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Superwoman: Effexor taper

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Superwoman

I think that I should go back to taking Effexor xr in the morning.  It is not working out well taking it at lunch time.  It is hard to remember to bring it with me if I am out and I end up taking it too late.  Or I accidentally take it at breakfast out of habit b/c it is sitting on the table where I see it to remember to take it.

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Passionlifetime

You should not take it late as its like activator in morning. After taking it will start to give effect after few hours so better to take it early.

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Superwoman

@Altostrata, I am thinking of starting to taper after I have titrated probiotics and vitamin d up to therapeutic levels and tapered caffeine as low as possible or off completely if feasible.  I am expecting this to take 2 to 4 weeks.  Probably more like 4 weeks.  What do you think of this timeline?  Do you think that I am stable enough to start tapering?  Even if I am not stable, do you think I should taper anyway because I am having side effects to Effexor?  I am hoping that I will feel better after reducing Effexor. 


I have determined that I am definitely reacting to Effexor xr.  I think that I am still reacting to caffeine but I am handling it a lot better since I have been lowering it.  Symptoms seem slight to mild.  I think that the Effexor is the bigger culprit of the two, as far as side effects are concerned. Oddly, some days I seem to react badly to meds and supplements and other days I don’t seem to react.  Although I could be having delayed reactions some days.

 

Have you noticed any symptom patterns?  I noticed that my symptoms often start in the morning and peak in the afternoon.  Symptoms sometimes subside in the evening.  Mood often lifts in later evening. 
 

I think that I should go back to taking Effexor in the morning.  The rationale of separating the coffee and Effexor makes sense.  I have been able to narrow things down doing this.  The problem is that it is hard for me to remember to take it at a consistent time at lunch.  This is exasperating the symptoms.  Now that I have been able to determine that I am having side effects to Effexor I think that I should go back to taking it a breakfast so that I can take it at a consistent time.  Once I get down to 1 cup tea then caffeine might be low enough that I can CT caffeine for a few days without withdrawal (hopefully) and test for reactions. 
 

All of my symptoms have improved a lot, but I still have symptoms every day.  Some days I only have a few symptoms. Some days I have a lot.  My sleep is good. 

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Altostrata

I will need to see your daily symptom pattern when you have minimized those things that might be causing your symptoms before I can say you're "stable." I'm not good at predicting the future.

 

Please do not move Effexor to the morning until you are down to one cup of tea a day. It shouldn't take you more than a couple of weeks to go off caffeine.

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Superwoman

@Altostrata,

 

I know that you can’t predict the future.  I am just trying to make plans.  I am off work for 10 days starting December 20.  So this seems like this might be an ideal time to start tapering.  I am impatient to start tapering because I am having side effects from the Effexor and I want to feel better.  At the same time I don’t want to taper too soon and get worse. 
 

I am frustrated about the slow pace and all of the reactions to everything.  I am reacting to my Armour Thyroid medication ever since the dose was increased from 120 mg to 180 mg.  I have amplified fast heartbeat after taking it.  
 

What can I do about this?  I have to take the thyroid med because not taking it will cause hypothyroid symptoms.  The depression has improved significantly since the updose.  I am still tired but my energy improved some and I lost a few pounds.  I have had hypothyroidism long before tapering the antidepressants.  But I think that the withdrawal made it worse. 
 

Can I still taper if I am reacting to the thyroid medication?  Would this have a negative effect on the withdrawal?  I think that the Effexor is causing me the biggest problems. 

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Altostrata

You need to talk to your thyroid doctor about slightly decreasing your Armour Thyroid dosage. It went up by 50%.

 

This is an example of how you may mistake reactions to other drugs and caffeine for reactions to Effexor. Yes, if you are reacting to your thyroid drug, you might get confused about withdrawal symptoms when you reduce Effexor.

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Superwoman

@Altostrata,

 

I asked about rechecking my thyroid levels at my doctors appointment this week.  I was told that it was too early.  I think that I can get it checked again in 2 weeks.  I am trying to be patient but I feel very frustrated.  I don’t know if it makes sense to reduce it until after I get it rechecked or not. 
 

I don’t think they have ever increased the thyroid med that much before.  The withdrawal must really be screwing with my thyroid. 
 

Yes, it is hard to tell what is the problem when there are multiple variables.  I still think that the Effexor is causing side effects as well as the Armour Thyroid, because I have had reactions immediately after taking it. 
 

It also seems to vary which is confusing.  Yesterday I had a reaction 10 minutes after taking fish oil.  I have not noticed any reaction to fish oil previously.  I am going to take it out for now. 

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Superwoman

Tuesday November 19, 2019

 

9:30am: Woke up, tired, coffee 1 scoop, breakfast, Effexor xr 112.5

10 am: Light headed spells, 

10:30am: Chiropractor, left eye twitches nearly constant

11am: Left eye twitches all morning 

11:30am: Tired

1pm: Probiotic increased to 1 tsp.

1:30pm. 1:30-4:30 Lf. Eye twitches off and on 

2pm: Light headed spells slight 1 hr. 
4:30pm: 4:30-6:30 pm: eye twitches intermittent

6:30pm: Dinner, fish oil 2 softgels

7-9pm: eye twitches here and there

8pm: Heartburn 

9:30pm: Left eye twitches intermittent 

10pm: Same

10:30pm: Ok

11pm: Ok, leave work

12:30am. Armour Thyroid 3 grains

1Am: Shower, bed

 

Notes: Left Eye twitches all day after accidentally taking Effexor 3 hrs. early at breakfast Eye twitches worse in morning, then lessening as day goes on No brain zaps.  Slight reaction to Armour Thyroid

 

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Altostrata

What is your sleep pattern?

 

When did you increase thyroid drug? Please put this in your signature.

 

Did you tell the doctor about the adverse reaction at your appointment this week? Checking thyroid levels will show nothing about an adverse reaction. How you feel on thyroid drugs is more important than the test scores.

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Superwoman

Wednesday November 20, 2019

 

10am: Wake up 8.5 hrs sleep, slept well, breakfast, coffee 1 scoop, Effexor xr 112.5

10:30sm: Barely perceptible light headed spells

11am: Same

11:30am: Light headed spells worsening to mod - 

12pm; Same

12:30pm: Lunch, light headed spells lessening mild

1pm: Nap

1:30pm: Driving to work, dizzy spells gone, feeling better

2pm: Slightly down 

2:30pm: Slight apathy all afternoon 

3pm: Jaw tension all afternoon 

6pm: Angry at co-worker

6:30pm: Dinner

7pm: Still little angry 

7:30pm: Mood better

8pm: Jaw tension all evening 

9:30pm: 1 brain zap slight 

11pm: Leave work

12am: Snack, few brain zaps mild 

12:30 am: Armour Thyroid 3 grains, shower, buzzers

1am: Probiotic 1 tsp., bed, amplified HB slight 

 

Notes Wednesday: felt worst in morning and afternoon. Felt better in evening.  Possible reaction to Effexor and/ or caffeine.  Possible reaction to Armour Thyroid or probiotic. 

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Superwoman
35 minutes ago, Altostrata said:

What is your sleep pattern?

 

When did you increase thyroid drug? Please put this in your signature.

 

Did you tell the doctor about the adverse reaction at your appointment this week? Checking thyroid levels will show nothing about an adverse reaction. How you feel on thyroid drugs is more important than the test scores.

I am sleeping well most nights.  I had bad insomnia when the Effexor was raised above 150mg.  Since lowering the dose my sleep has improved.  Every once in a while I still have difficulty sleeping.  Last night I had some trouble falling asleep.  I then ran lavender essential oil in my diffuser and fell right asleep.  I need 9 to 10 hours of sleep minimum. I try to get this much but I don’t always. 
 

The Armour Thyroid was increased 1 month ago.  I will update my signature.  I told the medical assistant but not the doctor about the adverse reaction to the thyroid pill.  I was going to tell the doctor but I felt rushed and I thought that I would need to wait to get it retested before I can do anything anyway. 
 

My guess is that the levels are not too high and that it is a hypersensitivity reaction.  My body probably could not handle that big of a jump at once.  I did not notice any reaction to 120 mg. (2.5 grains).  I wonder if I should go back down and try to slowly work up to 180 mg?  What do you think?  Or do you think that I should try a slightly lower dose and just stay there?

 

Thanks for your help. 

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Superwoman

Thursday November 21, 2019

 

11 am; Wake up 10 hrs sleep, well rested, coffee 1 scoop, breakfast, few brain zaps slight 

11:30am: Effexor xr 112.5mg

12pm: Few brain zaps mild 

12:30pm: Onguard EO topical feet, wired feeling mild, headache mild +

1pm. Probiotic increased to 2 tsp. few brain zaps mild 

1:30pm. Feeling little bit better, no brain zaps, jaw clenched 

2pm. Feeling little better but still slightly wired feeling 

2:30pm: Angry, agitated, wired feeling 2 hrs. 
3pm. Angry about work issue all afternoon 

4:30pm: Agitated 

5pm: 1 brain zap mild

5:30pm: Agitated 

6pm: Dinner, agitated, fish oil 2 softgels

6:30pm: Still little bit irritable 

7pm: Feeling better, mood improving throughout evening 

8pm: Few brain zaps mild sometime in evening 

11pm: Leave work

12am: Armour Thyroid 3 grains, 

12:30am: shower

1pm: Bed, HR slightly amplified 

 

Notes Thursday: Felt worse in morning and afternoon. Felt better in evening.  Mood improving in evening. 

 

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Superwoman

Friday November 22, 2019

 

9am: Woke up w/ slight depression, 8 hrs sleep, coffee 1 scoop, breakfast

9:30am: Effexor xr 112.5mg 

10am: Fatigue 

10:30am: Mental health support group

11am: Same, anxiety mild

11:30am: Few brain zaps mild in morning 

1pm: Probiotic increased to 1 tbs.

2:30pm. 2:30-4pm: irritability, anger, moderate

4:40pm. Mood little better

5pm: Anxiety mild

5:30pm. Few mild brain zaps

6pm; Some brain zaps mild +

6:30pm. Dinner, fish oil softgels, headache mod +

7pm: Headache, brain zaps frequent mod+
7:30pm. Headache lessening mod to mild

8pm; Brain zaps diminish 

9pm; Dry mouth off and on all day

11pm. Brain zaps more frequent 

11:30pm. Same

12:30am: Armour Thyroid 3 grains, brain zaps, amplified hr slight

1am. Same symptoms 

1:30am. Bed

2am. Trouble sleeping. Woke up at some point Don’t remember when and diffused Lavender EO.  This helped and I then fell back asleep.  
 

Notes Friday: reaction after taking fish oil. Going to cut out fish oil. 

 

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Altostrata

I'm sorry, you're going to have to get your thyroid drug lowered. Your symptoms may be because of that, not anything to do with Effexor.

 

You can have great blood tests and still be taking too much thyroid hormone. You probably can take less and still have good tests.

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Superwoman

Saturday November 23, 2019


switched from coffee to 1 C black tea to lower caffeine

 

11am: Woke up feeling little wired, breakfast, 1 C tea
11:30am: Effexor xr 112.5mg, same symptoms

12:30pm: Craft fair w/ MIL, good time, slight anxiety 

3pm: Slightly wired feeling, slight depression, grey sky

3:30pm: Probiotic 2 tsp., ok

4pm: Fatigue 

8pm: Mild depression all day, grey skies 

12:30am: Armour Thyroid 3 grains

1am: Bed, fast HB

 

Saturday Notes: mild depression all day.  Skies dreary, grey 

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Superwoman

Sunday November 24, 2019

 

11 am: Wake up, 1C tea, breakfast, Amplified HB

11:30am: Effexor xr 112.5mg.

12pm: Same symptoms 

1pm: Feeling better 

2pm: Few brain zaps mild here and there

3:30pm: Shopping, anxiety moderate 1 hr,

5pm: Dinner w/ parents, mood good

5:30pm: Few brain zaps mild evening 

8:30pm: Probiotic 1 tbs, 1 brain zap

9-11pm: 9-11pm: Ok

12:00am: Armour Thyroid 3 grains
12:30am: Fast heartbeat 

1pm: bed

 

Notes Sunday: period started 

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Superwoman

Monday November 25, 2019

 

10am: Wake up w/ mild headache, post nasal drip, coffee 1 C, breakfast 

10:30am: Mild headache all morning 

Jaw tension and general malaise All morning 

12pm: Probiotic 1 tbs 

12:30am: Yoga

1pm: Lunch

1:30-3:30pm Headache mod. Constant

Bruxism, general malaise 

4pm-9pm headache mod. Nearly constant 

General malaise, Bruxism 

6:30: Diner 

9-11pm: 9pm-11pm: headache gone, Feeling better 

11pm: Leave work

12am: Armour Thyroid 3 grains 

12:30am: Shower 

1am: Bed, HB amplified 

 

Notes Monday: Bad wave probably from period. Bad headache all day.  Post-nasal drip all day, sore throat and Bruxism  all day.  Felt better starting at 9pm

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Superwoman

Tuesday November 26, 2019

 

8am: wake up, tired, 1 C black tea, breakfast, Effexor xr

9am: tired, otherwise ok

10am: counselor

11 am: few brain zaps morning, don’t remember time, tired all morning 

1:30pm: achy hands

3pm: few brain zaps afternoon , tired

6pm: anxiety mild 30 minutes 

6:30pm: dinner, 1 C. Green tea

7pm: ok

11:30pm: achy hands

12am: 2 tsp. Probiotic, shower, 1 slight brain zap

12:30am: Armour Thyroid 3 grains, buzzers, Bed

 

Notes: felt much better than yesterday.  Not many brain zaps or symptoms.  Mood good all day. 

 

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Superwoman

Thursday Novrmber 28, 2019

 

trial day 1: reduced Armour Thyroid from 180 mg to 135 mg. 
 

Few brain zaps mild 10 minutes after taking pill.  No amplified heartbeat.  Overall symptoms less severe than 180 mg. 

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Superwoman

Friday November 29, 2019

 

trial day 2: reduced Armour Thyroid from 180 mg to 135 mg.

 

Few mild brain zaps, barely perceptible headache after taking pill.  No amplified heartbeat. Improvement.  Little trouble falling asleep. 

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Superwoman

Saturday November 30, 2019

 

trial: Armour Thyroid reduced from 180 mg. to 135 mg.

 

No symptoms after taking Armour Thyroid 135 mg.  

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Superwoman

Friday November 29, 2019

 

10:30am: Woke up w/ headache mod. 10 min., congestion 

11am: Black tea 1 C, Effexor xr 112.5mg.

immediately after taking Effexor headache resumed, jaw tension and pain

12:30pm: Feeling better

1pm; Lunch 

1:30pm: Fatigue 

2pm; 1 brain zap slight 

2:30; Few brain zaps slight 

3pm: Same

3:30pm: Nap 1 hr. 
5pm: Probiotic 2 tsp. 
6:30pm: Dinner

9:30pm: Armour Thyroid 135 mg.

10pm: Few slight brain zaps

10:30pm: Barely perceptible headache 

11pm: Ok
12am: Ok

12:30am: Touchpoints

1am: Bed, ok


Notes Friday: Little  bit of trouble falling asleep, reaction after Effexor.  Lethargic all day. Allergies and congestion. 

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Superwoman

Saturday November 30, 2019

 

switched from black tea to green tea to lower caffeine content. 
 

10:30am: Wake up 9.5 hrs. Sleep, breakfast, green tea 1 C

11am: Sneezing, Congestion less severe then yesterday, mild headache after drinking tea

11:30 am: Effexor xr 112.5mg. 
12pm: Ok

12:30pm: Shopping, slight depression 

1pm: Lunch

3:30pm: Few brain zaps mild 

4pm: Movie, lethargic 

6pm: Headache mild

6:30pm: Probiotic 2 tsp, headache mild

7:30pm: Headache mild

9:30pm: Headache mild

12:30am: Armour Thyroid 135 mg. 
1am: Bed, ok

 

Notes Saturday: mild depression all day, allergies, running nose

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Superwoman

December 1, 2019

 

10:30am: Woke up with headache, phlegm, 9.5 hrs sleep 

11am: Same

11:30am: Feeling better, Breakfast, green tea, ok

12pm: Effexor xr 112.5mg, slight headache 

12:30: Phlegm all morning 

1:30pm: With friends 

2pm: Post nasal drip all afternoon 

6pm: Dinner pizza

6:30pm: Mild amplified fast HB

7pm: Same

7:30pm: Post nasal drip improving evening

10pm: Probiotic increased to 1 tbs 

10:30pm: Okay 

11:30pm: Armour Thyroid 135 mg 

12 am: Bed, ok


Notes Sunday: slight headache after Effexor. Allergies little bit better than day before. No reaction after Armour Thyroid 135 mg. 

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Superwoman

Sunday December 1, 2019

 

trial: Armour Thyroid lowered from 180mg to 135mg.

 

No symptoms after taking Armour Thyroid 

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Superwoman

@Altostrata,

 

I had a doctors appointment with my family doctor and I got my thyroid test results.  My T3 was too high.  My doctor is lowering the Armour Thyroid from 180 mg to 150 mg.  My doctor was surprised that it increased that much because six weeks ago the T3 was really low.  I said that it was probably the withdrawal throwing my thyroid out of whack.  
 

For the past four days I have been taking 135mg. Armour Thyroid by cutting tablets.  My heart has not been pounding after taking it, like it was with 180 mg.

 

 I am thinking of taking my pulse before and after taking meds and supplements as a test to see if I am reacting to the substances.  I have noticed that my heart beats harder and faster as a reaction to supplements, medication and even food sometimes.
 

My family doctor is prescribing my antidepressant now.  He believes in withdrawal and even told me that Effexor is horrible to get off of.  He is okay with me tapering however I want and he said that I can go as slow as I want. 
 

 

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Superwoman

@Altostrata

 

I don’t know if I spoke too soon.  Last night  I had amplified, fast heartbeat and some palpitations after taking Armour Thyroid 135 mg.  I don’t know if it was from the Armour Thyroid, or the probiotic, hot bath or essential oil.  I took 1 tbs of probiotic one hr earlier.  I also used an essential oil called OnGuard topically.


I took the Armour Thyroid at bedtime right before taking a bath.   I noticed the

amplified fast heartbeat while taking a bath.  I have noticed an amplified heartbeat at other times while taking a bath.  At first I thought that it was the Epsom salt in the bath.  But now I am not sure because I no longer take Epsom salt baths and I still have the amplified heartbeat with just plain warm water.  I couldn’t possibly be reacting to water.  But maybe I am reacting to the heat?  Or maybe I am just more aware of my heartbeat because I am relaxing and my ears are underwater so sound is amplified.  I have not noticed this reaction when taking a shower.  What do you think Alto?

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Superwoman

Monday December 2, 2019

 

9:30: Woke up with slight depression, allergies, 9.5 hrs sleep, breakfast, 1 C green tea, ok

10am: Effexor xr 112.5mg, slight fast HB 

10:30am: Same

11am: Doctor appt. heart rate fast 113 bpm

12:30pm: Nap, fast heartbeat 

1:30pm: Driving to work, still depressed, general malaise 

2pm. Anxiety slight

2:30pm: Depression, apathy mild all morning and afternoon 

5:30pm: Few brain zaps mild, runny nose

6:30pm: Dinner

7pm: Depression, apathy mild 1 hr 

8:30pm: Mood lifting 

9:30pm: Dry mouth 1 hr 

11pm; Leave work 

11:30pm: Probiotic 1 tbs.

12:30am: Armour Thyroid 135 mg., bath, Onguard topical 

1am: Bed, amplified, fast HB

1:30am; Trouble sleeping slight 

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Altostrata

It will take weeks for the reduced thyroid drug dosage to fully register in your body. 135mg could still be too high.

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Superwoman

@Altostrata,


If I am reacting to it then I may have to lower it.  I just don’t want it to get too low . So far I have only had the amplified heartbeat 1 night out of five.  I am planning on monitoring it more.  My doctor thinks I should try 150 mg.  
 

I am worried about getting tired, depressed and gaining weight if I lower it. If I lower it anymore I will be at 120 mg.  This is what I was at before it was raised to 180 mg and it was too low.  I was gaining weight and feeling tired and depressed.  When it was raised to 180mg the depression lifted.  I have felt more down since I lowered it but I don’t know if it is connected. The sky has been grey for a week here.  I have not felt anxious like I did since I lowered the dose.  I am planning on taking my pulse before and after taking it. 

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Altostrata

It will take weeks before you see what changing the thyroid drug dosage does. If you sleep better and feel better, that's a good change.

 

You'll need to get this settled before we can make a tapering plan. Every time you change the thyroid drug dosage, you put off tapering by another couple of months. Not sure why you're talking about fiddling with it again so soon. Thyroid drug is not a magic weight loss and energy drug.

 

We don't treat hypothyroidism here. Please join a forum for that purpose to discuss your thyroid drug dosing.

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Superwoman
1 hour ago, Altostrata said:

Every time you change the thyroid drug dosage, you put off tapering by another couple of months.

Why do I need to put off tapering by a couple of months?  I was thinking maybe I could taper in a couple of weeks.

 

1 hour ago, Altostrata said:

Not sure why you're talking about fiddling with it again so soon.

Because my doctor prescribed 150 mg and suggested this amount.  I lowered it to 135mg on my own because I was reacting to it.  I got it tested when I was at 180 and it was too high.  My doctor thought 135 might be too low.  But I am worried that 150 or even 135 could be too high because you said that 135 may still be too high and I have had palpitations a couple of times at 135.  My pulse is also high. It was 113 at my doctor appointment.  This could have been from the Effexor though because I noticed it start pounding when I took the Effexor. 
 

He uses a different scale then the lab range.  The lab range is 2 to 4 for free T3.  My doctor goes by the range 4 to 6 because he has been treating hypothyroidism for 40 years and this is the range that people say they feel optimal at.
Now I don’t really know what I should be at.  I understand you don’t treat hypothyroidism here.  I am researching this.  I think that the best thing might be to listen to my body and go more with what I feel then the lab results.  
 

1 hour ago, Altostrata said:

 

It will take weeks before you see what changing the thyroid drug dosage does. If you sleep better and feel better, that's a good change.

 

 

I noticed a difference right away after decreasing it.  I am not so anxious and my heart is not pounding so much.  It does take at least 6 weeks to  reach the full effect.  
 

thanks

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Altostrata

As I've explained several times, if you're having adverse effects from the thyroid drug, you might get confused while you're tapering and think the symptoms are from the taper, rather than the thyroid drug.

 

For example, you are sleeping better from decreasing the thyroid drug, but the change will take a couple of months to settle in. Could be the thyroid drug will start affecting your sleep again. If you started tapering in a couple of weeks, you might think the sleep disruption is from the tapering, rather than the thyroid drug.

 

We have to see what the thyroid drug change does before changing your Effexor dose. This will take a month or more.

 

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