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sammyjo

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Altostrata

[started by surviving for sammyjo]

 

sammyjo's first post is here.

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Neuroplastic

Thank you so much for being here, just what I needed an online support group.

Weaning off Effexor XR and down to 37.5mg per day and just had a horrible experience when I tried it every other day.

When will all this end.....????

 

Hey, Sammyjo! Welcome to the forum! I know how it feels. Been through the same. The most important thing is, though, that you realize it's WD, so you're on a good way to getting your life back. :)

 

Re the "every other day" taper. This never works, and only adds to more symptoms - our brain gets in a state of confusion that way. Are you now back to the "every day" thing?

 

And, most importantly, how fast are you tapering?

 

Hang in there bravely! Your healing is just a matter of time!

Edited by surviving
moved from Announcements to Introductions

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Healing

Welcome sammyjo!

 

Tell us how you're doing and what's going on for you right now.

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sammyjo

I am surviving so far. I am literally splitting up the 37.5mg capsules of the effexor XR and taking half of them each day now. I see my physician today for a checkup. I see him every two weeks now until I can wean myself off this. I started Epilim (200mg. twice a day) about 6 months ago for bipolar and read somewhere that it is even worse to wean yourself off that one than Effexor. I feel like I am one big roller coaster here with these meds. I asked the doctor to take me off Effexor because I was so tired of taking it and walking around in a drug induced state of mind and after lowering my doseage, I feel so much better and more ALIVE.

thanks everyone

I know I can do it but hate the roller coaster I am on right now trying to get off the meds.

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Healing

Hi sammyjo. It's a process. And it's best to go slow. Listen to your body. And slowly educate yourself about these meds.

 

Yes, people have to split up the Effexor capsules in order to taper. We'll have some other Effexor people here soon who know more about tapering Effexor than I.

 

I never heard of Epilim. I see it's a form of Valproic Acid. I'm not sure that's so hard to taper off of. But, definitely, you should only taper off one med at a time.

 

How long have you been on the Effexor? What was it prescribed for? Do you think of yourself as Bipolar? When were you first diagnosed as Bipolar?

 

That's terrific that you're already feeling better and alive at a lower dose of Effexor! That's a very good sign!

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sammyjo

How long have you been on the Effexor? What was it prescribed for? Do you think of yourself as Bipolar? When were you first diagnosed as Bipolar?

 

 

I've been on Effexor since 2002 mostly with 75mg. per day but had to increase it to 225mg. with a sudden death situation I was faced with, I was depressed and couldn't quit crying. I had been diagnosed previously with PTSD and suffered with strong Anxiety attacks in crowds, elevators, driving on a back to back freeway, that type of anxiety.

 

I have found in my case, it takes FINDING THE RIGHT DOCTOR to work with and getting counselling has been a god send for me.

 

I was diagnosed with bipolar 6 months ago when the doctor I have been seeing over the past year observed my pattern of handling life's harsh realities with episode's of continuous crying. He suggested a mood stabilizer which is the epilim. I am taking 200mg twice a day and it seems to be working wonders for me now. My panic attacks seem to have dissipated now, I don't feel depressed at all and have a more sunny outlook on life than ever before.

 

I have taken my last split capsule of effexor and that was the only way to get off the bloody pill. Horrible feeling to have that brain zap from trying to get off that type of medication....

 

Thanks for all the input here and hope this helps someone else.

 

In answer to being bi polar, I may have a light case of it but definitely not a severe case, not one that I need all these horrible horrible medications they push at you.

 

and besides I definitely believe in a good doctor and a good counsellor..... :)

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Healing

Hi sammyjo.

 

I'm so glad you have a doctor and a counselor you like. It certainly makes all the difference. And I'm glad you're feeling better than ever before. :)

 

Maybe, further down the road, after your body has had a chance to adjust to being off the Effexor, and after you've had time for some good counseling, you may find that you no longer need to take the Epilim. I don't know your whole history, and I'm not a doctor, but, sometimes, meds like Effexor cause people to appear to have Bipolar disorder, and once they've been off the Effexor for awhile, the pseudo-Bipolar symptoms fade away.

 

But, I firmly support you in staying on the Epilim for now while you continue to recover from the Effexor and heal in counseling.

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sammyjo

To the staff that posted the last message, Let's hope we get to where I don't have to take the Epilim or any kind of this crazy medication.

 

I have found out that even trying to get off this effexor 37.5mg it is even harder than I expected.

 

I am now going to every two days and taking 1/2 a capsule of 37.5mg. because I got the brain zaps trying to go COLD turkey again. Boy oh boy I hope and pray I never ever have to go thru this mess ever again. Seriously my doctor had already mentioned that there would be more than likely a day where I didn't have to take any medication once I resolved some personal problems like a bad marriage.

 

Well wish me luck here and will keep you updated on how this spacing out these darn partial of capsules are going. I seriously HATE DRUG COMPANIES FOR GETTING PEOPLE HOOKED ON THIS CRAP.....and that is exactly what it is....when you get things sorted out, you have to get off the medication....... what a bunch of croc' ...a legitimate way to get people hooked on drugs.

 

WE SHOULD HAVE BLOGS ON HOW MUCH WE HATE THESE DRUG COMPANIES WHO GET PEOPLE HOOKED ON DRUGS.......food for thought

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Healing

Well, I didn't say anything before, because I hoped jumping off Effexor at 18.75 mg would work for you. But, I had concerns about your doing that. I don't know if you realize this, but a lot of people find it works best for them to taper off slowly down to a lower dose before they stop.

 

Also, I'm not a doctor, but after reading about this stuff for years, I can tell you that it is not a good idea to alternate doses. It throws you in and out of different levels of withdrawal every day. It increases the confusing messages to your brain. And it will make the w/d symptoms worse.

 

Most people open the Effexor capsules and count out pellets until they're down to one or very few pellets and then stop. It's a pain in the neck, but it's worth it.

 

You decrease the number of pellets only when your w/d symptoms lessen a bit, but not more frequently than every 2-3 weeks. The slower you go now, the faster you'll heal. It's a paradox.

 

I'm glad you and your doctor are very open to the idea of you eventually getting off all these meds. I think that's great!

 

Feel free to start a rant in the "Off Topic" section on how much you hate the drug companies. It's not exactly off-topic, but maybe that's the best place for a rant? I think you'll get a lot of commiseration!

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Altostrata

Hey, sammyjo, I agree with Healing.

 

It's not a good idea to alternate doses, especially with Effexor. A little each day is better for your nervous system than hopping up and down.

 

Your brain likes stability. It will appreciate a slow decrease.

 

As for drugs, it's the same as for psych drugs as any other medication -- you want to take as little as possible and only when you absolutely need it. (But steadily, of course, if that's what the medication calls for.)

 

Meds in general tend to weaken the body while they fight diseases. That's what side effects are all about.

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sammyjo

You decrease the number of pellets only when your w/d symptoms lessen a bit, but not more frequently than every 2-3 weeks. The slower you go now, the faster you'll heal. It's a paradox.

 

Thank you so much Healing and Surviving for all your comments. Healing you hit the nail on the head with your statement above........I have found that going 2-3 weeks on the decreased amount of effexor worked for me.

 

Why doesn't someone tell the Chemist(I'm american living in Australia)or as we call them in America, the pharmacists that our bodies just can not take zap the brain with a drug every other day. Oh my hatred for the drug companies is so great because they seriously want to keep us all on this poison they make.

 

My goal seriously is to get off all this medication I can because I know from experience that I can control my body with diet, exercise, meditation to go back to a healthy balance in order to live.

 

I really appreciate all your comments and to read where someone else has went thru the same thing is comforting. All of this is not fun at all and I hate myself when I think how life situations got me into it in the first place.....but all that is hind sight now and all I am striving for is to go forward and work hard at keeping a healthy balance.

 

Best regards and have a great day or night wherever in the world you are....

 

God bless~~~

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alexjuice

Thank you so much Healing and Surviving for all your comments. Healing you hit the nail on the head with your statement above........I have found that going 2-3 weeks on the decreased amount of effexor worked for me.

 

I really appreciate all your comments and to read where someone else has went thru the same thing is comforting. All of this is not fun at all and I hate myself when I think how life situations got me into it in the first place.....but all that is hind sight now and all I am striving for is to go forward and work hard at keeping a healthy balance.

 

Best regards and have a great day or night wherever in the world you are....

 

God bless~~~

 

Hey sammyjo,

 

I went through the process of Effexor withdrawal a little over a year ago.

 

I want to strongly reiterate what has been recommended above. I dropped from 37.5 to 18.25 to pellets to stop. I went quickly. I would implore you to TAKE YOUR TIME.

 

After 14 months, I am still struggling with issues related to my taper of Effexor. These issues are complicated but, after reading your story, I wanted to add my take.

 

Effexor withdrawal is real, dangerous and can last for years. Many can stop the drug quickly without much difficulty, evidently. But one thing I have learned, is that reducing your medications slowly reduces the possibility that something like what has happened to me could happen to you. And since there is no real cost, other than being on the medication for a few more months, it's something I wish everyone dropping Effexor would consider.

 

Again, I am not trying to use any scare tactics or anything like that. I do want you to be aware of all of the information that I wasn't aware of back when I was in your shoes.

 

I wish you luck.

 

Alex.i

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summer

And since there is no real cost, other than being on the medication for a few more months, it's something I wish everyone dropping Effexor would consider.

 

 

Hi Alex... I think it's something everyone dropping from any AD should consider. The last time I tried getting off Celexa, I thought I was going slow enough... apparently not, b/c I felt awful and went back up to my original 20mg dose.

 

This time I'm going much slower and feel so much better. Also, there really is something to allowing your brain to adjust each time you make a drop.

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sammyjo

Alex and Summer,

Thank you for your comments and that goes for everyone else to.

 

According to the Doctor we were going slow with the reduction of the pills or splitting the capsules.

 

I had to chuckle when I read where someone was actually counting the mini mini pills in the capsules..... well folks... guess what I'm not laughing now because after 3 days last week, I was counting the mini mini pills to take that brain zap away.... and it did. I'll probably come up with a brain zap here in the next couple of days and have to do it again but I will not laugh or chuckle at anything anyone posts here because the withdrawal symptoms are for real and yes they are very scarey.....

 

I do get to see my doctor next Wednesday to discuss how I am going and of course I am going to keep emphasizing how much this is a nightmare to get off this drug. You know it may be different for other people but this is truly a horrible nightmare here for me. I just hope and pray that I never ever have to take anything like this ever again.

 

The Effexor has been more horrible for me than even the Paxil .... I think there should be a class action suit against this drug company for this horrible drug.......Seriously I don't plan on taking anything ever like this again, I just wish I knew years ago what I know now and dealt with all this differently ..... A good counselor, diet, meditation and a doctor that didn't push you into drugs...as this last one did to me.

Thanks again folks, just have to share everything we learn together.....

Have a good Easter.... :)

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Neuroplastic

[below is an update from Sammyjo]

 

Hi there,

Just to update everyone,

so far I have successfully been able to finally get off the effexor tiny drops out of the capsules, going on now 2 weeks. I honestly think that I would have been better off on heroin than the effexor after looking back how bad it has caused me to feel trying to get off of it.

 

I feel very clearheaded and very rational now, than when I was on the effexor I felt like I was walking around in a drug fog all the time.

 

I hope to keep my present journey going straight and not have to use any more antidepressants ever again in my life.

 

I am incorporating alot of 'me' time into my therapy, reading books, going to church, taking self enrichment courses, talking things out when I think there might be a problem, so far it is all working, so I am leaving it all to the higher power for guidance.

 

Cheers,

Sammyjo

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Healing

Good to hear from you, sammyjo. I'm glad you're feeling reasonably well. Your self-care and healing plans sound fabulous! Keep us in the loop as you discover things! :)

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sammyjo

Hi there everyone,s

Something I discovered today and that is I am dealing with some serious things in life and with my own feelings too. Scarey after being on antidepressants for a very long time and then all of a sudden you are out there with your own raw feelings and coping so much better than you would even give yourself credit for. My husband here in AU is in very poor health having suffered a couple of strokes in the past month and today I found out my son in the states is in poor health too, he's only 42. It's just a matter of son getting diagnosed properly and possibly gall bladder surgery.

 

Something that has helped me thru everything tremendously is serious meditation at least once or twice daily..............

 

Take care everyone,

God bless,

sammyjo

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Healing

Oh, I'm sorry to hear about the health problems in your family, sammyjo! Yeah, it would have been nice if you could have had a bit more time to get your feet under you after the Effexor withdrawal! Still the meds are truly more harm than help, even though they're seductive. And you have much, much better therapeutic plans in place, including the meditation. Sending you good energy!

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sammyjo

Oh thank you so very much...... I firmly believe in POSITIVE ENERGY AND HAVING ALL KINDS OF POSITIVE PEOPLE ALL AROUND ME as a way of healing and renewing myself....

God Bless...

Cheers,

sammy jo

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