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92sharks: introduction


92sharks

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I am not positive this is what I am suppose to do to begin, but I'm sure a moderator will guide me in the right direction.  I have been on antidepressants for about 18 years.  I have taken Wellbutrin, Zoloft, Lexapro. Prozac, and Effexor.  I was on Effexor for several years, then wanted to discontinue the med.  I do not remember the dose I was on at that time, but I believe it was 225mg.  I decreased 37.5mg monthly, then went from 37.5mg to zero.  I experienced common withdrawal syndrome symptoms lasting the entire 7 months I was off of Effexor.   I went back on Effexor because I was not able to function, crying often, in pain, could barely get clean and dressed, and finally began to realize the only way to stop what I was experiencing was to commit suicide or go back on Effexor.  I returned to Effexor and all symptoms disappeared within days.  I believed that my depression had returned and I would need to be on antidepressants/Effexor for the rest of my life.  This was probably in 2009.  I was titrated up to my current dose about 4 years ago (2014). I am currently on Effexor XR 150mg and Effexor 37.5mg daily, and have been on this dose for about 4 years.     I have made some personal progress that seems like I might not "need" as much antidepressant medication plus continual sexual side affects, I asked to decrease my dose.   With the assistance of my psychiatrist, we decided to decrease my dose.  My dr. said to "just drop" the 37.5mg.  Knowing the withdrawal syndrome side affects all too well, I was not going to "just drop" 37.5mg.  My goal is to get completely off of Effexor XR/Effexor, if possible over the next 1-2 years.  I am just working on removing the 37.5mg Effexor for now.   I began the end of January to reduce 1 little ball every three days from the 37.5mg.  Every second day I felt a few w/d symptoms, but they were mild and fleeting.  I continued every 3 days removing 1 additional ball.  On Feb. 15, 2018, I noticed an increase in w/d symptoms.  I also realized that the number of balls inside the 37.5mg capsule varies.  I should have been counting the number of balls I wanted to take instead of removing the number.  Since the number of balls vary, I think I was varying the dose I was taking daily.  Sometimes less, and sometimes more.....,thus I think that is why I was experiencing an increase in w/d symptoms.  I am certain yesterday and today that I took Effexor XR 150mg + 29 little balls of the 37.5mg capsule.  I am feeling MUCH better today with little to none w/d symptoms.  I am usually pretty sensitive to medications so I am planning to sit at this dose most likely for several days.  I am very excited to read others' experiences, and receive any suggestions.  Thank you very much!  I will add the information to the bottom of my introduction of all meds, discontinuations, and resumption of meds. (now in signature)

 

Edited by ChessieCat
deleted med list - now in signature

1999 began Wellbutrin, and Zoloft, then off both, tried Lexapro, then eventually Effexor XR

2009 slowly weaned self off Effexor XR  experienced 7 months of withdrawal syndrome, became suicidal

2010 went on Prozac (dose ?), then off Prozac (agitation/anxiety), resumed Effexor XR

2010-2014 titrated up to Effexor XR 150mg and Effexor 37.5mg

2014-2018 have been on this dose for 4 years~Effexor EX 150mg and Effexor 37.5mg (Total 188mg)

January 22, 2018, began decreasing dose of Effexor 37.5mg (Continuing 150mg dose unchanged)

February 19, 2018 Effexor XR 150mg + 29 balls of Effexor 37.5mg capsule (29mg?????) x 2 days

August 15, 2020 Effexor ER 60mg x 5 months

August 10, 2021 Effexor ER 10mg Experiencing vertigo since last taper (from 11 beads/?mg to 10 beads/?mg) 4 days ago.

August 21, 2021 Vertigo gone 🥳(lasted 8 days) Will stay at 10 beads/?mg.

July 1, 2022 Effexor 7 beads/?mg 

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  • ChessieCat changed the title to 92sharks: Introduction
  • Moderator Emeritus

Hi sharks and welcome to SA,

 

Thank you for providing your drug history.  We ask all members to create their drug history in a signature.  Clicking on this link Account Settings – Create or Edit a signature  will take you to your own signature and you can copy and paste what you posted and click save.

 

SA recommends tapering your drug by no more than 10% of the previous dose and holding for at least 4 weeks to allow the brain to adapt to not getting as much of the drug.

 

On 20/02/2018 at 9:31 AM, 92sharks said:

 I am usually pretty sensitive to medications so I am planning to sit at this dose most likely for several days.

 

Because of the possible inconsistent dosing and also that you needed to updose because of withdrawal symptoms it would be worthwhile doing a hold on your current dose.  Patience is needed to get off these drugs.  We suggest throwing out the calendar and listening to your body and your symptoms.  The best thing to do would be to hold for a minimum of 4 weeks after the date of updosing.  You might want to consider holding for an additional 2-4 weeks so that your brain has a chance to catch up with all the changes.  It is generally better to hold for longer than to risk reducing too soon.

 

Here are some helpful links:

 

Why taper by 10% of my dosage?

Dr Joseph Glenmullen's Withdrawal Symptoms

 

Tips for tapering off Effexor (venlafaxine)

 

Windows and Waves Pattern of Stabilization

 

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


What should I expect from my doctor about withdrawal symptoms?

 

Brain Remodelling


Video:  Healing From Antidepressants - Patterns of Recovery

 

Keep it Simple, Slow and Stable


Keep Notes on Paper

 

Rate Symptoms Daily to Check Patterns and Progress

Tapering Calculator - Online

 

It is best to make only 1 change at a time.  It is also better not to start taking a complex vitamin because if you experience issues you will not know what exactly is causing it.  B vitamins can be stimulating especially B6.  hypersensitive-to-b-vitamin-or-b-vitamin-complex  If trying anything new, start with a small amount to see how you react and build up to the recommended amount.  The only supplements which SA recommends are Magnesium and Omega-3 Fish Oil.  Try a small amount one at a time to see how you react.

 

Even with a careful and slow taper you will most likely experience times of discomfort.  It is best to learn and use Non-drug techniques to cope

 

There are many existing topics and discussions on this site.  You can use the site search function at the top right, or use a search engine and include survivingantidepressants.org in your search string.

 

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

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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ChessieCat,  thank you very much for your post!  I was concerned that I had not "joined" correctly.  I will organize my signature.  I appreciate all of your comments and suggestions for things to read.  I think that will keep me busy for a while.  I am on my second day of feeling well and having very little w/d feelings.  I think it is a good idea to stay at this dose for a while. I had read about a slow, slow taper and had decided that was best for me.  I appreciate that you said even if I go with a careful and slow taper I may still have some discomfort.

 

I had wanted to look at some of the members that have been on here for several years to see where they are in their taper and how they are feeling, but I have not been able to navigate this site  with much success.  I imagine it will just take some time.  Thank you so much for responding to my introduction and offering support and suggestions.  All of it is very much appreciated!

 

Edited by ChessieCat
deleted med list - now in signature

1999 began Wellbutrin, and Zoloft, then off both, tried Lexapro, then eventually Effexor XR

2009 slowly weaned self off Effexor XR  experienced 7 months of withdrawal syndrome, became suicidal

2010 went on Prozac (dose ?), then off Prozac (agitation/anxiety), resumed Effexor XR

2010-2014 titrated up to Effexor XR 150mg and Effexor 37.5mg

2014-2018 have been on this dose for 4 years~Effexor EX 150mg and Effexor 37.5mg (Total 188mg)

January 22, 2018, began decreasing dose of Effexor 37.5mg (Continuing 150mg dose unchanged)

February 19, 2018 Effexor XR 150mg + 29 balls of Effexor 37.5mg capsule (29mg?????) x 2 days

August 15, 2020 Effexor ER 60mg x 5 months

August 10, 2021 Effexor ER 10mg Experiencing vertigo since last taper (from 11 beads/?mg to 10 beads/?mg) 4 days ago.

August 21, 2021 Vertigo gone 🥳(lasted 8 days) Will stay at 10 beads/?mg.

July 1, 2022 Effexor 7 beads/?mg 

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  • Moderator Emeritus

You are most welcome.  I'm glad I could be of assistance.  Don't be too overwhelmed by the long list, just work through them as you are able to.

 

Your signature is showing up below your post so you don't need to include it when you make a new post.  (I will delete it from your first two posts so it isn't confusing).

 

Here is the link to:  Success stories: Recovery from withdrawal

 

If you go to the Introductions and updates  and look at the titles for members' Intros you will see some that have a sun symbol ☼.  This is included when someone is well on the way to recovery.  To go to the next page of member posts click on Next at the top of bottom of that page.

 

18 minutes ago, 92sharks said:

I appreciate that you said even if I go with a careful and slow taper I may still have some discomfort.

 

I've been tapering following SA's tapering protocol, and have had a couple of long holds (3 months at 50mg & 7 weeks at 20mg) and my withdrawal symptoms have been minimal but I know that I am experiencing them.  I've just posted this in another member's Intro:

 

10 minutes ago, ChessieCat said:

Yes, I've experienced it and it is a common symptom.  I have had times where I can't do word puzzles, other times where I can't do things involving numbers, there was a time I couldn't do jigsaw puzzles, which I have been doing all my life.  I couldn't turn the pieces around in my mind.  I've had times were I can't find the word I want, or have the words in my mind but can't put them into a clear sentence.  I've experienced not being able to scan written material, which being a typist I am generally good at.  Also comprehending what is written.  These things have happened on and off but I have noticed improvement.

 

brain-fog-blank-mind-comprehension-cognitive-and-memory-problems

 

problems-with-speechcommunicating

 

brain-fog-blank-mind-comprehension-cognitive-and-memory-problems

 

I can remember one member saying something like she couldn't remember the word for broom and ended up saying the thing you sweep the floor with.  I can remember reading it because it was something so simple yet she couldn't remember it and I've had similar times when I've had to give up trying to find the word I want to use because I couldn't remember it.

 

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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Please forgive me, as I am pretty sure that I could find the answer to my question if I read every page of this thread.  For some reason, when I start reading on this website, I get very, very anxious.  I think this is because of  1) the nature of the topics,  2) I want an instant answer,  and  3) there are so many interesting topics that I can't stay focused.  I just became a member a week ago so I'm sure that I will settle down as I become accustomed to the site.   I have read and understand that Effexor XR caps are filled by weight.  And that the XR part of the little balls are on the outside of the balls.  I also read that each ball can/is a different size, and that things can vary from manufacturer to manufacturer, lot to lot.  I began decreasing with my 37.5mg XR cap.  I am taking Venlafaxine HCL XR (generic for Effexor XR) manufactured by TEVA USA.   I started the first days of reduction by only counting the balls the first day (38), assuming there would be 38 balls in each cap.  I reduced (removed) 1 ball every 3 days.  I had very slight w/d symptoms, lasting only a few minutes on day 2 of each reduction.  By week 4 of decreasing, I had many w/d symptoms.  I began counting the beads and learned the caps rarely had the same number of beads.  So, it seemed to me that I could be decreasing my dose one day, increasing it 3 days later, then decreasing again, depending on how many little balls were in each cap.  My husband said to stop decreasing from the total number of beads, but count out the number of beads that I wanted to take.  So I have been taking my 150mg XR daily plus 29 little balls from my 37.5mg XR caps (I do return the 29 balls to the capsule for ingestion).  Was I just taking the "decrease the number of balls" too literally?  i.e. I should count the number of balls I want to take instead of removing a certain number since the number varies in the caps?   I suppose I will have to get a jeweler's scale in order to weigh instead of count balls.  I am also learning that this is not an exact science!  I am planning to stay at this dose for a while.  I have very mild w/d symptoms and they have improved some since remaining at this dose for a week.  Thank you so much!! 

1999 began Wellbutrin, and Zoloft, then off both, tried Lexapro, then eventually Effexor XR

2009 slowly weaned self off Effexor XR  experienced 7 months of withdrawal syndrome, became suicidal

2010 went on Prozac (dose ?), then off Prozac (agitation/anxiety), resumed Effexor XR

2010-2014 titrated up to Effexor XR 150mg and Effexor 37.5mg

2014-2018 have been on this dose for 4 years~Effexor EX 150mg and Effexor 37.5mg (Total 188mg)

January 22, 2018, began decreasing dose of Effexor 37.5mg (Continuing 150mg dose unchanged)

February 19, 2018 Effexor XR 150mg + 29 balls of Effexor 37.5mg capsule (29mg?????) x 2 days

August 15, 2020 Effexor ER 60mg x 5 months

August 10, 2021 Effexor ER 10mg Experiencing vertigo since last taper (from 11 beads/?mg to 10 beads/?mg) 4 days ago.

August 21, 2021 Vertigo gone 🥳(lasted 8 days) Will stay at 10 beads/?mg.

July 1, 2022 Effexor 7 beads/?mg 

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I am at a loss as to where to post this question.  I need to read more of this website, especially about tapering and how long to wait for the next drop.  I am pretty sensitive to meds so I am going to go very slowly.  I have just started reducing, slowly, but not slowly enough (9mg of Effexor XR over 5 weeks; started at 187.5mg).  I had increase in w/d symptoms during week 3-4.  I have stayed at the same dose for 10 days, and the w/d symptoms have lessened, but I still have very mild, tolerable symptoms off and on throughout the day (dizziness, eyes feel funny,,& head fullness).   I am not really in a hurry to reduce (I am, but know that I shouldn't).  My question is do I sit at the current dose until those mild symptoms completely disappear for several days or weeks?  Or do I sit at this dose for say 4 weeks with these mild symptoms, and they don't disappear, and I go ahead and decrease?   I know I am talking about the future, but just wondering what I am waiting for to continue decreasing?  Thank you and I promise I will begin reading some of the links suggested in my introduction.  I do appreciate the time that ChessieCat took to respond to my into, her answers, suggestions, and links.  Thank you!! 

1999 began Wellbutrin, and Zoloft, then off both, tried Lexapro, then eventually Effexor XR

2009 slowly weaned self off Effexor XR  experienced 7 months of withdrawal syndrome, became suicidal

2010 went on Prozac (dose ?), then off Prozac (agitation/anxiety), resumed Effexor XR

2010-2014 titrated up to Effexor XR 150mg and Effexor 37.5mg

2014-2018 have been on this dose for 4 years~Effexor EX 150mg and Effexor 37.5mg (Total 188mg)

January 22, 2018, began decreasing dose of Effexor 37.5mg (Continuing 150mg dose unchanged)

February 19, 2018 Effexor XR 150mg + 29 balls of Effexor 37.5mg capsule (29mg?????) x 2 days

August 15, 2020 Effexor ER 60mg x 5 months

August 10, 2021 Effexor ER 10mg Experiencing vertigo since last taper (from 11 beads/?mg to 10 beads/?mg) 4 days ago.

August 21, 2021 Vertigo gone 🥳(lasted 8 days) Will stay at 10 beads/?mg.

July 1, 2022 Effexor 7 beads/?mg 

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  • Administrator

Hi, 92sharks. I moved your post to your Intro topic, this is the place for your questions about your taper.

 

Yes, stay at your current dose until the symptoms go away. It's a good sign they've abated somewhat. Please keep daily notes on paper about your symptoms, when you take your drugs, and their dosages.

 

How are you measuring your dose? What times of day do you take Effexor? Are you taking anything else?

 

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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Thank you, Altostrata!  I need to slow down so I can figure out the appropriate place to post questions, and find the answers that I am looking for.   I'm sure I'm not the first to act like a chicken with its head cut off when starting out.  I think a lightbulb just went off.   If I have a question about my own personal journey, I always come back to my introduction to ask?   When I am commenting on another's introduction or post, I should only give support and ask questions specific to them?   Sorry to be dim!  Thank you for moving my question where it should be.  I asked another question somewhere today.  I do not know how to find all of my comments, or posts.  Lastly, I saw notifications when ChessieCat responded to me, but I found your post, Alto, by accident when I was scrolling down this page.  

 

Thank you for your suggestion to stay where I am until the w/d side effects go away.  I do have a paper journal going with all of the information you suggested.  I started it the day I began having more w/d s/s (signs/symptoms), about 3+ weeks after beginning my taper.  It wasn't difficult to fill in the previous 21 days since they had been pretty much uneventful with very fleeting w/d s/s.

 

I am measuring my dose by taking the 150mg capsule, and counting the number of little balls in the 37.5mg capsule.   The first day I counted 38 balls, and removed 1.  I continued to remove 1 ball every 3 days.  Then when I began having an increase in w/d s/s, I counted the beads again, as I have every day since.  I realized that the number of balls varies from capsule to capsule, so though I was removing 1 ball x 3 days, then 2 balls x 3 days, then 3 balls, etc, I wasn't keeping the dose constant.  I have counted anywhere from 36 to 44 balls per capsule.  My husband told me to count the number of balls that I wanted to take in order to keep the dose constant.   So, right now, I am counting balls in order to measure my dose.    I take my Effexor XR in the early afternoon 12:30-2:00pm.  I hope to be more consistent and take it daily @ noon.      I also take Levothyroxine 112mcg for hypothyroidism x 30yrs.;  Deplin 15mg x 4yrs (biologically active form of Folate B9) adjunct to anti-depressant;  multivitamin,  B12,  Vitamin D,  Omegas (4 daily).   

 

Alto, thank you for your kindness and interest.  Thank you for answering my questions, and asking for additional information in order to help me.  I appreciate this group so much already!

1999 began Wellbutrin, and Zoloft, then off both, tried Lexapro, then eventually Effexor XR

2009 slowly weaned self off Effexor XR  experienced 7 months of withdrawal syndrome, became suicidal

2010 went on Prozac (dose ?), then off Prozac (agitation/anxiety), resumed Effexor XR

2010-2014 titrated up to Effexor XR 150mg and Effexor 37.5mg

2014-2018 have been on this dose for 4 years~Effexor EX 150mg and Effexor 37.5mg (Total 188mg)

January 22, 2018, began decreasing dose of Effexor 37.5mg (Continuing 150mg dose unchanged)

February 19, 2018 Effexor XR 150mg + 29 balls of Effexor 37.5mg capsule (29mg?????) x 2 days

August 15, 2020 Effexor ER 60mg x 5 months

August 10, 2021 Effexor ER 10mg Experiencing vertigo since last taper (from 11 beads/?mg to 10 beads/?mg) 4 days ago.

August 21, 2021 Vertigo gone 🥳(lasted 8 days) Will stay at 10 beads/?mg.

July 1, 2022 Effexor 7 beads/?mg 

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Alto,   I found how to find my posts, and I found I am notified in my email when I have a response!  Wow, the things you find when you look around.....! ;)

1999 began Wellbutrin, and Zoloft, then off both, tried Lexapro, then eventually Effexor XR

2009 slowly weaned self off Effexor XR  experienced 7 months of withdrawal syndrome, became suicidal

2010 went on Prozac (dose ?), then off Prozac (agitation/anxiety), resumed Effexor XR

2010-2014 titrated up to Effexor XR 150mg and Effexor 37.5mg

2014-2018 have been on this dose for 4 years~Effexor EX 150mg and Effexor 37.5mg (Total 188mg)

January 22, 2018, began decreasing dose of Effexor 37.5mg (Continuing 150mg dose unchanged)

February 19, 2018 Effexor XR 150mg + 29 balls of Effexor 37.5mg capsule (29mg?????) x 2 days

August 15, 2020 Effexor ER 60mg x 5 months

August 10, 2021 Effexor ER 10mg Experiencing vertigo since last taper (from 11 beads/?mg to 10 beads/?mg) 4 days ago.

August 21, 2021 Vertigo gone 🥳(lasted 8 days) Will stay at 10 beads/?mg.

July 1, 2022 Effexor 7 beads/?mg 

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  • Moderator Emeritus
23 hours ago, 92sharks said:

For some reason, when I start reading on this website, I get very, very anxious.

 

I've been a member here for 2.5 years.  I am also a moderator.  There are times when I experience anxiety when reading things on the site.

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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ChessieCat, was that supposed to comfort me!!??  Just kidding!!  It is certainly understandable.  I am learning a little more each time I'm on here about how to navigate, and how to compartmentalize the topics.   At first it was like a panicky "I HAVE TO FIND ANSWERS!".   A forum is a new concept to me, and I just need to relax and learn.   :)   (Please keep responding!)

1999 began Wellbutrin, and Zoloft, then off both, tried Lexapro, then eventually Effexor XR

2009 slowly weaned self off Effexor XR  experienced 7 months of withdrawal syndrome, became suicidal

2010 went on Prozac (dose ?), then off Prozac (agitation/anxiety), resumed Effexor XR

2010-2014 titrated up to Effexor XR 150mg and Effexor 37.5mg

2014-2018 have been on this dose for 4 years~Effexor EX 150mg and Effexor 37.5mg (Total 188mg)

January 22, 2018, began decreasing dose of Effexor 37.5mg (Continuing 150mg dose unchanged)

February 19, 2018 Effexor XR 150mg + 29 balls of Effexor 37.5mg capsule (29mg?????) x 2 days

August 15, 2020 Effexor ER 60mg x 5 months

August 10, 2021 Effexor ER 10mg Experiencing vertigo since last taper (from 11 beads/?mg to 10 beads/?mg) 4 days ago.

August 21, 2021 Vertigo gone 🥳(lasted 8 days) Will stay at 10 beads/?mg.

July 1, 2022 Effexor 7 beads/?mg 

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  • Moderator Emeritus
2 minutes ago, 92sharks said:

ChessieCat, was that supposed to comfort me!!??

 

You had me worried for a moment!  Thanks for clarifying so quickly.

 

I was unfamiliar with forums before joining SA.  The majority of members join because they are experiencing difficulties.  I can remember that same feeling of having to find answers.  When I first joined I was experiencing extremely bad cog fog (even walking needed my undivided concentration) which made it very hard to take in and make sense of what I was reading.  It was overwhelming, but I was also very relieved because I had found the reason why I was feeling like I was.  Thankfully 3 days after joining I updosed and after about 4 hours the cog fog started to clear a bit.

 

We encourage members to try and find the information for themselves.  To search the site for existing information topics and discussions I prefer to use a search engine and include survivingantidepressants.org in my search string.  However you may search and not find anything, which is when you ask the question in your topic and either a mod or another member can point you in the right direction.

 

I put together a website (link in my signature).  On the Links Page about half way down there are links to things I have found on the internet which you might find interesting.

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

Link to comment

ChessieCat, I looked at your website and read your story.  I am glad to read it and to have another resource to troll through, and learn from.  I suppose I have a lot of time to read~years!! :) My husband and I think it is probably a good idea to just have this tapering going on in the background, if possible, and not worry about the endpoint since none of us know what that will be.  I feel sure I will be able to live with minimal w/d symptoms, although annoying.  If that is as bad as they get, I will be very, very lucky.  Remembering the disabling w/d symptoms I experienced years ago will be a good reminder to go very slowly.  Take care and thank you for your support!

1999 began Wellbutrin, and Zoloft, then off both, tried Lexapro, then eventually Effexor XR

2009 slowly weaned self off Effexor XR  experienced 7 months of withdrawal syndrome, became suicidal

2010 went on Prozac (dose ?), then off Prozac (agitation/anxiety), resumed Effexor XR

2010-2014 titrated up to Effexor XR 150mg and Effexor 37.5mg

2014-2018 have been on this dose for 4 years~Effexor EX 150mg and Effexor 37.5mg (Total 188mg)

January 22, 2018, began decreasing dose of Effexor 37.5mg (Continuing 150mg dose unchanged)

February 19, 2018 Effexor XR 150mg + 29 balls of Effexor 37.5mg capsule (29mg?????) x 2 days

August 15, 2020 Effexor ER 60mg x 5 months

August 10, 2021 Effexor ER 10mg Experiencing vertigo since last taper (from 11 beads/?mg to 10 beads/?mg) 4 days ago.

August 21, 2021 Vertigo gone 🥳(lasted 8 days) Will stay at 10 beads/?mg.

July 1, 2022 Effexor 7 beads/?mg 

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  • Moderator Emeritus
40 minutes ago, 92sharks said:

Remembering the disabling w/d symptoms I experienced years ago will be a good reminder to go very slowly.

 

That's what you are saying now.  During tapering, even if things are going well, you can begin to get impatient.  It has happened to me and I've seen many other members getting antsy.  Staying a member here throughout your taper is very helpful because it may stop you from making a bad decision.

 

I'm now at 12mg.  Several months ago, when I turn 60, I realised that I wasn't going to be off until after the middle of 2020.  When I first joined SA 2.5 years ago I was thinking it would be nice to be off by my 60th birthday.  It took me a while to accept that I am feeling much improved than I was and that my brain still needs the drug and it is better to get off with as little discomfort with the taper in the background, than to risk going too quickly and upsetting the apple cart.

 

By the way, it has surprised me how quickly the last 2.5 years have gone.  Any amount that we can reduce our drug by is good.

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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I'm sure you're right that I will get impatient!  I read my husband the sentence in your blog where you said you should be off AD in 2020.  We both laughed, not at you, but just at the thought.  That's when we decided I should go really slow and steady!   Sorry you didn't make it by your 60th birthday.   I turned 61 last week. ;)  

 

Alto told me to stay at my dose until the w/d symptoms go away (before tapering again).  Have you really had times, weeks where they go away completely?  I am planning to stay where I am because I have to learn what my body and I can handle, and I have to see if the w/d symptoms will go away or change in any way.  Also, I have a lot to read.  I'm glad I found this site right away before continuing to decrease.  I agree with you that it is a good idea to stay in this group throughout my tapering.  Already, I have learned so much and have more hope that this can be done. (Although the success stories seem kind of scarce!)  I'm glad to know you have been here only 2.5 years.  When I was on here at first, that would have freaked me out!  A couple of weeks ago before the continuous w/d symptoms, I had looked ahead and figured out that I would be off Effexor by next Spring.  Hahahahaha!   I don't know why I am so giddy, I may still be on THIS dose next Spring!!   I'm just grateful right now that my symptoms are tolerable and I can still laugh and take care of my family and pets!   9MG down.....179MG to go!!!!  Thank you, ChessieCat!

1999 began Wellbutrin, and Zoloft, then off both, tried Lexapro, then eventually Effexor XR

2009 slowly weaned self off Effexor XR  experienced 7 months of withdrawal syndrome, became suicidal

2010 went on Prozac (dose ?), then off Prozac (agitation/anxiety), resumed Effexor XR

2010-2014 titrated up to Effexor XR 150mg and Effexor 37.5mg

2014-2018 have been on this dose for 4 years~Effexor EX 150mg and Effexor 37.5mg (Total 188mg)

January 22, 2018, began decreasing dose of Effexor 37.5mg (Continuing 150mg dose unchanged)

February 19, 2018 Effexor XR 150mg + 29 balls of Effexor 37.5mg capsule (29mg?????) x 2 days

August 15, 2020 Effexor ER 60mg x 5 months

August 10, 2021 Effexor ER 10mg Experiencing vertigo since last taper (from 11 beads/?mg to 10 beads/?mg) 4 days ago.

August 21, 2021 Vertigo gone 🥳(lasted 8 days) Will stay at 10 beads/?mg.

July 1, 2022 Effexor 7 beads/?mg 

Link to comment
  • Moderator Emeritus
1 hour ago, 92sharks said:

Although the success stories seem kind of scarce!

 

I believe that there is a very good reason for this.  Many of the members who stay current on the site are the ones who are doing it tough and really need support getting off their drug/s.  There is a huge lack of medical professionals (see below - Gwen Olsen) who know about tapering and withdrawal which is why this site exists and is so busy.  We have many members who have joined the site and never posted.  There is one member who joined in 2014 and has only just yesterday? created an Intro topic because she needed support.  I imagine that there are many people who have found the site, never joined but gained the information that they need.  And there are probably members who joined, ask some questions, got the answers and possibly went off and tapered and never thought about the site again.  We don't stay in hospital when we are well.

 

If I hadn't become a mod I probably would have got the information and disappeared.

 

Gwen Olsen was a pharmaceutical rep for 15 years.  She took psychiatric drugs herself so has a personal understanding of them.

 

Manipulating Doctors (10 minutes)

 

We are trained to misinform (6 minutes)

 

Interview:  Confessions of an Rx Drug Pusher (51 minutes Gwen Olsen - ex pharmaceutical representative)

 

 

These topics may be helpful:

 

Stabilising After a Reduction - What Does That Mean?

Withdrawal Normal Description

 

1 hour ago, 92sharks said:

I'm just grateful right now that my symptoms are tolerable and I can still laugh and take care of my family

 

And that's our goal for our taper, to be able to live our life as best as we can.  Remember, the drug changed our brain.  It's nothing that we have done or anything to do with how strong we are as people.  I've just thought of it like going for a walk and the dog getting burrs in its fur.  We could yank them out but that would hurt the dog, and it might turn on us.  But if we take time and patiently pick them out one by one they will be burr free in the end - if we can get them to sit still for long enough, that is!

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
1 hour ago, 92sharks said:

 I turned 61 last week.

 

Happy Birthday! :D

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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ChessieCat, you are a wise person!  Thank you for the birthday wishes!  You as well (several months ago!).  I do well with analogies (especially with dog references), so I really like your analogy of tapering and the burrs!   I had thought something similar about the lack of success stories.   I think if (when) one is able to successfully be free of these meds and w/d symptoms, the last thing you want to do is go back and write out your story.   It is like what you said, get what you need and get out.   (Yes, we don't stay in the hospital when we are well.) I asked in my post, but you did not answer, intentionally or not, but have you really had times that you have been w/d symptom free?  Please do not answer if you prefer not to. :)

 

 

1999 began Wellbutrin, and Zoloft, then off both, tried Lexapro, then eventually Effexor XR

2009 slowly weaned self off Effexor XR  experienced 7 months of withdrawal syndrome, became suicidal

2010 went on Prozac (dose ?), then off Prozac (agitation/anxiety), resumed Effexor XR

2010-2014 titrated up to Effexor XR 150mg and Effexor 37.5mg

2014-2018 have been on this dose for 4 years~Effexor EX 150mg and Effexor 37.5mg (Total 188mg)

January 22, 2018, began decreasing dose of Effexor 37.5mg (Continuing 150mg dose unchanged)

February 19, 2018 Effexor XR 150mg + 29 balls of Effexor 37.5mg capsule (29mg?????) x 2 days

August 15, 2020 Effexor ER 60mg x 5 months

August 10, 2021 Effexor ER 10mg Experiencing vertigo since last taper (from 11 beads/?mg to 10 beads/?mg) 4 days ago.

August 21, 2021 Vertigo gone 🥳(lasted 8 days) Will stay at 10 beads/?mg.

July 1, 2022 Effexor 7 beads/?mg 

Link to comment

ChessieCat, thank you for the links, etc.  I will definitely read them!

 

1999 began Wellbutrin, and Zoloft, then off both, tried Lexapro, then eventually Effexor XR

2009 slowly weaned self off Effexor XR  experienced 7 months of withdrawal syndrome, became suicidal

2010 went on Prozac (dose ?), then off Prozac (agitation/anxiety), resumed Effexor XR

2010-2014 titrated up to Effexor XR 150mg and Effexor 37.5mg

2014-2018 have been on this dose for 4 years~Effexor EX 150mg and Effexor 37.5mg (Total 188mg)

January 22, 2018, began decreasing dose of Effexor 37.5mg (Continuing 150mg dose unchanged)

February 19, 2018 Effexor XR 150mg + 29 balls of Effexor 37.5mg capsule (29mg?????) x 2 days

August 15, 2020 Effexor ER 60mg x 5 months

August 10, 2021 Effexor ER 10mg Experiencing vertigo since last taper (from 11 beads/?mg to 10 beads/?mg) 4 days ago.

August 21, 2021 Vertigo gone 🥳(lasted 8 days) Will stay at 10 beads/?mg.

July 1, 2022 Effexor 7 beads/?mg 

Link to comment
  • Moderator Emeritus
On 26/02/2018 at 3:14 PM, 92sharks said:

Alto told me to stay at my dose until the w/d symptoms go away (before tapering again).

 

These topics will probably help you to understand what she means:

 

Withdrawal Normal Description

 

 

Stabilising After a Reduction - What Does That Mean?

 

7 hours ago, 92sharks said:

have you really had times that you have been w/d symptom free?

 

It might sound strange but I really can't answer this.  I think I probably have.  Because I have now accepted that there will be discomfort during withdrawal I don't look for withdrawal symptoms.  There are some withdrawal symptoms that I notice or that increase a bit at times and I just think oh that's a withdrawal symptom.  I don't stress about it.  I know what is causing it so it doesn't worry or frighten me.  If I have something really odd happen I try to figure out what may have caused it and wonder if it is due to withdrawal, and I have posted in my Intro journal a few times when this has happened.  I've had hives a couple of times lately and am not sure of the cause but have posted so that if it happens again I know where the information is and can compare the situations.

 

However, when I first came here and was getting stabilised and started tapering I was continually thinking about it.

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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  • 8 months later...

I have not posted since Feb 2018.  I began tapering Effexor XR 188mg at the end of January.  This is my second attempt in 18 years to get off of antidepressants, and specifically Effexor XR for the last 11 years.  I was unsuccessful several years ago due to withdrawal syndrome. When I became suicidal, I returned to the medication.  I reduced too quickly on the first attempt.  I am writing today to say that I am having great success, although reducing very, very slowly.  When I first was writing in Feb, I was bothered not to find too many positive comments.  I can understand why.  So, I thought today I would say what is working for me, so far.  Hope is the best medicine.  I started at 188mg Effexor XR in Jan.2018. I was taking a 150mg cap + 37.5mg cap.  I have continued taking the 150mg cap while manipulating the 37.5mg cap.  I started by opening the 37.5mg cap and taking 36 little balls for 3 days, then dropping to 35 little balls for 3 days, etc.  I found that by the second and third reduction every 3 days I began having withdrawal symptoms.  So after a few times, I went to reducing only once a week.  No withdrawal symptoms at all.  I did stop for a period of time and hold at some dose I can't remember because my psychiatrist asked me to.  During that time she was insistent that I have ADHD and must start on Ritalin.  She could not get off of this topic, even though I told her I did not want to take more medication.  I'm 62 years old.  ADHD doesn't impact my life greatly, if in fact I have it.  I did not want to start another potentially addictive medication.  I stopped seeing her and asked my physician if she would work with me to reduce the Effexor XR with the intention of getting off, if possible.  She agreed.  So, I am still reducing the 37.5mg capsule.  I currently take 7 little balls.  It is incredibly slow.  BUT, more importantly, there are no withdrawal side effects.  I feel like myself.  It has just become an annoyance because it will still take me a couple (2-4 years) to completely get off, if I can.  I am looking forward to goals (down to 150mg; down to 100mg, etc).  It is just in the background....without the TERRIBLE, TERRIBLE withdrawal syndrome.  I have felt those symptoms more times than I can count.  I would and will continue taking Effexor for the rest of my life if necessary to live without those.  I know how bad they are.  I just want you to know that there is hope in getting off of these meds.  Just go slow!   One anecdote I want to add is that when I started opening the 37.5mg caps I noticed the balls vary in size and number in every capsule.  Don't remove a certain number of balls from the capsule thinking that what remains in the cap will be a consistent number.  Take all the balls out and count how many you want to take.  Even though the size varies, I just counted each ball as 1mg, and took 36 balls for 36mg, 30 balls for 30mg, etc.  So at this point I think I am taking 7mg of the 37.5mg cap for a total daily dose of 157mg.  It has taken 9 months to lower 31mg.  But that's ok because I got it down, no w/d symptoms, and I know how I will continue.  I hope to post in another few months that this method is still working for me!  This forum and support is so important.  I would never have known how to do this on my own. The physicians that prescribe these meds don't know how to get someone off of them.  Thank you so much to the moderators and those that started this forum.  

1999 began Wellbutrin, and Zoloft, then off both, tried Lexapro, then eventually Effexor XR

2009 slowly weaned self off Effexor XR  experienced 7 months of withdrawal syndrome, became suicidal

2010 went on Prozac (dose ?), then off Prozac (agitation/anxiety), resumed Effexor XR

2010-2014 titrated up to Effexor XR 150mg and Effexor 37.5mg

2014-2018 have been on this dose for 4 years~Effexor EX 150mg and Effexor 37.5mg (Total 188mg)

January 22, 2018, began decreasing dose of Effexor 37.5mg (Continuing 150mg dose unchanged)

February 19, 2018 Effexor XR 150mg + 29 balls of Effexor 37.5mg capsule (29mg?????) x 2 days

August 15, 2020 Effexor ER 60mg x 5 months

August 10, 2021 Effexor ER 10mg Experiencing vertigo since last taper (from 11 beads/?mg to 10 beads/?mg) 4 days ago.

August 21, 2021 Vertigo gone 🥳(lasted 8 days) Will stay at 10 beads/?mg.

July 1, 2022 Effexor 7 beads/?mg 

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  • Administrator

Good to hear, 92sharks.

 

Because of the inconsistencies in the beads, some people weigh the beads for their dose instead of counting them. See Tips for tapering off Effexor (venlafaxine)

 

We have many people successfully tapering Effexor. Please continue to let us know how you're doing.

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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Thank you, Altostrata for your comments and link.  Lovely to hear that there are "many people successfully tapering Effexor"!  I will look at the tips for tapering off Effexor link. I hope you are well.  I thoroughly enjoy this forum.  :)  Happy Halloween to you! 

 

1999 began Wellbutrin, and Zoloft, then off both, tried Lexapro, then eventually Effexor XR

2009 slowly weaned self off Effexor XR  experienced 7 months of withdrawal syndrome, became suicidal

2010 went on Prozac (dose ?), then off Prozac (agitation/anxiety), resumed Effexor XR

2010-2014 titrated up to Effexor XR 150mg and Effexor 37.5mg

2014-2018 have been on this dose for 4 years~Effexor EX 150mg and Effexor 37.5mg (Total 188mg)

January 22, 2018, began decreasing dose of Effexor 37.5mg (Continuing 150mg dose unchanged)

February 19, 2018 Effexor XR 150mg + 29 balls of Effexor 37.5mg capsule (29mg?????) x 2 days

August 15, 2020 Effexor ER 60mg x 5 months

August 10, 2021 Effexor ER 10mg Experiencing vertigo since last taper (from 11 beads/?mg to 10 beads/?mg) 4 days ago.

August 21, 2021 Vertigo gone 🥳(lasted 8 days) Will stay at 10 beads/?mg.

July 1, 2022 Effexor 7 beads/?mg 

Link to comment
  • 1 year later...

I am updating my introduction. It is now August 15, 2020. It has been nearly two years since I have posted.

 

I am currently taking 60mg of Effexor XR. I believe I began tapering in January, 2018 at 188mg. I consider myself as still tapering, though I have been on 60mg for probably 5 months.

 

My plan was to continue tapering, but with the pandemic and some difficult family situations, I have chosen to stay at this dosage for the time being. There is no real rush since I have been on Effexor for so many years (20). I still do not know if I will be successful getting off, but at this point I am at a low dose, I have zero withdrawal symptoms, and if I have to stay on 60mg for the rest of my life I am almost at peace with it. But I still have hope and plans that I will be successful getting off of Effexor. 

 

I continue to have rough days emotionally, and physically, and every other way. I may have underlying depression, or I may just have poor habits in the way I think about things. Life is such that we are challenged every day, and it can be difficult. Family situations are not easy, but I am grateful and lucky that we have one another and we will all hopefully be stronger together in love and life.

 

In writing, I see that Effexor tapering and withdrawal are way on the back burner for me. I want to continue tapering, but I have promised my family at the moment that I will stay where I am. They feel like the pandemic is not the ideal time to taper. I don't disagree. What I monitor right now is how I react to daily life and the up and down situations of myself and my immediate family members.  I see how emotionally low I go, how long I stay there, and how I come back. I don't have any idea if Effexor helps me in any way. Would I go lower emotionally, would I stay there longer, would the relentless negative self-talk return? I won't know unless I keep tapering my dose.

 

I have been stable at 60mg for weeks. I may plan to discuss with my family and begin a very slow taper again. I can always return to the previous dose should it become evident that tapering was too fast. It is painfully slow, but if the tapering remains in the background without withdrawal symptoms I can't ask for anything better. I should never have been on Effexor for so many years. Learning, talking, listening, understanding, sharing, patience, kindness, and loving are better ways to healing emotional pain, not drugs. 

 

Edited by ChessieCat
unbolded, added spacing

1999 began Wellbutrin, and Zoloft, then off both, tried Lexapro, then eventually Effexor XR

2009 slowly weaned self off Effexor XR  experienced 7 months of withdrawal syndrome, became suicidal

2010 went on Prozac (dose ?), then off Prozac (agitation/anxiety), resumed Effexor XR

2010-2014 titrated up to Effexor XR 150mg and Effexor 37.5mg

2014-2018 have been on this dose for 4 years~Effexor EX 150mg and Effexor 37.5mg (Total 188mg)

January 22, 2018, began decreasing dose of Effexor 37.5mg (Continuing 150mg dose unchanged)

February 19, 2018 Effexor XR 150mg + 29 balls of Effexor 37.5mg capsule (29mg?????) x 2 days

August 15, 2020 Effexor ER 60mg x 5 months

August 10, 2021 Effexor ER 10mg Experiencing vertigo since last taper (from 11 beads/?mg to 10 beads/?mg) 4 days ago.

August 21, 2021 Vertigo gone 🥳(lasted 8 days) Will stay at 10 beads/?mg.

July 1, 2022 Effexor 7 beads/?mg 

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  • ChessieCat changed the title to 92sharks: introduction
  • Moderator Emeritus

Hi and welcome back.

 

Please update your drug signature so we can see what dose changes you have made and when since Feb 2018.  Thank you.

 

Account Settings – Create or Edit a signature

 

14 minutes ago, 92sharks said:

I can always return to the previous dose should it become evident that tapering was too fast.

 

Q:  At what rate are you tapering?

 

It is better to taper slower than to risk going too fast and having to updose.  Updosing does not always work and might make things worse.  The brain likes consistency and jumping around in doses sometimes destabilises the nervous system.  If possible it is better to NOT return to the previous dose but to increase by a smaller amount.  The amount is dependent on how long you have been on a dose for.  This is because the brain will have made some adaptations during the time on the lower dose.

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

Link to comment

Hi ChessieCat, Thank you for the reminders! I've updated my signature. When I taper, I drop 1mg (1 Effexor ball) and stay there for 3 days. Then drop another and so on.  Once I drop 10 mg, which takes a month I stay at that dosage for several weeks. I think from past advice from you, should I experience uncomfortable symptoms that do not resolve within a short time I would go back to the previous dose where there were no withdrawal symptoms. I hope I am stating correct advice from you. I taper so slowly, thanks to advice from you and Altostrata. Again, I hope I am stating correctly suggestions from the two of you. If not, fortunately this method has worked well for me so far. Please correct me if I am wrong or giving misinformation. 

1999 began Wellbutrin, and Zoloft, then off both, tried Lexapro, then eventually Effexor XR

2009 slowly weaned self off Effexor XR  experienced 7 months of withdrawal syndrome, became suicidal

2010 went on Prozac (dose ?), then off Prozac (agitation/anxiety), resumed Effexor XR

2010-2014 titrated up to Effexor XR 150mg and Effexor 37.5mg

2014-2018 have been on this dose for 4 years~Effexor EX 150mg and Effexor 37.5mg (Total 188mg)

January 22, 2018, began decreasing dose of Effexor 37.5mg (Continuing 150mg dose unchanged)

February 19, 2018 Effexor XR 150mg + 29 balls of Effexor 37.5mg capsule (29mg?????) x 2 days

August 15, 2020 Effexor ER 60mg x 5 months

August 10, 2021 Effexor ER 10mg Experiencing vertigo since last taper (from 11 beads/?mg to 10 beads/?mg) 4 days ago.

August 21, 2021 Vertigo gone 🥳(lasted 8 days) Will stay at 10 beads/?mg.

July 1, 2022 Effexor 7 beads/?mg 

Link to comment
  • 11 months later...

@getofflexThank you for your comment. I think the use of "should" in your sentence is telling. I absolutely agree that I should be able to get off just tapering beads. But as with so many things trying to get off of some of these meds doesn't make any sense. In the past when I forgot to take a dose on a day I would feel vertigo before taking my next day's dose (confirming I had forgotten the previous day's dose) and the vertigo would disappear within a couple of hours. Since I began tapering 3 years ago I have rarely forgotten a dose, but it has happened twice in the last 3 weeks. The first time, no problem. The second time was this past Thursday when I was on 11mg/11beads. I forgot to take my dose. On Friday, I went ahead and dropped to 10mg/10beads one day early. (I usually drop 1 bead every Saturday). So, in thinking about it I went from what should have been 22mg split over 2 days to 10mg split over 2 days. I would not have been surprised to have had vertigo on Friday and even on Saturday, maybe. But today is Day 6 on 10mg and the vertigo is still present, beginning around the time my daily dose is due and continuing for 5-6 hours after I take my dose. Thankfully it does go away. Also thankfully, I don't really have any other w/d symptoms that I can say unequivocally and definitively are withdrawal. There have been several other symptoms over the past few weeks that I am suspicious are w/d, but I am able to accept and deal with. The vertigo definitely effects what I can do and how I feel over several hours. AFOFPG (another *%#@ opportunity for personal growth), I guess....🤬 My plan was to get to 10mg/10beads and hold for a few weeks. I will live with this vertigo for a few more days if it continues before considering increasing to 11 or 12 beads to see if it stops. I appreciate your input; thank you!

1999 began Wellbutrin, and Zoloft, then off both, tried Lexapro, then eventually Effexor XR

2009 slowly weaned self off Effexor XR  experienced 7 months of withdrawal syndrome, became suicidal

2010 went on Prozac (dose ?), then off Prozac (agitation/anxiety), resumed Effexor XR

2010-2014 titrated up to Effexor XR 150mg and Effexor 37.5mg

2014-2018 have been on this dose for 4 years~Effexor EX 150mg and Effexor 37.5mg (Total 188mg)

January 22, 2018, began decreasing dose of Effexor 37.5mg (Continuing 150mg dose unchanged)

February 19, 2018 Effexor XR 150mg + 29 balls of Effexor 37.5mg capsule (29mg?????) x 2 days

August 15, 2020 Effexor ER 60mg x 5 months

August 10, 2021 Effexor ER 10mg Experiencing vertigo since last taper (from 11 beads/?mg to 10 beads/?mg) 4 days ago.

August 21, 2021 Vertigo gone 🥳(lasted 8 days) Will stay at 10 beads/?mg.

July 1, 2022 Effexor 7 beads/?mg 

Link to comment

@YersiniaThank you for your comment. I think you are correct about the weight factor. Also, if you read my comment to Getofflex my dropping to 10mg was complicated by my forgetting the previous day's dose and dropping to 10mg a day early. In the past forgetting a dose was annoying, but easily remedied by taking the next day's dose and waiting a few hours for the mild w/d symptoms to go away. I have been very surprised by the number of days the vertigo has lasted this time. I think weighing the beads could definitely be in my future if I continue to have such troubling withdrawal symptoms. In thinking about what really happened with this last drop, it seems it is probably my own doing by going too rapidly. In the past I was able to get away with forgetting a dose or dropping in less that 7 days without severe or prolonged effects. Maybe not now. I KNOW to go slow, but this medication doesn't let you get away with anything. 🥴

1999 began Wellbutrin, and Zoloft, then off both, tried Lexapro, then eventually Effexor XR

2009 slowly weaned self off Effexor XR  experienced 7 months of withdrawal syndrome, became suicidal

2010 went on Prozac (dose ?), then off Prozac (agitation/anxiety), resumed Effexor XR

2010-2014 titrated up to Effexor XR 150mg and Effexor 37.5mg

2014-2018 have been on this dose for 4 years~Effexor EX 150mg and Effexor 37.5mg (Total 188mg)

January 22, 2018, began decreasing dose of Effexor 37.5mg (Continuing 150mg dose unchanged)

February 19, 2018 Effexor XR 150mg + 29 balls of Effexor 37.5mg capsule (29mg?????) x 2 days

August 15, 2020 Effexor ER 60mg x 5 months

August 10, 2021 Effexor ER 10mg Experiencing vertigo since last taper (from 11 beads/?mg to 10 beads/?mg) 4 days ago.

August 21, 2021 Vertigo gone 🥳(lasted 8 days) Will stay at 10 beads/?mg.

July 1, 2022 Effexor 7 beads/?mg 

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  • Moderator

Previous 2 posts moved to your intro topic to keep you history all in one place, to prevent confusion and duplication of effort.  Please keep all questions and discussion about your taper in this one thread, thanks. 

 

@92sharksmissing doses can cause significant problems.  When the blood levels of your drug vary, it can confuse the nervous system, and destabilize it for a period of time, especially if you miss doses repeatedly.  Then when you also did a taper, that further confused your system.  I would hold for a while on the current dose, or maybe even go back to you previous dose fora while if its only been a few days since you reduced.  Wait until you stabilize before you change your dose again.  If you have a smartphone, you probably have a calendar app, or could download one.  Set a reminder each and every day at the same time to take your meds.   Read this: 

 

Don't Skip or Miss Doses

 

Edited by getofflex

I'm currently taking a break, and will not be moderating at this time. 

 

Do not private message me. Please do not tag me unless it's an urgent question about tapering or reinstating.

 

***Please note this is not medical advice.  Discuss any decisions about your medical care with a doctor who understands psych meds and how to withdraw from them, if you can find one.

 

Lexapro   Started Apr 15 '02 - 10 mg;  Apr 2 '20  0.18 mg; Jul 16  0.17 mg, Aug 23  0.16 mg, Oct 7  0.15 mg, Nov 8 - 0.14, Jan 16 '21 - 0.13, Feb 7 - 0.12, Feb 22 - 0.11, Mar 26 - 0.10, May 21 - 0.09, June 15 - 0.08 Aug 16 - 0.07, Oct 6 - 0.06, Nov 21 0.05, Dec. 17 0.04, Jan 14 '22 0.03, Feb 19 0.02, Apr 18 0.01, May 15 0.005,  Jul 8, 0.00.  Psych Drug Free as of July 8, 2022!!  Woohoo!!!

other meds: Levothyroxine 75 mg

magnesium in small amounts at 4 AM, 3 PM, before bed

suppl AM: fish oil, flax oil, vit C, vit E, multivitamin, zinc

suppl noon: calcium

suppl supper: calcium

suppl 8 PM: magnesium 350 mg, GABA 750 mg, Estroven, melatonin 2 mg

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@getofflexThank you so much for moving my posts. Also, thank you for your response. Forgetting a dose in the past was annoying, but symptoms resolved quickly after taking a dose. It never really occurred to me that it wasn't just annoying, it was damaging. After this week of vertigo, h/a, etc, I have a new found respect for my brain and this process. I read quite a bit yesterday about kindling, increased sensitivity of the nervous system, etc and it made me realize I need to be more diligent and serious especially now that my dose is so much smaller. It actually frightened me a good bit since I am feeling fragile with the physical w/d symptoms. I can be strong and continue. In hindsight it is good that the physical symptoms appeared because it made me realize I need to be more serious, and my taper much slower than it has been (1 Effexor bead per week for the past year). I also need to be more vigilant about recognizing emotional and psychological symptoms associated with tapering. I believe that I have been experiencing a good deal of emotional and psychological w/d symptoms, but since I have a tendency to just live with those I didn't recognize them as w/d. Also, as I was a caregiver for an elderly, very loved family member, I assumed those feelings and reactions were "normal" considering my circumstances. If I hadn't been hit over the head with the physical symptoms I would not have stopped tapering at an apparently too rapid rate. I do not believe in skipping doses to taper. Skipping a dose of Effexor is not pleasant!  But I did not take seriously the not-surprising result of forgetting a dose along with tapering one bead 1 day early.  I do believe that although the vertigo is present today, that it is slightly better and as of this writing, my head is not "full", and I do not have a headache. My fingers are crossed that I may be able to stay at 10mg if the symptoms continue to ease. I will consider it a gift if that happens and will closely monitor how I am feeling emotionally and physically before considering another taper. I will also set a timer on my phone for my daily dose. Many, many thanks, Getofflex!

1999 began Wellbutrin, and Zoloft, then off both, tried Lexapro, then eventually Effexor XR

2009 slowly weaned self off Effexor XR  experienced 7 months of withdrawal syndrome, became suicidal

2010 went on Prozac (dose ?), then off Prozac (agitation/anxiety), resumed Effexor XR

2010-2014 titrated up to Effexor XR 150mg and Effexor 37.5mg

2014-2018 have been on this dose for 4 years~Effexor EX 150mg and Effexor 37.5mg (Total 188mg)

January 22, 2018, began decreasing dose of Effexor 37.5mg (Continuing 150mg dose unchanged)

February 19, 2018 Effexor XR 150mg + 29 balls of Effexor 37.5mg capsule (29mg?????) x 2 days

August 15, 2020 Effexor ER 60mg x 5 months

August 10, 2021 Effexor ER 10mg Experiencing vertigo since last taper (from 11 beads/?mg to 10 beads/?mg) 4 days ago.

August 21, 2021 Vertigo gone 🥳(lasted 8 days) Will stay at 10 beads/?mg.

July 1, 2022 Effexor 7 beads/?mg 

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I hope your symptoms continue to ease, @92sharks! Hang in there!

2004 - prozac then wellbutrin (don't recall dosages)

2005 - 150 mg Effexor Rx (or generic equivalent)

April 28, 2021 first day without Effexor after very rapid titration off (probably equivalent to CT).

July 23, 2021 Reinstatement of ~3mg of Venlafaxine ER (~8.9mg of capsule material).

 

50 mg Chelated Magnesium, 4X a day

1000mg DHA+EPA Fish oil 2X day

 

 

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@Yersinia Me, too! 😂 Thank you so much, Yersinia!! The same to you! ❤️

1999 began Wellbutrin, and Zoloft, then off both, tried Lexapro, then eventually Effexor XR

2009 slowly weaned self off Effexor XR  experienced 7 months of withdrawal syndrome, became suicidal

2010 went on Prozac (dose ?), then off Prozac (agitation/anxiety), resumed Effexor XR

2010-2014 titrated up to Effexor XR 150mg and Effexor 37.5mg

2014-2018 have been on this dose for 4 years~Effexor EX 150mg and Effexor 37.5mg (Total 188mg)

January 22, 2018, began decreasing dose of Effexor 37.5mg (Continuing 150mg dose unchanged)

February 19, 2018 Effexor XR 150mg + 29 balls of Effexor 37.5mg capsule (29mg?????) x 2 days

August 15, 2020 Effexor ER 60mg x 5 months

August 10, 2021 Effexor ER 10mg Experiencing vertigo since last taper (from 11 beads/?mg to 10 beads/?mg) 4 days ago.

August 21, 2021 Vertigo gone 🥳(lasted 8 days) Will stay at 10 beads/?mg.

July 1, 2022 Effexor 7 beads/?mg 

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What is DARE response, please?  Also, I think I have small cortisol surges when trying to sleep or rest. Any links to this for information? I also find that I hold my breath a lot while awake. Instead of breathing "normally", I take a breathe, exhale, then stop. It seems voluntary. I do not get lightheaded, it is just something I notice periodically. Is there any explanation for this? Thank you very, very much!

1999 began Wellbutrin, and Zoloft, then off both, tried Lexapro, then eventually Effexor XR

2009 slowly weaned self off Effexor XR  experienced 7 months of withdrawal syndrome, became suicidal

2010 went on Prozac (dose ?), then off Prozac (agitation/anxiety), resumed Effexor XR

2010-2014 titrated up to Effexor XR 150mg and Effexor 37.5mg

2014-2018 have been on this dose for 4 years~Effexor EX 150mg and Effexor 37.5mg (Total 188mg)

January 22, 2018, began decreasing dose of Effexor 37.5mg (Continuing 150mg dose unchanged)

February 19, 2018 Effexor XR 150mg + 29 balls of Effexor 37.5mg capsule (29mg?????) x 2 days

August 15, 2020 Effexor ER 60mg x 5 months

August 10, 2021 Effexor ER 10mg Experiencing vertigo since last taper (from 11 beads/?mg to 10 beads/?mg) 4 days ago.

August 21, 2021 Vertigo gone 🥳(lasted 8 days) Will stay at 10 beads/?mg.

July 1, 2022 Effexor 7 beads/?mg 

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Hey @92sharks - how are you doing?

2004 - prozac then wellbutrin (don't recall dosages)

2005 - 150 mg Effexor Rx (or generic equivalent)

April 28, 2021 first day without Effexor after very rapid titration off (probably equivalent to CT).

July 23, 2021 Reinstatement of ~3mg of Venlafaxine ER (~8.9mg of capsule material).

 

50 mg Chelated Magnesium, 4X a day

1000mg DHA+EPA Fish oil 2X day

 

 

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@YersiniaThank you so much for asking! The vertigo, headache, head fullness is GONE!!!  Thank heavens! It looks like the vertigo was present for about 8 days. I am feeling physically much better. Emotionally, psychologically still crappy. SO much anxiety. I will stay at 10mg for several weeks I suppose. I will check back with myself in 4 weeks to see if any of the emotional, psychological symptoms have improved. I have started meditating 10 min a day. It is ridiculous how much my mind strays. I can barely take one breath without my mind trying to focus on something else. It is a constant effort to refocus on my breathing. But I figure it just takes time, practice, and consistency. I'm exercising about 20 min. 3xweek which helps. I am trying a tiny bit of yoga. Going to acupuncture every 2 weeks. I have gone to San Francisco for a few days to stay with one of my daughters and it is amazing how little anxiety I have. I think there is a lot of stuff at home that causes severe anxiety. Things I think I SHOULD be doing and the voice in my head is relentless. At home I have crippling anxiety for several hours a day until I can force myself to get up and do something to feel better. A vicious cycle. Near panic day of leaving for SF~very worried about myself and if I could do it. A lot of the anxiety is reflective of covid, age-related, being "home-bound" due to pandemic. Just absolutely ridiculous thinking. I made it here, fine, I am able to walk around, no anxiety, enjoying myself, trying to stay safely masked and using common sense. It's no different than any other visit really. It's just that it has been so long since I was here because of the pandemic. I've grown two years older and also there is the fear of contracting covid even though I am fully vaccinated. I must ask how you are feeling? Thank you again for checking on me and for your support. I hope you are feeling a little better. ❤️

1999 began Wellbutrin, and Zoloft, then off both, tried Lexapro, then eventually Effexor XR

2009 slowly weaned self off Effexor XR  experienced 7 months of withdrawal syndrome, became suicidal

2010 went on Prozac (dose ?), then off Prozac (agitation/anxiety), resumed Effexor XR

2010-2014 titrated up to Effexor XR 150mg and Effexor 37.5mg

2014-2018 have been on this dose for 4 years~Effexor EX 150mg and Effexor 37.5mg (Total 188mg)

January 22, 2018, began decreasing dose of Effexor 37.5mg (Continuing 150mg dose unchanged)

February 19, 2018 Effexor XR 150mg + 29 balls of Effexor 37.5mg capsule (29mg?????) x 2 days

August 15, 2020 Effexor ER 60mg x 5 months

August 10, 2021 Effexor ER 10mg Experiencing vertigo since last taper (from 11 beads/?mg to 10 beads/?mg) 4 days ago.

August 21, 2021 Vertigo gone 🥳(lasted 8 days) Will stay at 10 beads/?mg.

July 1, 2022 Effexor 7 beads/?mg 

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  • 1 month later...
  • Mentor

Hi @92sharks, just had a quick skim of your posts - looks like you are doing really well with getting off Effexor - brilliant! I too have lost confidence about going away from home although in the summer I went away with my mum for 10 days and it was really good. I think it’s nice and easy to go away with her. I’m not sure about with other people. Anyway, baby steps! Glad you had a good time in San Francisco. Do you meditate? I started at the beginning of the pandemic and it really helped - so much that I have maintained it and see so many benefits in terms of less ruminating (I notice and name it and then can just stop!) and general awareness of how I’m feeling. It also gives space for niggles in the background to come up and be dealt with before they result in anxiety. I use Jon Kabat Zin’s body scan. 

Mirtazepine 15mg Nov 2018 -April 2019

April - Sept 2019 Mirtazepine 7.5

October 2019 - about 4 Nov 6mg Mirtazepine 

4-13 Nov anxiety & sleep problems caused by change of brand & jumping around with doses

13 Nov 2019 to 7 Dec 2019 10mg Mirtazepine 

8-10 Dec 2019 15mg Mirtazepine 

11 Dec 2019 to 14 Dec 12.5mg Mirtazepine 

15 December 2019 to 13 June 2021 15mg Mirtazepine 

14 June 2021 started brass monkey Slide.  
2021: 23 August 12.3mg, 28 October 11.1mg, 6 Dec 10mg

2022: 12 Feb 8.5, 27 Feb 8.1, 22 March 7.7, 5 May 6.9, 25 July 5.7, 12 Sept 5mg (yayyyy)

 

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