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Davie

Davie: Tapering, Venlafaxine

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Davie

Hello, I am a 64 year old man who has been on Antidepressants since my early thirties, I have tried most Antidepressant types from the older MSOI's the Tricyclics , onto the SSRI's none of which helped greatly! I was then introduced in 2002 to Venlafaxine 75mg  tablets X2 per day ,these I had taken with little success until 2008 when I had a nervous breakdown and was immediately switched by My Doctor back onto Fluoxetine with no tapering advice given, the next 5 years were very difficult, lots of spells sick from work with Anxiety. In 2013 I was seen by a Pschyciatrist who diagnosed me with GAD and persuaded me to start Venlafaxine again as it was supposedly best for GAD. Naturally this did not work well so I tried recently (2019)  to carefully wean myself off Venlafaxine over a two month period ( which was longer than my GP recommended) I was down to around 10 mg a day (1/4 of a 37.5mg tablet) for the last two weeks before stopping completely!

 

I had a very good 4 week's after stopping, my Pschyciatrist was pleased I had successfully stopped and suggested I need no further Medication. A few days after meeting my Pschyciatrist I had a bad nights sleep and got up in the morning with Anxiety that would not go away and got worse every day - it was banging in my chest 24/ 7 and I started feeling suicidal as I could not bear the pain until I took a 37.5 mg Venlafaxine tablet and felt the Anxiety ease within an hour or so. I am now back on Venlafaxine 75mg XL along with 10 mg Diazepam a day to help my damaged nervous system repair itself. As I write this now I am 2 weeks back on the Venlafaxine and the unbearable Anxiety has now cleared but I still feel nervous & exhausted. My Doctor now says I will be on this drug long term as he has no other answers. My main concern is that this drug may continue to do irreparable damage to my nervous system and I can not get off it! 

 

Edited by ChessieCat
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Gridley

Welcome to SA, Davie.

 

To start, in order to give members the best information, we ask them to summarize their medication history in a signature -- drugs, doses, dates, and discontinuations & reinstatements, in the last 12-24 months particularly.  Please include the dates you tapered the Venlafaxine, whether you are on the extended release or regular version, when you restarted it, when you went to 75mg and when you started the Diazepam and at what dosage.
 
 
The anxiety, suicidal thoughts and other symptoms you experienced were the result of tapering far too fast off the Venlafaxine. Doctors know little, if anything, about tapering or withdrawal.   We recommend tapering no faster than 10% of current dose every four weeks.  Some have to go more slowly.  A slow safe taper is what I would recommend for slowly tapering the drug from your current 75mg dosage.  It is quite possible to get off this drug provided you do it slowly.
 

 

These links explain the importance of a slow taper.

 

 
 
This link explains how to obtain the non-standard smaller doses of the drug that you will need to taper by 10%. 
 
 
To help you understand the symptoms you are experiencing, here is some information on withdrawal.  The withdrawal time doesn't necessarily correlate with the time you were on the drug.  These drugs alter the architecture of the brain, and the time necessary to heal the brain and return to homeostasis is, unfortunately, impossible to predict.  Withdrawal symptoms arise because your body got used to the drug being present and now has to work very hard to accommodate its absence.
 
 
 
How long have you been on the Diazepam?  Benzodiazepines (benzos) do not repair the nervous system; the only thing that will do that is time.  Benzos work for only 2-4 weeks, after which we stay on them solely to stave off withdrawal.  Dependency for benzos starts in as little as 2 weeks.
 
This is your introduction topic -- the place for you to ask questions, record symptoms, share your progress, and connect with other members of the SA community.  I hope you’ll find the information in the SA forums helpful for your situation.  I'm sorry that you are in the position that you need the information, but I am glad that you found us.

 
 
 
 
 

 
 

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Davie

Topic title:  Hot Stomach discomfort

 

Hello all, I Stopped taking Venlafaxine earlier this year after tapering too quickly over 2 months, I have had to go back on the Venlafaxine as I could not cope with the horrendous withdrawal effects.

I am now 6 Months down the line after restarting the 'Ven' and am not feeling nearly as good as I thought I would ( fatigue, anxiety, apathy, mild depression and Hot stomach) 

 

It is this hot stomach I am more concerned about, it feels like my stomach has been microwaved!!! Has anybody else experienced any thing similar? I can understand the rest of the symptoms but not this one although the withdrawal really ripped my CNS apart. 

 

I am currently on 150 mg XL Capsule one daily. Also should I be feeling better than I am by now being back on the Meds for 6 months - I had stopped them for about 4 weeks before the withdrawal hit. 

 

Thanks to all!! 

 

Edited by ChessieCat
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ChessieCat

Merged 2 intro topics.  Each member has only 1 intro topic where they can ask questions about their own situation and journal their progress.

 

This is your current drug signature before simplifying.

 

Quote

 

Hello, I was put on Venlafaxine around 2000 and tried unsuccessfully a few times to come off it as it did not help my depression much-  I used to take a small part of a tablet now and again ( around 20ml) when I had days with bad Anxiety which seemed to help! I was never able to tolerate the full dose on a daily basis. 

 

I  had a nervous breakdown in 2008 and was switched to Fluoxetine and also started Diazepam 5mg to be taken as required,  my health did not improve much and I was eventually referred to a Pschyciatrist in 2013 who diagnosed me with GAD and put me back on Venlafaxine starting on 75 mg XL increasing to 150 mg before switching me to 2x75 mg tablets which I could not tolerate very well and tried to come off them with disastrous side effects. My recent attempt to come off them I tapered from 75mg down to around 10 mg for the last two weeks ( this was over a two month period) I then made the jump from 10 mg to zero and felt clear headed and well for around 4 weeks until out of the blue I had a bad nights sleep , horrible Anxiety, worsening every day, suicidal thoughts etc.  until I took a 37.5 mg Venlafaxine tablet and felt the Anxiety decreasing within an hour or so, I am now back on Venlafaxine 75 mg XL and slowly recovering as my nervous system feels wrecked. I feel far worse generally now than when I first went to the Doctor for depression many years ago. I am still on Diazepam after 11 years but luckily I  only have a script for 20x5mg tablets around once a month and  never take them unless I have bad days of Anxiety, I also don't think they are as effective as they used to be! 

 

Thank you all for your help and guidance

Davie

 

 

 

 

The mods, who are volunteers and are very busy helping lots of members, need to be able able to see your drug history at a glance without having to read through other information but if we need it we can read through your posts. 

 

The information which is in your current signature contains useful information so please copy and paste it into a post here in your introduction topic and create a simple drug signature using the following format.

 

All we need are drug name, dose and date of the dose change please.

 

Keep it simple.  NO diagnoses or symptoms please - thank you.

  • details for last 2 years - dates, ALL drugs, doses
  • summary for older than 2 years - just years and drug/s

Account Settings – Create or Edit a signature

 

 

I will ask the other mods for their assistance.

 

This is your own introductions topic where your can ask questions about your own situation and journal your progress.

 

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ChessieCat

Please advise, in a post, what drugs you are currently taking and what time you take each of them.

 

Q:  Are you currently taking any supplements or any other drugs?

 

Q:  Are you currently taking a benzo?  If yes, are you the same dose every day?  If no, have often do you take it and when was the last time you took it?

 

Q:  Have you tried other drugs/supplements since April which you are no longer taking?  If yes, please post the drug/supplement name and dates taken.

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Davie

Hello, I was taking Diazepam 5mg twice a day up until about two months ago and they were ineffective so I got my doctor to wean me off them over two weeks,I had been taking Diazepam as required for several years but was upped to two a day over the last few months. 

I also take a Chamomile tablet at night to help me sleep and sometimes an antihistamine( sleepeazy) if I cannot fall off to sleep. 

I was feeling a good bit better a few weeks ago and started doing lots of work about the house that I was unable to do before so possibly did too much as now I have a return of my anxiety, feeling dizzy and useless again, it is horrible.

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Altostrata

Hello, Davie. Could you simplify your signature so it's not a narrative, which is very hard to read, but a list of when you started a drug, its dosage, and when you changed it?

 

When did you last take diazepam?

 

Is the "hot stomach" your most troublesome symptom? When did this symptom start?

 

Have you overdone it recently with alcohol or anything else?

 

 

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Davie

Hello, I stopped taking Diazepam about 4 -5 weeks ago, my hot stomach had been with me since the chronic Anxiety I had initially coming off Venlafaxine eased and seems to have settled in my stomach area when I get anxious,some weeks it is only mildly bothersome but at the moment it is like my stomach is on fire.

I believe it is nerve related but wondered if anyone else has/had these symptoms.

Every time I go to doctor I am dismissed with ' it's just your generalised anxiety disorder'. They even want me to increase the Venlafaxine which I refused. Sorry for rambling on. Davie

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Davie

Hello all , I recently had my Venlafaxine reduced from 150mg to 75 mg by my Doctor, it was an immediate reduction with a change of dosage!

I felt a lot better for around a month then was hit with bad symptoms out if the blue - Vertigo, Anxiety loss of appetite & poor sleep which I put down to a far too quick reduction. I still want to reduce my dosage and was wondering if I could get a formula from you to do this. I was thinking of taking a 75 XL along with a 37.5 mg tablet in the Morning & half a tablet in the evening and then one half tablet both morning and night -  eventually one quarter tablet morning and night (while still taking the 75ng capsule) but don't know how long to  hold each reduction for ? 

Any help greatly appreciated as this Drug is killing me slowly! 

Thank you

Davie

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manymoretodays

Hi Davie, @Davie

And welcome back.

I found your most recent post in our Tapering forum and rejoined it back here to your main introduction.

If you could adapt/edit/update your signature that would really help.

 Please put your withdrawal history in your signature to help the moderators.

^ instructions and a link to get you there for editing

On 7/19/2011 at 9:31 AM, Altostrata said:

Putting a SHORT version of your recent history of reducing or discontinuing drugs in your signature, with the drugs you are currently taking, when you started taking them, and their dosages, helps people understand your context when they read your posts.

 

Your signature appears under all your posts.

  

  If your drug history is very long, the last few years will do. FOR READABILITY, SHORT LINES ARE BEST.

 

  • A list is easier to understand than one or multiple paragraphs
  • Include ALL drugs, doses, and dates (starting and stopping)
  • Any drugs prior to 24 months ago can just be listed with start and stop years
  • Please use actual dates or approximate dates (e.g. mid-June) rather than relative time frames (e.g. 3 months ago)
  • Spell out months (e.g. "January" or "Jan" as 9/1/2016 can be interpreted as 9 Jan 2016 or 1 Sept 2016)
  • Please leave out symptoms and diagnoses

 

Example:

2001–2002 paroxetine 
2003  citalopram 
2004  paroxetine
2008  paroxetine slow taper down to 2016 Aug off paroxetine
2016  citalopram May 20mg  Oct slow taper down
2018  citalopram 13 Feb 4.6mg 15 Mar 4.4mg 29 Apr 4.2mg

 

As you may be aware, a 50% taper is much more than we would ever recommend.  And I'm not at all surprised that you have started to experience some WDsyndrome symptoms.

21 hours ago, Davie said:

I still want to reduce my dosage and was wondering if I could get a formula from you to do this. I was thinking of taking a 75 XL along with a 37.5 mg tablet in the Morning & half a tablet in the evening and then one half tablet both morning and night -  eventually one quarter tablet morning and night (while still taking the 75ng capsule) but don't know how long to  hold each reduction for ? 

 

For right now, if you could clarify, by way of your signature some dates and doses with us. 

And then you might want to go on up to the initial response given to you by Gridley, to review and find out more about WD(withdrawal), our harm reduction tapering protocols, and Effexor, as well as EffexorXL.

We should be able to help you once we have a bit more information.

Please ask any questions around your specific situation right here, on your introduction page, for now.  Very helpful to get all your information in one place.

What dose of Venlafaxine XL are you taking right now and when?

 

Again, welcome back.

 

Love, peace, healing, and growth,

manymoretodays(mmt)

Edited by manymoretodays
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Davie

2013 - 2019 Venlafaxine 75 mg X2 tablets 

2013- 2020 5 mg Diazepam as required

Recently 25 mg Lyrica twice daily

Came of  Venlafaxine 2019 was hit with horrendous withdrawal , put back on EfforexXL 75 mg March 2019 increased to 150 mg May 2019 ( ended up in A&E)

Reduced Efforex to 75mg November 2019 ( by Doctor) hit with withdrawal  in December 2019 was put back on 150mg. Currently on same plus recently 25 mg Lyrica X2 daily and occasional 5mg Diazepam.

Still suffering ! 

Edited by Davie

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manymoretodays

Hi Davie, @Davie

I got your, what appears to be your signature moved from that topic back here.  It looks good.

I copied it again with just a few questions in red below:

 

2013 - 2019 Venlafaxine 75 mg X2 tablets 

2013- 2020 5 mg Diazepam as required 

date Recently 25 mg Lyrica twice daily

Came of  Venlafaxine 2019 was hit with horrendous withdrawal , put back on EfforexXL 75 mg March 2019 increased to 150 mg May 2019 ( ended up in A&E)

Reduced Efforex to 75mg November 2019 ( by Doctor) hit with withdrawal  in December 2019 was put back on 150mg. Currently on same plus recently 25 mg Lyrica X2 daily and occasional 5mg Diazepam.

Still suffering !

 

I'll copy on over your old introduction now, here as well, so you have a record:

Hello, I was put on Venlafaxine around 2000 and tried unsuccessfully a few times to come off it as it did not help my depression much-  I used to take a small part of a tablet now and again ( around 20ml) when I had days with bad Anxiety which seemed to help! I was never able to tolerate the full dose on a daily basis. 

I  had a nervous breakdown in 2008 and was switched to Fluoxetine and also started Diazepam 5mg to be taken as required,  my health did not improve much and I was eventually referred to a Pschyciatrist in 2013 who diagnosed me with GAD and put me back on Venlafaxine starting on 75 mg XL increasing to 150 mg before switching me to 2x75 mg tablets which I could not tolerate very well and tried to come off them with disastrous side effects. My recent attempt to come off them I tapered from 75mg down to around 10 mg for the last two weeks ( this was over a two month period) I then made the jump from 10 mg to zero and felt clear headed and well for around 4 weeks until out of the blue I had a bad nights sleep , horrible Anxiety, worsening every day, suicidal thoughts etc.  until I took a 37.5 mg Venlafaxine tablet and felt the Anxiety decreasing within an hour or so, I am now back on Venlafaxine 75 mg XL and slowly recovering as my nervous system feels wrecked. I feel far worse generally now than when I first went to the Doctor for depression many years ago. I am still on Diazepam after 11 years but luckily I  only have a script for 20x5mg tablets around once a month and  never take them unless I have bad days of Anxiety, I also don't think they are as effective as they used to be! 

Thank you all for your help and guidance

Davie

 

Now if you go right to Account Settings/signature, you should be able to replace your old signature with the new(with additions).  And again, don't forget to SAVE, when you are done editing there.

 

And yes, of course, you are suffering some symptoms right now, due to the recent changes.  That can cause the nervous system dysregulation that we so often see with WD.  And as you stay more regular with your dosing, you should be able to reach some further WDstability before attempting any further tapers.

Were you regular with the diazepam, prior to December?  And would you just list your current medications, right here on your introduction, in a reply, with the current times that you take them.  Time on the left.  Medications by name and dose on the right.  And if possible then list symptoms on the right as they occur throughout the day.  How is your sleep?  You can include this in the notes.  See :  Keeping daily notes.  Just try for a simple list for now.

 

Just for now, and until we get a clearer picture of your particular case, just HOLD steady with your medications.

 

Thankyou.

L, P, H, and G,

mmt

 

 

 

 

 

Edited by manymoretodays

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