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liannep77: venlafaxine efexor


liannep77

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i have been on venlafaxine for 8 years and doctors want ed to change it to reboxetine so started to lower the dose. they lowered it too fast and the withdrawal was horrific to say the least. They put me back on it and i have been on 37.5mg every other day and 75mg the other day for a couple of weeks. i am just coming down to 37.5mg daily. My personality has changed im moody, anxious, tearful, concentration is rubbish. I have to appear normal im training to be a mental health nurse and the training is intense. Im so scared, i cant afford any more time of. I feel dizzy am having nightmares, i feel sick, weak my stomach is swollen. Luckily the electric shocks in head have passed for the time but, im feeling so desparate. They have already started me on 8mg of the new drug and i dont know if im having side effects from that or not?

How long will the side effects last? will i ever be able to fully come off this drug? Im starting my new work placement in may so it doesnt give me much time to get my life back and i have so much coursework to do in the meantime, i feel like i am sinking. HELP ME!!! PLEASE

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Alternating doses on drugs like this causes huge problems for almost everyone and almost never leads to a successful withdrawal. Unfortunately doctors don't seem to realize this, or how to taper safely, which is why so many people's attempts to get off these medications fail or are needlessly difficult.

 

It's really necessary to drop dose in very small amounts (no more than 10% of most recent dose), then take that amount for 3-6 weeks or more with the same dose every day, then when stabilized at that dose drop again by no more than 10% of that dose, etc.

 

There are fact sheets on this site on how best to do this.

 

My other concern is that reboxetine has not been approved for use in the United States because it was found to be ineffective and likely to be harmful. There are many references to this on the internet; you might want to read this: Reboxetine for acute treatment of...

 

Why are you and your doctors making this change? Are you starting to have problems with the venlafaxine, or is it that you want to get off medication?

 

(Knowing the answer to that will help us to help you.)

 

I think you need to go back on your original dose of venlafaxine and stabilize before starting a proper taper that will minimize withdrawal problems, but knowing what your goal is about switching or discontinuing medications is necessary for us to advise you further.

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

Hi I am also weaning off of Effexor and I agree with Brandy.

 

You need to reinstate to your previous dose - alternating just confuses your nervous system. I had gotten down to 18.75 mg Effexor and didn't pay attention to my subtle withdrawal symptoms which resulted in some rather uncomfortable withdrawals. If I had paid attention then I would have slowed my wean and could potentially be off of Effexor now. But with the w/d I had to up-dose to 43.75 mg and was able to get comfortable again.

 

First, you want to get comfortable so you can cope with training and go through job placement. Then you can work on a plan to come off or reduce to switch to another AD if that is what you want to do.

 

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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Although normally if a person has been alternating doses to taper it's advisable to go back up to original dose (or less dose where stable with only minimal withdrawal symptoms), I'm leery of Lianne doing this since according to her post she's already on a therapeutic dose of reboxetine. My usual sources for checking drug interactions don't include reboxetine because it isn't used in the U.S. and many other countries.

 

Altostrata or others may have access to or knowledge about this that I don't. Lianne, what may help us most in advising what to do next would be to know if you want to continue with the reboxetine, whether you want to switch from venlafaxine (effexor) to another med, or whether you want to get off these meds and want information on doing a slow, safe taper where withdrawal effects will be minimized as much as possible.

 

I feel uncomfortable advising about reboxetine since I know nothing about it except what I can find online, and don't recall reading any personal accounts of anyone using it. But from what I'm reading online, it doesn't seem likely that it will cover for the withdrawal effects from venlafaxine, and the alternating dosing schedule the doctors gave you is generally a recipe for disaster in getting off venlafaxine, frankly.

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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I think Effexor is a very unique drug, and I wonder if one can even switch to any drug from Effexor, without horrible withdrawals. I'm not saying it's impossible, I just wonder. I think the ideal approach with it is a very slow taper, without any other meds, and even then it's by no means a picnic, at least not in my case. Of course, I was on it a stupidly long time. Eight years is not short either, but hopefully a slow taper will work out for you, without too much nastiness.

Approximately 18 years on Effexor. Tapered for more than two years. Totally off of Effexor since late Oct. 2010.

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Hi Tom...I have been taking EFX for 10 yrs and at 300 mgs... and am looking at a very, very slow taper... assuming more than two years..probably four!!!

 

Indeed , it seems so far in the future..am beginning to adopt a mental framework of "harm reduction"... so will reduce very slowly to the next stopping point; ie 262.5 (or what ever it s)... and stay their for a long time.. I get from the sharing of others... that WD effects have a tendency of catching up later...So, I'll consider that I am reducing rather than tapering completely... (hopefully a nice mental trick)...(of course I'd prefer to be off, but feels too distant...

 

I am encouraged that there is some EFX experience on this site..and also encourage by the amount that Karma withdrew, until the WDs caught up with her..

 

With what you know now, what advice you you offer... and also... how have you progressed since joining the site??

 

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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Lianne, I think I forgot to ask earlier - How long have you been taking the reboxetine? (What date did you take your first dose, and did you start at 8 mg or work your way up in dose?)

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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Hi Tom...I have been taking EFX for 10 yrs and at 300 mgs... and am looking at a very, very slow taper... assuming more than two years..probably four!!!

 

Indeed , it seems so far in the future..am beginning to adopt a mental framework of "harm reduction"... so will reduce very slowly to the next stopping point; ie 262.5 (or what ever it s)... and stay their for a long time.. I get from the sharing of others... that WD effects have a tendency of catching up later...So, I'll consider that I am reducing rather than tapering completely... (hopefully a nice mental trick)...(of course I'd prefer to be off, but feels too distant...

 

I am encouraged that there is some EFX experience on this site..and also encourage by the amount that Karma withdrew, until the WDs caught up with her..

 

With what you know now, what advice you you offer... and also... how have you progressed since joining the site??

 

regards

Robert

 

 

Robert, by the time I started tapering I had already been down to taking only 37.5 mg. for a couple years. I didn't taper, I just dropped dosages at various points over the years. So it was a long taper considering the dose was very small. I would say four years would probably be right for you. Most of my problems didn't hit until the very end of the taper, or even months after it was done. So my advice to people would probably be to take it extra slow at the end. Even if a person had to stay on something like 5 or 7 or 10 mg. for a year or two, before finally finishing the taper, I think may be that wouldn't be so bad. But it's just theory, because I didn't go that route. Anyway, I'm doing much better than when I first joined this site, although it's still a struggle.

Approximately 18 years on Effexor. Tapered for more than two years. Totally off of Effexor since late Oct. 2010.

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Thanks for sharing your experience..

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 thank you all for so many replies

I had hypotension and the effexor also stopped being effective, since in uk i wasnt aware about reboxetine being a problem. they got me up to 8mg over 3 weeks im doing it with gp and consultant. i need to be on a drug as i have been on drugs on and off for 20 years and everytime i come off totally i am clinically depressed within a year. i will take your advice about not alternating doses and try to get on a fixed dose for a while. However i dont think it good to go back to 225mg as im on the reboxetine already and it may be dangerous.

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I have just been to see the consultant as i have been withdrawing from venlafaxine for 8 weeks now. She basically told me i am obsessing about medication and symptoms. I was so upset. If these doctors took some of these meds and then came off them they would soon expect a sympathetic ear who takes them seriously. I feel like im being laughed at. My life is crap since ive had all of these symptoms. Who wants to spend their day thinking about drugs. I wish it was all in my head then i could just think it away. Im so angry and upset right now. Will I ever feel 'normal' again?

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  • Administrator

lianne, I merged your new topic with your Intro topic. Only one topic to a customer in the Intro forum.

 

I agree, doctors should take their own medicine.

 

Almost all of us have had to deal with this kind of blindness from doctors. Don't blame yourself.

This is not medical advice. Discuss any decisions about your medical care with a knowledgeable medical practitioner.

"It has become appallingly obvious that our technology has surpassed our humanity." -- Albert Einstein

All postings © copyrighted.

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  • Moderator Emeritus

I have just been to see the consultant as i have been withdrawing from venlafaxine for 8 weeks now. She basically told me i am obsessing about medication and symptoms. I was so upset. If these doctors took some of these meds and then came off them they would soon expect a sympathetic ear who takes them seriously. I feel like im being laughed at. My life is crap since ive had all of these symptoms. Who wants to spend their day thinking about drugs. I wish it was all in my head then i could just think it away. Im so angry and upset right now. Will I ever feel 'normal' again?

 

Things do get better. It takes lots of patience and self-care. It seems to be normal to be very self-involved and obsessed with withdrawal symptoms. I've spent a small fortune on supplements and have spent many days on the computer, searching for answers. One thing that helped me was reading Dying for a Cure by Rebekah Beddoe. She was diagnosed, incorrectly, with post-partum depression and went through hell on psychiatric medications for years until she realized they were the problem. She made a complete recovery in spite of it all.

 

My doctor laughed when I told her I couldn't stand Lexapro and had cut back to 2.5 mg, which she said was "practically nothing". She also advised me to take the quarter tab every other day when I decided to go off of it and then just quit. Very bad advice! I'd like for her to experience withdrawing from "practically nothing" for months, as I have!

Psychotropic drug history: Pristiq 50 mg. (mid-September 2010 through February 2011), Remeron (mid-September 2010 through January 2011), Lexapro 10 mg. (mid-February 2011 through mid-December 2011), Lorazepam (Ativan) 1 mg. as needed mid-September 2010 through early March 2012

"Never attribute to malice that which is adequately explained by stupidity." -Hanlon's Razor


Introduction: http://survivingantidepressants.org/index.php?/topic/1588-introducing-jemima/

 

Success Story: http://survivingantidepressants.org/index.php?/topic/6263-success-jemima-survives-lexapro-and-dr-dickhead-too/

Please note that I am not a medical professional and my advice is based on personal experience, reading, and anecdotal information posted by other sufferers.

 

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doc also said "so what if you feel those symptoms they wont kill you!" how can i seek her advice again now?

 

Lianneep77-

 

Do you by any chance have anyone else you can talk to for advice? Is there another GP in the office? Another clinic you can go to?

 

You have so much going on right now, with all of the horrible side effects plus pressure from school. Hopefully you can get to a stable point and take a break to concentrate on school, if this is what you decide to do.

 

Years ago, a friend said to me that one needs to have their home and (if possible) their work/school life in order to keep moving.

One can maybe deal with having one 'out of order' at a time. Both out of order requires an external push to make a big change. (In my case I moved to live with relatives for a year).

 

You are very challenging situation on two fronts at the same time. This is hard for anyone to do, regardless of the drug changes!

 

Keep strong!

Years:150mg Wellbutrin (to concentrate) 20-30 mg Celexa (rumination).

CT 8/2011 during a pregnancy attempt under MD orders. (Idiot!!!) Pregnancy hormones allowed it.

Felt great with 6 mg of melatonin per night to sleep plus preggo hormones-didn't last:(

Best time of my life. Botched IVF in Dec 2011.Stress.

Bone chilling exhaustion and told to go back on celexa and wellbutrin.

4/9/2012 Back on celexa wb for some relief, wb gave me heart palps so dropped and only need 6.6 mg celexa and 1/4 melatonin pill...IMPROVEMENT because my doses are much lower!

REMEMBER to get your thyroid and hormones checked/out of whack ones can appear LIKE MOOD DISORDERS!!

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  • Administrator

lianne, you might talk frankly with the doctor and let her know you do not appreciate her callousness and ignorance. Doctors need to get feedback from patients in order to improve.

 

Failing that, I understand you can file a complaint and ask for another doctor?

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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Lianneep77-

 

Years ago, a friend said to me that one needs to have their home and (if possible) their work/school life in order to keep moving.

One can maybe deal with having one 'out of order' at a time. Both out of order requires an external push to make a big change. (In my case I moved to live with relatives for a year).

 

You are very challenging situation on two fronts at the same time. This is hard for anyone to do, regardless of the drug changes!

 

EXCELLENT advice I wish I had before I tapered- I don't have any of the above in order and feel completely ungrounded and frozen -

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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