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EFXRob


EFXRob

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Hi everyone; For 10 years I have taken Effexor at 300mg, to treat depression, which I was convinced was prompted by chronic neck and head pain..(don't think psych saw it that way). Brilliantly, I was finally referred to a group of neck pain specialists who through Radio Frequency Ablation, traced the sources of the pain and have almost eliminated it... and, as I suspect, with the pain almost banished, my mood lifted tremendously... along with career, relationship opportunities etc.. Have spent last two Northern summers travelling in Europe, pursuing my career at some pretty impressive levels...if I say so myself... but realising, I was still taking the Effexor... Having tried a few times over 15 years to reduce..I knew it would be difficult.

 

Now back home,feeling comfortable, and in consultation with my pain doc and also GP, I decided to wean off and see what happened... I guess through ignorance, I weaned off too quickly; about 25% (75mg) over two weeks... and am now in some serious strife...now all those improvements post pain... "seem" to be lost in withdrawal symptoms. So have readily re instated a dose of 300mg and waiting to stabilise to before deciding my strategy.

 

But this awful experience has taught me a lot... and, for the first time,I started reading on line about Effexor and withdrawal experiences.

 

I now understand that no more than 5% a time is the way to go...with long gaps between drops. I have read enough postings to witness that many people have come down very, very slowly and have minimised withdrawals, in a way that allowed them to stay on top of their work and relationship commitments and stay sane..

 

If I can do this, I am resigned to spending several years reducing very slowly. I've done the maths from 300mg at 3-5% a time... and it is so daunting, that I don't think I should even consider myself as coming off completely, esp as last time I felt a "race " to get to zero, which meant I let the withdrawal symptoms get out of hand.

 

It will probably best to consider my aims in terms of "pill at a time"... so it is a foreseeable aim to achieve a reduction of one 75mg tablet...and, at the least, I can regard this as a victory for minimising the harm this drug is having on me. (I also have very high blood pressure, which I am sure is from the Effexor, especially after loosing 24 kg had little effect on BP).

 

I have been in 12 step recovery for 21 years fro all earlier use of D&A (including Ativan)... and understand greatly the benefit of group sharing; however, even with the best understanding of abstinent principals, I now know, I just cant stop and wait for a recovery... this seems a lot harder.

 

But my first aim is to feel "normal" again at 300, and being able to work and socialise more successfully than I am now... then confirm how best to proceed.

 

Are there any very slow taperers of Effexor who can add some insights.

Ativan: quite 1990

96-2001: Aropax (Paxil), Luvox. two CTs (bad)

2001-2012: 300 Effexor

Nov 2011: 25%, 2 week reduction (v bad)

Dec:2011" reinstate to 300mg

(Chronic pain condition, well managed)

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  • Administrator

Hello and welcome Gerard.

 

I have been weaning off of Effexor since around 2007. I got down to just 18.75 mg in the fall of this year when the withdrawal symptoms caught up with me, but otherwise, I had very little problems weaning slowly.

 

What I found helpful is to keep a log daily of the amount of meds and supplements I take and to monitor my symptoms. I track pain, anxiety, energy, fatigue, mood, night sweats, appetite, and drowsiness (you should track the symptoms that are most significant for you) ... I rate my symptoms on a scale of 1 to 10 with 1 being the worst and 10 being absolutely fantastic. A 7 for me represents having the symptoms, but I am reasonably functional with the symptoms. I would need to rate a 7 or better on mood and anxiety in order to justify another drop in dosage.

 

For me the withdrawal symptoms were depression, anxiety and irrational fears. Since I didn't realize the depression and anxiety were withdrawal symptoms I kept reducing Effexor. When the depression showed up I was shocked - I thought I'd left it far behind. When I finally figured out that what I was experiencing was withdrawal symptoms, I up-dosed to the last dose where I was stable according to my symptom logs (43.75 mg). When I restart my wean I will watch for these symptoms and and will hold for longer when I start to sense these symptoms.

 

I recommend that you start logging your symptoms so that you can tell when you are stable. Once you've been stable for 3 or 4 weeks then you can look at started a slow weaning plan.

 

Again, welcome to the forum - there are very supportive and knowledgeable people here and I think you'll find the support that you need.

 

Karma

2007 @ 375 mg Effexor - 11/29/2011 - 43.75 mg Effexor (regular) & .625 mg Xanax

200 mg Gabapentin 2/27/21 - 194.5 mg, 5/28/21 - 183 mg, 8/2/21 - 170 mg, 11/28/21 - 150 mg, 4/19/22 - 122 mg; 8//7/22 - 100 mg
Xanax taper: 3/11/12 - 0.9375 mg, 3/25/12 - 0.875 mg, 4/6/12 - 0.8125 mg, 4/18/12 - 0.75 mg; 1/16 0.6875 mg; at some point 0.625 mg
Effexor taper: 1/29/12 - 40.625 mg, 4/29/12 - 39.875 mg, 5/11/12 - Switched to liquid Effexor, 5/25/12 - 38 mg, 7/6/12 - 35 mg, 8/17/12 - 32 mg, 9/14/12 - 30 mg, 10/19/12 - 28 mg, 11/9/12 - 26 mg, 11/30/12 - 24 mg, 01/14/13 - 22 mg. 02/25/13 - 20.8 mg, 03/18/13 - 19.2 mg, 4/15/13 - 17.6 mg, 8/10/13 - 16.4 mg, 9/7/13 - 15.2 mg, 10/19/13 - 14 mg, 1/15/14 - 13.2 mg, 3/1/2014 - 12.6 mg, 5/4/14 - 12 mg, 8/1/14 - 11.4 mg, 8/29/14 - 10.8 mg; 10/14/14 - 10.2 mg; 12/15/14 - 10 mg, 1/11/15 - 9.5 mg, 2/8/15 - 9 mg, 3/21/15 - 8.5 mg, 5/1/15 - 8 mg, 6/9/15 - 7.5 mg, 7/8/15 - 7 mg, 8/22/15 - 6.5 mg, 10/4/15 - 6 mg; 1/1/16 - 5.6 mg; 2/6/16 - 5.2 mg; 4/9 - 4.8 mg; 7/7 4.5 mg; 10/7 4.25 mg; 11/4 4.0 mg; 11/25 3.8 mg; 4/24 3.6 mg; 5/27 3.4 mg; 7/8 3.2 mg ... 10/18 2.8 mg; 1/18 2.6 mg; 4/7 2.4 mg; 5/26 2.15mg; 8/18 1.85 mg; 10/7 1.7 mg; 12/1 1.45 mg; 3/2 1.2 mg; 5/4 0.90 mg; 6/1 0.80 mg; 6/22 0.65 mg; 08/03 0.50 mg, 08/10 0.45 mg, 10/05 0.325 mg, 11/23 0.2 mg, 12/14 0.15 mg, 12/21 0.125 mg, 02/28 0.03125 mg, 2/15 0.015625 mg, 2/29/20 0.00 mg - OFF Effexor


I am not a medical professional - this is not medical advice. My suggestions are based on personal experience, reading, observation and anecdotal information posted by other sufferers

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Gerard~

Hello and congrats on finding successful treatment for your neck pain ~ I'm familiar with that challenge and how pain is often treated as a manifestation of depression and medicated with SNRIs (that's a whole other discussion)

Sorry that you've landed on the Effexor ~youll find great support here

Barb

Pristiq tapered over 8 months ending Spring 2011 after 18 years of polydrugging that began w/Zoloft for fatigue/general malaise (not mood). CURRENT: 1mg Klonopin qhs (SSRI bruxism), 75mg trazodone qhs, various hormonesLitigation for 11 years for Work-related injury, settled 2004. Involuntary medical retirement in 2001 (age 39). 2012 - brain MRI showing diffuse, chronic cerebrovascular damage/demyelination possibly vasculitis/cerebritis. Dx w/autoimmune polyendocrine failure.<p>2013 - Dx w/CNS Sjogren's Lupus (FANA antibodies first appeared in 1997 but missed by doc).

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  • Administrator

Gerard, thanks for joining us. That was a very informative post.

 

A lot of people here have been on antidepressants for years based on mistaken diagnoses.

 

I agree with your strategy to decrease very slowly. To manage those very tiny decrements, you might want to get a digital jeweler's scale. There's information here http://survivingantidepressants.org/index.php?/topic/1596-using-a-digital-scale-to-measure-doses/page__p__6765__hl__%2Bdigital+%2Bscale__fromsearch__1#entry6765

 

Excellent suggestions, Karma. Some people use their Intro topics to track their dosage, symptoms, and progress.

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 EVERYONE; Thanks for the welcome. And really, am overcome with the "identification"...The horizon line I envisage is the sort being described by Karma...and "glad" she (?) has come off a similar amount to what i have been taking...means what I hope for is achievable with patience... and hopefully without the sort of symptoms I am experiencing now...Was interested that those sort of symptoms emerged recently for Karma... which has lead to up dosing... sounds like a "tactical retreat" and I guess it is useful for me think of my retreat to 300mg in the same way.......

 

I like the idea of tracking symptoms... I'll just give some thought to how best... maybe make a spread sheet...download some cheap tracking software... guess be good to be able to see developments visually or buy a traditional hard copy diary...any suggestions?? Hadn't thought of starting tracking now while Im stabilising... but guess now is the time... My fear, of course, is that I wont get back to "normal"... ie reasonably functional for work, personal relationships and self management... The few times I have challenged ADs, I have had this fear... also, it has always taken at least 16 weeks to get "right" in thew past... a period my Pysdoc always believed was too long... and so this is a dangerous period for suggesting new drugs... which is how I ended up switching from Luvox to Effexor... which also delayed the "recovery" time....(also a few weeks ago GP wondered if I wanted a Benzo to get over this "difficult" period... declined... feeling it would make it only more difficult... have not "tasted" a benzo for 21 years... not evenm for pre ops in hospital... I am very wise about benzos (pity I wasn't with ADs); and I always grill doctors and anesthetists and decline to take them....

 

In this foggy and confusing period... have returned to 12 step meetings which I dropped off a couple of years ago (coinciding maybe with the massive reduction of pain).... and although what I am going through isn't directly related with what they are talking about... it is a "recovery community" where people talk about their own pain, troubles and solutions... helps me connect with "humans" when every instinct says "avoid"...and a couple of good buddies there... know I am going through a hard time..and I don't have to pretend or dump on them...also givse me a small taste of how the future can evolve and many of there principals are entirely relevant at this time ... "day at a time", "first things first" etc...

 

I went this morning with one of my good old friends... and while listening, was remembering that when I ditched Ativan 21 years ago, there was a "Pills Anonymous" meeting in Sydney... has since disappeared... but I would love to be able to hear their experiences again... Bit I guess SA is the sort of format where I can get that sort of sharing now... just we don't physically communicate... also, having been sniffing around a number of sites in the last few weeks... I note that this one seems rare in that it is very strict on abuse, insists on respect and there is no promotion of commercial or medial angles...(all very 12 Step) the sort of thing that makes messaging in web world so suspect...Would like go think I can build up a sense of trust over time...

 

So thanks for the welcome... and stay ion contact.

GerardIn Sydney

Ativan: quite 1990

96-2001: Aropax (Paxil), Luvox. two CTs (bad)

2001-2012: 300 Effexor

Nov 2011: 25%, 2 week reduction (v bad)

Dec:2011" reinstate to 300mg

(Chronic pain condition, well managed)

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Hi Gerard,

 

Yes, Karma is female :)

 

My up-dose of Effexor was a tactical retreat - nothing lost in going back to a dose where my brain could handle things.

 

As far as the log goes, do whatever works for you. I created a spreadsheet initially, but found that I needed to print it out on paper and make notes on it ... so I set up the spreadsheet and make photo copies so that I am recording the same things every day.

 

I always include the date, any major medicine changes and the day of the change ... for example today is the 11th day on my current dosage of T3 and my 32nd day on my current dosage of Effexor. The key with this is that you don't want to make more than one change at a time and depending on the change may need to wait 5 to 7 days or more before you make another change in a different medication.

 

I list the supplements I take daily and leave a blank to enter the number of supplements I take or you can use it to check off that you took that supplement on that day. I find that sometimes I forget and that it is helpful to have a way to remind myself of whether I've taken a supplement or medication.

 

At the bottom I set up a table with a column for the symptoms I'm tracking, a column for the rating and a larger field to make notes about the symptom. For example I've been having a little tendonitis in my right wrist so I will record that next to the column Aches & Body Pains. My rating is usually an 8 or 9 because the pain is really minor, but I want to track it.

 

I've often thought that a blog would work for this, but I would want to make sure it was secure.

 

I understand your fears about not getting better, but what I found is that by tracking my symptoms I can see even minor progress which has given me hope. Note that the fear could be part of the withdrawals.

 

Hope this helps.

 

Karma

2007 @ 375 mg Effexor - 11/29/2011 - 43.75 mg Effexor (regular) & .625 mg Xanax

200 mg Gabapentin 2/27/21 - 194.5 mg, 5/28/21 - 183 mg, 8/2/21 - 170 mg, 11/28/21 - 150 mg, 4/19/22 - 122 mg; 8//7/22 - 100 mg
Xanax taper: 3/11/12 - 0.9375 mg, 3/25/12 - 0.875 mg, 4/6/12 - 0.8125 mg, 4/18/12 - 0.75 mg; 1/16 0.6875 mg; at some point 0.625 mg
Effexor taper: 1/29/12 - 40.625 mg, 4/29/12 - 39.875 mg, 5/11/12 - Switched to liquid Effexor, 5/25/12 - 38 mg, 7/6/12 - 35 mg, 8/17/12 - 32 mg, 9/14/12 - 30 mg, 10/19/12 - 28 mg, 11/9/12 - 26 mg, 11/30/12 - 24 mg, 01/14/13 - 22 mg. 02/25/13 - 20.8 mg, 03/18/13 - 19.2 mg, 4/15/13 - 17.6 mg, 8/10/13 - 16.4 mg, 9/7/13 - 15.2 mg, 10/19/13 - 14 mg, 1/15/14 - 13.2 mg, 3/1/2014 - 12.6 mg, 5/4/14 - 12 mg, 8/1/14 - 11.4 mg, 8/29/14 - 10.8 mg; 10/14/14 - 10.2 mg; 12/15/14 - 10 mg, 1/11/15 - 9.5 mg, 2/8/15 - 9 mg, 3/21/15 - 8.5 mg, 5/1/15 - 8 mg, 6/9/15 - 7.5 mg, 7/8/15 - 7 mg, 8/22/15 - 6.5 mg, 10/4/15 - 6 mg; 1/1/16 - 5.6 mg; 2/6/16 - 5.2 mg; 4/9 - 4.8 mg; 7/7 4.5 mg; 10/7 4.25 mg; 11/4 4.0 mg; 11/25 3.8 mg; 4/24 3.6 mg; 5/27 3.4 mg; 7/8 3.2 mg ... 10/18 2.8 mg; 1/18 2.6 mg; 4/7 2.4 mg; 5/26 2.15mg; 8/18 1.85 mg; 10/7 1.7 mg; 12/1 1.45 mg; 3/2 1.2 mg; 5/4 0.90 mg; 6/1 0.80 mg; 6/22 0.65 mg; 08/03 0.50 mg, 08/10 0.45 mg, 10/05 0.325 mg, 11/23 0.2 mg, 12/14 0.15 mg, 12/21 0.125 mg, 02/28 0.03125 mg, 2/15 0.015625 mg, 2/29/20 0.00 mg - OFF Effexor


I am not a medical professional - this is not medical advice. My suggestions are based on personal experience, reading, observation and anecdotal information posted by other sufferers

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A pocket calendar works well for me.

 

Gerard, there's no shame in backing up dosage and starting down the path more gradually. You've only got one nervous system, makes sense to take care of it.

 

Effexor is a notoriously difficult drug for withdrawal.

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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Am looking through iTune downloads now. Its New Years Eve in this part of the world in a few hours... as much as I feel as though I dont really want to join in... am joining some family and friends at a small event in an apartment overlooking the harbour for fireworks... On a night liek tonight, there are millions out in Sydney around the harbour... I will just need to insulate myself against the mayhem and get home earlyish. Happy new year. Gerard

Ativan: quite 1990

96-2001: Aropax (Paxil), Luvox. two CTs (bad)

2001-2012: 300 Effexor

Nov 2011: 25%, 2 week reduction (v bad)

Dec:2011" reinstate to 300mg

(Chronic pain condition, well managed)

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Hey Gerard,

 

Welcome aboard. I went through a hellish reduction from 225 to 0 in about 10 weeks and I am glad that you found a site like this that prioritizes safety and risk management. Effexor has been a really tough beast for me. That said, issues during weaning vary a lot between individuals so I'd caution against letting any fear of a certain misery overtake you.

 

As you know, by tapering slowly you will reduce the chances of having a longer, protracted withdrawal experience. And you should experience less profound withdrawal symptoms along the way as well.

 

Also, I wouldn't get too caught up in scheduling out your reduction years in advance. It can seem quite overwhelming to think about the months and years the process could take. Try not to live in 2013 just yet... :-)

 

Finally, I have experience in the 12-step fellowships. If you have a supportive group, I think your plan to reconnect is a great one. Having support and even just a friendly and familiar place can be very helpful. That said, in my experience, AA didn't fully understand psych meds. Some people were confused that I had issues months after stopping. In your case, some may raise an eyebrow at your long taper. After all, the whole idea of 12-step groups is to achieve abstinence. But while psych meds may be foreign to some, you might be surprised (if you decide to share your Effexor journey with the group) at how many have familiarity with psychiatric med issues, even among those that aren't drugs of abuse.

 

Welcome aboard Gerard. Hope the weather is nice in Syndey!

 

Alex

"Well my ship's been split to splinters and it's sinking fast
I'm drowning in the poison, got no future, got no past
But my heart is not weary, it's light and it's free
I've got nothing but affection for all those who sailed with me.

Everybody's moving, if they ain't already there
Everybody's got to move somewhere
Stick with me baby, stick with me anyhow
Things should start to get interesting right about now."

- Zimmerman

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Hi Alex; Great to have access to the experiences of those who have gone before me and after some pretty horrific experiences, things seem to be settling down a bit.

 

I think my previous twelve step experience is invaluable... and has kept me from become more poly drugged.... and having a more complex journey ahead of me.

 

Because of twelve step understandings, I have been able to reject every offer of benzos and particularly Ativan for 21 years... and the offer crops up fairly regularly...awareness has been everything.. which sadly I didn't have with ADs. Even two weeks ago I had an offer of benzos from my GP...who knows my history!!!....which tells me I can really only rely on the advice of those who have experienced these issues..... and indeed if I remember back many years, she thought I was crazy to reject synthetic opiates for pain issues... She said, "you don't have to suffer", and I replied, "we'll have two problems within weeks...."

 

And while the forum of AA allows me invaluable sharing at a real depth, my experience in the fellowship says don't confront them specifically with antidepressants. A few friends believe that the the prevalence of anti depressant use is probably 50% in the meetings here and direct reference will only challenge and alienate. (a member of 25 years standing, indeed a doctor and director of one of the major detoxification services told me directly two years ago that ADs were not addictive, and I have even quoted that to others; so we are all at different stages of our journey and understandings).

 

That given, I do need to share my reality... so I have been referring to the great improvements I had with pain symptom and, as a result, it seems important to test the usefulness of the drugs I took for the pain (my euphemism); a process I am finding very challenging at the moment... I'll let them conclude what i am talking about...and my immediate friends know anyway...

 

Meanwhile, weather here today, New year's Day is stunning... best day of a cool summer so far... But am very tired after one of the best New Year's Eves ever... I watched the fantastic fireworks on the harbour from my favourite uncle's apartment that faces the Opera House. Having left his wife of many years, he is now living happily with a wonderful man... the reality of which has only become apparent this week.... I am all for getting real... and feel that my uncles actions, which have been very authentic, have done a lot for broader healing within the family... Happy New year. Robert

Ativan: quite 1990

96-2001: Aropax (Paxil), Luvox. two CTs (bad)

2001-2012: 300 Effexor

Nov 2011: 25%, 2 week reduction (v bad)

Dec:2011" reinstate to 300mg

(Chronic pain condition, well managed)

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Hi Gerard!

 

Effexor...I have read that is extremely difficult to withdraw from. Please take it slowly.

 

I too suffer from chronic neck and head pain. It started in my teens and I am now 48 and finally getting proper treatment. It has been a huge battle with doctors to get them to recognize and diagnose my neck pain. For years I have had scripts thrown at me for all sorts of toxic meds. I have recently been getting botox and nerve blocks in my neck. I finally convinced my neurologist who dismissed me as a chronic migraine sufferer to take a MRI of my neck. I will know the results next week. But we discussed the radio frequency treatment if the MRI shows neck damage.

 

Anyway, I just wanted to share that. I totally understand what life with chronic neck pain is like - it is horrible pain and suffering.

 

Welcome and please stay while you slowly ween from the Effexor and hopefully after!

Withdrew cold turkey from six medications: Celexa, Zyprexa, Depakote, Ativan, Ambien and Phentermine in 2002. It has been 10 years since I told polypharmacy to take a hike and have joined this forum to let others know that success is possible and to hopefully save people from experiencing the suffering that I did under psychiatric "care".

 

MY STORY

 

"TENSION is when we try to be who we think we should be, RELAXATION is when we are who we really are."

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Hi Gerard!

I am another long term effexor refugee - having learned the hard way what a too fast reduction can do...

I don't know what others feel, but maybe you could reduce from 300 in 10% drops until you get to 75mg, then slow up from there? I was on 150mg and reduced to 112mg for 6 weeks then to 75 for another 6 weeks, then i started 10% drops. I am now on 34mg. if i run into any problems with 10% then i will drop to 5% from there.

Started in 2000 - On 150mg most of the time, (but up to 225mg at highest dose for 6 months in the beginning)
Reduced off easily first time - but got depressed (not too much anxiety) 6 months later
Back on effexor for another 9 months.
Reduced off again with no immediate w/d - suddenly got depressed and anxious ++ again 3 or 4 months later.
Back on effexor - this time for 3 years
Reduced off over a month - 6 weeks later terrible anxiety - back on.
Rinse and repeat 4 more times - each time the period before the anxiety comes back got shorter and shorter
Jan - July 2012 75mg down to 37.5mg;, 8/3/12 - 35mg. 8/25/12 - 32mg. 9/11- 28mg, 10/2 - 25mg, 10/29 - 22mg, 11/19 - 19.8mg; 12/11 - 17m,
1/1- 15.5mg; 1/22 -14mg, 2/7 14.9mg, 2/18 - 17.8mg - crashed big time: back to 75mg where i sat for 2 years....

4th  March 2015 - 67.5mg;   31st March - 60mg;  24th April - 53mg; 13th May - 48mg; 26th May - 45mg;  9th June - 41mg; 1 July- 37.5mg; 20 July - 34mg; 11 August - 31mg; 1st Sept - 28mg;  1st Dec - 25.8mg;  28th Dec - 23.2mg; 23rd Jan-21.9mg; Feb 7th- 21mg; March 1st - 20.1mg, March 30th - 18mg

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Thanks Peggy; Identification from similar experiences is so important for me maintaining perspective...For the time being, I am waiting for the full effect of reinstituting the 300mg of Effexor to come into play... then going on the comments on these boards... I will keep things stable for at least six-eight weeks... (I am frustrated at the "slowness"... but have learnt the hard way that resolving impatience is not very constructive)... And am happy (I think), to start at just 10mg reduction (yes only 3.3%)...but if I can achieve a permanent and complete reduction of say 25% over the year (rather than two weeks as previous), thenI think I am heading in the right direction.. Also, in reality the distance from 300 to 0 is too far for me to see and imagine constructively... so I am trying to kid myself that I am attempting to just reduce my dose for my own longer term health... So, in adapting the twelve step principal of "day at a time", I am seeing my current situation as "Pill at a time"...

Also, a few years ago I increased my dosage to 375 for about six months... with some good advice, I reduced that back to 300 without any ill effects... and more so, I have a permanent feeling that that amount will never again be in play... in other word, it feels permanent... I hope that when I achieve my foreseable target, it too will have the quality of permanence...

Will always be interested to hear what your effexor experiences are... I feel alone in my understandings when I am with the medical profession... but not when I am sharing emerging realities with fellow sufferers.

Regards

Gerard

Ativan: quite 1990

96-2001: Aropax (Paxil), Luvox. two CTs (bad)

2001-2012: 300 Effexor

Nov 2011: 25%, 2 week reduction (v bad)

Dec:2011" reinstate to 300mg

(Chronic pain condition, well managed)

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  • Administrator

Gerard, have you felt any relief in symptoms since you increased to 300mg?

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 everyone;

I have updosed 300mg Effexor, after a disasterous 25% in two weeks reduction... and have LEARNT a lot... Mainly, after 21 years "sobriety"—completely clean from drugs and alcohol... I find myself "addicted" on a drug i didn't understand as addictive..

 

And now its the round of doctors...playing with medications and visiting doctors I find, can be a a dangerous time.. new medication scan easily slip in and docs can start looking for red hearings... But at this stage I need them for professional advice and also for the scripts...

 

The attitude I am taking is the same I first adopted when i quit Ataivan 21 years ago (thank God)... Try as hard as I can to not argue... as I end up having et wrong arguement and I've learnt slowly over time; "do I want to right or do i want to be better".. And while my docs may not have the full understanding I feel they should have, unless they are absolutely incompetent... they (like the existing dose of Effexor)... are best left undisturbed... otherwise... I feel I will exacerbate my current problems...(its best to lower my expectation of docs...)

 

I rely instead on the various communities of fellow suffers (on line and in 12 step), and my own experiences, to determine my strategy... the quietly let the medical people know.

 

So, I feel i am on a large dose... but by being rigourous... I don't feel I am complicating with other meds (offered benzos to think about recently...and its seemed reasonable)... I had to see the shrink for the first time in two year the other day... he was thumbing through options... "what about Pristique???!!"... but when I told him i wanted to taper slow slowly, I couldn't really anticipate the end point... he became very relaxed... with out agreed strategy of a one quarter reduction over the year (rather that two weeks..

 

And while I truely want to be of this drug...I actually want to make slow a definite reductions... I have come down from a temporary dose of 375mg... and although I am at 300mg now... I feel that is a real reduction... which I wont be pulled back to..

 

So its a month now since I re instituted.. and instead of feeling totally crappy, I now feel "somewhat crappy". If I didn't have my previous experience of having to wait for 3-4 months till I "stabilise"... I would be patient for other solutions... the time at which other drugs become an option... It was just an impatience that led me from an SSRI to Effexor 10 years ago...

 

And am pleased to report was able to work very effectively in the public for 13 hours straight on the weekend.. so my fear of "instant poverty" is reducing...

 

I wouldnt' even consider my first slow taper reduction for a few months... and even then..

 

So, even if its a con job for me, I am trying hard not to criticise doctor (leave them happy!!!!)...and I have even caught myself trying not to call the drug "****"... For me, my previous recoveries have taught me that it is me that has to survive... and I need to side step the negativity around how I got into this situation... it worked for teh Ativan... Soets see..

 

Ciao

Gerard..

Ativan: quite 1990

96-2001: Aropax (Paxil), Luvox. two CTs (bad)

2001-2012: 300 Effexor

Nov 2011: 25%, 2 week reduction (v bad)

Dec:2011" reinstate to 300mg

(Chronic pain condition, well managed)

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Hi everyone;

I have updosed 300mg Effexor, after a disasterous 25% in two weeks reduction... and have LEARNT a lot... Mainly, after 21 years "sobriety"—completely clean from drugs and alcohol... I find myself "addicted" on a drug i didn't understand as addictive..

 

And now its the round of doctors...playing with medications and visiting doctors I find, can be a a dangerous time.. new medication scan easily slip in and docs can start looking for red hearings... But at this stage I need them for professional advice and also for the scripts...

 

The attitude I am taking is the same I first adopted when i quit Ataivan 21 years ago (thank God)... Try as hard as I can to not argue... as I end up having et wrong arguement and I've learnt slowly over time; "do I want to right or do i want to be better".. And while my docs may not have the full understanding I feel they should have, unless they are absolutely incompetent... they (like the existing dose of Effexor)... are best left undisturbed... otherwise... I feel I will exacerbate my current problems...(its best to lower my expectation of docs...)

 

I rely instead on the various communities of fellow suffers (on line and in 12 step), and my own experiences, to determine my strategy... the quietly let the medical people know.

 

So, I feel i am on a large dose... but by being rigourous... I don't feel I am complicating with other meds (offered benzos to think about recently...and its seemed reasonable)... I had to see the shrink for the first time in two year the other day... he was thumbing through options... "what about Pristique???!!"... but when I told him i wanted to taper slow slowly, I couldn't really anticipate the end point... he became very relaxed... with out agreed strategy of a one quarter reduction over the year (rather that two weeks..

 

And while I truely want to be of this drug...I actually want to make slow a definite reductions... I have come down from a temporary dose of 375mg... and although I am at 300mg now... I feel that is a real reduction... which I wont be pulled back to..

 

So its a month now since I re instituted.. and instead of feeling totally crappy, I now feel "somewhat crappy". If I didn't have my previous experience of having to wait for 3-4 months till I "stabilise"... I would be patient for other solutions... the time at which other drugs become an option... It was just an impatience that led me from an SSRI to Effexor 10 years ago...

 

And am pleased to report was able to work very effectively in the public for 13 hours straight on the weekend.. so my fear of "instant poverty" is reducing...

 

I wouldnt' even consider my first slow taper reduction for a few months... and even then..

 

So, even if its a con job for me, I am trying hard not to criticise doctor (leave them happy!!!!)...and I have even caught myself trying not to call the drug "****"... For me, my previous recoveries have taught me that it is me that has to survive... and I need to side step the negativity around how I got into this situation... it worked for teh Ativan... Soets see..

 

Ciao

Gerard..

 

Hi Gerard,

 

That is exactly the strategy I used with my former psychiatrist. I expected zero enlightenment and just used him to get my prescriptions.

 

When he asked me how things were going, I simply said fine or if I reported something, I acted like it wasn't a big deal and that it was withdrawal related.

 

It was frustrating as I think he expected me to fail but I felt I wasn't going to find anyone who was more enlightened. And at least he cooperated with what I wanted to do.

 

It sounds like you are definitely on the right track.

 

CS

Drug cocktail 1995 - 2010
Started taper of Adderall, Wellbutrin XL, Remeron, and Doxepin in 2006
Finished taper on June 10, 2010

Temazepam on a PRN basis approximately twice a month - 2014 to 2016

Beginning in 2017 - Consumption increased to about two times per week

April 2017 - Increased to taking it full time for insomnia

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Hi CS;You seem to have put it more succinctly than me... expect zero enlitenment and use them for the scripts... Thanks for the confirmation of my approach...

 

The GP, after an essential visit yesterday, is all worried about my blood pressure... to which I feel like saying oh dah... what to ya think this drug give???s...and then it shoots further up when I go into withdrawal... and jumps around while Im re instituting... But I kept quite... If I start, I'll end up swearing at her and holding her responsible..etc etc etc...

 

The blood pressure was, even after a period of relaxation, 170 over 108... I know its high... but its all collateral damage now... and not the main event... and because its not a psych drug, I have accepted a strong script for the BP...

 

But I had to hold my tongue again when she said, I was past the withdrawal event, so its not the drug... (whatever???)

 

Regards

Robert

Ativan: quite 1990

96-2001: Aropax (Paxil), Luvox. two CTs (bad)

2001-2012: 300 Effexor

Nov 2011: 25%, 2 week reduction (v bad)

Dec:2011" reinstate to 300mg

(Chronic pain condition, well managed)

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Hi CS;You seem to have put it more succinctly than me... expect zero enlitenment and use them for the scripts... Thanks for the confirmation of my approach...

 

The GP, after an essential visit yesterday, is all worried about my blood pressure... to which I feel like saying oh dah... what to ya think this drug give???s...and then it shoots further up when I go into withdrawal... and jumps around while Im re instituting... But I kept quite... If I start, I'll end up swearing at her and holding her responsible..etc etc etc...

 

The blood pressure was, even after a period of relaxation, 170 over 108... I know its high... but its all collateral damage now... and not the main event... and because its not a psych drug, I have accepted a strong script for the BP...

 

But I had to hold my tongue again when she said, I was past the withdrawal event, so its not the drug... (whatever???)

 

Regards

Robert

 

Hi Robert,

 

It is tough, isn't it? LOL.

 

I would have been so tempted to say, no **** sherlock.

 

CS

Drug cocktail 1995 - 2010
Started taper of Adderall, Wellbutrin XL, Remeron, and Doxepin in 2006
Finished taper on June 10, 2010

Temazepam on a PRN basis approximately twice a month - 2014 to 2016

Beginning in 2017 - Consumption increased to about two times per week

April 2017 - Increased to taking it full time for insomnia

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  • Administrator

Hi, Robert/Gerard.

 

While I love the title, Leave the Doctor happy?!, you gave to your post http://survivingantidepressants.org/index.php?/topic/1594-gerardinsydney/page__view__findpost__p__15618 , I merged it with your Intro topic.

 

In the Intro forum, each person has only one topic, in which to put an introduction and updates. (If you wish, I'll change the title of your Intro topic; send me a personal message.)

 

This enables all of us, including you, to follow your story chronologically.

 

I agree with cs. Consider your relationship with this doctor to be strategic rather than therapeutic.

 

I wish I could say I was amazed he offered you Pristiq instead of Effexor, but it's pretty common these doctors are inadequately informed.

 

Pristiq is a variation of Effexor. If you've had problems with Effexor, you'll have problems with Pristiq.

 

Given that he is clueless about replacing venlafaxine with desvenlafaxine, I would not give credence to any of his medication suggestions.

 

Avoid benzos if possible. They also can cause physical dependency, as well as being truly addictive. In addition, people whose nervous systems are sensitized by withdrawal risk experiencing paradoxical reactions from benzos.

 

I had success with acupuncture reducing blood pressure from withdrawal syndrome. If you can find a good acupuncturist, you might want to try this. It can minimize a need for blood pressure drugs.

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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  • 2 months later...

Hi everyone. Was here a few months ago as Gerard...but cant find, or now how to change... I've come back again, but under the nick of EFXRob... (ie my problem and me!!)

 

After a disastrous and naive attempt to reduce 25% in two weeks in November, I have reinstated to my original dose of 300mg of Effexor; and am biding me time before starting again.

 

But I have spent that time finding out so much I didn't know by reading the Boards. I haven't been back here, because I find it not as easy to get around as another one. But I have been drawn back because there seems to be a lot more of experience with SSNRIs here..(Cymbalta, Pristique and my "friend" Effexor); and I have really realated to what a lot of people are saying here.

 

Like another member, I didn't experience poop out, and feel EFX still has some way to go with me... But a long standing pain condition is now being successfully managed (non drug methods; ie RFA), and after an even longer history of pain, it was now time to see how I survived off the ADs... which when I started...was the only effective "treatment" for the side effects of pain...ie unrelenting depression... It took years to find pain doc who understood that... (and didn't throw more addictive drugs on it..) while every general doc or pdoc...just assume they are dealing with major depression... as self propagating entity.

 

Even on Effexor, if I had high pain levels, I had depression...nothing I could do to change it... But when ever my doc removed the pain stimulus... the depression evaporated instantly (still hard for pdocs to see this obvious link).. So much so, that I have spent the last 2 northern Summers working in Europe... and loving it... so the near banishment of pain has thoroughly rejuvenated my life...But there is that EFX hanging over me... and I cant skip it...because of instant insomnia and nightmares... brian fogging..poor memory...high blood pressure... .and not to mention...lack of sexual responsiveness...

 

The pain is only "nearly banished", because one of its sources (C1-C2) is too close to vital structures for RFA (Radio Frequency Ablation)...and can only be treated with cortisone injection..which is not 100%.

 

During my recent updosing, I had to have this injection... which sadly has resulted in a nearly two week flare...ie greater pain...till it dies down...hopefully soon.

 

As I consider my tapering strategy...I have picked up many insights here and on other Boards... so my thoughts currently are:

 

Time doesnt..years of slow tapering will be nbetter i teh long run.

 

I am encouraged by the implication here that many SSRNIs have not had to put their life on hold while they do this... keeping earning money and maintaining relationships... which was hard to see how that could be done if I continued my rapid taper.

 

Are there different guidelines for SSRNIs??? I am happy to consider 3-5%... just to get thing moving... There is more reporting here of "cummulative" side effects on this Board... So Im thinking just a gradual taper to the next "stopping point".. (ie 267.5)..and just parking there for a substantial time... waiting fr allcummulative threats to dissipate.

 

Also.. I need to consider my taper in terms of "harm reduction"... and given my dose... the full time needed is over the horizon...I cant even imagine it... And while I would love to be totally off Effexor...the best "con" strategy to self... is to imagine that I am slowly adjusting to a lower dosage... to lessen SFX and possible long term effects.

 

This idea also requires that i dont demonise the drug or the drug companies.. or I'll just end up speeding up... My recovery is more important than getting revenge. I recognise, now, I am in the Sh*t, and its up to me to slowly navigate a way out..

 

And with your collective experience...and knowledge... I can do this...slowly, slowly, slowly..

 

And , hopefully, I can get to work this site "with ease"..

Ciao for now.

 

EFXRob

Ativan: quite 1990

96-2001: Aropax (Paxil), Luvox. two CTs (bad)

2001-2012: 300 Effexor

Nov 2011: 25%, 2 week reduction (v bad)

Dec:2011" reinstate to 300mg

(Chronic pain condition, well managed)

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  • Administrator

Hi EFXRob,

 

I remember you as Gerard and I was just wondering if you had started your Effexor wean yet. I'm the one who was at 375 mg at one point and I am now down to 40.625 mg Effexor (regular). I really only experienced any really uncomfortable withdrawals when I didn't pay attention to the subtle signs of withdrawal and kept decrementing at 6.5 mg every two weeks.

 

Once you are stable you could start with a 5% reduction and hold for 4 weeks to see how it goes. If you don't have any withdrawal symptoms in that time frame then you could try another 5% reduction. Here are the Effexor guidelines: http://survivingantidepressants.org/index.php?/topic/272-tips-for-tapering-off-effexor-and-effexor-xr-venlafaxine/

 

Actually the guideline is to reduce by 10%, but if you are nervous there is no harm in going more slowly.

 

We are here for you.

 

Love and Light

Karma

2007 @ 375 mg Effexor - 11/29/2011 - 43.75 mg Effexor (regular) & .625 mg Xanax

200 mg Gabapentin 2/27/21 - 194.5 mg, 5/28/21 - 183 mg, 8/2/21 - 170 mg, 11/28/21 - 150 mg, 4/19/22 - 122 mg; 8//7/22 - 100 mg
Xanax taper: 3/11/12 - 0.9375 mg, 3/25/12 - 0.875 mg, 4/6/12 - 0.8125 mg, 4/18/12 - 0.75 mg; 1/16 0.6875 mg; at some point 0.625 mg
Effexor taper: 1/29/12 - 40.625 mg, 4/29/12 - 39.875 mg, 5/11/12 - Switched to liquid Effexor, 5/25/12 - 38 mg, 7/6/12 - 35 mg, 8/17/12 - 32 mg, 9/14/12 - 30 mg, 10/19/12 - 28 mg, 11/9/12 - 26 mg, 11/30/12 - 24 mg, 01/14/13 - 22 mg. 02/25/13 - 20.8 mg, 03/18/13 - 19.2 mg, 4/15/13 - 17.6 mg, 8/10/13 - 16.4 mg, 9/7/13 - 15.2 mg, 10/19/13 - 14 mg, 1/15/14 - 13.2 mg, 3/1/2014 - 12.6 mg, 5/4/14 - 12 mg, 8/1/14 - 11.4 mg, 8/29/14 - 10.8 mg; 10/14/14 - 10.2 mg; 12/15/14 - 10 mg, 1/11/15 - 9.5 mg, 2/8/15 - 9 mg, 3/21/15 - 8.5 mg, 5/1/15 - 8 mg, 6/9/15 - 7.5 mg, 7/8/15 - 7 mg, 8/22/15 - 6.5 mg, 10/4/15 - 6 mg; 1/1/16 - 5.6 mg; 2/6/16 - 5.2 mg; 4/9 - 4.8 mg; 7/7 4.5 mg; 10/7 4.25 mg; 11/4 4.0 mg; 11/25 3.8 mg; 4/24 3.6 mg; 5/27 3.4 mg; 7/8 3.2 mg ... 10/18 2.8 mg; 1/18 2.6 mg; 4/7 2.4 mg; 5/26 2.15mg; 8/18 1.85 mg; 10/7 1.7 mg; 12/1 1.45 mg; 3/2 1.2 mg; 5/4 0.90 mg; 6/1 0.80 mg; 6/22 0.65 mg; 08/03 0.50 mg, 08/10 0.45 mg, 10/05 0.325 mg, 11/23 0.2 mg, 12/14 0.15 mg, 12/21 0.125 mg, 02/28 0.03125 mg, 2/15 0.015625 mg, 2/29/20 0.00 mg - OFF Effexor


I am not a medical professional - this is not medical advice. My suggestions are based on personal experience, reading, observation and anecdotal information posted by other sufferers

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Thanks Karma;

 

Am I right to assume this site has more people proceeding slowly... and somewhat successfully...particularly from SSRNIs??? While I have learnt a lot on other sites...seems they feature a lot of people in current crisis..which after my initial orientation... doesnt' serve me well?? Your thoughts(and thoughts of others) would be appreciated... maybe by private communications if you felt it was too negative... I would appreciate a perspective.

 

Meanwhile. the cortisone injection I had a couple of weeks back has set me back badly.... increased pain.. (assumedly temporary spike....as can happen... I have excellent trust i my pain docs..more so than pdocs..) So I am currently suffering badly from anx/depression...which I assume from past experience, is related to pain levels..

 

So cant tell for certain if its not from the effects of updosing, just yet... so pain needs to settled down first before further decisions...

 

But having come back to this site after a few months... the threads seem to have more context..and I must be a bit better oriented ..as I can think of a suitable Nick... which i could really around Christmas...

 

I guess I am not as scared at proceeding as I was then... I am really pleased there are people like you who have trodden a path of dropping Effexor from such a high dose...and minimised SFX while at it... I hear such horror stories... But feel good I haven't changed drugs or basic dosage levels for so long..(and am about to cut off an attempt by teh pdoc to do so...).and there are no other drugs, like benzos to complicate things further...

 

My career has really taken off over the last few years, with the near elimination of my pain levels... my relationships have broadened...and have started travelling extensively....and have generally been happier in the world... My first attempt at moving off Effexor was the first significant setback for some time...eg I dont feel i can commit to working overseas at the moment.

 

My first priority is to get back to (near) were I was late last year... working over the last few months has been difficult but important to maintain... So, the promise of a slow taper while maintaining the basic structures of my life is a good objective...

 

I really appreciate your exoerience...and feel free to offer it.

 

Meanwhile... I need to wait with patience a little longer.

 

Ciao for now

Rob.

Ativan: quite 1990

96-2001: Aropax (Paxil), Luvox. two CTs (bad)

2001-2012: 300 Effexor

Nov 2011: 25%, 2 week reduction (v bad)

Dec:2011" reinstate to 300mg

(Chronic pain condition, well managed)

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I too have done a rapid taper over less than a months time from 150mg to 0 and have been off for I think 4 days now. I am being subborn

 

and want to say I am done with it. But maybe I am not. Today I had thoughts of throwing my cat against the wall because he was meowing

 

I screamed at the dog because he kept bugging me to throw his toy. And to top it off, I forgot I was filling the sink to do the dishes

 

and it overflowed. Talk about brain fog and irritability.Plus my brain still feels like it is bouncing around inside, especially when

 

I move my eyes. I want to express that I hate this and I hate Effexor for doing this to me. Had I known how hard it would be to get off

 

it, I never would have started. And I curse my doctor for letting me go a week without Effexor xr and throwing me into withdrawal.

 

Until then, I had no idea what SSIR or SNIR discontinuance syndrome was. Shifting topics now to; MAYBE I will go back on a few mg of

 

Effexor xr for awhile. I am afaid of losing control and kicking one of the animals or doing something stupid. This is not me and I do

 

not like myself when I act like an ass. These Doctors hand out antidepressanta like they are candy. But instead to some of us, they are

 

more like poison. Good luck on your journey. Goodness, how I hate those smiling Emoticons to the right of me. I wish I had a miniature

 

virtual rifle cause I would shoot them!!! LOL

Effexor XL 2009-2012. CT 150mg Effexor XR  2012, Effexor XR  75mg  2012  then rapid taper to 0, Reinstated Effexor XR 13mg then updosed to 20mg, Tapered to 18mg Effexor XR 4/9/12, Off Effexor XL ?Reinstated  Effexor XL 150 mgs  August  2012, Crashed in November 2012, Prozac 40 mgs 2012 to Feb 2018, Buspar 60  mgs 2012-stopped 2015, Remeron 7.5 mgs as needed for sleep-stopped Feb 2017, Prozac 50 mgs Feb 2018 to March 2018, Lexapro 5 mgs March 18 2018 to May 17th 2018, Lexapro 2.5 mgs  May 18th to May 26th 2018, Prozac 10 mgs May 15th 2018, Prozac 5 mgs May 19th 2018 to current day May 28th 2018,  Xanax 0.25 mgs to 0.5 mgs daily for over 15 years. Increased Xanax to 1.5 mgs Sept 2012, Tapered Xanax to 0 mgs  May 2013.Reinstated Xanax Feb 2017 at 0.125 mgs as needed, Gradual increase of Xanax to 1.5 mgs daily till May 22nd 2018, Xanax 1.25 mgs daily. Holding

 

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Hi, EFXRob,

 

If you can't find your previous posts (as Gerard), go to page 4 of the Intros and there's your intro thread, though I imagine Altostrata will merge them to keep the chronology. I have a lot of catching up to do on this and another group where I've read your posts, so forgive me if you've already posted about anything I ask or suggest.

 

I think you're wise to go off effexor before you hit tolerance (and of course because you're having undesirable side effects), but cortisone certainly doesn't cause a flareup of withdrawal symptoms. (I had to stop using the cortisone spray for my respiratory allergies when I went into withdrawal, although I didn't do the slow taper advised here. Didn't know about it then - wish so much I had!)

 

Is the C1-C2 problem a herniation that will heal in time? If so, maybe you should hold off your tapering until it's healed, if the cortisone is affecting your withdrawal too severely.

 

And if it is a herniated disc, is it possible it might heal slowly with a neck brace and anti-inflammatories? I healed a C3-C4 herniated disc once that way - the doctor only gave it a 50-50 chance of working and of avoiding surgery, due to the severity of my herniation, but it healed and remains healed. (Again, I'm not sure the exact nature of your problem, much less what is involved with that particular disc.)

 

If you will need to continue intermittent cortisone, you're very wise to taper very slowly and minimize the symptoms.

 

Absolutely don't switch or add meds. Just taper as slowly as necessary from what you're on. I never did a proper slow taper, but from what I read your body will start telling you when and how much to drop, and that can occasionally be modified if necessary as you continue your taper.

I was "TryingToGetWell" (aka TTGW) on paxilprogress. I also was one of the original members here on Surviving Antidepressants

 

I had horrific and protracted withdrawal from paxil, but now am back to enjoying life with enthusiasm to the max, some residual physical symptoms continued but largely improve. The horror, severe derealization, anhedonia, akathisia, and so much more, are long over.

 

My signature is a temporary scribble from year 2013. I'll rewrite it when I can.

 

If you want to read it, click on http://survivingantidepressants.org/index.php?/topic/209-brandy-anyone/?p=110343

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  • Moderator Emeritus

Hi Rob, from another effexor survivor.

I spent most of my 13 years around 150mg, with a brief time on 225 in the early years. I guess i consider myself lucky as i was able to drop down 25% from 150 to 112.5 and then down to 75mg, spending about 6 weeks on each dosage. I reduced about 10mg every 4 - 6 weeks and then a few at 4 mg every 2 weeks. I took the last reductions too close together and they caught up with me and i went back up to 65mg after being slammed with anxiety. I am actually quite glad that happened now as i have learnt a little bit more about the drug and me. I am now down to about 46mg for another week or so when i will take another drop. This time i will take it more slowly spending at least 4 weeks on each dose. I am also doing daily meditation and yoga 3 times a week.

 

I much prefer this site to the other one that i think you are referring too....

Started in 2000 - On 150mg most of the time, (but up to 225mg at highest dose for 6 months in the beginning)
Reduced off easily first time - but got depressed (not too much anxiety) 6 months later
Back on effexor for another 9 months.
Reduced off again with no immediate w/d - suddenly got depressed and anxious ++ again 3 or 4 months later.
Back on effexor - this time for 3 years
Reduced off over a month - 6 weeks later terrible anxiety - back on.
Rinse and repeat 4 more times - each time the period before the anxiety comes back got shorter and shorter
Jan - July 2012 75mg down to 37.5mg;, 8/3/12 - 35mg. 8/25/12 - 32mg. 9/11- 28mg, 10/2 - 25mg, 10/29 - 22mg, 11/19 - 19.8mg; 12/11 - 17m,
1/1- 15.5mg; 1/22 -14mg, 2/7 14.9mg, 2/18 - 17.8mg - crashed big time: back to 75mg where i sat for 2 years....

4th  March 2015 - 67.5mg;   31st March - 60mg;  24th April - 53mg; 13th May - 48mg; 26th May - 45mg;  9th June - 41mg; 1 July- 37.5mg; 20 July - 34mg; 11 August - 31mg; 1st Sept - 28mg;  1st Dec - 25.8mg;  28th Dec - 23.2mg; 23rd Jan-21.9mg; Feb 7th- 21mg; March 1st - 20.1mg, March 30th - 18mg

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EWforever,

 

Cat lover here!

 

Seriously, I'm worried about you. Effexor particularly calls for very slow tapering, and your wean was MUCH too fast. The brain and nervous system can't heal from the med that fast.

 

If you're having thoughts about harming anyone or anything, I think you need to go back on the med and taper very slowly. There is excellent information and support on how to do that here.

 

A too-fast withdrawal can lead to needless and LENGTHY suffering that can be avoided by tapering slowly. You very likely will recover faster if you taper properly, and frankly, people sometimes do things that they regret and are even harmful after a too-fast taper.

 

I urge you to go back on the med immediately, and then start a much slower, safer taper with the support of this group.

 

And be sure to tell family/friends that you have gone off this med with a short taper, so they can be on the alert for any dangerous behavior (things you would never normally do and would regret) until you are stabilized back on the effexor.

 

Effexor does not have to be forever - if you taper the right way. Please go back on while you're still in the window where this is possible. The sooner you go back on, the more successful the reinstatement is likely to be.

I was "TryingToGetWell" (aka TTGW) on paxilprogress. I also was one of the original members here on Surviving Antidepressants

 

I had horrific and protracted withdrawal from paxil, but now am back to enjoying life with enthusiasm to the max, some residual physical symptoms continued but largely improve. The horror, severe derealization, anhedonia, akathisia, and so much more, are long over.

 

My signature is a temporary scribble from year 2013. I'll rewrite it when I can.

 

If you want to read it, click on http://survivingantidepressants.org/index.php?/topic/209-brandy-anyone/?p=110343

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  • Administrator

Thanks Karma;

 

Am I right to assume this site has more people proceeding slowly... and somewhat successfully...particularly from SSRNIs??? While I have learnt a lot on other sites...seems they feature a lot of people in current crisis..which after my initial orientation... doesnt' serve me well?? Your thoughts(and thoughts of others) would be appreciated... maybe by private communications if you felt it was too negative... I would appreciate a perspective.

 

Hi Rob

 

I think there is a mix on this site - we do have some people in crisis or with protracted w/d due to cold turkey or too rapid weaning. Often if one has just finished a too rapid taper or has just C/T'd we recommend re-instating and then after stabilizing continuing with a slow wean. I think many of us who are weaning slowly find we can manage the symptoms.

 

I work full-time and am the bread winner, so I can relate to needing to do this in a way that does not disrupt your career. Slow and watchful is the key. If you are aware of your own body then you will be able to detect subtle signs that indicate you need to hold in order to avoid something more uncomfortable.

 

You will find a lot of support here for taking it slowly and being kind to yourself.

 

Karma

2007 @ 375 mg Effexor - 11/29/2011 - 43.75 mg Effexor (regular) & .625 mg Xanax

200 mg Gabapentin 2/27/21 - 194.5 mg, 5/28/21 - 183 mg, 8/2/21 - 170 mg, 11/28/21 - 150 mg, 4/19/22 - 122 mg; 8//7/22 - 100 mg
Xanax taper: 3/11/12 - 0.9375 mg, 3/25/12 - 0.875 mg, 4/6/12 - 0.8125 mg, 4/18/12 - 0.75 mg; 1/16 0.6875 mg; at some point 0.625 mg
Effexor taper: 1/29/12 - 40.625 mg, 4/29/12 - 39.875 mg, 5/11/12 - Switched to liquid Effexor, 5/25/12 - 38 mg, 7/6/12 - 35 mg, 8/17/12 - 32 mg, 9/14/12 - 30 mg, 10/19/12 - 28 mg, 11/9/12 - 26 mg, 11/30/12 - 24 mg, 01/14/13 - 22 mg. 02/25/13 - 20.8 mg, 03/18/13 - 19.2 mg, 4/15/13 - 17.6 mg, 8/10/13 - 16.4 mg, 9/7/13 - 15.2 mg, 10/19/13 - 14 mg, 1/15/14 - 13.2 mg, 3/1/2014 - 12.6 mg, 5/4/14 - 12 mg, 8/1/14 - 11.4 mg, 8/29/14 - 10.8 mg; 10/14/14 - 10.2 mg; 12/15/14 - 10 mg, 1/11/15 - 9.5 mg, 2/8/15 - 9 mg, 3/21/15 - 8.5 mg, 5/1/15 - 8 mg, 6/9/15 - 7.5 mg, 7/8/15 - 7 mg, 8/22/15 - 6.5 mg, 10/4/15 - 6 mg; 1/1/16 - 5.6 mg; 2/6/16 - 5.2 mg; 4/9 - 4.8 mg; 7/7 4.5 mg; 10/7 4.25 mg; 11/4 4.0 mg; 11/25 3.8 mg; 4/24 3.6 mg; 5/27 3.4 mg; 7/8 3.2 mg ... 10/18 2.8 mg; 1/18 2.6 mg; 4/7 2.4 mg; 5/26 2.15mg; 8/18 1.85 mg; 10/7 1.7 mg; 12/1 1.45 mg; 3/2 1.2 mg; 5/4 0.90 mg; 6/1 0.80 mg; 6/22 0.65 mg; 08/03 0.50 mg, 08/10 0.45 mg, 10/05 0.325 mg, 11/23 0.2 mg, 12/14 0.15 mg, 12/21 0.125 mg, 02/28 0.03125 mg, 2/15 0.015625 mg, 2/29/20 0.00 mg - OFF Effexor


I am not a medical professional - this is not medical advice. My suggestions are based on personal experience, reading, observation and anecdotal information posted by other sufferers

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  • Administrator

EFXRob, I'm going to merge your accounts. Do you want to be Gerard or EFXRob?

 

I'd like to think this site is different because it contains better curated information, reviewed by me, and a specific theory of withdrawal syndrome (supported by applicable research). It's only been around for a year. As others become knowledgeable about withdrawing and withdrawal syndrome, we'll have more peer experts on the staff.

 

Other sites are pretty much like the Web in general, a mixture of oddball nonsense and good information -- you have to distinguish between them yourself.

 

The software upon which this site is based has its pluses and minuses, but its structure is very simple and similar to other sites. You may find the forum index helps you get around at first.

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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Thanks for all your comments... and I think i appreciate the "point of difference" of this site...one reason I dont do Facebook or stuff like that... is that i feel exposed to the uneveness of web world... there is no "curation"... and many e relationships are misconstrued as "real".. If this is where this site is heading, am happy to support it. Also, Alto, please combine my threads under EFXRob. (Is there a way to have a preference to show the postings as latest at the top??)

 

Meanwhile, really appreciate Karma's strategy to keeping as many things in working order... while making steady progress...

 

...and Brandy, appreciate your advice and experience re head and neck pain... Mine has been intractable... over 30 years... And although the pdocs over the years declined to see a connection.... I knew "pain=madness"... I have had the best professors in Sydney sit in front of me and say there is nothing there, and nothing they can do... I had tried every known cure... from the obvious to the ridiculous...Luckily, in one of these sessions, the (witch) doc, who was doing something called "prolotherapy", referred me to a circle of doctors in Newcastle, 150 kms north... My god, my life changed... they knew the problem, diagnosed it... and after a long process devised a protocol for treatment...its not permanent...needs to be re done every 18 months...but it certainly does not make things worse..nor introduce more unsustainable drugs .... and this group of docs stays with you till you are totally and successfully treated...and stay with you on through the maintenance stages..And they also know that all their pain patience have depression (which is contestable in Sydney)...and further most have addiction problems that eventually have to be met.

 

It is the second miracle of my life (the first being getting off Ativan 21 years ago).. and Effexor can be the third...

 

To my astonishment, they are a world leading group in understanding and treating pain... just in Sydney, the docs here don't like them based on academic competiveness... Its the same difference between docs who understand about wd symptoms and those that don't.

 

The recent cortisone injection, is the only part of the protocol which is not 100 %...so there is a lot of additional pain to go through when it is done...and remember, pain=madness... so I've had a tough time recently...but maybe a good thing to get this out of the way before considering tapering.

 

Suffice to say, I have a trust in my pain docs that I don't have in the pdocs and GP... Just last Friday I had to see my pdoc for scripts... I left there with him having made an appointment with his colleague; "Australia's leading expert on effexor:".. I looked him up...and he also one of the leading exponents of ECG... My alarm bells are going off... I don't think I trust the practice of psychiatry as such... So, today I'll be cancelling that appointment... No matter what the pdoc thinks.

 

Over the weekend my post cortisone pain flare up eased somewhat, and Im feeling more confident with my strategy and sense of long term timing...and that with advice and support, things can turn out pretty well.

Ativan: quite 1990

96-2001: Aropax (Paxil), Luvox. two CTs (bad)

2001-2012: 300 Effexor

Nov 2011: 25%, 2 week reduction (v bad)

Dec:2011" reinstate to 300mg

(Chronic pain condition, well managed)

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  • Administrator

Thanks for the vote of confidence, Rob.

 

I merged your two identities. You're EFXRob now. The software only provides one way to merge topics, putting posts in chronological order.

 

You can always find this topic by searching for EFXRob, using the search box at the upper right.

 

Have your Effexor withdrawal symptoms settled down?

 

Besides cortisol shots, what does your pain therapy involve?

 

It often happens that doctors will ignore a medical problem in favor of reflexively prescribing psychiatric drugs. It's another way patients are endangered by overprescription.

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 Alto; It seems as though the SFX from the too rapid taper, and not forgetting the equally distabilising updosing... seem to be getting less and less.. still feeling moderately out of sorts... but need everything; pain and Effeor sfx to feel stable for a while before considering embarking on another taper..Had the best sleep in three months last night...slept in infact..

 

Meanwhile, my pain diagnosis is Cervical Headache.. which means damaged facet joints (or z joints) in the neck; C1,2,3,4...which manifests as pain on the side of the head (permanent...ouch)

 

C2-C3 and C3-C4, on both sides are treated with Radio Frequency Ablation..that results in 100% relief of pain from those joints...and lasts about 18 months.... They don't do the ablation (which is like a microwave that stuns the nerve; which miraculously stops the pain signal, but not the motor signals..) to the top joint because it is too close vital brain structures...and so the best treatment they have for this is cortisone injections... which, as I have described, are not as effective....but my overall pain almost diminishes...and certainly way below depression inducing levels...

 

As I said this team, in a provincial New South Wales city, is one of the leading teams in the world. The professor is called Bogduk..and my actual doc, is one of the most experienced in the world... Indeed, the two patients who have lasted the longest on one treatment in the world are his...

 

It's miraculous to me because they had answers to questions I couldn't even formulate... and its so simple..

 

So as this has only really been fully resolved in recent years...now is the time to look at the ADs. (My previous addiction to Ativan in late 80s, was directly related to the pain issues)..

 

Ciao for now

Rob

Ativan: quite 1990

96-2001: Aropax (Paxil), Luvox. two CTs (bad)

2001-2012: 300 Effexor

Nov 2011: 25%, 2 week reduction (v bad)

Dec:2011" reinstate to 300mg

(Chronic pain condition, well managed)

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Hi everyone; I relate to the issues we are all dealing with...and for "cognitive exercises" that make sense, I am thinking of exploring DBT as a addition to my armoury as I contemplate a tapering strategy.

 

Has anyone had experience of this.??? Or know more.

 

In the past I have been exposed to CBT for both anxiety/ depression and also pain... And while it has a logic... I never found it powerful enough to really change things... although it probably stopped me acting irrationally... It is actually easier to access when things are going well..when slightly niggardly feelings of inadequacy and unworthiness arise.. and can be countered at source... (Always felt it was devised by people who were entirely logical and not suffering to the depths that are possible for what I have had to endured...)

 

Sadly I have a niece who has been put on Pristique ( I find it is best I don't engage in debate with my sister's family.. and just look after myself... and relay changes after they occur to me... at this stage, I may not appear a good example, although I feel I am heading in the right direction. In such matters—with either family, friends, or even doctors, I find I can end up in debates I would prefer not to be)

 

Also, sadly, my niece had a history before this of eating problems and self harm (although who knows how much of that came about from chopping and changing meds for 18 months)... But she has stabilised for now on Pristique... But what interested me is the insistence of her caregivers that she do an intense program of DBT for 12 months... Which i looked up... and on preliminary investigation, seems to bridge the issues which i always felt CBT couldn't... and it seems to be similar but adds concepts of "Radical acceptance" and also "mindfulness"... which for my understanding... moves CBT beyond the "rationalist" framework of the logic that we shouldn't be feeling this way..to something that might be able to penetrate inside of the reality of fear and anxiety.

 

Once I stabilise, I am interested in undertaking such a program to both arm me for withdrawal and quite probably with life skills for recovery...

 

Also, it seems to dovetail more consistently with principals I pick up from AA..

 

Any feedback??

Rob

Ativan: quite 1990

96-2001: Aropax (Paxil), Luvox. two CTs (bad)

2001-2012: 300 Effexor

Nov 2011: 25%, 2 week reduction (v bad)

Dec:2011" reinstate to 300mg

(Chronic pain condition, well managed)

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Rob~

GREAT info and explanations that resonate with me -

Pain impairs rational thought - especially head pain - and causes depression without a doubt - I'm glad to learn of your doctors views and treatment approaches-

Also RE: DBT v CBT - I have heard about DBT but not tried it - CBT never felt right to me for the reasons you explained so well - I've spent my life rationalizing my emotions which is what landed me on antidepressants (or contributed) - im feeling gutted by the memories and emotions that are rising up through withdrawal - I realize neuroemotion is a factor and im trying to find a balance between dismissing feelings as neuroemotion and hearing what they are telling me -

A psychologist who understands withdrawal told me that 'withdrawal is facilitating good psychodynamic work for me' - it sure does hurt though *#&%

I also see many relatives and friends' kids getting into psychiatry and it kills me but I have to tread very lightly - I don't have kids so that feels like the unspoken explanation for why I cant possibly understand why they 'have' to medicate their kids -

I wish you continued healing

Barb

Pristiq tapered over 8 months ending Spring 2011 after 18 years of polydrugging that began w/Zoloft for fatigue/general malaise (not mood). CURRENT: 1mg Klonopin qhs (SSRI bruxism), 75mg trazodone qhs, various hormonesLitigation for 11 years for Work-related injury, settled 2004. Involuntary medical retirement in 2001 (age 39). 2012 - brain MRI showing diffuse, chronic cerebrovascular damage/demyelination possibly vasculitis/cerebritis. Dx w/autoimmune polyendocrine failure.<p>2013 - Dx w/CNS Sjogren's Lupus (FANA antibodies first appeared in 1997 but missed by doc).

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  • 5 weeks later...

Rob,

 

I wanted to check in with you to find out how you are doing. I hope all is well

 

Daisy

Effexor XL 2009-2012. CT 150mg Effexor XR  2012, Effexor XR  75mg  2012  then rapid taper to 0, Reinstated Effexor XR 13mg then updosed to 20mg, Tapered to 18mg Effexor XR 4/9/12, Off Effexor XL ?Reinstated  Effexor XL 150 mgs  August  2012, Crashed in November 2012, Prozac 40 mgs 2012 to Feb 2018, Buspar 60  mgs 2012-stopped 2015, Remeron 7.5 mgs as needed for sleep-stopped Feb 2017, Prozac 50 mgs Feb 2018 to March 2018, Lexapro 5 mgs March 18 2018 to May 17th 2018, Lexapro 2.5 mgs  May 18th to May 26th 2018, Prozac 10 mgs May 15th 2018, Prozac 5 mgs May 19th 2018 to current day May 28th 2018,  Xanax 0.25 mgs to 0.5 mgs daily for over 15 years. Increased Xanax to 1.5 mgs Sept 2012, Tapered Xanax to 0 mgs  May 2013.Reinstated Xanax Feb 2017 at 0.125 mgs as needed, Gradual increase of Xanax to 1.5 mgs daily till May 22nd 2018, Xanax 1.25 mgs daily. Holding

 

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Hi Daisy; and thanks for enquiring. Im in a bit of a holding pattern while my pain issues continue to be treated,.... by a doctors I fully trust... Just had a second cortisone injection in my top neck joint.

 

While I am waiting for things to smooth out, am equiping myself mindfullness and acceptance therapy to help me manage both pain issues and planned future slow taper.

 

Also, my BP is very high at teh moment, no doubt contributed by the Effexor and the pain, and my GP is sending me for a cardio test.

 

I am excercising patience as things take time to subside...and also being careful not to encourage medical people to make rash changes... My shrink want changes in Effexor due to BP... That may be, but anything too fast, I know will make matters worse..

 

In te mean time, I havent been checking on teh boards as much as I have been managing pretty well..

 

Ciao Robert

Ativan: quite 1990

96-2001: Aropax (Paxil), Luvox. two CTs (bad)

2001-2012: 300 Effexor

Nov 2011: 25%, 2 week reduction (v bad)

Dec:2011" reinstate to 300mg

(Chronic pain condition, well managed)

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Rob,

 

I am sorry to hear that you are having medical/pain issues. That can bring us down :(

 

My BP has gone from 130/80 to 110/72 since tapering Effexor XR. My pulse rate is down too!!! I hope your doc can find an alternative to Effexor XR. A cross over to a longer acting SSRI comes to mind.

 

Take care, Daisy

Effexor XL 2009-2012. CT 150mg Effexor XR  2012, Effexor XR  75mg  2012  then rapid taper to 0, Reinstated Effexor XR 13mg then updosed to 20mg, Tapered to 18mg Effexor XR 4/9/12, Off Effexor XL ?Reinstated  Effexor XL 150 mgs  August  2012, Crashed in November 2012, Prozac 40 mgs 2012 to Feb 2018, Buspar 60  mgs 2012-stopped 2015, Remeron 7.5 mgs as needed for sleep-stopped Feb 2017, Prozac 50 mgs Feb 2018 to March 2018, Lexapro 5 mgs March 18 2018 to May 17th 2018, Lexapro 2.5 mgs  May 18th to May 26th 2018, Prozac 10 mgs May 15th 2018, Prozac 5 mgs May 19th 2018 to current day May 28th 2018,  Xanax 0.25 mgs to 0.5 mgs daily for over 15 years. Increased Xanax to 1.5 mgs Sept 2012, Tapered Xanax to 0 mgs  May 2013.Reinstated Xanax Feb 2017 at 0.125 mgs as needed, Gradual increase of Xanax to 1.5 mgs daily till May 22nd 2018, Xanax 1.25 mgs daily. Holding

 

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