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Superwoman: Effexor taper

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Superwoman

Tuesday January 14, 2020

 

11:30pm: Wake up 10.5hrs sleep, slept well but still tired, groggy

12pm: 1C coffee, breakfast, still tired, groggy 

12:30pm: Probiotic 2 tsp, Effexor xr 101.25, shower

1pm: Topical Onguard, Tea Tree EO, light headed spell lasting few seconds 1

1:30pm: Still tired, brain fog

2:30-4:30pm: anxiety, more energy, more alert
4:30-6:30: ok

7:30pm: Flat mood 3

8pm: Flat mood 2 

8:30pm: Flat mood 1

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Superwoman

1 month ago I reduced Effexor xr by 10% from 112.5mg to 101.25mg.  The taper went very smoothly.  The only increase in symptoms that I had was insomnia and fatigue.  I believe this was most likely caused by disruption to my sleep schedule  from lots of mandatory overtime.  Anxiety, and heart palpitations significantly decreased since tapering.  Brain zaps and headaches are maybe a little better.  Unfortunately, sexual dysfunction has not improved.  However, it has also not gotten any worse.  
 

What a difference from tapering the standard medical way!  When I tapered the standard way I had severe dizziness, headache, brain zaps and depression by evening after taking the pill in the morning.  But yet, according to my doctor opening the capsules is so dangerous.  If these doctors ever stopped to listen to their patients they would see that the drugs they prescribe and the way they haphazardly take patients off of them is really what is dangerous. 

Today I tapered another 10% from 101.25mg to 91 mg.  It was uneventful.  I had brain zaps infrequently.  I was lethargic feeling all day.  One bout of mild anxiety while making up pills.  Other than that I was okay. 

 

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brassmonkey

Hi SW-- I was just reading your post on the Valerian Root thread. I would suggest you stop the almond milk, the symptoms you describe are consistent  with an allergic reaction and will quit possibly get worse if you keep drinking it. Google "almond milk side effects".  

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Superwoman

@brassmonkey

 

Thanks.  I got rice milk instead.  I want to find something other than almond milk anyway because I heard almond production is bad for the environment.  My chiropractor is still working on harmonizing me to dairy.  
 

So do you think Extra Sleepytime tea with Valerian is okay to take?  I am afraid to try it again.  I had some mild belly issues the other times I took it.  I have belly issues so often though anyway. 

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brassmonkey

Valerian can cause stomach issues, so probably best to be careful with it.  It also will need to be tapered if it is used for an extended period of time.

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Superwoman
On 1/26/2020 at 3:07 PM, brassmonkey said:

Valerian can cause stomach issues, so probably best to be careful with it.  It also will need to be tapered if it is used for an extended period of time.

I tried regular Sleepytime tea the other night and I didn’t have any tummy trouble. I did have some brain zaps.  Regular Sleepytime tea does not have Valerian root in it.  Only Sleepytime Extra has the Valerian root in it.  I got rid of the Extra Sleepytime tea.  I’m not gonna risk it.

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Superwoman

Saturday January 25, 2020

 

Reduced Effexor xr from 112.5 to 91 mg using bead counting method. 

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Superwoman

January 26, 2020

 

12 pm: Wake up 11 hrs sleep, mild insomnia 

12:30pm: Diffuse lemon EO 4 drops, headache, turned off diffuser, 1 C green tea, breakfast 

1pm, Effexor 91mg, headache 3, depression 2

1:30 pm: Vitamin d 2000 topical, Depression 2 continues, chores

2pm: Low motivation, depression 2, lethargy 

3pm: Dinner w/ in-laws, same symptoms 

4pm: Fatigue, low motivation 2 hrs

6pm: Bath, 1 cup Epsom salt

7pm: Much more relaxed 

7:30pm: Meditate 15 minutes 

8pm: Movie w/ husband, restless 1

11pm: Armour Thyroid 120mg, California Poppy 1 dropper, ok

11:30pm: 1 C Sleepytime tea, headache 1

 

 

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Superwoman

January 29, 2020

 

11:30 am: Wake up 10.5hrs sleep, slept pretty well

12pm: Breakfast, 1C black tea, headache 2

12:30pm: Effexor 91mg, head pressure 1, anxiety 2

1pm-5pm: alright
5pm: Anxiety, apathy, 2

6pm: Apathy 2, on and off evening, fatigue 3 on and off

9pm: Vaginal burning 3

11pm: 1hr. Headache 3
12am: Snack

12:30am: Armour Thyroid 120mg
1am: Bed, heart palpitations 3, No lavender EO

1:30am: Slept well

 

Notes Wednesday: Increase in headaches today.  Sleep better. 

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Superwoman

Thursday January 30, 2020

 

11:30am: Woke up 10.5hrs sleep, tired despite sleeping well getting adequate sleep 

12pm: Breakfast, 1C coffee, Effexor xr 91mg

12:30pm: Vitamin d topical 2000IU

 1pm: Probiotic 2 tsp, light headed 1

2pm: Lightheaded 1

3:30pm-6:30pm headache 1 to 4 off and on
6pm: Stiff knees, popping knees

12am: Sleepytime tea regular 1 C

12:30am: Armour Thyroid 120mg.

1am: Bed, diffused lavender EO

1:30 am: Trouble sleeping from work stress

 

Notes: stiff knees is a new symptom.  Anxiety better.  Some symptoms seem a little worse than last month, but not worse than before starting taper of 112.5mg Effexor.  Other symptoms seem better. 

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Superwoman

Has anyone had stiff knees with popping joints as a withdrawal symptom?  I have had this symptom at work recently.  I have had very stiff hips, neck, and jaw before, but never the still knees.  Both times that I had it I was on the same job at work.  I work on an assembly line, so the job could have been aggravating it.  It is odd though because I have done the job for a year and it never bothered my knees before. 

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Superwoman

I had a breakthrough.  There was some work stress recently.  In the recent past I would of been all stressed about this situation, anxious and worrying.  It occurred to me that I handled the situation much differently then I would have in the past. I just laughed it off and even cracked jokes with my husband about it.  My attitude was much more positive then my usual doom and gloom worse case scenario thinking.  I didn’t get down on myself either.  I was angry and I was proud that I stood up for myself. 
 

I remarked to my husband about how surprised I was that I was not obsessively worrying and sick with anxiety.  The last time that I was called in the office over something stupid my heart was pounding, I was filled with anxiety and it aggravated the WD.  My husband responded that the difference was astounding and like night and day.  Since I have been tapering the Effexor my anxiety levels have definitely lowered.  This medicine is touted as something that will help you cope with life better.  Yeah right.  This AD caused my anxiety to go through the roof.  This only made it harder for me to cope with stress.  I did have some trouble sleeping that night but other then that I didn’t have any WD symptoms from it.

 

Also I feel more sense of humor and like laughing more.  @brassmonkey, I will PM you.  Since you worked in a factory too I think you might appreciate this.  

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Armorall

Congrats on your breakthrough!

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Superwoman

Thank you!  I will PM you.  You can probably use a good chuckle. 

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Superwoman

Sunday February 2, 2020

 

11:30am: Wake up 10 hrs sleep, stiff

12pm: Breakfast, 1 C black tea

12:30pm: Effexor xr 91mg, depression 1

1pm: Depression 2, low motivation 2, yoga 

1:30pm: Light headed feeling after brushing teeth, vitamin d topical 2000IU

2pm: Still light headed 2

2:30pm: Freezing cold hands

3pm: Ears hot, 1

3:30pm: Walk dog, mood better 

6pm: Hanging out with friends, ok

6:30pm: Headache 1 lasting few seconds 

8pm: At home angry thinking about work

12am: Epsom salt bath 1C, ok, Armour Thyroid 120mg, ok

12:30am: California Poppy 1 drooper 

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Superwoman

@brassmonkey,

 

I think that I saw somewhere on here that people sometimes taper 5% for 2 weeks and then an additional 5% for another 2 weeks, for a total of 10% a month.  This would be only a 2 week hold between dose changes though, not the recommended 4 weeks.  Do you think this might be more tolerable for me?

 

My first month of a 10% taper went very smoothly.  I didn’t have any increased symptoms and actually had improvement in some symptoms.  This month while I have had improvement in some symptoms, I have noticed an uptick in other symptoms.  However, I have not had an any increase in symptoms from before I started tapering from 112.5mg. Effexor xr.  But I have seen some increase in symptoms relative to last month.  Anxiety and heart palpitations have gotten a lot better.  So this month it has been a mixed bag with improvement in some symptoms and worsening of other symptoms.  Overall I still think that I doing better than I was before I started tapering 10% two months ago and the symptoms are still manageable.  I am just concerned that the taper has not gone as smoothly as the month before. 
 

Can you take a look at my daily symptom record and let me know your thoughts.  Do you think this is just a wave?  Befire resorting to slowing the rate of my taper maybe I could try two 5% reductions a month.  What if I switch to weighing beads instead of counting beads?  Might this be more precise and reduce withdrawal? 

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brassmonkey

It's sounding like the normal month to month fluctuations of a taper.  No two reductions will behave be exactly the same.  Some reductions will be very smooth while others will really kick up for a while. 5% every two weeks with out a longer hold will eventually cause problems. It's why we refer to tapers as being "nonlinear".  The best measure of improvement is your WDnormal.  This is a month over month rolling average of how you feel minus the highs and lows. If your overall general feeling of blah is better this quarter  than it was last quarter your WDnormal is improving, which is a positive sign. If its the same then things are holding steady which is also a good thing.  If it is worse then we need to pay attention to what your are doing and maybe make adjustments.

 

There is a lot going on in the background that we don't really feel, but we have to let stabilize before the next reduction.  If things are rushed then the background stuff will build up until there is a major crash and that will take months to resolve before you can taper again. In my experience and the experience of others the traditional Brassmonkey Slide (2.5% a week for four weeks and a two week hold) is the fastest and least symptomatic taper available.

 

There really is very little difference between weighing your dose and counting beads.  Unless you are extremely sensitive to changes on your dose weighing won't buy you anything. Either way you will still get some fluctuations in symptoms from reduction to reduction.

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Superwoman

@brassmonkey

 

Thanks for your prompt informative reply.  That is relieving.  I think that my WDnormal is improving.  I am considering my baseline as the month before I started the 10% taper.  I definitely have seen lessening in some symptoms since then.  I have also had some additional improvement in certain symptoms since last month.  Other symptoms seem unchanged from my baseline but not worse. 
 

8 hours ago, brassmonkey said:

In my experience and the experience of others the traditional Brassmonkey Slide (2.5% a week for four weeks and a two week hold) is the fastest and least symptomatic taper available

I could see why the Brassmonkey Slide would be less symptomatic, but wouldn’t the standard 10% taper be faster?  Because the standard taper holds for 4 weeks while the Brassmonkey Slide is 6 weeks. 
 

I read on this site that if the standard 10% 4 week taper goes well then you can try decreasing the time between reductions.  Do you think that I can try tapering after 3 weeks for the next two reductions?  It sounds like I am doing well and just having normal fluctuations.  After 2 more reductions I will be down to one pill of 75mg.  I plan to hold at 75mg for a number of months before tapering again.  This would allow me to finish tapering before the bad spring allergies hit.  I definitely don’t want to taper too fast and crash though.  What do you think?

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brassmonkey

Yes the standard 10% taper is about 1/3 faster on paper. But I've seen too many people end up having to take extended holds because the symptoms backed up and they had crashes. Some crashes were mild and others pretty serious. Despite the severity the crashes take a lot of extra time to resolve and that slows down the process, not to mention they are very uncomfortable. 

 

Which ever method you use, standard or Brassmonkey Slide, you are going to be tapering for a very long time so may as well make it as comfortable as possible and avoid any risks along the way.  We have a lot of members who wanted to take things faster and almost every one of them has regretted it. I highly recommend the Brassmonkey Slide.

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Superwoman

Thursday February 6, 2020

 

11am: Wake up 10hrs sleep, well rested, depression 1, headache 1 

11:30am: Black tea 1C, breakfast, heart burn, Effexor xr 91mg

12pm: Depression 2

12:30pm: Depression 3, low motivation 2.5 hrs

4pm-6:30pm: Depression low motivation 1
7-11pm: flat mood, low motivation, depression 1/2

8:30pm: 1 brain zap 1

10pm: Light headed 1, 30 minutes 
12am: Armour Thyroid 120mg

12:30am: Buzzers, diffused lavender EO

1am: Bed

 

Notes Thursday: Depression, flat mood and low motivation all day.  Not sure if hormonal.  It is week before period. Light headed in evening.  I haven’t had this symptom in awhile. 

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Superwoman

Friday February 7, 2020

 

11am: Wake up 10hrs sleep, tried to get up earlier for yoga but too tired, dizzy 3

11:30am: Effexor xr 91mg., still dizzy 3

12pm: Shower, vitamin d 2000 topical, still dizzy 3

12:30pm: Probiotic 2 tsp, still dizzy 3

1pm: Dizzy 3, low motivation 

1:30pm: Same

2pm: Light headed 1, discouraged1 hr

3pm: Few brain zaps mild 

3:30pm: No symptoms, mood better 

1am: Armour Thyroid 120

1:30am: Bed, lavender diffuser, buzzers 

 

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Superwoman

Sunday February 9, 2020

 

11am: Wake up 9.5hrs sleep, breakfast, 1C black tea, depression 1, headache 1

11:30am: Effexor xr 91mg

12:30pm: Headache 1

1pm: Lunch w/ peer supporter 

2pm; Low level depression all afternoon 

6pm: Dinner

6:30pm: Low level depression most of evening 

8:30pm: Few brain zaps mild 

10:30pm: Dry eyes 2 hrs

12:30pm: Armour Thyroid 120mg, 1 dropperful California Poppy

1am: Bed, lavender aromatic, buzzers, ok

 

Notes Sunday: low level depression all day.

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Superwoman

Monday February 10, 2020

On period

 

11am: Alarm went off, tired reset for 30 minutes later

11:30am: Wake up 10.5 hrs sleep, still tired, breakfast, 1C black tea

12pm: Effexor xr 91mg 

12:30pm: Depression 1

2pm: Period starts 

3pm: Feeling better 

4pm: Brain zaps 4

4:30pm: Few brain zaps 1, depression low motivation worsening moderate 

5:30pm: Depression, low motivation lessening 1

6:30pn: Dinner, mood better 

7:30pm: Few brain zaps mild 

8pm-11:30pm: ok
12:30am: Armour thyroid 120mg, buzzers, lavender EO

1am: bed
 

Notes: felt better, late evening 

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Superwoman

Thursday February 13, 2020

On period

 

11am: Wake up 9 hrs sleep, well rested, breakfast, 1C black tea

11:30am: Effexor xr 91mg

3:30pm-8pm: Flat mood, depression 
6:30pm: Dinner

7pm: Fatigue 1 hr

7:30pm: 1 brain zap 

8:30pm: Mood lifting rest of evening 

12:30am: Armour Thyroid 120mg, cal. Poppy, 2 droppers, lavender EO aromatic 

1am: Bed, ok

 

Notes Thursday: mood low large chunk of day lifting in evening.  Only 1 brain zap. 

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Superwoman

Thursday February 13, 2020

On period

 

11am: Wake up 9 hrs sleep, well rested, breakfast, 1C black tea

11:30am: Effexor xr 91mg

3:30pm-8pm: Flat mood, depression 
6:30pm: Dinner

7pm: Fatigue 1 hr

7:30pm: 1 brain zap 

8:30pm: Mood lifting rest of evening 

12:30am: Armour Thyroid 120mg, cal. Poppy, 2 droppers, lavender EO aromatic 

1am: Bed, ok

 

Notes Thursday: mood low large chunk of day lifting in evening.

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Superwoman

Friday February 14, 2020

on period

 

9:30am: Wake up, 8.5hrs sleep, coffee 1 cup, breakfast 

10am: Effexor xr 91 mg

10:30am: Heartburn, 4 tums

11am: Eye doctor, few brain zaps mild, heartburn 

12-2pm: ok, mood good
12:30pm: Probiotic 2 tsp

2pm: Arrive work, heartburn after drinking orange juice 2.5 hrs, 4 more tums

2:30pm: 1 brain zap1, mood good all afternoon 

3:30pm: Peppermint beads periodically afternoon 

4:30pm: Heartburn 2 tums

6:30pm: Dinner

7-11pm: gas
8pm: Peppermint beads periodically evening
12am: Itchy 

12:30am:Armour Thyroid 120mg, lavender EO aromatic

 

Notes Friday: good day!  Mood good all day.  No depression, apathy or anxiety!  Stomach issues all day. Only a few brain zaps. 

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Superwoman

February 19, 2020

 

11am: Wake up, 10hrs sleep sleepy, breakfast, 1C black tea, depression 1

11:30am: Effexor xr 91mg, depression 1

12:30pm: Depression 2, 1 hr
2-5pm: sad feeling like crying 5

5:30pm: Mood lifting rest of evening 

6:30pm: 2 brain zaps evening 1, don’t remember time

8pm-12am: Jaw tension 7
12:30am: Armour Thyroid 120mg, lavender EO, Cal. Poppy 1 dropper

1am: Bed, ok

1:30am: Woke up numerous times to pee, fell right back asleep, other then this good sleep

 

Notes Wednesday: only 2 barely perceptible brain zaps.  Really sad feeling in afternoon, then mood lifting in evening. 

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Superwoman

February 20, 2020

 

Notes Thursday: I didn’t get to keep a log today.  Good day, window.  I felt sad in afternoon thinking about withdrawal.  Rest of day mood good.  I actually felt normal!  Only 2 barely perceptible brain zaps again.  Jaw tension. No other symptoms. 

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Superwoman

Saturday February 22, 2020

 

Reduced Effexor 10% from 91mg to 82 mg.

 

10am: Woke up after only 8hrs sleep w/o alarm, surprisingly awake, breakfast, depression 1, 1C black tea, lemon EO

10:30am: Depression 2

11am: Effexor xr reduced dose 82mg.

11:30am:  Loose stools 

12pm: all afternoon depression 3 to 4, worry, anxiety over PSSD and withdrawal 

4:30pm: Walked dog, feeling a little better

5:30pm:Dinner, brain zaps, bloating mod. 2 hrs.

6:30pn:  Shopping, feeling alright 

7pm: Brain zaps

7:30pm: Bath 1 C Epsom salt

8pm: Mood better evening 

9pm: Sexual dysfunction, headache 2 hrs

1am: Bed, Armour Thyroid 120mg, lavender EO

 

Notes Saturday: Reduced Effexor xr today from 91mg to 82 mg.  Brain Zaps and sexual dysfunction in evening from withdrawal.  Post orgasmic headache lasting 2 hrs.  This is something I have not had in a long time.  Difficulty orgasming.  This has been better last few days. Maybe sex was too much for my nervous system today after just reducing the medication.  Slept very well. 

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Superwoman

2/23/20 Progress Update 2nd months taper 101.25 to 91mg

 

This second taper was rougher than last months taper but WD still improved from baseline (pre 10% taper of 112.5mg.).  Looking back I can see that symptoms were worse the first 2 weeks of taper and then improved the last 2 weeks.  Especially the last few days of taper I was feeling a lot better, with few brain zaps.  Sexual function was better last few days. 


Still had depression all month off and on most days.  Later in month depression was more a sad tearful, rather than the usual flat apathetic dead type depression that I normally have.  I considered this a good sign that I am experiencing more emotions, even if this emotion is sadness. What does everyone think?  Is this an improvement to feel sad instead of dead and unable to feel?  I usually feel unable to cry.  A feel days later in the month I felt like I could cry.  What do you think @Altostrata, @brassmonkey

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Altostrata

Do you have any withdrawal symptoms?

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Superwoman
2 minutes ago, manymoretodays said:

Bookmarks can be done both on PC's and smart phones, Iphones too, I believe. 

On my PC, it's a star up at the top of my screen, which I can click/tick and then I have a list of bookmarked items that I can pull up to get to frequently used sites/pages to access.

On my android device, I get a prompt to bookmark frequently used sites, and then once clicked/ticked, the same sort of easy access to sites/pages.

 

Hope that helps.

Okay I know what you mean.  I misunderstood.  I thought it was a way to save it on this site.  Is there a way to save it on this site?

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manymoretodays

Hi Superwomen,

I moved your last question over here.  I didn't want to confuse Roxane 

Are you referring to your own introduction?  It is saved on this site.  If you bookmark your page.  Then it would come up from your bookmarks to access, and then you would just log in.

Other options are available to you too, as far as if you wish to follow members or topics.  Just tick/click your user name, at the top right of the screen, and you'll see further options that you can explore.

 

As far as your symptoms go, do you think you are experiencing WD symptoms, or just a flucuating baseline?  (referring to your last post)

I think, personally, I prefer to feel emotions, rather than flat-ness.  So, I think it's good you are feeling a bit.  Perhaps some of the anhedonia has resolved? 

And I'm not real clear on your tapering right now.  Can you update your signature Superwomen?  Last I am seeing there is 2018, with a whole lot of changes.

Go to AccountSettings/signature

 

L, P, H, and G,

mmt

 

Edited by manymoretodays

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Superwoman

@Altostrata, @manymoretodays, I will update my signature.  I have to go through my medical records from the last 15 years.  I have a long medication history so it might take a little bit.

 

According to what Brassmonkey said, I think that the symptoms are normal month to month fluctuations of the taper and my WD normal is improving.  I feel overall better than two months ago.  I think that it is mostly fluctuating baseline but there could be a little withdrawal as well.  The symptoms were not anymore sever than my baseline pre 10% taper.

 

 I reduced the dose yesterday and did notice some definite withdrawal symptoms of increased brain zaps and sexual dysfunction.  I still feel the symptoms are manageable and I am eager to be at 75 mg.  Then I can hold there and not have to taper for a while.  Next month I will be at 75mg. 

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manymoretodays

I think just the more recent changes would be really helpful, to see, at a glance, Superwomen.

2019 and early 2020.

 

I could see some of your tapers noted, at the tops of your daily notes by backtracking a bit.

I don't have any idea though, what happened since 2018 Sept. where you note EffexorXR 112.5 mg + 0.4 mg(1 bead)

 

And congrats!  91 mg, now of EffexorXR.  That is an accomplishment!

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Superwoman

@manymoretodays,

 

Ok, I will do it this upcoming weekend.  I don’t have much time during the week with work and all my doctors appointments.  
 

I didn’t make any changes from September though December other than dropping the extra bead.  Thank you MMT.  I am proud of myself.  I didn’t know if I would even be able to lower this med at all.  The first time I tried to get off was horrible.  It scared me so much I went right back on it.  Congratulations on you for getting off all meds.  I can’t wait to be med free.    

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