered from 37.5 mgs in May of 2017 to 5? mgs at the end December of 2017 and jumped. Reinstated 5 beads on 1/16/18 after struggling with withdrawal symptoms. Upped to 37.5 mgs on 1/19/18. Feeling great as of 2/23/18.

 

Klonopin: 2003 - 2018 (1-3 mgs)

 

Supplements: Omega-3 Fish Oil (1000 mgs)

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She says it’s really not good for me being on it for that long but she won’t say why. 4 years ago she told me to cut 10% but I ended up crawling on the floor, losing sight for a few hours and having my bp through the roof. When I saw her last December, I told her that with or without her help I would stop this crap and that I have read (on fb) about ppl counting their beads. She had no clue what I was talking about. She offered a « bridge » and I told her there is no way I was going to switch from one addiction to another. 

Effexor XR (262.5 mg), Seroquel (25 mg) and lithium (600 mg) since 2013. 

Tried twice to quit Effexor cold turkey then

tapered 10% in 2013. 

Too sensitive to cuts, ready to taper by 2.5% but need more info on weighing beads. 

Link to comment

My Psychiatrist also told me that she had never heard of people counting beads. I found it through different internet searches. I knew from a previous failed attempt that going from 37.5 mgs to 0 was not going to work, but I didn't know how to taper below 37.5 mgs. She has only recommended to her patients that they stop taking it on alternative days, then every third day, fourth day, etc. She says that has worked for her other patients.

 

The bridge didn't appeal to me either.    

 

My Psychiatrist has never encouraged me to get off any drugs. I talked to her about it when I first wanted off the drug but I don't think she knows how to deal with someone who has been on it as long as I have.

Effexor: 2003 - 2018 (75-150 mgs) Off at times in 2015 and 2017. Tapered from 37.5 mgs in May of 2017 to 5? mgs at the end December of 2017 and jumped. Reinstated 5 beads on 1/16/18 after struggling with withdrawal symptoms. Upped to 37.5 mgs on 1/19/18. Feeling great as of 2/23/18.

 

Klonopin: 2003 - 2018 (1-3 mgs)

 

Supplements: Omega-3 Fish Oil (1000 mgs)

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  • Moderator

Paricia, in my opinion you would do much better listening to the advice on this site. We encourage a slow (or very slow) taper and never alternative day dosing.  Re the 10% taper, you should taper 10% every four weeks then HOLD for four weeks.  This latter is often never mentioned and is essential to allow to your system to catch up with the change.

Gridley Introduction

 

Lexapro 20 mg since 2004.  Begin Brassmonkey Slide Taper Jan. 2017.   

End 2017 year 1 of taper at 9.25mg 

End 2018 year 2 of taper at 4.1mg

End 2019 year 3 of taper at 1.0mg  

Oct. 30, 2020  Jump to zero from 0.025mg.  Current dose: 0.000mg

3 year, 10 month taper is 100% complete.

 

Ativan 1 mg to 1.875mg 1986-2020, two CT's and reinstatements

Nov. 2020, 7-week Ativan-Valium crossover to 18.75mg Valium

Feb. 2021, begin 10%/4 week taper.   

March 22, 2022: hold at 4.8mg and shift to Imipramine taper

Aug. 5, 2022: shift back to Valium taper.  

Current dose as of Oct. 20, 2022: 3.2mg

Taper is 83% complete.

 

Imipramine 75 mg daily since 1986.  Jan-Sept 2016 tapered to 16mg.  

Held until Aug 2021, tapered for 4 weeks to 14.4mg

March 22, 2022: Begin 10%/4 week taper.  Current dose as of Aug. 5: 9.5mg 

Aug. 5, 2022: hold at 9.5 and shift to Valium taper

Taper is 87% complete.  

  

Supplements: omega-3, vitamins C, E and D3, magnesium glycinate, probiotic, zinc, melatonin .3mg


I am not a medical professional and this is not medical advice but simply information based on my own experience, as well as other members who have survived these drugs.

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Gridley, I can’t afford getting seriously sick again nor to lose my job so I am gonna take it extremely slow. I began tapering 2.5% a week ago; each bead I don’t swallow is a small victory 😊

Effexor XR (262.5 mg), Seroquel (25 mg) and lithium (600 mg) since 2013. 

Tried twice to quit Effexor cold turkey then

tapered 10% in 2013. 

Too sensitive to cuts, ready to taper by 2.5% but need more info on weighing beads. 

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5 hours ago, PatriciaM said:

Gridley, I can’t afford getting seriously sick again nor to lose my job so I am gonna take it extremely slow. I began tapering 2.5% a week ago; each bead I don’t swallow is a small victory 😊

Hi PM I am also tapering Effexor ,I'm on venlafaxine the generic brand ,I'm on a long hold at the moment ,has  your capsules got loads of tiny beads in it ,my 37.5mg has approximately 80 tiny beads . 

I am also painful sensitive to cuts.

Peace.

Alcohol free since February 2015 

1MG diazepam

4.5MG PROZAC.

 

 

 

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Hi Powerback, there are around 125 beads in my 37.5 mg. Plus the ones in my 75 and 150 mg, it’s gonna take me forever to count them that’s why I’d rather use a scale. 

Do you count? For how long have you been tapering?

good day. 

P

Effexor XR (262.5 mg), Seroquel (25 mg) and lithium (600 mg) since 2013. 

Tried twice to quit Effexor cold turkey then

tapered 10% in 2013. 

Too sensitive to cuts, ready to taper by 2.5% but need more info on weighing beads. 

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