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Whinora

Whinora: high on Effexor

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Whinora

I was referred here by my therapist after voicing concerns when my general physician put my on venflaxine, the generic for effexor, about a month ago because of my anxiety. Due to my history with SSRIs (below), she wanted to put me on something different, and put me on this SNRI, and the effect was almost immediate. I am on cloud nine every day, have become more extroverted, more confident, happy about everything, full of love and excitement for the world. Honestly its was wonderful, it was like a weight was lifted from me, and suddenly I was free of the anxiety and depression that had been weighing me down for years. I am 21 years old, and I have been dealing with terrible mental health symptoms since I was 14, so having this relief felt like Heaven. But it isn't real. Its unsustainable. And I understand now that coming down from cloud nine is going to feel like Hell. I am on 37.5 mg two times a day, and one day I missed a dose, as happens sometimes, and everything became dark. There was no happiness in anything. Everything was terrible. The weirdest was that was like someone had stuffed cotton balls in my head, even for three days after I continued doses as normal. I was cautious starting this antidepressent, because I have had a bad history with them, and I hate the idea of becoming dependent on a drug. In the fall of 2017 a psychiatrist (who I no longer see after it was revealed he liked to experiment on his patients) started me on lexapro, and after about a month of really bad symptoms he weaned me off and got me on paroxitene. I never finished my perscription, and must have just quit taking them (don't really remember), but I remember having terrible paranoia/anxiety/weight gain while taking the drug. Now with venflaxine, I don't know why I started, but I want off before its too late. I am terrified. I am terrified of throwing myself back into the anxiety and depression that has plagued me for years, but I know I deserve to get better without this drug making me high. I am terrified of the withdrawal effects, because after missing a dose I am thrown off and basically out of commission (paranoid, cotton ball in head feeling, nothing seems to make sense) for days, and I am currently in school studying engineering, which requires I be on top of things every day. I don't know what to do, or how to escape this drug. I need advice. I am scared, because this drug has shifted my entire reality, and I know that shifting things back is going to be horrible. I need advice. How do I get myself off this drug, without completely sabotaging my life, before it is too late? 

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WiggleIt

I'm glad you found this site (and kind of amazed that your therapist referred you to it), and thank you so much for describing your story.  There are a couple of orientation steps to the site I'm going to ask you to take before getting into the nitty-gritty of your specific situation.  One step is to create a signature, and the other step is to read about tapering.  I'll give you details about each step below:

STEP 1.) Please create your signature.  How to create a signature in SA and why - We all have intro topics on this site, just like the one you made, and we use our intro topics like our own personal blog to talk to about our stories in detail. We also all have signatures that you can see at the bottom of each comment we make.  The signature is just like an email signature; it's a short blurb that automatically appears every time we post.  We use these signatures to quickly get a summary of each other's meds, so we can help out.

 

Here's how to create your signature:

a.) Look at the top right of the page where your name appears

b.) Click on your name and you'll see a pull-down menu appear

c.) Under that menu, click on Account Settings
d.) You'll get taken to a new page.  Look at the left side of that page
e.) Click on Signature
f.) Fill out a short summary or short list of your medication history in the box that pops up
g.) Click Save and then you can go back to the rest of the site and keep chatting!

I know it's hard to deal with new info and new tasks when you've just gotten to this site and when you feel vulnerable to psych meds, but filling out your signature really will help everyone.

STEP 2.) Please read a bit of the tapering advice on this site.  You mentioned you want to get off of your med.  If you decide to go off, you will find tapering advice on this site, and it sounds like you already know to be cautious, which is good.  These tapering links may help you.  You'll see that slow tapering by 10% of your dosage is the guideline that taperers tend to follow:

https://www.survivingantidepressants.org/topic/1024-why-taper-by-10-of-my-dosage/

 

and 

https://www.survivingantidepressants.org/topic/300-important-topics-in-the-tapering-forum-and-faq/

and 

https://www.survivingantidepressants.org/forum/14-tapering/

I know you're new here and am not trying to slam you with info!  I tend to be on the wordy side, but there are others here, both moderators and members, who will also be along to chat.   

 

Edited by ChessieCat
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WiggleIt

Hi again Whinora,

I just wanted to pop in and see if you've had the chance to hop back on SA and read the reply above.

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Whinora

Yes I read your post it was very helpful!! I added a signature and read about tapering. I have only been on effexor for about 3-4 weeks and want to get advice on how best to get off at this point without too much disrupting my mental state. Also the pills are capsules and it wasn't so clear on how to reduce dose that way (since a pill splitter would not work). Thank you so much for your response!

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DrugfreeProf

I am the therapist who referred Whinora to this site. To clarify, she has been on Effexor for approximately three weeks and wants to come off it  safely. I urged her to get advice from the mods here since it's unclear (to me) how slowly or quickly she should taper off the Effexor.   I assume the 10 percent rule doesn't necessarily apply to her as she's been on the AD less than a month. . .but I do not know how to advise her and would love if the mods could clarify. Thank you.

 

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ChessieCat

Could you please provide additional information about the following?

 

Fall 2017 started lexapro, had bad anxiety/dissosiation

Tapered and got on paroxetine 20 mg, bad anxiety/paranoia/weight gain. Stopped taking

 

How and when did you go off Lexapro?

 

When did you start and stop paroxetine?  How did you stop taking it?

 

What date did you start venlafaxine?

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WiggleIt
On 2/11/2019 at 9:32 PM, DrugfreeProf said:

I am the therapist who referred Whinora to this site. To clarify, she has been on Effexor for approximately three weeks and wants to come off it  safely. I urged her to get advice from the mods here since it's unclear (to me) how slowly or quickly she should taper off the Effexor.   I assume the 10 percent rule doesn't necessarily apply to her as she's been on the AD less than a month. . .but I do not know how to advise her and would love if the mods could clarify. Thank you.

 


Hello DrugfreeProf and Whinona,

It seems theoretically like the 10% rule should not apply to a person who's been on an AD less than a month, but I noticed in Whinona's very first comment that she wrote, "I am terrified of the withdrawal effects, because after missing a dose I am thrown off and basically out of commission (paranoid, cotton ball in head feeling, nothing seems to make sense) for days."  In my layperson, non-medical opinion it does sound like you'd benefit from a slow taper, Whinona.

Whinona, when you say you have capsules, are they the kind that have little beads inside?  I'm trying to picture what you are describing. 

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bubble

I think we don't have to form any assumptions on how fast Whinora will be able to reduce. It's just because the only judge of that is her brain.

 

The safest thing is to reduce by 10%, wait for let's say at least 2 weeks and carefully monitor the symptoms, if any.

 

If there were no symptoms it will be safe to assume that you will be able to increase the amount and/or rate of tapering. This is the so-called Start small, listen to your body approach. More about it here: 

 

Maybe you were repeatedly started on new drugs because you had withdrawal from stopping the previous ones too fast. The prior exposure to drugs makes your situation different to someone who has only ever taken Venlafaxine and more cautious approach is warranted especially since your goal is remaining as stable as possible.

 

You will do well because you are getting informed and learning about the safe approach. You will have lots of support here.

 

 

Edited by bubble
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Whinora

Hey guys! So I went off March 1st after a (eyeballed) half dose of my 37.5 mg capsule. Withdrawal symptoms have been bad. Dissosiated, disoriented, I feel like I'm having constant microseizures in my brain, I either got a really bad cold or this is because of the meds too. I'm dizzy, shaking, I can't concentrate, and I am irritated to the nth degree. I have almost no filters anymore. It's like I'm drunk and angry all the time. And I just don't care. About anything. My friends ,my education, myself. It's bad. My therapist has said I might need to reinstate by going on 1 mg by actually counting the beads this time rather than just eyeballing it (whoops. I was scared and confused). I wanted to see what you guys thought. Any advice would be appreciated. 

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Altostrata

That was foolish. You have withdrawal syndrome. This can get worse and last a long time. 

 

Your therapist is correct. Does he or she read this site? If I were you, I'd take 6 beads out of a capsule, wash them right down with water, don't chew them or let them dissolve in your mouth. Let us know how you're doing.

 

About reinstating and stabilizing to reduce withdrawal symptoms

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Whinora

I know it was foolish and I am ashamed of how I acted out of fear and ignorance and am now facing the consequences. I calculated out that 1mg is approx 2 beads. As you said 6, I tried to average it out to 4. They were all different sizes so I tried my best

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