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ittakesavillage 1 Year Off Effexor


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1 Year Off Effexor

 

It has been a long time since I visited this site.  Online support what something that I frequented during my Effexor Withdrawal.

 

First let me say, I know how hard it is.  If you are struggling, please know that this is normal and that there are people who have made it through - you will as well.  Secondly, know it is completely worth it.  All the pain, discomfort, and agony will pay off.  Today I experience who I am.  I have all my feelings back and am more connected to life than I ever have been.  I have healthy relationships, joy, passion, and lots of love in my life.

 

I was put on medication as a child, around the age of 10, against my will.  Since then, I have been on every antidepressant, as well as some anti anxiety meds.  I have been on anti psychotics and sleeping pills.  I have also used lots of drugs and alcohol to dull my feelings or to feel my feelings.  Today I am over a year off of prescribed medication (except birth control) and 6 months completely sober off drugs and alcohol.  

 

Why did I want to get off meds?  Because I felt disconnected and like they had this power over me. I wanted to know who I was without them.  I didn't like the person who I was.  I knew that they were not good for my health.  I wanted to feel joy, to laugh until I cried, to be unencumbered. 

 

The first time I tried, I was on 150 mg XR of Effexor.  I started dumping out some beads from my capsules and went down fairly quickly.  Before I knew what had happened, I was having panic attacks all the time and hardly eating.  I couldn't function.  One morning, sitting in my car outside of work, I called my boss crying to explain I was in a constant state of panic and couldn't get out of my car.  I took medical leave from work and went back up to 75mg XR.  

 

A year or so later, my job came to a dramatic and painful end.  As I started to collect unemployment, I thought it would be a good time to try coming off again.  After my first experience, I had now done some research and learned the realities around antidepressant withdrawals.  I decided to take it slow.  I started counting beads out of my capsules.  I did not have a plan or support in place.  I honestly don't remember a lot of what came next.  At some point a couple of months in, I was having big mood swings.  I felt manic at time and at others time would have euphoric crying spells.  

 

I decided to move back to my hometown suddenly.  I didn't think this through at all but had some fantastical ideas in my head of what it would look like.  I was in a long term relationship but felt that my hometown was calling to me so I up and left.  Once I got to Seattle, things quickly took a turn for the worst.  I realized my relationship was over and panicked.  I felt like I had been sleepwalking, like I had no idea why I had made the decision to move.  I got a job but couldn't handle the stress.  I stopped sleeping.  The panic took over.  In the morning around 3 or 4am I would wake with a jolt from hardly any sleep. My heart would be pounding.  After many nights of this, I was hardly human.  I considered checking myself in to a hospital.  I had thoughts about suicide.  I tried "bridging" with prozac and felt like even more of a crazy zombie.  My heart was constantly doing weird things in my chest and felt like it was going to explode.  I tried going back up on effexor.  I didn't help. Nothing did. 

 

I called my mom and told her I needed help.  I begged her to let me come stay with her.  She graciously decided to let me do this for a bit.  By this point, I couldn't go to the grocery store, couldn't cope with seeing anyone.  I was in a constant state of FREAKED THE **** OUT.

 

When I finally made it to my moms apartment in LA, I felt a little safer.  It took a while to start sleeping again.  And when I did, it was nightmares and night sweats.  I switched to the tablet form of effexor and started weighing increments. I tried nutrition.  I tried supplements.  I got an acupuncturist who agreed to accept what little money I could offer.  I am not sure if the acupuncture itself helped, but the woman who worked with me was extremely nurturing and kind.  She had worked with people in med withdrawal before and was very assuring that we could work through whatever the symptom of the week was.

 

And boy were there a lot of symptoms. You probably know what I am talking about if you've taken the time to read this far.  Muscle Twitching.  Aggravation.  Constant feeling of anxiety in my chest, extreme sensitivity to everything, crying, dandruff, cystic acne, loss of menstruation, heart palpitations, nausea, and more.  I couldn't think, I couldn't relax, I had no concept of time.  

 

It was really hard.  The hardest thing I have ever done.  And I have been through a fair amount of pain in this life.  BUT it was worth it.  After coming off completely, I moved to New Zealand where my brother lives.  I got sober.  I joined NA.  I now work with my brother to put on a weekly support group for people considering, in the process of, or experience around coming off of psychiatric drugs.  I want to give back.  I am healthier and happier now.  I have been able to change.  I always felt like I couldn't change on drugs.  But now I am free and I am growing quickly.  I am learning and I am becoming the woman I want to be.  

 

I don't know the best way to come off Effexor.  It probably isn't the way I did it.  I am hearing now it is better to find a way to stay on the XR as you withdraw.  It is great to see more research being done around this.  It is awesome to see a company creating tapering kits.  I am excited to be a part of this new era.  I am grateful to have made it to the other side and I believe you can to, if that is what you want.  

 

Lots of Love,

 

R

 

ADMIN NOTE ittakesavillage's Intro topic is here

 

Edited by Altostrata
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Thats cool you are now helping others.

 

How many years in total where you on these drugs?

 

How did you manage to come off Effexor in the end? I'm sure others (inc myself.) would like to know. 

 

Cheers. 
Ryder

Cymbalta, Zyprexa, Seroquil, Rispiridone, Valium, Zoloft, Clonazepam,. + 1 other Benzo. Total 11 yrs.

·       April 9th 2018 Hospital. 50mg Zoloft > 0 discontinued. 6mg Clonazepam > 2.5mg over 8 weeks stay.

        October 25th 2019: Hospital:  Clonazepam Bridged 1mg > to 20mg Diazepam.

 

        Anafranil: 90mg. 85mg April 21, 80mg May 21 , 21 October 2021 75mg. 17 November 2021: 80mg (Updose 4 days),  21st November 2021 75mg Anafranil 9th April 2022: 80mg (5mg increase for sleep)

       Diazepam (V): 25th October 2019, 20mg. 22 Dec 19, 19mg. 04 April 2020: 18mg,  30 September 2020: 17.5mg , 13 November 2020 17mg. 01 January 2021: 16mg, 13th Aug 15mg. 1st November 2021 14.5mg. 1st December 2021 14mg. 13 January 2022: 13.5mg, 11 Feb: 13mg.  11 April 22' 12.5mg, 12 May 22': 12mg
*Have tried to go at faster rate than 0.5mg but is currently too fast. 

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Glad to hear you are doing well! That’s for sharing! 

 

ICA

Nexium and other PPIs: 1997-2019. Currently Nexium 20mg, 4/22 - 17.5mg

Lexapro: 2003-2018 back and forth between 20mg and 10mg. June 2018 CT.

Luvox for a few weeks, then Reinstated Lexapro 20mg. April 2018 quit Lexapro CT.

Buspirone: 2013-2017 10mg on and off.

Zyrtec: 2016 Stopped April 2022.

Effexor: August 2018-150mg. Sept. 2019-139 mg. Oct. 2019-122mg Dec 2019-112mg Feb. 2020-101mg Apr 2020-93mg

May 2020-75mg Aug 2020-66mg Sept 2020-53mg Nov 2020-37.5mg 12/14/20-20mg 1/18/21-12mg 2/15/21-7mg/19 beads 8/23/21-6.3mg/16 beads 4/5/22 UPDOSE-7mg

Klonopin: August 2018 2mg daily. April 2019 began taper. June 2019 .25mg. Sept. 2019. 0.2mg. 3/17/22 UPDOSE-0.3mg

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Thanks for sharing. You are an inspiration!

Oct 2016. 20 years fluoxetine (20 mg) and bupropion (400 mg). Ceased fluoxetine without taper and bupropion after 4 wk taper. Initial extreme fatigue resolved into moderate fatigue and depression with occasional brain zaps and tingling skin.
Oct 2017. Anhedonia, 90% of my day. Occasional anxiety. Milder brain zaps. In past two weeks, 3 window days and 11 wave days.
May 2019. Anhedonia, infrequent anxiety, mild brain zaps. Sleeping 6 hours nightly after lifetime of 8 hours. Typical daily pattern is wave until late afternoon, window until bedtime. Occasional full day windows.
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  • Moderator Emeritus
On 2/14/2018 at 8:49 AM, Gridley said:

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 information about your taper.

 

As requested previously, please create your drug signature.  This allows members to see your drug history at a glance and also be better able to understand the context of your posts.

 

This is the preferred format.   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

 MISSION ACCOMPLISHED:    13 November 2021 -  0mg Pristiq      

Woohoo!!!  Finally off Pristiq   

ADs since ~1992:  25+ years - 1 unknown, Prozac (muscle weakness), Zoloft; citalopram (pooped out) CTed (very sick for 2.5 wks a few months after); Pristiq:  50mg 2012, 100mg beg 2013 (Serotonin Toxicity)  Tapering from Oct 2015 - 13 Nov 2021   LAST DOSE 0.0025mg

My full tapering program     My Intro (goes to my tapering graph)    My website

PLEASE NOTE:  I am not a medical professional.  I provide information and make suggestions.  Please DO NOT TAG me -thank you.

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Thank you! It is encouraging to hear your experience. Way to go!

* Fluoxetine for over 15 years, 80mg since at least 2014

* Added Bupropion HCL ER(SR) 100mg some time in 2016 or 2017

* Modified Bupropion HCL dose to 150mg XL March 18, 2019

* Stopped Fluoxetine April 30, 2019

* Added Venlafaxine 75mg April 30, 2019

* Modified Venlafaxine to 37.5mg for 7 days May 20, 2019 (Last dose on May 27)

* Modified Bupropion HCL to 300mg XL May 20, 2019

* Withdrawal/Discontinuation Symptoms onset May 31, 2019

* Added xxx  beads of Venlafaxine June 10, 2019

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  • Altostrata changed the title to ittakesavillage 1 Year Off Effexor
  • Administrator

@ittakesavillage Thanks so much for posting this! Please post information about your NZ support group in New Zealand members, please check in here

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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@ittakesavillage how long did you have post-acute withdrawal symptoms? Do you have any lingering effects?

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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On 6/30/2019 at 2:55 AM, ittakesavillage said:

I did not have a plan or support in place.  I honestly don't remember a lot of what came next.  At some point a couple of months in, I was having big mood swings.

 

On 6/30/2019 at 2:55 AM, ittakesavillage said:

I decided to move back to my hometown suddenly.  I didn't think this through at all

 

On 6/30/2019 at 2:55 AM, ittakesavillage said:

I had no idea why I had made the decision to move.  I got a job but couldn't handle the stress.

 

 

I want to thank you so much for posting this. 

 

I just moved in May - when I was one year off lexapro - and have moved to another state and started then quit three jobs since then. I now plan to move to yet another state for yet another job. I hope and pray this is the right thing to do! 

 

I guess all we can do is keep making decisions the best way we know how, but I suspect we (me, at least) need to give ourselves MORE TIME to recover from the drugs. I don't know how much time, but one year off was not enough for me!  I think a lot of it is no structure/roots/social support - all my friends/support is online. 

 

I congratulate you on what you have accomplished and am so glad for you. 

 

On 6/30/2019 at 2:55 AM, ittakesavillage said:

BUT it was worth it.  After coming off completely, I moved to New Zealand where my brother lives.  I got sober.  I joined NA.  I now work with my brother to put on a weekly support group for people considering, in the process of, or experience around coming off of psychiatric drugs.  I want to give back.  I am healthier and happier now.  I have been able to change.  I always felt like I couldn't change on drugs.  But now I am free and I am growing quickly.  I am learning and I am becoming the woman I want to be.  

 

 

 

this is the kind of thing we all need to hear! 

 

when it gets hard I have to remind myself the whole reason for it: I didn't like who I was on the drugs and it really felt like nothing could change/I couldn't change and it really really really felt like none of that mattered. 

 

 your words are inspiring and I encourage you to keep posting here, thank you! 🤗

 

 

Currently taking Ramapril (blood pressure) 5 mg twice a day

Omeprazole 10 mg AM and 20 mg PM  (the taper has gone nowhere after the first cut)

Famotidine   once a day (and I still needs tums sometimes)

magnesium 200 mg at night

as of yesterday 2 fish oil capsules "EPA-DHA 1000"

 

off Lexapro as of 5/2018  - last dose had been 5 mg every other day for a couple years

 

highest dose had been 20 mg at which point I was diagnosed with Bipolar II, which went away when I cut the lexapro down to 15 mg. 

 

I spent years on Paxil before Lexapro (can't remember dose), briefly on Effexor and Abilify and others I have forgotten. in fact, when I was diagnoses with BPII I was put on all kinds of things which made me feel so bad I stopped them cold turkey within maybe 3 or 4 weeks, thank goodness. since then I've known these pills were terrible and I weaned down the Lexapro with zero help or support over I'm not sure how many years. 

 

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9 hours ago, JackieDecides said:

 

 

 

 

I want to thank you so much for posting this. 

 

I just moved in May - when I was one year off lexapro - and have moved to another state and started then quit three jobs since then. I now plan to move to yet another state for yet another job. I hope and pray this is the right thing to do! 

 

I guess all we can do is keep making decisions the best way we know how, but I suspect we (me, at least) need to give ourselves MORE TIME to recover from the drugs. I don't know how much time, but one year off was not enough for me!  I think a lot of it is no structure/roots/social support - all my friends/support is online. 

 

I congratulate you on what you have accomplished and am so glad for you. 

 

 

 

this is the kind of thing we all need to hear! 

 

when it gets hard I have to remind myself the whole reason for it: I didn't like who I was on the drugs and it really felt like nothing could change/I couldn't change and it really really really felt like none of that mattered. 

 

 your words are inspiring and I encourage you to keep posting here, thank you! 🤗

 

 

Thank you for your kind words :)  I can definitely relate to all the changes.. I think everything happens for a reason and even though some of my moves were confusing and difficult, they all led me to where I am today which I feel is 100% the right place for me.  

 

I also felt like I couldn't change or grow on drugs and getting off of them has been one of the best things I have ever done for myself.  Well done following your path and taking chances, that's the stuff life is made of.  I think what you said about connection is really important - connection is key and online support is not enough.  Finding a community and building relationships with people you can love and laugh with is so important.  

 

Congratulations back to you for pushing through and wishing you all the best ❤️ 

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15 hours ago, Altostrata said:

@ittakesavillage how long did you have post-acute withdrawal symptoms? Do you have any lingering effects?

Hi There,

 

I think it took about 6 months after coming completely off for me to start feeling normal again.  My life was in so much flux while withdrawing, it also helped to settle somewhere and form community and connection.  Now that I have a job I like and family and friends around, I feel 100% healed.

 

In terms of lingering effects, it is hard to say what is drug related.  I still struggle with some minor stuff like grinding my teeth and nightmares but I suspect these things are caused by levels of stress that I have felt since dealing with some trauma years ago.  I would say that today I deal with the same amount of struggles that any normal person who hasn't dealt with medication would have, such a blessing!

 

❤️ 

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On 7/1/2019 at 1:36 PM, Ryder said:

Thats cool you are now helping others.

 

How many years in total where you on these drugs?

 

How did you manage to come off Effexor in the end? I'm sure others (inc myself.) would like to know. 

 

Cheers. 
Ryder

Hi Ryder,

 

I was on psych drugs for around 15 years.  Mostly antidepressants, but also some anti anxiety, sleeping pills, and anti psych. 

 

Not sure the way I came off Effexor was optimal.  If I could do it again I think I would have tried a liquid compound over 1-2 years. However, that is knowing what I know now.  At the time, I ended up switching from capsules to tablets (taken twice a day since not XR).  I then got a gem scale and starting grinding down and weighing the tablets to reduce.  I think I tried reducing 5% a week but honestly things were so crazy I don't remember exactly! 

 

Again, I would recommend using a liquid compound made by a pharmacy and starting a reduction of 5% a month.  If you are feeling no side effects and having an easy time with it, you could try 10% a month.  Depends how long you have been on meds.  Also, something I think is very important with tapering/life is having solid support and healthy habits.  

 

Wishing you all the best!

 

❤️ R

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On 7/21/2019 at 11:14 PM, ittakesavillage said:

Hi Ryder,

 

I was on psych drugs for around 15 years.  Mostly antidepressants, but also some anti anxiety, sleeping pills, and anti psych. 

 

Not sure the way I came off Effexor was optimal.  If I could do it again I think I would have tried a liquid compound over 1-2 years. However, that is knowing what I know now.  At the time, I ended up switching from capsules to tablets (taken twice a day since not XR).  I then got a gem scale and starting grinding down and weighing the tablets to reduce.  I think I tried reducing 5% a week but honestly things were so crazy I don't remember exactly! 

 

Again, I would recommend using a liquid compound made by a pharmacy and starting a reduction of 5% a month.  If you are feeling no side effects and having an easy time with it, you could try 10% a month.  Depends how long you have been on meds.  Also, something I think is very important with tapering/life is having solid support and healthy habits.  

 

Wishing you all the best!

 

❤️ R

Hello there  How long was your taper from beginning to end  ? 

Did you have depression ?

thsnk you so much for writing your story 

 

October 2004 Paxil 20mg - October 2018, 14 years

Nov 2018 Pregabalin - 2x50 mg a day to help with Paxil WD

August 2019 Pregabalin - 2 x 25mg a day 

April 2020 Pregabalin - 45mg, May 40mg, June 35mg, beg July 30mg, end July 25mg, Aug 24mg 

June 2021   Pregabalin - 14mg, January 2022 Pregabalin 14mg (2x7mg a day)

October 2018 Paxil - 20 mg, November 15mg, December 10mg  February 2019 Paxil- 7.5mg crashed, February 8.5mg, Nov 8mg 

March 2020 Paxil - 7.2mg, April 6.5mg, May 5.9mg, June 5.4mg, July 4.8mg, December 4.5mg 

January 2021 Paxil - 4mg, February 3.6mg, March 3.2mg, April 2.9mg, Aug 2.7mg, Sept 2.4mg, Oct 2.2mg, Nov 2mg, Dec 1.8mg, 

February 2022 Paxil - 1.6mg, March 1.4mg, April 1.2mg,

 

these dates are approximate 

 

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