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nr47: My introduction to the forum


nr47

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Hi all - I'm new to this forum. I decided to join because I found the "withdrawing from Pristiq" thread to be extremely insightful and well documented. I now believe there are some very deliberate, watchful people out there like myself who are trying to get off of these drugs! Anyway, I've been trying to become independent of antidepressants/psychoactive drugs for around 8 years now (and I'm not even that old). Hopefully, I can share some of what I've learned over the years and learn something to help myself in return.

 

-N

Effexor IR, 112.5mg (January 2018 - now) - using this to taper off of SNRI's once and for all. 

Pristiq, 50mg (June 2017 - December 2017) - I tried to get off, but got what appeared to be withdrawal symptoms.

Cymbalta, 60mg (May 2016 - May 2017) - reinstated. At some point, it stopped working. 

Cymbalta, 30mg (July 2015 - November 2015) - I was trying to get off at this point. 

Cymbalta, 60mg (December 2013 - July 2015)

Lexapro, 20mg (September 2013 - December 2013)

I didn't mention the many temporary switches and abilify add-ons attempts. The list would get too long. 

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  • Moderator

Hello, nr47 and welcome to SA.  I'm glad you're finding SA helpful.

 

To start, in order 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.
  
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. 

 

 

One of our moderators, ChessieCat, is tapering Pristiq, and you might want to  take a look at her thread

 

This link provides specific information on tapering off Pristiq:

 

Tips for tapering off Pristiq (desvenlafaxine)

 

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 I am 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 to Valium taper.  

Current dose as of Aug. 5, 2022: 4.3mg

Taper is 77% 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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Thanks Gridley. I've gone ahead and updated my signature.

Effexor IR, 112.5mg (January 2018 - now) - using this to taper off of SNRI's once and for all. 

Pristiq, 50mg (June 2017 - December 2017) - I tried to get off, but got what appeared to be withdrawal symptoms.

Cymbalta, 60mg (May 2016 - May 2017) - reinstated. At some point, it stopped working. 

Cymbalta, 30mg (July 2015 - November 2015) - I was trying to get off at this point. 

Cymbalta, 60mg (December 2013 - July 2015)

Lexapro, 20mg (September 2013 - December 2013)

I didn't mention the many temporary switches and abilify add-ons attempts. The list would get too long. 

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Hi all - I'm very new to this forum. I wanted to get some feedback on my complex scenario and was wondering if anyone could assist? As you can see in my signature, I've been on SNRI's the longest out of any medication. I took Lexapro 20mg for several months before I began treatment with Cymbalta (I need to add that into my signature). At some point last year, I took Abilify 4mg along with Cymbalta 60mg for several months, but after I'd gained 20 pounds, I got off of the Abilify and remained with the Cymbalta. My question is: if I'd taken medications in the past, do I need to reinstate them in order to successfully complete withdrawal? Do I need to take Lexapro and Abilify again in order to give my brain its baseline back before I begin a proper slow taper? My medication history is like this because I kept switching from drug to drug, never sticking to one (except Cymbalta and Pristiq) because of their side effects. At this point in my life, I'd like to withdraw completely but am unsure of what I need to do to begin. I was recently switched over to Effexor IR in order to taper off of the Pristiq. Thanks. 

 

-N

Effexor IR, 112.5mg (January 2018 - now) - using this to taper off of SNRI's once and for all. 

Pristiq, 50mg (June 2017 - December 2017) - I tried to get off, but got what appeared to be withdrawal symptoms.

Cymbalta, 60mg (May 2016 - May 2017) - reinstated. At some point, it stopped working. 

Cymbalta, 30mg (July 2015 - November 2015) - I was trying to get off at this point. 

Cymbalta, 60mg (December 2013 - July 2015)

Lexapro, 20mg (September 2013 - December 2013)

I didn't mention the many temporary switches and abilify add-ons attempts. The list would get too long. 

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  • ChessieCat changed the title to nr47: My introduction to the forum
  • Moderator Emeritus

Hi nr and welcome from me too,

 

Member baroquep switched over from Pristiq to Effexor to taper.  You might be interested in reading her experiences.

 VIDEO:   Antidepressant Withdrawal Syndrome and its Management

 

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

Woohoo!!!  Finally off Pristiq    Post 0 updates start here

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

My full 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.  Please DO NOT TAG me - thank you.

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Hi ChessieCat,

 

Thanks for the reply. Yeah I actually read over that thread yesterday. Since I never really felt better on Pristiq, I'm wondering why I'm using the Effexor to taper with. Can I make a somewhat seamless transition to Cymbalta and taper off of that? I've done better mood-wise with Cymbalta in the past.

Effexor IR, 112.5mg (January 2018 - now) - using this to taper off of SNRI's once and for all. 

Pristiq, 50mg (June 2017 - December 2017) - I tried to get off, but got what appeared to be withdrawal symptoms.

Cymbalta, 60mg (May 2016 - May 2017) - reinstated. At some point, it stopped working. 

Cymbalta, 30mg (July 2015 - November 2015) - I was trying to get off at this point. 

Cymbalta, 60mg (December 2013 - July 2015)

Lexapro, 20mg (September 2013 - December 2013)

I didn't mention the many temporary switches and abilify add-ons attempts. The list would get too long. 

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  • Administrator

Welcome, nr.

 

Do you have any withdrawal symptoms now? If so, what are they? Do they get better or worse at any particular time of day?

 

What times of day do you take Effexor IR? Did you ever have withdrawal symptoms before you tried to go off Pristiq? Did your symptom pattern change after you started Effexor IR?

 

What mood issues do you have? If you are dependent on antidepressants for mood issues, why do you want to go off? Are you looking to switch antidepressants, rather than go off?

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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Hi Altostrata,

 

Having switched to Effexor IR, I don’t think I’m having any withdrawal symptoms really. I take two 37.5 tablets in the morning and one tablet at bedtime for a total of 112.5mg per day. My symptom pattern? No I just have new side effects from the Effexor such as drowsiness and some cognitive difficulties (not keeping up with conversations a lot of times). My original mood issues in 2009 were just panic attacks. I was given Ativan to take for 6 months and when I went to a new doctor, he diagnosed me with Major Depression. I think that at this time in my life, there aren’t any major stressors and things are relatively stable. According to Joseph Glenmullen from Harvard Medical school, antidepressants are only supposed to be used (if used at all) during periods of distress and then slowly tapered off of once the distressing period/event has ended. My sister tapered off slowly from Wellbutrin and she’s been fine for a few years now. I’d like to try the same. I think I can do it, but I’m worried that I might not adjust as well as my sister did off medication. I also developed pure OCD at some point so I’m wondering if I can manage that off of meds. Lastly, we don’t know what the long term effects of these drugs are, which is why I feel that it’s safer to not take them if I don’t absolutely need to. 

Effexor IR, 112.5mg (January 2018 - now) - using this to taper off of SNRI's once and for all. 

Pristiq, 50mg (June 2017 - December 2017) - I tried to get off, but got what appeared to be withdrawal symptoms.

Cymbalta, 60mg (May 2016 - May 2017) - reinstated. At some point, it stopped working. 

Cymbalta, 30mg (July 2015 - November 2015) - I was trying to get off at this point. 

Cymbalta, 60mg (December 2013 - July 2015)

Lexapro, 20mg (September 2013 - December 2013)

I didn't mention the many temporary switches and abilify add-ons attempts. The list would get too long. 

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To add an additional subject that might seem sort of irrelevant: does anyone feel as if they lost a little bit of themselves after trying antidepressants? I work full time in IT right now, but when I was in college I was part of 2 dance teams. For some reason, after I started antidepressants for the first time, I feel like I've lost some ability to express myself, whether through dance, writing, other creative avenues etc. It's not a "symptom" or complaint that I hear about regularly, but it's something that bothers me a good deal. Sure I feel more nervous and self-conscious than before when if I'm performing in front of others, but it seems to be a lingering after-effect of taking psychoactive medications. Perhaps some sort of damage has occurred? Anyone have any thoughts on this? I can be a bit of a hypochondriac so apologies in advance. 

Effexor IR, 112.5mg (January 2018 - now) - using this to taper off of SNRI's once and for all. 

Pristiq, 50mg (June 2017 - December 2017) - I tried to get off, but got what appeared to be withdrawal symptoms.

Cymbalta, 60mg (May 2016 - May 2017) - reinstated. At some point, it stopped working. 

Cymbalta, 30mg (July 2015 - November 2015) - I was trying to get off at this point. 

Cymbalta, 60mg (December 2013 - July 2015)

Lexapro, 20mg (September 2013 - December 2013)

I didn't mention the many temporary switches and abilify add-ons attempts. The list would get too long. 

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