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cogitoergonumb: Venlafaxine tapering: tips at this juncture


cogitoergonumb

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Hello,

 

TL;DR I've recently reduced my Venlafaxine fairly quickly(over a month) from 225mg to 75mg.

 

@75mg I'm a little nauseous, anxious and have diahrrea but it's bearable

 

Should I keep it at this level (bearable) till it settles, or should I go up 37.5mg to 112.5mg for a while?

 

Sorry in advance for the essay, it's been a long road.

 

I was going through a rough time last year and was put on Venlafaxine(Age 28, no previous psych experience). After the first dose I vomited and went into severe reaction, not sleeping, psychosis. Fortunately my parents were over visiting for a couple of weeks. Unfortunately my parents took me to a psychiatric ward because I didn't sleep for days on end and couldn't function. Here in Germany it is more common to be in for longer periods of time, I ended up there for 4 Months. The doctors kept putting me on more and more different medications. I was on Mirtazapine(15mg), Escilatopram(??), lorazepam(3mg), Lamotrigine(200mg) and finally Venlafaxine(225mg) again(with Lamotrigine and Mirtazapine and Pipamperone, a first gen antipsychotic). A lot of this was due to me not describing how badly these drugs were messing me up. I do have a fear that I may never fully recover from this assault on my central nervous system but here's hoping. 

 

The final diagnosis was bipolar but a lot of the manic behaviours I displayed, I had never had before antidepressant treatment.

 

I managed to get off the Benzo (lorazepam), Pipamperone and Lamotrigine fairly easily. Lamotrigine was giving me splitting constant headaches so I had to axe that fairly soon.

 

I went back to work in January and have been doing a staged return which will finish with my full 8.5 Hour day in May.

 

Fast forward to now. I've been off the Lamotrigine completely for round about a month not entirely on the wishes of my outpatient Psychiatrist. No negative effects and mentally feeling quite stable.

 

I've been on venlafaxine now for 6 months and have decided to start a reduction in this too as I have not felt positive effects from any of the SSRI/SNRI drugs that I was on, including Venlafaxine. I will still be taking Mirtazapine because I feel it helps with my sleep problems. I may cut that out sometime in the future but definitely not now.

 

I have successfully reduced my dose to 75mg for 2 weeks and I'm feeling a wee bit queezy, headachey and off (lots of toilet breaks at work) but not too much.

 

My plan for the moment is to ride it out at this level for a couple more weeks before I make the next jump (1.5x37.5mg, bead counting method)

 

Because I have light WD symptoms, should I go back up another half dose, or should I just ride it out until I'm stable?

 

Edited by ChessieCat
added spacing

August 17 Venlafaxine 1 week - Psychosis

August-17 to December 17 Commited to Hospital 4 1/2 months

Drugs administered include (had to look this up there because it was a blur no exact dates noted in my release notes):

Olanzapine, Lorazepam, Sertraline, Escilatropram

Mirtazapine, Lamotrigine, Venlafaxine (again!?)

2018 Venlafaxine/Effexor 225mg ; Mirtazapine/Remeron 7.5mg; Propranolol 80mg; Lamotrigine/Lamictal 200mg

Lamictal was tapered very quickly Dec/Jan 2018 with no strong side effects

Began Effexor tapering Jan 2018

Came down from 225 to 75 within a month

 TOO FAST!!

Reinstated with just over 75. Mirtazapine reduced to 7.5 for sleep

Current:  Venlafaxine 80mg; Mirtazapine 7.5mg; Pipamperone 20mg

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  • ChessieCat changed the title to cogitoergonumb: Venlafaxine tapering: tips at this juncture
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Hi CEN and welcome to SA,

 

Reducing from 225mg to 75mg over a month is a very big and fast reduction.  And it definitely sounds like you are experiencing withdrawal symptoms. I think your idea of updosing is good, and because of when and how you have reduced I think that increasing to 112.5mg is reasonable.  You will probably need to stay at that dose for at least 3 months, possibly longer, depending on how your symptoms are.  I would definitely NOT be making another reduction.  It's much better to use a harm reduction approach and be as comfortable as possible whilst getting off the drug rather than try and go too quickly and suffer unnecessary withdrawal symptoms.

 

When we take psychiatric drugs we develop a physiological dependence on them (not a physical dependence like caffeine or nicotine).  They change our brain.  The best way to get off these drugs is to taper so that your brain can adapt as you go to not getting as much of the drug.

 

SA's recommended taper protocol is to reduce by no more than 10% of the previous dose followed by a hold of about 4 weeks to allow the brain to adapt as you go.

 

I will tell you what happened to me, which I think might help you to understand how these drugs alter our brain.  I was taking 100mg Pristiq and reduced my dose to 50mg.  I suffered extreme cog fog for 3 weeks and had to totally concentrate on everything I did, even walking.  After 3 weeks I was unable to type.  Because I have been a typist for 40+ years I knew that something was wrong.  Thankfully I had joined SA a few days prior to this happening and they had suggested increasing my dose.  When I couldn't type I took extra Pristiq and after about 4 hours I was able to type again.  I knew without a doubt that is was because of the Pristiq.  After stabilising I have since been tapering with only minimal withdrawal symptoms and am now down to 12mg Pristiq.

 

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Why taper by 10% of my dosage?


Windows and Waves Pattern of Stabilization

 

Dr Joseph Glenmullen's WD Symptoms Checklist

 

Tips for tapering off Effexor (venlafaxine)

 

Brain Remodelling


Video:  Healing From Antidepressants - Patterns of Recovery

 

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


What should I expect from my doctor about withdrawal symptoms?

 

Keep it Simple, Slow and Stable


Keep Notes on Paper

 

This is your own Intro topic where you can ask questions and journal your progress.  We encourage members to visit other members' Intro topics so that they can support each other.

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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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Hello ChessieCat,

 

Thank you very much for your reply

yes, I think that it was too ambitious to come down so fast. The side effects from this drug are very disheartening even though I've been on it for 5 months, I've had terrible reactions to every psych drug I've been put on. I firmly believe that it was medication reactions that ended up in my 4+ month hospitalisation. The general side effects of this med for me make it very difficult to work. (tiredness, mental fog, headaches)

 

I thought I could wing it because I've not been on that long... Once bitten, twice shy.

 

I was feeling quite nauseous and out of it at a meeting today and the customer asked me if I was tired... here was me thinking I was keeping my **** together (on the surface)

 

I'd heard a lot of people saying that they didn't feel any symptoms until 37.5mg. This does not seem to be the case for me. I'll be reinstating at 112.5 for the moment and holding there for at least a month, perhaps the 3 months which you suggested ( I'm an impatient sod, but I'm learning).

 

I'm going to see my psychiatrist on Monday to discuss why I would like to do this and my plan. Another thing I have heard which might make it easier is to slowly start fluoxetine as you are reducing Ven ("The prozac Bridge") Some were saying that this is by far the easiest way to come off Venlafaxine, others said mileage may vary but no-one I saw had much specific negative opinion on this, only positives (very unusual for Venlafaxine withdrawal stories) I'd like to hear from anyone who this didn't work for and if so, why.

 

It's going to be a long road, but I've never been so determined to do anything in my life. I'm sure for some people psychiatric drugs work but for me it's been an absolute trauma. I just want this psychiatric nightmare to end before I lose my job .

 

I just realised I sound super complainy, this is not who I am at all. Was mostly positive before all this.

 

P.S. how do you add a signature? Is it in your profile that you have to change something?

 

Here is my blurb:-

Drugs: Venlafaxine/Effexor 225mg ; Mirtazapine/Remeron 15mg; Propranolol 80mg; Lamotrigine/Lamictal 200mg

Lamictal was tapered very quickly Dec/Jan 2018 with no strong side effects

 

Began Effexor tapering Jan 2018  

Current:  Venlafaxine 112.5mg; Mirtazapine 15mg

 

PLEASE NOTE:  I am not a medical professional.

August 17 Venlafaxine 1 week - Psychosis

August-17 to December 17 Commited to Hospital 4 1/2 months

Drugs administered include (had to look this up there because it was a blur no exact dates noted in my release notes):

Olanzapine, Lorazepam, Sertraline, Escilatropram

Mirtazapine, Lamotrigine, Venlafaxine (again!?)

2018 Venlafaxine/Effexor 225mg ; Mirtazapine/Remeron 7.5mg; Propranolol 80mg; Lamotrigine/Lamictal 200mg

Lamictal was tapered very quickly Dec/Jan 2018 with no strong side effects

Began Effexor tapering Jan 2018

Came down from 225 to 75 within a month

 TOO FAST!!

Reinstated with just over 75. Mirtazapine reduced to 7.5 for sleep

Current:  Venlafaxine 80mg; Mirtazapine 7.5mg; Pipamperone 20mg

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  • Administrator

Welcome, cogito.

 

If I were you, I would stay at 75mg for some months to let your nervous system settle down. If the symptoms get worse, a very small updose, perhaps to 80mg, might be appropriate.

 

After that, if I were you, I'd taper slower. You have a history of adverse effects from these drugs, which makes your nervous system susceptible to further drug stress.

 

See Why taper by 10% of my dosage?

 

Tips for tapering off Effexor (venlafaxine)

 

Your psychiatrist may not be familiar with the concept of gradual tapering. As it seems your entire history of psychiatric treatment is based on a specious diagnosis arising from adverse drug effects (not unusual), further psychiatric treatment is probably unnecessary.

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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  • Moderator Emeritus
15 minutes ago, Altostrata said:

If I were you, I would stay at 75mg for some months to let your nervous system settle down. If the symptoms get worse, a very small updose, perhaps to 80mg, might be appropriate.

 

After that, if I were you, I'd taper slower. You have a history of adverse effects from these drugs, which makes your nervous system susceptible to further drug stress.

 

Yes, I can see that this would probably be a better way.  I hadn't considered the adverse effects when I made my previous post.

 

Clicking on this link takes you to where you can create your signature:  Account Settings – Create or Edit a signature.

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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Hello AltoStrata, ChessieCat,

 

Ooof, It's been just over a week since my last dose reduction and let me tell you, it's not good at the moment, a little insomnia started on Monday evening, didn't get to sleep until 2ish and waking up with Severe physical symptoms of anxiety(nausea, upset stomach, diarrhea), nothing to be anxious about though... Fast forward to last night I needed to take my sleep aid which I haven't needed in months (Pipamperone; Antipsychotic; nobody else seems to be on this drug which is weird) and still woke up this morning too early feeling that I want to vomit.

 

There are absolutely no reasons why I should be feeling this way apart from WD

What really scares me is the prospect of this getting harder, the further down I go(occupancy; that my receptors even at this dose are >80% blocked)...baby steps I guess. :-)

 

So the consensus is I would be better to do a smaller updose then (or should I go a bit higher)? 

Do you guys work, if so, how do you deal with some of the dose reduction effects

August 17 Venlafaxine 1 week - Psychosis

August-17 to December 17 Commited to Hospital 4 1/2 months

Drugs administered include (had to look this up there because it was a blur no exact dates noted in my release notes):

Olanzapine, Lorazepam, Sertraline, Escilatropram

Mirtazapine, Lamotrigine, Venlafaxine (again!?)

2018 Venlafaxine/Effexor 225mg ; Mirtazapine/Remeron 7.5mg; Propranolol 80mg; Lamotrigine/Lamictal 200mg

Lamictal was tapered very quickly Dec/Jan 2018 with no strong side effects

Began Effexor tapering Jan 2018

Came down from 225 to 75 within a month

 TOO FAST!!

Reinstated with just over 75. Mirtazapine reduced to 7.5 for sleep

Current:  Venlafaxine 80mg; Mirtazapine 7.5mg; Pipamperone 20mg

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  • Moderator Emeritus

This is the topic about reinstatement.  Even though we are discussing updosing the same things apply.  It is better to try and stabilise on the lowest dose possible.  Please read Post #1 of this topic:  About reinstating and stabilizing to reduce withdrawal symptoms

 

7 hours ago, Altostrata said:

If the symptoms get worse, a very small updose, perhaps to 80mg, might be appropriate.

 

Altostrata, who made this suggestion, is the founder of this website and is very knowledgeable.  If you find that after 2-3 weeks that the withdrawal symptoms are still unbearable you could then updose by another small amount.

 

Keep Notes on Paper

 

Windows and Waves Pattern of Stabilization

 

1 hour ago, cogitoergonumb said:

What really scares me is the prospect of this getting harder, the further down I go

 

I've been tapering by using the SA tapering protocol for my own taper and I have had only minimal withdrawal symptoms.  I work 3 days per week.

 

1 hour ago, cogitoergonumb said:

Fast forward to last night I needed to take my sleep aid which I haven't needed in months (Pipamperone

 

Do you practise good sleep hygiene:

 

Sleep problems - that awful withdrawal insomnia

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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Hi there,

 

MOD NOTE:  Trigger warning

 

Thank you both so much for your support here, I really admire what you guys do! I've reinstated at 80(ish) mg now. I was pretty dumb to think that I could drop so far so fast...

My problems with side effects were the reason I decided to go the route I did. I attempted suicide twice during my hospitalization  (seriously, suicide had barely crossed my mind before and if so, only briefly. :-/ )

 

We'll see how it goes from here. I need to work on my self discipline a little too. :-)

 

11 hours ago, ChessieCat said:

I've been tapering by using the SA tapering protocol for my own taper and I have had only minimal withdrawal symptoms.  I work 3 days per week.

 

It's good to hear that you have only had minimal withdrawals. I was considering temporarily putting my life on hold (for ca. 6 months) in order to wean off. I think I have enough savings to quit my job for a few months and luckily work in a career with quite good prospects for getting a new Job (Electronics Engineer). personal upheaval probably isn't the best thing for me right now though. Catch 22. Still on my staged return to work and struggling with 4 hours a day. (I used to be able to work 10Hrs a day...)

 

I'd love to be free of this mental prison... Haha, as I said in my last mail, really complainy (I'm just quite angry at the injustice of it all)

 

I can still picture exactly when I took that first pill and was vomiting on the floor and threatening to jump out a window.

Why didn't I just stop then? My girlfriend and I split up the same day, I thought that the effects were due to that. I now am 100% certain that it was a drug reaction (knowing how I reacted back then.)

 

Thanks for the links to forum topics. I will read them later today.

 

11 hours ago, ChessieCat said:

Do you practise good sleep hygiene:

I try to practice good sleep hygiene and have stopped taking my laptop into bed with me.

 

Once I'm better (which I WILL be one day) I think I will continue to be involved in this community. It seems really active and supporting.

 

 

Edited by ChessieCat
added mod note and removed unnecessary details

August 17 Venlafaxine 1 week - Psychosis

August-17 to December 17 Commited to Hospital 4 1/2 months

Drugs administered include (had to look this up there because it was a blur no exact dates noted in my release notes):

Olanzapine, Lorazepam, Sertraline, Escilatropram

Mirtazapine, Lamotrigine, Venlafaxine (again!?)

2018 Venlafaxine/Effexor 225mg ; Mirtazapine/Remeron 7.5mg; Propranolol 80mg; Lamotrigine/Lamictal 200mg

Lamictal was tapered very quickly Dec/Jan 2018 with no strong side effects

Began Effexor tapering Jan 2018

Came down from 225 to 75 within a month

 TOO FAST!!

Reinstated with just over 75. Mirtazapine reduced to 7.5 for sleep

Current:  Venlafaxine 80mg; Mirtazapine 7.5mg; Pipamperone 20mg

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  • Administrator
13 hours ago, cogitoergonumb said:

Once I'm better (which I WILL be one day) I think I will continue to be involved in this community. It seems really active and supporting.

 

I certainly hope you do remain a part of our community. :)

 

Please let us know how you're doing. It's possible 80mg is a low enough dose that it won't cause side effects.

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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So I'm struggling on the 80mg. Nausea, headaches, insomnia, Gastro-intestinal/diahrrea(sorry TMI...), Increased pulse, concentration problems, ANXIETY. The anxiety is very strange because I have literally nothing to be anxious about. Total physiological symptom. I also went into a weird arrythmia (which is dangerous because of previous heart problems) but I might have forgotten to take my beta blocker today... I really can't be sure.

 

Trying to stick it out, if I stabilize on this level it will really reduce my steps down to 0 and now I'm worried if I go back up, the symptoms wont get any better. Any advice here would be appreciated. Part of me wants to go up to 150 again but that would probably be a bad idea for homeostasis now, wouldnt it?

 

Several people at work have been commenting on how tired I look. Luckily I'm still only on 4 hours until march which is the only reason I'm still standing.

 

I've reinstated a very small dose of the antipsychotic (pipamperone) that I was taking in order to help with the sleep because it was becoming unbearable. It seems to be working but obviously not ideal. I'm wondering if this is a good idea in the long run.

 

Only one word can discribe my current situation... aaaaaaargh

August 17 Venlafaxine 1 week - Psychosis

August-17 to December 17 Commited to Hospital 4 1/2 months

Drugs administered include (had to look this up there because it was a blur no exact dates noted in my release notes):

Olanzapine, Lorazepam, Sertraline, Escilatropram

Mirtazapine, Lamotrigine, Venlafaxine (again!?)

2018 Venlafaxine/Effexor 225mg ; Mirtazapine/Remeron 7.5mg; Propranolol 80mg; Lamotrigine/Lamictal 200mg

Lamictal was tapered very quickly Dec/Jan 2018 with no strong side effects

Began Effexor tapering Jan 2018

Came down from 225 to 75 within a month

 TOO FAST!!

Reinstated with just over 75. Mirtazapine reduced to 7.5 for sleep

Current:  Venlafaxine 80mg; Mirtazapine 7.5mg; Pipamperone 20mg

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It could also be the fast Lamotrigine taper that I did ending in January. Should I reinstate that at a small dose too or you think I should leave it for the moment?

August 17 Venlafaxine 1 week - Psychosis

August-17 to December 17 Commited to Hospital 4 1/2 months

Drugs administered include (had to look this up there because it was a blur no exact dates noted in my release notes):

Olanzapine, Lorazepam, Sertraline, Escilatropram

Mirtazapine, Lamotrigine, Venlafaxine (again!?)

2018 Venlafaxine/Effexor 225mg ; Mirtazapine/Remeron 7.5mg; Propranolol 80mg; Lamotrigine/Lamictal 200mg

Lamictal was tapered very quickly Dec/Jan 2018 with no strong side effects

Began Effexor tapering Jan 2018

Came down from 225 to 75 within a month

 TOO FAST!!

Reinstated with just over 75. Mirtazapine reduced to 7.5 for sleep

Current:  Venlafaxine 80mg; Mirtazapine 7.5mg; Pipamperone 20mg

Link to comment
  • Moderator Emeritus

It takes about 4 days for the drug to get to full dose in the blood and a bit longer for it to register in the brain.  It would be best to be patient and give the updosing of Effexor a chance.  Making too many changes in a short period of time is like playing ping pong with your brain.

 

Keep it Simple, Slow and Stable

 

I also suggest that you read through Post #1 of this topic:  About reinstating and stabilizing to reduce withdrawal symptoms

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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Thanks CC, I'll stick with 80mg.  :-)

I've got some Burning sensations in my arms today which was the same as when I started these meds. Also not eating due to nausea and insomnia still there.

 

August 17 Venlafaxine 1 week - Psychosis

August-17 to December 17 Commited to Hospital 4 1/2 months

Drugs administered include (had to look this up there because it was a blur no exact dates noted in my release notes):

Olanzapine, Lorazepam, Sertraline, Escilatropram

Mirtazapine, Lamotrigine, Venlafaxine (again!?)

2018 Venlafaxine/Effexor 225mg ; Mirtazapine/Remeron 7.5mg; Propranolol 80mg; Lamotrigine/Lamictal 200mg

Lamictal was tapered very quickly Dec/Jan 2018 with no strong side effects

Began Effexor tapering Jan 2018

Came down from 225 to 75 within a month

 TOO FAST!!

Reinstated with just over 75. Mirtazapine reduced to 7.5 for sleep

Current:  Venlafaxine 80mg; Mirtazapine 7.5mg; Pipamperone 20mg

Link to comment

A little side question. In your experience, do people who had a severe reaction when starting these meds but continued (in my case due to hospitalisation and psychiatric mismanagement) have worse withdrawals?

August 17 Venlafaxine 1 week - Psychosis

August-17 to December 17 Commited to Hospital 4 1/2 months

Drugs administered include (had to look this up there because it was a blur no exact dates noted in my release notes):

Olanzapine, Lorazepam, Sertraline, Escilatropram

Mirtazapine, Lamotrigine, Venlafaxine (again!?)

2018 Venlafaxine/Effexor 225mg ; Mirtazapine/Remeron 7.5mg; Propranolol 80mg; Lamotrigine/Lamictal 200mg

Lamictal was tapered very quickly Dec/Jan 2018 with no strong side effects

Began Effexor tapering Jan 2018

Came down from 225 to 75 within a month

 TOO FAST!!

Reinstated with just over 75. Mirtazapine reduced to 7.5 for sleep

Current:  Venlafaxine 80mg; Mirtazapine 7.5mg; Pipamperone 20mg

Link to comment
  • Moderator Emeritus

Altostrata (this site's founder) has made the comment that we are all an experiment where N=1.

 

There are so many variables, genetics, personality type, diet, life stressors, as well as the types of drugs and going on and off and on and off etc that there is no answer to your question.  We have members who have gone off a drug years ago and sometimes a couple of times and have had no difficulties, yet are now having issues getting off a very low dose of the same drug.

 

We have to accept that there are some unanswerable questions in life, and yours is just one of them.

 

Q:  Are you keeping notes on paper?  This can help you/us to work out if reinstatement is working.

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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  • Administrator

cog, how did the symptoms change when you increased from 75mg to 80mg? It's only been a couple of days, correct?

 

Please keep daily notes on paper about your symptoms, when you take your drugs, and their dosages. This is very important.

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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OK. I'll start taking notes. :-)

August 17 Venlafaxine 1 week - Psychosis

August-17 to December 17 Commited to Hospital 4 1/2 months

Drugs administered include (had to look this up there because it was a blur no exact dates noted in my release notes):

Olanzapine, Lorazepam, Sertraline, Escilatropram

Mirtazapine, Lamotrigine, Venlafaxine (again!?)

2018 Venlafaxine/Effexor 225mg ; Mirtazapine/Remeron 7.5mg; Propranolol 80mg; Lamotrigine/Lamictal 200mg

Lamictal was tapered very quickly Dec/Jan 2018 with no strong side effects

Began Effexor tapering Jan 2018

Came down from 225 to 75 within a month

 TOO FAST!!

Reinstated with just over 75. Mirtazapine reduced to 7.5 for sleep

Current:  Venlafaxine 80mg; Mirtazapine 7.5mg; Pipamperone 20mg

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My first Journal Entry

80mg (ish) Ven; hold 7.5mg Mirt; Propranolol 80mg; Pipamperone 20mg

Woke up with massive physical anxiety/stomach churning. Dark thoughts. Talked to dad.

Nausea not as bad, had a window so drove to the baker and joked with the server about the cakes.

Psychologically good; Headache and lethargy mixed with physical anxiety symptoms (slight burny skin but handlable)

 

August 17 Venlafaxine 1 week - Psychosis

August-17 to December 17 Commited to Hospital 4 1/2 months

Drugs administered include (had to look this up there because it was a blur no exact dates noted in my release notes):

Olanzapine, Lorazepam, Sertraline, Escilatropram

Mirtazapine, Lamotrigine, Venlafaxine (again!?)

2018 Venlafaxine/Effexor 225mg ; Mirtazapine/Remeron 7.5mg; Propranolol 80mg; Lamotrigine/Lamictal 200mg

Lamictal was tapered very quickly Dec/Jan 2018 with no strong side effects

Began Effexor tapering Jan 2018

Came down from 225 to 75 within a month

 TOO FAST!!

Reinstated with just over 75. Mirtazapine reduced to 7.5 for sleep

Current:  Venlafaxine 80mg; Mirtazapine 7.5mg; Pipamperone 20mg

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Since I started my nightmarish journey into the psych world in the last 6 months I have had an erection a grand total of 3 times(after much work to get it started). Literally the night before I started I had sex normally... GF and me are no longer together as I became a nutball... Apparently this could be PSSD and may be permanent/incurable. I really hope that's not the case as I, like many others, really enjoy sex. 

 

I went to my Shrink yesterday and told her all the side effects/my hypothesis that the mania psychosis and <redacted> attempts may have been the medication. TEXTBOOK answer (paraphrased translation from german):

"It is my opinion that your bipolar was there but the medicine revealed it. The incessant dark thoughts and actions <which I told her I'd never had before medication>  were just your mind being more "active" due to the start-up of the drug. Your current and previous problems with insomnia, headaches and cognition problems over the last 6 months are just a sign that the depression is still there. How about we add quetiapine to help you sleep"

ROFL. You've got to see the funny side. I wanted to tell her where to stick her quetiapine. I finally got her to reduce my Mirt to 7.5mg help me sleep. (I was already doing that without her guidance)

August 17 Venlafaxine 1 week - Psychosis

August-17 to December 17 Commited to Hospital 4 1/2 months

Drugs administered include (had to look this up there because it was a blur no exact dates noted in my release notes):

Olanzapine, Lorazepam, Sertraline, Escilatropram

Mirtazapine, Lamotrigine, Venlafaxine (again!?)

2018 Venlafaxine/Effexor 225mg ; Mirtazapine/Remeron 7.5mg; Propranolol 80mg; Lamotrigine/Lamictal 200mg

Lamictal was tapered very quickly Dec/Jan 2018 with no strong side effects

Began Effexor tapering Jan 2018

Came down from 225 to 75 within a month

 TOO FAST!!

Reinstated with just over 75. Mirtazapine reduced to 7.5 for sleep

Current:  Venlafaxine 80mg; Mirtazapine 7.5mg; Pipamperone 20mg

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Window day today! Only gastro issues today. 😊

August 17 Venlafaxine 1 week - Psychosis

August-17 to December 17 Commited to Hospital 4 1/2 months

Drugs administered include (had to look this up there because it was a blur no exact dates noted in my release notes):

Olanzapine, Lorazepam, Sertraline, Escilatropram

Mirtazapine, Lamotrigine, Venlafaxine (again!?)

2018 Venlafaxine/Effexor 225mg ; Mirtazapine/Remeron 7.5mg; Propranolol 80mg; Lamotrigine/Lamictal 200mg

Lamictal was tapered very quickly Dec/Jan 2018 with no strong side effects

Began Effexor tapering Jan 2018

Came down from 225 to 75 within a month

 TOO FAST!!

Reinstated with just over 75. Mirtazapine reduced to 7.5 for sleep

Current:  Venlafaxine 80mg; Mirtazapine 7.5mg; Pipamperone 20mg

Link to comment

One Question:

Once I properly stabilize at this does, is one larger cut per month or 2 are smaller biweekly cuts better?

Thoughts?

August 17 Venlafaxine 1 week - Psychosis

August-17 to December 17 Commited to Hospital 4 1/2 months

Drugs administered include (had to look this up there because it was a blur no exact dates noted in my release notes):

Olanzapine, Lorazepam, Sertraline, Escilatropram

Mirtazapine, Lamotrigine, Venlafaxine (again!?)

2018 Venlafaxine/Effexor 225mg ; Mirtazapine/Remeron 7.5mg; Propranolol 80mg; Lamotrigine/Lamictal 200mg

Lamictal was tapered very quickly Dec/Jan 2018 with no strong side effects

Began Effexor tapering Jan 2018

Came down from 225 to 75 within a month

 TOO FAST!!

Reinstated with just over 75. Mirtazapine reduced to 7.5 for sleep

Current:  Venlafaxine 80mg; Mirtazapine 7.5mg; Pipamperone 20mg

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9 hours ago, cogitoergonumb said:

Window day today! Only gastro issues today. 😊

Wonderful news Cog! ...I'm praying this is continuing for you.  I'm not sure about your question about tapering.  I've been wondering the same thing my self.  Hopefully a mod can answer this for you. Love K xo

  • Citalopram 20mg - 40mg ~ approx 2010 - October 2015 (stopped over one week)
  • Parnate  20mg - 50mg and olazapine 5mg ~ Jan 2016 - May 2016 (ceased over 2 days) 
  • Lithium 450mg-900 mg and Thyroxin ~May 2016 - May 2017
  • Diazepam various doses (including PRN) ~ 2015 - 2017
  • Oxazepam various doses (including PRN) ~ May 2016 - June 2016
  • Lurasidone 20mg ~Mid May 2016 - Mid June 2016
  • Vortioxetine 10mg - 20mg ~ 6th June 2016 - 20th July 2016 (abruptly ceased)
  • Amitriptyline 200mg ~July 2016 - September 2016 (ceased over 1 week)
  • Nortriptyline  (dose ?) ~October 2016 ~ November 2016 (abruptly ceased)
  • Seroquel XR 100mg - 300mg ~ May 2016 - August 2017 (ceased over 3 weeks)
  • Escitalopram 10mg - 30mg ~ August 2016 - March 2017 (ceased over 2 weeks)
  • Bupropion 300mg ~ December 2016 - May 2017 (ceased over 1 week)
  • Clonazepam 1.5mg daily ~ July 2016 (started tapering May 2017 - September 2017 currently on 0.375mg..ie 0.125mg TDS) 27th May 2018 5% 0.357mg (possible paradoxical reaction - see benzo thread)  28th June 5% 0.337mg, 28th July 10% 0.303mg, 12th September10% 0.272mg, 18th September reinstated 10% due to intolerable WD 0.303mg, 1st October-11th Oct 10% (1% reduction over 10 days) 0.272mg, 22nd October clonazepam ceased crossed over 10mg diazepam
  •  Dexamphatamine 20mg ~ December 2016 (started tapering October 2017 - tapered 1.25mg 4th Dec 2017, 1.25mg 19th Dec 2017 6.25mg, Speed up decrease due to major interaction between Dex and fluoxetine- ref to thread 10% 17th Feb 2018 5.63mg, 10% 21st Feb 2018 5.1mg, 10% 26th Feb 2018 4.5mg 10% 28th Feb 4.1mg, 10% 1st March 3.7mg, 10% 5th March 3.3mg, 10% 8th March 3mg, 10% 10th March 2.7mg, 10% 12th March 2.4mg, 10% 14th March 2.16mg, 10% 16th March 1.94mg, 10% 18th March 1.74mg, 10% 20th March 1.57mg, 10% 21st March 1.41mg, 10% 22nd March 1.26mg, 10% 23rd March 1.13mg, 10% 24th March 1.01mg, 10% 25th March 0.9mg, 10% 27th March 0.81mg, 10% 29th March 0.73mg, 10% 31st March 0.66mg, 10% 2nd April 0.59mg , 10% 4th April 0.53mg, 10% 6th April 0.47mg, 10% 8th April 0.42mg, 10%10th April 0.37mg, 11th April 0.2mg, 12th April 0.1mg (last dose) OFF! 
  • Fluoxetine 40mg ~December 2016 - 31 Jan 2018 reduced to 20mg (probable serotonin toxicity) 10th March 2020 10mg, 7th April 9mg, 1st May 8.5mg, 15th May 8.0mg, 27th May 7.5mg, 8th Sept 7.2mg, 2nd Oct 7mg, 19th Oct 6.8mg, 28th Oct 6.6mg, 5th Nov 6.4mg, 26th Nov 6mg, 2nd April 2021 5.9mg, 9th April 5.8mg, 19th April 5.75mg, 22nd April 5.7mg, 26th April 5.65mg,28th April 5.6mg, 1st May 5.5mg, 4th May 5.45mg, 7th May 5.4mg, 10th May 5.35mg, 12th May 5.3mg, 15th May 5.25mg, 18th May 5.2mg, 20th May 5.15mg, 22nd May 5mg, 10th July 4.5mg, 9th Aug 4.48mg (switched from syringe to pipette method), 12th Aug 4.46mg, 14th Aug 4.4mg, 18th Aug 4.38mg, 19th Aug 4.36mg, 20th Aug 4.34, 21st 4.32mg, 22nd 4.3mg, 23rd Aug 4mg (hold), (micro-taper) 12th Oct 2021 3.98mg, 14th Oct 3.96mg, 15th Oct 3.94mg, 16th Oct 3.92mg, 17th Oct 3.9mg, 18th Oct 3.88mg, 19th Oct 3.86mg, 21st Oct 3.84mg, 22nd Oct 3.82mg, 23rd Oct 3.8mg, 24th Oct 3.78mg, 25th Oct 3.76mg, 26th Oct 3.74mg, 27th Oct 3.72mg, (WD reached intolerable level, reinstated 0.06mg) 28th Oct 3.8mg, 7th March 2022 3.7mg, 21st March 3.6mg, 4th April 3.5mg, 18th April 3.4mg, 2nd May 3.3mg, 16th May 3.2mg, 20th June 3.1mg, 4th July 3mg, 18th July 2.9mg, 12th September 2.7mg, 18th October 2.5mg, 14th Nov 2.3mg
  • Diazepam 10mg ~ 22nd Oct 2018, 10th November 8mg, 14th Nov 7mg, 8th December 6mg, 30th December 5mg (Nocte), 7th March 2019 4.5mg,14th March 4mg, 5th April 3.5mg, 9th April 3mg, 18th April 2.5mg,1st May 2mg, 17th May 1.75mg, 25th May 1.6mg, 4th June 1.59mg, 5th June 1.58mg, 6th June 1.57mg, 7th June 1.56mg, 8th June 1.55mg, 22nd June 1.4mg, 4th July 1.2mg, 16th July 1mg, 30th July 0.8mg, 13th Aug 0.6mg, 28th Aug 0.4mg, 10th Sept 0.2mg, 23rd Sept Off! 
  • SR Circadin 2mg (melatonin) 25th May - 20th June 
  • Zolpidem 10mg 25th May (7 tablets)
  • Supplements: Magnesium glycinate (soluble - sip throughout the day) 

 

"Whenever you feel yourself doubting how far you can go,  just remember how far you have come.  Remember everything you have faced, all the battles you have won, and all the fears you have overcome"    Unknown 

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Hey K,

Today wasn't quite as good. I'm having quite a lot of physical anxiety and dark thoughts (for me the anxiety is mostly gastro-intestinal and butterflies) but managed to power through and work for a while. Met with a friend from my hospital stay. She's still on the ward, she had to go back cause she couldn't work. They've now got her on Sertraline, benzos and Lithium. I wanted to tell her that it might be making her worse but I couldn't because we were on the ward. ☹☹

CEN x

August 17 Venlafaxine 1 week - Psychosis

August-17 to December 17 Commited to Hospital 4 1/2 months

Drugs administered include (had to look this up there because it was a blur no exact dates noted in my release notes):

Olanzapine, Lorazepam, Sertraline, Escilatropram

Mirtazapine, Lamotrigine, Venlafaxine (again!?)

2018 Venlafaxine/Effexor 225mg ; Mirtazapine/Remeron 7.5mg; Propranolol 80mg; Lamotrigine/Lamictal 200mg

Lamictal was tapered very quickly Dec/Jan 2018 with no strong side effects

Began Effexor tapering Jan 2018

Came down from 225 to 75 within a month

 TOO FAST!!

Reinstated with just over 75. Mirtazapine reduced to 7.5 for sleep

Current:  Venlafaxine 80mg; Mirtazapine 7.5mg; Pipamperone 20mg

Link to comment
  • Moderator

Hi cogitoergonumb,

 

Here's the link to the working while in W/D thread:

http://survivingantidepressants.org/topic/1941-working-as-in-getting-a-paycheck-through-withdrawal/

 

I think I mentioned it last friday on samanthaelizabeth's intro.  while you were strolling.......B)

 

Love, peace, healing/inrecovery, and growth,

mmt

Edited by manymoretodays

2022 May- continuing with limited activity on site, just something I need to do right now

Started with psycho meds/psychiatric care circa 1988.  In retrospect, and on contemplation, situational overwhelm.

Rounding up to 30 years of medications(30 medication trials, poly-pharmacy maximum was 3 at one time).

5/28/2015-off Adderal salts 2.5mg. (I had been on that since hospital 10/2014)

12/2015---just holding, holding, holding, with trileptal/oxcarb at 75 mg. 1/2 tab at hs.  My last psycho med ever!  Tapered @ 10% every 4 weeks, sometimes 2 weeks to

2016 Dec 16 medication free!!

Longer signature post here, with current supplements.

Herb and alcohol free since 5/15/2016.  And.....I quit smoking 11/2021. Lapsed.  Redo of quit smoking 9/28/2022.  Can you say Hallelujah?(took me long enough)💜

None of my posts are intended as medical advice.  Please discuss any decisions about your medical care with a knowledgeable medical provider. manymoretodays

 

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  • Moderator
On 2/20/2018 at 8:12 AM, cogitoergonumb said:

One Question:

Once I properly stabilize at this does, is one larger cut per month or 2 are smaller biweekly cuts better?

Thoughts?

 

Hi again.  I didn't mean to ignore your ?.  Just saw this.   Take a look at the link that Altostrata gave you on the 14th......the why taper by 10%.  There may be more in that link on time periods between cuts.    And plug in brassmonkey in your search box top right and read of some of his experiences with the brassmonkeyslidemethod.........those are good too.

 

We don't recommend anything biweekly or twice a week.  Not sure what you are asking.......

 

Best, L, p, h/ir, and g,

mmt

Edited by manymoretodays

2022 May- continuing with limited activity on site, just something I need to do right now

Started with psycho meds/psychiatric care circa 1988.  In retrospect, and on contemplation, situational overwhelm.

Rounding up to 30 years of medications(30 medication trials, poly-pharmacy maximum was 3 at one time).

5/28/2015-off Adderal salts 2.5mg. (I had been on that since hospital 10/2014)

12/2015---just holding, holding, holding, with trileptal/oxcarb at 75 mg. 1/2 tab at hs.  My last psycho med ever!  Tapered @ 10% every 4 weeks, sometimes 2 weeks to

2016 Dec 16 medication free!!

Longer signature post here, with current supplements.

Herb and alcohol free since 5/15/2016.  And.....I quit smoking 11/2021. Lapsed.  Redo of quit smoking 9/28/2022.  Can you say Hallelujah?(took me long enough)💜

None of my posts are intended as medical advice.  Please discuss any decisions about your medical care with a knowledgeable medical provider. manymoretodays

 

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Hi there,

 

Thank you for your answer! I have looked at the brassmonkeyslide. It seems that this could be an option. By Biweekly I meant every two weeks a la Brassmonkey. I'm going to try to work through my symptoms for the moment but I'm finding it pretty damn difficult and I'm only on 4 Hours a day at the moment. I've got this period of stabilization to think about what my next steps are.

August 17 Venlafaxine 1 week - Psychosis

August-17 to December 17 Commited to Hospital 4 1/2 months

Drugs administered include (had to look this up there because it was a blur no exact dates noted in my release notes):

Olanzapine, Lorazepam, Sertraline, Escilatropram

Mirtazapine, Lamotrigine, Venlafaxine (again!?)

2018 Venlafaxine/Effexor 225mg ; Mirtazapine/Remeron 7.5mg; Propranolol 80mg; Lamotrigine/Lamictal 200mg

Lamictal was tapered very quickly Dec/Jan 2018 with no strong side effects

Began Effexor tapering Jan 2018

Came down from 225 to 75 within a month

 TOO FAST!!

Reinstated with just over 75. Mirtazapine reduced to 7.5 for sleep

Current:  Venlafaxine 80mg; Mirtazapine 7.5mg; Pipamperone 20mg

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  • 2 weeks later...
  • Administrator

cogito, how are you doing? How much of everything are you taking now?

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 there,

 

Struggling but getting by. I don't know how I'm going to manage work in the long run while cutting down but I couldn't handle it anyway when I was so highly medicated.

I'm now on just over 75mg of Venlafaxine, 7.5mg of Mirtazapine and 20mg of the Pipamperone at bedtime. 

Waiting to fully stabilize.

August 17 Venlafaxine 1 week - Psychosis

August-17 to December 17 Commited to Hospital 4 1/2 months

Drugs administered include (had to look this up there because it was a blur no exact dates noted in my release notes):

Olanzapine, Lorazepam, Sertraline, Escilatropram

Mirtazapine, Lamotrigine, Venlafaxine (again!?)

2018 Venlafaxine/Effexor 225mg ; Mirtazapine/Remeron 7.5mg; Propranolol 80mg; Lamotrigine/Lamictal 200mg

Lamictal was tapered very quickly Dec/Jan 2018 with no strong side effects

Began Effexor tapering Jan 2018

Came down from 225 to 75 within a month

 TOO FAST!!

Reinstated with just over 75. Mirtazapine reduced to 7.5 for sleep

Current:  Venlafaxine 80mg; Mirtazapine 7.5mg; Pipamperone 20mg

Link to comment

I just hope that the damage caused by these medications is not permanent. I know that for my own good I shouldn't think that way but I've not seen very much evidence to suggest I'll get back to pre-drug functioning levels.
 

August 17 Venlafaxine 1 week - Psychosis

August-17 to December 17 Commited to Hospital 4 1/2 months

Drugs administered include (had to look this up there because it was a blur no exact dates noted in my release notes):

Olanzapine, Lorazepam, Sertraline, Escilatropram

Mirtazapine, Lamotrigine, Venlafaxine (again!?)

2018 Venlafaxine/Effexor 225mg ; Mirtazapine/Remeron 7.5mg; Propranolol 80mg; Lamotrigine/Lamictal 200mg

Lamictal was tapered very quickly Dec/Jan 2018 with no strong side effects

Began Effexor tapering Jan 2018

Came down from 225 to 75 within a month

 TOO FAST!!

Reinstated with just over 75. Mirtazapine reduced to 7.5 for sleep

Current:  Venlafaxine 80mg; Mirtazapine 7.5mg; Pipamperone 20mg

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